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Natalia Zhukova vs Corina-Isabela Peptan
Dresden Olympiad (Women) (2008), Dresden GER, rd 9, Nov-22
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation (E15)  ·  1-0



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sac: 27.Ne4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Interesting stuff. The puzzle is a simple forced mate in 2, yet two of our esteemed colleagues didn't see it. Why so? And how can we help them spot mates like this in the future?

The answer, I think, is that today's position is a little shy. She's a demure librarian wearing trousers, sensible shoes and a buttoned-up blouse. In other words, it looks like there is little chance of mate in the near future.

By contrast mating puzzles usually advertise their availability. We are talking hyper-short skirts, vertiginous high heels and cleavages that you could park your bicycle in. We can normally spot a mating puzzle because the black king is stalemated, his pawn cover is shattered and we have lots of heavy pieces nearby.

But not today. There are no queens and white's rook is a long way from the action. The only attacking pieces we have are a knight and a bishop, which on their own are never enough to deliver mate. Black's king is surrounded by defenders and he isn't stalemated. It all looks very safe. All is safely buttoned up and, although you can't see it, you just know that she is wearing sensible, unexciting and capacious white undergarments about her nether regions.

And that, I think, is why this puzzle could be hard to spot.

But even librarians can have hidden wells of passion. She may be encased in tweed like a medieval knight but for all we know the aforesaid undergarments might be racy little red and black wispy strappings from Agent Provocateur.

So how do you seduce a librarian? There are I think, two approaches.

The first is to ignore the outward trappings of respectability ask her out anyway. As <Patriot> often reminds us, we should examine every check and capture, even if we don't know where it will lead. So from the starting position 28. Nf6+ and 28. Nxd6+ have to be examined. And having looked at 28. Nf6+ it is only a small step to look at 29. Bh6+...

The other approach is to look for the deeply hidden signs of passion. She may be a librarian but did you notice that she is wearing flame red nail polish and the book in the wicker basket of her bicycle is Lady Chatterley's Lover? Or, as some wags would have it, Lady Loverly's Chatter?

The chess equivalent of this is to use pattern recognition to spot that there is something interesting in the position. In the starting position we have an empty fianchetto with an attacking bishop and knight nearby. And that ought to remind us of this fun mate:

click for larger view

Remembering that position should give us a clue that mate could follow if we could get the right combination of bishop and knight into the fianchetto holes at f6 and h6. And where better to start this than by 28. Nf6+?

So there you have it - how to solve chess puzzles by thinking about a librarian's underwear.

Dec-27-10  Gilmoy: The punch line is that White even revealed the diagonal check with <21.Bh6+ Kg8>. Fool me once, shame on <you> --
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <Jamboree: A more interesting question is:

Instead of the losing move 27. ... Nxd6?? (which led to the puzzle position), is there any move which would have saved black from mate or major material loss? ***

*** as far as I can tell, after 27. Ne4! black is lost *** >

The Black position seems to be lost even earlier, after <25. Nd2!> (with the idea Nd2-e4 after the exchange of LSBs), so Black's last chance to defend probably would have been <24. ... Ne6>, but even then <25. Rd7> would have been < >, so the defense would still have been difficult.

Dec-27-10  King.Arthur.Brazil: Hope you all had a good Xmas. The puzzle today is very quick, NF6 and Bh6 mate. Just to make everyone have a nice day winning the puzzle. Thanks.
Dec-27-10  A.G. Argent: <...-how to solve chess puzzles by thinking about a librarians underwear.> You tried that, Czar?
Dec-27-10  VincentL: "Very easy".

Straight away I see a two-move mate: 28. Nf6+ Kf8 29. Bh6 mate.

This is another example demonstrating that even at the highest level, GMs are fallible and occasionally commit the simplest of errors.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <fyad reject> One small trick with Knight checks, which *might* just be helpful: <always look at the other squares covered by the Knight.>

Simple as that. A check on d6, for example, may be tempting for material reasons -- but it doesn't restrict the black king the way that Nf6+ does.

As soon as I saw the hole on f6, I knew that was where I wanted the Knight to land, mainly because it also covers d7 (and g8) and stops the King from escaping. Only then did I realize that Bh6+ was actually mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The knight checks and the bishop mates-very simple. What,no queen sac?
Dec-27-10  WhiteRook48: 28 Nf6+ followed by 29 Bh6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <A.G. Argent: <...-how to solve chess puzzles by thinking about a librarians underwear.> You tried that, Czar?>

Why do you think I became a librarian?

Dec-27-10  estrick: <fyad reject: i think part of the reason i didnt pursue Nf6 was because i felt that the primary purpose of the knight move was to deliver check, . . . and also took material>

Perhaps a different frame of mind might be useful. On Mondays and most Tuesdays, (and even some Wednesdays and Thursdays) you can usually dispense with the idea of trying to win material. Check mate is the only game in town. Especially on Mondays, if it's not mate in 2 or 3, or winning the other player's queen,or something really big like that, keep on looking. If you believe there must be a mate in there somewhere, you're more likely to find it.

btw, I'm probably an example of what Jeremy Silman calls "mindless king hunter." While this strategy is less and less effective as the week wears on, it works pretty well for Mondays and most Tuesdays.

Dec-27-10  Patriot: The mate was faster than the material count. 28.Nf6+ Kf8 29.Bh6#. White is down a rook for a pawn?! That's a little backward...

<fyad reject> <Domdaniel> gave you excellent advice. It could be that you are not familiar with the concept that squares, not just pieces, come under attack. The knight on f6 not only checks/attacks the king, but also attacks d7 and g8. The king has only 1 square to go, f8. He's just about stalemated so Bh6 is mate.

Another point is you stopped analyzing too early. You saw Nf6+ and didn't follow it through with another check, which happens to be mate.

I mentioned a long time ago that most combinations are like a chain, where each link is a check, capture, or threat--one move after the other until you win decisive material or checkmate. It's important to follow those links to see what happens. When you reach the end of the chain and it's not mate, it's time to see who is better. I'm not sure anyone has ever explained it this way, but that's exactly how I perceive it.

So before you stop in a given line, ask yourself "Is there another link?"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I first ran across this puzzle in December 2008. It was the LA Times' puzzle of December 14th.

I bring this up because the Times recently replaced their long time columnist, Jack Peters, John A Peters with a syndicated columnist.

For those interested, here's a link to a blog that discusses that shortsighted decision of the Times.

Dec-27-10  David2009: <Jamboree: AInstead of the losing move 27. ... Nxd6?? (which led to the puzzle position), is there any move which would have saved black from mate or major material loss? Not so easy to find a saving move, off the top of my head. Obviously Nxd6 is the worst of the options, as in the game, but what else does black have? 27. ...Rxd6? leads to disaster after 28. Nxd6+, and black will lose an exchange, a piece, or a rook, depending on which poison he prefers.> Crafty End Game Trainer chooses 27...Rxd6 as the least bad option, ending up a N down. <Jamboree cont: Therefore, as far as I can tell, after 27. Ne4! black is lost, and so the problem would have been more interesting and more difficult if it had started exactly one move earlier in the game, after black's 26th move, not after his 27th move. The killer is 27. Ne4!>

Well put. <Jim> makes a similar point. Crafty EGT link for winning practice:

click for larger view

Happy New Year to all solvers! [Guesting on a friend's computer away from home]

Dec-27-10  David2009: N Zhukova vs C Peptan, 2008 postscript: Rewind to move 26, can Black (to play) save the situation?

click for larger view

Crafty EGT link to the position with White about to play 26 Kxg2 to check it out. Enjoy beating Crafty if you can - good luck and enjoy exploring the variations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 28.Nf6+ Kf8 29.Bh6#

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <JimfromProvidence> Thanks for that link about the Peters column. I will express my indignation to the LA Times, not that I expect it to have much effect.

In over 25 years of dealing with newspaper editors, I've realized that they *totally* undervalue chess columns (along with bridge, poker, crosswords, miscellaneous puzzles, etc.)

Their ego just refuses to accept that many people buy papers mainly for chess columns, or crosswords, bridge, etc. You can get 'news' anywhere, and comment is all around us. Maybe chess did itself a disservice (in the old media) by moving so thoroughly into the internet.

Still ... no harm in reminding them that some of us care. Jack Peters was far too good to be tossed aside like that.

Dec-27-10  BOSTER: This is position after 26.Kxg2 with black to play.

click for larger view

Here black played 26...Ngf5 and lost this game.But if they played 26...Rxd6 27.exd6 Ng8 (control f6) 28.Ne4 Kd7 and black king would escape.

Dec-27-10  nummerzwei: < BOSTER>:
What about 28.Nf3 in your line? How can the d-pawn be blockaded (28...Kd7 29.Ne5+)?

<Domdaniel: Maybe chess did itself a disservice (in the old media) by moving so thoroughly into the internet.>

I agree with you.

Dec-27-10  wals: Yes, very good, 28.Nxf6+, covering d7 , leaves the King only one way out, Kf8, and Bh6#, (g8 also covered by Nf6) hammers the last nail into the coffin.

Rybka 4 x 64


BLACK: depth : 22 : 19 min :
(+2.47):24...Ke8. Best, Ne6, +1.07.

1. (1.07): 24...Ne6 25.Bf6 Ke8 26.Ng5 Bxg2[] 27.Kxg2 h6 28.Ne4 Ra8 29.g4 Rab8 30.f3

2. (1.52): 24...Re8 25.Bxe7+ Rxe7 26.Ng5[] Ne6 27.Nxh7+ Kg7 28.Nf6 c4 29.f4 Bxg2 30.Kxg2 c3 31.bxc3 Rxc3 32.h4 b5 33.R1d3 Rc1 34.Kh3 b4 35.Rd1 Rc2 36.R1d2 Rxd2 37.Rxd2 Rb7 38.Kg4 a5 39.Ne8+ Kh6

BLACK: depth : 21 : 4 min :
(+5.57):26...Ngf5. Best, Rxd6, +2.47.

and Black ended with a flurry,
27...Nxd6, +#2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Domdaniel> <Thanks for that link about the Peters column. >

I don't know Jack Peters from Adam. What I do know is that he wrote an excellent column at that paper for many, many years, was an enthusiastic promoter of chess in this region and still is a damn good player, now pushing 60, with an FIDE rating of 2360.

The parent of the Chicago Tribune now owns the LA Times. They have been in bankruptcy proceedings for two years.

Dec-27-10  Shams: What do we imagine a weekly chess columnist gets paid? Can't be that much.
Dec-28-10  Stormbringer: I also failed to get it.
Dec-28-10  estrick: <Crafty EGT link to the position with White about to play 26 Kxg2 Enjoy beating Crafty if you can>

Couldn't beat Crafty, but it was good practice trying. Thanks for setting this up.

Dec-28-10  BOSTER: <nummerzwel> <What about Nf3> The black game was lost before.
After 9.0-0 it was better to play Nb4, attacking the white queen ,and then d5 fighting for center. Playing 12...g6,and then 0-0 this is not a good idea.
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