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Johann Echavarria vs Jorge Szmetan
III Open (1999), Cali COL, rd 3
Alekhine Defense: Modern Variation. Main Line (B05)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-16-07  TheBB: I'll give myself half credit for this. I saw the initial mating threat, and the defense, but I went for free pawns. I think it wins, but it's much more work.

Pretty mate.

Excellent week for me this far!

Mar-16-07  TheBB: Hmm... I guess not. But satisfied nontheless.
Mar-16-07  tallinn: I think to score fully it is sufficient to notice that Nb6 threatens mate in at least two ways (Nb3# and Nxc4+ Ka4 b5# - in fact there is a third threat c5 bxc5 Nc6#). White cannot defend against all this - the white squared bishop is useless so b5 is forced but c5 reinstantiates all threats and white has nothing more.
Mar-16-07  Sibahi: missed it completely ...

While I was looking at the puzzle the only thing I was thinking about is : How did it get to this position?

Mar-16-07  NotABanker: nice finish.
Mar-16-07  Shubes82: wait...dumb question but how come white can't capture en passant after black plays 53)...b5#


Mar-16-07  Marco65: It's impressive how two knights here are more powerful than the bishop pair. Probably too many pawns on the board, and 46.fxe6 was a better decision.

From move 48 on all White's moves seem forced

Mar-16-07  greensfield: The White King is severely restricted with only one escape square <a4>. I started with 50...Nb6 as this prevents this escape route & threatens ...Nb3#. Got as far as considering

(a) 51.Bd1 preventing ...Nb3 and

(b) 51.b5 creating another escape square

But didn't find the good finish.

Mar-16-07  geraldo8187: <shubes82> en passant would only be possible if the white pawn rested at a5
Mar-16-07  ounos: It's funny that Nb6 also occured 4 moves earlier, although then that was no trouble for White. Maybe that's the reason for overlooking it :-)
Mar-16-07  LIFE Master AJ: A very nice problem.

I found 50...♘b6; 51.b4, c5! However, it was hard to picture everything in my head, and I was not completely satisfied until I ran it by Fritz. (It is 100% sound.)

Mar-16-07  tatarch: White just seems to dig himself in a hole. At move 41 the bishops look good, but by move 49 white looks utterly suffocated. I agree with Marco--white needed to trade down pawns and open up the board. A very frustrating loss for Echavarria I am sure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What a great finish! The knights and pawns round up and catch the poor helpless white king.

I enjoyed the picturesque final position:notice the pieces in pairs:

White ♗ at g6 and h5;the black ♘ at c4 and d4;the black ♙ at b5 and c5-not to mention the lock-stepped pawns at e5,e6,f6,f7

Mar-16-07  gnixon: Hmm, I was proud to see through the Bd1 line quickly, but missed the b5 defense. What is that, half credit? 75% since the mates are essentially the same?

Agreed that this week's puzzles are easier than normal. Definitely my first time getting most of Thursday and Friday. Much like today, yesterday I missed a key part of the continuation---that the queen had to go around to the other side to get Qxf5. Half credit on Thursday and Friday is a good improvement for me!

Mar-16-07  YouRang: Shoot, I missed it completely. I've always stunk and visualizing complex knight attacks. Here we have 2 knights and some sneaky pawn work.

My hat goes off to those who were able to see this whole line.

Mar-16-07  schnarre: Nice finish!
Mar-16-07  krish.adam: What about this alternate route to win for Black: 50...b5 51.cxb5 Nb6 52. Bd4 (have to protect otherwise it's mate by Nb3) cxb5 53.a4?? (or any move) Nc6 0-1

Just a thought, though I may be missing something here....

Mar-16-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <krish.adam> You missed 52. Kxa6
Mar-16-07  Themofro: Sadly i missed it, was thinking of pawn to b6 instead.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I saw this by using a board--and then I lost it and couldn't find it again!
Mar-16-07  wals: Of course,what else would you play. I can see clearly now that it;s all spelt out.
Mar-16-07  simsan: I spent some time on this, but only got halfway.

a) I Realized that black was in trouble on the kingside, and could not adequately defend the f pawn (started thinking of a draw)

b) Then I turned my attention to the white king, and quickly saw the need to plug his escape through a4.

c) I looked at plenty of alternatives after using b5 to accomplish this but didn't really like it.

d) Finally I saw that Nb6 accomplished the same initial goal (covers a4) but also introduces mating threats.

e) Happy with my initial move I wrongly overlooked the best defence 51.b5 (only saw Bd1) and consequently didn't see a lot of the important stuff.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: I don't think that White's King journey to Queen side was necessary, he literally hepled Black to delivery a smothered mate. Of course, the beauty of the galloping Knights is indeed fascinating.
Mar-16-07  YouRang: Obviously, white's 50th move 50. Bh6 gave a forced mate to black. However, it is interesting to look at white's alternatives.

At move 50, it appears that white can save his e2 bishop (which is under attack from Nd4) and stave off the mate threat with 50. Bd3 or 50. Bf1.

Now, if 50...Nb6
51. b5 (to escape ...Nb3#) Nxc4!
This appears to give up a knight for a pawn:
52. Bxc4 cxb5! (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

White can't save his bishop or else 53...Nc6#. The best he can do is 53. Bxb5 Nxb5, leaving black with an extra queenside pawn, and a probable winning position.

Mar-16-07  WickedPawn: I'm sorry to say that I met Johann Echavarria in his hometown in 1991. We used to play blitz on Friday afternoons. I moved on (fortunately) to pursue my professional career and I see through that he's making chess history (on the wrong side!)
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