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Normunds Miezis vs David Navara
European Team Championship (2011), Porto Carras GRE, rd 3, Nov-05
French Defense: Exchange. Monte Carlo Variation (C01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <VincentL: Given that this game was played between two grandmasters I am a bit surprised that black did not resign around move 24.>

I suspect the fact that it was a team championship had something to do with it. You wouldn't want to be the first to cash in with an early loss.

Besides, I thought that black had real chances to draw this. Once the rooks were off the board all he needed to do was exchange his bishop for the white rook pawn and it's a draw. And that rook pawn had to cross a couple of black squares to get to a8.

White had to be patient to push his a pawn only when the bishop couldn't snaffle it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <I suspect the fact that it was a team championship had something to do with it>

I know from personal experience how painful it is to be the first loser in a team match. Then again, it can be even worse when the scores are lvel and you're the last loser. More than <once> it happened to me

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Surely after 25.Qc2 intending 26.Rd1 White would have won a lot faster? It seems absurd that it took White, up a piece for a pawn, over 60 more moves to win.
Mar-14-12  LoveThatJoker: <sevenseaman> Nice one! 1. Ne8+ Ke6 2. f5#

Although it wasn't hard and I solved it quickly, you are correct in saying that the mate doesn't immediately spring to mind as it isn't a common pattern (like Q+N double check and smothered mate with N, for example).

Another lovely mate that has a similar position to yours is one by Topalov (if I recall correctly): the winning side has pawns on one side of the board and with a B and N they manage to create a most beautiful and unique mating net.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: You can see the match details here (Olimpbase is wonderful!)

This game was from round 3, and Miezis' win tied the match. So it's quite possible that match considerations led Navara to play on, not to mention that fact that a 2700-player can't enjoy losing in under 25 moves.

But I think the material configuration was his main motivation. As <Once> pointed out, drawing with ♗ vs. ♘♘ is conceivable. Had it been ♗♗ vs. ♘, I think he would have saved his time and energy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <scormus> That's an interesting point ... so we are saying the optimal time to lose in a team game is somewhere in the middle. You don't want to be the first as everyone will notice you, and you don't want to be the last as someone will say that your result lost the match.

Hey, maybe that could be a new chess book .... "How to lose at chess"??? The techniques and strategies for losing with as much dignity as possible.

I think I've got all the experience I need to write that one ;-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Swell it nice in dilemma again the demon Navara goeas astray it early on

favour in kf1 rxe3 on demand in bishop swooping among it sad in e3 keeps

more direct it isnt the initiative win or berated up engine select it a

20...b6 in gantry it evermore in barrage white d3 hinge this hang active play not caring loss of piece likewise blunt it he in ending blacks surge in.

We have searching hi for nd7, in plumb the depths my curious in lets go

through each in selection swipe off b8 sock it draw stalemate not enough

clink knights in many it options to hurt black yet which is best I pull

for hassle in bishopb8 lately it defend a7 in sight it allow in ground

chap king position released bishop frees up knocking about it ease in d7

difficult to pick it a coin toss for a7 light edges having c7 in.

Science in ground ka8 corner it establish in effect knight dazzles in champ the bit passage white night clamp I net in ascent nd7 low c5 up liddle threat bxa7 green terf in gear the case the shell in see edge nc7#

You pal in explore b8 you sky jam in at our quest in king bishop room again:

87.nd7 ghosting b8 at elongate anywhere in long diagonal together ring h2 b8 and steed in b6 cobble#

87.nd7 dsb a7 get him going for knight strife in c7 have bravado it same 88#

Premium Chessgames Member
  MichaelJHuman: I saw Nd7, but I missed that the bishop could take the pawn, sadly. So I think I fail.
Mar-14-12  pericles of athens: <Memethecat> haha :) i'm a beginner, so it makes me really happy when i solve one quickly.

also, endgame technique is something that's tough for me. so today was extra special :)

Mar-14-12  master of defence: Why 20...Rxe3?
Mar-14-12  I play the Fred: <Why 20...Rxe3?>

Hopefully someone who's <good> at chess will answer this question too, but after 20...Rxe3 21 fxe3 there's a ton of weak dark squares around the white king.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Superb ending by Miezes; after ...Bxa7 black may have thought that all was drawn - not so!
Mar-14-12  soberknight: I solved it. It's an unusual position but I knew immediately that axb8 could not be right.

The tablebase has mate in 17 from the moment White takes the last Black pawn (cool knight-fork tactic, by the way).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <master of defence: Why 20...Rxe3?>

Fritz doesn't understand it either. He reckons that it increases white's advantage from just under a pawn (+0.91) to over two pawns (+2.46).

Black may have panicked slightly as there is no obvious way to stop white from playing Rxd3 to exchange rook for two knights. The black knight on d3 is really going to struggle retreating anywhere safe.

So he <might> have gambled that Rxe3 would give him something to play against - the newly weakened isolated e3 pawn. And later on we see black trying to harass this pawn with Re8 and Ba6. I don't think it is particularly convincing, but at least it is an aggressive plan for black.

I suppose the moral is that if you are losing you might as well go down spectacularly by trying to create a bit of counterplay.

Mar-14-12  LoveThatJoker: <master of defence> I agree with what <Once> has written regarding your excellent question.

Keeping with this, it is safe to say that 18...Nbd3? was the mistake that essentially put Black in the hole for the rest of the game.

It's possible that Navara was thinking he had ...Nf4 at some point but missed White's lovely 19. Qc2!

As an improvement, without the aid of my trusted Stockfish, I recommend 18...Nc6 as good for Black. The idea being that 19. b4 and 19. Nb5 are both met by the strong 19...Ne4! when Black's queenside pawns are safe from capture and Black threatens to untangle with ...Qf6 (or possibly even ...Qe7) at some point with a fair game.

Also, if 19. Qc2 Qc8 (not 19...Qe7/19...Qf6 20. Nd5!) 20. Nb4 Ne5 when Black is defending, but defending well.


Mar-14-12  BOSTER: I guess that <FSR> is right saying <It seems absurd that it took white,up a piece for a pawn, over 60 moves to win>.

This is the position with white to play move 35.

click for larger view

I guess on <CG> site everybody would play 35.Nxf7.

Here couple lines:
35.Nxf7 b5 36.Nxh6+ Kh7 37. Ng5+ Kxh6 38.Qh4#
or 35.Nxf7 Rxf7 36.e6 Rxf3+ 37.gxf3 Qe7
38.Qe4 and game is over.

Mar-14-12  JG27Pyth: @sevenseasman

I like that puzzle. I think it's like today's puzzle -- a perfect wednesday --

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening:

Easy, but only because I composed a puzzle with a similar theme. Mate in 4.

White: Kb6, Bc7, Nd7, Ne7
Black: Ka8, Rc8

Main line: 1.Nd5,Rb8+; 2.Ka6,Rb1; 3.Nb6+ (either) and 4.Nxb6X. Not great, but a little amusing, as the key puts the Knight in position to attack two squares occupied by his comrades.

Premium Chessgames Member <This is perhaps a little easy for Wednesday.> We know, but we deemed it a little too lovely for a Tuesday. In fact it's one of the prettiest puzzles we've had in a long time; relying only on real games, it's a rare treat when we can display something as pretty as a composition.
Mar-14-12  stst: Simple enough, observing the B has only two options: (A)c7, (B)!c7 (programming language,) i.e. non/not c7. Hence:
IF (A), ... Bc7, 89.other Nxc7#
IF (B), ... B but not c7, 89.Nb6# (neither N would be bothered by the B=Bishop!)
Mar-14-12  sevenseaman: Good that two of us, <LTJ> & <JG27Pyth> tried and cared to write about it. I hope some others too have.

Being a tad pedantic but the position can be slightly juggled for a similar solution.

click for larger view

w t p & w.

These puzzles are all about the human mode.

<BOSTER> A very interesting and engaging discussion! I like such ideas on a chess page.

<CG.COM> I completely endorse the view you have taken in deciding to present this composition-like puzzle on the POTD forum. Its exactly the puzzle I saw on a Tactics Computer.

When I first met this one there, a mere day before, I found it hard to believe it was from an actual game. I almost precipitated into daring them to prove.(They claim all their problems relate to played games). Very nice.

Mar-14-12  karnak64: I guess the thing I really admire is Miezes hanging in there this long to eek out the win. I don't thing I have the mental stamina to play something like this out. I'm rather impressed.
Mar-14-12  avidfan: <An Englishman>: Good Evening: The final position in your composition has the Bishop controlling b8 instead of a white square in a normal ♗♘ mate.

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <sevenseaman> Account changed puzzle. The Knight Cerberus again for dim

view rooka7 ie chewback it e8 in big gutful crums it switching et tu

brute in ke6 reticence him bowlin skid dude it her f4 f5 in tease also

manage in cannoned plus too ne8+ ke6 f5 gets stuck in giving hell!

Mar-15-12  viking78: <sevenseaman>: is it Ne8+ Ke6 f5#?
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