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Yifan Hou vs Nana Dzagnidze
FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 3, Apr-11
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Maroczy Bind Reti Variation (B41)  ·  1-0



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sac: 22.Qh6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-13-14  mrbasso: <exoduz> Your patzer critic is not entirely justified. After 10...Bxc6 11.Be3 black has problems as well. There are (at least) 2 games in the dabases and Hou has undoubtly prepared some improvements for white (for example Bb4 12.Rac1!?). Bc5+ just blocks the c-pawn temporarily. She intended to go Be7,c5 but first forced the white King to h1. Why not? The white King on h1 is hardly better than on g1 here because after c5 the diagonal a7-g1 is blocked. No tactics there. The only big mistake I can see in this game was 19...b5??. After 19...f5 white is better but it would not be easy to win this game.
Apr-13-14  lemaire90: White to move at move 21 would make a nice Saturday or Sunday puzzle !
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Very sharp; white has a mate in 4. Two Bishops working together are monsters.
Apr-15-14  sofouuk: after 6.Nc3, Bb4 is the principled move. risking the curled up hedgehog against whites maroczy bind is always a bit dubious
Apr-22-14  Boris Schipkov: This game with my notes
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: It must have been very satisfying for white to pull off such an attack. Sort of the chess equivalent of Mike Tyson in his prime.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: White's 21. Rxf5 was obvious. I didn't guess any of the moves that followed, black's or white's.
May-03-14  Mating Net: I think most users will find this puzzle to be pretty straight forward for a Saturday. All in all, a nice mating attack.
May-03-14  morfishine: I remember this game and <21.Rxf5>. Perhaps Black improves with 21...f6

I aslo remember Hou's great play in Tata Steel 2013 lopping off a few GM heads (on the way to a 2700+ performance rating) as well as her spirited effort vs Magnus: Yifan Hou vs Carlsen, 2013


May-03-14  gofer: As with all sacrifices, the question is not what will happen after it has been accepted (and an easily predictable path has been chosen), but what will happen after it has been refused.

<21 Rxf5 ...>

The rook is immune.

21 ... gxf5?
22 Bxf5 ...

22 ... Rfd8?
23 Qxh7+ Kf8
24 Qh8#

22 ... Bh4?
23 Qxh4 Nf6?
24 exf6 Rfd8
25 Qxh7+ Kf8
26 Qg7#/Qh8#

So what now? We are a pawn up with the threat of Rh5

21 ... Nxe5?
22 Bxe5

21 ... Kg7?
22 e6+

<21 ... f6>
<22 e6 ...>

22 ... gxf5?
23 Bxf5 Rf7
24 exf7+

<22 ... Ne5>
<23 Bxe5 fxe5>
<24 Rf7 Rxf7>
<25 exf7+ ...>

25 ... Kxg7
26 Qxh7+

<25 ... Kg7>
<26 Be5 ...>

In the longterm black is dead, the open f file and protected pawn on f7 mean that black will eventually have to trade R for B+P and that will be very difficult to be the trade that black gets! I am wondering if <22 Rh5> might also be an option...


Hmmm, never thought of <21 ... Qb6?!>...

Premium Chessgames Member
  jffun1958: Rest of it ist mate in 4:
24. ... Kh8 25. Bxf6+ Bxf6 26. Qxf5 Rd1+ 27. Rxd1 any 28. Qxh7#
May-03-14  waustad: I didn't consider Qb6 either, though I did see the sac.
May-03-14  mbvklc: I remember this game too well to get a puzzle out of this. Amazing attack nevertheless.
May-03-14  Marmot PFL: 21 Rxf5 gf5 22 Qxf5 and the game soon ends

21...f6 is a better defense, at least I don't see a fast win. Don't see any other tries than 21 Rxf5 anyway as Be4 and e5 are both attacked.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: At I rook fire far be in f5 reticence ogle f5 lade,

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Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I queen hay wain over gets above her station the path freer to slam pop the righteous man dig as guffaw am now wiggy rates encircles at bet a crimp to berth in wide fat chance I rade f5 as too e4 lane b5 I against somewhat back beat botch free to bottle great bent b5 a crescent moons wax on wax off crazy advance float over a free in facts opening a shot b5 am wo a 21.Rxf5 Qb6 carnivore misses at her best chance why long tease baffle give in blub er club queen a c7 ha scratch off a rubber thin pick dank and dusty b6 bin feed to a 21...f6 22.Raf1 elegy soar in ready to reload pawn ahead cash in f7.

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May-03-14  Jim Bartle: <21 ... f6>
<22 e6 ...>

22 ... gxf5?
<23 Bxf5 Rf7
24 exf7+

<22 ... Ne5>
<23 Bxe5 fxe5>
<24 Rf7 Rxf7>
<25 exf7+ ...>

25 ... Kxg7
26 Qxh7+ >

Is that 25...Kg7 or 25...Kxf7?

In either case, I can't find a clear win for white after Kg7.

May-03-14  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

Black threatens 21... fxe4 and 21... Nxe5.

The obvious move is 21.Rxf5, stopping momentarily both threats, recovering a pawn and menacing Rh5:

A) 21... gxf5 22.Qxf5 and mate soon.

B) 21... Rfe8 22.Rxf7

B.1) 22... Kxf7 23.Qxh7+ Ke6 (23... Kf8 24.Qh8+ Kf7 25.Bd5#) 24.Bd5+ Kf5 25.Rf1+ and mate in two.

B.2) 22... Nf8 23.e6 + -, with the threats Rg7+ and Bxg6.

C) 21... f6 22.exf6

C.1) 22... gxf5 23.Bd5+ Rf7 (23... Kh8 24.fxe7+ wins a piece at least) 24.Bxf7+

C.1.a) 24... Kxf7 25.Qxh7+ Kf8 (25... Ke6(8) 26.Qxe7#) 26.Qg7+ Ke8 27.Qxe7#.

C.1.b) 24... Kf8 25.Qh6+ Kxf7 26.Qxh7+ transposes to C.1.a.

C.1.c) 24... Kh8 25.fxe7+ wins.

C.2) 22... Bxf6 23.Bd5+ Kg7 and Black seems to hold.

D) 21... f6 22.Rh5 gxh5 23.Qg3+ Kh8 (23... Kf7 24.e6+ Ke8 (24... Kxe6 25.Bd5#) 25.Bg6+ hxg6 (25... Rf7 26.Bxf7+ Kf8 27.Qg8#) 26.Qxg6+ Rf7 27.Qxf7#) 24.exf6 Qxg3 (due to Qg7# and Qxc7) 25.fxe7+ Qg7 and it seems that White won't even achieve a minimum material superiority.

E) 21... f6 22.Rg5

E.1) 22... fxg5 23.Qe6+

E.1.a) 23... Rf7 24.Bd5 Rdf8 25.Qxe7 and the threat Rf1 looks winning.

E.1.b) 23... Kh8 24.Qxe7 and the threat e6+ seems to win material.

E.2) 22... Rf7 23.e6

E.2.a) 23... fxg5 24.exf7+ Kxf7 (24... Kf8 25.Qh6+ Kxf7 as in the line) 25.Qxh7+ and the attack looks winning.

E.2.b) 23... Rg7 24.exd7 fxg5 25.Qe6+ Rf7 (25... Kh8 26.Qxe7 Rdg8 27.Bxg7+ Rxg7 28.d8=Q+ wins; 25... Kf8 26.Rf1+ wins) 26.Bd5 Rdf8 27.Qxe7 wins.

E.3) 22... Nxe5 23.Bxe5 fxe5 24.Bxg6 hxg6 (24... fxg5 25.Qxh7#) 25.Rxg6+ Kf7 26.Qh5 Rh8 27.Rh6+ Kg7 28.Qg6+ Kf8 29.Rxh8#.

May-03-14  jdc2: Yes, f6 is the computer solution, and it's really
a "White wins the exchange" problem, I gave up
after not seeing any forced mates.

You could build an entire suite of long and short forced mate problems from the position after 22...gxf5:

click for larger view

23. e6 f6

(23... Nf6 24. Bxf6 Bxf6 25. Bxf5 Rd1+ 26. Rxd1 Ra8 27. Qxh7+ Kf8 28. Qxf7#)

24. Bxf5 Rf7

(24... Rfe8 25. Qxh7+ Kf8 26. Qf7#)

25. exf7+ Kxf7 26.Qxh7+ Kf8

(26... Ke8 27. Bg6+ Kf8 28. Qf7#)

27. Bc1 Ne5

(27... Qd6 28. Bh6+ Ke8 29. Bg6#)
(27... Rb8 28. Bg6 Qe6 or any other move 29. Bh6#)
(27... Bd6 28.Bh6+ Ke8 29. Bg6#)

28. Bh6+ Ke8 29. Qg8+ Bf8 30. Qxf8# 1-0

May-03-14  PJs Studio: Jdc2 = nice analysis. I failed to see 23...f6 while figuring out this problem.

In the game finish I thought 24.Bxf5 works, but it does NOT. Methinks Black can squirm out of mate. Great puzzle CG

May-03-14  M.Hassan: <ex0duz>:
10...dxc6 I think I could have done it if it were an endgame producing 3 connected pawns but not on the 10th move blocking the Bishop line as you mention. I quite agree with you that the decline of Black started with this move. I also agree with you regarding uselessness of 11...Bc5+ which only gives a check, blocks movement of c pawn for a while and then runs away to e7 where it should have gone on move 11
May-03-14  SatelliteDan: Nice to know there are adults here. :).
May-03-14  TheBish: Yifan Hou vs N Dzagnidze, 2014

White to play (21.?) "Very Difficult".

Black is up a pawn, and theatens both the Be4 and the Pe5. White's best move meets both threats.

21. Rxf5!

Now Black must not reply 21...gxf5 22. Qxf5 with a quick mate to follow. Also White threatens 22. e6!, opening the long diagonal for the dark squared bishop as well as the f-file. Black badly needs his knight on f8 for defense, but if 21...Re8 (to clear f8) 22. Rxf7! Kxf7 23. Qxh7+ is crushing (23...Kf8 24. Bxg6 or 23...Ke6 24. Qh3+! Kf7 25. e6+ Kg8 26. Qh8#).

21...f6 22. e6!

Taking away f7 from the f8 rook, so that now 22...gxf5 23. Qxf5 Rf7 24. exf7+ Kxf7 25. Qxh7+ leads to a winning attack.

22...Ne5 23. Bxe5 fxe5 24. Rh5!

White has a winning attack. Black can safely resign since 24...gxh5 25. Qxh5 leads to mate, and otherwise 25. Rxh7 will be crushing.


I forgot to analyze 21...Qb6, which is the first defense I considered! My first consideration was 22. e6, which succeeds brilliantly after 22...Qxe6?? 23. Qxh7+! Kxh7 24. Rh5+ Kg8 25. Rh8#; of course Black plays 22...fxe6 after which Black defends. The finish of this game after 22. Qh6! looks familiar, but I don't know if I saw this game (it's very recent) or another one with a similar finish.

May-04-14  patzer2: For yesterday's Saturday puzzle, like <al wazir> I found <White's 21. Rxf5 was obvious.>

However, the real test (which I didn't pass) after 21. Rxf5 Qb6 was finding 22. Qh6!! with an unstoppable attack on the Black King.

Black's last chance to avoid disaster appears to be 19...f5 when play might go 19...f5! 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Qxe6+ Kg7 22. Qe7+ Rf7 23. Bxf6+ Nxf6 24. Qxc7 Rxc7 25. Bf3 Rd2 26. Rfd1 Rcd7 . Here White goes a pawn up, but she has a long way to go to convert it to a win.

Earlier, Fritz 12's suggestion of 16...h6 = appears to improve. For example after 16... h6 17. b3 Nc5! 18. Nxc5 Bxc5 19. Bb2 Bd4! White's plan of a King side attack turns on its head.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <<exoduz> Your patzer critic is not entirely justified. After 10...Bxc6 11.Be3 black has problems as well. There are (at least) 2 games in the dabases and Hou has undoubtly prepared some improvements for white (for example Bb4 12.Rac1!?). Bc5+ just blocks the c-pawn temporarily. She intended to go Be7,c5 but first forced the white King to h1. Why not? The white King on h1 is hardly better than on g1 here because after c5 the diagonal a7-g1 is blocked. No tactics there. The only big mistake I can see in this game was 19...b5??. After 19...f5 white is better but it would not be easy to win this game.>>

I ran this via Komodo and I concur here re move 19...b5 although it should only get ? as it isn't losing. It certainly makes Black's game difficult as the thematic sacrifice f5 is surely coming.

Better than that was 19. ... f5 which hold the balance. If then 20. Bf3 then b5 is now a possibility. White is a little better in the game but Black certainly didn't go wrong 'straight out of the opening'.

Also better was 16. ... h6 rather than 16. ... g6 as g6 becomes an easier target.

But Black's desire to counter with b5 is understandable.

I didn't know this was a problem to solve by the way, I was looking at some games, and came across it.

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