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Rainer Knaak vs Sergey Dolmatov
Leipzig SG-Moscow GU (1981), Leipzig GDR, rd 1
Benoni Defense: King Pawn lines (A65)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-12-09  Jason Frost: I spent like five seconds on 40. Rxd4 cxd4 41. Qf5, didn't feel like spending any more time so decided it was enough, then looked at the game and realized I dropped a queen ):
Jul-12-09  lost in space: Haven't got it fully but the start.

40. Rxd4 cxd4 41. Qxd4+ Kh7 42. Bf6
(42. Qf4 Qh8 and I saw no direct win)

42...Qa8 (to be able to play 43. Qd3+ Qe4)

43. Nd5 (black queen can not any longer reach e4)

and I was sure white can win somehow. I was not able with the given time to find out exactly how.

Jul-12-09  stacase: I parted company from the play line with 42 Nf5 threatening 43 Qg7++
Jul-12-09  dzechiel: White to play (40?). Material is actually even. "Insane."

This is one of those rare positions where the player to move finds himself having to make a "forcing" move. Because the white king is in check, white choices are necessarily limited.

White has three moves with the king, can block the check with the rook or bishop, or remove the bishop with the queen or rook. It seems the only one to consider is the move that now gives black a "forced" move.

40 Rxd4 cxd4

Nothing better. The move 40...Re1+ is met with 41 Bxe1.

41 Qxd4+ Kh7 42 Bf6

At first I wanted to play 42 Nf5 threatening 43 Qg7# as well as 43 Ng7 forking the queen and rook, but black can play 42...Re1+ 43 Bxe1 Qxe1+ 44 Kh2 Bxf5 and black is up a piece.

But this bishop move blocks the f-pawn (which, if it moved would allow the black queen into the action) and now the threat is 43 Qd3+, which is a real killer.


Not 42...Rxe7 trying for the opposit colored bishop endgame, because white ignores the rook and goes for 43 Qd3+ Kg8 44 Qg3+ Bg4 45 Qxg4+ Kf8 46 Qg7#.

43 Qxf6

OK, what should black do? White is up a single pawn, and that pawn is really advanced. Given half a chance, white will play 44 Nd5 and follow up with 45 Qe7 forcing the issue.

I'm not certain, but I think black should go for


Now it's dicey, but I like

44 Nf5

Threatening both 45 Qg7# and 45 Qe7.

44...Bxf5 45 Qxf5+ Kg7 46 d7

and I think that white can maneuver in such a way to win this one. I'm not concerned about

46...Qe1+ 47 Kh2

as that simply puts the queen on a bad square.

Tonight I have one of my chess buddies over at the house and we have been looking at this position together. I think we have spent 45 total minutes considering our moves and writing this up (the writing takes at least half the time).

OK, time to check and see how this actually went down.


Right idea, but missed the 42...Qa8 defence. Looking forward to Monday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I usually don't try to work out these insane ones - mostly miss something and very time consuming - so I just played the game over.

Crazy game! I had no idea what was going on!

Knaak had a knack alright - he was around in the 17s 80s etc - quite a strong GM...

Jul-12-09  goodevans: <dzechiel: White to play (40?). Material is actually even. "Insane." This is one of those rare positions where the player to move finds himself having to make a "forcing" move. Because the white king is in check, white choices are necessarily limited.>

It took me a while to notice that white was in check. I wasted several minutes exploring various different moves beforehand. Once I noticed the check it made things a whole lot easier. Getting the first three moves was good enough for me although, like <dzechiel> I missed the ... Qa8 defence.

<40 Rxd4 cxd4
41 Qxd4+ Kh7 42 Bf6

Not 42...Rxe7 trying for the opposit colored bishop endgame, because white ignores the rook and goes for 43 Qd3+ Kg8 44 Qg3+ Bg4 45 Qxg4+ Kf8 46 Qg7#.>

42 ... Rxe7 43 Qd3+ can be met with 43 ... Re4. However, after 42 ... Rxe7 43 dxe7 it’s difficult to see how black can stop 44 Qd3+ Kg8 45 Qg3+ etc

Jul-12-09  newzild: I got this one - or, at least, I got it up to 42...Qa8, which surprised me. Then I predicted all of Knaak's moves up to 47.Ne5 (I preferred 47.Nf6+, which I still think is better).

Actually, Knaak's attack right from 22.f5 is very interesting and instructive. He obtained a strong initiative for a pawn, although it always looked like he was about to drop more material.

A good game!

Jul-12-09  David2009: Sunday's problem R Knaak vs Dolmatov, 1981 R Knaak vs Dolmatov Insane First things first: White is in check. 40 RxB suggests itself. Obvious forcing line: 40 Rxd4 cxd4 41 Qxd4+ Kh7 42 Bf6 (threatening Qd3+) Rxf6 43 Qxf6

click for larger view

This is as far as I can accurately calculate, but the position is obviously good for White. Let's try it.


I missed Black's best defence, 42....Qa8! Luckily for me it didn't matter.

Jul-12-09  goodevans: 40 Rxd4 cxd4 41 Qxd4+ Kh7 42 Bf6 Rxe7(?) 43 dxe7 Bf5 44 Qe5 (threatens both 45 Qxf5 and 45 Bh8 Qxh8 46 Qxh8+ Kxh8 47 e8=Q+) 44 ... Bd7 45 Qe4+ Kg8 46 Qe3 Kh7 47 Qd3+ Kg8 48 Qg3+ etc.
Jul-12-09  Samagonka: As complex as the combination is, I managed to at least find the first 3 moves. Not bad for a Patzer like me on a Sunday!
Jul-12-09  karnak64: The real puzzle might be figuring out how this insane position came to be in the first place ...
Jul-12-09  whiteshark: Additional infos:

[Event "Leipzig SG-Moscow GU m"]
[Site "Leipzig"]
[Date "1981.05.09"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Knaak, Rainer"]
[Black "Dolmatov, Sergey"]
[WhiteElo "2495"]
[BlackElo "2545"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "2"]
[EventCountry "DDR"]

Jul-12-09  Summerfruit: Material is even.

White's king is in check, so:

40.Rxd4 cxd4 41.Qxd4+

Now 41...f6 allows 42.Bxf6+ Rxf6 (Kh7 43.Qd3+ Re4 44.Qxe4+ Bf5 45.Qxf5+ Qg6 46.Qxg6#) 43.Qxf6+ Kh7, when white is two pawns up with the better position. That leaves:

41...Kh7 42.Bf6 threatning 43.Qd3+ mating.

a) 42...Bb5 43.Qc3 Qa8 44.Qc2+

a1: 44...Qe4 45.Qc8 mating

a2: 44...Re4 45.Nf5 seems strong threatning Ng3.

b) 42...h5 43.Qd3+ Kh6 44.Nf5+ Kg6/Kh7 45.Ng7+ and the queen is lost.

c) 42...Rxf6 43.Qxf6 and white is a pawn up with the better position.

Jul-12-09  kurtrichards: Knock... knock... Who's there?
Jul-12-09  I Like Fish: to hard...
for me...
a fish...
Jul-12-09  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane):

R Knaak vs Dolmatov, 1981 (40.?)

White to play and win.

Material: N for B. The Black Kh8 has 2 legal moves. The White Qd5 can check on the a1-h8 diagonal; the White Ne7, at g6. The White Pd6 cramps the Black Qe8, Bd7, and Re6. The outpost White Ne7 controls critical light squares around the Black Kh8, suggesting that strategically, White should try to control the dark squares by eliminating the Black Bd4. The White Bh4 eyes the invasion point e1. The White Kg1 is in check, suggesting that tactically, White should examine an immediate exchange sacrifice.

Candidates (40.): Rxd4


(1) 40…Rxe7 41. Bf6+ Kg8 [Kh7 is similar]

42.dxe7 cxd4 [else, drop a R] 43.Qf3

White threatens mate with 44.Qg3+ 45.Qg7#. Black cannot sidestep:

43…Kh7 44.Qd3+ Kg8 45.Qg3+ Kh7 46.Qg7#

(A similar variation handles 41…Kh7.) Black must therefore sacrifice material with 43…Qc8 to avoid immediate mate.

(2) 40…cxd4 41.Qxd4+

(2.1) 41…f6 42.Bxf6+ Rxf6 [Kh7 43.Qd3+ Qg6 44.Qxg6#]

43.Qxf6+ Kh7 44.Qe5

White has Q+N+4P vs. Q+B+2P. With his domination and the resulting mate threats, he should have little trouble exchanging Qs to a won endgame.

(2.2) 41…Kh7 42.Bf6 (threatening 43.Qd3+)

42…Rxf6 43.Qxf6

White has Q+N+3P vs. Q+B+2P. White can again threaten mate to force the exchange of Qs, with a difficult but winning endgame.

Jul-12-09  DarthStapler: I got the first two moves
Jul-12-09  Greginctw: Oh well. All I found was a draw in 41.bf6+ Rxb
42. Qe5 and then the knight keeps checking back and forth on either h4 or e7. But I guess a win is better than a draw!
Jul-12-09  wals: Was as clear to me as is the Lincos language.
Jul-12-09  WhiteRook48: I only got 40 Rxd4 cxd4
Jul-12-09  gofer: After some time it looks like the obvious moves are actually the best...

40 Rxd4 cxd4
41 Qxd4+

Option 1
41 ... f6
42 Qf4 Kh7
43 Bxf6 Rxf6 (forced)
44 Qxf6 (any move for black
45 Nf5 Bxf5
46 Qxf5 Kg7
47 d7 winning

Option 2
41 ... Kh7
42 Bf6 Rxf6 (forced)
43 Qxf6 winning

One option is 44 Nd5 45 Qe7 etc etc

Time to check...

Jul-12-09  gofer: ooops missed 42 ... Qa8, so another miss! :-(
Jul-13-09  TheBish: R Knaak vs Dolmatov, 1981

White to play (40.?) "Insane"

The fact that White is in check should be a clue -- which I didn't notice right away! So my only serious candidate move was capturing the checking piece.

40. Rxd4!

Not too difficult a choice, not only because it's the only forcing move, but also because White can attack on the dark squares now.

40...cxd4 (40...Rxe7 41. dxe7 cxd4 transposes, but better here is 41. Bf6+! Kh7 42. Rh4! Re1+ 43. Kh2 Qf8 44. Qd3+ Kg8 45. Qg3+ and 46. Qxe1, or 43...Qg8 44. Qd2 Qg6 45. Qxe1 Qxf6 46. Qe7) 41. Qxd4+ Kh7 42. Bf6!

Now 43. Qd3# is threatened, so Black's next move is forced. 42...Rxf6 43. Qxf6 would lead to a winning endgame for White, up a pawn with the knight being a little better than the bishop.

42...Rxe7 43. dxe7 and now:

A) 43...Bf5 (to stop 44. Qd3+ Kg8 45. Qg3+) 44. Qd5! Qd7 (or 44...Bg6 45. Qd8! or 44...Be6 45. Qd3+ and 46. Qg3+) 45. e8=Q! and White wins, e.g. 45...Qxd5 46. Qh8+ Kg6 47. Qg7+ Kh5 48. g4+ Bxg4 49. Qxg4#

B) 43...Kg6 44. Qxb6 and the two extra pawns will eventually win, unless White mates the king first!

C) 43...Kg8 44. Qd3! followed by 45. Qg3+ (unless 44...Bf5 45. Qxf5, or 44...Qb8 45. Qxd7).

D) 43...h5? 44. Qd3+ Kh6 45. Qe3+ Kh7 46. Qg5 Qg8 47. Qxh5#

I'm sure there are other lines that I missed (as usual), but as it is now Monday in land, time to see how this went down!

Jul-13-09  TheBish: I don't think you can call 42...Qa8 Black's best defense, just because a GM played it! I'm pretty sure I saw that move, but quickly dismissed it because of 43. Nd5! and White pieces are too strong (as in the game), although I missed a slightly better defense in 43...Qg8 44. Nxb6 Bc6 45. g4 Qe8 46. d7 Bxd7 47. Nxd7 Re1+ 48. Kf2! Re6 49. Qd3+ Kg8 50. Bc3 Qe7 51. Qd4 f6 52. Nxf6+ Kf7 53. Nd5 Qf8 54. Qf4+ Kg8

click for larger view

55. Nf6+! wins easily, as in 55...Rxf6 56. Qxf6 or 55...Kh8 56. Nd7+ Rf6 57. Bxf6+ wins the house.

Jul-13-09  TheBish: Regarding my last post... after 43...Qg8, instead of 44. Nxb6, tempting is 45. Nf4!?

click for larger view

Now White threatens both 46. Nxe6 and 46. Qd3+ (winning the queen). If 45...Bc6? (stopping Nxe6) simply 46. d7 wins, since 46...Bxd7 47. Qd3+ Qg6 48. Nxg6 Rxf6 (or 48...fxg6 49. Qxd7+ mates) 49. Nf8+ Kg8 50. Nxd7 is crushing. However, Black instead plays 45...Qg3! (or Qe8) 46. Nxe6 Qe1+ 47. Kh2 Qxe6 48. b4 b5 with a draw the most likely outcome.

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