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Andrei Volokitin vs Sergei Rublevsky
"Andrei the Giant" (game of the day Feb-22-2007)
SCG-chT (2004), Budva, rd 6, Sep-08
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Black had 3 minor pieces for the rook and was still helpless! Just another example of the importance of piece activity.

Tal would have loved this game

Jul-25-10  tacticalmonster: Candidate: a) 16 Nd5

after spending one hour, I don't get it.

Jul-25-10  Eduardo Leon: <Once>, <CHESSTTCAMPS>, <scormus>: thanks, really.

<Once: Thanks for sharing it with us.> No need to say thanks. Sharing analysis (or actually, copycats, see below) is part of the beauty of

<CHESSTTCAMPS: now I feel like a slacker!> No way you are a slacker. 40 minutes of analyzing a chess position is work, really. I doubt Volokitin looked at the position for a mere 5 minutes and found this stuff.

<scormus: AOTD (Analysis of the day)> However, since I got the idea from Gufeld vs Polugaevsky, 1961, I think finding the first two moves was actually the Copycat of the Day. And the rest was just going with the flow, and trying too hard to make it work.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: < CHESSCAMPS The demolition 16.Bh7+ Kxh7 17.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Rf3 Nxd4 19.Rh3 f6>

Interesting line which I hadnt thought of. 20 exf6 will pick up the BQ as the WB is immune because of f7+ .... Or does it? 20 .... Bxg2+ 21 Kg1 Bxh3 22 Bxc7 and its Q+p for R+B+N. I think W can get back a minor piece. Wow, even more insane than I thought!

Jul-25-10  Eduardo Leon: <Tal would have loved this game> Indeed. Tal loved to sacrifice pieces even when the consequences were less clear than in this game.
Jul-25-10  tacticalmonster: In my analysis: I got as far as 16 Nd5 exd5 17 e6 Qd8 18 Bh6 Bf6 but I cannot see ways to continue afterward:

I tried 19 e7? Nxe7 20 Rxf6 Ng6! and White has no attack and also I did see 19 Bxg7! Bxg7 20 Bxh7+ Kxh7 but I only analyized 21 Qh5+ Bh6 which loses for White. This is just a case of chess blindness. I missed the simple threat of 21 Qf5+!.

As to the game continuation of 17 Qc8! I just did not have time to calculate its consequence. The reply 17 Qd8 is too time consuming to calculate correctly.

I believe only GM can figure out the solution OTB.

Jul-25-10  Eduardo Leon: I would have loved to reach 30...♘e5 31.♘h6+ ♔h8 32.♖xf8+ ♗xf8 33.♕g8#.
Jul-25-10  Glider: <Eduardo Leon> I enjoyed your analysis, but isn't 17...Ne5 also a possibility? I am not a very good chess player but I see nothing wrong with this move.
Jul-25-10  muralman: I solved it to move 22, moving the Queen up a square for a more direct attack;

Normally I abhor having to play such long solutions. I really don't have the time. This was a good one for each move. It had to work, otherwise white would be crushed.

Jul-25-10  Eduardo Leon: <Glider>, good point. I dismissed 17...♘e5 because of 18.♗xh7+ ♔xh7 (18...♔h8 19.♕h5) 19.♕h5+ ♔g8 20.♗xe5 ♗d6 21.♗xd6 ♕xd6 22.exf7+ ♖xf7 23.♕xf7+, which is similar to the 17...♗d6 line, with black one knight down. I should have written it in my analysis.
Jul-25-10  wals: A couple of hard-core machine calculations to accompany the creative efforts of the human mind.

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. (1.31): 16...Qd8 17.Bh6 g6 18.Nxc6 Bxc6 19.Bxf8 Bxd5 20.Bxe7 Qxe7 21.b4 Nxd3 22.cxd3 Qd7 23.Qf4 Rc8 24.Rfc1 Bc6 25.b5

2. (2.79): 16...exd5 17.e6[] Qc8 18.Bh6[] g6 19.Bxf8[] Nxe6 20.Bxe7[] Nxe7 21.Rxf7 Nxd4 22.Qxc8+ Bxc8 23.Rxe7 Bf5 24.Bxf5 Nxf5 25.Rb7

3. (6.27): 16...Nxd3 17.Nxc7

4. (6.33): 16...h5 17.Qxh5

5. (6.98): 16...Nxd4 17.Nxc7

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <scormus> Regarding your comments to the line in quotes offered by <CHESSTTCAMPS>

“The demolition 16.Bh7+ Kxh7 17.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Rf3 Nxd4 19.Rh3 f6 appears to come up short, and white has spent two pieces”.

<Interesting line which I hadnt thought of. 20 exf6 will pick up the BQ as the WB is immune because of f7+ .... Or does it? 20 .... Bxg2+ 21 Kg1 Bxh3 22 Bxc7 and its Q+p for R+B+N. I think W can get back a minor piece. Wow, even more insane than I thought!>

This line (beginning with 16 Bxh7+) was also proposed/discussed by <rapidcitychess>.

The line as reported above by <CHESSTTCAMPS> is not best for black. Playing 19…f6 puts his queen en prise after 20 exf6 .

click for larger view

However, if black plays 19….Bxg2 first, then white has to respond 20 Kxg2. Now black has 20…f6 and is winning.

click for larger view

The difference is after 21 exf6 (if played), black has 21…Qc6+, protecting his queen and allowing his bishop to take the f pawn next move.

Jul-25-10  Glider: <Eduardo Leon> Instead of 21...Qxd6 wouldn't black achieve equality with 21...g6?
Jul-25-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Jimfromprovidence:> A very nice point about order of moves in a very rich position. Oddly enough, I was aware of the general possibility of Bxg2+, but I didn't even notice that the BQ was en prise after 20.ef and the associated threat of f7+.

In your 2nd diagrammed position, black still appears to be alive even with the mistimed 20... Bxg2+ 21.Kg1 Bxh3 22.Bxc7 Bxf6 23.Qxh3 Nxc2 with a R+N for a Q.

Jul-25-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: Sorry, I didn't notice that <Scormus> had already mentioned the line I just mentioned, but it's a moot point because the immediate 19... Bxg2+ kills the line for white anyway.
Jul-25-10  Eduardo Leon: <Glider>, no. 17...♘e5 18.♗xh7+ ♔xh7 19.♕h5+ ♔g8 20.♗xe5 ♗d6 21.♗xd6 g6 22.♕e5! f6 23.♖xf6, and white is clearly better.
Jul-25-10  Glider: <Eduardo Leon> Thanks. I never would have understood this position without your help.
Jul-25-10  Eduardo Leon: <Glider>, actually, I should thank you. Your 21...g6 was better than my original 21...♕xd6, even though white is still winning after 22.♕e5. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The Sunday July 25, 2010 puzzle with the solution of 16. Nd5!!, which sacrifices a piece for a strong Kingside attack, is one of the most difficult decisive combinations I've seen for a Sunday puzzle.

The explanation by <Eduardo Leon> is an outstanding series of posts in demonstrating how this difficult sham sacrifice and the subsequent discovered attack on the Queen after 16...exd5 17. e6 decisively weaken the helpless Black Kingside for a precisely conducted assault.

In addition to the game continuation, the next most difficult line appears to be if Black plays 17... Qd8, when the winning line is 18. Bh6 Bf6 (18... g6 19. exf7+ Kh8 20. Nxc6 Bxc6 21. Qd4+ Bf6 22. Rxf6 ) 19. Bxg7! Bxg7 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qd4+ Bf6 22. Rxf6 ) 19. Bxg7 Bxg7 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qf5+ Kg8 22. exf7+ Rxf7 23. Qxf7+ Kh7 24. Rf5 Qh4 25. Rh5+ Qxh5 26. Qxh5+ Kg8 27. Qxd5+ Kh7 28. Nxc6 Bxc6 29. Qxc6 .

Similar but not quite as challenging is if Black tries 17...Ne5, when White wins with 18. Bxh7+! Kxh7 19. Qh5+ Kg8 20. Bxe5 when play might continue 20...Qd8 21. exf7+ Rxf7 22. Qxf7+ Kh8 23. Qxg7#.

P.S.: GM Volotikin's play may well have been inspired genius, but the play is so difficult one can't help but wonder whether 16. Nd5!! may have involved a bit of opening preparation.

Aug-01-12  Conrad93: 20...Kg7. Try to find mate there.

All I can see is a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <Conrad93> 20...Kg7 21.Bf5 Qd8 22.Nxc6 Bxc6 23.Qd4+ Qf6 24.Qxf6+ Kxf6 25.Bd7+ .
Aug-02-12  Conrad93: Sastre, stronger is 21. Qf4.
Aug-02-12  fisayo123: Excellent!!
Aug-02-12  Conrad93: Something must be wrong with my laptop. Rybka thought that the knight sac was a draw.
Aug-02-17  Saniyat24: uff, Voloktin's 16.Nd5 and Rublevsky's 26...Nf7...what brilliant moves...!
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