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Nazar Firman vs Alexander Areshchenko
Bundesliga (2008/09), Various GER, rd 6, Nov-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Amsterdam Variation (B93)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-26-09  gtgloner: I believe 18. Qxc8 wins an exchange for White after 18. ... Qxc8 19. Nxe7+ forking the Black king and queen. Let's see.
Jan-26-09  DarthStapler: Got it
Jan-26-09  lord1412: i found 18.Qa7 Nd7 19.Ba5 Qe8 20.Nc7
i know it aint very useful, but just a thought xD
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: There was no quick mate or queen sac leading to mate.

So I looked for and found a loan at shark rates-a queen sac that leads quickly to a combination that regains the queen. Here,white gains rook for knight.

A good-but not that simple-Monday puzzle.

Jan-26-09  PhilFeeley: I'm surprised Areshchenko actually ended up with such a position allowing this simple tactic.
Jan-26-09  Simonkaser: That's too easy...
Jan-26-09  YouRang: Well, about the only thing that stands out by way of "white attack" is that white has a knight within checking range. So we should expect to find a knight-fork tactic.

And when you know that you're looking for a knight-fork, it almost smacks you in the face: Eat a rook and remove the defender of Be7 with 18.Qxc8, and if 18...Qxc8 we recover our queen with 19.Nxe7+ Kh8 20.Nxc8 Rxc8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ZUGZWANG67: This game shows the main drawback of ...e5 in the Sicilian. In fact, the Shveshnikov variation <(1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5; see diagram)> of the Sicilian defense was thought to be nothing but a heresia during the first half of the 20th century.

click for larger view

Nowadays, ...e5 is rather often played by Sicilian users, but one must be aware of the weak spot at d5.

Jan-26-09  xrt999: < backyard pawn: So, when did White begin to lay the foundation for this combination? Was it as early as 13. g5 or not until 14. a4? Or was there really no winning combination until Black erred with 17..., Nc5?>

I think black erroneously feels the need to maintain the tension on f4, giving white ample time to develop, rather than just take on f4 right away with 7...exf4. I think this is an example of one of those pretentious chess ideals; maintaining the tension just to maintain the tension. What is black's advantage by maintaining tension? Is there going to be some hole in black's play by playing 7...exf4? I cant find one right now, so holding back ...exf4 just gives white the advantage.

In one of those ironic twists, black then eventually takes on f4 anyway- 5 moves later- with 12...exf4. (Black also has played Be7 anyway, which would be one of his next natural developing moves after 7...exf4, then 0-0, etc). So, why not just play the move 7...exf4?

But, by move 12, white has just about fully developed his pieces and is ready to build an attack.

Also, if you notice, white holds back on 12.g4 until black commits to the kingside with 11.Rc8. Black cannot go queenside, so white springs g4. Black cant take on g4 immediately. In another ironic twist, it is white that maintains the tension of g4.

As <MAJ> points out, the natural move would be 17...Ra8. But, after 11...Rc8, black would have conceded a grave miscalculation in development by putting the Rook right back on a8 after moving it from a8 to c8. So, I think black probably had a mental block. Considering 17...Ra8 admits an error in development.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: My natural move would have been 17...Rxc2. (not that it's very good.)
Jan-26-09  zb2cr: <gtgloner>,

You wrote: "I believe 18. Qxc8 wins an exchange for White ...".

Recheck, please. Since White takes a Bishop with the move that delivers the Knight fork, Black ends up being down by Rook for Pawn.

Jan-26-09  viky: indeed very easy one
18 Qxc8, Qxc8 19 Nxe7+ Kh8 20 Nxc8 Rxc8 leaves white a piece up
Premium Chessgames Member
  ZUGZWANG67: < beenthere240: My natural move would have been 17...Rxc2. (not that it's very good.)>

Maybe then Black could have hold for a while. And with two pawns up, if he holds for long enough, maybe he could hope for the better endgame.

But again, when one allows such a strong N at d5, one has to watch out for the circumstances where a nasty check proves corrosive, whatever that check creates a nasty fork or, say, something like the sneaky gain (or lost) of a useful tempi.

Jan-26-09  PinnedPiece: Looked at this puzzle for a minute, trying to work out how the knight at d5 could force a mating combination. Had to go do something else, and when I came back, I saw the QxR line immediately.

I didn't work out any further what black could do.

I see in the game he didn't bother either.

Jan-26-09  akapovsky: Besides the usual got it in 2 seconds have you all noticed that GM members don't kibitz over the daily puzzles and barely do they kibitz.
Jan-26-09  Utopian2020: How did black's position utterly disintegrate like that? Was this the equivalent of black blitzing his line backers while white was runnning a screen pass? Heck, I can play as well as black did.
Jan-26-09  TheaN: Monday 26 January


Material: /-\ ♙

Candidates: Nxe7†, <[Qxc8]>

It seems like it that White has played a successful gambit. More space, initiative. How to win it? Well, the shot is here and now.

<18.Qxc8!> and White strikes with a sham sacrifice actually winning a Rook. White threatens to simply with Qxd8, and if the Black Queen moves on the a5-d8 diagonal White will first play Qxf8† before taking the Black Queen (she's en prise on all squares of the diagonal). So, taking the only option here?

<18....Qxc8 19.Nxe7† Kh8 20.Nxc8 Rxc8> and now away from all danger... I might continue, if Black insists to play on, with:

<21.0-0-0 > if legal. Time to check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ZUGZWANG67: And the problem related to the d5-square is not easy to resolve once one gets involved in the system choosen by Black. But say that instead of 11. ...Rc8, Black tries to get rid of the weakness at d5 by 11...d5 (!?), then 12. exd5 Nxd5 13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Qxe5 f6 16.Qe2 Rc8 (see diagram).

click for larger view

And for the price of a pawn, Black might have some drawing chances. Does he ?

Jan-26-09  SamAtoms1980: This one took me an entire 25 seconds. FAIL.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: A Knight Fork combination, beginning with today's 18. Qxc8 , makes for an easy Monday puzzle solution.
Jan-26-09  AniamL: <TheaN>, 21.0-0-0 loses an exchange after 21...Nd3+, I think.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: As a few kibitzers have pointed out, white can force an exchange of queens after 18. Qxc8 but I don't think that means (as some of those same kibitizers have pointed out) that black is forced to trade queens and walk into the fork.

Black could always play 18 ...Bxg5 and then 19. Qxd8 Bxd8.

In the end (I haven't bothered to work it out) this may gain an extra pawn for black in comparison to the line in which black trades queens and walks into the fork. But down a whole rook with perhaps 2 extra pawns instead of 1 extra pawn should hardly make a difference in the eventual outcome.

Jan-27-09  TheaN: <AniamL: <TheaN>, 21.0-0-0 loses an exchange after 21...Nd3+, I think.>

Impossi-... hey you're right. Not materially losing moves are hard to find: do consider the position. Would Black be willing to trade his good Knight for a useless White Rook, entering an endgame with a piece down AND a worse position? After <21.0-0-0?! Nd3† 22.Kb1 Nf2 23.Rhf1>, Black might not be willing to play 23....Nxd1 24.Rxd1 with a terrible position, but there's not a lot left otherwise.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I did not waste any time looking for a mate--the position just seems too secure for black's king. So I was ready to see the easy win of material right away.
Jan-28-09  just a kid: 18.Qxc8 Qxc8(although Black can try 18...Bxg5,but 19.Qxd8 should win.)19.Nxe7+ Kh8 20.Nxc8.Time to check.
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