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Gerhard Mittermayr vs Christov Kleijn
Vienna op 16th (2009), Vienna AUT, rd 2, Aug-16
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B94)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-21-16  saturn2: Bxb2 and white is lost.
Jun-21-16  Nullifidian: 25... ♗xb2+ 26. ♔xb2 (♔d2 ♕c3#) ♕c3+ 27. ♔b1/c1 ♖a1#
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

White threatens 26.Nxe5.

The dark squares around the white king are too weak, in particular c3. Therefore, 25... Bxb2+:

A) 26.Kxb2 Qc3+ 27.Kb(c)1 Ra1#.

B) 26.Kb1 Ra1+ 27.Kxb2 Qc3#.

C) 26.Kd2 Qc3#.

Jun-21-16  AlicesKnight: 25.... bxb2+ seems to do it; if 26.Kd2, Qc3#; if Kxb2, Qc3+; 27.Kb1/c1 Ra1# and if 26.Kb1, Ra1+; 27.Kxb2, Qc3#. Have a look - OK. Is 25.ab3 a help-mate? - but the rot had already set in when white allowed 20... ab3.
Jun-21-16  lost in space: Had a thought about 25...Qc3 26. Bxc3 Bxc3 and thought that 27...Ra1 mate is unstoppable....but there is 27. Ba4!

So it must be 25...Bxb2 and mate in 3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: That's a brilliant little puzzle. As well as the snap mate, there are two tempting lines that don't lead anywhere and one reasonably good but murky continuation.

25...Qc3 looks crushing until you spot 26. bxc3 Bxc3 27. Ba4

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Oops. The bishop stops Ra1#. Black loses.

25...Bf4+ is another tempter because 26. Rd2 allows Ra1#. But 26. Kb1 stops all of black's fun. It's probably a level position.

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25...Ra1+ 26. Kd2 Bf4+ 27. Ke1 Qa5 is interesting

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Black doesn't have anything forced, but he has a lot of pressure against White's windy king. Fritzie rates this as -4.79. Black probably wins eventually.

And, yup, I played with all three of those lines until I spotted 25...Bxb2+ and that's all she wrote.

That's what a puzzle should be. A few tempting but flawed red herrings to keep us honest. A tempting but murky continuation to remind me of my first marriage. Then a clearly winning line that has you clapping your hand to your forehead and exclaiming "doh!"

Jun-21-16  stacase: That was fun.
Jun-21-16  goodevans: <20.Nxe5?> looks like the losing move. After <20...axb3> black threatens both to promote via <...bxa2> and to win a piece via <...dxe5>.

White looks to wriggle out of it with a couple of checks and the exchange on f6 but he hadn't reckoned with <25...Bxb2+!>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: I was a bit like England last night. I dominated this position completely except for finding the winning move. Maybe if I had some different pieces on the board.....
Jun-21-16  The Kings Domain: Nice and easy puzzle which I have to admit took me quite some time to figure out. At times, it's those easy ones that are gonna get you.
Jun-21-16  Modulo: 25. ... ?
Black to play; "Easy."

Black's pieces look like they could be attacking with quite a punch. My first thought was 25. ... Ra1+ 26. Kd2 Bc3+ 27. Ke3 Qc5+, but after Kf4 I could not find a good continuation. My next idea was Qc3, but after bxc3 Bxc3 White can block the Rook with Ba4. It took me a while to find it, but Black indeed has a mate in 3:

25. ... Bxb2+

a) 26. Kd2 Qc3#
b) 26. Kxb2 Qc3+ and Ra1# in the next move
c) 26. Kb1 Ra1+ 27. Kxb2 Qc3#.

So yeah; pretty easy but it took me a while to find it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Black to play.

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Nice puzzle with 3 plausible checks on the board. (always check the checks first.)

25....Ra1+ 25....Bxb2+ 25....Bf4+.

25....Bxb2+ leaps out because it has to be taken and 26...Qc3+ mates next move.

One instructive point not covered in Once's informative post when he mentioned the imaginative. 1...Qc3.

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If the check all check first method fails then you resort to cute moves like this.

This is what we call squeezing a position dry of tactical ideas and was well spotted by Once.

As Once mentioned it fails to 26.bxc3 Bxc3 27.Ba5

But if we flicked in 26...Ra1+ before Bxc3 and White is clumsy enough to play 27.Kb2 Bxc3 is mate.

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27.Kd2 busts that one. But storing the pattern and the idea does no harm at all. One day C.G. might get around to dropping this in our laps on a Tuesday.

Marszalek - Kovalev, Poland 2008

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Black to play.

And thanks to Once for getting the ball rolling we should have a page full of 100% successful solves. (and the complaints of how easy it was.)

Jun-21-16  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has B+N+P for the bishop pair, but the castled white king is more vulnerable, even though the black king is caught in the middle. I was initially focused on two candidates, 25... Bf4+ (to be followed by 26.Kb1 Qa5 27.Ba4), and 25... Ra1+ 26.Kd2 Bc3+ 27.Ke3, where the white king escapes. With both candidates forcing, this was not terrible analytical practice, but showed a blind spot. After leaving the problem briefly and coming back, I spotted the winner quickly.

25... Bxb2+! forces mate-in-3:

A. 26.Kxb2 Qc3+ 27.Kb1/c1 Ra1#

B. 26.Kb1 Ra1+ 27.Kxb2 Qc3#

C. 26.Kd2 Qc3#

Jun-21-16  YetAnotherAmateur: c3 jumps out as the key square, because it allows black the chance to trap the king on the back rank and mate on a1. Therefor, start be eliminating c3's defender: 25. ... Bxb2+

White only has 3 legal responses, and all 3 end badly:

A) 26. Kxb2 Qc3+ 27. Kb1/c1 Ra1#
B) 26. Kb1 Ra1+ 27. Kxb2 Qc3#
C) 26. Kd2 Qc3#

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: 25...Bf4+ also seems to work, but White has the prosaic 26.Kb1
Jun-21-16  roentgenium: I managed to see 25...Bxb2+ and the mates after 26.Kxb2 and 26.Kd2.

However, I managed to take an unnecessarily long detour on the 26.Kb1 line with 26...Qc3, with this position:

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The threat of 27...Ra1# means White must play 27.Ba6 or 27.Ba4. However, in response, Black plays 27...Ba3 with an unstoppable mating threat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Thanks, <Once>, for so perfectly explaining what features make this such a good puzzle.
Jun-21-16  YouRang: A very pretty little mate.

I took me a moment to find it because at first glance I dismissed a mating tactic and concentrated on winning a piece.

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I thought: "I can't take the Nd7, and I don't want the N to get away by taking my Be5, so I've got to move the bishop..."

Looking for places to move the bishop, Pb2 became interesting because my Q is then protected at c3, and then my R is protected at a1. One way or another, it's checkmate.

The K can't escape at d2 either because even his friends, the white Q and R, have unwittingly conspired to trap him into a ...Qc3#.


Looking at the prior moves, can anyone guess why white played <24.e5?>? That precarious Nd7 had two chances to take black's strong DSB (moves 24 and 25), but let them both pass...

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I tried the check with the bishop at f4,but the king escapes to b1 oops!
Jun-21-16  YouRang: As <goodevans> pointed out, white's game fell apart at move 20:

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White played <20.Nxe5?>, a terrible move allowing black to open the rook file and add another attacker to the fragile Pc2 with <20...axb3!>.

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I think white must have overestimated his own attack, which consisted of check <21.Bb5+ Kf8>, a piece exchange <22.Bxf6 Bxf6> and a fork <23.Nd7+ Ke7>. Everything easily parried, white should have cut his losses with 24.Nxf6, but evidently decided to keep trying with the dubious <24.e5?>, completely overlooking the defensive nightmare created on move 20.

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Now black can win with either <24...Bxe4> as in the game, or even 24...bxa2, which probably continues: 25.exf6+ Kd8 26.Kd2 Rg8!

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The twin threats of ...Rxg2 and ...a1Q will leave white devastated.

Jun-21-16  alfiere nero: That pawn powerfully placed at b4 to aid the queen quickly leads to the "solution".
Jun-21-16  jdc2: A terrific problem! I saw a completely wrong line and missed it entirely. I saw Bf4+ 2.Kb1 (Q or R moves to block result in mate by Ra1)Ra1+ 3.Kxa1 Ra8+ 4.Kb1 Qa5 but didn't see that the white bishop could go to a4 to block, also that after Qa5 the white pawn could go to c3.
Jun-21-16  BOSTER: After 24...Bxe5 White'd play 25.Nxe5 without fear bxa2.
Jun-22-16  Moszkowski012273: 11..g5 should of been punished by 12.Be1...
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Playing catch up on a Tuesday puzzle I didn't have a chance to look at yesterday, I started to make it more difficult than it needed to be with 25...Ra1+ 26. Kd2 Bf4+ 27. Ke1 Qa5 .

Realizing this was too difficult for a simple Tuesday puzzle solution, I looked for something easier. That's when I saw 25...Bxb2+! which initiates mate-in-three.

For a White improvement, 19. Bb5+! looks to give the first player a strong advantage.

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