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Maxim Ilyich Sorokin vs Mikhail Vitalyevich Ulibin
USSR (1986), ?
French Defense: Tarrasch. Closed Variation (C05)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-26-08  k009ris: Very nice combo here, included btw in ECC
May-16-10  Blunderdome: Seems like Black could have stayed in it with 21. Qd4
May-16-10  ruzon: I at least considered 19...Nce5, but I did not see the continuation. 21...Nxf2 is genius, and the quiet 22...d4 is unexpected. And Ulibin must have seen all of this on move 16 when he sacrificed his rook. Hats off to him.
May-16-10  RandomVisitor: As <Blunderdome> points out, White might play 21.Qd4 (or 21.Qc1) and fight on.
May-16-10  amathus: <blunderdome> you mean white, I see white giving up the "difference" to equalize. Interesting. I thought 19..Nxd4 and then being lost to the various variants
May-16-10  RandomVisitor: For example, 21.Qd4 Bxf1 22.Qxf4 Rxf4 23.Rc8+ Kf7 24.Ng5+ Kg6 25.Nxe6 Re4 26.hxg4 Be2 27.Rc7 Bxg4 28.Rxg7+ Kh6 29.Rf7 Bxe6 30.Rf6+ Kg5 31.Rxe6 Re2 and white has drawing chances in a rook and pawn endgame.
May-16-10  dzechiel: Black to move (19...?). White has a rook for a knight and a pawn. "Insane."

It took me a while to assess this position (and I'm not completely sure that I'm right). Black has a slight material deficit, so it does not appear that he's going for the win of minor material. Either it's checkmate or at least the win of a piece for black.

It's also hard to miss the fact that black's knight on g4 is under attack. If black simply retreats the knight to a safe square, white will have time to consolidate his position and black will find himself defending.

So, do we see any weaknesses in white's position? I see a couple: White's g-pawn is missing, and this allows access to the castled king. If white's knight could be coaxed off of f3, black would be ready to administer mate on h2 with the queen.

Another slight "weakness" is white's bishop. While it isn't under attack right now, it is unprotected. One line I would like to pursue is:

19...Nxd4

This picks up a pawn, attacks the bishop on b5 (twice) as well as threatens 20...Nxf3+ and 21 Qh2#. I think white has to play

20 Qxd4

Of course not 20 Nxd4 Qh2#.

20...Bxb5 21 Qxf4

White has no time to take the knight with 21 hxg4 because of 21...Qxg4+ 22 Kh1 Bxf1 23 Qxf1 Rxf3 leaving black up three pawns.

21...Rxf4 22 Re1

Again black cannot capture the knight because of 22 hxg4 Rxg4+ 23 Kh2 Bxf1.

But now black must move the knight and let white capture the e-pawn (22...Nf6 23 Rxe6) and black still only has a pawn for the exchange.

Something tells me this line doesn't work (or I strayed down the wrong path).

OK, this is too much for me. Time to check and see how this actually went down.

=====

Sorta the right idea, but completely wrong execution. <sigh>

May-16-10  chiaroscuro: unbelievable combination. way beyond my pay grade.
May-16-10  RandomVisitor: After 15.Qd2 white has an advantage:


click for larger view

Rybka 3:

[+0.52] d=17 15...g6 16.Bb1

May-16-10  scormus: Another tough one. I "found" 19 ... Ne5 but accidentally looked at the result before I worked it through, though to be honest I'd never have seen that lovely quiet comination. And as already pointed out, 21 Qd4 seems much better than the game continuation.

I am left wondering if B has something better, perhaps 19 ... e5. If 20 dxe5 Ncxe5 then 21 Qd4 doesnt work (21 ... Nxf3+) But what about 21 Qxd5+ Kh8. Is there now a defence against 22 ... Nxf3+ ? I feel there should be a win for B but I cant find it. If 22 hxg4 Qxg4+ 23 Kh1 and I think W can survive. If 22 .... Bxb5 W has a sharp combination 23 Nxe5 with back rank threats. Or 22 Nxf3+ Qxf3 and W is OK, is he?

May-16-10  goldfarbdj: I found the first couple of moves, which is better than I usually do on a Sunday.
May-16-10  eightsquare: I solved the problem. it toook me a while though.
May-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: What a firework!
May-16-10  rigel1503: Nailed it. I saw Nce5, but it took me longer to find the two other key moves of Nxf2 and d4. Very nice and deep combo.
May-16-10  Roemer: I wonder how many minutes it would take a regular GM to solve a puzzle like this one.
May-16-10  RandomVisitor: After 21.Qd4 Bxf1 22.Qxf4 Rxf4 23.Rc8+ Kf7 24.Ng5+ Kg6 25.Nxe6 :


click for larger view

Rybka 3:

[-0.32] d=24 25...Re4 26.hxg4

May-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I consider this one of the toughest Sunday puzzles in a while.

Usually I can at least get a sniff of the first move even if I cannot work out the whole combo.

Today I was way off. When I saw Nce5 I began to wonder if this combo was worked out in home preparation. It seems very difficult to find something like this over the board, from move 16 as one kibitzer noted.

May-16-10  JG27Pyth: Wow. That is superb tactical chess. I got as far as Nxd4 :|
May-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <RandomVisitor: For example, 21.Qd4 Bxf1 22.Qxf4 Rxf4 23.Rc8+ Kf7 24.Ng5+ Kg6 25.Nxe6 Re4 26.hxg4 Be2 27.Rc7 Bxg4 28.Rxg7+ Kh6 29.Rf7 Bxe6 30.Rf6+ Kg5 31.Rxe6 Re2 and white has drawing chances in a rook and pawn endgame.>


click for larger view

Playing on from the above diagram for some hours with different engines I couldn't find a single win. Maybe it's already a <technical draw> in cc standards?!

May-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: M Sorokin vs Ulibin, 1986

<RandomVisitor: For example, 21.Qd4 Bxf1 22.Qxf4 Rxf4 23.Rc8+ Kf7 24.Ng5+ Kg6 25.Nxe6 Re4 26.hxg4 Be2 27.Rc7 Bxg4 28.Rxg7+ Kh6 29.Rf7 Bxe6 30.Rf6+ Kg5 31.Rxe6 Re2 and white has drawing chances in a rook and pawn endgame.>


click for larger view

Playing on from the above diagram for some hours with different engines I couldn't find a single win. Maybe it's already a <technical draw> in cc standards?!

May-16-10  newzild: This lived up to the "insane" tag.

I correctly went for 19...Nce5, but that was based more on instinct than any clear analysis.

May-16-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane)

M Sorokin vs Ulibin, 1986 (19...?)

Black to play and win.

Material: Down N+P for R. The White Kg1 has 2 legal moves, light squares g2 and h1. The White Nf3 bears the absolute burden of preventing Qf4-h2#. The White Bb5 is loose, suggesting possibilities like Nc6xd5 or Nc6-e5, to discover an attack by Bd7 while overloading Nf3. White threatens 20.hxg4, making an aggressive withdrawal like 19Nxf2 attractive. The Black battery Rf8 and Qf4 doubly attack Nf3, burdening Qd1 and Rc3 while x-raying Pf2. The Black Kg8 is presently secured from check, although central movements like Pe6-e5 might eventually expose it to check along the a2-g8 diagonal.

Candidates (19...): Nxd4, Nce5, Nxf2

[19Nxd4 20.Qxd4 Bxb5 21.hxg4 loses for Black]

[19Nxf2 is superficially attractive, but the attack seems to fizzle]

19Nce5

(1) 20.Bxd7 [Nxe5 Qh2#]

20Nxf3+ (threatening 21Qh2#)

21.Kg2 Nh4+ 22.Kh1 Qh2#

(2) 20.hxg4 Qxg4+ 21.Kh1 [Kh2 Nxf3+ is similar but worse]

21Nxf3 (threatening 22Qh3#)

22.Rxf3 Rxf3 (threatening 23Rh3#)

White can escape mate only at excessive material cost.

(3) 20.dxe5 [Nxe5 Qh2#]

20Bxb5 (threatening 21Bxf1)

Black has stabilized the center, with a rock-solid base Pe6. His Ng4 is now immune:

(3.1) 21.hxg4 Qxg4+ 22.Kh1 [Kh2 is obviously no better]

22Bxf1 23.Qxf1 Rxf3 leaves Black up 2P.

(3.2) 21.Re1 Nxf2 (threatening 22Nxh3+)

White cannot afford to drop 2P while his Kg1 is denuded.

22.Kxf2 d4 (<threatening 23Qh2#, a variant of Gueridon #>, or 23dxc3)

23.Qxd4 Qxd4+ is an infeasible defense, so Black is ruined.

My board vision gave out <as indicated>, because I forgot f1 had been vacated. I am glad to have detected the bad candidates, however.

May-16-10  Crowaholic: It was too hard for meso many side variations and I peeked at the first two moves. Then I found 21. ..Nxf2 (threatening Qg3#) 22. Kxf2 d4 (threatening ..Qh2#) 23. Rd3 Qh2+ 24. Kf1 but was stuck again. The excellent move 24. ..Qg3 wins material and the game.
May-16-10  Skylark: He would have had to see Nxf2 when playing Nce5. I first looked at Nxd4 and saw pretty much what <dzechiel> noted, and after a while wasn't entirely convinced. Then I looked at Nxf2 and saw right away that this didn't work because Kxf2 wasn't forced, and that Rxf2 would win for white. I wish I'd put the two together! after Nce5 dxe5 Bxb5 the rook is forced from the protection of f2 and I would have had this one in the bag. Disappointing.
May-16-10  ROO.BOOKAROO: Dzechiel: Don't fall into the trap of saying "If white's knight could be coaxed off of f3," or "moving off of," etc... "Coaxed off f3", or "moving off f3" is enough. The plague of adding "of, of, of" to try to make the meaning clearer is unnecessary. "Off" is and adverb, "the knight on f3 cuts off Black's attack", but "off" is also a preposition "get off my case," "stay off the grass", "coax that knight off f3 and you've got it made", etc...The "off of of of" virus that is spreading in this kibitzing community has got to be stopped so that we return to a healthy use of English.
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