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Jonathan Speelman vs Zurab Azmaiparashvili
ESP-chT (1994), Menorca ESP, Nov-??
Lion Defense: Lion's Jaw (B07)  ·  1-0



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sac: 25.Qxh5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-23-11  sevenseaman: <TuxedoKnight> A pleasant little puzzle I found very interesting.

There is the distraction of trying to play for the capture of Black Q but it takes the R away and a White win evaporates.

One has to focus on the mate rather than the material.

Apr-23-11  M.Hassan: "Very Difficult" White to play 25.?
White is a pawn behind.
I followed this line:

25.Qxh5 gxh5
26.Bh4+ Kf8
27.Bxe7+ Kxe7
28.Rg7+ Rf7
29.Rxf7+ Nxf7
30.Re1 Kd8
31.Nf6 h6
And White equalizes in strength!

Apr-24-11  TheBish: Speelman vs Azmaiparashvili, 1994

White to play (25.?) "Very Difficult"

Black is up a pawn, and 25. Bxf4 Nxf4 may win in the long run, but it's not the best move. My first instinct (even before looking at Bxf4) was Qxh5, to open up the file for the rook on g1 and a discovered check. It's a little complicated, but not "insanely" so!

25. Qxh5!! gxh5

This is probably the main line, but I'll come back to 25...Rxe4 if I have time.

26. Bxf4+!

My first thought was to play 26. Bh4+, but after 26...Qg7 27. Rxg7+ Kxg7 White just loses the exchange.


Or 26...Kh8 27. Bg5! with the idea of 28. Bf6+, or 26...Kf8 27. Bh6+ Ke8 28. Rg8+ Kd7 29. Rg7 Nf7 30. Rf1 Rf8 31. Rxh7 wins; 26...Ng6 27. Nxd6 also looks strong for White.

27. Nxd6+!

I looked for the longest time to find this (had been looking at 27. Ng5+ and 28. Ne6 but not convinced it works).


Forced, otherwise White wins the queen after 27...Kf8 28. Bh6+ or 27...Kf6 28. Bg5+.

28. Bxe5 Qxe5

Or 28...Qd8 29. Rg7+ skewers and wins the Bb7.

29. Rdf1+! Ke7 30. Re1 pins and wins the queen back, leaving White with a passed d-pawn and a won endgame.

That's enough work for a Saturday night! (Already Sunday on the East Coast.) I changed my mind; it's not a little complicated, it's a lot complicated! Nearly insanely so!

Aug-14-21  Brenin: 25 Qxh5 is almost irresistible, forcing 25 ... gxh5 (25 ... Rxe4 26 Bxe4 gxh5 27 Bxe5+ is deadly) 26 Bxf4+, e.g. 26 ... Ng6 27 Bg5 (or Nxd6?) Qe5 28 Nf6+, and with two of Black's pieces useless on the Q-side White's attack should be overwhelming. It's 1am and I'm too tired to work out the details: I see that others did that ten years ago, so I'll check what they wrote later.
Aug-14-21  Tiggler: Best clue to this puzzle is the name Speelman. Expect fireworks! So one has to try 25 Qxh5. After 25 ..gxh5, my first choice was 26 Bxf4+ (the game continuation). The reply 26 .. Ng6 looked difficult for white, so then I looked at 26 Bh4+ Qg7 27 Nf6+ Kg8(or Kg7) 28 Rxg7 Kxg7 29 Nxh5+ and capture of Rf4 with equal material and a continuing attack by white.

Any good?

Aug-14-21  Walter Glattke: A) 25.Qxh5 gxh5 26.Bxf4+ A1) 26.-Kh8 27.Bh6 Rg8 28.Ng5 Rxg5 29.Rxg5 ++- A2) 26.-Kf7 27.Ng5 Ke8 28.Ne6 Kd7 29.Rg7 Re8 30.Rxe7+ Rxe7 ++- A3) 26.-Kf8 27.Rdf1 Nf7 28.Bxd6 Re8 29.Bxe7+ Kxe7 ++- more various possibilities B) 25.Bxf4 Nxf4 26.Qd2 Qh4 27.Rdf1 +-
Aug-14-21  Walter Glattke: C) 26.-Ng6 27.Bxd6 Qd8 28.Rdf1 Rc8 29.Nf6+ Kg7 30.Nxh7 Qxd6 31.Rxg6+ Qxg6 32.Bxg6 Kxg6 33.Nf8+ Kg7 34.Ne6+ ++-various p. instead
Aug-14-21  geeker: The first 2 moves were easy to see, then it got complicated...
Aug-14-21  JCigan: I found this puzzle to be easy enough but I find White passing on 39. Rh8+ harder to understand. Yes I know it?s easily won regardless. But? a rook is a rook
Aug-14-21  drollere: i had the obvious 25. Qxh5 gxh5, 26. Bxf4+, and black has five responses which get into too many variations to bother with; although if 26 .. Ng6 i would play 27. Bxd6 and plan on Rf1 or Nf6+.
Aug-14-21  Caissas Clown: <JCigan> Yeah,that's what I thought,too. And indeed,the engine gives it as best. I am *guessing* that Jonathan overlooked it due to time trouble , *or* he eschewed 39.Rh8 check on purpose.Why? Because after 39..Kf7 40.Rxh8 Kxf6 , he was worried - especially with his K so far away - that it would be hard to stop the two connected passed pawns. I think it was likely a bit of the first - and a lot of the second.
Aug-14-21  mel gibson: That was hard - I missed it.
Sacrificing the Queen is a tough choice.

Stockfish 14 says.

25. Qxh5

(25. Qxh5 (♕e2xh5
g6xh5 ♗g3xf4+ ♘e5-g6 ♗f4-g5 ♕e7-e5 ♘e4-f6+ ♔g8-h8 ♘f6xh7 ♔h8xh7 ♗c2xg6+ ♔h7xg6 ♗g5-f4+ ♔g6-f5 ♗f4xe5 d6xe5 ♔c1-d2 ♔f5-e4 ♔d2-c3 b6-b5 ♖d1-e1+ ♔e4-f3 ♖e1xe5 b5xc4 ♔c3xc4 ♖a8-b8 b2-b3 ♔f3-f2 ♖g1-g7 ♗b7xd5+ ♖e5xd5 ♖b8-b4+ ♔c4-c3 ♖b4-g4 ♖g7-f7+ ♔f2-g2 ♖d5xh5 c5-c4 b3xc4 ♖g4-g6 ♖f7-f5 ♖g6-c6 a4-a5 ♔g2-g1 c4-c5) +8.15/38 499)

score for White +8.15 depth 38.

Aug-14-21  Dionysius1: I guessed the right answer with 25.Qxh5 gxh5 26.Bxf4+ but after 26...?g6 there were too many options for me to calculate anything conclusive. I went for 27. Bxd6.

It's a "White to play and create chances" kind of puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  raymondhow: Yay, I scored on a Saturday. I varied from the game line with 27 Bxd6, which the annotation says "is also good". Looks like the attack is just as strong, and I found it hard to resist gaining a protected passed pawn.
Aug-14-21  awfulhangover: 26. Bxf4+ or 26. Bh4+? That was a difficult choice. Patzer Awful choosed wrong, alas :(
Aug-14-21  Brenin: <JCigan>,<Caissas Clown>: 39 Bc3, instead of 39 Rh8+, is a clever choice, going into the endgame with K+B rather then K+R, since White's DSB, parked on the d8-h4 diagonal, is better than his R at preventing Black's K or K-side Ps from advancing. A typical continuation of the game might be 42 ... Kf7 43 Bg5 Kg7 44 Ka3 h4 45 Bxh4 Kh6 46 Kxa4, and White's K can mop up Black's Q-side Ps and advance his own, while the B captures the g-pawn once it looks like promoting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Toffeenose it ok key tankums Qxg5 greats key o accommodate key manages arrives it seem toffenose it ok key o tankums revellers loquacious keyim quagmire it diminish wobble bank it offer key i jekylls jumpy it hup z it evergreen alsace tubbed it dummy key wibble key o chop it Nh5 hubbubs key abracadabra mob keyanus Raf8 glucose gadflys abridge abled it axled it ok key i o jobsworth huffles flighter keyimas keyants addups hiccups heavier flusher affleck peter out play it whisker block it district it aloof it whorls Qxh5 edict;
Aug-14-21  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

Black is about to play Nxg3.

The rook on g1 x-rays the black king and the knight on h5 protects the rook on f4. These details suggest 25.Qxh5 gxh5 26.Bxf4+:

A) 26... Ng4 27.h3 wins more than enough material for the queen.

B) 26... Kh8 27.Bg5 and the double threat Bxe7 and Bf6+ wins decisive material.

C) 26... Ng6 27.Nxd6 looks winning. For example, 27... Rf8 28.Bxg6 Rxf4 (28... hxg6 29.Rxg6+ Kh7 30.Rh6+ Kg8 31.Rg1+ Qg7 32.Rxg7+ Kxg7 33.Nxb7 Rxf4 34.Rxb6 wins decisive material) 29.Bxh5+ Kh8 (29... Kf8 30.Rde1 wins decisive material due to Re8+) 30.Nxb7 Qxb7 31.d6 Qd7 32.h3 Rf8 33.Bg4 Qd8 37.d7, followed by aiming the rooks at e8, is winning.

D) 26... Kf7 27.Bxe5

D.1) 27... dxe5 28.Rdf1+ Ke8 29.Rg8+ Kd7 30.Bg4+ Kc7 31.d6+ wins decisive material.

D.2) 27... Qxe5 28.Ng5+ Kf8 (28... Ke7(8) 29.Rde1 or 28... Kg8 29.Nf3+ wins a piece; 28... Kg7 29.Nf3+ wins a rook) 29.Rdf1+ wins decisive material.

E) 26... Kf8 27.Bxe5

E.1) 27... dxe5 28.Rdf1+ as in D.1.

E.2) 27... Qxe5 28.Rdf1+ Ke7(8) 29.Rde1 and the threat Nxc5 seems to win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: at the marche no?
Aug-14-21  agb2002: I missed a mate in two in C: 29.Bf7+ instead of 29.Bxh5+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Chess is number 1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Like everyone I got 25 Qxh4 Pxh4 26 Bxf4, figuring I got a Rook and Knight for a queen, effectively materially similar to a pawn sack. After 26 .... Ng6 I felt white had a strong attack against the pinned knight.

I figured opening up the king this way and the follow up was a lot better than 25 Bxf4 Nxf4.

I deviated from the game with 27 Nxd6, which Stockfish scores at a little under +5 so I suspect good enough to win, although the text move is even better (about 5.75).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <WhiteRook48: I chose 25 Qxh5, but then went for 26 Bh4+ instead of 26 Bxf4+, although I thought 26 Bxf4+ was a good move. dang it, another puzzle missed>


Bh4 isn't check, neither is Bxf4...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Wilber G, after 25 Qxh5 Pxh5, both Bxf4 and Bh4 are checks from the rook on g1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <Breunor: Wilber G, after 25 Qxh5 Pxh5, both Bxf4 and Bh4 are checks from the rook on g1.>

Of course. I am an idiot.

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