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Hebert Perez Garcia vs Raset Ziatdinov
Julianadorp (5 min.) (1994) (blitz), ?
Four Knights Game: Double Spanish (C49)  ·  1-0



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  agb2002: White has a knight for a bishop and two pawns. The knight would deliver a royal fork if the rook on g4 were not controlling g6. Therefore, attack the defender with 20.Re4:

A) 20... Rxe4 21.Ng6+

A.1) 21... Kg7(8) 22.Nxh4 d5 (22... Rxh4 23.Qg3+) 23.Nf5 + - [Q+N vs R+B+2P].

A.2) 21... Ke8 22.Nxh4 Rxh4 23.Qf6 + -, with the double threat 24.Qxh4 and 24.Qh8+.

B) 20... h5 (or 20... d5, 20... Rd8) 21.Ng6+ followed by 22.Nxh4 + - [Q+N vs B+2P].

C) 20... Qh5 21.Rxg4 + - (21.Qxg4 Qxg4 22.Rxg4 Kxe7 [R vs B+2P]) [R+N vs B+2P]. If 21... Kxe7 22.Re4+ winning the queen.

D) 20... Qg5

D.1) 21.Qxg4 Qxg4 22.Rxg4 Kxe7 23.Re1+ Kf8 (to keep the f-pawn protected and control the white rook entry points) 24.cxd4

D.1.a) 24... Bb4 25.Rc1 c5 26.a3 Ba5 27.dxc5 dxc5 28.Rxc5 Bb6 29.Rh5 + - [R+P vs B].

D.1.b) 24... Bb6 25.Re3 c5 26.dxc5 Bxc5 27.Rh3 + -, winning the h-pawn [R vs B].

D.2) 21.Rxg4 Qxe7 22.Qg3 + -, threatening 23.Rg8# and to win the rook on a8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <birobidjan: My first idea was : 20.Qxc6 but 20...Re8 is a good defence.> 21.Qxe8+ Kxe8 22.Ng6+ Kd7 23.Nxh4 Rxh4 24.cxd4 Bxd4 25.b3 and with a pawn for the exchange Black can still offer resistance.
Nov-20-09  newzild: 20.Re4 - pretty easy for a Friday. I think I would have seen this in a 5 minute blitz game - assuming I wasn't in a time scramble, of course!
Nov-20-09  carelessfills: <SgtPepper: I think lot of people miss an important thing: After 20. Re4 Rxe4 21. Ng6 any king move 22. Nxh4 Rxh4 is the material equal unless white plays 23. g3, which gives the black rook on h4 no flight squares except for h3. So 23... Rh3 24.Kg2 picking the rook and winning the game.>

There's also some other possibilities after 20... Rxe4 21. Ng6+ which force the win for White.

First, after 21...Kg7 or Kg8, there's 22 Nxh4 Rxh4, 23 Qg3+ winning the h4 Rook.

Second, after the only other choice 21....Ke8, there's simply 22. Nxh4 Rxh4, Qxc6+ winning the Queen's Rook.

And if that wasn't enough, White could also win after 21....Ke8 with 22. Nxh4 Rxh4 with either 23. Qf6 (threatening Qh8+) or 23. Qg3 (threatening Qg8+) and all Black has left is the choice of which of his Rooks he can choose to lose!!

The Rook trap you suggest with g3 is nifty, but it's not the most efficient way to win since there's many ways to win the misplaced Rook at h4.

Second, after the forced 21...Ke8, 22. Nxh4 Rxh4, 23 Qf6 (or Qg3) wins one of the Black's Rooks because of the threat of 24 Qh8+ (or Qg8+).

Nov-20-09  WhenHarryMetSally: Materially black is a superior. He is up two pawns, and has a bishop instead of whites knight.

But what to do? How is one to devise a good move or strategy? Its a tough question. I have no idea.

If white can get the black king onto the g7 square he might be able to fork the king and the queen with his knight. This requires white to force a back rank check.But white has to be careful, the bishop on the a7-g1 diagonal as well as the advanced black d-pawn can prove exceedingly dangerous.

How about threatening that white rook? The white queen on b2 and the knight on c3 will cause that bank rank rook some problems. White could also try to get its e-file rook to e7 causing black some more problems, attacking that f7 pawn. Should the black queen come to its aid (e.g. Qd8), this can relieve some of the immediate danger to white, allowing white to perhaps focus on that pesky bishop as well as that dangerous d-pawn. So long as the white queen can attack that e8 square, the black will not come to Re1. Should the white queen move so as to stop attacked that 38 square (e.g. by playing Qxc7, then should the black rook then move to e8 then white can always play Nf5.

20. Qxc6?, [if 20..Re1, 21. Ng6+ causes black some problems and 20.Rc8 loses to 21. Nxc8!].

Another idea would be to push that pesky c5 black bishop off the a3-38 diagonal, to allow whites queen to sit on d6.

I would play Qxc6 and then go from there.

Lets see if this is even remotely correct.

Nov-20-09  WhenHarryMetSally: al wazir - I love the logic.
Nov-20-09  The Rocket: This was easy. 20 re4= remove the defender folks!

Always rember that sentence when you see a pattern(in this case winning the queen via knight check.)

Nov-20-09  tivrfoa: I got it, so it is not difficult. ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <al wazir: .... So why didn't I use similar reasoning to solve yesterday's puzzle with equal ease?>

<WhenHarryMetSally: But what to do? How is one to devise a good move or strategy? Its a tough question. I have no idea.>

I've been thinking about this. Apart from the ridiculously easy or insanely difficult, we often find that our ability to solve puzzles varies from day to day. Some days I will struggle with an answer and feel red-faced cos everyone else has found it in a nanosecond. Other days I can see the answer straight away and am amazed that people find it difficult.

This is what I think is happening ...

When we first approach a puzzle, it's like visiting an aien planet. We look for landmarks - features that trigger ideas, pattern recognition, silman's imbalances, strengths weaknesses, call it what you will. This is fuzzy thinking, so it varies from person to person.

In a Thursday plus problem, there are often multiple plausible moves and themes to choose from. In today's puzzle, we have the weakness of the white long diagonal, white's control of the open e file and tricks involving the far advanced Ne7. Which to choose?

In part, that depends on your personality and playing style. Defensive players tend to spot threats against them before they see aggressive moves against their opponents. Tactical players look for sacs, pins, forks. Positioal players instinctively spot pawn structure. Some players also seem to have a fondness for one side of the board over another and for one piece over another.

Here comes the tricky bit. I think that we have a tendency to focus most on the move that appeals to us first. So once you have got the idea that the puzzle is all about a particular motif, it can be hard to switch allegiances to another move.

This means that there is an element of luck involved. If you are lucky enough to stumble on the right idea straight away, a puzzle can seem remarkably easy. Experience also helps. I read somewhere that grandmasters don't analyse as many variations as lower graded players - instead they instinctively draw up a relatively short list of candidate moves and their analysis of those moves is usually more accurate.

In today's puzzle, the fork Ng6+ just jumped out at me, as if the g6 square was flashing neon. And then the rest is a matter of making it happen. Yet I found the Qh6+ sac earlier in the week much harder to find, because I had focussed on the wrong idea to start with.

So I think this variability in puzzle success comes down partly to experience to develop instinctive pattern reognition muscles, and partly down to luck. And, of course, the more we practise, the luckier we seem to get...

Nov-20-09  Dupin: This was a little easy. One can see that the knight threatens a fork on g6, but the rook defends that square. Theme is probably "removal of the defender"? Or am I mistaken?
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult)

H P Garcia vs R Ziatdinov, 1994 (20.?)

White to play and win.

Material: N for B+2P. The Black Kf8 has 2 legal moves, e8 (x-rayed by Re1) and g7. The White Qf3 pins Pf7 to Kf8, so Rg4 is burdened with preventing 20.Ng6+, forking Kf8 and Qh4. The Black Ra8 is loose. The White Kg8 is vulnerable to checks from Rg4 and Qh4, under pressure but in no immediate danger.

Candidates (20.): Re4

20.Re4 (threatening 21.Rxg4)

20h4 [Rxe4 21.Ng6+ wins Qh4]

The burdened Rg4 is now pinned to Qh4, however, and no longer protects g6.

21.Ng6+ (forking Kf8 and Qh4, and threatening 22.Nxh4)

21Rxg6 22.Nxh4

White has Q for N.

Nov-20-09  desiobu: I saw the initial ideas but 20...Qg5 didn't even cross my mind!
Nov-20-09  The Rocket: "I saw the initial ideas but 20...Qg5 didn't even cross my mind!"

well if you saw re4 you have solved the puzzle.. qg5 is no problem, you just take the rook for the knight.

Nov-20-09  patzer2: The pin 20. Re4! combined with the threat of a Knight fork (e.g. 20...h5?? 21. Ng6+ ) forces the exchange of Black's Rook for White's Knight, which wins the game and solves todays Friday puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <SgtPepper> wrote: I think lot of people miss an important thing: After 20. Re4 Rxe4 21. Ng6 any king move 22. Nxh4 Rxh4 is the material equal unless white plays 23. g3, which gives the black rook on h4 no flight squares except for h3. So 23... Rh3 24.Kg2 picking the rook and winning the game. >

Hi, <SgtPepper>.

Toga evaluates the position after 20.Re4 Rxe4 21.Ng6 K any 22.Nxh4 as a clear win, even without the capture of one of the Black Rs, as long as White picks up Pc6 (value: about +1.5 P).

For my own training, I strenuously try to minimize calculation when justifying a move that feels correct to my intuition. I therefore regard your variation, though an interesting and worthwhile contribution to the kibitzing, as unnecessary (and even undesirable) to the solution of today's puzzle, _by_my_standards_. Other people differ on what constitutes a "best solution" to the puzzle, of course, and the mix of styles here is what makes the kibitzing interesting.

< <cocker> wrote: After 20 Re4, Black's best chance seems to be 20... Rg3. White has to be careful but 21 Ng6+ wins. >

Interestingly, Toga agrees with you :)

Personally, 20...Rg3 never would have occurred to me, but analysis is much easier if you rarely find best defenses ;>)

Nov-20-09  Marmot PFL: This one did not seem terribly difficult, as 20 Re4 pins the rook and threatens Ng6+ forking the K & Q. If 20...Rxe4 21 Ng6+ Kg7 22 Nxh4 Rxh4 23 Qg3+, or 21..Ke8 22 Nxh4 Rxh4 23 Qxc6+,winning one or the other rook.
Nov-20-09  Patriot: <Once> Today I wasn't so lucky as I spent quite a bit of time on this and never considered Re4. The rook on a8 is undefended so moves like Qxc6 or Nxc6 came to mind but they seemed a dead end. b4, attempting to trap the bishop--dead end. Of course I considered Ng6+ but after Rxg6 white is lost. It never occurred to me to try to lure the rook away from the defense of g6 so that Ng6+ can win the queen.

I finally accepted that too much time was spent and it just isn't realistic because OTB I would be running out of time, so I "played" the best move I could find...Qxc6 which isn't so great for white.

I'm just not sure what MY reason is for not solving this.

Nov-20-09  5hrsolver: I got this one again without much trouble. At first glance you would think black might have an attack going.

There is some compelling footage of the recent Tal Memorial Blitz tournament in Moscow on Carlsen-Grischuk is very compelling.

I think Carlsen missed 59.Ka4

Nov-20-09  patzer2: The follow-up 22. Qg3! , with its decisive skewer threat (e.g. 22...Qf6 23. Rg8+ Ke7 24. Rxa8 ), ensues White wins more than a mere exchange after 20. Re4!

While seeing 22. Qg3! is not too difficult (a good example of making a decisive threat for novices), visualizing this possibility (i.e. the game continuation) before playing 20. Re4! requires a bit more calculation and discipline.

Nov-20-09  5hrsolver: <Once> Thats a good and interesting article.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: It reads as follows. Re4 since the rook cannot be captured allowing the knight fork: h5 also doesnt prevent it. Leaf through the variations and black cant worm his way out of this one.
Nov-20-09  Eduardo Leon: Difficult? How come? ♘g6+ would win the queen if the rook weren't there, so the obvious move is...


Since both 20...♖xf4 and 20...h5 allow 21.♘g6+, black must give up the exchange AND lose a tempo.

<20...♕g5 21.♖xg4 ♕xe7 22.♕g3>

And black wins the remaining black rook.

This is humiliating. Black doesn't have a single line in which he is able to at least contest white supremacy (pun not intended).

Nov-20-09  openingspecialist: <Once>

Very interesting article. I can't fault any of your words.

I would like to add though that some players are more fond of certain tactics than others.

I for example am a french player. I love closed positions, long deep creative thinking, the slow kill. However, I also love to sack and find forks, pins and skewers. But this is the exact type of puzzle I never get (today I had a 30 second effort and concluded maybe white was playing for a draw considered Qxc6 first). I seem to be very weak at this type of tactic. However, I am strong at mating patterns, sacks on f7 and h7.

This comes back to my original point, it comes back to the type of position you are accustom to playing. This type of position wouldn't occur often in my games - simply because the openings I play are closed and focus on f7 and h7 sacks, knight forks, and closed position positional play.

I think of myself as a tactical french player. Given you found this puzzle easy, my guess is your a style of open Sicilian player (Dragonish lines) or even a Scandinavian player.

Nov-20-09  patzer2: Black's game is already shaky before the blunder 19...Rxg4??, and even for an OTB game (let alone a five minute game like this one) finding a saving alternative is difficult.

However, instead of 19...Rxg4??, Black appears to hold with 19... Rf6! 20. Qxc6 Rd8! (not 20... Re8?? 21. Qxe8+ Kxe8 22. Nf5+ ) 21. Nf5 Qxg4 22. Qxc7 Qxf5 23. Qxd8+ Kg7 24. cxd4 Bxd4 25. Re2 Qh5! 26. Qe7 Be5 27. Rxe5 Qxe5 28. Qxa7 Qxb2 =.

Nov-20-09  mworld: < agb2002: <birobidjan: My first idea was : 20.Qxc6 but 20...Re8 is a good defence.> 21.Qxe8+ Kxe8 22.Ng6+ Kd7 23.Nxh4 Rxh4 24.cxd4 Bxd4 25.b3 and with a pawn for the exchange Black can still offer resistance. > i thought it was Qxc6 as well when i still thought Re8 was a likely reply....which it isnt. However if he replies Re8 the line I saw was 20.Qxc6 Re8 21.Ng6+ Rxg6 22.Rxe8+ Kg7 which keeps white's queen more active in the attack on the queenside pawns.
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