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Milos Pavlovic vs Goran Cabrilo
Cacak (1991), rd 5
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E80)  ·  0-1



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sac: 15...Nb3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Nb3+ muzzles white where he can reload it via Nc5+ winning the queen. A nugget of wisdom is dont go backward when you castle. He falls into the fire, arming the rook but neglects his king saftey. Catch the queen offside with Nb5 instead of triggering the sac. 0-0-0 is a shot in the dark not realising what happens next.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: <Patriot> I think you're right about the time scramble. 35....Rg4 is also a killer.
Nov-19-09  YouRang: Got it pretty rapidly. I learned some time ago to look first at the position of the opposing king. In this case, the king is immobilized, which means that any check can be mate. I also noticed that my knight on c5 is within checking range of the king, so I figured I was "on to" the solution.

The knight would mate on b3 except that b3 is guarded by Pa2. Can I get rid of that pawn? I mulled this over for a moment, and finally realized that the only way to displace that pawn was to spend my knight itself: <15...Nb3+ 16.axb3>.

But this idea has merit because I can replace the spent knight with the other knight <16...Nc5!>, once again threatening mate at b3.

White has one tempo to do something about it (which is the point that makes this puzzle somewhat challenging). But it appears that the only defense requires white to drop his queen. So 15...Nb3+! it is. :-)

Nov-19-09  eblunt: Got this one fairly easily, but I'm not so sure OTB. Under those sorts of pressures it seems to me easier to evaluate a move with a directly forcing follow up. At first glance here, the Knight reload isn't a directly forcing move, and seeing that white is helpless even with a tempo would certainly be much harder under match conditions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: White gets a nasty surprise with 15...Nb3+ 16. axb3 Nc5, and must give up her highness for two minor pieces.
Nov-19-09  GreenFacedPatzer: Got it!
Rare for me on a Thursday. I found it by greedypatzerthink: Gee, I wish I could play Nb3+ and win his queen! He'll take my knight, but hey, I've got another knight ready to jump into the action... yes that works, but he's got one move to get himself out of trouble. Oh, wow, I'm threatening checkmate, so no matter what he does, things are going to go badly for white---he can save his king or his queen, but not both of them.
Nov-19-09  sfm: <jst102: can somebody explain to me why white never takes black's rook???>

<zanshin: Probably because the move played is slightly better. (Rybka 3 on just <25.bxa5> and <25.Nxg5>)

OK, but I was actually thinking of 35.NxR (or 37.NxR)

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <MindBoggle> Thanks for the suggestion of double attack as a possible classification of the main tactic in today's puzzle. Based on the definition of double attack as a move that "threatens two things at once" at you have a point.

However, my understanding of the situation is that 15...Nb3+ 16. axb3 Nc5 actually makes a single crusing threat with 17...Nb3# which forces the loss of the White Queen to avoid mate. So in that sense the Queen is trapped.

Yet if White selects to avoid the mate with say 17. Rde1, then 17...Nb3+ is a winning Knight Fork which is a kind of double attack.

In classifying the combinations, I mainly consider which category will help me understand and master the tactic. In this case, the feature of the position that enabled me to solve today's puzzle was the awful Queenside castled position with the resulting shaky position of White's King and Queen. So I put it in my "weakened castled position" collection.

However, if "double attack" works for someone else in trying to understand and master the tactic then that's fine by me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: If 15...Nb3+ 16.axb3 Nc5 and the resumed threat on b3 looks difficult to defend.

I don't see how white can both defend against mate and save his queen. One or the other is going down, unless I'm missing something.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Solved it quickly. Very unusual tactical idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Hmmm - a fun little puzzle. It seems an unusual form of knight reloader, where there is a delay in proceedings. The second knight is not in position to reload immediately on the weak b3 square, as it would be, for example, if it was sitting on a5.

But white's position is so cramped that black can afford to give him a free move and still be able to reload the second knight. Here's the position after 16...Nc5:

click for larger view

White has king, knight, queen, rook and three pawns clustered around his king. And he has the move. Yet he cannot prevent a lethal attack from just a knight and bishop.

The reason for this apparent magic? Black's pieces have mobility and can attack key squares; white's pieces have little mobility and cannot control those same key squares. The white king is stalemated, the rook has only one square to move to, the queen is hemmed in by her own pieces and the poor white knight is suffering from the knight's traditional ability to attack squares adjacent to itself. And the pawns are mostly stuck in place. And for all his forces, white has nothing that can control b3.

I enjoyed that! Now off to my club for the final of this year's internal competition. Wish me luck.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: <sfm> I think it's because once the game goes to 2 R vs Q, black's 3 pawn surplus makes it easy. I also imagine that in a time scrample, white was hoping that black would walk into a knight fork. But some of the moves are crazy. 35. Kc2 actually creates a pin. (Another possiblity is that the game score is corrupt.)
Nov-19-09  zanshin: <OK, but I was actually thinking of 35.NxR (or 37.NxR)>

I see - good question! ... although at that point, White was lost.

click for larger view

Nov-19-09  jsheedy: 15...Nb3+, 16. axb3, Nc5! threatens 17...Nxb3# or the win of the Queen if 17. Bd3 (or 17. Re1), Nxb3+, etc.
Nov-19-09  Utopian2020: <double attack> How about fork, i.e. white really got forked.
Nov-19-09  johnlspouge: < <5hrsolver> wrote: Good one JG27Pyth. I felt the same way about white's position. I like the Knight 'reloader' term. >

Ahem... :)

Nov-19-09  David2009: Thursday's puzzle M Pavlovic vs G Cabrilo, 1991 Black 15...? 15...Nb3+ 16 axb3 Nc5 threatening 17...Nxb3 mate or forking the Queen depending on Black's reply. 17 Qc2 Bxg5+ picks up a second Pawn. Relatively best seems 17 Nfe4 Nxb3+ 18 Kc2 Nxd2 19 Kxd2 and Black should win on material. 19 Bxf6 Qxf6 20 Nxf6 is illegal because the N at e4 is pinned. Check:
White tried 17 Bd3 a line I hadn't considered but without changing the material deficit. I'll leave it now and enjoy the rest of the kibitzes later.
Nov-19-09  WhiteRook48: why??
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Because.
Nov-19-09  Prelate: After a quick 1 minute check (normally all I allow myself!)I do believe 15....Nb3+ 16.axb3 Nc5 is terminal because white is threatened with mate or loss of the queen. Checking time....
Nov-19-09  PinnedPiece: Goran Cabrillo ~2500 player.

He gets my respect by spotting these terrific knight moves after white castles.

He didn't even know it was a puzzle!

Nov-19-09  combokal2: Looking at the bishop at f5 taking aim at b1,c2,d3, I couldn't figure out why white decided to castle queenside into this situation in the first place, but when I analyzed the position carefully I could see that white's king is horribly exposed no matter what! There is absolutely no protection on the king's side of the board, and to leave the king in the middle is no picnic either.

This is a horrible pawn structure for any kind of protection for the king. I must go back a few moves to see how this mess evolved.

Nov-19-09  combokal2: OK, I can see where the problem starts for white.

After <9. ...f5> , black has a decent king side pawn push going, zeroing in on e4 and trying to disrupt white's strong central pawn structure. After <10. exf5 gxf5, 11. g4>, the kingside is opened up, and white is pretty much commited to castling queenside at this point.

After the exchange <12.gxf5 Bxf5>, black's light-square bishop is now in a superb position with no pawn resistance.

So <11.g4> seems to be the wrong move here.

Nov-19-09  MiCrooks: The rest of the game seemed to be played out pretty poorly though. Why on earth does Black go into the line he does where he goest from having the Queen for two pieces to just a Queen for a Rook and a Knight. And allowing all of the pawn captures on the Queenside.

It just seems to me that there must have been a simpler more direct way of approaching the rest of the game.

Nov-21-09  MindBoggle: <patzer2>

This question of classifying combinations is, in fact, quite an interesting discussion.

You write:

<In classifying the combinations, I mainly consider which category will help me understand and master the tactic.>

This is of course the main thing, and, hence, as you also say, everybody should classify combinations in whatever way they feel help them do just that.

Having said that, however, I still feel that it does make sense to attempt an objective classification of combinations.

At worst, even if such a project didn't lead to an objective classification, it would lead to a thorough analysis of the subject matter, which cannot but help everybody achieve understanding and, therefore, mastery.

The problem with this particular combination is that there is a sense in which it is ONE threat - namely that is ONE move, Nb3, that is the problem.

But there is also a sense in which it is TWO threats - namely that the move has TWO different points.

So what is it? One threat or two threats?

That depends on how we ought to define a threat.

Is the threat to jump to b3 with the knight? Or is the threat to give checkmate?

In some sense both, but the latter must be the main content of a threat. We normally conceptualize a threat of eg scholar's mate as a threat of mate, not as a threat of moving our queen to f7. Of course it involves a movement of our queen, but it also involves a movement of our hand, but it seems that neither of these two movements are central to what is going on. The mate, on the other hand, IS central.

If the threat is 'to give checkmate' then there is also another threat - the threat of a royal fork.

And - as you say - two threats at the same time, according to the chess dictionary, is a double attack.

Therefore, I would classify this as a double attack, while adding that this is a special class of double attack where both threats are executed at the same square. This might sound odd, but is more common that most people realize. Another example of this tactic is the well known combination where the opponents king and queen are both on the back rank and we threaten to invade it with a rook. If he flees with the queen he is mated, if he makes luft he is forked/skewered/pinned, and, regardless, he is finished off with the same move of our rook to his back rank. This particular combination alone is quite common.

Of course someone might want to classify it as a case of 'bad king's position', and of course that would be correct, just as we might want to classify it as a combination that wins material, as a lot of different combinations do, and depending on what you want to achieve such a classification might be best, but I think such a classification is too broad to really UNDERSTAND what is happening. We need to penetrate into the heart of the tactic. Calling it a double attack with both threats on the same square, in my opinion, does just that.

And regarding your suggestion that since it wins the queen it might be classified as a case of a trapped queen, I must object that in that case virtually any combination that wins the queen should be classified as such.

To me, a trapped piece is a piece that is both threatened and dominated/obstructed, ie if it was a king it would be mate. This is clearly not the case here.

But - in the end - everybody has his own way of classifying combinations, and that's how it should be.

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