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Hebert Perez Garcia vs Raset Ziatdinov
Julianadorp (5 min.) (1994) (blitz), ?
Four Knights Game: Double Spanish (C49)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-20-09  patzer2: The follow-up 22. Qg3! , with its decisive skewer threat (e.g. 22...Qf6 23. Rg8+ Ke7 24. Rxa8 ), ensues White wins more than a mere exchange after 20. Re4!

While seeing 22. Qg3! is not too difficult (a good example of making a decisive threat for novices), visualizing this possibility (i.e. the game continuation) before playing 20. Re4! requires a bit more calculation and discipline.

Nov-20-09  5hrsolver: <Once> Thats a good and interesting article.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: It reads as follows. Re4 since the rook cannot be captured allowing the knight fork: h5 also doesnt prevent it. Leaf through the variations and black cant worm his way out of this one.
Nov-20-09  Eduardo Leon: Difficult? How come? ♘g6+ would win the queen if the rook weren't there, so the obvious move is...


Since both 20...♖xf4 and 20...h5 allow 21.♘g6+, black must give up the exchange AND lose a tempo.

<20...♕g5 21.♖xg4 ♕xe7 22.♕g3>

And black wins the remaining black rook.

This is humiliating. Black doesn't have a single line in which he is able to at least contest white supremacy (pun not intended).

Nov-20-09  openingspecialist: <Once>

Very interesting article. I can't fault any of your words.

I would like to add though that some players are more fond of certain tactics than others.

I for example am a french player. I love closed positions, long deep creative thinking, the slow kill. However, I also love to sack and find forks, pins and skewers. But this is the exact type of puzzle I never get (today I had a 30 second effort and concluded maybe white was playing for a draw considered Qxc6 first). I seem to be very weak at this type of tactic. However, I am strong at mating patterns, sacks on f7 and h7.

This comes back to my original point, it comes back to the type of position you are accustom to playing. This type of position wouldn't occur often in my games - simply because the openings I play are closed and focus on f7 and h7 sacks, knight forks, and closed position positional play.

I think of myself as a tactical french player. Given you found this puzzle easy, my guess is your a style of open Sicilian player (Dragonish lines) or even a Scandinavian player.

Nov-20-09  patzer2: Black's game is already shaky before the blunder 19...Rxg4??, and even for an OTB game (let alone a five minute game like this one) finding a saving alternative is difficult.

However, instead of 19...Rxg4??, Black appears to hold with 19... Rf6! 20. Qxc6 Rd8! (not 20... Re8?? 21. Qxe8+ Kxe8 22. Nf5+ ) 21. Nf5 Qxg4 22. Qxc7 Qxf5 23. Qxd8+ Kg7 24. cxd4 Bxd4 25. Re2 Qh5! 26. Qe7 Be5 27. Rxe5 Qxe5 28. Qxa7 Qxb2 =.

Nov-20-09  mworld: < agb2002: <birobidjan: My first idea was : 20.Qxc6 but 20...Re8 is a good defence.> 21.Qxe8+ Kxe8 22.Ng6+ Kd7 23.Nxh4 Rxh4 24.cxd4 Bxd4 25.b3 and with a pawn for the exchange Black can still offer resistance. > i thought it was Qxc6 as well when i still thought Re8 was a likely reply....which it isnt. However if he replies Re8 the line I saw was 20.Qxc6 Re8 21.Ng6+ Rxg6 22.Rxe8+ Kg7 which keeps white's queen more active in the attack on the queenside pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <patzer2> <However, instead of 19...Rxg4??, Black appears to hold with 19... Rf6! 20. Qxc6>

20 Nf5 instead attempts to trap the queen and seems to force the loss of rook for knight.

click for larger view

Nov-20-09  A.G. Argent: <Once> Well said.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <openingspecialist> I know what you mean about closed positions! I too like to play the French as black, and against the French I like the blocked positional approach of the KIA. And that means that I like the slow build-up and long-term pressure.

But I am a self-confessed CG junkie, so I also enjoy wide open positions and tactics. Even the most closed of positions can explode into tactics. And I have been known to essay a King's Gambit (by way of a Vienna or Bishop's opening).

There's a principle I use at work which may be of some use, or at least borderline interesting. When faced with something new (eg a candidate move in a chess position), most people ask themselves the question "does this work?". That's an okayish sort of question, but it is rather closed. It invites a yes/no response ... and when things are tricky, a yes/ no response often defaults to a "no".

A more powerful question to ask is "how could I make this work?". This is an open question - ie you can't answer it with a "yes" or a "no". So having found Ng6+ as a theme, a "does this work?" question probably results in a "no". But "how can I make this work?" invites us to look for ways to prepare Ng6+ or deal with the black response of Rxg6.

Or maybe that's too philosophical for a friday evening at the end of a hard week and a cold Stella to hand....?

Nov-20-09  YouRang: Easyish for a Friday IMO. The potential K+Q knight fork at g6 is being prevented only by the black rook on g4. Naturally, I look for ways to deflect that rook and 20.Re4 leaps into view.

Black seems to be hosed.

The straight 20...Rxe4 21.Ng6+ wins, or (what I expected) 20...Rg3 21.Ng6+ Kg7 22.Nxh4 Rxf3 23.Nxf3 also wins. I actually didn't consider the 20...Qg5 idea, but it didn't work out so good anyway.

Nov-20-09  patzer2: Oops! I overlooked the possibility 19...Rf6! 20. Nf5! when 20...Qg5 21. Qxc6 appears to give White a decisive advantage.

So, it appears Black might have to look for an improvement earlier in the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: It appears to me the puzzle is not finding Re4 which is rather easy, but of continuing Qg3!
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <mworld: < agb2002: <birobidjan: My first idea was : 20.Qxc6 but 20...Re8 is a good defence.> 21.Qxe8+ Kxe8 22.Ng6+ Kd7 23.Nxh4 Rxh4 24.cxd4 Bxd4 25.b3 and with a pawn for the exchange Black can still offer resistance. > i thought it was Qxc6 as well when i still thought Re8 was a likely reply....which it isnt. However if he replies Re8 the line I saw was 20.Qxc6 Re8 21.Ng6+ Rxg6 22.Rxe8+ Kg7 which keeps white's queen more active in the attack on the queenside pawns.>

In this line the queen is tied to the defense of g2 because of direct mate threats or an eventual ... Rxg2+ forcing perpetual at least. Probably for this reason I preferred 21.Qxe8+.

Nov-20-09  VincentL: In this "difficult" position, white is down two pawns.

Well, white would like to play Ng6+, forking K and Q.

How about 20. Re4?

Now. 20.... Rxe4 21. Ng6+ If 21.....Kg7/Kg8 22. Nxh4.. Now if 22.... Rxh4 23. Qg3+ and the rook goes. White ends up with a Q for N and 2 pawns.

If 21.....Ke8 22. Nxh4. On 22.... Rxh4 23. Re1+ Now. 23...Kd8 allows 24.Qf6+ winning the rook. 23..... Kf8 24. Qxc6 and black will soon lose more pawns. White is winning

If 21.....Kd7 24. Qf7+ Kc8 (Kd8 25. Qf6+ winning the rook) 25. Re8+ Kb7 26.Rxa8 Kxa8 27. Qxc7 winning.

Now what if black does not take the rook on move 20? The only plausible alternative is 20.....Qg5. Now. 21. Rxg4 Qxey 22. Qg3! and after 23. Rg8+ white will lose the rook on a8 or else the queen for a rook (after Qe8 or firstly Qg5).

This must be it. There might be slightly more efficient continuations in some of the above lines, but I don't have more time to look for them today.

Nov-20-09  The Rocket: "It appears to me the puzzle is not finding Re4 which is rather easy, but of continuing Qg3!"

lol qg3 is the easiest move in the game. you seriously think re4 was easier to see than qg3???

Nov-20-09  A Karpov Fan: got it
Nov-20-09  patzer2: Instead of 6...Bg5?! (lost all three games played in the Opening Explorer), an early improvement for Black is the mainline 6...0-0= as in N A Malmdin vs M Nemeth, 2009.

Also 7...a6= or 7...Bxc3= might have held.

Nov-20-09  MindBoggle: The Rocket wrote:

<well if you saw re4 you have solved the puzzle.. qg5 is no problem, you just take the rook for the knight.>

This is not so. I agree that 20...Qg5(?) doesn't need any further calculation - at worst I'm just up an exchange for nothing - but 20...Rxe4 does need some attention.

After 21.Ng6+,Kg7/g8/e8 22.Nxh4,Rxh4 black has material parity and something further needs to be found to prove the win.

You have to also see, as Marmot PFL writes:

<If 20...Rxe4 21 Ng6+ Kg7 (or Kg8) 22 Nxh4 Rxh4 23 Qg3+, or 21..Ke8 22 Nxh4 Rxh4 23 Qxc6+,winning one or the other rook.>

Now it's solved.

Nov-20-09  David2009: Friday's puzzle H P Garcia vs R Ziatdinov, 1994 White 20?

Black has no immediate threats, White is two pawns down. 20 Qxc6 wins one back. If 20...Re8 White can with the exchange by 21 Qxe8+ Kxe8 22 Nf5+ Kd2 23 Nxh4 Rxh4. The ending could be difficult to win (White has only one pawn for the exchange and no obvious entry point for his Rooks). The alternative is 20...Rd8 21 Qxc7 and Black is struggling, e.g. Ra8 22 cxd4.

Let's look further at the 20 Qxc6 Re8 line. Instead of winning the exchange immediately, White can play 21 Nf5 hitting e8 twice. 21...Rxe1? is clearly weak, whilst 21 ...Re4 is met by Qxe8+ winning a whole Rook however Black recaptures. This leaves 21... Qd8. I cannot then see a clear win for White e.g. 22 Nxh6 Rf4 with counter-play; Best seems 22 cxd4 Bxd4 23 Rxe8+ Qxe8 24 Qxc7 (threatening 25 Qxd6+ Kg8 26 Nxh6+) Bc5 27 Nxd6 Bxd6 28 Qxd6+ Kg7 29 Rd1 and White is a Pawn up with Black defending three weak Pawns.

In conclusion, I'll play 20 Qxc6 and follow up with Nf5 if Black plays 20...Re8. Time to check:
Missed it (20 Re4!! much better than 20 Qxc6). This was a five-minute game: I would have lost on time.

How does my line fare against Crafty? The link below gives me a chance to play on-line against Crafty and find out:

click for larger view

Garcia=Ziatdinov 1994 (5 minutes) 20?

My original line loses: e.g. 20 Qxc6 Rd8! 21 Qxc7? Bb6! (I completely missed this simple defence) 22 Qc6 d3! 23 Nf5 Qh4 24 Nxd6 d2 and Black is winning.

Better in this line is 21 cxd4 e.g. 21...Bxd4 22 Qxc7 and Black can either play for a win with 22...Bb6 or take the immediate draw by perpetual check with 22...Rxg2+.

Interested kibitzers may like to win the position at move 20 on-line against Crafty using the link above. Crafty finds ingenious resources even when a Rook down. [It prefers to sacrifice a Rook rather than be mated as in the game line].

Nov-20-09  WhiteRook48: tried 20 Ng6+??
Nov-20-09  ROO.BOOKAROO: I am applauding the use of "royal fork" by zooter. This is the proper name for a fork of the king and queen. Any other name is not as meaningful. Bravo
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I opined last night that I saw 20 cxd4 Bxd4 first, then 21 Re4. (The thought was to attack the bishop too).

But I did not mention that 20 b4 works also.

click for larger view

There are three threats; bxc5, Qxc6 and Re4.

Nov-20-09  VincentL: <Once><openingspecialist>. I think there are various stages in solving these puzzles. Firstly one must assimilate the information. What threats (immediate and less immediate) do both sides have? What is the material balance? Which pieces can participate in the action in the coming moves, and which cannot? Whose move is it? Also... which day of the week is it? - if we are into variations more than three moves long on a Monday or Tuesday, probably we have set off on the wrong track.

Then there is the stage which some psychologists call "incubation". This involves comparing the assimilated information with established "thought patterns", i.e what we know about positions from this kind (from previous experience), and what we have played (or should have played) in similar positions we have encountered in past games/puzzles.

Finally we come to the most interesting stage - the possible immediate insight, in which the framework of the solution (the first move and the general idea) "pops out" at us.

On some days, we have this insight - for example today, Re4 jumped out at me almost straight away (after I had assimilated the initial information). On other days, one needs some methodology to find the solution - drawing up a list of candidate moves, elminating them one by one, etc.

Interesting points are:

(a) the "flashes of insight", when the solution "just comes to us", do not necessarily occur when the position is the simplest. I sometimes see the framework of the solution almost straight away on a Friday, but on a Tuesday I have to use some methodology to solve the puzzle.

(b) The solution may come to us when we our mind is focussed on something else. On a number of occasions - usually with the puzzles later in the week - I have studied the position for a few minutes, and then gone off to do something else, or to have a conversation on a non-chess matter. Suddenly the solution appears in my mind, and I then go back to the puzzle to check that indeed it works.

How many others have had this experience? All, I should imagine.

The mind works in interesting ways.

Nov-20-09  TheBish: H P Garcia vs R Ziatdinov, 1994

White to play (20.?) "Difficult"

Got it! White is down two pawns, but a tactical shot puts him ahead.

20. Re4!

Since the Black rook on g4 is the only thing preventing Ng6+ (winning the queen because of the pin), we remove the defender!


Pretty forced. The rook can't be guarded, because both 20...f5? 21. Qxf5+ and 20...h5? 21. Ng6+ Rxg6 22. Rxh4 lose faster.

21. Ng6+

Now Black has a dilemma, because the king has no safe square:

A) 21...Kg8 (or Kg7) 22. Nxh4 Rxh4 23. Qg3+ wins the rook.

B) 21...Ke8 22. Nxh4 Rxh4 23. Qxc6+ wins the other rook!

So, Black can't recapture the knight and White wins easily with a queen for a rook and some messy pawns (which will be cleaned up shortly).

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