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Thomas Ernst vs Curt Gruvaeus
ch-SWE (2000), Orebro SWE, rd 6
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-19-09  gofer: I think that

10 ... Qb6 is not the best response for black and

11 ... Nxd5 is definitely not the best response for black...

So how many games are you going to get when two bad moves in a row allow the opposition serious chances? Isn't that every game???

Jun-19-09  felixd: I knew that trap so it was easy :)
Jun-19-09  Patriot: The first thing to notice is the bishop on c4 hanging and the focused attack on e6 and b5, and the black king still sitting in the center.

Initial candidates: Bxe6,Nxe6,Ndxb5,Nbxb5,Bxb5,Nc6

I looked at each candidate briefly and decided for example, 9.Nc6 looks pointless after 9...Qc7. 9.Nd(c)xb5 and 9.Bxb5 seem to ignore the fact the king is still in the center. 9.Nxe6 seems to run out of steam after 9...fxe6 10.Bxe6. So that leaves 9.Bxe6 which practically demands to be played, if white hopes to win. Moves like Bb3,Bd3, or Be2 are too passive.

9.Bxe6 fxe6 10.Nxe6 (10...Qe7 fails to 11.Nc7+).

10...Qb6 (likely response)


This is where I stopped, lacking time to calculate this through, but it's clear that white has compensation (a piece for two pawns) and an attack.

Jun-19-09  tivrfoa: yep. but black could 10. ... Qa5 or 10. ... Qe7 :/
Jun-19-09  costachess: 13.Nc7+ Qxc7 14.Qe6+ Be7 15.Qxe7# (2)
Jun-19-09  jsheedy: I immediately recognized the trap and saw the move but not all the permutations. I admit, I did not see 13. Nxg7+. I like Kinghunt's 11...Qb8! idea, and I can't see a clear win for white after that, though it's trappy.
Jun-19-09  YouRang: Well, it appears to be a bogus puzzle, as <kinghunt>'s 11...Qb8 seems to defend.

For that matter, so does 11...Qa7.

So, I don't need to feel bad about not finding a solution. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I have a forced mate,but it seems a bit slow:

13...♗xg7 14 ♕e6+ ♔f8 15 ♗e7+ ♔e8 16 ♗xd6+ ♔d8 17 ♕e7#

Jun-19-09  felixd: Well, even if black doesn't take the knight, white is really better... Ernst would have win that without any problem.

After Qb8, white would probably continue his attack with Qd4, a4 or Re1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I agree with the others that say 11…Qb8 or 11…Qa7 seem to hold for black.

There’s not too much there in the CG database to review. There are only 10 games that continue this opening after 8 O-O. This is the only one that continues 8…b5.

FWIW…Qa5 was played 3 times. Ne5, Qc7 and h6 were each played 2 times.

It’s difficult to see where 9 Bxe6 works after any of those moves, but particularly not after 8…Qa5 or 8…Ne5.

Jun-19-09  zenpharaohs: Like everyone else, I didn't get far with this one, probably for the same reason. The game line has the blunder 11...Nxd5?? Without that, the game move 9 Bxe6 is still correct, but the advantage to White is small, and requires a lot of calculation.
Jun-19-09  ROADDOG: I saw up until 12.Qxd5, but I thought black would respond with 12....Nf5 attacking the white queen or 12...Nb8. Both moves allow the Bishop on c8 to protect the e6 square that white needs to check the king. 12...Qb7? Did black really think white would trade queens being down 2 pieces?
Jun-19-09  MiCrooks: Qb7 is such an odd move I have to assume that at this point Gruvaeus saw it coming and decided to make one more move to make sure his opponent did too. If it weren't for the mate threat, Bb7 would seem a much more natural and useful move as opposed to Qb7. The problem being that both allow Nc7+ with mate following with Qe6+ Be7 Qxe7++.

I like others are a bit confused that Ernst went of Nxg7+ instead. He obviously saw that by clearing e6 with check he could force mate, and he must have seen that he could check from two squares c7 and g7. Why would you play Nxg7 forcing Black to give himself luft at f8 (not that it saves him).

Jun-19-09  njchess: I play the Najdorf as Black regularly (and against it a great deal as White), so this positional pitfall is easy for me to see.

9. Bxe6!? fxe6 10. Nxe6 Qb6 11. Nd5! (Δ Ndc7+) Qc6 (best) With his king stuck in the center and his pieces all bottled up, Black's position is in tatters and he has very little counterplay. Black may have soldiered on, but I doubt it; these types of positions are pretty demoralizing. Time to check.

Hmmm... 11. ... Nxd5? wasn't the strongest, but his game was pretty well lost anyway.

Black's error is the thematic, but in this case, premature 8. ... b5?. Much better is Be7. White's attack is still viable, but the advantage is not as great. 8. ... Be7 9. Bxe6!? fxe6 10. Nxe6 Qa5 11. Nxg7+ Kf7 12. Nf5 with compensation

Jun-19-09  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult):

T Ernst vs C Gruvaeus, 2000 (9.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The Black Ke8 has 1 legal move. The White Bc4 is under threat. The position arises from a Sicilian defense, which can invite sacrifices on light squares, so this is probably a standard opening trap. The White Kg1 is secured from checks.

Candidates (9.): Bxe6, Bd5

9.Bxe6 fxe6 [else, drop a P]

10.Nxe6 (threatening 11.Nxd8 or 11.Nxc7+ Nxa8)

(1) 10…Qa5 11.Nd5 (threatening 12.b4 or 12.Ndc7+ [or Nec7+] 13.Nxa8)

(2) 10…Qb6 11.Nd5 (threatening 12.Nxb6 or 12.Ndc7+ [or Nec7+] 13.Nxa8)

White has little choice but to play

11…Nxd5 12.exd5

Toga evaluates 12.exd5 at about +0.7 P, but the game continuation 12.Qxd5 at about +3.2 P.

Jun-19-09  wals: Thomas Ernst - C Gruvaeus, ch-SWE Orebro SWE 2000

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu: time 5 min33 ply 17

1. (1.09): 11...Qa7 12.Nec7+ Kf7[] 13.a4 b4 14.Nxa8 Qxa8 15.Re1 Bb7 16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.Nxf6 gxf6 18.Qd4 Rg8 19.Qxb4 d5 20.Qb3 Rg5 21.Rad1

2. (1.10): 11...Qb8 12.a4 bxa4 13.Nec7+ Kf7[] 14.Nxa8 Qxa8 15.Re1 Nxd5 16.exd5 h6 17.Qf3+ Kg8 18.Be7

Jun-19-09  butilikefur: <9. Bxe6 fxe6 10. Nxe6 Qa5>

(10...Qb6 11. Nd5 Nxd5 [11...Qc6 12. Ndc7+ Kd8 13. Nxa8 Qxa8 14. e5 h6 (dxe5 15. Nxf6 wins) 15. exf6 hxg5 16. Qd4 Rg8 (not 16...Rh7 17. Qe4 Rh8 fxg7) 17. f7 Rh8 18. Re1 Ne5 19. Rxe5 dxe5 20. Qxe5 with mate threatened i on c7 and e8] 12. Qxd5 and Black cannot defend the rook and protect his king - i.e. 12...Bb7 13. Nc7+ Qxc7 14. Qe6+ Be7 15. Qxe7+ mate)

(After 10...Qe7 instead of Nc7+ perhaps 11. Nd5 Qxe6 [11...Nxd5 12. Bxe7 Nxe7 allows 13. Nc7+] 12. Nc7+ Ke7 13. Nxe6 Kxe6 14. f4 is stronger)

<11. b4 Qxb4 12. Nd5 Qc4> (12...Qxe4 13. Re1 is winning - i.e. 13...Qxd5 14. Nd1+ Be7 15. Rxe7+ Kxe7 16. Qxd5 Ra7 [or 16...Rb8] 17. Nc6+ Ke8 18. Qe6+ Be7 19. Qxe7+ mate)

<13. Ndc7+ Ke8 14. Nxa8> wins.

Jun-19-09  WhiteRook48: 9 Bxe6! yes I got it right!
Interesting that the Puzzle of the Day was a win by the Player of the Day
Jun-19-09  Marmot PFL: In this position its not so much a question of what to play, as whether or not to play 9 Bxe6. Since this is a puzzle the answer is almost certainly yes. After 9 Bxe6 fe 10 Nxe6 Qb6 (or Qa5 b4)11 Nd5 black does not have to capture as after 11...Qb8 12 Nc7+ Kf7 13 Nxa8 Qxa8 white has R+2P for B+N but still has to win the game (and could lose against a good tactician who will not just submit to an ending). As these positions are not really my thing i usually play 1 d4.
Jun-19-09  CapAnson: Eh.. OTB I would have played Bxe6 followed by Nxe6 and gotten it from board vision is suffering these days...
Premium Chessgames Member <Interesting that the Puzzle of the Day was a win by the Player of the Day> We sometimes do that on purpose, but what's really bizarre is that in today's case it was a sheer coincidence.
Jun-19-09  dumbgai: Ouch! Another master bites the dust in 13 moves.
Jun-19-09  lordnigel: better is 13. Nc7+ QXN 14. Qe6+ Be7 15. QXB+#
Jun-19-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: I'm in the same boat as several others - I found the game line but I didn't see a convincing finish if black plays 11...Qb7 (or KingHunt's suggestion of 11... Qb8 may be better) instead of 11... Nxd5. 2 minor pieces vs R+2pawns is still a fight.
Jun-20-09  TheBish: T Ernst vs C Gruvaeus, 2000

White to play (9.?) "Difficult"

This has to be the earliest (in terms of move number) position ever for the daily puzzle! I feel like I should know this one, feel kind of "unbooked" not to mention ignorant for not knowing this, being an e4 player. Probably have seen this before, but don't remember the refutation, so time to muddle through it.

Candidate moves: Bd5, Bxe6, Nxe6.

I can pretty much dismiss 9. Nxe6 fxe6 10. Bxe6 Nc5. Black will have slight light square weaknesses, but with only two pawns for the piece, I think White will be fighting for a draw.

9. Bd5?! exd5 (forced, or 10. Nc6 wins) 10. Nc6 Qb6! 11. exd5 was my leading candidate move at first, thinking that White would have good play on the e-file. However, Black will play Ne5, and White will have a tough time playing f4 with Black's queen preventing it. I have seen this idea for White, but apparently in a different position. Here, White will be fighting (and failing) to win back his piece. After 11...Ne5 12. Re1 Bg4! followed by 13...Kd7 (there may be better), Black keeps his extra piece.

9. Bxe6! fxe6 10. Nxe6 Qb6 11. Nd5 Nxd5 (forced) 12. exd5 was my main focus at first, but now either 12...Ne5 or 12...Nc5 seems like it defends.

It took me awhile to see that after 12. Qxd5! (after the previous moves above), White wins after moves like 12...Bb7 13. Nxg7+! Bxg7 14. Qe6+ Kf8 15. Be7+ Ke8 16. Bf6+ Kf8 17. Qe7+ Kg8 18. Qxg7 mate. A better defense is 12...Nb8, but then simply 13. Nxf8 looks crushing.

Time to check.

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