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Tengiz Gvarjaladze vs Varlam Vepkhvishvili
Ch Georgian (1998), ?, rd 5, Mar-08
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Chigorin Defense Panov System (C99)  ·  0-1



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sac: 34...Bxc4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Sep-08-12  morfishine: Good through 34...Bxc4 35.Rxb3 axb3 36.Qb1

Not so good is <36...Rxa3> instead of the surgical and much better 36...Bxf1

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <Abdel Irada> wrote: [snip] Black obtains two rooks and an advanced passed pawn for his queen with <34. ...Bxc4!>; however, I cannot claim the felicity of being able to prove a win. [snip] >

When I started playing chess seriously, I had the following stripped-down position with White against Paul Brown.

click for larger view

I had captured on d5 to get a passed P. Paul played a nice combination, which was at the edge of my comprehension at the time:

[1]...Nb3 [2] axb3 Rxa1 [3] Rxa1

Nigel Fullbrook happened to pass by and saw the combination. Paul exclaimed exultantly, "Nigel, look as this!". After the combination had been played, Nigel remarked drily, "Too bad it loses," and sauntered away.

There is more than point count (Q=9=R+N+P) to chess: Nigel knew it, but Paul and I were less aware. I was amazed at how fast Paul's game fell apart, but <I> was the one with an extra piece to help push my passed d-pawn, and the P became unstoppable.

Needless to say, <FSR>'s analysis

< <FSR> wrote: 34...Bxc4 35.Rxb3 (35.Rxc4 Rxc4) axb3! 36.Qd2 Bxf1+ 37.Kxf1 Rxa3 must win for Black. Black has two rooks for a queen, and the passed b-pawn is a monster. >

was as far as I needed to calculate, beyond the fact that the passed b-pawn survives to become a strategic issue.

Sep-08-12  Djoker: First few moves are kind of forced.
34. ...Bxc4
35. Rxb3 axb3
36. Qd2(Qd1 I don't prefer because of passed pawn, Qb1 would probably amount to same) Bxf1+ 37. Kxf1 Rxa3(Is it best?)
38. Qb2 Rca8(forced)
White has no move left...Pawn and rook can't be captured by the queen. Knight is virtually pinned in view of Ra1+. King can't move because of Ra2 pinning queen.

Now 38. Qb4 looks a bit better, but even it has no worthwhile continuation after Rca8

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Pretty cool comboniation.
Sep-08-12  Abdel Irada: <Djoker>:

As remarked in my follow-up post, 38. ♕b4 doesn't work. Black can reply with 38. ...♖a1 and either win the knight or force in the pawn.

Also, in your line, 38. ...♖ca8 is not forced. Black can play instead 38. ...♖b8!, because if White plays 39. ♕xa3?, Black can push the pawn (39. ...b2) and White will have to give up the queen for it.

Sep-08-12  sevenseaman: <johnlspouge: When I started playing chess seriously ....>

The way you bring home the import of a passed...sublime! For most the impending loss of the Q would be a deterrent.

Nigel Fullbrook ...hmm I had the pleasure of scanning his game J Herbert vs N Fullbrook, 1974. Must have been quite a guy to say in a flash " too bad it loses". Thanks for the peep into the golden age.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkThornton: Very simple for a Saturday. Bxc4 wins material (2R+P for a Q) and leaves Black with a monster pawn on b3.
Sep-08-12  Patriot: White threatens 35.Rxb3, so this threat must be dealt with in some way.

34...Bxc4 35.Rxb3 Bxd3 36.Rxd3 doesn't look very exciting.

34...Rxc4 35.Rxb3 and I don't see black will recover.

34...Qa2+ 35.Rf2 or 35.Rc2.

34...Qxc3 35.Qxc3 Bxc4, threatening 36...Bxf1+ and 37...Rxc3. This line looks interesting and creates an imbalance. Black gets a rook, knight, and the exchange for a queen. I think you gotta try it!

Sep-08-12  gofer: <34 ... Bxc4>

35 Qd2 Bxf8+

35 Qxc4 Qxc4

35 Rxc4 Qxd3 36 Nxd3 Rxc4 (Rxc8 Qxe4+ )

<35 Rxb3 axb3>

Black gives up his queen for Rook and Knight + a big passed pawn! Probably a good decision! Especially as the white queen is "en prise" and must move! So we have a <GOOT>. The queen only three escape squares b1, d2 and d1, but which is best?

<36 ? Rxf1+>
<37 Kxf1 Rxa3>

This is why this is a Saturday puzzle. There is still a lot to discuss, but whatever white plays as move 36 we will get to one of the following positions with white to move.

1) 36 Qb1

click for larger view

2) 36 Qd1

click for larger view

3) 36 Qd2

click for larger view

From here white needs to formulate a plan to stop the loss of Ne1 which can easily be pinned against the king and the queen which is also in danger of being pinned.

But while there are still lots of defensive options for white it is worth noting that white has no chance of attacking black's back rank as Kf8 makes the black defenses rock solid. So any attempt to do so is just wasting moves.

So I would say that this cancels out option 3) 36 Qd2 as the only reason to play Qd2 is play Qb4 or Qb2 next and in either variation black quickly wins gets an advantage...

36 Qd2 Bxf8+ 37 Kxf8 Rxa3 38 Qb4 Ra1 39 Qxb3 Rcc1

36 Qd2 Bxf8+ 37 Kxf8 Rxa3 38 Qb2 Rca8 and none of the white's pieces can move and so the black knight will be freed to move up the board to help the rooks.

But to be honest I cannot see the killer blow. It all looks pretty easy for black, but there are too many options for my little brain...


Okay, so as suspected, I had the right first 4 moves for black, but not for white. White lost very quickly, so the only questions is

<What was the best defence?>

Sep-08-12  Patriot: I didn't consider 35...axb3, but even in my line (35...Bxd3) Houdini gives black an advantage of almost a pawn--I don't understand that evaluation.

Houdini says 34...Qxc3 is ok, with a very slight advantage to black. But I can see how 35...axb3 is strong.

Sep-08-12  gofer: For those that would like to play the main line through against <Crafty EGT> (colours reversed)...

Sep-08-12  LoveThatJoker: <...Rac8> As I stated in my solution post, the ...Rac8 idea is extremely powerful and effective because it essentially threatens everything and anything along the 1st and 2nd ranks; though it depends on where it is used.

A) In any case, I gave 38. Ke2 (the game line) to Stockfish and fed it 38...Rca8. It gives a <-5.65/Depth of 21> evaluation of the position; making it clearly an objectively winning move.

Thankfully, as per Stockfish's output, Black can still resort to the ...Rb8 idea or even in some cases ...b2.

B) In the case of 38. Qb2 Rac8, as originally proposed by <Djoker> and <M.Hassan> (and the move I was actually looking at in the formulation of my solution post) Black preserves a whopping <-8.40/Depth of 24> advantage. Black is clearly just winning here just as in note 'A'.

C) As per the Qd2-b4 idea proposed by <Abdel Irada> as well as again <Djoker> in their solution posts (a move I did not look at in the formulation of my solution post), Stockfish confirms that the idea of 38. Qb4 Rac8 has practical winning chances value at <-2.82/Depth of 22>. This said, Stockfish much prefers 38...Ra1 here, as Abdel Irada himself stated in his follow-up post.


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black gave the queen away...but not to worry! She's coming back!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Sediment in at a stretch i no ok bishopb5, in ar good swipe c4

rookxb3 an axb3 (jive in boogy) on down in promo at b1 to queen at

rook stage any rally in white is bound to come unstuck as blacks

right in bxf1+ king has to recapture and rook comes crashing in a3

leads us hive in <34...Bxc4 35.Rxb3 axb3 36.Qb1 Bxf1+> material is too good to be true it bracking in bet (37.Kxf1 Rxa3) and all bar the shouting black can tie down queen in b1 us gather time waits for no man a rook from heaven c8 goes across in b8 ore drill in a2+ see 0-1 in crow gracefuly beckoning I do queen cant b1 leave court will back up by b8 lick alive in good game strength in abundence a2+ or clamping b8 and push pb3.

Sep-08-12  James D Flynn: Material is equal but the N on c4 is pinned and attacked 3 times and defended only twice. Candidates 34Bxc4, Qxc3 34Bxc4 35.Rxb3 axb3(not Bxd3 36.Rxd3 and Black has exchanged his strong B for Whites weak N leaving an equal game) 36.Qb1 Bxf1+ 37.Kxf1 Rcb8 38.Nc2(not Qb2 Rxa3 39.Qxa3 b2 and b1=Q cannot be stopped except by sacrificing the Q) bxc2 39.Qxc2 Rxa3 Black has a N and 2Rs for the Q. He can double Rs on the b file and place his K on f8. He will then be able to chase the White K with his 2 Rs. Black will be able to win the h and g pawns and ultimately mate the K which has no escape. 34. .Qxc3 35.Qxc3 Rxc4 36.Qd3 Rc5 37.Qb1 Bxf1+ 38.Kxf1 Rxa3 39.Qb8 Kf8 40.Qb2 Ra5 and Blacks 2 Rs will take charge of the first and 2nd ranks chasing and ultimately mating the White K while Whites Q has no route to harass the Black K.
Sep-08-12  LIFE Master AJ: 34...Bxc4!; 35.Rxb3▢, (to avoid material loss) 35...axb3!; looks like a nice win for Black. (Two Rooks for the WQ, plus a powerful, passed NP.)
Sep-08-12  LIFE Master AJ: In the final analysis, White was unable to hold out.
Sep-08-12  JG27Pyth: Crafty defends a bit differently and it's a nice little may Tuesday puzzle to find the win...

Here's crafty's defense and my refutation -- I think it's best. We follow the text until 38.Nd3 Rc2 39.Nc1 <Black to move and win>

39...Ra1! 40.Qxa1 b2 41.Qxb2 Rxb2

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop for a knight.

White threatens 35.Rxb3.

Black has the opportunity of trading the queen for two rooks and creating a passed pawn with 34... Bxc4 35.Rxb3 (35.Rxc4 Qxd3 36.Nxd3 -36.Rxc8 Qa6- 36... Rxc4; 35.Qxc4 Rxc4 36.Rxb3 axb3, winning decisive material in any case) 35... axb3

A) 36.Qb1 Bxf1+ 37.Kxf1 Rab8

A.1) 38.Nd3 b2

A.1.a) 39.Nxb2 Rc3 40.Qa1 (40.Qa2 Rc2 - +) Rcb3 41.Nd1 Rb1 42.Qc3 Rxd1+ - +.

A.1.b) 39.Ke2 Rc2+

A.1.b.i) 40.Qxc2 b1=Q - +.

A.1.b.ii) 40.Kd1 Rh2 41.Ne1 Nc7 and White looks defenseless against Na6-c5-a4.

A.1.b.iii) 40.Ke1 Rh2 41.Kd1 Nc7 is similar to A.1.b.ii.

A.1.b.iv) 40.Kf1(3) Rc3 (trying 41... Rxd3 and 41... Rxa3, 42... Ra1) 41.Nxb2 Rcb3 - +.

A.1.c) 39.Ke1 Rc3 is similar to A.1.b.iv.

A.2) 38.Nc2 Rxc2 - +.

A.3) 38.Ke2 Rc1 - +.

B) 36.Qd2 Bxf1+ 37.Kxf1 Rab8

B.1) 38.Qb2 Rc3 39.a4 Ra3 40.a5 Rb2 41.Qb1 b2 42.Nc2 (42.Qxa2 b1=Q - +) 42... Rxa5 followed by Nc7-a6-c5 or Rc5-Rxc2 winning.

B.2) 38.Nd3 Rc2 39.Qd1 Rbc8 with the threat 40... b2 and 41... Rc1.

Sep-08-12  erniecohen: a bit too easy for a Saturday
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Not unlike the game Smith-Jones.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <newzild: After 38. Nd3, Black plays 38...b2.> 39. Nxb2. Now what?

A) 39...Rb3 40. Qa2 Rcb8 41. Nc4 Rb1+ 42. Kg2.

B) 39...Rb8 40. Qc1 Rab3 41. Nd1 Rb1 42. Qc2.

Sep-08-12  EXIDE: <JG27Pyth> thanks for the 39...,Ra8 move, otherwise Crafty had me beat.
Sep-08-12  Marmot PFL: Didn't spend much time on it today, nor did I see it, but good passed pawn combination.
Sep-10-12  Djoker: <Abdel Irada> It's forced. Even if white's position is hopeless. If Rb8 then 39.Nd3...cpaturing pawn iwth a knight. Still white loses.
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