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Raja Panjwani vs Vassily Ivanchuk
9th Edmonton International (2014), Edmonton, Canada, rd 1, Jun-21
English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Hedgehog Defense (A30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-23-14  Edmontonchessclub: Nice rook sac by Ivanchuk.
Around move 32, both players started blitzing and the Arbiter had to remind them to write down their moves.
Jun-23-14  Everett: 38.Kh1 Qf3+ 39.Kh2 fxg3#
Jul-02-14  Ulhumbrus: After 22 f4 Black's e pawn is backward whereas White's c pawn is not. However White's king is more exposed to attack than Black's king is more exposed to attack and White's king in fact succumbs in the end to a mating attack
Aug-18-17  Walter Glattke: 34.Qxh6+ Ke7 35.Qxf4 Qe2+ 36.Kh1 Be3!
Aug-18-17  crwynn: What about 34.Qxh6+ Ke7 35.Qg5+ Kd7 (how else to escape checks?) 36.Qxf4 Qxe2+ 37.Kh1, is 37...Be3 38.Qf1 still winning? Or is there an alternative?
Aug-18-17  BxChess: <Walter Glattke:> 34.Qxh6+ Ke7 35.Qxf4 Qe2+ 36.Kh1 best continues 36...Rd1+ 37. Rxd1 Qxd1+ 38. Kg2 Qg1+ 39 Kf3 Qf2#
Aug-18-17  devere: An uncommonly interesting problem. After 32...gxf4! White's dangerous looking attack on the Black king amounts to nothing, while Black's attack on the White king cannot be stopped without ruinous loss of material.
Aug-18-17  diagonalley: wow... tricky, but brilliant... <diagonally>: nul points :-(
Aug-18-17  leRevenant: Raja's chook was pan-fried.
Aug-18-17  patzer2: Tough Friday puzzle position (32...?) for me, as it soon became clear the Black King was shut off from the protection of its pieces and would have to take a walk while trying to escape a King hunt and avoid mate.

To make matters worse, there's no safe way to avoid the Black King getting skewered and losing the Black Rook.

The best I could come up with was 32...Qe3 = (0.00 @ 28 depth, Stockfish 8) when Black loses the Rook, but is able to force a draw by perpetual after 32...Qe3 33.Qg6+ Kf8 34.Qxh6+ Ke8 35.Qh8+ Kd7 36.Rd1+ Kc6 37.Qxd8 Qf2+ 38.Kh1 Qf3+ 39.Kh2 Qf2+ = (diagram below):

click for larger view

I wonder if Black didn't see this possibility and think to himself "I could improve on this position and force mate if I had a pawn attacking g3."

Whatever the case, Black played the only winning move to solve our Friday puzzle with 32...gxf4!! As a result, we have almost the same identical King hunt with another miracle Black King escape to c6.

However, in the final position after 32...gxf4 33.Qg6+ Kf8 34.Qg7+ Ke8 35.Qg8+ Kd7 36.Rd1+ Kc6 37.Qxd8 Qe2+ -+, the Black f pawn attacking g3 makes the difference between drawing (previous diagram) and winning (diagram below)

click for larger view

as Black now forces mate-in-two after 38.Kh1 Qf3+ 39.Kh2 fxg3#.

P.S.: White's decisive mistake appears to be 31. Qh5? allowing 31...Qe4+ -+ (-2.20 @ 34 depth, Stockfish 8.) Necessary instead is 31.Qxd3 Rxd3 32. Rc2 gxf4 33. gxf4 ⩱ (-0.68 @ 37 depth, Stockfish 8) with drawing chances.

Earlier, the computer indicates that instead of 30. h3?! Qd3! ⩱ (-0.68 @ 37 depth, Stockfish 8,) White can keep it completely level with 30. fxg5 hxg5 31. h3 = (0.00 @ 33 depth, Stockfish 8.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: this was a puzzling puzzle, as black offered to exchange Q's (30. .. Qd3), implying the desire to limit white's options, and white refused (Qh5) in order to pursue an attack.

the combination of Qg6+ with the open DSB made me feel black had to initiate checks immediately, but there are none to be had! yet, in the context, pxf4 seems a temporizing move -- "go ahead and do your worst."

as in the ali-frazer fight, black absorbs the foreseeable but acceptable punishment in order to open e2 as the checking square: Qe2+; Kh1, Qf3+; Kh2, g3# ... and now the utility of the pawn capture on f4 becomes clear.

Aug-18-17  Marmot PFL: Credit to Ivanchuk, I didn't think his king would escape w/o perpetual.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White threatens Qg6+, Qxh6 and fxg5.

The first idea that comes to mind is 32... Bg1+ but after 33.Rxg1 Qc2+ 34.Rg2 Qxc3 35.Qxh6 Black looks worse.

Another idea is 32... gxf4, speculating with the sudden indefension of the white king if White eventually takes the black rook, for example 33.Qg6+ (33.gxf4 Qxf4+ 34.Kg2 Rd2+ seems to win) Kf8 34.Qf6+ Ke8 (34... Kg8 35.Qg7#) 35.Qg6+ Kd7 36.Rd1+ Kc6 37.Rxd8 Qe2+ 38.Kh1 Qf1+ 39.Kh2 Qg1#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black allows checks... but wins anyway!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: 32...gxf4 below, does not look like much but it does pack a punch, threatening a forced mate beginning with 33...fxg3+ 34 Kxg3 Rd3+.

click for larger view

I thought that white could try 33 h4 to give the king an escape square , but black can counter with 33...f3!, below with the threat of 34...Qe2+.

click for larger view

Nevertheless, no matter what the variation, it's surprising to see that white can not cause any real damage in this position.

Aug-18-17  ChessHigherCat: I was looking at 34. Bg7+ as a better alternative for white.

33. Qg6+ Kf8 34. Bg7+ Ke7 35. Qf6+ Kd7 36. Rd1+ Kc6 37. Qxd8

Now white is threatening mate in 1, so black has to win with all checks. Unfortunately, it seems he still can win:

36. Rd1+ Kc6 37. Qxd8 fxg3+ 38. Kxg3 f4+ 39. Kg4 Qf5+ 40. Kf3 Qxh3+ 41. Kxf4 Qe3+ 42. Kg4 h5+ 43. Kxh5 Qh3+ 44. Kg5 Be3+ 45. Kf6 Qf5+ 46. Ke7 Bg5+ 47. Ke8 Bxd8 48. Rxd8

Aug-18-17  ChessHigherCat: I think I found an improvement for black in the king hunt in my last line:

41. Kxf4 Qf5+ 42. Kg3 Qg5+ 43. Kf3 Qe3+ 44. Kg4 Qe4+ 45. Kh5 Qf5+ 46. Kh4 Bf2#

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