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Smbat Lputian vs Yuri Balashov
Yerevan (1986), Yerevan URS
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Classical Variation (D68)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-21-07  zanshin: <eblunt> I'll post the analysis in my forum so that I won't ruin it for people who want to analyze the position on their own.
Sep-21-07  eblunt: <zanshin:> Thanks, I've had more of a look now, and get to a point where white has won 2 pawns and can grind it out - is that your analysis ?

A win, but not quite the crisp knockout punch I'm used to with these puzzles.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I answered this one-except I would not have come up to a parry of b6. After the text move:white wins easily:

23 ♖xc8 ♖axc8 24 ♕xb7+ ♔h6 25 ♕xh7+ ♔xg5 26 h4+ ♔g4 27 ♕xg6+ ♔h4 28 ♖h3#

Sep-21-07  zanshin: <eblunt: <zanshin:> Thanks, I've had more of a look now, and get to a point where white has won 2 pawns and can grind it out - is that your analysis ? >

Yes, that's the analysis. And that's also the problem I have with this puzzle. The winning move 22.Re8 became the 'knockout punch' as you put it, because Black did not play the best defense. I also recognize the fact that it's an actual game and I should not expect the 'purity' of a devised puzzle, but I guess I expected more from Black than 22...a5 which loses immediately.

Sep-21-07  YouRang: Rats. I saw that f7 was the key square (if my queen gets there I mate in 3), so deflecting the f8 rook was obvious -- and the only good way to do that was 22. Re8. So far so good.

But I didn't see what to do if the rook sac was declined, which of course black would do.

I didn't see that 23. Rxc8!! just steals a bishop in broad daylight, since it permits the queen to come it with check with Qxb7+ and winning.

Now that I see it (after peeking at the answer), black should have played 22...b6. After this, I don't quite see the win, but I'm sure I'll see the analysis somewhere above.

Sep-21-07  A.G. Argent: Yes, Zanshin....a5??! Expecting to accomplish what? Seems like a kamikaze, computer-like move.
Sep-21-07  tjraczko: <kevin86> What about 24.... Rc7 in response to 24.Qxb7+
Sep-21-07  zanshin: <tjraczko: <kevin86> What about 24.... Rc7 in response to 24.Qxb7+>

I'm glad you asked ;-)

click for larger view

25.Qxc7+ Qxc7 26.Ne6+

Sep-21-07  chessic eric: Regarding the ...b6 line, seems to me that 22.Re8!,b6 23.Ne4,Qd5 24.Qxd5,cxd5 25.Nxf6,Kg7 26.Nxd5 is won for white.

The line I saw after 22...Rxe8?? was 23.Qf7+,Kh6 24.Qxh7+,Kxg5 25.h4+,Kg4 26.Qxg6+,Kxh4 27.g3+ (Rh3?,Bxh3),Kh3 28.Qh5#

Sep-21-07  znprdx: <paulsss: got it straight away> you got what exactly? (what does this kind of vacuous comment contribute to the discussion at hand?) Following the supposed key move 22.Re8 seems just a bit too good to be true. Frankly I didn’t even see it as a candidate move because what does White really have after the immediate22..... Qd5? The assumption that 23.Rxc8[B]is a threat is misleading. As for 23. Qxd5[Q] c4 xd5[Q] How did b6 enter into the picture – I’m confused – pray tell what am I missing - and this isn’t even Sunday? Could it be that the World Championship has us all spaced out :) I think 22.Ne4 may be more to the point positionally and I’d feel comfortable playing it OTB
Sep-21-07  xKinGKooLx: I got 22. Re8 - I thought it was pretty obvious. But I didn't get 23. Rxc8. I failed to notice that 24. Qxb7 is winning if Black takes the rook by 23. ...Raxc8. So that's only a half point for me today. Three missed puzzles in a row - *sigh*.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <chessic eric> Actually 27.Rh3+ doesn't deserve that question mark in the mating line after 22...Rxe8, as it also leads to mate: 27.Rh3+ Bxh3 28.g3+ Qxg3 29.fxg3#
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: What a nice puzzle. Naturally we prefer puzzles where all the variations are spectacular! This one does not quite oblige us. Yet there is no way for Black to save himself.

I hope everyone is clear why 22...b6 does not save Black, does not even come close to saving Black. <Dzechiel> and <jhunjk> said it all. 23 Ne4 is clearly winning after several of Black's pawns fall. Decisive, though admittedly not spectacular.

Sep-21-07  chessic eric: right you are <Domdaniel>
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Aaaugh! How could I not see RxBishop at c8? I'll never make GM.
Sep-21-07  tjraczko: Thanks, Zanshin. I knew that a fork was involved but I had the wrong move order.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's difficult puzzle solution, the surprise 22. Re8!! is a poison piece decoy offer which gets Black mated if he accepts it (see <chess eric>'s post for details).

The real purpose of 22. Re8!! becomes clear after it is declined with 22...a5 when White plays the decoy/deflection sham sacrifice 23. Rxc8! -- removing the guard of the Bishop on c8 and setting up a decisive attack against Black's helpless King.

After 23...Raxc8 24. Qxb7+ Rc7 (24...Kh6 loses to 25. Qxh7+ in the line given by <kevin 86>) 25. Qxc7 , White has a winning Knight Fork with 25...Qxc7 26. Ne6+ .

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: In Q's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Def. White stands better & there are many Traps & Pitfalls where Black is likely to be a victim. My game against a German Master in the Hastings International Blitz, 2001 went identical till the 15th move 15.Re1 & instead of ...Qd8 my opponent played ...Qd6 16.Ng5 Bg4 17.Rg3 Bh5 18.Rh3 Bg6 & fell into this unique combination 19.Qxg6! hxg6 20.Bxf7+! Rxf7 21.Rh8+! Kxh8 22.Nxf7+ & wins back the Queen & the game. Of course, in this Orthodox Def. there are many such combinations where White not only stands better but wins! Now, back to our puzzle, since, acquainted with such tricky ideas, it's not difficult to spot 22.Re8 as Black can't grab the Rook due to the mating attack with 23.Qf7+. If 22...Bf5 then 23.Qxb7+ wins or 22...Bd7 then also 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Qf7+ & wins. The only defensive move that comes to my mind is 22...b6 but still after 23.Ne4 Black faces problems.
Sep-21-07  pawnofdoom: oh wow I can't believe I saw this one. I was only thinking of Re8 Rxe8 Qf7+ Kh8 Qxh7#, but after something like a5, I don't think I could have thought of Rxc8! My first ideas were things like Ne6+, Qf7+, Qg8+, Rxf6, Nxh7, none of which worked. But then suddenly I saw that Re8 did something
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: dzechiel:
<22 Re8

If 22...Rxe8 23 Qf7+ Kh6 24 Qxh7+ Kxg5 25 h4+ Kg4 26 Qxg6 Kxh4 27 g3+ Kh3 28 g4+ Kh4 29 Qh5#>

You must enjoy torturing an opponent. g4+ is a cheeky move (that I found), but Qh5 is mate there also.

Sep-21-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <znprdx: <paulsss: got it straight away> you got what exactly? (what does this kind of vacuous comment contribute to the discussion at hand?)>

100% agree. I think he got nothing. As a matter of fact, consideration of the b6/b5 response is just about obligatory before one can claim the solution to this puzzle.

<How did b6 enter into the picture>

It got discussed by <jhunjk> and yours truly <MAJ> on the first page of kibitzing.

About 2CPU hours of analysis indicate that it just might be THE strongest response that black can use to prevent Qxb7 in various lines arising after Re8 (22 ... b5 is also not bad).

However, as shown by <jhunjk>, black still loses after b6. There are two main lines:

22. Re8 b6 23. Ne4 Qd5 24. Qxd5 ... (see one of my earlier posts for continuation)


22. Re8 b6 23. Ne4 Qd5 24. Re7 ... (see <dghins>' post about a page ago)

<zanshin> has on his forum yet another line that Fritz 10 liked:

22 ... b6 23. h4 Rb8

so there is plenty of interesting stuff happening after b6.

Sep-21-07  aazqua: I thought this was pretty obvious too. Lots of possibilities but nothing seems to work well - although wouldn't it be nice if white could distract that f8 rook? And so Re8
Sep-22-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <MostlyAverageJoe: ... as shown by <jhunjk>, black still loses after b6. There are two main lines:>

I have to correct myself. After further investigation, the line shown by <zanshin> is better for white than the other two lines I mentioned...

Nov-06-07  arsen387: Lputian is as always spectacular. One of my favourite players. I strongly recommend you to watch Lputian-Dlugy 1-0 game. A FANTASTIC game by Lputian!!
Feb-15-21  ndg2: One of those games that are primarily interesting because you really have to ask what the losing side could have done better. The moves for _both_ sides seem so natural.
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