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Fadi Malkawi vs Pablo Lafuente
Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad (2010), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 6, Sep-27
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov Variation (B17)  ·  0-1



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  Once: Okay, so the puzzle is pretty mondeasy, so let's rewind the game to find where white went wrong. Here's the position after 15...Nc5:

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All seems pretty level and peaceful, but white needs to be careful. The black Nf6 would love to hop into d5. For white, 16. c4 or 16. Bc4 would probably be worth playing to keep a hold of the d5 square.

16. c3 I don't like this move. It doesn't seem to accomplish much and it does nothing to prevent Nd5.

16...Nd5 Black doesn't need asking twice. Now he plays a series of one-two punches, where threat follows threat and all the time black is making progress. The first threat is against the queen.

It's worth looking at the position. It's white to play and lose.

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Fritz says that 17. Qd2 is the safest, although black still retains an edge. Instead, white plays the suicidal 17. Qd4, stepping into a trap.

17...f6 18. Ng4 e5 The threats keep coming. By hitting the knight, black gains a tempo to enable him to push e5 and attack the white queen.

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And white finds himself in a pickle. His queen has nowhere safe to run to (19. Qc4 b5 18. Qxb5 Ba6). So black gives up the exchange to clear the centre of pieces, with 19. Nxe5. And after a flurry of exchanges we arrive here:

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Now black wraps up the game with a series of forcing moves. And again he uses direct threats to get his pieces into better positions.

23...Qxf2+ 24. Kh1 Rad8 The threat on the white queen allows the white rook to get to an open file with gain of time.

White then plays a spite check, a flappy move (26. Qb4) and a I'm-tired-of-living-please-kill-me-quickly move (27. Rg1) as black goes for the throat. Okay, so white could have held on longer with better defence, but it was pretty hopeless anyway.

Looking back over the sequence, it is noticeable that black won with threats that gained position. To start with, he played little pawn and knight shoos to nudge the white pieces onto poor squares. This was then followed by bigger threats, sweeping rook moves, mate threats (Rd2 boo!). And white, giving away nearly 500 ELO, didn't find the best defence.

Nov-29-10  agb2002: Black has a rook for a knight and a pawn.

White apparently threatens a knight fork on e4.

The white rook protects White's back rank. Therefore, 27... Qxg1+ 28.Kxg1 Rd1+ and mate next.

Nov-29-10  Nullifidian: It's just not a Monday without a queen sac.

27... ♕xg1+ 28. ♔xg1▢ ♖d1+ 29. ♘f1▢ ♖dxf1# or ♖fxf1#

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Classic example of taking advantage of a back row weakness. When you see it, it's time to throw everything at the opposing King.

27...Qxg1+ 28. Kxg1 Rd1+ (Careful, don't reach for the f Rook) 29. Nf1 Rfxf1++

Nov-29-10  Tavaroon: This game looks like White had no plan for the middlegame and he was only moving his pieces from one post to another, while Black completed his development, harassed the exposed Queen, then won material and mated with basic back ranker: 27...Qxg1+ 28. Kxg1 Rd1+ 29. Nf1 Rdxf1# or 29...Rfxf1#

I always wondered if 10. c3 (as a response to 9...c5 undermining thrust) is legitimate. I mean, if he takes, you take back with Knight. I think that the pawn exchange we saw in this game gives too much freedom for black-squared Bishop.

Nov-29-10  zb2cr: Once I stopped wasting time looking for a way to make 27. ... Qxg2+ work, this was quite easy. 27. ... Qxg1+; 28. Kxg1, Rd1+; 29. Nf1, (either)Rxf1#.
Nov-29-10  Patriot: 27...Qxg1+ is a common backrank mate theme.

<Once> 17.Qd4 -- That is definitely a bad move. When I was reading over your comments and you pointed out this mistake, at first I thought "How is that a bad move?" Then I considered the threat, 17...f6, and everything started clicking. It would be an easy mistake to fall into for most players, but shows the importance of always considering forcing replies. White is of expert strength so I'm sure he was having an "off" day or something.

What's interesting is that according to Silman's "Rules of combinations", 17.Qd4 seems to be completely safe. It all boils down to the bishop on d3, which is protected twice and attacked once. It's not exactly "loosely defended" or unguarded. Nor is it an "IGP" (inadequately guarded piece) by Dan Heisman's standards. IGP's are either not guarded at all or just barely guarded. But this is a "removal of the guard" theme that can only be seen by examining forcing moves. As long as the knight remains on e5, white must always consider the reply ...f6 before making his move.

I'm glad you pointed this out.

Nov-29-10  knight knight: 27...Qxg1+ 28. Kxg1 Rd1+ 29. Nf1 Rdxf1# or Rfxf1#
Nov-29-10  FabrikaLaHun: <<Once> White then plays a spite check, a flappy move (26. Qb4) ....>

As one who has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory time and again, it may be worth noting that Qb4 has its own threat.

Like <lost in space>, I started looking at ....Qxg2+. However, I noticed that Black has a bit of a potential back rank weakness himself. White would like to play Qxg8# were the Black Queen not there to protect it.

When I noticed that, I knew that I had to do something forcing all the way to the end. If Black tries to get to cute and check on g2, his subsequent rook moves may leave the f8 square unguarded and w/o a check, leave White the tempo to steal the victory.

It was important for me to see that to know what my opponent was hoping to play so I didn't fall into a trap of my own making, allowing him to win. Not that I've ever done that before. ;-)

Nov-29-10  gtgloner: <dzechiel> "Got home, and while the house was still standing, my kitchen pantry looks like a liquor cabinet. There must be a dozen assorted half-finished bottles of booze ranging from rum to amaretto to tequila to wine to some stuff I've never heard of. But as long as the house doesn't smell like barf, I'm happy.

LMAO at dzechiel; you're a funny guy!

Nov-29-10  Abu Dina: Too easy.... :)
Nov-29-10  patzer2: Today's Monday puzzle solution 27...Qxg1+! exploits the weakened back rank to initiate a mate-in-three.
Nov-29-10  kevin86: The rook on the seventh fooled me-actually the theme is a queen sac at g1-not g2

27...♕xg1+ 28 ♔xg1 ♖d1+ 29 ♘f1 ♖1xf1#

Nov-29-10  anandrulez: This is an easy possible but usually the problems is not solving this puzzle but getting a feel for this position and knowing that QxR is possible .
Nov-29-10  LIFE Master AJ: Monday; November 29th, 2010.

F Malkawi vs P Lafuente, 2010

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Black to play. (27... '?')

I think that the CG staff is trying to trick us, the position is similar to last Monday's puzzle.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

J Dobias vs J Schulz Sr, 1933

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Black to play, (30 ... '?').

Nov-29-10  LIFE Master AJ: Having said all that, the solution is easy, 27...QxR/g1+!; 28.KxQ/g1, Rd1+; 29.Nf1▢ (Only legal move.) 29...(either)♖xf1#.
Nov-29-10  BOSTER: <Brandon plays> <it'd be nice to see a few other subtle moves>. This is the position in our game after 9...c5, where White to play.

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Honestly without any hesitations and calculations I'd sacr. the Bishop playing 10.Bxe6. If Black accept this gift, 10...fxe6 we have something like this 11. Qxe6+ Kh8 12.Re1 Re8 13.Ng5 and here the diagram after 13. Ng5 with Black to play.

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Certainly there are other variations, but I'd play this sacr. because the Bishop on e7 without mobility and Bishop on c8 is closed. You can refute this sacr.

Nov-29-10  Jambow: Well its Monday and a backrank seemed obvious yet I couldn't find Qxg1 for several minutes, then it was followed by a Homer Simpson Doh. <kevin86> that queen sac on g2 idea had me side tracked too.
Nov-29-10  wals: The dedicated Queen puts her body on the line once more. Yippie.

Rybka 4 x 64

depth: 20 : 7 min :
White error
(-0.87):16.c3. Best, Bc4, =-0.31.

depth: 19 : 5 min :
White error
(-1.39):17.Qd4. Best, Qd2, - 0.87.

depth: 20 : 5 min :
White blunder
(-2.88):18.Ng4. Best, Bxh7, -1.39.

depth: 21 : 5 min :
White error
(-3.37):19...Nxe5. Best, Qc4, -2.50.

depth: 22 : 5 min :
White blunder
(-7.92):26.Qb4. Best, Ne4, -2.98.

depth: 22 : 4 min :
Black error
(-5.07):26...Rd2. Best, Rfe8, -7.92.

depth: 29 : 4 min :
White blunder
(-#3):Rg1. Best, Qe4, -5.07.

Nov-29-10  WhiteRook48: 27...Qxg1+ 28 Kxg1 Rc1+
Nov-29-10  stygian: Yes, very easy. What I can't get over is why white played 26. Qb4. To me, Qe2 at least had some fight in it, but I'll have to look it over some more.
Nov-29-10  karnak64: All due respect and honor to the lads who went in at Dieppe -- this one was a piece o' cake.
Nov-29-10  Winston Smith: I've discovered that 99% of all puzzles can be solved by getting rid of the queen as quickly as possible.
Nov-29-10  mevans86: I could very well be missing something, but why not 17. ...Nb3, forking a rook and the queen? Black's position still seems strong after 18. Qc4 Nxa1 19. Rxa1 Qe7...what am I missing?
Nov-29-10  LIFE Master AJ: Malkawi,Fadi (2080) - Lafuente,Pablo (2565) [B17] Khanty Mansiysk - 39th Men's Olympiad / (R#6.27) / 27,09,2010.

It is always useful to know exactly where one player might have went wrong.

1.e4 c6; 2.d4 d5; 3.Nc3 dxe4; 4.Nxe4 Nd7; 5.Bc4 e6; 6.Nf3 Ngf6; 7.Qe2,

This is playable, but NxN/f6+ was probably a little better.

[Maybe better was: 7.Nxf6+ Nxf6; (Or 7...gxf6 8.0-0 b5 9.Bd3 Qc7 10.a4, ) 8.0-0, ]

7...Be7; 8.Ng3, Castling was possibly simpler.

8...0-0; 9.0-0 c5; Correct! (Black should endeavor to get a break in and counter-attack White's center as soon as he has castled.)

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Thus far, its a fair game ... White even has a slight edge. (The engine's see a large edge here, but it quickly fades if you run it out 5-10 moves.)

10.dxc5, This was OK, I guess.

[(but) Better was: >/= 10.Rd1, ]

10...Bxc5; 11.Be3,
This was not terrible, but 11.Rd1, looked simpler.

11...Bxe3; 12.Qxe3 Qc7; "="
Thanks to inaccurate play, Black has probably already equalized.

13.Bd3 b6; 14.Rfe1,
This could be doubtful, either 14.Ne4, or 14.c4, (to stop a Black ♘ from reaching the d5-square.); was essential.

14...Bb7; 15.Ne5!?,
This is a doubtful Knight leap, now Black is slowly getting an edge. (Better was 15.Rad1.)

15...Nc5; A good move, Black threatens to swap off White's LSB for his Knight.

[Fritz likes: 15...Nxe5; 16.Qxe5 Qxe5; 17.Rxe5 Rfd8; ( ) with the slightly better game for Black. ]

16.c3?, This gets White into serious trouble.

[White had to play: 16.c4, or maybe even 16.Bc4.]

16...Nd5; This is the position.

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Black is clearly on top, but now the stage is set for a debacle.

17.Qd4??, Now White sheds material. (The White Queen soon runs short of good squares.)

[Better was: >/= 17.Qd2T f6; 18.b4 Nxd3; 19.Nxd3 Qc6; 20.Ne4 Rfd8; and Black is slightly better. ]

17...f6; 18.Ng4?!, This only makes matters worse.

[The box shows that White's only chance was: 18.Bxh7+ Kxh7; 19.Qh4+ Kg8; 20.Ng6; etc. Or 18.Nf3 e5; 19.Qc4, (NxP/e5 is similar to the game, Qh4, NxB/d3 drops a whole piece.) 19...b5; 20.Qxb5 Ba6 ; (The WQ is trapped.)]

Now White drops a whole piece ... for very little "comp" ... the rest of the game is only interesting to see how the higher-rated player finishes Black off. (We also enter a series of moves that are relatively forced.)

18...e5; 19.Nxe5 fxe5; 20.Rxe5 Nxd3; 21.Rxd5▢, This is forced, after 21.QxN/d3?, QxR/e5; White could resign.

[Or 21.Rg5 N5f4 ]

21...Bxd5; 22.Qxd5+ Qf7!; 23.Qxd3 Qxf2+; 24.Kh1 Rad8; 25.Qc4+ Kh8; 26.Qb4?! Rd2, Threatens mate - in one.

[Both Fritz and Houdini prefer: >/= 26...Rfe8; 27.Nf1 Re2; 28.Qg4 Rf8; 29.h3 Re1; 30.Rxe1 Qxe1; etc.]

27.Rg1?, A bad mistake.

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The position for today's problem. (Black to move, 27... '?')

[The only move was: 27.Qe4 ▢ when 27...Rfd8; wins easily for Black. ]

27...Qxg1+!; (White resigns.) 0-1

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