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Neo Zhu vs Alexander Shabalov
44th Eastern Open (2017), Tysons, VA USA, rd 1, Dec-27
Nimzowitsch Defense: Mikenas Variation (B00)  ·  0-1



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sac: 28...Rxg2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: 29...Bh3+
30. Kh1 Rxf2
31. Rg1+ Kh8
32. Rg3 Rf1+
33. Rg1 Qg5

Mate follows on next move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: White's poor king ends up naked and alone. Except for the e1 rook who is in the way, thus even worse than useless. Sad!
Mar-08-18  DarthStapler: I kept trying to make 29...Qg5+ work
Mar-08-18  Cibator: I went with 29. ... Bh3+, simply because the whole tactic (a sac on g2 followed by ... Bh3+) is so standard. Didn't bother to look for more elegant or shorter alternatives.
Mar-08-18  SpamIAm: <Dionysius1>, it is true that "Easy" usually means a two or three-mover. But in the case of this four-mover, all four moves require little calculation. First and second rook sacs have only one alternative, and that would be mate-in-one. The queen move allows for no alternatives, and then the bishop mates. To quote Lubosh Kavalek in a 1976 "Chess Life and Review" article, "the warehouse of furniture on the queenside has nowhere to go". There's not even a spite check available for white. That makes things... easy.
Mar-08-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4:

<13.Bxh5 gxh5 14.Qxh5 f5> 15.Bh6 Bxh6 + / = (0.68) Depth: 27


click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4

<15.Bg5 <Qe8>> 16.Qxe8 Raxe8 17.Rfe1 Ng6 18.exf5 Rxf5 19.Ne4 Nf4 20.Nac3 h6 21.Bh4 Kh7 22.Ra3 Kg6 23.Rb3 Bc8 24.Rb4 Rg8 25.f3 Rf7 26.Rc4 Bf5 27.Bg3 Nh5 28.Bf2 Nf4 29.Be3 + / = (0.70) Depth: 27


<if 15...Rf7>

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4: d 26 dpa

1. + / - (1.08): 16.c4 Qe8 17.Nc3 f4 18.f3 h6 19.Bh4 Bf8 20.c5 Rg7 21.Qxe8 Rxe8 22.cxd6 Ng6 23.Bf2 Bxd6 24.Nc4 Kf7 25.Nxd6+ cxd6 26.Rfc1 Ne7 27.g3 Rc8 28.Kg2 h5 29.Rc2 Bb5 30.Rac1 Bd3 31.Rd2

2. + / - (1.05): 16.Ra3 Qe8 17.Nc3 f4 18.Rb3 Rb8 19.f3 Rf8 20.Qxe8 Rfxe8 21.Bh4 Kf7 22.Bf2 Nc8 23.Na2 Bf6 24.Nb4 Ne7 25.Nd3 Nc8 26.g3 Rg8 27.Rc3 Bd8 28.Kg2 h5 29.Rh1 Bb5 30.Rd1 c5 31.dxc6

3. + / - (1.05): 16.Nc3 Qe8 17.Ra3 f4 18.Rb3 Rb8 19.f3 Rf8 20.Qxe8 Rfxe8 21.Bh4 Kf7 22.Bf2 Nc8 23.Na2 Bf6 24.Nb4 Ne7 25.Nd3 Nc8 26.g3 Rg8 27.Rc3 Bd8 28.Kg2 h5 29.Rh1 Bb5 30.Rd1 c5 31.dxc6

d 26 dpa

Mar-09-18  ACMEKINGKRUSHER: SHABALOV WINS EASTERN O P E N with a PERFECT Score of 7 WINS! This is ALSO a PERFECT Example of First Round MIS-MATCHES. It would have been a Miracle and we ALL would have heard about it already had NEO, with his mere 1923 Rating, BEATEN Shabalov with his 2544 Rating. What is the Rating Gain for that game for Shabalov? .00001? I see that NEO is now in the 2100's! I sure would have liked to have seen NEO WIN! GO KID!!! The ACME KING KRUSHER!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That 'mere 1923 rating' made White a better than average player already.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Dionysius1: If this should be categorised by as easy, folks, show me a few other puzzles provided by them, categorised as easy, in which mate comes in 4 moves. At the moment, I agree it should be medium. Claims that this should be marked "easy" aren't just the old fashioned "this was easy for me" showing-off are they?>

Your point is valid, and important. It is great if someone can see the ideas of such a problem. It is natural of course to feel good that one can solve these things, but it can be upsetting if you miss it.

Nothing in chess is easy. We learn, unless someone is a freak like those prodigies, how to do these combinations with a lot of practice. And what is easy on one day isn't on another.

Kudos to anyone even getting some of the ideas to these moves....But boasting is silly as no one really cares, for example, if I can or cant solve a problem (and a hell of a lot of them have me stumped, I frequently miss what everyone else see or finds "easy"...

May-23-19  lost in space: I found 28...Rxg2+ 29. Kxg2 Bh3+ 30. Kxh3 Rxf2 31. Rg1+ Kf8 32. Rg2 Qh5+ 33. Kg3 Rf3#

Not sure if this is best, but it is mate.

May-23-19  SpamIAm: I happen to love games with "Nimzowitsch's other defense" as 1.e4 Nc6 is sometimes called. However, this quickly becomes an offbeat variation of the Pirc/Robatsch (or even the King's Indian). Nevertheless, kudos to Shabalov for choosing it.
May-23-19  SpamIAm: <lost in space>, if one can sacrifice a rook and bishop, sacrifice even more! Here black gives up TWO rooks: 28...Rxg2+! 29.Kxg2 (otherwise mate follows with 29...R(8)f2 or 29...Qxh2) Rxf2+! 30.Kxf2 (otherwise mate follows with 30...Qxh2) Qxh2+ 31.Kf1 Bh3#. As Lubosh Kavalek once said while commenting on a different game, the warehouse full of furniture on the queenside has nowhere to go.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Recycled.
Premium Chessgames Member
  boringplayer: I think 29).. Qh2+ works, too. After 29)Kh2 Rf2, Black has the threat of 30) ..Rgg2. If White defends g2 with 30) Rg1, then 30)..Bf4+; 31) Kh1 Rg6, and the check on h6 is hard to meet. If White tries to block the h-file by moving the Nc3, then 31)..Rh6+; 32) Qh3 Bh3; 33) Rh3 Rh3: 34) gh3 Rh2#. Then again, I may have missed something.
May-23-19  LoveThatJoker: 28...RxP+! 29. KxR RxP+! (the point) 30. KxR QxP+ 31. K-B1 B-R6 mate LTJ
May-23-19  stacase: 28...Rxg2+ was screaming to be played. The rest was a mop up operation.
May-23-19  saturn2: I saw ...Rxg2+ 29. Kxg2 Rxf2+

30...Kxf2 Qxh2+ 31. Kf1 Bh3#

30...Kg1 Qxh2#

Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: 28...R:f2 should work (28...R:g2+ earlier post )

29.K:f2 Q:h2 30.Ne3 Qg3+ 31.Kf1
(31.Ke2 Q:e3+ 32.Kf1 Rf7# )

31...Rf7+ 32.Kg1 Q:e1+ 33.Nf1 R:f1+ 34.Kh2 Qh4#

May-23-19  patzer2: With the weakness of White's King position, the difficulty in today's Thursday (28...?) puzzle is finding a move which doesn't win. Stockfish 10 indicates there are seven moves here (28...?) which are clearly decisive (evaluations above 8.0 at 31 ply).

I looked at 28...Rxf2 and saw nothing better for White than 28...Rxf2 29.Kxf2 Qf4+ 30.Kg1 Rxg2+ 31.Kxg2 Qf3+ 32.Kg1 Bh3 33.Ne3 Bxe3+ 34.Rxe3 Qg2#. After visualizing mate-in-seven with 28...Rxf2, I didn't bother look at anything else.

Perhaps I should have. Stockfish 10 indicates the game move 28...Rxg2+ forces mate-in-four, while my move 28...Rxf2 forces mate-in-five.

P.S.: So where did White go wrong? I think it started early in the opening. After 2...d6?!, White missed an opportunity to dominate the center and build a strong attack with 3. d5 Nb8 (3...Ne5 4. f4 Ng6 5. Nf3 ± to +-) 3. c4 ± (+1.48 @ 29 ply, Stockfish 10).

However, other than giving Black an easier path to equality, there was nothing really bad about White's 3. Nc3 as he got a good position coming out of the opening. However, in the middle game he threw his advantage away with the pawn capture 19. exf5?, leaving his Knight on a5 in a bad position while developing Black's pieces for him (i.e. 19...Bxf5 =).

Instead, 19. Nc3 ⩲ to ± improves the position of White's bad Knight while defending the pawn and retaining White's advantage.

White's decisive mistake was the passive 19. Qd1?, allowing the decisive Queen fork 19...Qf4 -+ (-3.89 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10).

May-23-19  scormus: Play the double rook sac, it wins.
I don't see the sequence that many moves.
No, neither do I, but it wins anyway.
How do you know it wins then?
Of course it wins, these positions always do!
May-23-19  gars: A very beautiful checkmate!
May-23-19  Momentum Man: I got the first rook sacrifice but not the second one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <gars: A very beautiful checkmate!> I found the two rook sacrifices quite appealing.
May-23-19  patzer2: Correction: White's decisive mistake was 22. Qd1? allowing the Queen fork 22...Qf4 -+ (-3.89 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10).

Instead, 22. Nc3 = (0.00 @ 39 ply, Stockfish) holds it level.

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