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Alexander Khalifman vs Ivan Bukavshin
Aeroflot Open (2011), Moscow RUS, rd 9, Feb-16
English Opening: Golombek Defense (A16)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-19-11  beenthere240: Black does not have a resourceless position. For example, if white plays 24. Bxd6 (a bad but not entirely absurd move), it's white that gets mated after 24. Qb1+ and Qh1#
Apr-19-11  TheBish: Khalifman vs I Bukavshin, 2011

White to play (24.?) "Easy"

I don't know if there was a change in personnel at CG, but don't the "easy" problems seem a little harder? I'm pretty sure if there were three levels (easy, medium, hard), this would be at least a medium! Most "easy" problems I can solve in about 30 seconds or less, definitely under two minutes. This one took well over five minutes before I put it all together.

The key is figuring out how to get the bishop in the game. We see that the black rook is undefended, so that probably plays a role too; for example, if we can force the BK to c7 or b8, then Qe5+ will pick up the rook with a simple fork. I looked at 24. Be4 but Black can defend with either 24...Qh6 or ...Nd7. Then it finally hit me how to best bring the bishop into the game.

24. Bh3+!

The key was seeing 24...Rxh3 25. Qf8+ Kc7 26. Qd8#. Also, it seems like Black can push a pawn to block, but of course either pawn pushed can simply be captured by the bishop (one push even loses the queen).

24...g4

25. Bxg4+ Kb8 (or 25...Kc7) 26. Qe5+ and White wins the rook.

Apr-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A bolt from the blue! Black will lose in a New York minute.

The main variation is: 24...♖xh3 25 ♕f8+ ♔c7 26 ♕d8#.

The other variations are slower,but not less painful.

Apr-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <<FabrikaLaHun>...Do you think that the greater depth of knowledge and recall of positions by more experienced players handicapped you in this puzzle?>

I'm not sure the word "handicapped" is what I would use, but I understand what you are getting at.

One of the first things done when looking for candidate moves is to evaluate all checks and captures. I noticed 24 Bh3+ right away, but didn't give it further consideration upon noticing that the bishop was en prise to the rook.

Only after coming up short when evaluating other moves did I return to the bishop check for a more in-depth examination. That's when I saw the follow up queen check.

This harkens back to the "alpha-beta" pruning performed by early chess playing computer programs. To avoid having the software waste time evaluating already lost positions, the programs would "prune" a branch from further assessment when a serious loss of material was encountered. While this did save time, it prevented the computer from "seeing" such moves as 25 Qf8+, due to the early loss of material (the bishop).

Had I not been told there was a winning move in the position, I might very well have overlooked the winning shot as well.

Apr-19-11  Marmot PFL: The more experienced player should solve this more quickly due to knowledge of mating patterns, in particular the WQ on d8 mating the BK on c7 blocked by its pawns on b7 and c6. That's the first thing I saw, then saw that Kb8 and Kc7 both lose to Qe5+ (not as i first thought Kc7 Qe7+, which also wins but is unnecessary).
Apr-19-11  Medieval Knight: Luck also enters in when your opponent misses a chance to crush you and you escape with a draw.
Apr-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <JG27Pyth> We may need to "agree to disagree" on this one. Just about all the research I have seen on chess suggests that masters consider fewer candidate moves than patzers. Through experience and training, they instinctively zero in on a relatively small number of critical moves.

Patzers on the other hand will often spend too long analysing moves that masters have not even glanced at. That's why Nunn and others advise us to DAUT - don't analyse unnecessary tactics.

And what happens? Naturally the masters will get it right nearly all of the time. Their moves will be stronger than the ones that the patzers have looked at, and they will have spent longer looking at them because they have not wasted time looking at lots of alternatives.

And this applies whether we are talking about Tal, Morphy, Fischer, Kasparov, anyone.

But there are very rare occasions where a counter-intuitive move is the best. And on these occasions a patzer might find the best move more easily than a master. It doesn't happen very often - that's why they are masters and we are patzers!

Here's a real life example. I used to captain a works team where all the players were between 120 and 180 BCF. Then out of the blue we had a new player on our team who was way way over 220. And this superhero duly won every single game that he played in his first season with us ... with just one loss.

That one loss was intriguing. He spotted a tempting combination involving a sacrifice and a forcing continuation many moves long. He played into this combination and it didn't quite work.

In the post match analysis, the rest of us were (as usual) trailing in his wake as he described variation after variation that he had seen. When it came to the critical position, he was the only one who saw the (flawed) combination. Everyone else just wanted to play a safe move ... which we all decided in the pub afterwards was the right thing to do.

To be fair, it was the only time when we spotted something that he didn't. After several pints of post-match beer, we all agreed that just sometimes being a relative patzer had its (exceedingly minor) advantages.

Apr-19-11  KingV93: Did not get this one, missed the significance of the White Rook attacking d8. Tough Tuesdsay.
Apr-19-11  stst: In a rush, quick release of several possible developments: (A)24.Bh3+ RxB, 25.Qf8+ Kc7 26.Qd8#
(B)24.Bh3+ Pf5, 25.BxP+ Kc7, 26.Qe7+ Kb8, 27.Rd8+ RxR, 28.Qd8# (C)24.Bh3+ Kc7, 25.Qe7+ Kb8, 26.Rd8+ RxR, 27.Qd8#
(D)Bh3+ Nd7, 25.BxN+ Kd8, 26.Bf5dis+ Ke8, 27.BxQ PxB, 28.Qe5+ Kf7, 29.QxR with overwhelming material and attack.
Apr-19-11  cyclon: In my opinion -not so easy- 24.Bh3+ dissolves the situation into a White win. 24. -Kb8 (or -Kc7) 25.Qe5+ wins the Rook. 24. -Rxh3 25.Qf8+ Kc7 26.Qd8X. As can be seen, moves -g4,-f5 and -Nd7 do not change the issue.
Apr-19-11  ZUGZWANG67: Material is even but W has the more actice pieces. Nevertheless he must be careful not to get mated at b1. Fortunatly for him he is on move.

24.Bh3+ and

a) 24...Nd7 25.Bxd7 Kd8 (25...Kb8 26.Qe5+ and W mates) 26.Bf5+ wins the BQ;

b) 24...Kb8 25.Qe5+ mates;

c) 24...Rxh3 25.Qf8+ Kc7 26.Qd8 is mate.

Black can also interfere with 24...g4 or 24...f5 but the best he can achieve is sacrifice the Q.

Let's see.

--------------

Black resigned after 24.Bh3+

It took me some time to explore all the lines. Too long I would say. That is so because I failed to quickly recongnize that the requirements for a Boden mate were not there, that is, a WB capable of reaching a6 in 1 move and an other controlling b8 and c7:


click for larger view

24.Qxc6+ bxc6 25.Ba6 mate.

That mirage of a mating net had me searching for a way to sacrifice the Q for too long.

Apr-19-11  ZUGZWANG67: <<Marmot PFL>: The more experienced player should solve this more quickly due to knowledge of mating patterns, in particular the WQ on d8 mating the BK on c7 blocked by its pawns on b7 and c6. That's the first thing I saw, then saw that Kb8 and Kc7 both lose to Qe5+ (not as i first thought Kc7 Qe7+, which also wins but is unnecessary).>


click for larger view

I am a chess teacher (for beginners aged 6 to 12) and one of the very first pattern I teach them is what you see on the diagram. I call these patterns the «Queen's bisou mates». Once you know them and know how to spot them they're very useful either to mate or, if there's no mate, to force the opponent's K to a poor square. The latter occurs often because when there's a «bisou» from the ennemy Q the K has only 3 options: capturing the Q (when of course it's not protected) or play to one of the two escape squares. This often leads to a forced move.

Peace!

Apr-19-11  ruzon: <Once: <JG27Pyth> We may need to "agree to disagree" on this one.>

As a follow-up, I look back on my first few months visiting CG and often found that I did not even consider the winning move as an option because it was usually counter-intuitive. As I've stuck around, I now consider such moves much more often, and in the last couple months I have seen my blitz rating rise dramatically. My thoughts today ran as did <dzechiel>'s.

So thanks go to both of you (and others) for your showing me the way.

Apr-19-11  MountainMatt: 24. Bh3+ looked good right off the bat; took a few extra minutes to find the two mating lines. Two for two - good week so far!
Apr-19-11  castle dweller: <TheBish I don't know if there was a change in personnel at CG, but don't the "easy" problems seem a little harder?> . . .

My thought was that someone at "headquarters" had taken their two-week vacation - and we were feeling the consequences!

Apr-19-11  WhiteRook48: i'm not happy about missing a Tuesday puzzle... :(
Apr-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sergeidave: How can I forget that 'deflection' is also part of the tactics repertoire?? =)
Apr-19-11  redorc19: <Once> Referring to your comment on luck in chess: I disagree. To me, there is no luck in chess, only logic, observation and calculation. Finding the correct move to me isn't luck, but a certain feeling which many players like Capablanca have. The question, therefore, is... is there a way to develop this feeling? If so, then calculation, logic and observation comes easy and is relatively easy to master.
Apr-19-11  BOSTER: <Once> <But every now and again the position calls for a surprise move,and then the Master maybe slower to find it than a lower grade player>. Move Bh3-this is not a surprise move, and even not a "crazy". The Real Master who can play simul. about 40-50 games can not be slower to find such move than a lower graded player. Do not tell this anybody. The Real Master' ELO about 2400,not 2200 (your ex.)
Apr-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Got it. Also I'm pretty sure this is the same opening Gregory Serper was talking about recently in a column on Chess.com
Apr-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: My initial attempt to characterize this combination as a weakened back rank is on second thought perhaps not so accurate.

The key feature of this Tuesday (24 ?) puzzle position is the over worked rook on h8.

This helpless Rook must defend both the h3 square against the Bishop check as well as the f8 square against the infiltration of the Queen for a quick mate-in-two.

The rook can't perform both jobs, so the winning 24. Bh3+! leading to a quick double attack and mate ends it immediately.

Apr-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <redorc19> What I actually said was that there is a very small amount of luck in chess. Yes, good players develop a feeling for what makes a good move. Yes, this feeling improves with practice. Yes, this does reduce the amount of chance in a chess game.

But I still contend that there is a tiny amount of luck. In today's puzzle there were a number of candidate moves to consider. <Dzechiel> and others did not examine the winning move straight away. Had they done so, they would have solved the puzzle a little more quickly. By contrast, 24. Bh3+ was the first and only candidate move I looked at.

Apr-20-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BOSTER> Not for the first time, you need to read what I actually said, not what you think I said...

I didn't say that ex-colleague missed (or would have missed) 24. Bh3. He was very sharp at tactics and I have no doubt that he would have noticed it in a heartbeat. He was after all an IM with at least one GM norm to his name.

What I was illustrating was that in very rare circumstances a strong player can be slower to find a winning move than a relative patzer.

I didn't find today's puzzle at all difficult, but if you read the kibitzing you will see that plenty of others did. And the question we are trying to explore is why that should be so.

Apr-20-11  FabrikaLaHun: Thanks to <Once> and <dzechiel> for your insightful comments and answers to my question. I believe there is a bit of luck in it....my blind patzer eyes initially missed the fact that the Bh3 was en prise to the rook. So I continued to analyze. Wonder if I would have given up sooner had I seen that?
Apr-20-11  TheaN: Tuesday 19 April (on 20 April)

<24.?>

Material: White, ♗ vs ♘

Candidates: Qf5†, Bxc6, Rd6, Be4, <[Bh3†]>

-ML-
Somewhat a unique puzzle, considering it mainly uses diagonals to lead black to his doom. Once you see a move like Bh3†, the ideas of overloading h8 lead you right to the correct solution.

<24.Bh3†!> g4 and f5 with Bxp† are no logical alternatives cause it only adds the option for black to go down queen for bishop.

<24....Kb8 (Rxh3 25.Qf8† Kc7 26.Qd8‡ 1-0) 25.Qe5†> now the only way to avoid mate is Qd6, but both Qxh8† and Qxd6 do not make the situation very nice for black, alas:

<25....Ka8 26.Qxh8† Qg8 27.Qxg8† Nc8 28.Qxc8‡ 1-0>

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