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Manuel Apicella vs Christian Bauer
France ch (2003), Aix-les-Bains, rd 6, Aug-23
Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation (B18)  ·  1-0



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sac: 29.Bxg5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-27-09  Fezzik: This was a pretty mate. Two stars? Yeah, I guess, since it's really a mate in four instead of a mate in two.
May-27-09  JG27Pyth: Starting the puzzle just one move earlier with the Bishop sac would have made for a better Wednesday IMO. It is a lovely combination that develops very quickly.
May-27-09  WhiteRook48: ha!! got it (by guessing)
May-27-09  Patriot: Looking for queen sacrifices in puzzles is usually a good idea, but that doesn't really help OTB because you don't always know it's a puzzle type of position. So getting in the habit of looking at forcing moves (i.e. checks, captures, and threats) is a practical way to solve these positions (as puzzles or actual game positions) while practicing a good thought process.

At first I "hand-waved" 30.Qf6+ because of 30...Bxf6 and saw that 31.exf6+ is bad but didn't look at all the forcing candidates, namely 31.Rg3+. So this took me WAY too long to solve.

30.Rh7+ doesn't work: 30...Kxh7 31.Qh5+ Bh6. Too slow is 32.Rh3 Qf1+ 33.Kc2 Qd1+ (good enough) 34.Qxd1 Rxd1 35.Kxd1 and white is lost.

30.Qh5. This looks good but is too slow. For example, 30...Qe4+ 31.Ka1 Qg6 defends and threatens to exchange queens. Note that 32.Rg3?? Qxh5 33.Rxh5 Rd1#.

Finally I saw that Qf6+ works: 30.Qf6+! Bxf6 31.Rg3+ and white mates in a few more moves.

May-27-09  Samagonka: Fairly easy for Wednesday. I actually screw up Monday's so this one is a great compensation for my ego.
May-27-09  geeker: Funny, I think Christian Bauer was the winning side in Tuesday's puzzle, and he took it on the chin today.
May-27-09  Marmot PFL: Easy puzzle, and a case where queen side castling was black's safer option.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: White must have been prepared for the ♕ sac when he played 29. Bxg5, which wins even if black doesn't take the ♗. 29. Bxg5 would have been a Sunday puzzle move
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: As a Caro-Kann player (partial to the Classical variation) I find this game very disturbing indeed! It does look rather like a refutation. I must try to find out where Black could have improved.

Hiarcs suggests 17...Ne4 18 Qe3 Nd6 after which Black's game may be tenable.

Incidentally I solved the puzzle right away. 30 Qf6+!! is so cruel. Black is utterly helpless.

May-27-09  PinnedPiece: Took me about 3 minutes to find and verify Qf6 since I spent some time looking at rook sacrifices first. However, having looked at the rook moves, I saw immediately that the king had no defense to Qf6, so it wasn't time wasted. 3 minutes is par for my Wednesdays.

I continue to be amazed and impressed by these chess players' ability to set up positions where a subtle but decisive move ends everything.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: As an improvement I liked 24...Nh7.

click for larger view

Now 25 g5 does no good for white as black has 25...Nxg5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: At first,I tried the sac at 30 ♖h7+;when that failed,I went for the even sharper sac at 30 ♕f6+. This one cannot be refused... 30...♔g8 31 ♖h8# or ♕h8#.

or accepted 30...♗xf6 31 ♖g3+ and mate in two more moves.

Alas,for black,there is no other choice...but to resign

May-27-09  YouRang: Observing the status of the opposing king is usually a good way to start a analyzing a puzzle.

Here, the thing to notice is that black's king is "walled in" to the g and h files, thanks to his own pieces sealing of f8 and f7, and our Pe5 sealing off f6.

When a king is walled in like that, one thinks of rooks (or rooks and queen) to deliver mate by taking away the remaining squares on which the king is confined.

We already have one rook taking away the h-file, so we just need to take the g-file, which is currently blocked by the bishop. This makes the bishop the target of our attack.

We easily deflect the bishop with 30.Qf6+ forcing 30...Bxf6 and now 31.Rg3+, and all black can do is delay mate with a couple futile blocks.

May-27-09  Utopian2020: Step 1: Check if Queen sac works. done.
May-27-09  johnlspouge: < <YouRang> wrote: Observing the status of the opposing king is usually a good way to start a analyzing a puzzle. >

You speak the wisdom of the gods, <YouRang> :)

May-27-09  Geronimo: Well said <patriot>. I would say something else about today's postion, though, that might add to good thought process - especially for those who were looking for rook sacs or a forcing sequence along the h file.

"Looking for forcing moves" may not be enough, as Rc3 is more or less forcing, but also worthless. To me this is both a tactical and positional puzzle. By analyzing the whole of blacks position, instead of jumping to the forced attack we can see he has positional weaknesses across the kingside.

Positionally, the black bishop is overworked by defending the king along the g column, (ineffectually) preventing the text move, and supporting the black queen threat at c1 and other back rank attacks. Also, it has neither contact with other pieces nor natural defenders. How then to move against these weaknesses?

Admittedly the answer jumps out here, and so maybe I'm overanalysing a move that is right for many reasons... The point is, as <patriot> implied, how to find lessons in puzzles that we can apply over the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: To <YouRang>: I found your analysis to be quite interesting.

I went for 30. Qf6+, with the threat of Rg3+ and mate soon after if 30...Bxf6.

May-27-09  atahualpa yupanqui: I found it after about 1 minute of thinking

I'm sure if the puzzle was 29? I won't be able to found it

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Wow! HIGHLY unusual. Didn't take me that long to spot, but I NEVER would have seen this in a speed game. I barely suspected there was anything, let alone a mate in 4.
May-27-09  Nullifidian: If I hadn't just come back teaching a Wednesday class, I would have sworn it was Monday today. It's an elegant combination, though, and if the sac is refused then it's mate in 1. Truly diabolical.

30. ♕f6+ ♗xf6 31. ♖g3+ ♕g4 32. ♖xg4 ♗g5 33. ♖xg5#

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: <Check to see if the queen sac works>

30. Qxf7+ nah.

May-27-09  anupam.mukherjee: Shocking, I actually managed this in record time, a few seconds maybe. Good for my confidence. I might have actually seen this OTB. Whenever I play ChessMaster it gives a list of 4-5 missed mating chances and of late specially, h-file mates, which seems to be kind of common on chessgames Mon Tue puzzles come more easily to me OTB against ChessMaster.
May-27-09  solskytz: What's happening to me? I'm becoming a puzzle monster!! 10 seconds to spot this one, after some unsuccessful tries over the h-file
May-27-09  GannonKnight: Piece o' cake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the Wednesday May 27, 2009 puzzle solution, the Queen sham sacrifice 30. Qf6+! finishes off the game nicely with a quick mate.
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