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Veselin Topalov vs Wesley So
London Chess Classic (2016), London ENG, rd 6, Dec-15
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo (C53)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-22-18  RKnight: <Walter Glattke: 28.Nf1 parries the mate-at-once> Not so. 28...Ng1#
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: As a puzzle goes 19...f5 seemed like the only move to me. It activates an attack on f2 while getting the knight off the edge of the board. The possible number of lines after that seems a bit overwhelming.
Jun-22-18  patzer2: My failed try at today's Friday puzzle was 19...f6, after which I assumed 20. exf6 Nxf6 -+ was forced. The problem with 19...f6 is White can instead respond with 20. Ra4 = (-0.24 @ 20 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 20.?) and hold it level.

Better instead is the game move 19...f5 which forces 20. exf6 Nxf6 -+ (-3.12 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 20.?).

P.S.: As <Comier>'s posted computer anaylysis indicates, White's decisive mistake was in not capitalizing on Black's weak 14...g4? with the strong move 15. Nxc6 ± to +- (+1.55 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 9 analysis of move 15.?).

Aug-13-18  Honey Blend: Has Monday become the new Friday? Because this doesn't feel like a Monday puzzle at all.
Aug-13-18  lost in space: Goodbye. No interest from <CG> to correct this @#$%*&!#; so no interest from my side too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: (do people still come here)

Happy International Left Handers Day! Any southpaws (like me) on this site? How about lefties at the top of competitive chess?

Here's a Monday puzzle.

White to move

click for larger view

Solution will be posted later, if no one gets it.

Aug-13-18  ChessHigherCat: Hi Penguin,

Good Monday puzzle. B+N sac varies the program from the usual Q sac.

Aug-13-18  leRevenant: We love Mondays.
Aug-13-18  saturn2: <Penguincw> Nice puzzle
Aug-13-18  farticchio: Monday puzzle?
Very easy?
Aug-13-18  AugCos: Some days ago there were 3 stars for a very easy puzzle. Today one star for a difficult one.
The number of stars associated to puzzles is loosing its meaning.
Aug-13-18  leRevenant: To top it off, it wasn't so easy.
Aug-13-18  erimiro1: A new "very easy" level :-). 19.-f5 looked almost obvious, and the idea of pressing the B on g3 seemed natural, the rest was less simple to calculate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: <Penguincw: (do people still come here)>. I do and I am left handed although I would not appear in the same sentence as "competitive chess" (except this one). <lost in space: Goodbye> My view would be we should give <CG> time and space to develop their pieces. Meanwhile the randomness is quite exciting.
Aug-13-18  et1: Hello Penguincw: I am a leftie and I do not know of any lefhander who is really a top chess player. May be chess lacks imagination and creativity and we need it. Enjoy the day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Hi Southpaw, got the puzzle, nice one.
Aug-13-18  sfm: Monday, and no less than 5 Q-sacs available! This is the "Easy" thing - it is easy - very! - see that they are not exactly smashing.

What then? Black has very few moves that "does" anything at all. 19.-,f5 forces 20.exf and after -,Nxf6 a lot of things are clearly to happen, with -,Nh5 or -,Rf7 being worth considering. But I stopped thinking, as "I must have missed something simpler, Mondays can't be that complicated". Well, they can!

Thanks to Comier and Patzer2 for the interesting analysis. So, 14.-,g4 was weak, eh? But that move essentially won the game rapidly.

That's chess. A game of luck, but you have the power to greatly influence the odds along the way.

Aug-13-18  stacase: <Penguincw: ... Here's a Monday puzzle. White to move>

Bishop takes h7 check .... Knight takes f7 check forking Black's King and Queen.

Thanks for a nice & easy Monday Queen Sac.

Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Put up a Sunday puzzle, I don't think anyone attempted it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  transpose: Such an easy puzzle for a Monday morning. I shall now take up checkers. I think I remember how to play that game.
Aug-13-18  Walter Glattke: No sac, 1.Bxh7+ Kh8 2.Nf7#
Aug-13-18  Akabara: This was a very enjoyable puzzle!

White's black squares are super weak, that's the key thing in that position. There is some space advantage, and it's almost Zugswang for white, it's worth noticing in a puzzle.

The appealing sac
19... Bxf2?
20. Rxf2! Qe3? (in hope of pinning rook + getting the pesky bishop back) 21. Nf1! doesn't work, and in every line isn't very successful, due to this Nf1 being a monster of a defender.

So what's left? Positional play I'd say. White has one hope of relieving pressure, and that's playing on the kingside, specifically g4 is a target. This hints at

19. ...f5!

as a candidate move. Fortunately, it is also a compelling move. If white doesn't take it, he has no counter play (I tried 20. Ra4 d4 21. xd4 f4 winning at least a full bishop, with serious mate threat a limited white counterplay), and therefore has to engage into

20. xf6,

which has the advantage of opening a column for white (there's some play here) but black has now all his pieces playing, save for his Ra8. I tried to explore a bit 20.... Rxf6? (in order to double down on the mate threat) which didn't lead anywhere, I was more comfortable with the following

20..... Nxf6
21. Ra4

with some positional advantage. I was thinking maybe d4 here, the move Rf7 looks mysterious to me as it allows counterplay. The position looks very strong, but there's still some work to do, and it should be at least a thursday puzzle to understand what's going on at this stage.

Aug-13-18  Walter Glattke: 26.Qe5 27.Nf3 Rxf3 28.Qxf3 Nf1++ 29.Kh3(h1) Qh2# / 28.Bxf3 Nf1++ 29.Kh3 Qg3# Queen sac: 28.Rxc8+ Qxc8 29.Qd4+ Bxd4 30.gxf3 Ne2+ 31.Kg2 Qg3+ and mate next.
Aug-13-18  lzromeu: timezone trouble
Here in Brazil is still monday, not thursday neither friday. Where is the Queen sac?
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: Is it just me or is this the second Monday in a row that was awfully hard?
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