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Kirill Alekseenko vs Alexander Grischuk
World Championship Candidates (2020/21), Yekaterinburg RUS, rd 8, Apr-19
French Defense: Steinitz. Boleslavsky Variation (C11)  ·  1-0



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sac: 36.Rxg7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Russians are really going out of their way to try and convince us they haven't fixed the Candidates. We reserve judgment!
Apr-19-21  Diana Fernanda: Miss Scarlett, but why don't we doubt the honesty of the players when they are Yankee, perhaps in the USA there are no murderers, gangsters or thugs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Americans are traitorous thieves. That's already been established. Don't get me started on the French.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Anyone else notice that this round featured two "poisoned b2 pawn" variations, both of which featured speculative sacrifices by White, both of which lasted 74 moves, and both of which ended in defeat for Black?

Quite an intriguing game. Should Black have played 48...Rc1 instead of Rc2? It appeared that in a few positions he might have benefitted from the ability to deliver a check on the d-file.

Apr-19-21  Nezhmetdinov: If 35...Rd6 and check, following the exchanges I guess white’s QRP just wins does it? Maybe Grishuk was hoping the opposite coloured bishops would save him with the line he chose. What bliss to see the two decisive games today: mind-boggling, fighting chess!
Apr-19-21  Nezhmetdinov: I don’t know: maybe black can hold in that line.
Apr-19-21  Nezhmetdinov: Ignore me: white’s rook on the 7th = death
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: A very interesting game, maybe a very-very tiny bit even more interesting than Caruana vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2021 itself! It needs tremendous analysis work, I cannot even guess what was the exact point where Black lost the (serious) drawing chances.

Truly very interesting, and it is even better: The 23 years old Alekseenko gave a nice answer to everyone who laughed at his participation in the Candidates.

Jan-15-22  Brenin: White's R on d1 is en prise, and Black also threatens Bxe5+. All I could see was 36 Rxg7+ Kxg7 37 Rxd3, but is the advancing e-pawn, supported by an attacking K, adequate compensation for the sacrificed exchange? It seems to give White chances, and to require careful defence by Black, but it doesn't look like a win to me.
Jan-15-22  TheaN: For this Saturday puzzle, I settled near instantly on <36.Rxg7+ Kxg7 37.Rxd3 a4> and was at this point looking how to improve the knight best. <38.Nd2> does in fact seem to be the best move. However. <=>, at best!.

Optically, White's more than fine after the exchange sac, having an outpost bishop supporting the passed e-pawn, but Grischuk gave this away. For a long time, the engine doesn't go from 0.

Of course, White doesn't have <better> on move 36 and it's the best practical try. Winning? Given the engine gives this 0 for a long time, doubt it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: It is obvious that 36.Rxg7+ Kxg7 37.Rxd3 is White's only way to survive, but it certainly doesn't give him the advantage.
Jan-15-22  Lambda: What a bizarre puzzle. A position with one single, obvious forced move.
Jan-15-22  Cheapo by the Dozen: What the previous posters said. I'm glad I didn't waste a lot of time on this.
Jan-15-22  mel gibson: White is in a dreadful position and the only
hope is a draw with lucky play.
The Rook on d1 is attacked.
The Bishop on d6 is attacked.
The pawn on e5 is pinned.
I chose the text move 36. Rxg7+
as there was nothing else to do -
material had to be lost.

Stockfish 14 says:

36. Rxg7+

(36. Rxg7+ (♖a7xg7+
♔g8xg7 ♖d1xd3 ♗b3-e6 ♘f3-g5 ♗e6-f5 ♘g5-e4 ♖d8-c8 ♖d3-b3 ♗f5xe4 ♔d4xe4 ♖c8-c2 ♖b3-b7+ ♔g7-g8 ♔e4-f3 ♖c2-c4 h2-h3 g6-g5 ♖b7-a7 ♖c4-a4 g2-g3 h7-h6 ♔f3-f2 ♖a4-d4 ♖a7xa5 ♖d4-d3 a3-a4 ♔g8-f7 ♖a5-c5 ♔f7-e6 a4-a5 ♖e8-a8 ♖c5-b5 h6-h5 ♗d6-c5 g5-g4 h3xg4 h5xg4 ♗c5-b4 ♖d3-b3 ♖b5-b6+ ♔e6-f5 ♔f2-e2 ♖b3xg3 e5-e6 ♖g3-g2+ ♔e2-e3 ♖g2-a2) -0.62/41 346)

score for White -0.62 depth 41.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got the first move, but not the next 28. Do I get credit for 1/29 of a point?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: **Coming Soon! **

Tata Steel 2022 Moves Prediction Contest. Conducted by the Legendary <chessmoron> and hosted at Graceland, home of Elvis. Click on Elvis for details.

Jan-15-22  Refused: The rook and the bishop are hanging. So obviously white has to start with 1.Rxg7+ Kxg7 2.Rxd3 next task on the to do list, get the knight to a better square (e4). So either Nd2 or Ng5 (depending on what black does) are logical follow ups.

I am not entirely convinced that trading the Bishop for that annoying Knight on e4 was the best course of action. Black has quite a few light square holes in his position. e6 in particular looks vulnerable, and the Bishop also denied the white King access to d5. If White ever gets to push the e-pawn things got get real ugly real quick for Black. So I am kinda struggling to come up with a good plan for black. White has good compensation for the exchange, no doubt about it. But not really a Puzzle position imho. White gets very good practical chances, but is not outright winning/clearly better.

Seeing the game continuation. I don't think Sascha has reacted/defended this one particularly well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: As everyone else has said, given that white's only real chance is to play 36 Rxg7+ and 37 Rxd3, this isn't really much of a Saturday-level puzzle. But it is much easier to criticize than it is to come up with a puzzle of appropriate difficulty, and I don't know how the powers that be manage. For what it's worth, The Computer really didn't approve of 61..Kh4 and preferred 61..Rh7, but that even then things didn't look good for black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: Also, 59..Kh5 might have been preferable. By all appearances this was a difficult endgame for both sides where the winning chances lie with white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

Black threatens Bxd1 and Rxd6+.

The only reasonable option seems to be 36.Rxg7+ Kxg7 37.Rxd3 to minimize losses.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parch: With a double threat of B:d1, and R:d6+

Gone with, 36.R:g7+ K:g7 37.R:d3 a4
38.Nd2 Bc2 39.Rc3

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Monster v it's auld Rxg7+ glock it's v arrive it's ointment blocked it's wood monster v it's auld it's vam it's woggle knick mystery tracy duffy v it's fib quip it's v help plight jet it's ale kin v it's mrs row it's vital dug z it's van chubby galaktic it's v adds gangways egg flow it's gg black gave it's o huh hood if it's v icile deaf fade it's c undress then it's vet doth culpa it is scar c if daft no x gram by it's viced it's pg eg either pronto on dettol it's v a mr a flush u v it is verdict bianca it's via def heath it's a bluff it's v a zoom pur flan bid x i gobble chic v it's dj it is volt it's v i do deft ah grub ho ooh length note v it's tt u r day go u boo v dr fo c it's v ru op i post v it's dr as throne it's via chakra chim cd frigates right c dean it is leg i x ha con a c ok it is c end fees it's v hook eg jail ball it is dr i c flicker rack relic luft it's v i deck x fan it's vet it's hire good brag decks v it's hug kind c do foot grail i no fig c tod it's i v ark lili bet no sleek nose it's v i kit ties iceberg par no fell rack jen sake loki see knowledge pa sh now like rikki tikki tavi an g7 it's kip brigadier likely re x lean din o Rxg7+ grub :)
Jan-15-22  Chris Bennington: So what was wrong with 58. e8=Qch?

White wins both rooks or black gets mated in every variation l see. What am l missing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Chris Bennington: So what was wrong with 58. e8=Qch? White wins both rooks or black gets mated in every variation l see. What am l missing?>

After 58....Rxe8 59.Rxe8 Rxe8 60.Kxe8

click for larger view

How does White win? Note that if you take both black pawns off the board and put the black King on a8 it's a book draw. Since White has to use his king to take the pawn on a4, White can't prevent the Black king from reaching the corner.

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