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Luke McShane vs Vigen Mirumian
Lippstadt (1999), ?, rd 9
Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange. Positional Variation (D35)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-28-11  sevenseaman: Look McShane, with an elo rating like yours ((2671), you should be able to cover your back!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <22... Bc4> and that's it. After 23.Rd1 Qxd6 24.Ne4 Rxe4 it's obvious.
Oct-28-11  sevenseaman: < detritus: Haha, I got Black's 22nd but analyzed all the alternatives *except* the actual in-game continuation. >

Can the machine always provide the solution? Sometimes they are not even as logical as this one.

On the other hand an analysis machine cannot possibly enjoy the solution; and we forfeit fun, of our own volition.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop and a pawn for a knight.

White threatens 23.Rxd4, 23.Nxe8, 23.Nxb7.

White's back rank looks weak. This suggests 22... Bc4 to attack d3 and control f1:

A) 23.Rxd4 Re1+ 24.Rf1 Rxf1#.

B) 23.Nxc4 Re1#.

C) 23.Rd1 Qxd6 - + [B+P] (24.Rxd6 Re1+, etc.).

D) 23.Nxe8 Bxd3

D.1) 24.Qb3+ Bc4

D.1.a) 25.Qd1 Qxd1+ 26.Nxd1 Rxe8 - + [B+P].

D.1.b) 25.Ne2 Rxe8 (25... Bxb3 26.Nxd4 Rxe8 27.Nxb3 + /- [P]) 26.Nxd4 (26.Qc2 Rxe2 - +) 26... Re1+ and mate next.

D.2) 24.Ne2 Rxe8 is similar to C.1.b.

E) 24.Ne2 Qxd3 25.Qxd3 Bxd3 26.Nxe8 Rxe8 - + [B+P].

F) 24.Qb3 Qxd3

F.1) 25.Nxe8 Bxb3 - +.

F.2) 25.Qxc4+ Qxc4 26.Nxc4 Re1+ 27.Rf1 Rxf1+ 28.Kxf1 Rf8+ - + [R+P vs N].

F.3) 25.Nxc4 Re1+ and mate next.

Oct-28-11  holy tramp: I like the way GM Mirumian plays, am a fan of his quirky aggressive style- especially in his early twenties. He's won some tournaments recently but you can't find his games here. Chessgames has him listed as Czech but I believe he is Armenian.
Oct-28-11  morfishine: Right about move 22, I'll bet white was thinking "Black has an attack, but with Black's Queen and rook en prise, I should get compensation. What could possibly go wrong?"

<22...Bc4!!> Is what could go wrong and I think deserves two - exclaims. After 23.Rd1 Qxd6! White has lost a piece due to the mate threat at <e1>. The best white can do is trudge along with 24.R2d2 and fight for a draw.

click for larger view

Black has a won game with only some minor technical problems to work through

Oct-28-11  Treestar: Since this is difficult I am not giving myself any points for <22…Bc4> which is certainly dramatic but seems to be pretty much forced. The Queen is now safe for the moment so black has to deal some other way to the threat of Re1. <23.Nxe8> and now some points I think for seeing <23…Rxe8?? 24.Rd1> Black has lost the exchange and probably the game. However, if white plays <23.Rd1? Qxd6> black gets a piece that way. So I think the main continuation which can win for Black is: <22…Bc4 23.Nxe8 Bxd3 24.Qb3+ Bc4 25.Qc2 (or a risky Qxb7) Rxe8> and black is a piece up. It took a while to see 24.Rd1, perhaps there’s more, time to check.
Oct-28-11  gofer: There is one move that asks some serious questions to white's defenses!

<22 ... Bc4>

23 Nxc4 Re1#

23 Rxd4 Re1+ 24 Rf1 Rxf1#

23 Nxe8 Bxd3 24 Ne2 Qxf2+ 25 Kxf2 Bxc2 winning easily

23 Rd1 Qxd6 black is a knight up and so probably winning

But is there anything better than 23 Rd1? How about a swindle from a young Luke Mcshane...

<23 Ne2 ...>

23 ... Qxd3 24 Qxc4+ Qxc4 25 Nxc4 Rad8 black is still winning but not easily! So where is the swindle in all this I hear you ask!

<23 ... Rxe2?!>

Might black think that this could work? Might he wander into the trap?!

<24 Qxe2 Bxd3??!!>
<25 Qe6+>

unleashes a beautiful smothered mate...

click for larger view

Oct-28-11  jackalope: <22. ...>?

Black has a B + P for a N and both sides have credible back-rank mate threats. Black's bishop is blocking White's mate threat on the b2-g8 diagonal and is also blocking Black's rook on e8. Black's bishop must move but stay on the diagonal. Best I can see for Black is to gain material...

<22. ... Bc4 23. Rd1 QxNd6>

I'm not sure from here - Black has gained a knight and has White's rook on d1 pinned guarding against a back-rank mate.

Time to check...

Oct-28-11  jackpawn: Found it fairly easily, but not immediately like I did yesterday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Mirumian's 22...Bc4! solves today's Friday puzzle with a combination of tactics including the pin of the Queen on the f2 Rook, the weakened back rank square e1, and an x-ray pin attack by the Bishop on the d3 Rook and the f1 square with a mate threat (i.e. 22...Bc4! 23. Rxd4 24.Rf1 Rxf1#).
Oct-28-11  Patriot: Got it--22...Bc4.

23.Rxd4 Re1+ 24.Rf1 Rxf1#

23.Rd1 Qxd6

That's about all I looked at. I noticed the possibility of 23.Rd1 Qxd6 24.Ne4 and didn't have much time to look further. I wasted time on 22...Bb3 which fails to 23.Qxb3+. At first I didn't notice the check and thought 23.Qd2 looked ok for white. But there is more as other's have pointed out. 23.Nxe8 is critical and 23.Ne2 is also although it looks easily defeated with 23...Qxd3 or 23...Rxe2.

Oct-28-11  Patriot: I forgot to mention 22...Bc4 23.Nxc4 Re1#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's win comes as smooth as a bridge finesse.
Oct-28-11  Coigach: <sevenseaman: Look McShane, with an elo rating like yours ((2671), you should be able to cover your back!>

Go easy, old chap! Luke was only about 15 when this game was played, and rated a fair bit below where he is now.

W was negotiating the back rank tactics well, gaining a slight advantage before he got lured into trying to grab material before securing his back rank.

Oct-28-11  Marmot PFL: Friday puzzle, black to play. Difficulty rated moderate, regardless, white is McShane so I doubt it will be anything very easy. Black is up a pawn, but white has 2 major threats: Rxd4 and Nxe8. If black moves the bishop he threatens Re1 mate, but taking the queen releases the pin on Rf2 and stops mate. Some searching reveals 22...Bc4! which threatens 23 Rxd4 Re1+ 24 Rf1 Rxf1 mate. If 23 Rd1 Qxd6 winning a piece due to the same mate threat.

Often its worth asking Would I see this in a game or not? Black might just save the queen, and pray for a draw with B+p for the R. Here its not too relevant as black must have planned this on move 20, otherwise 20...Be6 would just be a mistake.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Bc4 that's it handy me think Luke the muscle from wont you look down over double castle threat.

After d1 coconut shy black pound in back rank at ne2 g3 e4 the plus Kasparov esque h4 d4 and black rook come under vision.

Rd3 instead d2 it horse again hammer the point ceeding.

Oct-28-11  sevenseaman: < Coigach: <sevenseaman: Look McShane, with an elo rating like yours ((2671), you should be able to cover your back!>

Go easy, old chap! Luke was only about 15 when this game was played, and rated a fair bit below where he is now.

W was negotiating the back rank tactics well, gaining a slight advantage before he got lured into trying to grab material before securing his back rank.>

Thanks <Coigach>. I think I'll take your advice. I've followed this young British GM <Luke McShane>'s games since his wonderful win over <Etienne Bacrot> in 1992, when he was only 8. In 1999 when this game against <Mirumian> was played he wasn't even a GM, though on the cusp of becoming one. And I agree his ELO must have been much lower too.

He has defeated some big names and I admire his talent to the extent of being a bit of a fan. I guess I felt a touch piqued by this unusual back rank lapse from him and hurled that harsh imprecation at the young man. Shall not curse him ever again. I felt bad as soon as it went out.

I am sorry if I have hurt your feelings. Alas, words are words; once they go out they cannot be pulled back!

Oct-28-11  lost in space: I am once again late today. I saw 22...Bc4 23. Rd1 Qxd6 and it it seems that Black is able to win?!

Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: 22...Bc4 opens a breach that can't be closed.
Oct-28-11  Casseb: I thought I wouldn`t find it. But suddenly a snap showed me Bc4, protecting f1 from the defense of the bank rank mate. I really hope that those snaps come more often in games.
Oct-28-11  newton296: yep, noticed the back rank threat right away but couldn't see what to do after Bc4 Rd1 hmmm! looked at Bf5 and Bb3 but nope. almost gave up but then realized after Rd1 I can just play Qxd6 and the rook can't recapture due to Re1++

okay, for anybody intersted, I played a game on playchess today and got into a tricky but interesting ending.

white to play and win!

its a thinker!

newton296 - lenno09, Friendly Game, 15m + 5s 2011

click for larger view

Oct-28-11  TheBish: 24...Rxe4! was a nice knockout punch to force resignation (no mas!). I didn't look that far, unfortunately, assuming it wasn't required. It's a good idea to look one move further than you believe necessary, because often it is!

In this case, also sufficing (but not nearly as strong) would be 24...Qe6, since 25. Ng5 Qe1+! 26. Rf1 (26. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 27. Rf1 Rxf1#) Qe3+ 27. Rf2 Bb3! wins even more material, as does 26. Nc5 Qe1+ 27. Rf1 Qe3+ 28. Rf2 (Qf2 Bxf1) Qxc5 29. b3 Qxa3 30. Qxc4+ Kh8, up two pawns plus the piece in the last line.

Oct-28-11  alachabre: Ok, the first thing to notice is that the f2 rook is pinned. The second key is that the e1 square is undefended when the e5 bishop clears the file. So that points to a dynamic bishop move. The drawback is the threatened capture of the queen, which would unpin the f2 rook. Thus, after

22. ... Bb3
23. Rxd4 Re1+
24. Rf1 Rxf1+
25. Kxf1 Bxc2

Black doesn't stand any better. So, something more subtle is at play here. Perhaps a bishop move that doesn't appear quite so dynamic as Bb3, but accomplishes much more?

22. ... Bc4, covering the f1 square by x-ray!

23. Rxd4 Re1+, and White is now mated after 24. Rf1.

23. Rd1 Qxd6!, the queen is untouchable because of the mate threat on f1.

23. Qd2 gives up the full rook on d3.

23. Nce4 Bxd3, no help.

Finally, the obvious (obvious to someone not as chess-blind as myself, which is why I left this option 'till last):

23. Nxc4 Re1+ and mate.

Oct-28-11  M.Hassan: "Difficult" Black to play 22...?
Black is a pawn ahead

At first, I went for the line to pin the Rook on d3

<if 23.Nxf5 Re1# since Rook f2 is pnned>

23.Rxd4 Bxc2
24.Nxe8 Rxe8
In this line, White gains a Rook for a pawn.
It then occured to me to change the first move of the Bishop to c4 to have control over a6f1 diagonal:

23.Nxe8 Bxd3
Up to now, Black still maintains the pin on f2 Rook, have exchaged Rook for Rook and is attacking White Queen and it appears that White in order to save the Queen, may need to sacrifice his Knight:

24.Nf6+ gxf6
25.Qb3+ Bc4
26.Qc2 Re8
27.h3 Re1+
28.Kh2 Qe5+
29.g3 Bd5
30.Nxd5 Qxd5
31.Rg2 Ne5
32.g4 Nf3+
33.Kg3 Qe5+
34.Kf2 Rf1+
35.Kxf1 Qe1#
Not sure if the game continued thus.
It's time to check

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