Today’s winning 5-second tactics

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“Human says time goes by; Time says human goes by”

― Anonymous


gm  Fedorowicz,J


im  Preotu,R

Kitchener International August 2, 2015.  Position after 26 moves of play.  A sharp (and imperfect!) game so far, with Black having missed several opportunities to get the upper hand.  Now, however, with White’s King safely tucked away and with his active Rook on the 7th rank, Preotu has everything in place and can confidently begin active operations…



A classical break-thru in these types of positions where Black has ‘forgotten’ to castle.  I seem to remember a game that Pilsbury won against the great Emanuel Lasker (Nuremburg, 1896) featured a similar pawn advance.  As in that game, here White gains the f4-square for his Knight, which will help put pressure on e6 and/or g6.

If now 27…Nxd3 28.fxe6! fxe6 29.Qxd3 b4 30.Qh3 and something falls in Black’s position; or if instead 27…exf5 28.Nc3! Rd8 29.Qf3 Nxd3 30.Rxd3Bb7 31.Ncxb5 and White must win.  Black has little choice but to play the move that Fedorowicz played in the game…

27… gxf5  28.Nf4


White intends a quick (and nasty) g6, and there is not a lot that Black can do about it…If now  28…Nxd3 29.Rxd3 b4 30.Rd1 b3 31.cxb3 axb3 32.g6 bxa2+ 33.Ka1 Black’s counterattack runs out of steam and after 33… fxg6 34.Nh5!  the end is near. Black tried something a bit different…



Essentially, this last move changes nothing.  


White should now crash thru with the immediate 29.g6!:


White’s threats are too much for the defence.  After 29…Rxg6!? (Or 29…Kd8 30.Rxf7! b3 31.Qh4+ Ke8 32.Nxf5! exf5 33.Nxd5! etc) 30.Nxg6 Nxd3!?




The defender always hates these in-between moves! Now if 31…Qxd4  White wins by force with 32.Rxf8+ Kd7 33.Rxf7+ Kc6 34.cxd3 Kb5 35.Qf2 etc. So Black has nothing better than 32…Kd7!? but then after 32.Nxf8+Rxf8 33.Rxf8! Qxd4 34.Rxf7+ Kc6 35.cxd3 etc. The rest is clear enough.


INSTEAD, in the game, Preotu continued with a less decisive, but still strong attacking line:



White continues with the same threats…



Now the quickest win is 30.Nxd5! Ne4 (what else?) 31.Nxb6 Nxg3  and now 32.e6! fxe6 33.Nxe6! Ne4 34.Rd8+ Rxd8 35.Nc7#. It is not clear to me whay White did not play this way, perhaps he did not see 32.e6(!?) In any case, Preotu’s continuation should also be good enough to win:





Now indicated is 31.Qh4! Rg7 32.Qh5+ Kd8 33.Rh6!



Perhaps White was in time trouble.  This last move of White’s allows Black back into the game!  Black must now play 31…exd5! 32.Qe5+Ne6!!(diagram):


White can not play 33.NxN because of the mate on the first rank. After the more or less forced 33.Rd1 Qd6! Black breaks White’s attack and the only question is whether White can still hope for a draw…INSTEAD, Fedorowicz, perhaps also short of time, let pass this unique opportunity to save the game:



Looks strong, but…

32.Nxb6! Nxg3 33.Nxe6!


This is just the line given in the analyis to White’s 30th move earlier! The roof collapses…


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