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Alexander G Beliavsky vs Petar Popovic
Bosna 21st (1982), Sarajevo BIH, rd 5, Mar-??
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange. Modern Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Given 48 times; par: 30 [what's this?]

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Apr-20-07  psmith: I actually found this pretty easy. Although I admit I didn't work out the response 31. Rxd5 to 30... Rxd7 as in the game.

I predict I won't get tomorrow's or Sunday's though. Friday's usually my limit.

Apr-20-07  TrueBlue: 29. Nf6+ Kh8 30. Qxh5+ gxh5 31. Bxd4 is what I got ... I believe this is winnable position for white ;) As far Qf6?!, way over my head :(
Apr-20-07  ColonelCrockett: 29. Bxd4 Bxf3 30.Bxg7 kxg7 (30. ... Rxd7 31.gxf3 and the position transposes) 31.gxf3 Rxd7 32.Bh3 . . . (32. ... Rc6? 33.Rxc6!) I did this variation in my head so maybe I missed something but this looks right.
Apr-20-07  artemis: tureblue: I dont know if I would say winnable, probably advantageous but with best play a draw. The three isolated black pawns are bad, but one of them is passed on the queen's rook file, so black can stir up counter play over there. Still, with so many pieces still on the board, checkmate threats abound, so you may well be right.
Apr-20-07  zb2cr: Didn't find it. When I finally gave in and looked at the solution, I didn't know whether to burst out laughing at myself, curse mys chess blindness, or bawl like a toddler having a temper tantrum.

Terrific puzzle, even though it defeated me.

Apr-20-07  realbrob: Good one, I had the intuition that the queen sac must be the solution, but I was looking for something like a mating attack after 29.Qf6+ Bxf6 30.Nxf6+ and there wasn't anything like that. Anyway, winning a piece is definitively enough to win a match, so 29.Qf6 is perfectly fine.

Looking at the game, I don't like 24..Qe8. I think that's when everything began, because Black exposed his queen on the e file and then in 2 moves moved it to d4, where it didn't control the d7 square anymore and it was also threatened by the bishop tactical trick on the big diagonal. Not so easy to spot this in a real game, of course..

Apr-20-07  psmith: <ColonelCrockett>
In your line Black can play 32... f5 although White is better after 33. Ree6.

But better is 29. Bxd4 Bxf3 30.Bxg7 Bb7. I didn't do this in my head; I used Fritz 5.32 which seems to think Black is holding here. For example 31. Re7 Kxg7 32. Ne5 Bd5 33. Rxg6+ Kf8 34. Ra7 fxg6 35. Nxg6+ Kg8 36. Ne7+ Kf8 37. Ng6+ with a perpetual.

Apr-20-07  JG27Pyth: Color me stupefied. I considered Qf6 a little, but only as it related to the key move (I thought) of Nf6 -- and working out the variations on Nf6 must have fried my brains because for the life of me I don't really understand the solution *sigh* :(
Apr-20-07  Timex: What a hard puzzle. Didn't even get ♕f6! Nice Play by Beliavsky though
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I couldn't figure out this chaos. Both queens are attacked and white moves his queen to another square under attack by a different bishop! To forstall mate,it is BLACK who must give up his queen.

White will end up at an advantage of Rook for Knight.

Apr-20-07  ikalel: After 30...Rxd7 it is actually better to win a pawn first with 31.Rxh5+ and only then Rxd5.
Apr-20-07  YouRang: This is one of those positions where, once you see the solution, it all makes good sense.

But BEFORE you see the solution, all you see is overwhelming complications.

(Of course, I'm using the word "you" here, when I really mean "me and others who are as blind as I am".)

I didn't get it, but I admire those who can keep things focused well enough to find this move.

Apr-20-07  tatarch: What is black's response to 29.Qxd5? That's what I saw at first but I feel like I'm missing something simple...
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Really good puzzle! Maybe if I had gazed at the board for another couple of hours I would have seen Qf6.
Apr-20-07  YouRang: <tatarch: What is black's response to 29.Qxd5? That's what I saw at first but I feel like I'm missing something simple...> 29...Qxd5 .
Apr-20-07  concreteengineer: Wow, W, T and F puzzles have all been tough. Like many, I looked for the Q sac, but couldn't see one. It seems that, like others, I was looking for a move which would lead to mate. However, since the theme this weeks seems to be "win a piece", I should have considered that.
Apr-20-07  Cannon Fodder: Moves like this make me want to waste my whole life on chess like a meaningless insect drawn to the flame of Caissa.
Apr-20-07  Crowaholic: Like most people, I first looked at ♘f6+. After ..♗xf6 ♕xf6, Black can shoot himself, and ..♔h6 ♗f4+ ..g5 ♗xg5+ ..♔g6 ♗d3+ ..♗e4 ♗xe4+ ..♕xe4 ♕xe4# or ..♔h6 ♗f4+ ..♕xf4 ♕xf4+ ..g5 ♕xg5# aren't nice either. But though I considered 30. ♕xh5+ gxh5 31. ♗xd4, I didn't find a really crushing followup to 29. ..♔h8, so here's a plot hole.

I toyed around a little with ♖xg6, ♕xh5+, ♗xg7 but couldn't get myself to like any of these moves. Then the possibility of ♕f6 finally occurred to me, and I noticed that ..♗xf6 ♘xf6+ (any) ♗xd4 wins at least a minor piece. And when I saw that so does 29. ..♕xe5 30. ♖xe5 ♗xf6 31. ♘xf6+ (any) 32. ♖xd5, I knew this had to be it. And then, before I even cared to analyze the more clever response 30. ..♖xd7 and the proper follow-up, furious impatience set in and I couldn't help looking at the solution. Oh, well...

Apr-20-07  Crowaholic: <YouRang: 29...Qxd5> Like tatarch, I considered 29. ♕xd5, too, but with the black bishop preventing the knight fork, I dismissed it as suicidal. Even if the fork worked, this line doesn't seem to actually win anything.
Apr-20-07  akanksh: Whoa!! Simply brilliant... I was trying for a long time to make something happen in the position that would end favourably for white, bt found that I was only staring at the board! I tried a variety of moves (even illogical ones) such as Nf6+, Rxg6, Qxd5, Rd1 but none of them works.. Very Impressive move..
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Beliavsky's imagination touches the sky & his latent Qf6 renders Black defenseless. An aesthetic & brilliant game.
Apr-20-07  wals: Well, well, well, so that's how it's done. I've read that a GM has 100,000 plus positions memorised so I guess it was a walkover for Mr Beliavsky. As for me, is there such a thing as a walkunder?
Apr-20-07  TommyC: <Razal> practice tactical puzzles, but more than just once a day at There are several of these for want of a better phrase 'empty square queen moves' in Polgar's 'Chess Middlegames'. They took me ages to solve there, but this only took a few minutes for me; presumably, thanks to the practice. And *hushes voice* I didn't find it especially remarkable.
Apr-21-07  tatarch: Yep, I'm an idiot-- but I did just realize the obvious 29...Qxd5 as I was lying in bed 12 hours later, so at least I have some pride left.
Apr-23-07  Gilmoy: This position is a "mutual threat" theme: both Queens (generally: any two equal pieces) are under attack, and not by each other. I try to extract a rule of thumb (as an amateur, I must simplify to fit chess into my head): The side to move may "freely" throw its piece into any new danger, because the resulting position is still "mutual threat". Hence, you can instantly enlarge the candidate move set to include every crazy sac with your threatened piece, 'cause his piece is still under attack, too.

Making such a move (if it isn't check) passes initiative to your opponent. Hence, the ways it can fail include:

a) His capture is doubled and yours isn't -- you'll lose whatever you (re)capture with.

b) He can retreat, you can't ("no escape" theme).

c) His can check out, yours can't block it. (If yours can, you keep whatever you just grabbed -- sometimes we win like that.)

d) Both of you have additional captures, but his capture-chain adds up to more loot than yours. (I win by this sporadically, when my opponent defends by a counter-attack and I realize he's screwed 3-4 moves deeper.)

After 28 .. Bxd5, Black has achieved (a), as the Bg7 protects the Q (! -- remember we are in the weird zone). Now White's Bxd4 drops a piece, so if White takes his "mutual threat" free move, it must net that much back.

Apply to move 29: Qf6 should be in your candidate move set, since it's blessed by "mutual threat". It's a "move that smites", threatening instant mate, hence worth a think. 29 .. Bxf6 and White wins a piece, so White's Q is safe. Now Black's Q must move, and it must stop the mate, so 29 .. Qxe5[].

The situation is now (d), a capture-chain. White's Q can dangle because he already got Black's, so it'd still be just an exchange -- meanwhile White has a free tempo. 31 Rxd5 is like Appendix A to "mutual threat" -- Black must spend a tempo to recover a Q, hence any other White piece (that is less valuable than a Q, but this usually holds :) can freely move into any jeopardy to attack something, and that's a fork. (Then Appendix A fails if those two pieces can, in fact, link up, e.g. if the recapture protects the other piece, or attacks something else of equal value.) By this reasoning, 31 R(e7,e8) also win -- but since all e5-Rook moves are equally free, prefer the smitingest one. Conversely, 31 Rc8 does not, because Black's Q-recapture also attacks the Re5.

(29 Qxh5+ is also a candidate -- but simply 29 .. hxg5 and White nets a pawn but is still dropping the B, insufficient.)

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