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Aleksander Sznapik vs Yuri Balashov
Warsaw (1990), Warsaw POL, rd 11, Jan-??
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Keres Defense (C92)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-03-05  esticles: <TTLump: if 66... Qa5+ then
67.Nd5+ and white wins!>
Where is white's win after 68. Kh7?
Dec-03-05  esticles: below 68. Kh7 should be 67...Kh7
Dec-03-05  TTLump: <esticles>
after 66... Qa5+, 67.Nd5+ Kh7, here is one possible way for white to win. I think this is sound, but I may have overlooked something ...

68. Qxh2+ Kg8
69. Kh6! Qd8
70. Nf6+ Kf8
71. Qe5 Be6
72. Qc5+ Qe7
73. Qd4 a1=Q
74. Qxa1 Qc5
75. Qa8+ Ke7
76. Kg7 Bc8
77. g5 Qc3
78. Qa7+ Ke6
79. Qxf7+ Kd6
80. Kxg6 Qe5
81. Qf8+ Kc7
82. Nd5+ Kd7
83. Nb6+ Kc7
84. Qxc8+ Kxb6
85. Qc6+ Ka5
86. Qd5+ Qxd5
87. Bxd5 1-0

Dec-03-05  TTLump: <DP12> I know am probably starting to sound like a broken record here, but 66... a1=Q DOES work just as well as 66... h1=Q. Review the earlier posts to see why.
Dec-03-05  esticles: Thanks TTLump--your analysis looks very sound.
Dec-03-05  marcwordsmith: Doesn't 66. . . . Bd3 win just as clearly, if much more prosaicly?

Also, what's this move 61 gaffe everyone is talking about? I don't see it!

Dec-03-05  franksp: if 65.Bxa3, Black has a perpetual check 65 ... Qd2+ 66 Kh4 Qf2+ 67 Kg5 Qd2+ etc. The White Q must never interpose as Black exchanges Qs and plays ... a1=Q. I cannot see anything better for Black in this case.
Dec-03-05  TTLump: <AnEnglishman> your comment re: 30... Qh8 being a powerful move. I am with <Monad> on this. To me, 30...Bxg5 is better and more direct. What are you seeing that we are not?
Dec-03-05  panthercat: <marcwordsmith> I don't think 66...Bd3 wins as quickly as the score. For example: 66...Bd3 67. Bh1 Qa5+ 68. Nd5+ Kg7 69. Qa1 and now black spends some time chasing the king around.
Dec-03-05  TTLump: <marcwordsmith> 66... Bd3 does look sound to me and ChessMaster agrees: score -13.45 at 9-ply.
Dec-03-05  TTLump: <panthercat> after 66...Bd3 67.Bh1, black should play Qe7 (not Qa5+), (threatening 68.Qe3+ Kh4, 69.g5+! Kh5, 70.Qh3+ Kxg5, 71.Qh6#), 68.Kf4 (forced) Qxf6+, 69.Qxf6+ Kxf6, followed shortly by ... a1=Q
Dec-03-05  TTLump: One of the keys to this position is the white knight. It represents a potential double-discovered check for white, but he can't make that move as long as black maintains the pin on the same knight! The tension is delicious! White must keep his Queen on the a1-h8 diagonal in order to maintain the potential threat as well as guard the a1 square against the new potential black Queen!. Black must keep his Queen on the d8-h4 diagonal in order to keep the white night at bay, so he must avoid the tempting Qa5+. White can't release the pin without losing the knight and allowing Black to force a queen exchange at the same time, but black must not move his king if he hopes to eventually win the knight! Add to this the tension created by the double queening threats on a1 and h1 and you have a delightful chess masterpiece in the making.
Dec-03-05  panthercat: <TTLump> After 66...Bd3 67. Bh1 Qe7, instead of 68. Kf4, I think white could play 68. Qd4 instead, covering checks at e3, e5, and c5. Then black has some problems figuring out what to do next.
Dec-03-05  TTLump: <panthercat> I am sure that GM Balashov would have no trouble figuring out what to do since a mere patzer such as myself can figure it out...

If 68.Qd4 then ... a1=Q! and now there is nothing for white to figure out except which way he wants to be mated ... if he takes the newly promoted queen, then it is mate as follows: (69.Qxa1 Qe3+ Kh4, 69.g5+! Kh5, 70.Bg6#),

If he declines to take the new queen what is white going to do? If he leaves the queen on the diagonal, black will just take it with his new Queen. If he moves it off the diagonal, black takes the night with check and it is all over but the crying! Do you have a response to 68 ... a1=Q?

Dec-03-05  TTLump: <panthercat> sorry about the typo in my last post. that first mating sequence should read as follows:

69.Qxa1 Qe3+
70.Kh4 g5+!
71.Kh5, Bg6#

Dec-03-05  panthercat: <TTLump> Whoops...didn't analyze a1=Q all the way through. My bad. I had a feeling it still wasn't good for white, but I was lazy and didn't work it out. ;) We agree on one thing - white has some big problems. :)
Dec-04-05  DP12: I can't find the post showing why a1= Q wins. It is easy to see with the computer however,I could not find it when I was solving the puzzle the first time. This is probably old hat but, for those like me that can't find it in the posts above, an alternative to 66...h1=Q!! is 66... a1=Q! 67. Qxa1 Qd2+ 68.Kh4 Qf2+ 69.Kg5 Qe3+!(the key move which I overlooked) 70.Kh4 g5+(the point of the previous move) 71. Kh5 Qh3+ 72. Kxg5 Qh6+ 73.Kf5 Be6+ 74. Ke5 Qxf6+ winning the Queen. An absolutely forced line which is still within the bounds of being manageable(with enough time) but I still feel that Balashov's solution is much nicer and is the one I would end up seeing(if I saw anything---puzzle situations are much different then game ones) when actually playing the game.
Dec-05-05  sucaba: The "best", since longest lasting move on 66. _ a1=Q turns out to be 67. Kh4, and on 66. _ h1=Q 67. Bxh1 a1=Q 68. Kh4 or 68. Kf4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's clearance pseudo-sacrfice 66...h1=Q!! clears the h2 square for mate, following the decoy 67...a1=Q! and the deflection 68...Qd2+!
Jun-19-08  dabearsrock1010: but is h1=Q really necessary is the question everyone should be asking
Dec-19-08  thebribri8: Yes. It is certainly necessary. The queen needs to get to h2 to finish the mate. (69. Kh4 Qh2+ 70. Kg5 Qh6#)
May-31-09  Trigonometrist: Lovely!
Mar-12-13  quickmate: wow.. very nice game.. very nice endgame position.
Nov-05-13  Cemoblanca: That was a hell of a game. Hats off gentlemen. :]
May-15-15  CMDMB: This game showcases the surreal beauty of chess - rising from what otherwise seemed a rather innocuous position!
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