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Amador Rodriguez Cespedes vs Irisberto Herrera
Capablanca Memorial-A (1990), Havana CUB
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Browne Variation (B98)  ·  1-0



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Sep-07-07  twin phoenix: as usual the analysis by MAJ and dzechiel are both excellent! tks guys!! i could not find the denouement. saw the rook sack all the up to Q-h8 but simply couldn't find how to finish the job. thus i don't get credit as i would not have played this OTB (i know it's dull but i got to see that a combo is good or i won't play it.) chess games should have given this puzzle from the move before where white sacks a knight 19. N-b5!! is really the prettiest move of all cuz that means white had seen clear to the end. Board vision as zb2cr puts it is a nice term and something i wish i could improve on.... any hints anyone? (i know my best bet is probably just give up the game as i'm a lifetime patzer! i do love the game though...)
Sep-07-07  ConstantImprovement: PART I:

So, let us look at the basic motifs of the position and see if our final solution will be somehow made of all we noticed:

1. The Bishop check on b5
Since Kf8 is no option because of Rd8+ Qd8: Qd8:#, only Nd7 and Bd7 remain, both blocking the Queen's guarding of f7.

2. The weak f7-spot
Rf1 is directly staring there, Be2 can be there in one move. A sacrifice at f7 might be possible. Perhaps Bb5:+ before it to block the Queen's guard (see above).

3. The mate threat at d8
The Queen and the rook at d1 are having a close look at d8, forcing the Black Queen to guard this square.

4. A possible square for the Queen at f6 after Black's g6 This would reinforce the d8-threat and allow further attacks.

Now let's bring all that into motion:

I. 20. Bb5+

1. 20. ... Nb5 21. Rf7: (Moves like 21. Qf4 probably are too slow after 21. ... Rf8)

a. 21. ... g5 22. Qf2 with Qf6 and a mate on e7 (22. Qh5 is the same)

b. 21. ... Kf7:

b1. 22. Rd1+ Ke8 (22. ... Nf6? 23. Rf6:+ f6: 24. Qf6:# or 23. ... Ke7 24. Rf4#)

b11. 23. Qf4 does not seem to be strong enough, since Black (being a rook and a piece up) can simply play 23. ... Qb6 and allow 24. Qf7+ Kd8 25. Qg8:+ Kc7, where Black should not be worse with pressure on the a-file and a piece up.

b12. 23. Qh5+, and either 23. ... g6 24. Qf3 Qb6 or even perhaps even better 23. ... Kd8 24. Qf7 Rd8, with Black winning

And now a little help for analyzing:
We now saw during our analysis that there are sufficient defensive maneuvers (Qb6 and others) against a threat of the Queen and d1-Rook on the f-file. So we will not analyse lines like 22. Qf4+, 22. Qh5+ or 22. Qf2+, because they will probably transpose, having the same attacking ideas.

Let us go further back.

We will ignore 20. ... Bb5, too, since it is not clear how this should help White's attack. We will now try to bring the White Bishop to attacking the f7-square (See motif 2).

II. 20. Rf7:

1. 20. ... Qf7: 21. Rd8#

The Black Queen needs to guard the mate on e7, which she can only do from c7 (see the d1-Rook against Qd8 and Qd6). So every other move with the Queen results in mate. Help might come from

2. 20. ... g5, intercepting the diagonal, but there follows 21. Rc7: h4: 22. Bh5+ Rg6 23. Bg6:+ Ke8 24. Rd8#

So Black has to take the Rook:

3. 20. ... Kf7: 21. Bh5+ (Other lines like 21. Qf4+ Ke8 are too much like the "20. Bb5:+"-lines to be successful.)

a. 21. 21. ... Kf8 22. Rf1#

b. 21. ... g6

b1. 22. Rf1+ Ke8 is too slow

b2. 22. Qf6+ Ke8 23. Bg6:+ (Other moves are too slow, too) 23. ... Rg6:

b21. 24. Qg6:+?

b211. 24. ... Kf8 25. Rf1+ Ke7 26. Rf7+ Kd8 (Ke8) 27. Qg8#

b212. 24. ... Ke7 25. Qg7+ Ke8 26. Qc7:, winning the Queen

b213. 24. ... Qf7 25. Rd8+ Ke7! (25. ... Kd8: 26. Qf7:, with a slight advantage for White), and Black has a winning position

b22. 24. Qh8+

b221. 24. ... Rg8 25. Qg8:+ Ke7 26. Qg7+, winning the Queen on c7

b222. 24. ... Ke7 25. Qh7+ Ke8 (Kf8) 26. Qc7:, threatening mate on d8 and the Rook on b8; 26. ... Nd7 27. Rd7: Bd7: 28. Qb8:+ Ke7 29. Qb7: with a winning ending Q+6P against R+B+3P, which White will win after 29. ... Rg2: 30. b3 Rh2: 31. a4 a4: 32. a4:, since the Bishop cannot take the pawn and the Queen should stop the h-pawn in time. After moves like 29. ... Ke8 or similar to prevent a4, White plays 30. g3 and now has two possibilities for a passed pawn.

b223. 24. ... Kf7 25. Rf1+ Ke7 26. Qh7+
(26. Qf8+ Kd7 27. Rf7+ and the Black King escapes via c6) ... Ke8 (26. ... Kd8 Rf8#) 27. Qc7: and now it is like at b222, 27. ... Nd7 28. Rd7: Bd7: 29. Qb8:+ Ke7 30. Qb7:, with the same winning ending.

Sep-07-07  ConstantImprovement: PART II:

So let us conclude:

Of our motifs we saw at the beginning, one had to be discarded and the other three played crucial roles in our main line. We can add "the unguarded Queen" and "the decoying check" (even though Rd8+ did not work because of Ke7). Motif 2 guided us to abandon the "20. Bb5:+"-lines for 21. Bh5+, which proved to be the right way.

I hope to have helped especially beginners to understand the logic underneath most chess combinations.

At the end our main line:

20. Rf7: Kf7: 21. Bh5+ g6 22. Qf6+ Ke8 23. Bg6:+ Rg6: 24. Qh8+ Kf7 25. Rf1+ Ke7 26. Qh7+ Ke8 27. Qc7: Nd7 28. Rd7: Bd7: 29. Qb8:+ Ke7 30. Qb7: (30. ... Rg2: 31. b3 Rh2: 32. a4 a4: 33. a4:, where the a-pawn should win the game.).

Sep-07-07  Ashram64: the game ended with 27...Kd7, 28. Rf7+ Kc6. 29. Rxc7+ Kxc7. 30 Qd6#

all forcing, very profound line

Sep-07-07  dzechiel: <Good Job <dzechiel>. Did you visualize the whole line from move 20?>

I did, but when I couldn't find a mate in the last line (only the advantage of queen and pawns against rook + bishop), I was concerned that I had missed something obvious, as all other lines ended quickly.

I also spent nearly an hour on the position (but some of that time was in writing my entry).

It always helps to know that there's a good move in a position to help you find it. I like <MAJ's> suggestion that Chessgames present us with TWO positions every day, one that has a winning move, and one that doesn't. This would make it much more difficult to solve.

Sep-07-07  dzechiel: <percyblakeney: I quickly found everything up to move 24, but when I finally tried 24. Qh8+ instead of Qxg6+ I only got a position where black had two rooks, a bishop and a knight for the queen, and by then the pieces were too blurred in my head to see the mate in one:>

Even if white didn't have the mate in 1, he could still play Qxc5+, then check on d6 and pick up the rook on b8. Black has to protect the bishop or b-pawn so doesn't have time to get white's g-pawn.

Sep-07-07  Fezzik: I missed it. This was a great tactic and I was blinded by the possibilities of an attack on d8 that I could never make work.

Great job to all those who got this one!

Sep-07-07  TheaN: 4/5 with a half point for today, in addition to yesterday's half... I'm not in top shape this week.

20.Rxf7. Any defence besides Kxf7 seem to fail due to mate on e7 and d8 and an attacked Queen on c7.

21.Bh5 g6 22.Qf6+ Ke8. All forced, leading to first key move 23.Bxg6+ Rxg6 and finally, and here I failed (with 24.Qxg6+ Qf7 25.Rd8+ Kxd8 26.Qxf7 with a very complex, but probably drawing position), 24.Qh8+. There just aren't that much variations, and I just plainly missed the back rank check and mate (or enormous material gain).

Half point for me. And that only because I'm missing the obvious stuff: yesterday the principled defence Qe8 and today the easy check Qh8. Boohoo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw that without the queen,white could mate at d8-so I sought to pester the queen-and I found the first few moves of the puzzle.

I was hoping the 20 ♗a5 would have been the perfect move,but alas,that bishop was off the board!

Sep-07-07  YouRang: A neat puzzle! Long, but not that hard since most of the moves in the winning line appear to be forcing moves.

I easily noticed the mate threat (Qd8#) that would occur if only I could deflect the black queen. The only possibility along those lines is 20. Rxf7!, but of course, black (unless he's a fool) will recapture with 20...Kxd7, exposing his king rather badly. This is the line we must pursue.

The attack continues with 21. Bxh5+ (I considered 21. Rf1+, but the threats dry up after ...Ke8). Black must play 21...g6 (if 21...Kf8 22. Rf1#), but this opens e6 for 22. Qe6+, and again black is forced: 22. Ke8. Then 23. Bxg6 forces 23...Rxg6.

Here is where we have a decision: First, I looked at 24. Qxg6+ Qf7 25. Rd8+ Ke7, and white is stalled. I can't afford to let black's queen come to the defense. The other option, 24. Qh8+! was more promising (although my board vision is getting blurry now).

Here I expected 24...Ke7. I dismissed 24...Kf7 since it permits the rook to join dangerously with 25. Rf1+ (as played). But after 24...Ke7 we have 25. Qh7+ skewering the queen: 25...Ke8 26. Qxc7, threatening Rd8#. At this point, I stopped, satisfied that black would have to give up at least a rook and a piece to avoid quick mate.

Sep-07-07  znprdx: znprdx: <al wazir: a sort of anthropic principle?> Methinks you have hit the nail on the head (after I ran to Wikipedia and almost typed in anthropomorphic )... as I have often posted it is what I am attempting to define as Chess function synergy....which has a unique combination of both static and fluid qualities. Those that excel at Chess clearly have a perceptual sense of the matrix of the potential dynamics and their probabilities to which they adapt as the sequence unfolds. We tend to believe it all reduces to calculation. If this were true then grandmasters would never lose! It is all relative. Computers of course do not have to do this risk/benefit analysis in terms which reflect the human equivalent to our intelligence which conceived of this critical element which characterizes the very notion of Chess as a game. My bias is that the true potential of Chess is NOT as a game between two adversaries but rather between the White pieces and the Black pieces where a nearly unlimited number of players can enjoy exploring the possibilities - like here on CG :) The most effective learning skill (teaching tool) is to acquire (develop) this impartial detachment!
Sep-07-07  Marmot PFL: Found the mainline up to move 24 quickly (completely forced) then couldn't decide between Qxg6+ and Qh8(clearly better). Not a problem where you have to see the whole line from the start anyway to play it as white is already a piece down, so cautious play is worthless. Even if this failed it would be the on;y saving chance.
Sep-07-07  insanecharka: why didnt this puzzle start on move 19.?
Sep-07-07  Crowaholic: <not yet a patzer: Isn't the following a forced mate?

26...Kd7 27.Rd1+ Kc6 [27...Nd3 28.Rxd3+ 29.Kc6] 28.Rd6+ Qxd6 29.Qxd6#>

27. Rd1+ is an excellent idea, but you should have analyzed the 27. ..Nd3+ line a bit deeper - the sacrifice gives the black king a new escape square on c5. But now White has 28. Rxd3+ Kc6 as you mentioned (I don't think you actually mean 29. Kc6 though), followed by:

29. Rd6+ Kc5 30. Qf2+ Kb4 31. c3+ Ka4 32. Qa7+ Qa5 33. b3+ Ka3 34. Qxa5#

No, wait, instead of 32. Qa7+, 32. b3+ followed by either 32. ..Ka5 33. Qa7# or 32. ..Ka3 33. Qb2# is faster. 32. Qc2+ Ka4 33. b4# also works.

A final complication is 31. ..Qxc3+ but 32. bxc3+ Kxc3 33. Qd4# solves it. If 32. ..Kc4 then also 33. Qd4#. If the king goes to the a file, then Qa7 is mate.

Sep-07-07  mpmeints: I think the real question is how many would have seen the 19 Kb5 sacrafice to clear the lane for the rook which ends up being critical. Any other move of the knight open up too many defence options for black.

I don't know if he saw the whole thing that far back, but that is the only reason I can see for that move and it expalins why white is a knight down for no other good reason.

Sep-07-07  mpmeints: insanecharka: why didnt this puzzle start on move 19.?

I think that would have tipped the difficulty scale a bit...

Sep-07-07  zb2cr: <mpmeints>,

Here's one, me, who would not have had the nerve or the board vision to play 19. Nb5 as the "set-up" sacrifice for this entire line.

However, that's no real disgrace--this site is used by chess players of all strengths, not just masters. Further, Rodriguez's--White's--rating is far above mine. *Ceteris paribus*, you would expect him to see further into any given position than me, and to be able to see the possibility of tactical action without being given the hint of seeing it in puzzle form.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: The start of a brilliant combination is 19.Nb5!! axb5 forced otherwise Black will face multiply threats. Now, White has to be very precise since neither 20.Bxb5+ nor 20.Bh5 will work. The only move that brings the downfall of Black's King is 20.Rxf7! Kxf7 [not ...Qxf7 then either 21.Qd8# or 21.Rd8# ] 21.Bh5 g6 22.Qf6+ Ke8 23.Bxg6+ Rxg6 24.Qh8+ & wins no matter where the Black King moves. Indeed, a fantastic game with lots of wonderful tactics to digest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White springs the demolition of pawn structure decoy 20. Rxf7!!, forcing 20...Kxf7 as explained by <fm avari viraf>, to solve today's difficult puzzle.

After a series of followup deflections and a key decoy, White wins the final position with the finish given by <Ashram64>.

Sep-07-07  kingsindian2006: insane vision by amador. i guess with that knight sac, it would be a sunday puzzle.
Sep-07-07  get Reti: Rxf7 was the first move I saw. I saw the queen and d rook working well together, and my mind went immediately to deflecting the queen.
Sep-07-07  BabalooMoon: 20.Rxf7 is so tempting you just know it's got to be right, but I lost the plot at 24...Kf7. All I could see was 25.Qh7+ , rook blocks, then what? Out of checks and two pawns hanging. I never thought of moving the d rook!! 19.Nb5 is just fantastic.
Sep-07-07  unixfanatic: The final position is checkmate, isn't it?
Sep-07-07  unixfanatic: Oh no! Haha, Kd7, sorry about that.
Sep-08-07  starkidaway: <al wazir>: <starkidaway: What if instead of 24...Kf7 black had play 24...Ke7> ? Then 25. Qh7+ Ke8/Kf8 26. Qxc7 Nd7 (26...Na6? 27. Rd8#) 27. Rxd7, and white has at least

you're right! I completely overlooked that the queen was unprotected. I guess the whole line was forced from the beginning anyway.

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