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Andrei Volokitin vs Predrag Nikolic
SLO-chT (2006), Murska Sobota, rd 5, Nov-25
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Chigorin Defense Panov System (C99)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Volokitin - Nikolic

after 31...f6

click for larger view

32.Nh6+!? opening the f-file for a torrid kingside attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I found 36. Rg7, but I sure wouldn't have counted this game won, nor could I have won it. (It took a GM 25 more moves.)

What if black plays 36...Bxh3 ? If 37. Qxh3 Qxh3+ 38. Kxh3 Nxg7, black wins.

Or how about 39...Ra7 ? If 40. exf5, then 40...Rf7, and now white has no more checks. (If 41. Qh8+ Ke7, the ♕ swap is forced.) After the white ♕ retreats black plays 41. Qxf4, and white is lost.

Oct-21-18  mel gibson: So this one ends in a draw!

I thought
36 Q-g3.

Stockfish 9 doesn't agree with the text move - it says:

36. Be3

(36. Be3 (♗c1-e3 ♗d7-f5 ♗e3xb6 ♗f5-g6 ♖g1-g3 ♘a6-b8 ♘c2-e3 ♖a8-a3 ♗b3-d1 ♕c8-b7 ♗b6-d8 ♕b7-d7 ♗d8-a5 ♘b8-a6 ♕f3-g2 ♕d7-f7 ♗d1-g4 ♘a6-c7 ♗a5xc7 ♘e8xc7 ♗g4-f5 ♖a3-a2 ♗f5xg6 h7xg6 ♖g3xg6 ♖a2xf2 ♕g2xf2 ♕f7xg6 h6-h7 ♕g6xh7 ♕f2xf6+ ♕h7-f7 ♕f6xd6+ ♕f7-e7 ♕d6-h6+ ♕e7-g7 ♕h6xg7+ ♔f8xg7 d5-d6 ♘c7-e6 ♘e3-g4 ♔g7-f8 h3-h4) +4.22/26 188)

score for White +4.22 depth 26

Oct-21-18  goodevans: Whenever a Sunday puzzle seems a little too easy my suspicions ought to be raised but no, I made the same mistake as Volokitin (and <al†wazir> and no doubt many others) of underestimating the effectiveness of black's defensive <36...Bf5>.

If Nikolic had followed up with <37...Bxh3> white would have been truly struggling.

Good puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I saw the first two moves and noticed the R couldn't be taken. I noticed Bf5 was annoying...

Rg7 seemed the best move and led to a complex position. Black defended well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Rg7 is still the move I would play regardless of a computer analysis. It would throw most players!
Oct-21-18  TheaN: Sunday 21 October 2018


A spoiler Sunday, CG? 36.Rg7?! is <not> the correct move here. I had seen the concept of <36.Rg7 Nxg7 37.Qxf6+ Ke8 38.hxg7 +-<>> and missed Black's amazing defense 36....Bf5!, as obviously Rxh7 will probably gain a decisive advantage.

Astonishing, on depth 35 the best move is <36.Be3!>. Yes kids, never trade when you're a piece down owait what? The point of this move isn't clear on first sight, but it accomplishes a few things: attacks the loose Bb6, removes the loose Bc1 and a trade allows the Knight to come into play.

In fact, if Black doesn't want to be pushed back and allows <36....Bxe3 37.Nxe3> the threat of Rg7 is VERY real. So real, that it's happening unless Black throws a lot of material.

SF9 gives <37....Nxb4 38.Rg7 Ra3! 39.Rxh7!!> holy moly <39....Kg8 (Rxb3 40.Qh5+ #7) 40.Re7 Kf8 41.Rg7!> back to g7 <41....Rxb3 42.Qg3> and now Black has no more reasonable defense against Qg6 <42....Nxg7 (Rxe3 43.h7! sigh) 43.Qxg7+ Ke8 44.h7 Kd8 45.h8=Q+ Kc7> and White's on +7. Crazy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a pawn for a knight.

Black threatens Bxh3 Qxh3 Qxh3+ Kxh3 Bxf2, returning some material but trading queens and ending up a pawn ahead.

The knight on e8 is overloaded with the protection of f6 and g7 and the pawn on h7 is defenseless. These details suggest 36.Rg7:

A) 36... Nxg7 37.Qxf6+ Ke8 (37... Kg8 38.Qxg7#) 38.hxg7 wins.

B) 36... Bxh3 37.Rxh7 Bg4 (due to Qh5) 38.Rh8+

B.1) 38... Kf7 39.Qg3, with the threats f3 and h7-Rf8+, looks good for White.

B.2) 38... Ke7 39.Qg3, with the threats f3, Rg8, h7, etc.

I don't have time for more today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: 36.Be3 crossed my mind with the idea 36... Bxe3 37.Nxe3 followed by Nf5 or Ng4 combined with Rg7 but I discarded it because Black is not obliged to capture.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: 36.? White to play and draw:

I got the first 25 moves of the combination, but then I blundered with 61.Nb5??

Zero credit for me...

Oct-21-18  Whitehat1963: If itís Sunday, itís insanely difficult.
Oct-21-18  Marmot PFL: If white missed a win here I wouldn't have found ti either.
Oct-21-18  devere: According to SF9 36.Rg7?! Bf5! 37. Qg2 Bxh3! wins for Black, while after 36.Be3! Bxe3 37.Ne3 Nxb4 38.Rg7! or 36.Be3! Ba7 37.Bxa7 Rxa7 38.Rg7! White wins. A difficult problem, suitable for a Sunday.
Oct-21-18  cormier: Analysis by Houdini 4
36...Bf5 37.Rg3 Bg6 38.Bd2 Qd7 39.Ne3 Nac7 40.Nc2 Qf7 41.Qg2 Bh5 42.f4 Bd1 43.fxe5 fxe5 44.Bg5 Qf2 45.Qxf2+ Bxf2 46.Rd3 Bh5 47.Rc3 Ba7 48.Kg2 Be2 49.Rc6 Bd3 50.Kf3 Bf1 51.h4 Bh3 52.Be3 Bd7 53.Rc3 Ke7 54.Bxa7 Rxa7 - + (-2.11) Depth: 26
Oct-21-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 24 dpa

<1. + / = (0.48): 36.Be3> Ba7 37.Rg7 Bf5 38.Rxa7 Rxa7 39.Bxa7 Bg6 40.Qd3 Qd7 41.Be3 f5 42.f4 fxe4 43.Qc3 exf4 44.Bxf4 Qf7 45.Qd2 Qf6 46.Nd4 Bf7 47.Ne6+ Kg8 48.Bg3 Bh5 49.Be1 Nac7 50.Qe3 Bf3 51.Qg5+ Kf7 52.Kg3 Qb2 53.Nd8+ Kf8 54.Qf4+ Qf6 55.Nc6 Kf7

2. = (0.00): 36.Bd2 Bxh3 37.Qxh3 Qxh3+ 38.Kxh3 f5 39.exf5 Bxf2 40.Rg4 Ra7 41.Rg2 Bb6 42.Kh4 Rf7 43.Kg4 Nf6+ 44.Kf3 Nc7 45.Bg5 Nfe8 46.Ke4 Nf6+ 47.Kf3 Nfe8

d 23 dpa 3. = (0.00): 36.Bb2 Rb8 37.Qg3 Ke7 38.Qg8 Bf5 39.Rg7+ Nxg7 40.Qxg7+ Ke8 41.Qg8+ Ke7 42.Qg7+ Ke8

Oct-21-18  landshark: Got the 1st move easily - always good for a Sunday. Let's see how far I can take this in guess-the-move mode before a misstep -
Oct-21-18  cormier: if 36.Be3

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

36...Bxe3 37.Nxe3 Nxb4 38.Qg3 Ke7 39.Qg8 Kd8 40.Qxh7 Qc3 41.Qg6 Nd3 42.h7 Nxf2 43.h8Q Qxe3 44.Rg3 Qf4 45.Qhh6 Nxh3 46.Qxf4 Nxf4 47.Qg8 Ra3 48.Re3 Ra7 49.Qg1 Rc7 50.Rf3 Bf5 51.Qe1 Rh7+ 52.Kg1 Bg4 53.Qa5+ Nc7 54.Rf1 Rh3 55.Bd1 + / = (0.55) Depth: 24/88 00:24:29 876mN 36...Bxe3 37.Nxe3
+ / - (0.82 --) Depth: 25 dpa

36...Ba7 37.Rg7 Bf5 38.Rxa7 Rxa7 39.Bxa7 Bg6 40.Qd3 Qd7 41.Be3 f5 42.f4 fxe4 43.Qc3 exf4 44.Bxf4 Qf5 45.Kg3 Qh5 46.Nd4 Bf7 47.Ne6+ Kg8 48.Bc1 Qg6+ 49.Kh2 Qf5 50.Qg3+ Bg6 51.Bd2 Nac7 52.Nd4 Qf1 53.Be3 Kf8 54.Bf4 Kg8 55.Nf5 Qe2+ 56.Kg1 Qh5 57.Nd4 Nf6 58.Bxd6 Ncxd5 59.Nxb5 Qxh6 + / = (0.53) Depth: 25 dpa
+ / = (0.45 !) Depth: 26 dpa

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