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Svetozar Gligoric vs Bent Larsen
Capablanca Memorial (1967), Havana CUB, rd 12, Sep-07
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  0-1



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Given 22 times; par: 38 [what's this?]

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sac: 25...Rxg2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-30-05  Cogano: Hey folks. Hope you all doing well. Say, if I looked at the position & I knew that the next most logical/sound move for Black was Rxg2, but I didn't/ couldn't continue from there, would it still be fair of me to consider myself to have solved the puzzle? My lack experience, & thus limited tactical, strategic, & positional understanding, continues to impede my progress. Thanks for your input. Take very good care all & have yourselves a most joyous day, every day.
Dec-30-05  Cogano: If White plays 28.Qe2, what would be a plausible line after 28....Qh1+, 29.Kf2 Qxg2+, 30.Ke3 Qg5+, 31.f4? Thanks a bunch! Cheers!
Dec-30-05  YouRang: I guess I got it. Like others, I saw as far as the game actually went, and convinced myself that black would get his rook back, and find himself no worse that up a couple of pawns with the initiative. I would settle for that. :)

Gee, I had a 5 for 5 week! (although I think this was not a week of particularly hard puzzles).

Dec-30-05  YouRang: Hello<Cogano> You asked, <If White plays 28.Qe2, what would be a plausible line after 28....Qh1+, 29.Kf2 Qxg2+, 30.Ke3 Qg5+, 31.f4?>

Actually, after white played 29. Kf2, I think black is better with 29...Rxg2+ 30. Ke3 Qh6+ 31. f4 Rxe2

Dec-30-05  carburo: cogano, I'm not a strong player, and I don't have a board at hand, so correct me if I'm wrong, but in every variation I see, after a series of checks white's king ends in e3, then ...Qh6+ and white loses his queen to the black rook in the 2nd rank.

Dec-30-05  YouRang: <Cogano>, Regarding your other question: <if I looked at the position & I knew that the next most logical/sound move for Black was Rxg2, but I didn't/ couldn't continue from there, would it still be fair of me to consider myself to have solved the puzzle?>

Sometimes the matter of what constitutes "solving" the puzzle is debatable, but it think it would be widely agreed that merely making a "correct intuitive guess" regarding the first move isn't sufficient to consider the puzzle solved. In some cases, the first move is fairly obvious, and the real puzzle in in the continuation.

You really need to understand the point of the move, and how you can continue to force a position clearly superior to the one you started with. (Usually, this is a won or winning position, but for some puzzles, you merely need to be better. In rare cases, the point is to salvage a draw.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <EmperorAtahualpa: <so I must be honest to say that I wouldn't have played 25...Rxg2 on the board.>

<Soltari> Well said! Many of us wouldn't either!>

Guess what: Not all GMs would have played this either. It depends on many things, like how much time is left, what the standings are in the tournament, and who's sitting on the other side of the board.

Here's another thought. CG (for the most part) only gives us the combinations that worked. There are lots of positions that look like this in which the brilliant sacrificial attack fails.

Dec-30-05  YouRang: Further commentary on my comment:

<You really need to understand the point of the move, and how you can continue to force a position clearly superior to the one you started with.>

The key word is "clearly". It's not that Black's position after 27...Rg6 is "more winning" than the given puzzle position (after 25. Kf1). After all, the point of the puzzle is to show that Black IS winning at move 25.

The difference between Black's position at move 25 and at move 27 is that Black's win has become more evident, or more "clear".

Dec-30-05  Cogano: <YouRang> Firstly, thank you for your input. As for "Actually, after white played 29. Kf2, I think black is better with 29...Rxg2+ 30. Ke3 Qh6+ 31. f4 Rxe2", the reason I didn't use Rxg2 is because I felt certain that if White moved his Q to the 2nd rank, then regardless whether Black cap-tures with the R or Q, White will recapture to force a Q exchange. But I don't know for a fact that that is a reason-able assessment and that a master, or any good player worth her/his salt for that matter, would adopt that approach. Thanks again. Cheers!
Dec-30-05  Cogano: <carburo> Thanks for the question. According to my own line, assuming White continues with a move like, 28.Qe2, putting the Q on the 2nd rank, then I think the game would continue 28....Qh1+, 29.Kf2 Qxg2+, 30.Ke3 Qg5+, 31.f4. So, according to my own line, I don't see how Black's R would then scoop up White's Q. But, according to <YouRang>'s suggested line, it is more than possible for Black to capture White's Q. I am not that experienced a player. So there is much that I still don't understand about tactics, strate- gy & positional analysis. So I regret that I can't be of much help. Take care. Cheers!
Dec-30-05  Cogano: <YouRang> Thank you so much for answe- ring my other question. I so could use explanations like that so I can get a better grasp on tactics, strategy & positional analysis, to augment what few games I am ever able to play, online or in real life. Thanks again. Much obliged. Take very good care & have yourself a most joyous day, every day.
Dec-30-05  Eatman: This is one of the rarer times that I got it quickly and also fully. That is I saw that after Rg6 Qd2 Qh1+ wins back the rook with interest. Also I noticed that Qxh3 worked while Bxf3 didn't because d7 was hanging.
Dec-30-05  TTLump: I saw the combination up until 27. ... Rg6, and at first glance it looks like Black will get his rook back plus two pawns in the bargain, PLUS (and this is the main point of the combination), a merry King chase in the center of the board that is sure to yield more material from the helpless white pieces. It seems white can't come to the Rook's rescue with 28.Qe2, because of ... Qh1+, 29.Kf2 Rxg2+ (seemingly winning white's Queen), but wait a minute, after Black takes White's Queen, White takes Black's Queen, so I rejected 25. ... Rxg2, BUT, wait just another minute, (and this I completely missed), after 30.Ke3 (white's ONLY move), ... White's rook takes the Queen with CHECK, giving him a tempo to save his Queen. It looks SO simple after I see it played out, I wonder if the day will ever come when I will be able to visualize these kinds of combinations OTB.

As for the main line, it looks at first like Black is only winning 2 pawns, but if you play it out for a few more moves it becomes clear that Black can have his way with the white King in the center of the board, constantly threatening mate and eventually winning material. Here is one possible continuation, if White decides to play on:

28. Ke2 Rxg2+
29. Ke3 Qh6+
30. Kd4 (not f4, else Rg3+ winning the Queen)
30. ... Qh5 (threatens Qc5#)
31. Qe3 (the ONLY defense, makes an escape square for the King)

31. ... Ba4 (renews the mate threat with Qc5+ followed by Bc2#)

32. Rc1 Rc2 (threatens Qe5+ followed by Qxc3#) 33. Qf4 Qe5+
34. Qxe5 fxe5+
35. Kd3 Rxc1

and Black has an easy win from here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Moondoll: I didn't really see this all the way through, I just saw that the g2 pawn needed to be removed, and the rook was the only one who could handle that duty. Good Thursday puzzle.
Dec-30-05  YouRang: Hello <TTLump>. I was following your line, and I wondered, why wouldn't white follow 32...Rc2 with 33. Rxc2 (instead of Qxe5)?

If 33...Bxc2 (threatening to mate with queen at c5 or e5), then White answers with 34. e5, which appears to block both mate threats (if I'm not missing something).

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <TTLump: It seems white can't come to the Rook's rescue with 28.Qe2>

What about 28. Qd2 ? Then 28...Qh1+ 29. Kf2 (or Ke2) Rxg2+ 30. Ke3 Qh6+. Now the white ♕ is dead. I think 30...Qh6+ is also the best move if the ♕ is on e2.

Dec-30-05  YouRang: <TTLump> After further review... I notice that White still has big problems after 34. e5 (continuing the line mentioned in my last post). Even though Black is "only" up a couple of pawns, Black is poised to embark on a king hunt in the middle of the board, starting with 34...Qh4+.

Soon, Black's bishop and pawns will join in to bring down the curtain for White. So, it doesn't really matter much which way White goes back on move 33.

Dec-30-05  Koster: The most obvious rook sac ever. I didn't analyse a single variation - just relied on intuition.
Dec-30-05  Cogano: <TTLump> Thank you for sharing the tactical, strategic & positional analysis with us. I could always use any & all help I can get. Enjoy your weekend & Happy New Year. Take very good care & have yourself a most joyous day, every day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This game really belong in the "pin week" games of last week. White's position collapses after the black rook charges in like an angry elephant.
Dec-30-05  LIFE Master AJ: I actually got it.

One of those sacks where you know the answer is to take on g2, the only hard part is proving it.

Dec-30-05  syracrophy: <21.Nf6+? was a big mistake> It opened the g-file and its only idea, its to eliminate the knight of d3. <21.Rad1 was correct, with equality> The defensive move <24.Rf2? was a mistake> The correct move was <24.Be1! was the correct move> After 24.Be1! Qh5 25.h4 Rg6 26.Rd1 Rag8 27.Rd2 d6 28.e4 with drawing chances

<If white should have played 24.Be1! instead of the mistake 24.Rf2? the game would have continued with equal chances for both players>

Jan-02-06  blingice: I thought that it was rather simple. I saw the sacrifice, then the queen continuation. I didn't predict the pawn move up by white, but it I did, the rook threaten would be easy.
Jan-04-06  patzer2: Larsen's 25...Rxg2!! is a winning demolition of pawn structure combination, which relies on a winning pin to wreck White's Kingside and win decisive material.

An expanded analysis of the combination with Fritz 8 follows:

<1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 b6 5. Bd3 Bb7 6. Nf3 Ne4 7. O-O f5 8. Bxe4 fxe4 9. Nd2 Bxc3 10. bxc3 O-O 11. Qg4 Rf5 12. d5 Rg5 13. Qf4 exd5 14. cxd5 Bxd5 15. c4 Bc6 16. Nxe4 Rg6 17. Bb2 Na6 18. f3 Nb4 19. Bc3 Nd3 20. Qf5 Qh4 21. Nf6+ gxf6 22. Qxd3 Rh6 23. h3 Kf7 24. Rf2 Rg8! 25. Kf1 Rxg2!! 26. Rxg2 Qxh3 27. e4> If 27. Qe2, then 27...Bxf3 28. Qf2 Rg6 piles on the pin for the win.

<27... Rg6> 0-1

White resigned in lieu of 28. Qe2
(No better is 28. Qd4 Qxg2+ 29. Ke1 Qxf3 30. Kd2 Rg2+ 31. Kc1 Ba4 32. Qxf6+ Qxf6 33. Bxf6 Kxf6 34. Rb1 Rc2+ 35. Kd1 Rxa2+ .) 28... Qh1+ 29. Kf2 Rxg2+ 30. Ke3 Rxe2+ 31. Kxe2 Qg2+ 32. Ke3 f5 .

Jul-25-09  ToTheDeath: Great game by the Great Dane!
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