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Pascal Charbonneau vs Hussein Ali Hussein Al-Ali
Dresden Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 6, Nov-19
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation. Blackburne Defense (C10)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-01-10  Mace: <dzechiel> Haha, I had to do a double take after seeing the 0-1. I was pretty sure that black had just forfeited after a spite-check, guess it was more than that.

<dzechiel> I was looking at this combo too: 11.Bxh7+ Kh8 12.Ng5
12...Qa5+ 13.Bd2
but black can follow with ..Be7
14.Qh5 Nf6 which completely counters white's attack

I'm at a loss, every attack I see is countered pretty hard. Has anyone gotten it yet?

Jul-01-10  cracknik: OK, it's tricky. What's the solution though?
Jul-01-10  dhotts: Did anyone notice that BLACK won this game showing that 11.Bxh7 is a failure? Because after 13...Qa5+ there is 14...Qf5 forcing the Black win.

So what is the puzzle answer for White to play and win? Or is this a puzzle mistake?

Jul-01-10  zooter: Ok, The only weak black spot seems to be h7. So we start with

11.Bxh7+ Kxh7 (no point refusing the sac) 12.Ng5+ and it's all over whether black takes the knight or not

Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <dhotts> <cracknik> This is what is known as a spoiler. It looks as though white has a stock greek gift combination starting with 11. Bxh7+. But this is one of those situation where the combination doesn't work.

By playing 13....Qa5+ followed by 14...Qf5, black defends h7, stops the mate and pockets the bishop that white sacrificed.

So the solution today is not to play 11. Bxh7+, but to opt for something a little more sensible. 11. 0-0-0 would be fine. throws us these little spoilers every now and again to stop us from becoming too complacent. Otherwise we could fall into the trap of thinking that every combination works perfecly.

For the full story, read from page 1 of the kibittzing and all will become clear.

Jul-01-10  dhotts: <once> thanks for the great explanation!
Jul-01-10  zooter: groan, fell for it again. That's the second time!
Jul-01-10  Eisenheim: even though I specifcally told myself not to fall for it, since I did yesterday, i still fell for bxh7+ today. du-oh!
Jul-01-10  Patriot: <Mace> <I was looking at this combo too: 11.Bxh7+ Kh8 12.Ng5 12...Qa5+ 13.Bd2
but black can follow with ..Be7
14.Qh5 Nf6 which completely counters white's attack>

After 13...Be7 14.Bxa5 wins. I don't think black can afford to play 11...Kh8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Okay, so lots of us fell for today's spoiler. How can we make sure that we don't fall for something similar again?

First, let's look at pattern recognition. Although today's starting position looks like a classic greek gift, there is one thing slightly out of place. The greek gift usually (but not always) has a white pawn on e5. Today that pawn is missing, so we need to be a little wary.

Next we need to think of ways that black can defend against the greek gift. One way is to run away. So before we throw that bish back in the box, we need to check that the black king can't run to f8 or g6.

That means that we need to look at the Re8/Kf8 defence. Here's the position after 13. Qh5 Re8?

click for larger view

White wins with 14. Qh7+ Kf8 15. Bd6+ and 16. Qh8#

The second classic way to defend against the greek gift is to find a way of covering h7. For example, this position varies from our puzzle by just one move. The Rf8 has been moved to e8.

click for larger view

Now the greek gift doesn't work because the black knight can come to f8 to defend h7. The sequence might run 1. Bxh7+ Kxh7 2. Ng5+ Kg8 3. Qh5 Nf8.

click for larger view

And now the best that white has is a perpetual with Qxf7+ and Qh5+.

Here's another variation where the greek gift doesn't work. This time I've moved the Nd7 to c6 and the e6 pawn to e5 in order to give the Bc8 a starring role.

click for larger view

The greek gift definitely doesn't work here. 1. Bxh7+ Kxh7 2. Ng5+ Kg8 3. Qh5 Bf5

click for larger view

The Bf5 covers h7 and given a chance, will settle into g6 to evict the white queen.

And finally, we have today's game. Black can't play the Nf8 or Bf5 defence, but he can wriggle his queen to f5 via the check on a5.

To summarise: before playing the greek gift we ought to check that the black king can't run away via f8 or g6 and that black doesn't have a way of defending h7, with Nf8 or a bishop or queen on f5.

Jul-01-10  Marmot PFL: Probably best is 11 0-0-0. Then black does need to defend h7, probably with h6, and white plays 12 Nxd4 with a nice game.
Jul-01-10  YouRang: I love spoilers. It's an opportunity to find nothing and feel good about it. :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: Who sang "We won't get fooled again."
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one pawn up.

Black threatens ... e5 eventually.

The white pieces aim at the black castle, suggesting the obvious 11.Bxh7+:

A) 11... Kxh7 12.Ng5+

A.1) 12... Bxg5 13.hxg5+

A.1.a) 13... Kg8 14.Qh5 Qa5+ (14... f5(6) 15.g6 + -) 15.Kd1 f6 16.Qh7+ Kf7 17.g6+

A.1.a.i) 17... Ke8 18.Bd6 seems to recover some material and keep the attack.

A.1.a.ii) 17... Ke7 18.Qxg7+ Kd8 19.Rh8 Qc5 20.Rxf8+ Nxf8 (20... Qxf8 21.Qxf8+ Nxf8 22.g7 + -) 21.Qf7 Nxg6 22.Qxg6 and White seems to keep some advantage.

A.1.b) 13... Kg6 14.Qh5+ Kf5 15.g6+ Kxf5 (15... Ke4 16.Qf3+ Kf5 17.Bc7+) 16.g3+ Ke4 17.f3+ Ke3 18.0-0-0 and the Black king enters a mate net.

A.2) 12... Kg8 13.Qh5 Bxg5 (13... Qa5+ 14.Bd2) 14.hxg5 transposes to A.1.a.

A.3) 12... Kh6 13.Nxf7+ Kh7 14.Nxd8 + - [Q+P vs B+N].

A.4) 12... Kg6 13.Qe4+ Kh5 (13... Kh6 14.Qh7#) 14.Qh7+ Kg4 15.f3+ Kxf4 16.Qe4+ Kg3 17.Qg4#.

B) 11... Kh8 12.Bd3 followed by 0-0-0, Ng5, etc. with a considerable advantage.

If I remember correctly, this is a recycled puzzle, actually a spoiler whose 'solution' was any reasonable move, say 11.0-0-0, instead of 11.Bxh7+, due to the intermediate ... Qa5+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I forgot/overlooked the key move 14... Qf5 in my line A.2. Man is the only animal that stumbles over the same stone twice, three times, etc. Just use induction...
Jul-01-10  Patriot: <Once> Thanks for the interesting and very informative post. About the king going to f8, I'm assuming you mean a line after the bishop is captured. Because otherwise it's usually not a problem since white can just thank black for the pawn and retreat the bishop if need be.

The points you made are really good indicators of when the greek gift may not work. If I had been aware of some of the patterns you mentioned, I would have been suspicious from the beginning and probably wouldn't have fallen for it.

Also note the greek gift would have worked for today's puzzle had there been a pawn on c7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Patriot: Also note the greek gift would have worked for today's puzzle had there been a pawn on c7.>

A very good point! When the c2 or c7 pawn has been moved we need to be on the lookout for crafty queen checks on a4/a5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <YouRang .... find nothing and feel good about it> You have understood perfectly. If only it wasnt for these smartasses who sussed that 11. 0-0-0 was the best move ;-)

<Once> excellent assessment. Whatever else you might be suffering, your brain is in good working order :-)

Jul-01-10  RandomVisitor: Final look, after 10...cxd4:

click for larger view

Rybka 3:

<[+0.20] d=21 11.0-0-0> Re8 12.Bd6 h5 13.Qe4 g6 14.Rhe1 Qb6 15.Qf4 Kg7 16.Be5 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Rh8 18.Qe4 Qd8 19.Bc4 Bxh4 20.Rxd4 Qg5+ 21.Rd2 f5 22.Qf3 Rd8 23.Red1 Rxd2 24.Rxd2 Qe7 25.Qe3 Bf6

[+0.01] d=21 11.Bd6 Be7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.0-0-0 Nc5 14.Nxd4 b6 15.Qe5 f6 16.Qe3 Nxd3+ 17.Qxd3 e5 18.Nc6 Qe6 19.Qd5 Qxd5 20.Rxd5 Bb7 21.Rd6 Bxc6 22.Rxc6 Rac8 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Rd1 Rc7

Jul-01-10  wals: Rybka 3 1-cpu: 3071mb hash: depth 22:

1. = (0.08): 11.0-0-0 Re8 12.Bd6 g6 13.h5 Qb6 14.Ba3 e5 15.hxg6 hxg6 16.g4 Nc5 17.Nxd4 Rd8 18.Bxc5 Qxc5 19.Nb3 Qc6 20.Kb1 Be6 21.g5 Bd5 22.Bb5 Bf3 23.Bxc6 Bxe2 24.Rde1 bxc6 25.gxf6 Bf3 26.Rhg1

2. = (0.01): 11.Bd6 Be7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxd4 Nc5 14.0-0-0 Qf6 15.Nf3 Bd7 16.Qe5 Rac8 17.Qxf6 gxf6 18.Be2 Ba4 19.Rd4 Bc6 20.Nd2 Rfd8 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.b4 Na4 23.Rh3

another variation

Jul-01-10  mworld: Qf5? wow, totally missed that move - very hard to see when you are busy evaluating all the attacks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Moral of the story: When you see "French Defense", expect it to be a spoiler.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the second day in a row we've had a puzzle where we had to watch out for Queen checks which gain a tempo and enable the defending Queen to bounce to a square which makes the attack difficult or impossible.

In today's Thursday puzzle, which is a rerun from a 2008 offering, Black defends against the White piece sacrifice 11. Bxh7+ with 11...Kxh7 12. Ng5+ Kg8 13. Qh5 Qa5+! . Here after 14. Bd2 Qf5! Black defends against the attack and remains a solid piece up for an easy win.

P.S.: Lesson learned: Watch out for Queen checks and the "bouncing Queen," especially when bouncing or moving to a defensive square. Or maybe it should be the "dancing queen" we need to watch out for, as in the ABBA song at

Jul-01-10  zooter: <Once> Excellent explanation of things to watch out for in the greek gift
Jul-01-10  M.Hassan: White to move "medium". Black is a pawn up
the temping or intiuitive move is Bxh7

11.Bxh7 Kxh7
It will be a mistake to take the Knight with Bishop because <12.....Bxg5
13.hxg5+ kg8
14.Qh5 and is mate next move>

12......... Kg8
13.Qh5 Qa5+
14.Bd2 Qf5
And I do not see an immidiate win but I think that white being behind by a full bishop may loose! Time to check
Same moves, but why White resigned so early?

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