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Roman Slobodjan vs Rafael Felipe Prasca Sosa
Capablanca Memorial PREMIER I (2004), ?, rd 6, May-11
Semi-Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D30)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-29-14  stacase: For some reason after 32 Rxh6 I thought Black's King could take the Rook. Duh!

Well I did finally realize that 32 ...Rxh6 was forced and the mate followed.

Dec-29-14  M.Hassan: White has a Knight for a Bishop and a superb Rook on e6:

32.Rxh6+ Rxh6


Dec-29-14  TheBish: R Slobodjan vs R Prasca Sosa, 2004

White to play (32.?) "Very Easy"

The hardest thing about today's puzzle? Finding Black's king! It was in a very unusual spot. Normally I can solve the Monday puzzle in about five seconds, but it took about that long to find the king and only two more seconds to see the mate in 2:

32. Rxh6+! Kg4 (or 32...Rxh6 with the same next move) 33. Qg5#.

Dec-29-14  Gilmoy: After getting monster BBs, White kind of returns the favor and lets Black get his own monstrous BBs. But I guess it all counts as a devious and deep deflection, as <28..Bb5> cheaply lost e6, allowing <30.Re6+>.

Both players missed the immediate 29.Re6+. <29.a4 Rd8> has no real effect on the final combo (except that maybe it encouraged White to pause and think).

The finish fits the pattern of Høi's Immortal (sacking R, B, Q) in Hoi vs Gulko, 1988, after <30.Qd3 Nf8>:

click for larger view

so I saw it instantly. Good pattern, very memorable.

Dec-29-14  morfishine: 32.Rxh6+ Rxh6 (or 32...Kg4 33.Qg5 mate) 33.Qg5 mate

<Gilmoy> Thanks for the game!


Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

The pawn on h6 prevents 32.Qg5#. Hence, 32.Rxh6+ followed by 33.Qg5#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: As usual with a Mondeasy, we need to rewind a little to find some meat that has not already been thrice chewed.

Here's the position after 29... Rad8. It is Christmas afternoon. A dinner that might feed several dozens has been consumed by a valiant few.

click for larger view

At first glance, you might quite like black's position. Okay, so his pawns are Christmas Cracker novelties, but he has been gifted open lines for his rooks, he has unwrapped the bishop pair on adjacent diagonals and Santa has given him an aggressively posted queen.

By contrast, white's pieces are snoozing on the sofa whilst on the television her majesty is telling us about the exotic places she went on her hols this year.

The white queen is in the kitchen washing the dishes. She's on d1 like always.

The white rooks are loosening their waistbands on the first rank. The Nf3 is playing with the cardboard box that his toys came in.

And if that was all there was, you might call this a peaceful scene. Or in chess parlance, a fairly level game. Black's activity provides some compensation for his novelty tie pawns.

But all is not well in the household. An argument is brewing. Mummy has been kissing Saint Nick under the mistletoe. And, no, that is not a euphemism. Or maybe it is. You decide.

There is one difference between white's position and black's. The loose position of the black king means that white can whip up an attack very quickly. Grandad can leap off the sofa and start leaping around the living room playing wii tennis with the kids.

30. Re6+! develops the white rook with check.

31. Qc1 moves the queen out of danger and threatens mate at the same time.

White's seemingly passive position leaps into life because of the vulnerability of the open black king.

I don't think it's going to be a silent night after all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: The black king manages to be both encircled and exposed. Only the h pawn defends with purpose. And on this final Monday of the year, white sacrifices the rook, rather than the queen.

32. Rxh6 Rxh6 (or Kg4)
32. Qg5 #

Dec-29-14  gars: God bless the Mondays!
Dec-29-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: One of those "Wow, that really works!" kinds of puzzles.
Dec-29-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: LOL <Once>.

If White somehow misses the mate and grabs the hanging bishop, does Black have any chance? There's some annoying pressure on g2, but that doesn't seem like enough.

Dec-29-14  zb2cr: 32. Rxh6+ does it. Whether Black takes or not, the next move is 33. Qg5#.
Dec-29-14  tanu123: So easy but good.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Cheapo by the Dozen> Fritzie says that there are multiple solutions today. The quickest is the game continuation, but white also mates with 32. Qf4 (mate in 9). 32. axb5 also wins handsomely - white's mate threat is still there so black has to jettison a lot of material just to hang on. Fritzie eval of 32...axb5 is north of +20, which is equivalent to a Ferrari under the Christmas tree.

In fact, we can give black a free move in the position and white still wins by the proverbial country mile. If we take the POTD position and make it black to move, Fritzie thinks the best he can do is 32...Qf1+ 33. Qxf1 Bxf1 34. Rxf1

click for larger view

White is a minor piece up and has better pawns.

I think CG are continuing their Christmas generosity by giving us positions where just about any non-silly move wins.

Dec-29-14  TheTamale: 32) Rxh6 any
33) Qg5#

I've always wanted to use "any" in my notation. Just like Tartakower!

Dec-29-14  tobywan: <TheTamale … I've always wanted to use "any" in my notation. Just like Tartakower!>

Me too, but you beat me to it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Took me longer than it should've, but I got it: 32.Rxh6+ (any) 33.Qg5# 1-0.
Dec-29-14  varishnakov: Please take my rook, and then I will mate you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: <TheBish: The hardest thing about today's puzzle? Finding Black's king!> Funny and true.

I liked this puzzle for several, reasons, one of which is that the queen delivers mate at g5 no matter which reply black chooses. I also like puzzles where the victim's pieces look to be helpfully posted but are actually useless.

Dec-29-14  Longview: I agree with <Penguincw>. I should not have taken this long. I played through the game to get to the 31...Rh8 move. I watched white threaten B followed by Black threaten the Q. Black looks very aggressively placed but White is adequately defended. How to take advantage of the open King. It took me a bit, longer because it is my eye's "flaw", to see where the White Q needed to sit to deliver Mate.

I wonder if the question should have started at 30.? Not a Monday level, I guess.

PS. I would like to know how to post a board position. If someone will please pass along that trick or where it is located in help.

Nice near poem, <Once>

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Two decoys to this one: it looks like black is building to a smothered mate...but he has no knight. Then, it's a rook to be sac-ed by white, that does the trick.

Usual Monday...with a few curves.

Dec-29-14  BOSTER: When I saw the unprotected King h5 in stalemate pos. I chose Bf7 like the mating weapon. So, 32.Rxh6+ Rxh6 33.Bf7+ Rg6 34.Qg5#.
Maybe it was a reason why Black King used the word <masochism> for such solution.

<Gilmoy: Both players missed the immediate 29.Re6+>. After 29.Re6+ Rf6.

Dec-29-14  Errrrrrr: Weird game...
Dec-29-14  TheaN: Monday 29 December 2014 <32.?>

White is carefully aiming at the misplaced king on h5, and just about the only thing keeping him alive is the pawn on h6. Ah well, lets remove it then.

<32.Rxh6+> and whether black captures or moves to g4, <33.Qg5# 1-0>. Interesting though, after <32....Kg4 33.Ne5# 1-0> is also mate and more pleasing; almost a pure mate, if it wasn't for the double control of h3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sjunto: Stockfish gives 31. Nd4+ Be2 32. Qd2 Rh8 33. Bc4 as the best line, and after 31. Qc1 suggests Qf1+ as "best," although black is in trouble either way.
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