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Lela Javakhishvili vs Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian
Gibraltar Masters (2014), La Caleta GIB, rd 8, Feb-04
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian. Hedgehog Variation (E17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-30-15  diagonalley: dammit.... got 30.NxP QxN but then went for the immediate P-Q7... which is tame compared to the game line... (sigh) :-(
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Solved it to my surprise, including finding the key 31st move, but a curious combination--really, it is not much more than an exchange of minor pieces and pawns.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: There were far too many alternative lines for me to believe that this is the best play for either side. For example, what if black played 33...Rd4 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: 34...Rc8? was the losing move. With 34...Rb7! Black can put up a tough resistance and quite possibly draw the game.

30. Nxc5 Qxc5 31. Rd5 Qb6 32. c5 Qb8 33. d7 Bxd7 34. Rxd7 Rb7! 35. Rxb7 Qxb7 36. Bxa6 Qc7 37. b4 e4 38. Bc4+ Kh8 39. b5 Qe7 40. Qe3 f4 41. Qxe4 Qxc5 42. Bd3 Qh5 43. b6 f3 44. gxf3 Qxf3+ 45. Qxf3 Rxf3 46. b7 Rf8 47. Re7 h6

click for larger view

Is there a clear win either in this position or before?

May-30-15  stacase: 30. Nxc5 was rather obvious. But I wouldn't exactly say it plays itself after that but it's close.
May-30-15  morfishine: <devere> As previously mentioned, there seems to be area for improvement for both sides

For example, looking strong for White is: 30.Nxc5 Qxc5 31.Rd5 Qb6 32.c5 Qb8 <33.c6> (which is where I varied)

click for larger view


May-30-15  wooden nickel: According to Rogers <Two united, passed pawns are better than a royal flush!> so after 30.Nxc5, then Qxc5 31.Rd5 Qb6 32.c5 Qb8 is almost forced giving 33.c6 looks logical but the played move d7 proves to be better!
May-30-15  JohnBoy: I got the first four moves, but am with <devere>. Blacks 34th is costly.
May-30-15  goodevans: <devere> I agree that <34...Rc8> looks a poor choice, but I don't think <34...Rb7> is the answer to black's prayers either.

Rather than 35.Rxb7, <35.c6> and <35.Bc4+> both look very strong for white. Maybe even <35.Red1>, which carries the threat of <36.Qg3 Rf2 37.Bc4>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The mission today is to advance the pawn and push black back. It is not cute!
May-30-15  Bycotron: Move 30, white to play.
The key element of the position is the white d6 pawn, passed and advanced clear to the 6th rank already! What a brave and noble warrior.

Black immediately threatens Rxa4 and this can buy him time to play Rfd8 and kill the d6 pawn if white doesn't play with fire and fury immediately.

The most obvious move needs to be looked at first:


Not a true piece sacrifice. This removes the guard of the b4 Rook, buying time for white AND removes the Queen's guard of the d7 square so white can win the c8 Bishop by the d6-d7 push. However, simply playing these ideas immediately like a caveman in insufficient as it will simply exchange a pawn and minor piece each and leave black with a passed e-pawn in an unclear position. White will likely lose a long struggle.

So how about...

30...Qxc5 (forced)

31.Rd5! pointing out the Queen's lack of squares to defend the b4 Rook while improving white's position.

31...Qb6 (again forced)

Now black would like to play Bd7 and blockade the d6 pawn. After the immediate 32.d7 Bxd7 33.Rxd7 Rxb2 I'm not sure what's going on, so white needs a better idea for move 32.

32.c5 is the most logical continuation for white, continuing his policy of improving his position as much as possible and forcing black's replies!

32...Qb7 looks like the most critical reply, hitting the undefended d5 Rook and planning Bd7 to keep the extra piece while preventing white from making the immediate d7 push. Hmm, white needs a miracle now!

33.Bxa6 won't do. 33...Qxd5 34.Qxb4 Bxa6 0-1

Maybe this would be easier if I set the position up and moved the pieces around, but I always solve these puzzles by mental visualization only, just as if I were playing the game. I actually can't find any good continuation for white leading to an immediate advantage in the line I suggested.

The other obvious move that comes to mind from the puzzle position is:

30.d7 Bxd7
31.Nxc5 Qxc5
32.Rxd7 (or 32.Rd5 Qb7 33.Rxd7 Qxd7 34.Qxb4)

And we arrive as the same unclear position that can come from 30.Nxc5 in my previous analysis. Unfortunately, this move order allows black the possibility of 30...Rxa4 which may lead to the following:

31.Qxa4 Qxa4
32.d8=Q Rxd8
33.Rxd8+ Kf7
34.Rxc8 with an interesting, unclear position on white's 2 Rooks vs black's Queen and pawn.

Long story short, I see no way for white to obtain an obviously winning position from today's puzzle.


In my analysis of the position, I thought 32...Qb8 made white's life incredibly easy for exactly the reasons Javakhishvili demonstrated. I dismissed it with analysis I found in ~10 seconds of thought so I didn't even include it in my post.

Is my suggested move, 32...Qb7 an improvement for black? Can white still win after that move?

Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: <Bycotron:Is my suggested move, 32...Qb7 an improvement for black? Can white still win after that move?>

On 32...Qb7 White plays 33.c6, since 33...Qxc6 34.Qxb4 Qxd5 35.Bc4 wins Black's Queen.

May-30-15  Bycotron: Thanks devere!
May-30-15  morfishine: Thanks <devere> I had high hopes for 33.c6 (the main idea is to gain material, not just recover material) but as demonstrated, 33.d7 recovering the material immediately also yields both positional and thus tactical advantage to White


Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

Black threatens 30... Rxa5.

This threat and the possibility of mobilizing the c- and -pawns suggest 30.Nxc5:

A) 30... Qxc5 31.Rd5 Qb6 (31... Qf2 32.Qxb4 e5 33.Qd2 wins) 32.c5 and the linked, advanced passed pawns seem to be more than enough compensation. For example, 32... Qb7 33.c6 Qxc6 34.Qxb4 Qxd5 35.Bc4 wins. Or 32... Qb8 33.c6 Rxb2 34.c7 Qb7 35.Bxa6 Qxa6 36.Qxa6 Bxa6 37.d7 Bf6 38.d8=Q Bxf8 39.cxd8=Q Rxd8 40.Rxd8+ Kf7 41.Rd7+ Ke6 42.Rxh7 and White is an exchange ahead.

B) 30... Rb8 31.d7 Bb7 32.Nxb7 Qxb7 (32... Rxb7 33.d8=Q wins) 33.Qd6 followed by c5-c6 looks winning.

C) 30... Rb6 31.d7 wins decisive material.

That's all I can do today.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Longview: Saw the component moves all separately but not in the sequence executed that made them natural or forcing. great selection by CG.
Premium Chessgames Member
Nxc5 Qxc5
Rd5 Qb6 (if ..Qf2 Qxb4)
c5 Qb8
and white is winning
(if Rd8 Red1 and not Rxb2? Qe7! and if instead ..)
(black can not play Rb3 due to Bc4+)

this is probably not the complete story,
but i think it is sufficient justsification
OTB to play the first move, and this is blind
without computer help or looking at the game
(as in a real game). so...

now to see what was actually played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: hmmm
yep. gg
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Here's my look at the game and yesterday's Saturday puzzle position (30. ?) with Deep Fritz 14:

<23...Rb8> This is by no means a bad move. However, Black misses a chance to make a better move giving him active play with a strong initiative.

The missed opportunity is 23... Rde8! which sets a trap for White as snatching the pawn with 24. Qxa5? (better is 24. Re3 Qd8! = to ) wins for Black after 24... Qh4! 25. Bg3 Qh6 26. h3 f4! 27. Bf2 Qg6 28. Kh2 f3! 29. g3 Bc8! 30. Nb5 Qh6 31. Re4 Ng4+ 32. Rxg4 Bxg4 (-7.01 @ 21 depth).

<28...Rb4?> This is the decisive mistake.

Instead, Black has excellent drawing chances with 28... Rf6! when play might continue 29. Qxc5 Qxc5 30. Nxc5 Bf8 31. Ne6 Bxe6 32. dxe6 Rxe6 33. c5 Kh8 34. Bc4 Rc6 35. Rxe5 Rxc5 36. Rxc5 Bxc5 37. b3 f4 38. Rf1 Be3 39. Ra1 Rb6 = (0.16 @ 25 depth).

<29. d6!!> This is the winning move which initiates the combination setting up the puzzle solution 30. Nxc5!

<29...Qc6 30. Nxc5!> This solves yesterday's Saturday puzzle.

<30...Qxc5 31. Rd5!> This wins and is probably best.

However, 31. d7! also appears to be decisive as White wins after 31...Bxd7 (not 31... Bb7? 32. d8=Q ) 32. Rxd7 e4 33. Red1! f4 34. Rb7 a5 35. Rdd7! Bh8 36. Rb5! Rxb5 37. cxb5 Bd4 38. Qa4 Bg7 39. Qxe4 Kh8 40. b3 Qe3 41. Qd3 Qc5 42. Rd8 h6 43. Qd7 f3 44. g3 Qc1 45. Qd3 Rxd8 46. Qxd8+ Kh7 47. Qd3+ Kg8 48. b6 (+3.07 @ 24 depth).

<32...Qb8> If 32... Qb7, White wins with difficulty after 33. c6 Qb6 34. d7 a5 35. dxc8=Q Rxc8 36. Rxa5 Bf8 37. Raxe5 Qxc6 38. Rxf5 Rb7 39. Rg5+ Kh8 40. Qg3 (+2.13 @ 22 depth).

<33. d7 Bxd7 34. Rxd7 Rc8>

Black can put up slightly more resistance with 34...Rb7 35. Rxb7 Qxb7 36. Bxa6 Qc7 37. b4 e4 38. Bc4+ Kh8 39. b5 Bd4 40. c6 Re8 41. Rd1 (+3.24 @ 22 depth).

<35. Qxa6 Rxc5 36. Qe6+ Kh8 37. Qe7 1-0>

Black resigns in lieu of 37... Qf8 38.
Rd8 (+8.03 @ 21 depth).

P.S.: My Saturday puzzle try was 30. Nxc5! Qxc5 31. d7!

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