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Fyodor Duz-Khotimirsky vs Alexander Kotov
URS-ch sf Kiev (1938), Kiev URS
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Main Line (D63)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-31-09  Nullifidian: The first thing that occurred to me about this position is that White would love to move his bishop into the game with 21. ♗xg6, but Black's response 21...♙hxg6 would be disastrous.

On the other hand, Black's potential response 21...♙fxg6 would be a blunder of monumental proportions because 22. ♘xf6+ mates in three (either by 22...♔f8 23. ♕xh7 with mate on the next move or 22...♙xf6 23. ♕xh7+ ♔f8 24. ♕f7#.

Bingo. Now I can see that White's critical move is 21. ♘xf6+! clearing the seventh rank for White's rook.

After 21... ♙gxf6, White should play 22. ♖xf7! ♔xf7 23. ♕xh7+ to enable the White bishop's capture of the Black knight that I initially considered. Play continues 23... ♔f8 24. ♗xg6 with 25. ♕f7# to follow.

Black can refuse the rook sacrifice with 22... ♘f8, but it doesn't save the game. 23. ♗h7+ ♔h8 (♘xh7 ♕xh7#) 24. ♕h6 and White mates with either ♕g7# or ♕f6# on the next move.

Dec-31-09  Patriot: I had some difficulty at first trying to find the right sequence. Realizing white is down a whole piece and the bishop is hanging, 21.Nc5 looks somewhat attractive if nothing better can be found so this became my "king of the hill" move although white may be lost after 21...Qxb2 without looking further.

After that I saw the sequence 21.Nxf6+ gxf6 22.Rxf7! and somehow incorrectly saw that 22...Kxf7 23.Qxh7+ is mate. But of course 23...Kf8 24.Bxg6 and mate next.

Like others, I looked at 22...Nf8 23.Bxh7+ Kh8 24.Bg6+ Kg8 25.Qh6 instead of the "more efficient" 24.Qh6. This is because I look for checks first and when mate was forced my analysis ended there. There is nothing flawed about that. But when I get to that point OTB, I may see that 24.Qh6 is slightly quicker and may play that instead. The point being, it isn't always necessary to find the best move when calculating ahead. If a win is forced it is less efficient to find a better win (within the tree of analysis). Then when you get to that point in a game, then finding the best move is ok unless you're so low on time you just need to play what has already been analyzed.

<TheaN> makes a good point about trading pieces when you're down material. Generally it's very bad to do so but of course it works best in this case starting with Nxf6+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Not great play by Alexander. With Qxa4 he does not think like a grandmaster allowing Ne5 or Rc7. Black's material grabbing, it was Greek to me. White's mace dont bludgeon though until Qxb3 giving a mate in six. His king gets the shake down after the combination Nxf6+. Black has the larger empire but white's colllected army and tactical ability conquers him.
Dec-31-09  lost in space: Wish you all a peacefull and healthy 2010
Dec-31-09  cyclon: 21.Nxf6+ gxf6 (or -Kf8 22.Nxh7+ Kg8 23.Nf6+ and either -Kf8 24.Bxg6 fxg6 25.Qh8X, or -gxf6 = "main"-line without h7-pawn) 22.RXF7 Kxf7 ( or -Nf8 23.Bxh7+ Kh8 24.RXF8+ mates. Blacks problem here is that he doesn`t have useful interposing moves) 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Bxg6 Re7 25.Qh8X.
Dec-31-09  gerpm: I got the first move but didn't follow up the right way. Enjoyed a great year with Chess Games and look forward to another enjoyable year. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
Dec-31-09  BOSTER: This position is an excellent example which show that the material is not the decisive factor in chess. Looking at the black queen on b3 who left his army and can't take part in protecting black fortress you have clearly understand that the hunting for material is not a good strategy. The method which white use here is called the demolition the pawn structure around the king. The main line.
21.Nxf6+ gxf6
22.Rxf7 Notice how it is important to have the rook on 7 rank. 22...Kxf7
23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Bxg6 and mate next move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I sat back and admired this one, just a clinic put on by white. I really liked white's position after 19 Qh5.

click for larger view

Black is in so much of a bind. He can't play 19...Bxe5 because of 20 Qxf7+. He can't play 19...Qxb3 either because of 20 Bxh7+.

BTW, happy new year to everyone. I found out just yesterday that my first grandchild will be a boy, so it's a nice way to end 2009. Looking forward to 2010.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Jimfromprovidence: I found out just yesterday that my first grandchild will be a boy>

Congratulations, Jim! That will mean lots of trips to the toy-shop. I've heard it said that being a grandparent has all the fun of parenthood without the sleepless night.

Dec-31-09  Utopian2020: I congratulate everyone who found Rxf7.
Dec-31-09  NakoSonorense: It took me a while to find Rxf7. I wanted to make it work with Bxg6, but I couldn't find anything. That's when I forgot about the B and looked at the R instead.
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: 21. Nxf6+ initiates a decisive attack, as others have noted.

A happy and prosperous New Year to all!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Jimfromprovidence: I found out just yesterday that my first grandchild will be a boy> Great news Jim. My wife and I have four grandchildren, including three boys ages 9, 3 and 11 months and one girl age 5.

Grandchildren are a joy, and if your children do most of the work of child rearing then you will have all the advantages with no regrets:

1. Having a good excuse to buy toys and play with them (i.e. showing the grandchildren how they work).

2. Being able to spoil the grandchildren and then turn them over to the parents afterwards.

3. More invitations to visit your son or daughter and vice versa (albeit with a bit of baby sitting usually included).

4. Being able to experience the joys of childhood again through the eyes of your grandchildren.

5. Being able to brag and show pictures of the grandchildren to your friends.

6. Experiencing closer family ties as your children enteract with other family members. Young children help grandparents,aunts, uncles and cousins bond closer together.

7. Experiencing the joy of knowing your legacy is passed on to another generation.

Dec-31-09  YouRang: I guess I've been doing puzzles long enough to have made this observation:

When you encounter a position where you have a bunch of force directed at the opposing king position, it's a good bet the the solution involves sacrificing some of that force to break apart the king's defenses, and then delivering the attack with the remaining force. (This attack might not result in mate, but at least force the opponent to make concessions that justify the investment.)

That's the picture we have today: We have a Q+B+N+R all aimed at the king position. Going with the observation above, our job is to find the move order for a successful attack.

Moving the knight with <21.Nxf6+> seems like an obvious choice, since (1) it's forcing and (2) it gets the knight out of the way of our rook. So, <21...gxf6>, and now what?

Usually (but not always) a king attack is best finished with the queen, and our queen is still not able to move in. The most likely place for the queen to come in is at h7, which is guarded by the king itself. This immediately suggests <22.Rxf7> -- another forcing move that threatens Qxh7#.

If 22...Kxf7, then we can invade with the queen: 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Bxg6 and mate seems unstoppable (Qf7# or if ...Re7, then Qh8#).

At this point, just knowing that my rook is immune makes me satisfied that I've found the solution. The only defensive try I can see is 22...Nf8 (guarding Ph7), but then the bishop joins in: 23.Bxh7+ Kh8, and now 24.Bc2+ wins the queen.

Dec-31-09  sethoflagos: Spent absolutely ages trying to trap the black queen. Gave up and looked for a perpetual. But found

21 Nxf6+ gxf6
22 Rxf7 Kxf7
23 Qxh7+ Kf8 (forced)
24 Bxg6 Re7 (or any 25 Qf7#)
25 Qh8#

Alternatives to 22 ... Kxf7 are Nf8 and Kh8

21 Nxf6+ gxf6
22 Rxf7 Nf8 (or Kh8 23 Qxh7#)
23 Qh6 any
24 Qg7#

Alternatives to 21 ... gxf6 are Kf8 and Kh8

21 Nxf6+ Kf8 (or Kh8 22 Qxh8#)
22 Nxh7+ Kg8 (forced)
23 Bxg6 fxg6
24 Qxg6 Re7 (or any 25 Qxg7#)
25 Rxe7 any
26 Qxg7#

Alternatives to 23 ... fxg6 are Re7 or Kh8

21 Nxf6+ Kf8
22 Nxh7+ Kg8
23 Bxg6 Re7 (or Kh8 24 Nf6#)
24 Bxf7+ Rxf7 (or Kh8 24 Nf6#)
25 Qxf7+ Kxh7 (or Kh8)
26 Qxg7#

Happy new year to all! (whatever date you celebrate)

Dec-31-09  Eduardo Leon: <sethoflagos>, in the line

21.♘xf6+ gxf6 22.♖xf7 ♘f8

You suggested 23.♕h6, but then black plays 23...♔xh7, winning, since white can't play 24.♕xh7. Better is

23.♗xh7+ ♔h8

And only now that the ♖f7 is safe


And 25.♕g7# is unavoidable.

Also, in the line

21.♘xf6+ ♔f8

You suggested 22.♘xh7+ (and so did I!), but slightly faster and definitely more beautiful is

22.♕xh7! ♘e7 23.♕h8+ ♘g8 24.♕xg8#

Dec-31-09  Eduardo Leon: The technically best solution until now is...

21.♘xf6+ gxf6

[21...♔f8 22.♕xh7 ♘e7 23.♕h8+ ♘g8 24.♕xg8#]

22.♖xf7! ♘f8

[22...♔xf7 23.♕xh7+ ♔f8 24.♗xg6+ ♖e7 25.♕h8#]

23.♗xh7+ ♔h8 24.♕h6! (any) 25.♕g7#

Dec-31-09  sethoflagos: Well spotted <Eduardo Leon>. I really must get myself a chessboard and play these positions out as I write them. The short term memory isn't what it used to be!

21 Nxf6+ gxf6
22 Rxf7 Nf8 (or Kh8 23 Qxh7#)
<23 Bxh7+ Kh8>
24 Qh6 any
25 Qg7#

with missing moves reinstated

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: First of all, "A Very Happy New Year 2010" to, my friends & fans all over the globe. After a Scotch New Year Party, I thought, it would be a good choice not to attempt the puzzle but my conscience didn't permit to revel further. Hence, I started to peep all over the board & realised that White is a piece down but his forces are well deployed to invade Black's Kingdom. Now, I saw the tempting move 21.Nc5 trying to recover the piece but soon discarded as 21.Nxf6+ mangles the Black's castled position. Black is obliged to play 21...gxf6. Here, I immediately spotted the Achilles' heel 22.Rxf7 [if 22...Kxf7 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Bxg6 nailing the Black's coffin. ] Again, if 22...Nf8 then 23.Bxh7+ is devastating. Good night.
Dec-31-09  TheBish: Dus Chotimirsky vs Kotov, 1938

White to play (21.?) "Medium"

21. Nxf6+ gxf6 is quite strong, and now not 22. Bxg6 hxg6, but 22. Rxf7!!.

After 22. Rxf7!!:

A) 22...Kxf7 23. Qxh7+ Kf8 24. Bxg6 Re7 25. Qh8#.

B) 22...Nf8 23. Bxh7+ Kh8 24. Bg6+ Kg8 25. Qh6 and 26. Qg7# next move.

Dec-31-09  WhiteRook48: I had either 21 Nxf6+ or 21 Bxg6 as an answer...
Dec-31-09  Eduardo Leon: <WhiteRook48>, there is a big difference. 21.♘xf6+ wins (but all convincing defenses must be given for the puzzle to be considered solved) while 21.♗xg6?? loses.
Dec-31-09  turbo231: I failed,I used the wrong sequence of moves. I didn't make proper use of my rook.
Dec-31-09  Tifeon: I failed as well. Actually, I spent all the time trying to hunt down Black Queen. Main idea was to somehow guard b2 pawn, then cut-off Queens retreat with Bc2 and so on... But my calculations were wrong in every variation. Yes, I considered a possibility of 21. Nxf6+, but never came close to the correct follow-up.
Jan-01-10  turbo231: I made the Nxf6 move and considered Rxf7 but failed to play it out using that line. A condition that happens all too often. All I could see was the king taking my rook. I briefly studied that possibity, too briefly, and failed to see the proper continuation.
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