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Stefan Izbinsky vs Apollon Viakhirev
All Russian Amateur (1909), St Petersburg RUE, rd 6, Feb-22
Spanish Game: Open. Italian Variation (C82)  ·  0-1



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sac: 36...Rg3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-28-04  mikhs: <ConLaMismaMano> 36...Rf2 37.Qxf2 Qd1+ 38.Qg1 and black is down a rook
Jul-28-04  trguitar: My version of Crafty gives 36. ... Bd3!! as the best continuation. For example:

36. ... Bd3 37. Rg5 Qh3 38. Rg8+ Kxg8 39. Qg2+ Qxg2+ 40. Kxg2 Be4 41. Kg1 Bf5 42. h4 Kh7 43. Kg2 Be4 44. Kg1 Rd3 45. Bg5 Rxd4

Jul-28-04  trguitar: 36. ... Rh3?? does not win for black. It actually gives white the advantage!!

37. Qxh5 Rxh5 38. e6 Bxg2+ 39. Kxg2 Rh4 40. e7 Re4 41. Bg5 Kh7 42. h4 b4 43. h5 c3 44. bxc3 bxc3 45. Kf3

Jul-28-04  Helloween: <EXIDE>36...Ra3? does not by any stretch of the imagination orchestrate a win: 37.Kg1 Ra1+ 38.Be1 Qxh6 39.Rg4 with the idea of Qf2 and Rh4 leaves Black with nothing better than a draw after 39...Bf3 40.Qxf3 Rxe1+ 41.Kg2!(saving the f2 square for the Queen)41...Qd2+(not 41...Rb1?? 42.Qf2 and Black has to lose the Rook to keep his Queen on the board)42.Kh3 Re3 43.Rh4+ with perpetual check.
Jul-28-04  trguitar: 36. ... Qh3? also gives away the promising attack, although not as bad as Rh3?? Crafty's evaluation at depth 15 is -0.69 in black's favor.

37. Kg1 Bd3 38. Qe1 Qf5 39. Rf2 Qg4+ 40. Rg2 Qxd4+ 41. Rf2 Rf5 42. e6 Re5 43. Qa1 Kh7 44. Qa6 Qxb2

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I blew this one-I tried Qa3 and Qxh2+ both,failures. The problem has more than one answer but it doesn't have many.
Jul-28-04  notyetagm: I analyzed this <completely correctly> but then I missed the fact that at the end of the combination Black needs to be <extremely careful> in stopping the advance of the White d and e pawns.

So far, 3 for 3 this week.

Jul-28-04  admiralnemo: I am no match for crafty.
Jul-28-04  ChessTeacher: It appears that trguitar is correct about Rh3?? But, White would need to consider Black using 39...Kg8 to stop the e-pawn charge. I believe Black would lose after 39...Kg8; 40. Kg3, Kf8; 42. h4, Ke7; 43. Kg4, Rxh6; 44. Bxh6, Kxe6; 45. h5, c4; 46. Bd2, b3; 47. h6, Kf7; 48. Kg5, Kg8; 49. Kg6, Kh8; 50. Bg5, c3; 51. Bf6+, Kg8; 52. h7+, Kf8; then the h-pawn can promote and mate.

To further trguitar's line, 45...Re6; 46. Kf4, c2; 47. Kf5, Re1; 48. Kf6, Re2; 49. Kf7, Re1; 50. e8=Q, Rxe8; 51. Kxe8, Kg8 and then the White king can take the blocked d-pawn and promote either the d and/or h-pawns.

Rh3 does appear tempting to win the exchange. Unfortunately, it dwindles Black's material and then White's three passed pawns become supreme. This puzzle was a position that certainly merited plenty of time off the clock before you actually made your move. The Bd3 suggestion and the actual move made really need time for verification.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I was able to visualize the position up through 36...Rg3! Qxh5 and 37. Rxh2. However, trying to figure out the possibilities after that was a bit tricky. In a game situation, I would have played it, knowling the Queen had no escape from the discovered check attack and Black would be up at least an exchange. However, I did not see the possibility 38. Qf5!? which gives White a trio of passed pawns for Black to be concerned with.

In any event <>, thanks for a great puzzle combining elements of both sharp middlegame tactics and endgame strategy.

Jul-28-04  rclb: 36...Rf5 Kg1 Bf3 also wins for black, but not so easily.
Jul-28-04  admiralnemo: One of the problems with solving puzzles, for me at least, is that I'm not playing the game. Over the board, if I had gotten myself into this position as black through 35 moves, 36...Bd3 would seem to be a very obvious and good, and, ultimately, winning move. However, when I just see the position and am asked to find a solution to the puzzle, my thoughts stray towards any number of crazy solutions...
Jul-28-04  ezumpf: I had 36....Qg4. Looks good to me. Any thoughts chess monsters?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <ezumpf> If 36...Qg4, then 37. Kg1. And now What does Black play? Your suggestion and others probably still win, but it seems to me 36...Rg3!! immediately takes care of this little possibility with zero counterplay for White.
Jul-29-04  nikolaas: <patzer2> I stay on my opinion that Ra3 might do the job as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <nikolaas> Haven't looked at 36... Ra3!? until now, but at a glance it looks interesting. Obviously failing to defend are 36...Ra3 37. Qxh5?? Ra1+ and 36...Ra3 37. bxa3?? Qxe2. However, 36...Ra3 37. Kg1!? Ra1+ 38. Be1 seems to offer White counter-chances. So, I prefer the clarity and sure advantage of 36...Rg3!
Jul-29-04  ChessTeacher: Nikolaas, 36...Ra3 can lose to 37. Qf2 to threaten mate (Qf8 & Qg7#), Qf3 to block it; 38. h4, Ra1+; 39. Kh2, Qxg2+; 40. Qxg2, Bxg2; 41. Kxg2, Ra2; 42. Bg5, Rxb2+; 43. Kf3, c3; 44. e6, c2; 45. e7, c1=Q; 46. e8=Q+, Kh7; 47. Qf7+, Kh8; 48. Bf6# is mate. Play could go a little different, but I think this shows that not only could White wiggle out of the fix, White could still win.
Jul-29-04  nikolaas: <ChessTeacher> I might be wrong, but it seems to me that 38.h4 fails to QxQ.

<Patzer2> 37.Kg1 is hard to beat though I think 37....Ra1+ might do the trick. 38.Be1 Qh4

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Jul-29-04  ChessTeacher: Nikolaas, That bishop is annoying pin. You are correct about QxQ. Even if you insert 38. Qxf3, Ra1+ (and not Bxf3); 39. Rg1, Bxf3#. But, Patzer2 maybe onto a defense. Extending your line, 37. Kg1, Ra1+; 38. Be1, Qh4; 39. Rg3, Qxh6; 40. Qf2 and White has rebuilt the castle with pieces and threatens Qf6+. The position seems unclear, but in White's favor.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: When I was attending college, we discussed a term called "cognitive dissonance." I don't remember the exact definition, but it involves rationalizing to try and defend a weak or marginal decision. For example, you buy a car that is a lemon (constantly breaking down and needing repairs), but rationalize and try to justify that you actually have bought a good car.

Sometimes, I suspect I do the same in Chess. I play a less than best line, but try and rationalize or work really hard on analyzing this inferior line and trying to force a win rather than dropping it and concentrating on the stronger line.

As I get older, it's a habit I'm trying to get away from. So, please forgive me if I try not to look too hard at secondary lines when there is a clearly stronger alternative available.

Jul-29-04  nikolaas: <ChessTeacher> Why do you always capture on h6? :-) Maybe this is a better line: 37.Kg1 Ra1+ 38.Be1 Qh4 39.Rg3 Qf4. The threat is Bd3. At this moment I don't see a way to parry this, but your eyes might be better.
Jul-29-04  ChessTeacher: Patzer2, You are correct that we are working on an inferior line. But what if in the game, you first saw Ra3? The prospects do initially appear bright, and if you can work it out to a win - who cares if there is a more artistic or prettier line. This puzzle has alternatives, and I have found it useful to not be rigid - unless of course I have already seen the path fail before. I won a game in my last tournament where my opponent was driving a passed pawn down my throat on the queen-side and it looked as if I needed every piece I had left to defend for a hard-earned draw. But, he needed one tempo to reposition his attack. Out of the blue, I played 39. Qxh7 to capture a pawn and suddenly, I had a passed pawn. He was forced to try a wild series of checks with little time on the clock. I crushed him after ...Qg3+ with a reply of Qd3+. Yes, I blocked his check with check. He nearly fell face forward on the board. He would have won, if he had taken time to look at the alternatives on the board - and the alternatives were not sexy or artistic. Simple defense would have won. So, pardon me if I prefer to look at options, this practice helps me when the game is on the line. My practice helps eliminate bad lines, but keeps my mind open to alternatives that may not seem natural.

Nikolaas, Doesn't 40. Qf2 still defend. Now, the light square bishop is ineffective - since all of White's main pieces are on dark squares. I don't see how Black can break through. I captured on h6 for two reasons - one I don't see how Black can force his way through; and two White has a clear advantage with the passed e- and h-pawns - especially if the pieces are traded off. Eliminating one appears to be a good defense.

Jul-29-04  nikolaas: <ChessTeacher> Hmmm, I see. But what if I tried it with a zwischenzug: 38....Bf3?
Jul-29-04  ChessTeacher: Nikolass, I would still play 39. Qf2. If the bishop captures 39...Bxg2, then 40. Qf8+, Kh7; 41. Qg7# is mate. If 39...Rxe1+; 40. Qxe1, Bxg2; 41. Kxg2 and White should eventually promote a pawn.

This is a good scenario to emphasize that a tactical advantage (the 35...Be4 pin) should be used immediately before your opponent wiggles out of it.

To Patzer, I apologize if my prior post had any offense. My mind works more like Alekhine's than Capablanca's. I thrive in complicated positions rather than clear lines. If you are more like Capablanca, you should practice clear lines and stick with them. But, if you constantly find yourself in a messy position, like I do - you need to practice out of the box.

The solution of Rg3 is still not an instinctive move for a player who favor's his/her queen, like many of us do. And more so, when mate is more than a few moves away. I want to thank chessgames for a good puzzle.

Jul-30-04  nikolaas: Allright, I played all my cards and that's what you've done too. But yours were better. Thanks for this highly interesting and amusing discussion.
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