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Vasyl Ivanchuk vs Viswanathan Anand
Buenos Aires Sicilian (1994), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 3, Oct-??
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Open (B32)  ·  1-0



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Given 41 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

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sac: 31.Rxg7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-31-08  MiCrooks: Fritz 8 picked the Rook sac immediately as well. I dropped the position in to check out if there was a problem with my Qf6+ after Nf8 (the only move by Black that allows any kind of continuation).

Turns out Qf6+ is fine. I don't NEED to get the Rook in at h8 first. I didn't think so, but after seeing Chucky's moves I started to doubt myself :)!

After Qf6+ Kf7 Be4 is probably the best continuation anyway, but this is still not a transposition (though it could have been). The fact that Chucky didn't go for the same position lead me to think I might have missed something.

Jul-31-08  johnlspouge: <<Zorts> wrote: Can 32.Rxg7+ Kxg7 32.Bh6+ work?>

I did look at it, but decided probably not. The Qa2 gets to the a1-h8 diagonal to defend dark squares, augmenting Nf8's defense of light squares.

Jul-31-08  zb2cr: I saw the first three moves, but like <johnlspouge>, played 34. Qh6+ instead of 34. Be4. I had intended

34. Qh6+, Kf7; 35. Be4, Ra8; 36. Bxg6+, Nxg6; 37. Qh7+, Ke8; 38. Qxg6+, Kd7; 39. Bxa1, Qxa1; 40. Qf5+ and White is up by a Pawn and should win the endgame.

Jul-31-08  penguin496: What is white's move after

35 G5?

Jul-31-08  johnlspouge: Hi, <zb2cr>. I did not look so far ahead, and I have no access to computer analysis at work, but rather than 39.Bxa1,

39.Bb6 (threatening Qf5+)

seems to toast Black and justify the attack for mate.

Jul-31-08  MiCrooks: Oh, after Qh6+ instead of Be4 you get a much better game than a pawn up endgame!! Don't bail out so fast with Bxa1!!

I am in agreement with the line through Qd7 but then Bxa1 is a mistake! Qe4 is the best move in the position threatenint Qe6+, though others give similar results. The key point is that you keep the bishop to help weave a mating net that black will have to drop signifcant material to avoid.

For instance, e5 leads to mate in 3 after Rh7+. Qb1 is mate in 3 after Qe6+ etc. Black will eventually have to drop his rook to avoid it and still be in a bad position. Computer says best is Re8, but after Bb6! the evaluation is 4.75 or a whole rook down.

So the immediate Qh6+ is at least as good as Be4, since you can transpose into the same position after Kf7 Qh6. Chucky's move of Rh8 is equally as good, but no better than Qh6 objectively.

Jul-31-08  MiCrooks: Okay, having played around with Rh8 a bit more, it IS a better move gaining even more material faster, but both moves eventually win the house :)!

After Rh8 the "best" move is apparently Re1 sacking the Rook to distract the Queen! If that's your best move it's time to resign :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: Material is even. White has doubled rooks on the h-file and the two bishops. If the dark-squared bishop lands on d4 with a check at the right time, then it could be bad news for black. But white also has Bh6 as a possible continuation as well. Unless there is some specific tactical reason, it would probably be unwise to allow black to trade queens, since it is likely that the white queen will be needed here.

Candidates: 31. Rxg7+ or 31. Bh6.

31. Qd3 can be eliminated as a candidate move (for the time being at least) because ...Ne5 looks like a reasonable reply. Moving either of the two rooks to h6 doesn't make much sense either - initially anyway.

31. Rxg7 Kxg7
32. Bd4+ Ne5

I first thought about exchanging bishop for knight, but this doesn't make much sense. Then I looked at:

33. Qe3
and this move looks quite dangerous for black. It is hard to see how black will parry the threat of Qh6. I didn't work out absolutely everything, but I can't see the king, for example, moving out to f6 either now or later on. The black king just looks too exposed in the middle of the board. Retreating the king to g8 will lead to mate with the white queen and rook (after 34. Qh6.) And if black plays 33 ...Kf8 then 34. Rh8+ followed by 35. Qh6#. Maybe:

33 ...Rh8
now the exchange:
34. Bxe5+ dxe5
35. Qxe5+ f6
36. Qxe7+ (now that the rook no longer defends this pawn) 36 ...Kg8
37. Qe6+ Kg7
38. Rxh8+ Kxh8
39. Qxf6+ Kh7 (or else the g-pawn goes)
40. Be4
now the g-pawn will drop and even if black picks up the b3 pawn, I think that white will win. For instance 40 ...Qxb3; 41. Bxg6+ Kh6 (if Kg8 then 42. Qf7#) Bc2#. Of course any bishop move will actually do.

So I think this line is winning for white.

What about something other than 33 ...Rh8? I don't see that moving 33 ...f6 will help (white still has 34. Qh6+ which just looks like a mate with the queen and rook coming).

What about other alternative 2nd moves for black (instead of 32 ...Ne5)? Moving the king of course allows white to land checkmate with 33. Rh8#. Does 32 ...f6 will help the situation?

31. Rxg7 Kxg7
32. Bd4+ f6

Now what? Possibilities include 33. Qe3 or 33. g5 and even 33. Qe6. Initially Qe6 looks like it allows black to bring another defensive piece closer to the king with ...Nf8 but this actually backfires:

33. Qe6 Nf8
34. Bxf6+
moving the knight to f8 took away a defender for this pawn. 34 ...exf6
35. Qxe8

So it looks good if black moves the knight here. The other alternatives such as 33. Qe3 don't look as good to me if black defends with 32 ...f6 because it looks like 33 ...Rh8 is a more successful move in this case (or possibly 33 ...g5). (The difference here in comparison to a black knight on e5 is that the f6 point is a better guarded square.) Also 33. g5 - although it is a nice idea to attack the f6 pawn - allows black to trade queens.

So I think that if black plays 32 ...f6 that white should respond with 33. Qe6. Black likely will not move the knight to f8, but still the move looks good to me because it gets the queen away from being traded, and things like g5 are now threatened. Also it might be possible for white to move Be4, although I suspect that there are better moves like g5.

I haven't worked all of this out (the limits of my board vision are being challenged here), but I think I am seeing enough to find the the first few moves and to notice something of what is going on in this particular position. I did look a bit at 33. Bh6 - and maybe I am wrong - but I don't see that it promises much in comparison to 33. Rxg7+. Besides, why wouldn't black just take the opportunity to capture the h7 rook with the king if white decided to disconnect the 2 rooks with 33. Bh6? Also I don't think the bishop should try for this square (h6) later on as it makes more sense (depending on what black plays) for the white queen to go to the h6 square after shifting to e3 first. And I can't see any other promising first move alternatives.

To sum up:

31. Rxg7+ Kxg7
32. Be4+ f6
33. Qe6

or if 32 ...Ne5 then

33. Qe3 Rh8
34. Bxe5+ dxe5
35. Qxe5+ f6
36. Qxe7+ Kg8
37. Qe6+ Kg7
38. Rxh8+ Kxh8
39. Qxf6+ Kh7
40. Be4 etc...

Finally it looks like it amounts to the same thing (in this second line) to play 37. Rxh8+. In fact it is more of a forcing move. In any case that can be decided at the time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: In the ...Ne5 line, I saw that a ...Rh8 defence doesn't work - why wouldn't I see this in the 32 ...f6 line as well? Who knows. Also I didn't even really think about ...Nf6 as a move - have to go back again sometime and look at all this again.
Jul-31-08  Chess Guevara: <johnlspouge
33…Rh8 34.Rxh8 Kxh8 35.g5
The mate Qg7# will win for White.>

35... Qb1 :)

Jul-31-08  penguin496: What about 35 g5
36 Qh3 e5
Jul-31-08  penguin496: Oops nevermind, mate easily follows.
Jul-31-08  johnlspouge: <<Chess Guevara> wrote: <johnlspouge 33…Rh8 34.Rxh8 Kxh8 35.g5

The mate Qg7# will win for White.>

35... Qb1 :)>

I edited the variation order and lost the obvious interpolation

35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.g5

...Qb1 then loses. Thanks for pointing out the typo.

Jul-31-08  YouRang: Hmm, I sorta got it (I've been doing that a lot lately). :-p

I figured that to get my queen into a king-assault, I have to (1) not let black exchange queens and (2) get my queen to e3 (eyeing h6+). So, I need my bishop to vacate e3 *with check*, and the obvious way is 31.Rxg7+ Kxg7 32.Bd4+, after which black needs 32...f6.

Here, I decided to first get the exchange back with 33.Bxa1 Qxa1, and then 34.Qe3 (threat:Qh6+ with mating attack). I see now that this wasn't as good as the immediate 33.Qe3, but what's done is done...

Blocking with 34...g4 is no good since 35.Bd4 & 36.Rh7+ & 37,Qh3 looks pretty dangerous.

So, black's best would be to play 34...Nf8 to guard h7 and g6. But then 35.Qh6+ Kf7 36.Be4 (threat:Bxg6, displacing the knight and allowing my Q+R to invade). Black needs to give his king some room by moving the rook, say 36...Ra8.

And now the not-too-hard-to-see sequence: 37.Bxg6+ Nxg6 38.Qh7+ Ke8 39.Qxg6+ Kd7.

At the end of this line, about all I can really say is that white is better: Up 1 pawn, my pawns are more advanced, and I've got a more active queen and rook, and I wasn't in the mood to look further. :-)

Jul-31-08  johnlspouge: <<johnlspouge> wrote: Hi, <zb2cr>. [snip] rather than 39.Bxa1, 39.Bb6 (threatening Qf5+)>

Ironically, <Chess Guevara>'s suggestion of ... Qb1 <does> spoil this variation. Toga II 1.3.1 evaluates

39.Qe4 (threatening 40.Qe6+ 41.Qxe7)

39...Re8 40.Bb6

at +5.85 at 16 plies, however (with best response 40...Rg1+) :>{

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: Actually
31. Rxg7+ Kxg7
32. Bd4+ f6
33. Qe6
is not bad - not the best but still not lousy. Apparently, the best thing that black can do after Qe6 is to play 33 ...Nf8. So white at least ends up ahead in material after 34. Bxf6+, etc..
Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: <al wazir: To justify the sacrifice of the exchange (the obvious choice on move 31) you have to see farther ahead than two moves. I didn't. I might have played 31. Rxg7+ in blitz, but not in regulation time -- and not against Anand.>

Well if I played Anand (yeah fat chance!), then I don't think I would ever be lucky enough to get into such a position like the one here. But if the impossible happened, then sure, why not sac the exchange here against Anand? I mean how often would one ever get the chance? Besides, there is always the bailout move - Bxa1 - winning back the exchange :-)

BTW, I did play Pascal Charbonneau once in a simul. game. And he not only played Anand, but he beat the guy too! P Charbonneau vs Anand, 2006
Mind you, I didn't win my game against Charbonneau, but if I had I would have beaten the guy who once beat the world champ. A pathetic line of reasoning, isn't it :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: <Once: ...The other team's captain had spotted it, but of course he was not allowed to say anything. So he came round to my side of the table and started to note down the position in clear view of his player. The player initially looked puzzled - you can imagine him thinking "why is my captain noting down a clearly lost position?"

But this prompted him to look at the position in puzzle mode. He spotted the refutation and I had to resign.>

Did you complain about this? If so, what happened?

Jul-31-08  TheaN: 3.5/4

Harsh decision for myself and I have too as I thought 34.Qh6† with decisive checks and mate were unavoidable. The check itself wasn't indeed, but 33....Nf8, which I strangely did not consider, does hold off the Queen check. After the same move, however, White's attack is still overhelming, and Black's material edge won't budge it easily. I'm being fair however, I didn't consider the game line and I take a half point off.

Jul-31-08  TheaN: <Kasputin: <Once> Did you complain about this? If so, what happened?>

I agree with Kasputin here; making an official complaint would've been logical for you. I mean, maybe justifically the team captain does what's in his right, but still, a referee might oppose it and decide different.

Jul-31-08  zenpharaohs: ToTheDeath: "<30 ... Ra2> White would answer with the same combination as in the game."

Yes you're right. I wasn't paying enough attention. It appears that

30 ... Bf6

is a better choice for black.

Jul-31-08  ILikeFruits: ivan went to chucky cheese to vase vishy but not anand....
Aug-01-08  e4knightf3: Whites objective seems reasonably straight forward given this position, and that is to use tempi to run from the Black Q and advance into mating positions such as Qe3 and Qe6, especially when white can start by removing the key defender and bringing the dark squares into life for white. Even though i didnt work out clearly all the variations and refutations that lie head of Rxg7+, it would usually be a move that i would make purely by intuition/instinct in normal game play... which is not to say i dont attempt at working out the continuations, but i use my gut for confidence to make those moves when i have a slight feeling of doubt. Would any of you do this lol?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Kasputin> <Thean> The tournament controller agreed with me that it was a dubious thing to do, but decided that it was not a malicious or deliberate act by the other captain. So the game result stood.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's 31. Rxg7+! initiates a winning combination against Black's weakened castled position, and finishes off a well conducted King side attack.
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