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Evgeny Sveshnikov vs Ruslan Shcherbakov
USSR Championship (1991), Moscow URS, rd 6, Nov-??
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1-0



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Given 7 times; par: 23 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: After 26.Nh6# 1-0, the position will look close to "Suffocation Mate", as per Game Collection: Checkmate: Checkmate Patterns.

click for larger view

But Schiller defines that mate as "The knight checks at e7, and the bishop covers the escape squares."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: FOr those of you who saw 24.Qh8+, don't be too unhappy. If the position had been slightly different:

click for larger view

You would have been right!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: Harder that your typical Monday, IMO. This does not bode well for the rest of the week.
Jun-10-19  Delboy: An absolute stunner. Who sees moves like that over the board? There are probably more cases where mates with this motif were missed than found
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: I love Mondays!

24. Qg7+ Kxg7 (only move) 25. Nf5++ Kg8 (only move) 26. Nh6# (26. Ne7 is also mate)

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Delboy: Who sees moves like that over the board?> Not me. I would never have found it if it had not been presented as a puzzle.

But Sveshnikov must have had it in mind when he played 23. Qe5.

Jun-10-19  saturn2: There is mate in three. 24. Qg7+ Kxg7 25. Nf5+ Kg8 26. Nh6#
Jun-10-19  EIDorado: I solve most Monday puzzles by starting with the question "how can I sac the Queen?". Solves the puzzle in about 3 seconds.
Jun-10-19  Gabriel King: Patzer's and expert's eyes alike just get their attention to the queen-bishop battery, formed both on c3 and e5. Maybe discovering the battery, through a knight movement, is the right answer? It can't be right, since the queen is just about to be taken.

And now you just see the beautiful combination involved. In just two beautiful movements, black's fate is sealed. With 24. Qg7+!, black has no choice and has to take it, just to be mated in the next move by the discovered and double check 25. Nf5#.

Very easy? Yes. Very beautiful? Yes.

Classic queen sacrifice monday. The world is just right and things are in place.

(PS: 24. Qh8+ doesn't work, since f5 just blocks it and there is no double check).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: (As I say above) I played this combination myself in an internet game some years ago on what was Red Hot Pawn (!). I remember really wanting my opponent to overlook the Q sac. I played the Black side of a Najdorf...

The point is, not only GM's play this and as it is check check check it is not hard to find but easy to overlook. Something like that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: I love this pattern.

A straightforward discovered attack by the knight, threatening mate, does nothing.

However, a spectacular reversal in the move order turns the discovery into a double check, with mate next.

Jun-10-19  charlesdecharemboul: Non era facile per un cavolo!
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a knight.

Black threatens Nxe5.

White can deliver mate in three: 24.Qg7+ Kxg7 25.Nf5+ Kg8 26.Ne7(h6)#.

Jun-10-19  malt: 24.Qg7+ K:g7 25.Nf5++ Kg8 26.Nh6#

Beautiful Bishop and Knight combination.

Jun-10-19  Lorenzo69: Nxe6 would do just as well, does it not?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: A difficult position. After 24.Qg7+ Kxg7 25.Nf5+ Kg8 I would probably flag deciding which knight move to mate with.
Jun-10-19  SpamIAm: <Lorenzo69>, no. You're forgetting that white's queen is en prise (under attack).
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Beautiful mate!
Jun-10-19  patzer2: I suspect today's Monday puzzle solution 24.Qg7+ Kxg7 25.Nf5+ Kg8 26.Ne7(h6)# was easy for experienced puzzle solvers and difficult for novices.

Assessing the puzzle from a positional perspective, I found it easy for three reasons:

1. The Black King is vulnerable to attack because the other Black pieces are disorganized and too far away.

2. Black's dark square weakness on the King-side is glaringly obvious.

3. The possibility of a Queen sacrifice on g7 leaves the Black King subject to a double discovered check by White's Bishop and Knight.

With those reasons in mind, it was simply a question of where to move the Knight to make the discovered check after 24. Qg7+ Kxg7.

The correct move is 25. Nf5+ because it cuts off the flight square on h6 and forces mate on the next move (i.e. 25...Kg8 26. Nh6# or 25...Kg8 26. Ne7#).

Jun-10-19  patzer2: So where did Black go wrong? Black's decisive mistake was 21...g6? allowing 22. d3 Nb6 23. Qe5 +- (+5.65 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10). Instead, 21...Qb8 22. f4 ± (+1.38 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10) puts up more resistance for practical drawing chances.

A few moves earlier, 17...Bxa3? 18. bxa3 ± (+0.75 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 10) is a positional mistake which weakens the King position. Instead, 17...Be7 18. Nf3 0-0 ⩲ (+0.33 @ 35 ply, Stockfish 10) improves Black's drawing chances.

Even earlier, Black's game takes a turn for the worse with 15...Qb7 16. cxd4 ± to ⩲ (+0.72 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10). Instead, 15...c4 ⩱ to = (-0.32 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 10) gives White nothing better than sacrificing a piece for an unbalanced but level attacking position after 15...c4 16. Nxc4! bxc4 17. Qa4+ Kd8 18. Nxd4 = (0.00 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 10).

If sacrificing a couple of pawns for a piece seems risky or unappealing, Black can also keep it level with 15...dxc3 = or 15...Qd5 =.

In the opening, instead of the popular move 9...Bb7, I prefer 9...d3 According to our Opening Explorer, 9...d3 has been far more successful for Black than 9...Bb7. One notable example of play with 9...d3 is Black's win in Nunn vs Carlsen, 2006.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheaN: I got this instantly but seen the combination before so that doesn't count. Doesn't make it less beautiful. <patzer2: double discovered check> that's a pleonasm if the FIDE rules are adhered to :>
Jun-10-19  et1: Very beautiful but not very easy.
Jun-10-19  lasker27: Does 21 ... Qb8 hold for black? It looks as if 21 ... g6 might have been a blunder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheaN: <lasker27: Does 21 ... Qb8 hold for black? It looks as if 21 ... g6 might have been a blunder.>

Correct assessment, though I guess Black was not very keen to play the clearly worse endgame. Qb8 is still about +1 as b5 is weak and it's B+N vs knight pair; as knights don't really coordinate well this gives White the advantage even with even material.

g6 however, allows White to force 22.d3 Nb6 23.Qe5, where f6 is a sad necessity as otherwise Qg7 or Nxb6, but after 24.Qxe6+ +- White breaks through anyway.

Jun-10-19  The Kings Domain: Neat and clever puzzle, good one.
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