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Hikaru Nakamura vs Ildar Ibragimov
Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004), San Diego, CA USA, rd 9, Dec-04
French Defense: Advance Variation. Paulsen Attack (C02)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-20-09  remolino: Black to play, 48...?, Insane.

Again one theme for this week: whether to play for a win or a draw. White seems to have dangerous threats on the 8th rank and with a passed pawn on the 6th, but if it was White to play, White does not seem to have an offensive move that is useful:

1. Rook is tied to defense of the promotion threat on the e-file 2. King cannot penetrate up the board without blocking the rook

So the kingside and the center seem to be on a standstill. How about the queenside? How about trying to play for a win? It seems that Black has time for:

48...a5!! 49.Kg3 (what else?) ...a4, 50. Kf2 a3, 51. bxa3 b3!

Time to check.

Dec-20-09  remolino: OK, OK, I hear you. That is why it is Insane. But I keep my posts, wrong or right, to illustrate what the thought process was (wrong or right). So many kiblitzers here find groundbreaking moves that GMs do not find. I wonder how they get flashes of brilliancy all of a sudden :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's insanely difficult Sunday puzzle solution is 48...Bb5! which initiates a winning clearance and passed pawn combination with a key finesse (i.e. 48...Bb5 49 Kf5 d3 50 Kf6 Ba4!) as clearly described in one of the excellent must-read posts above by <Jimfromprovidence>.

P.S.: I also fell into the 48...a5?? trap in my attempt to solve today's puzzle. However, once I saw Jim's post I felt like "I could have had a V8" slap on the forehead because it suddenly seemed so obvious.

Dec-20-09  SufferingBruin: <As predicted, the b pawn is now charging towards the finishing line. Time for the oversized diva to clear her throat, a quick handshake, write "0-1" on the scoresheet and rehearse what we are going to say at the post-game interview...>

Great stuff. I swear, one could learn a lot about chess by just reading over Once's posts.

Dec-20-09  butilikefur: it seems Bb5 wins.. quite easily with the following <48...Bb5 49. Kf3 d3 50. Kf2 d2>

but if White tries <49. Kf5> then <49...d3 50. Kf6 a6> 50...d2 51. Rxb5 Ke8 (51...e1=Q 52. Rb8+ Qe8 53. g7+ Kg8 54. Rxe8+ Kh7 55. Rh8+ mate) 52. g7 e1=Q (52...d1=Q 53. g8=Q+ Kd7 54. Qe6+ Kc7 55. Qe7+ Kc6 56. Qc5+ or 55...Qd7 56. Rc5+ wins) 53. g8=Q+ Kd7 54. Qg4+ Kc6 55. Qc4+ mates <51. Re7> 51. g7+ Kg8 52. Rd5 e1=Q <51...d2> White can get a perpetual with 52. Rf7+ Kg8 53. Rg7+ etc. and 52...Ke8 is lost for Black <53. g7 Kd8 54. g8=Q+ Be8 55. Rd7+ Kxd7 56. Qe6+ Kc7 57. Qxe2>

can't find more than a draw..

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <SufferingBruin> Too kind. If only I could translate it into spotting Sunday's more regularly, winning more OTB games or working out the answer to "THINK! Hint: Lee" ...

I've just spent a very unproductive hour looking up the chess paintings of Paul Klee...

Dec-20-09  butilikefur: as jimprovidence had earlier said, after 48...Bb5 49. Kf5 d3 50. Kf6 Black's winning move is <50...Ba4>. if 51. Re7 Black immediately plays 51...e1=Q 52. Rxe1 d2 53. Rf1 (or somewhere else on the rank) 53...d1=Q 54. Rxd1 Bxd1 55. g7+ Kg8 56. Kg6 Bxh5+ or 56...a5 wins easily
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: There is actually another important reason that in the line 48...Bb5 49 Kf5 d3 50 Kf6, that 50...Ba4! is necessary.

50...Ba4 also protects d1, which is crucial in this variation annotated by <setoflagos>.

<48 ... Bb5
49 Kf5 d3
50 Kf6 Ba4 or 51 Rxb5 e1=Q 52 g7+ and mate
51 Re7 e1=Q
52 Rxe1 d2
53 Ra1 d1=Q wins>

Position after 52...d2

click for larger view

Notice that in this line that after 51 Re7 white wants to play 52 g7+, with mate to follow. But white is one tempo short. 51…e1=Q 52 Rxe1 d2 stops it.

Dec-20-09  A Karpov Fan: i went for a5 (but only thought for 30 s or so today as I doubted I would ever get a Sunday)
Dec-20-09  JG27Pyth: goodevans:<So it was <(iii) both>. At least I chose the same wrong move as a 2500+ GM.>

Yeah, that's the consolation soup du jour. Waiter, I'll have what he's having.

Dec-20-09  gofer: This was a little simpler than usual. The white king is cut off from the black king, so cannot attack. The white rook is tied to the e-file to stop e1=Q. While Black's Bd3 and Pd4 protect Pe2 then white is stuffed, so white must try Kf3 and Kf2 to allow the rook to move. That gives black 3 moves to drive forward his huge king side majority!

So I would recon it pans out like this...

48 ... a5
49 Kf3 a4
50 Kf2 a3
51 b3

and now the icing on the cake!

51 ... Bc4!

Black is still protecting Pe2 and even allowing d3 to protect it, if white doesn't react quickly enough. But obviously white has two options; 52 bxc4 and 52 Ra5 both are winning for black!

Option 1 (the refusal - the worse of the two options)

52 Ra5 Bxb3
53 Kxe2 Bc4+
54 Kd2 b3
55 Kc1 d3

at which point black has complete control even if white attempts some form of counter attack

56 Ra8+ Ke7
57 Ra7+ Kd6 (moving away from any potential checks from g8=Q or g8=N)

58 g7 d2+
59 Kxd2 b2 winning!

As now black will get a queen and the Bc4 can protect g8=Q!

Option 2 (the acceptance)

52 bxc4 b3!

It is important to not allow white to dictate where the black pawn will queen.

If black plays 53 Rb5 then black plays a2. If black plays 53 Ra5 then black plays b2. In either case black has to then change files to stop the coronation. So white probably takes Pe2 to avoid making the decision!

53 Kxe2 a2 (because black wants to queen on b1 allowing check on e4)

54 Ra5 b2
55 Rxa2 b1=Q
56 Ra8+ Ke7
57 Ra7+ Kd6
58 g7 Qe4+ winning!

Time to check...

Dec-20-09  gofer: 52 g7+ ...

52 ... Aggghhh!!!!

So yes this was easier than usual! Easier to get egg on your face!


Kudos to those that found the solution and CG for providing a puzzle that had a hidden kicker four moves into a possible solution!

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I found 48...Bb5 but didn't analyze the approach of the white king correctly in the line that <Jimfromprovidence> gives.
Dec-20-09  BOSTER: <Jim> <48...Bb5 49.Kf5 d3 50.Kf6 Ba4. Bb5 doesn't just protect e8, it allows the Bishop to hide on a4,safe from capture by the rook>. Really,I guess, it is not necessary to hide the Bishop on a4 enough to play simple a6!
I have a small question. Looking at position on <CG> diagram, could you see the position on your diagram being able to see moves ahead.
Dec-20-09  WhiteRook48: I didn't see 48...Bb5, thought it was 48...Bxg6?? 49 hxg6 d3 50 Kf3 Kg7 and white is tied up guarding d2 and e1
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <BOSTER> <I have a small question. Looking at position on <CG> diagram, could you see the position on your diagram being able to see moves ahead.>

No, I could not see the position on the diagram, it was strictly a trial and error process. I tried 48 ...Bb5 after failing first with 48...Bc4. I saw that with 48...Bc4 the white king could march up the board and black could do nothing about it without giving up major material.

With 48...Bb5 I saw first that e8 is protected. Secondly, I saw that after 49 Kf5 d3 50 Kf6 that 50...d2 was no good because of 51 g7+ (seeing 51...Kg8 52 Rxb5).

click for larger view

So I needed to find a square to protect the bishop while still guarding e8, so Ba4 was the only thing left that made sense.

Frankly, I did not see the significance of having to protect d1 until I looked at the post of <setoflagos> this morning. In my first post last night I thought that white would try a rook move off of the e file in order to check on the back rank and then black’s e pawn would promote and win. I did not realize that white could threaten mate with Re7 (seeing g7+ Kg8,then Rf7).

click for larger view

At this point in order to avoid mate, white had to and could successfully play e1Q followed by d2 (thanks to the bishop’s protection).

Dec-20-09  tacticalmonster: Black's advantage:
1) black is up two pawns. But only the d and e pawns are relevant at the moment as they are both passed pawns and they are further up the board. 2) black e pawn tie down the black rook
3) black bishop stop white king marching up the board and control the key b5 square 4) The queenside majority can potentially be a factor to overload the defence

White 's advantage:
1)White is up an exchange and the rook is placed idealy to stop the e pawn. 2)White has a protected pass g pawn that ties down the black king. 3)White also has a better king as it either threatens to move up the board to either help promoting or giving checkmate.It also wants to move down the board to blockade the passed pawns

candidate: Ba6 and a5

a)48 Ba6 49 Kf5! d3 50 Kf6 d2 51 g7+ Kg8 52 Re8+ Kh7 53 Rh8 mate

b)48 a5 49 Kf3 a4 50 Kf2 a3 51 b3 ( bxa3 b3) Bc4! 52 Ra5 Bxb3 53 Kxe2 Bc4+ 54 Kd2 a2 55 Kc2 b3+ 56 Kb2 d3 57 Ra8+ Ke7 58 Ra7+ Kd6 59 Ra8!

c)48 a5 49 Kf3 a4 50 Kf2 Bc4! 51 Ra5 d3 52 Ke1 Bb3 53 Ra8+ Ke7 54 Rb8

I have been thinking for an hour and I give up.

Dec-20-09  5hrsolver: I got friday, but missed saturday and sunday. Oh well, there's always next weekend.
Dec-20-09  BOSTER: <Jim>, Thanks for answer. I have to say you are right 50...Ba4 is correct move because bishop on a4 protect d1 square.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <48 ... a5 is tempting but:
49 Kf3 a4
50 Kf2 a3
51 b3 ... (better than 51 bxa3 b3!)
51 ... a2
52 Ra5 and black loses material >

<51...Bc2> 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <elber: If 23 ... Rff8, 24. Bg8 forces mate>

Of course. I've played that combination myself. Thanks.

Dec-20-09  johnlspouge: < <JG27Pyth> wrote: [snip] Waiter, I'll have what he's having. >

I cannot help but think of Olympia Dukakis right now...

Have a good evening, <JG27Pyth> :)

Dec-21-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: I saw the flaw in the game line (a5?), but I went for the more obviously flawed "brilliancy" Be4??, overlooking that the white king *can* get back to stop the pawns. Go figure.
Dec-21-09  sethoflagos: <OhioChessFFan> After 48 ... a5
49 Kf3 a4
50 Kf2 a3
51 b3 ...

You suggest <51 ... Bc2 0-1> which after 52 Kxe2 ... leaves this position:

Black to play and win

click for larger view

I'm not sure which line you have in mind but I can't see how the unaided bishop can force home the a/b pawn pair any more than the d/e pair.

52 ... a2
53 Ra5 Bxb3
54 Kd3 Be6
55 Kxd4 b3
56 Kc3 Kg7
57 Kb2 ...

Black to play and win (?)

click for larger view

Looks a bit drawish to me :-)

Dec-23-09  David2009: I fell into exactly the same pitfall as <CHESSTTCAMPS: I saw the flaw in the game line (a5?), but I went for the more obviously flawed "brilliancy" Be4??, overlooking that the white king *can* get back to stop the pawns. Go figure. > as confirmed by the on-line link below:

click for larger view

Nakamura-Ibragimov colours reversed 48..? White is to play and win in the above colours-reversed position. <Jim>'s solution is brilliant and wins - alterntatives lose!

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