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Konstantinos Tsarouhas vs Vasilios Kotronias
34th Greek Teams Championship (2005), Ermioni Argolidas GRE, rd 2, Jul-05
English Opening: King's English. Two Knights' Variation Keres Variation (A23)  ·  0-1



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sac: 16...Nb4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-20-06  aginis: i think this puzzle should have been later in the week starting at 16...? there is no defense after 16...Nb4!!
depending on whites response black can play Rxd6, Nc2+, Bc2,Qa5 or Qb5. with devestating results
Jun-20-06  Whitehat1963: God, it's only Tuesday, and already I was light years from solving this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Those who did not get this one should not feel ashamed. The combination is short, so I guess it belongs early in the week, but the deflection idea to prepare ... Nc2# is not that easy to spot. There is a similar Queen deflection sacrifice in a game that Yermolinsky won from Emory Tate a few years ago ... in under 10 moves, I believe. Tate is a very strong tactician, and apparently he didn't see what was coming until it was too late. (Although, if anyone looks up the game, I am sure Tate did see the mating combination AFTER Yermo played Qa4; I am sure he just played ... Qxa4 as a sportmanlike gesture to give his opponent the satisfaction of completing the mate.)
Jun-20-06  crptone: I'd expect someone at white's rating to know the correct move order for the english carl bremen system. With d4! and d3!, white falls completely behind in kingside development... also with the knight not on c3 white's position is especially dangerous because the advanced c-pawn can't protect the king as well.
Jun-20-06  Halldor: <Peligroso Patzer> Yes, nice one: Yermolinsky vs E Tate, 2001
Jun-20-06  EmperorAtahualpa: <i think this puzzle should have been later in the week starting at 16...? there is no defense after 16...Nb4!! >

Good call, <aginis>! 16...Nb4 is the essential move here indeed. It's very hard to spot too! Good for a Friday puzzle at the very least...

Jun-20-06  zb2cr: Found 17. ... Qa5 rather quickly, perhaps 20 seconds.

Who was it said: "The laziest King flees wildly in the face of a double check"?

Jun-20-06  Castle In The Sky: This took a little while (about five minutes), but I got it. I was playing with the idea first of sacking the queen or rook but I couldn't make anything out of it. Nice puzzle and combination.
Jun-20-06  dakgootje: Nice puzzle as its so differant from the normal puzzles. First saw the obvious Nc2 which of course didnt work because of the queen. then tried to calculate further with the idead of having a nice attack involving the knight sac but that didnt work. Then worked on a solution to get the queen away from guarding the c2-square and soon came up with the answer.
Jun-20-06  rotgut: Ha ha. I saw Qa5, and I saw white's Rxd8, and I thought, What then? Missed the obvious Rxd8 though I suppose in the unlikely event I got that position over the board I'd have seen it.

As several have observed, Nb4 was the real killer, though Qa5 is more fun to play.

Jun-20-06  rotgut: BTW after Rxd8 white threatens Ne7+ and Rxf8 leading to mate.
Jun-20-06  YouRang: I got it -- this puzzle was quite similar to yesterday's "deflect-the-queen-and-win" puzzle.

First, I noticed that 17...Nc2 would be mate if not for the white queen guarding c2. So, I sought to deflect that queen, and 17...Qa5 was thus the first move I considered. (Also, it was an attractive move because it threatened discovered check). The discovered check causes 18. Qb3 to fail, because 18...Nc2# mates because of double-check. White must be mated or surrender the queen.

I find that dazzling attacks often occur when mate is threatened by minor pieces. The queen becomes expendable in order to make that mate threat materialize.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White is beaten by the tiger:19 ♕xa5 ♘c2# or the tiger:19 ♕a3 or b3 ♘c2#. Same square,same piece.
Jun-20-06  belka: <drnooo: maybe THE premiere chess example of working backwards, which is maybe, what 50 percent, no not that much, but at least 20 of combo cogitating>

FWIW, I work backwards on nearly 100% of combinations.

The missing percent is because I try to start with forced moves (like Nc2+ and Rd1+) to see what's going on. If there's a forced mate working forward, I'll find it, but I suppose that's not really a combination then.

The forced moves give me a picture of the motifs at play. In this case, it's the mate with rook and knight. Then the creative part is to come up with an idea on this motif -- perhaps the only defender can be deflected, removed, or her limited mobility can be exploited. By considering moves that try to do something specific, I find moves like Qa5. Furthermore I can evalute moves not on whether or not they are "good" (which is ambiguous and hard), but on whether or not they implement the idea successfully.

My best swindle in a (worse) R+B endgame came with this method. I saw the classic R+B back rank mating pattern (Rf8 protected by a bishop, mating Kg8) and chased the enemy bishop. The bishop could either accept a draw by repetition, a retreat, or a square on the f file where I couldn't attack it. The bishop chose the f file, only to be lost a few moves later, when my rook shifted to the f file and threatened mate. If I didn't see the potential mating pattern first, I wouldn't have any cause to chase the bishop, and I wouldn't see that squares on the f file were bad squares. A lot of chess works this way, "backwards"

Jun-20-06  RookFile: Kind of funny how we can play over a game of Morphy's from the 1800's and smugly say his opponent should have castled.
Jun-20-06  DoctorChess: I got iT!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  redribbon3700: How bout another piece of cake tommorow?
Jun-20-06  mazetas: I dont have a high rating (probably worst of the most of you) but some times the solutions of chess problemls reveals to me like the sunshine! Today is a day like this. I get it very fast, less than 2 minutes. first time i make a comment about the every day chess puzzle and i am doing this not cause i get it fast but cause not to many players get it today.
Jun-20-06  babakova: I found it quickly... First thing that pops up, does Qxf2+ lead to a smothered mate? No. So... Nc2+ seems to mate if it werent for the queen, so maybe some deflection like Qa5 might work? Yeah.. He has nothing as Rxd8 Rxd8 looks crap. Qa5 it is.
Jun-20-06  Shinidoki: I got this one within I miniute.

the trick to figuring it out to to realise a smothered mate is possible...if you can get the queen out the way....a discovered check works very nicely

Jun-20-06  jperr75108: Cool problem. I got it, but I think I had seen an idea like this before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The solution to the daily puzzle for Jun 20, 2006 was the neat double attack on White's overworked Queen with 17...Qa5!, threatening to capture the unprotected Queen or to mate after 18. Rxd8 Rxd8 19. Qb3 Nc2# (double check and mate) or 18. Rxd8 Rxd8 19. QxQ Nc2#.

However, Black's winning combination actually began at least one move earlier with the pseudo-sacrfice 16...Nb4!! The strong positional pawn sacrifice 12...d3!, giving Black a strong and clear advantage, also played a key role in setting up Black's final tactical blow.

White's best chances to improve in this opening appears to be with 6. Bg2 = or 12. Bg2 . White could also have put up more resistance with 13. Nc3 with practical drawing chances in an inferior position.

Jun-21-06  avidfan:

click for larger view

There is nothing more dangerous than the threat of double check and mate 17...Qb6-a5

Jun-21-06  YouRang: <zb2cr> ... <Who was it said: "The laziest King flees wildly in the face of a double check"?>

Aaron Nimzowitsch. :-)

Jun-26-06  zb2cr: Thanks, <YouRang>.
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