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Viswanathan Anand vs Robert Kempinski
Bundesliga (2009/10), Heidelberg GER, rd 11, Feb-28
Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen. Classical Variation (B84)  ·  1-0



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Given 19 times; par: 31 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-20-10  stacase: I certainly saw that the Bishop's motor was running. I didn't see that there was a way for the back rank mate to occur. I guess there wasn't (-:
Mar-20-10  Chris1Clark: My line was somewhat more cumbersome. 24. Bxe6 Qf6 25. Qxf6 gxf6 26. Bxc8 Rbxc8 27. Rd6 and white sweeps up some pawns and marches the a,b,c pawns in. Actual solution is more elegant, but this line is a clear win as well I think. Please shoot some holes in it if I have been dumb guys.
Mar-20-10  gofer: This is the second problem this week where Bc8 is killing black's position. In this case, the unconnected rooks allow multiple back rank mate threats and this means that white can easily give up a queen for a mating sequence, so moves like Bg8, Be8, Bh5, Bxe6 and Bg6 are all available. The issue with most of these is that they help black's defenses, but Bg6 seems to be the move to win the day...

24 Bg6

24 ... Bb7/Bd7 25 Qxf8+ Rxf8 26 Rxf8#
24 ... Rxf2 25 Rd8+ Rf8 26 Rfxf8# or Rdxf8#
24 ... Rd8 25 Rxd8#
24 ... Re8 25 Qf8+ Rxf8 26 Rxf8#

24 ... Rg8
25 Bxh7 Kxh7 (Re8 26 Bg6 winning)
26 Rd3 ...

and now black has to give up her queen to avoid mate as white controls the f file.

26 ... g6 27 Rh3+ Kg7 28 Qf7#
26 ... Re8 27 Rh3+ Kg8 28 Qf7#
26 ... Qf6 27 Rh3+ Kg6 28 Qg3+ Qg5 29 Qd3+ Qf5 30 Rxf5 exf5 31 Qg3+ Kf7/Kf6 32 Qxb8 winning

But what happens after 24 ... Qf6? The answer is that white simply sidesteps the threat on its queen and skewers Qf6 as it is tied to protecting Rf8!

Option 1 (trade off into a losing endgame)

24 ... Qf6
25 Qe2 Qxf1+
26 Rxf1+ Rxf1+
27 Qxf1 hxg6
28 b3 ... white is going to mop up some of Pa6, Pc5, Pe6 and Pg3 at which point black is in deep trouble.

Option 2

24 ... Qf6
25 Qe2 Qe7
26 Rxf8+ Qxf8
27 Rf1 ... (at which point we can transpose into the line above by Qxf1+)

Now I originally thought that the waters were a little unclear as black has three other replies, but white is incredibly well positioned to drive forward this attack to make a win.

27 ... Qg8
28 Bxh7! Qe8
29 Bd3 Bb7
30 Qg4 and black is in real trouble as Qh4+ Kg8 Qh7# is threatened!

27 ... Qd8
28 Qh5 h6
29 Be8! Qe7 (to stop Rf8+ mating)
30 Qg6 Rb7
31 Rf7 Qxf7
32 Bxf7 winning

27 ... Qe7
28 Qh5 h6
29 Rf7 Qe8/Qd8 (Qe6 loses quicker as it isn't protecting the back rank) 30 Bd3 Bb7 (to stop Rd8 mating)
31 Kg1 and now it dawns on black that his position is completely lost as g4, g5, gxh6 are coming and there is very little that black can do to stop this!!!

Time to check...

Mar-20-10  gofer: In the last part of my post I missed out one move...

27 ... Qe7
28 Qh5 h6
29 Rf7 Qe8/Qd8 (Qe6 loses quicker)
30 Bd3 Bb7 (to stop Rd8 mating)
31 Qg6 Qg8
32 Kg1 ...

and now it dawns on black that his position is completely lost as g4, g5, gxh6 are coming and there is very little that black can do to stop this!!!

Mar-20-10  DarthStapler: I picked Bxe6 instead
Mar-20-10  Goldenraf: Actually, too easy for a Saturday.
There is a mate on the 8th line, all we have to do is remove the pieces in the middle; as Capablanca would say "remove the leaves to see the path" The queen alone cannot defend the attack.
Mar-20-10  patzer2: For today's Saturday puzzle solution, Anand decisively exploits the weakened back rank and castled position with 24. Bg6!!:

<24. Bg6!!>

I also went for 24. Bxe6?! which yields no more than equality after 24...Bxe6 25. Qxf8+ Rxf8 26. Rxf8+ Bg8! (How did I miss this obvious defensive interposition?) 27. h3 Qxb2 28. Rdd8 =.

<24... Rg8>

If 24... Qf6, White wins after 25. Qe2! Qe7 26. Qh5! h6 27. Qh4 Rxf1+ 28. Rxf1 Qd6 29. Qg3! e5 30. Qxe5 (even stronger here is 30. Qd3! Qe7 31. Rf7 Qe8 32. Rxg7 Qf8 33. Rh7+ Kg8 34. Qd5+ Be6 35. Qxe6+ Qf7 36. Qxf7#) 30... Qxg6 31. Qxb8 .

<25. Bxh7 Kxh7>

If 25... Re8, then 26. Bg6 Qf6 27. Qg6 leads to a quick mate.

<26. Qh4+ Kg6 27. Rd3 Qh5 28. Rg3+>

Black resigns in lieu of 28...Kh6 29. Qf4+! with a winning double attack (e.g. 29...Kh7 30. Qxb8 ).

Mar-20-10  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult)

Anand vs R Kempinski, 2010 (24.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Even. The stalemated Black Kh8 is vulnerable to back-rank mates, and indeed, the Black Bc8 weakens the back rank. White has a battery Rf1 and Qf2 x-raying the loose Rf8 behind Bf7, suggesting a discovered attack. The exposed Black Qe5 is loose and is the sole protector of Rb8. The White Kh1 is vulnerable to back-rank mate and secured from all checks but the pointless …Qxh2+.

Candidates (24.): Rd8, Bh5, Bg6

[24.Rd8 Rxd8 25.Be8 h6 seems to hold]

[24.Bh5 Qf6 25.Qe2 Qe7 seems to hold]

24.Bg6 Qf6 25.Qe2 Qe7 26.Rxf8+ Qxf8 27.Rf1

(1) 27…Qg8 28.Bxh7 Qxh7 [else, drop a critical P]

29.Rf8+ Qg8 30.Qh5#

(2) 27…Qe7 [Qd6 28.Qe5 Qe7 29.Qxb8]

28.Qe5 (threatening 29.Rf7 30.Qxg7#)

Black has no feasible defense. Likely best is

28…Rb7 29.Rf7 Qxf7 30.Bxf7 Rxf7 31.h3

White has Q for R+B, but the scattered Black Ps are easy targets.

(3) 27…Qd8 28.Qh5 h6 29.Qxc5 (threatening 30.Rf8#)

Given the overloaded state of Qd8, White might have better moves, but he wins at least a P in a vastly superior position.

Toga evaluates my analysis at about +2.0 P, inferior to best play at about 2.7 P. According to Toga, the best play is

24...Qf6 25.Qe2 hxg6 26.Rxf6

Mar-20-10  bengalcat47: The spectacular finish of this game reminds me of Reti v. Bogoljubov, New York, 1924. In that famous game Reti exploited the weakness of his opponent's back rank in a most decisive manner.
Mar-20-10  David2009: Saturday 20/03/2010 puzzle Anand vs R Kempinski, 2010 Whie 24?

In a game I am sure I would play the obvious 24 Bh5 forcing Rg8 aftr which 25 Qf7 threatens mate in two and so forces Bb7. Now 26 Rd7 Qxb2 now gives Black counter-play, so I have to play the cautious c3 with an edge.

As this is a Saturday puzzle I look further and find 24 Bg6 Rg8 (hxg6 loses prosaically) 25 Rd8 hxg6 26 Qf8! and Black has to surrender the Rg8 with Kh7 to avoid mate, since Rxf8? allows mate in 2: 27 R1xf8+ Kh7 28 Rh8+.

I find with these puzzles an interesting personal weakness. I always approach them as I would a rapid-play game (40 moves in 15 minutes or equivalently 5 minues + 15 s/move) and therefore tend to go for the first plausible attacking solution without thoroughly checking. Often typing out the solution in Notepad takes longer than the initial thinking process. I have discovered that I am seriously impulsive. On FICS, I lose most games through impulsive positional or tactical mistakes but the 30 minute time ration suits me. When I win, it is because I am successfully thinking ahead about 2-3 moves at a time. I do not get the beautiful combinations we see in these puzzles, instead games are decided because someone leaves a piece in the air/ is ground down in an ending.

Time to check:
Right first move, different follow-up. Crafty check: Well, there is a gaping hole in my analysis. First of all, Black misses the best defence (24...Qf6!). After 24 Rg8?, 25 Rd8? (another impulsive move!) fails to 25...Qf6!. In contrast, Anand's sacrifice 25 Bxh7! wins Q+P for R+B and a relatively easy win, and Black resigned without waiting for the proof.

The ending after 24...Qf6! 25 Qe2 hxg6 26.Rxf6 gxf6

click for larger view

is much harder to win. Try your luck with the Crafty link above: you are white, drag and drop the move you want to make. Post the win when you have found it. Good luck!

Mar-20-10  alexrawlings: Nice puzzle!

I saw 24 Bg6 almost straight away, didn't consider any other moves and thought this puzzle wans't that difficult. However, I didn't see most of the lines analysed or consider the game continuation and recognise that this is, in fact, quite a hard puzzle.

Mar-20-10  shatranj7: This puzzle was Easy. I saw 1.Bg6 off the bat. After maybe 5 minutes, I saw the rest of the combination. I quickly saw that all lines for black were losing ones.
Mar-20-10  AuN1: surprisingly, that was not that hard.
Mar-20-10  wals: Rybka 3 1 cpu: 3071 mb hash: depth 15:

Black's errors -

17...dxe5 +0.60, better was d5 +0.18

21...Nxe5 +2.83, better was Bxd4 +0.83

24...Rg8 +4.63, better was Qf6 +2.87

Mar-20-10  tacticalmonster: < chocolover > After 29. Rf6+ gxf6 30. Qf6+ Black had: 30. Kh7!

click for larger view

white had no choice but to go into forced perpetual check with 31. Qe7+ Kh6 32. Qf6+ or 31. Qe7+ Kh8 32. Qf6+

If white went for winning chance with 31. Rh3?? he lost with 31. Qxh3! 32. gxh3 Bb7+.

White's material deficit and weak back rank prevented him from doing anything active

Mar-20-10  tacticalmonster: The simplest winning line after 28. Rg3+ for white is 28. Kh6 29. Qf4+ g5 (29. Kh7 Rh3) 30. Qxb8

By the way, < chocolover>, If you are still curious about the defense 24. Qf6, just read my earlier post.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even. Black threatens ... Q(R)xb2.

The black castle has been seriously weakened, back rank included. The position reminds me of Reti-Bogoljubov, which led me to consider 24.Rd8 Rxd8 25.Be8, but after 25... h6 White seems to have problems to resume the attack. However, if Be8 yields nothing, perhaps moving the bishop in the opposite direction results more productive. Therefore, 24.Bg6, threatening 25.Qxf8#, 25.Bxh7 and 25.Qh4:

A) 24... Qf6 25.Qg1 (25.Qe1 Qxf1+ 26.Qxf1+ Rxf1+ 27.Rxf1 hxg6 - +; 25... Qe7 26.Qh4 Rxf1+ 27.Rxf1 h6 (27... Qxh4 28.Rf8#) 28.Qxe7 hxg6 29.Rf8+ Kh7 30.Qh4#) Qe7 26.Rxf8+ Qxf8 27.Qxc5

A.1) 27... Qg8 28.Bf7 + - (28... Qxf7 29.Rd8+ Qg8 30.Rxg8+ Kxg8 31.Qc7 Ra8 32.Qc6).

A.2) 27... Bb7 28.Qh5 h6 (28... Qg8 29.Bf7 and 30.Bxe6 + - [2P]) 29.Bd3 and White is a pawn ahead and threatens Qg6.

A.3) 27... Bd7 28.Qh6 h6 (28... Qg8 29.Rxd7) 29.b3 followed by Bd3 looks similar to A.2.

B) 24... Rg8 25.Bxh7

B.1) 25... Kxh7 26.Qh4+ Kg6 27.Rd3

B.1.a) 27... Qh5 28.Rg3+ Kh6 29.Qf4+ g5 (29... Kh7 30.Rh3 + - [Q vs R+B]) 30.Qf6+ Kh7 (30... Qg6 31.Rh3#; 30... Rg6 31.Qh8#) 31.Rh3 + - [Q vs R+B].

B.1.b) 27... Bb7 28.Rg3+ Qxg3 29.Qxg3+ (29.hxg3 Rh8 - +) Kh6 30.Rf4 + - [Q+P vs R+B].

B.2) 25... Be8 26.Bg6 + -, White threatens 27.Qf8+, 27.Qh4+ and 27.Bxe8.

B.3) 25... Bb7 26.Qh4 g5 27.Qh5 Rg7 28.Bg6+ Kg8 29.Bf7+ Kf8 30.Bxe6+ Ke7 31.Rd7+ Kxe6 32.Qg4+ Qf5 33.Qxf5#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Bread an' butter for Anand, 24.Bg6 cooks him flat. Stand or deliver there's a good chap. At investigating Bxh7 bottle neck is the king's game. Vis a vis swipe it off and couple it with Qh4+ higher scarred monarch.. Kg6 Rd3 Qh5 Rg3+ Kh6 Qf4+. It remains only to take away the pieces i.e. Rb8 laughedly at rest, a rant over.

See Anand's hell bent 21.Bg6!! jamming Lautier.

Anand vs Lautier, 1997

Mar-20-10  WhiteRook48: I considered 24 Bg6 Rxf2 and overlooked 25 Rd8+
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I've been reflecting on why I found Qh4 after a bad move, 25.Qe1, line A, but missed it after the simple maneuver 24.Bg6 Qf6 25.Qe2 Qe7 26.Qh5 h6, which I saw, and still don't have a satisfactory answer.

BTW, the game I mentioned is Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <David2009>Yeh, the ending after 24. Bg6 Qf6! 25 Qe2 hxg6 26.Rxf6 gxf6 is tough to win. Black's e-pawn and f-pawn have to be contained, while it will take White awhile to turn one of his own pawns into a threat.

I did manage to beat Crafty (on the, um, third try) from this position as follows: 27. b3 e5 28. Qc4 Bf5 29. g4 Bc8 30. h3 Bb7+ 31. Kg1 e4 32. Qxc5 Rf7 33. Qb6 Kh7 34. Rd8 Rxd8 35. Qxd8 f5 36. Qe8 Rg7 37. g5 Rg8 38. Qe5 Rg7 39. c4 Rd7 40. h4 Rf7 41. Qf4 Bc8 42. b4 Bd7 43. b5 ab 44. ab Be6 45. c5 Bc4 46. b6 Bb5 47. Kf2 Re7 48. Ke3 Rd7 49. Qd6 Rxd6 50. cxd6 Bc6 51. d7 Bxd7 52. b7 Kg7 53. b8=Q Kf7 54. Qd8 Be8 55. Kf4 Ke6 56. Qxe8+ and mated in eight more moves.

Mar-21-10  vanytchouck: my candidates :

24. Be8; 24. Bxe6; 24. Bg6; 24. Rd8

* 24. Be8 Rxf2 25. Txf2 g6 and there is no (unless i'm mistaken) continuation.

* 24. Bxe6 Bxe6 25. Qxf8 + Rxf8 26. Rxf8 + Bg8 27.h3 (to free the Rd1)g6 (or h6) 28. Rdd1 and the black has at least the draw by perpetual checks ( Qe1+ and Qe5 +).

* 24. Rd8 Rxd8 25. Be8 Qf6 26. Qe1 Qe7 27. Qh4 Qxe8 and it's over for the white attack. 25. Qh4 is not better.

* 24. Bg6 Qf6 25. Qe1 Qe7 26. Qh4 is winning and beautiful but 25. Qe1 is in fact a clear blunder because of 25...Qxf1 + 26. Qxe1 Rxf1 27. Rxf1 hxg6 etc. but this gives me the idea of Qh...

24. Bg6 Qf6 25. Qe2 (in fact my first idea) Qe7 (only move) 26. Qh5 h6 27. Qh4 Rxf1 + 28. Rxf1 Qe6 29. Qg3 e5 30. Qxe5 Qxg6 31. Qxb8 is winning.

From the position on the chessboard after 29...e5 i see 30. Qd3 Qe7 31. Rf7

I didn't manage to calculate everything until the end (i've stopped at 28.Rf1 and i noticed 28...Qe6 on the board only) but i was pretty sure that 24. Qg6 is the best move.

It took me about an hour.

Mar-21-10  David2009: <OBIT>: Congratulations on the very fine positional game given in your post Anand vs R Kempinski, 2010. I wonder if Crafty learns by experience? I say this because when I replayed your line I got as far as 47 Kf2 when Crafty deviated with Be8. My finish was 48 Ke3 Bc6 49 Kd4 Rd7+ 50 Qd6 etc essentially the same as your win.

Updated Crafty link to your variation move 40 i.e. shortly before the deviation:

click for larger view The moves to the deviation are 40.h4 Rf7 41.Qf4 Bc8 42.b4 Bd7 43.b5 axb5 44.axb5 Be6 45.c5 Bc4 46.b6 Bb5 47.Kf2 and the original link to the puzzle position can be found in my first post Anand vs R Kempinski, 2010

I thought your whole handling of this ending, in particular inducing Crafty to fix its Pawns on white squares, was masterly.

Mar-23-10  davidjos1: Dear David2009, very interesting challenge!

The best continuation I found after 26- ... gxf6 was :

27- Qe3 Rxb2 28- Qh6+ Kg8 29- Qxg6+ Kh8 30- Kg1 Rb7 31- Rd8 Rxd8 32- Qxf6+ Kh7 33- Qxd8 Bd7 34- a5 Kg6 35- c4 Kf7 36- h4 e5 37- h5 Be6 38- h6 Kg6 39- Qa8 Rh7 40- Qxa6 Kf6 41- Qb6 Rxh6 42- a6 Rh8 43- a7 Ra8 44- Qxc5 Bd7 45- Qd6+ Be6 46- Qb8 Rxa7 47- Qxa7 Bxc4 48- Kf2 Be6 49- Ke3 Bd5 50- g3 Ke6 51- Qb6 Kd7 52- g4 Bg2 53- g5 Bd5 54- Qf6 Be6 55- Ke4 Bg4 56- g6 Be6 57- Kxe5 Bb3 58- Qd6+ Kc8 59- Qe7 Kb8 60- Kd6 Ba4 61- g7 Bb3 62- Kc5 Be6 63- Kb6 Bd7 64- g8-Q+ Bc8 65- Qb7 MAT

Aug-13-13  dTal: <keypusher> and <iamsheaf>, thanks for your replies. I somehow thought that it was White's turn to move after his 23rd move, and without Blank's 23rd, when Black's Q can be taken at the end of the line!
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