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Emil Sutovsky vs Ivan Sokolov
"Ruy the Day" (game of the day Oct-07-2005)
Nottingham (2005), ?, rd 11, May-02
Spanish Game: Open. Bernstein Variation (C80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-26-09  ruzon: I managed to come up with 33. Nd5+ Rxd5, but then I settled on 34. Bg5+, refuted by Ke8. White's position is so potent that Black has to spend all his energy to keep the White Queen from coming to the party. Fine game.
Apr-26-09  dzechiel: White to move (34?). White is up a knight. "Insane."

OK now. Black threatens 34...Qxd1+ picking up our queen. If we play 34 Qxa4 bxa4 then black is threatening 35...d1=Q+ going up a queen. Whatever white decides to do, it should be immediate and forcing.

So, immediate, forcing candidate moves include:

34 Nd5+
34 Nh8+
34 Bf8+

After some consideration, I think it must be

34 Nd5+

At first I was worried about what would happen if black simply refused the sacrifice with something like 34...Ke8, but then I noticed that black no longer guards the d-pawn and that 35 Qxd2 would leave white up a piece. So...

34...Rxd5 35 Rxf7+

Keeping up the pressure. Now black has many tries:


Let's look at all of 'em. On


a typical line might go

36 Qh5+ Ke7 37 Bg5+ Kd7 38 Qg4+ Ke8 39 Qe6+ Kf8 40 Bh6#



we could see

36 Rf8+ Kd7 37 Qg4+ Ke7 38 Qg7+ Ke6 39 Qf7+ Kxe5 40 Qf6+ Ke4 41 Qf4#


35...Kd8 36 Rf8+ Kd7

and we transpose to the line above.


35...Ke6 36 Qg4+ Kxe5

If 36...Kxf7 then 37 Qh5+ transposes to the first line.

37 Qf4+ Ke6 38 Qf6#

There's probably a lot more going on, but this has to be the correct idea. Time to check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I actually found 34.Nd5+, Rxd5; 35.Rxf7+! Amazingly, I could not figure out what happened after 34...Ke8. (Its simple, one win is just 35.QxP/d2, although there might be something better. I think I was in "Mate-finder mode," and therefore unable to realize its a simple win on material.)
Apr-26-09  SamAtoms1980: I found 34 Nd5+ Rxd5 35 Rxf7+. Um...... I ARE TEH WINZ!!!!!
Apr-26-09  UnsoundHero: After 37 Bg5+, I suspect black lost on time, rather than resign such an unclear position.

But it looks like white can force the win. After 37...Kxf8 38 Qf3+ Ke8 39 Qh5+ Kd7 40 Qg4+! (40 Qf7+? Kc8 41 Qxd5 d1(Q)+) 40...Ke8 41 Qe6+. It's amusing to see 3 different diagonal checks by the white queen before finally landing the right one.

Apr-26-09  goodevans: Thursday took me ages. Friday and Saturday I failed to get at all, but today I got it in under 30 seconds (at least that's how long it took to find the first 2 moves - checking it all out took a few minutes longer).

Is being kind to us today at the end of a tough week, or did I just strike lucky today?

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a pawn, but the pawn threatens to promote soon. A direct defense like 34.Rc1 dxc1=Q 34.Qxc1 loses badly to 34... Rd1+.

After 34.Ng8+ Rxg8 35.Qxd2 (35.Rxf7+ Kxf7 36.Qh5+ Rg6) Rad8 and Black threatens ... Rd1+, ... Qa1 and ... Rh1#. Therefore, 34.Nd5+:

A) 34... Rxd5 35.Rxf7+

A.1) 35... Kxf7 36.Qh5+

A.1.a) 36... Kg8 37.Qg5+ Kf7 (37... Kh8 38.Qg7) 38.Qf6+ Ke8 39.Qe6+ Kd8 40.Bg5#.

A.1.b) 36... Ke7 37.Qg5+

A.1.b.i) 37... Kf7 38.Qf6+ transposes to A.1.a.

A.1.b.ii) 37... Kd7 38.Qf5+ Ke8 (38... Ke7(d8) 39.Bg5+ Ke8 40.Qe6+ Kf8 41.Bh6#) 39.Qe6+ Kd8 40.Bg5#.

A.1.b.iii) 37... Ke6 38.Qf6+ Kd7 38.Qf5+ transposes to A.1.b.ii.

A.1.b.iv) 37... Ke8 38.Qg8+ Ke7 (38... Kd7 39.Qxd5+ Ke7 (39... Kc8 40.Qxa8+ Kd7 41.Rd3+ with a mate attack) 40.Bg5+ Kf8 (40... Ke8 41.Qe6+ Kf8 42.Bh6#) 41.Rf3+ Kg7 42.Qf7+ Kh8 43.Bf6#) 39.Bg5+ Kd7 40.Qxd5+ Ke8 41.Qe6+ Kf8 42.Bh6#.

A.1.c) 36... Ke6 37.Qg4+ Kxe5 (37... Ke7 38.Qg5+ transposes to A.1.b; 37... Kf7 38.Qf5+ Ke8 (38... Ke7 38.Qg5+ transposes again) 39.Qe6+ Kd8 40.Bg5#) 38.Re4+ Kd6 (38... Kf6 39.Bg7#) 39.Bf4+ Re5 40.Rxe5 d1=Q+ 41.Re1+ Kd5 42.Qd7#.

A.2) 35... Kd8(e8) 36.Rf8+

A.2.a) 36... Ke7 37.Rf7+ repeats moves.

A.2.b) 36... Kd7 37.Qg4+ Ke7 38.Qg5+ Kd7(e6) 39.Qf5+ Ke7 40.Qf7#.

A.3) 35... Ke6 36.Qg4+

A.3.a) 36... Kxf7 37.Qf5+ transposes to previous lines.

A.3.b) 36... Kxe5 37.Bg7+ Kd6 38.Rd7#.

B) 34... Kd7(e8) 35.Qxd2 + -.

C) 34... Ke6 35.Qg4+

C.1) 35... Kxd5 36.Rd3+ Kxe5 (36... Kc6 37.Qf3+ Rd5 38.Qxd5#) 37.Bg7+ f6 38.Bxf6#.

C.2) 35... Kxe5 36.Re4+ Kxd5 (36... Kd6 37.Bf4+ Kxd5 38.Qf5#) 37.Qf5+ Kd6 38.Bf4#.

I think that's all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I would like to know why I settled for repetition in my line A.2.a. Sunday afternoon laziness, perhaps.
Apr-26-09  homersheineken: First Sunday I ever got!!!!! although it was pretty fortuitous that I guessed right ;)
Apr-26-09  Stormbringer: Well, I certainly wouldn't have guessed that with the queen en prise and the opponent on the verge of queening that the answer would be to throw away a knight and a rook.

My theory was to go for Ng8+. The responses I looked at were Rxg8 ('good' because now the queen can take the pawn and isn't en prise anymore).

Or 34 Ng8+ Ke6. 35 Rf6+ Kxe5. 36 Qe2+ Kd5. 37 Qd3+ Ke5. 38 Bf4#

But if the King goes to e8 then there are problems, you bring the queen to f3, black exchanges for the queened pawn, you line up the rooks on the f file and charge in with the e pawn if he brings up the rooks to defend... but in the end I think there is still sufficient wriggle room for black to escape. Amazing that Queen and bishop can do what two rooks a knight a bishop and a suicidal pawn cannot.

Apr-26-09  DarthStapler: I at least considered the first move
Apr-26-09  PinnedPiece: I went into "guess the move" mode on this one, with the intent of playing Nd5+, and possibly Rxf7 depending on balck's move 34 ...

I felt the chances were good I would be able to bring my queen to f3 with the right sacrifice, and that would put paid to black's defense.

Well, I was right.

I have no personal goal time limit for Saturdays or Sundays but this took about three minutes to work out.

A rarity for me....batting avg about 1 in 50 for Sundays. .

Apr-26-09  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane):

Sutovsky vs I Sokolov, 2005 (34.?)

White to play and win.

Material: N for P. The Black Ke7 has 1 legal move, e6. Black has Pd2, backed by Rd8, ready for d1=Q. The Black Qa4 threatens to remove the blockade of Pd2 by the White Qd1. The White pieces are mobile. Black has no loose pieces, so the only ready focus for an attack is the exposed Black Ke7. Any candidate is therefore likely a check. The White Kg1 is secured from check, except for …Bxf2+.

Candidates (34.): Ng8+, Bf8+, Rxc7+, Nd5+


Black cannot refuse the sacrifice, which clears the d8-a4 diagonal leading to Ke7.

(1) 34…Ke8 35.Qxd2

Black is down a N without compensation, because if necessary, White dances out of a pin on Nd5 with 36.Rd3.

(2) 34…Ke6 35.Qg4+ Kxd5 36.Rd3+ Kc6 [Kxe5 37.Qf5#]

37.Qf3+ Rd5 38.Qxd5#

Black is caught in a Dovetail mate.

(3) 34…Rxd5 35.Rxf7+

The White Rc3 and Black Rd5 create a tomb for the Black Ke7, as long as White does not permit Ke7 to escape through c8. The refusal of the second sacrifice permits the White Rf7 to harass Ke7, so the mating patterns for refusal are simpler than those for acceptance, for which first moves follow:

(2.1) 35…Ke6 36.Qg4+

(2.2) 35…Kd8 [or Ke8] 36.Rf8+

Thus, Black might as well accept the Gift (in the German sense):

(2.3) 35…Kxf7 36.Qf3+

(2.3.1) 36…Kg8 [Kg6 37.Qf6+ Kh5 38.Qg5#]

37.Qg4+ Kf7 [Kh8 38.Qg7#]

38.Qf5+ Ke7 [Ke8 39.Qe6+ Kd8 40.Bg5#]

[Kg8 39.Qe6+ Kh8 40.Qf6+ Kg8 41.Qg7#]

39.Bg5+ Ke8 40.Qe6+ Kf8 41.Bh6#

(2.3.2) 38…Ke7 39.Qf6+ Kd7 [Ke8 40.Qe6+ Kd8 41.Bg5#]

40.Qf5+ Kd8 [Ke8 41.Qe6+ Kd8 42.Bg5#]

40.Bg5+ Ke8 41.Qe6+ Kf8 42.Bh6#

(2.3.3) 36…Ke8 37.Qf8+ Kd7 38.Qf5+ Kd8

[Ke8 39.Qe6+ Kd8 40.Bg5#]

39.Bg5+ Ke8 40.Qe6+ Kf8 41.Bh6#

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Great match.

I thought black should have given up the pawn and taken the knight with 32...Rxg8. I'm not sure what happens after 33 Qxd2 Rad8.

click for larger view

White's position is better, but material is even.

Apr-26-09  johnlspouge: (2.3.1) 36…Kg8 37.Qxd4+ Kh8 38.Qxa8#

is a little faster ;>)

Apr-26-09  whiteshark: Got <34.Nd5+ Rxd5 35.Rxf7+> with the idea of <35...Kxf7 36.Qf3+ Ke6 37.Qf6+> and thought it's all over.
Apr-26-09  WhiteRook48: guessed at 34 Ng8+?? instead
Apr-26-09  TheBish: Sutovsky vs I Sokolov, 2005

White to play (34.?) "Insane"

Well, no time now, but I'm sure it's something like 34. Nd5+ Rxd5 35. Rxf7+ followed by 36. Qh5+ if Black captures the rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I solved this but I didn't bother with Ng8+ (once I realised Nd5+ was best) I looked at either Bf8+ Ng8+ or Nd5+ when I noticed that White a was piece up! - lol - I realised that after Nd5+ then if Ke8 White takes the menacing d pawn - checking that it was o.k. to do so

As usual the problem was the complexity of the position and the number of choices...

Apr-27-09  UnsoundHero: On 32 Ng8+, if 32...Rxg8 33 Qxd2 Rad8 34 Rd3 Rxd3 35 Qxd3 and if then 35...Qa1+ 36 Kh2 Qxe5 37 g3 (with the deadly threat of Re4). If then 37...Rd8 38 Bg5+ Qxg5 39 Qxd8+ Kxd8 40 hxg5. Or 37...Qh5 38 Re4+ Kf6 39 Bc1!. Or 37...Qd6 38 Rxf7+ Kxf7 39 Qxh7+ Kf6 40 Qxg8 Bxf2 41 Bg5+ Ke5 42 Bf4+.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the Sunday, April 26, 2009 puzzle solution, White plays the decoy sham sacrifice 34. Nd5+! and follows it with a Rook sacrifice after 37. Bg5+! to put the helpless Black King into a mating web.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: One of the few "insane" ones in which I found every move, and all the variations - or at least 90%! - without moving a piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Another brilliant combination by this player would be: Sutovsky vs Smirin, 2002.

click for larger view

White: Kh1, Qh3, Nf5, Re4 & f1; WP's - a2, c2, d5, g2, & h2. /

Black: Kh8, Qb2, Na5 & h7, Ra8 & g8; BP's - a7, c4, d6, & f7.

White to play and make his 24th move, I believe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Curious, I could not find this (contest) in ChessBase's online game database.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < UnsoundHero: After 37 Bg5+, I suspect black lost on time, rather than resign such an unclear position. But it looks like white can force the win. After 37...Kxf8 38 Qf3+ Ke8 39 Qh5+ Kd7 40 Qg4+! (40 Qf7+? Kc8 41 Qxd5 d1(Q)+) 40...Ke8 41 Qe6+. It's amusing to see 3 different diagonal checks by the white queen before finally landing the right one. >

yes, and after 41.Qe6+ Kf8 42.Bh6# but in your alternate...

< (40 Qf7+? Kc8 41 Qxd5 d1(Q)+) >

the question mark is misplaced, and should be 40 Qf7+ Kc8 41 Qxd5? d1(Q)+ as the correct move is 41.Qg8+! Kb7 42.Qxd5+ and then take the pawn. White is still winning. For example.. 42...Ka7 43.Qxd2 (the b pawn is protected by the Rxc7+ threat) followed with Be3 (threatening Rxc7+). The position is still rich with tactics, the black Q is locked out of play, the black K is still not safe, so even if white didn't follow the best path 40.Qg4+! there is still lively play.

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