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Nona Gaprindashvili vs Alexander Blagidze
GEO-ch (1963)
Sicilian Defense: Grand Prix Attack (B23)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-26-09  MostlyAverageJoe: <Once> Yes, you're right, 18.Rg7 is quite playable, although I am getting a nearly 1 pawn advantage after half an hour of analysis at the end of the line below.

However, clearly there is no forced win for white in the puzzle position. And there are many other playable moves in the puzzle position. Thus, the puzzle is really asking a question "what move is most likely to induce a blunder by the black". As long as the move is sound, this should be considered a valid approach in OTB games, so why not in puzzles...

Regarding 18. Rg7, I am curious what Fritz would say at the end of this line, which seems to be pretty much optimal for both sides:

<18. Rg7> Bxf4 19. Qh5+ Kd8 20. Qh4+ Bg5 21. Rxg5 Ne7 (-0.82, 19 plies)

I am also getting a pawn worth in this line:

<18. Rf1> Bxf4 19. R7xf4 Qe5 (-1.01, 21 plies)

Jun-26-09  solskytz: Once :-) it's always a pleasure to read your comments and analyses...

I guess that this is a position where every player can be right according to their own preferences, I mean, heck - it's only a game! Why not play it out :-)

I have a good friend who is a chess master, who always says that drawing games is a mark of 'soundness' or 'stability'. There is probably something in that, and it does make one feel like a stronger, more mature player, whatever that may mean...

Between us amateurs most games are decisive in any case, whether we like it or not, so a draw here and there is refreshing - ESPECIALLY under 20 moves :-) to get the GM feel - you know, a good fighting draw where both sides know better than to keep fighting, holding each other's strength in esteem. It's of course beneath your honor to try to win with cheap tricks, such as an attack on an exposed king, against an opponent of this calibre.

You can later say dryly (a-la Capablanca) "I didn't get any significant advantage from the opening, so there was no point to continue". That feels great!! :-) and makes a great impression on your contemporaries - such an example of the noble restraint of the truly great chess player. They will then go on and quote you in their books.

Jun-26-09  wouldpusher: 13. ♘h5 gxh5 14. ♖xf7 h6! 15. ♗f4 ♗e5 16. ♕xh5 ♔d8! =

click for larger view

I can't see how the attack will continue after 16. ... ♔d8.

Jun-26-09  Marmot PFL: Very nice double sacrifice. Even if black could have drawn in one variation the chances of finding it over the board are not good. The whole idea of Qxh4+ and taking the f pawn seems way too risky as opening the f file is just what white wants anyway.
Jun-26-09  jsheedy: Without checking the kibitzing or the game, here's what I came up with after about 5 minutes: 1. Nh5, gxh5, 2. Rxf7, Kxf7, 3. Qf3+, Ke8, 4. Rf1, Rf8, 5. Qxh5+. Is this about right? No board, no computer, no peeking.
Jun-26-09  njchess: With lots of wood on the board, the position can appear to be confusing. The half open f-file is the obvious key, but the tricky part is how to open up the position in such a way that enables more of White's pieces, namely the queen, to get into the attack. Black is seriously weak on the light squares and that fact leads me to 13. Nh5.

13. Nh5 gxh5 (13. ... 0-0? 14. Nxg7 Kxg7 15. Bf6+ Kh7 16. Qd2 ) 14. Rxf7! Qe5 (14. ... Kxf7? 15. Qxh5+ or 14. ... Ne5?? 15. Re7!+ ) 15. Rf5!

I suspect Black resigned after Rxf7 since there really is no defense. Time to check.

Black makes a fatal mistake with 10. ... Qc7?. Better would have been Qf6.

I don't think much of Black's queen foray, namely Qh4+ followed by Qxf4 either. It runs contrary to the Sicilian, which is a more strategic, positional type of opening. With accurate play, Black might have been able to pull it off, but otherwise, it costs him valuable time, leaves him behind in development, exposes his queen and opens up the f-file prior to castling. All for a pawn...

Jun-26-09  Patriot: 13.Rxf7 seemed ripe for the taking, but I just couldn't make it work.

13...Kxf7 14.Qf3+

A) 14...Ke8 (threatening 15...Rf8) 15.Nh5! gxh5 (15...Rf8 16.Nxg7#) 16.Qxh5+ Kf8 17.Rf1+ wins.

B) 14...Kg8 seems to be a much tougher defense. For example, 15.Rf1 Ne5.

Finally I gave up on 13.Rxf7 and started looking at 13.Nh5 first. As many of you always suggest: "Try changing the move order."

13.Nh5 gxh5 14.Rxf7 Kxf7 15.Qxh5+ Kg8 16.Qe8+ Bf8 17.Rf1 looks like a killer to me.

So maybe 13.Nh5 O-O 14.Nxg7 Kxg7, winning the bishop pair and removing the dark-square king defender.

This was definitely "difficult", because I'm not sure I would've ever seen this OTB.

Jun-26-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: To follow up my post from early a.m. ....

Apparently, white has gambited a pawn for very active play. White's initial development is complete, the minor pieces are well placed (especially the powerful DSB) and the Rf1 sits on a semi-open file pointing at the traditional weak spot, f7. Black's uncastled king, development lag, and congested queenside provide few resources to defend against a direct attack. However, a tepid move such as 13.Qf3 allows black to defend f7 with d6 or d5. To preempt this, Rxf7 looks appealing, but the immediate 13.Rxf7 Kxf7 14.Qf3+ Kg8 15.Rf1 d6 doesn't give enough for the sacrificed rook. Instead, the preparational shot,

13.Nh5! (1st and only candidate)

looks overwhelming. The purpose is to open lines and bring the Q into the attack with tempo.

Considering acceptance first:

A) 13... gxh5 14.Rxf7! Kxf7 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.Qe8+ Bf8 17.Rf1 Qd6 18.Bh6 forces mate.

A.1) 15... Kf8 16.Rf1+ Bf6 17.Bxf6 Kg8 (else Be5+ or Be8+) 18.Qe8#

A.2) 14... Be5/Bf8/Rg8 15.Qh5 leaves black defenseless against 16.Rxh7+/g7+ followed by Qf7#

A.3) 14... Ne5 15.Rxg7 Kf8 16.Qf1+! Kxg7 17.Qf6+ Kg8 18.Bh6 finishes efficiently.

A.3.1) 15... Nxc4 16.Re7+ Kd8 17.Rxe6# is pretty - for white.

A.4) 14... h6! 15.Rxg7 (not 15.Qh5? hxg5 16.Qg6 Ne5! 17.Qxg7 Nxf7 Oops!) hxg5 16.Qf3! Rf8 17.Qxh5+ Kd8 18.Qxg5+ Ke8 19.Rf1! Rxf1+ 20.Kxf1 d6 21.Rg8+ Kd7 22.Rg7+ wins the Q

A.4.1) 20... Qd6 21.Rg8+ Kf7 22.Qg7#

A.4.2) 16.... Ne5 17.Qf6 Qd6 18.Re7+! Qxe7 19.Qxh8+ Qf8 20.Qxe5 is dominating - white threatens Rf1 and black can't get the king out of the dangerous middle.

A.4.2.1) 17...Nf6 18.Rf1 and the threat of 19.Re7+ is decisive.

A.4.3) 16... Nd8 17.Qf6 Qd6 18.Qg6+ forces mate.

Considering declines of the first sacrifice:

B) 13)... O-O? 14.Nxg7 Kxg7 15.Bf6+ Kg8 16.Qd2 forces mate

C) 14)... Be5 15.Nf6+ Bxf6 16.Bxf6 Rf8 17.Qd2 d6 18.Qh6 d6 19.Qxh7 Bd7 20.Bg7 wins the exchange.

White has dark square domination.

I think that covers it - time to check.

Jun-26-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: I forgot to address 14... Qe5 in my post, but I never saw 15... Rf5! anyway!

Based on the Fritz analysis from <Once>, I need to review A.4 for flaws.

<Jimfromprovidence:> <I do not have a clue what happens after 13...Rg8, ignoring the sacrfice.>

White should capitalize on the dark-squared domination and go after the rook with 14.Nxg7+ Rxg7 15.Bf6 Rg8 16.Qd2 Ne7 17.Qh6 b7 18.Qxh7 Bb7 19.Bxe7 Kxe7 20.Qxf7+. If instead 17... Rf8 18.Bb7 Rg8 19.Bh6! f5 20.Bg5 wins for white. Black doesn't have time to get castled, protect f7, and protect the rook

Sorry if this has already been addressed.

Jun-26-09  Patriot: Very thorough analysis <CHESSTTCAMPS>.

Backing up to move 12 as black considering 12...Nc6: How many of you would've considered 13.Nh5 as a possible response? 12...Nc6 looks reasonable since black would love to castle, but can't since Ne7 would hang. What's a reasonable candidate here? Seeing that 12...Nc6 is unsafe is another one of the difficulties in this great game.

Jun-26-09  jsheedy: Interesting ideas: 13. Nh5, gxh5, 14. Rxf7, h6, 15. Bf4 (15. Bxe6, hxg5, 16. Rxg7, Qe5 wins for black), Be5, 16. Qxh5, Kd8, 17. Qh4+, Ke8, 18. Qh5, Kd8, 19. Qh4+, Ke8, 20. Qh5, Kd8, 21. Qh4+, Ke8 draw by repetition. –with help from Rybka 2.2n2 mp 32 bit.
Jun-26-09  jsheedy: My Rybka did not try 13. Nh5, instead opting for 13. Qd2 and an even game.
Jun-26-09  sheaf: Rf5 is the only difficult move to visualize..
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: No chance on this one...
Jun-26-09  gofer: 13 Nh5!

Main line

13 ... gxh5
14 Rxf7 Kxf7
15 Qxh5+ Kg8
16 Rf1 threatning Qf7#

16 ... Ne5/Nd8/d6/d5 (stopping Qf7#) 17 Qe8+ Bf8 Qxf8#

16 ... h6 17 Qf7+ Kh7 18 Bf6 Rg8 19 Bxe6 winning the queen or mating

Now there a lots of variations as obviously both gxh5 and Kxf7 are optional for black, but I think we can quickly realise that gxh5 is forced...

13 ... O-O 14 Nxg7 Kxg7 (otherwise white is winning) 15 Bf6+ Kg8 16 Qd2 mating with Qh6 Qg7

13 ... Bf8 loosing the queen to Nf6+
13 ... Bd5 14 Nf6+ Bxf6 (not taking is not really an option as Kf8 is terrible for black) 15 Bxf6 Rg8 16 Qf3 winning easily as f7 and h7 are very difficult to protect.

But what are the options for black other than 14 ... Kxf7?

13 Nh5 gxh5
14 Rxf7 ...

14 ... Bd5? 15 Qxh5 and the discovered checks are too huge to cope with...

14 ... Rf8 15 Bxg7 with insurmountable problems for black...

Nope is all looks pretty nasty for black...

Time to check...

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is a pawn ahead and is about to consolidate his position with ... Ne5, ... d6, ... Bd7 , ... 0-0-0, etc. However, five white pieces seem to be ready to attack the black king, the only problem being finding an invasion path for the white queen. This suggests, 13.Nh5:

A) 13... gxh5 14.Rxf7

A.1) 14... Kxf7 15.Qxh5+ Kf8 (15... Kg8 16.Qe8+ Bf8 17.Rf1) 16.Rf1+ Bf6 (16... Kg8 17.Qe8+) 17.Rxf6+ Ke7 18.Rxe6+ Kf8 19.Bh6+ Kg8 20.Re8#.

A.2) 14... h6 15.Bf4 (15.Qxh5 hxg5 16.Qg6 Qxh2+ 17.Kf2 Qh5)

A.2.a) 15... e5 16.Qxh5+ Kd8 (16... Kf8 17.Qf7#) 17.Qh4+ Ke8 18.Qf6 + -, threatening 19.Bf7+ Kf8 20.Bg6#. If 18... Qd8 19.Qf7#.

A.2.b) 15... Be5 16.Qxh5 Bxf4 (16... Kd8 17.Bg5+; 16... Rf8 17.Rf5+ and 18.Bxe5) 17.Rh7+ Kd8 18.Rxh8+ Ke7 19.Qe8+ Kf6 (19... Kd6 20.Qf8+ Ne7 21.Qxf4+) 20.Rf1 with a winning attack.

A.3) 14... Qe5 15.Rf5 (threatening 16.Rxe5 and 16.Qxh5#) Qxf5 (15... exf5 16.Qxh5+ Kf8 17.Qf7#) 16.exf5 followed by 17.Qxh5 + -.

A.4) 14... Be5 (or 14... Bf8, or 14... Rg8) 15.Qxh5 + - (the discovered check will demolish Black).

B) 13... h6 14.Nxg7+ Kf8 15.Bf6 Rh7 16.Qd2 + -.

C) 13... 0-0 14.Nxg7 Kxg7 15.Bf6+ followed by 16.Qd2 + -.

D) 13... Qe5 14.Nxg7+ followed by 15.Bf6 + -.

E) 13... Be5 14.Nf6+

E.1) 14... Kf8 15.Bh6+ Ke7 16.Bg7 Rd8 17.Qf3 looks disastrous for Black.

E.2) 14... Kd8 (or 14... Ke7) 15.Nd5+ wins the queen.

E.3) 14... Bxf6 15.Bxf6 Rg8 16.Qd2 Ne5 is probably Black's best bet, although after 17.Qf4 d6 18.Bxe5 dxe5 19.Bb5+ Kd8 (19... Bd7 20.Qxf7+) 20.Qxf7 (probably stronger than 20.Qf6+ Qe7 21.Qxe5) Qxf7 21.Rxf7 White will double the rook along the seventh rank with a won endgame.

Jun-26-09  Utopian2020: Black should have played 14...h6.
Jun-26-09  MostlyAverageJoe: <CHESSTTCAMPS ...

A.4) 14... h6! 15.Rxg7 (not 15.Qh5? hxg5 16.Qg6 Ne5! 17.Qxg7 Nxf7 Oops!) hxg5 16.Qf3! Rf8 ... >

Ahem, instead of <16 ... Rf8>, why not 16 ... Qf4 and it seems that white's attack is gone.

MAJ (at work, with no computer to confirm my idea).

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I made a mistake in my line A.2.a. After 15... Be5 16.Qxh5 Kd8 I thought that 17.Bg5+ was winning without noticing that the rook was still defended by the bishop on e5. Just another little contribution to the history of blunders...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <CHESSTTCAMPS> <White should capitalize on the dark-squared domination and go after the White should capitalize on the dark-squared domination and go after the rook with 14.Nxg7+ Rxg7 15.Bf6 Rg8 16.Qd2 Ne7 17.Qh6 b7 18.Qxh7 Bb7 19.Bxe7 Kxe7 20.Qxf7+.>

Thanks for responding to my query about what happens after 13…Rg8?!

In your line 14.Nxg7+ Rxg7 15.Bf6 Rg8 16.Qd2, I would try to keep the queen from reaching h6 with 16…g5, offering up that pawn.

click for larger view

Now if 17 Bxg5, then 17…Qa5, attacking the bishop and likely forcing the queen exchange.

click for larger view

Jun-26-09  beenthere240: In the game above, if 18. Qxa5 Nxa5. which side do you prefer? Material is again equal, white has the 2 bishops, black will have a hard time castling and has doubled d pawns. In this light 13. Nh5 becomes a positional ploy than can easly turn in to a good attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <solskytz> Nicely put and very wise words!

The next time I have the draw in hand, I will think of your inspiring post and be more mature than usual. It will mean putting shackles on my inner caveman, but that's probably not a bad thing.

I did read somewhere about the concept of the tactical resignation. Every now and again, in a particularly complicated position, you should sink deep in thought and then cry out "Of course! I see it now! In 24 moves you will win the exchange by the Schlieman-Zukertort tactic. Brilliantly played! I resign."

Plays havoc with your grading, but will impress the whatnots out of your opponent and any onlookers...

Jun-26-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <MostlyAverageJoe> <Ahem, instead of <16 ... Rf8>, why not 16 ... Qf4 ...>

Yes, that cooks the 15.Rxg7 line. It seems that white must take the draw with 15.Bf4 Be5 16.Qh5 as has been discussed. This is a case study on why a strong defensive player can win games by finding moves like 14... h6! (which took me a while to find when I was working through the flawed solution post).

<Jimfromprovidence:> <In your line 14.Nxg7+ Rxg7 15.Bf6 Rg8 16.Qd2, I would try to keep the queen from reaching h6 with 16…g5, offering up that pawn...>

As antipositional as this looks, it is probably the best continuation. In your first diagrammed position, I would consider 17.Qe2 or Qf2, but Chessmaster likes 17.Bb5.

Jun-26-09  solskytz: (to Once) that makes a very special effect when your opponent refuses to accept your resignation due to the famous schwartzwald - heimlich maneuver, which he sees coming up a few moves later on the same variation.

I (once) played a tournament game moving nothing but knights for thirty moves, and winding up on the starting position, my opponent (today a FIDE master) doing the same. We simply protested the idea of posing an artificial time limit to the first thirty moves.

During those same thirty moves, knights were put intentionally en prise... but were somehow spiritually immune.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Exquisite, really. I spent a while understanding that the immediate 13.Rxf7 didn't work, then I noticed that 13.Nh5 made all the difference. Bingo.

Quite a lot of subvariations in there, though. I can't be certain I'd have seen enough of them in a game to pluck up the courage to play the appropriate moves.

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