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Alex Bullen vs Joe Fathallah
British Championship (2014), Aberystwyth WLS, rd 7, Jul-25
Saragossa Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

find similar games 40 more games of A Bullen
sac: 32.Rxd8+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: 31.Rd8+!

Like a Bullen a Fathallah shop.

Nov-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It's a slightly unusual back rank mate. Usually the idea is to overwhelm an entry point on the back rank. Today, the aim is to infiltrate on a second entry square, having used the first entry square to either exchange off the defending black rook or to block it with the black bishop.

Not hard, but took me a little longer than the usual Tuesday.

Nov-10-15  saturn2: black was so obviously lost after 30c5 (ok Qe5 was a desperate try), that it seems a bit respectless to urge white to play untill the final mate (except blindfold or blitz)
Nov-10-15  wooden nickel: The weaker sideline already pointed out by <Penguincw> is actually very interesting. The advanced passed pawn becomes a nuisance!
31.cxb6 Qxb5 32.Rd8+ Qe8 33.Rxe8+ Rxe8 34.b7 Kf8 35.Rc1 Na6 36.Rc8 Ke7 37.Ne3 Rd8


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Nov-10-15  RandomVisitor: 19...Ne4! with complications that might favor black. 17...Rbc8 is also an improvement.
Nov-10-15  patzer2: My first two thoughts looking at today's Tuesday puzzle (31. ?) were "Bobby Fischer teaches Chess" (i.e. a Novice Chess book about back rank mates) and "keep checking it might be mate."

With those clichés in mind, finding mate-in-three with 31. Rd8+, as detailed above by <agb2002>, was quick and easy.

Black's clearly decisive mistake was 25...Qb7? allowing 26. Qb7! (+3.10 @ 24 depth).

Instead, Black can make a fight of it by giving the King a bit of air (i.e. luft) and alleviating the back rank weakness with 25...h6 26. Qb5 (+0.89 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Earlier, instead of 19...b3 allowing 20. axb3 (+0.72 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14), Black could have grabbed the initiative and a slight advantage with 19...Ne4! = to (-0.30 @ 24 depth) Deep Fritz 14.

Playing out 19...Ne4! move-by-move with Deep Fritz 14, at over 20 depth per move, resulted in a Black win after 19... Ne4 20. Rhf1 Qf6 21. Kc2 Nd6 22. Kb1 b3 23. g5 bxa2+ 24. Ka1 Qf4 25. Rc1 Bxf3 26. Bxf3 Nf5 27. Qe4 Qxg5 28. Rfd1 Nd4 29. Rc3 Qf6 30. Kxa2 e5 31. Rcd3 g6 32. Kb1 Qb6 33. R1d2 Bb4 34. Qxe5 Nxf3 35. Qxb8+ Qxb8 36. Rd8+ Qxd8 37. Rxd8+ Kg7 38. Rd5 Nd2+ 39. Kc2 Ne4 40. Kd3 Nc5+ 41. Kd4 Ne6+ 42. Ke4 Kf6 43. Rb5 Bc5 44. f3 Bb6 45. f4 h5 46. b4 h4 47. c5 Bc7 48. c6 Ke7 49. f5 Ng5+ 50. Kd5 Nxh3 51. fxg6 Nf4+ 52. Ke4 h3 53. Rb7 h2 54. Rxc7+ Kf6 55. Rxf7+ Kxg6 56. Rxf4 h1=Q+ with Fritz announcing mate-in-nine.

No doubt White has improvements, such as the Fritz suggestion 19...Ne4! 20. Rd4 Bxd4 = (-0.21 @ 27 depth, Deep Fritz 14). However, the line indicates to me that Black missed his last best chance at winning or drawing by overlooking 19...Ne4!

Also, as <RV> observes the simple but strong 17...Rcb8 (-0.73 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14) improves over the enterprising but speculative exchange sacrifice 17...b4 18. Bxb1 = to (-0.33 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Nov-10-15  Chess Dad: It took me a lot less time than yesterday to see today's solution, even though this is slightly less forcing.

But in this case, less forcing only means that Black had a choice to lose one move sooner by capturing with the Bishop first.

Nov-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: A Bullen move!
Nov-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: <stacase: Why didn't Black [once he saw the impending mate] play 31...Bxd8 hoping White would follow with 32. Rxd8 and then slap his forehead really hard?>

This does seem psychologically possible to me. White might be so eager to triumphantly play his planned follow-up 32nd move that he neglects to notice what 31st move Black actually makes.

That would have been an extreme swindle!

Nov-10-15  varishnakov: I got it so fast that I traveled back in time.
Nov-10-15  1.e4effort: I saw this instantly, I don't know why it was so obvious to me today, other than some days are better than others
Nov-10-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: I found this tough for a Tuesday. It may have taken me a full minute. Maybe even more; it's not that easy to calculate whether White can ride out the counterplay after QxB. (Either he can't, or else his king has to run to at least the 6th rank to be safe.)

Eventually I realized it's a Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess kind of scenario ...

Nov-10-15  starry2013: Black doesn't seem to have a checkmate threat but the computer I played against did seem to find a perpetual. So the check has to be played and then the moves just seem to follow on, black not having time to open an escape square for the king.
Nov-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I was looking at taking the bishop- then I realized that when the bishop takes, the e8 square is open...therefore: mate in three!
Nov-10-15  AvidChessMan: I don't understand 17... b4. When is it better to exchange a rook for a bishop?
Nov-10-15  BOSTER: <PB; Bishops are lousy at guarding the back rank> . I don't think so. In many games the bishop on f8 is the perfect guard.

But bishop is special, his inability to move like rook made him different from what is usual.

Now about the game.

In the race black bishop vs white queen to reach the final line-back rank the bishop won, he ran first.

But when the white queen finished the race and looked at tabla, she saw black bishop -falstart.

Sometimes the victor is who finished second.

Nov-10-15  StevieB: Easiest puzzle I've ever seen here. Took me 3 seconds.
Nov-10-15  Alex56171: I have been unable to see that after Rd8+, the a4-e8 diagonal has became a free way to the white queen! A special case of blindness! Perhaps not so special...
Nov-10-15  HowDoesTheHorsieMove: My first thought was after Rd8 then BxR will let the Queen mate. It didn't take long to realize that taking with the rook only delayed the mate one move.
Nov-10-15  Bubo bubo: Black's back rank turns out to be insufficiently defended: 31.Rd8+ Rxd8 32.Rxd8 Bxd8 33.Qe8# or 31...Bxd8 32.Qe8#
Nov-10-15  bebgsurg: Why does the site let chrisowen babble on?
Nov-10-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <chrisowen> is not so bad if you have him on Ignore.
Nov-10-15  rahulthemoron: i am so relieved - i was under the impression that this chrisowen crap was some arcane community lingo intelligible to all but me...
Nov-11-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <rahulthemoron> <i am so relieved - i was under the impression that this chrisowen crap was some arcane community lingo intelligible to all but me...>

It is intelligible to only <chrisowen>.

Nov-11-15  patzer2: Correction: I meant to say "as <RV> observes the simple but strong 17...Rbc8 (-0.73 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14) improves over the enterprising but speculative exchange sacrifice 17...b4 18. Bxb1 = to (-0.33 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14)."

It is impossible for <17...Rcb8> to improve, as the move is not legal.

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