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Predrag Nikolic vs Yoshiharu Habu
"Gold General" (game of the day Jul-30-2011)
Bruxelles Rapid (2007) (rapid), Brussels, Belgium, rd 9, Jun-05
Queen's Gambit Declined: Traditional Variation (D30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-30-11  Riverbeast: This is Samurai chess!

"Gold General", I think, is a piece in Shogi (Japanese Chess....also called 'Generals Chess')

Jul-30-11  sevenseaman: Fantastic! This is chess, an all time nugget.
Jul-30-11  sevenseaman: 42...Ne1 is brilliant forethought!
Jul-30-11  Gilmoy: "A <gold general> can move one square orthogonally, or one square diagonally forward, giving it six possible destinations. It cannot move diagonally backward." --

Black lets g6 fall for the 3 tempi White spends with his B: <17.Bxg6 18.Bh5 19.Bg4>. <20..Rce8> looks like a deep-think result: Black sacs d4 for the central pawn roller, and steals f2 back.

<26.Qe2? Qxd4> isn't too hard of a sac to see: it's Q(+B) for NN(+R) whenever he wants it, only 1 point in material, but with a positional crush: White is all tied up, and a lone Q can't defend against a mob of perfectly-positioned minors. <34..Nd3> Δ35..Rf2 wins a whole R, as White's Q will have no squares left that defend Re3.

<41.Kg1 Be3> is White's only non-gold general move (diagonally backward); but the ghastly discovered check trumps any check by White's Q. <42..Ne1> is a final cute shot that "saves" the Bb7: <44.Bg4[]> White must prevent Nf3 and an unstoppable Arabian mate, but his K is now fully gilded.

Black had the other shoe of d4-e3, and his own attack was too fast for it to drop!

Jul-30-11  hedgeh0g: For those who don't know, Yoshiharu Habu is the current shogi champion and considered by many to be one of the greatest shogi players of all time. The "Gold General" is the name of a piece in shogi (I can't remember its movement).

Habu is also rated around 2400 FIDE in classical chess, so definitely not somebody to be taken lightly, as Nikolic discovered in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: After 42. Qg8+ Kf6 43. Kh1, black would have had to settle for a draw.

For me the amazing thing is not that black won despite being a ♕ down for almost 30 moves, but that he never used his ♗ on b7!

Jul-30-11  Jamboree: "al wazir: After 42. Qg8+ Kf6 43. Kh1, black would have had to settle for a draw."

Are you sure? Where is the draw?

Keep in mind that by this stage Black is actually up material (R+B+N vs. Q), so he doesn't need to mate white immediately to win -- all black has to do is get his king to safety, and then escort the central pawns forward, and white is in serious trouble.

After your line, what if black just plunges forward with the king, i.e. 43. ... Ke5. He's threatening to run up to safety with Kd4, and if black checks with the queen to stop him, then just KxB. White can win the black b7 bishop in return, but the queen by itself will have a much harder time finding a perpetual check.

It may indeed be a draw at that point, but I'd much rather be playing black, as he has all the chances. Black's pieces are self-supporting and untouchable by the queen, so the best white can pray for is a perpetual.

Jul-30-11  abuzic: <al wazir:.......
For me the amazing thing is not that black won despite being a down for almost 30 moves, but that he never used his on b7!>

Nice observation(s), except perhaps for 42.Qg8+ leading to draw! something to be analysed deeper.

Maybe 25.Rf1 was better than 25.Re3, as this allows the static black bishop on b7 to indulge in the game: 26...Bc8 and white gains more ground. The played 26.Qxd4 was <cute> but risky choice (it did the gob, howerver), and after 27.Nxd4 Bxd4 white plays 28.h3 and holds strong position.

Jul-30-11  howlwolf: al wazir, I think you are wrong. After
42 Qg8+ Kf6, white has to play Qf7+, because he can't drop the white squared bishop, black replies with 43...Ke5. White can't check from h5 or g7, beecause the rook blocks with check, so he has to check from c7 and after Kxe6 where is his next check coming from? Same question a lot of people going to be asking if the government defaults.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: While white has a queen,blacks numerous weapons eventually overrun him-it's actually surprising that he lasts as long as he did.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: horde in tie <4gc6> deaf it stiff on topical MV Predrag o now down 7nd2

advantage in division it sky in Rafael bh4 b6 safer guard. Bull I on teach c4

c5 black chef cooking rake one grave d5 e4 remember in Capablance Fischer

hanging pawn structure boi sand? Abbigale white digging after 44.Bg4 zulu

rook a f1!

Jul-30-11  SirChrislov: How he thought of <25...♘xf2!!> opening up that crucial f-file is amazing to me. 26.kxf2 then 26...Qh4+.

<46...e3> also looks devastating. Δ <47...d4>

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <SirChrislov: How he thought of <25...xf2!!> opening up that crucial f-file is amazing to me. 26.kxf2 then 26...Qh4+.>

Remind me not to tangle with this dude. A streetfighter.

Jul-30-11  goodevans: <al wazir:.......
For me the amazing thing is not that black won despite being a down for almost 30 moves, but that he never used his ♗ on b7!>

If it weren't for the B on b7 then white would have perpetual with 44 Qe8+. The fact that the pawn on d5 is defended is crucial in being able to escape the checks. So black did "use" his B on b7 after all!

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I said black had to take a draw after 42. Qg8+ because I thought white could go on chasing the black ♔ perpetually. But I guess he eventually runs out of checks. And while I don't see a win, black certainly has the advantage.
Jul-30-11  sevenseaman: The natural kind of flow that marks Habu's game may make it look simple but his plan is very intricately calculated from his 26th move onwards when he gives up his Q for an attack on the White K.

Nikolic, in capturing the Black Q liberates the Black N on 'f' file and it has a cover/support to sustain its forays deep into enemy territory.

Habu's detailed plan must necessarily include the counter-attack he was going to face on his own K. Off-hand my fears of this danger were similar to those expressed by <al wazir>. I felt obliged to and did carry out a detailed analysis to confirm safety for the Black K. I must say Habu's self-belief in his eventual ability to escape proved well-founded.

Habu's unrelenting attack on the White K affords him the opportunity to take the wandering White Q and that blow proved decisive.

Jul-30-11  Nilsson: I think the position is a draw after 43.h4 instead of 43.De7+? /JN
Jul-30-11  jheller1: <SirChrislov: How he thought of <25...xf2!!> opening up that crucial f-file is amazing to me. 26.kxf2 then 26...Qh4+.>

I don't see the win for black after 26.Kxf2 Qh4+ 27. Kg1 Be5 28.g3

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Exciting play. If the player with the Queen can't activate Her Majesty, he or she will face a long and tedious defense. Even if the silicon monsters eventually prove the sacrifice unsound, in practical play such a well-judged risk will frequently pay off handsomely. See Speilmann's The Art of the Sacrifice for further information.
Jul-31-11  sevenseaman: <An Englishman>'s comments and an allusion to 'Speilmann's The Art Of the Sacrifice may be quite germane here. But that apart,

<26.Kxf2 Qh4+ 27. Kg1 Be5 28.g3>

The position does not look good for white after,

25...Nxf2 26. Kxf2 Qxd4 27. Qxd4 Rxf5+ 28. Bxf5 Bxd4 29. Re1 Rf8

Jun-30-12  master of defence: What happens after 44.Qxb7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <master of defence> After <44.Qxb7>:

click for larger view

It's mate in three by <44...Rf1+ 45.Kh2 Nf3+ 46.Kg2 Rg1#>

Jun-30-12  dougiejfresh: 44. Qxb7 leads to mate in 3:

45. Kh2 Nf3+
46. Kg2 Rg1#

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