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Ofir Aharon vs Ziaur Rahman
Gibraltar Masters (2014), La Caleta GIB, rd 3, Jan-30
Modern Defense: Standard Line (B06)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-16-15  stst: Black moves first, so
39..... Ra5+
40.bxa5 Ra4#

Find it difficult at first for White:
39.Bxh7 followed by Rxb7 and advance of the g-pawn.... then notice it's Black to move first....

Monday should not be that difficult!?!

Nov-16-15  saturn2: Hero of the game was blacks knight, who played a crucial part in the mate and had travelled a lot of squares on the board before.
Nov-16-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: Took me over 5 seconds to see the idea at all. Good Monday puzzle.

But wow -- what a general beatdown of White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Why did white allow the pawn fork 25...c4 ?
Nov-16-15  patzer2: <al wazir: Why did white allow the pawn fork 25...c4 ?> I think you mean allow 29...c4 .

It puzzled me also. Instead of 29. Ra5, allowing 29...c4 , White had the seemingly better alternative 29. Nc1 to .

However, computer analysis indicates it may not make much difference.

After 29. Nc1, Black still has 29...c4! when play might continue 30. Be2 Rf2 31. Bf3 Ne4 32. Bxe4 Rxe4 33. Rag3 Bf6 34. h5 Bg5 35. Rd1 d4 36. a3 b5 37. b3 Kg7 38. Rgg1 Be3 39. Na2 a5 40. Rde1 Rd2 41. Rh1 Rxg4 (-3.32 @ 22 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

Nov-16-15  patzer2: The winning tactical threat in this game is 38...Re5! which sets up today's Monday mate-in-two puzzle solution.

After 38...Re5!, White has nothing better than 39. Bc4+ Kh8 40. b4 Nxc4 (-6.25 @ 22 depth, Deep Fritz 14).

White's game takes a turn for the worse with <21. Ne2? Nc4 >. Instead, 21. Na4 = holds.

Though not so popular nowadays, there's nothing wrong with the somewhat dated "modern defense" 1. e4 g6. It's out of fashion in serious GM play, but as this game illustrates it still has some bite left.

In the opening, more popular than 4. f4 is 4. Nf3 as in the blitz game W Przybylski vs Shirov, 2015.

Nov-16-15  morfishine: <39...Ra5+> pulls the pawn aside so the other rook can mate
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: It's a back rank mate turned through 90 degrees.

It's like that scene in Inception when the hotel turns on its side and people start running up the walls.

Or the Matrix.

Or the Poseidon Adventure.

No? Only me then.

The opening brings back not such happy memories from about 30 years ago. I used to play this system as black solely on the basis of an Andy Soltis book - "Black to play and win with 1...g6".

And I lost a huge number of games as black because I didn't know what I was doing. I wanted an easy to learn system that I could play against any white opening move. I ended up with passive positions that a GM could play but where I couldn't break out. I ended up getting squished more times than not.

This game is interesting because white doesn't seem to know what to do with his rooks. The QR has a bit of an adventure all on his own, but he doesn't hook up with his partner in crime. By contrast, black gets his rooks working together - open files, infiltrate into the enemy's position, sac to force mate.

Now where couldn't I do that 30 years ago?

Nov-16-15  goodevans: Now there's a coincidence. This game also got me ruminating on films. But for me it was all those horrors and thrillers where instead of fleeing the house the victim, to our bewilderment, chooses to head for the attic from where there's no escape.

So it is here when the king tries to hide in a corridor. An illusion of safety in a place where it is completely trapped. Instead 38.Kc1 would have kept white in with a shout.

Nov-16-15  whiteshark: White missed excellend resigning chances...
Nov-16-15  Caissas Clown: <Penguincw: For me, on Mondays, the challenge is not solving the actual puzzle, but try to be the first one to do so>

You could always cheat , y'know ! :-). And you can get more out of Monday puzzles by looking for alternative ways to win,even if they are not the fastest. I like to envision a (seemingly) minor change to the position,like adding/moving a pawn or moving a piece one square,then seeing if there would be another winning move.

The hardest puzzle I ever saw was "White to play and win"...and below the challenge was the starting array !

Nov-16-15  FabrikaLaHun: Spent a good five minutes trying to find the Monday "easy" win for white but couldn't find anything solid or forcing.

Who else missed the Black to Play besides me? (and <Moonwalker>)

Nov-16-15  RandomVisitor: After 18...Qxe5:

click for larger view


<+0.34/29 19.Qg5> Rfe8 20.Qh5 Nf8 21.Rdf1 Qd6 22.h4 Ng6 23.g5 Re7 24.Nd1 Rf8 25.a3 a5 26.Ka2 Be5 27.Qg4 Nf4 28.h5 Kh8 29.Kb1 b5 30.Rf3 Ref7 31.Ne3 a4 32.Rhf1 d4 33.Rxf4 dxe3 34.Re4 Qc5 35.c3

+0.24/29 19.Qc1 Nb6 20.Rde1 Qf6 21.Bd3 Rae8 22.Rxe8 Rxe8 23.Re1 Re7 24.a3 Qh4 25.Rxe7 Qxe7 26.Qd2 Nd7 27.g5 Nc5 28.Bf5 Qe5 29.Qf2 d4 30.Na2 d3 31.cxd3 Na4 32.d4 Qxd4 33.Qxd4 Bxd4 34.b3 Nb6 35.Be6+ Kf8 36.Kc2 Be3 37.h4 Bf2 38.h5 Nd5 39.Bxd5

Nov-16-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White, down a knight for two pawn, may hold out hopes for a draw in the endgame, but instead faces a quick demise:

39... Ra5+ 40.bxa5 Ra4#

In memory of the Grand Duchess....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Anastasia's mate: 39...Ra5+ 40.bxa5 Ra4#
Nov-16-15  notyetagm: If you liked today's puzzle, then you'll love the ending to this Hammer-Carlsen game:

J L Hammer vs Carlsen, 2003

Nov-16-15  kevin86: Anastasia's mate with a rook sacrifice!
Nov-16-15  thegoodanarchist: Monday puzzle, 39...?

I haven't finished my coffee, so I started out with the Black rooks trying to checkmate their own king! Yikes...

After a couple of seconds of frustration, I woke up and found the win immediately, since it is a Monday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: White played into Black's hands with 38 Ka2. What if he had tried 38 Kc1 instead? Then if 38... Rf2 (intending Re1#) White has 39 Kd1.

Am I missing a killer move by Black in this line?

Nov-16-15  BOSTER: This is the pos. (diagram) where white "lost" the game. White to play 17.

click for larger view

Certainly it'd be nice to put white bishop on e6,and white play 17.Bxf5. But after answer e5 to move Be6 was miles away.

But everybody, who understands the strategy of positional game would play 17.gxf5, opening "g" file, and to restrict the movement of the "e7" pawn.

Nimzo called this as fighting against a liberating move.

Nov-16-15  Nullifidian: 39... ♖a5+ 40. ♙bxa5 ♖a4#
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <patzer2>: Thanks for that analysis. I saw several alternatives for white (e.g., keeping the white ♗, which seems strong if placed at h1); and as black I would have played ♗x♘ and doubled the ♖s on the second rank. But who am I to dispute with Deep Fritz?
Nov-16-15  notyetagm: O Aharon vs Z Rahman, 2014

39 ... ?

click for larger view

39 ... ♖e5-a5+! <pin: a4-sq>

click for larger view

40 b4x♖a5 ♖f4-a4#

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Easy, but pretty nevertheless!
Nov-16-15 A USC mate: Student body right.
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