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Stefan Djuric vs Sergei Tiviakov
Formia Open (1995)
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov Variation (E12)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-03-12  Abdel Irada: <Rounding up the usual suspect<<<>>>>

I have spoken here before of "intuition born of experience." When one sees a position of this kind, in which a crucial pawn is defended only by a king, and numerous hostile pieces are bearing down on its vicinity, a sacrifice comes immediately to mind. And when that square is f7 or f2 (statistically the squares more sacrificed on than any others), it might as well sport a billboard reading "SACRIFICE HERE."

Therefore we begin:

<26. ...Nxf2!<>>.

White must make a decision: to accept the sacrifice or decline it and look for something else to do. In this case, the sac isn't forcing; there are no immediate threats, and White is free to ignore it if he chooses. On the other hand, unless he can find a way to win back a pawn, he will be left a pawn down and with a further weakened king's field.

As it happens, there's only one target for White: the pawn on c5. So, as a practical matter, White can either take this pawn or accept the sacrifice and see if he can refute it. Any other choice is too passive.

Let us, then, examine these choices respectively.

<(1) 27. Qxc5, Qxc5
28. Rxc5...>

Here, Black would like to take advantage of the "pinned" e-pawn with ...Nd3, forking the rooks. Unfortunately, the pawn isn't really pinned because the rook on e1 is defended. So, what if we remove the guard?

<28. ...Bxf3>

This presents White with what <Once> would call a "GOOT": "Get Out Of That!" If he takes on f3 with the pawn, the rook on e1 falls with check; if with the bishop, 29. ...Nd3 wins the exchange.

But what if White takes the knight?

<29. Kxf2...>

Now, if Black plays the obvious 29. ...Bxg2, White's choice looks good: He will recapture on g2 with complete equality. However, Black has a stronger choice.

<29. ...Bxe2†
30. Kg1, d3
31. Rd5, Rd8 >

And suddenly the passed pawn looms as an implacable menace. White is only a pawn down ... but what a pawn!

Now, let's see what happens if White takes up the gauntlet.

<(2) 27. Kxf2, Qe3†
28. Kf1, Bxf3
29. exf3...<>>

White can also take with the bishop, but this makes no difference, for it will only transpose.

<29. ...Rxf3†!
30. Bxf3, Qxf3†
31. Kg1, Qxg3†<>>

Another move, another decision. Should the king run towards the wing or the center?

We will consider these options in order.

<(2.1) 32. Kh1...<>>

This is the safer course because no obvious mating attack ensues. But this does not mean it is *safe*; one can lose without being mated. Nonetheless, I will consider it the main line because it offers White his best practical chances.

<32. ...Rxe1†
33. Rxe1, Qxe1†
34. Kg2, Qxh4
35. Qxc5, Qe4†
36. Kf2, d3 <>>

Thanks to Black's queen position, White has only one check, so perpetuals aren't possible as long as Black remains cautious. Meanwhile, Black is three clear pawns ahead, and the passed d-pawn is once again very dangerous.

Having seen that White can't genuinely "survive" running to h1, we now test the idea of moving toward the center and trying to hold.

<(2.2) 32. Kf1?!, Rf8†
33. Ke2, Rf2†
34. Kd1, Qf3†
35. Re2, d3 >

Not so coincidentally, this pawn advance is once again White's undoing. In this case, it wins a pinned rook. And after the forced 36. Rc2, dxe2†; 37. Rxe2, Rxe2; 38. Qxe2, Qxe2†; 39. Kxe2, g5, Black's two extra pawns win easily.

Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: M'learned colleagues have already covered the variations very well, so no point in repeating. Extra special respec' to LTJ and Abdel Irada for spotting 27. Qxc5, which does seem to limit the damage (from a white perspective). I missed that one.

Back to the starting position ...


click for larger view

... and it strikes me that there is a similarity between this position and at least one of the earlier POTDs. We have a choice of two knight sacs followed by Qe3+ invasions. We can play either 26...Nxg3 or 26...Nxf2. In either case, the f pawn disappears and we get a chance to squeeze the large lady into f3.

But 26...Nxf2 is much stronger because it limits white's reply. Here's the position after 26...Nxg3 27. fxg3 Qe3+


click for larger view

Now, if white plays 28. Kf1 we've transposed right back into our game line. White is in huge trouble. But the white king is far enough away from the black queen that he has some more options. He can run to h1 or h2, and the white attack stutters. After 28. Kh2, Fritzie says that white has a small advantage of around +1.3. In other words, the knight sac hasn't worked.

By contrast, after 26...Nxf2 27. Kxf2 Qe3+, we get to here ...


click for larger view

The pawn structure is exactly the same. We've got the same Qe3+ motif. But the key difference is that the white king is forced back to f1 where he comes under fire from the black Rf8 and Ba8. He doesn't have the option of Kh2.

Well, not unless white were to cry out ... "Good lord, look at that!" and while black turns to see what all the fuss is about white shunts his king to h2. Less subtle than iphones in toilets, I supppose.

I wonder if this leads us to a general rule of thumb (or two). If given a choice of two sacrifices we should usually prefer the one which gives our opponent fewer replies. And/or it's usually better to sacrifice close to the enemy king - eg on f2/f7 rather than g3/g6 or h3/h6.

I dunno. Maybe, maybe not. But we've seen a couple of examples this week where it's more deadly to get up close and personal. They say you should always bring a gun to a knife fight. Except perhaps where the knife fight is happening at very close range.

Nov-03-12  gofer: I'm with <Abdel Irada>:

26 ... Nxf2
27 Qxc5 Qxc5
28 Rxc5 Bxf3

But here I think white takes back with the bishop
trapping the knight and going the exchange down
but with drawing chances. <29 Kxf2> loses even quicker!

29 Bxf3 Nd3
30 exd3 Rxe1+
31 Kg2 Ra1
32 Be4 Rxa3

The positions is okay for black, but not completely won...

I am surprised that white played <27 Nxf2> the continuation to mate was pretty easy to see!

Nov-03-12  LoveThatJoker: <Once> I sincerely appreciate the kind mention!

LTJ

Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChemMac: I didn't even consider 32...Rf8+, seeing instead
32, ..Qf4+ 33.Kg1 Qg4+ 34. Kh1 (or 34.Kf1 or f2 35, Rf8 and mates) 34...Qh4 wins; but 32...Rf8+ is much faster.
Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: I went with the "insipid" <26...Nc3> as <Phony Benoni> blandly noted. However, <26...Nc3> has its points, namely a ganging up on <e2> as well as preventing a subsequent <Qxc5>

***A position with hidden potential. No immediate, forcing move for Black is evident [ie: a check]. Whats good for Black is White does not directly threaten any capture or check, or even a sacrifice (For example, in the Wed POTD Z Necesany vs V Zagorovsky, 1972 White has counterplay if he's allowed to play <Rxe6+>)

Before we look at candidates, We can eliminate any "butcher"-type moves. Here, 26...Rxf3 doesn't work due to 27.exf3 pinning the Black Knight.

One candidate involving the Black Knight comes to mind: <26...Nc3> hitting <e2> 3-times; Black will chase the White Queen with <Bd5> and attempt to cut off communication between the White Queen and <e2>.

Lets see if this works:

<26...Nc3> (Other Knight moves like 26...Nf6 or 26...Nd6 allow 27.Qxc5)

The only response I see for White is <27.Rc2> which just seems horrible after <27...Bd5 28.Qd3 Be4> and Black wins at least an exchange:


click for larger view

Black has two winning options after White's 29.Qd2 (forced): (1) <29.Qd2 Bxc2> gaining the exchange or

(2) <29.Qd2 Bxf3 30.Rxc3> (If 30.Bxf3 Rxf3 31.exf3 Qxe1+) <30...Bxg2>


click for larger view

White is lost since 31.Kxg2 dxc3 and he's down a whole rook; And if he moves the rook to save it, then 31...Bh3 (or some other convenient square, and Black has won a piece
***
Sure wish I had a better appreciation for the strength of <26...Nxf2>

Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

All black pieces are ready to attack the white castle, starting with 26... Nxf2:

A) 27.Kxf2 Qe3+ 28.Kf1 Bxf3

A.1) 29.exf3 Rxf3+ 30.Bxf3 Qxf3+ 31.Kg1 Qxg3+

A.1.a) 32.Kf1 Rf8+ 33.Ke2 Rf2+ 34.Ke1 Qf3+ 35.Re2 d3 36.Kd2 (36.Qe6 Rxe2 - +) 36... Rxe2+ 37.Kc3 d2+ wins.

A.1.b) 32.Kh1 Rxe1+ 33.Rxe1 Qxe1+ 34.Kg2 Qc3 - + [3P].

A.2) 29.Bxf3 Rxf3+ 30.Kg2 (30.exf3+ Qxf3+ transposes to A.1) 30... Rxg3+ and mate soon.

A.3) 29.Bh3 Bh1+ 30.Bf5 Rxf5#.

B) 27.Qxc5 Qxc5 (27... Qe3 28.Qxd4, unclear) 28.Rxc5 Bxf3

B.1) 29.Bxf3 Nd3 wins the exchange - + [R vs B].

B.2) 29.Kxf2 Bxe2+ 30.Kg1 d3 and the passed pawn looks decisive.

Nov-03-12  cyclon: In todays puzzle I'd go with the 26. -Nxf2 into which I consider two (main) alternatives; 27. Qxc5 and 27. Kxf2. If White plays something else, f.e. 27. Qb3 Black moves quietly 27. -Ng4 intending 28. -Qe3+ having a pawn and the game - c5-pawn is untouchable for the moment here because of the weak square f3 and the back-rank. With other moves White just loses a pawn in the worse position, that's all.

Now, on (26. -Nxf2) 27. Qxc5 follows 27. -Qxc5 28.Rxc5 Bxf3 29. Kxf2 (29. Bxf3 Nd3 wins the exchange) -29. -Bxe2+ dis.ch. 30. Kg1 d3 and Black has a winning position.

Then, after (26. -Nxf2) 27. Kxf2 comes -27. -Qe3+ 28. Kf1 Bxf3 29. exf3 (or 29. Bxf3, threat was 30. -Bxe2X) -29. -Rxf3+ 30. Bxf3 Qxf3+ 31. Kg1 Qxg3+ 32. Kf1 (if 32. Kh1 one possible line might be -32. -Rxe1+ 33. Rxe1 Qxe1+ 34. K- Qc3 and if f.e. 35. Qf7, then -35. -Qc2+ keeping the h7-b1 diagonal covered and preparing to advance two connected passed pawns at the right moment after some Queen moves. Black has three healthy pawns up in the Queen-endgame and more covered King's position in this variation.) -32. -Rf8+ 33. Ke2 Rf2+ (only so) 34. Ke1 Qf3+ and now BOTH 35. Qe2 Rxe2 36. Rxe2 d3 and 35. Re2 d3 are curtains. After 26. -Nxf2 it seems to be cufflinks for Black.

Nov-03-12  hms123: <morf>

If <26...Nc3>


click for larger view

then <27.Rxc3 dxc3 28.Qxc3>


click for larger view

Not great for White, but there's still some play left.

Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Good morning <hms123>! While I was finishing my "crow" breakfast, <27.Rxc3> came to mind...And after seeing your post describing such, I am now enjoying seconds :)
Nov-03-12  hms123: <morf> I am glad to bring such joy to your morning. ;-)
Nov-03-12  ksanat: nice finish.i completely missed it.
Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Saturday quality puzzle-I couldn't even finish it after the end.
Nov-03-12  Patriot: I considered 26.Nxf2 in which the first thing you should think on is 26...Kxf2. Because if there is anything that might refute the move (and win), it's this move. So I went on and examined 27.Qe3+ which forces 27...Kf1--a very tight spot for the white king. Now sacrifices on f3 look inviting. 28.Rxf3 (threatening mate in one) exf3 strikes the queen from the rook--this looks bad. So then I looked at 28.Bxf3 and either 28...exf3 or 28...Bxf3. I think from this point I examined the 28...Bxf3 29.Rxf3+ exf3 30.Qxf3+ line and didn't see how I was going to win. I looked for something slower that might win, such as 28...Be4 and looked at 29.Qxc5 and went on to conclude that is bad also. So...I dismissed the line! And moved on to 26...Nc3.

I thought the queen looked almost trappable at first but there were just too many squares. I decided 26...Nc3 looked good and went with it thinking it's the only real option.

Nov-03-12  Abdel Irada: <morfishine>: At least you have one consolation: plenty of protein.

(And they do say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.)

Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <LTJ> <27. Qxc5 Qxc5 28. Rxc5 Bxf3! 29. Kxf2 (29. Bxf3 Nd3 ) 29...Bxe2+ 30. Kg1 d3 31. Rd5 (to mitigate the threat of 31...d2) 31...Rd8 as not only is Black up a pawn, but has a strong promotion threat/attack.>

I found this line, also mentioned in part by <agb2002>, to be the most aesthetically pleasing.

Here's the position after 31 Rd5.


click for larger view

It's a bit awkward because black's bishop is pinned. But the doubled rooks are the answer. 31...Rd8 forces and simplifies nicely; it goes 32 Rxd8 Rxd8 33 Kf2 d2 34 Kxe2 dxe1Q+ 35 Kxe1 Rd3.


click for larger view

And, if after 31…Rd8 white tries 32 Re5?!, black has 32 …Bg4, keeping the bishop safe and in control of d1.


click for larger view

Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Abdel Irada> Ha Ha! I've invited <Patriot> over for lunch: I'm picking up the tab since he paid <26...Nxf2> much more respect than I did, which is something to "crow" about :)
Nov-03-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: If in do it brave ne4 grabs in f2 chucking out the chintz useless

piece to have when managing a grand strike ah a8 e7queen lightning

and thunder swoop in e3 after kingxf2 ok ethereal 27.qe3+ only one

square tomahawk f1 then pile in four mitigate in bolt ba8xf3 pawne2

having recapture oak rookf8 i re work it down in dig off f3+ bishop

recapture coffins right sealed "eagle" knight it took in concrete

symbol line crashing for f2 either e3xf3+ now ledger in bull gate

kingg1 13...Qxg3+ king sidestep back time rook frollics in f8 one

potent it brew in e4 to f2 establish it a leg off in crick him aint

bothered in nervous moments white could infuse mister king stays

pitted in g1 so, homily for c5 d4 hangers white mind to gathers

27.Qxc5+ easy for hunk down exchange qe7 of a fashion to derelict

28.Rxc5s sandwich in arranging 28...Bxf3 29.Bxf3 nd3 and I alive to

fork it is e1 in c5 winning the re1 rumbled on gather in giving

mainline on gauge h1 then cocked in e8 grabs e1 wave effect wangle

in black three alive pawns up healthy lead in promoting either d4 or

eminate trace in c5 too finish him off tin king gets queen and rook

maulings it hope in good itching killer e3+.

Nov-03-12  francis2012: I solved it starting with the move 1. ...♘xf2 2. ♔xf2 ♕e3+ 3. ♔f1 ♗xf3 etc.
Nov-03-12  LoveThatJoker: <Jimfromprovidence> Thank you for your post, man!

LTJ

Nov-03-12  jancotianno: Nxf2 was the first move i looked at its simple enough as long as no silly mistakes in calculating it are made, full points today :)
Nov-03-12  Patriot: LOL...Thanks <morf>! I'm always ready for a free meal.
Nov-03-12  TheBish: S Djuric vs Tiviakov, 1995

Black to play (26...?) "Very Difficult"

I didn't find this too tough... or so I thought! In under five minutes I thought I had it solved, but then I noticed something that I had to reexamine.

26...Nxf2! 27. Qxc5

This is the move I had missed. Easier to evaluate is 27. Kxf2 Qe3+ 28. Kf1 Bxf3 29. exf3 Rxf3+ 30. Bxf3 Qxf3+ 31. Kg1 Qxg3+ 32. Kh1 (or 32. Kf1 Rf8+) Re4 with ...Rxh4+ and mate to follow. Now if 27...Qe3 28. Qxd4 and White is defending adequately.

27...Qxc5! 28. Rxc5

It's counter-intuitive to trade queens in the middle of an attack, but this not only buys a tempo to save the knight and d4 pawn, but removes a defender of the e1 rook.

28...Bxf3! 29. Kxf2

If instead 29. Bxf3 (not 29. exf3 Rxe1+) Nd3 wins an exchange.

29...Bxe2+ 30. Kg1 d3 31. Rd5 Rd8 32. Rxd8 Rxd8 and the d-pawn will win for Black.

Nov-04-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Abdel Irada> BTW: Very nice post. However, at the very end, you overlooked a mate: You commented <And after the forced 36. Rc2 dxe2†; 37. Rxe2, Rxe2; 38. Qxe2, Qxe2†; 39. Kxe2, g5, Black's two extra pawns win easily> True enough

However, instead of 36...dxe2??, Black forces mate with <36...Rf1+ 37.Kd2 Qxe2+ 38.Kc3 Qxc2 mate>

Excellent post though, the main point being Black is winning!

Nov-04-12  avidfan:


click for larger view

Diagram after <morfishine>'s 38...Qxc2 #

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