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Boris Kreiman vs Gregory Kaidanov
USA-ch (1994), Key West, FL USA, rd 4, Oct-14
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-01-10  VincentL: Well, I missed Bxg2+, so much of my analysis is redundant. I have posted it up anyway, as ever.

Let me see what could/should have happened.

Jan-01-10  VincentL: Happy New Year everyone (albeit a bit late) !
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: Didn't white miss an opportunity here at move 31?

27 ... Kh8
28 Nxd5 Qxd5
29 e6 Kg8
30 e7 Re8
31 Qb8! ...

click for larger view

32 ... Qd7 (or Rxb8 33 e8=Q+ Rxe8 34 Rxe8#)
33 Qd6 Qc8 (or Qxd6 34 cxd6 and 35 d7)
34 Rd1 f5 (or backrow mate)
35 Qd8 Kf7
36 Qxc8 Rxc8
37 Rd8 Kxe7
38 Rxc8 1-0

It was threats of this type that led me to reject 27 ... Kh8 although the main line I had was

27 ... Kh8
28 Nxd5 cxd5
29 e6 f5
31 Re3 Qd2
33 e7 Re8
34 Qxf4 ....

click for larger view

Which was a position I did not want to be playing as black.

After 27 ... gxf6 I couldn't find a continuation for white I could really get my teeth into and was left wondering what puzzle we were supposed to be solving.

Jan-01-10  Pantagruel: <JG27Pyth>: And full credit for your entertaining post.
Jan-01-10  remolino: Well, I have the candidate moves right today! And nothing else really worked for me in this Insane position.

Best for 2010!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <remo: Well, I have the candidate moves right today! >

I think that's a good idea. Everyone, take full credit if you found all the candidate moves! FWIW, I went with Kh8 since it was a puzzle and all and I surely expected some tactical shot on the exposed King after gxf6.

Jan-01-10  gofer: I looked at the two options for a while and then I eventually decided that 27 ... Kh8 is not playable, but I have been wrong before!

27 ... Kh8
28 Nxd5 Qxd5 (probably better than cxd5)
29 e6!

and now black is in deep trouble!

29 ... fxe6 30 Qxf8#
29 ... Qxe6 30 Rxe6 fxe6 31 Qxf8#
29 ... Qd8 30 e7 winning
29 ... Re8 30 Qxf7 winning
29 ... Kg8 30 e7 Re8 31 Qb8 Qd7 32 Qd6 Qc8 33 Rd1 f6 34 Qd8 Kf7 35 Qxc8 Rxc8 36 Rd8 Kxe7 37 Rxc8 winning the rook!

So then I looked at 27 ... gxf6 and decide that this too was pretty bad for black!

27 ... gxf6
28 Re3 fxe5
29 Rg3+ Qg6
30 Qxe5 f6
31 Rxg6+ hxg6

Now in this version the game is not lost for black, but it is difficult as the white g and h pawns are going to cause problems if they open up the black kings position. So I would say white is still probably winning, but only just!!!

Time to see what I have missed!!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has bishop and a pawn for a knight. White is checking the black king so that there are only two options 27... Kh8 and 27... gxf6.

In the first case, 27... Kh8, threatens 28... Qxh3+ and mate next, 28.Nxd5

A) 28... Qxd5 29.e6 f6 30.Qd6 Re8 (30... Qxd6 31.cxd6 + -) 31.Rd1 Qh5 (31... Qxe6 32.Qxe6 Rxe6 33.Rd8+ Re8 34.Rxe8#; 31... Rxe6 32.Qf8#; 31... Qxd6 32.cxd6 Rxe6 33.d7 + -) 32.e7 with the threat 33.Qd8, 34.Qxe8+, 35.Rd8, looks ugly for Black.

B) 28... cxd5 29.e6 f6 30.Qd6

B.1) 30... Kg8 31.e7 Re8 32.Qe6+ Kh8 33.Qf7 Qg6 34.Qf8+ Rxf8 35.exf8=Q(R)#.

B.2) 30... Re8 31.Qd7 Qg6 32.Qxb7 followed by the advance of the c-pawn.

In the second case, 27... gxf6:

A) 28.e(Q)xf6 Qxh3+ 29.Kg1 Qxg2#.

B) 28.Qg4+ Kh8

B.1) 29.exf6 Rg8 30.Re8 Qf1+ 31.Kh2 Qxg2+ 32.Qxg2 Bxg2 33.Rxg8+ Kxg8 34.Kxg2 h5 35.Kg3 Kh7 36.Kh4 Kg6 winning the pawn on f6 and the endgame.

B.2) 29.Rd1 Bxg2+ 30.Kh2 (30.Qxg2 Qxd1; 30.Kg1 Bxh3) Qxh3+ 31.Qxh3 Bxh3 32.Kxh3 fxe5 - + [4P].

C) 28.Re3 fxe5 29.Rg3+ (29.Qxe5 Qf1+ 30.Kh2 Qxg2#; 29.Rxe5 Qxh3+, etc.; 29.Qg3(4,5)+ Qg6 - + [B+2P]) Kh8 30.Qxe5+ (30.Qg5 Qg6 31.Qxe5+ f6 32.Qc7 Qf7 - + [B+P]) f6 31.Qc7 Rg8 - + [B+P].

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's new year and new decade puzzle (27...?), we have a win-win (or draw-draw) situation, where Black can apparently equalize with strong play by either legal move (27...Kh8 or 27...gxf6).

Other than the fact that one move is apparently not significantly better than the other, several interesting and instructive aspects of this game and puzzle stand out for me:

1. The annotation in the game of 27...Kh8? and 27...gxf6! seems to be in error, since both moves appear to draw with best play. In other words, 27...Kh8 is not particularly worse and 27...gxf6 is not particularly better. Both appear equally good.

2. Both moves require accurate and strong play to secure the draw.

a. In the 27...gxf6 line the followup 28. Re3 Bxg2+! is essential to secure the draw, when play might continue 29. Kxg2 Qd2+ 30. Kg3 Qg5+ 31. Kh8 =.

b. In the game continuation (27...Kh8), Black's follow-up 29...Kg8?? was a mistake , which White correctly responded to with 30. e7! Re8 but erred in the followup with 31. Qc7? (throwing away the win he could have had for equality).

Instead, 29...g6! 30. e7 Re8 31. Qc7 Kg7 32. Qxb7 Qd2 33. Rf1 Qd5 34. Qxa6 Rxe7= seems to hold as well as the recommended 27...gxf6! 28. Re3 Bxf2+! = line.

3. The most interesting position of the game for me is White's 3lst move (maybe a good choice for a future puzzle), when he missed the win 31. Qb8!! Qd7 32. Qd6 Qc6 33. Rd1! f5 34. Qd8 Kf7 35. Qd8 Kf7 36. Rd8 with a winning double attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Ladies and gentlemen, however good 2009 might have been for you, I hope 2010 will prove even better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I put 31. Qb8!!, the missed win, into my combined operations colletion as it includes the weak back rank, passed pawn and double attack tactics in the winning line given in my post above.

P.S. Analysis in my posts today were verified move-by-move with Fritz 10 @ 20 depth.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I blundered in my line C to 27... gxf6 at least twice: 30.Qf6 (instead of 30.Qxe5) mates at once and 31... Rg8 permits 32.Rxd3. Better luck tomorrow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: <VincentL: ... black has only 2 legal moves, gxf6 and Kh8.>

I'm nit-picking obviously, but there are two more legal responses: to resign or offer the draw.

I mention this since oddly enough, the first response to 27 Nf6+ that came to mind was to offer the draw: after gxf6 28 Re3 Bxg2+ a draw is virtually forced, and Kh8 requires extremely careful handling if black is to survive.

En passant, can this ever be a valid answer to a chess problem?

Anyway, back to the game. Did black not see Bxg2+ or was he playing to win? Indeed, if this was a 'must-win' match for black, it may well (I think, would) affect his line of play.

I must admit that I'd discounted Bxg2+ because I thought black could hold on to his material advantage through white's attack and eventually win. Unless white is very precise, he will. However there is this line:

27 ... fxg6
28 Rd3 Qb1!? (black goes for the win)
29 Kh2 h5
30 Qh3 h4
31 Qxh4 Rd8
32 Qh3 Qg6
33 Rg3 fxe5
34 Rxg6+ fxg6
35 Qxg6+ Kf8

click for larger view

36 Qf6+ picks up the pe5 and white should win from here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <sethoflagos> Speaking of nitpicking, it is not legal to offer a draw before making your move. Which doesn't stop the practice, of course.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: <Phony Benoni> Thanks for the info! I didn't know that but it makes sense.
Jan-01-10  turbo231: This puzzle is difficult.
Jan-01-10  felixd: This puzzle is weird... Both moves are as good, considering to Fritz 12.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Correction: The winning move/line White missed is 31. Qb8!! Qd7 32. Qd6 Qc8 33. Rd1 f5 34. Qd8 Kf7 35. Qxc8 Rxc8 36. Rd8 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <sethoflagos: <VincentL: ... black has only 2 legal moves, gxf6 and Kh8.> I'm nit-picking obviously, but there are two more legal responses: to resign or offer the draw.>

Equally nit-picking, but strictly speaking neither resignation nor a draw offer are moves.

<En passant, can this ever be a valid answer to a chess problem?>

I have never seen a problem where the solution was a draw offer, but I did once win a game by offering a draw. I was losing quite badly to a crude but surprisingly effective kingside hack. I was playing black against was something unsophisticated and cavemanlike like a Torre or London. My opponent had that smug look of someone who was sure that he had won and was only waiting for me to resign.

In desparation I lashed out on the queenside and managed to get an attack going on his king. Somehow I managed to contrive a position where I could sac my queen and force a perpetual check with rook and bishop.

Given the trouble I had been in, a draw by perpetual check was probably the best result I could hope for. But I was somewhat annoyed by how smug the other guy had been up to that point. So I decided to have a little fun. I picked up my queen very slowly and placed her ever so gently on the checking square. Now he had the choice ... accept the draw or to throw a ridiculous amount of material to stave off mate.

I smiled, said "draw" (more of a statement than a question), stood up and walked away from the board.

I swear that steam was coming out of his ears by this point. He muttered furiously, held his head in his hands and stared at the board for ages. He should have taken the draw, but after being so far ahead he just couldn't. And I think the way I had made the draw offer got under his skin. He sac'd a rook to stave off the mate, I hoovered all the material and won. Mind you, he did insist on playing to mate, but that didn't worry me in the slightest.

I met him again several months later and he was still muttering about that <expletive deleted> queen sac, but I think what really won it for me was the draw offer. If I had made the queen move and not said anything, I reckon he would have offered me the draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <VincentL: ... black has only 2 legal moves, gxf6 and Kh8.>

<Seth: I'm nit-picking obviously, but there are two more legal responses: to resign or offer the draw.>

<Once: Equally nit-picking, but strictly speaking neither resignation nor a draw offer are moves. >

Ultimately nitpicking, but a response is not necessarily a move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <OhioChessFan: <VincentL: ... black has only 2 legal moves, gxf6 and Kh8.> <Seth: I'm nit-picking obviously, but there are two more legal responses: to resign or offer the draw.>

<Once: Equally nit-picking, but strictly speaking neither resignation nor a draw offer are moves. >

Ultimately nitpicking, but a response is not necessarily a move.>

Call, that "ultimate"? I could go on for hours! :-)

I think all four of us are right (how about that for a civil service compromise?!) There are four legal responses to the puzzle position, two of which are moves.

So <VincentL> was quite right to say that "black has only 2 legal moves". As he didn't say "black has only 2 legal responses", his statement is perfectly correct.

<Seth> was also right to say that, in addition to these moves, black could also resign or offer the draw.

The nit I wanted to pick was that <Seth> was nit-picking when there wasn't a nit to pick. <VincentL>'s post, being 100% accurate if not 100% complete, was nit-proof.

Only joking...

Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: <Once: but I did once win a game by offering a draw.>

In your crystal ball, dear friend, I think you have seen what was going through my mind at the time!

Materially, black is a little ahead and has both mating threats and a fall-back drawing manoevre. Nf6 demands one of two available legal moves one of which puts black on a knife-edge, while the other makes more demands on white's continuation.

Even if a little voice whispers in my right ear "Rybka says it's a draw either way", I'm not playing 27 ... Kh8 in a million years. Why? Because I have neither the time nor the ability to defend this sort of position against the obvious e pawn attack and threat of Qb8 against a reasonably good player, never mind Rybka.

However, white is not Rybka either and may well stumble in his attack after 27 ... gxf6 when it is he who must play faultlessly down a knife-edge line.

So as I accept the knight sac is there any harm in congratulating white on managing to salvage a draw from an apparently losing position?

"Ha-ha-ha! I've done more than that you impudent little monkey!" he may thunder as he slams in a confident Re3, met by a swift Bxg2.

But after Re3 and "Okay draw it is"? Perhaps "No, I think we should play this out": Qb1+.

Okay, some of this reasoning strays a little into gamesmanship, but psychological elements are part and parcel of real (human) chess.

I for one believe that the best move in many positions is the one that offers my opponent the best opportunity to make a mistake even if this entails some personal risk.

Perhaps my underlying concern is that if this forum accepts the silicon monster as the ultimate arbiter of our musings we lose some significant elements of the game and ultimately trade novelty, imagination and personality for an infinity of sterile draws.

This example is a case in point. Silicon doesn't understand which party is under most psychological pressure in each line and therefore misses the play most likely to lead to a win against imperfect opposition.

1 whole point only if you agree with Rybka?


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <sethoflagos> Good point, and I wholeheartedly agree. Chess remains a game played between two fallible human beings. In OTB play, our job is not to find the best move or the quickest win - instead our job is to win. Leave the brilliancies to the GMs or Hollywood, and leave the absolute truth to the silicon monsters.

So a risk-free grind is usually a safer bet than a spectacular sac-fest which could explode in your face.

A case in point - I sometimes play a pretty rubbish variation of the Vienna opening as white: 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 followed by g3 and Bg2. Nearly all the opening books dismiss it out of hand. The point is that the opening is only poor if black knows how to combat it (with an early d5). But as few of my opponents know much about the Vienna, I hardly ever get that played against me. Instead, my opponents usually play passively and give me exactly the game I want.

Today's game is an interesting example of psychology. White's 27. Nf6+ could be a bluff or a deeply calculated tactic. Much would depend on who white was and how quickly he played the move. If he was known to be a deep thinker and had spent a lot of time on the move, I might give him more credit than if he was a bit of a bluffer and played the move quickly.

We might also need to take into account our own clock time. If time is short, I generally try to keep the position simple and closed.

But the day that chess is ruled wholly by Rybka is probably the day that I take up poker.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sethoflagos: <Once: Instead, my opponents usually play passively and give me exactly the game I want.>

... whereas I prefer to play on the counter and favour the wing-oriented openings: Reti system, Grunfeld etc inviting a premature attack through the centre. We all evaluate different positions in different ways according to personal strengths and weaknesses, the opposition, the game format, clock situation etc etc

<But the day that chess is ruled wholly by Rybka is probably the day that I take up poker.>

One ray of hope is they still evaluate positions on fractional pawn values. Is that a fractional KP or QNP? Which rank was it on? Formation, isolated or passed? No difference? A pawn is just a pawn?

Okay, 1 e4 d5! Pick the bones out of that!

Faint heart never won fair maid.

Whereas, as the database currently stands, the ultimate computer-computer game is 1 Na3 1/2-1/2.

May-09-11  LIFE Master AJ: Good grief, I annotated this game for an on-line website. (Now defunct, I think. I went looking for it, I did not find it.)

Has ANYONE noticed the following problem ... especially from the EARLY days of the Internet ...

... ... ... you get to using (and liking a site) ... and (suddenly) <POOF!> ...

... its no longer there?

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