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Jeroen Piket vs Boris Gulko
Groningen (1990), Groningen NED, rd 8, Dec-29
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Prins Variation (D97)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I included today's puzzle solution, 22. Qxf7+!!, in both my decoy and demolition sacrifice collections as it seems to employ elements of both tactical themes. It also includes some pursuit (King Hunt) ideas, but this is not a particularly unusual occurrence with the demolition combination(s).
Feb-13-09  YouRang: Okay, add me to the list of people who went for the Qxf7+ windmill, and was sure that it HAD to be the solution, but couldn't quite find a really satisfying way to bring it to a climax.

I went: 22.Qxf7 Kxf7 (not forced, but otherwise I win a pawn and my queen is in black's face) 23.Ng5+ Kg8 (forced) 24.Bc4+ Kh8 (forced, and now comes the windmill) 25.Nf7+ Kg8 26.Nxd8+ Kh8 27.Nf7+ Kh8

Here, I tried to lure black's queen to a square where I could wack it with the windmill. For instance, 28.Bd6 (hoping for 28...Qxd7 29.Ne5+!, but no matter how hard I pretended, I couldn't expect black to fall for that). :-|

Anyway, perhaps there is a good finishing move here that I couldn't find. But it was a spiffy idea.

Feb-13-09  Woody Wood Pusher: I think 32.d8=Q can still win as well maybe?
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, a poor deluded soul tries to make 22. Ng5 work...
Feb-13-09  Woody Wood Pusher: < playground player: Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, a poor deluded soul tries to make 22. Ng5 work...>


don't worry about it, I spent longer than I would like to admit on the line

22.Qxf7+,Kxf7 23.Bc4+?,Nd5 24.Rxd5?


Feb-13-09  njchess: I saw the game continuation but I have to admit, I was tempted by 22.Qxf7+ Kxf7 23.Ng5+ Kg8 24.Bc4+ Kh8 25.Nf7+ Kg8 26.Nxd8+ Kh8 27.Nf7+ Kg8 because Black has little counterplay throughout. Moreover, White's advanced pawn is a serious enough issue for Black as to prevent him from doing much else until he deals with it.

I don't know if I would have found 28. a5! over the board. It's not an active move, but limiting a queen's mobility in this position is important, so it is possible. This position almost certainly leads to an endgame of two rooks and a pawn versus a queen, with all other material equal. White has the advantage of space, and Black's king is exposed, but the game is hardly over.

I suspect Piket had the same problem (i.e. the inability to find 28. a5!) and therefore chose to leverage his advanced pawn with the game line. Since his pieces are more active, he simply plays sound chess that is more in keeping with his playing style.

Feb-13-09  skemup: I also was tempted by 22.Qxf7+ Kxf7 23.Bd5+ Ne6 24.Ng5+ Kg8 25. Bxe6+ Kh8 26.Nf7+ Kg8 27.Nxd8+ Kh8 28.Nf7+ Kg8 29.Bd6 and 30.Re1
Feb-13-09  GreenFacedPatzer: Can anyone explain to me what happened at the end of the actual game? White looks to have a small ---but probably winning--- advantage, and he's pressing it steadily.

Then black just walks into a punch? The final catastrophic loss of material seems entirely avoidable. Black's going to lose anyway, but could have defended for much longer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <njchess> <I don't know if I would have found 28. a5! over the board. It's not an active move, but limiting a queen's mobility in this position is important, so it is possible. This position almost certainly leads to an endgame of two rooks and a pawn versus a queen, with all other material equal.>

I respectfully disagree with your conclusion. If you accept the following consensus best line following the queen sacrifice, then white is clearly at least two pawns ahead.

To recap: 22 Qxf7+ Kxf7 23 Ng5+ Kg8 24 Bc4+ Kh8 25 Nf7+ Kg8 26 Nxd8+ Kh8 27 Nf7+ Kg8 28 a5 Bf8 29 Ng5+ Kh8 30 Ne6 Qe5 31 Bxf8 Rxf8 32 Nxf8 wins material.

click for larger view

White is nominally two pawns ahead, with a strong threat of winning more material through the threat a6, seeing Bd5. This position appears superior to the text, not just an interesting alternative.

Feb-13-09  SamAtoms1980: Wow, totally off on Pluto here. The first thing I saw was 22. Be7 and I bit on it. In the words of Limp Bizkit, "Like a chump <heyyy> -- like a chump <heyyy> -- like a chump <heyyy> -- like a chump."
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I was completely stumped here.

My first impulse was to sack on f7, however, after at least ten miniutes of analysis, I was unable to make it work.

I did not comprehend the game line at all, either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Maybe some time with the computer will unravel the mysteries of this combination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <Woody> I also spent considerable time investigating that line.
Feb-13-09  MiCrooks: I went for this pretty quickly and got to the point where the analysis says a5! over and I was saying I have a Rook + 2P, a perpetual in hand, and an pawn on the 7th that I can push. Wasn't sure what I was going to do there, but figured I was winning. Not sure what the point of a5 is...have to get the position back in my head, but if that works it seems that Black has no resources in the position.
Feb-13-09  MiCrooks: Upon futher examination of the penultimate position, it doesn't seem like a5 is required at all though the computer comes up with it as its best move. What is the point?

One point is that Black has no good moves so White has time for a move like a5 that helps to meet the "threat" of b6 by Black. But is this even necessary or best?

Fritz givese a5 with Black's best response being to eliminate the pawn at d7 at the cost of the Knight on f6. So Nxd7 Rxd7 where White IS winning but play is a bit complicated.

The immediate d8+ Nxd8 Nxd8+ Kh8 Nf7+ Kg8 b4 seems just about as good. Certainly b6 is not a threat as Ne5+! Kh8 Bd6 Qc8 Nf7+ Kh8 Rac1 leads to an overwhelming position for White.

Perhaps the point of a5 was to exclude the possibility of the Queen escaping to the Queen-side after Nxd7 Rxd7?! Black does have no where good to move the Queen. Best is Qf4 but that fails to Bd5.

Still, judging this position to be a clear win for White is not an easy task and under time pressure you could easily screw it up. I can see why Piket went for the "surer" path to victory with Bxc6. White has a winning advantage at that point with the rest simply being a matter of technique :)! Just the type of advantage a GM likes to have!

Feb-13-09  newzild: I don't have the position in front of me, Microoks, but from what I remember in my head from yesterday the point of a5 was to deny the black queen a square on b6, threatening to win the lady by Bd6.
Feb-13-09  newzild: At the risk of repeating myself, I disagree with Fedorowitz and all the other posters below who think 23.Ng5+ is best and 23.Bc4+ a mistake. This is my analysis:

22.Qxf7+ Kxf7
23.Bc4+ Nd5

Yes, that's right - 23.Bc4+ is just a zwischenzug.

Now if black plays 24...Kg8, white plays 25.Bxd5+, transposing to the "windmill" variation with the exception that white has won the Nf6.

So black has to play:


When, as pointed out by Rybka, courtesy of <samsonagonistes>, 25.Rxd5! wins quickly.

Feb-13-09  WhiteRook48: 33...Nxc3 looks puzzling
Feb-13-09  Mendrys: Like a lot of people here I too found:

22.Qxf7+ Kxf7 23.Ng5+ Kg8 24. Bc4+ Kh8 25.Nf7+ Kg8 26.Nxd8+ Kh8 27.Nf7+ Kg8

and probably would have played this over the board, at least I like to think I would.

To be honest I wouldn't have seen a5 nor any forced win for white. Perhaps neither did Piket or most likely 22. Bxc6 was several moves in thru a variation he was playing and knew he would still have a large advantage.

BTW it's apparent that either <cg> added the annotation to the game score or a lot of people don't see the little red A to the lower right of 22. Bxc6. This usually will show some annotations below the board.

Feb-13-09  SmotheredKing: Did not get this puzzle, I looked at 22. Qxf7 Kxf7 23. Ng5+ Kg8 24. Bc4+ Kh8 25. Nf7+ Kg8 26. Nxd8+ etc... but did not see 28. a5 and discarded the line as insufficient, so I went with 22. Bxc6 Qxc6 followed by 23. Ne5 instead. (Piket didnĀ“t play this either, is something wrong with this line?)
Feb-13-09  muralman: Got the first move, but gee wiz so many moves more to go. I think we all got a slap on the hand when so many of us complained about the easiness of the first three days.
Feb-13-09  SmotheredKing: <GreenFacedPatzer> I agree, I cannot find any good reason for black to have played 32. ...Ne4? or 33. ...Nxc3??, maybe he had an aneurysm? ;)
Feb-13-09  zenpharaohs: In case it hasn't already been mentioned, Rybka 3 likes

22 Qxf7+ Kh8
23 Qe6 Rxd7
24 Bd6 Qc8
25 Bxc6 bxc6
26 Ne5 Rb7
27 Qc4 Qe8
28 Rac1

click for larger view

With a value of +2.47 at 16 plies.

Feb-13-09  onesax: <newzild> 23. Bc4+ is a mistake, when 23. Ng5+ wins as analysed by many after the windmill followed by 28. a5!

The problem is that <samsonagonistes>'s analysis earlier of 25. Rxd5 is erroneous. He lists 26. Rf1+ as the followup, however this move is not legal because there is a white pawn on f2 ... so Rf1 is entirely playable, although foolish, because it is *not* check, and does not harass black's king in any way.

My Rybka's analysis of 23. Bc4+ Nd5! 24. Ng5+ Kf6 25. Rxd5 gives an evaluation of 0.00 at depth 21. That's right, it's drawn. White can enter a line where he ends up with rook+3P for the queen, which Rybka evals at just under 0 actually, around about -0.2 for white, which may give some potential winning chances into the endgame (I don't know), but 23. Ng5+ is plain winning, 23. Bc4+ and you're still hoping to not lose and come up with the perpetual that Rybka finally finds.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <playground player: Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, a poor deluded soul tries to make 22. Ng5 work...>

Now that was a very funny post. And yes I also spent a fair amount of time looking at 22. Ng5. Even worse, in a real game (when queen sacs usually don't work), I suspect that I might have played it too ...

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