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Aug0709   remolino: Too many Black pieces on the queenside. Direct attack on king side is in order. 24. Nf6 must be the move
The knight cannot be taken neither by pawn nor knight, and the threat is Nd7, among many others. Black rook is tied to defence of f7, White threatens Qxh6 on some variations, etc. Overall Black's position is very uncomfortable now, looks not sustainable after Nf6. g5 as a response is insufficient, etc, etc. 

Aug0709
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Solved it. The key move contains a lovely threat: 25.Qxh6+,gxh6; 26.Nxf7+,Rxf7; 27.Rg8X. 

Aug0709   dzechiel: White to move (24?). Material even. "Difficult."
After just a few seconds, I started seeing ideas of an Arabian Mate (the rook on g3 and the pair of knights just seemed to put that idea in my head). But, in order to carry that off, I need to get a knight to f6. So, why not... 24 Nf6
as the first move? This threatens a forced mate starting with the combination 25 Nxf7+ Rxf7 26 Qxh6+ gxh6 27 Rg8#. Of course the knight cannot be captured with the gpawn, as after 24...gxf6 white has 25 Qxh6#. So black has to defend f7 with something other than the rook (to prevent the rook from being forced off of the first rank) or capture the knight with the knight. Let's try the knight capture first... 24...Nxf6 25 exf6
with the threat of 26 fxg7+ picking up a rook. Again, black can't play 25...gxf6 because of 26 Qxh6#. Black can try 25...Rg8
but now white plays
26 Rxg7
threatening 27 Qxh6#.
26...Rxg7 27 Qxh6+ Rh7
On 27...Kg8 28 Qxg7#.
28 Qf8#
OK, it looks as if black should leave the knight alone. What about defending f7 another way? Let's consider 24...Qc7
At first blush, this seems to hold it all together for black. But white has a resource! 25 Qg5
Threatening 26 Qxg7#.
25...Rg8
Not 25...hxg5 26 Rh3#.
26 Qxh6+! gxh6 27 Rxg8#
And the Arabian mate shows up again. I think this must be it, time to check and see how this game played out. =====
Nuts! Black must have seen it all and opts to just drop a piece. What a disappointment. 

Aug0709   zooter: I think the answer to this puzzle would be
24.Nf6 as
a) 24...gxf6 25.Qxh6#
b) 24...Nxf6 25.gxf6 Rg8 26.Nxf7+ etc
c) Off course why take the knight? Because the threat is 25.Qxh6+ gxh6 26.Nxf7+ Rxf7 27.Rg8#; Maybe black can play Qd8 to protect the back rank, but then the sequence might be something like this: 24.Nxf6 Qd8 25.Rg7 and black is in tatters...
That's it today, time to check 

Aug0709   zooter: Well, never saw the "piece dropping" move...but am happy I found the idea and correct move 

Aug0709   Shyfe: I found this puzzle to be quite hard. I saw 24 Nf6 and that 24...gxf6 fails. Then I calculated that 24...Nxf6 also fails. However, there are many queen moves to consider. I was very concerned with 24...Qd8 until I saw 25 Rh3 which immediately ends the game. 24...Qb8 loses to (among other things) 25.Nd7 Rxb2 26.Nxb8 Rxd2 29.Nxa6. However, I didn't even consider the game continuation, or the good defensive tries 24...Qa7 and 24...Qc7. According to fritz, White beats 24...Qa7 with 25.Re4(+3.47), 25.Nde4(+3.25), Nde8(+2.55), Rh3(+2.12) and the list goes on. 24...Qc7 loses to 25.Rxg7(+8.53), Nde8(+8.53), Nfe8(+3.77), Rd1(+2.81) and the list goes on. <dzechiel> 24...Qc7 25.Qg5 hxg5 26.Rh3+ actually loses badly to the outrageously irritating 26...Rh4. That's really a shame, but you did a great job as always. 

Aug0709   dzechiel: <<dzechiel> 24...Qc7 25.Qg5 hxg5 26.Rh3+ actually loses badly to the outrageously irritating 26...Rh4.> Nuts. 

Aug0709
  Jimfromprovidence: OTB, I saw 24 Nf6, then the defense 24…Qa7 (to prevent Nxf6+). Then I saw 25 Rh3 (threatening Rxh6+, followed by Qxh6#). But after 25...Nf4, below, I got stuck.
click for larger viewSo, I plugged the position into Rybka freeware and it found an elegant solution. 26 Rxh6+!, forcing 26…gxh6. Now comes the beautiful interference move 27 Nde4!, (threatening Qxf4, followed by Qxh6#).
click for larger viewNow, if 27…Rg8, (the knight is pinned for all intents and purposes) 28 Nxg8 Kxg8, 29 Qxf4 is winning.
click for larger view 

Aug0709   Utopian2020: Black should have played 24...Qa7 instead of 24...Nf4. 

Aug0709   TheBish: B Avrukh vs Rublevsky, 2003 White to play (24.?) "Difficult"
Material is even, but White's pieces are aimed at Black's king, while the majority of Black's pieces are on the queenside. 24. Nf6! threatens both 25. Nd7 and 25. Qxh6+! gxh6 26. Nxf7+ Rxf7 27. Rg8#. Possible defenses:
A) 24...gxh6? 25. Qxh6# is obvious.
B) 24...Nxf6 25. exf6 and now
B1) 25...g6 26. Qxh6+ mates
B2) 25...g5 26. Rh3! (not 26. Rxg5? Rxb2!) Qc5 (or 26...Kh7 27. Qxg5 or 26...Rf4 27. Rxh6+ Kg8 28. g3 Rg4 29. Re4! Rxe4 30. Qxg5#) 27. Rxh6+ Kg8 28. Rh5, with the decisive threat of 29. Rxg5+. B3) 25...Rg8 26. Rxg7! Rxg7 (or 26...Rh4 27. Nxf7#) 27. Qxh6+ Rh7 28. Qf8#. C) 24...Qa7 (or 24...Qc7 25. Nde8! and 26. Rxg7) 25. Nde4 (25. Nde8 is also good) Qd4 (or 25...Rd4) 26. Qg5!! Rg8 (or 26...hxg5 27. Rh3#) 27. Qxh6+ gxh6 28. Rxg8#. D) 24...Qd4 (or 24...Rd4) 25. Qxh6+! gxh6 26. Nxf7+ Rxf7 27. Rg8#. E) 24...Nf4 (maybe forced, but not 24...Rf4 25. Nxd5) 25. Nd7 Qd8 26. Nxf8 Qxf8 27. Rf3! g5 28. g3 Nh3+ 29. Kg2 g4 30. Rxf7 is pretty convincing. I think that about covers it. I may have missed something, since I was doing this from the diagram. 

Aug0709   TheBish: <Jimfromprovidence: OTB, I saw 24 Nf6, then the defense 24…Qa7 (to prevent Nxf6+). Then I saw 25 Rh3 (threatening Rxh6+, followed by Qxh6#). But after 25...Nf4, below, I got stuck. So, I plugged the position into Rybka freeware and it found an elegant solution. 26 Rxh6+!, forcing 26…gxh6. Now comes the beautiful interference move 27 Nde4!, (threatening Qxf4, followed by Qxh6#). Now, if 27…Rg8, (the knight is pinned for all intents and purposes) 28 Nxg8 Kxg8, 29 Qxf4 is winning.> Believe it or not, I was considering that idea! I didn't see it as far as Rybka though, so gave up the idea as too fanciful. I only looked at 27...Kg7 and didn't see a clear continuation after 28. Qxf4 Rh8. 

Aug0709   TheBish: Regarding my last note...
After 24. Nf6 Qa7 25. Rh3 Nf4 26. Rxh6+! gxh6 27. Nde4! Kg7 28. Qxf4 Rh8? (28...Rc8 is better)  Winning is 29. Nh5+ Kh7 (or 29...Kf8 30. Qf6, threatening 31. Qd8# and 31. Qxh8+, or 29...Kg8 (or Kg6) 30. Qg4+) 30. Nef6+ Kg6 31. Qg3+ Kf5 32. Ng7#. 

Aug0709   LIFE Master AJ: I have not looked at the other kibitzes (nor the game) ... yet. I think the first move is 24.Nf6!!, (with a couple of threats  White's QNP cannot be taken). However, there are a few variations that I have not worked out in detail ... so I am going to sleep on it. (It's 2:28 AM here in Pensacola, so I am going to take some cold medicine and go to bed.) If you need help, there are usually <<THE REGULARS!>> who will have mapped out almost every variation in great detail ... ... ... 

Aug0709   gofer: 24 Nf6!
Threatening 25 Qxh6+ gxh6 26 Nxf7+ Rxf7 27 Rg8#
24 ... gxf6 25 Qxh6#
24 ... Rh4 25 Re4 winning the exchange or mating with one of the variations below... Main line...
24 ... Nxf6 25 exf6 ...
black now needs to avoid 26 fxg7+ Kg8 Qxh6 mating or 26 fxg7+ Kh7 27 gxf8=N+ Kh8 28 Nxf7# 25 ... Kg8/Kh7 26 Rxg7+ mating
25 ... Rg8 27 Rxg7 Rxg7 28 Qxh6 Rh7 29 Qf8#
25 ... Re8/Rd8/Rc8/Rb8/Ra8 26 Rxg7 mating
25 ... gxf6 26 Qxh6#
25 ... g6 26 Qxh6 Kg8 27 Qg7#
25 ... Rh4 26 gxf7+ Kg8 27 gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 28 Nxf7! winning Main line
25 ... g5 26 Rxg5 Rh4 (hxg5 27 Qxg5 mating) 27 Rg7 winning one line is...
26 ... Qc7 (stopping Nxf7+ winning the exchange)
26 Re4 Rh5 27 Reg4 winning as R4g6 is coming...
26 ... Qd4 27 Qxd4 Rxd4 28 Nxf7+ Rxf7 29 Rxf7 and Ra7 will follow... winning easily. Time to check... 

Aug0709   hypersphere: According to Crafty 22.10:
24. Nf6 Qa7 25. Nbd4! Ne7 26. Rh3 Ng8 27 Nxg8 Rxe4 28. Rxe4 Kxg8 29. Rh4 Scoring +4.92
I think the key move is really 25. Nbd4!. 24. Nf6 is easy to see. Black didn't play the best defence (24. ... Qa7). 

Aug0709
  whiteshark: Pretty nice tactics hidden behind the game. 

Aug0709   gofer: Oh dear!
I missed both Qa7 and Nf4 as replies,
:( 

Aug0709   David2009: Saturday puzzle B Avrukh vs Rublevsky, 2003 White to play 24? Difficult
24 Nf6 hoping for 24...Rxb2 25 Nxf7+ Rxf7 26 Qxh6+ gxh6 27 Rg8#, the always pretty 'Arabian mate'.
Other Black 24th moves might be 24 .. Qc7 25 Rc1 piling up the pressure. No time for more,
we have guests and other duties call.
Post and hope
=======
I got the first move. Will look at other kibitzes after lunch. 'Bon appetit' to any one else in my time zone (Paris). 

Aug0709   eaglewing: <TheBish> and <gofer>: <gofer>, you miss in your main line like noted by <TheBish> the move Rxb2 <B2) 25...g5 26. Rh3! (not 26. Rxg5? Rxb2!) Qc5 (or 26...Kh7 27. Qxg5 or 26...Rf4 27. Rxh6+ Kg8 28. g3 Rg4 29. Re4! Rxe4 30. Qxg5#) 27. Rxh6+ Kg8 28. Rh5, with the decisive threat of 29. Rxg5+.> <TheBish>, I think you missed here in B2 in the Rf4 variation 28. g3 Qb4!
However, it looks like immediate 28. Re4 is fine enough, Black cannot use the weakness of the first row. 

Aug0709
  agb2002: Black has B for N and threatens 24... Rxb2 which also would exert pressure on f2. However, his castle looks defenseless. My first idea was 24.Qg5, threatening 25.Qxg7#, but after 24... hxg5 25.Rh3+ Kg8 the knights can't deliver mate. This suggested 24.Nf6, threatening 25.Nxf7+ Rxf7 26.Qxh6+ gxh6 27.Rg8# and 25.Nd7: A) 24... gxf6 25.Qxh6#.
B) 24... Nxf6 25.exf6
B.1) 25... Rxb2 26.fxg7+ Kg8 (26... Kh7 27.gxf8=N+ Kh8 28.Nxf7#) 27.gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 28.Qxh6+ Ke7 29.Nf5+ Kd7 30.Ne3 + . B.2) 25... Rg8 26.Nxf7+ Kh7 27.Rxg7+ Rxg7 28.Qxh6+ Kg8 29.Qxg7#. B.3) 25... g5 26.Rh3
B.3.a) 26... Kh7 27.Qc2+ Kg8 28.Rxh6 + .
B.3.b) 26... Rxb2 27.Rxh6+ Kg8 28.Qxg5#.
B.3.c) 26... Qc5 27.Rxh6+ Kg8 28.Rh5 Rd4 29.Rxg5+ Kh7 30.Rh5+ Qxh5 (30... Kg8 31.Rh8+) 31.Qxd4 + . C) 24... Nf4 25.Nd7 Rd4 (25... Ne2+ 26.Rxe2) 26.Qxf4 Qa7 (26... Rxf4 27.Nxb6) 27.Nxf7+ Kg8(h7) 28.Rxg7+ Kxg7 29.Qf6+ Kg8 (29... Kh7 30.Nxf8+ Kg8 31.Nxh6#) 30.Nxh6+ Kh7 31.Nxf8#. D) 24... Qc7 25.Rxg7 Kxg7 26.Nde8+ + .
E) 24... Qa7 25.Nxd5
E.1) 25... exd5 26.Nf5 Rg8 27.Rxg7 Rh4 (27... Rxg7 28.Qxh6+ and mate next) 28.Rxg8+ Kxg8 29.Nxh4 + . E.2) 25... Rd4 26.Qe3 exd5 27.Nf5 + .
F) 24... g5 25.Qc2 + . 

Aug0709   jsheedy: 24. Nf6! seems to work in all variations I've looked at. If 24...gxg6, 25. Qxh6#. If 24...Nxf6, 25. exf6, g5?! (to avoid mate at g7), 26. Rxg5! If immediately 24...g5, 25. Rxg5, hxg5, 26. Qxg5 and mate to follow. Black doesn't seem to have time to execute his only counterthreat, ...Rxb2. Unless I'm way off base, this was an easy Friday puzzle. I will now check.... 

Aug0709   jsheedy: I was close but I overlooked 24...Nf4. 

Aug0709   YetAnotherAmateur: One possibility I explored:
24. Nf6 Nxf6
25. exf6 Qd4
The first line I found was:
26. Qxd4 Rxd4
27. exf7+ Kg8
38. gxf8=Q Kxf8
and white ends up a rook up (although he does need to watch the back rank) The other line I looked at was this:
26. fxg7+
A) ... Qxg7
27. Rxg7 Kxg7
and black is down a queen for a rook.
B) ... Kh7
27. gxf8=Q and mates next turn
C) ... Kg8
27. gxf8=Q+ Kxf8
28. Qxh6+ Ke7 (forced)
29. Nf5+ and the black queen is lost. 

Aug0709
  agb2002: The maneuver 25.Nxd5 exd5 26.Nf5, line E.1, seems to be a blunder which makes White lose a lot of advantage after 26... Qb6 (instead of 26... Rg8), restoring the pressure on b2 and defending h6. <TheBish>'s line C is probably correct. Curiously, it exploits the first idea I considered, but for some reason forgot when dealing with 24... Qa7. My whip is completely worn out. Would anybody lend one? 

Aug0709   jheiner: Interesting object lesson for me on this one. For some reason I got caught up in the much more complicated 24.Ng5. with the following ideas. 24.Ng5 (24...hxg5 falls to Qxg5)
and White threatens Ngxf7+ either winning The Exchange with check or Nxh6 and Black's position falls apart. While Ng5 may be winning (need to see what Fritz says), the object lesson is that there was a MUCH better move sitting on the board Nf6, and at least it should have been a candidate. So a fail for me, but a great reminder of Lasker's rule: "When you see a good move, look for a better one." 


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