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Yannick Pelletier vs Andrei Volokitin
Biel Int'l Festival (2006), Biel SUI, rd 10, Aug-03
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bernstein Defense (E59)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: What a fine attacking game (especially beginning with 22. Red1) by Pelletier in the last round of this exciting tournament. And what a fine performance in the tournament (3 points in the last 5 rounds) by the underdog local hero.
Aug-03-06  gmgomes: How would this continue?
Maybe 31. Qh6 Qc7 (or Qg8)- to avoid Qg7# 32. Rd8 - if Q takes R, Qg7#
Aug-03-06  MrSpock: 17. .. Ne5?! is interesting, but the advantage tends to white. 22. Qe5! was very strong.

Congratulations Yannick :-)

Aug-03-06  Rocafella: Wouldn't the game continue f7 planning Rd8+?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <gmgomes> <Rocafella> 31. f7 would threaten both 32. Rd8+ and 32. Qf6#. Even if Black replies 31. ... Kg7, 32. Rd8 is still crushing.
Apr-20-08  euripides: After 23.Qh6 I suppose Black has 23...Rxg2+ 24.Kf1 Rg1+ 25.Kxg1 Qg3+ 26.Kf1 Bg2+ 27.Ke2 Qf3+ 28.Ke1 Qf1 mate.
Mar-04-22  Brenin: After trying and failing to make 23 Qh6 work (23 ... Rxg2+ 24 Kf1 Rg1+ 25 Kxg1 (else 25 ... Qh2+) Qg3+ 26 Kf1 Bg2+ with mate to follow, and blocking the long diagonal first with 23 Rd5 or Bd5 also fails) I tried 23 Qe5, since 23 ... Qxe5 loses to 24 Rxd8+, while 23 ... Rxg2+ 24 Kf1 Qc8 loses to 25 Bxf7+ Kxf7 26 Qe7+ or 25 ... Kh8 26 Be6.
Mar-04-22  mel gibson: I didn't see that move.
I chose 23. Bd5
which still wins see below.

Stockfish 14 follows the text line:

23. Qe5

(23. Qe5 (♕g5-e5 ♖b2xg2+ ♔g1-f1
♗b7-a6+ ♔f1xg2 ♕c7-c6+ ♔g2-g1 ♕c6-e8 ♕e5-e7 ♖d8-c8 ♖d1-d7 ♕e8xe7 f6xe7 ♖c8-e8 ♖d7-d8 ♗a6-b5 ♖a1-f1 ♔g8-g7 ♖f1xf7+ ♔g7-h6 ♖d8xe8 ♗b5xe8 ♖f7-f8 ♗e8-b5 ♗a2-d5 ♗b5-a4 ♔g1-g2 ♔h6-g5 ♔g2-f2 ♗a4-b5 ♔f2-g3 ♗b5-a4 h3-h4+ ♔g5-h6 c3-c4 ♔h6-g7 ♔g3-f4 ♗a4-d7 ♔f4-g5 h7-h6+ ♔g5-f4 g6-g5+ h4xg5) +26.03/42 759)

score for White +26.03 depth 42.

I forced Stockfish 14 to play my chosen move
and it still wins but it's nowhere near as powerful as the chosen move.

23. Bd5

(23. Bd5 Rxd5 (♖d8xd5 ♖d1xd5
♗b7xd5 ♕g5xd5 ♕c7-b8 ♖a1-d1 h7-h5 ♕d5-g5 ♔g8-h7 ♖d1-d7 ♕b8-e8 ♖d7-e7 ♖b2-b1+ ♔g1-f2 ♖b1-b2+ ♔f2-f3 ♕e8-g8 e3-e4 ♖b2-c2 ♕g5-d5 g6-g5 e4-e5 ♖c2xc3+ ♔f3-e2 ♖c3-c2+ ♔e2-e3 ♔h7-h6 ♕d5xf7 ♕g8xf7 ♖e7xf7 ♖c2-c1 ♖f7-e7 ♖c1-f1 ♔e3-e4 b6-b5 f6-f7 b5-b4 e5-e6 b4xa3 ♖e7xa7 ♔h6-g7 ♖a7xa3 c5-c4 ♖a3-a5) -5.50/34 138)

score for Black -5.50 depth 34.

Mar-04-22  BxChess: I like 31. Qf4, as the black queen can't leave the back rank because of 32. Rd8#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: After verifying that 23 Qh6 doesn't work, I also chose 23 Bd5. Not sure if that deserves half credit, because not nearly as crushing as 23 Qe5. Didn't even consider that because of the en prise appearance. The question must always be asked, "is there a way to exploit the back rank?".
Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: I'm thinking the rule should be: if a chosen move leads to a clear winning position, it deserves at least half credit. So I take half credit for 23 Bd5 :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Couldn't see why 23.Qh6 didn't work. In addition to 23...Rxg2+; 24.Kf1,Rg1+!!, 24...Rf2+ might secure at least a perpetual check. Oh, well--another imperfect week.
Mar-04-22  Cheapo by the Dozen: I too stopped after convincing myself that Bd5 wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: 23 Qh6 looked so enticing I spent a long time trying to make it work, The best I could find was 23 Bd5 followed more or less by <mel gibson> SF line 2. I was probably influenced by my anxiety about ... Rxg2+

At least it wins, but I see the text, 23 Qe5 is more decisive. I'll console myself with the thoughts I'm in decent company and that even my SF thought Bd5 for a couple of seconds before deciding Qe5.

Kudos to Pelletier for playing it OTB. He needed to see the follow up, 25 Bxf7+ Kh8 etc.

Mar-04-22  Socrates2: 31. Qe5 ... should be the winning move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Ludo it ave it Qe5 gab acrid muddle ludo it ave cap flack pack fact it wart harm it v i quandary hr marquis ye bug sov it v i dj lud it nog chirp affable mut hike it v lay it was z u pay bib efface it energy v it vet feel gare it vie gig axiom it i vat jab ie it ear abridge v it lug fab pha dappy it v i bid c it v parl bubble it vehicle heel it of cc bain x bluff it zilch it v bad lance it v be hatchy fluff ebb ah fab ruffle back fag heh cad mad bad x affix o it vat pack from cuffed it v bb dug cd c ta c ketchup flag it key ho it v ber c dr fan it v i cdt bed it v tic it hip leg din it c ak bell v it v cd feet v it v i rig it v he cd dr i fee it v clobber it v bloke it wit v dt cab queen it noun v it v but cd panic ken elly tire it v let rep lie it v drain it vole it ok i nit rad it vile i took it in ride it van po it old tire v it kelly it nite gaffs it i cervix hud it Qe5 bag;
Mar-04-22  TheaN: Interesting! I spend well over ten minutes analyzing 23.Bd5 (+-), and couldn't make it work. Then my focus swapped to <23.Qe5 +->, made it work, and it actually is the best move.

23.Bd5 first. The point is simple; defend against Rxg2+ so we have time to play Qh6. Mind that if Black ignores d5 entirely, Qh6 will follow with mate.

After 23....Bxd5? 24.Rxd5 and it's curtains, as 24....Rxd5 25.Qh6 +- and the only other ways to defend against the mate net would be to move the king.

24....Kh8? both 25.Rad1 +- and 25.Rxd8+ win, the latter being more beautiful 25....Qd8 26.Qh6 Qg8 27.Rd1 #4 +- and there's no defense against Rd8. After 24....Kf8 25.Rad1 +- is enough, as Black permanently abandoned his king side and the White activity wins.

So, 23....Rxd5. The exchange sac is justified as Black still threatens the windmill on g2, with or without an in-between move on d1. In this line, a complete exchange on d5 occurs: 24.Rxd5 Bxd5 25.Qxd5:

click for larger view

Although it seems like Black solved his issues, he's dealing with both Qa8+ and Qd8+. 25....h5 26.Qa8+ Kh7 27.Qf8 +- doesn't work, so Black will have to retreat the queen to the back rank.

That's where I lost track; even though it wins rather simple. After both 25....Qb8/Qc8 26.Rd1, threatening Qd8+, so the h-pawn must move.

Qc8 is worse, as after both h6 and h5 White will play 27.Qe4! +- threatening Qe7. As Black is no longer eyeing on g3, there's no real counter play to this.

25....Qb8 26.Rd1 h6? 27.Qe4! +- with the same ideas as above. 26....h5 27.Qg5!; threatening Qh6 but also 27....Qb7? 28.Rd8+ Kh7 29.Rh8+! Kxh8 30.Qh6+ Kg8 31.Qg7#. 27....Kh7 28.Rd7 +- so Black is forced to give up the rook: 27....h4 28.Qh6 Rxg2+ 29.Kxg2 Qg3+ 30.Kf1 Qf3+ 31.Ke1 Qxf6 32.Ke2 +-.

Alas, the final exchange of moves I did not spot, so wasn't convinced Bd5 with full exchanges on d5 was enough.

This is when my focus swapped to hitting the back rank immediately, and frankly, it's much more direct: <23.Qe5!>. This kind of invalids the windmill as <23....Rxg2+ 24.Kf1> is harmless. Black needs to keep d8 protected, so either Qb8 or Qc8. As per Bd5 line, b8 is better as it keeps tab on g3 <24....Qb8 25.Bxf7+! Kh8> else disaster.

I have to be honest that I kind of stopped here assuming the breakthrough on f7 was enough, though White can still slip up. Of course best is the text <26.Qxd8+ Qxd8 27.Bd5! +-> sealing the deal, but 26.Qxb8 Rxb8 27.Rd6 +- and even 26.Be6?! Rf8 27.Qxb8 Rxb8 28.Rd7 ± seem to be enough.

Mar-04-22  Cellist: I am with the 23. Bd5 club. I was confident it wins for the reasons outlined above and did not look for a better alternative. I was glad to have solved a Friday puzzle in less than a minute. But Bd5 is trickier than it seems if Black takes with the Rook on d5 and builds up a discovered check after the sacrifice Rxg2+.
Mar-04-22  King.Arthur.Brazil: Like some, I lost some time wondering on the consequences of 23.♗e5. However, there's no doubt about 23.♕e5!, what a move! I really didn't foresee it. So much as 25.♗xf7+! with a checkmate combination (this I saw quickly), obliged Black to 25...♔h8. After 26.♖xd8+ ♕xd8 the next move could not be the quietly 26.♗c4, because after 26...h5 27.f7+ ♔h7 White has no immediate threat, since28.♕e8?? leads to disaster 28...♕f6+ 30. ♔e1 ♕xc3+ 31. ♔d1 ♕d2#. The move have to be 26.♗d5, which gives Black two threats to deal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black threatens Rxg2+.

White has a bigger threat, 23.Qh6, but loses to 23... Rxg2+ 24.Kf1 Rg1+ 25.Kxg1 (25.Ke(f)2 Qh2#) 25... Qg3+ 26.Kf1 Bg2+ 27.Ke2 (27.Kg1 Bxh3+ 28.Kh1 Qg2#) 27... Qf3+ 28.Ke2 Qf1#.

This suggests 23.Qe5, blocking the b8-h2 diagonal and preparing Bxf7+:

A) 23... Rxg2+ 24.Kf1

A.1) 24... Qxe5 25.Rxd8+ Qe8 26.Rxe8#.

A.2) 24... Qc8 25.Bxf7+ Kh8 (25... Kxf7 26.Qe7+ Kg8 27.Qg7#; 25... Kf8 26.Qe7#) 26.Be6, with the double threat f7# and Bxc8, looks winning (26... Qb8 27.Rxd8+ Qxd8 28.f7+ and mate next).

A.3) 24... Qb8 25.Bxf7+ Kh8 26.Rd7

A.3.a) 26... Rxd7 27.Qxb8+ and mate in two.

A.3.b) 26... Rh2 27.Qxh2 wins.

A.3.c) 26... Rb2 27.Rad1 Rf8 28.Qxb8 Rxb8 29.Rd8+ Rxd8 30.Rxd8#.

A.3.d) 26... h6 27.Qxb8 Rxb8 28.Rxb7 Rxb7 29.Bd5 wins decisive material.

A.4) 24... Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 Qc8 26.Bxf7+ Kh8 27.Be6 as in A.2.

B) 23... Qc8 24.Bxf7+ as in A.2.

C) 23... Qb8 24.Bxf7+ as in A.3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: For what it is worth, white also has 23 e4!?, with the threat of 24 Qh6.

click for larger view

But if black follows with 23...Bxe4, white has to still find 24 Qe5.

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