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Luke McShane vs Zaven Andriasian
European Blitz Championship (2017) (blitz), Katowice POL, rd 21, Dec-15
Sicilian, Closed (B23)  ·  1-0



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sac: 39.Qh6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-03-20  zb2cr: Forced mate in two, how sweet it is. 39.Qh6+, Kxf5; 40. Qf6#.
Aug-03-20  stacase: <Phony Benoni: There's Gotta Be A Mate In there Somewhere>

Yeah, and it took me way too long for a Monday to find it.

Aug-03-20  Walter Glattke: A) 39.Rg8+ Ng7 (A2 Kxf5 Qe4#) 40.Rxg7+ Kh5 (A3 Kxf5 Qe4#) 41.Qh6# A4) 41.Ng3+ mating B)39.Ne7+ Qxe7 C) 39.Nh4+ Kh5 40.Rg8 Qe7
D) 39.Qh6+ Kxf5 40.Qf6# surprise, surprise!
Kermit: applause, applause! (Also as A5 with 40.Qh6+)
Aug-03-20  Jamboree: It's kind of hard for white to AVOID mating black. Most legal moves by white lead to mate eventually, some sooner than others. 39. Qh6+ is the fastest, of course, but 39. Nh4+ leads to some comical mating positions too, as does 39. Rb8+, in only a couple extra moves, with more comedy value. Thus, I consider them "better" moves, since the goal of chess is to humiliate the opponent.

Since white is a piece and a pawn up with a better position, and black is caught in a mating web, white could make almost any random or passive move and still win anyway, so I wouldn't relaly deem this as a valid "problem."

Aug-03-20  saturn2: White has mate in 2.

39. Qh6+ Kxf5 40. Qf6 mate

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a bishop and a pawn up.

Quickest is 39.Qh6+ Kxf5 40.Qf6#.

Aug-03-20  Brenin: As Lady Bracknell almost said, the knight is immaterial (for the mating position, at least): 39 Qh6+ Kxf5 40 Qf6#. At four or five seconds, that took slightly longer than the usual Monday puzzle.
Aug-03-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: Strictly speaking, the solution starts with a sacrificial queen check on the h-file. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  boringplayer: So much for "Easy Monday." I went with 39) Rg8+ :(
Aug-03-20  Damenlaeuferbauer: Within just a few seconds, the very strong British grandmaster Luke McShane finally found the mate in 2 moves with the knight sacrifice 39.Qh6+!,Kxf5 40.Qf6#.
Aug-03-20  TheaN: Ah, new Monday puzzles on CG! "What does not win?". 39.Qg5+ is probably not great... oh Qf4 is worse as the knight comes closer to the White king as we..... oh we are supposed to play the winning move for White? Which of the ten?

I mean, jokes aside, I get this for a Monday as Qh6+ sacrifices something and it's a mate in two, but to use a blitz mate that could have been solved countless of ways as a puzzle is debatable at best.

Aug-03-20  TheaN: To put that into perspective, 39.h4 is apparently #8.

click for larger view

39...Rxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Qxd3 41.Qxd3 Nf4+ 42.Kg3 Nxd3 43.Ne7+ Kh5 44.Rg8 f6 45.exf6 h6 46.Nd5 Nc5 47.Nf4#

h4 might be a bit unfair as it keeps the Qh6+ threat alive and now Kxf5 40.Qe4# (the h-pawn actually has a job).

39.d4 is +4.5 after 39....Qxe3 40.Nxe3 Nxd4 41.Rg8+.

What actually does lose for White?

1) Pawn moves win as previously shown.

2) The bishop can't move.

3) The king moves all win as Black has no way to exploit them.

4) All knight moves win, including 39.Ng7 as this abuses the king's weakness on the open files: 39....Kxg7 40.Qg3+ Kh6 41.Qh4+ Kg6 42.Rg8+ Ng7 43.Qg4+ Kh6 44.Qxg7+ Kh5 45.Qxh7#

5) Typically, any rook move wins as well, sacrifices included, as White still threatens Qh6-Qf6. This includes 39.Ra8 Rxg2+ 40.Kh1!

click for larger view

White should obviously not take the rook as then Ra8 falls with tempo. Now, White is still threatening Qh6+, the Black queen has no checks on the back rank and any other desperado check from the rook just gets it captured anyway.

6) This really leaves queen moves, and the only ones that lose are those that throw her outright. Surprisingly however, the queen does have limited scope from a near-center square. The only squares for the queen that don't lose are c1, f3, g3, e1, e4 and the best move on the board, h6. Six out of 14 squares is rather limited.

Verdict: 8/42 moves lose, all queen moves. Ironically, the best move on the board is also a queen move.

Aug-03-20  mel gibson: There are 4 ways for a fast checkmate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: I don't like the pawn exchanges Black started after the a-file was open. How about 20 ... d4 instead?

As White, I fear the formation emerging from this opening. Black's queenside attack begins earlier than White's kingside attack and is hard to stop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: I meant to give the reason the pawn exchanges are bad: They give White almost as much room to maneuver as Black on the queenside.
Aug-03-20  BwanaVa: Regarding the opening...this is a Closed Sicilian, not a Kings Indian Attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: The Black King is forced into a mating net in the center of the board. I really enjoy that theme.
Aug-03-20  TheaN: <BwanaVa: Regarding the opening...this is a Closed Sicilian, not a Kings Indian Attack.>

Yeah. It's weird this is even flagged as a KIA, as that's noted in the CG database as 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3; A07 in particular arises after e4-d3-g3-Bg2-Ngf3-Nbd2-0-0 in whatever order. The knights on f3 and d2 are key, and White occupies <neither> square with a knight throughout the entire game. The pawn structure is similar, but that doesn't define the opening per se.

Aug-03-20  Walter Glattke: White can force a mate-in-eight with 39.h4, so better seeming black moves fail: 39.-Rxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Qb2+ 41.Kg3 and no escape, so the seldom move 40.-Qxd3 shows, how desperate the black position is in move 39!
Aug-03-20  King.Arthur.Brazil: I went on a different direction: 39. ♖g8+ ♔h5 40. ♕h6# , or 39...♔xf5 40. ♕e4#, or even 39...♘g7 40. ♕h6+ ♔xf5 41. ♕f6#.
Aug-03-20  Nullifidian: 39. ♕h6+ 40. ♔xf5 ▢ ♕f6#

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