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Andrei Volokitin vs Sergey Karjakin
Aerosvit (2008), Foros UKR, rd 5, Jun-12
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Noa Variation (E37)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's Thursday puzzle solution 30. e5+!! begins a winning combination with a pawn deflection (sham) sacrifice to force the King to an unsafe square (i.e. any square other than the one he occupies). The move combines multiple tactics (i.e. deflection, pin, knight fork, double attack, obstruction) to exploit the forced relocation of the King to win decisive material.

Here's a breakout with Fritz 10:

<30. e5+ !!> This little deflection (pseudo) pawn sacrifice takes the Black King out of his comfort zone, so any legal move results in a forced loss.

Bad and actually losing for White is 30. Bf3? Rxb2 31. e5+ Kxe5 32. Bxb7 Rxb7 when Black's pawn majority wins easily.

White gets an endgame advantage after 30. Bxb3 cxb3 31. e5+ Kd7 32. Nd3 Rf1 33. Rc3 Na5 34. Rh2 Rd1 35. h5 g5 36. Rd2 Rxd2 37. Kxd2 Rf5 38. Nc5+ Ke7 39. Nxb3 . However, a win, even if there, is problematic and far from simple or assured.

<30... Kd7> This is the best move in a lost position.

If 30... Kxe5, White gets a winning Knight fork after 31. Bxb3 cxb3 32. Nd3+ .

If 30... Kc7 (or 30...Kc5 31. Bxb3 ) 31. Bxb3 exploits the pin on the c-file to win a piece.

If 30... Ke7, White uses the double attack and deflection (removing the guard or defender)tactic to win decisive material with 31. Bxb3 cxb3 32. Rc7+! Kf8 33. Rxb7! .

<31. Bf3!> Thanks to the King blocking the Rook's protection of the seventh rank, this move combines it's own obstruction of the f-file and a double attack on the Rook and the unprotected Knight to win decisive material.


If 31...Kf8, then 32. Kxf2 decides.

<32. Bxb7 Rf5 33. Bc6+ Kc7 34. Be4 Rxe5 35. Nd3 Rc2 36. Nxe5 Rxc1 37. Rh1 Rc3+ 38. Kd4 Rg3 39. Rf1 c3 40. Rf7+ Kc8 41. Kc5 c2 42. Kd6 Bd5 43. Bxd5 exd5 44. Nc6> 1-0 This final move surrounds and entombs the helpless Black monarch.

For the amusing finish, Black will be allowed to Queen with 44...c1Q only to be immediately mated with 45. Rc2#.

Sep-10-10  Al2009: nuwanda, sorry, but it seems you are afraid to analyze.

Even allowing that 37. Rf3 is not so good,there are other ways by which White can win, e.g.: 37. Rxb3 Nxe5 38. Rb7+ Kc6 39. Rxh7 and again White remains a pawn more, and 2 connected + passed pawns. But there is a practical point that you and other players are missing.

In the real game, around 30th move, in a zeitnot (or almost) situation, it is better to choose the line which gives a sure (even small) advantage rather than a risky and unclear one.

Sep-10-10  nuwanda: Hi <Al2009>,

you're right, i dont want to analyze this position with you in detail. Not because i'm afraid, i'm still convinced that black has good drawing chances in your line, its more your stubborn style of argumentation.

first you say, white wins the b-pawn (clear and easy win), then, ok i dont take the pawn i'll promote my a-pawn at once (winning), then, ok i cant promote the a-pawn i play very strong Rf3 (winning), then, ok Rf3 is not that strong i... (winning), ad infinitum (i fear).

i think already our little discussion here shows that its not so sure and easy at all, and that was my whole point. and it seems to me that Volokitin, after all a almost 2700 GM, shared this view.


Sep-10-10  Al2009: nuwanda, I can change my opinion, of course, no "stubborn" style of argumentation, and unfortunately I cannot discuss "ad infinitum", I have other things to do.

Analysis of a game means that people propose one or more lines, and then try to check and discuss together, to see what they find, and it is always possible to correct and improve the moves, nothing is final in chess.

I recognized myself -after your proposals - that the line played by Volokitin is winning, of course, but it is more risky - in a real game - than the one I suggested, although "my" line gives less advantage, surely less than the one I was thinking at first glance, therefore I changed my first opinion, I can admit that it is not so "easy" to win in that position.

As far as the topic of 2700 rating is concerned, sorry for you, but I can find you HUNDREDS mistakes played in real games not just by "almost 2700 rated chessplayers", but even by world chess champions!

You can just check under my nickname, and you will be surprised to discover some improvements (Ni-Hua (2710) - Hoyos (29.h4!); Tal (world champion) - Gasic (17.Nf4!!) Quinteros - Fischer (world champion) (23...Rxc4!!)) that nobody proposed before.

And I am analyzing WITHOUT any computer assistance, because every wood-pusher can ask Rybka, Fritz what to do, but without thinking over by himself.

Of course I can make mistakes as everybody else, but I'm writing here right to compare my proposals with the others.

Therefore, you are free to analyse whoever you want with, maybe I can survive if you don't want to analyze with me.


Sep-12-10  nuwanda: Ok <AL2009>,

one last word from me too.

my impression was, that from the very beginning your evaluation of the position, for whatever reasons, was fixed (a doubtful one in my view). and the whole further discussion, analysis from your side had just one aim: to proove your point of view.

in that sense you were not open for the "truth" or even for changing your mind just a bit, but only you want to "win" the discussion. in these kind of "discussions" i'm not interested, they are just a frustrating waste of time.

now your last post sounds quite different, so i may have been wrong. if so, sorry for that.

ride on,

Mar-11-21  Walter Glattke: A) 30.e5+ Kxe5? 31.Bxb3 cxb3 32.Nd3+ wins B)30.-Kd7 31.Be2 Na5 32.Na6 C) 31.Bf3 Rfxf3+ 32.Rxf3 Rxf3+ 33.Kxf3 Nc5 34.Kg4 Na4 35.Kg5 +-
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 43...Rc3 44. Bxe6+ Kb8 45. Nd7+ Ka7 46. Nc5+ Kb6 47. Rb7+ Ka5 48. Ra7+ Kb6 49. Ra6+ Kb5 50. Bd7+ Kc4 51. Ra4#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black threatens Rxb2.

The possibility of creating a double attack against the rook on f2 and the black knight with Bf3 suggests 30.e5+:

A) 30... Kxe5 31.Bxb3 wins decisive material (31... cxb3 32.Nd3+ and 33.Nxf2).

B) 30... Kc4 31.Nd3+ and 32.Nxf2 wins a rook.

C) 30... Kc7 31.Bxb3 wins a bishop.

D) 30... Kd(e)7 31.Bf3 Rxb2 32.Bxb7 wins decisive material.

Mar-11-21  Refused: 30.e5+ and black is trouble
a) 30...Kxe5 31.Bxb3 cxb3 32.Nd3+ is the main line. b) 30...Kc5 now either 31.Nd3+ or 31.Bxb3 pick decissive material c) 30...Kc7 runs again into 31.Bxb3
d) 30...Kd7 is the most sturdiest defense. 31.Bf3 R7xf3+ 32.Rxf3 Rxb2 picks up an exchange, but arguably offers the best hope for survival e) 30...Ke7 31.Bxb3 cxb3 32.Rc7+ Ke8 33.Rxb7 +- looks good enough
Mar-11-21  Brenin: The solution 30 e5+ of this puzzle depends on a beautiful, almost composition-style combination of tactical themes: opening the long diagonal to allow Bf3, which attacks the N on b7 and blocks the mutual protection of Black's Rs; drawing the Black K onto the c-file to leave the B on b3 en prise; deflecting the P on c4 to allow a N fork by Nd3; and a few others I've probably missed. Thanks, CG!
Mar-11-21  Tomate: Very nice position. In which order should White plays? a) 30.Bf3? Rxb2 31.e5+ Kxe5 is very good for black b) 30.Bxb3? cxb3 31.e5+ Kd7 looks more or less equal. c) After 30.e5+! if 30..Kxe5 31.Bxb3 cxb3 32.Nd3+ forks the Rf2; if the black pins his king on the c file 31.Bxb3 wins a bishop. It remains 30...Kd7/Ke7 31.Bf3 with a double attack on Rf2 and Nb7
Mar-11-21  saturn2: Found 30. e5+ 

...Kxe5 31. Bxb3 cxb3 32. Nd3+

...Kd(e)7 31.Bf3 double attack on Rf2 and Nb7

...Kc5(7) 31.Bxb3

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Well, I didn't understand any of that.
Mar-11-21  AlicesKnight: I saw the e5+ and the main responses to that, leading to win of the exchange or a piece. The subsequent tactical developments (which I didn't see) were, if anything, even more interesting. An excellent choice.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: I did not begin to see this and almost every white move made me think he had lost - virtually to the end. However, I did enjoy reading the spat between <Al2009> and <nuwanda> from 2010. Something vigorous and old worldly - pistols at dawn rather than vicious Twitter spitting. Of course I did not understand their analysis either or know who was right; I suspect they were both wounded. There is something gloriously liberating about being bad at chess - the game is even more surprising that way and the debates are firework displays for our entertainment. Roll on Monday when I still have a chance.
Mar-11-21  ahcorleafar: To be completely honest, I tried this one in hurry. Bxb3 followed by e5 seemed to be winning (how wrong I was!), and so I ended up missing Bf3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Hoofed it ok divots pe5+ fiddle idioms dovetail affect punchy aortas jive hoofed it ok divots moskva river chaffinch wind wary tarry arty baroque que pugil gulp jovial its or us ivory dater taker ivory mine zinc crick woggle glyph boy ivory ebony rf2 foggy aeschylus occult botch thin bd1 goodness accommodate taker moment reach ivory totups earwig abridge log giggled it none the wiser pe5+ dabble;
Mar-11-21  mel gibson: I wasn't sure.

Stockfish 13 agrees with the text:

30. e5+

(30. e5+ (e4-e5+
♔d6-d7 ♗d1-f3 ♖f2xb2 ♗f3xb7 ♖f7-f5 ♔e3-d4 ♖b2-d2+ ♔d4-c3 ♖d2-e2 ♘b4-c6 ♖f5-f4 ♘c6-d4 ♖e2xe5 ♗b7-a6 ♗b3-a4 ♔c3-b4 ♖e5-e4 ♔b4xa4 ♖e4xd4 ♔a4-b4 c4-c3+ ♔b4xc3 ♖f4xh4 ♖h3xh4 ♖d4xh4 ♔c3-b3 ♔d7-d6 a3-a4 g6-g5 a4-a5 h7-h5 ♗a6-b7 ♖h4-h3+ ♔b3-a4 ♖h3-h4+ ♔a4-b5 ♖h4-h2 a5-a6 ♖h2-b2+ ♔b5-a5 ♖b2-a2+ ♔a5-b6 ♔d6-e7 ♖c1-c7+ ♔e7-f6 ♖c7-c6 h5-h4 ♗b7-c8 ♖a2xa6+ ♔b6xa6) +3.90/41 166)

score for White +3.9 depth 41

Mar-11-21  Cellist: Wanted to do 30. Bf3 and then e5+, but that loses.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: There are so many quiet, delicate moves in this match by white that are deceptively deadly in the aggregate.

Besides the ones mentioned by many and summarized succinctly by <Brenin> I also liked 37 Rh1.

click for larger view

Here black has two bad choices. If black exchanges rooks, he only has one piece left to defend his passed c pawn and his king looks to be too far away to help save it.

So he picks the worst choice, 37...Rc3+, thereby allowing 38 Kd4, unleashing a ferocious attack on the black king.

<Brenin> <The solution 30 e5+ of this puzzle depends on a beautiful, almost composition-style combination of tactical themes:>

I could not agree more. I said similar back in September, 2010. "This is simple but elegant chess, displayed in just two moves".

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: No butch cassidy and the Sundance like kid then e5 coffee parlour no?
Mar-11-21  King.Arthur.Brazil: I must say only that 29.♗d1 is a trap to invite Black for lose the game, following as in the text with 29...♖xf2. The King recommends the line: ♗xd1 30. ♖xd1+ ♔c5 31. ♖c1 ♔b5, now this trap failed and Black could still fight for draw. Surely the hungry to win a ♙ was the way to disaster.
Mar-11-21  areknames: Now THIS is the kind of POTD we all love to see recycled. Great stuff.
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: i saw the importance of e5 to threaten the R at f2, but completely missed that it would clear the diagonal for Bf3, threatening both Kxf2 and Bxc7. instead, i exchanged the B before e5, which obviously is missing the point.
Mar-11-21  RandomVisitor: 28...Rf8 and the game is even:

click for larger view


<74/29 4:01:39 0.00 28...Rf8 29.Bd1 Rxf2> 30.Bxb3 Nxb3 31.Rxc4 Rxb2 32.Nd3 Ra2 33.Rc3 Na5 34.h5 e5 35.hxg6 hxg6 36.Rg3 Rxa3 37.Rxg6+ Ke7 38.Rc7+ Kd8

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