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Pavlo Vorontsov vs Kayden Troff
"Peak Troff" (game of the day Feb-24-2023)
World Youth Championship (2012), Maribor SLO, rd 9, Nov-16
Sicilian Defense: Delayed Alapin (B50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-03-13  Patriot: Black is up a pawn. White threatens 28.Bxd8.

The problem I see with 27...gxf6 is 28.Rxf5 exf5 29.Rxe8+ Qxe8 30.Nxf6+ winning. But I think that 28.Rxf5 can be met with 28...Rc1! 29.Rxc1 exf5 and after 30.Nh6+ the bishop neatly guards f7.

I also looked for counter-attacks like 27...Qb8 or 27...Qc7. For example, 27...Qc7 28.Rxf5 Rc1 29.R5e5 holding. 27...Qb8 28.Rxf5 exf5 29.Rxe8+ Qxe8 and white may be in trouble. But 27...Qb8 28.g3 gxf6 29.Nxf6+ Kf8 30.Rxf5 looks bad for black. He doesn't have to go into this line, but we're trying to see if there is a winning line for black.

I think 27...gxf6 above is correct.

Feb-03-13  Patriot: I missed an in-between check. 27...gxf6 28.Rxf5 Rc1 29.Nh6+ wins. I never considered 27...Re2.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <morfishine><I know that> My apologies if I caused any confusion about your opinion of 28. Rd1.

In commenting on the move, I had only read your second post discussing it. I now suppose you realize 28. Rd1 loses to strong play, but suggest it as an improvement because it gives White practical "fighting chances." That being the case, I'd say your recommendation's quite reasonable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is two pawns up.

White threats 28.Bxd8.

The simplistic 27... gxf6 is met with 28.Rxf5 exf5 29.Rxe8+ Qxe8 (29... Kg7 30.Qh6#) 30.Nxf6+ Kf8 (30... Kg7 31.Qg5+ Kf8 [31... Kh8 32.Nxe8 + -] 32.Qh6+ transposes to the main line) 31.Qh6+ Ke7 32.Nxe8 Rxa2 33.h4 Kxe8 34.Qxh7 followed by h5, etc.

Another option is 27... Qc7 but fails miserably after 28.Rxf5 Rc1 29.Nh6+ Kf8 (29... gxh6 30.Rg5+ and mate soon; 29... Kh8 30.Bxg7+ Kxg7 31.Qg5+ Kf8 32.Rxc1 + -) 30.Bxg7+ followed by 31.Qg5+ and Rxc1, winning. In this line 28... Re2 also loses to 29.Nh6+ and eventually Rxe2 instead of Rxc1.

The last observation suggests 27... Re2, to answer 28.Rxe2 with 28... Qc7:

A) 28.Rxe2 Qc7

A.1) 29.Re1 Qxf4 seems to stop White's attack while keeps the advantage of two pawns.

A.2) 29.h4 Qc1+ 30.Kh2 Qxf4+ with a similar conclusion.

B) 28.Nh6+ Nxh6 29.Qxe2 gxf6 looks good for Black.

C) 28.Rc1 Qc7 29.Rd1 Qxf4 30.Nh6+ Nxh6 31.Qxe2 Qxf6 - + [B+N+2P].

D) 28.Rd1 gxf6 29.Nh6+ Nxh6 30.Qxh6 Be4 31.Rf1 Bg6 - + [B+2P].

Feb-03-13  BOSTER: This is the pos. with 1/2 move back, white to play 27.

click for larger view

The only surprising thing is that white stopped his bishop at f6 and didn't play on g7. Because <Phony Benoni> bought all Sundays, I offer this like <POTD> for Monday.

Feb-03-13  James D Flynn: Black is 2 pawns up but his Q is under attack from the B on f6 and the White pieces are in threatening positions on the K-side. The obvious 27…..gxf6 looks very dangerous e.g 28.Rxf5 (threatens Nh6+) if then exf5 29.Rxe8+ Qxe8 30.Nxf6+ Kg7 31.Qg5+ Kh8 32.Nxe8 and there is no back rank mate because the White Q covers c1 or 30…..Kf8 31.Qh6+ Ke7 32.Nxe8 and again no back rank mate. I could see no tjer option yo aim for a win. I therefore played over the game continuation. I had briefly thought of Re2but after the obvious Rf1 all White’s threats remain in place except the exchange on e8 but he doesn’t need that. After 27….Re2 28.Rf1 he still threatens 29.Rxf5 exf5 30.Nxh6+ Kf8 31.Nxf5 and there is no defense to Qh8#. This position is won for White.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <James D Flynn> After <27...Rxe2 28.Rf1>

click for larger view

Black can safely play 28...gxf6, since 29.Rxf5 is ineffective now that White can't play Rxe8+. White might have to reply 29.Nxf6+ Qxf6 30.Qxe2, when Black has two pieces and a pawn for a rook and White doesn't seem to have any effective threats.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Boster> <Monday POTD> Are you suggesting 27. Bxg7 wins for White? Seems to me 27. Bxg7 Kxg7 leaves Black on top.
Feb-04-13  Abdel Irada: Confession: I got started too late and had too much on my plate, so barely looked at this puzzle.

About all I did find time to work out was the key move itself: It didn't take long to rule out any other continuation besides <<•>27. ...Re2!>, for the simple reason that White's threats are so strong that only by creating a more immediate threat (mate on the move) can Black find any play.

It was clear enough, too, that if 28. Rxe2, the double attack 28. ...Qc7 (threatening mate on c1 and the undefended rook on f4) was good enough to halt White's attack and transfer the advantage to Black.

What was not so clear, and which I never did quite calculate, was what to do if White shifted the rook to d1 instead of accepting the sacrifice. In all the variations I *did* look at, White seemed to hold and win thanks to being able to defend his rook with Qg5 and simultaneously create deadly threats of his own against g7.

I *could* return to the front and battle on until I get this, but I think this time I'll take the lazy way out and simply look at the game. Mustering the energy for hard calculating is just too hard when one is asphyxiating in a fog of one's neighbor's Suavitel.

So, no credit for me this time. The key move I did find, but the key move is not a path to victory; it's only the first step on that path. And unless we can count setting foot on the sidewalk as successful completion of a long road trip, I can claim nothing.

Feb-04-13  Abdel Irada: Unfortunately, the game leaves my central question (what to do if White declines the sacrifice with 28. Rd1) unanswered.
Feb-04-13  Abdel Irada: Ah. *Now* I see the point: White can't take on f5 because this doubles Black's rooks, with back-rank mate threats.
Feb-04-13  morfishine: <patzer2> No apologies necessary! I didn't solve this problem, but found it very useful to analyze in Post Mortem.

The sharpness of this problem requires best play by both sides. Something <Patriot> taught me is to look for forcing candidates, and 27...Re2 certainly fits this definition. The question then becomes "Is White forced to take the rook with 28.Rxe2?". The simple answer is 'no'. One could say its 'hard to refuse' or maybe 'practically forced', but in light of the continuation 28.Rxe2 Qc7 and Black wins, White cannot take the rook.

I reached the shallow conclusion that after 28.Rf1 White continues his attack, so I discarded 27...Re2 as a waste of an important tempo in a very sharp position with pieces hanging all over the place.

Only in PM (and after looking deeper) was I able to see that 28.Rf1 was not so good. This was revealing since with each possible White rook move that we can eliminate, this brings us closer to the conclusion that perhaps 28.Rxe2 was forced after all. Of the remaining rook moves (28.Ra1/b1/c1/d1) 28.Rd1 appears best, and offers, if nothing else, continued resistance vs 28.Rxe2 which loses instantly.

One can't fault White for grabbing the rook 28.Rxe2; finding an alternative was just too demanding; Perhaps he was short of time or just exhausted, who knows

This analysis video does a good job of showing how sharp the position is; curiously he doesn't discuss declining the rook with 28.Rd1

Feb-04-13  snakebyt: I chose 27 ...Qc8 which backs up my Rook on c. Next Rc1 to threaten his Rook then RXR, QXR#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <morfishine> Thanks for the video link to German IM Christof Sielecki's commentary on this contest. He does a terrific job not only explaining 27...Re2!!, which he labels "THE move of the year...," but also provides entertaining and lucid commentary for the entire game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If 27...Qc8, then 28. Nh6+! .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Ain't That Troff Enough?
May-08-13  EvanTheTerrible: "Pulpit Friction"

On account of the fact that he's a Mormon.

Jul-23-15  wordfunph: "...not only did I feel like it was a really cool move, but it propelled me towards winning the Under 14 World Championship!"

- GM Kayden Troff (on 27...Re2!!)

Source: Chess Life 2015 May

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I saw this rather highly rated in the voting booth and had no clue what it meant. Any help?
Feb-24-23  goodevans: Forget the iffy pun, what a game!

The entire concept from 26...Rc2 onwards is staggering and beautiful. (Maybe even before that but what do I know?)

These were just kids (sigh).

Feb-24-23  Brenin: <OCF>: Troff = trough? <goodevans: staggering and beautiful> I agree, a great game to play through.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Quite a brilliancy, the sort that would make any chess player a fan of great defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: Fantastic game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <To all those who don't understand the pun> It's quite simple really, it's a Petrov Defence.

No, wait. Wikitionary says "troff: German verb, first/third-person singular preterite of triefen: to drip heavily, to be sopping wet." That's how White, thinking he was winning, felt after 27...Re2!!

No, wait. There's a typo in the pun. It was reported Dimitri Alexandrovitch Petrov (great-great-grandson of the famous one) was present at the tournament and peeked at the game.

27...? was a Sunday puzzle in 2013 and it's a great game. That's sure.

Feb-24-23  goodevans: <An Englishman> "defense" with an 's'? Oh, the irony! ;o)
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