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Fabiano Caruana vs Chris E Majer
III EUICC (2007), Arvier ITA, rd 1
Scandinavian Defense: Gubinsky-Melts Defense (B01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a pawn for a knight.

Four white pieces aim at the black king and only the knight on f6 (controlling h7) and the black queen (protecting f7) defend him. Therefore, eliminate one of the defenders with 35.Rxf6:

A) 35... gxf6 36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.Nxe6+

A.1) 37... fxe6 38.Qxc7 Rd7 39.Qf4 + - [Q+B+2P vs R+N].

A.2) 37... Rxe6 38.Rxe6 fxe6 (otherwise 39.Qh8#) 39.Qxc7 + - [Q+B+2P vs R+N].

A.3) 37... Ke7 38.Nxc7+, etc. is a massacre.

B) 35... Qe7 36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.Qh8#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: My first idea was to play 37.Rxe6 but saw that after 37... fxe6 38.Qxc7 fxg5 Black wouldn't be a huge amount of material down, without noticing that instead 38.Qh8+ mates elegantly: 38... Ke7 39.Qg7+ Kd6 40.Ne4#.
Aug-05-10  TheaN: Thursday 5 August 2010


Target: 3:30;000
Taken: 2:51;844

Material: White up ♙

Candidates: <[Rxf6]> pretty much all the way

I could kinda not find the followup on this one. The first move should be as obvious as it can be.

<35.Rxf6 gxf6> not a lot of alternatives here.

<36.Qh7 Kf8> okay, and now? Here I was stuck for a while. If White can force the King to e7 whilst the Queen controls f7 it mates with 37.Qxf7 Kd6 38.c5. However, this setup is not available. Trying to threat this as well as bringing up the h-pawn simply fails to fxg5 with Ke7 and the rooks are in. The threat here is somewhere else, another pseudo-sac fork.

<37.Nxe6! fxe6 38.Qxc7 > and it's curtains. Time to check.

Aug-05-10  TheaN: 4/4

Oh I kinda missed the fact that the Rook trade is of course more logical first. After 37....Rxe6 38.Rxe6, 39.Qh8 is a mate threat due to e7 covered, and 39....fxe6 40.Qxc7 is forced. Meh, I'm counting it as it doesn't change the combination.

Aug-05-10  C4gambit: Okay, Rxf6 was very tempting, and i kinda thought this would be the right move, but as i was calculating without actually moving the pieces, i got stuck after the black king escaped through f8. But it seemed almost certain that i was in the right path. So i played the game continuation and yes, the first move was right.. 35.Rxf6 gxf, 36. Qh7+ Kf1.

Now I stopped and looked at the position i had arrived, and took me less than a minute to see the rook night combo attack to capture the black queen.

So, I can't say I solved a thursday puzzle. Rather, I turned it into a monday/tuesday one and solved it!

Aug-05-10  gofer: The only question in my mind is whether 35 Rxf6 is sound or not. It looks brutal, and in fact it is brutal! 35 Rxf6 ...

1) Refusal (is not really and option)

35 ... Kf8 36 Rxf7+ winning the queen
35 ... Nd7 36 Qh7+ Kf8 37 Rxf7#
35 ... Re7 36 Qh7+ Kf8 37 Qh8#
35 ... Rd7 36 Qh7+ Kf8 37 Qh8+ Ke7 37 Rexe6+ fxe6 38 Rxe6+ Kd8 39 Rxe8#

35 ... Rxd4 36 Qh7+ Kf8 37 Qh8+ Ke7 37 Rexe6+ fxe6 38 Rxe6+ Kd8/Kd7 39 Qxe8# 35 ... g6 36 Rxf7 winning the queen

2a) Acceptance

35 ... gxf6
36 Qh7+ Kf8

2a) At this point 37 Qh8+ is winning for white, but it is not the quickest/cleanest kill!

37 Qh8+ ...

37 ... Ke7 38 Rxe6+ Kd7 (fxe6 39 Qg6+ Kd6 40 c5#) 39 Rxe8 Rxe8 (otherwise Bh6+ is fatal) 40 Qxf6 ... (Optionally but probably not 40 ... Re1+ 41 Kh2 ...) 40 ... Qd6 41 Qxd6 Kxd6 42 c5+ winning 40 ... Qd8 41 Bh6+ Kc7 (Re6 42 Qxf7+ winning) 42 Qf4+ Qd6 43 Qxd6 Kxd6 44 c5+ winning 40 ... Kc8 41 Bh6+ Kb8 42 h6 ... The point being that while Pf7 is still there is much harder for black to stop the pawn promoting. 42 ... Qd8 43 Qxd8+ Rxd8 44 Nxf7 and Black must lose the rook to stop the promotion.

2b) There is a much cleaner kill for white than 37 Qh8+ ...

37 Rxe6! ...

White now threatens Qh8#, so black must take the rook, but cannot take with the pawn (37 ... fxe6 38 Qh8+ Ke7 39 Qg7+ Kd6 40 c5#)

37 ... Rxe6
38 Nxe6+ fxe6 (...Ke7 Nxc7 winning the queen)
39 Qxc7 ...

At which point black should resign as the pawns on f6 and e6 are very difficult to defend and Ph6 is going to start rolling forward. But black could soldier on for a couple of moves...

39 ... Rd7
40 Qf4 Nxc4 (40 ... Kf7 41 Qg4 f5 42 Qg6+ Ke7 43 h6 winning) 41 Qxf6+ Rf7 42 Qxe6 Nxb2
43 h6 Nd4
44 Qc8+ Ke7
45 h7 winning the rook! Is there any point going on????

Time to check...

Aug-05-10  BwanaVa: General Observation: how often it is that we find a combination because we realize a piece (here, the queen) is unguarded...
Aug-05-10  butilikefur: <35. Rxf6 gxf6 36. Qh7+ Kf8 37. Qh8+ Ke7 38. Rxe6+ Kd7> 38...fxe6 39. Qg7+ Kd6 40. Ne4+ mate

<39. Rxe8> 39. Bh3 fxe6 (39...Rxe6 [39...Rxh8 40. Re5+ Kd6 [[40...f5 41. Bxf5+ changes nothing]] 41. Ne4+ mate] 40. Bxe6+ fxe6 [40...Ke7 41. Qg7 is just winning] 41. Qg7+ Kc8 42. Qxc7+ Kxc7 43. Nxe6+ Kd7 44. Nxd8 Kxd8 45. h6 wins [I suppose Black must play 44...Ke7 with 45. c5 Nd7 46. Nxb7 and the ending is easy]) 40. Qxf6 Kc8 41. Nxe6 and it is tough to make progress - for example, 41...Rxe6 42. Bxe6+ Kb8 43. h6 Ne7 and i dunno.. f and g pawns are far away...

<39...Rxe8 40. Qxf6> 40. Bh3+ Ke7 (40...Kd8 41. Qxf6+ Re7 [41...Qe7 42. Nxf7+ Kc7 43. Qf4+ wins] 42. Nxf7+ Ke8 43. Nd6+ wins the queen) 41. Qg7 fxg5 42. h6 (42. Qxg5+ Kf8 [42...Kd6 43. Qc5+] 43. h6 f6 44. Qxf6+ Qf7 and White loses) 42...Qd6 catches White's idea unfortunately (other tries by Black lose quickly: 42...Nxc4 43. h7 appears unstoppable [but after 43. Qxg5+ f6 44. Qg7+ Kd8 [[44...Kd6 45. Qxf6+ Kd5 46. Bg2+ Re4 47. Bxe4+ Kxe4 48. Qg6+ and 49. h7 wins]] 45. Qxf6+ Qf7 White is lost]; 42...Qb8 [42...Qd8 43. Qe5+ Kf8 44. h7] 43. Qxg5+ f6 [43...Kd6 44. c5+ Kc7 45. Qf4+ Kd8 46. Qf6+ Re7 47. h7] 44. Qg7+ Kd6 45. Qxf6+ Kc7 46. c5)

<40...Kc8 41. h6> 41. Nxf7 Kb8 42. h6 also looks possible here

and I don't see how Black saves the game.. 41...Qd8 42. Bh3+ Kb8 43. Qxd8+ Rxd8 44. Nxf7

Aug-05-10  scormus: I think today is another case of yesterday. The puzzle is more difficult because of alternative winning lines.

35. Rxf6 gxf6 36. Qh7+ Kf8 37. Qh8+ is certainly winning, and <butilikefur> gives nice analysis showing the best line for W, also where W can go wrong ....

Aug-05-10  Brandon plays: this is a fairly interesting puzzle because it doesn't really end with just the whole Rxf6 idea.

I think the way to win is Rxf6 gxf6 Qh7+ Kf8 Rxe6! and black has to take and is way down in material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: 35. Rxf6 (removes the defender) gxf6 36. Qh7+ Kf8 37. Nxe6+ does the trick, for example:

a. 37...fxe6 38. Qxc7 Rd7 39. Qf4 (the queen's only escape hatch).

b. 37...Rxe6 38. Rxe6 and the threat of Qh8# compels 38...fxe6, followed by 39. Qxc7

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The lynchpin of black's game,the knight at f6,is removed. The rest of the combination then settles on taking vlack's queen with white's
Aug-05-10  Marmot PFL: Thought this was easy (for a Thursday), as this exchange sac to get at the king is fairly common and the follow up 37 Nxe6+ is not hard to find. (Even if white didn't have that he still has a huge advantage after 37 Ne4 Ke7 38 c5 and Nd6).
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Major drum roll, band together forces it down 34.Rxf6 smoking black leaves little room. Chris not playing with a full deck, rum tee tum lights out. Sequence strikes Gxf6 try angle queen heading tubular attack Qh7+. Chime rally sacs knight and castle ricked rxe6 blacks defence strained. Heir apparent majesty blows open seventh clubber qxc7 capitalise the end.
Aug-05-10  southeuro: very easy for thursday
Aug-05-10  zooter: Ok I think I got this (bit tough though)

After 35.Rxf6 gxf6 37.Qh7+ Kf8 (obvious so far) 38.h6 did not promise much as fxg5 removes all attackers

But how about 38.Rxe6. This threatens mate by Qh8 and 38...Rxe6 39.Nxe6+ wins for white.

How about 38...fxe6 39.Qxc7 fxg5. How is white winning you might ask? Two rooks against queen is even, maybe slightly better for black, isn't it? No, after 40.h6 white threatens mate and 40...Rd7 leads to 41.Qe5 picking off the pawns on the kingside while 40.Nd7 Qxb7 picks off the pawns on the queenside.

TIme to check if i've missed some sting at the end of the tail

Aug-05-10  zooter: Ok, I missed the c5# idea in 38.Rxe6 line.

But yes, 38.Nxe6+ is simpler. Does white win after all after 35.Rxf6 gxf6 36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.Rxe6 fxe6 38.Qxc7?

Aug-05-10  nummerzwei: <zooter:How about 38...fxe6 39.Qxc7 fxg5. How is white winning you might ask? Two rooks against queen is even, maybe slightly better for black, isn't it? No, after 40.h6 white threatens mate and 40...Rd7 leads to 41.Qe5 picking off the pawns on the kingside while 40.Nd7 Qxb7 picks off the pawns on the queenside.>

Your line actually starts a move earlier. In any case, 38.Qh8+ Ke7 39.Qg7+ Kd6 40.c5 mate is much simpler.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: What came to mind is this line: 35.Rxf6 gxf6 36.Qh7+ Kf8 37.Nxe6+ Rxe6 (37...fxe6 38.Qh8+ etc.)38. Rxe6 fxe6 39.Qh8+ Ke7 40. Qg7+ Kd6 41.c5+ and wins the queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: I completely overlooked that I could take the queen on c7 at move 39. But hey, I got her eventually :)


Okay, now I realize 41.c5 is mate.

Aug-05-10  LIFE Master AJ: Got it. Not only did I find the key move, (35.RxN/f6); I correctly saw everything right up to the consequences of the subsequent capture on e6. (I figured on NxP/e6+, RxN; RxR/e6, and Black would probably resign ... because of the threat of Qh8#.)
Aug-05-10  xequemate: It was not difficult. I found the solution even fastly. When I saw the threat of white Queen over h7, I perceived white should capture the black Knight on f6 with the its Rook to realize the Queen-attack. And the sequence movies until the black Queen capture I deduced consequently.
Aug-05-10  wals: 17...Bd6. +1.10. Black is trailing the equivalent of a pawn probably due White's slightly superior piece activity and position. Better, Qd8. +0.71.

24...Na4. +1.76, increases the deficit. Any of the following were better,

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. (1.18): 24...Nf6 25.a4 Nc8 26.Qc2 Nd6 27.b3 Nd5 28.Bf3

2. (1.18): 24...Nd7 25.Nf3 Ne7

3. (1.19): 24...Rf8 25.Qh5 Nd7
26.Nd3 Qb6 27.Qg5 a5 28.Qd2 Ne7 29.b3 Rfe8 30.Be4 Qb5

4. (1.19): 24...Nc8 25.Be4 Nd6 26.Bc2 Qa5 27.a3 f5 28.Qh5 Qb5 29.Rb1 Nf6 30.Qg6

5. (1.25): 24...a6 25.c4 Nf6 26.c5 Nbd5 27.Nc4 Rd7 28.Bf3 Ne7 29.Qe5 Red8 30.Kg2 Nf5 31.Nb6

34...Qc7. +15.34, a move suggesting neural augmentation was appropriate, and from which Black never recovered. Qe7, + 1.78 was the go.

Aug-06-10  turbo231: missed it good puzzle came close but no cigar about 2 moves too deep for me
Aug-06-10  LIFE Master AJ: <turbo213> Learning blindfold chess will solve that.
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