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Vassily Ivanchuk vs Vladimir Pechenkin
9th Edmonton International (2014), Edmonton, Canada, rd 5, Jun-25
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C14)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-26-14  luzhin: Great pawn sac (17.Na4!) and rook to follow! If 22...g6 23.Nxg6 is decisive.
Nov-11-14  ToTheDeath: Nice game.
Apr-19-15  mnowotny: Nigel Short war right: "Chucky is a genius!"
Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: One particularly nice move preparing the attack--13.a3! White knows that ...Nc6 will happen at anytime, and prevents a future ...Nc6-b4 harassing the Bd3 which must stay on that b1-h7 diagonal for a King side assault to succeed. 8...Nb6 does poorly enough in the database that it might qualify as a "?!" move. 12.Qd4 and 14.Qf2 keep the Black Queen tied to the Knight until it finally hops to c8--which blocks the Ra8 from the action.
Sep-24-15  TimothyLucasJaeger: I thought simply 21. ♗xf5 looked strongest.

21. ♕xf5 ♕xe3+ 22. ♔h1 ♕xd3 23. cxd3 ♘d6 appears to leave white better coordinated, but with no clear winning advantage.

I'd rather leave the material on the board while pressing the advantage.

Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is two pawns down.

Black is about to play Nd6, protecting the pawn on f5 and hindering the attack.

White has five pieces to attack the undefended black castle and the black rooks are disconnected. These details suggest 21.Qxf5:

A) 21... Qxe3+ 22.Kh1

A.1) 22... g6 23.Nxg6

A.1.a) 23... fxg6 24.Qxg6+ (or 24.Qxf8+ Kh7 25.Rf7#) 24... Kh8 25.Qh7# (or 25.Rxf8#).

A.1.b) 23... Nd6 24.Ne7+ followed by 25.Qh7#.

A.1.c) 23... f6 24.Ne5

A.1.c.i) 24... fxe5 25.Qh7# (or 25.Qxf8#).

A.1.c.ii) 24... Qxe5 25.Qh7#.

A.1.c.iii) 24... Rf7 25.Qg6+ Rg7 (25... Kf8 26.Qxf7#; 25... Kh7 26.Nxf7#) 26.Qe8#.

A.1.c.iv) 24... Qxd3 25.cxd3 + - [Q vs N+B] and attack (25... fxe5 26.Qxf8+ Kh7 27.Rf7#).

A.1.d) 23... Kg7 24.Qf6+ Kh7 (24... Kh8 25.Qh8#) 25.Nxf8+ Kg8 26.Qxf7+ Kh8 27.Ng6# (or 27.Qh7#).

A.1.e) 23... Qxd3 24.cxd3 is similar to A.1.c.iv.

A.2) 22... Qxd3 23.cxd3 (23.Qxd3 Bb5) with advantage. For example, 23... Nd6 24.Qf4 Bb5 (24... Bc6 25.Nxc6 bxc6 26.Qxd6) 25.Rf3 with attack.

A.3) 22... Rd(e)8 23.Qxf7+ Kh8 24.Qf8+ Rxd8 25.Rxf8#.

B) 21... g6 22.Nxg6

B.1) 22... fxg6 23.Qxf8+ Kh7 24.Rf7#.

B.2) 22... Qxe3+ 23.Kh1 transposes to A.1.

B.3) 22... Qxg6 23.Rg3 wins.

C) 21... Rd(e)8 22.Qxf7+ as in A.3.

Sep-24-15  gofer: <21 Qxf5 ...>

White threatens Qh7#

21 ... Rd8/Re8
22 Qxf7+ Kh7
23 Qf8+ Rxf8
24 Rxf8#

21 ... g6
22 Nxg6 Qxg6 (gxf6 23 Qxf8+ Kh7 24 Rf7#)
23 Rg3

Black has no alternative that doesn't lose immediately, except to follow the path of losing its queen...

<21 ... Qxe3+>
<22 Kh1 ...>

22 ... g6
23 Nxg6 Qxd3 (fxg6 24 Qxg6+ Kh8 25 Qh7#)
24 cxd3 (fxg6 25 Qxg6+ Kh8 26 Qh6+ Kg8 27 Rxf8#)

<22 ... Qxd3>
<23 cxd3 ...>


click for larger view

So what can black play now?

23 ... Be8
24 Ng6

23 ... Nd6
24 Qf4

24 ... Bc4
25 Nxf7

<23 ... Ne7>
<24 Qg4 Bc6>


click for larger view

White is starting to dominate, black has few squares to place its pieces and its looking harder to find good moves, but its still not over...

Sep-24-15  morfishine: I settled on <21.Qxf5> but in no way saw all the way to move 34
Sep-24-15  patzer2: Here's my look at the game and today's Thursday puzzle (21. ?) with the chessgames.com Opening Explorer (OE) and Deep Fritz 14:

<1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7> The game steers into a French Classical (C14).

<5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 a6 8. Nf3 Nb6!?> This is an infrequently played move with only 8 games in the OE. The most popular move with 234 games in the OE is 8...c5 as in Sutovsky vs Zhou Weiqi, 2009.

<9. Qd2 Bd7 10. Bd3 c5 11. Qe3> This move, which is Fritz's first choice, is the only game in the OE in which it was played.

In any event, 11. Qe3 improves over 11. dxc5 as played in A Shomoev vs A Iljushin, 2005.

<11... cxd4 12. Qxd4 Qd8 13. a3 Nc6 14. Qf2 h6 15. O-O O-O 16. Rae1 Nc8?!>

The Fritz suggestion 16... Rc8 = (0.00 @ 24 depth, Deep Fritz 14) appears to improve for Black.

<17. Na4 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxa4 19. f5!>

Too slow and good for Black is 19. Kh1? Bb5 20. f5 Nd6 21. fxe6 fxe6 22. Qe2 Rxf1+ 23. Rxf1 Bxd3 24. cxd3 Kh7 .

<19... Qb6> This natural move, looking to exchange off Queens with a level game after 20. Qxb6 Nxb6 =, may not have anticipated White's strong reply.

The Fritz choice is 19... f6. However, after 20. fxe6! fxe5 (20... Nd6 21. Ng6 ) 21. Qxf8+ Qxf8 22. Bh7+! Kxh7 23. Rxf8 Nb6 24. e7 White stands better as play might continue 24...e4 25. Rd8 Rc8 26. b3 Rc7 27. bxa4 Rxe7 28. Rd6 Nxa4 29. Rxd5 Rc7 30. Rd8 Nc3 31. Kf2 b5 32. Rd4 a5 33. Ke3 Ra7 34. Kd2 Rc7 35. Rd6 Rc5 36. g4 b4 37. axb4 axb4 38. Rd4 Rb5 39. h4 Rb7 40. h5 Rb8 41. Rf1 Rb7 42. Rf8 g6 43. Rfd8 gxh5 44. gxh5 Kg7 45. R8d6 Rb5 46. Rg6+ Kf8 47. Rxh6 (+ 3.69 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Sep-24-15  patzer2: <20. Re3!> This surprise reply is by far White's strongest.

<20...exf5> This allows the strong reply 21. Qxf5!

Putting up more resistance is the Fritz suggestion 20... Ne7 when play might continue 21. f6 Nf5 22. Bxf5 exf5 23. b3 Bb5 24. c4 dxc4 25. bxc4 Ba4 26. Nd7 Bxd7 27. fxg7 Rfd8 28. Re8+ Rxe8 29. Qxb6 Bc6 30. Rxf5 Re2 31. Qc7 Rxg2+ 32. Kf1 Rxg7 33. Rf6 Re8 34. Rxh6 Rg6 35. Rxg6+ fxg6 36. Qg3 Kf7 37. Kf2 (+0.72 @ 24 depth).

<21. Qxf5!> This solves today's Thursday puzzle.

Not good for White is 21. Bxf5? Nd6! when play might continue 22. Bd3 Rae8 23. Ng4 Ne4 24. Bxe4 dxe4 25. b3 f5 26. Nxh6+ Qxh6 27. bxa4 f4 28. Rb3 Rf7 29. Qd4 Qg6 30. Rh3 Qf5 31. c3 e3 32. Qb6 Qd3 33. Qc5 Rf5 34. Qb6 Qd5 35. Qg6 Ree5 36. Qh7+ Kf7 37. Qh4 Qc5 38. Re1 Rd5 39. Kh1 Qxc3 (-2.94 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

<21... Qxe3+ 22. Kh1 Qxd3>

If 22...g6 White wins decisive material after 23. Nxg6!f6 (23... Qg5 24. Ne7+ Nxe7 25. Qh7#; 23... Re8 24. Qxf7#; 23... Kg7 24. Qf6+ Kh7 25. Nxf8+ Kg8 26. Qxf7+ Kh8 27. Ng6#) 24. Ne5 Rf7 25. Qg6+ Rg7 26. Qxf6 Nd6 27. Qe6+ Kh8 28. Ng6+ Rxg6 29. Qxe3 Ne4 30. Qd4+ Rg7 31. Qxa4 (+15.91 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

<23. cxd3 Ne7 24. Qg4 Bc6 25. h4>

The Fritz preference is 25. Qb4 when play might continue 25...Ng6 26. Nxc6 bxc6 27. Qb7 Ne5 28. d4 Nc4 29. Qxc6 Rab8 30. Rf2 Nxa3 31. h3 Nb5 32. Qxd5 Rbd8 33. Qb7 Rxd4 34. Qxa6 Nd6 35. Kh2 Re8 36. Qa5 Re7 37. Rd2 Rxd2 38. Qxd2 Rd7 39. b4 f6 40. b5 Kf7 41. g4 Ke6 42. Qe2+ Kd5 43. Qf3+ Ke6 44. Qb3+ Ke5 45. Qc3+ Ke6 46. Qc5 Re7 47. b6 Nb7 48. Qc6+ Nd6 49. Kg3 Rf7 50. h4 Rb7 51. Kf4 Ke7 52. h5 Rd7 53. Ke3 Nb7 54. Ke4 Kf8 (+3.01 @ 24 depth).

<25... Ng6 26. Nxc6 bxc6 27. Re1 Ra7 28. Re3 Ne7 29. Rg3 g6 30. h5 Kh7>

If 30... Rb7, White wins after 31. Re3 Nf5 32. Re5 Kh7 33. hxg6+ fxg6 34. Re6 Rg8 35. b4 h5 36. Qg5 Rc7 37. g4 hxg4 38. Qxg4 Rgg7 39. Qg1 Nh4 40. Qf2 Nf5 41. Qh2+ Nh6 42. Qh4 Rcf7 43. Rxc6 (+2.10 @ 23 Depth, Deep Fritz 14).

<31. Qd4 Rb7 32. Qf6 g5 33. b4 Rc7 34. Re3 1-0> Black resigns in lieu of 34... Nc8 35. Kg1! when Black is in Zugzwang as he will lose decisive material on any move.

Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Oops, ♖e3's hanging. Nevermind...
Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Beside the text, white also had 26 Rxf7!?, threatening 27 Qxg6.


click for larger view

After the forced continuation 26...Rxf7 27 Nxf7 Kxf7 28 Qf5+ Kg8 29 Qxg6, white picks up a pawn.


click for larger view

Sep-24-15  dfcx: 21.Qxf5 threatening Qh7#

21...Qxe3+ 22.Kh1

A. 22...Qxd3 23.cxd3

B. 22...g6 23.Nxg6 and there is no defence left.

Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Despite the loss of a rook, the attack continues to build.
Sep-24-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has excellent mobilization as compensation for a two-pawn deficit. Black has no compelling threat, but likely plans Nd6 to bolster f5 and would definitely be happy to swap queens if white moves Re3. But white can go for the jugular immediately:

21.Qxf5!! is a temporary rook sac that exploits black's lightly defended king.

A.21... Qxe3+ 22.Kh1 g6? 23.Nxg6 Qxd3 24.cxd3 Nd6 25.Ne7+ Kg7/h8 26.Qf6+ wins a piece.

A.1.22... Qxd3 23.cxd3 (to maintain pressure on f7) Nd6 24.Qf4! Bg5 25.a4! Be8 (Bc6 26.Nxc6 bxc6 27.Qxd6) 26.Ng6! wins

A.1b. 23... Ne7 24.Qf4 Bc6 (Be8? 25.Qb4 Nc6 26.Qxb7) 25.Nxf7! Ng6 (Be8? 26.Nxh6+ wins) 26.Qf5 with advantage.

A.2 23... fxg6 24.Qxg6+ Kh8 25.Qh7#

B. 21... g6 22.Nxg6 Qxg6 (22... Qxe3+ 23.Kh1 transposes to A) 23.Rg3 wins.

B.1 22... fxg6 23.Qxf8+ Kh7 24.Rf7#

Time for review...

Sep-24-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: I wavered between 24.Qf4 and Qg4, picking the former. Not sure I see the flaw yet...
Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I saw it easily enough as a puzzle, but I doubt 21.Qxf5 would have even crossed my mind in a game.
Sep-24-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: First thought: 21.Qxf5, threatening mate on h7. But that drops the Re3 <with check>, so I discarded the move at once. After some fruitless search for a better idea I came to the conclusion that it has to be 21.Qxf5 after all.

Black grabs the rook, but after 21...Qxe3+ 22.Kh1 he is still threatened with mate.

A) He cannot cover h7, and giving room to the king by moving the Rf8 fails to 23.Qh7+ Kf8 24.Rxf7+ Ke8 25.Qh8#.

B) Blocking the diagonal with 22...g6 is also futile, because White can simply capture this pawn 23.Nxg6, renewing the mate threat (24.Ne7 and 25.Qh7#). Black must then neither recapture (23...fxg6 24.Qxg6 Kh8 25.Qh7#) nor move the Rf8 (24.Qxf7+ Kh7 25.Nf8++ Kh8 26.Qh7+), and so he can prevent immediate mate only by giving the queen, but after 23...Qxd3 24.cxd3 his position is hopeless.

C) Black's only chance is to sac the queen with 22...Qxd3. Material is then nearly equivalent, but White's position seems superior due to his still ongoing king-side attack.

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