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Sergey Karjakin vs Alexandra Kosteniuk
Dannemann Match (2003), Brissago SUI, rd 4, Feb-04
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Given 23 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-06-13  Dr. Funkenstein: kevin86: see several people above... 34. ...Rxa5 35. bxa5 Bxb3 instead and after 36. a6 and 37. Rb8 the pawn can't be stopped without giving up the bishop
Jun-06-13  anandrulez: Checked with Stockfish Engine , B + 2 Pawns i.e 33.Bxd5 Kf8 34.Bb7 Qxc8 35.Bxc8 36.Rc6 (Ra8 loses much faster due to pawnstorm - Rc6 counter play in Kingside ) wins too , but comp evals are slow . It takes time to calculate and find the wins , for humans its a very simple decision I would think since its atleast a . Anyway what Karjakin played is nice ...
Jun-06-13  Clodhopper: Actually, I like 33. Bxd5+, K-f8, 33. B-b7 better...

34. R-a8 is indeed beautiful, and wins. But after 34 ... Ra6xa5 (Fritz found this, not me!!), I would not feel so confident about getting the win. Karjakin would have no problem, but I'm no Karjakin!

On the other hand, after 33. Bxd5+, K-f8, 34. B-d7, R-a7, 35. a6, Qxc8, 36. Bxc8, R-c7, 37. B-b7 even I can beat Fritz (Not so clear 37. Bxf5, R-c1+, 38. K-f2, R-a1, at least not for me...)

Jun-06-13  anandrulez: I find it easy to play as White even if Rxa5 . Anyway I found 34.bb7 and thought its good and logical . I missed Rxe8 because I somehow thought Kf8 was possible after Rxe8 and then there is no bishop takes with check ! Anyway thats me ....
Jun-06-13  anandrulez: Sergey was 13/14 when this game was played (Sigh) Even today we can't play like this .
Jun-06-13  paavoh: So beautiful 'cause it is economical. Great vision to make use of the misplaced Black Rook.
Jun-06-13  Vincenze: 34...Rxa5 might put up a fight
Jun-06-13  5hrsolver: <TimothyLucasJaeger: I fell for 33 Bxd5+ Kf8 34 Bb7 Qxc8 35 Bxc8 expecting 35 ... Ra8 36 Bb7 Ra7 37 a6 Ke7 38 b5 Kd7 39 b6 Rxa6 40 Bxa6 Kc6 41 b7 Kc7 which looks winning, but black has a better defense in 35 ... Rc6 followed by Rc1+ and using the rook to defend the pawns from behind while creating threats with his own passer, when the outcome is unclear.>

White still wins after 35...Rc6

33.Bxd5+ Kf8 34.Bb7 Qxc8 35.Bxc8 Rc6 36.Bb7 Rc1+ 37.Kf2 Ra1 38.a6 Ke7 39.b5 Kd7 40.b6 followed by a7 and wins

Jun-06-13 An amusing finishing combination.
So happy I got it.
Jun-06-13  mistreaver: wednsday.White to play. Medium. 33?
In this late hour, the only thing that came to my mind instead of mindless grabbing of the material is: 33 Bxd5+ Kf8
34 Bb7
the point is to gain few tempi by worsening the position of the black rook in the variation... A) 34... Ra7
35 a6 Ke7
36 Rxe8+ Kxe8
37 b5 Kd7
38 b6 and white wins
... or too keep the king out by 1 tempo, say by:
B) 34... Qxc8
35 Bxc8 Ra8
36 Bb7 Rb8
37 a6 and next a7
and again white wins.
Time to check.
Hmmm, i missed the best defence, and i have to agree that Rxe8 and Ra8 is much cleaner kill.
Jun-06-13  BlackSheep: This puzzle started really at move 30. with Qxa6 (saturdayish) to see it from that point onwards is brilliant calculation skills and to include Ra8 as the final blow was just gravy , which implies Kostenuik's "free" pawn that she snatched on d5 wasn't so free after all. Nice puzzle at it is though took me longer than usual on a Thursday .
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: What an interesting puzzle. White must take the queen 33 Rxe8+ but then after 33...Kf7 he cannot follow up with 34 Bxd5+ because his rook is en prise. So White plays 34 Ra8 attacking the black rook. There is no escape! If 34...Rxa8, 35 Bxd5+ forks K and R. If 34 ...Rc6, same thing. This is very nice.

I see from other comments that there are a few complexities but nothing that diminishes the beauty of the winning tactic.

Jun-06-13  dzechiel: White to move (33?). White is down a queen (I'm guessing it was just captured on e8). "Medium."

Saw this one pretty quickly.

33 Rxe8+

I did consider 33 Bxd5+ ('cause it's a check, right?), but after 33...Rf8 34 Rxe8+ Kxe8 white will be down an exchange and it will be difficult to get the queen-side pawns moving.


The white rook and white bishop are both under attack. This was what black was counting on.

34 Ra8!

Oops. Now it's the black rook and the black bishop that are both under attack. And after...

34...Rxa8 35 Bxd5+ Ke7 36 Bxa8

it's a cakewalk for white. Time to check.

Jun-07-13  patcheck: 33Rxe8 Kf7 34 Ra8 … A) 34 … Rxa5 B) 34. … Bxb3

A) 34 … Rxa5 35. Rxa5 Bxb3 36. b5 …
A1) 36 … Ke7 37 b6 Kd7 38 b7 Kc7 39 b8 Kxb8 40 Rb5+ (wins the bishop and the game)

A2) 36 … Bd5 37 b6 Bc6 38 Ra7+ Ke7 39 b7 (black has to exchange the bishop for the pawn and white wins easily)

B) 34 … Bxb3 35) Rxa6 Ke6 and white must wins but this second way seems to me a bit longer than if black plays 34 … Rxa5

Jun-07-13  Dr. Funkenstein: Those thinking that Rxa5 holds on need to check the analysis above by others

If you think Rxa5 holds or makes it difficult, please explain how after 33. Rxe8+ Kf7 34. Ra8 Rxa5 35. bxa5 36. Bxb3 a6 you plan on stopping the combination of Rb8 and a7, a8 over the next 3 moves in some order depending on where black places the bishop. The king cannot arrive in time to help.

Jun-07-13  Vincenze: <Dr. Funkenstein>
Yes, I realize that after 35. bxa5 – it's a pawn sprint to the a8 corner. But I presume you mean 36. a6
not "35. bxa5 36. Bxb3 a6"
There is an inevitable bishop sacrifice from d5 to a8 and some delaying by black centre pawn shenanigans.
Jun-07-13  TimothyLucasJaeger: <33. Bxd5+ Kf8 34. Bb7 Qx8 35. Bxc8 Rc6! 36. Bb7 Rc1+ 37. Kf2 Rc2+ 38. Kg3 ... or 38. ...Ra2 39. a6 and b6-a7-a8 is coming> note: 37... ♖c2+ was left out, so some of the numbering is different

I still say this is unclear after 39 ... d5, e.g. 40 b5 d4 and black's passer looks quite dangerous.

click for larger view

White can try heading the other direction with his king to deter black's d and e pawn but after 38 Kel Rxg2 39 a6 Rxh2 40 a7 Ra2 41 a8+ Rxa8 42 Bxa8, black's king can stop the b-pawn and again we have an unclear ending.

click for larger view

It wouldn't surprise me if white has a winning resource after 35 ... Rc6 but i've yet to see anything definitive.

Jun-07-13  quantum.conscious: <al wazir : the humiliation is a small price to pay just to see such elegance.>

wow! i will steal this line from you too and use it (i might need to use it very often.)

is it original or you stole it from somewhere yourself, <al wazir> ?

Jun-13-13  Dr. Funkenstein: Vincenze

Correct, it should have been 34. ...Rxa5 35. bxa5 Bxb3 36. a6 Thanks for spotting the error.

Black will have to give the bishop up for the new a pawn and then it will be a rook against two central passed pawns. In some instances this may be difficult, but in this case the king is in perfect position to block the passed pawns while the rook picks off either the central pawns or the kingside pawns if black's king moves with the central pawns. Therefore, there may be some "shenanigans", but I think most reasonable players could win this easily.

Dec-02-14  SpiritedReposte: One of the prettiest winning moves on record.
Sep-10-15  FairyPromotion: Jack of All Trades
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Beautiful finish by Karjakin! Ingenious!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: gorgeous tactics. He's about 13, she's 16? Teenage angst!
Feb-07-17  clement41: Just superb tactics here!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: 'Swine of the Century'
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