Puzzle of the week #23

Chess Diagram: 


This week we are taking a small break from "Chess on the edge" book, but will continue looking at Grand Masters' games. A few days ago Susan Polgar's blog highlighted a very interesting endgame from an international tournament. The tournament in question was the second edition of "Kings' Tournament 2008" from Bazna, Romania (May 24th - June 3rd). The list of participating players (all Grand Masters) consisted of:
1. GM Nigel Short (ENG) 7.0/ 10
2. GM Lajos Portisch (HUN) 5.5/ 10
3. GM Ulf Anderson (SWE) 5.5/ 10
4. GM Mihai Suba (ROM) 5.0/ 10
5. GM Alexander Beliavsky (SLO) 5.0/ 10
6. GM Alexander Khalifman (RUS) 5.0/ 10
7. GM Henrique Mecking (BRA) 5.0/ 10
8. GM Andrei Murariu (ROM) 5.0/ 10
9. GM Andrei Sokolov (FRA) 4.0/ 10
10. GM Rafael Vaganian (ARM) 4.0/ 10
11. GM Jan Timman (NED) 4.0/ 10
With so many great players with a huge experience behind them as a result of long chess careers, it is no wonder the final result was so tight. There was only 0.5 points difference between the 2nd and 8th place; here it is interesting to note GM Portisch (2nd place) is a veteran, while GM Murariu (8th place) is a young promising local player.

Having the chance to be team mate with GM Suba in the early 80s and attend a few of his training sessions, gives a clue why I was more interested in his games compared with others. GM Suba was, is and forever will be a legend in Romanian chess. His book "Dynamic chess strategy" (paperback) has been sold out for many years and those who own a copy treasure it for its real value. Usually GM Suba would be in the news for a chess novelty (he once completely revived the Benoni defence), or for his unexpected, quite amazing and precise tactics. This time we are going to look at one of his endgames: GM Suba - GM Beliavsky, from round 7 (see diagram). Black's last move was 43... Kc1, attacking Bd1
a) What do you think the result of the game will be? Provide a line to justify your answer (10 points)
b) What chess elements do you need to use in this case? Each correct element receives (1 point)
The answers will be published next week together with puzzle #24.

Puzzle #22 solution:
Same as last time we will start by looking at the position. Here are some of the positives and negatives for both sides:
a) White has not castled, thing which is going to cost him a tempo
b) Rh1 is already "developed" on the semi-open h-file
c) Qd3 blocks the "d4" pawn which is good and bad in the same time: you want that pawn blocked, but not by the most important piece if possible
d) Black is up a pawn
e) Black has castled
f) Ra8 and Bc8 are not developed
g) Black's King is not safe with the "a2-g8" diagonal and the h-file available for White to attack Choosing ill-advised pawn grabbing instead of development or King security is always a recipe for disaster. If Black goes that way with 15... Qxb2, White ends the game with a nice combination (as shown by Bruce and Yasser): 16.Qc4+ Kh8 17.Kf2! ... (the key move connecting the Rooks and keeping the atack alive) 17... Qb4 18.Rxh7+ Kxh7 19.Ng5+ Kh8 20.Rh1+ Bh6 21.Rxh6+ Kg7 22.Rh7+ Kf6 23.Qf7+ Rxf7 24.Rxf7#
In the game Black chose correctly to develop with 15... Be6, but in the end was overpowered and had to resign after 48 moves.

Correct solutions:
John D - 12 points
Joanne and Wilson - 10 points
Jeremy - 8 points
Jacob, Alex, Katerina and Matthew - 5 points
Alejandro, Algerd, West, Karl and Nicholas - 4 points

94.0 John D
89.0 Jacob
87.0 Jeremy
60.0 Matthew
54.0 Katerina
47.5 Karl
47.0 Joanne and Wilson
38.0 Algerd
25.0 Nathaniel ...
17 more solvers with less points


Pawn breakthrough