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Franco Trabattoni vs Bela Toth
Reggio Emilia (1976/77), Reggio Emilia ITA, rd 3, Dec-29
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Main Line (B89)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-10-07  PositionalTactician: A really nice puzzle!
Jun-10-07  Fezzik: I saw 17.g6 and the contours of the attack immediately, but I am sure Black could have played better at several stages.

It's too late in the evening for me to work it out, but I have a feeling Black may have been able to hold this one.

Jun-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <chessmoron: What about 17...Bf6?> This should be probably: "What about 17 ... Bf6!", because it seems to be a much better move than the one played in the game. After 17 ... Bf6, white does not seem to have a win, and the position evaluates as slight advantage for the black (-0.25).

I have two observations about this puzzle (aided by Hiarcs):

1) Any other move for the white is quite a bit worse and maintains about one minor piece worth of advantage for the black.

2) Any other response by the black except 17 ... Bf6 gives advantage to white.

Therefore, this puzzle falls into the category of "find the best move that furhtermore has a good chance of luring the opponent into a trap."

<Gilmoy>: 17.g6 Bf6 18.Qh5 <mate threat> hxg6 <h6 19.gxf7+ Kh8 20.Bxf6 Nxf6 21.Qg6> 19.Rxg6 <threatens 20.Bxf6 Nxf6 21.Rxg7+ Kxg7 22.Rg1+ mating> Here's the position, black to move:

click for larger view

Black can extricate himself from the above with: 19 ... Bxd4! Now, two lines:

FIRST: 20. Rdg1 Bxd5, and the best white can do is sac a rook for a perpetual check, because if 21. Rh6? with a mate threat, then 21 ... Qxc2+! 22. Kxc2 Bxe4+ 23. Kd2 g6 and no more mate for the white (in fact, black is winning, evaluating at -3.56). Here's the position:

click for larger view

SECOND: another possibility for white after 19 ... Bxd4 is 20. Rg6 (the same mate threat that was losing in the above line). Here, the line goes:

20 ... Bxb2+ 21. Kxb2 Qc3+ 22. Kb1 gxh6 (note that 23. Qxh6 Qg7 loses for white - evaluates at -4.97) 23. Rg1+ Kh7 and white has no win:

click for larger view

BTW, in <Gilmoy>'s line: <17.g6 Bf6 18.Qh5> black can do even better with 18 ... Rfc8.

Jun-10-07  Fezzik: Re: 17...Bf6!?

This is the move I've been stuck on. I had a slightly different idea for White:

17...Bf6 18.gh7+ Kh8 (forced) 19.Rxg7!?/?! I'm pretty sure this forces 19...Kxg7 and then I don't know if White is winning. White's most interesting move may not be to check, but to play 20.Qf3!?/?!

This all involves a huge sacrifice, and I don't know if it works so I wouldn't play it. Unless of course I was already in trouble...

Jun-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: More mistakes in that game (all analysis at 16 plies or so).

18 ... hxg6?? evaluates at +7.13. A better move (impossible to find OTB, I think): 18...Bg5 only +0.85)

20 ... Ng6?? evaluates at +17.25 (again, Bg5 was better, at +7.89).

White should've responded 21.Bxf6!, but did not, and gave back most of the advantage with 21.Qxg6 (+3.88).

25. Qh5+? (white's advantage is down to +2.51).

28 ... Bc6? evaluates at +4.34 (28 ... Bf5 is +2.94)

and a couple more small ones.

<Fezzik> Your last line with 20.Qf3 is sound. Small advantage for the black. 19 ... Bxd4 also works instead of Kxg7, but not as good.

Jun-10-07  Manic: <MJW 72> I don't see how you can consider this an easy puzzle. Looking over all the comments, it doesn't appear easy. Getting the first move is easy, I admit. But if that counts as getting the puzzle, then most of these would be pointless. I ask you now, did you see all these lines? I very much doubt it, looking at your comment.

As for me, I missed black's reply completely as well. Guess I have to spend more time looking at the possible defences.

Jun-10-07  jokerman: what's the main idee of 15) Nd5?
i can't see why white would play such a move. was it because he saw the whole combo? (wich are 18 moves!?!) could someone just please explain why this sac is good or bad. it would help me a lot! thnx
Jun-10-07  realbrob: This is the game I played against Junior 8

17.g6 Bf6 18.Qh5 hxg6 19.Qxg6 Rc8 20.c3 Bxd5 21.Qh6 Ne5 22.Qxf6 g6 23.exd5 bxc3 24.f4 cxb2+ 25.Kxb2 Qc2+ 26.Ka1 Rc4 27.fxe5 Rxd4 28.Rc1 Qe4

Notice that until move 19 the program was sure I was losing..

Jun-10-07  goodevans: <Manic: … did you see all these lines? I very much doubt it> Let’s be a bit pragmatic about this. Sure, just guessing the initial move doesn’t constitute solving the puzzle, but nor do you have to analyse every possible defence. I, for one have neither the patience nor, let’s be honest, the ability for that. What’s more, in a position where the defence’s moves aren’t forced, I doubt whether even much stronger players than me could consider every line. How many can claim to have considered <MAJ>’s rather surprising 17 g6 Ne5 (?!) 18 Qh5 Bg5!

For my part I saw 17 g6 as the strongest candidate, saw that the other candidates had adequate defences against them, checked that there were no complete rebuttals of 17 g6 and concluded “It’s got to be 17 g6 because it gives white a promising looking attack whereas black seems to have an answer to everything else”. It’s years since I played competitively, but I’d like to think I’d come to the same conclusion OTB.

Does that constitute solving the puzzle? Please say “yes” coz I don’t often manage the Sunday puzzle!

Premium Chessgames Member
  ClassZPlaya: <Mostly Average Joe> Thanks for the excellent analysis of the response 17. ... Bf6! I couldn't find a win for White after this either and thought there was no real solution to this puzzle. Best I could come up with White was <Fezzik's> line after 18. gxh7+, which looks like a strong attack but doesn't seem to win.
Jun-10-07  GREEKPINCH: I also picked out g6 but the variations after that caused my brain to burst.However the black pieces if you were playing against the white under this situation,I think the player would simply be seeing stars and a white haze under the onslaught.This is why the only master I will be in this life is of my dog.A superb ending to this game though.
Jun-10-07  Manic: <goodevans> yeh I guess that obviously you would not calculate all the lines. I was just trying to make the point that getting the first move does not mean the puzzle is easy in any way. Generally, you would probably have to get at least the best 3 defences against the move. But I'm not sure how they do it in problem-solving competitions, so I guess it is kind of hard to know where to draw the line.
Jun-10-07  dozewhat: 33...Kxf7
34. Qc4+ fork and game
Jun-10-07  xroot: I don't understand 20. Rh6. He's got to be exploiting something but I can't see the inherent danger in 20. ...gxh6. Does it involve the other rook?
Jun-10-07  edda zeitz: 17. - Nf6 and white gets nothing
(18. gxf7 Rxf7).
Jun-10-07  IMDONE4: g6 is extremely easy to see... any1 above 1000 could easily point that out on a puzzle; what is difficult is figuring out all the lines in just your head. g6 deserves little to no credit unless you were sure enough that it would work that you would play it OTB. I would've taken at least 30 minutes to calculate out every single variation before playing the move, which is incredibly difficult (I can only calculate ahead about 14 ply tops)
Jun-10-07  sfm: <xroot: I can't see the inherent danger in 20. ...gxh6. Does it involve the other rook?> Yes! 21.Bxe5, Bxe5 22.Qg6+ and black can choose between -,Bg7 23.Rg1 or -,Kh8 24.Qh6+,Kg8 25.Rg1+
Jun-10-07  MJW 72: Anyone above 1250 would play g6 OTB. Black is gonna play BxB next turn trading white's important B. So white has to move it or make a threat. Only threats are Bxg7 and g6. After Bb3 or Bc4 black has d5! pxp Qd6. Bxg7 burns out after kxg7 white move BxB! or d5! So the only logical move is to play g6 and hope for the best (after calculating a few lines). Nd5 sac was good though.
Jun-10-07  Marmot PFL: g6 was an obvious move - white is down a piece and has to win soon or else. Beyond that I was sure that black had to have a defence, as I liked all his previous moves, and if white can just sacrifice a piece and mate so easily than the Sicilian is just bad. I saw Bf6 and that if white takes on f7 black just gives up the exchange to simplify. So play Qh5 and hope black blunders. If he doesn't there is still hg6 Qg6 Bxd5 Qxg7+ Bxg7 Rxg7+ Kh8 Rxf7+ and black has to return the queen with Nc5 Rxc7 but Bxe4 and black is still somewhat better. As a Sicilian player I am glad this attack can be stopped but it was a fine game and puzzle nonetheless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <jokerman: what's the main idee of 15) Nd5?> As I learned from last week's CG puzzles, this move is thematic in several lines of the Sicilian. If you play (or play against) the Sicilian, you know about it.

The analysis here, particularly <MAJ>'s, reinforces my conviction that this attack, whether based on home prep or not, was speculative, and white could not have "seen" the outcome in advance.

Jun-10-07  xroot: <sfm: Yes! 21.Bxe5, Bxe5 22.Qg6+ and black can choose between -,Bg7 23.Rg1 or -,Kh8 24.Qh6+,Kg8 25.Rg1+> Gotcha. That rook is pretty key, actually, for that combination as well as removing the threat of ...Nd3+. I can't think of a good follow up to that, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: After White's N sac on d5, there can't be a quiet move hence 17.g6 is the only move that keeps the attack rolling. Now, the moot ? is Can Black parry all the threats OTB? As we have seen 17...Ne5 loses but 17...Bf6 would challenge White's aggression. Now, if white continues with his attack, he may land himself in deep trouble as 18.Qh5 hxg6 19.Rxg6 Bxd4 & he can only hope for a draw by sacrificing his Rooks on g7 & giving perpetual checks & any other moves would strengthen Black's position.
Jun-10-07  atragon: i've played 3 times with Trabattoni (bad score for me... 0-3) and all the games ended with a complicated end game where he was able to realize a small edge. So i remember him as a very careful player but i never could appreciate the Tal-like face of his game (and i know he hates to play against computers)... very interesting...
Jun-10-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <edda zeitz: 17. - Nf6 and white gets nothing (18. gxf7 Rxf7).>

Incorrect. 18 gxh7! Kh8 <forced, or mate in 9 after Kxh7> 19.Rxg7 <cannot take the rook, or mate in 6> evaluates at +10.72 for white.

Sample mate lines referenced above:

18. ... Kxh7 19. Rxg7+ Kh8 20. Bxf6 Qxc2+ 21. Kxc2 Rfc8+ 22. Kb1 Bxf6 23. Rxf7 Rc1+ 24. Rxc1 Bg5 25. Qh5+ Bh6 26. Qxh6+ Kg8 27. Qh7#

19. ... Kxg7 20. Qg4+ Kh8 21. Rg1 Qxc2+ 22. Kxc2 Rfc8+ 23. Kd3 Rc3+ 24. bxc3 Bf8 25. Qg8#

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It was the main task of white to get that dumb pawn out of the way-so that he could attack. Then,the ball really started rolling.
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