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Julian M Hodgson vs Simen Agdestein
10th Lloyds Bank Masters Open (1986), London ENG, rd 7, Aug-26
Hungarian Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0



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Given 11 times; par: 36 [what's this?]

Annotations by John Nunn.      [5 more games annotated by Nunn]

find similar games 666 more games of S Agdestein
sac: 21.Ne5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-20-11  Patriot: <Al2009> Yes it's easy to miss a move like 21.Ne5 during a game, depending on the time control as well. Another thing puzzles don't do is reveal the relevance of how time management fits in with every move. You can't take a lot of time on every move as if it's a puzzle position so it's important to know when to slow down. Slowing down means you have something to solve, either defensively or offensively. 21.Ne5 is obviously an offensive threat and was pretty easy to notice. However it took a little while to make sure it isn't easily refuted.

I usually play G/30 and my thoughts would go something like this: "Black could threaten Nc3 at some point but it's not really doing much if I move the rook, or he could play Bxf3 and exchange down somewhat being a pawn up, so it is moderately critical to slow down based on his threats. Now...what can I do to him? I would love to play Ne5 at some point to threaten mate. Can I just do it now? ..." Hopefully I would have time to work it out but there's no guarantee in that time control. I think I looked at this for about 10 minutes this morning and that is probably going to be too long for G/30 because I may have 20 minutes remaining at this point in the game depending on how critical the first 20 moves were. If I can force mate then it's well worth the effort but if it isn't then I have to ask myself if it's worth the time I'm putting into it.

It took me a while to see 21.Ne5 Kxe5 22.Rf7 since I usually like to look at checks first (22.f4+) but the threat of mate is stronger than simply a check here. Also it took a sort of "leap of faith" to see that after 21...Rhf8 22.f4 Bxg2 23.Rc7 threatening to double rooks on the 7th and force mate. Another critical piece was 21.Ne5 Nc3 but 22.Rf7+ Kxe5 23.f4# proves that bad. I didn't see the 22...Bf3! idea as pointed out by Dr. Nunn and really didn't calculate the game finish because I already concluded mate was unstoppable after 21...Kxe5. 22...Bd5 stops mate temporarily and is somewhat critical to see since 23.cxd5? looks like a big mistake since white is dropping another pawn! So the move 23.c5! is very important to see here.

Nov-20-11  varishnakov: After 22...Bxf3 and 23 Kxf3, there were so many variations of where the king could run and the black rooks could attack the white rook on move 23 on either f8 or d8 so I worked many moves through just some picked variations of it and I couldn't see mate, although material could equalize. I may be off.

And also, I think if you see 21. Ne5, you have no yet necessarily solved the spirit of the puzzle. It seems to me the difficulty increases throughout the week by how many moves must be seen after the key move whether the move is justified in just 2 moves or beyond.

Nov-20-11  neenu: 22.. Bf3 23. Kxf3 (or Bxf3) Nc3

and I think black can escape with either Rd8 or c5 or Ne4.

Nov-20-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this endgame position, white is a pawn down, but has strong compensation with the powerful rook duo controlling the d-file and the 7th rank. Initially, I was interested in the possibility of trapping the invading Na2, but it became clear that the black king is a much more attractive target. At first I looked at the fanciful 21.Nd4(??) Bxg2 22.Nxe6 Kxe6?? 23.R1d6+ Ke5 24.f4#, but that is easily refuted by 22... Ra(/h)e8. This hallucination did uncover the right idea.


The knight finds its best square and the black king is caught in a trap. Finding a satisfactory defense is difficult.

A) 21... Kxe5 22.Rf7! Bf3! 23.Bxf3 Rhf8 (to release trapped king) 24.Rxb7 Rfb8 (Rfc8 25.Bxc6! Rxc6? 26.Rf7 forces mate) 25.Bxc6 (25.Rf7?? Rxb3+) Rxb7 26.Bxb7 Rb8(/a7) 27.Rd7! and the passed c-pawn wins quickly.

A.1) 22... f4+

A.2) 22... other 23.f4#

B) 21... Bxg2 22.Rf7+ Kg5 23.f4+ (23.Rg7+ Kh5 [kf6 24.Rg6+ leads to a forced mate] 24.Ng6 e5 25.Nxh8 Rxh8 26.h3 or f3 is a complex alternative with white apparently in control) Kh5 24.Rd2 regains the piece with a big advantage because of the trapped BK.

B.1) 22... Kxe5 23.f4#

C) 21... Nc3 22.Rf7+ Kg5 23.Rg7+! Kh5 24.Rc1 Bxg2 25.Ng6! e5 (otherwise 26.Nf4#) 26.Nxh8 Rxh8 27.Rxc3 with an exchange up and black's king trapped.

C.1) 22... Kxe5 23.f4#

C.2) 23... Kf6 24.Rg6+ Ke7 25.Rd7+ Kf8 26.Rf6+ Kg8 27.R6f7 wins as in parenthesized variation, B main line.

D) 21... Rhf8 22.f3 (Rh7 Kxe5 23.Rxh6 f4+ appears to come up short for white) Kxe5 23.fxe4 fxe4 24.R1d2 (Bxe4 Nc3) Nb4 25.Bxe4 reaches an endgame where white's bishop is superior to the knight.

I'm not finding a clear win in line D. Time to pack it in and review game....

Nov-20-11  alshatranji: I saw Ne5 and the "spectacular counter-sacrifice 22...Bf3". But I was completely surprised that Agdestin accepted the Knight sacrifice. I thought it was a given he would reject it and play Rf8, for which I couldn't find a decisive response.
Nov-20-11  sevenseaman: <alshatranji> Quite right. A White win becomes a distant dream.
Nov-20-11  Marmot PFL: I am sure black looked at 21...Rf8, and realized that after 22 f4 followed by doubling both rooks on the 7th rank his king had no escape. He must have just overlooked 23 c5, which i also missed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I may be getting too old for these puzzles. I kept thinking White couldn't play f4+ because Black would take it en passant with the bishop.
Nov-20-11  anandrulez: Lol phony benoni . Btw this was relatively easy but ofcourse I thought Rf8 saves black after Ne5 but f4 pseudo sac is very strong . Interesting position .
Nov-20-11  gharigac: 22)--- Bf3! then to follow by 23)...Rd8 Ithink its good suliotion for blak
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Glorious conquest Ne5, bald heading eagle sacrifices in it drawing king forward into a mating sequence... Kxe5 Rf7 what does black have preventing f4? All I could spot Bf3 as efective but lights rooks get terribly active monsters on the seventh .Agdestein calls it a day f4+ I should think called again wander. I look one get going for investigation of Bf3?
Nov-20-11  sfm: <So okay, the first move is simple, but the continuation actually quite complex! I think the 21 Ne5 Bxg2 22 Rf7+ Kg5 line is the most interesting as there is probably a forced mate for white...> You are right: 23.Rg7+:
25.Rd7+ and white mates with some more checks as Dr.J gives.

B. 23.-,Kh5
Here I spent half a minute on how to mate by mobilizing the g-pawn. Hmmm. didn't work. But hey! 24.Nd3
Mate next move. LOL! :-)

Nov-20-11  morfishine: <Patriot> Insightful write-up

<Phony Benoni> On your comment <...en passant with the bishop> I had such a good laugh I almost fell out of my chair :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: <sfm> wrote: <B. 23.-,Kh5 Here I spent half a minute on how to mate by mobilizing the g-pawn. Hmmm. didn't work. But hey! 24.Nd3 Mate next move.>

Where's the mate next move after 24...e5?

Nov-20-11  Patriot: <morfishine> Thanks! Being able to find puzzle-like moves during a game rests on a number of factors and I think simply knowing that it's a critical position is the first step that causes one to slow down and look more carefully.
Nov-20-11  scormus: <Patriot: .... simply knowing that it's a critical position is the first step that causes one to slow down and look more carefully.>

A very perceptive remark. I've long had the idea that strong players have something akin to instinct ... really, have the feeling for position that alerts them to the possibility there is an advantage to be gained. At least, that's how I explained a lot of my losses.

<Phony Benoni: .... en passant with the bishop.> I love it!

Nov-20-11  BOSTER: <Gllmoy> <real players are almost never solving the puzzle-problem>. This is wrong.

Even G.Kasparov liked to do this.

Nov-20-11  Grenache: Of course, the variations after 21. Ne5 Bg2: 22. Rf7 Kg5 23. Rg7 Kh5 were too complex for me. I saw that Nd3 is met by e5 and basically stopped calculating. Congrats to those who calculated it all, but in a practical game, that's often too difficult.

So I suggest the clumsy 22. f4 with the following sequel:

A. 22.... Rhf8 23. Rh7 (threatens Rdd7 and mate) 23. ... Bd5 (what else?) 24. cd5: ed5: 25. Nd7+ followed by Nf8: and Rb7: with a winning endgame.

B. 23. ... Raf8 24. Rb7: c5 25. Ra7: and Rd7 decides the day.

Nov-20-11  FlashinthePan: I may still be missing something but, what if Black simply plays 21... Rhf8 to prevent 22.Rf7?
Nov-20-11  sevenseaman: Perhaps the "Insane" label was well-merited after all. The Nunn annotation dubiously confirms that the solver may have been right. It acts like an opiate and tends to keep him from post-game open-minded analysis.
Nov-20-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: To play the the puzzle position against Crafty EGT, use the following link:

Crafty finds a flaw in my A line. The line 21.Ne5 Rhf8 (also suggested by other kibitzers) will require a new link.

Nov-20-11  Marmot PFL: <CHESSTTCAMPS> I couldn't beat it.
Nov-20-11  Patriot: <scormus> Thanks! I agree with you. I would say that instinct helps guide strong players to meaningful moves.
Nov-20-11  ounos: For some reason, the move and a couple points about it, clicked to me in less than 2 seconds. I'm not kidding! (But then, the main point was obvious to a degree, it's the details that need to he worked out, lets see)
Nov-20-11  ounos: Wow, 22. ...Bf3, a gem for a defence
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