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Boris Gelfand vs Vladimir Kramnik
"Vlad to the Bone" (game of the day Nov-06-2005)
European Club Cup (1996), Berlin GER, rd 2, Sep-06
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation. Shabalov Attack (D45)  ·  0-1



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Given 79 times; par: 29 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-26-15  Tiggler: <sergeidave: <Hector Muloy: I think that 19)Qxb5 was not a good idea. What do you think?> Are there any other alternatives? I think at that point White is under considerable trouble already. :)>

I think 19 Qxb5 was OK and white's big problems did not start until 21. Ka2? After 21. Ka1, Houdini thinks that white is no worse.

Oct-26-15  Sularus: <fetonzio: lol vlad to the bone, awful>

they used it :D

Oct-26-15  patzer2: Psst! Hey you Rook! Yes you on b2, blocking my Rook's access to b1. Get away from there and come here now ( 28...Qa2+ 29. Rxa2 Rb1#).

Now there's a combined decoy and deflection combination, solving our Monday puzzle.

Oct-26-15  lost in space: I love Mondays!

28...Qa2+ 29. Rxa2 Rb1#

Oct-26-15  stst: Q-sac Monday:
29.RxQ Rb1# supported by N@c3
Oct-26-15  morfishine: <28...Qa2+> ends it
Oct-26-15  patzer2: Deep Fritz 14 indicates White made a mistake with 21 Ka2?, allowing 21...Rfb8 (-1.02 @ 20 depth).

Instead 21. Ka1 c4 22. Rc1 N7b6 23. Qa6 Nc7 24. Qa5 Ncd5 25. Ne5 = (+0.02 @ 24 depth) keeps it level.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I already knew this game...
Oct-26-15  whiteshark: Yeeehaaah!!!
Oct-26-15  TheFocus: Very nice. The Black Knight does double-duty!
Oct-26-15  gofer: I only saw <28 ... Qa2+ 19 Rxa2 Rb1#> after seeing that this is a Monday and the queen sacrifice is what we should be looking for and after looking at an alternative, which looks strong <28 ... Rxb2>, but it comes unstuck very quickly!

<28 ... Rxb2 29 Kxb2 Na4+ 30 Kc1 Nxc5 31 Nxe6 Nxe6>

click for larger view

I think that perhaps black can hold white to a draw, but probably not, and certainly this is not Monday stuff...

Oct-26-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: Black is down bishop plus pawn, but has a quick forced mate: 28... Qh2+ 29.Rxh2 Rb1#. One of the first pattern checkmates that I like to show beginners is this simple, elegant checkmate, the Arabian
Oct-26-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: It feels like we've seen this one before.

Presumably, there are a bunch of similar ones ...

Oct-26-15  kevin86: An Arabian queen sacrifice is followed by an Arabian Mate. Great Monday puzzle!
Oct-26-15  BOSTER: < teddyo: these machines just have no class>.

No, they have.
After 27... Rxb2 the only move vs mate is 28.Qc8, and white game is lost. It means that 27...was the beginning of the puzzle.

Oct-26-15  thegoodanarchist: < Penguincw: ... I believe it's called Arabian Mate>

After 9/11, Republicans in Congress tried to change it to "Freedom Mate"

Oct-26-15  PJs Studio: As Boris is busted I'm not surprised he didn't play the necessary 27.Bxc3. - Definitely so if this was a rapid game. But nothing works anyway.
Oct-26-15  starry2013: Back to a more normal queen sac checkmate Monday.
Oct-26-15  weary willy: <Dec-10-04 who: This would make a good puzzle. 26... black to play and win.> Stick around, kid ... let the idea mature
Oct-26-15  sfm: En extraordinarily pretty ending.
Oct-26-15  Nullifidian: 28... ♕a2+ 29. ♖xa2 ♖b1#
Nov-15-16  NoTimeToCheck: 28. Qf8+ ??
Aug-02-18  vigneshanand: What is this rubbish by Chris Owen?
Feb-26-20  payan: The engine in 27th move suggests this line:27.... Rxb2 28.Qf8+ Rxf8 29.Rxb2 Qa6 it can not predict queen sacrifice Qa2!! very interesting
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<payan> The engine in 27th move suggests this line:27.... Rxb2 28.Qf8+ Rxf8 29.Rxb2 Qa6 it can not predict queen sacrifice Qa2!!>

What engine were you using, to what depth did you let it analyze, what was your setting for MPV (to display multiple "Principal Variations"), and what moves does your engine show after 29...Qa6? This is the position after 27...Rxb2:

click for larger view

I typically run analyses using several engines and setting MPV=3 or MPV=5 to let the engine display its top 3 or top 5 moves. In this case I used MPV=3 (it's somewhat faster at getting to a greater search depth) and the game continuation 27...Rxb2 28.Rxb2 Qa2# was only it's third "best" move. And it only considered this mate-in-2 as its 3rd best move because most other alternatives to 29.Rxb2 result in a mate-in-1 with either 29.Qa2# or 29.Rxb1#. This is one form of the "horizon effect". In a lost position, specially a forced mate, an engine will typically choose the continuation that delays the loss as much as possible, regardless of the number of pieces that it has to sacrifice in order to push the forced mate beyond its search horizon.

The two alternatives to allowing a forced mate-in-2 are 28.Qf8+ and 28.Qc8+, both deflecting the Rb8 from supporting the Rb2 and, in the later case, deflecting the Black queen (if 28...Qxc8) from the mate on a2. And, particularly with 28.Qf8+, White gets a lot of compensation for its queen and avoids the forced mate (yes, a mate is still apparently forced) for quite a few moves. If you left MPV=1 (the typical engine default) or set MPV=2 when you did your analysis, the engine will not <display> the game continuation of 27...Rxb2 28.Rxb2 Qa2#. It will find this line (it's trivial to find for any engine, including one that's rated as low as we are), but it simply won't display it in preference for the stronger moves in the lines starting with 28.Qf8+ or 28.Qc8+. And these two moves are not easy for a human to find, not even a super-GM like Gelfand.

For example, Stockfish 11 had no problem finding a mate-in-27 at d=42 after 01:13 minutes of calculation on my old and rather slow machine: 28.Qf8+ Rxf8 29.Rxb2 (White has R+B+P vs. Q but Black's pieces are more active and White's pieces are all tangled up) 29...Qa6 30.Nc2 Qf1+ 31.Ne1 Na4 32.Rc2 Rd8 33.Kb1 Qxf2 (33...Rxd2 34.Rxd2 Qxe1+ 35.Kc2 seemed most promising to me but Stockfish prefers either 33...Qxf2 or 33...Qe2 but it doesn't matter, White is lost) 34.Kc1 Nc5 35.Kb2 Rxd2 36.Rxd2 Qxd2+ 37.Nc2 Na4+ 38.Kb3 Nb6 (a queen down White's position is clearly hopeless but 38...Qd1 would really be rubbing it in) 39.Nb4 Qxe3+ 40.Kc2 Qxa3 41.Nd3 Nd5 42.Nc1 Nb4+ 43.Kd1 Qb2 44.g6 Qc2+ 45.Ke1 Qxc1+ 46.Ke2 hxg6 47.h4 Nd5 48.Kd3 Qc3+ 49.Ke2 Qc2+ 50.Kf3 Qd3+ 51.Kf2 Qe3+ 52.Kf1 Nf4 53.h5 Qe2+ 54.Kg1 Qg2#

click for larger view

And it was able to find a mate-in-17 (mate-in-16 at greater search depths) after 28.Qc8+ after only 00:39 secs of calculation: 28.Qc8+ Rxc8 (White also goes down a rook after 28...Qxc8 29.Rxb2 Rxb2 30.Kxb2 but presumably 28...Rxc8 leads to higher evaluations and presumably a shorter mate than 28...Qxc8) 29.Rxb2 Qa6 (same idea as after 28.Qf8+, with the Nc3 protected, Black tries to infiltrate White's position with its queen) 30.Bxc3 Qxa3+ 31.Kb1 Qxc3 32.Nc2 Qd3 (setting up a similar zugzwang as in the 28.Qf8+ line) 33.e4 fxe4 34.g6 hxg6 35.h3 Qd1+ 36.Ka2 Ra8+ (a clearly resignable position after 36...Rxc2 but apparently Stockfish finds a quicker forced mate continuation) 37.Na3 Qd5+ 38.Kb1 Qd3+ (yup, I would have played the simple 38...Rxa3 but now Black has the additional threat of winning the soon-to-be-pinned Rb2) 39.Kc1 Qxa3 40.f3 (I suppose that one move is as bad as another) 40...Qc3+ 41.Kb1 Qd3+ 42.Rc2 Qb3+ (again, I would have played 42...Rc8 winning the rook) 43.Kc1 Ra1+ 44.Kd2 Qd3#

click for larger view

While I don't agree with several of Stockfish's last move selections, I can't argue with the result. And, even though both 28.Qf8+ and 28.Qc8+ led to the same result, Stockfish considered 28.Qf8+ to be a better move since 28.Qc8+ allowed for a forced mate in less moves.

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