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Aleksandra Dimitrijevic vs Marie Sebag
Stork YM (2004), Hengelo NED, rd 9, Aug-14
Bird Opening: Classical Bird (A02)  ·  0-1



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sac: 20...Qg3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 21. Bf1 seems to be a better defense than 21. Nf3.
Aug-20-14  woody b: @raviarun
20. ..Qg3 21. Bf3 Be5 22. Rf1
...Qxg5 wins a whole rook (and we're still 2 pawns up), because the Qc5 and Rf1 are hanging. so no need for forcing continuation.

but congrats for your line, i didn't even see the continuation after Qg3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: No points for me today. I saw some mad stuff, such as playing either rook to c8. But I couldn't make anything work. I would probably have played Qg3 anyway, just to get her out of the firing line and keep the attack going. But I didn't spot the fact that Be5 is impossible to stop.

As phony said, hard to spot a normal quiet move.

This game illustrates the love-hate relationship we have with the white f pawn. Sometimes we just wish it wasn't there so that our castled Rf1 can attack along the half-open or fully open f file.

In this game, white is so fixated by this pawn that he starts the game with 1. f4 - literally giving his opponent the bird.

But sometimes we dearly wish that the f pawn was back on the board. Today's POTD is a case in point. If white had that little guy back on f2, black would not have been able to play Qg3. White would also have been able to block the Be5-Qg3 battery by playing f4.

White opened the game by chucking his f pawn. Black won the game by infiltrating the squares that the f pawn could have defended.

And that - are you listening Alanis Morissette? - is what you call irony.

Aug-20-14  Jausch46: To raviarun:
21. Bf3 is not really a solution because this move leaves the f1 square vulnerable. After 20. ...Rc8 White either loses her Queen for a Rook, or otherwise Rc1+ is devastating (Rf1, RxR mates). I myself have found 20. ...Qg3 immediatly, but after 21. Nxh3, instead of the obvious Be5 I followed with Rac8. If the Queen evades, say 22. Qxe7, black follows with Rc1+, 23. Bf1, Ng4. 24. Nf3 Bxg2, 25. Rxg2, Qe3+, 26. Rbf2, Nxf2, Rxf2, Rxb1. At the end, Black has one Rook and two pawns advantage, and the white King is thoroughly unsafe. I know that this continuation is much longer and more complicated, but it nevertheless works. Its my weekness that I often go after more complicated variations instead of the most simple solution. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS) is often neglected on my side. Best regards to all you tactical wizards!
Aug-20-14  Jausch46: I just realized a failure in my line of argumentation, because 25. ... Qe3 + is not possible. The Queen must first take the Knight on f3. So much about the usefulness of complicated variations: You may always commit calculation errors. Black wins anyway, but with more effort than moving the simple Be5!
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair and two pawns for a bishop and a knight.

White threatens 21.Rxf4, 21.Nxh3, 21.gxh3, 21.Qxe7, 21.Rxb7.

The first idea that comes to mind is 20... Qg3, avoid White's most important threat and menacing 21... Bxg2 and 21... Be5:

A) 21.Nxh3 Be5

A.1) 22.Rf3(4) Qxg2#.

A.2) 22.Nf4 Bxf4 23.Rxf4 Qxf4 - + [R+2P vs B] (24.Qxe7 Rac8).

A.3) 22.Qxe5 Qxe5 23.Rxb2 Rab8 24.Rxb8 Rxb8 - + [Q+P vs B+N].

B) 21.Bf3 Be5 22.Rfc2 (22.Rfe2 Qh2+ 23.Kf2 Bg3#; 22.Rfd2 Qe1#) 22... Qh2+ (or 22... Qxg5) 23.Kf2 Bxg2 looks disastrous for White.

C) 21.Bf1 Be5 22.Rf3 (22.Rfe2 Qh2+ 23.Kf2 Bg3#; 22.Rfd2 Qxg5 - + [B+2P]) 22... Qh2+ (22... Qxg5 23.Rxh3) 23.Kf2 Bxg2 is similar to B.

Aug-20-14  morfishine: <raviarun> After 20...Qg3 21.Bf3 Be5 22.Rf1 more forcing now for Black is <22...Bxg2>
Aug-20-14  Refused: Ok, I simply failed to see the <obvious>

Nice and logical execution by Sebag.

Aug-20-14  zb2cr: We have a passive sacrifice by 20. ... Qg3. Obviously, the White Rook can't move uptof3 to chase her away. The Bishop on h3 could be taken by 21. Nxh3, but that leaves White helpless after 21. ... Be5.

What about 21. Bf3, Be5; 22. Rf1. White leaves open the shot of 22. ... Bxg2!

Aug-20-14  hedgeh0g: 20...Qg3! is the killer quiet move. The poor coordination of White's pieces leave her defenceless against Black's threats.

After 20...Qg3, White could try to defend with 21.Bf1, but after 21...Be5, 22.Nf3 is forced and 22...Bf4 leaves White completely helpless against the threats of bringing a rook to the c-file and/or advancing the g-pawn. After 21.Nxh3 Be5, the mate threat forces White to surrender her queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  pittpanther: I simply drew a blank today. I kept trying to get Qg3 followed by one of the rooks to c8 but could not get it to work. I completely missed the Be5 concept. Wednesdays are funny. I can get 8 or 9 out of 10 but sometimes just completely miss it! (Like today!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Awkward bloody thing.

Had to click on the game, flip the board (click on e7) and then click my way to the critical position.

click for larger view

Ahh...much better. (it's beginning to click!)

Even then it took a few minutes. First thought 20...Be5 21.RxQ BxR and then perhaps Rc8 hitting the White Queen as the back rank hangs. h2 and g2 are covered (Black was thinking along these lines vacating c8 with that Bxh3 move).....but nothing there.

However the Be5 idea must have stayed because soon after that 20...Qg3.


Nice bit of chess by Black on moves 14-16 to ensure a Knight landed unmolested on the e3 square.

Aug-20-14  awfulhangover: Yes! I could not find a better move than Qg3!, since the follow up Be5 seemed deadly for white. But, since this is a puzzle, I looked for a more violent solution. I guess I am not the only one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi awfulhangover,

" I looked for a more violent solution."

That is what I did too, my first thought was to sac my Queen.

Experienced solvers look for these shots first. (then we get down-hearted when it's not there and it means us finding a 'quiet - non forcing' move....)

Experienced solvers:

Most could do these Monday-Friday ones standing on their heads(Sometimes I have to if it's Black to play). Playing them OTB in a real game with a clock ticking and no one to tap you on the shoulder and say 'Hey! It's mate in three'. is another thing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: My hope was 20...Ng2 21.Rxf4 Nxf4 22.Bf1 Bxf1 23.Kxf1 Nd3+ 24.Qb? Nxb2 25.Qxb2, leaving black ahead (behind?) two rooks, a bishop and 4 pawns vs. a queen and 2 knights. Unfortunately, on move 22, the bishop doesn't have to react. :|
Aug-20-14  kevin86: An easy, but not obvious puzzle. Black must move the queen to safety and then the bishop and queen can threaten inescapable mate.
Aug-20-14  BOSTER: < Once: I didn't spot the fact Be5 is impossible to stop>. After 20...Qg3 white is not obliged to play 21.Nxh3. White could play 21.Bf1 , and if Be5 22.Nf3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: 21. Bf1 does not prevent Be5.

I know you like to pick fault with other people's posts, particularly mine. But please do try to make it relevant. Or come up with something positive to say for a change.

Now you might have said that 21. Nf3 makes it harder for black to achieve Be5. That might have been a legitimate nitpick. But even then the knight's protection of e5 is only temporary.

Aug-20-14  YetAnotherAmateur: My instincts said "Qg3" was the simplest threat to make.

My puzzle-solving chops told me to look pretty hard at Nxg2, because 21. Rxf4 Nxf4 and now white has to stop Nxe2, Nxd3, and a few other shots. But it turns out none of them were as good as the simple Qg3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: If 21 Bf1, then 21...Ng4 also seems like a strong move.

click for larger view

It threatens mate in one, forcing 22 Nf3. Black then has 22...Bh6, below, seeing 23 ...Be3.

click for larger view

Aug-20-14  Lighthorse: It took me a while before I finally figured this out. I, like <Once> considered Rc8. Then I madly considered taking the pawn on g2, taking the Rook and then forking the king-otherrook with the Knight, throwing the queen down to h2 (even though it made no sense), moving my g7 bishop on the a8/h1 diagonal as the first move, etc.

I was about to give up when it came to me to just move the Queen, and line up the bishop next. So simple - why did it take me so long?

Aug-20-14  LIzzard: did the right thing with Qg3 since pinning the pawn was hard to miss, and got the continuation only because I couldn't think of anything else. Stumbled onto it forcing a queen sacrifice for white.
Aug-20-14  autom: After the moves, 21.Bf3 Be5 22.Rf1, I like Qh2+ 23.Kf2 Bg3+ 24.Ke2 and then Bg2 because the white rook on b2 is kept out of the action.
Aug-20-14  in2deep: took me hours :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  GoldenKnight: Got this one all the way in about 5 minutes. It jumps out at one that you would like to play Be5, but this is not immediately feasible. You also would like to hold the pawn at g2 so White's Rook is not a factor on the second rank when you do play Be5. You also have to get the Queen out of the way. Well, it turns out that White's move does the latter two things and paves the way for the now unstoppable Be5. White can maneuver his QN to f1, but it only delays the inevitable for a couple of moves.
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