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Vitaly Tseshkovsky vs Lev Alburt
URS-ch FL44 (1976), Minsk URS, Oct-??
Alekhine Defense: Modern. Schmid Variation (B04)  ·  1/2-1/2



Annotations by Gerardus C van Perlo.

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find similar games 5 more Tseshkovsky/Alburt games
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-20-10  larkio: Hey all, registered for the first time to talk about this game. I stared at it for a long time before deciding on

1. g6 Kh6
2. g7+ Kxg7
3. Kg5 (Invading on the dark squares. I decided on this forcing variation, not even considering the maneuver 1. Kh3 played in the game. This was mainly due to the fact that this was a puzzle - in a game, on the clock, I would likely have played Kh3 as well, not trusting the risky-seeming g6.) ... Bg4
4. Re7+ Kf8
5. Kf6 Kg8

Here I was unsure. Re8+ leads to Kh7, and it looked like a perpetual to me. I gave up here and was pleased to see that a GM hadn't found more than a draw from the puzzle position either. The computer (crafty), however, has other ideas.

6. Rc7! An interesting move.

6 ... Bh3 leads to

7. Rg7+ Kf8 8. Rh7, threatening mate and win of the bishop. White wins. (or ... Kh8 8. Kg6 and mate in several moves.)

So it seems like black must play

6 ... e3
7. Re7 e2
8. Kg6 Kf8 (black has no other moves which do not lose critical material)

9. Re3! Or Re5. The point is, black is in zugzwang. Every move loses important material, and with the black king cramped as it is, this material is decisive.

I think this must be the solution. My crafty install does not have tablebases, though, so we may have missed some variation which involves a pawn sacrifice to lead to a drawn game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Roll over, Beethoven.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <larkio and nostrils> I didnt yet check the CG notes but this looks very convincing, the zug is a killer. I never thought of trying it this way, my attempt got the black B <in front> of the p on f3/g4 where they are safe. With the B <behind> the p its another matter. Well done. Better check the CG notes but I'll be amazed if youre not right.
Feb-20-10  ounos: It's amazing how many thought that the actual objective of White here 'escape' (with an extra exchange!) with a draw!..

Btw, I saw g6/g7/Kg5 in the 10-15 seconds I usually glance the problem positions, but could not work out a win after that, it seems very difficult - OTB I would probably play it speculatively, to see what the attack and the active King may achieve.

Feb-20-10  nuwanda:

i looked a long time at the position and i finally got the solution, which, i think, is not the game-continuation, but the annotation to move 81. or, which is the same, the lines given by <Nostrils>.

the g6, g7 idea seems very promising to me, due to the jump of whites activity, being able to force black back to the eighth rank. the only remaining question was, can white force a zugzwang-position?

and indeed, he can, as shown in <Nostrils>'s second diagram.

great pleasure for me


Feb-20-10  Marmot PFL: After several minutes I realized that the typical plan of marching the king beginning with Kh3 probably didn't work as even after Ke5 there is no mate threat and black just plays e3-e2 etc. The alternative is g6 Kh6 g7+ Kxg7 Kg5 with opposition and attack on f5. This looked more promising but I am not sure I would have won it (or even played it). Probably would depend on how much time remained.
Feb-20-10  cyclon: Couple of lines: A) 81.Kh3 Bg4+ [-Kf6? 82.Rf6+] 82.Kh2 Kf7 83.Rf6+ Kg7 84.Kg1 e3 85.Re6 Kf7 [-f4 86.Re4 e2 87.Kf2 fxg3+ 88.Kxg3 Bh5 89.Re3 wins by zugzwang] 86.Rxe3 Kg6 87.Kf2 Kxg5 88.Re8 Black can´t play -f4+. I don't know what recent databases say, but I tend to think it's Whites win. B) [81.Kh3 Bg4+ 82.Kh2] - Be2 83.Kg1 Bg4 84.Kf2 Kf7 85.Rf6+ Kg7 86.Ke3 Bh3 87.Rh6 [Kf4?] Bg4 88.Rh4 Kg6 [-Kf7 89.Rxg4 wins] 89.Kf4 [only now it's zugzwang] -Kg7 90.Rxg4 fxg4 91.Kxe4 Kg6 92.Kf4 Kh5 93.g6 [Kf5?? pate] -Kxg6 94.Kxg4, zugzwang - White wins. C) [81.Kh3] -Bh5 82.Kg2 [here Kh2 is too slow] -Bg6 [-e3 transposes to A-kind of positions with slight alterings - White King is heading to e3-f4]] 83.Kf2 Kf7 84.Rf6+ Kg7 85.Ke3 Kh7 86.Kf4 Kg7 87.Ra6, zugzwang f.e. -Kh7 88.Ra7+ Kg8 89.Ke5, White King penetrates strongly, or -Kf7 88.Ke5 immediately. Very difficult, but interesting. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows?
Feb-20-10  JG27Pyth: Like others, I thought White had to settle for draw. I couldn't for the life of me see how White could get a win from that position... The g6-g7 pawn sac to allow the White King to penetrate never entered my head. Very educational! ... but it's just the start of an amazing ending... not a puzzle, more like a composed study... the way e3 is forced, and 89.Re5 (in the winning variation) these are puzzle worthy on their own.

Great position, CG.

Feb-20-10  jhoro: many of you give the line
<81.g6 Kh6 82.g7+ Kxg7 83.Kg5 Bg4 84.Re7+ Kf8 85.Kf6 >

click for larger view

which is coincidentally in the game annotations. i do not get it. why wouldn't black play 84...Kf7 and try to keep the king closer to e6 in order to push the e-pawn

click for larger view

i don't see how to chase the black king away from the 7-th rank

Premium Chessgames Member
  rubato: on 81.Kh3? is an annotation by van Perlo
Feb-20-10  avidfan: After 89 Re7-e5 from the notes at move 81 gives the following position where Black is in zugzwang

click for larger view

Obviously not 89...Kg8 90 Re8#

89...Bf3 90 Rxf5+ Ke7 91 Re5+ Kd6 92 Re3 Bg4 93 Kg5 wins the e2 pawn by zugzwang as the bishop runs out of safe squares to defend the pawn on the e2-h5 diagonal. So bishop must leave the diagonal 93...Be6 (say) 94 Rxe2. From here on White gets to exchange the g-pawn for the bishop leaving a rook + king vs king ending won for White.

If 89...Bh3 90 Rxe2 Bg4 91 Re5 Bh3 92 Rxf5 Bxf5 93 Kxf5 giving

click for larger view

93...Kf7 94 g4 Kg7 95 Kg5 with the opposition and the win.

Feb-20-10  David2009: Saturday20/02/2010 puzzle Tseshkovsky vs Alburt, 1976 White 81?

A difficult ending . Black has set up a blockade by Be2-f3-g4 and I can't win against it. Three unsuccessful tries:
(A) Exchanging R for B+f Pawn leads to a drawn K&P ending; (B) There is a breakthrough possibility: 81 g6 Kh6 82 g7+ Kxg7 83 Kg5 Bg4 84 Re7+ Kf8 85 Kf6 is a near-Zugzwang. The Black B is tied to the defence of the g pawn, and 85...Bh3 loses it to Rh6. f4 fails to Rxe4 and the f4 Pawn is pinned to the Bishop. So 85...Kg8 is forced. Unfortunately, this is as far as it goes and I can see no forced win: e.g. 86 Ra7 Bh3 and the B shuttles and/or the King shuffles, successfully avoiding a pin of B against R on the h file.
(C) 81 g4 Bxg4 82 Rf6 is another near-zugzwang. Black however saves the day with Kh7! and White has given up a P for nothing. Time to see how the game went: and verify the winning plan against Crafty:

click for larger view

(Tseshkovsky vs Alburt 1976, 81?) Plan B works after all! - see the fine annotation by Gerardus C Van Perlo. Thus 86. Ra7 forces e3 since after 86... Bh3 87.Rg7+ Kh8 88.Kg6 wins. Crafty agrees with <Van Perlo> that 86...e3 is forced: see link White to play and win - there are a few pitfalls in winning the ending, but the common-sense strategy of rounding up the Black passed e-Pawn with K and R (using the remaining Pawn to cut the B off from protecting it) works. The WK can capture the unprotected B even if the Rook can't.

Feb-20-10  SuperPatzer77: Instead of 81. Kh3?, White wins - 81. g6! Kh6, 82. g7+! Kxg7, 83. Kg5 Bg4, 84. Re7+ Kf8, 85. Kf6 Kg8, 86. Ra7! e3 (forced), 87. Re7 e2, 88. Re5 f4!?, 89. gxf4! Bh5, 90. f5 Kf8, 91. Kg5 Bf3, 92. f6 Kf7, 93. Re7+ Kf8, 94. Kg6! Bg4, 95. Re3 Bf3, 96. f7! Be4+, 97. Kf6! (not 97. Rxe4?? e1=Q! =) e1=Q, 98. Rxe1 Bc6, 99. Rc1 Bd7, 100. Rd1

Quite instructive!!!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: What a great puzzle. I was clueless until I read the kibitzes and saw that there were game notes.

Note that in the winning continuation 83...Kf7 (instead of 83...Bg4) also loses because of 84 Rf6+, winning the f pawn.

click for larger view

It does not matter where black moves his king after 84 Rf6+. After 85 Rxf5 black cannot protect his remaining pawn and simultaneously prevent the advance of white's remaining pawn.

The Nalimov table bases confirm that it is a forced win after 85 Rxf5.

Feb-20-10  SamAtoms1980: Well, I found 81 g6. My follow-up plan was going to be 82 Kg5 and 83 Re7+. Whether I would have found 82 g7+ over 81 ... Kh6 isn't clear, but we can say that I did one move better than Tseshkovsky did.
Feb-20-10  kb2ct:

Zugswang endings are the toughest for people to understand.


Feb-20-10  brucealexander: <jhoro: many of you give the line <81.g6 Kh6 82.g7+ Kxg7 83.Kg5 Bg4 84.Re7+ Kf8 85.Kf6 >

which is coincidentally in the game annotations. i do not get it. why wouldn't black play 84...Kf7 and try to keep the king closer to e6 in order to push the e-pawn>

Because the king would be in check.

Feb-20-10  WhiteRook48: considered g6. Looked natural but I went off to try Rf6?!
Feb-20-10  randyjohnson: 83. Kg5... as is the case here Bg4 84.Re7+ Kf8 85.Kf6 Kg8 86. Ra7 e3 (Forced as after 86... Bh3 87.Rg7+ Kh8 88.Kg6 is decisive.) 87.Re7 e2 88.Kg6 Kf8 89.Re5 and wins. Quite instructive!
Feb-20-10  A Karpov Fan: I was so far off I might as well have been playing with the Monopoly dog instead of the rook.
Feb-20-10  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Feb-20-10  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult)

Tseshkovsky vs Alburt, 1976 (81.?)

White to play and win.

Material: R+2P vs. B+2P endgame. The White4 Re6 and Pg3 have stopped the Black Ps. White needs to activate his Kh4, to support the advance of the passed Pg5, but the light-squared Black Bd2 can control f5 and h5, while the Black Kg6 controls f6 and h6, creating an impassable barrier to the White Kh4. The barrier suggests the sacrifice 81.g6, to give Kh4 access to critical squares to promote a P. White can then place his K at f4, requiring Black to support his base Pf5 with Bg5 or Bh6. Eventually, White can force …Bh6-g5 and then the sacrifice (1)Rxg4 fxg4 (2)Kxe4 leading to a won K+P vs. K endgame, because the weak advanced Pg4 is lost to a textbook tactic forcing the Black K away from it.

Candidates (81.): g6

81.g6 Kh6 [else 82.Kg5 83.Re7+ 84.Kf6 creates irresistible mate threats]

82.g7+ Kxg7 [Kh7 83.g8=Q+ Kxg8 is similar]

83.Kg5 (threatening 84.Kxf5 85.Rxe4 with a won K+P vs. K endgame)


Candidates (84.): Re7+, Kf4

[84.Re7+ K any on the 8-th rank 85.Rxe4 fxe4 86.Kxg4 is drawn, although if Pg3 were Pg2, the variation would win.]

84.Kf4 (Black manages to draw if Pe4 advances)

<[The last statement is where I lost the thread of the endgame. It is a narrow path to victory, indeed.]>

Feb-20-10  kb2ct:

<DarthStapler: I didn't get it>

It helps to know that the g-pawn just walks right in.

Bxg6 just drops the bishop and continues the zugswang theme.

click for larger view


Feb-20-10  jhoro: <brucealexander: Because the king would be in check.> thanks! I somehow played 84.Rg6+ instead of 84.Re7+
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If White had played 81. g6! he would have won the game, and solved our Saturday Feb 20, 2010 puzzle with a clever endgame tactic.

See Perlo's analysis of the game for some explanation of the winning technique.

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