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Kevin Spraggett vs Artur Yusupov
Candidates Match (1989), Quebec City CAN, rd 2, Jan-22
Zukertort Opening: Queen Pawn Defense (A06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-07-13  RookFile: 54. Rh8 Kg7 (else queen drops) 55. Rg8+.


Oct-07-13  Maladetta: Enviable board control throughout.
Oct-07-13  morfishine: <54.Rh8+> and the Black Queen is lost


Oct-07-13  radtop: Time trouble?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Maladetta: Enviable board control throughout.> I agree! The exchange sacrifice 31. Rxe6!, shattering Black's Queen side pawn structure, certainly was an enterprising way to control the board.
Oct-07-13  Nick46: <Maladetta: Enviable board control throughout> ,but especially at the end.
Oct-07-13  TheaN: Monday 7 October 2013


Monday and of course the combination itself is easy to comprehend. Take-out-the-defender tactics pur sang, white will win the black queen for rook with <54.Rh8+>: in case black moves out of the way 54....Kg7 55.Rg8+ does in fact the same. If black settles with <54....Kxh8 55.Qxg6> he might be on the move, but there is not a whole for black to do. The rooks are unconnected, the pawns on the kingside are weak and white can pressure promotion with Bb7 and Qb8. All of this is impossible for black to hold.

A subtle nuance in this puzzle is the order of moves and writing down variations. This two-move combination is a short but perfect example of how longer combinations can not necessarily be better for the defending party.

I would write down <54.Rh8+ Kxh8 (Kg8 55.Rg8+ Kxg8 56.Qxg6+ ) 55.Qxg6 >. Quite a lot of players would just leave out the Kxh8 line stating something like "similar as in the main line". Typically, however, it seems evident that the line Kg8 is worse than Kxh8 as the following Qxg6+ is with check after black is forced to capture on g8. White will immediately win extra pawns (or more) and speed up victory. As such, the line with Kg8 is longer at first (one move) but worse after (few moves quicker to the end). Optimally the 'better' line should be the main line, but in this example this is a well hidden subtlety.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <54.Rh8+!> and that's it.
Oct-07-13  Herma48852: Lucky I returned here on a Monday for something at my level:

54. Rh8+ Kg7 (.. Kxh8 55. Qxg6) 55. Rg8+ Kxg8 56. Qxg6

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 54.Rh8+ Kg7 55.Rg8+ wins Black's queen and the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Zukertort Opening? Looks like a Reti to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: A novel position (to me) My first try was 54 Rg8--no go, obviously. I was forced to consider 54 Rh8+ which leaves Black only two moves, both losing. Nice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White plays Rh8! and wins the queen by diverting her defender,king away.If black declines the rook goes to G8 and wins by diversion or skewer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There is an odd symmetry in chess that kings make poor defenders of queens, and queens make poor defenders of kings.

His majesty is prone to distraction. Her majesty is too expensive to block attacks from lesser pieces.

A fine pair they make.

Oct-07-13  ruzon: Going back one move, isn't 53 Ng5+ an improvement? After 53...hxg5 54 Rh8+ Kxh8 55 Qxg6 the Black king is stuck in the corner, the pawns are doubled, and the Queen protects the a6 pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Not good (failing to solve Monday puzzles on back to back weeks). I got 54.Rc7 and 55.Be4.
Oct-07-13  SilverLining: Wouldn't 52. Bg3 shag the queen at a lesser cost?

Queen moves off diagonal and mate
Queen takes knight and bishop checks
Queen makes game move and knight checks then bishop pins

Oct-07-13  SilverLining: Earlier post meant 52. Bishop H 3 !!!


Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: The Black Book (ECM) has a similar combination played by Korchnoi. Wish I could recall which page...
Oct-07-13  Nullifidian: 54. ♖h8+ ♔xh8 (♔g8? 55. ♖g8+) 55. ♕xg6
Oct-07-13  sfm: Pretty ending. Black is gone after 50.-,Kh7? but it was totally hopeless anyway. 51.d4 and 52.g4 - two murderous pawn moves! Could also have been a good later-in-the-week puzzle with 51.?

<ruzon: Going back one move, isn't 53 Ng5+ an improvement?> After 53.Nf6+,gxN 54.Rh8+,KxR 55.QxQ everything around the Black king is up for grasp. So I think that 53.Ng5+ is just 'almost as good'.

Oct-07-13  sfm: <SilverLining: Earlier post meant 52. Bishop H 3 !!! > Whether it is better is not so easy to answer, as the main line is so totally depressive for Black. But it's good for sure!
Oct-07-13  sfm: Now we're in the alternatives, 52.Ng5+,Kg6 53.Rc6+,KxN 54.Rc5 is also not so bad. But probably not as good as the played.
Oct-08-13  SilverLining: sfm, 52.Ng5+

It appears you've one-upped both the game line and my own.

Move 54.. Black defends his queen
55. White trades R for Q, Black recaptures

56(!) White queen forks black king for Rook on b4

Oct-03-16  PhilFeeley: In his tribute to Dvoretsky, Spraggett specifically mentions this game.

https://kevinspraggettonchess.wordp... (Sept. 26., 2016)

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