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Anatoly Karpov vs Valery Salov
Linares (1993), Linares ESP, rd 1, Feb-25
Queen's Indian Defense: Opocensky Variation (E17)  ·  1-0



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Given 14 times; par: 35 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-27-19  saturn2: I saw 33. Qxg6 hxg6 34. Rh4
Aug-27-19  malt: Seen 33.Q:g6 Re7
(33...hg6 34.Rh4 )

34.Rh4 h6 35.R:h6 R:f7 36.Q:f7#

Aug-27-19  mel gibson: I didn't see it.
It's not an easy puzzle.
Stockfish 10 says mate in 16.

33. Qxg6

(33. Qxg6 (♕g3xg6 ♕b6-d8 ♕g6-g3 ♕d8-c8 ♘c3-e4 ♗f8-e7 ♘f7-h6+ ♔g8-h8 ♖f4-f7 ♖e8-g8 ♖f7xe7 ♗b7xd5 ♘e4xd6 ♕c8-f8 ♘d6-f7+ ♗d5xf7 ♘h6xf7+ ♕f8xf7 ♖f1xf7 ♖a8-a1+ ♗g2-f1 ♖a1-d1 ♖f7-f8 ♖d1xf1+ ♖f8xf1 h7-h6 ♖f1-f7 ♔h8-h7 ♖f7xg7+ ♖g8xg7 ♕g3xg7+) +M16/41 290)

Aug-27-19  TheaN: Interestingly enough, the combination is rather unique as the second move is a pretty tame move in itself, but because Black cannot phase Nf7 at all it's mate after <33.Qxg6 hxg6 34.Rh4 with 35.Rh8#>.

Mind that there is a hidden threat that makes 33.Qxg6 even more crushing than just winning a piece: after lets say 33....Qxb3 to try and setup a counterattack, White has the beautiful 34.Nh6+ Kh8 35.Qxe8! and the back rank collapses, ie 35....Rxe8 36.Rxf8+ Rxf8 37.Rxf8#. 34.Rh4 +- works though, so it's in no way a unique solution.

SF actually gives 33....Qd8 as best which says enough: though there's some deeper combination with 34.Qg3 +-, White could also just put the question to the material deficit with 34.Nxd8 hxg6 35.Nxb7 and Black's down two knights.

Aug-27-19  zb2cr: 33. Qxg6, and Black seems nearly defenseless against Rh4 and mate on the h-file.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

Black threatens Nxf4 and Qxb3.

The knight on f7 controls h8. This suggests 33.Qxg6 hxg6 34.Rh4, followed by Rh8#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I should have gotten this one.

When I saw 33.Qxg6 on the board, I knew the solution instantly. And I knew I should have solved it.


Aug-27-19  Chess for life: All of Black's pieces are useless, there are no threats and no defenses, making this puzzle relatively easy in my opinion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <33.Qxg6!!> with 34.Rh4 to come, and that's it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: * unless it hangs Rh4 then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Tuesday puzzle solution, 33. Qxg6! wins a decisive piece because 33...hxg6 34. Rh4 forces 35. Rh8#.

If Black declines the capture of the Queen, White remains a piece ahead with an easily decisive advantage (e.g. 33. Qxg6! Be7 34. Qe6 +- forces mate-in-six).

P.S.: So where might Black have improved? Black could have improved in the opening by following the previous games in this line.

According to our Opening Explorer, the moves up to White's 16. a4 had been played in two games prior to this contest (a Black win in Psakhis vs A Sokolov, 1981, and a draw in P Van der Sterren vs de Firmian, 1986).

In the orginal game in this line (Psakhis vs A Sokolov, 1981), Black got a good game and won with 16...h6! = to ⩱ (-0.27 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10).

In the second game in which this line was played (P Van der Sterren vs de Firmian, 1986), Black managed to get a draw after 16...Rb8 17. g5 ⩲ (+0.44 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 10).

In this game, Black deviated with 16...Re8?! and it didn't work out well. That's because after 16...Re8?! 17. g5! ± (+0.78 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 10), Black had a miserable time trying to equalize as White secured a strong and lasting advantage.

So for a Black improvement, going back to the prior games and playing 16...h6! = to ⩱ or 16...Rb8 17. g5 ⩲ would probably have been better than experimenting with 16...Re8?! 17. g5 ±.

Aug-27-19  FrogC: This is hard to see. I kept looking for action down the f-file, missing the switch to the h-file.
Aug-27-19  AlicesKnight: It works better from one move further back, but (I saw) Qxg6 is nice; if hxg6 then Rh4 is fatal for Black. It was not 'on' until 31 ...Ng6, so Black must have kicked himself.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: I saw 33.Qxg6 hxg6 32.Rh4 quickly but it took me longer to work out what to do after 33...Be7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I knew that a ♕ sac would be involved since it’s Monday but it took me a while to work out what happens after ...♙hxg6. Then I saw ♖h4...great ♕ sac by Karpov!
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I’d like to add that I know Salov was ranked in the 2700s & a candidate in the World Championship Tournament but (for his rating) I think he was 1 of the most underrated chess players of all time
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <eo> I think Salov's 4-0 loss to Kamsky in their 1995 FIDE Candidates match was a big blow to his reputation.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: How could that possibly be a big blow to his reputation? Kamsky’s peak rating is 2763 & he’s beaten Kramnik, Karpov & Kasparov! He got swept 4-0 but Kamsky is a very strong player!
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: I just think it hurts a player's reputation if he gets absolutely crushed in a match.

Remember, we're talking about Salov in terms of being one of the elite players of the era.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Actually I just pulled up that Kamsky vs Salov match on the Internet & actually Kamsky won 5 1/2: 1 1/2 (+4 =3 -0). Kamsky crushed him but it wasn’t 4:0. I still think of Salov as a very strong player b/c anybody who can beat Karpov multiple times (at least 3 times) has to be very strong
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Kamsky crushed him but it wasn’t 4:0.>

Four wins to zero wins.

<I still think of Salov as a very strong player b/c anybody who can beat Karpov multiple times (at least 3 times) has to be very strong>

If course he was.

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: That’s true
Aug-28-19  mmkstarr: TheaN, what are you talking about. It's mate in like 2 or 3.
Nov-22-20  fisayo123: 26. g6! 27. f5! 31. Ng5! 33. Qxg6!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: This is game 2 in Jan Timman's book: On The Attack, The Art of Attacking Chess According to the Modern Masters (2006 Edition).
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