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Alexander Shabalov vs Roar Elseth
Oslo Cup (1991), Oslo NOR, rd 3, Mar-??
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Delayed Exchange (C85)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An ironic finish: If black tries to adventage the pin by 27...g6,white turns the tables with a combination counterpin/unpin by 28 ♕g4
Jun-18-09  StevieB: I got the first two moves but then after the inevitable Nh3+, it seemed whites' game wouldn't go anywhere so I gave up on it. No medals for me today.
Jun-18-09  johnlspouge: < <CHESSTTCAMPS> wrote: [snip] <johnlspouge> wrote <..[26.Rh1 Ng5 27.Rxh6 Nxf6 wins for Black]> We agreed on just about everything, but claiming a definite win is too strong. >

I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.

I did not claim that White needs to play 27.Rxh6, but if he does, Black wins. Thus, the win that a beginner might expect upon capturing Qh6 is not there.

Thanks for filling in the variation, <CHESSTTCAMPS>.

Jun-18-09  jsheedy: zooter, me too: 23. h4, Qxh4, then I pondered 24. Nf5, which led nowhere after 24...Qg5. I settled on 23. Nf5, threatening 24. h4, as in 23. Nf5, Ne6, 24. h4, Qd2, and white has nothing.
Jun-18-09  The Rocket: strange I did not see this... though I didnt look for very long
Jun-18-09  PinnedPiece: One of those few and far between Thursday successes for me. But I HAD NO CLUE what the position held until I played it out to the 23rd move, then the audacious Ph4 try became apparent, with the g3 fork following, and the king moving to challenge the knight after check. The move Nf5 I would not have seen without playing this out like Guess-the-Move.

It took me about 8 minutes, but I count this a success on Thursday!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Here’s an interesting position after the contrived line 22...Ne6 23 h4 Qxh4 g3.

click for larger view

24…Nd4!, threatening a fork with Nxf3+, works. Now, after 25 Qg2, 25…Qxe4 wins another pawn.

Jun-18-09  Samagonka: This was too difficult for me. It's hard to believe some people found it easy. They probably have Fritz or Rybka implanted under their cranium.
Jun-18-09  wanabe2000: Well, I saw h4 immediately but only looked at Queen x pawn and the fork. I didn't look at Qh6 for example but Nf6 ends all that. I never use a machine for Chess Game analysis. I do play Mephisto at home.
Jun-18-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <JohnLSpouge> wrote <[snip] I did not claim that White needs to play 27.Rxh6, but if he does, Black wins. Thus, the win that a beginner might expect upon capturing Qh6 is not there.[snip]>

Your first sentence is quite different from your 2nd sentence. I agree with the 2nd sentence - after 26.Rh1 white has missed the chance to win a piece, but that is quite different from claiming that Black wins the game(1st sentence).

Also, I did not address anything other than 27.Rxh6 Nxf3 28.Rc6, but I don't actually see a clearly better alternative anyway, given that white has already tossed the h-pawn.

After this sequence we get the following position with black to move:

click for larger view

Black will drop the c7 pawn and white the e-pawn, but then it appears that black can't save the b-pawn, e.g.

28... Nd4 (perhaps an improvement over Ng5) 29.Rxc7 Rxe4 30.Rb7 Re6 31.Rc1 followed by Nc4 and white seems to get back the pawn with no disadvantage.

If you have a stronger line for black I'd be interested to see it.

Jun-18-09  Utopian2020: This puzzle was not that hard, although admittedly, I stumbled onto the solution. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to drive off the black queen, place the white knight on f5 and the white queen in the g column, and then complete the mating snare. I finally realized that the knight could be taken, but I did not think I had actually solved the puzzle until I looked at the answer.
Jun-18-09  outplayer: <gofer> 23.h4 Qf6 24.Ng4 Qd6 25.Rad1 Qxd1
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's Thursday puzzle solution, 23. h4 begins a combination to deflect the defending Queen and capture the weakly defended Black Knight.
Jun-18-09  johnlspouge: < <CHESSTTCAMPS> wrote: <JohnLSpouge> wrote <[snip] If you have a stronger line for black I'd be interested to see it. >

Hi, <CHESSTTCAMPS>. You are quite correct: even the variation I give just gives Black some pull, nothing more. Thanks for correcting me.

Jun-18-09  YouRang: Stupid analysis on my part. I found nothing by way of king attack (despite black's back rank issues), so I figured maybe it was a queen trap.

Alas, no way to trap the queen. But maybe I can deflect the queen from its defense of the knight?

I briefly considered 23.h4, but casually dismissed it since 23...Qxh4 leaves the knight guarded. Never looked further to notice the obvious g3 pawn fork (even though there was still more work to do after ...Nh3+).

I failed to pursue the critical line to its conclusion, so I missed it. :-(

Jun-18-09  WhiteRook48: missed it- went for crazy-looking moves like 23 Qxf4?? losing immediately
Jun-18-09  gofer: <Outplayer>, not sure what you mean by...

"23.h4 Qf6 24.Ng4 Qd6 25.Rad1 Qxd1"

26 Rxd1 and white is a queen for rook up already and 26 ... Rxd1 is no better as 27 Qxd1 follows...

Jun-18-09  felixd: This is an easy week for me :D

I don't know why, but h4 is the first move I saw... Probably because the knight wasn't enough protected.

It's everytime about the same things: If there is no possible attacks on the king, look for unprotected or badly protected pieces :)

Jun-18-09  gofer: I must admit that I missed the main line...

Option 2c

23 ... Qxh4
24 g3 Nh3+
25 Kg2 Qh6
26 Nf5 Qe6!

This looks like quite an elegant way out of trouble, but actually it fails, which is why black resigns.

27 Kxf3 g6
28 Qg4 h5
29 Qg5 (with mate in two if black tries Kf8, Kh8 or Kh7)

and now the white king can retreat to g2 and the knight is free...

An alternative of

28 ... Kh8 (or Kf8) is met with
29 Nh6 trying to trade off queens and in the end white will be a whole knight up!

:-0 game over...

Jun-18-09  DarthStapler: I got like 90% of it
Jun-18-09  rusticbull: missed it, another failure.
Jun-18-09  njchess: I looked at this position for a while. White has a winning position just by trading off his rooks, but I think 23. h4 solves the puzzle.

23. h4 Qxh4 24. g3 Nh3+ 25. Kg2 Qh6 26. Nf5 and Black's knight is lost.

Time to check. I'm a little surprised Black resigned so soon, but he does have a losing position.

Jun-18-09  TheBish: Shabalov vs R Elseth, 1991

White to play (23.?) "Medium"

Black's knight and queen are precariously placed, and White can expoit this fact.

23. h4! Driving away the queen to set up further attack by the knight, or else setting up a pawn fork. Now:

A) 23...Qxh4 24. g3 Nh3+ 25. Kg2 Qh6 26. Nf5 Qe6 27. Kxh3 g6 28. Qg4 h5 29. Qg5! and White's knight is immune, so Black might as well grab a second pawn for the knight with 29...Qxe4 30. Ne3.

B) 23...Qh6 24. Nf5 Qf6 25. Qxf4 g6 26. Nh6+ wins.

C) 23...Qf6 24. Ng4 Qxh4 (or 24...Qd6 25. Rad1) 25. Qxf4, and now 25...h5?? is not possible because of 26. Nh6+, winning the queen.

D) 23...Qe5 is nearly identical to C), since 24. Ng4 Qd6 25. Rad1 transposes.

Jun-19-09  TheBish: Please disregard my comment at the end of line A) above, regarding grabbing an extra pawn with 29...Qxe4. When I set up an analysis board, I had the Re1 on f1! Of course, I realized this fact when I noticed some of the lines no longer worked as they did when I analyzed from the diagram!
Jul-14-09  WhiteRook48: ROAR!!
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