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Andrey Lukin vs Gennadij Timoscenko
14th Soviet Team-ch final A (1979), Moscow URS, rd 3, Jul-??
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1-0



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find similar games 4 more A Lukin/G Timoscenko games
sac: 19.Rxd8 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-07-08  griga262: I didn't think it was very easy at all. For one thing, I didn't see the final (most important?) move of the combination: Nd5+. It completes the beautiful web around the black king, and without it any solution would be incomplete, I think.
Aug-07-08  PinnedPiece: 19. Rxd8!!!!!

sets it all up. What a move. Sunday evening level puzzle there.

Note: The exclamation points are mine and not meant to be any official annotation.

Aug-07-08  DarthStapler: I got the first two moves
Aug-07-08  JonathanJ: i think that Bxc4 is also winning:

21. Bxc4 Rxc4
22. Rxf6 Rxc3
23. Rf1

and white is one bishop up.

Aug-07-08  JonathanJ: no, i'm wrong, there will be 23. ... f6 with equality.
Aug-07-08  Jesspatrick: If I'm playing the white side of this over the board, I'd probably think something like this: 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Bg5 f5! Whoops, doesn't work. There must be a better move, and that's how I might find 21.Rxf6.
Aug-07-08  blair45: After 21. Rxf6 Bxe2 22.Nxe2 Qd1+ 23. Ng1 gxf6 24.Bxf6+ Kg8 25.Qh6 White wins.
Aug-07-08  zb2cr: Okay, I think I can give myself full credit here. The intuitive sacrifice 21. Rxf6 can't be accepted, as 21. ... gxf6; 22. Bxf6 forces Black to give up his Queen (22. ... 22. Kg8??; 23. Qg5+, Kf8; 24. Qg7#.) But after 22. ... Qxf6; 23. Qxf6 Black is down by significant, game-losing material, 2R vs. Q+N+P.

Black's obvious retort is 21. ... Bxe2, hoping for the blunder 22. Nxe2, Qd1+; 23. Ng8.

White's obvious counter is 22. Rh6, discovering an attack on the Queen and threatening Rxh7+ followed by Rh8#. Black has no place to put his Queen that counters that threat, so he must open up an escape route with 22. ... f6.

I assumed Black would play 25. ... Re7?. This loses quickly and simply to 26. Qg6+, Kf8; 27. Rh8#, as Black's own Rook blocks his escape. The difference between 25. ... Rc7 and 25. ... Re7 completely escaped me! However, it's not too hard to see the appropriate sequence of moves in response to 25. ... Rc7.

Aug-07-08  ravel5184: Congratulations <456>! :)
Aug-07-08  patzer2: Here's some analysis, using Fritz 8 and the Opening Explorer:

<1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 d6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Be2 a6 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 O-O 9. f4 Qc7 10. a4 Nc6 11. Kh1 Re8 12. Qe1 Nxd4 13. Bxd4 e5 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. Qg3!>

Although 15. Qg3! is an Opening Book move, it nevertheless is an excellent example of the use of the Pin to obtain a positional advantage.


This is a well tested Opening Book reply, and apparently the only good defense to White's last move. The next best alternative may be a forced loss after 15... Bd6?! 16. Rxf6 exd4 17. Rxd6 dxc3 18. b3 Bf5 19. exf5 Rxe2 20. f6 g6 21. Rxa6 Rae8 22. Ra8 Qxg3 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. hxg3 Re2 25. Rd1 h5 26. Rd8+ Kh7 27. Rd7 g5 28. Rxf7+ Kg6 29. Rxb7 Kxf6 30. Rc7 Rxc2 31. b4 g4 32. Kh2 Ke5 33. b5 Ra2 34. Rxc3 Kd5 35. Rc6 Rxa4 36. Rh6 Kc5 37. Rxh5+ Kb6 38. Kg1 Ra2 39. Rg5 Ra4 40. Kf2 Rd4 41. Ke3 Rb4 42. Rd5 Kc7 43. Rd4 Rxb5 44. Kf4 Kc6 45. Kxg4 Kc5 46. Rd2 .

<16. Be3 Kh8 17. Bg5 Be6>

Premature and apparently losing is 17... Ng8? 18. Nd5 Qc6 19. Bxd8 Rxd8 20. Rxf7 Qg6 21. Qxg6 hxg6 22. Nb6 Rb8 23. Bc4 Re8 24. Ra3 Nf6 25. Nxc8 Rexc8 26. Rh3+ Nh7 27. Bb3 .

<18. Rad1 Rc8?!>

Better here is 18...Ng8!
as in Tal vs Kasparov, 1979 or S Garcia-Martinez vs E Magerramov, 1980. Another possible continuation is 18... Ng8! 19. Bd2 Nf6 20. Bd3 Be7 21. a5 Rac8 22. Ne2 Nh5 23. Qf2 Kg8 24. Bc3 Bg5 25. Qf3 Nf4 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Nxf4 Bxf4 28. Qxf4 Qxb2 29. Rb1 Qc3 30. Rxb7 Qxa5 31. e5 Qd5 (31... Bd5?? 32. Rxf7 Bxf7 33. Qxf7+ Kh8 34. Qf5 g6 35. Qf6+ Kg8 36. Bc4+ Rxc4 37. Qf7+ Kh8 38. Qxe8+ Kg7 39. Qf8#) 32. Rb6 Rc5 33. Qa4 Rec8 34. Re1 Bh3 35. Rg1 Ra5 36. Qf4 Ra1 37. Qf2 Rxg1+ 38. Qxg1 Re8 39. Qf1 g6 40. Bxa6 Rxe5 =.

<19. Rxd8! Qxd8 20. Qh4 Bc4?>

This well intentioned positional maneuver, looking to exchange off the Bishops with an even game, turns out to be the losing move. Instead, Black's best chance for survival appears to be 20... Rg8 21. Rxf6 Qb6 22. Rf1 Qxb2 23. Nd5 Bxd5 24. exd5 Qxc2 25. Bg4 Qc4 26. Re1 Rc7 27. Qh5 Qb4 28. Rd1 Qd6 29. Bf5 h6 30. Be3 b5 31. axb5 axb5 32. Rb1 b4 33. Be4 .

<21. Rxf6!!>

This demolition sham sacrifice, which solves today's Aug 7, 2008 puzzle, is apparently an unexpected surprise. If 21. Bxc4? (maybe the move Black expected?), then Black is OK after 21...Rxc4 22. Rxf6 Rxc3 23. Rf1 f6 =.

<21... Bxe2 22. Rh6!>

This discovered double attack, threatening to capture the Queen or initiate a decisive King-side attack, is an essential follow-up move.


If 22... gxh6, then White wins decisive material after 23. Bxd8 Rcxd8 24. Nxe2 Rd2 25. Nc3 Re6 26. h3 Rg6 27. g4 f6 28. Qe1 Rxc2 29. Qd1 .

<23. Bxf6 gxf6 24. Rxh7+ Kg8 25.Qh6! Rc7 26. Qg6+ Kf8 27. Rh8+ Ke7 28. Nd5+> 1-0

Black resigns in lieu of 28...Kd7 29. Rxe8 Qxe8 30. Nxf6+ .

Aug-07-08  YouRang: I was sailing along nicely with this puzzle -- until I encountered a waterfall. :-(

The main thing to notice is the terrific pin and attack on the black knight. It's not hard to see that 21.Rxf6 is nice: (1) black cannot take the rook without losing his queen, and (2) it sets up a swell discovered attack on the black queen.

So, if black doesn't want to simply drop a piece, he must recapture via 21...Bxe2 (leaving the discovered attack threat in place).

Now for the hard part: How do we best exploit the discovered attack on the black queen?

Some ideas I considered:

22.Nxe2, but I didn't like the looks of 22...Qd1+ 23.Ng1 where black has some counter-attack underway.

22.Rf2 (using discovered attack to get bishop), but then 22...f6 seems to get black out of trouble.

22.Rh6 (using discovered attack to threaten king position). This looks more promising: We threaten both 23.Bxd8 and 23.Rxh7+ Kg8 24.Rh8#, and the only way to parry both threats is 22...f6.

So far, so good, but here is where I tumbled over the waterfall. I thought I could pick up a free pawn with 23.Rxf6. It can't be taken, right? 23...gxf6 24.Bxf6+ and I win the queen.

Testing out my theory on the computer, I see that I missed 23...Rxc3!, removing the defender of the d1 square, threatening ...Qd1 and mate. Oops, I can't play 24.Rf1 since f1 is guarded by the bishop. All I can do is make luft with 24.h3 and then 24...Qd1+ 25.Kh2 Rxc2! and I'm down a full rook. :-p

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The first move is obvious-the problem was in building a winning attack from there.
Aug-07-08  YouRang: <PinnedPiece: 19. Rxd8!!!!!

sets it all up. What a move. Sunday evening level puzzle there.>

Actually, 19.Rxd8, though it was a good move, would not make a good puzzle since better defense by black leaves the game unclear.

It continued: 19.Rxd8 Qxd8 20.Qh4, which is all fine, but then black stumbled with 20...Bc4?, setting up the game winning 21.Rxf6!

Black should have played 20...Rg8, to guard & block at g7. White can still play:

21.Rxf6 Qb6 <evading discovered attack and threatening Pb2 -- note this wasn't possible after ...Bc4>

21.Rf1 <since the rook is now subject to ...gxf6> Qxb2

22.Nd5 <saving knight and threatening to fork rooks> Bxd5 exd5

23.Qxc2. At this point, white has a couple bishops for a rook and 2 pawns, and things are up in the air.

Aug-07-08  Kasputin: I didn't really consider Rh6. It is clear to me after-the-fact that this move, then an analysis of the response ...f6 or ...gxh6 constitute the real test in this position.

I think I got my wires crossed up a bit on this one. I somehow thought that after Rxf6 that the next white move Rxf7 is clearly advantageous material-wise (for some reason I thought that I was "saving a whole rook" which is nonsense obviously). Although taking the f7 pawn is not bad (I think white is still better if that happened), black will have some counterplay after a move like ...Qd6 (according to Fritz). Clearly Rh6 was the best move.

Also, after plugging this in to Fritz, it looks like the game move 25. Qh6, although still clearly winning, is not as strong as 25. Nd5 - a move that the silicon beast really seems to like.

This is actually one of those very tricky puzzles. The first move is obvious. The second white move (after the bishop capture) may be fairly obvious as well (though not to me last evening) but after that, there are lots of possibilities for both sides and seeing all this from the initial positon isn't easy at all.

Aug-07-08  YouRang: Continuing from the game's final position, we would expect: 28...Kd7 29.Rxe8 Qxe8 (diagram:white to move)

click for larger view

Obviously, the best move here is 30.Nxf6+, winning the black queen, and after 30...Ke7 31.Nxe8 Rc6, black is able to get the knight for a pawn, leaving a K+Q+6P vs. K+R+B+2P game, which is an easy win.

However, for some reason, I would feel tempted to play 30.Qxe8+ Kxe8 31.Nxc7+, going into an K+N+6P vs. K+B+4P endgame. The extra 2 pawns in this much simplified position makes for a pretty simple and secure win.

Weird, huh?

Aug-07-08  Amarande: I saw Rxf6, but not Rh6.

I would have played 22 Nxe2, which seems to lead to about as good of results, unless I'm missing something:

22 ... Qd1+
(what else?)

23 Ng1 Rxc2
(There really does not seem an obvious threat here, but Black of course cannot capture the Rook, as Bxf6+ and Qg5+ forces mate. The Pawn capture secures material equality for Black's R+P vs. B+N but does not stem the tide)

24 Rh6!
(Now this really seems best, threatening mate in two, and Black can't take gxh6 because again Bf6+ and Qg3+ forces mate at g7)

24 ... f6 25 Rxh7+ Kg8 26 Rh8+ Kf7 27 Rxe8 Kxe8 28 Qh8+ Kd7 29 Qxg7+ Kc8 30 Qxf6

with a clear cut win for White - he simply has too many Pawns, and 30 ... Rc1? simply loses the Exchange.

Aug-07-08  YouRang: <Amarande> In your line, it seems that 23.Rxc2 is bad for black.

Much better is get the king off that troublesome h8 square: 23...Kg8, and now 24.Rh6 doesn't work: 24.gxh6 Bf6 25.Re6!, and black escapes.

Aug-07-08  Kasputin: <YouRang: ...However, for some reason, I would feel tempted to play 30.Qxe8+ Kxe8 31.Nxc7+, going into an K+N+6P vs. K+B+4P endgame. The extra 2 pawns in this much simplified position makes for a pretty simple and secure win. Weird, huh?>

Hey, if it works and you are happy with it, then why not?

I guess one of the things about keeping the white queen on the board is that black, with that exposed king, is always going to be subject to forks, pins, etc... on the bishop and the rook - also white could likely pick off that black e5 pawn at some point. All those passed pawns and perhaps a queen for rook sac thrown in later on should also make for an easy win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: We start the puzzle the exchange down, but as recompense we have strong pressure against f6. Need to watch out for a weak back rank because our king is backed into the h1 corner.

The move 21. Rxf6 cries out to be played. Now it's a question of finding the best black defences and working out if we have an answer to them. Need to be sure because we are throwing even more material onto the fire.

22. ... gf doesn't seem enough for black, so he must counterattack with 21. ... Bxe2 threatening Rxc3 and Qd1#.

Now 22. Nxe2 seems playable but doesn't light my fire. 22. ... Qd1+ 23. Ng1 seems too grovelly for white. There must be more to life than this.

Aha ... after 21. ... Bxe2 22. Rh6 and surely black is stuffed. Didn't see 22. ... f6, but hope I would OTB. Was that enough to solve today's puzzle? Probably not, but then I didn't give it as much as I could have.

<456 & FARMTAXONE> It's thursday in my time zone - which seems about the right difficulty level for today' puzzle.

Aug-07-08  MiCrooks: I would have liked to have seen this puzzle start on move 19 with Rxd8! I think he had to have seen Rxf6 coming, unlike the other poster, given that it was the reason he took back with the Q on d8, and the reason White followed up with Qh4. I think he was simply hoping that Bxe2 was going to add enough complications due to White's weak back rank so that he could survive.

So either he missed the follow up Rh6! or he saw and figured he had nothing to lose as everything else was losing as well.

Aug-07-08  Kasputin: <MiCrooks> I don't think 19. Rxd8 is the start of a puzzle. I think it is a complicated middlegame position with better chances for white. 20 ...Bc4 was a mistake. An alternative move like 20 ...Rg8 or even ...Kg8 would have been better. I am not saying that black is off the hook with those moves, but they are better than 20 ...Bc4.
Aug-07-08  patzer2: <yourang><Kasputin><MiCrooks> I agree wit the assessment that 19. Rxd8! is an exchange sacrifice leading to an advantage and an initiative for White, but without any assurance of a clear cut win. In that sense, I see it as a positional sham sacrifice (not quite a true sacrifice however, since it does give White a clear advantage).

As to whether this should qualify for a Sunday puzzle, I'm willing to remain neutral and let CG.Com decide for themselves. GM Keene once remarked on this site that a favorable combination doesn't necessarily have to result in an immediate forced win. As such, I'll put 19. Rxd8! into that category of sacrifices and study it on my own, along with other such positional sacrifices. Topalov, Tal and many other attacking risk-taking masters have scored points off such sacrifices. So they are worth studying. However, a Sunday puzzle may not be the appropriate forum for the study of such tactical themes.

Aug-07-08  MaxxLange: been reading your Spielmann, eh? I can't quite remember what he meant by "sham sacrifice".
Aug-07-08  Ken MacGillivray: <Maxxlange> I submit Spielmann's "quote" <SHAM SACRIFICES: A surprisingly large number of sacrificial combinations must be classed as sham sacrifices, because they lack the real characteristics of the sacrifice. The material given up is regained subsequently, frequently with interest. They are sham sacrifices in the most literal sense of the word>
Oct-04-08  Xeroxx: Hoho I commented first! I am teh cool!?
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