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Efim Geller vs Predrag Ostojic
Belgrade (1969), Belgrade YUG, rd 3, Dec-??
Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Dragon. Maroczy Bind Gurgenidze Variation (B36)  ·  0-1



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Given 19 times; par: 33 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-27-08  zanza: Looking for 28. ..., d5, but missing 29. Qe2 that seems to holds! :-| Ouch....
May-27-08  johnlspouge: Tuesday (Easy): Black to play and win.

Material: Even. The White Kh8 is vulnerable to back-rank mates. Black has a battery Rg7 and Rg4 ready to oblige with

28...Rf1+ 29.Rxf1 Rxf1#

but unfortunately, the White Qe6 pins Rf7 to Kg8. White Qe6 must therefore maintain her post at all costs, so Black should try to deflect Qe6 at all costs, and with tempo, before White can play h3 or some similar move, to relieve the back-rank mate threat.

Candidates (28…): Qe4

28…Qe4 (threatening 29…Qxe6 and 28...Rf1+ 29.Rxf1 Rxf1#)

To meet the threat 29…Qxe6, White must counter with either: (1) capture Qe4, (2) protect Qe6, or (3) check Kg8. The counter (1) does not prevent mate; the counter (2) fails to 29…Qxe6, followed by mate; and the counter (3) fails to lateral defense with the Rs, because Qe6 remains under threat:

29.Qc8+ [Qe8+ Qxe8] Rf8

White must lose at least Q for R.

May-27-08  znprdx: I love these kind of thunderbolts...OTB how many players would have settled for ...Kg7 or the erroneous... Re4? or the novice level ...Rf2 (BTW I don't understand the ..d5 idea)
May-27-08  Waitaka: <newzild> I also went with ...d5. Never considered Qe1.
May-27-08  TrueBlue: much better puzzle than yesterday, but it looks like a Monday puzzle.
May-27-08  234: Monday puzzle <25. ?> May-26-08 Koltanowski vs NN, 1945
May-27-08  griga262: Pretty simple. First I looked at ♖e4, which would chase the White ♕ away pretty effectively, but would also eliminate the attack on the f-file. That's when I realized that putting my ♕ in the same spot instead will do the trick. I would have most likely missed it OTB, though.
May-27-08  SuperPatzer77: 28...Qe4!! is much stronger than 28...d5.

If 28...d5??, 29. Qe2! to stop the rank mate. Black's key move is 28...Qe4!! to unpin and prevent the White Queen from getting to e2.

This move forces White to lose the White Queen or get mated.


May-27-08  zb2cr: 28. ... Qe4 deflects the White Queen from the pin it is currently holding on Black R at f7. White's position then comes apart like a house of cards, due to his vulnerable back rank.
May-27-08  waustad: I looked at Qe7 with the same idea, but with the weakness that the white Q can retreat.
May-27-08  YouRang: I found ...Rf1 w/ mate in 2 right away. Surely it couldn't be THAT easy!

I have to admit that it wasn't until a minute later that I noticed that my supporting rook was pinned! This pin makes the immediate 28...Rf1 a very bad move.

However, 28...Qe4 was pretty easy to find once you see the objective of making the ...Rf1 mating attack work.

May-27-08  bennytschet: I missed this one. I was sure that 28...d5 was the winning move. I had focused on 29. Qe2 as white's best defense, and thought I had found a clever reply in 29....Rf2, threatening the queen as well as mate on the g2 square. However I missed white's 29. Qe1 after which 29....Rf2 can be refuted by Qg1 or Rg3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I missed this one--inthe same way <bennytchet>. I was looking for a way to break the pin in a subtle way--but white CAN forstall disaster by playing passively.
May-27-08  Wade Keller: I guessed at 28...Rf6 29. Qe2 Rf2
But of course Qe4 is much more elegant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Tuesday puzzle solution, Black's 28...Qe4! springs a winning double attack, threatening the White Queen and breaking her pin so that Geller, faced with the loss of his Queen or a back rank mate, immediately resigned.
May-27-08  lost in space: 28... Qe4! and White can resign. Either White will lose R and Q or mate will follow.
May-27-08  UdayanOwen: Ah, another grand example to demonstrate that even super GM's can be disastrously fallible. Geller was considered one of the world's most brilliant tacticians.... And he allowed this!!! There is hope for us all!!!
May-27-08  Salaskan: I instantly saw the simple back rank mate, but only then I saw that my rook was pinned. The solution was simple: lure away the queen. Qd5 or Qd7 aren't forcing, but Qe4 is. Piece of cake, even for a Tuesday.
May-27-08  sfairat: It took me about five minutes to work this out. Since that's probably the amount of time I would've spent analyzing it OTB I seriously doubt I'd miss it. Unless it's a 15 minute game... The key, of course is removing the opponent's queen. And finding a way to do it was easy enough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: <YouRang> Same thing happen to me. I like to believe I wouldn't make the same mistake during the flow of a game.
May-27-08  YouRang: <sleepyirv: <YouRang> Same thing happen to me. I like to believe I wouldn't make the same mistake during the flow of a game.>

Oh, I'm quite sure we wouldn't miss this pin in a game. Especially since on the previous move we just moved our rook to block the queen's check. You couldn't fail to notice that it must be pinned.

People often (and correctly) point out that puzzles are easier than OTB positions because we know that there is a particularly good move to be found.

On the other hand, in an OTB game, you already have a good understanding of the tension points of the position, whereas the puzzle solver must figure it all out by glancing at an unfamiliar static position.

May-27-08  Im8Nm8: Instantly spotted QE4! Doubled rooks and zero luft are toxic situations for the defender. Black's 21st move to defend the E pawn was brilliant. Lesson learned for Black, among other things, is once again, King's safety. White prompted the doubling of rooks as a result of his check.
May-27-08  DarthStapler: Got it
May-27-08  thitho: easily found the key -unpin the rook; easily found the solution: sacrifice the unnecessary queen or at least deviate the necessary white queen after 28 ... Qe4 29. Qc8+ (if 29. QxQ then, mate in two) Kg7 and then white has nothing... even 30 Rf3 just makes it a little bit longer.
Jul-16-12  notyetagm: Nice.
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