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Vladislav Kudris vs Olga Stjazhkina
Petroff memorial open (2000), St. Petersburg RUS, rd 2, Feb-08
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Showalter Variation (D24)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I'm coming around to the opinion that there is a subtle distinction between the word "no" and "nah".

Stick with it please. The road may look empty at the moment, but there'll be some chess along in a wee while. Promise.

It's like this. My son, aka the best boy in the world, is now 12 going on 18. All sorts of strange changes are happening to him, some of which we don't really want to think about.

The one I want to talk about is his appetite. You see, like a magic trick or a Hollywood special effect, he is morphing from the fussiest eater in the world to a typical teen monster that could eat the world.

But there are still some foods that are taboo for him. Unfortunately, they are mostly the ones labelled as "healthy", such as many vegetables and nearly all fruit. Nigh on thirteen years of bribery, negotiation and coercion have got us to a repertoire of peas (petit pois not chip shop mushy -he is from Surrey), baked beans, sweetcorn and bananas. And I think the bananas are only there for comic effect.

No matter what we try, we cannot get him to try anything else. He has no problem trying new tastes as long as they are curries, the flesh of dead animals or some farinaceous matter smothered with copious amounts of chocolate.

But present him with an orange, a pineapple or a grapefruit and his instant reaction is "nah, I wouldn't like that."

Actually, I'm with him on the grapefruit thing. They have always struck me as oranges which have failed the sweetness audition and we only keep them around out of sympathy.

When he says "nah", he doesn't quite mean "no". He might try them one day, if they are smothered in a spicy sauce and his friends and/or a girl are present.

And that's the thing. A "nah" is nearly but not quite a "no". It's reserved for something so unlikely but not absolutely impossible.

Take today's POTD for example(see, I told you there would be some chess eventually). When I looked at the position I mentally classified several of the pieces as immobile. The Rf7 is in an absolute pin. The Bf6 is sort of pinned against the threat of Qxf7+. And the Bd7 is sort of pinned in place because we really don't want to allow white to join up his rooks on the seventh.

What I was really thinking was that moving the rook was a "no", and moving the bishops was a pair of "nahs".

And so I tricked myself into thinking that the only piece that I could move was the black queen. And that led me to this pile of pavement pizza: 22... Qa1+ 23. Kh2 Be5+? (Bc6 was still playable here) 24. g3 Be6

Which is frankly awful. Nearly as bad as some of the yoofchoob videos that the BBITW insists on watching.

The problem, I think, was that I thought the bishops were sort of pinned against nasty threats by white. So I only wanted to move them if they were making some form of counter threat or check. I didn't even look at 22...Bc6.

Nul points today. I was seduced into thinking that a "nah" was a "no".

Oct-06-13  gofer: This looks like one of the horrible composed puzzles that we get from other chess sites. But as this is <CG> we know better. But does that help?

I really only have a couple of candidates, but luckily most of them can be ruled out quite quickly.

Bxe7, Be5, Be8, Be6 and Kh8.

22 ... Bxe7
23 Qxf7+ Kh8
24 Qxe7

22 ... Be5
23 Qxf7+ Kh8
24 Rxe5

22 ... Be8
23 Rxe8+ Rxe8
24 Bxf7+ Kf8 ( Kh8 25 Bxe8 Qxe8 26 Qe4 )
25 Qa3+ Be7
26 Qb3

22 ... Be6
23 Bxe6 (it seems in most variations I can fathom)

So that just leaves...

22 ... Kh8
23 Rxf7

Hmmm, okay so I am no further forward...


Ahhh, I missed out Bc6 as a candidate, well that would explain a lot...

Oct-06-13  morfishine: Only when viewed from the Black side could I come up with a plan. The captures and re-captures are dizzying. Only one thing is for sure: Black is up a piece to start

(1) 22...Bc6 23.Bxc6 Qa1+ 24.Kh2 Be5+ 25.g3 Rxf3

click for larger view

(1a) or 22...Bc6 23.Bxc6 Qa1+ 24.Kh2 Be5+ 25.Rxe5 Rxf3 26.Bxf3 Qxe5+

click for larger view

(1b) 22....Bc6 23.Bxf7+ Kh8 24.Qxc6 Rd1+ 25.Kh2 Qf4+

click for larger view

PM: 22...Be6 never crossed my mind. It seemed better to pin White's WSB with 22...Bc6. In any case, I was able to eliminate 22...Be5 due to 23.Qxf7+ Kh8 24.Rb1 Qc2 25.Re1 Bd4 26.R1e2

PPM: Having read the posts, it looks like 22...Bc6 was better


Oct-06-13  Kikoman: <Puzzle of the Day>

wow!! As easy as yesterday's puzzle. The move >>> 22. ...Bc6 is crushing!!! :D

I love Sunday! ;Dv

Oct-06-13  Overgod: It took me about 10 minutes to find Bc6. I was shocked when I saw be6 on the board instead. I thought "huh? I thought I already calculated that this move doesn't work!" But to my relief, it was actually not the correct move. So, I was right all along.

It's a tricky calculation, but I picked c6 over e6, simply because I didn't see any dangerous checks by white. I saw a nice pin, back rank problems for white, and best of all, g7 was well protected, so the two rooks only LOOKED dangerous, but actually were not.

The only danger was the white queen, who was neutralized by Black's bishop. So, that bishop on f6 is doing tremendous defensive work for black, allowing him to ignore White's pseudo-threats and simply go for White's king.

The fact that black is already up a bishop makes the calculation a bit simpler; also, because black doesn't have to try to regain any material -- and even if he loses a rook, there are still attacking options available with the lovely bishop on c6 and the back rank.

So, all-in-all, a nice puzzle that was difficult, but not insane.

Oct-06-13  avidfan: So many pins and cross-pins to make you dizzy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I was going to play 22...Qa1+ 23.Kh2 Be5+ (discovered check and attack), but a pinned piece is pretty much powerless.
Oct-06-13  morfishine: Woops, I left the two pawns on g2 & f2 Black :(
Oct-06-13  lost in space: I found 22...Bc6 right away. but it took me a while to convince me that this is really wining....

First Sunday since ages.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Penguincw: I was going to play 22...Qa1+ 23.Kh2 Be5+ ...>

In a way, that is the idea but only after <22...Bc6 23.Bxc6...>.

22...Bc6!! 23.Bxc6 Qa1+ 24.Kh2 Be5+ ...

Oct-06-13  faroiden: I found 22..Bxe7 23.Qxf7+ Kh8 24.Qxe7 Re8 25.Qg5 And maybe i got a half point today..
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < faroiden: I found 22..Bxe7 23.Qxf7+ Kh8 24.Qxe7 Re8 25.Qg5 And maybe i got a half point today.. >

Nice: <25.Qxd7? Re1+ 26.Kh2 Qf4+ 27.g3 Qxf2+ 28.Bg2 Qg1#>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: After 22...Bc6, black has an answer for whatever white throws at her.

I looked at 23 Bxf7+ Kf8 24 Bb3?!

click for larger view

The idea is to get black to play 24...Bxf3??, which sets up a forced mate beginning with 25 Rf7+.

But black can easily sidestep that trap with 24...Qa1+

Oct-06-13  newshutz: This one was easy for me, because I started out analyzing white to move. It looked way to easy for a Sunday, then the lightning struck: BLACK to move.

Since I had already determined that the Bd5 was essential to white, it was fairly easy to see that pin/diverting it had to be the way. The rest was just visualization and calculation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one bishop ahead.

White threatens 23.B(R)xf7.

Since the white bishop pins the rook on f7, any threat against the white queen is not real, for example, 22... Qa1+ 23.Kh2 Qe5+ 24.Rxe5 Bxe5+ and 25... Rxf3 is impossible.

The idea of diverting the white bishop with 22... Be6 fails to 23.Bxe6 Rd1+ 24.Kh2 Be5+ 25.g3.

The only move seems to be 22... Bc6:

A) 23.Bxf7+ Kf8

A.1) 24.Qh5 Rd1+ 25.Qxd1 (25.Kh2 Qf4+ 26.g3 Rh1#) 25... Qxd1+ 26.Kh2 Bxb7, etc.

A.2) 24.Qb3 Qxb3 25.Bxb3 (25.Rxb3 Bxd5) 25... Bxe7 26.Rxe7 Rdf8 and Black will end up a piece ahead.

B) 23.Bxc6 Qa1+ 24.Kh2 Be5+ 25.Rxe5 Rxf3 wins.

C) 23.Rxf7 Bxd5 and 24.Rxg7+ Bxg7 25.Qf7+ is not possible.

Oct-06-13  torreAC: Pronouncing Stjazhkina is difficult than the actual puzzle
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Hi <Once>. However much it might embarrass him (and he need never know), I think "the best boy in the world" sounds great and he'll be fine. My nephew when he was 15 used to challenge me all the time about stuff. I couldn't understand him at all except by going back in my mind to what it was like to be trying to grow up in my own way. Then the strange stuff made sense - not to me, but to an odd reflection of what I had been. It got him a lot of leeway, and me a lot of piece of mind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: OMG, what a despicably nasty position!

The only move I could think of was 22 ... Bc6, its worth trying anything that tries to get the WLSB off the a2-f7 diagonal. It looks like a minefield anyway, but at least it wins after 23 Bxc6. Even so, I never magined it would be the right one :O

Oct-06-13  The Last Straw: I submitted this game. Now it has appeared! Hooray!!
Oct-06-13  peristilo: Well, what am I missing here?
Houdini says only 22....Bc6 is good, although not crsushing or anything since it only gives Black a small advantage(half a pawn) 22...Be6?? loses by a margin of more than 5 points! How come 22...Be6 is the solution? Can you guys explain me what is going on?
Oct-06-13  The Last Straw: Best play is a draw。
Oct-06-13  The Last Straw: <peristilo> No, the solution is in the annotations, in other words, it is 22...♗c6. 22...♗e6 was what really was played in the actual game.
Oct-06-13  peristilo: Ah! I see! Thanks, The Last Straw!
So the solution leads to a draw. It makes the problem even harder!
Oct-06-13  Patriot: I've been looking at this for quite a few minutes and I'm going with 22...Bc6. 23.Bxc6 Qa1+ 24.Kh2 Be5+ 25.Rxe5 Rxf3 is the idea. 23.Bxf7+ Kh8 leaves white in a predicament, but there is more to this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: This was IMO one of our most difficult Sunday puzzles ever.

I've been going over it with the computer for two days now, and still don't feel I have more than a superficial understanding of the complexities of 22...Bc6!! and its difficult follow-up.

The best-play line is apparently 22... Bc6!! 23. Bxf7+! Kf8 24. Qf5! (position below)

click for larger view

What makes it so difficult is not only finding a strong continuation from this position, but also in uncovering the difficult forcing moves leading up to it.

In particular, 22...Bc6!! is a very hard-to-find, best-play saving move for Black, while 23. Bxf7+! and 24. Qf5! are difficult saving moves (all others lose) for White.

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