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Alexander Beliavsky vs Miso Cebalo
SLO-chT (1998), Bled SLO, rd 6, Nov-12
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-11-08  JG27Pyth: <...After 30...Qb8 Black might have had a chance to regroup and play on with some slim hope of swindling the draw...>

Well, sorry to quote and respond to myself... but although I still don't like Qb7, Qb8 isn't much better (if at all) ... Black is lost -- I don't see any way for him to play on... Black is in disarray and White's pieces are well placed and well coordinated.

Dec-11-08  chopin4525: Completely missed this continuation (Be6+) because I found 1.Rc1,d5 2.Rxc4,dxc4 3.Rxd8,Qxd8 4.Qxc4+ and white should be able to win with a full piece on his side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Vishy but not Anand: [27...Qxb4 28.Be2 Kf8 29.Rb3 Qc5 30.Rb7 d5 31.Bxc4 Qxc4 32.Qa1 Kg8] I found an even stronger continuation after your move 32....Kg8
33. Rc1 Qxe4
34. R1c7 Bh6>

The right move for Black against this kind of rook penetration by White should be 34...Bf8, not Bh6. This way the black bishop isn't under attack after Rxh7, and it keeps an eye on the two important squares g7 and e7. After 35.Rxh7 Rd6 (or Qe5) the pair of rooks on the 7th may look scary, but White doesn't seem to have anything decisive.

Dec-11-08  Alphastar: When looking at the puzzle's starting position, the most obvious tries are Rc1, Rc3 and Rd4, when black is forced to lift the pin by ..d5! in face of the threat Be2.

At best, white achieves a pawn-up situation after some exchanges, thus this can't possibly constitute the solution to the problem. However, if we can make the ..d5 for black impossible, we can still try to exploit the pin. Hence, Be6+! wins the exchange and the game.

An instructive puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This is beautiful. The point is seeing why 28.Be6+!! is necessary -- not just because it's a plausible-looking puzzle-solution move, or even because it draws the king into the open...

The point is that white can *apparently* win the pinned rook on c4 -- just gang up on it with Rd4 or Rc1 until it falls. But black has a defence (after, say, 28.Rd4) in 28...d5 -- protecting the rook and also unpinning it.

But after a preliminary 28.Be6+ everything works, because ...d5 can be answered with check, eg 29.Rd4 d5 30.exd5+ Kf7 31.d6 Rxd6 32.Rxc4 Qd7 33.Rc7+ 1-0.

Without Be6+ white's winning tries fall short. And while winning the exchange helps, the initiative is more important.

Dec-11-08  Vishy but not Anand: <Eyal: <Vishy but not Anand: [27...Qxb4 28.Be2 Kf8 29.Rb3 Qc5 30.Rb7 d5 31.Bxc4 Qxc4 32.Qa1 Kg8] I found an even stronger continuation after your move 32....Kg8 33. Rc1 Qxe4 34. R1c7 Bh6>

The right move for Black against this kind of rook penetration by White should be 34...Bf8, not Bh6. This way the black bishop isn't under attack after Rxh7, and it keeps an eye on the two important squares g7 and e7. After 35.Rxh7 Rd6 (or Qe5) the pair of rooks on the 7th may look scary, but White doesn't seem to have anything decisive.>

Ok lets take a look on how to counter your move,

36. then the quiet move h3

What will be your move then? Qe5 or Rc6 or Re6 or any other else?

or instead of
36. h3
replace it by 36. Rhc7 looks stronger... what will be the black move?

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Vishy but not Anand><Eyal> Thanks for your extended analysis of the possibility 27...Qxb4 28., Be2! , which improves over 27...Qc7?? 28. Be6+! by avoiding an immediate loss and retaining practical drawing chances.

However, I must admit after 27...Qxb4 28. Bb2! that White does retain a clear advantage and the initiative. Yet strong defense by Black appears to yield practical drawing chances. In any event, 27...Qxb4 improves over the game continuation and the other losing alternatives.

Dec-11-08  njchess: I got this one, but I found it to be very difficult and it took me about five minutes. Initially, I had three moves as candidates - Rd4, e5 and Be6+ in that order.

Rd4 was met with 28. ... d5 which lead to exchanges on c4 and a roughly even position. e5 was also met with 28. ... d5!, and after exf6, White's attack seemed to be stifled for the moment. I realized that if Black could play d5, he could greatly strengthen his position.

I kept that in mind when I analyzed Be6+. Initially, this was my least desirable candidate move because it gave up material for a seemingly meaningless check. Besides, the bishop prevented Rc8.

After 28. Be6+ Kxe6 (28. Be6+ Ke7?? 29. Bxc4 wins), it dawned on me that, with the Black's king on e6, d5 could not be played without incurring check (e.g. exd5+). It also meant that Black had no sufficient way of protecting his rook on c4. Suddenly, 28. Be6+ Kxe6 29. Rd4 (Rc1 transposes) d5 30. exd5+ lead to significant material loss for Black.

Okay, 28. Be6+ Kxe6 29. Rd4 (Rc1 transposes) Kd7 or Ke7 made sense. 29. ... Kd7 30. Rxc4 Qb7 31. Rfc1 d5 (nothing better?) 32. exd5 Qxd5 33. Qe2 was really bad for Black. 29. ... Ke7 30. Rxc4 Qb7 31. Rfc1 Rd7 32. Rc8 d5 33. Qa3 Kf7 looked winning for White. Apparently, Black thought so as well.

This game is a good example of flexible opening play on White's part. Nf3, c4 in response to c5 leaves all options open. It isn't until White's d4 in response to Nc6 that we have any idea where things are going. 4. ... g6 indicates a Sicilian Accelerated Fianchetto, though lesser played variations of the English are still possible.

By move 14, we are pretty much out of the opening. The position is even and traditional Sicilian style play commences. Although the material gains from their respective pawn forays are roughly equal, White succeeds in breaking up Black's king side yielding him a small, but tangible advantage. At this point, one other theme has emerged; White has firm control over the light squares.

With 23. ... exf6?, Black commits a small, but serious error. Perhaps he feared the rook pin and the fact that he would have had to play tenacious defense as a result of Bxf6, or maybe he wanted to play Bf8 protecting the isolated queen pawn. Regardless, the text move effectively shuts in Black's dark squared bishop since its difficult to imagine Black playing f5. 23. ... Bxf6 24. Qh6!? Rh8 25. Rd3 results in an awkward, difficult position for both players.

26. b4!? must have been a surprise, but clearly White saw the queen pin. More obvious was Rd5. I give White a lot of credit if he saw 28. Be6+ at this point. 27. ... Qxb4 leads to a winning position for White after simplification.

Dec-11-08  YouRang: Ah, I didn't see the need for 28.Be6+ until, well, I looked at the answer. All I knew was that it couldn't be as easy as it looked to win that pinned rook. :-(

But a very nice puzzle. We sac a bishop just to put the king on a square where we can recapture a pawn on d5 (which isn't even there yet) *with check*. This denies black time to take advantage of a momentary unpinning of his rook.

Dec-11-08  xrt999: < Domdaniel: >
very good post. A clear and concise analysis and summary. I like the way you can summarize a position using not only some notation but also some descriptive writing, rather than just throwing up 30 lines without any words or explanation.
Dec-11-08  Woody Wood Pusher: 28.Be6+! what a great move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium):

Beliavsky vs M Cebalo, 1998 (28.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down a P with Bs of opposite color. The Black Kf7 has 4 legal moves. The White Qa2 pins Rc4 to Kf7. The White Rd3 and Rf1 both have semi-open files, Rf1 pinning Pf6 to Kf7. The White Bg4 can give check at e6. The White Kh1 is secure, but vulnerable to back-rank mates. The Black Qc7 must defend Rc4, so White should try to overburden Qc7.

Candidates (28.): Rd4, e5

I went for 28.e5, which gives some mild pull, and did not seriously consider Be6+. This is indeed an instructive puzzle.

Dec-11-08  whitebeach: <Vishy but not Anand>: Regarding <DoubleCheck's> line of 28. e5! f5!?
29. exd6 Qc6!
30. Bf3 Qc8
31. d7! Qc7
32. Bd5+ wins by forking rook and king, where I pointed out that simply 31. Bd5+ wins, you say:

<I can't see the reason for 29 ....Qc6! (with exclamation mark in your comment.Is it really a good move? Why not 29 .....Qc8 and if 30 d7 Qc7. 31 Bf3 Kf8>

The exclamation marks are <DoubleCheck's>, not mine. I don't think they're justified except for the one for 28. e5, which in my opinion wins. For example, in the line you suggest, after 30. d7 Qc7, simply 31. Rc1 (instead of 31. Bf3) wins at least the exchange immediately, and with a powerful ongoing attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Serendipity: I might have missed today's solution on, but the problem p12607 at asks for the correct response after White plays 28.Rd4 (...d5). My response from memory was immediate. In machine learning, this phenomenon is called "over-learning".

Too much chess :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <whitebeach: The exclamation marks are <DoubleCheck's>, not mine. I don't think they're justified except for the one for 28. e5, which in my opinion wins.>

It wins easily after 28...f5, but not after 28...d5 (as I've already mentioned).

Dec-16-08  whitebeach: <Eyal: It [28. e5] wins easily after 28...f5, but not after 28...d5 (as I've already mentioned).>

I realize that this is old news, but my computer monitor died and I couldn't reply earlier.

I've looked through all the previous posts, including those of yours, and I don't much actual analysis of 28. e5 d5. It seems to me that after 29. Bf3 white has much the better game.

I won't go into deep variations either, since this puzzle is last week's, but it looks as if black must acquiesce to Bd5+ and a dangerous initiative for white at some point or else go in for lines that give him other tough problems.

Two blunders must be avoided. Obviously not 29 . . . fxe5 30. Bxd5 ++. Less obviously, not 29 . . . Qxe5 30. Rxd5 Rxd5 (virtually forced) 31. Qxc4 wins at least a rook. Other plausible 29th moves for black include Rc2, Rc1, and Kf8, as well as perhaps Rxb4. On . . . Rc2, 30. Bxd5+ followed by an appropriate queen move (a3 or xa5). On Rc1, white can either capture with check on d5 immediately or first play 30. Rxc1 Qxc1 31. Rd1. On 29 . . . Rb4 again 30. Bxd5+ and then either Qa3 or Qxa5; in any case the black rook seems misplaced on b4. On 29 . . . Kf8 simply 30. Qxa5 gives white a strong passed pawn and play also against the exposed black king. Example: 30 . . . Qxe5? 31. Qxc4 dxc4 31. Rxd8+ and white will double the rooks (if 31 . . . Kf7 the tempo check 32. Rd7+ will allow the doubling still without letting the black bishop into the game). In my opinion this is won for white.

In short, I still think 28. e5 wins rather easily, but I respect your chess thinking and would like to know what you see after 28 e5 d5. 29. Bf3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <whitebeach> 28.e5 d5 29.Bf3 Kf8 30.Qxa6 f5! (now is the time to play it) e.g. 31.Rxd5 Rxd5 32.Bxd5 Rc1 33.e6 Be5; 31.Bxd5 Rc1 32.Rdd1 Rxd1 33.Rxd1 Bxe5; 31.e6 Rxb4 32.Rxd5 Rxd5 33.Bxd5 Bf6; 31.b5 Bxe5 32.Rxd5 Rxd5 33.Bxd5 Rf4 34.Rb1 Qc2. White might have some advantage, but certainly not an "easy win" that would bring 28.e5 to qualify as an alternative solution of the puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn down.

The pin suggests 28.Rd4 but Black has 28... d5. Therefore, 28.Be6+, to capture on d5 with check, 28... Kxe6 (else drop the rook on c4) 29.Rd4:

A) 29... d5 30.exd5+ and 31.Rxc4 wins an exchange.

B) 29... Rc8 30.Rc1 d5 (30... Ke5 31.Rdxc4) 31.exd5+ followed by 32.Rdxc4 wins too much material.

Sep-12-19  bcokugras: Incredible.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <patzer2: Black's decisive mistake in this game is 27...Qc7??, hoping for 28. Rc3? Instead, 27...Qxb4! holds fine as 28. Be6+?? Kxe6 29. Rc1 d5! now wins for Black.> This Dec 11, 2008 post of mine is wrong. Black cannot save the game with 27...Qxb4, as 27...Qxb4 28. Be2! +- (+3.56 @ 40 ply, Stockfish 10) is a clear win for White.

According to the computer, Black's actual, decisive mistake was 25...Rd8?, allowing 26. b4! Rxc4 27. Qa2 +- (+3.25 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead of 25...Rd8?, Black could have put up more resistance for practical drawing chances with 25...Bf8 26. Rh3 ± (+1.10 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10).

Earlier, instead of 23...exf6? 24. Rd3 ± (+0.84 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 10), exposing a weak pawn on d6, Black could have kept the game near level with 23...Bxf6 24. Qh6 Rh8 ⩲ to = (+0.34 @ 33 ply, Stockfish 10).

Though there's nothing wrong with the second most popular move 4...g6, our Opening Explorer indicates Black has had more success with the popular move 4...Nf6 as in Black's win in B D Deac vs Navara, 2019.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Miso Soup!
Sep-12-19  eyalbd: Direct 28. ♖c3 doesn't work due to 28..d5 29. ed ♖xc3 30. d6+ ♕c4.

After 28. ♗e6 ♔xe6 the defence d5 wouldn't work since e4xd5+ is a check!

So white wins an exchange.

Sep-12-19  spingo: Almost every game I know of involving Beljavsky is a brilliancy.
Sep-12-19  5hrsolver: Totally missed 28. Be6+. Talk about creativity.
Sep-12-19  TheaN: Wow. I've looked so long at Be6+ that it surprises me the combination simply didn't click. I saw that Rc1 and Rd4 will meet d5 with a playable game, saw Be6+ does lure the king to the center, but not the combo.

Ended up playing 28.Rxd6? with the idea of picking up a6 after the plentora of exchanges, but Black also picks up b4 after 28....Rxd6 29.Be2 Rd4 30.Rc1 Bf8! 31.Rxc4 Rxc4 32.Qxc4 Qxc4 (interesting chain of moves) 33.Bxc4+ Ke8! 34.Bxa6 Bxb4= with no play left.

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