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Tom Wedberg vs Michael Joseph Valvo
New York Open (1987), New York, NY USA, Apr-??
Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. General (B70)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-03-17  sudoplatov: Seems like White is forced to win. 45. Rb6 is the only move that doesn't lose a piece; this at least wins two Pawns for the Bishop. The next moves are also forced.
Nov-03-17  newzild: 45. Rxb6 axb5 are clearly the first two moves, but White then has a choice to make:

a) 46. Rxb7 Rxb7 47. cxb5, trying to overwhelm the rook with two pawns. I couldn't calculate this to the end without recourse to moving pieces on a board.

b) 46. axb5. Possibly best, as it blocks the rook from getting behind the pawns.

c) 46. cxb5. Creates an outside passed-pawn that is farthest from the Black king, but it's likely the bishop can defend on the long diagonal.

I went with the game continuation based on the intuitions above, but cannot claim to have calculated all lines.

Nov-03-17  lost in space: Saw 45. Rxb6 axb5 46. axb6
(46. cxb6 is worse; gives Black the c-file for the rook with chances of brining the rook behind the white pawns)

The 2 passed pawns of black on the queenside are locking stronger than the missing piece

Nov-03-17  morfishine: Piquant finish


Nov-03-17  Walter Glattke: Another nice ending idea was
46.-Kd7 47.Rd6+ Ke7 48.c6 Bxc6 49.Rxc6
(against -Ra7 and checks from a1-b1-c1)49.-Rxc6 50.bxc6 Kd8 51.Kc5 Kc7 52.Kb5 Kc8 53.c7 g5 54.Kc6 gxf4 55.gxf4 h5 and now the interesting idea (Kc6-Pc7-e5-f4-h4 - Kb7 Pe6-f5-h5) 56.Kd6 Kb7 57.Kd7! mating or 56.Kxe5 butcher's party for "lovers"
Nov-03-17  gofer: A nice simple one today. White gives up its bishop for two connected passed pawns. Black's best hope seems to be giving back the bishop for a pawn, but the problem is, it is just one pawn, so white now has a passed pawn and a simple win...

<45 Rxb6 axb5>
<46 axb5 ...>

Imporantly, IMO, white retakes with the A pawn to control the movement of the black rook. The black king can't get into the game as it has to defend Pe6, but if black's LSB defends Pe6 (to release the king from that duty), then the white pawns on b5 and c4 just roll up the board as an unstoppable force...



Nov-03-17  Cybe: 48...Rd7?? 48...Ra1 looks interesting.
Nov-03-17  morfishine: An "only-mover" <45.Rxb6>

not that "difficult"


Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black's game took a turn for the worse by attempting to complicate with 40...Bc8?! Instead, simply exchanging pieces with 40...Bxb5 = would have held it level.

Our Stockfish 8 engine gives:

=0.00 (39 ply) 42...Bxb5 43.axb5 Rd7 44.Rd4 Rxd4+ 45.Kxd4 Kd7 46.c5 bxc5+ 47.Kxc5 Kc7 48.Kc4 Kb6 49.Kb4 h5 50.Kc4 Kb7 51.Kc5 Kc7 52.Kc4 Kd7 53.Kc5 Kc7

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Got the first move of our Friday puzzle with 45. Rxb6, and in playing guess-the-move with the rest of the game I found all of the other moves except one.

Unfortunately for me, the move I missed was the first follow-up after 45...axb5. Instead of 46 axb5 ± (+1.08 @ 24 ply, Stockfish 8), I mistakenly judged I was better off with two outside passed pawns and played 46. cxb5 = (0.00 @ 28 ply, stockfish 8).

What I missed is that 46. axb5 Bd5 = gives Black much stronger counterplay:

(0.00 @ 28 ply, Stockfish 8) 46. axb5 Bd5 47.Ra6 Rc4+ 48.Ka5 Kd8 49.Ra7 Rc3 50.b6 Rxg3 51.Rg7 Kc8 52.Rg8+ Kd7 53.Rg7+ Kc8 =.

P.S.: Not sure if 46. axb5 ± is a forced win, but it obviously gives White better winning chances than 46. cxb5 =.

Nov-03-17  Patriot: <patzer2> I wasn't completely sure which way to re-capture and really I think there's a bit of luck people got it right by general principles or assessment. I don't think this can be "hand-waved" but needs a lot of calculation but that depends on time remaining in a game.
Nov-03-17  Cheapo by the Dozen: Like most other folks, I made general positional judgments and left it at that.

1. White is DEFINITELY giving up the bishop for two pawns.

2. There are multiple choices about how to do that (Bd8 creates some additional ways). But making a pair of connected passed pawns is surely best.

3. If White chooses the b/c-file pair, rather than the a/b-file option, then he can proceed quickly toward a position in which Black's bishop is cut off from much of the board. Either it stays near the queening squares, in which case it's badly hemmed in, or else it leaves the vicinity and then has trouble getting back.

4. Sacrificing the exchange didn't seem to work, and the above analysis is another strike against the idea.

That's as far as I went. Black must have largely agreed, as he sacrificed considerable material to avoid the options I saw for him in the base-case analysis, instead turning the position into a pawn race he wound up losing.

Nov-03-17  lzromeu: I do this quickly, but not at all. So many times passed pawns was undervalued and win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White is "forced" to give a bishop for a couple of pawns. The resulting pawn storm wins it for him.
Nov-03-17  BOSTER: < kevin86 >: <The resulting pawn storm wins>. I'm not sure playing 46...Bc8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Patriot> Thanks! Only after playing through the 46. axb5 ± and 46. cxb5 = options several times was I convinced that the game move 46. axb5 ± was clearly better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: Rxb6 and p(a)xb6 was my thought too -- connects the Qside white pawns and eliminates the weak R pawn, which makes the passed pair almost unstoppable.
Nov-03-17  Marmot PFL: Trading rooks loses fast but it's much harder for white to win after 48...Ra1. Not sure if he can, or at least it would take much longer.
Nov-03-17  cormier: 1) +0.14 (25 ply) 9.Nf3 a6

30 second analysis by Stockfish 8

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

The white bishop is trapped. Both 45.Bxa6 Bxa6 and 45.Be8 Kxe8 46.Rxe6+ Kf7 47.Rxb6 Ke7 don't seem to give enough compensation.

This leads to 45.Rxb6 axb5 46.axb5 followed by a pawn roll supported by the king and the rook.

Nov-03-17  DarthStapler: I picked cxb5 instead of axb5

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