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Julen Luis Arizmendi Martinez vs Juan Mario Gomez Esteban
LXXI ch-ESP GpB (2006), Leon ESP, rd 1, Nov-22
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation. Van der Wiel Attack (B12)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-01-10  neveramaster: Does anyone have any opinions on this opening for White? It seems to yields a good advantage in space, but the risks are high.
Mar-01-10  turbo231: A rare moment i saw rh3+ in about a second, Qg2+ about the same time. Didn't see Kxh4! I thought Qg2 was mate silly me. Then i saw rh8 and all the white Queen could do was interpose at h6, RxQh6#! I ended up feeling horrible for not seeing Kxh4! Although i made the first 2 moves correctly i'll mark this down as a failure for not seeing Kxh4! One of these days i'll get it right ( no way). Thinking more than 2 moves ahead is very difficult for me. I shouldn't get personal but i had a mild stroke about 7 years ago then a massive stroke 4 years ago, but i keep fighting on. Thank God for blood thinners! Oh well there's always next Monday.
Mar-01-10  YouRang: I found 36...Rh3+! and the forced mate that ensues.

It struck me as funny, because I played a very similar tactic against a (weak) computer not long ago. At the time, I thought I was very clever for finding that. Now I see that it only rated a "Monday puzzle" :-\

Anyway, it's sort of a clearance sac, although the it's not really the our rook, but the pawn that we want to vacate, so that our other rook can check down the h-file. Sacrificing the rook facilitates the clearance of the pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Clearence Sale!! Rh3+ and mates soonest:

36...♖h3+ 37 ♔xh3 ♕g2+ 38 ♔xh4 ♖h8+ and mate next.

Mar-01-10  YouRang: <neveramaster: Does anyone have any opinions on this opening for White? It seems to yields a good advantage in space, but the risks are high.>

Interesting question. I didn't see any glaring problems with white's opening, but more with the overall strategy: The opening clearly weakened white's kingside for the sake of an attack on black's kingside.

Then black wisely castled queenside which (1) gets his king to the other (safer) side of the board and (2) connects his rooks for offensive setup against white's kingside.

In short, black is poised for a kingside attack, and white's kingside is weak.

So what does white do? He inexplicably castles to the kingside <16.O-O?> -- arguably the last thing he should do! I figure that this is where the game was lost. <General rule: In games where the kings castle to opposite sides, the advantage goes to the side that is better poised for attack.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Monday (Very Easy)

J Arizmendi-Martinez vs J M Gomez Esteban, 2006 (36...?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down a P. White has a battery Rg8, Qg7, and Rg3 restricting the Black Kh2 to the h-file. With R before Q, a standard clearance is the primary candidate.

Candidates (36...): Rh3+

36…Rh3+ 37.Kxh3 Qg2+ 38.Kh4 Rh8+ 39.Qh6 Rxh6#

Mar-01-10  zb2cr: To <neveramaster>,

You wrote: "Does anyone have any opinions on this opening for White? It seems to yields a good advantage in space, but the risks are high."

I think that White threw away any advantage he might have obtained from the opening by castling Kingside. Once Black was able to pen the position up, White's King was naked.

Edit--I see <YouRang> makes the same point.

Mar-01-10  pferd: <Patriot OhioChessFan: I think sometimes it's useful to step back and ask why a sacrifice works.

Great point. Here I would say the sacrifice is worth considering because it allows a king hunt, albeit a short one, thanks to the black forces in the vicinity of the king.>

Or you could say a Rook-Queen-Rook battery is so strong there just HAS to be a winning tactic somewhere, is which case the interesting question is why the other (non-sacrificial) try, 36...Rg2+, doesn't work.

Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: <chesskidnate>, if it goes:

36. ♖ee1 ♖g2+
37. ♔h1 ♖g3
38. ♕f5

as you suggest, black follows with:
38. ... ♖e3!

My computer says that's mate in 5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <YouRang: So what does white do? He inexplicably castles to the kingside <16.O-O?> -- arguably the last thing he should do!>

Well said, as always! I think White faced a difficult decision around about move 15:

click for larger view

Up to now white has been very aggressive on the kingside, but has rather pushed his pawns on a little too far. As a result, the kingside has become semi-blocked and white has no pawn-breaks on that side of the board. The good news is that he has neutralised the Bg6.

So what is white to do? The typical plan of castle queenside and attack on the kingside doesn't seem to offer much. Keeping his king in the centre is rather risky because black can play c5. In this game, white gambles on castling kingside and attacking on the queenside with 15. a4 and 16. 0-0.

Unfortunately, the kingside is not sufficiently blocked to let him get away with this. White may not have a pawn break on the kingside, but black certainly does, with 19. f6. This guarantees that the pawn cover around white's king will be stripped away and the rest is history.

The books I have on the Caro-Kann all recommend white's variation as being difficult for black to face, but it does seem to be a very sharp and risky variation for both sides.

This is what Joe Gallagher says in "Starting Out: the Caro Kann": "The main lines of 4. Nc3 are as sharp and as theoretical as it gets... WARNING: if you are playing Black and like to play on general principles then GET OUT OF HERE. Run a mile or at least as far as 3...c5 or one of the 4th move alternatives. If you want to play this way with White then that is your choice but make sure you keep up with the latest games and .... Good luck!"

Mar-01-10  AccDrag: <turbo231> Keep at it, and you'll get more comfortable seeing ahead with accuracy.

Glad you're still with us, and indeed modern medicine is wonderful!

Mar-01-10  Patriot: <<pferd>: Or you could say a Rook-Queen-Rook battery is so strong there just HAS to be a winning tactic somewhere, is which case the interesting question is why the other (non-sacrificial) try, 36...Rg2+, doesn't work.>

True about the battery down the g-file, but only because white's defense is not that great. For example, suppose white played 36.Rff2. Where's the tactic? I'm not saying there isn't one, but I'm not seeing it.

To answer about the non-sacrificial try (36...Rg2+), I would say because it's harder to keep the attack going. However, <benveniste> seems to have found a line. In his line (36...Rg2+ 37.Kh1 Rg3 38.Qf5, etc.) as a last resort (if nothing better), I would try 38.Kh2? going for a draw and proving that 36...Rg2+ is a mistake. My main point is that it still takes calculation even though you have a strong advantage. That is, you can't always sacrifice any way you want to since there may only be one candidate that works. Or maybe there isn't a sacrifice that works! Other times you just have to see that a strong attack develops to compensate for a piece and have a good feel for when the sacrifice may be right, if you can't calculate it out all the way.

Mar-01-10  patzer2: For today's Monday puzzle solution, 36...Rh3+! initiates mate-in-four.
Mar-01-10  turbo231: <AccDrag>
Thank you, it's slow progress but it's better than no progress. Best Wishes.
Mar-01-10  Cushion: Rh3+ kxh3 with mate in two.
Mar-01-10  Patriot: Fritz answered my question. 36.Rff2 Rg1, threatening (another sacrifice!) 37...Rh1+ 38.Kxh1 Qg1#.

<benveniste> Fritz said my idea after 36...Rg2+ 37.Kh1 Rg3, 38.Kh2 is correct pointing out that 37...Rg3 is dubious (not 36...Rg2+) while aiming for a draw. Black can still go into the mainline and win, however, so I wasn't sure if 38.Kh2 was best.

Mar-01-10  David2009: Monday's puzzle 01/03/2010 J Arizmendi-Martinez vs J M Gomez Esteban, 2006 Black 36...?

The game looks vaguely familiar but in fact it is the combination which is familiar. Black has to be careful: 36...Rg2+ 37 Kh1! (Kh3? allows Rh2+! and mate next move) Rh2+?? (37...Rg3 wins) 38 Qxh2 1-0. The right way is 36...Rh3+ 37 Kxh3 Qg2+ 38 Kxh4 Rh8+ and mate next move. Time to check:
Good kibitzes. <benveniste> has beaten me to the punch with the variation starting 36...Rg2+ 37 Kh1 Rg3. <Patriot: [snip] suppose white played 36.Rff2. Where's the tactic?> 36 Rff2 Rg1 37 Kh3 (if Rf1, Rg2+ wins a Rook) Qh7! seems to win

click for larger view

The immediate threats are Qd3+ and Qb1, White cannot stop both of these. <Once>'s strategic assessment is very perceptive: <So what is white to do?> Perhaps Qa4 and castle long is best.

Mar-01-10  TheBish: J Arizmendi-Martinez vs J M Gomez Esteban, 2006

Black to play (36...?) "Very Easy"

I got this pretty quickly; this is a well-known idea. If I haven't seen this game (it may have been posted before) then I have definitely seen similar game(s) with the same finish.

36...Rh3+! 37. Kxh3 Qg2+ 38. Kxh4 Rh8+ 39. Qh6 Rxh6#.

Black has so much fire-power on the g-file, he can spare a rook by a neat deflection since it leads to mate. Tripled heavy pieces on an open file near the enemy king is usually pretty strong!

Interestingly, there is a flashy mate after another candidate move, but it is not forced: 36...Rg2+? 37. Kh3?? (Kh1 is much better) Rh2+! and mates next after 38. Kxh2 Qg2# or 38. Qxh2 Qg4# - the king's escape is now blocked by the queen.

Mar-01-10  Patriot: <<David2009>: <benveniste> has beaten me to the punch with the variation starting 36...Rg2+ 37 Kh1 Rg3.>

38.Kh2 makes the idea pointless, going for a draw.

Mar-01-10  ChessPraxis: I always wonder about games like this where the loser resigns AFTER he has played his last move. Has he made the move thinking that that he is still safe enough for the time being and then suddenly realized that his opponent has a crushing response? Or does he only realize it after his opponent is reaching for the piece that will deliver the killer blow? Does he perhaps catch a certain expression on his opponent's face, starts looking more intently at the board, and THEN realize that he's about to be blown away? Or does he see that he's probably going to get nuked and hoping that his opponent won't also see it but then the hand reaches out and he realizes, "It's over"?
Mar-01-10  reti: I cannot believe that Julen Arizmendi allowed his opponent to get control of the g-file. I know Julen, and this guy is an excellent tactician. I guessed this was the last round of this tournament.
Mar-01-10  Skylark: <ChessPraxis> Often it comes from exhaustion. I have done this a few times myself whereby, upon the conclusion of a tense fight in my tired mental state I will make a poor move or series of mistakes (my stamina at the board is a weakness I have frustratingly been unable to cure as of yet) that lead to a lost position; it doesn't even need to be one like this where there is a forced mate, but maybe one where I will just get mashed in a long and painful endgame. Your adrenaline keeps your mind ticking but your tiredness gives you tunnel vision - and once you snap out of it, even during your opponents time, you just think "what am I doing, I have another round to play tomorrow and I'm wasting my energy on THIS trainwreck?" More than once I've resigned on my opponent's time to move.

Of course the day will come when I never resign because I am unbeatable... Muahahahaha.


Mar-01-10  beenthere240: One of the instructive features of the caro-kann is that if black can get in a fairly early c5 without paying a penalty, he has a great game.

Wait, he never played that in this game!

Mar-02-10  moraga97: Trying to stay 'blind' while posting. So, the rook doesn't need to check on the g file, as the enemy artillery is too close at hand. How about 36. ... Rh3+? The white king must re-capture anyways, and it shuts out the formidable weaponry close by. 37. Kxh6 Qg2 mate.

... I think. I'll check with the veterans of this forum.

Mar-02-10  moraga97: Still have plenty to learn. did not see Kxh4.
Ah well!
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