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Mikhail Golubev vs Alexander Kovchan
VIII Rector's Cup (2006), Kharkiv, rd 3, Mar-30
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-03-14  Dr. J: 24.?

24.Nxf5 exf5 25.Nd5 etc.

OK, but what about 24...Kh8?

Jul-03-14  NimzoCharlie: If Black plays K-h8, White plays simply Qh4.
Jul-03-14  Kinghunt: No, on 24. Nxf5 Kh8, white plays 25. Nh6! If the queen is taken, then 26. Rg8 is mate. If 25...Bxh6, then 26. Qxh6 and black has no defense against the simple plan 27. Rf1! and 28. Rf7/Rf8.
Jul-03-14  patzer2: Found 24. Nxf5!exf5 25. Nd5 for my Thursday solution. However, if it hadn't been a puzzle I doubt I'd ever have considered calculating it.

Instead of 25...Ne4 What I expected was 25...Qe6 with play continuing 26. Nf6+ Kf7 27. Qxh7+ Bg7 28. Qxg6+ Ke7 29. Qxg7+ Bf7 30. Nd5+ Kd7 31. Nf4+ .

Jul-03-14  M.Hassan: "Medium"
White to play 24.?
White has a Rook for a Bishop.
Black pawn on g6 is pinned, so, for time being White Queen can not be captured.

A) 24..........exf5
25.Nd5 attacking Black Queen and preventing her to sit on c7 to support h7. 25...........Qc6
26.Nf6+ Kh8

B) If the Knight is not taken:
25.Nd6 Bxd6
26.exd6 Qc6
27.Qh4 Nd7
28.Rh3 h5
29.Rg3 Qc5
30.Qe4 Qf5
White is now 2 pawns up and seems better.
Time to check

Jul-03-14  Dr. J: <Kinghunt: 24...Nxf5 Kh8 25.Nh6! (If 25...gxh5 26.Rg8#)>

Nice find. But I think that 24...Nxf5 Kh8 25.Nh6 Bg7 is remains much better than the game continuation.

Jul-03-14  cocker: Medium ?!
Jul-03-14  morfishine: After 24.Nxf5 exf5 25.Nd5 Black is pressed to find a reasonable continuation. I couldn't


Jul-03-14  pensiveyaks: But, 24 Nb5 ! is also strong .It denies the c7 square to the black queen immediately. If ...24 B x b5 , then the Bishop's protection of g6 is removed. Then white can continue 25.Rx g6 hx g6 26. Qx g6 + Kh8 27.Rd4 to ttransfer the rook to the h- file.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 24.Nxf5 was pretty obvious, but the follow up wasn't.
Jul-03-14  Castleinthesky: Being sac week and with queen, rook, and bishop already covered, I looked for a knight sac that would work.

With that crutch, I easily found Nxf5 with the objective of Nd5 to attack the queen and threaten mate. I did not go much further because: 1) I am lazy and 2) my commodore 64k computer with a Unisys chess program died.

Jul-03-14  sombreronegro: Seems to be about the e6 pawn having to hold key squares d5 and f5 from infiltrating nights. Can't stop both nights.

24 Nd5 look interesting. It attacks the queen and threatens Nf6+ which looks crushing. e6 X d5 diverts support from f5 and the g pawn is pinned to the g file. But I don't like it because the queen is on the 6th rank and comes to the defense of g pawn.

So then Nd5 looks potent after 24 N X f5.

So the immediate 24 N X f5.

Well defended though. Did not expect the temporary queen sac by black

Jul-03-14  Rookiepawn: Why not 29 ... Kxe6? White has already advantage, but I don't see the reason not to take this pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Boy! The pieces and the fir flies in this one!
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a rook and a knight for the bishop pair.

The pawn on e6 prevents Nd5. This suggests 24.Nxe6 but Black can play 24... Qxe6 (24... Nxe6 seems to lose to 25.Nd5). Therefore, 24.Nxf5:

A) 24... exf5 25.Nd5

A.1) 25... Qa6 26.Nf6+ Kf7 (else 27.Qxh7#) 27.Qxh7+

A.1.a) 27... Bg7 28.Qxg6+ Ke7 (28... Kf8 29.Qxg7#; 28... Ke6 29.Nxe8+ wins) 29.Qxg7+ Bf7 30.Rd7+ mates or wins decisive material.

A.1.b) 27... Ke6 28.Nxe8 Rxe8 29.Rxg6+ followed by 30.Rxa6.

A.2) 25... Qa7 26.Nf6+ Kf7 27.Qxh7+ Ke6 (27... Bg7 as in A.1.a) 28.Nxe8 Rxe8 29.Qxg6+ Kxe5 (29... Ke7 30.Qf6#) 30.Qxe8+, etc.

A.3) 25... Qb5(c6) 26.Nf6+ Kf7 27.Qxh7+ Ke6 (27... Bg7 as in A.1.a) 28.Nxe8 Q(R)xe8 29.Rxg6+ Kxe5 30.Qh8+ Kf4 (30... Ke4 31.Qd4#) 31.Qh4+ Ke3 (31... Ke5 32.Qd4#) 32.Qd4+ Ke2 33.Qd2#.

A.4) 25... Qd8 26.Nf6+ Kf7 27.Qxh7+ and 28.Rxd8.

A.5) 25... Bg7 26.Nxb6 gxh5 27.Nxa8, etc.

A.6) 25... Ne4 26.Nxb6 Nxg3+ 27.hxg3 gxh5 28.Nxa8 + - [R+N+P vs 2B].

B) 24... Bg7 25.Ne7+

B.1) 25... Kh8 26.Nxg6+ wins two pawns at least.

B.2) 25... Kf8 26.Qxh7 looks winning (26... Kxe7 27.Qxg7+; 26... Bxe5 27.Nxg6+ Bxg6 28.Rxg6).

Jul-03-14  raju17: 12...nf6??? 13.exf6.
Jul-03-14  PJs Studio: I'm with morphshine and patzer2 on this one. I thought 25...Ne4! was excellent and possibly saving. I had not seen it as a defense when I was analyzing 25.Nd5. I also doubt I would have played 26.Nxb6 without at first sucking up massive time on the clock.

A nice but "not-so-medium" Thursday puzzle.

Jul-03-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I'd play Nxf5, but I haven't calculated it to accomplish anything definitive beyond the pawn grab.

The knight is poisoned because of

24 Nxf5 exf5
25 Nd5 (Q moves)
26 Nf6+ Kf7
27 Qxh7+ Bxg7
28 Qxg6+ Ke7
29 Qxg7+

White is well ahead in material and also has the superior position.

Attempting to delay acceptance of the sacrifice via a pin-breaking move (which would create a double threat against White's material) doesn't work because of Nh6, e.g. the flashy

24 Nxf5 Kh8
25 Nh6 gxh5
26 Rg8#

Jul-03-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Oh. I missed a defense for Black (the one actually played) I really should have calculated. So this doesn't really count as full solving success.

Oh well; at least I found the right line for most of the right reasons. )

Jul-03-14  sombreronegro: < Rookiepawn: Why not 29 ... Kxe6? White has already advantage, but I don't see the reason not to take this pawn>

White was sacking the pawn for simplification. A rook against a knight is more decisive than a knight and a rook against the two bishops.

white forced simplification anyway. 32 Rf5 threatened Rf7 with a very elegant coordination of rook defends knight, knight defends pawn, pawn defends rook and a double attack on the king and bishop. Then Bf6 blocking was met with the Nd5 fork checking the king and attacking the bishop forcing the exchange of the white bishop.

simplified and totally lost for black

Jul-03-14  standardwisdom: I have wondered for years, but exactly what language does Sr. chrisowen speak? Where can I pick up a dictionary? Just curious!
Jul-03-14  rickycota: Mmm it's not a total win move if the knigth is not taken. Cool move
Jul-06-14  Rookiepawn: <sombreronegro> True, I saw the pawn sac forces simplification, but as I saw no big difference I thought there was a more powerful reason. Thanks.

The game was lost for Black anyway...

Premium Chessgames Member
  MikhailGolubev: annotated in my 2017 book, Understanding the Sicilian

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