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Giovanni Vescovi vs Michael Bezold
Mermaid Beach Club (1997), Bermuda, rd 6, Jan-??
Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation (D02)  ·  1-0



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Aug-30-09  RandomVisitor: After 24.Bxe4:

1: Giovanni Vescovi - Michael Bezold, Bermuda Mermaid Beach 1997

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Analysis by Rybka 3 : <18-ply>

<1. ± (0.84): 24...Qb4> 25.Qxb4 Nxb4 26.Bb1 Kf7 27.f4 h6 28.fxg5 hxg5 29.Rf1+ Ke7 30.Bg6 Bc8 31.Rf7+ Kd6 32.Nf6 Ke6 33.Nh7 g4 34.Kf2 Rxd4 35.a3 Na6 36.Rf8 Bd7

2. (1.42): 24...Nb4 25.Bf3 Nc2 26.e3 Qb4 27.Qxb4 Nxb4 28.a3 Nc2 29.Nf6+ Kf7 30.Nxh7 Kg6 31.Be2 Rc3 32.Bd3+ Kh6 33.Bxc2 Rxc2 34.Nf6 Kg6 35.Ng4 Kf5 36.h3 Ba6 37.Ne5 Be2 38.Ra1

3. (1.49): 24...Rb4 25.Qc3 Rc4

Aug-30-09  RandomVisitor: <perhaps>After 29...Qxh7 there is 30.Qf6+, and after 30...Qf7 31.Qxd8 black is finished.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <NBZ> <24. ... Qb4 loses another pawn- Qxb4 Rxb4 Bxd5 Bxd5 Nf6+ Kf7 Nxd5 Rb2 Nc3 Rc2 Nb5 Rxa2 (e2) when Nxa7 or d6 are both winning for white>

As <lost in space> pointed out, <24. Bxe4 Qb4 25. Qxb4 Nxb4>, black should recapture with the knight, not the rook, providing the d pawn another protector.

click for larger view

Rybka freeware evaluates the position as about a .6 pawn advantage for white after 26 Bb1.

Aug-30-09  melianis: got as far as d7, didn't think it was enough.
Aug-30-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even. White's minor pieces are better and black's king appears to be somewhat exposed, but black's Rc4 controls the c-file and the central pawn wedge shuts the white pieces down - or so it appears.


Reality check - the center that resembles granite is actually sandstone. It's now evident that black's knight on the rim is rather dim, while white's Nh5 is good for royal forks and mate threats, all because of weak squares around the enemy king. A major problem for black is that the black queen is tied to the defense of g7. I think this sacrifice could be essayed intuitively OTB without comprehensive analysis, but let's give analysis a chance, starting with acceptance first. The main line seems to be:

A) 24... dxe4 (Qxe4?? 25.Nf6+) 25.d5

Vastly extends the scope of white's queen, threatens rapid pawn promotion, and increases the value of white's remaining pieces.

A.1) 25... Rc8 26.d6 Qf7 (forced) 27.Nf6+ Kf8 28.d7 Rd8 29.Nxh7+! Qxh7 30.Qf6+ Qf7 31.Qxd8+ Kg7 32.Qe8 promotes the pawn

A.1.1) 29... Ke7? 30.Qe5+ Qe6 31.Qxg5+ wins

A.1.2) 29... Kg8 30.Nxg5! Qe7 31.Qb3+ Kh8 (Kf8? 32.Ne6+ then Nxd8+) 32.Nf7+ Kg7 33.Nxd8 Qxd8 34.Qe6 Nc5 35.Qe8 wins

A.1.2.1) 29... Qg7 31.Qb3+ Kh8 (Kf8 allows royal fork) 32.Nf7+ Kh7 33.Nxd8 wins

A.1.2.2) 30... Rxd7! 31.Nxf7! Rxd1+ 32.Kg2 e3+ 33.f3 Rd2 (Kxf7 34.Qb3+ picks up the rook) 34.Nh6+! (black's initiative looks dangerous, but Q+N rule!) Kh7 35.Qf6 Rxe2+ 36.Kh3 Bc8+ 37.Nf5! (threatening Qg7#) Bxf5+ 38.Qxf5+ Kg7 39.f4 (threatening Qg4+) Re1 (Rxa2 40.Qe5+) 40.Qg5+ Kf7 41.f5 e2 42.Qg6+ Ke7 43.Qe6+ Kd8 44.f6 and the win is obvious.

A.2) 25... Nc5 26.d6 Qf7 (forced) 27.d7! Nxd7 28.Rxd7! Qxd7 29.Nf6+ Kf7 30.Nxd7 and Q+N again control the board

A.2.1) 28... Rc1+ 29.Qxc1 Qxh5 30.Rxb7 Nc5 31.Rxa7 is won for white.

A.3) 25... Bxd5 26.Nf6+ Kf7 27.Nxd5 and black has no good spot fot the Q, e.g. 27... Qc5 28.Qf6+ Ke8 29.Ne3 wins

A.3.1) 26... Kf8 27.Nxd5 Qg7 28.Qb5 wins

A.3.2) 27... Qd6 28.Ne3 Rb4 29.Qa3 wins the Na6

B) 24... Qf7 (probably best) 25.Bf3 steals a pawn and white should be able to exploit black's weakened kingside.

C) 24... Rb4 25.Qa1 dxe4 26.d5 Nc5 (Bxd5 27.Nf6+ and Nxd5 wins the exchange) 26.d6 Qf7 27.d7 Nxd7 28.Rxd7 Rb1+ (Qxh5 29.Qg7#) 29.Qxb1 Qxh5 30.Rxb7 Qxe2 31.Qa1 wins

Verification time....

Aug-30-09  drfelton: <SgtPepper> Personally, I think you should take a point for that much of the solution, if you were also able to see the powerful threats in the position, both to the King and the potential for queening the pawn.

Over the board, with clocks involved, I think the majority of players who can see as far as you saw still wouldn't be able to calculate all the threats to the end. However, having gotten that far, and seeing the possibilities ahead, it would be hard not to settle on that line as *probably* the best one to pursue, and do more calculation as the position develops.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane):

G Vescovi vs M Bezold, 1997 (24.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The Black Kg8 has 3 legal moves but is exposed. The White Nh5 controls the dark squares f6 and g7 and can check with 25.Nf6+ to control several important light squares. The White Bg2 x-rays Bb7 through Pe4 and Pd4; the White Qb2 x-rays Bb7 through Pb6. The White Rd1 bites on the granite, but can support the White Pd4. The Black Pd5 protects both Rc4 and Pe4. A startling candidate must exploit the tangle of Black pieces on the Q-side. The White Kg1 is secured from check.

Candidates (24.): Bxe4

24.Bxe4 dxe4 [Qxe4 25.Nf6+ forks Qe4 and Kg8]

Candidates (25.): Qb5, Qb3, d5

White invested Bg2 for returns from Pd4; and the candidates other than 25.d5 do not realize the return directly. In addition, the White Qb2 could belong on either of the diagonals a1-h8 or a2-g8. The candidate 25.d5 also increases the implicit pressure on the loose Rc4, which can no longer be guarded from d5.

25.d5 (threatening 26.d6 27.d7 28.d8=Q+)

Black requires a stop square: (1) d6, (2) d7, or (3) d8. Note: after Pd5-d6, White also threatens Qb2-g7#.

(1) 25…Qd6 26.Qg7#

(2) 25…Nb8 [Nc4, Bc8, or Bc6 can be refuted similarly]

[Rc7 26.d6 forks Qe7 and Rc7, and 26…Qd7 27.Nf6+ or 26…Qd8 27.Qb3+ 28.dxc7]

26.d6 Qf7 [Qd7 27.Nf6+] [other Q moves are worse because of 27.Nf6+]

27.d7 Nxd7 [else, 28.d8=Q+]

28.Rxd7 Qxd7 [Qxh5 29.Qg7#] [else, drop Qf7 or be mated after check at g7]

29.Nf6+ wins Qd7

(3) 25…Rc8 26.d6 Qf7 27.d7 Rd8 28.Qe5

28…Qxh5 [Rxd7 29.Rxd7 Qxd7 30.Nf6+]

29.Qe7 Rxd7 [else, 30.Qxd8+ then Pd7-d8=Q]

30.Rxd7 followed shortly by mate or loss of the Black Q for the White R.

<[In Variation (3), Toga prefers 28.Nf6+ (value +7 P) as in the game to my 28.Qe5 (value +5 P).]>

Aug-30-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <David2009> wrote <Crafty finds the resource 29 ...Kg7! which seems to save the day.>

I intended to analyze that further but I forgot. Also, my analysis deviated from the game at move 30, but I think my line is OK.

Aug-30-09  Marmot PFL: I analyzed this line from move 24 to move 30, but couldn't quite believe that white had enough to justify the sacrifice. He has to see the 31 Qe5, Nxh7+ and Qg5+ winning the rook and that black can't defend it. A good combination of the weakened king position and the power of the passed pawn.
Aug-30-09  David2009: <znsprdx: <David2009:> of course you mean ...28.Kg7 - the suggested 'Crafty' move somehow not really convincing after Nxe4+ > You are right on both counts.
Aug-30-09  dumbgai: Black doesn't need to take the bishop on the 24th move.
Aug-30-09  vulcan20: I saw the idea of Bxe4 (and gave up on it since 24...dxe4 25. Qb5 Rb4 offered nothing convincing), but never thought of using the passed d-pawn. There are, after all, four pieces in its near vicinity; how difficult could it be to stop one pawn?
Aug-30-09  TheChessGuy: <SgtPepper> Go ahead and give yourself credit. Your calculations brought you to the winning variation. The look on an opponent's face when they realized that the one tiny, insignificant pawn was the harbinger of destruction would be priceless. Psychology in chess is an incredibly powerful weapon!
Aug-30-09  alterego: Hi, this was not "insane" however. I got the first move right away after a glance and I am not a pro, and do not have a board at home. The bishop- pawn move opens up a mate threat that does not go away, the rest is forced and just follows after that, no? I think this has already been clarified above. Thanks for any response.
Aug-30-09  Athamas: If the bishop is taken it's basically forced. If the bishop is declined, it stays a relatively even game with a slight advantage for white.
Aug-30-09  wals: [Event "Bermuda Mermaid Beach"]
[Site "Bermuda Mermaid Beach"]
[Date "1997.??.??"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Giovanni Vescovi"]
[Black "Michael Bezold"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "2631"]
[BlackElo "2517"]
[Annotator "Rybka 3 1-cpu (30m)"]
[PlyCount "68"]

A81: Dutch Defence: 2 g3

24. Bxe4 dxe4 ?? blunder another bit of territory lost (24... Qb4 25. Qxb4 Nxb4 ) 25. d5 Rc8 ?? blunder ♗lack has lost his nerve... understandable when you consider his position (25... Rb4 26. Qc3 Rc4 27. Qxc4 Qf7 ) 26. d6 Qf7 (26... Qf8 doesn't get the cat off the tree 27. d7 Rd8 28. Qe5 ) 27. d7 Rd8 28. Nf6+ Kf8 (28... Kg7 praying for a miracle 29. Nxe4+ Kg8 30. Nf6+ Kg7 31. Ng4+ Kf8 ) 29. Nxh7+ Deflection: d8 Kg8 ( 29... Qxh7 30. Qf6+ Double attack (30. Qf6+ Deflection)) 30. Nf6+ Kf8 ( 30... Kh8 31. Qe5 e3 32. Qxg5 ) 31. Qe5 Nc5 (31... e3 hardly improves anything 32. fxe3 Nc5 33. Nh7+ Kg8 34. Qxg5+ Kxh7 35. Qxd8 ) 32. Nh7+ Deflection: d8 Kg8 (32... Qxh7 33. Qf6+ Double attack (33. Qf6+ Deflection )) 33. Qxg5+ Kxh7 34. Qxd8 Nd3 1-0

The above may be of interest to those seeking help!

Aug-30-09  dzechiel: White to play (24?). Material even. "Insane."

OK, it's Sunday afternoon and I'm going to have a run at this position.

Boy, at first glance it's a little surprising that white will be able to whip up something in this position. His knight is on the edge of the board, the queen is over near the corner, and the bishop seems to be biting on granite.

On the other hand, the black rook commands the c-file and black seems to enjoy a space advantage. Yeah, the black knight is misplaced, but still, it's not obvious that white has anything here.

Well, after some consideration, I can only find one "forcing" move for white, and that's

24 Bxe4

Black must recapture or just drop a pawn.


Of course black can't recapture with the queen, as after 24...Qxe4 25 Nf6+ forks king and queen.

25 d5

This is the only logical follow up I can see. It threatens 26 d6, which is very difficult to meet. The black queen is overloaded trying to stop the advance of the d-pawn and prevent the white queen from delivering mate on g7.

I'm not sure what black's best try is here. Perhaps


adding extra protection to d7. Now if

26 d6 Qf7

white has problems continuing to push the d-pawn.

I have high confidence of the first two moves. But I'm really uncertain how black will choose to defend.

Time for me to check and see how this game played out.

Aug-30-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Noting a couple analytical errors in my first post,


<A.1.2.2) 30... Rxd7! 31.Nxf7! Rxd1+ 32.Kg2 e3+ 33.f3 Rd2 (Kxf7 34.Qb3+ picks up the rook) <snip>>

The parenthesized comment is wrong - 34.Qb3+? Rd5 saves the rook. White does better to play 34.Qh8 Nc5 35.h4 with a tricky position for both sides. In any case, this shows that 30.Nxg5 is in fact inferior to the game move 30.Nf6+.


<A.3) 25... Bxd5 26.Nf6+ etc>

Stronger is 26.Rxd5.

Aug-30-09  muralman: Sunday is my favorite usually. Often a well laid out plan wins the day. Knowing a win is in play really helps my ego in figuring it out. I saw the bishop taking out the pawn right away. That allows movement by white. After the exchange, pushing the pawn seemed the best way to apply pressure, while unlocking the queen for further fun.

I have to interject here I play the game with a shortened window where I just see the board. I don't try to know the opposite side's moves.

Here I sweated a bit. There was the night and the queen to move some time. I decided to advance the pawn again, attacking the black queen. The black queen obliges and moves. Well, I figure the pawn is on a role, so why not the 7th rank? I did that, and black made the obvious move. Getting three moves correct really rocked me.

Now black was in total defense mode. The question for me was what to do now? The easy stuff was over.

My queen had no reasonable move. So, when in doubt, check the king. And that I did with my knight. Right again.

Now, here is where I got off track. Or did I? I moved my queen to e5. I thought about this move a long time. Moving there allowed my queen to flee that pesky knight, and threatened a tight battle. The board took the knight to a pawn snatch. I see nothing advantageous about that pawn grab. The night and king end right back where they were beforehand.

So, taking solace in that fact, I found myself a move ahead, as the board moved the queen to where I already had it.

Black's moving the knight out seemed kind of lame to me. I see it attacks my forward pawn, sure. What to do. Now I took my knight in for a check. He could have snatched the pawn on this move. I feel fully vindicated.

The black king moves to the attack naturally. Sweat time again. If I take the black g pawn, and check, splitting the rook and king, I loose the night. That seemed to me rather risky. Looking at it made me think it was the thing to do.

The way I saw it was knight takes pawn. Rook takes night, winning the black queen. What else was black to do? Oh, the black night moves the other way. Hmm black mate in two? Nah! pawn takes night, black does whatever, white queen checks, and queens the pawn. All conjecture, black resigns after move 34.

So, I got this puzzle. Except for the momentary side track Vescovi took, the end came out the same.

I am so glad I took the time to work this out. It was very satisfying indeed.

Aug-30-09  gofer: I really cant see anything obvious for white...

1) 24 f4 trying to make use of the pawn majority and open up black's king 24 ... gxf4 25 Nxf4
24 ... exf6 25 Bxf6

2) 24 Bxe4 opening up the a1-h8 diagonal and creating a passed pawn that is backed up by the rook on d1

3) 24 Qb5 ... 25 Qd7 Qxd7 26 Nf6+ winning back the queen and possibly getting a good location for the knight

4) 24 Bh3 (gaining control of the c8-h3 diagonal to allow Qb5)

These all seem playable and none of them seem that definitive.


This seems like a positional puzzle where white plays a quiet move that causes real problems a few moves later... ...and as I don't have a board to try these things out on this is definitely beyond my limited faculties...

Time to check what I have missed...

Aug-30-09  gofer: well when you play 24 Bxe4 a bit further it is obvious how d6, d7 are very strong... ...pity I have to rely on my brain rather than having a board... ...better luck next week...
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <gofer>I have found I often miss these sacrifices to release a pawn and send him bolting for the last rank. So, that's a part of my game where I need to evaluate better. Sometimes these puzzles do reveal blind spots in your thinking.
Aug-30-09  TheBish: G Vescovi vs M Bezold, 1997

White to play (24.?) "Insane"

Candidate move: 24. Bxe4

In a way, the position isn't quite as difficult as "insane", because there aren't many moves worth trying!

24. Bxe4! White sacrifices the bishop to open up two lines of assault: the queen on the long diagonal (which keeps the black queen protecting against mate on g7) and the d-pawn, which is free to expand, keeping the black pieces tied up to defend against it's promotion. Black is probably better off declining the bishop, and accepting the pawn loss.

24...dxe4 (of course not 24...Qxe4?? 25. Nf6+) 25. d5 and now:

A) 25...Rc8 26. d6 Qf7 27. d7 Rd8 28. Nf6+ leads to

A1) 28...Kf8 29. Nxh7+ Kg8 (or 29...Qxh7 30. Qf6+ wins the rook) 30. Nf6+ Kf8 31. Qe5! Nc5 (or 31...Qe7 32. Nh7+ Kf7 33. Qf5+ Kg8 34. Qg6+ Qg7 35. Nf6+ Kf8 36. Qe8+ Rxe8 37. dxe8=Q#) 32. Nh7+ Kg8 33. Qxg5+ Kxh7 34. Qxd8 and wins.

A2) 28...Kg7 29. Ng4+ Kf8 (not 29...Kg6 32. Ne5+ or 29...Kg8 32. Nh6+) 30. Qh8+ Ke7 (or 30...Qg8 31. Qf6+ wins the rook) 31. Qe5+ Kf8 (again, 31...Qe6 32. Qxg5+ wins the rook) 32. Rd6! wins, since 32...Rxd7 33. Qh8+ Ke7 34. Rxd7 Qxd7 35. Ne5+ wins the queen, and 32...Qg7 33. Rf6+ Kg8 34. Qe8+ leads to mate.

B) 25...Kf7 26. Qg7+ Ke8 27. Nf6+ Kd8 28. Qg8+ Kc7 29. d6+ Qxd6 30. Ne8+! wins easily.

Aug-30-09  LIFE Master AJ: I solved this one fairly quickly. As soon as I looked at it, I knew the answer. This is what lead me to believe that it must have been analyzed in "Chess Life."

I don't know FOR SURE that this game was featured. However, I do know that the Bermuda / Mermaid Beach tournaments got pretty good coverage.

Oct-05-17  clement41: Actually, under OTB conditions, keeping playing after the text's last move still makes sense as white can go astray, especially a few moves before the time control where supposedly white had a quite limited amount of time to think; e.g. 35 ed?! Qf3, followed by ...ed or ...e3 unearhting the Bb7 depending on what white does, and the light square battery is very strong. In some lines, it looks black's practical chances of a perpetual are large, eg 35 ed Qf3 36 Rd2 e3/ed and in time scramble black could even deliver mate.
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