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Zoltan Almasi vs Ivan Sokolov
Hoogovens Open (1995), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 10, Jan-27
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Main Lines (C80)  ·  0-1



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Given 27 times; par: 18 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-10-07  anodin: I found 22...Rxf1 23.Kxf1 Nxe3+ 24.Rxe3 Qf4+ but that's totaly surealistic :))
Mar-10-07  Happypuppet: <anodin> I rejected that variation in view of 25. Rf3, didn't see a decent attack for Black there.

I got the first two moves, calculated some variations out, but not the defense White played. In a real game I probably would not have played this sac except for the fact that I'd already be down the exchange in this position.

<afioonov> If he really bothers you that much, ignore him. Some kibitzers do post with overstated accomplishments for their ego, but others are just good tacticians. You really didn't need to be so nasty.

Mar-10-07  dakgootje: Dear <afioonov> was a little overreacting and could have spoken slightly softer, however he has a point the position after Kxf1 is complicated. Is it necessary however to see all variations before playing a move? The answer ought to be no. OTB I might even play this move, not because I'm such a tactic genius, but this is a pure quality-sac which felt positive and with only a little calculation I would probably play the move.
Mar-10-07  RandomVisitor: Perhaps White can stay in the game with 21.Ba7!?

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(0.37): 21.Ba7 Bd7 22.h3 Nge5 23.Re2 Nc6 24.Be3 h6 25.a4 b4 26.Bd3 N6e5 27.Bxc4 Nxc4

Mar-10-07  Fisheremon: At 16 move White could play 16.Nxe6!? with almost equal game, or 16.Ndf3 was still playable.

17...Rxf3?!, cos' 19.Nd2?!: 19.Nxe5!? Qxe5 20.Bd4 = (20.g3? Qh5 21.h4 Bxh4 22.gxh4 Qxh4 )

20...Rf8?! 21.Bd1?! (21.Ba7! with advantage).

22.fxe3? losing (22.Rxe3!? with chances to fight).

Mar-10-07  RandomVisitor: Perhaps the best try to refute the rook sac at move 17 is the line

17...Rxf3 18.Nxf3 Nce5 19.Nd4:

1. (0.39): 19.Nd4 Nc4 20.g3 Ncxe3 21.fxe3 Rf8 22.Rf1 Bf7 23.Qe1 Bg5 24.e4 b4 25.Qe2 bxc3

2. (0.00): 19.Nxe5 Qxe5 20.Bd4 Qxh2+ 21.Kf1 Rf8 22.Rxe6 Nxf2 23.Bxg7+

Mar-10-07  Themofro: Got up to the last move before white resigned, the exchange sac is obviuos, but the rest is pretty complex.
Mar-10-07  outplayer: <TrueBlue>It's easy to see till 23...Qxh2 but I didn't get the need of playing 24.Bf3.
Mar-10-07  TrueBlue: outplayer, Bf3 has no alternative. White needs to protect the g pawn after Qh1, so it was straight forward to see.
Mar-10-07  outplayer: TrueBlue:I should have tried harder.;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Everyone spotted Rxf1+ removing the defender but the rest was a GM tactics beautifully executed by Almasi.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Almasi was the executionee, not the executioner.

I looked at 22...Rxf1+ 23. Kxf1 Qxh2 24. Bxg4 Bxg4, followed by 25...Qh1+ 26. Kf2 Bh4+, but I didn't consider 24. Bf3, and I certainly didn't think as far ahead as the key move, 24...Ne5.

Neither did I look at 24. Bxg4 Bxg4 25. e4, to make an escape path for the ♔: 25...Qh1+ 26. Kf2 Bh4+ 27. Ke3. And no one else seems to have looked at it either. But it doesn't work, because black plays 25...Bh4 first, followed by 26...Qh1#.

Mar-10-07  TheSlid: Great development from the Whites here. LOL! Looks like a Morphy game, except for the pawn on e3, which was verboten in those times.
Mar-10-07  DIO: Can anyone see how black closes the game if after 24...Ne5 white plays 25.Ke2? I think I am missing something ...
Mar-10-07  camembert: Ftacnik pointed out a spectacular win in Chessbase Magazine after 25.Ke2: 25...Nxf3 26.Kxf3 Bh4 27.Rf1 (it seems White has no reasonable way of meeting Black's mating idea here) 27...Bg4+! 28.Kxg4 Qg3+ 29.Kf5 g6+ 30.Ke6 Qd6+ 31.Kf7 Qe7# Fun.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <DIO>: 25. Ke2 Nxf3 26. Kxf3 (26. Rf1 Bg4 27. Rxf3 Qxg2+ leaves black with a big material advantage) Bg4+ 27. Kxg4 Qxg2+ 28. Kf4 Bd6+ 29. Kf5 Qg6#.
Mar-10-07  DIO: Thanks you both!
Mar-10-07  kevin86: A strange finish. White will be forced to move his king and self-pin the g pawn's only defender-allowing mate. Of course,the pawn can be guarded by Re2 or Qe2- but that would black the king's escape and allow Qh1#
Mar-10-07  notyetagm: <kevin86: ... Of course,the pawn can be guarded by Re2 or Qe2- but that would block the king's escape and allow Qh1#>

A typical mating theme - <SELF-BLOCKING> the e2-square with 27 ♖e2 or 27 ♕e2 traps the White f1-king on the <BACK RANK> and allows 27 ... ♕h1#.

For another example of this exact same theme, see the final position of the famous Keres-Szabo 1955 game. There, too, Black cannot play ... ♖e8-e7 to meet a threat to the f7-square because this rook move would <SELF-BLOCK> the e7-flght square need by the Black f8-king and allow Keres to play the simple mate in one ♕f6-h8#.

You must be -very- careful about putting your own pieces on squares next to the king. No matter what the motivation, the end result by just be the <SELF-BLOCK> of an important flight square needed by your king, resulting in a snap mate.

Mar-10-07  notyetagm: Keres vs Szabo, 1955 is the great Keres game I referenced in my last post, which ends in a similar manner to this game.
Mar-10-07  OTH: Mar-10-07 rookattack asks: "can someone plz tell me what happens if white plays 16. Nxh7...." The answer is "apparently not." It forces black to move the rook. What does black do then?
Mar-11-07  RandomVisitor: <OTH>16.Nxh7 is met by 16...Rf5! and White now has a number of problems, the position is scored -0.65/17.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: <coastalferg> seems to have answered the wrong question. My question was about white taking the bishop on e6, not black taking the bishop on e3.

I will repeat my there a reason not to take the bishop on e6 on move 16 (instead of backing the knight up)?

Mar-15-07  outplayer: Junior8 says 16.Ne6 Qe6 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Ivan the Terrible.
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