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Anna Burtasova vs Natalia Straub
Athens Acropolis WGM (2005), President Hotel, Athens, rd 2, Mar-07
French Defense: Advance. Euwe Variation (C02)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-05-06  HannibalSchlecter: I like that piece sac at move 15. I have not seen the 6.a3 7. b4 idea before. It makes playing the Advance French look fun.
Jul-05-06  RandomVisitor: Better for Black were:
17...Kh8 (-1.01)
19...Bf6 (-0.32)
22...Kg8 (0.00 - perpetual check)
Jul-05-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dim Weasel: I got the opening move and the basic idea, but not all those detailed variations.
Jul-05-06  Confuse: yay i got it

love,

confuse

Jul-05-06  jahhaj: <HannibalSchlecter> It's a standard plan in the Advance French. Other options for Black are, 6...c4 to prevent b4 and to try and take advantage of White's weakening of the queen side, or (more to my taste) 6...Rc8 7.b4 cxd4 8.cxd4 Qb6 with interesting play.
Jul-05-06  alfilbueno: <dwins> You are right, chess is a complex game. Besides, from b5 the Black queen would defend the rook on e8.

But I think there is a solution!, after 28 ... Qe2 29 Rb1!, defending the pawn at b5. Moreover, on b1 the rook is cannot be harassed by the Black queen, it is protected by his queen at g6.

Jul-05-06  eunuch lust: The first thing I noticed when I looked at the puzzle was that black's queen looked like it was in a little danger, but I got distracted by looking for mate, and failed to find the right line.

How do you go about calculating long lines? I mean do you literally visualize the pieces in different positions on the board, or is it more like you just remember where the pieces are without "seeing" them? I don't know whether the question really makes sense, but I'm new to chess and any help would be appreciated.

Jul-05-06  thatsmate: Alright, so I'm not very good at these things, but could someone please tell me why 23. Qxa3 doesnt work? The way I see it, if black plays 23...Bxa3, white plays Rf8#. Thus white is a queen up- what am I not seeing.
Jul-05-06  RonB52734: <thatsmate> Because ...Bxf8
Jul-05-06  danilsafin: Nice one.
I think it is interesting that if white's king was on h1 instead, the whole combination would not work after 23...Rxd1 24. Rxf8+ Rxf8 25. Qxa3 Rf1+ mate!
Jul-05-06  YouRang: Great puzzle for utilizing the monster white knight on e5.

Key points to notice:

1. The black queen is busy guarding the f1 bishop against Rxf8#, so it cannot take the white queen.

2. The black queen is guarded only by the f8 bishop.

3. The white knight is excellently posted to deliver check, with great forking potential, particularly on the critical f8 square. It also guards its queen on d3.

It seemed pretty clear that the puzzle would involve finding the right combination to exploit Black's weakness between its queen and the f8 square.

For a long time, I didn't like the looks of 23. Bxe8, since (on the surface) it relinquishes control of h7, thus removing the back-rank mate threat. Also, it allows 23...Rxe8, providing another defender of the f8 square.

However, upon closer inspection, it clears the g6 square for the knight, and removes the only piece that was hindering the knight.

So 23. Bxe8 leaves Black with a desperate problem:

If 23...Rxe8, then 24. Rxf8+!!, removing the black queen's defender. If 24...Rxf8, then 25. Qxa3. But if 24...Qxf8, then the knight fork 25. Ng6+ wins the queen.

If 23...Qxd3, then 24. Rxf8+!! Kh7 25. Nxd3, and White goes into the endgame a piece up.

Jul-05-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The puzzles are hard to me this week! Only Wednesday-and I'm 1/3. Even the Ancient Mariner didn't do worse.
Jul-05-06  The17thPawn: Nice Wednesday puzzle. This one took some calculation even after recognizing the crucial points in the position. Bxe8 was definitely a clearance exchange and the last point in the position I recognized. Hope Thursday isn't too much harder or I'll never come close to Friday this week.
Jul-05-06  Ingolf: For some reason I didn't see the exchange sac, but only 23.- Rxe8 24.Ng6+ Kg8 25.Rxf8+ Qxf8 26.Nxf8. The the result is of course the same though. Fischer's bonmot "the queen is boss" applies very well to the final position. Black is going to lose a lot of pawns, eg 26.- Rxf8 27.Qa3 b6 28.Qe7.
Jul-05-06  monad: If you saw this, move 27, White to play, is it immediately obvious that Black is for the chop? Knight + Rook for Queen?


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Jul-05-06  YouRang: <monad: If you saw this, move 27, White to play, is it immediately obvious that Black is for the chop? Knight + Rook for Queen? >

In general Q vs. R+N isn't trivial, but here, I think Black is in pretty bad shape since White's queen is very active, and Black's are not well coordinated, and Black's pawns are vulnerable.

Perhaps it might continue with 27. Qa3, and before long, Black's queenside pawns fall.

If 27...b6 28. Qe7

Or if 27...Nc4 28. Qa2 Rc8 29. Qxa7 Nxe3 30. Qxb7

Jul-05-06  RandomVisitor: <monad>You have a good point that the resulting ending will not be an easy win.

However, white is down a piece at move 23 and the next best move, 23.Qxa3, is scored -2.3 (winning for Black), so white has really no choice but to head for the diagrammed position.

Jul-05-06  YouRang: <monad, RandomVisitor> On move 27 (diagramed by <monad>), it also looks to me that 27. Qe4 (threatening e6 pawn) is winning.

If 27...Re8, then d5 and Black has a nasty passed pawn to contend with, besides an unprotected knight on the rim.

If 27...Kf7, then Qf4+, with designs on 28. Qc7, chasing the knight to b3, and eating pawns.

<RandomVisitor>, doesn't Rybka find the diagrammed position to be a fairly easy win for White?

Jul-05-06  Tariqov: <alifbueno>You have to consider that in your line if White wins the e8 rook Black is still material up,so i think more crushing is Ng6+!
Jul-05-06  weisyschwarz: Did not get it today. :-(
Jul-05-06  RandomVisitor: <YouRang>Rybka found 27.Qe4 but had some trouble converting the advantage to a truly won position.
Jul-06-06  monad: <doesn't Rybka find the diagrammed position to be a fairly easy win for White?>

It does, very quickly.
But, I couldn't see it and I wondered whether other humans would find it just as easily as the machine.

Thinking it out, qua material and piece-activity, it didn't strike me as being a reason to resign when Black did.

Jul-06-06  YouRang: <RandomVisitor, monad> <Rybka found 27.Qe4 but had some trouble converting the advantage to a truly won position.>

Interesting. I know that in endgame situations, a computer's skill level relative to a human diminishes a bit. I wonder if this position is an example of that. (Or perhaps it is a case of me being over-confident!).

I'm no chess wiz, but I think I could convert this fairly easily with the 27. Qe4 line.

Jul-06-06  dakgootje: Everything stood protected too well and it all just didnt work... Went away from the computer for few minutes and looked again at the puzzle after which i finally got this puzzle, but with a lot of calculating...
Jul-06-06  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, 23. Bxe8 with <al wazir>'s followup 23...Rxe8 24. Rxf8+!, winning the Black Queen by removing the guard (i.e. deflection), is probably the easiest and most practical solution.

I got lost in the fascinating 23. Bxe8 Rxe8 24. Nf7+! variations mentioned by <alfibueno>. However, I didn't see near as much as this FIDE master. Thanks <alfibueno> -- I look forward to seeing more of your excellent contributions in the future.

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