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Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian vs Reynaldo Vera
American Continental Championship (2005), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 1, Aug-06
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0



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sac: 18.Nd5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Whether you call it Remembrance Day, or Veterans Day or Armistice Day or whatever, today is 11/11, or November 11th. This year marks the 97th anniversary since WWI ended. It is a day to remember all the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives, for the freedom of everyone.

Back to this puzzle, I see it's an endgame puzzle. I tried to put black in zugzwang with 47.a4, and hope that the kingside pawns will be exchanged, and then the white king will win the race to the queenside, but something tells me that a-pawn is important...

Nov-11-15  dfcx: white is a pawn ahead and black's queen is too far to stop the pawns.

48.Nxd6 Nxd6 49.c5

A. 49...Nc4/Nb5/Nc8/Ne8 50.d6

B. 49...Nb7 50.c6 Nd6 51.Ke5 wins

C. 49...Nf7 50.c6 also wins

Premium Chessgames Member
  sjunto: After 48. Nxd6 Nxd6 49. c5, black has a few choices, none of which prevent the center pawns from prevailing.
Nov-11-15  weary willy: Thank you for the timely reminder Penguincw. It's also a day to remember those who were not brave and fought, willingly or not, the wounded in body or mind, the civilians, the persecuted, the victims of genocide and the casualties of war today. It's a day to remember those who do not enjoy freedom - and to work for peace. I wear my poppy not with pride but with sorrow.
Nov-11-15  stst: After
48.Nxd6 NxB

the Black N could not guard the two pawns marching to promotion. It's also too far to help its g-pawn to pass through

Quite a boring ending to actually count the moves, but White must prevail given the single N trying to accomplish too many tasks...

Nov-11-15  diagonalley: yep... sac the knight and roll dem pawns... yeee-hah :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has an extra pawn.

The first idea that comes to mind is 48.Nxd6 Nxd6 49.c5 followed by c6, Ke5 and d6 looks winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: 48 Nxd6 wins easily, but I also like 48 a4 from an aesthetic standpoint.

click for larger view

There is nothing there for black. One example is after 48...Kh4, as white wins after 49 Kf5 Kh3 50 Kg5.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: This is one of those "Do I really have to count?" positions.

The basic idea ought to familiar to anyone who has tried (and failed) to use a knight to hold back passed pawns. No matter how vigorously your horsie jumps around those pesky little footsoldiers keep moving forwards. And stabbing you with their tiny knives.

So yes um 48. Nxd6 Nxd6 49. c5 and the knight won't be able to stop the connected passed pawns. And if he tries to blockade we evict the knight with our King - Ke5 ought to do the trick. Black hasn't got counterplay because it will take him at least six moves to queen his pawn (three king moves to capture the h2 pawn and then three pawn moves).

That's the basic idea. But then comes the "do I have to count?" question which has bugged me my entire chess career. Can I bash out 48. Nxd6 on general principles or do I have to calculate every possible variation after 49. c5?

Sometimes we need to calculate and sometimes we don't. And I never feel entirely comfortable that I know the difference. Answers on a postcard please.

Nov-11-15  morfishine: <48.Nxd6> followed by 49.c5 looks like a winner


Nov-11-15  saturn2: the black knight cannot stop the two connected pawns, in same variants the white king also has to intervene
Nov-11-15  Boerboel Guy: <Once: This is one of those "Do I really have to count?" positions.>

Yeah I agree....on general principals
(what are they?) I'll grab the pawn & pray

Nov-11-15  starry2013: sacrifice knight and push pawns

Unfortunately it wasn't the first line I looked at, though I should have guessed it was another sacrifice puzzle.

First I looked at moving the king into opposition and moving it across to attack d6, but the black g pawn is quicker.

Nov-11-15  wooden nickel: I was more simple minded and just tried to play on zugzwang i.e. 48.Nd4. If 48... a4 then simply 49.Nf5

click for larger view

Of course the text line is more elegant sacking the knight!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I went with the zugzwang of 48. a4, when Black's King has to move one square farther away from the Pawns, Kh4. Same thing as the game, really, and I didn't feel like counting, but thought that extra tempo might matter. It didn't.

FWIW, 48. Kf5 or 48. Nd4 also win just as easily as the game.

Nov-11-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this knight and pawn ending, white's extra pawn is a decisive one, especially with the advanced member of white's connected pawn duo just three steps from promotion with black's king remote. The trick is to turn the connected pawns into connected passed pawns:

48.Nxd6! Nxd6 49.c5 (gains tempo) and now:

A.48... Nc4 49.d6 and a d-pawn promotion can't be stopped by the knight.

B.48... Nb5 48.d6 Kg6 (or a4) 49.d7 Kc7 50.Ke5 (avoids the fork) followed by 51.d8=Q

C.48... Nc8 49.d6 Na7 50.d7 Nc6 51.Ke4 Kh4 52.Kd5 Nd8 (Ne7+ 53.Kd6 Nf5+ 54.Ke6) 53.c6 Kh3 54.c7 and white promotes 3 tempos ahead.

D.48... Ne8 49.d6 Nf6 50.c6 promotes

E.48... Nf7 49.c6 Kg6 (or Kh4) 50.c7 Nd6 51.Ke5 Nc8 52.d6 promotes shortly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: As though it were a blitz game, I immediately went for 48. Nxd6 Nxd6 49. c5 for my Wednesday puzzle solution.

Deep Fritz 14 indicates 49...Nf7 is Black's strongest reply and that the game continuation follow-up 50. Kf5 (+15.18 @ 20 depth) wins easily.

However, my planned follow-up 50. c6 (+17.19 @ 20 depth), following the maxim "passed pawns must be pushed," also wins.

About the only way for White to mess it up after 49...Nf7 would be to make a deliberate time wasting move like 50. Ke3? allowing 50. Kg5 = (0.00 @ 26 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

For a Black improvement, instead of 17...fxe6?!, I like 17... Bxe6 =. The problem with 17...fxe6?! is it allows the strong surprise move 18. Nd5! to , which puts Black's game on a down hill path with few if any opportunities to equalize.

Even though Black was at a sever disadvantage after 18. Nd5!, he could have put up more resistance with the improvements 22...Qc8 23. Nd4 , 44...a4 45. Kd3 and 44...a4 45. Kd3 to .

Premium Chessgames Member
  varishnakov: 48.Nxd6 NxN 49.c5 N-f7 (49...N-b7 50.c6 N-d6 51.K-e5 and a pawn will queen) 50.c6 K-h4 51.c7 N-d6 52.K-e5 N-c8 53.d6 and white queens

Slightly different continuation in the game, but all roads leads to Queenland.

Nov-11-15  pawn to QB4: I didn't see a4! Went with the game continuation. One or two here think that nxd6 and c5 win so easily that you just play that and black rolls over. In reality black stops those pawns without the intervention of the white king, and in one line only loses a pawn race by one move. So if you ever get something like this yes, you do have to calculate
Nov-11-15  BOSTER: If I am right, Joel Benjamin used esoteric word <Liquation> not to separate copper and silver, but in order to "Mastering the Transition into the Pawn Endgame".

Looking at the POTD pos. white clearly understand that d5 pawn has already crossed the border and can not go back.

With support of the white king, who can <outflank> black king, or using normal words cutting him from the theatre of main action by playing Kf5, we don't need to calculate anything to play 48.Nxd6.

Two connecting pawns on the 5 rank are stronger than knight.

After <an aesthetic 48.a4> loosing a tempo, and creating pawn a4 as a target for black knight, black can create pos. when black knight can block white pawn movement, or create counterplay on the "a" file.

This need to be calculated.

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