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Nadezhda Kosintseva vs Elena Zaiatz
Russian Championship Superfinal (Women) (2009), Moscow RUS, rd 3, Dec-22
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Keres Defense (C96)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-29-09  TheaN: Tuesday 29 December 2009


Target: 1:25;000
Taken: ....more... a lot more, >4 min at least

Material: White up, ♙+♗+♘ / 2♗

Candidates: Bxf6†, Qxf6†...., again, and again... oh of course <[Nf5†]>

This is one of those blind moments. Thinking that after either 39.Bxf6† or Qxf6† White has respectively options to divert the King or make use of the pin, I couldn't see the key move for at least four minutes. Obviously, the idea would be something like 39.Qxf6† Qxf6 40.Ng4, and due to the pin White would win a piece if it wasn't for the simple 40....hxg4. The same goes for 40.Nf5† in that position or after 39.Bxf6† Qxf6 40.Nf5†, 40....gxf5 . However, as my stappenmethode teacher always says, why not turn it around? In this position, that would mean we divert the pawn BEFORE the Black Queen is on f6, losing nothing materially:

<39.Nf5†!> in fact, Black should already worry for short prolongation of the game after this move. Lets say Black captures.

<39....gxf5 40.Qxf6† Kf8 (40....Kg8/h7 41.Qg7‡ 1-0) 41.Qd8‡ 1-0> so that is not an option. Black has to move his King, effectively allowing White to get another and the most dangerous piece into the attack, and lose Bf6 to boot. In fact, that threat alone ends the game.

<39....Kh8 40.Qxf6† Kg8/h7 41.Qg7‡ 1-0>

<39....Kh7 40.Qxf6 > and mate unavoidable aside some spite checks starting with Qf4†.

<39....Kg8 40.Qxf6 Kf8> the only move that differs from 39....Kh7: <41.Qd8‡ 1-0>

Time to check what happened here and beforehand.

Dec-29-09  randomsac: Interference from the protected Nf5+. Black's queen is cut off from any defensive action.
Dec-29-09  johnlspouge: Tuesday (Easy)

N Kosintseva vs E Zaiatz, 2009 (39.?)

White to play and win.

Material: N for B+P. The Black Kg7 has 4 legal moves is vulnerable to check from Qd6, Be5, and Ne3. The White Be5 pins Bf6 to Kg7. The White Qd6 attacks Bf6, while Qf2 defends, suggesting an interference.

Candidates (39.): Nf5+


(1) Black can accept the sacrifice:

39…gxf5 40.Qxf6+ Kf8 [Kg8 or Kh7 41.Qg7#] Qd8#

(2) Black can decline the sacrifice:

39…K any 40.Qxf6

Now, capture of Nf5 transposes into Variation (1), so Black has lost Bf6.

Dec-29-09  johnlspouge: < <CHESSTTCAMPS> wrote: Geez - 41.Qd8# is quite a bit simpler! >

I almost missed 41.Qd8#, too, probably a comment on how much we depend on pattern recognition to advance an attack.

Dec-29-09  SufferingBruin: 1000 rating, trying to get better.

Nf5+ and I absolutely would have played it OTB. It is a check, after all.

Dec-29-09  YouRang: Very frequently, puzzles are solved by seeing a 'potential' attack, and then finding a method sufficient to remove the obstacles to that attack. Of course, if it is a mating attack, then any amount of sacrifice that enables that attack is justified.

Today, the potential attack is clearly the Q+B attack which would ensue if we could play Qxf6+, and it's not hard to see that black would be mated in short order. But there is one obstacle: it's guarded by black's queen.

So, is there any way to hinder the queen? Yes: We happen to have a knight sitting there which can block the queen's defense of f6 with the knight sac, 39.Nf5+!. Because it is check, black has no time to exchange bishops.

That the knight can be taken by Pg6 is of no consequence because it still leaves the f6 square unguarded.

So, short of surrendering his queen, the Q+B attack will ensue, and black can resign.

Dec-29-09  JG27Pyth: aaack!...yes I saw Nf5+ immediately but I missed the Qd8# mate which removes all complexity from the continuation and it was late and I then chess-hallucinated several alternatives -- one of which I chose :( -- which in the cold light of morning are too embarrassing to relate.
Dec-29-09  Eduardo Leon: 39.♘f5+ breaks the defensive coordination between the black ♕ and dark squared ♗. No matter what black replies, 40.♕xf6 (check or not) follows. I bet 39.♘f5+ forced immediate resignation.

Let's see what happened.


Yes, 39.♘f5+ forced immediate resignation.

15...a4? was an impulsive move which turned out to be a miscalculation. In this quiet line of the Ruy López, careful positional play is needed.

After winning a pawn, white just consolidated her position and exchanged all ♖s. This is the kind of play that gets you exasperated when you're down on material.

37...♕e2? was a blunder in an already worse. It doesn't only lose a second pawn; it also lets white exchange the dark squared ♗s. However, black didn't believe she had lost a second pawn and replied 38.♗xe5 with the worst move of the game.

38...♕xf2?? led to the starting position of today's puzzle.

Dec-29-09  Patriot: <<CHESSTTCAMPS>: Geez - 41.Qd8# is quite a bit simpler!>

LOL...What happened??

In "The Improving Chess Thinker", Dan Heisman references Andrew Soltis's book "The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess". It says "It is more important to look around than to look ahead."

I started to go into the same line as you (39...gxf5 40.Qxf6+ Kf8 41.Bd6+) and also looked briefly at 41.Qh8+ but then thought "Oh--I can just play 41.Qd8#!"

By the way, one of my game positions is featured in Dan Heisman's new book! :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kasputin: Material is even. White is bearing down on the f6 bishop, which temporarily at least is protected.

39. Nf5+

White breaks communication between the bishop and queen.

39...gxf5 - really no other choice
40. Qxf6+ and then mate next move (e.g., ...Kf8 then Qd8 is mate)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Do the math, try angling for a function or sign of a sac. Looks like the black bishop is sitting high, pot and use adjacent f5 square and land the knight, it literally is that simple. 39.Nd5 goes off on a tangent leading to an endgame where the ratio for the two sides is roughly equal.

39.. Bxe5+ 40. Qxe5+ Kh6 41. Qh8+ Kg5 42. Qc3 Kh6 43. Nf6 Be6 44. Nd5 h4 45. Qh8+ Kg5 46. Qe5+ Kh6 47. Qc3 Kh7 48. Qf6 Qxf6 49. Nxf6+ Kh6 50. e5 Kg5 51. Ne4+ Kf4 52. Nc5 Kxe5 53. Nxa4 Kd4 54. b4 f5 55. Nc5 Bc8 =

click for larger view

Dec-29-09  YouRang: <JG27Pyth: aaack!...yes I saw Nf5+ immediately but I missed the Qd8# mate which removes all complexity from the continuation and it was late and I then chess-hallucinated several alternatives -- one of which I chose :( -- which in the cold light of morning are too embarrassing to relate.>

Yes, 40...Kf8 is best met with 41.Qd8# of course, but white can still win with 41.Bd6+, forcing 41...Kg8 42.Qg5+ Kh7 43.Be5.

Once again, black is faced with a mate threat that can only be stopped by giving up the queen: 43...f6 44.Bxf6 Qa7 45.Qh6+ Kg8 46.Qh8+ Kf7 47.Qg7+ skewering the Q

Dec-29-09  gofer: 39 Nf5+ ...

separating Bf6 from it's defense by Qf7, means that Qxf6+ is now playable.

39 ... Qxf5 40 exf5 winning

39 ... gxf5 40 Qxf6+ Kf8 (anywhere else allows 41 Qg7#) 41 Qd8+ Kh7 42 Qh8+ Kg6 43 Qg7#

39 ... Kh8 40 Qxf6+ Kg8/Kh7 41 Qg7#

39 ... Kh7 40 Qxf6 Qf4+ 41 Bxf4 gxf5 42 Be5 any move 43 Qg7#

39 ... Kg8 40 Qxf6 Kf8 (gxf5 transposes to the line above) 41 Qh8#

There are other variations including various spite checks, but its all over...

Time to check...

Dec-29-09  YouRang: Oops - I see that <CHESSTCAMPS> already noted the longer way to win in the event that white fails to notice Qd8#.
Dec-29-09  Patriot: <gofer> In your second line, 41.Qd8+ is mate!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Waitaka: What about BxB as a solution? If QxB then the N check wins the Q.>

This is your position:, after 39.Bxf6 Qxf6 40. Nf5+

click for larger view

It's a great idea to use the knight to kick away the king from protecting the queen. Unfortunately, black can recapture the knight with 40...gxf5, and then he wins on material.

It seems that several of us had some trouble in visualising the 40...Kf8 41. Kd8# line. As with a few days ago, this may be because backwards moves are harder to spot than moves which go forwards. With 41. Qf6-d8, white moves away from the black king in order to give mate. Compare this to the much easier to see forwards move with 40...Kh7/ g8 41. Qg7#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Ooops - that should read Qd8#, not Kd8# (which would be a neat trick).
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: The gallant Knight leaps to 39.Nf5+ finishes off Black's feeble resistance.
Dec-29-09  Nullifidian: 39. ?

White is up a pawn, and the king is rather boxed in by enemy pieces.

Looking for forcing moves in this position, I came up with:

39. ♘f5+

If Black plays 39... ♙gxf5 then White mates in two. If Black plays 39... ♔h8, then it is also mate in two. If Black plays 39... ♔h7 or ♔g8, then it's mate in four with the same mating pattern (40. ♕xf6 ♕f4+ 41. ♗xf4 ♙gxf5 42. ♗e5 with mate on the next move).

Thus, Black's only option for staying in the game is to give up the queen with 39... ♕xf5.

Dec-29-09  BOSTER: <Patriot>. "My usual approach to solving puzzle is that I try to see them as an actual game position"- from your profile. As a Dan Heiman' student you should know that solving puzzles this is not to find the "best" move, and there is a big difference in thought process.
Dec-29-09  philchess: <CHESSTTCAMPS> In your line you said there's no defence to 45. Qg7# but there is a defence if black plays 44...Qa7!
Dec-29-09  WhiteRook48: for me, 39 Qe7 seemed to be the most logical
Dec-29-09  VincentL: It is late in the day, so the solution will have been posted up by many others.

Evidently white proceeds 39. Nf5+. Then if 39....gxf5, the black pawn blocks any useful defence by the queen. So white continues 40. Qxf6+ and mate will follow in a few moves.

If black declines the sacrifice and moves the king, then mate will again follow (with 40 Qxf6+ etc).

There are various lines to checkmate depending on black's exact responses; I am sure others will have written these up. I am feeling lazy this evening and will not work through them all.

Jan-04-10  Waitaka: <once> Thank you for taking the time. I missed the g pawn as you said, of course... :)
Nov-21-16  The Kings Domain: Nice clever last move.
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