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Alexander G Beliavsky vs Evgeni Vasiukov
Frunze (1979)
Slav Defense: Smyslov Variation (D16)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 3 more Beliavsky/Vasiukov games
sac: 34.Bxg5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Oct-22-14  Dr. J: Gang, can we call this one what it is - another botched POTD choice from It's a speculative sac of a Bishop for two Pawns and a very powerful attack, but nothing remotely like a calculatable win, and not in any way a "medium" puzzle, despite the obviousness of the first move.

These bad puzzles have become common. <CG>, please, please, when choosing (and rating) puzzles, look at all the defenses, not just the one inferior line of defense that was played OTB. Use the silicon.

Yes, I'm feeling very grumpy today, for unrelated reasons. But do other users share this opinion?

Oct-22-14  Dr. J: P.S. I want to be clear: I'm not opposed to hard puzzles. Yesterday's was a GREAT puzzle - a deceptively difficult mate-in-3 that was very hard to solve, despite an obvious first move. (ididn'tgetit)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Dr. J> I don't know. I really don't.

I like my stories to be messy. Flawed characters making mistakes. Good people doing bad things. Bad people doing good things. And most of us somewhere in the middle of those two extremes just trying our best (and deep down knowing that sometimes it isn't good enough).

So what has always appealed to me is that POTDs are taken from real games. If they were puzzles in a book we would have a straight-forward solution with no deviations. But positions from real games are more messy.

And that means that they are more like the positions that we will get in our own games. Sometimes we will get one clear solution. At other times we will be making judgements about unclear positions. Or having to analyse a lot of defensive tries.

Today's POTD is an interesting position. It isn't busted - Fritzie says that white gets an advantage of over +4 no matter what black plays.

We might quibble that it feels tougher than a Wednesday ought to, but then some folk will say that the initial idea isn't too hard to spot.

Personally, I quite like it when CG throws us a puzzle like this one that has to be chewed over. It's arguably better practice for real OTB chess than a succession of puzzles with nothing but calculable wins in them.

Just my two pennorth. Others may have a different point of view.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: My idea has been <34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Qxg5 ...>, and after the eventual defense <35. ... Rd6> the thrust <36.f6 ...> thus blocking Black Rook from looking out to h6. Then either <37.Qh6+ ...> or, after the eventual <37. ... Nh7>, <37.Qh6 ...> plus <38.Rg7 ...> should win. Or is there anything that I have overlooked? :-(
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I got 34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Qxg5. I wasn't sure where to follow up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I thought it was more like a Thursday than a Wednesday. I think that to claim full credit you have to have seen what to do against 34...Rxd4, that is: 34...Rxd4 35.Bf6+ Qxf6 36.Nxf6 Rxd2 37.Rg8 mate. It took me a while to see that, which made me look for other things until I came back to revisit Rxd4.
Oct-22-14  gofer: <34 Bxg5 ...>

34 ... Qxh5?
35 Bf6+ Kh7
36 Rg7+ Kh8
37 Qg2 mating

Okay so that's one defence that really doesn't work but what about the other two?

34 ... hxg5
35 Qxg5 Rd6

34 ... Rxd4
35 Bf6+ Qxf6

I give up, too much to work out for my feeble brain...


Hmmm, I am not alone!

Oct-22-14  gofer: Fusilli: this is not mate...

click for larger view

It is a loss for white!!!

Oct-22-14  patzer2: <Nightsurfer> Your idea <34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Qxg5 Rd6 36. f6 > wins due to the immediate threat 37. Qg7+!

After 35...Rd6 36. f6, Fritz 12 @ 20 depth gives best play as 36...Rd8 37. Qg7+ Qxg7 38. fxg7+ Kh7 39. Nf6+ Kh6 40. Ncd5! Ng6 41. g8=Q Rxg8 42. Nxg8 .

Oct-22-14  gofer: Fusilli: Further to this. I tried to make 37 Ncd5 work...

click for larger view

But black has 37 ... Rd1! as a reply and this still looks like a loss for white!

Oct-22-14  JTV: Wow, mate in 3! I didn't see that one coming because black had better alternatives. After 34. Bxg5 black could have played 34...Rxd4 35. Qf4 hxg5 3. Qxg5 Rd6! Of course, black is down for the count but has saved him/herself for the moment.
Oct-22-14  schachfuchs: hehe for a short moment, I also thought the winning line after 35.Qxg5 Rxd4 would be
36.Qf6+ Qxf6
37.Nxf6 and mate next!??
But then I thought:
ohoh there's still a B sleeping on b3 :-)
Oct-22-14  Lighthorse: I, like others, got stuck after 34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Qxg5

This was more like a Friday puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: In the 34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Qxg5 Rd6 branch, as others have stated you have to find 36 Qf4.

click for larger view

This is a really nice subtle move because as it attacks the rook there is also the deadly threat of 37 Qe5+.

If black tries 36...Qe7, trying to stop both threats, white has 37 Rg7.

click for larger view

Finally if 37...Bf7 then 38 e5.

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Black can not move the rook off of the 6th rank because of Qh6+

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nightsurfer: <patzer 2>

Thank you so much for outlining that line!

Oct-22-14  Sally Simpson: Instructive and entertaining game. The Bishop and Knight playing the roles of Houdini Desperado's. (they both get out alive.)

Thought I had it, I should have been wary it was a bit too deep for a Wednesday the key move you have to see is 4 moves away.

After 34.Bxg5 I could not get past the 34...Rxd4 defence. (34...hxg5 seems to give White loads of good ideas. I thought Rxd4 was the way the game went.)

click for larger view

I see now some others have had the same idea. The Rook and Knight mating pattern.

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It's snuggling in there just waiting to pulled out.

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35. Bf6+ Qxf6 36. Nxf6 Rxd2 all looking nice and forced.

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Unfortunatley 37.Rg8 mate fails (the b3 Bishop) but 37.Nd5

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And it's back on again. Good. Solved. Let us see how many got it.

Then see Black refrained from Rxd4 (possibly saw the blocking Nd5 coming). 'Once' supplies some Fritz analysis mentioning a Qc1 instead of Nxf6. (surley 'IT' can see Nd5 blocking the defence of g8)

Put game into PGN viewer to see position in the flesh. Eventually penny drops.

click for larger view

Black can play 37...Rc1 and grovel a 3 minor piece v Rook and Knight ending.

Crap puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: This is a very interesting position and showed my deficits nicely. I saw first the unprotected h5 Knight. Seeing that it could not move and make a threat or open the position, I considered it lost for the moment and moved to the Q-B on the same diagonal as a good sac attack modus operandi. I could not see good progress though and missed the attack on the rook as the tempi gaining the advantage I needed to bring the g1 Rook into play. Moving on and still looking for a break, I looked at a quiet move, d5, opening d4 up for Qd4+ or Bd4+. I liked this and thought it gave White a better direct attack. allowing the bishop rook to focus on the g5 square. However, I missed the fact that the white Bishop was really threatened by an exchange with Black's c2 Knight. (Not to mention, I think that would have been a better move for Black instead of 33....Qf6.) Even so if 34. d5 then 34....Nxh5, and I loose a significant piece in the attack as well as the initiative when the c2 Knight does exchange for the bishop on e3. White remains better but the vice has fewer teeth to tighten with immediately.

Posting a new ad for myself:
Better board vision needed. Any price paid.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn ahead.

Black threatens 34... Qxh5.

Four pieces aim at the black castle and the black rook is defenseless. These details invite to play 34.Bxg5:

A) 34... hxg5 35.Qxg5

A.1) 35... Rxd4 36.Qh6+ Nh7 (36... Qh7 37.Qf6+ Qg7 38.Qxg7#) 37.Rg7 Qxh5 38.Rxh7+ Kg8 39.Qg7#.

A.2) 35... Rd7 36.Qh6+ Nh7 (36... Qh7 37.Qxf8+ Bg8 38.Qf6+ Rg7 39.Rxg7 Qxh5 40.Rg5+ wins) 37.f6 threatening 38.Rg7 seems to win (37... Qe6 38.Rg7 Qxh3+ 39.Kg1 Qe3+ 40.Qxe3 Nxe3 41.Rxd7 with a won ending).

A.3) 35... Rd6 36.Qg3 with the double threat 37.Qe5+ Kh7 38.Rg7+ and 37.Qxd6 looks winning (36... Qxh5 37.Qg8#).

B) 34... Rxd4 35.Qxd4+ Nxd4 36.Bf6+ Kh7 (36... Qxf6 37.Nxf6 with a won ending) 37.Bxd4

B.1) 37... Qxh5 38.Rg7+ Kh8 39.Rg5+ Kh7 40.Rxh5 + - [R+P].

B.2) 37... Qc4 38.Nf6+ Kh7 39.Ncd5 Ng6 (only move) 40.Rxg6 Qf1+ 41.Kh2 (41.Rg1 Qxh3#) 41... Qe2+ 42.Rg2 Qxg2+ 43.Kxg2 cxd5 44.Nxd5+ + - [N+3P].

C) 34... Qxh5 35.Bf6+ Kh7 36.Rg7+ Kh8 37.Rg5+ wins the queen.

Oct-22-14  BOSTER: No doubt that this is a stupid idea to believe that A.Beliavsky could not see some tactics.

I try sacr. everything to reach the attractive point"g7",and give the material only for the tempo.

This is pos. white to play 28.

click for larger view

If white play Nfd5 attacking the black queen with tempo, I guess the black has no time to take the knight.(diagram)

White want to open "g" file.

click for larger view

Let's see. If 28...exd5 29.Bxg5 Qd6 30.Bf4 Qf6 31.e5 Bxe5 32.dxe5 Rxe5 33.Bg5 Qxf5 34.Bxd8 and white is better.

If 28...exd5 29.Bxg5 Qd7 30.Bf6 and white win.

Oct-22-14  Herma48852: Unusually difficult "medium easy". I did get the as far as 34. Bxg5 hxg5 (.. Qxh5 35.Bf6+ Kh7 36. Rg2+ Kh8 37. Rg5+ Kh8 38. Rxh5) 35. Qxg5 Rd6 and then 36. f6! a tricky interposition. But I could not find a good follow up to 36. .. Nh7
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <gofer> Oops. I get negative credit for lazy! Thanks for the correction.

I see <agb2002> posted the winning line in case of Rxd4 instead of taking the bishop. Definitely not a "medium-easy" problem. (I blame that tricky label for making me think I had solved it!)

Oct-22-14  TheBish: Beliavsky vs Vasiukov, 1979

White to play (34.?) "Medium/Easy", White is up a pawn.

White's knight on h5 is attacked, but this is no time for retreat, with Black's king position badly weakened. It's time to weaken that position even further!

34. Bxg5! and now:

(a) 34...hxg5 35. Qxg5 Rd7 (or 35...Rxd4 36. Qh6+ Nh7 (36...Qh7 37. Qf6+ mates) 37. Rg7 wins, or 35...Rd6 36. e5!) 36. Qh6+ Nh7 (or 36...Qh7 37. Qxf8+ Bg8 38. Qf6+ Rg7 39. Rxg7! Qxh5 40. Rg5+ Kh7 41. Rxh5#) 37. f6! and 38. Rg7 will be crushing.

(b) 34...Qxh5 35. Bf6+! (much stronger than 35. Bxd8 Qxh3+) Kh7 36. Rg7+ Kh8 37. Qg2! (also good is 37. Rg5+ winning the queen) and Black will have to give away his queen with 37...Qxh3+ 38. Qxh3 (with mate to follow soon) to stop mate with either 38. Rg8+ Kh7 39. Rh8# or 38. Rh7+ Kxh7 39. Qg7#.

(c) 34...Rxd4 35. Qf4! (threatening both Bf6+ and Qe5+) hxg5 36. Qxg5 Nh7 37. Qh6 Rd7 38. f6! is similar to line (a), where 39. Rg7 will decide.

Oct-22-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I for some reason never quite saw why Black's various possibilities for h7 interposition were bad. I also worried about an immediate ... Rxd4. And so I whiffed today. :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: The Nh5 is under attack and has only the poor retreat g3, therefore White must take immediate action with 34.Bxg5!, opening the g-file and threatening Bf6+.

After 34...hxg5 35.Qxg5 Black must take care of his rook, but there is no satisfying move: a) 35...Rd7 fails to 36.Nf6 and 37.Qh6+; b) 35...Rxd4 36.Qh6+ Nh7 (or 36...Qh7 37.Qf6+) 37.Rg7; and if Black tries to cover h6 with c) 35...Rd6 the rook is put off by 36.e5.

Therefore Black should refuse to capture the ♗, and as 34...Rd6 35.Bf4 simply drops a pawn, the only reasonable attempt is 34...Rxd4. But this is refuted by 35.Qxd4+ Nxd4 36.Bf6+ Kh7 (after 36...Qxf6 37.Nxf6, White is up the exchange and a pawn) 37.Bxd4+!, White's various windmill and mating threats winning at least the queen (eg 37....Qxh5 38.Rg7+ Kh8 39.Rg5+ or 37...Qc4 38.Rg7+ Kh8 39.Rd7+ Kg8 40.Nf6+ Kh8 41.Ng4+ Kg8 42.Nh6#), as 37...Ne6 is futile: 38.fxe6 Qf3+ 39.Kh2 and Black has run out of checks.

Interesting problem, but imho a bit deep for Wednesday (given I did not miss a far simpler solution!)

Oct-23-14  Lord Zontar: Interesting puzzle, and one I ended up setting out a board to test. It's pretty much over for Black after White Bxg5 - from that point onward, Black's defences get steadily pulled apart.

The h7 interposition only delays the inevitable after White gets into the Qh6+ position, with the only difference being that the queen buys one more move before checkmate. Following the actual game between Beliavisky and Vasiukov, the scenario either goes:

34. Bxg5 hxg5. 35. Qxg5 Rxd4(?). 36. Qh6+ Nh7. 37. Rg7 Qxg7. 38. Qxg7#.


34. Bxg5 hxg5. 35. Qxg5 Rxd4. 36. Qh6+ Qh7. 37. Qxf8+ Bg8. 38. Rg7 Qxg7. 39. Qxg7+.

I don't get what Rxd4 was supposed to accomplish after White had already made the queen move, and even if it had been executed after Bxg5 it would have been of limited tactical utility. The only result was to effectively take the rook out of the defence. Rd6 would have complicated Beliavisky's plan a bit more.

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