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Sergei Movsesian vs Ruslan Ponomariov
Donostia Chess Festival (2009), Donostia ESP, rd 4, Jul-11
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Adams Attack (B90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Woo hoo, it's Saturday, and a long weekend too! Been looking forward to it. Unfortunately, not when solving <cg> puzzles...

Anyway, the first thing that caught my attention was the double f-pawns. After finally noticing it was black to move, there was a rook hanging, but I knew that couldn't be the solution. So, I went with 39...Qe1+ 40.Kb2.

Looking at the solution, the first 10 moves or so have forced replies for white, so it's not too hard, once you see the solution.

Oct-10-15  abuzic: Black has 2 Bs for a R, but faces many mate threats;

With 39...Qf1+ 40.Qe1 Qxe1 41.Rxe1 Bb4 he ends a B up, white's f pawns are weak and a winning endgame.

If 40.Kb2 Ba3+! exposes the white K to attack by all black's pieces-except for the K!

<41.Kc3 b4+ leads to mating attack>

41...Qc1+ 42.Kb4 Qxd2+

Oct-10-15  stacase: If Black is to win, the moves have to be, check check check ... So that narrows things down to one or two choices. For patzers like me it becomes luck on choosing this move or that. It follows that over the board I would have a chance of pulling this one out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I go the first four moves and the general idea, but I didn't see it all the way to a conclusion.

Since that was black's only hope, I would have played it OTB, and I think I would have had a good shot at finding the win.

Oct-10-15  morfishine: I awoke foggy and had White to move <39.Qxc6>!!
Oct-10-15  diagonalley: 'strewth... what a save! <diagonalley>: nul points :-(
Oct-10-15  wooden nickel: Oops, White spoiled his winning position with 39.Qe6?, presumably in Zeitnot, almost forcing Black to make the winning moves, nevertheless, I admire Black's perfection.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair for a rook and three pawns.

White threatens 40.Qxc8+ and mate next.

The first idea that comes to mind is 39... Qf1+ 40.Kgb (40.Qe1 Qxe1+ 41.Rxe1 Bb4 seems to lead to a much better ending for Black and 40.Rd1 Qxd1+ 41.Kb2 Bd4+ mates soon) 40... Ba3+ 41.Kxa3 (41.Kc3 Bd7+ wins) 41... Qc1+ 42.Kb4 Qxd2+ but after 43.c3 or 43.Ka3 Black must take into account the threat Re8+ followed by mate on e7 or g7.

I don't have for time for this puzzle today.

Oct-10-15  gofer: Black is in quite a lot of trouble, white threatens Qxc8+, so Qxd2 is not a good idea. White also threatens Qxc3, where the queen is immune to Rd8#, what seems worse is that other defences like Be7 lose immediately to Qxe7#.

So what to do?!

<39 ... Qf1+>

White must run...

40 Qe1 Qxe1+
41 Rxe1 Bb4

40 Rd1 Qxd1
41 Kg2 Ba3+
42 Kxa3 Qd2+ transposes to the following anyway...

<40 Kg2 Ba3+>

41 Kc3 Bd7+

<41 Kxa3 Qc1+>
<42 Kb4 Qxd2+>

43 Kc5 Bd7+

43 c3 a5+
44 Kxa5 Qxc3+ (Ka3 Qc1# or Kc5 Bd7+ )
45 Ka6 Ra8+ (Kb6 Qd4+ mating)
46 Kb6 Qd4+
47 Kc7 Qd8+
48 Kxc6+ Rxe6+

<43 Ka3 Qc1+>
<44 Kb4 a5+>
<45 Kxa5 Qd2+>

46 b6 Qd4+ mating

46 c3 (as above)

46 b4 Ra8+
47 Kb6 Qd4+ (finishing as above)


Well that was a bit easy for a Saturday...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: Saturday today?!?! I thought it was Tuesday or Wednesday.
Oct-10-15  dfcx: White is about to play Qxc8 or Re8+ mate. This leaves black the only choice to play 39...Qf1+

A. 40.Qe1 Qxe1+ 41.Rxe1 Bb4 and black wins the exchange, with R+B against R+2P

B. 40.Qb2 Ba3+

B1. 41.Kxa3 Qc1+ 42.Kb4 Qxd2+ 43.Ka3 (Kc5? Bd7+) Qc1+ 44.Kb4 a5+ 45.Kxa5 Qd2+ 46.Ka6 (46.Kb6 Qd4+) Ra8+ 47.Kb6 Qd4+ 48.Kxc6 Ra6+ wins.

B2. 41.Kc3 b4#

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It was a long series of moves, but as they are virtually forced, this is a far easier puzzle than it looks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Black is going to be checkmated if he doesn't find an effective move, which should wonderfully focus his mind. Actually, being in such serious trouble makes the search for a solution easier: obviously nothing will do but to put White in check and keep on doing it.
Oct-10-15  BOSTER: About "puzzle".
Sometimes Monday puzzle is more difficult and more interesting. This is why so" many " comments.
Oct-10-15  whiteshark: Not my day. I kinda panicked and only looked for a black ♕-sac on move 40.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Another great game. The Saturday puzzle position starting with 39...? was so fascinating that instead of trying to solve the puzzle, I just looked over the entire game from move 1.

This is great brawling chess!

Oct-10-15  TimothyLucasJaeger: I had it through 46. Kb6 when i was planning 46. ... Qa5+ 47. Kc5 Qa3+ 48. Kb6 Ra6+ 49. Kc7 Qa5+ 50. Kb8 Qb6+ 51. Kc8 Ra8#

but i somehow overlooked that white could slip out with 48. Kd4.

So close, yet so far.

Oct-10-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has a rook and two pawns for two bishops, with dangerous-looking pawns at f6-f7 and the major pieces dominating the central files. White's principle threat is 40.Qxc8+ forcing mate. However, black's pieces protect e8 and the king remarkably well, and the white king is actually more vulnerable to black's marauding queen.

39... Qf1+! is virtually forced and launches a winning king hunt. Black can now pick up the Re2 with check unless white elects a losing endgame:

A. 40.Qe1 QxQ+ 41.Rxe1 Bb4 42.Rde2 Bxe1 43.Rxe1 Kxf7 is easy (+B)

B. 40.Rd1 Qxd1+ 41.Kb2 Be4+ 42.c3 (Ka3 Qc1+ 43.Kb4 a5+ 44.Kxa5 Qa3#) Bxc3+ 43.Kxc3 Bd7+ wins the queen.

C. 40.Kb2 Ba3+! 41.Kxa3 Qc1+ 42.Kb4 Qxd2+ 43.c3 a5+ 44.Kxa5 (Ka3 Qc1#) Qxc3+ 45.Ka6 (Kb6 Qd4+ 46.Ka5/a6 Ra8+ forces mate) Ra8+ 46.Kb6 Qd4+ 47.Kc7 (Kxc6 Ra6+ wins queen) Qd8+ 48.Kxc6 Ra6+ 49.Kxb5 Rxd6 50.Rxd6 Qd5+ wins.

C1. 43.Ka3 Qc1+ 44.Kb4 a5+! 45.Kxa5 (Kc3/c5 Bd7+ wins queen) Qd2+ 46.Ka6 (Kb6 Qd4+ forces mate as in main C line) Ra8+ 47.Kb6 Qd4+ 48.Kxc6 Ra6+ 49.Kc7 Rxe6 50.Rxe6 Kxf6 wins (queen for rook).

Time for review....

Oct-10-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: C1 50... should read Kxf7. Line C essentially nailed the game line.
Oct-10-15  The Kings Domain: One of the best puzzles of the site, deep and complex. Excellent move by black on the 39th, the only reply to salvage a hopeless situation and turning the tables on his opponent. It's impressive how with every move the fate of the two kings hang in the balance. Top-notch game.
Oct-10-15  PJs Studio: What bothers me about this problem is... If I was black OTB I might see 39...Qf1 and 40...Ba3+! Winning. However, if I was white OTB, I cannot imagine I would ever see it until AFTER I played 39.Qe6? It's the kind of thing that's very hard to see.
Oct-10-15  PJs Studio: ^ no kidding it's hard to see! Mosesian is a former 2750 and he didn't see it either.
Oct-10-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: <PJs Studio:> You're exactly right - it's a rare chess personality that excels at tactics from a defensive perspective as opposed to an offensive perspective.
Oct-10-15  PJs Studio: I have trouble with it. Always have. It's my understanding (as Robert Burger wrote in his amazing book about Fischer) that Bobby Fischer's few losses were due to him underestimating his opponents attacking chances against his own King.

If Bobby has trouble with it...what hope do I have.

Oct-10-15  PJs Studio: Also, I wonder if super strong players fall victim to the wild attack because, due to their massive strength, they aren't USED to having to defend their king. - most of their games their opponent is holding on for dear life.


Comments welcome.

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