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Nikola Mitkov vs Sergei Rublevsky
European Club Cup (2000), Neum BIH, rd 1, Sep-24
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Knight Variation (B43)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-11-09  johnlspouge: < <patzer2> wrote: In playing 15. Rf3!? [snip] with "best play" was it a bluff or a sound sacrifice? >

Toga II 1.3.1 evaluates 15.Rf3 as a sound draw. Humans can improve on the full computer variation, given with the last move I entered <emphasized>:

<ply 20/79 time 2:48:24 value 0.00]

15.Rf3 Nxf3 16.<gxf3> Qd8 17.Rg1 g6 18.b4 Bxd4 19.Bxd4 Kg7 20.f4 Bb5 21.Ne2 Bxd3 22.cxd3 Re8 23.Ng3 e5 24.fxg6 fxg6 25.Nf5+ Kf7 26.Nh6+ Kg7 27.Nf5+

Jan-11-09  johnlspouge: < <agb2002> wrote: My line A.5) is a series of mistakes: [snip] >

I wish I could make mistakes half as well as you, Antonio ;>)

Jan-11-09  Eduardo Leon: What a shame. I didn't do it, being able to do it.

I knew both e5 and Rxg7 had to be played. My ideas were:

a) Rxg7 opens the position, white would like to play 18. Rxg7 Kxg7 19. Qh6+ and 20. Bg5, but then 20. ... Bxd4 captures a knight AND defends his own knight at f6.

b) If, after 18. e5, black replies 18. ... dxe5, then the variation from a) would follow, but black would not be able to play 21. ... Bxd4, instead having to retreat with 21. ... Be7.

And then I saw a tree of variations coming and didn't want to analyze more, because I'm too lazy.

Jan-11-09  muralman: Not insane. However, I do better as they get harder. This was basically understanding your weapons, and pulling the trigger on them in the right sequence.

First, I had to knock the teeth out of black's pawn defense around the king. No other move seemed more important. Using the rook was a natural. When black responded with moving his rook to trade, naturally I traded.

I knew I wanted to get the night out of the way. The hardest part was what to do on move 22. I needed to move the black night. Rushing ahead with taking it out with my bishop proved to be hazardous, as did the premature as did attacking with f 5.

Really out of not knowing what else to do, I decided to try a double attack with my night. When the black knight moved, I figured black could have done something else. I took the gift.

The next thing was to ditch the knight and the pawn blocking the bishop. Pushing the pawn attacking the bishop worked for me. Though throwing the night away seemed unprofessional, it seemed a no brainer to make the bishop queen tag.

Yes, my wife had to put up with my whoop and hollar with every move I made, starting with the rook. It gives me great satisfaction working my mind on puzzles deemed insane by great chess players and getting it.

What a blast!

Jan-11-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <johnlspouge> Thanks for the deep Toga II analysis of 15. Rf3!? at 20-ply. I feel my initial perception of this sacrifice as extremely deep, complex and unclear is somewhat justified by your computer analysis of the position as a "sound draw."

I'm still not sure what the elusive "perfect play" might yield here. However, it would appear 15. Rf3!? could be worth a try for a well prepared player -- especially as an OTB surprise against an unwary opponent.

Jan-13-09  Crocomule: Thanks Alpenbock and Miron!
Mar-15-09  WhiteRook48: the Mitkov 2000
Apr-01-12  theodor: <<RandomVisitor:> 18.Rxg7 Kxg7 19.e5 Rg8 20.fxe6! and black is finished.> 19.Qh6 is beter
Apr-02-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: After 18.Rxg7 Kxg7 19.Qh6+, Black has 19...Kh8 20.Bg5 Ng8 .
Sep-23-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  ToTheDeath: Great game, Rublevsky is usually on the winning end of attacks like these.
Jan-13-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Perhaps Black should consider delaying committing his king by playing 12..Bd7 instead of 12..0-0. The exchange sacrifice 15 Rf3 had been played after after 14..b5 in previous games but in this specific position after 14..Bd7 15 Rf3 was a new idea. Rublevsky accepted the sacrifice with 15..Nxf3?! which led to a difficult position for Black; Nunn recommended 15..exf 16 exf (16 Nxf5..Bxf5 17 Rxf5..Bxe3 18 Rxf6..gxf 19 Nd5..Bg5 20 Qg3..Qd8 21 h4..Kh8 and Black can defend).
Sep-18-22  Brenin: White, having sacrificed the exchange for the open g-file, wants to play 18 Rxg7 Kxg7 19 Bh6+ Kh8 20 Bg5, hitting the N on f6 and with mating threats, but Black has 20 ... Bxd4 protecting it. Therefore 18 e5 dxe5 first, preventing the Black B on d4 from protecting the N, and only then 19 Rxg7 Kxg7 20 Bh6+ etc. Black has several alternatives, but I can't see any of them working. This was analysed in depth 12 years ago, and I don't feel up to rediscovering it all again.
Sep-18-22  jrredfield: I chose 18.Rxg7. I see that some previous comments from years ago favored 18.e5 and my analysis with the engine favors it as well, but by a slim margin. Enough has already been stated that I don't have much more to add. I thought about e5 to move the Black Knight away from attacking h7 but didn't see how that would be accomplished right away. Hence my decision to go with Rxg7.

Komodo Dragon likes both moves, slightly preferring the text move, but either should win. It doesn't show any other winning moves.

Depth 36:

White +7.69: 18.e5 dxe5 19.♖xg7 ♔xg7 20.♗h6+ ♔h8 21.♗g5 ♖g8 22.♗xf6+ ♕xf6 23.♕xf6+ ♖g7 24.♕xe5 ♗xd4 25.♕xd4 ♗c6 26.fxe6 fxe6 27.♘e4 ♖e8 28.♕f6 ♗xe4 29.♗xe4 ♔g8 30.h4 ♖d7 31.h5 ♖ee7 32.♗d3 b5 33.h6 ♖e8 34.♕e5 ♖f7 35.♗e4 ♔f8 36.♕d6+ ♖ee7 37.♕b8+ ♖e8 38.♕e5 b4 39.♗c6 ♖d8 40.♕xe6 a5 41.♔g2

White +7.19: 18.♖xg7 ♔xg7 19.e5 ♖g8 20.fxe6 dxe5 21.♘f5+ ♔h8 22.♗xc5 ♗c6 23.♘e4 ♗xe4 24.fxe4 fxe6 25.♗e7 ♖f8 26.♗xd8 ♖axd8 27.♘h6 ♖de8 28.♘g4 ♘xg4 29.hxg4 ♖f7 30.♕h5 ♔g8 31.♕xe5 h6 32.♗c4 ♖fe7 33.♕f6 b5 34.♗b3 a5 35.♕g6+ ♔h8 36.a4 bxa4 37.♕f6+ ♖g7 38.♗xe6 a3 39.bxa3 ♔h7 40.♔g2

Sep-18-22  sfm: Wonderful!
Another proof that players with names ending on -ov are very dangerous, but the same goes for -sky.

CG's Stockfish not impressed with
11.e5!!
and rates
11.-,dxe
to be -0.58.
But after
12.Rxg7!!
Stockfish sees the light and now says +4.41

Sep-18-22  stacase: The lead off move was rather obvious
Sep-18-22  Honey Blend: 18. ♖xg7 ♔xg7 19.e5 puts Black in a lot of trouble, e.g. 19. ... dxe5 20. ♗h6+ ♔h8 21. ♗g5 or 19. ... ♗xd4 20. ♗xd4. Most plausible defensive plan will be to play 19. ... ♖g8 to create an escape hatch and stop the ♕ from attacking via g-file, but after 20. fxe6 the bishop pair is simply too strong.
Sep-18-22  mel gibson: I considered the text move then
tried to find a better one.
I wasn't sure.

Stockfish 15 follows the text:

18. e5

(18. e5 (e4-e5 d6xe5 ♖g1xg7 ♔h8xg7 ♗e3-h6+ ♔g7-h8 ♗h6-g5 ♗c5-e7 f5xe6 ♘f6-h5 ♗g5xe7 ♕d8xe7 ♕h4xe7 e5xd4 ♘c3-e4 ♗d7xe6 ♕e7-g5 f7-f6 ♕g5xh5 ♗e6-f7 ♕h5-h4 ♗f7-g6 ♘e4xf6 ♗g6xd3 ♕h4xd4 ♖f8-f7 c2xd3 h7-h6 f3-f4 ♖a8-c8 ♘f6-h5+ ♔h8-g8 ♔h1-g2 ♖c8-c1 ♕d4-d8+ ♔g8-h7 ♕d8-e8 ♖c1-c7 ♕e8-e4+ ♔h7-g8 ♕e4-g6+ ♔g8-f8 ♕g6xh6+ ♔f8-e7 ♕h6-g5+ ♔e7-d6 ♕g5-e5+ ♔d6-c6 ♕e5-e6+ ♔c6-c5 f4-f5 ♖c7-e7 ♕e6-c4+ ♔c5-b6 ♕c4-d4+ ♔b6-c7) +9.04/45 830)

score for White +9.04 depth 45.

Sep-18-22  King.Arthur.Brazil: Even if 24...♘xf6 25. ♘xd7 ♕xd4 26. ♘xf6+ ♗xf6 27. ♕xh7+ ♔f8 28. ♗xf6 the check-mate is unavoidable. Brilliant attack.
Sep-18-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Back in 2009, found the same superior combination as <RandomVisitor>. Today, found the text move, but not enough variations to claim more than half-credit. Sigh. "I grow old, I grow old/I shall wear my trousers rolled." TS Eliot.
Sep-18-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: My first thought was 18 e5, but then I got interested in 18 Rxg7. It looks so good, but does it work? Or perhaps e5 first and then Rxg7.

In OTB mode I couldn't see it through. What the heck, I decided to go for 18 Rxg7 and I was off the text right away. Then I didn't expect 19 ... Rg8, or 20 Rxg8 for that matter (I thought 20 Rxf7 looked good).

Time to give up and check with the engine. I'm gratified that even SF found it difficult to decide between 18 Rxg7 and e5. And it likes 20 Rxf7 too.

Sep-18-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a rook.

Black threatens e5.

The first idea that comes to mind is 18.Rxg7 Kxg7 19.Bh6+ Kh8 20.Bg5 but Black has 20... Bxd4. This detail and that threat suggest 18.e5, which also opens the diagonal b1-h7:

A) 18... dxe5 19.Rxg7

A.1) 19... Kxg7 20.Bh6+ Kh8 (20... Kg8 21.Qg5+ Kh8 22.Qg7#) 21.Bg5

A.1.a) 21... exd4 22.Bxf6+ Qxf6 (22... Kg8 23.Qg5#) 23.Qxf6+ Kg8 24.Qg5+ Kh8 25.f6 Rg8 26.Qh6 Rg6 (due to Qxh7#) 27.Bxg6 fxg6 28.Qg7#.

A.1.b) 21... Be7 22.fxe6 fxe6 23.Bxf6 Kg8 (23... B(g,R)xf6 24.Qxh7#) 24.Qxh7+ Kf7 25.Qg6+ Kg8 26.Qxg7#.

A.2) 19... exd4 20.Rxh7+ Nxh7 (20... Kg8 21.Rh8+ Kg7 22.Qh6#) 21.f6 and 22.Qxh7#.

A.3) 19... e4 20.Nxe4 Kxg7 21.Qh6+ followed by 22.Nxf6 is winning.

B) 18... Bxd4 19.Bxd4 dxe5 20.Bxe5 exf5 (to block the diagonal b1-h7) 21.Rxg7 looks winning (21... Kxg7 22.Qg5+ Kh8 23.Bxf6+).

C) 18... Ng8 19.Rxg7 (19.f6 g6 20.Bh6 Nxh6 21.Qxh6 Rg8 22.Rg4 Qf8) 19... Kxg7 20.f6+ Nxf6 (20... Kh8 21.Qxh7#) 21.exf6+ Qxf6 22.Qxh7#.

D) 18... Ne8 19.f6 g6 20.Rxg6 fxg6 (20... dxe5 21.Rg8+ K(R)xg8 22.Qxh7#) 21.Bxg6 Rf7 22.Bxf7

D.1) 22... dxe5 23.Bg6 Nxf6 24.Bg5 Kg7 (24... Be7 25.Bxf6 Bxf6 26.Qxh7#) 25.Qh6+ Kg8 (25... Kh8 26.Bxf6+ and mate next) 26.Ne4 wins.

D.2) 22... Nxf6 23.exf6 Qf8 24.Bg6 Qg8 25.Bd3, followed by Bh6 and Bg7+, is winning. For example, 25... d5 26.Bh6 Bf8 27.Bg7+ Bxg7 28.f7 Qxf7 29.Qxh7#.

E) 18... Nd5 19.f6 g6 20.Nxd5 exd5 21.Qh6 Rg8 22.Rg5 wins (22... dxe5 23.Rh5 gxh5 24.Qxh7#).

Sep-18-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I barny cue it off gnaw e5 failed daddy axiom jekyll it auld feint e5 jalopy;
Sep-18-22
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: E5 back-to-back.
Sep-18-22  Hercdon: Both e5 and Rxg7 (my choice) work about equally well
Sep-18-22  mel gibson: I tested out the other suggested move
using Stockfish 15:

18. Rxg7

(18. Rxg7 Kxg7 (♔h8xg7 e4-e5 ♖f8-g8 f5xe6 d6xe5 ♘d4-f5+ ♔g7-h8 ♗e3xc5 ♗d7-c6 ♗d3-e2 ♘f6-h5 ♗c5-e7 ♕d8xe7 ♕h4xe7 f7xe6 ♕e7xe6 ♖a8-e8 ♕e6-h6 ♖e8-f8 ♕h6xh5 ♗c6-e8 ♕h5-h4 ♖f8xf5 ♘c3-e4 ♗e8-c6 ♕h4-e7 ♗c6-d5 ♕e7-d6 ♗d5-f7 ♕d6-d7 ♗f7-g6 ♕d7-e6 ♖g8-e8 ♕e6-d6 ♖e8-f8 ♘e4-g3 ♖f5-f4 ♕d6xe5+ ♔h8-g8 ♔h1-g2 b7-b5 ♕e5-g5 ♖f4-f6 ♔g2-f2 h7-h6 ♕g5xh6 ♗g6xc2 ♕h6-g5+ ♔g8-h7 h3-h4 ♖f6-f7 ♕g5-h5+ ♔h7-g8 ♕h5-g4+ ♖f7-g7 ♕g4-e6+ ♔g8-h7 ♕e6-d5 ♗c2-b1 ♕d5-d6 ♖f8-g8 a2-a3 ♖g7xg3 ♕d6xg3 ♖g8xg3 ♔f2xg3) -8.24/43 489)

score for Black -8.24 depth 43

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