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Oliver Kurmann vs Arkadij Naiditsch
Zurich Christmas Open (2014), Zurich SUI, rd 4, Dec-28
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Polerio Defense Bishop Check line (C58)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-11-18  SpiritedReposte: Wonder why white rejected 16.Bxg6?
Apr-28-19  stacase: I got the first five moves, how deep are we expected to see these Sunday dust-ups?
Apr-28-19  JimmyRockHound: Nice to see White play out the mate.
Apr-28-19  ASchultz: @SpiritedRiposte Bxg6 hg Qxg6+ Qg7 Qxd6 Nf4 and White's kingside is defenseless.
Apr-28-19  wtpy: This was pretty easy--think I would have played 18.. Rf3 in blitz, certainly in rapid. I thought Friday's puzzle was the hardest. My first perfect week in several months.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Not even Naiditsch could have analyzed every possible defense to a victorious end, so <stacase>, first five sounds good enough--esp. since I did the same!

Recognized at once that the position had arisen from the 4.Ng5 Two Knights Defense. Games like this might explain why 4.d3 has become so popular at the highest levels.

Apr-28-19  qkxwsm: pretty shocking difference in development
Apr-28-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: I went for 20 ... Qh4, which per the engine also wins big.

The core ideas to this puzzle were:
-- The first two moves.
-- The queen invasion.
-- White's weakness at h3.
-- The opening of the diagonal via ... e4.

The latter is key, because without it Black has insufficient material to bring the attack home before White can get lines opened up to defend.

I'm going to count this as one of my rare Sunday successes.

Apr-28-19  mel gibson: Stockfish 10 says:

18... Rxf3

(18. .. Rxf3
(♖f4xf3 d2-d3 ♖f3xf2 ♕e2xf2 ♗d6-c5 ♕f2xc5 ♕e7xc5+ ♔g1-h1 ♕c5xc2 ♘b1-c3 ♖f8-f2 ♖e1-g1 ♕c2xd3 ♗c1-h6 ♘d5xc3 b2xc3 ♘a5-c4 ♖a1-b1 ♔g8-f7 ♗h6-g5 ♔f7-e6 ♖b1-b7 ♖f2xa2 ♖b7-e7+ ♔e6-f5 ♗g5-h4 ♘c4-e3 ♖e7-f7+ ♔f5-e6 ♖f7-f6+ ♔e6-d5 ♖f6-f2 ♖a2xf2 ♗h4xf2 ♕d3xc3 ♗f2xe3 ♕c3xe3 g2-g3 ♔d5-e6 ♖g1-g2 ♔e6-f7 ♔h1-h2 ♕e3-d4 h3-h4 ♔f7-g7 ♖g2-c2 c6-c5 ♖c2-g2 a7-a5 ♖g2-a2 a5-a4 ♖a2-e2 ♕d4-d1) +9.66/35 68)

score for Black +9.66 depth 35.

Notice that White cannot take the Rook with the pawn.

19 gxf3 as per the bad text move.

Apr-28-19  goodevans: I've got to say I'm disappointed with this as a Sunday puzzle. The R-sac is pretty obvious and 19...Nf4 isn't the only winning follow up.

I didn't want to play 19...Nf4 because (a) I didn't want to further block the diagonal to h2; and (b) the N guards e3 which takes away some of white's defensive options.

I went with the straightforward <18...Rxf3 19.gxf3> (anything else and white's just down a piece) <19...Qg5+ 20.Kh1> (others lose instantly) <20...Qh4 21.Qf1 Rxf3>. White is just as helpless as in the game line, if not more so.

Apr-28-19  lentil: Good sportsmanship to allow the mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: What surprises me most about this game is White's 18th move. It just looks bad on GP.
Apr-28-19  schachfuchs: This wasn't really "insane" as black's advantage after accepting the exchange sac with

1. the beautiful undefended square f4 for the N, 2. the weak pawns on f3, f2, and h3 and
3. still the "shocking difference in development"

is too obvious.

But back to 15...g6: Did Arkadij get nervous for line 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Qxg6+ Qg7 18.Qxg7+ (18.Qxd6? Nf4 19.g3? Nxh3+...) Kxg7 (+0.23)?

Apr-28-19  sfm: When I saw the position I instantly thought "Black has much too much for the piece". Then I counted.

One of the most impressive differences in development I can recall on master level. Considering what you usually get in return for giving away a pawn in some gambit...

It is indeed insane.

Apr-28-19  Walter Glattke: Glattke Code I 39, 2 Knights game in backhand, 4.Ng5 too weak, Gambit with black advantage, I think … sudden death with 16.Qxf3 Rxf3 17.gxf3 Nf4 18.d4 Qg5+ mate next or 18.Kh1/h2/f1 Qh5 mate next.
Apr-28-19  Rama: Nice to see a 2-Knights, I had some great victories with it. Here I tried 18. ... e4, to clear the way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair and two pawns.

Black has five men to attack the white castle, starting with 18... Rxf3 19.gxf3 Nf4 20.Qf1 (due to the threats Nxe2+ and Qg5+ followed by mate) 20... Qh4:

A) 21.Kh2 e4

A.1) 22.Rxe4 Nxh3+

A.1.a) 23.f4 Nxf4+ 24.Kg1 Qg4+ 25.Kh1(2) Rf5 wins.

A.1.b) 23.Kg2 Nf4+ 24.Rxf4 (24.Kg1 Ne2+ 25.Qxe2 -25.Rxe2 or Kg2 Qh2#- 25... Qh2+ 26.Kf1 Qh1#) 24... Qxf4 (threatens Qh2#)

A.1.b.i) 25.Qd3 Qh2+ 26.Kf1 Re8 wins.

A.1.b.ii) 25.Qg1 Qxf3+ 26.Kf1 Bg3, with the double threat Bxf2 and Qd1+ followed by Rxf2+, looks winning (27.Qg2 Qd1#; 27.Nc3 Bxf2 28.Qg2 Qh5 29.d3 Bg3+ 30.Kg1 Rf2 wins decisive material).

A.1.b.iii) 25.Qh1 Qxf3+ 26.Kg(f)1 Qxf2#.

A.2) 22.fxe4 Nxh3+ 23.e5 (23.Kh1 Nxf2+ 24.Kg1(2) Qh2#; 23.f4 Rxf4 wins) 23... Rxf2+ 24.Qxf2 (24.Kh1 Nf4+ and mate in two) 24... Qxf2+ 25.Kxh3 Qxe1 wins decisive material (26.exd6 Qxc1 27.d7 Nb7).

B) 21.Re4 Nxh3+

B.1) 22.Kg2 Nf4+

B.1.a) 23.Kg1 Rf5 24.Rxf4 (due to Rg5+) 24... Qxf4 25.Qd3 (25.d3 Rg5+ wins) 25... e4 26.Qxe4 (26.fxe4 Qxf2+ 27.Kh1 Qh2#) 26... Qh2+ 27.Kf1 Qh1+ 28.Ke2 Re5 wins decisive material.

B.1.b) 23.Rxf4 Qxf4 looks similar to previous lines.

B.2) 22.Kh1 Nxf2+ 23.Kg1(2) Nxe4 wins.

B.3) 22.Kh2 Nf4+ 23.Kg1 Rf5 transposes to B.1.a.

C) 21.d3 Nxh3+ 22.Kg2 Rf5

C.1) 23.Re4 Nf4+ 24.Bxf4 (24.Kg1 Rg5+ and mate in two) 24... exf4 looks winning (25.Qa6 Qh3).

C.2) 23.Qa6 Qxf2+ 24.Kxh3 Rh5+ 25.Kg4 Qh4#.

Apr-28-19  eperepel: It seems that 19 .. Qg5+ is an easier win, e.g.

20 Kf1 Nf4 winning the queen
20 Kh1 Qh5 21 Qf1 Rxf3 with ..Rxh3 to follow

Apr-28-19  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

18.Rf1 e4 19.Nc3 h5 20.g3 R4f7 21.Nxe4 hxg4 22.Qxg4 Nc4 23.d4 Nf6 24.Nxf6+ Qxf6 25.b3 Na3 26.Bxa3 Bxa3 27.Rae1 Re7 28.Rxe7 Bxe7 29.Qe4 Kg7 30.Kg2 Ba3 31.c3 Rf7 32.Qd3 Qe6 33.f4 Re7 34.c4 Bd6 35.h4 a5 36.d5 cxd5 37.cxd5 Qe3 38.Qxe3 Rxe3 39.Rf3 Re8 40.Rf2 = (0.14) Depth: 25 dpa done

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Stockfish says 16 Bxg6 is the best move for white:

1) +0.35 (26 ply) 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Qxg6+ Qg7 18.Qxg7+ Kxg7 19.Re2 Bc5 20.Nc3 Nxc3 21.bxc3 Rae8 22.d3 e4 23.Kf1 Nb7 24.g3 exd3 25.Rxe8 Rxe8 26.cxd3 Be7 27.Be3 Nc5 28.Bxc5 Bxc5 29.Re1 Rxe1+ 30.Kxe1 Kf6 31.h4 Bb6

Aschultz, on your line, Stockfish agrees that 18 Qxd6 Nf4 is winning for black but white can improve with 18 Qxg7 ch.

I also thought 18 Rxf3 was obvious, as was the next few moves, but also not sure how far we are supposed to see.

Apr-28-19  hcgflynn: <ASchultz: @SpiritedRiposte Bxg6 hg Qxg6+ Qg7 Qxd6 Nf4 and White's kingside is defenseless.> Qxg7+ Kxg7 is not bad for white imo.
Apr-28-19  Pedro Fernandez: Nice and large combination by GM Naiditsch. Unfortunately for me I didn't see the move 21...Qh5‼. IMO, who saw this move the whole combination is not so hard.
Apr-29-19  Pedro Fernandez: <<hcgflynn>: Qxg7+ Kxg7 is not bad for white imo.> Of course <Mr. Flynn>!, but notice that the move given by <Schultz>: <16.Bxg6!> is out of this puzzle! and you follow this variation after <16...hxg6 17.Qxg6+ Qg7 18.Qxg7 Kxg7>. Didn't you realize that Kurmann commits the blunder when playing 18.Bf3?

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