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Stefan Djuric vs Andrea Navacchia
Carnevale open (1998), Italy
Alekhine Defense: Balogh Variation (B03)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Missed it! Faked me out today with the possibility of a demolition Bishop sacrifice on the Kingside. Instead, the game line with 24. Nxc5 Bxc5 25. Bxc5 Qxc5 26. b4! gives us a trapped piece combination, taking a page from the old Noah's Ark Trap!

Nice take on an old theme! Thanks!

Feb-14-14  LIzzard: With a much better pawn structure, I would have probably kept playing down a bishop if I were black.

In echoing everyone here, nice puzzle. It is good to have one looking for a game advantage.

Feb-14-14  belgradegambit: Best Friday puzzle in a long time! Like everyone else I spent forever trying to make Nf6+ work along with Bxh7+. When you ignore the kingside the solution is easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Seriously?! It can't be that "simple".
Feb-14-14  Patriot: Material is even.


24...gxf6 25.exf6 Bd6 26.Qh5 Nd3 27.Bh6 Qd8 28.Qg5+

24...gxf6 25.exf6 Bd6 26.Qh5 Ne4 27.Bh6

24...gxf6 25.exf6 Bd6 26.Qh5 Be4 27.Bxe4 Nxe4 28.Bh6

24...Bxf6 25.exf6 isn't such a big deal for white in terms of material.

Looking at other candidates, I think 24.Nf6+ is the best.

Feb-14-14  vajeer: <Patriot:> I think the correct follow up after 24. Nf6+ is Bxf6 because,

24. Nxf6 gxf6
25. Bxh7+

A. 25....Kxh7
26. Qh5+ Kg8
27. Bh6 wins

B. 25....Kh8
26. Qh5 Qg7
27. Bc2+ Kg8
28. Bh6 wins

Feb-14-14  morfishine: <Mojodomo> 30.Qxg4

<Cheapo by the Dozen> Not a bad post; sometimes visualization is harder on different days

<M.Hassan> In your first line 24.Bg5, 24...Bxg5 is not forced. After 24...b6 there is no more piece trap


Feb-14-14  RandomVisitor: did black have something better than 22...Na4?

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.30] d=25 22...h6> 23.g3 Na4 24.b4 Bxe4 25.Bxe4 axb4 26.axb4 Bxb4 27.Bxb7 Rd8 28.Bc6 Nb6 29.Qg4 Bd2 30.Bxd2 Rxd2 31.Qf4 Rd8 32.c5 Nd5 33.Qc4 Ne7 34.Be4 Qe8 35.Rb1 Nc6 36.Qc3 Qd7

Feb-14-14  mel gibson: I said
"I checked on my computer & it's draw
even when I changed to many other possible moves between move 27 & 35.

Why did black resign?"

No one answered me

Feb-14-14  zavariz: I do not see a clear advantage for white, nor a black queen trapped. It seems to finish a draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: The bishop is trapped after 28 b5. It took me an embarrassingly long time to see this.
Feb-14-14  devere: 24.Bxc5 Bxc5 25.Nxc5 Qxc5 26.b4 Qe7 27.b5 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qxh4 29.Rb3 Rd4

click for larger view

Black loses a piece for two pawns, but not necessarily the game. White would have a lot of work to do, if in fact it can be won at all.

It was very obliging of Black to resign; perhaps a victim of the chess etiquette brainwashing that dictates that if you blunder away a piece the only polite thing to do is resign.

Feb-14-14  RandomVisitor: After 24.Nxc5 Bxc5 25.Bxc5 Qxc5 26.b4 black had to determine that the h4 pawn was vulnerable and capturable. The two pawns for the piece, as <mel gibson> points out, is sufficient to create reasonable resistance and make white's forward progress difficult:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.90] d=26 26...Qe7 27.b5 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qxh4> 29.Rb3 Rd4 30.Rh3 Qg5+ 31.Rg3 Qh4 32.Bd3 g6 33.Qe3 c5 34.bxc6 bxc6 35.Qf3 Qd8 36.Bf1 Qc7 37.Qf6 c5 38.Rb3 h6 39.Be2 a4 40.Rb2

Feb-15-14  rickycota: No chance for black even if 28.b5 Bxg2 29.Kxg2 Qxh4 after white 30.Qe4 white's queen is in a tremendous position and black can only do Qg5+ 31.Kf1 g6 then 32.Rd1 and it will simplify material till black loses. 2520 rated player will not lose his advantage so easily with no pieces left for black
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Mel Gibson><Random Visitor> After looking at the possibility 24.Nxc5 Bxc5 25.Bxc5 Qxc5 26.b4 Qe7 27.b5 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qxh4 , I still prefer the game continuation because the complications (at least for me) are easier to calculate and clearly leave White all the winning chances. However, the line 24. Nf6+! = to , as analyzed by <agb2002> might with perfect play lead to the same result as 24. Nxc5 (i.e. perhaps a draw in both cases?).

After 24. Nf6+ gxf6 25. Bxh7+! (not 25. exf6? Bxf6! ) 25...Kxh7 26. Qh5+ Kg8 (not 26...Kg7? 27. Bh6+! ) 27. Bh6 Qxh6 (not 27...any other Queen move, such as 27...Qd8?? 28.Qg4+ Kh7 29. Qg7#) 28. Qxh6 fxe5 29. b4 Nd3 =, chances appear to be about even in a complex position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <RV> After your computer's long Rybka line, starting with 24. Nxc5! and ending in 40. Rb2, the alternative 40. Rh3! seems to give White much stronger winning chances (40. Rh3! evaluates +3.42 @27 depth per Fritz 12, versus 40. Rb2 at +0.90 in your Rybka line at 26 depth). Could you recheck this?

In case I got your Rybka line wrong, the position below is what I see after 40. Rh3! (instead of 40. Rb2):

click for larger view

Position (diagram above) resulting after 24. Nxc5 Bxc5 25. Bxc5 Qxc5 26. b4 Qe7 27. b5 Bxg2 28. Kxg2 Qxh4 29. Rb3 Rd4 30. Rh3 Qg5+ 31. Rg3 Qh4 32. Bd3 g6 33. Qe3 c5 34. bxc6 bxc6 35. Qf3 Qd8 36. Bf1 Qc7 37. Qf6 c5 38. Rb3 h6 39. Be2 a4 40. Rh3! (instead of 40. Rb2 ).

Feb-15-14  RandomVisitor: <patzer2>After 24.Nxc5 BXc5 25.Bxc5 Qxc5 26.b4 Qe7 27.b5 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qxh4:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

<[+0.85] d=27 29.Rb3 Rd4 30.Rh3> Qg5+ 31.Rg3 Qd8 32.Be4 b6 33.Qe3 g6 34.Bd3 Kg7 35.Kf1 Rh4 36.Kg1 Rd4 37.Rh3 h5 38.Kf1 a4 39.Ke2 Qd7 40.Rh1 Kf8 41.Rd1 Qd8

[+0.81] d=26 29.Qe4 Qg5+ 30.Kf1 g6 31.Re1 b6 32.Re3 Rd2 33.Rg3 Qd8 34.Rg4 Kg7 35.Ke1 Kf8 36.Rf4 Kg8 37.a4 Rd7 38.Qe3 h5 39.Ke2

[+0.78] d=26 29.Bd3 Qg5+ 30.Kf1 g6 31.Qe4 b6 32.Rd1 Kg7 33.Ke2 h6 34.Qe3 Qg4+ 35.Ke1 h5 36.Qg3 Rd4 37.Qxg4 Rxg4 38.Kd2 Rg5 39.Re1 Kf8 40.c5

Feb-15-14  RandomVisitor: <patzer2>Rybka seems to use the principle variation only as a "typical" continuation, in its evaluation. In other words, it does not think the game will ever get to the endpoint of the line - it thinks that something will happen along the way, such as it discovering a better move.

My personal opinion is that the machine uses the line as a test of adaptive capacity - "here is one way the machine is stretching to adapt" in a sea of millions of lines.

Unfortunately, the analysis of variations is the only way to proceed in chess analysis. Sliding forward a few moves and re-examining is appropriate, but sliding to the end of a line can cause artificial results. Black might have a way to improve in the many moves that you "slid past".

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <RV> Thanks! So after <24.Nxc5 BXc5 25.Bxc5 Qxc5 26.b4 Qe7 27.b5 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 Qxh4 29.Rb3 Rd4 30.Rh3 Qg5+ 31.Rg3>, it would seem 31...Qd8 likely improves over 31...Qh4 in your previous 26-depth Rybka run.

But slightly earlier 29. Qe4 and 29. Bd3 also offer potential improvements to keep White's advantage at about a pawn or less.

P.S.: This stuff gets deeper and more complicated the more the Chess onion gets peeled back. Appreciate your efforts not only in analyzing these problems, but also for your strong contribution to the GM versus world challenges.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <RV> If Rybka continually evaluates its previous analysis of a combination to find improvements, that might be a good lesson for us humans in chess -- that is (where time permits) to look for improvements along the way on each and every move of a combination we previously evaluated.

At least that's the lesson I'll attempt to take from this, not only as an application in chess but also toward improving my personal life and work.

Feb-15-14  RandomVisitor: <patzer2>Truth be told, I have a lot of help from visitors to my forum who make worthwhile suggestions when I am screwing up. I point the machines, I guess a lot, I make corrections, I post the results, I repeat.
Feb-15-14  RandomVisitor: <patzer2>Yes, Rybka looks for improvements in the lines, always, but like a neighborhood dog sniffing for clues, if it does not find a hint of something going on, it looks elsewhere.

Rybka is always looking for ways to cut off exploration of the unpromising lines - it just cannot search every possibility. Perhaps it postpones exploration when it cannot build a case that the sustainability of the position is likely impacted. In this case, it just has to move on.

Feb-15-14  PJs Studio: Not to be a smartypants but:

Everyone is right that black can play on except(!) Djuric at the time was a titled player and probably quite an intimidating force against the unranked Navacchia.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <morf....sometimes visualization is harder on different days>

Ain't that the truth.

Feb-17-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I briefly thought I had an answer with

27 ... Qd4
28 b5 Qd2

But play it out:

29 Qxd2 Rxd2
30 bxc6 Rxc2
21 cxb7


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