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Rudolf Shamshin vs Igor A Polovodin
Lugansk (1989), ?
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation (D50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-17-10  kevin86: The secret to this one is this:force the king to a spot where black can queen WITH check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Might dip so 55..Rh6+ hip hooray of Lasker would approve. Shamshin not shining on this date. I figure guess for a leglock meditating on rook up. Cramp him space wise attacking Ka5 Ra2+ radical part I call defusing the a pawn son has got no split. Save, yo gas it promotion good karma stalls white clutch. Low tustle after mind clearing hacked Ra2+ first, but settled with Rh6+ as hallah.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <gofer: Today, I stand over the ball look at the hole only a few inches away, have a smooth back swing and then stab the ball to left of the hole...>

Very nicely put, sir! It gave me a chuckle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: <Once>: I've said it before but I'll say it again, great stuff today!
Jun-17-10  zooter: As pointed out by <OBIT> and used by <Once> in a fabulous tale (as always), I missed that the white a-pawn was 1 square from promotion. For some reason I thought it was in the starting square rather than on the 7th rank :)
Jun-17-10  YouRang: Well, I followed the same line as <dzechiel>, which "wins" with <55...Ra3+?> as long as we can count on white to counter-blunder with <56.Ra5?> instead of 56.Rxa3! e1=Q 57.a8=Q, which draws (luckily for black!).

It would have made a nice solution too, just right for a Thursday: 57...Rxa5+ 57.Kxa5 Ra2+! 58.Rxa2 e1=Q+ 59.Ka4 Qe4! 60.Kb3 Qb1+! (winning by forcing the king to hinder his own rook) 61.Ka3 Qb7

Too bad. I was so intent on deflecting the rook off the 1st rank and promoting with check that I didn't bother myself with white's promotion threat. Weird that others had the same blindness.

Jun-17-10  suenteus po 147: Is it me or was Lasker a big fan of these rook endgame problems?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: As I posted earlier, 55...Ra2+ also wins decisively; it definitely takes longer, but it is fun to play out.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <tarek1: not a pair of rooks, only the white rook> thanks; yes, even better :)

BTW, 55 ... Rh6+ is a real sweetheart. W can no longer interpose after Ra2+ .... and the e-pawn Q's with +

Jun-17-10  KingV93: Well I saw this one right away and felt it was pretty easy, especially for a Thursday. I was certain everyone else would feel it was easy as well as I have struggled with the puzzles lately, not taking enough time to see them through and being lousy at endgames in general, and thinking that if I can get it then the usual posters here have certainly gotten it. Instructive today as well.
Jun-17-10  LIFE Master AJ: I got the solution after just about five minutes.

Someone will have to explain to me what the heck is so funny about "Prince Charles pawns." (Don't be afraid to draw me a picture.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <LIFE Master AJ> Apologies - it's a very British joke which possibly doesn't travel too well. Prince Charles is heir to the throne of England, but he has been kept waiting for absolutely ages for his coronation by the longevity of his Mum, Queen Elizabeth II (the monarch, not the ocean liner or the film sequel). She is now 84 and still going strong, gor bless you ma'am!

Charles was born in 1948, which means that he has attained the ripe old age of 62. He must be one of the few people in history who has achieved pensionable age and got his bus pass before he has had a chance to start his main job.

So "Prince Charles pawn" is one of my little phrases for a pawn which seems to have got stuck on the seventh rank and can't quite take that last little step....

Jun-17-10  MiCrooks: I quickly found the forcing winning line of Rh6+, but was prompted into dropping the game into software by JimfromProvidence and his claim of the immediate Ra2+ winning also.

Since you still need to find the intermezzo Rh6+ to make that claim work, it is hard to say the non-forcing line with Ra2+ is as good as the game line but it does work.

This reminds me a bit of a 4 queen ending - where total material doesn't matter nearly as much as King saftey AND especially being on move!

For instance, the line Ra2+ Rxa2 Rh6+ Kb5 e1(q) a8(Q) is a win for Black despite being down a whole Rook. The key is he is on move and White's King is exposed. There are too many lines to go through them all but Black wins in them all.

Likewise, in the game line Black can force mate in all variations, however, no practical player would ever go that way in a real game. Faced with the pawn on the seventh all players would go for the lines that win a Rook while stopping the pawn. You would have to be crazy to go into a long, complicated mating attack when you have a simple material grab and win available.

But they ARE fun and instructional to walk through.

Jun-17-10  MiCrooks: Ah, I thought it might be a reference to the fact that his "pawns" or sons might get coronated before he does! He seems healthy enough, but if the Queen mum outlives her son then his pawns would get the crown.
Jun-17-10  DarthStapler: I picked e1Q instead
Jun-17-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Jimfromprovidence: I got 55...Ra2+ 56 Rxa2 Rh6+ 57 Kb7 e1Q...>

As usual, you have found an interesting sideline that in this case is more interesting than the puzzle itself. I haven't checked this with an engine, but there may be a hole here. If white plays 58.Raa5! instead of 58.a8=Q?, the rooks protect each other and make counterthreats, e.g. 58... Qe7+ 59.Kf8 Rg6 (or Rd6) 59.Rh5+ gives black a problem.

Jun-17-10  Marmot PFL: Well, 55..Ra2+ 56 Rxa2 e1(Q) is a nice idea, pity we don't queen with check...ah, wait a minute...this one went pretty quick for a Thursday.
Jun-17-10  SufferingBruin: Missed the problem. Won't stop me from screaming, "GO LAKERS!"

(pardon the shouting)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <CHESSTTCAMPS> Continuing your thread, you mentioned that after 55...Ra2+ 56 Rxa2 Rh6+ 57 Kb7 e1Q 58 Raa5, black has 58...Qe7+.

I believe you meant to continue with 59 Kc8, below, because both 59 Ka8 and Kb8 lead to quick mates.

click for larger view

One way black succeeds in this position is to play 59...Kg7, threatening Rh8#. I think this is it because white has to play 60 Rg5+ to stop it, which black follows with 60...Kf8.

click for larger view

It appears that black has an unstoppable threat at this point with 61...Rd6. 61 a8Q can't stop it.

Jun-17-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Jimfromprovidence: It appears that black has an unstoppable threat at this point with 61...Rd6. 61 a8Q can't stop it.>

Yes, I meant 59.Kc8.

It looks like you're right. From your diagram, after 60.a8Q Rd6 61.Rgd5 works aginst 61... Qd8+?? 62.Kb7 Rb6+ 63.Ka7, but loses to 61... Qd7+ 62.Kb8 Rb6+

A nice study of the weakness of the low mobility Queen on a8.

Jun-17-10  zb2cr: <FabrikaLaHun: Thanks <zb2cr>. I eventually did puzzle out the solution but also gave up on 55...Ra3+ after the 56..e1=Q, 57. a8=Q point.>

In answer to your statement about "trading Rooks for Queens" and the further continuation of this line, no, Black can't win. By his 57th move, Black is down by a Rook, having sacrificed it on his 55th move. Thus, Black has to do two things:

1. Protect his King, already against the edge of the board and thus potentially 2 moves away from mate.

2. Win back the sacrified Rook or develop an immediate mating attack to compensate for his material loss.

Black is vulnerable to an immediate check with Rh3+ as I said. The line I gave in my original post shows what happens to Black if he tries the double attack 57. ... Qb4.

What happens if Black tries protecting the key squares h1 and h3 where White could deliver check? Say 57. ... Qf1+. After 58. Ka7, how can Black make progress? Pinning the Rook with 58. ... Qf2 allows 59. Rh3+ with a mating attack:

a1. 59. ... Kg7; 60. Qh8+, Kg6; 61. Qh6#.

a2. 59. ... Kg6; 60. Qg8+, Kf6; 61. Qg5+, Ke6; 62. Qe5+, Kd7; 63. Rd3+ and mate next move.

Black can't win in this line, but he can salvage a draw with 57. ... Qe2+.

Jun-17-10  TheBish: R Shamshin vs I Polovodin, 1989

Black to play (55...?) "Medium", Black is up a pawn.

My first hunch was that the extra pawn was irrelevant, and the advanced pawn suggests a queening combination, which was soon confirmed. Not too hard to find, given the poor position of the white king. At first I didn't see the white pawn on a7, the absence of which makes the solution easier! (55...Ra3+ would win.) So I had to switch to plan "B".

55...Rh6+! 56. Ka5

This is key, to position the white king so that Black queens with check.


A diversion, which White must accept.

57. Rxa2 e1=Q+ 58. Ka4

Or 58. Kb5 Qb1+ and 59...Qxa2.

58...Ra6+ 59. Kb3 Qe6+ and wins, i.e. 60. Rc4 Rxa2 61. Kxa2 Qxc4+ followed by scooping up the a7 pawn.

Jun-18-10  turbo231: got it and it only took 2 days to get it that's better than 3 or 4 days
Jun-20-10  LIFE Master AJ: <<Once> <So <"Prince Charles pawn"> is one of my <little phrases> for a pawn which seems to have got stuck on the seventh rank and can't quite take that last little step....>>
Jun-20-10  LIFE Master AJ: Now I get it!
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