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Vladimir Malaniuk vs Edvins Kengis
? (1981)
Alekhine Defense: Modern Variation. Main Line (B05)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-11-09  Xende: 41. ..., Black to play. Nice Monday puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Good job <Xende>. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians on this site!

Anyway, Monday puzzle, and nice way to start off the work week (which technically starts tomorrow). Just take the bishop, and then the pawn, and then the queen. Leaves black up a full bishop.

1/1 this week and month.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Well, of course there's the simple fork combination <41. .Qxh2+ 42.Kxh2 Nxf3+>, winning a piece.

But even though it is Monday, we need to consider if 41...Nxf3 threatening mate might work better. But I think not, since 42.Qxf4 protects safely, and if 42...Qxf2 43.Qxf7+ is too scary.

Oct-10-16  dfcx: Of course a simple fork wins material.

Continuing <Phony>'s analysis of , 41...Nxf3 42.Qf4 Qxf2 43.Qxf7+

44.Be5+?? Nxe5 and black wins

44.Qf6+ Kh7 45.Qf7+ Kh8 draws

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Immediately saw the Knight Fork 41...Qxh2+ (-3.90 @ 24 depth, Deep Fritz 15) solving today's Monday puzzle, but I was curious to see if 41...Nxf3 might also work.

The computers indicate 41...Nxf3 42. Qf4 Qxh2 43. Qxh2 Nxh2 44. Nc4 (not 45. Kxh2? Bb8 ) 44...Nf3 (-2.06 @ 22 depth, Deep Fritz 15) is also winning.

For a White improvement, the computer suggestion 26. Rab1 = (0.14 @ 20 depth, Deep Fritz 15) looks good to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one pawn down.

The knight can deliver a royal fork after 41... Qxh2+ 42.Kxh2 Nxf3+ - + [B].

Oct-10-16  YouRang: Easy Monday 41...?

Of course <41...Qxh2> forcibly wins a piece, a pawn, and simplifies the endgame by exchanging queens: <42.Kxh2 Nxf3> forking K+Q.

Oct-10-16  AlicesKnight: 41....Qxh2+; 42.Kxh2 Nx3 and the extra B is enough. It's too early in the morning for me to see why Black played 32... Kh8 instead of Kf8 threatening 2 pieces (33.Nf6, Qxe5 etc).
Oct-10-16  et1: easy to spot.
Oct-10-16  saturn2: Qxh2 followed by the fork Nxf3
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There's a cute line in the 41...Nxf3 variation. We start with a moderately forced series of exchanges: 41...Nxf3 42. Qf4 Qxh2+ 43. Qxh2 Nxh2

click for larger view

And our first instinct is that white should plays 44. Kxh2 (equalising the material) and then Nc4 threatening the a pawn. White seems to be doing okay.

But not so fast! 44. Kxh2 would fail to Bb8, pinning and winning the white knight:

click for larger view


White has to ignore the Nh2 and play something else. Fritzie recommends something like Nc8, Nc4 or f4, when we have a curious endgame where white is down by a minor piece but he will have some threats against the loose and isolated black pawns. Black ought to win this one but there are some adventurers ahead.

White's Nc4 is an awkward one for black to meet. He doesn't want to lose his a pawn and give white a passer, but Nc4 stops him from playing Bb6.

The game line leads to the same material imbalance, but there's a twist. Again, we start with a series of forced exchanges: 41...Qxh2+ 42. Kxh2 Nxf3+ 43. Kg2 Nxd2

click for larger view

We arrive at exactly the same material imbalance as in the 41...Nxf3 line. But the difference is that black's knight on d2 stops white from getting in his awkward Nc4 move. Black could play Nb7 to attack the a pawn, but that doesn't stop Bb6 defending.

In the final analysis, I suppose that both 41...Nxf3 and 41...Qxh2+ win for black. But 41...Qxh2+ is the cleaner kill because it gives white fewer options to be awkward.

Oct-10-16  ventricule: <Once> That was really a quality comment. I completely missed that subtle point in the puzzle.
Oct-10-16  clement41: Nice Alekhine game!
Oct-10-16  clement41: I agree with <ventricule> as I too, assessed ...Nxf3 Qf4 Qxh2+ QxQ NxQ Kxh2 too quickly and thus missed ...Bb8 0-1 Thanks <Once> for the in-depth comment!
Oct-10-16  lost in space: 41...Qxh2 42. Kxh2 (only legal move)

43. Nxf3+ (winning the queen). 1:0

Oct-10-16  zb2cr: White is up by a Pawn. Black can simplify to a won game with 41. ... Qxh2+; 42. Kxh2, Nxf3+ winning back the sacrificed Queen and leaving Black a full Bishop up.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Once> In the 41...Nxf3 line, after 42.Qf4 Qxh2+ 43.Qxh2 Nxh2, you mention 44.Nc8 but mainly examine 44.Nc4.

I took a quick look at 44.Nc8 -- it too has some interesting twists, eg 44.Nc8 Bb8 (forced, to protect the Nh2) 45.Ne7+ Kf8 46.Nxc6 Bc7 47.Nxa5 Bxa5 48.Kxh2 -- and White has a lot of pawns for the piece.

I haven't fed this to an engine -- there ought to be a law against engines on a Monday puzzle -- and am just running it in my head, sans voir. So I could well be missing something.

In any case, the original winning line is best, as in the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Once> Thanks for pointing out the subtle difference between the winning options 41...Qxh2+ and 41...Nxf3 .

I looked at both and picked 41...Qxh2+ based on the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The sac, fork, and regain of the queen net black a piece and the win!
Oct-10-16  whiteshark: <41...Qxh2+>, and that's it.
Oct-10-16  RKnight: <Once> In your line, instead of 44. Kxh2, if 44. Nc8 Bb8, 45. Ne7+ Kg2, 46. Nxc6 gives white counterplay, e.g. 46... Bc7, 47. Nxa5 Bxa5, 48. Kxh2. Hence the simple 41. Qxh2 is best after all.

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