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Francisco Vallejo Pons vs Alberto Nunez
Havana (1992)
Scotch Game: Mieses Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-07-10  patzer2: The decoy 42. Bb4+! gives up the Bishop to win Black's passed pawn and ensure a won endgame for White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Problem/puzzle of the day.
Tuesday; September 07th, 2010.
Paco Vallejo vs Alberto Nunez, 1992.

White to play, 42. '?'

click for larger view

White: Kf3, Bc5; WP's: a6, b3, c4, f4, & g3.
Black: Kc3; BP's: c6, d2, & h5.

At first glance, I thought: "Oh no! White's messed up and Black is promoting here." (42.Ke2?, Kc2. " ")

But then ... I took a deep breath. I ran through my four basic principles, and then I did my 7-point checklist. [ See the following web pages:, and ]

Step # 4.) "CATALOGUE every single check AND capture." (And carefully map the chessboard as well.)

42.Bd4+, does not really improve White's position any, but 42.Bb4+ is a different story, entirely.

42.Bd4+, KxB/b4; (Worse is 42...Kc2; 43.BxP/d2.) 43.Ke2, Kc3; 44.Kd1!, and now the Black Pawn is stopped cold in its tracks, and the White QRP is headed for a coronation on the a8-square.


Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Time> how it can work for ..... or against. Just making the appointment .... or just missing.

<In Hollywood, yes. And also in literature>

A message about a tryst that someone didnt deliver until too late ..... or was it too late? Perhaps the tryst would have been wrong if the message had been delivered ... on time.

In <Hollywood> yes. And also in literature <"Time was. Time is past. Time is ...... ?">

Sep-07-10  VincentL: "Easy"

Yesterday I had to think for a minute, but here I think I see the solution instantly.

White will win if he can remove black´s pawn on d2, or get his king to Kd1 to stop the pawn queening. Black´s king must not be permitted to reach c2.

42. Bb4+ ! is the move.

If 42.....Kxb4 43. Ke2 Kc3 44. Kd1. Now the d pawn is stopped, and white will queen the a pawn and win.

If 42.....Kc2 43. Bxd2 Kxd2 and again white promotes the a pawn and wins.

Time to check.

Sep-07-10  shishio71: Easy. Bb4+ loses black's passed pawn and black cannot stop white from queening
Sep-07-10  YouRang: Very nice endgame puzzle. Not hard, since everything else clearly allows black to promote first and win.

But the odd "skewer/sac" with the bishop is the sort of move that makes chess so interesting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <alexrawlings> Yup - the alarm goes off at about 6.30 and the first thing I do is to dive into the kibitzing. I generally give it about 45 mins to an hour. Then to work. I guess that helps to wake me up, switch what passes for a brain on and put me in a more or less friendly frame of mind.

And when I come home, the evening kibitzing is a part of my wind-down routine. Change from the suit to something more comfortable, check and I find that the cares and stress of the office just sort of evaporates. A glass of scotch helps too.

<Scormus> Your doomed tryst sounds a little like Romeo and Juliet. The friar sends a letter to Romeo to tell him that Juliet is not dead, but the letter doesn't get through in time. So they both end up killing themselves. As you do. And to think in these days of mobile phones and the internet that can hardly happen?

Sep-07-10  Jambow: About a minute to ensure with Bb4+ that white could both prevent black from queening and to put one in the endzone himself. Nice example though.
Sep-07-10  iamsheaf: It's usually very easy to spot the only move which obviously doesnt lose.
Sep-07-10  blackburne: Chessgames, white player is GM Francisco Vallejo-Pons
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: I've got to wonder where this game came from. GM Paco Vallejo would have been nine or ten years old at the time. Though for that matter he was second in the U10 world championship in 1991.
Sep-07-10  pers0n: you got a bishop, now just stop the passed pawn. easy.
Sep-07-10  wladimirsky: "Paco" is Spanish short form for "Francisco".

It is not a nickname, just a short form. Such as "John" can be of "Johnathan" or "Dick" can be of "Richard".

Sep-07-10  wals: Two in a row. Wow.

Black's blunder.
(+5.66):32...a5. Better, with lots of luck,

Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: depth 24:

1. (1.70): 32...Bb2 33.f4 h5 34.Kf2 Bd4+ 35.Kf3 Kd7 36.Ke4 Bf2 37.Kxd3 Bxg3 38.Ke4 Bf2 39.f5 Bg3 40.Bd2 Bd6 41.Bg5 c6 42.Bh4 Bb4 43.Kf4 Bd2+ 44.Kf3 Bc3 45.Ke3 a6 46.Kf4 Bd2+ 47.Ke4 Bb4

2. (1.70): 32...h5 33.f4 Bb2 34.Kf2 Bd4+ 35.Kf3 Kd7 36.Ke4 Bf2 37.Kxd3 Bxg3 38.Ke4 Bf2 39.f5 Bg3 40.Bd2 Bd6 41.Bg5 c6 42.Bh4 Bb4 43.Kf4 Bd2+ 44.Kf3 Bc3 45.Ke3 a6 46.Kf4 Bd2+ 47.Ke4 Bb4

(+8.85):35...c6 increased the deficit, and a further blunder, 37...Be7 +#17, gave Black an unhappy

Sep-07-10  ZUGZWANG67: White is winning but he must find something against ...d1Q+ before he celebrates.

So 42.Bb4+ (42...Kxb4 43.Ke2; 42...Kc2 43.Bxd2).

Sep-07-10  Patriot: I have not been able to see the puzzle all day since my computer was down at work. But now that I'm home...

42.Bb4+ comes to mind instantly because I've seen a tactic similar to this repeatedly on "Chess Tactics Server".

A) 42...Kxb4 43.Ke2 Kc3 44.Kd1

B) 42...Kc2 43.Bxd2 Kxd2 44.a7

Variation A reminds me of something my teacher told me: "When you are winning, think defense first!" This doesn't mean to think defensively, but instead it means to first think about stopping your opponent's counterplay. After your opponent has no counterplay the win should become easy. Even though strong chess programs will sometimes recommend shorter, more complex ways of winning, "think defense first" is a very practical (human) approach which can leave no doubt in your opponent's mind they should resign.

Sep-07-10  David2009: One often gets very interesting endgames in a Monday or Tuesday puzzle game. Today's is a case in point:

click for larger view

(Paco Vallejo vs Alberto Nunez, 1992 Black to play 28...?) 28...d3!? as played leaves the Pawn vulnerable: instead 28...Bb7 29.Bxb7+ Kxb7 30.Bxc5 a5 31.Kf1 d3 32.Ke1 Bc3+ 33.Kd1 Kc6 34.Be7 h5 and the blockade makes the ending very difficult to win. Crafty End Game Trainer link to the position at move 25:

After 28...d3 29 Bxc5 Bc3! (instead of 29...Bb7) makes the win much more difficult for White. Crafty link to the position: I eventually managed to beat Crafty but only because Crafty allowed a Bishop exchange to reach

click for larger view

which is a difficult White win. Crafty EGT link to this Pawn endgame:

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Pontificate arch 42.bb4+ burn mostly black's throat pointing Adam's apple d2 bridge suspended, Nunez done up like a kipper. Caught between a rock and a hard place matter not lift clearing timber kxb4 or kc2. Red labels king a loot walker resignation under a groove. Ease bop barreling pawn a6 canons meld bid promotion. A blend of hope and anchor leave it ropey temptation 32..a5 but turns out happen the cost white collects ending. Station delivered swipe bc5 bless sac ment order ring grip riveting sealed pipeline.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Is 40. b4 better?

The black bishop gets booted off to obscurity at a7. Pawns at b4 and c5 will always threaten a breakthrough if the bishop moves from a7.

On the other wing, white pushes pawns. Black cannot control f8 and will be forced into Zugzwang - either moving the king or the bishop.

Sep-07-10  TheaN: This was an instant spot, didn't even have time getting a stopwatch running, or going for full analysis. If White can do so, his main occupation is stopping the d-pawn in order to win with the a-pawn. That may even cost him the Bishop. After:

<42.Bb4† Kxb4 43.Ke2 Kc3 44.Kd1 > this is done and ends the game.

Sep-07-10  SufferingBruin: Bb4+. I can't imagine black fighting on after this move.
Sep-07-10  midi900: 42.Bb4+!
Sep-07-10  Brandon plays: It always makes me happy when I see the solution to a problem so easily. Bb4+ wins the game because then the king can step into e2 and stop black from promoting while his passed pawns cannot be stopped.

Cool stuff.;)

Sep-08-10  turbo231: I failed to see king D1! What a dummy I am.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Excellent finish, 42.Bb4+!! is truly beautiful!
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