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Ilia Smirin vs Boris Alterman
Haifa (1995), Haifa ISR, rd 7, Feb-04
Russian Game: Modern Attack (C43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-09-08  kkshethin: I also got first move 23. Bxc5+ but no further.
Interestingly enough instead of played move 25. Rxc4+ (which deep shredder 11 evaluates at 8.48) program gives mate in seven by

click for larger view

Engine: Deep Shredder 11 UCI (64 MB)
by Stefan Meyer-Kahlen

15/15 0:00 +M7 25.Qc7+ Kb5 26.bxc4+ Ka4 27.Qa7+ Kb4 28.a3+ Kb3 29.Qb6+ Ka4 30.Qb5+ Kxa3 31.Ra1+ (56.943) 605

Aug-09-08  TheCap: 23. bxc5+ Kxc5
I did not see Rac1 as the 24th move.
I thought 24. Qc7 was more powerful (an easier to calculate since it does not leave many options for black and potentially in case white discovers a black escape route a few moves in there could be a permanent check to save the day...) Anyway, it is hard to say when the puzzle is solved. I guess it is more about discussing the thoughts behind any solutions and sharing ideas in a community of chessfriends. And I must say that there are a lot of people who lay down their thoughts very accurately and I find that extremely useful and it helps me become a better player. So Thanks to for example Dzechiel (to just name someone who is very consistenly presenting his solutions and thoughts) and all the others as well. Thank you. The Cap
Aug-09-08  lost in space: Tried to find out, what move is better after 23. Bxc5+ Kxc5: 24. b4 or 24 Rac1 and came to the conclusion that they are both o.k. In addition I found a defence, not mentioned in my first post.

24. b4+ Kd6! 25. c5+ Ke6 26. Qa6+ Kf7 27. Qxd3 Nf4 28. Qf5+ Bf6 29. g3 Ng6 with white advantage.

Nearly the same line seems to be the best after
24. Rac1 Kd6! 25. c5+ Ke6 26. Qa6+ Kf7 27. Qxd3 Nf4 28. Qf5+ Bf6 29. g3 Ng6 with white advantage.

Maybe someone can check this lines with a strong silicon monster.

Aug-09-08  stacase: Got the first move, so [my rule] I get to post (-: But I figured black to run to e6 instead of scarfing up the Bishop. Oh well!
Aug-09-08  MiCrooks: I had b4 instead of Rac1 which according to the silicon monster is equally good if not slightly better.

Interestingly, Smirin missed a similar conception a few moves early when on move 21 c5! was better than the b3 that he he played. Had Boris not made a few misteps (like c5 and even Kxc5) then Smirin would have had a much harder time due to that mistake.

At then end taking the pawn is suicide. Even here Smirin misses the forced mate with Qc7+ instead of Rxc4+, though that is totally excusable. Once you see a continuation that leaves you with that clear a winning position, go ahead an play it and get the game over with. No point in searching for a better move at that point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Hmmm - an odd one.

The starting position is a tense king hunt. We have already invested a minor piece in the attack, so we need to act quickly. The good news is that the king stuck on d6 has very few moves. So we need aggressive moves to attack. I would really like to get my rooks into the action before too long.

So, like everyone else, I looked at 23. Bxc5+ as my first choice. But I could not quite get it to work. Sure, the line 23. Bxc5+ Kxc5+ 24. b4+ Kd6 25. c5+ looks fun for white, but what if white declines the bishop?

23. Bxc5 Ke6 ... now what? I looked at a number of lines, but black seemed to be wriggling free in each case. Do I really feel brave enough to try 24. Rxe5+?

So I talk myself out of 23. Bxc5+. I am fairly certain that it is the solution, because it feels like a CG kind of move. But I lack the confidence in it to play it in a game. And by my personal rules of engagement, that's a fail.

Look at the solution, and - natch - Bxc5 was played. But black grabbed the bishop and soon lost. 24. Rac1 was a cool move - bringing up the reserves. Wish I'd spotted that.

Plug the position into Fritz 11. Of course, it spots 23. Bxc5+ straight away, but then it gives equal weight to 24. b4+ and 24 Rac1. Both around +1.5 (depending on how long I let the infinite analysis continue for).

And 23. ... Ke6? Fritz initially is not too impressed with white's advantage but over time the evaluation rises to +2.5. Here is a sample line:

23. Bxc5+ Ke6 24. Bxe7 Qf7

Fritz reckons that this or 24. Qc8 is best. One line that had scared me is busted by 24. ... Nxe7? 25. Rxe5+! Kxe5 26. Qxe7+ Kf5 27. Re1 with an evaluation of over +8.

Back to the main line after 24. ... Qf7 Fritz gives a scary line that runs 25. c5 Rf8 26. f4 and white has an advantage of +1.47 in a very messy position.

So, the first move of Bxc5+ is the best and is not that difficult to spot. Black is quickly stuffed if he grabs the bishop, with either 24. b4+ or the cooler 24. Rac1+. But the position is more difficult to evaluate if black dodges the bishop check with 23. ... Ke6. White is still winning, but the lines get complicated, with fewer forcing moves.

Aug-09-08  456: Friday puzzle Aug-08-08 <20. ?> Geller vs Keres, 1973
Aug-09-08  znprdx: bizarre - not very interesting: far too one-sided - however as <once> suggests-declining is fascinating. Ironic parallel to recent Radjabov-Grishuk in Sochi FIDE Grand Slam
Aug-09-08  RandomVisitor: 22...Ke6 was better and might hold for black.
Aug-09-08  snarky: Like a lot of folks I got the first move but couldn't find the continuation. The idea I was working on was hemming the king in on d4 and I couldn't quite work it out.
Aug-09-08  Rama: Today's quote: "These are not pieces, they are men!" In full, the quote points toward geting value for your sacrifice.

So we look for a worthy sacrifice. 23. Bxc5 ..., opens lines and seems to expose the King to further checks. But here I lost the thread and did not find 24. Rac1! I kept looking for ways to X-ray the Rd3 with Qa6+.

This was a difficult puzzle.

Aug-09-08  fizixgeek: What about 24. b4+ ?
Aug-09-08  zb2cr: Saw the first move, but did not see the very fine follow-up 24. Rac1, threatening cxd5+. Actually, I think Black should have played 24. ... Kd4 to respond to the threat.
Aug-09-08  zb2cr: Sorry, I meant 24. ... Kd6.
Aug-09-08  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult): White to play and win.

Material: 2Ps for N. The Black K has 1 legal move and is on a tightrope on the 6-th rank with the White Qb7 behind, situation if maintained that is worth 2 minor pieces. The White Ba3 pins Pc5 to Kd6 and indirectly threatens Be7. The White Re1 attacks Pe5 and also indirectly threatens Be7. The Black Kd6 is therefore lightly defended relative to its attackers, but the attack needs to be pressed home before Black brings the defenders Qg8, Rh8, and Ng6 closer. Only the White Ra1 requires activation.

Candidates (23.): Bxc5+

23.Bxc5+ Kxc5

Candidates (24.): Qc7+, cxd5

I then went for

24.cxd5 Qxd5 25.Qc7+ Kb5 26.Rec1,

but missed that 26...Bc5 wins, because of back-rank mates. Although the initial sacrifice 23.Bxc5+ was obvious, e.g., along the lines of decoy sacrifices in Geller vs Keres, 1973 and Hsu Li Yang vs Nunn, 1992 (both of which I missed), the game continuation from 23…Kxc5 was very delicate, and the real puzzle today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The epaulette mate comes next: 25...♔d6 26 ♕c6#.

Men or pieces? I prefer the latter;after all how can we call a castle a man?

The unusual symbolism of "castling" always seemed so odd to me. After all, in the castle always faces the enemy-but in chess,it stands alongside the king-and it's the brave little soldiers-the pawns-that are in front of the king. In reality,shouldn't castling look this way:

click for larger view


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <fizixgeek> Fritz 11 gives this ...

23. Bxc5+ Kxc5 24. b4+ Kd6

Forced. If 24. ... Kd4, Fritz gives a mate in 7 starting with Qa7+. 24. ... Kxc4 is a mate in 5 starting with 25. Rac1+.

25. c5+ Ke6 26. Qa6+ and however black evades the check, white picks up the loose rook on d3. The evaluation is currently around +1.6 ish for either 26. ... Kf7 or 26. ... Kf5.

So I think that either 24. Rac1 or 24. b4+ win for white.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's my look using Fritz 8 and the Opening Explorer:

<1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. dxe5 d5 5. Nbd2 Be7>

This is playable,but Black IMO gets better counter chances with 5...Nxd2 as in Short vs Seirawan, 1986, Tkachiev vs Karpov, 2002, Svidler vs Kramnik, 1999 or Sutovsky vs V Gashimov, 2008.

<6. Bb5+>

Despite White's win, this move IMO allows black to equalize a bit too easily. Better I think is 6. Nxe4 as in E Najer vs Yusupov, 2008.


Black appears to have equalized, but he soon gets outplayed by White in the middle game complexities.

<7. Bd3 Nc5 8. Be2 Bg4 9. Nd4 Bxe2 10. Qxe2 Nbd7 11. O-O Ne6 12. Nxe6 fxe6 13. Qg4 Nxe5 14. Qxg7 Ng6 15. Nf3 Kd7 16. c4 Qg8?!>

Instead, I think maybe Black should try 16... Qf8 17. Qc3 Rg8 =.

<17. Qd4 Rf8?!>

Black figures the pawn on a7 is untouchable because of his threat of 18...RxN.

<18. Qxa7!>

However, White realizes he can afford to snatch the pawn and temporarily drop the Knight, as he picks up two pawns and a strong attack to compensate.

Even so, White may actually have been better off to play for the win more conservatively with 18. cxd5! exd5

[No better is 18... Rxf3? 19. dxc6+ Ke8 (19... Kxc6 20. Be3 Kc7 (20... Rxe3 21. Rac1+ Kb5 22. a4+ Ka5 23. Qxa7+ Kb4 24. Qb6+ Kxa4 25. Rc4+ Bb426. Rxb4#) 21. Rac1+ Bc5 22. Qxc5+ Kd8 23. Qd6+ Ke8 24. Rc7 Rf6 (24... Qg7 25. Qxe6+ Ne7 26. Rc8#) 25. Qd7+ Kf8 26. Rc8#.]

19. Bh6 Rf5! 20. Rae1 (Not 20. Bg7? Nf4 21. Kh1 Bf6 22. Qxa7 Qxg7 ) 20... Bf6 21. Qxa7 Rxf3 22. Qxb7+ Kd6 23. Bd2 Ne5 24. Bb4+ Ke6 25. Qxc6+ Kf5 26. Qc2+ Ke6 27. Bc3 Rf4 28. g3 Re4 29. f3 Rxe1 30. Rxe1 Kd6 31. Bb4+ Kd7 32. Qa4+ Nc6 33. Qb5 Kc7 34. Rc1 Qe6 35. Ba5+ Kd7 36. Qb7+ Ke8 37. Qxc6+ .

<18... Rxf3 19. Qxb7+ Kd6 20. Re1 e5 21. b3 Rd3 22. Ba3+ c5?>

Given the strength of White's reply, this is clearly the losing move.

Instead, <Random Visitor's> recommendation 22... Ke6! gives Black good practical counter chances. One possibility played out against Fritz 8 is 22...Ke6! 23. Bxe7 Nxe7 24. Rxe5+ Kxe5 25. Qxe7+ Kd4 26. Re1 Qf8 27. Qa7+ Kc3 28. Qa5+ Kb2 29. cxd5 Qd6 30. Re2+ Kc1 31. Re1+ Kc2 32. b4 Qxd5 33. Qa4+ Kb2 34. b5 Qxb5 35. Re2+ Ka1 36. Re1+ Kb2 37. Re2+ Ka1 38. Re1+ Kb2 =.

<23. Bxc5+!!> This strong move solves the Saturday, Aug 9, 2008 puzzle by initiating a winning pursuit combination against Black's now helpless and exposed King.

<23...Kxc5 24. Rac1!>

This wins with a simple but strong discovered check and double attack threat. However, also decisive is 24. b4+! Kd6 (24... Kd4 25. Qa7+ Kxc4 26. Rac1+ Rc3 27. Rxc3+ Kxc3 28. Qa3+ Kc4 29. Rc1+ Kd4 30. Qe3#) (24... Kxc4 25. Rac1+ Kd4 26. Qb6+ Bc5 27. Qxc5#) 25. c5+ Ke6 26. Qa6+ Kf7 27. Qxd3 .

<24... dxc4 25. Rxc4+ 1-0.>

Black resigns in lieu of the coming 25...Qxc4 (25...Kd6 26. Qc6#) 26. Qc7+ Kb5 27. Qxc4+ Kb6 28. Qxd3 .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I thought that declining the bishop sacrifice was correct after 23. Bxc5+ Ke6 24. Bxe7 Nxe7, until <benveniste> came up with 25. Rxe5+!

Nevertheless, I still can't find a clear-cut win after 23 Bxc5 Kxc5 24 Rac1 Kd6 25 c5+ Ke6 26 Qa6+ Kf5 27 Qxd3+ e4.

click for larger view

White's definitely ahead, but it still looks like there's plenty of work left to do.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Jimfromprovidence> Yes, I'd rather be white but it is not handshake time just yet.

From your diagram, Fritz 11 wants to play 28. Qh3+ Kf6 29. Qc3+ Ke6 30. c6 Nf4 12. g3

click for larger view

Black's kingside attack doesn't seem to be going anywhere and the white queenside pawns are rolling.

BTW. My first FEN! Easier than I thought (although Fritz's help function was absoltely no help in finding out how to do it).

Aug-09-08  Marmot PFL: Well, the first move looks easy, Bxc5+ Kxc5 (Ke6 Bxe7 Nxe7 Rxe5+ Kxe5 Qxe7+ also looks strong but i don't see the finish) b4+ Kd6 (Kxc4 Rc1+ or Kd4 Qa7+) and now c5+ Ke6 Qa6+ picks up the rook for 2 pieces and white has far too many pawns. Since this is bad maybe black is better off in one of the other lines where it looks like white mates but I did not actually see how. I am not a good king hunter though no doubt many others would finish black off more quickly. Much harder than yesterday IMHO where white had a crushing position with no risk and did not need to be as precise.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Jimfromprovidence> I think you are correct in suggesting Black can maximize resistance in the 23 Bxc5+! Kxc5 24 Rac1! Kd6 25 c5+ Ke6 26 Qa6+ Kf5 27 Qxd3+ e4 line. However, I think <Once> is also on target in indicating that with White's rolling Queen-side passed pawns, the win with skillful play should not be in doubt.

Also, White's pawn roller might be slightly stronger in the 23. Bxc5+! Kxc5 24. b4+! line -- especially after 24...Kd6 25. c5+ Ke6 26. Qa6+, when 26...Kf5 is met with the clearly decisive 27. Qxd3+ e4 28. Qh3+! .

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Once> <From your diagram, Fritz 11 wants to play 28. Qh3+ Kf6 29. Qc3+ Ke6 30. c6 Nf4 31. g3>

Thanks. That rook and queen supported c pawn and the connected a-b pawn pair should be hard to stop.

Nevertheless, from your continuation, black can still be a nuisance with threats like 31…Nh3+ 32 Kf1 Qf7.

click for larger view

Now, besides the obvious mate threat at f2, black's queen also eyes the (guarded) f3 square, seeing Qh1+ and drawing chances.

Thanks also for your input <patzer2>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Jimfromprovidence> <Once> <From your diagram, Fritz 11 wants to play 28. Qh3+ Kf6 29. Qc3+ Ke6 30. c6 Nf4 31. g3> After 31...Nh3+, I think 32. Kg2 works better here than 32. Kf1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <patzer2> <After 31...Nh3+, I think 32. Kg2 works better here than 32. Kf1.>

Yeah, I think that after 32...Nf4+ 33 Kh1 Bf6 34 Qd2, black is out of ammo.

click for larger view

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