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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Evgeny Tomashevsky
World Cup (2007), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 3, Dec-01
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Quiet Line (E15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-24-08  Jason Frost: Nice move Ponomariov gets a pawn and wins with B+R trumping N+R
Apr-24-08  Frankly: For once I got it instantly (but then again, I was looking for weird counter-intuitive moves). It's a pity such a nice cheeky move yields such a small return.
Apr-24-08  whiteshark: <32.Rf4 Ke7 33.Bb2> would have been my choice. I didn't see that the weakness of the 7th rank could win a ♙, starting with 32.Rc8.
Apr-24-08  areknames: I got 32.Rc8! after a few frustrating minutes. 32..e5 probably is black's best defense. He can fight on, but at the end of the day the win is a matter of endgame technique.
Apr-24-08  Robin01: I could not decide between 32.Rc8 or 32.Rf4+, so I decided to choose 32.Rf4+

Obviously, it was the other move that was played.

Apr-24-08  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium): White to play and win.

Material: B for N. White has Rc6 on the open c-file and Rg4, somewhat exposed, opposite Rg8 with Pg7 in between. The Bd4 intensifies the attack on Pg7 and restrains Pe6. The Black Kf7 is active, but exposed to R checks on the file and potentially on the rank as well. The Black Rs are on the defensive, and the Black Na6 is on the edge of the board, temporarily out of play. White has two long-term advantages: B vs. N, and 2 P islands vs. 3.

Candidates (32.): Rc8

32.Rc8 (threatening 33.Rf4+ 34.Rxg8 and if Rg8 moves, 33.Rxg7+)

Black loses a P without compensation if he accepts the sacrifice.

32…Rxc8 33.Rxg7+ Ke8 [Kf8 Rxd7] 34.Rg8+ Ke7 [or Kf7] 35.Rxc8

Because of the threat 33.Rf4+, Black cannot refuse the sacrifice without dropping at least a P.

Apr-24-08  goodevans: Got it straight away, but maybe that was simply due to my own inability to see alternative candidates!
Apr-24-08  CaptGeorge: Yes, I would have played Rc8 to force rook exchange. White's pawns are better situated to win the endgame, so the faster we get there, the quicker I would win.
Apr-24-08  DarthStapler: I didn't even think of that
Apr-24-08  YouRang: I suppose that this is one of those puzzles where it's best not to think of it as a puzzle, as a puzzle normally suggests the existence of a clever game-winning (or game-saving) move.

Today, it's just: "Here's a position, what move would you suggest?".

With that view, I doubt that I'd see Rc8. The two moves I had considered most worthy were Rf4 and Be5.

Apr-24-08  kevin86: I looked at Rf4+,but didn't see much future in it. I CERTAINLY didn't see the text move.
Apr-24-08  desiobu: My thought process was:

Ok there's an attack on g7->I need to get the king alone there. The only free piece was the c rook, so i played it out and saw white could get it back after Rc8.

Apr-24-08  lopium: I saw it! For once I thought harder on a puzzle. I solved it mainly because white don't have many other choices and that this is the only good move.
Apr-24-08  johnlspouge: <<YouRang> wrote: I suppose that this is one of those puzzles where it's best not to think of it as a puzzle, as a puzzle normally suggests the existence of a clever game-winning (or game-saving) move. [snip]>

I am starting to feel like one of Pavlov's dogs, too. Consider for example the difficulties yesterday's puzzle posed for the site "regulars". For a Wednesday, the puzzle required more calculation and was less decisive than usual. I believe there would have been fewer failures if the puzzle had been presented on Friday.

There is much to be said for approaching life without any expectations :)

Apr-24-08  stacase: I got Rc8 and about two following moves.
Apr-24-08  lost in space: Don't know it I got it. I saw no check mate but a forced a way to win one pawn: 32. Rc8 Rxc8 33. Rxg7+ and the R on d7 is lost. Everything else seems to be too complicate for a Thursday puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I saw the right move and the right idea instantly but got lazy. I saw Rc8, Rxc8, Rxg7+, Ke8 and Black protects his d-rook. Had I just looked a little further of course I would have seen Rg8+ picking up the OTHER rook.

So after discarding that idea I tried Bxb6, Rf4+, and a number of fruitless ideas, only to finally come back to Rc8 again. So I finally got it, but it took me a long time.

The lesson here for me is that when I go through variations in my head, I should analyze them deep enough to know whether they are worth investigation or need to be discarded. It's a big mistake to discard the winning line.

Apr-24-08  ruzon: Thanks to <johnlspouge>'s demonstrated resolve in this forum, I was able to stick with the position long enough to see that Rc8 comes out ahead whether Black accepts or declines, though I didn't see e5 as a worthwhile reply.
Apr-24-08  wals: Static Evaluation: Material is even. White has the advantage of a Bishop over a knight. The black King is exposed. On the kingside, white has four pawns against black's two.

Dynamic Evaluation: Checking with the rook on f4, King moves e7, or e8 with little response from white. There is not much attacking piece action available to black. a2-a3 prevents Nb4, a reasonable move. Rf4+ a reasonable move. h2-4, a reasonable move. Rh4, a reasonable move. Rc8 a reasonable move.

Abstract Assessment: 32.Rc8 ...RxR 33.Rxg7+ ...Ke8 34.Rg8+ should be enough for this puzzle


Well I got the first move right.

Ruslan Ponomariov - Evgeny Tomashevsky, World Chess Cup 2007

Analysis by Fritz 11: depth 24 time 5min 27

1. (1.39): 32...e6-e5 33.Rc8xg8 Kf7xg8 34.Bd4xe5 Na6-c5 35.Rg4-d4 Kg8-f7 36.Rd4-d1 Kf7-e6 37.Be5-d4 Rd7-e7 38.f2-f4 Nc5-e4 39.Rd1-c1 Ke6-f5 40.h2-h3 h7-h5 41.Rc1-c8 Ne4-d2 42.Rc8-f8+ Kf5-e4 43.Bd4-e5 Ke4-e3

2. (1.60): 32...g7-g5 33.Rc8xg8 Kf7xg8 34.Rg4xg5+ Kg8-f8 35.Rg5-e5 Rd7-e7 36.Bd4-b2 Na6-c5 37.Re5-e3 Kf8-e8 38.g3-g4 Ke8-d7 39.Bb2-e5 Kd7-c6 40.Re3-c3 Kc6-b5 41.Rc3-c1 Re7-f7 42.f2-f4 Nc5-d7 43.Be5-d6

(, 25.04.2008)

Apr-24-08  ToTheDeath: I chose the regrouping manuever 32.Rf4+ Ke7 33.Bb2 with the nasty threat of Ba3+. Though this is not quite as strong as 32. Rc8, it is very good for white as well. I only spent about 30 seconds on this, I hope I'd find the best move Rc8 in an actual game situation but you never know.
Apr-24-08  zb2cr: After a long search for something better, I concluded that 32. Rc8, winning a Pawn, was the best that White could do.
Apr-24-08  ToTheDeath: Incidentally the finish to this game is very nice- if 62...Rxf3 63.Bf4+ Kc6 64.Rd8 Nb6 65.Kg2! wins a rook in broad daylight.
Apr-24-08  johnlspouge: <<ruzon> wrote: Thanks to <johnlspouge>'s demonstrated resolve [snip]>

Thanks, <ruzon>. Others have occasionally called the same characteristic something else indeed ;>)

Apr-24-08  AugustAle: Everything thru 34.Bxe5 is prettymuch automatic. Better moves than 35. Rd4 ??
Apr-25-08  patzer2: For the Thursday April 24, 2008 puzzle solution, the decoy sacrifice offer 32. Rc8 attacks the overworked rook on g8. If 32...Rxc8?, then the skewer 33. Rxg7 should be sufficient.

See <wals>' Fritz 11 deep analysis for a more in depth look at White's winning possibilities against Black's better moves.

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