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Dominik Orzech vs Natalija Popova
Rewal op 14th (2009), rd 4, Aug-24
Gruenfeld Defense: Botvinnik Variation (D95)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Yeah, it looks like mate in all lines

25.bxc3 Bxc3+

25.Qd2 Rcd3!

25.Qxe2 Rc1+!

25.Qb1 Rcd3

So perhaps 25.Qxc3 was unnecessary, but there was nothing better..

Aug-16-16  YouRang: Tuesday Black to move 24...?

click for larger view

First I noticed that 24...Rd1+ would be mate apart from the queen. No doubt black was willing to take a R+B for the Q to get this positional advantage.

So we want to deflect the queen, and best for that is <24...Rxc3!> (save the DSB for later because the DSB can give check)

click for larger view

White is hosed. Obviously 25.Qxc3 allows 25...Rd1#, but what else?

If <25.bxc3 Bxc3+>, then either 26.Qxc3 Rd1# or 26.Qd2 Bxd2#

Otherwise, it's <25.Qd2 Rxd2 26.Rxd2> giving back the queen for a rook, and it's resignable.

I see that the engines prefer <25...Rcc8>

click for larger view

This is the chess equivalent of laughing openly at your opponent's helplessness. The Q can't go anywhere, the K can't go anywhere, and black will mate at his leisure. But IMO, the simple ...Rxd2 is a wrap.

Premium Chessgames Member
  radtop: I always root for the lower rated player.
White made a couple of careless errors and black took advantage of them.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a rook and a bishop for a queen.

The queen stops 24... Rd1#. Therefore, 24... Rxc3:

A) 25.Qxc3 Rd1#.

B) 25.bxc3 Bxc3+ 26.Qxc3 (26.Qd2 Bxd2#) 26... Rd1#.

C) 25.Qb1 Rcd3 and mate in three.

D) 25.Qd2 Rxd2 26.Kxd2 Rd3+ - + [2B].

E) 25.Qxe2 Rc1+ 26.Qd1 Rc(d)xd1#.


A dubious option is to pile up on the d-file. For example, 24... Rd7 25.Qb3 Rcd8 26.Bd4 Bxd4 27.exd4 Rxd4 28.Rxf3 Bxf3 29.Qxf3.


Much slower is the simplistic 24... Rd1+ 25.Qxd1 Bxd1 26.Kxd1 Bxc3 27.bxc3 Rxc3 28.Rxf3 Rxa3 29.Rf6 Rb3 ends up a pawn ahead with the better ending.

Aug-16-16  saturn2: First idea was to double rooks on the d file. But rather quickly I realized Rxc3 yields the full point at once.
Aug-16-16  The Kings Domain: Not as easy as the rating would imply. I decided on 24)... Rd1 going for the exchange with black having the passed pawn. Good game, and a nice and clever puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Black also wins with 24...Bxc3+ 25. bc Rxc3

click for larger view

White will have to wriggle hard to stop the mate, and will only be able to do it at the cost of too much material.

I spent a happy few moments wondering whether to play Rxc3+ or Bxc3+. In the end I decided that 24...Rxc3+ was the more forcing of the two.

Aug-16-16  AlicesKnight: Try 24....Rxc3.

If 25.Qxc3 then ....Rd1#. If 25.Qb1 then Rcd3 and eventual ....Rd1#. If 25.Q any other away from the 1st rank then ....Rc1 or ....Rd1 is mate in 1 or 2 moves.

So 25.bxc3, but then ....Bxc3+ forces 26.Qxc3 upon which ....Rd1#.

Aug-16-16  zb2cr: Simple. Try 24. ... Rxc3.

If 25. Qxc3, Rd1#.

If 25. bxc3, Bxc3+ leaves White in the same position with a choice of 26. Qxc3, Rd1# or 26. Qd2, Bxd2#.

White could also try 25. Qxd2, Rc1+; 26. Qd1, R(either)xd1#.

Aug-16-16  dfcx: black can overload the white queen guarding both c3 and d1 with


A. 25.bxc3 Bxc3+ 26.Qxc3 Rd1#

B. 25.Qb1 Rd3 26.Rxf3 Bxf3 and mate soon with Rd1+

C. 25.Qxe2 Rc1+ 26.Qd1 Rcxd1#

Aug-16-16  gofer: <24 ... Rxc3>

25 Qxc3 Rd1#

25 bxc3 Bxc3+
26 Qxc3 Rxd#

25 Qxe2 Rc1+
26 Qd1 Rcxd1#/Rdxd1#

25 Rxf3 Rxc2
26 any move Rxd1#

25 Qb1 Rcd3 mating (i.e. Rd1# following shortly)

<25 Qd2 ...>

click for larger view

Okay, so white survives... ...but that is only like the <Black Knight> survives... ...without any arms or legs...

<I'm invincible!>

Aug-16-16  wierba: 25. Qd2 Rcd3
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: How to deflect the ♕ from covering d1 ...
Aug-16-16  YetAnotherAmateur: <gofer>

I'm not convinced white survives. About the best I can see for him: 25. Qd2 Rc1+
26. Qxc1 Bxb2 (Qd1? Rxd1#)

And now there's no way for the queen to stop both Rd1# and Bc3#, while the rook is stuck uselessly on the h-file.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw this one quickly; There are two foci: c3 and d1. White's queen holds both spots at the moment. All black needs is to force to capture at one square and the other is then open.
Aug-16-16  mriddle: <YetAnotherAmateur> Can white at least delay mate in this line by playing 27. Rxf3? then for example 27...Bxf3 Qb1 28. Bc3+ Kf1 Of course it doesn't really matter, it's hopeless for white in all of these lines, but fun to see if there really is a forced mate or not
Aug-16-16  Cheapo by the Dozen: My answer was


24 ... Rd1+ leads to a series of changes that end with Black a (passed) pawn ahead.

24 ... Bxc3+ 24 bxc3 Rxc3 leaves a poisoned rook, and at worst leads to the previous outcome with an extra tempo for Black (due to White's queen move on Move 25).

Much better is to flip the latter idea around into

24 ... Rxc3
25 bxc3 Bxc3+ with mate next.

Any alternative Move 25 for White loses at least a piece, with more pain to follow. Indeed, I suspect that 25 Qxd2 is the only way to avoid a quick mate.

Aug-16-16  Patriot: 24...Rxc3 25.bxc3 Bxc3+ 26.Qxc3 Rd1#

25.Qxc3 - lol, well that's one way to end it.

Aug-16-16  MaczynskiPratten: 24... Rxc3 is superior to 24...Bxc3. In the latter, after 25 bxc3 Rxc3, Black has a Bishop less than in the 24... Rxc3 line where 25 bxc3 and Qxc3 both get mated instantly.

After 25 Qd2, <YetAnotherAmateur>'s ingenious line 25... Rc1+ 26 Qxc1 Bxb2 seems to be partially met by 27 Qd2. Then Bc3! 28 Rxf3 Bxf3 29 Kf1 Rxd2 allows White to avoid mate for a few moves. So maybe the engines are right and 25...Rcc8 followed by Bxb2 and Bc3 is the quickest guaranteed way of mating White.

Aug-16-16  MaczynskiPratten: Also after 25 Qd2 I originally thought Rcd3 looked decisive (as suggested by <wierba>) but White plays 26 Qxe2 and struggles on a Rook down. This option is not available after 25... Rcc8 because Black always has Rc1+!

The whole game is entertaining too - nice Queen sac leading up to the final position.

Aug-16-16  Patriot: <MaczynskiPratten> The problem I have with Qd2 or Qxe2 is they don't attempt to refute 24...Rxc3--they just lose. Show me a move that is dangerous for black and then it may be worth looking at.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: Despite various suggestions and possible transpositions, the best move is 24. ..Rxc3 and black takes a piece for free. White can't reply bxc3 since Bxc3+ forces Qxc3 then ..Rd1#

< YetAnotherAmateur: About the best I can see for him: 25. Qd2 Rc1+ 26. Qxc1 Bxb2 (Qd1? Rxd1#) And now there's no way for the queen to stop both Rd1# and Bc3#, while the rook is stuck uselessly on the h-file. >

Funny you should mention that but the Stockfish 7 x64 solution is a mate in 7 with Qd2

101/39 11:08 682,833k 1,022k +M7 Rc8xc3 Qc2-d2 Rc3-c8 e3-e4 Bg7-e5 Rh3xf3 Be2xf3 b2-b4 Be5-f4 Qd2-d5 Rd8xd5 e4xd5 Rc8-c1+

personally, i don't worry about stuff that far out. I would be content with Rxc3 Qd2 Rcc8 and let white flounder from there. It is obviously lost for white.

Aug-16-16  RandomVisitor: After 10.c6 or 15.Nd4 white would be ok. Instead...
Aug-16-16  dufferps: White is probably doomed after 24. ... Rxc3. However, 25.Qb1 would have prolonged the game quite a bit and given white some breathing space. I see:
25. Qb1 Rb3 (threaten Rxb2)
26. Rxf3 Bxf3 (White's Q is overworked)
27. Qc2 Rxb2
28. Qc1 Bc3+
29. Kf1 Rd2 (Finally stacks rooks)
30. Kg1 Rd1+
31. Qxd1 Rxd1+ (Finally has to give up Queen)
32. Kh2 Be5+
33. Kh4 Rh1#
Thinking it through, I think black would do better to answer 25.Qb1 with ... Rcd3 (stacking his rooks immediately)
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: This was a good Tuesday puzzle. Two hot spots: c3 and d1. And Black's pieces are all focused on them. Very efficient.

24...Rxc3 is the way to go.

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