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Attila Schneider vs Sergey Dolmatov
Frunze (1983), Frunze URS, May-??
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. King's Knight Variation (A15)  ·  1/2-1/2



Annotations by Attila Schneider.

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Premium Chessgames Member All notes are by Attila Schneider. This is listed as problem #1979 in the excellent book, "Anthology of Chess Combinations" (2002, Chess Informant).

The note to 31.Rf1!! should have read <31.Bxg7+? Kxg7 32.Rf1 Ne5 > (not Re5) and is now corrected.

We also truncated some of Schneider's extensive notes. Every place where you read Qxh7+!! there was in fact very detailed analysis many moves deep, ending in checkmate. We decided to leave these details to you; if you haven't tried to work them out yet, you should, as some variations are very pretty.

Dec-02-06  Marmot PFL: 31.Rf1 was good but it could be that 32.Bd4 improves on the trade as white keeps more life in the position, eg. the threat Rxg6. After 32...Rf8 the rooks probably come off but in some lines white can keep the bishop pair. Still it looks drawn as the black knight is also active.
Dec-02-06  TTLump: I think this was a wonderful puzzle! The fact that the commentator's notes lack rigor does not detract from the rich and varied themes represented in all the possible lines this game could have taken and the fact that BOTH players find their way through the maze successfully! Both players have serious winning chances in this game only requiring one minor mistep by their opponent! One of the aspects I love about the CG puzzles is that you not only have to determine the solution, you must also figure out the overall objective, is it mate?, is it win material?, is it improve my position?, is it salvage a draw? ..., which is what you face all the time OTB.

I agree that 31.Bxg7+ is slightly better than the actual move (in spite of the commentator's notes), BUT this line leads to a draw as well IMHO. The only reason that White might prefer 31.Rf1 is that it allows him to double the rooks on the f-file creating more opportunities for Black to make a fatal mistake, so in that sense it is the better move.

I considered 31.Rf1 in my analysis, but thought that 31.Bxg7+ was necessary first because I could not find an adequate response to 31... Bxb2, completely missing the beautiful mating seqence 32.Qxh7!! Kxh7, 33.Rh3, etc.

Dec-02-06  TTLump: <Marmot PFL: 31.Rf1 was good but it could be that 32.Bd4 improves on the trade as white keeps more life in the position, eg. the threat Rxg6....> interesting idea, however it seems to me that giving up a tempo in such a dynamic position is not worth the advantage gained, partly because the G-rook is immediately forced off the g-file in a defensive capacity rather than in an offensive capacity as in the main line ...

32... Rf8
33.Rgf3 (forced)
which as you pointed out probably still leads to a draw.

Dec-02-06  TrueBlue: so, I got the Bxg7+ line, what should I give my self? 0 points? 1/2 poin, 1 point?
Dec-02-06  TTLump: if you haven't taken the time to look at the 31.Rf1 Bxb2?, 32.Qxh7+!! line, I urge you to do so.

There is a fascinating variation involving a Black Queen interposition that makes this mating sequence one of the prettiest I have seen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Strange! It looks like white can gain no more than a draw. According to the annotator,the move that the computers pick leads to a loss while "his" move leads to a draw. Either way,it is a curve thrown by cg.

The queen sac doesn't work as it unpins the bishop-allowing Bh6.

Dec-02-06  Terragod: What's wrong with 31.Qxh7?? That looks like the sure winning move here. I must be overlooking something though. Input?
Dec-02-06  The beginner: <Terragood>

Qxh7 just hangs the Queen

Qxh7.. Kxh7
Rh3+ is what you have in mind i think..

But be aware the pin on the g7 Bishop dosent exist anymore, since the Black king is on h7 now, so black simply Intercepts the Rh3 check with Bh6. and white is lost his Queen, and surely the game

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I tried and tried to make 31.Qxh7+ work, but the problem is it just doesn't close the deal. Thanks to the Black rook on e8, there's just no way to bring White's d5 Bishop in for the kill. Moving the c-Rook to f1 really is the only thing that will work (and of course, I didn't find that move!); it prevents the Black knight forking White's King and Queen, and puts another Rook into position to menace Black's King. Things were looking very pear-shaped for Schneider: he did very well to come out with a draw.
Dec-02-06  Minty: I saw the win after 31. Rf1 Bxb2/Nxb2, but couldn't find anything after 31... Qe7 or ...Rf8, so I dismissed Rf1 and eventually gave up.

Considering the game ended in a draw, I'm not sure what the point of the puzzle is. White's position at move 31 doesn't look so hopeless to me that he must force a draw. It looks pretty even, in fact.

It looks like this is one of those situations where white has nothing better, and merely offers black a few opportunities to go wrong before falling back on the contingency of a perpetual. All very pretty, but I don't think this kind of thing works very well as a puzzle, because the automatic assumption of the solver upon finding no win in a particular variation is that they have missed something, not that there isn't a win to be found.

Dec-02-06  Rajiv Herman Kramer: <I tried and tried to make 31.Qxh7+ work, but the problem is it just doesn't close the deal.>

You are right playground player there is no way Qxh7 will work.

Dec-02-06  Fisheremon: <> Schneider's notes contain several things to be corrected, e.g. in the line 31...Rf8? he should be aware of Nf2+ check by Balck with tempo in the endgame, also he missed 37...Re8 (instead of Rb6) leading to a draw. Indeed in this line White could win via 36. Qxd8+ (instead of Rf7).

Shortly 31. Rf1 is good enough just for a draw. I realized in fact the line 31...Bxg7+ (marked as ? in his notes) gives a nice win for White.

Dec-02-06  spacecube: i went for 31. Qf5!.., thinking the following might happen. 31. ... Nxb2. 32. Rxg6! hxg6 33. Qh3 with mate to follow..
Dec-02-06  greensfield: <Fisheremon> <> in line 31...Rf8? there are three entries for move 35
Dec-02-06  psmith: I hardly saw all the lines. But I did think: Qh7+ doesn't work, while Rf1 protects against the Knight fork and threatens Qh7+, with Rf7+ in the mix. And I saw that after N or Bxb2, Qh7+ would lead to a strong attack. At which point I decided to check out what happened in the game. So I suppose I was 1/2 way there. But I didn't see that in the end it would be a draw.
Dec-02-06  Terragod: The Beginner. Thank you. I knew I overlooked something, as I always do. That's why I lose alot :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bishoprick: Someone please tell me what I'm missing with the simple Qh7? It looks like a forced mate, but things really can't be that simple can they? or can they?
Dec-02-06  TTLump: <Fisheremon: ... I realized in fact the line 31...Bxg7+ (marked as ? in his notes) gives a nice win for White.> can you give us the moves for this win? I think this line is also a draw.
Dec-02-06  TTLump: <spacecube: i went for 31. Qf5!.., thinking the following might happen. 31. ... Nxb2. 32. Rxg6! hxg6 33. Qh3 with mate to follow..> nice idea! but I doubt this particular black player would have missed the correct move ... 31.Qf5!? Nxb2, 32.Rxg6!? Re5! (not hxg6 which as you point out quickly leads to mate) ... and White is lost.
Dec-02-06  TTLump: <Bishoprick: Someone please tell me what I'm missing with the simple Qh7? It looks like a forced mate ...> please don't take this the wrong way, but you might want to try reading the earlier posts. In addition to getting the answer to your question, you will likely find all sorts of other interesting comments and ideas!
Dec-02-06  Fisheremon: <greensfield: <Fisheremon> <> in line 31...Rf8? there are three entries for move 35> In Schneider's notes (again a typo) the line should be read as 31...Rf8? 32. Bxg7+ Kxg7 33. Rxf8 Qxf8 34. Qd7+ Kh8 35. Rf3 Qd8 36. Rf7 Qxd7 37. Rxd7 Rb6?! (37...Re8!), so much better at once 36. Qxd8 Rxd8 37. Rf7 keeping a watch at both f-vertical and 7th horizontal.

<TTLump: <Fisheremon: ... I realized in fact the line 31...Bxg7+ (marked as ? in his notes) gives a nice win for White.> can you give us the moves for this win? I think this line is also a draw.> A bit long analysis of mine, I could give some hint and you may try yourself: the idea was to double rook by f-vertical, keeping e3 pawn as long as possible and combining attack on both Black's King&Queen sides. Hope to come back with you on this theme soon.

Dec-03-06  avidfan:

click for larger view

31...Nxf2? 32.Qxh7+!! Kxh7 33.Bf7 Re6 34.Bxe6 Qe8 <34...Qh4 35.Rh3 pins and wins the Queen.> 35.Bf7 still gets the g-pawn, opening the king to assault because 35...Qe4 allows 36.Bxg6+ attacking the royals.

35...Bh6 36.Bxg6+ Kh8 37.Rf7 Qh4 38.Rh7+ Kg8 39.Be4+ (discovered) Kf8 <39...Kg8 40.Rg3+ >
40.Rf3+ Ke8 41.Bc6+ Kd8 42.Rd7+ Kc8 43.g3 Qg5 44.R3f7 threatens to win the queen after 44...Qg8 45.Rde7 and 46.Re8 . The elusive mate is still beyond me.

Dec-04-06  Minty: <avidfan: ...The elusive mate is still beyond me.>

Here's my analysis on the matter. The main line is quite pretty.

31... Nxb2? 32. Qxh7+!! Kxh7 33. Rh3+ Bh6 34. Rf7+ Kg8 (34... Kh8 35. Rxh6+ Kg8 36. Ra7+ Kf8 37. Rh8#) 35. Re7+ Kf8 (35... Kh8 36. Rxh6#) 36. Rf3+! Kxe7 37. Rf7#

Unfortunately, it looks like black can be a spoilsport and give the queen back with 33... Qh4, after which 34. Rxh4+ Bh6 35. Rf7+ Kg8 36. Rxh6 Re5 37. Rxg6+ Kh8 38. Rxd6 with 39. e4 to follow (Black can't play 38... Rxe3 due to 39. Rh6+ Kg8 40. Ra7+ leading to mate) leaves white clearly ahead, but with no immediate checkmate.

Dec-07-06  latebishop: A late thought! Re Minty's analysis of Dec -04-06: After 31...Nxb2 32.Qxh7+!! Kxh7 33. Rh3+ Qh4! 34.Rxh4+ Bh6 35.Rf7+ Kg8; an alternative to 36.Rxh6 is36.Rd7+ Kf8 37.Rxh6 Re7 (how else can Black avoid mate?) 38.Rh8+ Kg7 39.Rxb8 Rxd7 40.Rxb5 and White has bishop for knight and two united passed pawns.
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