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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Arseny Alavkin
RUS-Cup6 (1997), Krasnodar, rd 1, Mar-11
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation. Main lines (B18)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-21-12  ksanat: knight decoy for queening...Nxf4.....
Nov-21-12  gofer: I see one continuation that looks okay, but it seems a little complex for a Wednesday and it seems a little uncertain in the final outcome...

60 ... Nxf4+
61 Nxf4 Qd2+
62 Qxd2 exd2
63 a7 d1=Q
64 a8=Q Qxg4+
65 Kh1 Qxf4

click for larger view

Okay black should be able to trade queens into a winning end game but this is going to be a little bit tricky... this what we were meant to find????


It was, but I wonder what our silicon allies say about black's chances for a win? <Good?>, <Bad?> or <Indifferent?>

Nov-21-12  prbprb2: How would you all appraise the situation at around move 41? Doesn't white have a distinct advantage? Or is it fluff?

Thanks to anyone who can take time to appraise the board a bit earlier.

Best, Philip

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: A pleasant them presents itself: deflect the knight with your own knight-sac, allowing the pawn to Queen. The main concern for Black is white's advanced a-pawn

<60...Nxf4+ 61.Nxf4 Qd2+ 62.Qxd2 exd2 63.a7 d1=Q 64.a8=Q Qxg4+> This move allows Black to recover the piece <65.Kh1 Qxf4> and Black has netted two-pawns;

click for larger view

Almost working, but not quite, is <60...Qc6+> due to <61.Kg1 Qf3 62.a7 Qg3+> (If 62...Qxg4+ 63.Kh2) <63.Qg2 Qe1+ 64.Qf1 Qa5 65.Qd3+ Kc8 66.Qxe3>

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is equal.

White threatens 61.a7, 62.a8=Q.

My first idea 60... e2 61.Qxe2 Qxh3+ 62.Kxh3 Nxf4+ loses miserable to 63.Kh2 Nxe2 64.a7.

Another option is 60... Nxf4+:

A) 61.Nxf4 Qd2+ 62.Qxd2 exd2 63.a7 d1=Q 64.a8=Q Qxg4+ 61.Kh1 Qxf4 - + [2P].

B) 61.Kg3 e2+ and 62... e1=Q with a winning attack.

C) 61.Kh2 Qd2+ 62.Qxd2 exd2 63.a7 d1=Q 64.a8=Q Qe2+ 65.Kg3 (else 65... Nxh3) 65... Qe3+ wins the knight (66.Qf3 Qxf3+ 67.Kxf3 Nxh3).

D) 61.Kh1 e2 wins.

Nov-21-12  Bengambit: 60...e2!! if...61.Qxe2 Qxh3+ 62.Kxh3 Nxf4+ 63.Kg3 Nxe2+ 64.Kf3 Nd4+ 65.Ke4 Nb5 or if 60...e2!! 61.Qa4+ Kd6 62.a7 e1=Q 63.Qa6+ Qcc6+ 64.Qxc6+ Kxc6 65.a8=Q+ Kd7 66.Qa7+ Nc7 67.Qa4+ Kc8 68.Qc2 draw.....or it's so many lines here that one miscalculation can cost you either a win,the game,or get an draw. So let's look at the game and see what my other chessmasters came up with today....
Nov-21-12  Bengambit: Ok,nice finish with a good attack on white's unguarded g4 pawn,and black just dry mopped white's kingside period,and this I do remember from all of my endgames,"Bishop Pawns Are Automatic Queens" nice ending here by far,lesson learned.
Nov-21-12  LoveThatJoker: <60...Q-Q7+ 61. QxQ PxQ 62. P-R7>

[62. N-B2 NxP+ 63. K-B1 (63. K-B3 is the same) 63...N-Q6! 64. P-R7 (64. K-K2 NxN ; 64. NxN P-Q8=Q+ ) 64...NxN 65. P-R8=Q P-Q8=Q+ 66. KxN QxP ]

<62...P-Q8=Q 63. P-R8=Q QxP+>


Nov-21-12  LoveThatJoker: No points for me today.

Stockfish confirms that Black obtains no advantage - just an equal game - from my line.

62. N-B2 NxP+ 63. K-B3 N-Q6 N-Q1 is its totally logical improvement.


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Easy piece deflection. I guess the player who hasn't resigned is thinking "please-don't-see-it...Please-don't-see-it!"
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Hmm, I got the right series of moves, but I didn't see it through to what happens after White queens as well, so I give myself 3/4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Either these puzzles are getting harder or I'm getting dumber. My first impulse was 60...e2? 61.Qxe2 Qxh3+?? 62.Kxh3 Nxf4+. Then it dawned on me that 63.Kh2 Nxe2 64.a7 wins for <White>.

My next thought was 60...Qd2+ 61.Qxd2 exd2, but White stops the pawn with 62.Nf2. Black can grab a pawn with 62...Nxf4+, then immediately bring the knight back to stop the pawn. But that doesn't look like a win for Black either.

My last and best(?) thought: 60...Nxf4+! 61.Nxf4 Qd2+ 62.Qxd2 exd2 63.a7 d1(Q) 63.a8(Q) Qxg4+ 64.Kh1 Qxf4. Black is two pawns up. I'm not certain this is a win, since White has a lot of checks. But it looks to be Black's best chance.

Nov-21-12  standardwisdom: <Jamboree: This is much harder than a 2-star problem> Indeed! I failed to see that white queen will need to be exchanged if it ever takes the pawn at g7. Obviously then, I failed to see that the ensuing end game is won for black as white's h pawn will fall without any compensation and the g and h pawns will then have a stroll in the park.

I didn't solve the problem obviously, but I had the first 4-5 moves correct.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: After 60...Nxf4+ 61. Nxf4 Qd2+ 62. Qxd2 exd2 63. a7 d1=Q 64. a8=Q Qxg4+ 65. Kh1 66. Qxf4 Qd5+ I assumed that the Black king could find shelter on h7, but a perpetual is lurking.

Lesson: calculate, instead of assuming.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I'm forked fume an chew in flat out at steal a march in the races in

energy it foible in 60...Nxf4+ armouring ah space free pawn once in

feed him headed a 61.Nxf4 Qd2+ its not a phd required to see a queen

can bandy it together in 62.Qxd2+ in slider it hostile e3 way finds

a path in d2 d1 for queens to 62...exd2 63.a7 fate agile in

pageantry stop again either d1 in a8 both pawns having

equidistant relations to each other in select white in herald got

63...d1=q 64.a8=q Qxg4+ king liberty, in either good to give spar

kingff2 and h1 prefer 65...Qxf4 far as put in black too pawns up and

can in effect also defend g7 bidding for g5, in mind also good game

queen and beo - wolf knight it donkey up honour in f4!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I was curious as to why white could not play 68 Qxg7 afer the text 67...Ke6 below.

click for larger view

It turns out that black can force an exchange of queens after the sequence 68 Qxg7 Qh4+ 69 Kg2 Qg5+.

click for larger view

Now he can capture the h pawn and win easily.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black exchanges queens-both sides queen and black wins three for one in the pawn department.
Nov-21-12  King Sacrificer: 2-star puzzle? This game is not over until the queens are exchanged and nobody was able to post the full solution. Even the best kibitzers..
Nov-21-12  bachbeet: Not sure why white specifically chose to resign at move 71. He still had more checks in his "quiver."
Nov-21-12  tivrfoa: who decides the difficult level? I also don't think this is a Wednesday puzzle ... :(
Nov-21-12  WhiteRook48: Black appears to be winning after 60...Nxf4+!? 61 Nxf4 Qd2+ 62 Qxd2 cxd2 63 a7 d1=Q 64 a8=Q Qxg4+ Time to check.
Nov-21-12  SimonWebbsTiger: Interesting to read how people approached this problem.

I had a quick look at the Qxh3 and NxQ line like everyone else but rejected it for the obvious reason the a pawn queens. Then analysed Nxf4. One does not need to analyse anymore after black recoups his knight and is 2 pawns up. That is clearly the best line and what I would whip out in a game without worrying about the queen endgame. Pragmatic analysis because I use these problems as an exercise for OTB chess!

It ought to be standard knowledge that the queen endgame is won, though. After pawn endgames, these are the easiest to win if one knows the technique of hiding the king. The classic example stated by all the text books is V Ciocaltea vs Unzicker, 1956

Nov-21-12  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"
Black to play 60...?
material is dead equal

<if 61.Nxf4 Qd2+ 62.Qxd2 exd2 and next move d1=Q and Black wins> 61.Kh2 e2
62.Qf7+ Kc6
63.Qb7+ Kd6
64.Nxf4 e1=Q
White has Q+N+3p and Black has 2Q+3P
White can possibly give more checks but I can't follow that due to shortage of time 0-1

Nov-21-12  Abdel Irada: <King Sacrificer: 2-star puzzle? This game is not over until the queens are exchanged and nobody was able to post the full solution. Even the best kibitzers.>

In fairness, perhaps your definition of a "full solution" is a bit demanding. To demonstrate the combination should suffice, particularly since the "full solution," defined as playing to the end of all of White's possible checks, didn't occur in the game itself.

The trouble with this kind of solution is that there are so many different patterns of checks that to catalogue them all would be prohibitive, and that's why I think no one attempted to do so. These puzzles simulate practical play, in which one calculates a combination to what appears to be a winning position without necessarily analyzing to the end of the game, and that really should suffice.

Nov-26-12  parsley: how about 60.... Nxf4+ 61.Kf1 Nxh3 62.a7 then what? Black is +N, but has to stop a8=Q
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