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Peter Leko vs Teimour Radjabov
Morelia-Linares (2006), Morelia MEX, rd 2, Feb-19
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation Chelyabinsk Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: With this game a white knight spurs on events via a firm 45.Nf6, whereby it is a sky blue result during the brief encounter..Rxd8 Rf8 Qxb5 Qe7 Qe5+ Qxe5 Rxf8#. Knocked off balance, would he choose to take over the reins again?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I had a slightly different ending:

45 ♘f6 ♖xf6 46 ♖d8+ ♖f8 47 ♕f7

Does that work too? I know it's not as forceful as the ♕d4+ move

Sep-16-08  Kasputin: Black's king is in bad shape:

45. Nf6

White immediately threatens mate with 46. Rxh7. Black has two possible responses - to either take the knight or to play ...Rb7, hoping to defend h7.

A. 45 ...Rxf6
46. Rd8+ Rf8
47. Qf7
And now black cannot deal with all of white's threats. Also the f8 rook is pinned, so the white queen cannot be captured. Mate is threatened both with 48. Qg7# or with the capture of the f8 rook. For instance if 47...Rb7, then either the rook or queen taking the f8 rook leads to mate (e.g. 48. Qxf8 Qxf8; 49. Rxf8#). The f8 rook's defensive strength is illusory. For example, 47...Rxd8 and white simply plays 48. Qg7#. Or if black wants to defend against 48. Qg7# with 47...Rg8, then white can capture the rook with either rook or queen or simply play the pretty 48. Qg7# - the rook afterall is still pinned.

B. 45...Rb7
46. Rxb7
White attacks the queen and once again threatens mate with 47. Rxh7#. Black may think that he can exchange down to a rook versus queen endgame, but white has something else in mind: 46...Qxb7 (forced)
47.Qxb7 Rxf6
48. Qg7#
If black does not take the knight with 47...Rxf6, then white can checkmate next turn with either Qg7 or Qxh7 - e.g. 47...Rg8 and 48. Qxh7#

A nice example of how black's exposed king cannot cope with the combined threats of the rook, queen, knight, and advanced pawn at h6.

Sep-16-08  YouRang: <kevin86> Re: 47.Qf7 <Does that work too? I know it's not as forceful as the Qd4+ move>

It works too, and IMO it's every bit as forceful. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Of what value to anyone is it to post a comment such as, "Oh, I solved this instantly!" Then again, what harm does it do? (And by now I think everybody has guessed that I didn't solve this one.)
Sep-16-08  Kasputin: <kevin86: I had a slightly different ending:

45 Nf6 Rxf6 46 Rd8+ Rf8 47 Qf7

Does that work too? I know it's not as forceful as the Qd4+ move>

It works for me. In fact it looks more forcing. It's funny. I never really thought about anything else but Qf7 in this possible sequence. It all seemed straightforward to me - clearly a change from the usual (i.e., when others seem to have no difficulties but I am stuck racking my brains for a solution).

Sep-16-08  zb2cr: <Kasputin> has joined the ranks of the 47. Qf7 crowd, as has <kevin86>.

<YouRang> has augmented the count of those who preferred 47. Qd4+.

<patzer2> notes that either move results in mate in three. It looks as though a majority prefer the straightforward 47. Qd4+.

Chess is such a beautiful game! There are so many ways to win in this particular example after the key move 45. Nf6!

Sep-16-08  Lutwidge: <YouRang>

I believe another term for your "Knight in corner" mate:

Game Collection: Mating patterns: Arabian mate

Though I'm not exactly sure most of notyet's examples are really "Arabian", which I tend to think of as strictly R on h7/a7/a2/h2, Knight on f6/c6/c3/f3, and (mated) King on h8/a8//a1/h1.

Sep-16-08  TheBB: Personally, I went with 47. Qxb5. Once you notice the black queen is overworked, 48. Qe5+ is also obvious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Got it
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <zb2cr: Chess is such a beautiful game! There are so many ways to win in this particular example after the key move 45. Nf6!>

Wholly agree - that's the fascination of the game for me. And let's not forget the alternative solution to today's puzzle. 45. Qc6 also mates, but because it is non-forcing it is much harder for humans to see.

Sep-16-08  Hans Wiemerink: <45.Qc6?>
I'm a human which can't see that 45.Qc6 also leads to mate. What do you have when black play's 45. ..,Rbf5?
Sep-16-08  megatacos: easy. nf6, rf6, rd8, rf8, qd4, qd4, rf8#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Hans Wiemerink>

45. Qc6 Rbf5 46. Qc7

click for larger view

Now black cannot defend both h7 and the back rank. If 46. ... R5f7? 47. Rxf7 Rxf7 48. Qxf7 and white will mate on f8 or g7.

Or black can jettison material with 46. ... Rxf2 47. Nxf2 Rxf2+ 48. Kxf2 e3+ 49. Kg2 Qe4+ 50. Kh2 and black runs out of sensible checks.

Or 46. ... Qd4 (to protect g7) 47. Rxd4 and again black has no sensible defence.

Sep-16-08  zb2cr: Hi <Once>,

Yes, 45. Qc6 also leads to mate as you cited in your previous post.

It's just fascinating to me how in some positions, such as this game, there are multiple roads to victory, while in others, you have to play a string of moves where "this is the only move".

Sep-16-08  YouRang: I'm going to make a little guess here that the people who had trouble with today's puzzle might not be familiar enough with the Arabian mating pattern (thanks <Lutwidge>) to quickly spot it's relevance to this position.

It's always wonderful when you can threaten mate without the queen (in this case, with just a R+N). When the queen needn't fear capture, it makes it doubly dangerous.

Sep-16-08  Hans Wiemerink: <Once>
I'm convinced. Thank you, for the explanation. 45. Qc6 is indeed the second solution! Cool. Chess can be a very magic puzzle!
Sep-16-08  TheaN: <zb2cr> nice to list all the people: include my line as a useless prolongation of the game: seriously though, my line does support some critical endgame knowledge, as a breakthrough is needed.

<45.Nf6 Rxf6 46.Rd8† Rf8 47.Qxb5 Qe7 <48.Rxf8†?!> Qxf8 49.Qe5† Kg8 50.Qxg5† Kf7 51.Qf5† Ke8 52.Qxf8† Kxf8 53.b4 Ke7 54.b5 Kd6 55.g4 >, as either pawn, b, g, or h by breakthrough, is going to Queen: if the Black King is sticking to the kingside, b walks, if he goes to the queenside, g walks. Staying in the middle is just useless, as White can march up either pawn until the King goes that way, after which the pawn on the other side can run... critical piece of knowledge in a 2♙ advantage.

Sep-16-08  ruzon: I saw 45.Nf6 Rxf6 and then gave up. Many minutes later I went back to it and noticed 46.Rd8+ Rf8 47.Qf7. I have more confidence in my Tuesday abilities than I used to.
Sep-16-08  macphearsome: i found this puzzle immensely difficult for a tuesday! however, upon looking at the solution, it seems so obvious!

an informative puzzle, for sure

Sep-17-08  mrvertigo: I think everyone would have solved it in much less time if it had been a Thursday puzzle...
Sep-17-08  beginner64: Wouldn't 41..Rbf7 have been much better for black (instead of Rbb8)?

I was surprised at the Rbb8 move, but perhaps the intention is to keep the pressure on the b3 pawn, which I personally don't see that critical in this stage of the game due to strong attacks on both sides.

Sep-17-08  euripides: <beginner> <41...Rbf7> is positionally better but loses tactically: 42.Qxf7 Rxf7 43.Rd8+ Rf8 44.Rxf8 mate.
Oct-06-10  sevenseaman: 45. Nf6, a cracking good move, irrefutable.
Oct-06-10  sevenseaman: Go to Shirov vs Judit Polgar, 1994, wherein I've submitted an end game on the theme used in this game in my comment of Sep-12-10.

The full solution follows on the same page in my next comment of Sep-24-10.

Do not read the latter comment until you have spent some time on solving the puzzle. Its not too difficult, seeing the cerebral talent trolling these pages.

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