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Eduard A Mnatsakanian vs Jan Banas
Stary Smokovec (1979)
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer. Neo-Modern Variation (B67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: I wrote: <19.Qc5 ... Rc8? 20.Bc6+ is a broom:> No, Black simply returns the exchange himself: 20.. Rxc6.

19.Bc5+ looks correct -- it's White's only opportunity to get a temporary 3-on-2 in the attack (ignoring the useless Rh8). With Black's Q tied to its R, White can choose when to deflect her, for a momentary 2-on-0 with mate threats.

The sac-skewer wasn't a combo to win material, but to win time/position (which White used to penetrate his R to 7). That's a very useful theme.

Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: What's the follow-up after 18...Qxa2? If 19.Bc6+ Kf8 20.Qc5+ Kg8 21.Bxa8 Qa1+ 22.Kd2 Qxh1 23.Qc8+ Kh7 24.Be4+ g6 25.Bxg6+ Black can decide between the risky exchange up endgame after ...Kg7, the safer pawn up endgame after ...Kxg6 or immediate perpetual after ...fxg6. No win for White there. The direct 19.Bxa8 seems no improvement - if 19...Qa1+? 20.Kd2 Qxh1 then after 21.Qc5 White has enough for his material deficit (according to Crafty), but after 19...0-0! Black simultaneously threatens the bishop and skewer at a1, ending a pawn up. Any improvements on this?
Jun-08-07  romison: to Dzechiel: what if black plays
19 ... 0-0 instead of Qa1+?
Jun-08-07  cuendillar: I tried to stop the counterplay in 17.Rxd5 Qxd5 18.Bf3 Qxa2 by instead playing 17.c4 bxc4 (17...Rc8 18.Rxd5 Qxd5 refute it, so I looked at the immediate capture instead, please excuse that this makes the move numbers wrong. Looking at the Qd8 line, I saw the following:)18.Rxd5 Qxd5 19.Bf3 Qd8 20.Bc6+ Kf8 (20...Ke7 21.Rd1 Qc8 22.Qc5+ Kf6 23.Rd7 but I couldn't see how to win if he defended f7 here) 21.Rd1 Qc8 22.Bxa8 Qxa8 23.Qb6 Ke7 24.Qc7+ Kf6 and I wished I had kept the bishop.

Since there were a couple loose threads to tie up for me in these variations, I can't say I solved it. Maybe I would have tried it out in game and hoped that he wouldn't find the best defense, but I failed to visualise all of it.

Likely, I would have tried something else entirely such as 17.Bf3 0-0 18.Bxd5 exd5 and play against the isolated pawn. There's no complications in that. Too hard for me, even if the first move I looked at turned out strongest. Maybe if I had looked at it even longer. "Promising" just isn't a sufficiently good evaluation to sacrifice, even if you're told that there might be something in there..

Jun-08-07  Aspirador: After 18...Qxa2, simply play 19.Qc5 which wins easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <Aspirador> OK, that explains it. Well spotted.
Jun-08-07  eaglewing: <Aspirador> 18...Qxa2 19.Qc5 Qa1+ 20. Kd2 Rd8+ 21. Ke2 (c3/e3) Qxh1 and how does it win?

I wonder about the 18...Qxa2 option, too.

Jun-08-07  eblunt: Aspirador: After 18...Qxa2, simply play 19.Qc5 which wins easily.>

Thanks, I abandoned Rxd5 because of Qxa2, hadn't spotted that at all.

<eaglewing> 22. Bc6+ Rd7 23 Qd6 is coming next

Jun-08-07  psmith: I saw the beginning. But I didn't see how to continue after 17. Rxd5 Qxd5 18. Bf3 Qd8 19. Bc6+ Kf8 20. Rd1 Qc6. I looked at 21. Qc5+ Kg8 and couldn't get anywhere.

But Fritz 5.32 showed me that after 21. Bxa8 Qxa8 22. Rd7 Black is busted -- he can't stop the threat of Qd3 and Rd8+ (if 22... g6 23. Qd4 and if 22... Ke8 23. Ra7 Qxg2 24. Qc5+ Qh1+ 25. Kd2 Qd5+ 26. Qxd5 exd5 27. Ra8+ finis.)

Jun-08-07  psmith: <al wazir> <dzechiel>: see my previous post on 19...Kf8.
Jun-08-07  xfer: What happens after 17. Bf3?
Jun-08-07  alshatranji: The initial attack is relatively easy to see, but 19...Kf8 gave me such a hard time. I didn't see anything after 17. Rxd5 Qxd5 18. Bf3 Qd8 19. Bc6+ Kf8 20. Rd1 Qc8. I tried 21. Qc5+, 21. Qg6, even 21. Bc7. I also considered 19. Qc5 before Bc6+(to trap the black queen), but I didn't get anywhere.

Thank you psmith for posting Fritz analysis. I think the win after 21. Bxa8 Qxa8 22. Rd7 is not easy to see(it took me a while to look into te entire positio even after I plyaed the moves), and would qualify this for a Saturday or a Sunday.

Jun-08-07  alshatranji: What happens after 17. Bf3?
Most likely 0-0
Jun-08-07  gnixon: Like another poster, I thought this was relatively easy because of all the pins and skewers.

I looked at Bf3 first, then saw the advantage of starting with Rxd5. Following with Bc5+ seemed good enough to counter any queen moves. Good enough for full credit?

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw the first two moves in this puzzle. The real crux is the attack that follows the sac and skewer. Black's king is opened the the slings and arrows of bishop,rook,and queen.
Jun-08-07  YouRang: Ahhhh nuts.

I glanced at 17. Rxd5 Qxd5 18. Bf3, but then unimaginatively dismissed it as an exchange of exchanges after 18...Qd8.

But I was intrigued by 17. Bf3, and the wonderful pins in pokes into black. In my mind, I saw that to save the bishop, black had to unpin the king with 17...Kd7. And then I would double my rooks: 18. Rd2! forcing the king to defend the bishop 18...Kc6 19. Rhd1.

The best black can do then is back up the queen with a rook (say, 19...Rhd8), and the resulting position looks so ugly for black that I was sure this had to be the solution!

I overlooked 17...O-O.

Another entry into Game Collection: Puzzles I should have solved, but didn't :-(

Jun-08-07  Cannon Fodder: This puzzle reminds me of many games I have lost by saying to myself, "Well, my position is a pin cushion, but I don't think I need to get out of the pins quite yet since my opponent can't checkmate me or win material right away." Meanwhile, my opponent keeps me pinned and wreaks havoc on my position. For what it's worth, I got the right moves up to 19 Bc6+ and saw that that leaves Black with a horrid position in comparison to White's safe king and solid pawn structure. It remains beyond my ability to calculate the sequence of moves here all the way to mate or to a material advantage, but I am happy for now to have gotten the first three moves right. And I found the puzzle to be a valuable lesson not to underestimate the power of pins.
Jun-08-07  MaczynskiPratten: I saw most of this, but wondered about 20...Qxd1+ 21 Kxd1 Rhd8+ followed by Kf8. Blac's 2 R's for Q+B look as if they might hold.
Jun-08-07  IMDONE4: I didn't try long on this, but was only able to get up to 26. Qxf7 in my head, couldnt forsee the wrap with g4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It's easy to find 17.Rxd5 Qxd5 & 18.Bf3 Qd8 [ not 18...Qxa2 bcoz 19.Qc5 ] 19.Bc6+ Ke7 but after this it was not very clear how White would achieve win. Congrats to all those who have found out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, 17. Rxd5!! Qxd5 18. Bf3 Qd8 19. Bc6+ is a sacrifice which leads to a promising pursuit (King Hunt) combination.

Jun-08-07  Crowaholic: <eaglewing> After 21. Kc3?, Black neutralizes White's attack with ..Qa5+, forcing the queen exchange (22. Kb3? Qa4+ 23. Kc3 b4+ and either 24. Qxb4 Rc8+ or 24. Kc4 Qxc2+ 25. Kxb4 Rb8+. So this move is not an option.
Jun-08-07  Crowaholic: I, too, saw the first couple of moves but didn't see anything for White but a fancy exchange of rooks and bishops. After 17. Rxd5 Qxd5 18. Bf3 Qd8 I considered 19. Rd1 but this seems to be going nowhere. I totally missed the winning zwischenzug 19. Bc6+ and the threat of Rd7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <romison: to Dzechiel: what if black plays 19 ... 0-0 instead of Qa1+?>

My original line was pretty lame (but well thought out!). I think that after 17 Rxd5 Qxd5 18 Bf3 Qxa2 19 Qc5 is the move. I see 19...Qa1+ 20 Kd2 Rd8+ 21 Ke2 Qxh1 23 Bc6+ Rd7 24 Qd6.

I hope this is good enough to win, I'm trying to remember the position from last night.

Jun-08-07  shach matov: hmmm 22. Rd3 seems to also win by force
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