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Igor Nikolayev vs Marat Anatolyevich Makarov
Spartakiada of Russia Final (1983), Krasnodar, Russia, rd 1, Feb-21
Sicilian Defense: Alapin Variation. Smith-Morra Declined (B22)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-09-13  patcheck: What I see:
28. Qe8 Nxd4 29. Rc3 Nxc3 30. Ng6 Nxe4 31.Qxf8+ Kh7 32. Ne7 Qxe7 33. Qxe7 and maybe 33. …..Nxg3 34. Kxg3

And material is almost equal but I don’t see an easy win for white. Time to check.

Jun-09-13  naderino: OK, thank you Watwinc, you've convinced me now! after 35 Be5 is really finished
Jun-09-13  Eduardo Leon: <PART 1>

The main weakness in black's position are, first, the ♙e6, essentially the backbone of black's defense, and second, the ♗f8, which is undefended. Black needs to demolish the ♙e6-♙f5 barrier in order to reach the ♗f8 (and the ♔!), sacrificing a minor piece if necessary. However, the intrusion attempt 28.♕e8 is stopped cold by 28...♘xd4 and 29...♖c8, so a more subtle approach is needed.

<28.♕g6 ♕e7>

Not 28...fxe4? 29.♕xe6+ ♔h7 30.♖xf8.


click for larger view

This temporary sacrifice allows white to demolish the ♙e6-♙f5 barrier. The lametable situation of black's ♗f8 allows white to recover his lost material and then gain some.

<29...♕xh4 30.♕xe6+ ♔h7>

Not 30...♔h8?? 31.♘g6+.


Alas, this was just the easy line.

Jun-09-13  Eduardo Leon: <PART 2>

Now the serious defense.

<28...♘xd4 29.♖d3!>

click for larger view

This move has to be psychologically hard to find OTB, at least for a patzer like me. The rook's original mission was to wait until the ♙e6-♙f5 barrier is demolished, but now has to change course. However, this deviation is justified by the decisive effect of the weakness of the ♙e6.


Even if black could defend the ♘d4, white would sacrifice the exchange anyway. So his only change is to cling to his ♙e6 for as long as possible.

<30.♖xd4 ♕e7>

Black cannot play 30...♘f6? 31.♖d7 ♘xd7 32.♕f7+, losing instantly: 32...♔h7 33.♘xd7 threatening 34.♘xf8+, or 32...♔h8 33.♘g6+ ♔h7 34.♘xf8+ ♔h8 35.♘xe6 and black must give up the queen to prevent the mate in 1.

click for larger view

The critical position. Now 31.♗h4? looks tempting, but, unless I am missing something, the attack actually loses its strength: 31...♕xh4 32.♕xe6+ ♔h7 33.♘g6 ♕f6 34.♘xf8+ ♕xf8 35.♕xe4+ ♔h8 36.♖xd5, and white is only a pawn up.


Repositioning the minor pieces for a frontal attack against the king. White takes advantage of the fact black cannot offer a queen exchange right now (31...♕f7?? 32.♘xh6+ or 31...♕g5? 32.♕xe6+).

<31...♔h8 32.♗e5>

At this point, I am not entirely sure what black should or even could play. But it is clear to me that white has an advantage and can systematically increase the pressure over black's weak points.

Jun-09-13  Eduardo Leon: I am not entirely satisfied with respect to my reply to 30...♕e7. I still suspect I missed something Nikolayev saw.
Jun-09-13  Eduardo Leon: Some other variants that I calculated as well, but did not fit in my answer due to post size constraints:

30...♕e7 31.♗h4 ♕xh4 32.♕xe6+ ♔h7 33.♕f5+ ♔g8 34.♕f7+ ♔h7 35.♕xf8 ♕f4+ 36.♕xf4 ♘xf4 37.♖xe4 and my memory began to falter.

30...♕e7 31.♗h4 ♕xh4 32.♕xe6+ ♔h7 33.♕f5+ ♔g8 34.♕f7+ ♔h7 35.♖xd5 ♕f6 36.♕xf6 gxf6 37.♖d7+ ♗g7 and I would like to offer a evaluation, but I suck at endgames.

Jun-09-13  King Sacrificer: This is really insane. Congrats even if you've guessed only the first move.
Jun-09-13  lost in space: pfff, not even close.
Jun-09-13  James D Flynn: Material is equal but white’s pieces are heavily committed to the K-side and Black threatens fxe4 winning a N and Nxd4 winning a pawn and attacking the R on f3. White needs to take immediate action to counter these threats and to better coordinate his pieces. 28.Qg6(threats Qxe6+ and Bf4 when Nxf4 is answered by 30.Nf6+ Kh8 31.Qh7# and if 28….fxe4 29.Qxe6+ Kh7 30.Rxf8 and Black has no answer to the threats of Qg6# and Qg8#) Qe7(protecting the e6 and f6 squares)29.Bh4 Qxh4 30.Qxe6+ Kh7(not Kh8 31.Ng6+ wins the Q) 31.Qxf5+ Kg8(not g6 32.Qxg6+ Kh8 33.Rxf8#) 32.Qf7+ Kh7 33.Qg6+ Kg8 34.Rxf8+ Kxf8 35.Qf7#
Jun-09-13  awfulhangover: Very difficult first move, but the only insane was the terrible blunder 30.- Nf6?? instead of the easy move 30.-Qe7
Jun-09-13  Patriot: This has me perplexed. 28.Ng6 is interesting although not all that forcing. It simply deals with the threat 28...fxe4? 29.Rxf8+ Kh7 30.Rh8#. And 28...Qf7 29.Ng5 Qe8 30.Nxe6 Qxe6 31.Rxf5 has some holes. For example, ...Nf6 can be played potentially.

I'm not sure here and I've already spent too much time on this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black threatens 28... fxe4 and 28... Nxd4.

The weakness of the light squares around the black castle suggests 28.Qg6, threatening 29.Qxe6+:

A) 28... fxe4 29.Qxe6+ Kh7 (29... Kh8 30.Rxf8+ Kh8 31.Qg8#) 30.Rxf8

A.1) 30... Ne7 31.Re8 (31.Ng6 Rc8 (31... Nxg6 32.Qg8#)) 31... Rc7 32.Ng6 + -, with many threats (33.Rh8#; 33.Bxc7; 33.Nxe7).

A.2) 30... Nf6 31.Rf7 Rc7 32.Qxf6 wins a piece.

B) 28... Nxd4 29.Rc3

B.1) 29... Nxc3 30.Nf6+ Kh8 31.Qh7#.

B.2) 29... fxe4 30.Rxc1 + -.

B.3) 29... Rxc3 30.bxc3

B.3.a) 30... Nb5 31.Qxe6+ Kh7 (31... Kh8 32.Ng6+ Kh7 33.Nxf8+ Kh8 34.Qxf5 + -) 32.Qxf5+ Kg8 33.Qe6+ Kh7 34.Qg6+ Kg8 (34... Kh8 35.Nf7+ Kg8 36.Nxh6+ Kh8 37.Nf7+ Kg8 38.Neg5 Bxa3 (38... Nf6 39.Nh6+ Kh8 40.Ngf7+) 39.Qh7+ Kf8 40.Qh8+ Ke7 41.Qd8#) 35.Ng4 with the double threat 36.Nf6+ and 36.Nxh6+.

B.3.b) 30... fxe4 31.cxd4 Qe7 32.Ng4 Qg5 (32... Kh8 33.Be5 with the threat Nxh6-Nf7-Ng5) 33.Qxe6+ Kh8 34.Be5 Nf4 (34... Nc3 35.Nf6 gxf6 36.Bxf6+ wins the queen) 35.Qf7 Ng6 36.Nf6 - +.

B.4) 29... Re1 30.Nd6 Bxd6 (else Rc8) 31.Qe8+ Bf8 (31... Kh7 32.Rc8) 32.Nd7 looks winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DrNyet: That there's pretty deep... I don't care who ya are. (POTD)
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: In my line B.3.b, the simple 31... Nf6 seems to equalize.

Better look next Sunday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Practically impossible to solve.

For example, after 30...Qe7 31 Ng4 comes 31...Nf6, below, (instead of 31...Kh8) so now 32 Be5 is no good.

click for larger view

So after 32 Nxh6+ Kh8, then what?

click for larger view

Jun-09-13  Ezzy: <DrNyet: That there's pretty deep... I don't care who ya are. (POTD)>

I am Igor Nikolayev :-)

Borislav Ivanov would have found the solution

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Ezzy: ......Borislav Ivanov would have found the solution>

Not the one who plays the way I did on a bad day......the other, bang on!

Jun-09-13  jrofrano: <Ezzy> You are in fact NOT Igor Nikolayev. I know him personally. He'd probably be thrilled to know one of his games has made it to game of the day, it's quite an honor.
Jun-09-13  Eduardo Leon: <Jimfromprovidence> I analyzed that line too, although my original analysis was flawed. Here is a somewhat fixed version of it:

<30...♕e7 31.♘g4 ♘f6 32.♘xh6+ ♔h8 33.♘f7+ ♔g8 34.♘g5>

Now 34...e5? allows 35.♖xe4! ♖c5 36.f4, so black can only play...


click for larger view

To prevent 35.♗e5 and 36.♗xf6.

<35.♗d6 ♕xd6>

Not 35...♕e8 36.♕xe8 ♘xe8 (the ♗f8 is pinned) 37.♗xc5 ♗xc5 38.♖xe4 or 35...♕d8 36.♗xf8 ♕xf8 37.♘xe6 ♕b8+ 38.g3.

<36.♖xd6 ♗xd6+ 37.g3>

click for larger view

The ♙e6 is indefensible (37...♖e5 38.♕f7+ ♔h8 39.♘xe6). Black would like to stir up trouble in the 7th rank, but it does not seem like he has enough time to do so: 37...♖c2 38.♘xe6 ♖xf2+ 39.♔g1. And passive defense does not work either: 37...♖c7 38.♘xe6 ♖e7 39.♘xg7!.


In any case, the deleted posts that preceded this one showed that I failed to properly analyze the consequences after 37.g3, so I would not call today's puzzle a solved one. :-(

Jun-09-13  Eduardo Leon: The final addendum to my last post: 34...♕e8 loses to 35.♕xe8 ♘xe8 36.♖d8!.
Jun-09-13  savagerules: If Borislav Ivanov was here he would smirk condescendingly at you patzers and play a brilliant combination and announce mate in ten after a short reflection of 6.83 secs.
Jun-09-13  Eduardo Leon: <savagerules: (...) he would smirk condescendingly at you patzers (...)> Since I do not know him, I would give him the benefit of the doubt - he could be less of a dick than you are.
Jun-09-13  savagerules: Eduardo I'll leave the dicks to you. That should make you happy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: get smart...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <savagerules>: Ivanov the strong grandmaster would-of course you are right about that-but his alter ego would be hard put to beat a player of my strength.
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