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Ossip Bernstein vs Alexander Kotov
Groningen (1946), Groningen NED, rd 18, Sep-05
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Usual suspect.
Dec-01-17  gofer: Hmmm, not a <Friday> puzzle for two reasons;

1) It's a forced mate in 3 (< 50 f5+ exf5/Qxf5 51 Qxh6+ gxh6 52 Rag8#>)

2) Black is about to play <50 ... Qxf4+> which at least levels the playing field, so <50 h4> is too slow and <50 Kg3> simply loses to <50 Rb3+ Kh4 51 Rxh3+! Kxh3 52 Qh1+ Kg3 53 Rb3+>. So, the only other sensible move to look at, that stops <50 ... Qxf4+>, is

<50 f5+>!


Grumble, Grumble, Grumble...

Dec-01-17  gofer: <paavoh: On the easy side for an end-of-the-week puzzle. With - Rxb2 coming, every White move must be with a check>

If white gambles on <50 ... Rxb2>, then <50 h4> is playable!

<50 h4 Rxb2 51 h5#>

But <50 h4> loses to <50 ... Qxf4+ 51 Qxf4 Rxf4!>

Dec-01-17  Gilmoy: Shades of Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2016, 50.Qh6+! to defend his WC title :o

click for larger view

Perhaps Carlsen remembers this Bernstein-Kotov game, or has seen something like it? With QRR and some pawns, one deflection sac can open files and ranks for a <two-Rook mate>.

If that wasn't already a training meme, it is now!

Dec-01-17  groog: For a Friday, today was surprisingly easy.
If I hadn't known it was a puzzle, maybe more difficult to spot.
Dec-01-17  malt: 50.f5+ ef5 51.Q:h6+! gh6 52.Rag8#
(50...Q:f5 51.Q:g6+! gh6 52.Rag8#)

Have seen this one before, still a nice finish !!

Dec-01-17  stacase: Way too easy for a Friday.
Dec-01-17  morfishine: I saw this game a long, long time ago


Dec-01-17  gars: Too easy for a Friday, since I solved it in less than five minutes. Kotov, then 33 years old and a tough player, must have been very angry with himself after losing this game to Bernstein, 64!
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: I actually remembered this game and the solution. Was it really 12 years ago?
Dec-01-17  patzer2: For a more difficult puzzle, try visualizing the possibility of the winning mate-in-three after 47. Ra8 Rexb4? (47...Rc4 =) 48. Rcc8 +-.

For even more difficulty, since 47. Ra8 Rc4 = gives Black an easy dead even game, can we find a better 47th move for White?

Yes we can. White can improve with 47. Rd8 ⩲ which wins a pawn after 47. Rd8 Rc4 (not 47...Rexb4? 48. Rcc8 +-) 48. Rxc4 dxc4 49. Rd4 Rc7 50. Qc1 h5 51. Rxc4 ⩲ to = (+0.11 @ 37 ply, Stockfish 8).

The beauty of 47. Rd8 ⩲ is that it not only baits the same trap for Black (i.e. 47. Rd8 Rexb4? 48. Rcc8 +- versus 47. Ra8 Rexb4? 48. Rcc8 +-), but it also gives White the advantage if Black responds with the only saving move 47...Rc4.

Black can probably hold the draw with near perfect play after 47. Rd8 Rc4 48. Rxc4 dxc4 49. Rd4 ⩲. However, unlike 47. Ra8 Rc4 =, 47. Rd8 Rc4 48. Rxc4 dxc4 49. Rd4 ⩲ gives White practical winning chances as it makes the task of securing the draw much harder for Black.

Dec-01-17  Dionysius1: Very reminiscent of the last moves of the Carlsen Karjakin world chamionships
Dec-01-17  patzer2: Instead of 33...b4 = (0.00 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8), Black can significantly improve with 33...Rc7! ⩱ (-0.68 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 8).

The potential back rank mate threat with 33...Rc7 makes the coming 34...b4 ⩱ much stronger than the immediate 33...b4 =. After the Stockfish 8 best play line 33...Rc7 34. Rhd3 b4 35. axb4 axb4 36. h6 (necessary to avoid the back rank mate) 33...bxc3 37. Rxc3 Qd7 ⩱ (-0.68 @ 34 ply), the isolated White pawn on b2 becomes an easy target for Black.

Dec-01-17  JohnDMaster: One star, the path to success is obvious with really one one tree of analysis and one true forcing move!
Dec-01-17  kevin86: White either win the queen of mates quickly!
Dec-01-17  dfcx: <kevin86: White either win the queen of mates quickly!>

It's always mate in 3.

50.f5+ Qxf5
51.Qxh6+ gxh6

Dec-01-17  FlashinthePan: After 47. Ra8, Black apparently didn't see the threat, as he could still escape with 47...f6 (or am I missing something?).
Dec-01-17  patzer2: <FlashinthePan> After 47. Ra8, Black's only escape is 47...Rc4 =. If 47...f6, then 47. Rcc8 +- and White still wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  varishnakov: This is the easiest thing I have ever seen in my life. I demand a new puzzle. I am very angry.
Dec-01-17  JeffH1165: Definitely easy for Friday. Way easier than Wednesday or yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Mate-in-three: 50.f5+! exf5/Qxf5 51.Qxh6+ gxh6 52.Rag8#.

A single three-move line with a ♕-sac: Friday is the new Monday?!

Dec-01-17  Steven87: First Friday I've gotten.
Dec-01-17  WhiteRook48: I saw that thing with f5+ and the queen sac on h6 in about ten seconds. I don't think "difficult" puzzles are supposed to be that easy?
Dec-02-17  PhilFeeley: Nice queen sac (to be).
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Very pretty combination.
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