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Marc Narciso Dublan vs Yuriy Kryvoruchko
European Individual Championship (2008), Plovdiv BUL, rd 9, Apr-30
Sicilian Defense: Alapin Variation. General (B22)  ·  0-1



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Aug-31-10  hedgeh0g: I went with 80...Qxe4+, which, in my opinion, is the strongest move as every single move after this is forced and leads to mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Two of the funniest things about this position is how quickly the white king can get stalemated, and the unusual role played by white's g3 pawn.

When we start the action....

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... white has three pieces that can move - his king, queen and the aforementioned g3 pawn. It seems that stalemate is a long way away. Yet if we wander down the stalemate line we find that all three pieces quickly run out of moves:

80...e1=Q (pins the white g3 pawn) 81. Qg3+ Kxg3 (simultaneously captures the white queen and deprives the white king of a square)

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It's a stalemate draw, just two black moves on from a position where white had three pieces that could. Or we have the longer version: 80...e1=Q 81. Qg3+ Kg8/ Kh8 82. Qe8+

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Now black can either play 83...Kh7 84. Qg3+ for a perpetual or 83...Qxe8 for another stalemate draw:

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The g3 pawn is clearly important for white's defence. So let's destroy it! After 80...Qxf4+ white is faced with an awkward choice of 81. Kh5 Qg5#, 81. g4 e1=Q+ 82. Kh5 Qg5# or 81. gxf4 e1=Q+ and mate with Kh5/ Qg5 is just a quick sprint up the staircase.

So perhaps this whole position boils down to just the g3 pawn? Allow it to be pinned and white draws. Force it to move and black wins.

Aug-31-10  MiCrooks: There seems to be way too many ways to skin the cat today. Qxf4 seems to work okay, as does e1(Q) (the poster who thought that Qg6 is stalemate must play by the rule that you have to take :) as simply Kg8 leaves Black a Queen up with solid threats. Sure the under-promotion works, but with so many other equally viable choices this seems like a bad choice for a puzzle.
Aug-31-10  Artsemthon: No, 80...e1Q? 81.Qg6+ Kg8 does not win: 82.Qe8+! and if 82...Qxe8 then White is stalemated. If 82..Kh7 83.Qg6+ and the game ends in a draw by either stalemate or threefold repetition.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <MiCrooks> As today is a Tuesday, I guess that a solution is any sensible move other than 80...e1=Q. See my post just one above yours for the line which deals with 80...e1=Q 82. Qg6+ Kg8 or Kh8. Sure it's not a guaranteed stalemate, but black's only other choice is to allow the draw by perpetual check.

Fritzie finds 9 moves for black which win, so I guess that finding any one of those would do for a solution ... as long as you avoid 80...e1=Q

Aug-31-10  MiCrooks: Yep I noticed that after hitting post.
Missed that Q on e8 also covers White's last escape square. Clearly what White was playing for on h3.

Why Qxf4+ is probably best/simplest. It leads to mate in 6 with a series of forced moves. The immediate under-promotion is inferior as it leads to mate in 10 and leaves the chance that you might might have missed a shot like Qg6+.

Interestingly, the quiet Qd3 also leads to mate in 6 with the under-promotion coming next move. Key is it eliminates g4 as an alternative which delays things a few moves with the game line.

Aug-31-10  MiCrooks: Can't agree with LifeMaster - if Qf4+ was not there then maybe this would be tough, but given that move IS sitting there this is right at Tuesday caliber. If forced to find the underpromotion to avoid stalemate then I would agree that it belongs a day or two later in the week, but as it stands there have been a lot harder Tuesday puzzles.
Aug-31-10  jfshade: Great puzzle, both for the stalemate/perp check trap after e1=Q and the range of winning moves.

I agree with <once>: "But when stalemates are in the air, it pays to carry on checking." Even though I thought e1=N or e1=R should win, I was glad to find the forced mating sequence after Qxf4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <LIFE Master AJ> Queen takes pawn felony? And capsized mar tell over edicts three point plan. Promotion swim little chapie religiously home. Qg3+ bamboozles white floundering Qxf5+ park resistance. Block said check, animalistic 84..Qxg6 it steam jar king fadeaway.
Aug-31-10  estrick: Don't think anyone else has said this, it seems that Kryvoruchko underpromoted to a knight just to be cute, just because he could. No doubt he saw the straight forward Q sac on f4 which leads to a forced mate with no variations, and simply decided to do something a little less mundane.
Aug-31-10  James Bowman: Ok I went with Qxf4+ and a simple forced mate in 6 can I get 50% or something for bringing it home by force? Is this week over yet er what?
Aug-31-10  Patriot: <<LIFE Master AJ>: <Believe it or not, I also looked at 80...Qd3. (Zugzwang.) However, it was not clearly winning to me ... I did not use any computer help. BTW. This has got to be the toughest Tuesday puzzzle ever!!! (Anyone agree?)>

I agree it's a tricky Tuesday, but I would have to say the toughest Tuesday puzzles are the one's I failed to solve. :-)

I think <chrisowen> gave the same answer...LOL. (No offense, just trying to be funny)

Aug-31-10  David2009: M Narciso-Dublan vs Y Kryvoruchko, 2008 Black 80...?

Black has to avoid the pitfall 80...e1=Q?? 81 Qg6+! Kg8 Qe8+ with perpetual check since if the Q is captured (on either square) Black is stalemated. Black can win with 80...e1=R which does not pin the g3 Pawn and wins, slowly but surely, on material. THis is the move I would make over the board. As it is a puzzle I look further and spot 80...e1=N!? 81 g4 (to break free of the mating net) fxg4 82 Kxg4 and is White escaping? Moral - let's keep it simple with e1=R.

Before checking the game, I will input these other two tries into Crafty to see if Black can still win:

80...Qxf4+!? is spectacular but not sensible: 81 gxf4 e1=Q+ 82 Kh5 Qe2+ 83 Kh4 Qf2+ 84 Kh5 Qf3+ 85 Kh4 Qxf4+ 86 Kh5 Qf3+ 87 Kh4 All White moves have been forced, but what happens next? Black has no useful Queen move. Now 87...f4? allows perpetual check and 87...h5 may or may not win.

Before checking the game I will input these two tries into Crafty End Game Trainerto see if I can draw against them:

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Narciso-Dublan vs Kryvoruchko with 80...e1=N As expected Crafty wins easily

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Narciso-Dublan vs Y Kryvoruchko with 80...Qxf4+

Not vey good analysis: Qxf4+ does indeed win because in the line I analyse after 87 Kh5 Qg5# is checkmate. <Black has no useful Queen move.>: I had missed Qg5 because I "saw" g5 as still being protected by a Pawn at f4 So I score 2/3. Time to check - did anyone spot all three wins?
Black chose the N underpromotion.
<LIFE Master AJ [snip] This has got to be the toughest Tuesday puzzzle ever!!! (Anyone agree?)> It can't be that tough with 3 different solutions! :-)

Aug-31-10  Zkid: In fact I think there are more than three. Any reasonable move wins easily - in addition to Qxf4+, e1=R and e1=N, all easy to find, there are also wins after Qd3, Qc2, and Qb1, and even Qc6, since after Qxf5+ Qg6 white can only stop promotion by Qe5 and black wins with Qf6+. In fact, even the silly moves Kh8 and h5 still win.

This leads me to think that the real intended "gist" of the puzzle is avoiding the stalemate trick, hence the easy level. All one really has to do is NOT play e1=Q?? Qg6+ Kh8 Qe8+! with perpetual or stalemate to get the puzzle right. Straightforward, too, since one can see that black is clearly winning and there isn't much else to worry about besides stalemate unless you hang f5.

Might be a bit trickier in a game, but I doubt many people would fall for it except in severe time trouble.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <BOSTER: <Phony Benoni> <I am trying to do this blindfold> . I have couple questions. When playing <blindfold> do you continue to watch the puzzle diagram or not? And another one. After 80...Qxf4 81.gxf4 e1=Q+ did you see the final position with Qg5# without moving the queen in your head step by step.>

What I really meant was that I was analyzing without moving the pieces around. For the most part, I was looking at the initial position, and working in my head.

The stalemate trap was easy; I've seen a lot of them, and know the warning signs. Then I noticed 80...Qxf4+ 81.gxf4 e1Q+, and started to think about the staircase maneuver.

I didn't "see" the entire line up to ...Qg5# at once. Before that, I got up from the computer to ... well, let's just say I got up from the computer. But I continued to think about the line without looking at the position, and worked it out to the end before coming back and checking.

I would sometimes do that during tournament games; analyze mentally while walking away from the board, or removing my glasses and putting my hands over my eyes for a couple of minutes while thinking. However, I'm not good enough at visualization to play an entire game without looking at the board. (And don't tell me it's easy and you do it all the time. I just know I can't.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: I'd have to vote for Qxf4 as the best solution. The moves are completely forcing to checkmate. It might be a longer checkmate, but there is no possibility of missing a defensive line.
Aug-31-10  BOSTER: <Phony Benoni> Thanks for answer. Honestly I did not want to puzzle you. The problem is to understand our thinking process. Sometimes the solution of the puzzle is well known pattern and I guess many can see this by "hand" how Anand would say. About <visualization to play an entire game without looking at the board>. I don't know it's easy or not, but current time I don't play.
Aug-31-10  turbo231: <LIFE Master AJ: this has to be the toughest Tuesday puzzle ever. Does anyone agree?

I couldn't disagree more, last Tuesday's puzzle was the toughest ever. Anyone agree?

Aug-31-10  rapidcitychess: <Zkid> Do you happen to be FM Zierk?
Aug-31-10  rapidcitychess: Today's puzzle happens to be like a saying. "Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermo nuclear warfare."

Actually it is something in the saying.

Today's puzzle is more like thermo-nuclear warfare.

*insert superpower here" is firing a missle at *insert superpower here*.

The Genarel shouts "Fire the missle! One of his lesser grunts yells back "But sir! We don't have a precice targeting system!""So what! just don't hit the other side of the Earth!"

Today all we have to do is make sure we don't hit the other side of the earth with 80.e1=Q (Or 80.e1-B!)

Premium Chessgames Member Today's puzzle is almost a spoiler. There are numerous moves that win, but you get no credit if you picked the "obvious" attempt, e1=Q??

For those who haven't seen it, today's Game of the Day Stockfish vs Rybka, 2009 culminates in a very similar theme.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <BOSTER>: Now that I think about it, there was another factor that suggested 80...Qxf4+.

Last weekend, I was working on Game Collection: Hastings 1958/59. One of the games I came across (not yet in the database) was this:

<Erno Gereben> - <Wolfgang Uhlmann>

<1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bg5 0-0 5.e3 c6 6.Nf3 d5 7.Qb3 Qa5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bc4 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Qc7 11.0-0 b6 12.Bf4 Qd8 13.a4 Nd7 14.a5 b5 15.Be2 a6 16.Rfd1 Qe8 17.Bg3 e5 18.Rac1 Bb7 19.Qb4 Rc8 20.Qd6 e4 21.Ne5 Nxe5 22.dxe5 c5 23.Bg4 Rc6 24.Qd2 Bc8 25.Bxc8 Rxc8 26.Qd6 Qc6 27.Rd5 Rfe8 28.f4 exf3 29.gxf3 Qa8 30.Rcd1 c4 31.e4 Bf8 32.Qf6 Be7 33.Qf4 Qc6 34.Rd7 b4 35.cxb4 c3 36.R1d6 Qc4 37.e6 fxe6 38.Rd1 c2 39.Rc1 Qxb4 40.Qg4 Bf6 41.Qf4 Qb2 42.e5 Re7 43.Qxf6 Qxc1+ 44.Kg2>

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Black wins in most lines, even after 44...Rxd7 45.Qxe6+ winning the rook back. But Uhlmann chose a move that immediately cancelled any counterplay:

<44...Qf1+ 45.Kxf1 c1Q+ 0-1>

And 46...Rc2+ follows, winning a whole rook. Sort of a Bristol theme.

Moves like that get remembered. Who says that compiling these game collections is a waste of time?

Sep-01-10  Tal rules: Why didn't black play Qxe1 on move 76? It just wins the bishop for free!
Sep-01-10  turbo231: I played houdini vs chessmaster 9000. I gave 9000 black, 9000 promoted to queen (and the second move) and mated houdini in 28 moves.
Jul-02-16  Exploding: <David2009> For your 80...♕xf4+ after 86. ♔h5 ♕g5 is mate.
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