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Alexander Rustemov vs Reynaldo Vera
TCh-ESP (2002), Mondariz ESP, rd 8, Dec-07
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Meran Variation (D45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-02-10  Chesschatology: <Once> please forgive an affectionate parody of your inimitably imaginative chess analogies!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: No forgiveness needed! I thoroughly enjoyed it. And to think that while you were gently teasing me, I was scribbling some twaddle about moves like snowflakes...

If you can't laugh at yourself this world can become a very uncomfortable place.

Dec-02-10  Patriot: <Once> That is a wonderful analogy and very poetic. I completely missed 14...Nfg4 and I'm certain I would not have seen this during a game. The move simply did not seem to fit into my usual logic of looking for checks, captures, and threats. But it was the threat I did not see because it's as subtle as a snowflake. I may show this puzzle to Dan Heisman tonight during my lesson just to see how he analyzes it and whether he has the same problem.

<Chesschatology> Your post is very clever! I enjoyed it.

<agb2002> <The maneuver 14... Nxf3+ 15.gxf3 Ng4, threatening mate fails because of the obvious 16.fxg4, but this suggests 14... Nfg4, changing the move order and threatening mate in two:> That's a very logical approach. Why didn't I think of that?

Dec-02-10  David2009: A Rustemov vs R Vera, 2002 Black 14...?

14...Nfg4 threatening mate starting 15...Nxf3+ and I cannot find a good Black defence. For example, 15 Rfd1 threatening Nxb5 just fails: 15...Qxh2+ 16 Kf1 Qh1+ 17 Ke2 Qg2 threatens Qxf7#. Time to check the game:
After 14...Nfg4

click for larger view

White found the excellent 15 Bf4! limiting immediate losses and fighting on in a thankless ending until move 66. Interestingly, Crafty End Game Trainer varies from the game line by continuing the attack with 15...Rc8: link You are White: enjoy exploring the defence against Crafty EGT

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 14...Nfg4!? (Not enough time this morning to properly analyze this one.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <skytazz: 22...Qh3 leeds to an early win. After 23. Qe3 Qxh2# 23. e5 Qg2#

23. Bxg5 + axb5
24. Qxb5 + Kf8 . and nothing left to prevent the moves shown above.>

23. f3 would seem to put a stop to it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Chesschatology: This puzzle is really about jute trading in mid sixteenth century Bengal.>

Now thats a funny thing. I was scanning down and when I came to your fascinating post I started reading. As I was reading I began thinking that <Once> would have found it interesting or might even have been thinking the same. And then I read <.... just what I was thinking!>

Isnt that another amazing coincidence ;-)

Dec-02-10  autolycus: <Chesschatology: This puzzle is really about jute trading in mid sixteenth century Bengal.> When I read that, I thought <Once> and then I had a second thought: 'The material is even.'
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's 14...Nfg5! wins a pawn with advantage, utilizing the discovered attack with check tactic, and also solves today's Thursday puzzle.

The combination involves a mate threat (e.g. 14...Nfg5! 15. h3?? Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Qh2#), a double attack tactical threat (e.g. 14...Nfg5! 15. Nxe5? Qxe5 16. g3 Qxg5 ), as well as the discovered attack with check tactic used to win a pawn in the game continuation.

Interestingly, Fritz 10 gives 14...Nfg5! about a two pawn advantage, despite the fact it only wins a single pawn. Perhaps the weakened King position and the two Bishops add to the computer assessed advantage, but in strong human play it's not so clearly decisive.

White's mistake in allowing the combination was 14. Rac1? Instead, 14. Nxe5 Qxe5 15. Bxf6 gxf6 16. Kh1 = keeps it level.

Black missed an opportunity on his 35th turn to end the game almost immediately with a passed pawn tactic (diagram below).

click for larger view

(35...? Black to move and win)

Here the sham Bishop sacrifice 35...Bxf4! gives Black an avalanche of passed pawns after 36. Nxf4 Bxe4 37. Nh3 Bxd3 38. Bxd3 Rh4 (-5.17 @ 18 depth, Fritz 10).

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I figured the black would go for the kingside attack...and gain a pawn.
Dec-02-10  goldenbear: I got this one but I was skeptical that I was right because Nfg4 didn't seem like a "puzzle" move to me.
Dec-02-10  kellmano: I don't think you can say you fully solved this one unless you saw 66......Kg2
Dec-02-10  BOSTER: <Patriot> <14...Nfg4... The move simply did not seem to fit into my usual logic of looking for checks,captures and threats>. Except such logic moves there are others.
BTW. Thanks for your yesterday comment with Fritz. In your line 17.h3 black can play forced line 17...Qg3 18.Ndxe4 Qh2+ 19.Kf2 Bg3+(Nxg3 Qxg2#) 20.Kf3 Re6 and White King in mating net and under attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: Went with 14...Nfg4 15 Bf4 Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Qxf4 17. fxg4 Qxg4+ winning a pawn, but was convinced there was some tactical shot I was missing. But there wasn't.

<tacticalmonster> wrote: <15 Ne2 Nxd3 16 g3 Nxc1- Black is up a rook>

True, but 15...Nxf3+ 16. gxf3 Qxh2# ends matters immediately.

Dec-02-10  gofer: So who is the super hero?

A. Seargeant Flint? Qc7?
B. Rosemary (the telephone operator)? Nf6?
C. Penry (the mild mannered janitor)? Bc5?

For those of you that don't want to know the answer, please turn away now...

Well actually I have no idea! I was hoping I had found something really good, but all I can find is something quite good. So read on if you wish, but I suspect it may be garbage!

It was "Penry (the mild mannered janitor)" (a.k.a Hong Kong Phooey).

He does nothing, sits there and lets everybody else do the work, but without him all black's plans would fail. So he is today's super hero!

<14 ... Nfg4>

Threatening the nice combo, 15 ... Nxf3+ 16 gxf3 Qxh2# As this is a combination of two knight checks it is very difficult to stop!

15 g3 Nxf3+ 16 Kh1/Kg2 Nxg5 ouch!

15 Nxe5 Qxe5 16 g6/Bf4 losing the bishop

Main Line

<15 Bf4 Nxf3+>
<16 gxf3 Qxf4>
<17 fxg4 Qxg4>
<18 Kh1 ...>

This all seems forced, but the next move is the key. The two black bishops stay at arms length, stricting white's possible defenses, and we prepare to switch tactics, by bringing in the rooks, but before that we open up white's king even more!

<18 ... f5!>

19 Ne2 Qf3+ 20 Kg1 fxe5! winning
19 Be2 Qh3! winning

<19 Qe2 Qh3> winning!?

Black's position seems so strong! Time to check!

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <skytazz: 22...Qh3 leeds to an early win.> Of course it does. I don't know what I was thinking about when I posted that nonsense about 23. Qf3.

But anyway, I have 10 points out of 10 so far this week.

Dec-02-10  knight knight: <celessar> <...shouldn't black have played 17...Bd6(threatening Qxh2#) 18. Rfd1 Qxh2+ 19. Kf1 Qh3+ 20. Ke1 Qxg4 winning two pawns ?> 18. f3 holds the fort.

<Chesschatology> I think <Once> has some competition!

Dec-02-10  gofer: Crafty EGT plays <17 ... Rc8!>

Now that is something of a cruel move! Threatening a thousand and one discovered checks threats against Qc2 if Nc3 were to wander anywhere and also gaining control of the c file, with longterm threats against Rc1 while Qf4 controls the c1-h6 diagonal. If only I were so cold-blooded...

I imagine my f5 line is flawed... ...any one got any thoughts on this?

<Once> It is absolutely stunning out there. If only the local council could clear the roads... ...did I remember you <once> mentioning you were a civil servant...


Dec-02-10  Marmot PFL: 14...Nfg4 threatening Nxf3+ and Qxh2 mate. I am really slow today and rejected this at first because of 15 Nxe5 Qxe5 16 f4!, forgetting that the f pawn was pinned. So I wasted several minutes looking at other moves, which is not an efficient use of valuable time. To avoid mate or losing a piece white can play 15 Bf4 Nxf3+ 16 gf3 Qxf4 17 fg4 Qxg4+ but the position is hopelessly weakened.
Dec-02-10  Rosbach: Seek and Destroy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Yes !!! I saw everything, from 14...Nfg4 through 66...Kg2 and white's resignation. My only problem now is: What am I going to do with all that jute?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <gofer> Well remembered. Yes, the roads in Surrey are something to do with me. But the less said about that, the better!
Dec-02-10  M.Hassan: "Medium" Black to play 14...?
Materials are even.
Black can save his attacked Knight on f6 by moving it to g4 and making a mate threat.

15.Bf4 Nxf3+
16.gxf3 Qxf4
17.fxg4 Qxg4+
18.Kh1 0-0
19.Qe2 Qf4
By this time, Black is a pawn up and has distorted pawn structure in front of Whites short castle which is in Black's favour. The game may take long and it is likely that Black wins

Dec-02-10  rapidcitychess: I stretch my arms out.

Today was the day. Concerto in G minor. My baton goes up, and is falling down to the ground.

The spotlight is to the strings (Nfg4); the quiet song of sadness. You can see the emotion in the crowd, piercing to their very heart. (h2) The song cuts them to the bone.

The horns (Nxf3+) blow! The soulful wail of the brass sing and cut right through.

The audience is in tears as the final instruments go into place (Qxh2#) and I signal the percussion.

The song slows and stops, and I bow off the stage.

Dec-03-10  celessar: Wait, ignore my previous post.. 17...Qxg4 can of course be met with 18. f3 allowing the queen to defend the h pawn..
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