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Robert Hardarson vs Maxat Alaguzov
Olomouc Agentura 64 Cup IM-B (2007), rd 7, Aug-05
French Defense: Tarrasch. Closed Variation (C05)  ·  1-0



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Aug-07-15  dfcx: I can't get my eyes off f7 square. I first tried Rxf7 followed by Qxh7+, which does not work.

19.Rxf7 Kxf7

A. 20...Ke8 21.Qxh7 and black can't defend both the knight and rook while guarding f7/f8 square. For example, 21...Ne7? 22.Qxf7+ Kd8 23.Qxg8+ Be8 (forced) 24.Qxe8#

B. 20...Kg7 21.Qh6+ Kh8 22.Bf6+ Rg7 23.Qxg7#

C.20...Qf4 21.Rxf4+ wins

Aug-07-15  MindCtrol9: Not bragging when I say I saw Rxf7 almost instantly.The first thing I did was to take a look at the Bishop and white N.I don't like to run too much and seeing the black King that could be extracted from its place speculating with a pin,then I said to myself that 19.Rxf7 was the obvious move.When there is not enough defense to protect the king,then we have to think about that a tactical move is possible like in this game.I love humans playing because you can,sometimes,outplay your opponent or your opponent outplay you.Everytime I play a human I feel comfortable,but against a program what I get is upset.Sometimes,a program tells you something to do and is not completely right.There is a guy who played me with a program and I was lost.Nevertheless,his program did not see that me sacrifying a pawn I could get very good prospects for and endgame.I sacrificed the pawn just to not let a Rook he had to get to a square creating more pressure killing me.The guy lost because he followed strictly his program,but if he used his brain(May be does not have a good one)he could easily win
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has one pawn less.

Black threatens 19... Bxa4.

This threat, the weakness of f7 and the uncastled black king lead to consider 19.Rxf7:

A) 19... Kxf7 20.Rf1+

A.1) 20... Ke8 21.Qxh7

A.1.a) 21... Bxa4 22.Qxc7 Be8 (due to Qf7+ and Qxc5) 23.Qxb7 Rd8 24.Nxe6 Rd7 25.Qc8+ Bd8 (25... Rd8 26.Nc7#) 26.Nc7+ Rxc7 27.Qxd8#.

A.1.b) 21... Rf8 22.Qxg6+ Rf7 23.Qxf7#.

A.1.c) 21... Rh8 22.Qf7#.

A.1.d) 21... Ne7 22.Bxe7 Bxa4 (22... Bxe7 23.Qxg8+ Bf8 24.Qxf8#) 23.Qxg8+ Kd7 (23... Kxe7 24.Rf7+ Kd6 25.Qg3+ wins) 24.Qxa8 Bxe7 (24... Kxe7 25.Qf8+ Kd7 26.Rf7+ Kc6 27.Rxc7+ wins) 25.Qxa7 + - [R+N+2P vs 2B].

A.2) 20... Kg7 21.Qh6+ Kh8 22.Bf6+ Rg7 23.Qxg7#.

B) 19... Be7 20.Rxe7+ wins.

C) 19... Ne7 20.Rxe7+ wins.

D) 19... Bxa4 20.Rxc7 wins.

E) 19... Bxd4+ 20.cxd4 does not seem to improve anything.

Aug-07-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: Black's 21st wasn't the most robust defense, and I won't claim I worked through every alternative line -- but overall, this was one of the more accessible puzzles for this late in the week.

The correct answer was pretty much my second try after Qxh7, which I think survives and even prospers despite the dangers at h2, but obviously falls well short of the game line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's my look with the opening explorer and Deep Fritz 14:

<1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ngf3 Be7 8. O-O g5> This aggressive try is currently popular.

Another popular option is 8... a5 = as in
S T Ansell vs B G Smith, 2014.

<9. dxc5 g4 10. Nd4 Ncxe5>

A slightlty more popular alternative is 10... Ndxe5 = as in A Berelowitsch vs R Buhmann, 2015.

<11. Bc2!?> This takes the game into unexplored terriotry.

The popular move is 11. Bb5 = as in Smirin vs D Gordievsky, 2013.

<11... Bxc5 12. f4 gxf3?!> This not so obvious error is an automatic reply which gives White a deceptively strong advantage.

Instead, Black needs to try 12... Bxd4+! when play might continue 13. cxd4 Nc6 14. f5 e5 15. Nb3 h5 16. dxe5 Ndxe5 17. Nc5 f6 18. Bf4 b6 19. Ba4 bxc5 20. Bxe5 20... Bb7 21. Bb3 O-O 22. Bxd5+ Kg7 23. Bc3 Qd7 24. Rf4 Nd4 25. Bxb7 Qxb7 26. Bxd4 cxd4 27. Rxd4 Rad8 28. Rxd8 Qb6+ 29. Kh1 Rxd8 30. Qe2 Qc5 31. Rf1 Rd7 = (0.01 @ 23 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

<13. N2xf3 Nxf3+?> This appears to be the losing move.

Black can put up more resistance with 13... Ng6 when play might continue 14. Bh6 f6 15. Kh1 Qe7 16. Qe2 Nb6 17. Rae1 e5 18. Nf5 Bxf5 19. Bxf5 (+0.70 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

<14. Qxf3 Ne5 15. Qh5!> (+1.93 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14) and White has a winning advantage.

<15...Ng6 16. Bh6 Rg8 17. Bg5 Qc7 18. Ba4+ Bd7 19. Rxf7!> This solves today's Friday puzzle.

<19...Kxf7 20. Rf1+!> This is by far White's strongest follow-up.

Weaker but possibly still winning is 20. Qxh7+?! when play might continue 20...Rg7 21. Rf1+ Qf4 22. Rxf4+ Nxf4 23. Qh6 Rg6 24. Qh4 Bxd4+ 25. cxd4 Ne2+ 26. Kf1 Bxa4 27. Kxe2 (+1.22 @ 21 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

<20... Ke8 21. Qxh7 Nf8>

If 21... Ne7, it's mate-in-three after 22. Qf7+ Kd8 23. Qxg8+ Be8 24. Qxe8#.

<22. Qf7# 1-0>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A tough puzzle which is probably about right for a Friday. In human mode I crashed and burned, so had to turn to Fritzie to find out where I went wrong.

The question we have got to ask is ... just what is wrong with 20. Qxh7+?

According to Fritzie, this is what happens:

19. Rxf7 Kxf7 20. Qxh7+ Rg7 21. Rf1+ Qf4!

click for larger view

BANG! Didn't see that one coming. It's a defensive queen sac - a very rare beast indeed. The point is that 19. Rxf7+ was supposed to highlight the vulnerability of the black king. But as all these black pieces are flooding into the kingside, the dominant motif is actually the weakness of the white queen.

21...Nf4 is also possible, but is nowhere near as pretty.

Fritzie then continues:

22. Rxf4+ Nxf4 23. Qh6 Rxg5 24. Qxg5 Nh3+

click for larger view

Oh yes, a knight sac! Okay, so it's not really a sacrifice, more a line opening tactic. But it's another little bit of fun in this flawed line.

25. gxh3 Rg8

click for larger view

And when the dust settles, white's advantage will be just one pawn. Fritzie scores this as +0.85, but I'm not so sure. Those passed and doubled h pawns are not going to be much of an asset.

20. Rf1+ is much stronger because it forces the black king onto the back rank. This effectively keeps the Ra8 out of the game and also prevents Rg7.

So 20. Rf1+ followed by Qxh7 is a much stronger sequence than 20. Qxh7+ followed by Rf1. Wish I'd spotted it.

Aug-07-15  saturn2: I went for Rxf7 followed by Qxh7 and missed the possibilty of 21..Qf4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <20.Rf1+!> to employ the last piece in the attack. It's like a hot knife through butter along the f-file.
Aug-07-15  ColeTrane: ...when you have a tiger by the tail, you can't let'em go....
Aug-07-15  saturn2: @Once
19. Rxf7 Kxf7 20. Qxh7+ Rg7 21. Rf1+ Qf4 Rxf4+ Nxf4 23. Qh6 Rxg5 24. Qxg5 Nh3+

What about 24 BxBd7 instead of Qxg5? There remains also the threat Qxe6+. At least it seems better than getting the Queen forked after 24 Qxg5

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <saturn2> This is one of Fritzie's lines:

24. Bxd7 Bxd4+ 25. cxd4 Rxg2+ 26. Kh1 Rag8 27. Qxf4+ Ke7

click for larger view

White can't defend his Bd7, so we will be left with a queen fighting against two connected rooks. My old version of Fritz on a slow laptop is calling this +0.5 - a slight white advantage. But in practice I think this would be a hard one for white to win.

Unfortunately, white doesn't get time for Qxe6+.

Aug-07-15  morfishine: I had <19.Rxf7> 19...Kxf7 and visually found it hard to discriminate between 20.Qxh7+ & 20.Rf1+, mainly because I figured Black would interpose 20...Nf4 (not 20...Qf4)


Aug-07-15  saturn2: @Once Credit to you and Fritzie.
Aug-07-15  wooden nickel: I also know that hopeless feeling after neglecting to castle and realizing it's too late... Black was already lost a few moves ahead of the winning move 19.Rxf7. The preparing move 18.Ba4+ was a nice plan, the alternative move 18.Qxh7 may have been too tricky for me

click for larger view

In the variation of 18.Qxh7, if Rh8 19.Ba4+ Kf8, then 20.Bh6+!

Aug-07-15  Nick46: I'm on Phillip Island with the <Penguincw> - heady stuff. (ie I got the first move.)
Aug-07-15  Nick46: PS <wooden nickel> thanx for your kind words yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> After 20. Qxh7+ Rg7 21. Rf1+ Qf4 22. Rxf4+ Nxf4 23. Qh6 Rxg5 24. Qxg5 Nh3+ 25. gxh3 Rg8 (diagram below),

click for larger view

Deep Fritz 14x64 indicates it's probably a win for White after 26. Qxg8+ (+1.75 @ 23 depth) as play might continue 26...Kxg8 27. Bxd7 e5 28. Be6+ Kg7 29. b4 Bb6 30. Bxd5 exd4 31. c4 d3+ 32. Kf1 Bc7 33. Bxb7 (+2.25 @ 26 depth).

Fritz 14 deviates from 20. Qxh7+ Rg7 21. Rf1+ Qf4 22. Rxf4+ Nxf4 23. Qh6 Rxg5 with 20. Qxh7+ Rg7 21. Rf1+ Qf4 22. Rxf4+ Nxf4 23. Qh6 Rg6 (see my previous post here) which leaves the outcome more in doubt.

P.S.: I too missed with 20. Qxh7+?! instead of 20. Rf1+! . However I was happy to have found the initial move 19. Rxf7!

I was also consoled by the fact that 20. Qxh7+?! to , though missing the clearly decisive 20. Rf1+!, offers White an advantage with some winning chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Hey, there's another Rook where that one came from.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A quick and easy mate.
Aug-07-15  BOSTER: It looks very <natural> to play Bd7 in the pos. black to play 18...

click for larger view

But in reality this move cut the coordination between queen's side and king's side on the board, more exectly this move cut black queen from protection "f7" square.

Playing 18...Kf8 I guess that black king can escape to "d6",or if 19.Rxf7+ Kxf7 or Qxf7 cony. fighting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: <BOSTER> If 18...Kf8, then 19.Qh6+ Rg7 20. Bf6 seems to be winning... (by the way, your diagram is lacking one white rook in a1)
Aug-07-15  BOSTER: < penarol: 19.Qh6+ Rg7 20. Bf6- winning>. You beat me twice.
Thanks for remark.
Aug-07-15  Halldor: I needed two attempts for this puzzle today, still I didn't had to think long before looking at 19 Rxf7, but I did the silly mistake not to see that after KxR the Knight on g6 is pinned… But now when I had time for this again everything looked clear.

19 Rxf7 KxR 20 Rf1+
a) 20... Ke8 21 Qxh7 is hopeless for Black.
b) 20... Kg7 21 Qh6+ Kh8 22 Bf6+ and mates.
There are many variations here but I think I've seen enough to play this Rook sacrifice.

Aug-07-15  morfishine: <MindCtrol9> Nice commentary, I hope you stop by here often and contribute your thoughts


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Hardar Than It Looks.
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