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Alexander Shabalov vs Emory Tate
29th National Chess Congress (1998), Philadelphia USA, rd 2, Nov-27
Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations (B56)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-05-13  snakebyt: I started off with RXe6 but assumed blk pawn would take the bait. 22. RXg6 seals the game for white. Awesome move. My path still ended in a white win after several more moves. I was surely biased toward a white win with a Night up to start and a good look at mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: It looked like black was going to win,but white's sacrificial play led to a victory for him.
Jan-05-13  morfishine: Hi <erniecohen> Yes; You are looking at my second post for fun.

In my initial post, I settled on <20.Rxe6> with the idea that after 20...fxe6 21.Qxe6+ White Queen protects his Bishop on c4, which allows the White follow up Bc3 (since <c3> is masked from the Black rook)

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: <gofer: White is a knight up, and what a knight!> Late November back in '98. What a very special time for me,
'Cause I remember what a knight.
Jan-05-13  cyclon: Even if I neglected to pay a serious attention to an actual game-move 20. -Ba3, there's also slightly another possibility for White; ( 20. Rxe6 Ba3 ) 21. Rxg6+ ( immediately ) 21. -hxg6 ( 21. -Kh8 22. Bc3+ f6 23. Rg8+ Rxg8 24. Bxf6+ Rg7 25. Bxg7+ Kxg7 26. Qh6+ Kh8 27. Qf6X ) 22. Bc3 Bxb2+ 23. Bxb2 Qxb2+ ( otherwise 24. Qh8X ) 24. Kxb2 Rxc4 25. f5 ( key-move ) and NOW if ; 25. -Bc8 26. Qd3 and if f.e. 26. - Rg4 [ -Rc6 27. Qd5 ] 27. fxg6 and besides being about Rook up, White is attacking / 25. -gxf5 26. g6 fxg6 27. Rd7 Rf7 28. Rxf7 Kxf7 29. Qh7+ winning the Bishop / 25. -Rfc8 26. fxg6 White wins.
Jan-05-13  BOSTER: <offramp> <Very good game!>.

At first black sacr. the knight without any reason 11...Nfxe4, then he in hurry played 12...Qxa2, sending the queen on vacation, allowing white to close the "c" file (the main strategical avenue in Sicilian for black) after 13.dxc5, and after 14.Nb3 he could resign.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: A link re bishop us in boots queen vanta gem a2seek again cruise rook in lovely it is right off in e6 first nice strife effect rook file and rank capture e6 coral one white knight squabble blanck 20...ba3 man get outer a2 in looking to fish b2 or c2 if you clean bishop up un-guarded black echec sign of the times right rookc8 in elevate after d2 it boss in be good to c3 sigh bit down c4 heading some business at hand it reigned ok 22.Rxg6+! queen xray it is h8 in via ducked it tool at he disposal in ei 22...fxg6 bid for freedom in I on mitigate in gall queen yin and yang bagh g6 ar dent in tame it her e6+ i light path in c4 tigers right a3 in lanky oh to protocol it stick in sec alpine 21.bc3 tampered rook in b8 end it going mull effect rookc4 e7 won in bade come back too fxe6 then it safe in the kknowledge he has que a kite e6 in got c3 a stella binder at ooh la lash is no purp lease in 6e led givine!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Here's a fun side puzzle, with white to play and win after 20 Bxe6 fxe6 21 Rxe6 Bg2?!

click for larger view

Jan-05-13  Patriot: White is up a piece for a pawn. 20...Rxc4 is threatened.

The first thing I wanted to do, given the threatened bishop, is the obvious try 20.Bxe6. 20...fxe6 21.Qxe6+ Rf7 seems to hold. Before this I considered 21...Kh8 22.Bc3+ Rxc3! 23.bxc3?? Ba3#.

Next try, 20.Rxe6. 20...fxe6 21.Qxe6+ (21...Rf7 no longer works) 21...Kh8 (21...Kg7 22.Qxe7+ ) 22.Bc3+

But not all of that is forced since black could play 20...Rxc4. 21.Rxe7 Rfc8 (21...Rxc2+ 22.Kxc2 Rc8+ 23.Bc3 23...Be4+ 24.Rxe4 Rxe4 25.Qh6 f6 26.gxf6 ) 22.c3; 22...Qxb3 23.Rxb7 ; 22...Rxc3+ 23.Bxc3

I'm sure there is more to this.

Jan-05-13  Gilmoy: Mmm ... I spent 30 seconds (my limit these days) and saw all of the elements. <20.Rxe6> was my move, and I did see Rxg6+ and Qe6+ forking any goat on c4. I discarded 20.Bxe6 because I really wanted to play Bc3 without exposing it to the Rc8. I also noticed Black's Ba3, and concluded that it achieves nil.

The branching factor scared me off: Black has too many responses. I didn't expect <20..Ba3> right away, but as myriad others have noted, that stops none of White's ideas and doesn't help Black, so it's a pass amidst a wild tactical sequence, which is like <all your kittens walk through walls>.

I really tried to fit an f5-push, but Black doesn't get that far ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: At first, I thought the diagrammed position had to be wrong, as White was up a piece.

20.RxP/e6 seems to be the most promising first move ...

if 20...fxe6; 21.QxP/e6+, Kh8; 22.Bc3+, looks decisive.

Jan-05-13  Patriot: Wow, I made so many visualization mistakes.

First, 21...Kh8 22.Bc3+ Rxc3 23.bxc3 Ba3 is not mate. An interesting line is 23.Qe5+ Bf6 24.gxf6.

One of them stemmed from thinking about 21...Rfc8 (where a rook is on c4) and the direct 21...Rxc2+. The merging of these two ideas caused a 'retained image' error.

On 22.c3, 22...Qxb3 23.Rxb7 Ra4 24.Qxc8+ Kg7 25.Rxf7+ draws. This was more of a quiescence error.

Retained image errors seem the worst to eradicate. But I've noticed these errors mostly occur whenever I try to do "too much" at once. Skipping around in sub-variations and then trying to return back to a memorized position seems to be a leading cause. The solution is to maintain an even flow of calculation without getting side-tracked. And then check previous candidates, by replaying the whole line up to that point, is probably the most solid way of doing it.

Jan-05-13  David2009: Shabalov vs E Tate, 1998 White 20?

No credit today. White is a piece up but is defending against a strong attack. I went with 20.Bxe6 seeing fxe6 21.Qxe6+ "and wins" and only after seeing the game continuation do I notice that 22...Rf7! is possible since the Bb7 protects the Rc8. I had rejected 20.Re6 because of Rxc4 21.Rxe7 Rfc8 (threatening mate) 22.Bc3 (what else?) 22...Rxc3 23.bxc3 Qxa3+ 24.Kb1 Qxe7 and Black has recovered his lost material with the better position. I thought that this was the point of the problem (the false trail to avoid).

On to the game. White does indeed play 20.Rxe6! and Black does not take on c4. Why not? What is going on? Time to set the position up on Crafty EGT:

Sure enough after 20.Rxe6 the robot captures on c4 and I continue 21.Rxe7 Rfc8 (as expected) 22.Bc3 Rxc3 to reach

click for larger view

and now the light dawns. I can play 23.Qxc3! and if Black retakes, 24.Re8+ Kg7 25.Rd8 puts Black in a mating net. Congratulations to <Bartimaeus> for spotting this earlier.

The ever-alert robot prefers not to get mated and plays 23...Qa4 to reach a lost ending a N down provided White keeps his nerve and doesn't exchange RR for Q+P too early. I duly found the win second time round (both times starting 24.Rxb7 etc).

As a final titbit here's a link to the critical variation if Black captures the Queen at move 23: The robot gives up massive material to postpone mate: I found a mate in thirteen but there may be faster.

Jan-05-13  James D Flynn: White is up a N for a pawn but his K position is very tenuous and his c4 B is under attack. The N on b3 is under attack by the Black Q but is currently defended by B and Q, if White retreated the B to d3 Black could play Qxb3, if retreated to e2 then Be4 attacks the pawn on c2 and defending by Bc3 allows Rxc3 and White cannot retake because the Q would mate on c2. Bb5 puts 2 squares off limits to the Black Q and White could try to trap her by Bc3 and Ra1.The obvious sacrifice Bxe6 looks promising. Also to be considered is f5 for if Rxc4 f6 regains the piece because of the threat Qh6 and mate on g7. Candidates 20.Bb5, Bxe6 or f5. 20.Bb5(rather passive, now Black can gain unpleasant activity by either Bd5 21.Bc3 Bxb3 22.cxb3 Qxb3 23.Ba6 Ba3 24.Bxc8 Rxc8(now the try for active defense by 25.Rd3(threat Qxh7+ and mate on h8) loses to Bxb2+ 26.Kd2 Bxc3+ 27.Rxc3 Qb2+ and the R on c3 falls) or a5 21.Bc3 a4 22.Nd2 Qa1+ 23.Nb1 a3) 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Qxe6+ Rf7 22.Bc3 a5 23.Rd7 a4 24.Rxe7 Rf8 25.Rxf7 Rxf7 26.Qe5 axb3 27.Qh8# 20.f5 Rc4 21.f6 h5(Bxf6 22.gxf6 h5 23.Rg1 Kh7 24.Qe3 and White mates on g7)22.fxe7 Rfe8 23.Rxe6 Be4 24.Rxe4 Rxe4 25.Bb4 Rxb4 36.Rd8 wins.
Jan-05-13  Kikoman: <Bc3> and <Bxe6> are my two candidates move.
Jan-05-13  BOSTER: <LTJ> <21.bxa3 rated +1,53 or 2,34>.

If you asked Stockfish evaluate the pos. <POTD> I guess you will see maybe more +3,0. So, the solution which doesn't improve the pos. can't be correct, of course this is my opinion.

Move 20.Rxe6 is very obvious. So,the key move in this puzzle move 21.Bc3 (if black played 20...Ba3). Of course , you can be satisfied with 21.Rxg6+, but I think that 21.Bc3 is the <beauty> in this combo.

Jan-05-13  Strongest Force: Wow two heavy punchers trying to hurt each other with head shots and body blows.
Jan-05-13  LoveThatJoker: <BOSTER> 21. Bc3! is beautiful indeed!

I'm sincerely glad that my hard work and desire to solve this puzzle correctly led me to find 21. Rxg6!, which is also fully winning.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions with me.



Jan-05-13  rilkefan: I didn't consider ...Ba3. But I was planning on playing all of white's moves, so mixed success.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a pawn.

Black threatens 20... Rxc4 and ... Ba3 if the white LSB moves.

The first idea that comes to mind is 20.Rxe6:

A) 20... fxe6 21.Qxe6+ Kg7 (21... Kh8 22.Bc3+ and mate in two) 22.Qxe7+ and mate soon.

B) 20... Rxc4 21.Rxe7

B.1) 21... Rfc8 22.Qd3 (22.Bc3 Rxc3 23.bxc3 Qa3+ and 24... Qxe7) 22... Rxc2+ 23.Qxc2 Rxc2+ ( 24... Qxb3 25.Qxc8+ Bxc8 26.Re8+ Kg7 27.Bc3+ f6 28.Bxf6+ Kf7 29.Re7+ and mate next) 24.Kxc2 + - [2R+N vs Q+P]. If 24... Bd5 25.Re8+ forces mate as in the previous variation.

B.2) 21... Be4 22.Bc3

B.2.a) 22... Rfc8 23.Rxe4 Rxc3 (23... Rxe4 24.Qxc8+) 24.bxc3 + -.

B.2.a) 22... Bf5 23.Qe3 + -.

B.3) 21... Bg2 22.Qd3 Rfc8 23.Re8+ Rxe8 (23... Kg7 24.Rxc8 Rxc8 25.Bc3+, etc.) 24.Qxc4 + -.

C) 20... Bg2 21.Qxg2 Rxc4 22.Rxe7 Qxb3 23.Be3 (23.Bc3 Rxc3 24.bxc3 Qa3+) 23... Rfc8 24.Rd2 + -.

Jan-05-13  maladictum: 21.Rxg6+ seems to me to be more to the point...
Jan-05-13  nariga: 20.Rxe6 Rxc4 21. Rxe7 Bd5 seems good for Black
Jan-06-13  LIzzard: I agree with 21. Rxg6; this seems to end the game more decisively because of the mating combination of white's bishops and queen. Am I missing something?
Jan-06-13  LoveThatJoker: <LIzzard> 21. Rxg6+! leads to a won endgame for White after the virtually forced sequence (i.e., "forced" if Black wants to play on that is) of:

21.Rxg6+ hxg6 22.Bc3 Bxb2+ 23.Bxb2 Qxb2+ 24.Kxb2 Rxc4


Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: (e-mail) I still maintain that this was a low-quality game. It made an entertaining POTD, <as always> however, it seems Black just lost a piece for very nebulous comp ... right out of the opening.
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