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Igor-Alexandre Nataf vs Wang Yue
Petrosian mem Internet (2004), ICC INT, rd 1, Dec-18
Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan. Sveshnikov Variation (B33)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-30-09  sethoflagos: Top on the list of white’s priorities is to prevent any of the mating continuations:

39 ... Rexg2+ 40 Kh1 f3 41 any Rh3#
39 ... Rgxg2+ 40 Kh1 f3 41 any Re1#
39 ... Rgxg2+ 40 Kh3 Rg3+ 41 Kh4 Rh1#

Black also has recourse to perpetual check eg

39 Qxf4 Rdxg2+
40 Kh1 Rg1+

Does white have anything better than drawing chances? Well we can beef up the f4 capture by first forcing the black king onto a square where the capture also delivers check and forks the rook

39 h6+ Kxh6 (... Kf7 40 Qxf4+ K moves 41 Qxg3)

40 Qxf4+ Rg5
41 Qf8+ Kh5
42 Qf3+ Rg4/Kh6
43 Qxe2

Good puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Wednesday (Medium/Easy)

I A Nataf vs Wang Yue, 2004 (39.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Q+P for 2R. The Black Kg7 has 3 legal moves. The White Qb8 can capture Pf4 with check on all of those squares, forking Rg3, so the White should nudge Kg7 with Ph5.

Candidates (39.): h6+


No matter where the Black Kg8 moves, 40.Qxf4+ 41.Qxg3 leaves White with Q for R and an easy win after 41…Qxb2.

I missed the interposition, but the Black Re2 goes down fast.

Dec-30-09  randomsac: After f6+ buys some time, Qxf4+ wins one of the two loose rooks. The check was mandatory, as black was knocking to lawnmower the king.
Dec-30-09  cyclon: Daily dose is; 39.h6+ - cufflinks, because -Kxh6 (-Kf7/f6 40.Qxf4+ wins Rook straight) 40.QXf4+ Rg5 41.Qf8+ Kh5 [g5 is now blocked] 42.Qf3+ wins another Rook instead.
Dec-30-09  remolino: Key is to find a way to take on the f4 pawn with check. If that happens, the queen and two passed pawns will be superior to the two rooks in this position.

By the way, there is no alternative to taking the pawn on f4 with check, otherwise Black will draw through a perpetual.

39.h6 achieves this.

A. 39...Kxh6 40. Rxf4+
B. 39...Kf6 or 39...Kf7, 40. Rxf4+

Time to check.

Dec-30-09  remolino: <SgtPepper: My idea was to play 39.Qb7+ followed by 40.e6 and now the threat of Rxg2 is prevented queen one of the passed pawns. It think this is also a solution.>

I looked at this too. This is not a solution. The resulting pawn ending is drawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: 35....Re2 loses but at least it gives white a chance to go wrong. What are black's choices on move 35? His rook is en prise and white is also threatening 36. h6 with mate threats on g7. 35....Rf8 doesn't look pretty.
Dec-30-09  Tifeon: I quickly went for 39. h6, but then I got slightly distracted by the possibility of 40. Qf8+, which is not sensible at all. However, after realising that I can take f4 pawn with check in all variations, I came to the correct conclusion.
Dec-30-09  sethoflagos: <remolino>, <SgtPepper>How about

39 Qb7+ Kf6
40 d6 Rgxg2+
41 Qxg2 f3
42 Qxe2 fxd2
43 d7 Ke7

click for larger view

Dec-30-09  YouRang: First I looked at Qxf4, which leads to nothing (in fact black can force a draw). But while I was looking, I noticed that the queen hits h6, and if the black king were there, I would be forking K+R.

This prompted me to consider <39.h6+!> to lure the king to h6. In fact, <39...Kxh6> is probably black's best move since declining the pawn means moving the king to f6 or f7 where Qxf4+ still forks K+R.

So then, <40.Qxf4> gives the fork, but black can apparently defend with <40...Rg5>. Here, I spent a bunch of time trying to push the d-pawn, but black makes things difficult by playing ...Rxg2+ (if Kg3 then Rg1 threatens Rh1, and there are nasty complications unbefitting a Wednesday puzzle).

So, employing the method of 'consider all checks' (and kicking myself for not employing it sooner), I finally looked at <40.Qf8+ Kh5> which gives me another Q+R fork: <41.Qf3+>, and this time, there is no saving the rook.

Dec-30-09  Patriot: Last night I found 39.h6+ and it's rook-forking potential but missed the interposition 40.Rg5 in my haste to post my analysis first! After I saw the game line, I called it quits.

I wanted to reply to <BOSTER>'s comment yesterday but the new puzzle was posted before I got a chance:

<BOSTER: <Patriot>. "My usual approach to solving puzzle is that I try to see them as an actual game position"- from your profile. As a Dan Heiman' student you should know that solving puzzles this is not to find the "best" move, and there is a big difference in thought process.>

You are right, it is different. During a game no one is saying "There's a winning move. Find it!" whereas in puzzles you KNOW something is there. However, what I was talking about is that I try to follow a set approach of looking at forcing moves and replies as I would OTB. Once I determine a given line is winning and best, I generally don't try to figure it out all the way since that would be a waste of time. For example, after examining several plies deep I see that BxN is winning. At that point, I don't care if RxP is better! As long as BxN cannot be defeated or there isn't a strong reply...then the analysis can be stopped at that point and the original move can be played.

My approach is an attempt to replicate my thought process OTB as much as I can but without time pressure. This is my way of getting more practice using a certain thought process even though it's a puzzle. My idea is that if I'm using a similar thought process for puzzles, then it's going to be more natural to use the same thought process OTB. I prefer this approach as opposed to "It's a Monday so therefore look for a queen sac!" In an actual game, it makes no difference whether it's Monday or not!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: At first glance look's like Yue's filling time getting out of a scrape. The root problem is not allowing h6, he should have played Kf7 where the smug queen gets no plaque picking up a trophy rook. Igor cant crown it off and Wang will gnaw out a draw. The lesson is hold your nerve, more wisdom required and dont let the guy milk you next time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: The key to this puzzle is for white to be able to capture on f4 with check. He is able to maneuver his queen to do this after the blunder 36...Kg7??

White cannot succeed with this strategy after 36...Kf7. which as <RV> <Patzer2> and <Chris Owen> have stated, draw for black. In fact 36…Kf7 is black's only shot to save the game.

click for larger view

For contrast, if black tries 38...Kf7 after 38 Qb7+ it is too late as it loses immediately to 39 Qxf4+.

click for larger view

So 36…Kg7 was the losing move, not 35…Re2 .

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It seems that White doesn't have many options to tackle but the conspicuous 39.h6+ brings the curtains down. Since, 39...Kxh6 [ if ...Kf7 40.Qxf4+ wins ] 40.Qxf4+ Rg5 41.Qf8+ Kh5 42.Qf3+ wins the Rook & the game.
Dec-30-09  The Famous Chess Cat: <Once> ROFL!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Seth: 39 Qb7+ Kf6
40 d6 Rgxg2+
41 Qxg2 f3
42 Qxe2 fxd2
43 d7 Ke7 >

White should play 40. Qc6+ there and Black has to move the King away from the d Pawn which brings the draw back. 39...Kh6 has got to be objectively better though I think it's a draw too.

Dec-30-09  DarthStapler: I got the first two moves
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Actually Jimfromprovidence makes a good case that 35...Re2! was not a blunder, but actually a potential game-saving move. Sadly, 36...Kg7 threw the draw away. Although this move was not an obvious mistake since it took the h6+ shot to lure the king to a fatal square.
Dec-30-09  muralman: After a week and a day drought I got this one start to finish. It was fun. I think I read once these moves are known as windmilling.
Dec-30-09  ROO.BOOKAROO: I would have loved an in-depth comment on 31. Ng5 and the no-less obvious 32. Nxf7, threatening mate on h8. Those are two moves the ordinary "club player", is such a thing does exist, would not easily select. The riposte 32. ...Qe5 is forced, to cut off the mate on h8. The whole sequence is exquisite
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: FWIW, I tried to find another way besides 35…Re2 for black, something that could negate the h6 threat. So I attempted 35…Re5?!, seeing 36 h6 Rh5+ 37 Kg1 Rxh6, below.

click for larger view

Unfortunately, that bright idea loses to 38 Qe8+ Kg7 39 Qe5+ Kg8 40 Qxf4.

click for larger view

Dec-30-09  WhiteRook48: 39 h6+ too easy
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <ROO: I would have loved an in-depth comment on 31. Ng5 and the no-less obvious 32. Nxf7, threatening mate on h8. Those are two moves the ordinary "club player", is such a thing does exist, would not easily select. The riposte 32. ...Qe5 is forced, to cut off the mate on h8. >

32...Rxg2+ 33. Kxg2 Qe2+ 34. Rf2 Qe4+ 35. Qxe4 Rxe4 36. Nxd6 Rg4+ 37. Kf3 gxh5 38. c5 Rd4

and I think Black is still breathing.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I tried the position in my last post with Fritz. I couldn't keep the White King out of the middle so it looks pretty hopeless for Black.
Nov-02-10  sevenseaman: 31. Ng5 is the move of a visionary. Thereafter, 32. Nxf7 was visible even to me.

A charming game that ought to promote interest of aficionados for the beautiful game that chess is.

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