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Viswanathan Anand vs John van der Wiel
Hoogovens (1989), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 7, Jan-21
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-01-07  PositionalTactician: In reply to RV and al wazir, I did an analysis with my Fritz, and it thinks that Black is able to escape the perpetual. Sorry, I don't know how to copy and paste the analysis here. However, from the analysis I have seen, the general plan is to move the king up the board and take shield behind the a-pawn or behind the queen and rook. When the king gets near the queen and rook, the queen and rook can move around to block the checks, and there will be chances of counter checks. Eventually, White will run out of checks, and once that happens, Black will start checking.

However, I agree that what RV suggested may be the best chance. Who knows, maybe a wrong move during the escape from checks might have given White a draw :)

Dec-01-07  malaya2006: why not 51...Rd3 immediately?

dzechiel, where was your post on how you make your analysis without looking at the solution first? i knew i read it before but was silly enough not to take note of it. thanks!

Dec-01-07  Cyphelium: <aruniitbombay> 48.- ♕d2 seems unnecessary in view of 49. ♕f7+ ♔h6 50. ♕f4+ ♔g7 (50.- ♔h7 or 50.- g5 both lead to draw by perpetual check) 51. ♕c7+

click for larger view

and now 51.- ♔f6? hits on 52. ♖f1+ which is probably winning, 51.- ♔h6 52.♕f4+ is the same position again and 51.- ♔g8 52. ♕c8+ ♔g7 53. ♕c7+ is a perpetual as well. So I guess 48.- ♕d2 blows a half-point.

Dec-01-07  HelaNubo: This was a really hard one, and I didn't get it, not even close. My line was simply 48... c2? (too simple for a saturday) and if 49. Rxc2 Re1+ 50. Kh2 Qxf2, missing the easiest 51. Rxf2, silly me. At a first look, 48... h4 was completely obscure to me, then I understood it, with the help of Rybka. The point is blocking g3 in order to make the queen check in e5 deadly efficient. The key line is: 48... h4!! and then e.g. 49. a4 c2! (now it is strong!) 50. Rxc2 Qa1+ 51. Kh2 (of course if 51. Qf1, Re1 ), 51.... Qe5+ 52. Kg1 Re1+ . 49...c2! is the killing move in all lines, with the exception of the played line 49. Qf7+; but it is easy to see that the Queen's checks are going to an endpoint. Really difficult and subtle puzzle, I had not found it in hours, not to say OTB. I wonder what is coming tomorrow.
Dec-01-07  HelaNubo: Another nice possibility is: 48.... h4 49. a4 c2! 50. Rxc2 and now 50... Re1+ along the line I had seen, but with a decisive detail: 51. Kh2 Qe5+! 52. g3 and now, thanks to the pawn in h4, it is possible the continuation 52... hxg3+ 53. Qxg3 Rh1+! .
Dec-01-07  Dr. J: Could someone analyze the defense 49 ... h4, 50 Kf1?

Like Kh1 (or Kh2) it breaks the potential pin on the Queen, but without unguarding it, and meanwhile brings the King closer to the passed pawn. The variation I then see are

A) 50 ... c2, 51 Qxc2
B) 50 ... Qd2, 51 Qxd2 cxd2, 52 Rd1
C) 50 ... Qd3+, 51 Kg1 Rd2, 52 Qf7+
D) 50 ... Qc4+, 51 Kg1 Rd2, 52 Rxc3

<HelaNubo> Great post. It demystifies the game continuation.

Dec-01-07  HelaNubo: <Dr. J:<HelaNubo> Great post. It demystifies the game continuation.> Thx, but it's Rybka/Fritz that deserve more credit. As to your interesting proposal 50. Kf1!?, it is always 50... c2! the killing tool: 49. Kf1 c2! 50. Qxc2

click for larger view

Re6! (The Rook must go to a rank where the Queen can defend it; for example: 50... Re7?? 51. Qf2 and white is better) 51. g3 (to make place for the king. If not: 51. a4 Rf6+! 52. Ke1 Qe3+. Of course, 51. Qf2 is now met by Rf6) 51... hxg3 52. Qc7+ Kh6 53. Qxg3 Rf6+ 54. Ke1 (54. Ke2 Qb2+, or 54. Kg2 Qd2+) 54... Qe4+ 55. Kd1 Rf1+ 56. Kd2 Rf3

click for larger view

and black wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 48.......Qd2 was too obvious a first move for a Saturday, though I spent a lot of time trying it. Would have never seen h4.
Dec-01-07  JG27Pyth: I actually got close on this one. I thought c2, calculated a bit (lots of little tactical threats around c2 that almost pan out) discovered I needed (aha!) h4... and after working out what happens with c2 followed by h4 I calculated that white would still hold, so I decided to check the solution wishfully thinking that my solution would be right and I'd missed some resource black had down the line in the combination -- what someone recently called "hope-based chess" -- the logical alternative would have been to examine other moves around h4, such as: starting with h4, duh. Ah well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Strange-white seemed to have it better;the material was even and black's king was more exposed. Never in a month of Sundays would I find h4 as the opening move.

Why didn't white just return the queen to f2? I'm stumped!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Dr. J: Could someone analyze the defense 49 ... h4, 50 Kf1?>

I think you mean 48. [not 49] … h4 49. [not 50] Kf1.

49. Kf1 is an excellent suggestion and definitely seems a better defensive try than 49. Qf7+ (as played by the 19-year-old Anand), but still insufficient as demonstrated by the excellent analysis posted above by <HelaNubo>.

Dec-01-07  clocked: Would it be better to make black win Q+R vs Q or Q vs R? For example, 49.Kf1 c2 and
50.Kg1 Qd1+ 51.Qf1 Rd3 52.Rxc2 etc or
50.Qxc2 Re6 51.Qf2 Rf6 52.Qxf6 etc
Do you have the technique to win either of these if you had black?
Dec-01-07  znprdx: The impulsive move ... 48.Qd2 allows White to draw with 49. Qf7 perpetual check

48...Qa7 with the threat of c2 because 49.Rxc3 is not playble due to Re1+ (obviously neither is Re1) Interesting then is 49.Rc2 Re1+ 50.Kh2 Qc7+ (Q-g3? Rh1+ ) forces 51.g3 the 7ply which point I have to set up the position (translation why I never made it to expert strength) a)...Qe7 unclear b)...Rd1 52.Qe2 Qd7 with the threat of 53.Rd2..”ah perchance to dream”

But unfortunately simply 49.Rf1 and Black has nothing, not even ..c2 50 Rc1 OK. This where you see it or you don’t – Grandmasters tend to see it – One could analyze for hours and yet never quite visualize the essential feature, the major one here is the pin and discovered check such that the ‘c’ pawn can advance. It is this type of position which establishes Chess as the ultimate board game.

My last try is 48...Qc5! Intuitely there is a zugszwang theme, however I’m not certain how I’d deal with White’s passed ‘a’ pawn OTB (which in part is why I opted for Qa7 initially) 49.Qf7+ Kh6 50. Qf4+ Kg7 (51. Kh1 c2!) 51.Kh2 g5! I’m done ...I’ve just lost on time again and looking forward to this one --------------OUCH allowing the Queen this sang-froid, beautiful

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <HelaNubo> <Another nice possibility is: 48.... h4 49. a4 c2! 50. Rxc2 and now 50... Re1+ along the line I had seen, but with a decisive detail: 51. Kh2 Qe5+! 52. g3 and now, thanks to the pawn in h4, it is possible the continuation 52... hxg3+ 53. Qxg3 Rh1+!.>

This is the most beautiful continuation. After 54 Kg2 then … 54 Rg1+. White must play 55 Kxg1 or be mated. Then 55… Qxg3+ completes the queen for rook exchange.

Again, the initial move to h4 is key, because no matter if black plays Qa1+ or Re1+ on move 50 in the sequence 48.... h4 49. a4 c2! 50. Rxc2, after white’s king escapes to h2 on move 51, and black’s queen checks on e5, the potential move g3 to block the check is always prevented by hxg3+. White’s king instead must retreat to g1. Then Re1+, Qxe1, Qxe1 wins the exchange.

Dec-01-07  Dr. J: <HelaNubo> I'll stand by my compliment. You did more than just copy the variation, you explained the key idea. And thanks for the excellent analysis of 49(yes!) Kf1.
Dec-01-07  newzild: Well, after an easy week in which I solved every puzzle in a few seconds, this one stumped me completely. I missed the zugzwang thing altogether. Great puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
<kevin86> <Why didn't white just return the queen to f2? I'm stumped!>

Again, it’s because black will still play 50… c2. If 51 a3 or a4 then 51…Qd1+! 52 Qf1 Rd3 53 Rxc2 Qxc2 wins the rook.

I don’t see a perpetual occurring in this position.

White can then chase black’s king around with a few checks but eventually black will force the trade of queens with either a check or through a pin.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's puzzle solution 48...h4!! prepares a passed pawn combination, with the specific threat of the winning advance of the c-pawn as a decoy sham sacrifice.

For example, as pointed out by <HelaNubo>, after <48...h4 49.a4 c2! 50. Rxc2 Re1+ 51. Kh2 Qe5+ 52. g3 hxg3+ 53. Qxg3 Rh1+> 54. Kg2 Rg1+ Black wins the Queen for a decisive material advantage.

The analysis by <HelaNubo> and <Jimfromprovidence>, along with the game continuation, is strong enough to convince me 48...h4!! wins.

P.S.: <RV> I assume <48...h4!! 49.a4 c2! 50.a5 Qd1+ 51.Qf1?> is not a Rybka suggestion, since, as <HelaNubo> points out, 51...Re1 wins immediately for Black?

<al wazir> Thanks for demonstrating why the tempting 48...Kg7 was not as strong.

Dec-01-07  black knight c6: Its tantalising to know I simply missed the last step of logic in that after analysing the ... c2 line all one needs to do is recognise the queen can't block the check anymore after ...h4 first. Oh well. interesting. Shows how one pawn in a different position makes all the difference.
Dec-01-07  znprdx: Fascinating...hours later and I'm certain there are still heads being scratched, beards being stroked, and likely hair being pulled out. Amazing no-one has even bothered to post what happens if 54.Rxc2
Dec-01-07  willyfly: I didn't get this one - not even close. I did not know how or where to start. I think the best starting question was posed by <dzechiel> <"How much does black want to prevent white from checking on f7?" It appears to me that after 49 Qf7+ Kh6 50 Qf8+ Kg5 that white has quickly run out of useful checks, and is subject to a most unpleasant discovered check.>

(IMHO) To understand this type of position is important because they arise often in games and the trick is to identify the key elements and then come up with moves to acheave that instead of simply looking for moves. I had had thoughts similar to what <dzechiel> said and it helps to get validation of my thought processes. In that sense I benefitted from this puzzle.

Dec-01-07  zb2cr: Put me down with the few who were seduced by the deceptive 48. ... Qd2. Looks so forcing...and I missed that it allows a perpetual.

Shame on me. :(

Dec-02-07  Manic: Hold on, nobody has really looked at RV's suggestion closely. It might not end up saving the game for white, but at least the possibility of perpetual check is there. Look closely at his/her line again:

<After 48...h4 49.a4 c2 50.a5 Qd1+ 51.Qf1 Rd3 52.Rxc2 Qxc2 53.Qf7+ white might be able to achieve perpetual check...>

51...Re1?? loses the game for black. Simply 52.Qxe1 and black can resign. So the line <RV> gives is probably white's best hope, even if it doesn't lead to a draw by perpetual.

<patzer2> What you failed to see is to distinguish between <HelaNubo's> line and <RV's>. <HelaNubo's> goes 48...h4 49.a4 c2 <50.Rxc2>, instead of 50.a5 (i think, because <HelaNubo> posted so much analysis I did not take a close look).

It's anyone's guess as to whether black escapes the perpetual or not in <RV's> line.

P.S. Btw, when I first looked at <RV's> line just before I posted earlier, I also thought 51...Re1 won, but knowing <RV> usually uses Rybka to analyse, I looked closely and saw 52.Qxe1, doublechecking the whole line with fritz to make sure <RV's> line had no other holes.

Dec-02-07  Manic: OK, I stand corrected. It seems that <PositionalTactician> did analysis and came to the conclusion that black can escape the perpetual. Though it would be extremely hard work to make sure in a tournament situation.
Dec-02-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <znprdx: Amazing no-one has even bothered to post what happens if 54.Rxc2>

Since I don't believe you missed a forced mate after the above move, I guess you're being sarcastic, right?

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