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Alexander Grischuk vs Laurent Fressinet
"Gris for the Mill" (game of the day Mar-02-2006)
Lausanne Young Masters (2000), Lausanne SUI, rd 1, May-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-20-15  diagonalley: hmmmm.... well i managed to pick the first move, but the follow-up is a damn sight more difficult than "difficult"! (as usual my thoughts went parallel to <al wazir> in not anticipating black's 26.... Q-B2). superb play by grischuk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: White's pride and joy is his passed c7 pawn, but it is so far behind enemy lines that it is in mortal danger. If white can't bring more pieces to defend it - or help it march on - then it is liable to get surrounded and chopped off. The moves I really don't want black to make are Rc6 or Qc6. That seems to stop my attack dead in its tracks.

But how to get another white piece near the passed pawn? All the roads to c7 seem to be blocked.

So it seems we are looking for a breakthrough sacrifice. The most forcing moves don't seem to work. Qxa6 might be fun if the black queen and king rook were distracted, but it doesn't work yet. Hmmm ... store that one for later.

After casting around for a while I notice the VTOL move Rd8. Okay, okay, so it's not exactly legal, but wouldn't it be great if we could play it?

That leads to a fantasy about opening the d file and that leads to 26. Bc4 because 26...dxc4 allows 27. Rd8 and it is officially international day of happiness.

After that things started to get more hazy. I expected black to play 26...Qd7 when Fritzie wants to play 27. c6 but I had 27. Qxb5. I didn't think 26...Qf7 was playable - something deeply wrong about walking into the firing line of the white Bc4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Oops - make that Qxb4 instead of Qxb5
Mar-20-15  mike1: looked at 26.Rxd5 as well and was quite happy with it... but Nxd5. 27Bc4 Qf7, 28.Rd1 runs into Nc3+. 29bxc3 Qxc4
30.Rd8+ Kf7! and 31Rxa8 Rg1+
Mar-20-15  BxChess: <mike1:> I also thought 26. Rxd5 was the move. I didn't see the defence 27. ...Qf7. But what if instead of 30 Rd8+, white played 30. Qxb4. Black is a rook up, but the white pawn on c7 is quite dangerous especially if black trades queens.
Mar-20-15  morfishine: Thanks <mike1> & <BxChess> for also looking at <26.Rxd5>; 30.Qxb4 does indeed look very dangerous for Black

Black to move 30:

click for larger view


Mar-20-15  dfcx: I saw 26.Bc4. Bishop is safe.

A. 26...dxc4? 27.Rd8!
B. 26...Qf7/Qc6 27.Qxb4 Qxc7 28.Bxd5+ Nxd5

click for larger view

white is ahead by a passed pawn.

It's not a major advantage - I just do not see any other better moves for white.

Mar-20-15  wooden nickel: Another nice English Attack in "Gris for the Mill" accompanying today's solar eclipse! 26.Rxd5 looked good at first but after
26. ... Nxd5 27.Bc4 Qf7 28.Rd1 Nc3+

click for larger view

and suddenly the mill needs more grease than grist!

After 26.Bc4 Qf7, also 27.Rhe1 seems to do the trick!

click for larger view

Mar-20-15  dfcx: Crafty found the defense
28...Qf5+ 29.Bd3 (Ka1? Rxa6) Qc8 30.Qb7 Rf6 with white ahead by a pawn only.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 26.Qxb4 and white is temporarily up a pawn. :)
Mar-20-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has a bishop for a knight, with an all-important pawn on the 7th rank. With a rook at d8, white would win immediately, therefore the first move that comes to mind is


Pinning the d pawn in two ways and creating a primary threat of Bxd5, clearing the obstruction for Rd1. Black has no satisfactory defense:

A) 26... dxc4 27.Rd8 Re6 (Rxd8? 28.cxd8=Q) 28.Rhd1 Kf7 29.Rxe8 R6xe8 30.Rd8 poses no problems for white.

B) 26... Qc6 (to protect d5) 27.Qb6! Qxb6 28.cxb6 Rxb6 29.Rxd5!! (the secondary threat) Nxd5 (Rc8|Rc6 30.Rd8#!) 30.Bxd5+ Kf8 31.Bxa8 and black can't stop 32.c8=Q

B.1) 27... Rc8 28.Qxc6 Rxc6 29.Rxd5! Nxd5 (R6xc7 or Rxc5 30.Rd8#) 30.Bxd5+ Kf8 31.Bxc6 Rxc7 32.Be4 with a won endgame.

B.2) 27... dxc4 28.Rd8+ Kf7 (Rxd8 29.cxd8=Q) 29.Rxa8 Qxa8 30.Qb8 wins.

C) 26... Qe6 27.Rxd5! Nxd5 28.Rd1 Qf5+ 29.Ka1 Rc8 30.Bxd5+ Kf8 31.Be4 Qe6 32.Qb6 Qxb6 33.cxb6 Rxb6 34.Rd8+ wins

D) 26... Rc6 27.Bxd5 Nxd5 28.Rxd5 Qg6+ 29.Ka1 and black can't stop 30.Rd8.

Time for review....

Mar-20-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: Did not consider the game defense.
Mar-20-15  patzer2: The start of Black's problem in this game, leading to the strong 26. Bc4! solution to today's Friday puzzle, was the awkward 17...Rxf6?!

Instead, the natural 17...Nxf6 = gives Black a perfectly playable game and avoids the complication leading to 26. Bc4! .

My failed solution 26. Qxb4 fizzles out to equality after 26. Qxb4 Rc8, as play might continue 27. Bd3 Rf6 28. Rhe1 Rxc7 29. Bc2 Qe7 30. Bb3 Rxc5 31. Qb8+ Rf8 32. Qxe5 Qxe5 33. Rxe5 g6 34. Bxd5+ Nxd5 35. Rexd5 Rxd5 36. Rxd5 Rxf3 37. a4 Rf6 = (Fritz 14).

Here's my breakout of the winning combination:

<26. Bc4!> The simple point of this pin tactic is that 26...dxc4? loses on the spot to 27. Rd8! with a decisive pin on the Black Queen. The more subtle point is that it overloads and puts pressure on the critical d4 pawn, forcing a defense that exploits the back rank weakeness of the Black position.

<26...Qf7> Attacked twice and now defended twice. Ignoring the threat with 26...Kh8 costs more than a pawn, as after 27. Bxd5 Nxd5 28. Rxd5 the threat 29. Rd8 is decisive.

<27. c6> Putting more pressure on the critical d pawn, which is now attacked three times and defended twice.

Putting more pressure immediately on the d-pawn seems best to me.

However the computer doesn't like this move, and instead recommends 27. Rhe1 when Fritz 14 indicates play might continue 27...Rc8 28. Qxb4 Qxc7 29. Bxd5+ Nxd5 30. Rxd5 Qf7 31. Rdxe5 Rf8 (31... Qxf3 32. Qc4+ Kf8 33. Rf1 $18) 32. Re7 Qf5+ 33. Ka1 Qd5 34. f4 h5 35. a3 Rg2 36. R7e5 Qf7 37. c6 Rc2 38. Rc5 a5 39. Qxa5 Rf2 40. c7 Rc8 41. Qc3 Rxh2 42. Qg3 Rd2 43. Qh3 Qd7 44. Qb3+ Qf7 45. Re8+ Rxe8 46. c8=Q Rde2 47. Qxf7+ Kxf7 48. Qd7+ R8e7 49. Rf5+ Kg8 50. Qd8+ Re8 51. Qd5+ R8e6 52. Rxh5 .

<27... Rd6> Attacked three times and now defended three times, but at the cost of weakening the back rank.

<28. Qxa6> Exploits the back rank weakness, as 28...Rxa6 loses to 29. c8(Q)+ Qf8 30. Qxa6+ .

<28...Qe8> Perhaps this is not the strongest defense. Fritz 14 indicates Black can put up more resistance with 28... Qf5+! (diagram below)

click for larger view

Here white still wins after 29. Bd3!, as play might continue 29...Qf8 30. Qb7 Re6 31. Bc4! dxc4 32. Rd8 Rxd8 33. cxd8=Q Qxd8 34. c7 Qd3+ 35. Ka1 Re8 36. c8=Q Rxc8 37. Qxc8+ Kf7 38. Qb7+ Kf6 39. Qxb4 Qd4 40. Qf8+ Kg6 41. a4 Ne6 42. Qe8+ Kf6 43. Rc1 Qd5 44. Qb5 (+3.37 @ 20 depth, Fritz 14).

<29. Qb7 Qxc6 30. Qxc6 Rxc6 31. Rxd5 Rxc4>

If 31... Nxd5, then 32. Bxd5+ Kf8 33. Bxc6 decides.

<32. Rd8+ Kf7 33. Rc1 1-0 >Black resigns in lieu of 33...Ne6 34. Rxa8 .

Mar-20-15  haydn20: I just couldn't see all the way thru to 31. Rxd5. If they still gave out brilliancy prizes, this one would qualify.
Mar-20-15  5hrsolver: I saw everything except for 33.Rc1.
Of course I'm kidding. A lot of good analysis here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Black needed to play 28...Qf5+ to give himself a fighting chance.

click for larger view

Here, white can't play either 29 Ka1 or Kc1 as 29...Rxa6 is now playable because black's queen covers c8.

White has to play 29 Bd3, blocking his d rook in the process.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Aim cuff able bishop fad c4 fan cover c6,

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Mar-20-15  Dr. J: <mike1: 26 Rxd5? Nxd5 27 Bc4 Qf7 28 Rd1 Nc3+ 29 bxc3 Qxc4 30 Rd8+ Kf7 31 Rxa8 Rg1+ wins>

<BxChess: what if 30 Qxb4?>

30...Qxb4 31 cxb4 Rf8 32 Rd8 Rc6 wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a knight.

The pawn on b4 is defenseless but the prosaic 26.Qxb4 would be probably met with 26... Rc6.

A more interesting idea is 26.Bc4, threatening 27.Bxd5+:

A) 27... dxc4 28.Rd8 winning decisive material.

B) 27... Qd7 28.c6 (28.Rxd5 Nxd5 29.Rd1 looks very good also)

B.1) 28... Qxc6 29.Rxd5 Qxc4 (due to 30.Rd8#; 29... Nxd5 30.Bxd5+ wins) 30.Rd8+ Kf7 31.Rc1 (31.Rxa8 Rc6) and the double threat 32.Rxa8 and 32.Rxc4 wins.

B.2) 28... Rxc6 29.Rxd5

B.2.a) 29... Nxd5 30.Bxd5+ (or 30.Qxd5+ Qxd5 31.Bxd5+ wins a piece) 30... Kf8 (30... Re6 31.Bxa8 wins a piece at least) 31.Bxc6 Qxc6 32.Rc1 looks winning.

B.2.b) 29... Qf5+ 30.Ka1 Rxc4 31.Rd8+ Kf7 32.Rxa8 with an exchange ahead, seems to win.

C) 27... Rg2 28.Bxd5+ Nxd5 29.Rxd5 Qg6+ 30.Ka1 (30.Kc1 Qc2#) 30... Rg1+ 31.Rd1

C.1) 31... Rxd1+ 32.Rxd1 Qc2 33.Rd8+ Kf7 34.a3 (34.Rxa8 Qc1#) 34... b3 35.Qd2 Qxd2 (35... Qxc5 36.Rxa8 wins) 36.Rxd2 with a won ending. For example, 36... Ke7 37.c6 followed by Rd7, tying the black king and rook.

C.2) 31... Rxh1 32.Rxh1 Qd3 (32... Qc6(g2) 33.Rd1 looks similar to C.1.a) 33.Qxb4 Kf7 34.Qb8 Qd5 35.c8=Q wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Sublime finish by Grischuk...
Mar-20-15  scormus: I must say this looks a rather difficult Friday. I wondered about Bc4 followed by c6 but I could see how to get it to work, and I didn't spot Qxa6.

A quick engine run suggest Rhe1 as better than c6. Also (as already pointed out by <Jim>) 28 ... Qf5+, and B would still be in the game. After ... Qe8 it is heading towards 1-0

Excellent chess amd gret vision by Grischuk to see and realise the hidden chances in this posision

Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: Agreed with <CHESSTTCAMPS> in the arrival at 26. Bc4! but I did not anticipate the response of Qf7 breaking the pin on the pawn. Having seen that position as my next puzzle I was able to see that pressing forward with c6 blocked the rook on the 5ht rank. This helps complete the lateral attack access and makes some of the subsequent moves come to pass but white's goal of Rd8 is now growing from possible to probable.

good Friday puzzle. I saw the components needed but not the path to get the pieces forced into place.

Mar-20-15  BxChess: <Dr. J:> Thanks. I think that proves that 26. Rxd5? doesn't work.
Dec-31-15  Dr. J: <<mike1: 26 Rxd5? Nxd5 27 Bc4 Qf7 28 Rd1 Nc3+ 29 bxc3 Qxc4 30 Rd8+ Kf7 31 Rxa8 Rg1+ wins>

<BxChess: what if 30 Qxb4?>

me, above: 30...Qxb4 31 cxb4 Rf8 32 Rd8 Rc6 wins.>

It seems that my previous post is correct, but woefully incomplete.

1) White can continue 33 Rd7, and, because of 33...Rc8?? 34 Rd8+ Black cannot immediately win the c-pawn. In fact, White can save a valuable tempo by playing 32 Rd7 directly, so let's show the position after <32 Rd7>

click for larger view

Black to play and win.

2) Black plays 32...Rc6 and threatens to win the c-pawn by 33...h6, 34...Kh7 (answering Rd8? with ...Rg8) and 35...Rc8 since 36 Rd8 is no longer check.

3) White can counter this by racing his Q-side pawns forward in time to save the c-pawn.

4) Black counters this by capturing the f-pawn, threatening to mate the White King with his two Rooks (see variation [A]), or simply advance his K-side majority.

5) White can and must therefore force Black to give up a Rook for the q-side pawns.

6) Black is left with a 2 Pawn advantage that seems to be a book win. Here are the main variations, found with the help of Crafty EGT:

<26 Rxd5 Nxd5 27 Bc4 Qf7 28 Rd1 Nc3+ 29 bxc3 Qxc4 30 Qxb4 Qxb4 31 cxb4 Rf8 32 Rd7> (see diagram, above) <32...Rc6 33 Kc2 (or [A]) 33...Rxf3 34 Kd2 h5 35 a4 Kh7 35 a5 ab 36 ab Rxc5 37 b6 Rb3 38 Rd8> If 36 Rd6 Black just advances his pawns. <38...Rxb6 39 c8Q Rxc8 40 Rxc8 Rb2+> and wins. (Even without the check, e.g., after 34 Kd1, this is still winning.) R+gP+hP v. R is a tablebase win, although a surprisingly difficult one.

<[A] 33 a4 Rxf3 34 b5> (34 Kc2 transposes back to the main line) <34...ab 35 ab Rxc5 36 Rd8+> (36 b6? Rb3+ 37 Ka2 Rxb6 38 Rd8+ Kf7 39 c8Q Ra5#) <36...Kf7 37 c8Q Rb3+ 38 Ka2 Rxc8 39 Rxc8 Rxb5>, and with the White King cut off, this looks like a fairly straightforward win for Black.

There are some additional variations and subtleties, but they don't seem to change anything.

Here are some Crafty EGT links I used: and and, of course, the tablebase

So, in summary, 26 Rxd5 is obviously bad. Piece of cake.

Jun-10-19  carpovius: How about 33...Rxc1+ 34. Kxc1 Ne6 35. c8=Q Rxc8+ 36. Rxc8 Nd4? White's win is unclear.
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