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Yury Shulman vs Igor Schneider
UTD GM Invitational (2006), Richardson, rd 10, Dec-12
Semi-Slav Defense: Noteboom Variation (D31)  ·  1-0



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Feb-08-07  micartouse: The hardcore patzer in me shined through today. I thought Rxe7 was winning material, but I forgot that the Rc8 was defended.

The thing is I came to my answer so quickly that I knew it was wrong but I was too lazy to work out why.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <darook: 25. Rxe7 - is no less "right" than 25. Bh3.

Sneaky: < 25. Rxe7 - is no less "right" than 25. Bh3> Care to elaborate? How does 25.Rxe7 win material?>

The following variations (discovered with the assistance of Fritz) convince me that there are at least two winning alternatives to 25. Bh3 (25. Rxe7 and 25. Qa4):

25. Rxe7 Rxe7 26.Ra5 Bb7 27.Nxe7+ Qxe7 28.d6 Qd7 29.Ra7 Be4 30.Bxe4 Qxa7 31.Bxh7+ Kh8 32.Bf5

25.Qa4 Nxc6 26.Rxe8+ Rxe8 27.dxc6 Qa7 28.c7 Qxc5 (28...Rc8 29.Rc6 ) 29.Qxe8+ Nf8 30.Qa8 Qxc7 31.Qxa6

Feb-08-07  YouRang: Well, I found a Rxe7 line (or at least satisfied myself that it worked).

I was thinking:

25. Rxe7 (remove threat on my knight) Rxe7 (only reasonable reply, but it sets up a knight fork PLUS a discovered attack on Rb8.)

I just need to deflect the queen to make it work, and here it is:

26. Bh3!

If 26...Qxh3, I scoop up both rooks with 27. Nxe7+ and 28. Nxc8

If 26...Qe8, then 27. Nxe7+ Qxe7 28. Rxc8+ Bxc8 29. Bxc8 and I'm up a piece.

I don't see anything much better for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Is it my imagination,or are these puzzle exceptionally hard this week?

This one is hard because there are so many options-there is even a valid argument as to what the first move is.

Feb-08-07  psmith: <dzechiel> After 25 Rxe7 Rxe7 26 Bh3 Re1+ 27 Bxe1 Qxh3 28 Ne7+ Kf8 29 Rxc8+ Bxc8 30 Nxc8 Qxc8 isn't White just up a piece after 31. Qxh7?

And if 28... Kh8 White wins the Bishop with 29. Qa4 Ra8 30. Qc6 according to Fritz.

<Sneaky>: After 25.Rxe7 Rxe7 Fritz finds instead of 26.Bh3 (which was my attempt at a solution, I might add): 25. Rxe7 Rxe7 26. Ra5! with a large advantage.

Feb-08-07  psmith: Well, several others beat me to the punch!
Feb-08-07  uuft: Maybe Thursday is 'Find-the-not-too-computerish-solution-day'?
Feb-08-07  sfm: <swiss.pawn: In French we use the word "Tower" (tour) for the rock.>

Bravo! That's what it is, considering how the piece looks.

To be a "rokh" (Persian: chariot) it should have looked different?! I have seen Ben Hur...

And now we are at it - a "Knight" is a man, right. The chess piece is clearly a "horse".

And a "pawn"? Well, if one is missing from our chess set, do we go to a pawn shop? Obviously it should be called a "man".

If anyone, like me, think we need to rethink our chess nomenclature please write to

Feb-08-07  Shajmaty: Tricky puzzle, since also 25. Qa4(!) Nxc6; 26. Rxe8+, Qxe8; 27. dxc6 and 25. Ra5 work. 25. Rxe7, Rxe7; 26. Ra5, which I first considered, also wins. Maybe 25. Bh3! is cleaner than 25. Qa4... I don't know.
Feb-08-07  NBZ: the last move is crucial; I only considered Nxc8 when black has Rxe1+ Bxe1 c3! with mate on f1. In the end I settled for Qa4 which wins since the bishop on a6 is effectively trapped after the forced Nxc6. Of course if Qa4 Bb7? Nxe7+ wins the queen.

After the game move Rxc8!, Bxc8 loses to Ng6+ so Black has to play Rxc8 Nxc8 Qxc8 Qa4! (that move again!) when Re8+ is unstoppable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: 25. Rxe7 looks more logical but to play Bh3 is simply elegant!
Feb-08-07  Themofro: fm avari viraf: 25. Rxe7 looks more logical but to play Bh3 is simply elegant!

Agreed, Rex7 was also what i was considering instead of Bh3.

Feb-08-07  dzechiel: <psmith> I'm sure Fritz is right. That's what I get for trying to figure out these lines staring at a diagram on my monitor.
Feb-08-07  johnsbrother: I'm happy to write that I saw the bishop move to get the black queen out of the way.

I appreciate the folks who explain the endings after a resignation. Most of the contributors are strong enough to see the lines, but for patzers like me, it's nice to have it spelled out. Thanks NBZ, YouRang, dzechiel, and others.

Feb-08-07  MiCrooks: Well, I am glad to see that I am not a total patzer! I don't spend a lot of time on these, so after quickly ruling out any kind of mating attack, I went for a move that appeared to win material with no risk on my part (Qa4). It's the kind of move I am much more likely to come up with in a game where there isn't someone telling you "look for the spectacular finish!!". I think most people would not stumble on a move like Bh3 in a game where you didn't know to look for such a thing. Both Rxe7 and Qa4 appear to be much more likely finds in a game.
Feb-08-07  Stonewaller2: <sfm, swiss.pawn> It's easier to see the chariot (Persian "rokh," Arabic "al-rukh") wheel if you turn the ♖ on its side. The same works for the ♗ (Arabic "al-fil", elephant); the notch of his mitered hat looks a bit like an elephant's mouth and the button on the top a tightly curled-up trunk.

In Spanish "alfil" can mean either a ♗ or a nail, another gift from Arabic to that language and culture due to a long and bloody history.

This is actually easier to figure out than today's problem position. ;)

Feb-08-07  Underworld: I saw Ne5 here, continuing with Nxf7.
Feb-08-07  laskereshevsky: the bishop is the most enigmatic figure on the fact the other pieces ( ROOK, KNIGHT, KING, QUEEN, PAWN) are called in the same way in almost every european nation....the B instead is called:

in FRANCE/ FOU ( joker, crazy,buffon )
in MAGYARORSZÁG/ FUTÓ (th same german mean)
in ITALIA/ ALFIERE (ensign-bearer )
in ESPANA we now already
in G.B. has a clergy form......

in other hand wasnt easy for the middle-age persons "translate" the ELEPHANT in a clearly understandable form and/or name for the not so-much cultureted persons of that age.....for the form was used, for the best, a military figure, wich one was "understandable".....but for the name....what a mix of meanings!!!

At the last moment im thinking about one HUNGARY the Queen is called VEZÉR....wich one came from the ottoman VISIR...another example ( like the spanish one) of a culture and a language influenced by the ARAB/OTTOMAN'S domination....

Feb-08-07  laskereshevsky: Anothr examp. of the turkish influence in HUNGARY is to trace in the ungarian name ZOLTAN ( wich one havent similar in no other european languages)....

Can you immagine whats mean ?!.....

** if somebody like to know it, just ask me, and i will post it....but maybe someone would like to guess right...**

Feb-08-07  Ziggurat: Sultan?
Feb-08-07  laskereshevsky: <Ziggurat>
Feb-08-07  lisyaron: Unfortunately swiss.pawn and YouRang, after 25.Rxe7 Rxe7 26.Bh3 black has the resource of 26..Rxc6. Although white is still winning, it is by no means as convincing as the path that Shulman selected. As Tomlinsky said though, if you did select 25.Rxe7 Rxe7 and then 26.Ra5! you do end up with a position which is probably as good as the chosen continuation.
Feb-08-07  YouRang: <lisyaron> Yeah, I didn't see 26. Rxc6, which is probably black's best reply (giving up the queen for 2 rooks). Still I still think white is doing pretty well with the queen and 2 strong bishops.

I sort of like 28. Bc6 (diagram:black to move)

click for larger view

This protects Pe5 and locks up the black Rc5, with the threat of 29. Bb4 (winning at least the exchange).

Feb-08-07  aazqua: I found Qa4, thought it was winning and am glad to have been confirmed. White has such an array of combinationatorial tactics that apparently three moves here are winning.
Mar-02-07  Underworld: Well, I guess that Ng5+ really does the trick
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