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Harald Herndl vs Spyridon Skembris
Athens (1987), ?
French Defense: Tarrasch. Closed Variation (C05)  ·  0-1



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Given 25 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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sac: 23...Rxf3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-14-07  Marmot PFL: <cn1ght> Thought it was rather easy for a Friday to be honest. The main thing is to get the move order right, 22...Rxf3 before Qxg3 so the queen move is with check and white has no time for Ne2. After that black gets back a piece with Nh4 which leaves him with 3 pawns for the exchange after Nxd4 (enough even without attack). He could also play 26...Nf3+ instead of Nxg2 setting up discovered checks that white has no defense against. It looks as if all these pawn moves (h3, g3) white made to defend his king had just the opposite effect.
Sep-14-07  ahmadov: As usual, I could guess the first three or four moves...
Sep-14-07  alan11: I don't see why 26...Nxd4 is crushing. Please explain. When I looked at 26, I thought Nf3 was going to be the decisive blow.
Sep-14-07  alan11: OK. The more I look at 26...Nf3, I think that is the preferred line. It wins in two regardless of whites reply. What am I missing. 27 Kf1 loses to 27...Nh2, and 27 Kh1 loses to ...Qh2. what am I missing?
Sep-14-07  TrueBlue: Re2 wasn't that strong and should have been met with Nxd4. I got the moves till just before Re2 and wasn't sure what white should play ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <Alan11: What am I missing. 27 Kf1 loses to 27...Nh2>

How is that? I see no immediate end with 27...Nh2+. Neither does my silicon friend, which after that move suggests 28.Kg1 Nf3+ 29.Kf1 Nh4+ 30.Kg1 Nxg2 transposing back into the game.

Sep-14-07  King mega: this puzzle, given only 1 min, solved but i put Rxf2 before Bxg3, same thing rite?
Sep-14-07  yuramonjr: Rf3 at move 28 should really ends the game
Sep-14-07  znprdx: OTB I'd probably play Qb8 and then go to work on the isolated d4 pawn. A Knight on f4 would be dynamic, combined with Nb4, but getting it there is far from clear since White has lots of play (including counter sacrifices) given the c file control 22...Bb4 might be the way to proceed. If (not forced) 23.g3xf4[B] Rxf4 Then (again not forced) 24. Bxf4[R] Nxf4[B] and I'm hearing the jazz song >So What?< .....except that I've once again timed out. OK so that leaves us Plan B.

The classic 22...Rxf3[N] 23. Bxf3[R]. Ok now we can go nuts Bxg3 24. f2xg3[B] Qxg3+ (the point: no time for the saving Bf2) If Bg2? Nh4 :) As for the two other King replies to the check the game plays itself. What I find amazing is that these kind of combinations rarely occur at the grandmaster level. Is it because their play is more cautious? In two of Sept 13th's (2007) World Championship games there were volatile positions with juicy combinational potential all which fizzled into agreed draws. We really must demand more of our top players.

Sep-14-07  alan11: SwitchingQuylthulg: Sorry, I missed Kg1. That's what I was missing!!
Sep-14-07  skemup: I got it but i chosed 25..Rf2
Sep-14-07  znprdx: <yuramonjr: Rf3 at move 28> No Kidding!! But that would have reduced his profound combination by 10 ply, like I said earlier not really convincing. We should ask if 26.Rc2 may have been better in which case Nf3+ might work.
Sep-14-07  Veroth: The bishop on d7 is huge, isn't it?
Sep-14-07  xKinGKooLx: 5/5. 22. ...Bxg3 took me 10 minutes to find (OK, so I'm a bit slow), mainly because I was stuck between that and 22. ...Rxf3. When I saw 22. ...Rxf3 doesn't work, the continuation took me another 5 minutes. 26. ...Nxg2 and the last few moves were the hardest to see. Very good puzzle. Can't wait for tomorrow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I looked at sacs at f3 and g3-I didn't dream that black would employ both!

In fact,the attack-as attacks seem to do-gain black much in exchange for the rook sacrificed.

Sep-14-07  YouRang: Sheesh. Black has 2 rooks, 2 bishops, a queen and at least one knight all in striking range of white's king position. There's GOT to be some way to bring this to a boil!

In situations like this where the firepower is abundant, it usually means there will be a sacrifice (or 2 or 3) to blow apart the defense and end up with a winning attack. The trick is to decide how you want things to end up after the sacrifices have been made, and then work backwards.

I figured that I'd have a deadly attack if my queen comes in with check g3 - so first I'd open the door at g3 with a bishop sac: 22...Bxg3 23. fxg3 (probably not black's best move, but if not I win a key pawn).

Next I hoped to displace the bishop from g2 with 22...Rxf3. I've recovered by piece and I'm still up a key pawn, and soon I'll take the g3 pawn with ...Qxg3, and black is in bad shape.

I was actually surprised to see that white accepted the exchange sac with 24. Bxf3??, but then, maybe he felt he had nothing to lose (i.e. he was lost anyway).

This opens Pandora's box. At the least, black should be able to recover materially after ...Qxg3+ with ...Nh4 (mate threat) and ...Nf3+ (fork king & rook and more mate threats). With this, and the f-file open for my rook, white is in a very ugly mess. I didn't carry the line much further since I figured white was a goner.

Well, 22...Bxg3 was an excellent move to pick up a pawn, but white made it worse than it had to be, IMO.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: After 24...Qxg3+, the camel's nose, neck, hump, and hindquarters are in the tent, and White is lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: GM Skembris is not exactly a greek bearing gifts when he springs a surprise demolition of pawn structure combination, beginning with 22...Bxg3!!, on his opponent (winning this game and solving today's daily puzzle).

Note that the followup 26. Qe2 (or 26. Qe2) loses even more quickly to a discovered check after 26...Nf3+ 27. Kf1 Nxd4+ , winning the White Queen.

In the game continuation after 28...Nxd4 , Black's extra material (three pawns is more than enough compensation for a meager exchange) and positional attacking advantages (initiative, development and control of space) give him an easy win.

Sep-14-07  Halfpricemidge: Wouldn't 30.Qxe2 be better for white?
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: No points for me. I saw the first three moves, but I would certainly not have tried them. But if I had, I'm sure I would have seen 25...Nh4 and the subsequent win of the ♗ on e3. After 28...Nxd4, black has three ♙s for the exchange, which is already enough to justify the combination.

Then, instead of 29...Nxe2, I would have played 29...Nf3+. followed by 30...Nh4. That also wins.

Sep-14-07  pawnofdoom: Bxg3 is always the obvious correct move if white has castled, fianchettoed, and played h3 and really rips apart his kingside. But I found no good continuation to it and gave up. my other choice was Nh4, which did nothing except to give up a knight for free, as the attack wouldn't pull through.
Sep-14-07  YouRang: <Halfpricemidge: Wouldn't 30.Qxe2 be better for white?>

That seems to hang his rook: 30...Qxc1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Well, in such positions, Black has an opportunity to sac his Bishop on g3 & invade White's Kingside with all his pieces ready to pounce & even it didn't success atleast,Black could draw the game by giving perpetual checks in lieu of 26...Nxg2 26...Nf3+ 27.Kf1 Nh2+ 28.Kg1 Nf3+ But if White plays 26.Qe2 or 26.Qg4 in either case Black will win the Queen & the game with 26...Nf3+.
Sep-14-07  willyfly: Lots of material still on the board and it's dead even - Black's pieces are all aimed into the ♔'s corner where a sac or two would bring the ♔ out into the open - so the theme seems to be a mate or threat to mate - where do we start?


how about

22...♗xg3 23 fxg3 ♕xg3 24 ♖f1 ♘f4 25 ♗xf4 ♖xf4

that's all I got - time to look

it always makes me feel better when the game has a long continuation following the puzzle position - then I'm satisfied just to have been thinking along the right lines - for some reason it's comforting to know I never had a chance in the first place

Sep-14-07  Monkey King: Oi, forgot completly about the knight on g6, poor week for me.
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