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Kevin Spraggett vs Carlos Pereira dos Santos
Boavista Masters (2000), Porto POR, rd 8
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Aronin-Taimanov Defense (E97)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-08-07  zb2cr: Quick and simple, I saw the key move and the line if Black captured in under 5 seconds. Then, I set to work on analyzing the lines if Black declined.

34. ... Kf7; 35. Qxf8#. (Okay, one down, I think to myself.)

34. ... Kg8; 35. Qxf8+, Kh7; 36. Qg7#. (Two down.)

34. ... Kh7; 35. Qxf8 (piece up, threatening mate on g7). If Black plays 35. ... Nf5; 36. Nf6#. If Black plays 35. ... Ng8; 36. Ng5+, Kh8; 37. Nf7+ wins Black's Queen. (Three down.) I didn't see the more forcing line, 35. Nf6+, etc., which several posters have quoted. Still, this line is definitely winning.

34. ... Kh8; 35. Qxf8+, Ng8 (35. ... Kh7; 36. Qg7#.); 36. Nf6. Here I ended my analysis too soon, concluding that Black's Queen was overworked and could not defend the mate threats at g7 & g8 simultaneously.

Total of about 35 seconds.

I note to my chagrin that in the final line, Black can in fact stave off mate by playing 36. ... Bxd5. White can then ensure the win simply by 37. Nxd5. White is two pieces up and Black has troubles with where to put his Queen. The line given by <Zaius> is definitely more forcing.

May-08-07  greensfield: 34. Bxh6+! and it's all over for Black. Nice puzzle.
May-08-07  realbrob: 34.Bxh6+, and then I noticed that after 34..Kxh6 35.Qxf8+ Black is in big trouble, even though I didn't check all the lines to the end.
May-08-07  FernandoPower: Puzzles are getting better
May-08-07  Crowaholic: Easiest puzzle ever? You have to be kidding. Many Monday puzzles are mates in 2, here the longest mates I have found take a whole seven moves, although admittedly Black's position is so screwed up that it's not necessary to calculate them out. Anyway, I personally don't consider a puzzle solved if I haven't examined at least the most plausible follow-up lines for both sides.

Here's one of the mate-in-7 lines I found:

34. Bxh6+ Kh8 35. Qxf8+ Ng8 36. Nf6 Bxd5 37. Nxg8 Bxg8 38. Bc4 Qf7 39. Bxf7 Kh7 40. Qg7#

May-08-07  Crowaholic: I had my moves computer-checked and was told that I actually miscalculated (but this only supports my argument :-) ). After 36. Nf6 the mate takes one move longer compared to Bg5, and after 36. ..Bxd5, 37. Nxd5 is necessary, otherwise Black has Qf7, substantially delaying the win.
May-08-07  YouRang: I spent a moment thinking it had to be a "sac the white queen for a piece, then win black's queen with a fork", but I couldn't find anything like that.

I was almost ready to settle on 34. Nxf6 expecting to win a pawn (either 34...Bxa8 35. Ne8+; or 34...Qxd6 35. Qxb7. But then I noticed that in the latter line, black's queen was in line with my king, and had 35...e4+!, winning the bishop.

Starting anew, I glanced at 34. Bxh6!, and then it seemed so simple. White still wins a pawn, but also has a strong attack, which may even be mating.

May-08-07  Kleve: Wow. I think this is the first puzzle I actually got! I tried a couple other candidate moves first. Looked for an obvious queen sac... Much like YouRang. I love the bishop sac, and try to force it in my own games whenever possible... Usually leading to my disaster and ultimate ruin! Ha! Attacking chess is fun, and I'm no Morphy...

Some of the lines were not obvious to me, but the positional advantage seemed overwhelming. I am thankful to all the kibitzers that who enlighten us with explanations of difficult to find combinations!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I picked this one up rather quickly. White's queen is attacked and the only moves for her involve a retreat. So I turned to the bishop. Bxh6+ sets up an x-ray attack on the black bishop at h8. The capture of the bishop abandons f8 and allows the queen to capture very aggressively there.

It looks like mate will come soonest after:34... ♔xh6 35 ♕xf8+ ♔h7? 36 ♘xg5# or 35...♔h5 36 g4+ ♔h4 37 ♕f6+ g5 38 ♕xg5#

May-08-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Crowaholic: Easiest puzzle ever? You have to be kidding.>

I agree 100% with Crowaholic. Two points in support:

1) When solved by a computer engine, this puzzle has certain characteristics that show up typically on Friday or later. Never on Mon/Tue (see my forum for details).

After about 6 weeks, my experiment with objective evaluation of puzzle difficulty shows a reasonably good correlation of engine-deteremined difficulty with human perception for the first three days of the week (of course, there are some deviations), and less so from Thursday on.

2) My 7-year old son normally finds Tuesdays somewhat challenging, but does them without help. His reaction to today's was more on the Wed. level and he needed a hint.

May-08-07  Crowaholic: <kevin86: It looks like mate will come soonest after:34... Kxh6 35 Qxf8+ Kh7? 36 Nxg5# or 35...Kh5 36 g4+ Kh4 37 Qf6+ g5 38 Qxg5#>

In the second line, you could simply play 37. Qh6# or Qh8#.

May-08-07  newton296: typical week, both monday and tuesday solved painlessly. Threw me off with the bishop sak as i expected q sak first! but that lead me to Bxh6+ and white can force mate in 2 if not eccepted (...kg7 only option than Q x b + creating duel threat of qg7 ++ or ng5++) or mate in 4 if he does (... K x b Qxb+... kh5 forced pg4 + ...k h4 forced and now qh6 ++) I like to see white beat down the ki defense and white does a fine job here. good game by spraggett!
May-08-07  WarmasterKron: Quite straightforward, this. I saw Bxh6 very quickly but spent some time making sure it was correct (for once!).
May-08-07  newton296: some tricky lines here if black plays well! Like a thursday or friday!
May-08-07  newton296: oops! I see crowholics best line for black is actually kh8! I guess there are more defenses here than i thought for black! thx to the kilbitzers for showing even seemingly simple looking attacks need our full attention! Hopefully since I refuted 3 lines to mate for white I would have found the others (otb)!
May-08-07  YouRang: What are the qualities that make this puzzle a little difficult?

It's not that the winning tactic is complicated. I think it's two things:

1. It's a lively position with an abundance of ideas to consider.

2. (And perhaps the main reason) It requires one to be able to see and coordinate pieces over the whole board. You have a queen at a8 and a bishop at d2 that work together on the f8-h6 diagonal. The winning attack comes from far away and from different directions.

May-08-07  Justawoodpusher: I first looked if I can trap the black queen, but no chance there. After that I found Bxh6+. In the following calculation I missed the line <Crowaholic> points out, but I guess I would have found it OTB after playing Bxh6+.
May-08-07  alphee: It was a long time I last try to solve those puzzles. This one was OK, will see for those at the end of the week: probably not the same ...

<imatos>: I liked your watch ... of course!

May-08-07  pggarner: Just had an idea for a different kind of puzzle, something along the lines of "Black (or White) to move and lose". In this case, 32...Bb7 might be the answer.

I think that type of puzzle could be very instructive for those of us who are prone to make that one sudden mistake in a winning position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Pretty finish.

I enjoyed the discussion of the variations after ... Kh8 then ....Ng8. I often find the right move but I also often fail to notice all the possible defenses that might be tried

May-08-07  wals: Put this one in my "cases solved" file.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: After a tactical K.O. 34.Bxh6 Black has no defense & surenders in disguise.
May-08-07  mvnonup08: I thought the puzzle was obvious; Bxh6+ leaves white with the most winning lines, and it is not difficult to tell that when principle of position is applied.
May-08-07  Fezzik: The moves in this puzzle *should* be obvious for any player who has played through the classics.

This is an excellent Monday/Tuesday puzzle because it sets up several different possible themes for the week, the most likely of which is deflection, but could also be enticement. Good job,!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A little to add here:Crowaholic is correct on the variation: 34...♔xh6 35 ♕xf8+ ♔h5 36 ♕h8# but ♕h6+ of course loses.

After 34...♔h8 35 ♕xf8+ ♘g8 saves the game-but black is a bishop and pawn behind,surely a lost cause. He does avoid quick mate,however.

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