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Juan Bellon Lopez vs Luben Popov
Hoogovens-B (1977), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 5, Jan-19
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Wing Attack Fianchetto Variation (B43)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-13-12  dufferps: I thought black might have done better with a line like (after 38. Qd4!) 38. ... Qxc4
39. Qe5 Ne8
40. Rxb2 Qxc8
41. Rb8 Qd74
At this point black has a Queen, Knight and 6 pawns, vs white's Queen, Rook, and 3 pawns. Both have pretty good defenses set up.

But then I saw that white should trade queens after 38. ... Qxc4: 39. Qxc4 dxc4
40. Rxb2

And now white has a real advantage.

Sep-13-12  David2009: J M Bellon Lopez vs L Popov, 1977 White 38?

White, two Pawns down, has a winning tactic. Main variation: 38.Qd4 (forking the R and the c5 square) Rxe2 (to save the R) 39.Qc5+ Kg1 40.Ne7+ Kf8 (or Kh8 41.Qc8+ mating) 41.Ng6+ Kg8 (or Ke8 42.Qe7#) 42.Qf8#. Time to check:
The regulars got there first. Here's the position one move before the puzzle position:

click for larger view

Against 37.c4 Crafty End Game Trainer (interactive link ) replies 37...Qb7! which appears to keep a winning Black advantage.

The puzzle position is reached by 37.c4 Qb3?. After 38.Qd4! I missed the best defence 38...Qxc4! 39.Qxc4 dxc4 40.Rxg2 and Black fights on with three Pawns against a R. Here's a link to Crafty EGT to play the ending out:

Sep-13-12  zb2cr: A passive Rook sacrifice by 38. Qd4!, Rxe2; 39, Qc5+, Kg8; 40. Ne7+, Kf8; 41. Ng6+, Kg8; 42. Qc8+, Ne8; 43. Qxe8#.
Sep-13-12  Patriot: 38.Qd4! I'm pretty sure this is it and feel fortunate just to have seen it.

38...Rxe2 39.Qc5+ Kg8 40.Ne7+ wins.

Sep-13-12  galdur: 38. Qd4, cute move.
Sep-13-12  whiteshark: <c5> is the crucial point of the position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Strange - I don't remember seeing this particular mate before - in the variation 1.Qd4! Rxd2 2.Qc5+ Kg8 3.Ne7+ Kh8 4.Qc8+ Ng8 5.Qxg8# - but then again, how often do you see a knight on QB8 (i.e. a White knight on c8 or a Black knight on c1)?
Sep-13-12  sevenseaman: <Eggman> <Strange > is the right word you have used for the mate. It looked eerie to me too. I kept on getting the illusion it was a kind of smother mate w/o its usual accoutrements.
Sep-13-12  The Last Straw: Confused...very strange puzzle...the puzzles on Monday and Tuesday and Yesterday were all "strange"...Is it "strange week"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I thought I was stumped,but actually I HAD the correct answer. The end is like that of a smothered mate except the "smothering " move is not present but it is NOT NEEDED.
Sep-13-12  Alex56171: Unbelievable! I solved a thursday puzzle!
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: After being perplexed by yesterday's puzzle, I found this one to be much easier.

38. Qd4 threatens both Qc5+ with a mating attack, and winning the Black rook after say 38...g6. Black cannot meet both threats.

Sep-13-12  LoveThatJoker: <38. Qd4!>

A) 38...Rxe2 39. Qc5+ Kg8 (39...Ke8 40. Qe7#) 40. Ne7+ Kf8 (40...Kh8 41. Qc8+ Ng8 42. Qxg8#) 41. Ng6+ Kg8 (41...Ke8 42. Qe7#) 42. Qf8#

B) 38...Qb8 (say) 39. Qc5+! Kg8 40. Rxb2

C) 38...Qb4 39. Rxb2 Qxb2 40. Qc5+ mating

D) 38...Nd7 39. Rxb2


Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Blister in d4 pushing back engage tide again queend4 creates

unstoppable threats right rookb2 in e2 you languid feed him in c5

hanging time empty it qb3 in chow-down it drastic see hiccups indeed

one forn queen duty in light it he in just rook b2 will get

swallowed in family it grab in b3 then Qd4 and off capitalising rook

it cant be saved too for 38.Qd4 ram a chicken bone in his throat eta

tete head in c5+ or bet in land 38..Qxc4 39.Qxc4 dxc4 40.Rxb2

equivalent skip too points down, queen to d4 is a wonderful move

full of live energy it means answer in e2 knight and queen combine

to mind at f8 or c8 edifice in also see queen catch up in e7#. Read in between the lines black is busted after b3 and wraps up lick

at enact rookb2 is cut in two good king f8 in whence you came it her

in c5 louder dubs as good to me mating patted in head above the

ramparts again poetic justice queen be decadent rook it swap in e2

address it down c5 too pawns in good game make little difference

light knight chucking maximum height near rookxe2 then ever in ready

it qb7 at syndicate knight cover oar in my bell rb3 win m'ladies in

equal it yonder in b3 rumble be open d4!

Sep-13-12  JG27Pyth: Kudos to all the solvers... didn't have time to give this one my best, but probably wouldn't have found it... these kinds of quiet sacs give me trouble... and I find them the most beautiful sort of move.
Sep-13-12  Maladetta: That is one frisky knight. What is that, its thirteenth move?
Sep-13-12  psmith: At first sight it looks like White's goose is cooked. But then one realizes that if White could check on the a3-f8 diagonal, that would lead to Black’s demise. (Something like 1. Qc5+ Kg8 2. Ne7+ Kf8 (2…Kh8 3. Qc8+ Ng8 4. Qxg8#) 3. Ng6+ Kg8 4. Qf8#.) So… 38. Qd4! with double-attack on the Rook on b2 and the c5 square. That should win cleanly.
Sep-13-12  James D Flynn: White’s situation is precarious: pieces are equal and he is 2 Ps down in a position where further simplification looks inevitable. However, 38.Qd4 threatens both mate by 39.Qc5+ Kg8 40.Ne7+ and mates on the back rank whether he plays Kh8 or Kf8 when 41.Ng6+ mates and the Black R is twice attacked. There is no way Black can defend against both threats but 38.…..Qb7 threatens the N on c8 and defends against Qe7# it forces 39.Qc5+ Ke8( if Kg8 40.Ne7+ Kf8 41.Ng6+ Ke8 42.Rxb2 Qd7(if Qxb2 43.Qe7+ other move leave the Q en prise) 43.Qf8#) 40.Rxb2 Qd7 4.Qf8#.
Sep-13-12  Tiggler: This puzzle is "cleaner" and more study-like than most we see here.

1. There is only one possible winning first move.
2. It is not check.
3. There is no question about the win: black has no possible reason to play on and could resign after 38.Qd4

Sep-13-12  EXIDE: Agree with <Tiggler>. Clean puzzle. The only thing is I did not get it. Playing a move that is a winning threat and thus makes black take defensive action to lose a piece, just did not occur to me.
Sep-13-12  francis2012: I looked so many Queen and Rook sac for a pawn but it won't work for White and the result is losing.

Then, I found out ♕d4! is the winning move and Black can't do nothing; losing of piece or mating his ♔.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: Thats one of the cutest mates Ive seen!
I now wish I had taken the time to try and solve it...
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: That was a very good puzzle! I did not solve it--failed to find the forcing move that would allow the Q to get onto that a3-f8 diagonal. The solution was pretty subtle. And subtly pretty.
Sep-13-12  newton296: what if black plays Ne7? instead of grabbing the rook?

just saying , Ne6 does stop Qc5+

Sep-14-12  Abdel Irada: <newton296: what if black plays Ne7? instead of grabbing the rook?

just saying , Ne6 does stop Qc5+>

True, but it doesn't save the rook on b2, so the game is lost either way.

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