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Siciarz vs Glogowski
Poland (1976)
Benko Gambit: Accepted. Fully Accepted Variation (A58)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-06-11  Patriot: <scormus> <At least Ive learnt something this weekend, if its minus any materail, think seriously about a draw.>

Some time back, my instructor showed me a puzzle and asked "What is white's goal?" At the time I was puzzled by the question, but remember his key point. He said that before doing anything you need to determine what your goal is. You start by evaluating the position and whatever your evaluation is, that sets the bar. Any candidate you analyze must at least be as good as your original evaluation. If you can't find a candidate that does this, it could be that your initial evaluation is wrong. It is based on one of Steinitz's rules which essentially says that a position is only as good as its evaluation. For example, in an equal position there is no move that is "winning".

In this example, black is lost materially but he could have some dynamic possibilities thanks to the king in the center which suggests the evaluation may be better than "lost". This sets the bar--find the move that meets this evaluation. 20...Rc3 fits the bill.

I think generally you are right. It also comes down to looking for stronger moves, especially when down material. Quiet moves usually allow the other player to consolidate into a more winnable position. Very often one side is down a great deal of material and still be winning because they have dynamics on their side. It would be bad to settle for a draw only because you are down in material, when there is a definite win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Jimfromprovidence> & <scormus> Interesting discussion on 20...Ba5. One of the first lines I was looking at while trying to solve this puzzle was 20...Qg6 (tossing the bishop) but hitting <g2> and <c2> and possibly winning it back later. <20...Ba5> makes Qg6 that much stronger without having to part with the bishop. Definitely worth looking deeply in to because it just feels black can get more out of this position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: morfishine: <butilikefur> & <Sharpen your Tactics>...I think what Yuchtman had in mind after 35.Qxe3 Rxf1+ 36.Kg2 was first <36...Rg1+> This forces 37.Qxg1 then black plays 37...Qxe4+ 38.Kg3 Nxg1 and white is totally lost here:

click for larger view

Black could delay capturing the queen with 38...Rf3+ 39.Kh4 Qe7+ 40.Kxh5 Qxe8+ 41.Kxg4 Qe4+ 42.Kh5 Qf5+ 43.Bg5 Nf4+ mates next move:

click for larger view

Mar-06-11  scormus: <Patriot> thanks, I think my expectations were coloured by the fact that its usually a win to find in puzzles. As you say, B's dynamic chances had to be exploited with something very quick-acting to stop W consolidating the material advantage.

<morf> although I dont think B can force anything better than a draw, OTB there may be plenty of ways W could lose. After 20 ... Ba5 21 Ke2 Qg6 there's a neat , touch-and-go defense for W against B's pressure. But I wouldnt want to have to find it OTB!

Mar-06-11  TheBish: Busy moving today, so I'll be very brief and say what many others often do -- got it!
Mar-06-11  lost in space: Normally I don't try to solve insane puzzles any longer as I mostly need help form my silicon friend - and this is not what I am locking for. So I was surprised to be able to see more or less at once the solution of this puzzle.....with one detail still open: Is it a draw or a win for black?!

20...Rc3 21. bxc3 Qxd3+ 22. Kc1
(22. Ke1 Bxc3+)

(23....Bxc3? 24. Rd1)

24. Qxb4 Rxc3+ 25. Qxc3 Qxc3+ and I came to the conclusion: Draw.

Black can not hope for more (having in mind the starting position).

Mar-06-11  Patriot: <<Jimfromprovidence>: I still like 20...Ba5. You have compensation for the two pawns, an exposed king that cannot castle. Why throw away a chance to keep the pressure on and force white to play very accurately, especially with minimal cost even if white finds the right moves?>

This logic works well in practice games where you are playing to learn. Here's a position I had against a guy rated about 200 points below me, during a casual game:

click for larger view

Houdini likes Bg3, Kf1, a3, Be2, h5 and some other moves which are practically equal with an even game. I told my opponent "I'm rolling the dice!" and played 1.g4?!. I knew it was risky, seeing that 1...Nxg4 could just be losing a pawn, but the fact that 2.h5 softens up the g6 square made it more appealing. Houdini says black has a slight advantage after 2...e5, which is a reasonable and strong reply to consider. But I knew that in G/30, black has to be very careful and that it could serve as an interesting learning experience for me in seeing what works and what doesn't. He played correctly with 1...Nxg4 2.h5 but then he played a defensive move which turns out to be lost. 2...Qe7? 3.hxg6 fxg6 4.Bxg6 hxg6 5.Qxg6+ Qg7 (5...Bg7 6.Qxg4 at least wins material back with a plus) 6.Qxe8 .

I don't think 20...Ba5 would ever occur to me though. I tend to trust static evaluations more when quiet moves are played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: From an Indian Defense, perhaps.

Black has a bishop for a knight and two pawns.

White threatens Ke2 and Nxb4.

The white queen protects the knight. This suggests 20... Rc3 21.bxc3 (21.Qxb4 Qxd3+ 22.Ke1 Rc2 23.Qb5 Qd2+ 24.Kf1 Qxf2#) Qxd3+ 22.Kc1 (22.Ke1 Bxc3+ 23.Qxc3 Qxc3+) Bxc3 (22... Rc8 23.Qxb4 Rxc3+ 24.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 25.Kb1 and Black must force the perpetual or White will push the a-pawn) 23.Ra2 Bd2+ (23... Rc8 24.Rc2 Bd2+ 25.Kb2 (otherwise 25... Qxb3) and Black's attack seems to vanish) 24.Kb2 Bc3+ (24... Qe2 25.Kb1 doesn't look good for Black) 25.Ka3 (25.Kc1 Bd2+, etc.) Bb4+ 26.Kb2 (26.Kxb4 Rb8+) Bc3+, perpetual.

Another option is 20... Bc3 but after 21.Ke2 (21.bxc3 Qxd3+ 22.Ke1 Rxc3 23.Qb5 Qe4 with attack) I don't see how to resume the attack.

Taking into account Black's material deficit I would probably try 20... Rc3 and settle for draw in the worst case.

Mar-06-11  BOSTER: <Jim> <I still like 20...Ba5>. I guess this move losing the time,and even maybe the draw.
Mar-06-11  Brandon plays: Darnit, I ruined it for myself. I thought it was white to play and move. lol. I couldn't find anything that great to play there either.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: 22... Bxc3, instead of 22... Rc8, is a blunder that seems to lose to 23.Rd1 Bd2+ 24.Kb2 Bc3+ 25.Ka3 Bb4+ 26.Ka2 Qe2+ 27.Kb1.
Mar-06-11  wals: <Jimfromprovidence> Hope this is of assistance:-

Rybka 4 x 64: d 15 : 9 min :

At move 20...Rc3 the game is equal

20...Ba5, a blunder,

Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: d 15 : 7 min :

1. (0.91): 21.Ke2 Rb8 22.Qa2 Rfc8 23.Rac1 Qg6 24.h3 Qxg2 25.b4 Bc7 26.a5 Qg5 27.Qc4 Qh5+ 28.Qg4 Qd5 29.Rhg1 g6

2. (-0.37): 21.Rb1 Rb8 22.Qc4 Rb4 23.Qc2 Rbb8 24.Ke2 Rfc8 25.Qd1 Qa6 26.f3 Rc6 27.Kf2 Rd6 28.Nc5 Qc6 29.Nd3

Mar-06-11  stst: The "insane" part is, again, the puz. gives start to Bk, but hardly Bk can force a win.

Got the main line, pretty easy, the hard part is to drive a Win for Bk. All looks natural up to a turning point:
22. Kc1 then ...
IF (A)
22. .. Rc8 looks promising, but
23. QxB is the spoiler, if Bk goes on RxP+,
24. QxR actually is a gain for W, since one Q exchanges for B and R, and a draw cannot be avoided.

23. Rd1 harassing the Bk Q, which has no good place to go without losing the B (e.g. Qe2, then 24. Ra2 any, B is lost; BxR 24. RxQ is really hard for Bk to swallow; or ... Q-any, 24. QxB...) while W retains its Q, and Bk becomes more vulnerable, esp. the potential passing P on a-file.

The analyses is not really that complex, esp. the first step is pretty obvious. This puz should worth less than 3 stars.

Mar-06-11  Eduardo Leon: I did see 20...♖c3 21.bxc3 ♕xd3+ 22.♔c1 ♖c8 23.♕xb4 ♖xc3+ 24.♕xc3 ♕xc3+, with a draw. But I wrongly thought there was a win I had missed.
Mar-06-11  stst: the good thing about today's puz is someone brings the chess video site, which is fun to play with...
Mar-06-11  alachabre: Black has paid a heavy price, two pawns, for scant positional advantage. White's king is permanently uncastled, and the kiniget is pinned. The pin is artificial, however, as after Qxb4 Qxb4, the N is now free to recapture Nxb4. Ah, but of course, Qxb4 is answered by Qxe3+.

A couple of positional improvements I would like to make as Black are: possibly doubling rooks on the c file; getting rooks on b8 and c8; and putting pressure on the Black queen, as its scope is fairly limited in the position. For instance, if Qd5 or Qe6 were playable (and didn't forsake the b4 B), the White queen has no place to hide.

I also would like a way to increase the pressure on the d3 N, but the Black d pawn obstructs the desirable Rfd8. So as I think about all these things I would like to do, and the limited mobility of the queen, the move

20. ... Rc3

presents itself as a candidate. Capture by the queen loses material, and capture by the pawn leaves the kinigit en prise. To wit:

21. bxc3 Qxd3+
22. Kc1 Rc8 (22. Ke1?? Bxc3)
23. Qxb4 Rxc3+
24. Qxc3 Qxc3+
25. Kb1

And another draw by perpetual check. Needs more analysis, but first:

21. Qxc3 Bxc3
22. Ke2 (22. bxc3? Qxe3+ is much worse)

leaves Black with a comfortable win. Are there any other candidates for White's reply? No. Qa2 is disastrous and other Q moves forfeit the lady, and although

21. Qxb4 is interesting, it loses quickly to Qxd3+ followed by Rc2.

Is there an improvement to 23. Qxb4 in the original line?

23. Ra3 Rxc3+
24. Qxc3 Bxc3
25. Rd1 and Black is better but White has real chances. Or

24. Kb2 Bxa3+ leaving Black with Q for R. And now I see that 23. ... Rxc3+ deserves a question mark, because

23. ... Bxa3+ is much better, leaving Black with a clear win. Finally,

23. Rd1 Rxc3+
24. Qxc3 Qxc3+
25. Kb1 Ba3
26. Ra2 Qb3+ drops the d rook.

So is 25. ... Ba3 better in the original line? Er, I guess not since the B isn't there!

20. ... Rc3!, draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Patriot> <This logic works well in practice games where you are playing to learn>

I really appreciate that comment, because for me these puzzles are just like that, a kind of laboratory, where different ideas can be tossed out and dissected (hopefully without prejudice).

Here’s a great game that illustrates the concept of exploiting an exposed, uncastled king position, even with the outcome quite unsure.

Nunn vs I A Nataf, 1999

Mar-06-11  alachabre: <morfishine> <Jimfromprovidence> & <scormus>

Looking at 20. ... Ba5 and the suggested 21. Ke2 Qg6. My silicon friend Ruffian gives White a small advantage. It's a strange, very "computery" line:

22. Kf1 Qe4
23. h4 Rb8
24. Qd1 Rfc8

(This fulfills my previous analysis' desire to get rooks on b8 and c8.)

What I see is Black retaining some initiative and White struggling to develop. However, my instinct tells me that sooner or later, the queen side pawns are going to grab the game unless Black can find something strong, and quickly.

Mar-06-11  alachabre: Exploring the 20. ... Ba5 line a little further, and not really liking the move 21. ... Qg6, I played around a bit with advancing the ideas I liked in my first analysis, and have this:

20. ... Ba5
21. Ke2 Rb8
22. Qc4 Rfc8
23. Qd4

I think this is an improvement over the 21. ... Qg6 line, and gives Black real chances to equalize. But then one must ask oneself, why should I struggle to equalize when I have a dead-duck draw in hand?

Mar-06-11  Patriot: <Jimfromprovidence> Thanks for the game. That's the kind of stuff I'm referring to. You just have to "roll the dice" from time to time even if you don't have time to calculate it out. This is one reason why really good players became great. They experimented and found out what works and what doesn't.

Your 20...Ba5 idea made me think outside the box. My first impression was that white could play 21.Ke2 quickly without hesitation. That worried me because white seemed to be consolidating without a problem, which is dangerous with black being down. It's one of those moves that doesn't fit within my normal "subroutines". But it's definitely interesting and doesn't hurt to look at something like this as an experiment. Sometimes this is what it takes to discover something new!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Sunday puzzle, the obstruction 20...Rc3! enables Black to force a draw by perpetual check in the game continuation.

I like <Jimfromprovidence>'s interesting try 20...Ba5!? However, I agree with <alachabre> that it's not worth going for the complications two pawns down when you have a sure draw in hand.

Mar-06-11  WhiteRook48: I found 20...Rc3 21 bxc3 Qxd3+ and didn't bother to look further (my reasoning was that black can't lose)
Mar-06-11  Dr. J: <chessaddict25: The sunday puzzles i've solved can be counted in one hand.I figured this one out in 5 secs.What does that mean?>

It means you're going to need a bigger hand.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <alachabre>...<Exploring the 20. ... Ba5 line a little further, and not really liking the move 21. ... Qg6,...> Thanks for looking at that; getting the rooks on a8, b8 and/or c8 is more 'Benko-like' in any case. Maybe now with the rook on <c8> black can play <Qg6>
Mar-07-11  knight knight: Sunday, black to play, two pawns down.

20...Rc3 must be the first move to look at. If 21. Qxb4 Qxd3+ 22. Ke1 Rc2 mates. So 21. bxc3 Qxd3+ 22. Kc1 (22. Ke1?? Bxc3+ white must give up the queen). Now 22...Bxc3 is tempting but 23. Rhd1 and black is in trouble. Instead I'm looking at 22...Rb8 and 22...Rc8. I'm also wondering whether it is black to play and draw since:

a) 22...Rc8 carries the threat 23...Rxc3+ winning material. But white can play 23. Qxb4 Rxc3+ 24. Qxc3 (24. Kb2?? Qc2#) Qxc3+ 25. Kb1 (else 25...Qxa1+) Qb3+ 26. Kc1 Qc3+ drawing

b) 22...Rb8 again white could play 23. Qxb4 Rxb4 24. cxb4 Qc3+ drawing. But 23. Rhd1 is stronger and looks like it wins for white.

The other try for black on the 20th move is 20...Bc3, but after 21. Ke2 I don't see how black makes progress.

Ok I can't see a winnng line for black, so I'll go with the drawing line in a). Time to check, then on to Monday's puzzle (bit late with today's!)

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