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Hans-Georg Koch vs Rickard Dahlstrom
BdF/Bronze corr (2007) (correspondence), ICCF, Mar-15
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Yugoslav Attack Old Line (B78)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: The state of not knowing if pieces are protected or not.

Anyway, I got 24...Nxe4, knowing if 25.Nxe4, then the queen is won, but I missed the fact the d5 knight is guarded. I also didn't like 24...Nxe4, because then 25.Nf5+, and the queen is lost, although it's defended by the g-pawn. :|

OTB, I would've guessed correctly as far as 26...exf4, which is pretty good.

What do you guys think? IMPO, I think it's an easier than average Sunday.

Well, looking forward to Monday!

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: My idea was almost the same as the game line and might also be winning: 24...Nxe4 25. Nxe4 Bf5. If now 26. Qxh3, then 26...gxh3 27. Nec3 exf4 28. Nxf4 g5, and it's off to the races. The ♘ on c3 can't move because of ...Rxc2+.

If instead white plays 27. Ndc3, then black has 27...Rxc3!? 28. Nxc3 exf4. I don't think that wins, but the three connected passed ♙s look like a serious threat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: There goes my 13 day streak. Did see the game move, but did not see that Black wants to sacrifice the piece for passed pawns.
Aug-16-15  consul: What's the reason for 32. ♘xg2? (the question mark is just a simple question mark, not an evaluation of the move... lol)
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop and a pawn for a knight.

White threatens 25.Nxf6 Kxf6 26.fxe5+ Kxe5 (26... dxe5 27.Rxd7) 27.Qg5+ Ke6 28.Qxg6+ recovering the pawn with attack.

The possibility of creating two or three passed pawns leads to consider 24... Nxe4:

A) 25.Nxe4 Qxe3 26.Nxe3 exf4 and Black has a bishop and three pawns for two knights

A.1) 27.Ng2 Bf5

A.1.a) 28.Rxd6 Bxe4 29.Rxc6 (29.Rd7+ Kf6 30.Nxf4 Rxc2+ 31.Kd1 (31.Kb1 Rd2+ wins) 31... Rxb2 32.Rxa7 g3 seems to win) 29... Bxc6 30.Nxf4 Kf6 with a very likely won ending.

A.1.b) 28.Nc3 g5 protects f4 and mobilizes the pawn mass with good winning prospects [B+3P vs 2N].

A.2) 27.Nf1 Bf5

A.2.a) 28.Rxd6 Bxe4 is similar to A.2.a.

A.2.b) 28.Nc3 g5 as A.1.b.

A.2.c) 28.Nfd2 d5 29.Nc3 b5 30.a3 a5 and the threat b4 seems to give Black a large advantage.

A.3) 27.Nd5 Bf5

A.3.a) 28.Ne7 Bxe4 29.Nxc6 Bxc6 - + [B+3P vs R].

A.3.b) 28.Ne(d)c3 g5 as in A.1.b.

B) 25.Qxe4 Qxg3 26.Ne7 (26.fxe5 Bf5 looks crushing) 26... Qxf4+ 27.Qxf4 exf4 28.Nxc6 Bxc6 - + [B+3P vs R] with a won ending. For example, 29.Rxd6 g3 30.Rd1 (30.Rxc6 g2 wins) 30... f3 31.Kd2 f2 32.Ke2 Bb5+, etc.

I don't have time for more.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: One of the easier Sundays perhaps? Black forces an exchange of pieces to leave white fighting against connected passed pawns. <agb2002> has nailed the variations in far more detail than I ever could.

<consul: What's the reason for 32. ♘xg2?>

This is the position:

click for larger view

The white knight and rook are fixed in place defending against promotions. If the rook wanders off the g file, black will play g8=Q+. If the knight leaves its post, the threat is f2 with a choice of coronations on f1 or g1.

This means that Black will be able to advance his rook and king and win without too much difficulty. He even has outrageous moves like Rc4, because neither the knight or rook can capture it without allowing black to queen a pawn.

So white decides to give up his knight for two of the passed pawns with 32. Nxg2. It loses, but then again so does everything else.

Aug-16-15  Pedro Fernandez: Insane? Really? Until the move 33.Rxg2 I did reproduce exactly the position, after that I saw the solution. Note that 32.Nxg2 is easy to find.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: In the final position I am not seeing a win at all.

click for larger view

White has 38 Rh8, threatening 39 Rf8+.

This means black's rook has to move off the second rank, freeing up white's king. White's rook can now harass the king with checks, threaten black's a pawn etc.

Aug-16-15  BOSTER: <consul: what's the reason for 32.Nxg2?>. This is the mistake.
None of white pieces under attack.
So, following basic principles of play in ending
<do not hurry> and <centralization> white must play 32.Kd2.
I am not sure that black with 2 weaknesses
d6 and g6 can win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <JimFromProvidence> After 38. Rh8, why can't Black play a king move like 38...Ke5 or 38...Kg6? Can you post an actual line?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: After <35.Ke2> I couldn't make up a win for black.
Aug-16-15  patzer2: Here's my look at the game and the Sunday puzzle (24...?) with the Opening Explorer (OE) and Deep Fritz 14:

<1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4> This is the most popular move at this juncture in the Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack (B78).

The second most popular move and the Fritz preference is 9. O-O-O as in Caruana vs Nakamura, 2015.

<9... Bd7 10. O-O-O Rc8 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. h4> This is the most frequently played move in the OE database. It was once the favorite of Super GMs, but started to fall our of favor after
Anand vs Kasparov, 1995.

The second most popular move is 12. Kb1. It is more flexible and less committal than 12. h5, and is the Fritz first choice. Perhaps that's why 12. Kb1 is now the choice of Super GMs, as evidenced by Anand vs Carlsen, 2008.

The fact White wins more with 12. Kb1 than with 12. h4 doesn't hurt its popularity. The OE database shows White won 52.1% of 259 games with 12. Kb1, as compared to 42.6% of 371 games won with 12. h4.

<12...h5 13. Bh6> Here 13. Bh6 is the second most popular move. Most often played is 13. Bg5 as in Karjakin vs Carlsen, 2014.

The Fritz preference 13. Kb1, as in L Bruzon Batista vs V Cmilyte, 2012, is much less popular. This might be related to the fact Black has won more games (46.7% of 60 games in the OE) than White (33.3% of 60 games in the OE) after 13. Kb1.

<13... Nc4!> This strong move gives Black the best results of any try, with Black winning 34.2% and losing 31.6% of 38 games in the OE after 13...Nc4.

In the not so distant past, the most frequently played move was 13... Bxh6 as in C Aravindh vs J Herman, 2011. However, 13...Bxh6 is now out of favor, and has since been replaced by 13...Nc4 as the popular choice.

<14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. g4 hxg4 17. h5 Rh8 18. hxg6 fxg6 19. f4 e5 20. Rxh8?> This is the only game with this move in the OE. And rightly so, as 20. Rxh8? is a weak move which turns the game strongly in Black's favor.

Better is the Fritz choice 20. Nde2 = as in C de Holanda vs M Texeira, 1999.

<20... Qxh8 21. Nde2 Rc6 22. Qe3 b6 23. Nd5?!> This appears to facilitate Black's plan to simplify to a won endgame with connected passed pawns.

Better perhaps is 23. fxe5 when White can maximize resistance and fight for a draw against Black's isolated (i.e. no longer connected) kingside pawns. After 23. fxe5, play might continue 23...dxe5 24. Kb1 Be6 25. Ng3 Qh6 26. Qd3 Qh2 27. a3 Bc4 28. Qe3 Qh6 29. Qe1 Qf4 30. b3 Be6 31. Rd3 Nh5 32. a4 Qf7 33. Nd5 Nf4 34. Rd2 Rc5 35. c4 Nh3 (-0.75 @ 21 depth).

<23... Qh3! 24. Ng3 Nxe4!!> This initiates the combination which solves today's Sunday puzzle.

<25. Nxe4 Qxe3+ 26. Nxe3 exf4> Now Black's plan of sacrificing a piece for two connected passed pawns becomes clear.

<27. Nd5 Bf5 28. Rd4 f3 29. Ne3 Bxe4 30. Rxe4 g3 31. Rg4 g2 32. Nxg2>

If 32. Kd2, Fritz indicates Black wins after Rc4! 33. Rg3 Ra4 34. a3 Re4 35. Nxg2 fxg2 36. Kd3 Re5 37. Rxg2 g5 38. b3 Kg6 39. a4 Kf5 40. Rf2+ Ke6 41. Rg2 Kf6 42. Kd4 Kf5 43. Kd3 g4 (-1.92 @ 24 depth).

<32... fxg2 33. Rxg2 d5 34. Kd2 Rf6 35. Rg3 Rf2+ 36. Kd3 Kf6 37. Rh3 g5 0-1> White resigns this correspondence game, realizing Black has a won ending.

However, at first glance the win isn't so clear. Fritz had to get up to 21 depth before it found a decisive follow-up.

Fritz assesses it as a win for Black after 38. Rh8 Ke5 39. Re8+ Kf4 (-2.22 @ 25 depth) when play might continue 40. Ra8 g4 41. Rxa7 Kf3 42. Rf7+ Kg2 43. Rb7 Rf6 44. Kd4 g3 45. Kxd5 Rg6 46. Rf7 Kh3 47. Rh7+ Kg4 48. Rh1 Rg5+ 49. Kd4 g2 50. Rg1 Kg3 51. c4 Kf2 52. Rxg2+ Rxg2 (-6.96 @ 25 depth).

Aug-16-15  belgradegambit: 12...h5 was popularized by Andrew Soltis around 1969-1970 and this really should be called the Soltis variation. Like others I am at a loss to explain White's resignation in the final position. Even in correspondence let your opponent show his technique.
Aug-16-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: Black has B+P for a knight, with a passed pawn on g4. White threatens both 25.Nxf6 Kxf6 26.fxe5+ regaining at least a pawn, and 25.fxe5, which is probably best met by 25... Nh5 (25... dxe5?? 26.Nxf6 wins a piece). However, black can completely disrupt white's plan with

24... Nxe4!!, playing for an endgame where black's pawns become a steamroller:

A) 25.Qxe4 Qxg3 (threatening Bf5) 26.Nb4 (or Ne7) Qxf4+ 27.Qxf4 exf4 28.Nxc6 Bxc6 29.Rxd6 g3 is winning

A.1) 26.fxe5 Bf5 27.Q-moves Rxf2+ wins.

A.2) 26.Nf3 Qxf4+ leaves black 3 pawns up.

B) 25.Nxe4 Qxe3 26.Nxe3 exf4 27.Nf1 (Ng2 f3 looks worse) Bf5! (to tie down a knight) 28.Nc3 (Nxd6? Bxc2 29.Rd4 Bd3+ followed by Bxf1) g3 29.Kd2 g5 30.Re1 (Ke2 is met by Bg4+; Ke1 by g2) d5! and the double threats of Rh6 and d4 is impossible to meet. If 31.Nxd5 Rxc2+ 32.Kd1 Rxb2 is hopeless for white.

All I have time for, except a quick review. Certainly the passed pawn chain beats the knights.

Aug-16-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: I should have considered the more active defense 27.Nd5, but the plan behind black's play remains the same.
Aug-16-15  BOSTER: Playing vs computer.
32. Kd2 Rc4 33.Rg3 Ra4 34.Ke1, and white King moves to queen side.
Aug-16-15  BOSTER: Better to read king side.
Aug-16-15  patzer2: <BOSTER> If 32. Kd2 Rc4! 33. Rg3 Ra4 34. Ke1, Black wins with 34...Rxa2 when play might continue 35. Kf2 Ra1 36. b3 a5 (-2.31 @ 27 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Here, after 32. Kd2 Rc4!, White will have to give up a piece to stop the connected passers. In which case, one of Black's other passed pawn is probably winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: <whiteshark> I think that 35.Ke3 is even better than 35.Ke2
Aug-16-15  patzer2: <whiteshark> After 35. Ke2, Fritz 14 hasn't been able to find a win for Black.

One line played move by move to 20 depth or more on each move went 35. Ke2 Rf5 36. Rg3 Kf6 37. Ra3 Re5+ 38. Kf2 Re7 39. Rf3+ Ke5 40. Re3+ Kd6 41. Rg3 Re6 42. Rg4 a5 43. c4 Rf6+ 44. Kg2 dxc4 45. Rxc4 Rf5 46. Rc2 Rd5 47. Kf3 Ke5 48. Rc6 Rd6 49. Rc2 Kf5 50. Rc3 g5 51. Rb3 Kg6 52. Kg3 Kh5 53. Kh3 Rc6 54. Kg3 Rf6 55. Rd3 Re6 56. Rb3 a4 57. Rb4 a3 58. bxa3 Re3+ 59. Kh2 Rxa3 60. Rxb6 Rxa2+ (diagram below) (-0.64 @ 39 depth, Deep Fritz 14)

click for larger view

Although Black is up a pawn, the position is a table base draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Thanks for your efforts, <patzer2>.

I looked for an active plan, similar to Berliner's 31...Rc8 / 32... Rc7 Estrin vs Berliner, 1965 but it seems that in this game here, white's sound pawn structure on the ♕-side make the defence manageable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <whiteshark>, <patzer2>, <Jimfrom providence>

White still had a draw, I think until 37. Rh3?!

If, instead, 37.Rg4, then he can exchange enough of the Q-side pawns to hold the draw. A possible line is:

37. Rg4 g5 38. Ra4 a5 39. Rd4 Rf5 40. b4 Rf3+ 41. Ke2 Rf4 42. Rxd5 Rxb4 43. a3 Ra4 44. Rd6+ Kf5 45. Rxb6 Rxa3 46. Rb5+ Kf4 47. c4 g4 48. c5 Ke5 49. Rb6 Rc3 50. Rb5 a4 51. c6+ Kf4 52. Rb6 a3 53. Ra6 g3 54. Ra4+ Kf5 55. Kf1 Ke6 56. c7 Kd7 57. Ra7 Rf3+ 58. Kg2 Re3 1/2-1/2

click for larger view

Aug-18-15  patzer2: <Tiggler> After <37. Rg4 g5 38. Ra4 a5 39. Rd4 Rf5 40. b4 Rf3+ 41. Ke2 Rf4 42. Rxd5 Rxb4 43. a3>, Deep Fritz 14 finds 43...Re4+ (-2.22 @ 28 depth).

Don't know for sure if this wins for Black, but it appears to make it more difficult for White to draw this complex endgame.

In any event, 37. Rg4! is a best move which offers White excellent practical drawing chances, and, as such, is better than the game move 37. Rh3? which allows 37...g5! .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tiggler: <patzer2> You are correct. I also found other refutations of the line I posted. It is all about a few tempi. White needs to get his K to the g-file while competing on the other flank with the rook. Note this was correspondence play, so undoubtedly both players saw everything we see and more. Except, perhaps, for <whiteshark>'s 35. Ke2 .

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