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Viacheslav Ragozin vs Isaac Boleslavsky
Sverdlosk National Tournament (1942), Sverdlosk URS, rd 10, Apr-??
Caro-Kann Defense: Forgacs Variation (B15)  ·  1-0



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sac: 16.Bxg7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A neat combination! The last check from black reminds me of a Shakespeare play when the dying person gives a speech before his demise.
May-03-07  Fisheremon: Certainly 15...Qd7?, but after 15...gxh6 16.Nf5 Bf4 17.Qg4+ Bg5 18.f4 a "human-oriented" estimation shows that the position is still quite unpleasant for Black, e.g. seemingly the best for him could be 18...Kh8 19.fxg5 fxg5 20.Nxh6 Nd6 21.Qg3 f5 22.Re6 Nc4 23.Qc3 Qd5 24.Rae1 and White's winning.
May-03-07  YouRang: After doing some computer checking, perhaps <Honza Cervenka> had it right with 15. Bh6 gxh6 16.b3!

Apparently, black's best is 16...Na3, but then 17. Nf5 (as Honza suggests), and we have this:

click for larger view

Black's best(?) options:

--- If 17...Kh8, then:
18. Qxh6 Rg8 19. Re8! Bf8
(if ...Rxe1 20. Qg7#; if ...Qxe1 20. Qxf6+ Rg7 21. Qxg7#)

20. Rxd8 Bxh6 21. Rxg8+ Kxg8 22. Nxh6+ Kg7 23. Nf5+ Kg6 24. Ne7+ Kg5, immobilizing white's knight (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

25. f4! Kg4 (if ...Kxf4, 26. Rf1+ and black's f-pawns fall and the knight is safe)

After this, white is (1) up a pawn, and (2) black has serious pawn structure weaknesses. It should be an endgame win for white.

--- If 17...Bf4, then:
18. Re4 and black is in trouble. 18...Qc7 19. g3 Bg5 f4

May-03-07  bogo78: hi MostlyAverageJoe.

The problem with Rg8 is Re8! think about it for a second

May-03-07  Crowaholic: <17. ... Rg8 does matter. :-)>

and actually in this case, White's only compensation for the bishop sac is minor damage to Black's kingside pawn structure. It seems White is actually losing after this move unless he finds some kind of border-line draw.

21-ply analysis (more than 9 billion nodes) with the Spike engine yields

18.Qf3 Qc7 19.h3 Rge8 20.Nxh6 Bf4 21.Ng4 Qd6 22.Qd3 Nxb2 23.Qc3 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Na4 etc. which looks a bit unpleasant for White.

May-03-07  Dowell318: <MostlyAverageJoe: <Honza Cervenka: <realbrob> Try 15...gxh6 16.b3 (lovely zwischenzug with purpose to get black Knight away from reach of d6) 16...Nb6 <...> Black is toast here> Only because of the bad move 16 ... Nb6?

A better move for the black appears to be: 16 ... Na3. I posted the subsequent line earlier, and the resulting postion might use analysis from someone with your skill. >

Yes, after 15. Bh6 gxf6 16. b3! is a great move, that gives white excellent winning chances. After 16...Na3 17. Nf5 Bf4 18.Re4 Qc7 19. g3 Bg5 20. h4 Qd7 21. Qg4 Kh8 22. Re7 h5, white can simplify into an endgame of equal material, but where his rooks are more active, and black has doubled isolated h pawns, very good looking for white.

However, I do NOT believe that the idea of 16. b3! is what this puzzle was calling for, seeing as how this is a Thurday puzzle, and that is WAY too much analysis. If this was a Sunday puzzle, I would believe that 16. b3! was the point. And so, it's my conclusion that this is a spoiler.

If this isn't a spoiler, then this week's sunday puzzle should look like this:

click for larger view

White to play and win

May-03-07  YouRang: <Dowell318> I agree that 16. b3!, although probably the best line for white, was not the 'intended' solution for this Thursday puzzle.

The 'intended' solution, unfortunately, seems to barely gain a slight advantage, and is hardly what one is accustomed to finding in the daily puzzles. Just an off day, IMO. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Well, this is what we get for complaining about puzzles being too easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: I think, with the brilliant 15.Bh6 Black's Kingside structure seems to be in jeopardy. All the other lines show that White has a winning advantage even if Black puts a stubborn defense he would face an agonizing ending.
May-03-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <bogo78: hi MostlyAverageJoe. The problem with Rg8 is Re8! think about it for a second>

Did already, a couple pages back. Bf8 nullifies the problem with Re8.

May-03-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Dowell318>

You copycat, you.

Click here: Beliavsky vs Ribli, 1977 and scroll a little down.

Cheers :-)

May-03-07  vibes43: After about 1/2 hour study my best guess for this puzzle was Bh6. But only because it was a puzzle. OTB would likely have been different.
May-03-07  dumbgai: Does it make any difference whether white plays 19. Kh1 or Kxh2? Seems like 18...Bxh2+ is just a desperation check.
May-03-07  YouRang: <dumbgai: Does it make any difference whether white plays 19. Kh1 or Kxh2? Seems like 18...Bxh2+ is just a desperation check.>

In a way, it is a desperation check, but it does make a difference -- and it's better to play 19. Kh1 rather than expose the king at h2, giving black opportunities to buy time with checks.

In this case, white is threatening to move his rook to h4, after which black can do little to stop mate. Black can't make room fast enough to let the king escape (e.g. 19...Re8 20. Rh4! Kg8 21. Qxh7+ Kf8 22. Qh8#).

Black's best bet seems to be 19...Nd6 (where the immediate 20. Rh4 is met by ...Qxf5). So, white answers with 20. Nxd6 (which vacates the f5 square for the black pawn).

<NOW - Since the white king is on h1> black must defend with 20...f5 21. Rh4 f6, and the black queen now guards the h7 pawn. But white can take the bishop now with the rook, 22. Rxh2 -- leaving white up a full piece with a terrific attack still underway.

<HOWEVER - Suppose white had played 19. Kxh2?.> As before, it goes 19...Nd6 20. Nxd6 -- but now black has 20...Qxd6+! and the attack must wait to deal with check, 21. Kg1, allowing 21...Qd5! which pretty well forces a queen trade. The material is about even and the mating attack has dried up.

May-03-07  Dr.Lecter: <zb2cr> After 15.Bh6 gxh6 16.Nf5 Bf4????? 17.Qg7 is a checkmate.
May-03-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Dr.Lecter: <zb2cr> After 15.Bh6 gxh6 16.Nf5 Bf4????? 17.Qg7 is a checkmate.>

Only if white queen can move like a knight (from h5 to g7).

16 ... Bf4 is the correct move in the line above. ????? yourself :-)

May-03-07  giovanygc: I really didn't see this...
May-04-07  lentil: "if i have seen farther than the others, it is only because i a standing on the shoulders of giants"... Newton 15. ... gh is a forced win for White:

I believe that the intermezzo b3 is unnecessary.

After 15. simply 16 Qxh6! ([NOT 16 Nf5? Bf4, covering h6] the threat is 17 Nf5) 16...Kh8 fails to 17. Nf5 Rg8 18 Re8!! Bf8 19 Rxd8 Rxd8 20. Qxf6+ Bg7 21 Nxg7 Rxg7 22 Qxd8+ with a massive material advantage and a continuing attack.

Therefore, B must play 16... Qd7 (covering f5) 17. Qxf6, and black can only prevent 18. Nf5 [temporarily] by Be7 or Be5, after which W will still play Nf5 with mate either on g7 or h8 (if B tries Re8 and Kf8).

This last line explains why B played 15...Qd7 first.

May-04-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <lentil: ... I believe that the intermezzo b3 is unnecessary. ... Therefore, B must play 16... Qd7>

Wrong. After 15. Bh6 gxh6 16. Qxh6?, black plays 16 ... Re8!

The best white can do now is 17. Rxe8+ (otherwise black will take Rxe1+, followed by Bf8, preventing the mate. White is now a bishop down and not winning).

Then, 17 ... Qxe8, with subsequent Bf8, if necessary. Again, white will not be winning.

May-04-07  lentil: Mostly average busted my line
May-07-07  Dr.Lecter: <mostlyaveragejoe> my bad... i guess i wasn't thinking
Dec-03-08  YoungEd: Pretty amazing to see a great GM get crushed in 19 moves like this. What was with the bishop moves in the opening? Wouldn't a queen interposition to the early check have been better? Anyway, without mistakes like these, we don't get great finishes, so I guess I shouldn't complain!
Premium Chessgames Member
  yiotta: <Young Ed> With the favorable pawn structure (4 to 3 Qside, basically 3 to 3 on the Kside), White would have a low risk end game advantage. What is really remarkable is that this Black Kside pawn formation is usually considered very safe.As in many of Tal's games, the complications over the board give excellent practical chances even if not always quite sound.
Dec-20-12  nescio: I think this was a pivotal game in the delopment of chess strategy. The old view, as stated by Lasker in his famous manual, was that white should remain defensive on the kingside and try to make his extra pawn on the queenside count.

Ragozin showed some of the dynamic possibilities in the position after 9.0-0. It was Boleslavsky himself who in the following years developed some systems where a static disadvantage was offset by dynamics. It was a journey ful of disappointments in practical play, but in the end his treatments of for instance the KingĀ“s Indian and the Opocensky Sicilian became quite common.

Jan-18-17  ColeTrane: Submitted pub: Smoke a Boleslavsky 420
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