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Dusan Rajkovic vs Miroslav O Jovanovic
21st Belgrade Trophy (2008), Belgrade SRB, rd 1, Nov-27
Benoni Defense: King Pawn lines (A65)  ·  1-0



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Dec-31-08  YouRang: Well, after looking at it for some time, I came up with an idea, but I figured that it probably was NOT the solution presented in the game.

Then I looked at the game and confirmed that I figured correctly. :-p

My idea was simply the rook lift, 19.Rf3. It's not terribly forcing, but the threat of hitting from g3 or h3 looked strong.

I figured black would reply to 19.Rf3 with 19...Qxe6, and then 20.Rg3 and I can't see how black stops me from taking Pg6, with all sorts of nasty follow up, like Bd3 or Bd2 (enabling my other rook to join the fun at f1).

I only gave Qxg6 a casual glance, my bad. :-(

Dec-31-08  Patriot: <MiCrooks: I rather doubt that Rajkovic had all of the variations worked out before playing it. I would be he worked out enough of it to feel confident that it would work and then went for it trusting that his position against the exposed King was strong enough to win.>

You're probably right. There are so many variations to calculate that he may have thought "I've seen positions similar to this and know it's clearly winning." It seems a very instinctive or gutsy move in this case. I usually like to verify what I'm getting in return for a sacrifice, so I'm more likely to play a developing move instead. But I can recall one game where I sac'd a rook for a pawn to open lines to the king, played the other rook over with check, then checked with the knight and simply dared white to take the knight as well while I was moving my queen into the attack! According to Fritz, my instincts were correct that the sacrifice was sound. The time control was such that I couldn't calculate everything far enough to "prove" it worked.

Dec-31-08  Nullifidian: <zooter> <So black did go for the "poisoned queen", what is white's best way to continue the attack after 20...Kg8?>

21. ♘d5! threatening mate with 22. ♘xf6+ if Black retreats the queen. 21. ... ♘xd5 is the best response, which opens up the f-file for 22. ♖f7. Now Black will have to give up the queen in order to prevent mate, playing 22. ... ♖h7. White has the pleasant choice of either playing 23. ♖xe7 immediately or playing 23. ♗d3 ♘f6 24. ♖xe7.

Dec-31-08  patzer2: For this Wednesday puzzle, the last day of 2008, White initiates a winning pursuit combination with the Queen sham sacrifice 19. Qxg6+!! Black must surrender decisive material in order to avoid mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  BishopofBlunder: Perhaps, being the last puzzle of the year, CG just wanted to throw us a little curve. Hopefully, tomorrow's, the first of the year, will be a bit easier.
Dec-31-08  DarthStapler: I got the first two moves, but I don't know where they get off calling this easy
Dec-31-08  KingG: Well, I couldn't calculate everything here. I saw it up to 22.Be3 and then just thought the attack should be winning. But I'm not sure I would be confident enough to play it OTB unless I was in the mood to gamble for the sake of a brilliant finish.

Under normal circumstances I would probably just play 19.Bd3 which looks quite strong.

This definitly seems too hard to be classed as easy/medium.

Dec-31-08  garrido: i. find very easy qxg6+
the game is basic
Dec-31-08  TheCap: Rule 101 for sacs: if a better player offers a sac: think twice, think three times before taking it. (Sometimes the better player may have overlooked a sort of Zwischenzug...) Anyway Happy New Year to everybody from down under where the New Year is already 11hours old....
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <bullsbehad> wrote: Could someone help me understand why Black resigned? >

I ran the final position through Toga II 1.3.1, but nothing special turned up. Black probably resigned to go to the pub, rather than fight a bitter but inevitably losing endgame.

My chessforum contains detailed instructions for downloading Toga, which is freeware.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Wow, all I can say is, this queen sac is messy. Every poster here who stopped their analysis after 21. Rf5+ is blowing smoke. In fact, Black seems to have unclear counterplay (after 21...Kg4) with ...Ne4, offering the knight to threaten ...Bd4. Show me the mate...
Dec-31-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <bullsbehad ... Could someone help me understand why Black resigned? >

My take: black is paralyzed because of the passed pawn. White will move Re1 Kg2 (to avoid a skewer), Re3 and threaten a mate, forcing black to exchange R for B, and then drop a piece for the pawn.

Dec-31-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <OBIT: Show me the mate>

Not that I've seen it in the puzzle position, but here you go based on the discussion so far ...

After <19. Qxg6+ Kxg6 20. Bd3+ Kh5 21. Rf5+ Kg4>

click for larger view

22. Be3 <as several people mentioned already. Protects against black Bd4, activates the a-rook> Ne4 23. Raf1 <threatens R1f5#> Nf2 <desperation> 24. R1xf2 <threatens R1f5#> Qg5 <desperation> 25. Be2+ Kh4 <forced> 26. R2f4+ Qxf4 <Qg4 not any better> 27. Rh5#

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <MAJ>After 22. Be3 Ne4 23. Raf1, I remember thinking 23...Qc7 is still unclear. Unfortunately, I don't have time to look at this in more detail right now... need to head out.
Dec-31-08  MostlyAverageJoe: < OBIT: <MAJ>After 22. Be3 Ne4 23. Raf1, I remember thinking 23...Qc7>

After Raf1 the Rf5 does not need protection from the B, so 23...Qc7 24. Be2+ Kh4 25. Rh5#

Dec-31-08  Kasputin: The position of white's advanced passed pawn and the awkward looking placement of black's pieces looks promising. Initially I spend a little time thinking about a queen sac with 19. Qxg6+. I didn't work it all out but accepting the queen sac with 19 ...Kxg6 could be followed up with 20. Bd3+ Leaving aside the whole question of declining such a queen sac, it didn't appear initially that such a sacrifice would be sound, so I thought instead about 20. Rxf6 (thinking that I could come back to the queen sac if need be).

After 19. Rxf6 black can capture the rook in two ways a) ...Qxf6 or b) ...Bxf6

A) 19 ...Qxf6
20. Nd5 Qxe6
21. Nc7 and it would appear that the white knight can pick up the a8 rook and also manage to escape the back rank as well because either c7 or b6 could serve as an escape square (i.e., I don't think black can cover both of these squares simultaneously).

If black doesn't take the e6 pawn and moves the f6 queen elsewhere then playing 21. e7 or possibly playing 21. Nc7 first (depending on where the black queen moves) looks very dangerous, and I think white should find a way to win. Also moves for white like Qxc5 could be in the works - not to mention that black's king doesn't look particularly well protect either.

B) 19 ...Bxf6
20. Nd5

Similar kinds of dynamics to A) above - for instance if black plays 20 ...Qxe6 then the same kind of Q and R fork occurs with 21. Nc7. But this time black also has to be careful to not lose the bishop on f6 - also if white manages to play Nxf6+ then the check on black's king could prove to be an important tempo gain for white in terms of advancing the passed e-pawn (assuming that black had not previously played 20 ...Qxe6).

Okay, this is hardly a completely calculated solution, but I think intuitively that 19. Rxf6 looks like a good move. White just has so many well posted pieces (or pieces that could easily be reposted to better squares) that this is what I would play. Maybe there is a better move but sacrificing the exchange feels right to me - time to check.

Dec-31-08  Kasputin: Ironically because this was a Wednesday and because the queen sac is hard to calculate accurately and to its logical ends, I gave up on the queen sac idea in favour of 19. Rxf6. My decision turned out to be wrong, but I am wondering if Rxf6 - though not the strongest move - is okay in terms of white gaining an advantage.
Dec-31-08  TheBish: Rajkovic vs Miroslav Jovanovic, White to play (medium/easy). Even material.

My first impression was, what are Black's weaknesses? And the answer is, Black's pawn on g6, defended only by his king. A quick glance shows that White's strengths are his e6 pawn (potentially) and active pieces. Before even contemplating 19. Bd3 (which can be defended by 19...Qe8), I wondered if there is a direct attack to draw out the Black king, starting with the queen sac 19. Qxg6+. Let's check! A little analysis soon led me to...

19. Qxg6+!! Kxg6

This is forced, since 19...Kg8 20. Nd5! Nxd5 21. Rf7 Qf6 (or Qf8 22. Rxf8+ with the same finish) 22. Rxf6 Nxf6 23. Qf7#.

Now, 20. Bd3+ leads to two possible variations:

A) 20...Ne4 (an important variation to consider, since it clears the paths for both Black's queen and bishop) 21. Bxe4+ Kh5 22. Rf5+ and now:

A1) 22...Kg6 23. Rf7+ Kh5 24. Rxe7 is hopeless; or

A2) 22...Kg4 23. Nd1! (Nd5! also works) Bd4+ (one point of the knight sac, to clear the bishop; 23...Qg5 is similar to other lines) 24. Be3! (also good is 24. Ne3+! since 24...Bxe3 25. Bxe3 sets up the threat of 26. h3+ followed by 27. Bf2#) and now:

A21) 24...Bxe3+ (to stop Nf2+ followed by g3 mate) 25. Nxe3+ (answering a check with a check!) Kh4 26. g3+ Kh3 27. Bf1#;

A22) 24...Qg5! (stops the mate, but still loses) 25. Nf2+ (otherwise White will lose an exchange) Kh4 (Kh5 is similar) 26. Bxg5+ hxg5 27. g3+ Kh5 28. Bxb7 (key to the whole variation -- I was hellbent on finding a mate, but there is none here!) Ra7 29. Rf7! Kh6 (no time for 29...Bxb2?? 30. Rb1 Bd4 31. Bf3+, winning the rook) 30. Rb1, and White has a winning endgame, two pawns up.

A3) 22...Kh4 23. g3+ Kh3 (or 23...Kg4 24. Kg2! Qg5 25. Bxg5 hxg5 26. Rf7 Bxc3 27. Bf3#) 24. Rf4 Bd4+ 25. Kh1 followed by 26. Bg2 mate.

B) 20...Kh5 21. Rf5+ and now:

B1) 21...Kg6 22. Rg5#. Sweet!
B2) 21...Kg4 22. Nd1 Ne4 (to stop Nf2+ followed by g3 mate) 23. Bxe4 transposes to A2;

B3) 21...Kh4 22. g3+ Kh3 (Kg4 23. Kg2! and 24. h3# can't be stopped) 23. Rf4! Bd4+ 24. Kh1 and Black is helpless to stop 25. Bf1#.

The bottom line is, Black will have to play ...Qg5 at some point, returning the queen (for a piece) and enter a lost endgame.

Time to see the whole game! (Which probably was shorter than the time I spent on this analysis!)

Dec-31-08  octoberowl: eh! This is 'easy'?
Jan-01-09  TheBish: < RandomVisitor: 26.Be4! would have been a nicer way to finish.

17.d6! and black falls apart.

I agree with you about 26. Be4+, although I'm sure the game score must be wrong at the end (probably ended 25...Kh6 26. g4), because a 2400+ player is not going to miss this, not in the same game where he played a brilliant queen sac (and if he were in severe time pressure, his opponent would not have resigned).

As for your other suggested moves:

12. Bc4!? I'm not sure that really improves, although it looks strong (threatening 13. d6), it might be more exposed after 12...fxe6 13. dxe6 Nb6

14. exf7 Why help Black develop his pieces? This allows him to at least complete development with 14...Bg4 and 15...Nbd7 (for example).

17. d6!? I agree that this looks strong (if somewhat trappy), but I don't think it's stronger than the game. Of course not 17...Qxe6?? 18. Bc4, or even 17...Qxd6? 18. Bf4 (or 18. Rd1) with strong play, but after 17...Qe8! I don't see anything better than winning a pawn for White (starting with 18. Nc7), not better than the game -- hard to argue with success! But interesting ideas!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <MAJ>Yeh, when I got home and set this position up again, I saw the mate in two that 23. Raf1 sets up. Maybe these combos are easier to see after six beers.

So, to summarize the results: White sacs a full queen, and, after a couple of checks, finishes off Black with two quiet developing moves. Furthermore, 22. Be3! appears to be the only winning move. "Easy to medium", eh? :) I wonder how long it took Rajkovic to work all this out...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <OBIT> Certainly agree that the queen sac is messy. This is the critical position at which many of us started "blowing smoke"

click for larger view

No, I can't show you the mate from here. There are too many alternatives to analyse. But white clearly has an overwhelming position. The black king is stuck in no man's land with little support from his undeveloped pieces. White has the bishop pair on adjacent diagonals, a far advanced passed pawn, active knight and a rook controlling the open f file.

This is where chess instinct kicks in. We may not be able to see the continuation all the way to mate, but we ought to see that white has all the fun from here.

Not too sure how we are going to get black's king to g4 by move 21. But even if we could that would be even more exciting. It would make the mating net easier to spin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <nimzo_knight>Can anyone explain why not 16..Bxe6 17. dxe6 Qxe6

I am also struggling to find a forcing continuation as well. The obvious move is to attack the Black Queen, but 18.♗c4 & 18.♗g4 don't seem to lead to much. Black can play 18...♕c6, offering to exchange Queens, which would slow the White attack down. Are there other possibilities I have missed?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <GrahamClayton> After <16...Bxe6> 17.dxe6 Qxe6 18.Bc4 Qc6 (and not 18...Qe7? 19.Nd5) <19.Qc2> hits <g6> 19...Nbd7 20.Bd5 Qb6 21.Qxg6
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: OK, one more mental spasm... after 19. Qxg6+ Kxg6 20. Bd3+ Kh5 21. Rf5+ Kg4 22. Be3 Ne4 23. Raf1, there is the legitimately shocking 23...Qg5!?

click for larger view

The incredible idea is 24. Bxg5? Bd4+! and if 25. Kh1 Ng3+! 26. hxg3 hxg5 mates for Black! In fact, after 24. Bxg5 Bd4+, I think White has already thrown away the win, since 25. Be3 Bxe3+ 26. Kh1 Nf2+ turns the tables.

White does win after 24. Rxg5!+ hxg5 (or 24...Nxg5 25. Rf4+ Kh5 26. g4+ Kh4 27. Bf2+ Kh3 28. Bf1#) 25. Be2+ Kh4 26. Nxe4 Bd4 27. g3+ Kh3 28. Nxg5#. That's not too difficult, but I'd still definitely try setting the trap in a real game. There's such a thing as "sacrificial shock".

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