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Petar Popovic vs Yasser Seirawan
Sarajevo (1987), Sarajevo YUG
Caro-Kann Defense: Bronstein-Larsen Variation (B16)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Since I did not consider 52....Rd7 I can't give myself credit. This does seem like a very hard problem.
Jul-22-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is down an exchange for a pawn, but has far better piece mobility, pawn quality, and king safety. The bishop is the star of the show, with a commanding position that reaches the heart of the enemy king position, while the passive black rooks combined only have one more legal move than the bishop. A key access to the black king is at f5, which suggests that the f5-defender should be taken out:

49.Rd8! is the perfect move, leaving black with no viable defense:

A) 49... Qxd8 50.Qxf5+ Kg8 51.Qg5+ Kf8 52.Qxh6+ Ke8 53.Qxc6+ Rd7 54.Bf6! Qb8 55.h6! and black's tied-down majors can't stop the h-pawn.

A.1) 50... Rg6 51.hxg6+ Kh6 (fg 54.Qh3+ Kg8 55.Qh8+ wins the Q) Qf8 53.Bd6 Re2+ (R/Qxf7 54.Qh3+) 53.Kf1 Qxd6 54.f8=Q+ wins

A.1.a) 51... Kg8 52.Qh5! (52.Qf6? Qd2+ 53.Kh3 Qh6+ steals a draw) Qd2+ 53.Kh3 fg (Rxe5? 54.Qh7+) 54.Qxg6+ Kf8 55.Bd6 wins.

A.2) 51... Rg6 52.hg f6 (fg 53.Qxg6+ Kf8 54.Bd6) 53.Qxf6 Qd2+ 54.Kh3 Qh6+ 55.Kg4 wins

A.3) 53... Qd7 54.Qa8+ Qd8 54.Qxd8+ Kxd8 55.Bf6 wins

A.4) 53... Kf8 54.Qh6+ Ke8 55.Qh8+ Kd7 56.Qxd8+ Kxd8 59.Bf6 wins.

B) 49... Qe6/b7/a6/c7/d7 50.Rh8#

C) 49... Other 50.Rxc8 wins.

Time for review...

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Once .... Our job here is done.>

The sequel.
Thats where David comes along with his EGT and positon 61 W to play. But now a different type of hero needed. Not the Blood 'n guts sort, going Over the Top, amid a hail of bullets, but a patient planner, a thinker, a strategist. Mel Gibson is written out of the script ....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Nf3em: 49.Rd8 is not so difficult to find ...
Jul-22-11  Patriot: This was much easier than yesterday's. A quick scan for forcing moves reveals 49.Rd8 as a possibility since it cannot simply be ignored. This was my only candidate because nothing else compares by force.

Here's a philosophical question. If you only have one candidate, how much time should be spent on it? If you only have one legal move, how much time should be spent on that? The logic seems similar but is far different. One legal move means you either play it or resign. But having only one candidate doesn't mean you should just play it. Legally there can be many moves and it could be that the position calls for something quiet...something not so obvious. Sometimes a forcing candidate can reveal other candidates that prepare for it. So a candidate like 49.Rd8 should be examined at least to the point that it doesn't simply get refuted (like 49...Qxd8) and either wins, gets compensation, or maybe even draws with best play. If you are ahead in material then if a draw results from best play, it could be that the main candidate is wrong because in that case you should be looking for a win. In this case black is up the exchange for a pawn so a draw is not a bad result. Just some food for thought...

Going back to the position...

49.Rd8 Qxd8 50.Qxf5+

Two options: 50...Kg8 or 50...Rg6

50...Rg6 51.hxg6+ looks like white is at least getting material back. (This was my logic for the 5 minute time control.)

50...Kg8 51.Qg5+ and again, two options: 51...Rg6 or 51...Kf8

51...Rg6 52.hxg6 looks pretty good for white.

51...Kf8 52.Qxh6+ Ke8 53.Qh8+ Kd7 54.Qxd8+ Kxd8 55.Bf6

I figured this was winning. The answer seems to be 55...Ke8 56.h6! Re6 57.Bg7 f5 58.h7 Kf7 59.Qh8 .

Jul-22-11  psmith: I got this as far as 52. hxg6 but assumed Black would reply 52... fxg6. Against that I mistakenly intended 53. Bf6 missing 53...Re2+ (though OTB I would have seen that when we got to this position, and played 53... Qxg6+ instead). I didn't see 52...Rd7 at all and don't give myself credit for the solution without that.
Jul-22-11  David2009: <Perhaps I should play 61.Kg4.> I came back to this after catching up with the Tour de France and did just that.

click for larger view

The game ended abruptly: 60...Qe7 61.Kg4 Qg7+ 62.Kf4 a5?? (I had expected 62...Qf7+ which has to be better) 63.Qa8+ Qf8+ 64.Qxf8+ 1-0 Link (repeated):

The EGT often surprises me by the strength of its play. Sometimes it surprises me by its weakness. Try this one:

click for larger view

The position is of course dead drawn - but you can exploit the EGT's aggressive programming and relatively short ply count to coax it into losing. Hint: play passively and let the EGT advance its King and post its Rook aggressively (on your second rank).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Patriot> They say that every forcing move should be examined, but that doesn't mean that every forcing move should be played.

I recall one comedian or wit saying that when he was young he learned everything about sex by watching ... shall we say? ... "naughty" films.

As he grew older he realised that real life was not like those films. It didn't last as long, your partners were less likely to be so appreciative and sometimes a pizza delivery boy/ girl was just delivering pizza.

And in real life, the answer to the question was more likely to be <no> than <yes> and only very rarely to be <yes!! Yess!!! Yess!!>

And so it is with chess. In puzzles the most forcing move is most likely to be the answer. In real life, the most forcing move is most likely to get your face slapped.

Jul-22-11  Patriot: <Once> LOL! That's too good! I agree 100%. Hopefully the rest of the kibitzers on here will read (and heed) this advice! :-)
Jul-22-11  kevin86: I answered this one! At least the first few moves.

The rook sac allows the white pieces to attack,regain the rook later,and then have a winning ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: 54...Kg8 looks like a blunder. 54...Ke8 allows more counterplay.

click for larger view

Can't see how white finishes from here.

Jul-22-11  BOSTER: Black pieces has no coordination,and black pawns are scattered like islands in the ocean.

After 49.Rd8 (threat Rh8#) Qxd8 50.Qxf5+ black has two possibilities 50...Rg6 or 50...Kg8

If Seirawan were the painter, he would play 50...Rg6 with very short and attractive lines with mate or losing the queen. But as the the fighter he chose 50...Kg8, which I have no any desire to consider when temperature outside about 100 F.

Jul-22-11  LIFE Master AJ: I checked my analysis with a computer ... I was a little off on a couple of lines ... however, Fritz 12 and Houdini like my move (c5, last one in analysis) over what was played in the game.
Jul-22-11  LIFE Master AJ: As <Once> commented, the puzzles are probably easier than real life.

Here - your job is MUCH simpler than in a normal game ... generally, you KNOW that you jave to find some good forcing move, usually involving a sacrifice.

In tournament chess ... things are not so simple.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a pawn for a rook.

Black threatens ... Rxh5.

The black king doesn't look very safe and the rook on e7 is defenseless. This suggests 49.Qg5 but after 49... Rxe5 50.Rd8 Qxd8 51.Qxd8 Rxh5 52.Qf6 Re2+ 53.Kf1 Ra2 54.Qxf7+ Kh6 the ending is rather complex.

Another option is 49.Rd8 to divert the queen from the defense of the light squares, 49... Qxd8 (else the queen is lost or 50.Rh8#) 50.Qxf5+:

A) 50... Kg8 51.Qg5+

A.1) 51... Kf8 52.Qg7+ Ke8 53.Qxh6 and the h-pawn should win the game (53... Rxe5 54.Qh8+).

A.2) 51... Rg6 52.hxg6

A.2.a) 52... fxg6 53.Qxg6+ Kf8 54.Bd6 with a won pawn endgame after the liquidation.

A.2.b) 52... Qd3 53.Qxe7 Qc2+ (53... Qe2+ 54.Kh3 Qf1+ 55.Kg4 Qxc4+ 56.Kg5 + -) 54.Kh3 Qf5+ 55.Kh4 Qxg6 (55... fxg6 56.Qg7#) 56.Qe8+ Kh7 57.Qh8#.

A.2.c) 52... Qd7 53.gxf7+ Kxf7 54.Qg7+ and mate next.

A.2.d) 52... Qe8 53.gxf7+ Kxf7 54.Qg7+ Ke6 55.Qf6+ Kd7 56.Qd6+ Kc8 57.Qb8+ Kd7 58.Qxa7+ Ke6 59.Qc5 + /- [B+3P vs R] with the better endgame.

B) 50... Rg6 51.hxg6+

B.1) 51... Kg8 52.Qg5 transposes to A.2.

B.2) 51... fxg6 52.Qh3+ Kg8 52.Qh8+ Kf7 53.Qxd8, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I went with 49. Rd8. For example:

49...Qxd8 50. Qxf5+ Kg8 51. Qg5+ Kf8 52. Qxh6+ Ke8 53. Qh8+ Kd7 54. Qxe8+ Kxd8 55. Bf6

Jul-22-11  stukkenjager: 49.Rd8 Qxd8 50.Qxf5+ Kg8 51.Qg5+ Rg6 52.hxg6 Rd7 53.gxf7+ Kxf7 54.Qf5+ Ke8 (54...Kg8? 55.Qg6+ Kf8 56.c5) 55.Qg6+ Rf7 56.Qxc6+ Looks more then ok to me.
Jul-22-11  morfishine: <Once> Great to see you back and in fine form, fine form indeed!
Jul-22-11  M.Hassan: "Difficult" White to play 49.?
White has a Bishop and a pawn for a Rook.
There is a possibility of strong attack(if not mate) by White only if he can check the King on f5.Black Queen is guarding that square. Hence 49.Rd8 could be the first move:

49.Rd8 Qxd8
50.Qxf5+ Kg8
51.Qg5+ Kf8
52.Qxh6+ White gets the Rook back
53.Qxd6+ Kf8
54.Qh6+ Ke8
55.Qh8+ Kd7
56.Qxd8+ Kxd8

click for larger view

In this position,Black Rook is pinned and will be exchanged by Bishop. White remains with 5 pawns and Blck with two. White is going to win. Will check the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Jimfromprovidence: Very tough still.>

I've come around to your way of thinking. Maybe there's a win here for white, but it's awfully hard work. This try is clearly inferior to the game line.

Thanks for taking my analysis seriously.

Jul-22-11  patzer2: I missed the solution to this Friday puzzle, opting for the less forcing 49. Bg7?, when White wins if Black takes the offered piece.

click for larger view

However, what I missed in this position is that if White declines the sham sacrifice with 49...Rxh5!, he survives with an extra pawn and easy equality.

Fritz gives the instructive defensive line 49. Bg7?! Rxh5! (not 49... Kxg7?? 50. Qg5+ Kh7 51. Qxe7 Qe6 52. Rd7 ) 50. g4! fxg4 51. fxg4 Rh4 52. Kg3 Rxg4+ 53. Qxg4 Re3+ 54. Kh4 Qxg4+ 55. Kxg4 Kxg7 56. Kf5 Rb3 57. Rd6 Rxb4 58. Rxc6 =.

Jul-22-11  patzer2: The winning solution 49. Rd8!! involves a number of tactics that computer programs seem to find quickly, but takes some of us humans a bit longer.

Immediately, it involves the decoy, deflection, double attack and mate threat tactics, but in some variations it also utilizes the skewer, pawn promotion and pinning tactics.

Here's a bit of analysis with Fritz to illustrate:

<49. ♖d8!! 49... ♕xd8 50. ♕xf5+ ♔g8>

If 50... Rg6, then 51. hxg6+ fxg6 (51... Kg8 52. gxf7+ Kf8 53. Qg6 Rxf7 54. Bd6+ Re7 55. f4 Qd7 56. f5 Qe8 57. Qf6+ Kg8 58. Bxe7 Qf7 59. Qxf7+ ) 52. Qh3+ Kg8 53. Qh8+ Kf7 54. Qxd8 .

<51. ♕g5+ ♖g6>

If 51... Kh7, then 52. Qg7#.
If 51... Kf8, then 52. Qxh6+ Ke8 53. Qxc6+ Qd7 54. Qa8+ Qd8 55. Qxd8+ Kxd8 56. Bf6 .

<52. hxg6 ♖d7 53. gxf7+ ♔xf7 54. ♕f5+ ♔g8 55. ♕g6+ ♔f8 56. ♗f4>

Also winning and perhaps stronger is 56. c5! Rd2+ 57. Kh3 Qd7+ 58. g4 Ke7 59. Bf6+ Kf8 (59... Ke6 60. Bg5+ Ke5 61. Qe4#) 60. Qh6+ Kf7 61. Bg5 Rd5 62. Qh7+ Kf8 63. Bh6+ Ke8 64. Qg8+ Ke7 65. Bg5+ Rxg5 66. Qxg5+ .

<56... ♖d2+ 57. ♗xd2 ♕xd2+ 58. ♔h3 ♕xb4 59. ♕f6+ ♔g8 60. ♕xc6 a5 61. c5 ♕c4 62. ♕g6+ ♔f8 63. c6 ♕f1+ 64. ♔g4 ♕c4+ 65. f4 a4 66. ♕d6+ ♔f7 67. c7 a3 68. ♕d7+ ♔g6 69. ♕e8+ 1-0>

Jul-23-11  patzer2: After <David 2009>'s 60... Qe7, Fritz gives the winning line 61. c5 Kf7 62. g4 a5 63. Qd5+ Qe6 64. Qb7+ Kf6 65. Qa8 Qe2 66. Qf8+ Kg6 67. Qd6+ Kf7 68. c6 Qf1+ 69. Kh4 Qe1+ 70. Kg5 Qe7+ 71. Qxe7+ Kxe7 72. f4 Kd6 73. f5 Kxc6 74. f6 Kd6 75. f7 Ke7 76. Kg6 Kf8

click for larger view

77. Kf6 a4 78. g5 a3 79. g6 a2 80. g7#

Jul-23-11  LIFE Master AJ: <patzer2> Nice analysis.
Jul-23-11  TheBish: P Popovic vs Seirawan, 1987

White to play (49.?) "Difficult", White is down an exchange for a pawn.

I like 49. Rd8! Qxd8 (forced) 50. Qxf5+. Now:

A) 50...Kg8 51. Qg5+ Rg6 (or 51...Kf8 52. Qxh6+ Ke8 53. Qh8+ Kd7 54. Qxd8+ Kxd8 55. Bf6 simplifies to a winning K+P endgame) 52. hxg6 Rd7 (or 52...fxg6 53. Qxg6+ Kf8 54. Qf6+ Ke8 55. Qh8+ simplifies as above) 53. gxf7+ Kxf7 54. Qf5+ Ke8 55. Qg6+ Kf8 56. Qxc6 and White has three pawns for the exchange with good winning chances.

B) 50...Rg6 51. hxg6+ Kg8 (not 51...fxg6 52. Qh3+ Kg8 53. Qh8+ winning the queen, or 51...Kh6 52. Qh3+ Kxg6 53. Qg4+ Kh6 54. Qg7+ Kh5 55. g4+ Kh4 56. Bf6#) 52. gxf7+ Kf8 (or 52...Rxf7 53. Qg6+ Kf8 54. Bd6+ Ke8 55. Qe6+ wins easily) 53. Qg5! Rd7 (53...Kxf7 54. Qf6+ Ke8 55. Qh8+ is again the simplifying line) 54. Qg8+ Ke7 55. Bf6+ Kxf6 56. f8=Q+ wins easily.

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