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Jan Plachetka vs Eduard Mnatsakanian
Stary Smokovec (1979), Stary Smokovec CSR
Blumenfeld Countergambit: Dus-Chotimursky Variation (E10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-18-08  UdayanOwen: The other reason I was keen to clarify my statement as being uncritical is that all tactics are important and should be represented. Even the dull ones. God knows one is never beyond needing training with the basics.

For example, in my most recent tournament, I was the third seed behind a FIDE master and another 2200 guy. Everyone else was much lower rated than the top three. So when I managed to beat the FIDE master in the third round, I thought, beautiful, all I need to do is beat the weaker players, and even if I lose to the 2200 guy I'll have an excellent chance to at least tie for first in the tournament.

So of course I went on to lose my next game against someone rated 350 points lower than me. How? I fell unforced into a winning one move pin.....

Mar-18-08  UdayanOwen: <Johnlspouge: Even an "old guy" is entitled to a worthwhile opinion without any apology, <zb2cr> :)>


My 'dull puzzle' claim was just my opinion.

Young or old, whatever, let us all make our claims in dialogue, and listen to the claims of others, as we move towards greater understanding.....

Open dialogue is everything and can save the world

Mar-18-08  YouRang: Pretty straight-forward deflection to remove the rook's guard, winning the exchange. More Monday-ish, but I won't nit-pick. :-)

As a bonus, after taking the rook (27.Bh4 Qxh4 28.Qxf5), white threatens mate (Qf8#). Black must deal with this, so there is little chance for black counterplay.

Mar-18-08  just a kid: I got this in 30 seconds give or take.
Mar-18-08  MarkThornton: It looks as though White could have played Bh4 on move 26 as well. So play went

<25..Rd8? 26. Rbe1? Kh8? 27. Bh4 1-0>

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I was looking at the last row mate and the rook being pinned to the protection of the knight. This turned out to be a decoy....except it was an echo of the actual theme-with the queen being pinned to the protection.

White's winning tactic is to decoy the queen away by means of an unprotected skewer-black now must either lose a rook by "skewerment" or "abandonment" (the first is not a word,the second is).

Either way-it's Hobson's choice (from the department of redundancy department).

Mar-18-08  JohnBoy: <UdayanOwen> - while your follow-up to "Definitely the dullest" explains your thinking a bit, I find the puzzle both deceptive and amusing. I solved it after about 20 secs, as I started looking around when I couldn't immediately exploit the back rank.

A GM didn't even notice that he had Bh4 a move earlier. The point is all too clear - pay attention. If this were not a puzzle, I might easily have missed it like Plachetka by pursuing my own agenda rather than reading the board.

Mar-18-08  zanshin: I liked this puzzle (which I also got ;-)) because it reminded me that there is more than one way to win a game. Being Tuesday, I am preconditioned to look for mating sacrifices, so I spent time with Qxf5 and Bxd6 before getting the simple pin.
Mar-18-08  zanshin: <UdayanOwen> Did you still win the tournament despite the loss?
Mar-18-08  Udit Narayan: Interesting!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <JohnBoy> I doubt whether Plachetka 'missed' Bh4 a move earlier. As previously noted, the line 26.Bh4 Qh6 27.Bxd8 Rh5 is a bit muddy. It's probably a win, but it exposes white to unnecessary complications.

So he keeps his powder dry -- he's got a big advantage anyway - and increases the pressure with 26.Re1. When black helpfully makes his situation even worse with ...Kh8, exposing himself to back rank mates, *then* it's time to pounce with 27.Bh4.

BTW, it was the first move I looked at, even before I'd consciously seen the skewer. It just seemed vital to deflect the queen -- only when I started systematically wondering where the Qg5 could go did I see the full venom of Bh4.

Mar-18-08  sombreronegro: I think it was a good puzzle because it was more subtle than a queen sac with forced mate in 3 for example. It also involves a general assessment. It not only wins the exchange but in the context of already being up materially with a pawn. Black loses an aggressive rook and puts the white queen to the king side with attacking and defending opportunities. Going up the exchange may often result in having to consolidate. In this case consolidating the position is a matter of coarse and even results in a mate threat. So the move gains initiative, position and material.
Mar-18-08  zb2cr: Hi <UdayanOwen> & <johnlspouge>,

It looks as though we're all in what a colleague of mine calls "violent agreement".

And speaking of work, since I'm in the USA East coast time zone, I have to get back to earning my paycheck. As almost always, visiting <> has been a relaxing, intellectual, and enjoyable experience.

Mar-18-08  DarthStapler: Got it
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, the decoy skewer 27. Bh4! wins the exchange and the game.
Mar-18-08  012: Monday puzzle <27. ...?> Mar-17-08 F Bindrich vs Z Andriasian, 2007
Mar-18-08  wals: Noting think:- To sharpen up board vision and tactical skills Google
is a first-rate chess tactics server.Solving a problem is not good enough. It must be solved in the time allotted or minus points result.

Forward to TPOTD

All the action is on the kingside. White has a light sq bishop for a knight, which should be to its advantage given the open lines.

What if, Bh4 pinning the Queen to the rook. Qxh4, Qxf5, Nf6, Qe6, Rg8, Qxd6 etc.,


O boy, these easy ones are a delight.

Mar-18-08  JG27Pyth: <JohnLSpouge: ...listed the geometric relations of the Black pieces>

Interesting thinking technique. It certainly will help highlight potential skewers and pins.

Hey <Udayan>... I liked the puzzle and I thought it was sort of off the beaten track. A clean little deflection/skewer... just exactly the sort of thing that wins games at the level I play -- <Mr. FIDE-Master-slayer>! :P

Mar-18-08  UdayanOwen: <zanshin: <UdayanOwen> Did you still win the tournament despite the loss?>

No, it was an opportunity missed.... I did manage to win my other games against the weaker players, but lost to the 2200 guy, and came third behind the two stronger players. I was clearly better in the game where I blundered, and if I had won that game, I would have tied for first with the FIDE master.

I don't know what the count is exactly, but let's guess, maybe my 132nd tournament lesson in NOT assuming you will beat a weaker player.... the 154th lesson in not getting ahead of myself (in this case, thinking about winning the tournament after a round 3 victory)....

and GOD KNOWS how many times Caissa has tried to teach me that a simple blunder could be lurking around the corner, but I don't seem to listen....

Mar-18-08  UdayanOwen: <wals: Noting think:- To sharpen up board vision and tactical skills Google is a first-rate chess tactics server.>

Absolutely agree, this server is very good.

In my opinion an even better one for tactics is You can get 10 tactics puzzles a day for free on their 'tactics trainer', which rates you and chooses the tactics difficulty according to your rating. If you want to pay only about 20 or 30 US dollars, you can get yearly unlimited access to their tactics trainer (rather than being limited to 10 per day).

Mar-18-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <UdayanOwen: <MostlyAverageJoe:> In the puzzle position you gave in your previous post, with white to move one move before the <CG> puzzle position, you gave the line: <26.Bh4 Qh6 27.Bxd8 Rh5 28.h4 Nf6 29.Bxf6 Qxf6>, assessing this as better for black.

Black is a rook down, but threatens 30...Qxh4+ 31.Kg1 Qh1#, which seems to force

<30.g3>, when now I don't see how black can break through.>

Here's the position after 30.g3 (I guess you were just visualizing it rather than setting it up on the board, since I don't believe you'd miss Qf3+ and the forced mate otherwise):

click for larger view

30. ... Qf3+! 31. Kh2 <if Kg1 then Qxg3+ Kh1 Rxh4#> Rxh4+ 32. gxh4 Be5+ 33. Kg1 Qg4+ 34. Kh1 Qh3+ 35. Kg1 Qh2#

After 29...Qxf6, white has only two non-immediately-losing moves:

First possibility:

30. Qd3 Qxh4+ 31. Qh3 Qg4 32. Qxh5 Qxh5+ 33. Kg1 Be5 34. g3 Qh3

click for larger view

and now advance the h-pawn to rip the white's position apart.

Second possibility leads to the same position as above, except faster:

30. Qe4 Rxh4+ 31. Qxh4 Qxh4+ 32. Kg1 Be5 33. g3 Qh3

Anything else, and a forced mate is unavoidable.

Mar-18-08  xrt999: I lost the exchange, I am down a rook and a pawn and all I have to show for it is this bishop so I will resign.

Why even bother to play chess at all?

Chess is the only "sport" where players resign the first bad blow they get dealt, and this type of cowardice is encouraged and "taught" to beginners.

Mar-18-08  UdayanOwen: <MostlyAverageJoe:> I was going to be shocked if you put up a flawed post even whilst claiming hiarcs assistance.... and as it turns out you didn't

Yep, I was visualising from the memory of your diagram, and missed 30...Qf3+.

I think white will get smashed in the final position you have given.

So in conclusion a very nice trap with 26...Qh6.

Thanks for the correction, and for the entertaining analysis.

Mar-18-08  mike valdez: Interesting, definitely.
Mar-19-08  JohnBoy: <Domdaniel> - first of all, did you know that the next Annie Sage book appears in early April. Psyche!

Secondly, I don't believe your arguement. Plachetka missed the trick on move 26, plain and simple. The whole 26.Bh4 Qh6 line is rebutted by simply 27.Qxf5, picking up an X. This is if Plachetka saw through the computer analysis finding the clever answer to 27.Bxd8 if white gets greedy. True, all white gets is an X, but that is all white gets in the actual game as well. And white almost didn't get that much except for black's helping hand with the 26...Kh8 boner.

BTW do you think black was clever enough to set the ...Qh6 trap? Seems unlikely. That it was an intentional trap, that Plachetka played as he did to avoid it, and that black would have seen it if given the chance.

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