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John Fedorowicz vs Yasser Seirawan
USA-ch U21 (1976), Memphis, TN USA, rd 7
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Polugayevsky Variation Simagin Line (B96)  ·  1-0



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sac: 20.Qd2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Hayden>, if Black lost, that would indicate his 23rd move wasn't best. A hint as to what Black should have played: "Passed Pawns must be pushed."
Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: < Steve.Patzer: The point of this puzzle is that Black blew a draw. 23....e5>

That's it.

May-17-20  scormus: Tough one. 23 .... B to move and 1-0 doesn't make it any easier. The immediate Q-sac on c2 doesn't work and ... a4 looks too slow. Vulnerable to attack on h7 and g7. What is B to do?

Only thing I could think of was ... e5 to get the WR away from d4 and then 24 .... Qc5, attacking W's back rank. It also defends by blocking the a1-h8 diagonal.

After 23 ... a4 24 Qf2, B is lost whether he recaptures or not, e.g. .... Qxf2+ 25 Qxf2 b3 26 Rxh7+ 1-0

Nice to see 23 ... e5 is what the engine gave.

May-17-20  Brenin: Frustrating: I kept trying (and failing) to find how Black could have simplified into a won endgame. OTB I would probably have played e5 in the absence of anything more constructive, but with little confidence that it was best.
May-17-20  seneca16: Where is the puzzle solution??
My best for black is to prepare g3 and a4 when black can recapture with the queen or rook after bxa5. So the bishop needs to move. e4 doesn't drive the rook to d5 since it can go to g4. Maybe ...bf1? This threatens Qxg2 when the mate threat at c2 remains if the white queen refuses to exchange.
May-17-20  NBZ: Defensive puzzles can be some of the hardest. The idea of e5, Qc5 and Qg1+ is insanely creative, and very hard to calculate. It also must be precisely timed before White can play Qf2, so by move 24 it was already too late.
May-17-20  morfishine: <scormus> Nice job!

My solution consisted of one word: "Huh?"

May-17-20  mel gibson: I didn't know.

Stockfish 11 says it's a draw:

23... e5

(23. .. e5 (e6-e5
♖d4-d5 ♕c6-b6 b2-b3 a5-a4 b3xa4 b4-b3 a2xb3 ♕b6xb3 ♗e7-f6+ ♘d7xf6 ♖f7-f8+ ♘f6-g8 ♖f8xg8+ ♔h8xg8 ♕d2-g5+ ♔g8-f7 ♕g5-e7+ ♔f7-g8 ♕e7-e6+ ♔g8-f8 ♕e6-f6+ ♔f8-g8 ♕f6-e6+) 0.00/48 115)

May-17-20  goodevans: <seneca16: [...] e4 doesn't drive the rook to d5 since it can go to g4.>

That is indeed true. <24.Rg4> is the more agreesive move, threatening to land the R on g7 with devastating results. Black's only response is <24...Qc5> since 24...Qb6 would allow white to defend with 25.Qe1 (not 25.Qd1? Qe3+ 26.Rd2 Rxc2+!).

The more defensive <24.Rd5> prevents 24...Qc5 but stops the R joining the attack. Now <24...Qb6> is fine since 25.Qe1 would let black get a great attack with 25...b3 26.axb3 Qxb3 (note that this idea doesn't work with the R on g4: 24.Rg4 Qb6 25.Qe1 b3 26.Qxe5+! Nxe5 27.Bf6#).

Whichever square the R moves to it's the threat of ...Qg1+ <combined with a R-sac on c2> that earns black the draw. Here's one possible line but others are similar:

23...e5 24.Rd5 Qb6 25.Qg5 <Qg1+> 26.Rd1 <Rxc2+> 27.Kxc2 Rc8+ 28.Kd2 Qd4+ 29.Ke1 Qg1+ 30.Kd2 with draw by repetition.

A fantastic puzzle. I only wish I'd managed to solve it.

May-17-20  RandomVisitor: For those looking for a position with black to play and win, here is the position after white's 21st move, white has just made an unsound piece sacrifice. Black to play and win.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a knight for two pawns.

White threatens Qf2 followed by Bf6+.

Black's only chance seems to try to exploit the weak square g1 with e5 followed by Qc5. So, 23... e5:

A) 24.Rg4 Qc5

A.1) 25.b3 Qc3

A.1.a) 26.Qf2 Qa1+ 27.Kd2 Rxc2+ 28.Kxc2 Rc8+ 29.Kd2 Qc1#.

A.1.b) 26.Qxc3 Rxc3, aiming at c2, with counterchances.

A.2) 25.Qd1 Qe3+

A.2.a) 26.Kb1 Rxc2

A.2.a.i) 27.Rgg7 Rc1+ 28.Qxc1 Bd3+ and mate next.

A.2.a.ii) 27.Qxc2 Qe1+ 28.Qc1 Bd3+ 29.Ka1 Qxc1#.

A.2.a.iii) 27.Kxc2 Rc8+ 28.Kb1 Rc1+ as in A.2.a.i.

A.2.b) 26.Qd2 Rxc2+ 27.Kxc2 Rc8+ 28.Kd1 Qg1+ 29.Qe1 Rc1+ 30.Kxc1 Qxe1+ 31.Kc2 Qe2+ 32.Kc1 Qxg4 wins.

B) 24.Rd3 Qe4

B.1) 25.Qg5 Qe1+ 26.Rd1 Rxc2+ 27.Kxc2 Rc8+ 28.Kb1(3) Qxd1#.

B.2) 25.Re3 Rxc2+ 26.Qxc2 (26.Kb1 Rxd2 27.Rxe4 Bc2+ 28.Kc1 Rc2+ 29.Kd1 Bxe4 wins) 26... Qxe3+ 27.Kd1 (else as above) 27... Qg1+ 28.Kd2 Qxg2+ 29.Kc1 (29.Kd1 Qd5+ and Qxf7) 29... Qg1+ 30.Kd2 Qd4+ followed by Rg8 looks winning.

B.3) 25.Rg3 Rxc2+ 26.Qxc2 Qe1+ 27.Qd1 Qxg3 looks very good for Black.

B.4) 25.Rdf3 Rxc2+ 26.Qxc2 Qe1+ 27.Qd1 Rc8+ 28.Rc3 Qxd1+ 29.Kxd1 bxc3 30.bxc3 Rxc3 - + [n vs P].

Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: I don't spend too much time on the "insane" ones because they can be simply wrong like this one (based on the actual game at least); or beyond what most humans can visualize.

Here is an interesting example (albeit not from a puzzle) of "beyond what most humans can visualize". The computer evaluates 37 Nd5 and 37 Kxc5 both as +-, and within 0.01 of each other. Yet the win after 37 Kxc5 involves a pawn race, followed by an endgame with a knight and queen on each side with freedom to romp. The human, Nepomniachtchi, naturally picked what a human can visualize: Nd5, preventing Ne3 and the pawn race.

click for larger view

37. ?

I Nepomniachtchi vs Svidler, 2010

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: The front page tells us to click on the game for the solution, but rarely does <> actually give the solution.

Usually it is crowd-sourced by members, like <scormus>, whom we have to thank for today's solution.

Thanks, <scormus>!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Now jipuvip but be positive pars on?
May-17-20  Brenin: <RandomVisitor>: After 21 Rg3 there is no need for Black to waste time retreating the bishop, as in the game. The knight is needed on d7 to protect f6 and block the d-pawn, the rooks are ideally placed, advancing the Q-side pawns is too slow, and e5 allows White to play 22 Rxg7+ with at least a draw by perpetual check (Kh8 23 Rdg4 and Rxh7+), so let's try 21 ... Qc5: it keeps the White queen tied to the defence of c2, it prevents Qf2, and it takes the sting out of Qg5+ if the rook sac is accepted. White can try 22 Rg5, and after Black blocks with e5 23 Rxg7+ is now on as the Black queen no longer guards g5. Taking the rook leads to mate in a few moves after 24 Qg5+, so 23 ... Kh8, and if 24 Rdg4 then e4, guarding g5 and threatening both e3 and Bd3. White can try 25 Bf8, threatening mate on g8, but then Qxc2+ (not Rxf8?? 26 Qh6) 26 Qxc2 Rxc2+ 27 Kxc2 Bd3+ and 28 ... Rxf8 leaves Black with B+N for R, a comfortable position, and good winning chances. I haven't considered various alternatives for White, but to me they don't look any better than this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: And also a4 no e5 like but no?
May-17-20  20MovesAhead: Nice analysis

after 24 Rdg4 black can also play 24...Qg1

Is this winning ?

May-17-20  Brenin: Thanks, <20MovesAhead>. 24 ... Qg1 (like several other Black moves) allows the double rook sac 25 Rxh7+ Kxh7 26 Rg7+ Kxg7 27 Qg5+, with perpetual check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I do not understand why if after 23...e5 white has to move the rook next move. How about 24 Bd8!? as an alternative, below.

click for larger view

This threatens 25 Rxd7 seeing 26 Bf6+. Black cannot play 24...Rxd8 because of 25 Qh6. Plus black cannot play 24...exd4 because of 25 Qxd4+ with mate to come.

Food for thought.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hoodrobin: <Jimfromprovidence: I do not understand why if after 23...e5 white has to move the rook next move. How about 24 Bd8!?> 25. Qxc2+ and draw.
May-17-20  jith1207: <24..Qxc2+ and draw>

best play after 23..e5 leads to draw anyway.

I think Jim says you don't have to move your Rook as next move.

May-17-20  Brenin: In <agb2002>'s very detailed analysis of 23 ... e5, a trap White must avoid after 24 Rg4 Qc5 is the tempting 25 Rgg7?? It makes a nice puzzle to find the resulting win for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <Brenin: In <agb2002>'s very detailed analysis of 23 ... e5, a trap White must avoid after 24 Rg4 Qc5 is the tempting 25 Rgg7?? It makes a nice puzzle to find the resulting win for Black.>

Also, Black must avoid 23... e5 24.Rd5 (I overlooked this and also <Jim>'s Bd8) 24... Bc4??

May-18-20  Brenin: In an earlier posting I wrote that 21 ... Qc5 prevents 22 Qf2. Not literally, since it's a legal move, but it's a nice puzzle to see how Black can win the exchange if White is tempted to try it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Jimfromprovidence: I do not understand why if after 23...e5 white has to move the rook next move.>

23...e5 24. Bd8 Qxc2+ 25. Qxc2 Rxc2+ 26. Kxc2 exd4 27. Rxd7 Bb5 28. Bf6+ Kg8 29. Rg7+ Kf8 30. d7 d3+ 31. Kd2 Rd8 32. Rxh7 Rxd7 33. Rxd7 Bxd7.

White is two ♙s up. I think the outside passed ♙ is enough to ensure a win, but it's a difficult opposite-colored ♗ ending.

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