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Vladimir Kramnik vs Viswanathan Anand
"Amberdextrous" (game of the day Mar-16-2008)
Amber Tournament (Rapid) (2008) (rapid), Nice FRA, rd 1, Mar-15
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Check Variation Intermezzo Line (E15)  ·  0-1



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sac: 42...Qf3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-06-10  Ferro: RESULT CORNER
Aug-06-10  turbo231: missed it great puzzle i played houdini about 10 times lost every game i wonder how long it would have taken me to see the magic move Qf3 hours days weeks months...
Aug-06-10  Ferro: Bogoljubov vs Tartakower
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <Eduardo and others>After 46...Kf4 in the 43...Kg5 lines, Black still has one ace in the hole, that being his d-pawn. In fact, I think the d-pawn is strong enough to where in some lines Black can sacrifice one of his rooks for two of White's queenside pawns and still have good winning chances. For example, in Eduardo's line 48...Ke4 49. Rb3 Rb8 50. c6 Rc7 51. Rb6 d4 52. a5, Black can play 52...Rxc6! 53. Rxc6 Rxb7.

click for larger view

Black is down a pawn, but I think he stands better thanks to his active king and strong supported pawn. For example, after 54. a6 Rb1+ 55. Kg2 Ra1 the Black pawn looks very dangerous.

But, wait, there's more! Since the d-pawn seems to be the key to Black's counterplay, the king should be in an even better position to support the pawn by coming forward on move 48: 48...Ke2!? 49. c6 Rc7 50. a5 d4 51. Rb3 Rxc6! 52. b8=Q Rxb8 53. Rxb8 d3

click for larger view

I have to say, I really like Black in this postion. :)

Aug-06-10  AuN1: managed to get it. yesterday i was thinking about a similar theme in a position i saw, and sure enough it turned out to be today's puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: As discussed at length in the earlier kibitizing back in 2008, at move 41, white had a chance to engineer a great escape with 41 Qa5!, (or Re1 first).

Now black’s plan for 41…Qxf4 followed by 42…Bf3 does not work, because white can find that meaningful check that wins him the f pawn.

So, if 41 Qa5 Qxf4 42 Re1 Qf3 43 Bxf3 gxf3 occurs here is the position.

click for larger view

White looks done for, but instead wins with 44 Re6+!. This move forces black to take the rook, enabling white's queen to check and win the f pawn.

click for larger view

Play continues 44..Kf5 45 Rf6+! Kxf6, and then 46 Qc3+ follows, winning the f pawn.

click for larger view

An amazing game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sackman: Didn't get this but I don't feel bad - a beautiful key move and the whole game is a pleasure to play through.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I gotta admit, I didn't get this one - like many others I was transfixed with 42...Rh1+.

I'm filing this combo away for review. Great puzzle!

Aug-06-10  hedgeh0g: I remember this game. Who can forget a move like 42...Qf3!! ?
Aug-06-10  cjgone: Thought Rh1. :(
Aug-06-10  Eduardo Leon: <OBIT>, in your 43...♔g5, 46...♔f4 and 48...♔e2 line, I think 51.♖c2+ is stronger than 51.♖b3. But the question arises: How would the game follow with best play?

One possibility is 51...♔e1 52.♖c1+ ♔d2 53.♖b1 ♖xc6 54.b8=♕ ♖xb8 55.♖xb8.

click for larger view

There is little material left over the board, yet the evaluation of the position is very complicated. However, if white could reach this position, with himself to play, it would be a tablebase draw with ♔g2:

click for larger view

So, unless black has a forced win that cannot prevented with the advance of the white a pawn, white has a draw.

Aug-06-10  Eduardo Leon: I forgot to add: The evaluation of the last diagram as a tablebase draw does not change if the black king is placed at d1, d3 or f3, so 51...♔d1, 52...♔d3 and 51...♔f3 do not really make a difference. And, if black keeps the king in the e1, e2 and e3 squares, it is a perpetual check. So the only other possibility 51...♔e4.
Aug-06-10  wals: White choice for move 42.bxc6 was dreadful, but what was available?

Quickie Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. (-8.56): 42.Qxb7 Rxb7[]
2. (-11.29): 42.Qd8 Rxd8
3. (-11.49): 42.Qc7 Rxc7
4. (-#19): 42.Kf1 Rh1+
5. (-#12): 42.bxc6 Qf3

Aug-06-10  rigel1503: Amazing. I was transfixed with Rh1+ like nearly everyone else and the simple Q sac with Qf3 wins as Bxf3 will lead to Black capturing with the "mighty" pawn via gxf3 denying the White king any flight squares. And yes, if it was a Monday or Tuesday puzzle I may have seen it immediately as you tend to look for Q sacs on those days. An incredibly instructive puzzle I have to say.
Aug-06-10  Eduardo Leon: <wals>, I don't get the point of saying 42.bxc6 was dreadful. Perhaps dropping from -1 (meaning black is winning, but white has practical chances) to -3 (meaning black is almost surely winning) could be considered dreadful. But, when all your options are evaluated by one of the best engines as losing by at least 8.5 points (where 1 point = 1 pawn advantage, ignoring positional considerations), what is dreadful is to have reached such a situation in first place.
Aug-06-10  M.Hassan: 'difficult" Black to move 42...
White is 2 pawns up
I followed this line:
43.Bxh1 Qh2+
44.Kf1 Qxh1+
45.Ke2 Qe4+
46.Kd1 Rh1+
47.Kd2 Qd4+
48.Ke2 Qe4+
49.Kd2 Qe4+
1/2 1/2
Unfortunately I did not see the ingenious move of 42...Qf3 Sigh
Aug-06-10  patzer2: Anand's clever Queen sacrfice 42...Qf3!! initiates a surprisingly simple mating attack, as so entertaingly and instructively described by <once>, which, incidently, solves today's Friday puzzle.

I missed the mating attack with 42...Qf3!!, thinking the puzzle was a defensive combination. However, I did manage to find a draw by perpetual with 42... Rh1+ 43. Bxh1 Qh2+ 44. Kf1 Qxh1+ 45. Ke2 Qe4+ 46. Kd2 Qd4+ 47. Ke2 Qe4+ 48. Kd2 Qd4+ 49. Ke2 Qe4+ 50. Kd2 = etc.

However, Fritz 10 had a little surprise for me in that line, indicating that after 42... Rh1+ 43. Bxh1 Qh2+ 44. Kf1 Qxh1+ 45. Ke2 Qe4+ 46. Kd2 Qd4+ 47. Ke2 Bc8! Black still has excellent winning chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I've been looking at this position all day and it's kicking my butt. Here's what I've got:


A forcing move looks necessary as white threatens 43.cxb7+. Other forcing moves, such as 42...Qh7+, don't seem to lead anywhere.

43.Bxh1 Qh7+ 44.Kf1 Qxh1+ 45.Ke2 Qe4+ 46.Kd2 Qd4+ 47.Ke2 Re8+ 48.Kf1 Qe3+ 49.Kg1

And here's where I get stuck. There are a host of alternatives, but I can't get anywhere with them.

If 45...Qf3+ 46.Kd2 Qxf2+ 47.Kc3 Qf6+ 48.Kb3 Rh3+ 49.Ka2

And again that slippery devil has escaped.


I don't want to give up, but it's almost 9 pm. One more look before I post this. Sigh...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: mm, that hurt. After 42...Qf3 43.cxb7+ Kf5, there are no further checks and mate can't be stopped. Did not see it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Several e-mails from fans and friends.

Sorry. truth is truth, I missed it ... and I was not the only one. (I got stuck on making ...Rh1+ work, like <dzechiel> ... and probably a lot of others.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <Eduardo>In your first diagram (the position after 55. Rxb8), it is Black to move. So, let's play 55...d3 for Black. Now, just to use the tablebase to get a feel for this position, play 56. a6 Rxa6 -- and we learn from the tablebase that this is a win for Black. In other words, it's a draw if the Black pawn is on d4, but a win if the pawn is on d3. Evidently, we are looking at a critical position where one tempo is making a difference in the result. (Playing around with the tablebase, it's apparent that the outcome is coming down to whether the White f-pawn can get far enough up the board to reach a drawn K+P vs K+R endgame when the Black rook has to sacrifice himself for the d-pawn.)

Let's continue with 56. Kg2 Kc2. Just to check, 57. a6 Rxa6 is still a tablebase win. So, I think the point has been reached where the rook has to give himself up for the pawn: 57. Rd8 d2 58. f4 d1=Q 59. Rxd1 Kxd1, and this R vs 2P ending is again a tablebase win for Black. I checked 60. Kf3 in the tablebase (diagram below), and it turns out Black's only winning move is 60...Rc4!

click for larger view

Aug-07-10  Eduardo Leon: <OBIT>, you are right. That 60...♖c4! did really hurt. The chess world needs 7 men tablebases.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A tough choice:white either lets the queen be and it mated by the rook sac and mate by the second---OR---take the queen and be sealed in by the pawn and wait fir the rook to mate him.
Sep-02-11  sevenseaman: 42...Qf3 is primordial magic!
Sep-20-12  engineerX: Kramnik obviously had missed 42...Qf3. After Anand plays it, though it probably takes Kramnik less than a second to calculate that he is losing, he probably guesses he is lost even before calculating.
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