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Darius Zagorskis vs Jozef Michenka
Frydek Mistek op (1994)
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern. Knight Defense (D51)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-10-12  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is up a piece, but black is in position to regain it with the pin/triple attack on e3. Nonetheless, white has the winning hand with black's vulnerable king position and a potent rook on the 7th available to coordinate with the "lost" bishop.

29.Bd4!, a "sham" queen sac forces quick mate or immediate resignation:

A) 29... Qxe2 30.Rxg7+ Kh8 31.Rxg6+ Qe5 (Re5 32.Rf8#) 32.Bxe5+ Rxe5 33.Rf8#

B) 29... Qxd4+ 30.Rxd4 Rxe2 31.Rd8+ Re8 32.Rxe8#

B.1) 30... Rcc8 31.Qf3 Rf8 32.Qd5+ Kh8 33.Rxf8+ Rxf8 34.Qf7 Rg8 35.Re7 h6 (otherwise 36.Re8 mates next) 36.Qxg6 b6 37.b4 b5 38.Kh2 R moves (a5 39.Qxa5#) 39.Qxg7# is one defense that delays mate as many moves as possible.

C) 29... Re3 30.Qxe3 Qxe3+ 31.Bxe3 h5 32.Bd4 Kh7 33.Bxg7 Re4 (otherwise 34.Rf4 g5 35.Rf6 Re1+ 36.Kf2 Re2+ 37.Kxe2 Kg8 38.Rh6 any 39.Rh8#) 34.Rf8 g5 35.g4 Re1+ 36.Kf2 Re2+ 37.Kxe2 Kg6 38.Bh8 any 39.Rf6# is another hangnail defense.

Time for review...

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: 27...hxg6 is better (capture toward the center)
Oct-10-12  Castleinthesky: 1/2 credit for me. I saw Bd4, but only worked out winning a piece and a number of pawns, I didn't see the mate.
Oct-10-12  James D Flynn: White is up a piece for a pawn but his B on e3 is pinned and 3 times attacked and once defended. However, Blacks back rank looks vulnerable, he probably just moved the R on c3 to attack that B because 28,,,, Q xe3 could be answered by 29,Qxe3 Rxe3 30.Rd8 leads to mate. That vulnerability can now be exploited by 29.Bd4 because Qxe4+ 30.Rxd4 Rxe2 31.Rd8 Re8 32.Rxe8# and 29……Qxe2 30.Rxg7+ Kh8 31.Rxg6+ Qe5 32.Bxe5 Rxe5 33.Rd8+ Re8 34.Rxe8#. If Black tries 29…Qb8 30.Rxg7+ still mates so 29.Bd4 Qxd4+ 20.Rxd4 R3e8 avoids the immediate mate but leaves White up a Q for a pawn.
Oct-10-12  inmate5: A pity that Zagorskis did not conclude with 31. Rf8. He must have been in horrible time trouble - 31. Rg6 is a blunder, from an aesthetic point of view ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Saw Bd4 right away and that Rxg7ch is the killer after Qxe2, but saw Qxd4 is check so had to make sure all the variations worked. Instructive illustration of how to exploit back rank weakness.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Forget about winning the queen! White will mate with the rook at f8,following the diagonal checks.
Oct-10-12  ajax333221: <inmate5> I think 31.Rf8 takes more time to mate
Oct-10-12  inmate5: <ajax333221> That's correct, 31.Rf8 takes one move longer than 31.Rg6 - at least if you count kamikaze interposition as a move, otherwise it is one move shorter ;)

I like 31.Rf8 (today) because of its simplicity (it frees the way for the bishop), because of its shock effect and because of the large material deficiency. But there should be some minus points as well as it does take one move longer.

Oct-10-12  stst: The Black Q & R are in position ready for a fork by a B, thus 29.Bd4 Qxe2
30.Rxg7+ Kh8
31.Re7 dis+ Kg8
32.Rxe2 Rxe2
33.Bxc3 Rxa2
34.Ra1 etc ... the rest should be easy for W, up one B.
Oct-10-12  stst: oops, miss the easy kill Rxg6 in between!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The problem with 31. Rf8 from an aesthetic point of view is that it uses exactly the same mating technique as the immediate 31. Rxg6+. After 31. Rf8 Rxf8, white has no choice other than to play 32. Rxg6+

Instead of showering the board with gold coins, the onlookers are more likely to grumble that white had overlooked the clean mate when it was first possible, and only saw it one move later.

Oct-10-12  inmate5: <once> Well, what can I say? I don't want grumbling onlookers, so I think I have no other choice than to adapt my formula for beauty.

On the other hand, I do agree that the mating methods are similar, but not identical. Both ways make misuse of the overworked black rook on e8 that at the same time has to defend f8 and the queen on e5. But the move order is different: White first takes the queen and then gives mate on f8, or white first checks on f8 and then takes the queen. Unfortunately, in the latter case, the black rook ends up on f8 from where it can interpose on f6, which makes the mating line one move longer and the onlookers grumble.

I also would like to make misuse of the opportunity to say that I always read your posts with much pleasure. Once, you should bundle them into a POTD chess calendar.

Oct-10-12  David2009: Quick-look today: I spotted Bd4 etc. (the game variation) and left it there (looking at the game without composing a Notepad analysis). I was curious to know how Crafty End Game Trainer would defend. Here's the puzzle position

click for larger view

and link to the EGT:

Against me, the resilient robot postpones mate for 18 moves starting 29.Bd4 Qxd4+ 30.Rxd4 Rcc8 31.Qb5 Kh8 32.Rdf4 Rg8 33.Qxb7 h6 34.Qxc8 etc. - can you find a faster mate?

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a pawn.

Black threatens 29... Q(R)xe3.

A simple idea is to counterattack with 29.Bd4:

A) 29... Qxe2 30.Rxg7+ Kh8 31.Rxg6+ Qe5 (31... Re5 32.Rf8#) 32.Bxe5+ Rxe5 33.Rf8#.

B) 29... Qxd4+ 30.Rxd4 + - [Q vs P] (30... Rxe2 31.Rd8+ Re8 32.Rxe8#).

C) 29... Qa5 30.Qxe8#.

D) 29... Re3 30.Qxe3 + -.

E) 29... Qb8 30.Rxg7+ Kh8 31.Rxg6+ and mate in two.

Oct-10-12  db5500: Can black defend himsefl with 29.... Re7?
Oct-10-12  inmate5: <db5500> No, unfortunately. After 29 Bd4 Re7, white can for example play 30. Rd8 Re8 31. Qe5 and mate next move on g7 or e8.
Oct-10-12  Moonwalker: I went for 31. Rf8+ Rxf8 (forced) 32. Rxg6+ (discovered) Qe5 33. Bxe5+ Rf6 34. Bxf6#

Whilst I see now that Rxg6+ works one move earlier, I still like my line better! Something about a rook and a bishop overpowering a queen and two rooks AND delivering mate!

Or maybe it's just my excuse for failing to see the shortest path to victory!

Oct-10-12  TheTamale: Ugh, I would have got this one except that I didn't see how 29)... Qxd4+ lead to ruin. Had I more confidence in my ability to find a correct answer in my first place, I might have thunk it through a little better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: Son of a gun... I actually got this!
Oct-10-12  waustad: Getting a Wednesday puzzle isn't as good as getting a weekend one, but it beats the "Duh" that I sometimes do on Monday or Tuesday.
Oct-10-12  Abdel Irada: <David2009>: That is an interesting challenge, and one I wish I could take you up on. Unfortunately, because of browser issues, I can't use the Crafty Endgame Trainer.

I do, however, suggest a slightly different line of play: After 29. ♗d4, ♕xd4†; 30. ♖xd4, ♖cc8, I prefer to continue 31. ♖e4, ♖ed8; 32. ♖e7, ♔h8; 33. ♕e5, ♖g8; 34. ♖1f7, when it appears that Black's defenses will soon collapse.

Would you be able to try that line against the Endgame Trainer and let me know if it wins faster?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Normally, it's considered a sign of respect--not to mention efficiency--to pass up a pretty mate in four for a dull mate in three. But I've known players who actually prefer that you play the longer mate so they can show you the shorter one after the game. Moral victories may not count, but they are comforting.

So I usually play the shorter mate on the happy occasion when I have a choice. Assuming I see it, of course. But there are times I would be sorely tempted. And I do mean tempted.

click for larger view

This game is actually in the database, but I don't feel like embarrasing White at the moment. He is really a much better player than this, and once beat me in a tournament. (As if that proves anything.) This just wasn't his day.

Black, being that rare combination of Master and Nice Guy that he is, put White out of his agony immediately with 41...Nh2+, with 42...Re1# to follow. Personally, I don't know if I could have resisted 41...Re1+!! 42.Kxe1 Kg2!!

click for larger view

Some time in the future, Black will play ...Nf3+, follow White's move Kd1 with ...Kf1, and then count to fifty before plopping his knight onto f2 with mate.

Yes, that would be brutal, cruel, sadistic, and totally unnecessary. I would have found it hard to resist anyway.

Oct-10-12  M.Hassan: <db5500:Can black defend himsefl with 29.... Re7?>

Same result:
29.Bd4 Re7
30.Qxe5 Rxe5
31.Rd8+ Re8

Oct-11-12  inmate5: <M.Hassan>
29. Bd4 Re7
30. Rd8 Re8
31. Re8 Qe8
32. Qe8#
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