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Varlam Vepkhvishvili vs Vladimer Chikadze
Ch Georgian 54th (1995), ?, rd 8, Jun-16
Alekhine Defense: Spielmann Gambit (B02)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <perfidious: This is the first time I've seen this gambit>

Good god, man! Have you never read Spielmann's "The Art of Sacrifice in Chess"?

Jul-27-11  psmith: I found the game continuation, and intended after 20...Ba4 21. Qa3 Rc4! which I think is stronger than 21... Nxc2. After 21. Rc4 it seems almost impossible for White to prevent mate. I will now check with the computer.
Jul-27-11  psmith: well, it seems White can prevent mate in various ways by giving up the house, but basically I was right.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: I saw the discovered attack with check after 20...Ba4! 21. Qxa4 Nd3+ winning the Queen to solve today's Wednesday puzzle.

After 21. Qa3, I only saw 21...Bxc2 which is more than sufficient. However, <dzechiel>'s 21. Qa3 Nxc2 22. Qd3 Nb4 trapping the Queen seems to be the clearest and quickest winning path.

Three other winning replies after 21. Qa3 are 21...Rc4 , 21....Bh6+ and 21...Re2 .

Jul-27-11  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy" Black to play 20....?
Black is behind in materials. He has 2 Bishops for a Rook and a Knight. One move that I thought could result in material advantage is Bishop move:

<if 21.Qxa4 Nd3+ 22.Rxd3 Rxa4 Black gains Queen for a Bishop and a Knight>

21.Qa3 Nxc2
<if 22.Kxc2 Re3+ 23.Kc1 Rxa3 and again, Queen is lost>

22.Qd3 Nb4
23.Qf1 Bxd1
24.Kxd1 Nxa2
In this line, material loss for White is lesser than loosing the Queen. Time to check

Jul-27-11  APatzer: I found Ba4 though I did not calculate all the long lines.
Jul-27-11  David2009: V Vepkhvishvili vs V Chikadze, 1995 Black 20...?

20...Ba4 is strong seeing 21.Qxa4 Nd3+ 22.Rxd3 Rxa4 and Black has QRB vs RRNN and still an attack. Time to check:
As played by both sides. Here's the position after 20...Ba4

click for larger view

with a corresponding link to Crafty EGT to explore alternative White defences: It does look pretty dire.

Jul-27-11  mohannagappan: 20. ...Ba4 black takes white queen and win
Jul-27-11  goodevans: <al wazir: I went with 20...Nxc2.> Likewise.

I saw 20 ... Ba4 but Q for R+B didn't seem that fantastic given black's attacking capabilities. After <20 ... Nxc2> it seems to me threats like Rc4 and Ba4 are very difficult to meet.

Jul-27-11  cocker: Still a lot of play left, as shown by the game.
Jul-27-11  goodevans: Here's a link to the puzzle position on Crafty EGT with colours reversed

Here you can try out the various attacking options (20 ... Rc4 / 20 ... Nc2 / etc). I think there are several winning moves but the ones I tried were harder than expected since black has quite a few resources at his disposal.

Jul-27-11  morfishine: Settled on <20...Ba4> 21.Qxa4 Nd3+ 22.Rxd3 Rxa4 winning white's Queen

If 21.Qa3 Bxc2 and white's position is overwhelming with 22.Bh6+ looming, so white must take the bishop, (or the knight?). No time to check that possibility now, its off to work.

Its to white's credit that he was able to hang-on grimly for 20+ moves after 21.Qxa4

Jul-27-11  gofer: A nice finish!

<20 ... Ba4>

21 Qxa4 Nd3 22 Rxd3 Rxa4 winning

<21 Qa3 Nxc2>
<22 Qd3 Nb4>
<23 Qa3 Bh6+>

24 Rd2/Nd2 Rc4+ 25 Qc3 Nxa2#

<24 Kb1 Rd4+>

25 Rd3 Rxd3 26 Qxd3 (Qxa4/Qxb4 Rxd1#) Qxd3+ 27 Ka1 Nc2+ starting a smothered mate

<25 Ka1 Nc2+>
<26 Kb1 Na3+>
<27 Ka1 Qb1+>
<28 Rxb1 Nc2#>

Jul-27-11  sevenseaman: 20. Ba4 was the first move that occurred to me, Nxc2 the second and Bh6+ the last alternative. I can only say I wasn't too enthused by any of these candidates.

In the first case Q for a B+N looked too much of a barter but I did think this might be the solution nevertheless.

One never knows White might settle for 21. Qa3 and my parsimonious thoughts may just come to pass. Then I could play 21...Nxc2 (or Bxc2) and feel much better. White would really be in a strait jacket, positionally.

So I selected 20...Ba4 and rested my case.

Jul-27-11  sevenseaman: Just what I thought. Playing <Crafty> today would be a feast! One wouldn't know from where; I'd let <David2009> decide as he is the one who reverses colors, chameleon like.
Jul-27-11  gofer: Crafty EGT slaughters white's only alternative to trading queens <20 ... Ba4 21 Qa3> with <21 ... Rc4>

Much stronger than my humble <21 ... Nxc2>

Jul-27-11  HelaNubo: <dzechiel: Should white avoid taking the bishop with 21 Qa3 instead, then 21...Nxc2 22 Qd3 Nb4 gets the material back as white now has both his queen and his rook under attack.>

Hi dzechiel, after 21 Qa3, I thought 21. .... Rc4 with the mate threat in c2 wins on the spot, doesn't it?

Jul-27-11  sofouuk: pretty unsatisfying 'puzzle', given that every semi-sensible move wins outright. i went with Nxc2 because either recapture loses the white queen; when i put the question to my assistant the first response was Ba4, but after prodding the verdict was that Rc4 is in fact the strongest move in the position.

i'd be happy enough with a 'dont bother to calculate play a simple move' solution, provided that Rc4 was the unique winning move. i wouldn't complain too much if there was more than one sacrificial solution. but when you can either sac a knight, or a bishop, or simply improve the position of a piece, and win handily in every case, then i do have to wonder if enough effort went into puzzle selection

Jul-27-11  goodevans: <sofouuk> Nice summary of the situation.
Jul-27-11  sevenseaman: Wins against Crafty are much easier today. 20...Nxc2 and 20...Rc4 are viable moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair for a rook and a knight.

The white queen lacks mobility. This suggests 20... Ba4:

A) 21.Qxa4 Nd3+ 22.Rxd3 Rxa4 - + [Q+B vs R+2N].

B) 21.Qa3 Nxc2 22.Nd3 Nb4

B.1) 23.Qa3 Rc4+

B.1.a) 24.Kd2 Qc2+ 25.Ke1 (25.Ke3 Re4#) 25... Qxd1#.

B.1.b) 24.Qc3 Rxc3+ 25.bxc3 Qc2#.

B.2) 23.Qb1 Rc4+ 24.Kd2 Rc2+ 25.Ke1 (25.Ke3 Qe4#) 25... Qe4+ 26.Kf1 Qe2+ 27.Kg1 Qxf2+ 28.Kh2 Qxg2#.

B.3) 23.Qd2 Nxa2#.

C) 21.Ne5 Bxe5 doesn't seem to change anything.

D) 21.Nh4 Rxh4 22.Qxa4 (22.Qa(e)3 Qxc2#) 22... Nd3+, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I guess black trapped and picked off the queen. In the end,he ended up ahead a queen for a rook.
Jul-27-11  BOSTER: <sevenseaman> <20...Ba4 was the first move that occured to me, Nxc2 the second and Bh6+ the last alternative>. The obvious line which everybody can see like 20...Ba4 21.Qxa4 Nd3+ 22.Rxd3 Rxa4 where white has R+N vs.Q does not like the solution.

So,you should try 20...Rc4 , attacking the c2 pawn three times, and opening the the queen g6. Defense like 21.Rd2 is refuted by Bh6. White has to play 21.c3 and after Bh6+ 22.Rd2 (if 22.Nd2 Nd3+ 23.Kb1 Nxc5 and black win) black has the winning position.

Jul-27-11  Sydro: Dayum. I saw ...Nxc2 looked like it would be a good move that I didn't look for even stronger moves. But I guess that move works too I think.
Jul-27-11  WhiteRook48: Huh. I tried 20...Nxc2 also.
I <have> to follow this quote eventually (a paraphrase)
"When you have a good move, keep looking. There may be a better one."
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