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Mikhail Rychagov vs Roman Slobodjan
Arco Open (1999), Arco ITA, rd 7, Oct-29
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-16-09  TheaN: 2/2

<zooter>, take note that even without the Bishop on c6:

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<31.Ne7? Rxe7 32.Rd8† Re8 >

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A familiar theme with two skewer defenses on the Rooks. There is a White Rook between the Black ones but that doesn't matter at all.

Jun-16-09  geeker: No apparent mate threats, and the potential pin of the f7 pawn doesn't amount to anything. There *is* a knight fork motif, but the Black Bishop at c6 and the forking square e7 appear protected. However, a short calculation shows that the Bishop *can* be taken because of a back-rank mate threat. So 31. R:c6! wins a piece.
Jun-16-09  MaxxLange: I bet that Black wished he had played ...h6 at some point, instead of one of his dozen Knight reshuffling moves
Jun-16-09  TheBish: M Rytshagov vs R Slobodjan, 1999

White to play (31.?) "Easy"

31. Rxc6! Rxc6 32. Ne7+ wins a piece, since 32...Rxe7 33. Rd8+ mates.

Jun-16-09  UnsoundHero: Black should try 29...Rc6 instead of 29...Bc6, hoping to trade down to a more basic ending, and blunting white's pressure on the d file.
Jun-16-09  YetAnotherAmateur: Seems like this is "pretend to sac the exchange but really not due to a fork" week.

31. Rxc6 and if Rxc6,
32. Ne7+ and if Rxe7,
33. Rd8+ Re8
34. Rxe8#

Jun-16-09  andymac: I got this one after looking around a bit. <zooter> and <Stormbringer>: Ne7+ fails to Rxe7 even without Black's bishop as the followup Rd8 can be met immediately by Re8:

31. Ne7+ Rxe7 32. Rd8+ Ree8 and White is just a piece down for nothing. Bishops can be ignored.

Jun-16-09  johnlspouge: Tuesday (Easy):

M Rytshagov vs R Slobodjan, 1999 (31.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The Black Kg8 has 2 legal moves, both on the back rank. The White Ba2 X-rays Kg8 through the outpost Nd5 and Pf7. White has a battery Rd1 and Rd6 on the d-file, ready to penetrate for a back-rank mate. The White Nd5 has a check 31.Ne7+, with a double attack on Bc6. Everything points to a decoy of Re8 off the back rank with a fork Ne7+ of Bc6 and Kg8. The White Kf2 is secured from check, except for 31…Nd3+.

Candidates (31.): Rxc6

31.Rxc6 Rxc6 [else, drop Bc6]

32.Ne7+ Rxe7 [else, drop a B after 33.Nxc6]

33.Rd8+ Re8 34.Rxe8#

Black must surrender at least a B.

Jun-16-09  Major Dude: OK. 2 for 2. Pretty easy today. This could have been a Monday puzzle.
Jun-16-09  DarthStapler: Got it
Jun-16-09  Patriot: Initial candidates: Ne7+,Rxc6

31.Ne7+ Rxe7 goes nowhere.

31.Rxc6 Rxc6 32.Ne7+ and the rook on c6 is lost since 32...Rxe7 33.Rd8+ Re8 34.Rxe8#.

Jun-16-09  MarioGolfMaster: MostlyAverageJoe--If 32...Ree8 then 33. Rxa6 and it's only a matter of technique! (You've got me--this line is clearly inferior to the solution)
Jun-16-09  ounos: Dear Chessgames :)

I would very much more enjoy the daily puzzle if at least two (there might be space for three) positions were presented, where only one would really be a puzzle position, and the other a spoiler one (of course, we wouldn't which one is which!)

Through Wednesday, the fun of a puzzle doesn't last past few seconds. (But it would be fun not to be sure if a given position is really a puzzle even later in a week).

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I guess the theme this week is:tempurary sacrifices or high interest short term loans (payday loans).

31 ♖xc6 ♖xc6 32 ♘e7+ ♖xe7? 33 ♖d8+ and mate next.. So black cannot take at e7 and loses a piece.

Jun-16-09  MostlyAverageJoe: <MarioGolfMaster: MostlyAverageJoe--If 32...Ree8 then 33. Rxa6 and it's only a matter of technique!>

In view of 33...Nxa6, your proposed white move 33.Rxa6 appears to be an unsound rook sacrifice :-)

Jun-16-09  JG27Pyth: Once <It sounds like most of us have just had a shared experience...>

A true LOL. Yes, we did. :)

Although I think I'm alone in first investigating 31.Rc1 thinking I had something on black's loose N before noticing that it fails utterly to 31...Nd3+:

Jun-16-09  YouRang: There were all sorts of tactical ideas to weed out. At first I saw that sneaky-looking bishop on a2 on the same diagonal as black's king, and I was sure that was part of the solution.

Alas, the bishop was only *looking* sneaky. I moved on to the back-rank vulnerability that black was stuck with, and the solution quickly came into view:

Take advantage of black's overworked rooks, which are guarding other squares on top of having to guard the back-rank: <31.Rxc6 Rxc6> taking one rook off the back rank <32.Ne7+!> forking K & R while opening the d-file for my rook to deliver back rank mate if 32...Rxe7.

Black must accept the loss of a piece, or to simplify matters, resign.

Jun-16-09  Samagonka: Very clever solution...too clever for me on this Tuesday.
Jun-16-09  MarioGolfMaster: "In view of 33...Nxa6, your proposed white move 33.Rxa6 appears to be an unsound rook sacrifice :-)"

Indeed--it is a "matter of technique" after that, but White's must be very, very miraculous indeed. Perhaps the quieter 33. Rd6 is better.

Jun-16-09  lzromeu: A double sacrifice to mate in 8-file or material advantage***.

***Some comments miss 32...kf8.

Jun-16-09  Milesdei: 30...Rfe8 is fatal. Black underestimated the power of the d5 knight. Even though white's lsb ends up on a good square, it is not unassailable by black's knight and rooks. I'd say both sides have equal chances after 30...BxN.
Jun-16-09  njchess: 31. Rxc6! Rxc6 32. Ne7+ Rxe7 33. Rd8+ with mate in one, but I assume Black resigned before move 33. Time to check.

Nice Tuesday puzzle. As for the game, by end of move nine, we have reached a typical position in a the closed Ruy Lopez. The position is drawishly equal, though White is slightly behind in development.

10. a3, a positional, waiting type of move, is preferred over the more risky Qd2 (e.g. 10. Qd2 Qd7 11.Nc3 Na5 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13. Bxd5 c6 14. Bxf7+! Rxf7 15 Qxa5 ∞).

As it happens, it is the right choice since Black replies with 10. ... Nd7?. This may seem like a natural enough move to get the knight to the more active c5 square. But, in light of White's imminent Nc3, this move makes little sense since it fatally weakens Black's grip on the vital d5 square. Moreover, the c5 square is generally an awkward square for Black's knight in the Closed Ruy Lopez.

Much better would have been the somewhat strange looking Nb8. The advantages of this move are that it keeps pressure on e4 while maintaining positional flexibility. Black can then play c6, c5 or Nbd7 while White looks for a move (e.g. c3, Bg5, or a4 are typical).

By the end of move 18, Black's position has gone from flexibly solid with counterattacking opportunities to pretty much the opposite! Frankly, it's just plain ugly. He has little choice but to simplify. However, trading down while at a positional disadvantage is risky as this game illustrates.

With 29. Kxf2, White has a clearly winning position. 29. ... Bc6? seals Black's fate. g6 would have prolonged the inevitable. Still, you have give White credit for the nifty ending.

Jun-16-09  muralman: missed it, as I often do on the easy ones.
Jun-16-09  WhiteRook48: like, me too!!
Jun-17-09  nimzo knight: How about Nb6 Rc7, Rc1
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