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Vladimir Alatortsev vs Alexander Koblents
USSR Championship (1945), Moscow URS, rd 12, Jun-20
Queen's Gambit Declined: General (D30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-21-14  M.Hassan: 25.........Rh1+
26.Bxh1 Qh2#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: One tiny red herring today: 25...Rxg2? Nxg2 and the king wriggles away safely from any upcoming checks.
Apr-21-14  Cybe: Great game by „Maestro”, but terribly opening by interesting player, whom Alatortsev was (4. Nbd2?!). After not serious middlegame by white, 17. b4? is really capitulation. In 20th move, white may play 20. Rg1 and after 20… Q:g3+, 21. Kf1, 21… Q:e3, 22. B:h3 white’s agony was a little bit longer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: This is the position after 16...Bxd7

click for larger view

Black is playing the standard h file hack - the club player's favourite. Wait until your opponent has castled and then throw everything at his castled king, with rook(s) and queen ganging up on the h file. It's the Barney Rubble of the chess world - crude but surprisingly effective.

The h file hack is particularly nasty against a fianchetto (or any other dish made out of pasta). It's the one Fischer quote that nearly everybody knows "I'd won dozens of skittles games in analogous positions and had it down to a science - pry open the KR-file, sac, sac ... mate!"

This position is where white has to choose how he is going to respond. Just as black has a standard attack going, white has a number of standard responses. He can (1) try to shore up his defences (2) run his king to the queenside (3) counter-attack in the centre or on the queen's wing.

That probably explains why white plays 17. b4 at this point. It's a mixture of queenside attack and a sort of defence (if followed up by Rb1-Rb3).

White presumably reckons that black is going to castle queenside sometime soon, so let's prepare a counter attack for when he gets there.

But this is the point when discretion is probably the better part of valour. Or "valor" for those who don't have a passport. Surely this was the time to play 17. Bf2 (defending g3) or 17. Kf2 (running like a scaredy cat)?

"For he who fights and runs away;
May live to fight another day;
But he who is in battle slain.
Can never rise and fight again."

But he almost certainly won't get the girl in the fifth reel.

Fritzie reckons that 17. Kf2 and 17. Bf2 keep the black advantage down to less than a prawn. And anything less than a prawn is usually nouvelle cuisine - mightily expensive but ultimately not satisfying.

But 17. b4? Nope, sorry. Fritzie winks his disapproving red eye (which BTW always reminds me of a Terminator) and the eval drops to an skynettish end of the world with -4.5. That's not prawn in a puddle stylish, it's a full half pounder with cheese, bacon, onion rings and fries (which may or may not include real potatoes) and the girl is smiling at you and saying "do yous wanna go large widdat?"

Apr-21-14  mistreaver: Monday. Black to play. 25...? Very Easy.
25 ... Rh1
26 Bxh1 Qh2 mate
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one pawn ahead.

White is about to bring the queen to the defense of the king.

Pattern recognition finds a mate in two: 25... Rh1+ 26.Bxh1 Qh2#.

Apr-21-14  Nick46: This would have to be one of the very easiest of all time.
Apr-21-14  zb2cr: As <Phony Benoni> points out,

25. ... Rh1+ 26. Bxh1

both gets the Black Rook out of the Black Queen's way, and moves the White Bishop to where it's not blocking the Black Queen's attack from h2 to f2. Result: 26. ... Qh2#.

Apr-21-14  morfishine: 25...Rh1+ 26.Bxh1 Qh2#
Apr-21-14  lost in space: 25...Rh1+ 26. Bxh1 Qh2#

I love Mondays

Apr-21-14  CC0112358: 25...Rh1+ 26.Bxh1 Qh2#

A bit too easy even for a Monday

Apr-21-14  gars: <lost in space> me too!
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: An object lesson--just in case anyone has forgotten that it's bad to let your opponent line up all major pieces on an open file pointed at (or next to) your King.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: "This would have to be one of the very easiest of all time."

"A bit too easy even for a Monday."

It would have been harder asking for the solver to spell their own name.

The Lead up play was instructive to a point. Tripling up the heavy bits on the h-file is always good fun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> Nice find in 17. Bf2 instead of 17. b4?? hxg3

Earlier I like 4. Nc3 or 4.e3, 10. Qc2, 12. Bd2 or 12. f3, 13. Ne5 or 13. Bd2, 14. a4 and 15. Qb3 to try for improvement.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Easy Monday, as almost always. One small "trap" that caught me for a millisecond was not to re-capture on h1, as that allows the king to run.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A twist for Monday- a rook sac. Another twist: the mate is given at h2 not h1!
Apr-21-14  JimNorCal: "A bit too easy even for a Monday"

Now, that's funny!

Apr-21-14  standardwisdom: <Once>One of your master pieces, for sure. After I avoided the tiny red herring Rxg2 (as also pointed by <sneaky>), I purposefully looked for your post to find/confirm where white had gone awry. Among delightful culinary humor is your point about 17. b4. Dare I say that I had some bad breath about that move too?
Apr-21-14  M.Hassan: <once>:
Great find regarding 17.b4
Very nice, accurate and enjoyable-to-read analysis
Apr-21-14  BOSTER: Not only Koblentz could sacr. the rook on h1
but Spassky when a vulnerability was not a state he was familiar with, liked sacr. too.

Look this

click for larger view

Black to play.

Apr-21-14  Patriot: 25...Rh1+ 26.Bxh1 Qh2#
Apr-21-14  ZZpatzer: <Once> just happy to read your analysis (echoing what <M.Hassan> said) as the puzzle itself was too easy even for me....
Apr-22-14  LIFE Master AJ: Too easy ... however, I much enjoyed <Once>'s comments ... as usual.
Sep-03-19  faulty: how such a strong player with white managed to get into the position after, say, 12 moves is a mystery
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