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Nikolaj Katishonok vs Harijs Gulbis
URS corr (1989) (correspondence), USSR
Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General (D37)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-05-10  sevenseaman: Vigorous, purposeful play by White, backed by some timely sacrifices makes shortwork of Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Weekend before Christmas, how's the shopping going guys?

Anyway, it's been an easier than average week for many <cg> puzzle solvers. How will this week turn out:

This puzzle, I missed. I thought about removing the knight on f8 to deliver mate, but that doesn't work. I also thought of a "king lift" to get the c1 rook involved, but I found it too slow. The variation I went with was 20.Qh6+, that's it.

The solution of course, is pretty simple.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Met my standard for a too-easy Sunday puzzle--I solved it.
Dec-20-15  thegoldenband: Got it. Not too hard to see that White needs to open the c-file to lure Black's queen to c7, and once you spot 20. Nxd5 Qxd5 21. Qh6+ Kf7 22. Bc4, the rest is easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 21...Re7 seems to save black.
Dec-20-15  diagonalley: <thegoldenband> ... ah, yes... i failed to spot the pin that forces black to take the knight with his bishop's pawn! DOH!
Dec-20-15  SamAtoms1980: <al wazir: 21...Re7 seems to save black.>

I looked at that and couldn't find a working defense for Black after 22.Qh6+ Kf7 23.Rh7+ Nxh7 24.Qxh7+. 24....Ke8 25.Qg8#, 24....Kf8 25.Qh8+ does Black's queen, and 24....Ke6 leads to my favorite variation: 25.Qxg6+ Kxe5 26.f4#.

Dec-20-15  Gato: Komodo hesitates between Qh6 Kf7 f4 and f4 Kf7 Qh6 (around 7,5) but does not choose Nxd5 because of ... Rxe5 (around 4,5).
Dec-20-15  lost in space: 20. Qh6 was for me the best move here with a slow death for Black
Dec-20-15  morfishine: There was an identical theme a few months ago such that I thought this was the same game


Dec-20-15  Chess Dad: <MatrixManNeO: Say, what happens if black just leaves white's knight there?


You guys, is anyone going to answer my question? I'm really really curious!!>

I ran through the position on Stockfish after 20. Nxd5. And at depth 26 so far, 20... Rxe5 is a better response. But the evaluation is still +4.20.

But, as intricate as this combination is, and Stockfish sees the game line out to the point of 25. Qxc7 from before 20. Nxd5, it still evaluates the very sensible 20. Qh6+ Kf7 21. f4 as slightly stronger.

Dec-20-15  mel gibson: I'm so dumb - I didn't see it -

DR4 64 bit could see it with only 10 plies ahead & less than 1 second of processing.

Dec-20-15  Gryz: I completely missed the idea of Rc7.

However, when I just checked the position with Stockfish, it turned out that Stockfish had the exact same idea I had !

I thought that the black king was vulnerable. But it had no quick way to get to safety. So white has time to enhance its position, before it decides to attack. While white has moves to improve, black does not.

It was my idea to play f4, to make pawn 5 a permanent force. And then play the Nc3 to e2, d4, f3 and finally to g5. For example: 20.f4 Bd7 21.Ne2 Kf7 22.Nd4 Rc8 23.Nf3

click for larger view

This position is +8.25, while the final position in the game is +7.25. So my idea wasn't that bad after all.

Dec-20-15  morfishine: <mel gibson: I'm so dumb - I didn't see it> Don't be unnecessarily hard on yourself: There is no "it" to see when there are multiple ways to win


Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < morfishine: There is no "it" to see when there are multiple ways to win >

agreed. Just like the final position. Material looks almost even but there are many simple ways to finish it

..Rad8 28.Qd6+ Kf7 29.Qf6+ Kg8 30.Qxg6+ Kh8 31.Qh6+ Kg8 32.Bc4+ Rf7 33.e6


..Rfd8 28. Qd6+ Kf7 29. Qf6+ Kg8 30. Qxg6+ Kf8 31. Bc4 Be8 32. Qf6+

Dec-20-15  thegoodanarchist: I am sitting here stunned. I actually solved a Sunday puzzle! How did that happen? Inexplicable...
Dec-20-15  Sally Simpson: Buggar!

Wish I never attempted this. (solved).

1977 I was white, here are the basic bones of the position.

click for larger view

Note the similarity with the above puzzle.

I failed to see and play Rxh7+ and lost.

I know I won the brilliancy prize in my next round game but for the life of me cannot reconstruct it. (It was a Latvian and I castled Queenside sacced a piece or two and mated - that is all I can recall.)

But that loss has somehow burned itself into my sleeping memory.

It took me 38 years to forget it and now this....


Dec-20-15  Everett: <Sally> perhaps the queens were on Qh3 and Qd7? That would make more sense...

Either way, I understand the frustration...

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn down.

Black threatens Rxe5.

The first idea that comes to mind is 20.Nxd5, to incorporate the other rook into the attack:

A) 20... Qxd5 21.Qh6+ Kf7 22.Bc4 wins decisive material.

B) 20... cxd5 21.Rc7+

B.1) 21... Qxc7 22.Qh6+ Kf7 23.Rh7+ (or 23.Rxf8+ Rxf8 24.Qh7+) 23... Nxh7 24.Qxh7+ Kf8 25.Qxc7 and White looks much better in spite of the more or less balanced material.

B.2) 21... Nd7 22.Qh7#.

B.3) 21... Re7 22.Qh4 with the threat 23.Qf6# looks winning. For example, 22... Rxc7 23.Qxd8 Kxh8 24.Qxc7 + - [Q vs R+N].

B.4) 21... Bd7 22.Qh6+ Kf7 23.Bxf5 (with many threats: Rxd7+, Rxf8+, Bxg6+, etc.)

B.4.a) 23... Qxc7 24.Bxg6+ Nxg6 (24... Ke7 25.Qg5+ Ke6 26.Qf6#) 25.Qh7+ Ke6 26.Qxg6+ Kxe5 27.f4#.

B.4.b) 23... gxf5 24.Rxd7+ Nxd7 (24... Qxd7 25.Qf6#) 25.Rh7+ Kg8 26.Qg7#.

C) 20... Rxe5 21.Qh6+ Kf7 22.Rh7+

C.1) 22... Nxh7 23.Qxh7+

C.1.a) 23... Kf8 24.Qh8+ followed by 25.Qxd8 wins decisive material.

C.1.b) 23... Ke8 24.Nc7+ Kf8 25.Qh8+ Ke7 26.Qxe5+ looks very good for White.

C.1.c) 23... Ke6 24.Nc7+ and White ends up with a knight for a pawn but the knight looks trapped.

C.2) 22... Ke8 23.Nc7+ wins the queen.

C.3) 22... Ke6 23.Nc7+ looks similar to C.1.c.

Dec-20-15  Sally Simpson: Hi Everett,

Yes it looks silly without all the pieces. I don't think I would have missed QxQ.

I dug out the actual position to see if I can exercise this ghost.

I got the year right (!) but mixed up the Queen and Rook. But the gist of the unplayed trick stuck and must still rankle, this pages game reminded me of it right away.

Funny how the mind works. (well my mine anyway.) I'll have to stop doing these puzzles in case they remind me of more losses.....I have hundreds slumbering in my sub-conscious.

G.Chandler - C.Taylor, Edinburgh Open 1977

click for larger view

I played 19.g4? (1977 was the second year I was officially graded, my first was 1720, despite this horror it went up to 1845 in season '77).

Dec-20-15  Sniffles: 17.Rh8 A brainfart moment supreme.
Dec-20-15  Marmot PFL: Didn't get that one. Don't feel that bad as it's a correspondence game which might have been analyzed for weeks, depending on the postage time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  transpose: I saw the idea--of winning the black queen, and I started with Nxd5, but I started checking the black king with my queen before checking with my rook on c7. I suspect I failed because black had options not available under the game continuation, which is rather clean and forced. Nevertheless, I think if I were playing, that I may have changed my move order after seeing the position after cxNd5. So I shall give myself partial credit in the spirit of the Giving Season.
Dec-21-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: I like 20.Qh6+ Kf7 21.Nxd5! cxd5 (Qxd5 22.Bc4) 22.Rh7+ Nxh7 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Rc7 Qxc7 25.Qxc7 with ongoing initiative. Also strong is 21.Rxf8+ Rxf8 22.Qh7+ Ke8/e6 23.Qxg6+ but I can't find the finish. All I have time for....
Dec-21-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: I also saw the skewer possibility winning the queen, but missed the finesse 23.Rf8+.
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