Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sicilian Defense Paulsen (Kan) Variation

JOHN NUNN vs. ANDREI SOKOLOV
Dubai, 1986

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, e6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nc6
5. Nc3, a6

The Paulsen (Kan) Variation, named after Ilya Kan. By playing 5...a6, Black prevents Nb5 and prepares an eventual ...b5 advance.

6. Be2, d6
7. Be3, Qc7
8. f4, Na5
9. 0-0, Nc4

Black is harassing the strategically located e3 Bishop. 

10. Bxc4, Qxc4
11. f5, Be7
12. Qg4, h5
13. Qf3 ....

Not 13. Qxg7 because Black replies with Bf6 attacking both the Queen and the Knight at d4.

13. .... Bf6
14. gxe6!!, fxe6

Not 14....Bxd4 because White's attack 15. Qxf7+ Kd8, 16. e7+ would be fatal for Black.

15. e5!, dxe5

Not 15....Bxe5 because of 16. Qf8+ Kd7, 17. Rd7+ with a mating threat.

16. Ne4!! ....


Threatens Nd6 double-check....

16. .... Qc7
17. Qg3!! ....

Prevents the capture of the Knight at d4.  It is delightful to see how Nunn managed to pin pieces one after another.

17. .... Ne7

Preventing 18. Qg6+, but still insufficient to hinder White's attack.

18. Rad1, h4
19. Nxf6+, gxf6
20. Qg7, Rf8
21. Rxf6, Rxf6
22. Qxf6, Qd6

After 22....exd4, 23. Rxd4, White controls much of the central squares and threatens mate at f8 after 24. Bh6.

23. Bg5, exd4
24. Rxd4!! ....

The Rook cannot be taken because of the mating threat at e7.

24. .... Nd5
25. Rxd5, Resigns

White's Rook is invincible. If 25...exd5, then Black loses his Queen.

Magnificent play by John Nunn!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Queen's Indian Defense, Classical Variation - Polugayevsky Gambit

GARRY KASPAROV vs. SLAVOLJUB MARJANOVIC
Malta 1980

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, e6
3. Nf3, b6
4. g3, Bb7
5. Bg2, Be7
6. 0-0, 0-0
7. d5!, exd5
8. Nh4 ....

The Polugayevsky Gambit.  White sacrifices a pawn to secure the f5 location for the King's Knight.

8. .... c6
9. cxd5, Nxd5
10. Nf5!, Nc7
11. Nc3, d5
12. e4! ....

This sharp move intends to weaken Black's central pawn structure.

12. .... Bf6
13. exd5, cxd5
14. Bf4, Nba6
15. Re1 ....

Taking control of the e-file.

15. .... Qd7
16. Bh3, Kh8

Black avoids the disastrous Nh6+.

17. Ne4!!, Bxb2
18. Ng5, Qc6?

Black intends to threaten mate at h1, but only manages to displace the Queen.

19. Ne7, Qf6
20. Nxh7 ....

The Knight cannot be taken because 21. Qh5+ threatens mate.

20. .... Qd4
21. Qh5, g6
22. Qh4, Bxa1
23. Nf6 dis chk, Resigns

After 23....Kg7, there are several ways of mating Black.  One line is 24. Qh6+ Kxf6, 25. Bg5 mate.

Another line is 24. Bh6+ Kh8 (or Kh7), 25. Bxf8 mate.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Benoni Defenxe, Taimanov Variation

GARRY KASPAROV vs. JOHN NUNN
Luzern olm, 1982

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, e6
3. Nc3, c5
4. d5, exd5
5. cxd5, d6
6. e4, g6
7. f4, Bg7
8. Bb5+, N6d7

The most common reply is 8....Bd7.  Clearly the chosen move is an invitation to complication.

9. a4, Na6
10. Nf3, Nb4
11. 0-0, a6
12. Bxd7, Bxd7
13. f5!, 0-0
14. Bg5, f6
15. Bf4, gxf5?

Desperately grabbing a pawn, but Black only gets into a worse position.

16. Bxd6, Bxa4
17. Rxa4, Qxd6
18. Nh4!! ....

Preparing the Knight for a more powerful location....

18. .... fxe4
19. Nf5!, Qd7
20. Nxe4, Kh8
21. Nxc5, Resigns

White gains material after 21....Qxd5, 22. Qxd5 Nxd5, 23. Ne6, and at least a pawn to Rd4.

If 21....Qb5, then 22. Ne6 Rf7, 23. N5xg7 Rxg7, 24. Nxg7 Kxh7, 25. Qg4+ Kh8, 26. Rxb4 and White is a piece ahead.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

BORIS SPASSKY vs. NUKHIM RASHOVSKY
USSR championship, 1973

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. Bg5, e6
7. f4, Qc7
8. Bd3, N8d7
9. Qe2, b5
10. 0-0-0, Bb7
11. Rhe1, Be7
12. e5, dxe5
13. fxe5, Nd5
14. Bxe7, Nxc3
15. Qg4! ....

White sees possibilities on the kingside. He keeps Black from castling.

15. .... Nxd1

If 15....Kxe7, then 16. Nxe6 fxe6, 17. Qxg7+ Ke8, 18. Rf1!! and Black may either lose his Queen or get a back-rank mate.  A pretty continuation arises after 18....Kd1, 19. Qxh8+ Nf8, 20. Qxf8 Kd7, 21. Bxb5 mate.

16. Nxe6!!, Qc6

If 16.....fxe6, then 17. Qxe6 Qc6, 18. Bd6+ Kd8, 19. Rxd1 with a good attack for White.

17. Nxg7, Kxe7
18. Qg5+, f6

If 18.....Kf8, then 19. e6! fxe6, 20. Rf1+ and White wins.

19. exf6+, Kd8
20. f7+!!, Kc7

Forced. If 20....Nf6, then 21. Re8+ Rxe8, 22. Nxe8!!. White's additional pin on the Knight and queening pawn assures him of victory.

21. Qf4+, Resigns

The King has nowhere to go. If 21.....Qd6, then 22. Ne6+ Kc6, 23. Be4+....

If 22....Kc8 or 22....Kd8, White initiates mate by 23. Re8+.

If 22....Kb6, Black loses his Queen by 23. Re6.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Benoni Defense, Taimanov Variation

BORIS GULKO vs. VLADIMIR SAVON
Lvovzt, 1978

The Benoni Defense is a very aggressive opening that white can play against white's initial 1. d4. From this first move, Black must have multiple things that he can throw at white to give him a good chance to win

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, c5
3. d5 .....

The Benoni Defense.

3. .... e6
4. Nc3, exd5
5. cxd5, d6
6. e4, g6
7. f4, Bg7
8. Bb5+ ....

The Taimanov Variation of the Benoni.

8. .... Nfd7
9. a4, 0-0
10. Nf3, Na6
11. 0-0, Nc7
12. Bd3, a6
13. Qe1, Rb8
14. e5, Nb6
15. f5!, dxe5
16. fxg6, fxg6
17. Bg5, Qd6
18. Qh4, N7xd5
19. Rad1, c4
20. Nxd5, cxd3

If 20....Nxd5, then 21. Bxc4 with a good game for White.

21. Ne7+, Kh8
22. Nxe5, Bf5

If 22.....Qxe5, then 23. Nxg6 double-check.

23. Rxf5!! ....

White takes advantage of weakness at g6 square.


23. .... Bxe5

If 23.....gxf5 or Rxf5, then 24. N5xg6 and white wins.

24. Rxe5!! ....

A surprise move.  The Rook cannot be taken because of White's threat Nxg6 double-check.

24. .... Rf7

Black resigns anyway.  There is no defense against 25. Rxd3.  Black's Queen would leave the d6 square and White initiates a mating attack with Bf6+.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gruenfeld Defense, Classical Exchange Variation

BORIS SPASSKY vs. JAN TIMMAN
Amsterdam, 1977

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, g6
3. Nc3, d5
4. cxd5 ....

The starting point of the Exchange Variation.

4. .... Nxd5
5. e4, Nxc3
6. bxc3, Bg7
7. Bc4, 0-0
8. Ne2, b3
9. h4!, Nc6
10. Bd5, Qd7
11. h5! ...

The move signals an attack on Black's kingside.

11. .... Ba6
12. hxg6, hxg6
13. Nf4, e6
14. Qg4! ....

Black cannot capture the d5 Bishop because the pawn is pinned.

14. .... Rfd8
15. Bxe6!! ....

The sacrifice is necessary to break apart the defender-pawns.

 15. .... fxe6
16. Qxg6, Bc4
17. Qh7+, Kf7
18. Nh5, Rg8
19. Rh3!, Raf8
20. Nxg7!!, Rh8

If 20....Rxg7, then 21. Rf3+ Ke7, 22, Qxg7+ Kd8, 23. Rxf8+ and White wins the exchange.

21. Rf3+, Ke7
22. Ba3+, Nb4
23. Bxb4+, c5
24. dxc5!!, Rxh7

To keep the pressure, White sacrifices his Queen.

25. cxb6+, Resigns

If 25....Kd8, then 26. Rxf8+ Qe8, 27. Rxe8+ Kd7, 28. Rd1+ Kc6, 29. bxa7.  The soon-to-be-resurrected Queen would be too much for Black to handle.

Monday, October 14, 2013

French Defense, Tarrasch Variation, Open System Euwe-Keres Line

MIKHAIL TAL vs. WOLFGANG UHLMANN
Moscow, 1971

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nd2, c5

The Tarrasch Variation of the Sicilian Defense.

4. N1f3 ....

The Open System Euwe-Keres Line.  In this variation, both sides play critically at the middle of the board.

4. .... Nc6
5. Bb5, dxe4
6. Nxe4, Bd7
7. Bg5, Qa5+
8. Nc3, cxd4
9. Nxd4, Bb4

If 9....Nxd4, then 10. Bxd7+ Kxd7, 11. Qxd4+ and White has the advantage.

10. 0-0, Bxc3
11. bxc3, Qxc3
12. Nf5!! ...

White decides to sacrifice the Knight in order to open up the e file.

12. .... exf5
13. Re1, Be6
14. Qd6, a6
15. Bd2, Qxc2
16. Bb4 ....






















16. .... axb5

Forced. If 16....N8e7, White's Queen simply takes the Knight (and mate).

If 16....Rd8, 17.  Rxe6+ fxe6, 18. Qxe6+ N8e7, 19. Qxe7 mate.

17. Qf8+, Kd7
18. Red1+, Kc7
19. Qxa8, Resigns

White's formidable position cannot be undermined.  If 19....Nxb4, then 20. Rac1 and Black's Queen is lost.

Moreover, Black's Knight at g8 is pinned.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical Defense, Steinitz Development Variation

ALEXANDER ALEKHINE vs. EERO EINAR BOOK
Margate, 1938

1. d4, d5
2. c4, dxc4
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. e3, e6
5. Bxc4, c5
6. 0-0, Nc6
7. Qe2, a6
8. Nc3, b5
9. Bb3, b4
10. d5, Na5
11. Ba4+, Bd7
12. dxe6, fxe6

Correct reply. If 12....Bxa4, then 13. exf7+ Ke7, 14. Nxa4 which favors White.

13. Rd1, bxc3
14. Rxd7!! ....

A crushing and unexpected attack.

14. .... Nxd7
15. Ne5!, Ra7
16. bxc3, Ke7

Black removes his King from the pin.

17. e4, Nf6

If 17....Nxe5, then 18. Bg5+ wins the Black Queen.

18. Bg5, Qc7
19. Bf4, Qb6
20. Rd1, g6
21. Bg5, Bg7
22. Nd7!! ....

Giving room for an attack move: e5 which would have a disastrous effect.






















22. .... Rxd7

Black has no choice but to take the pesky Knight.

23. Rxd7+, Kf8
24. Bxf6, Bxf6
25. e5!!, Resigns

Black would have no reply to White's 26. Qf3+ with a mating threat at f7.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Italian Game: Scotch Gambit - Max Lange Attack

BOZIDAR KAZIC vs. B. VUKOVIC
Unknown Location, 1940

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d4, exd4
5. 0-0, Bc5
6. e5 ....

The Max Lange Attack.  A similar game is found in this blog (Fred Brown vs. Gibbs, London, 1918).

6. .... d5
7. exf6, dxc4
8. Re1, Kf8
9. Bg5, gxf6
10. Bh6+, Kg8
11. Nc3, Bg4
12. Ne4, b6
13. c3, Ne5
14. Nxe5!! ....

White used his own Queen as bait.






















14. ....  Bxd1
15. Nd7 ....

The Knight could not be taken because of N4xf6 mate.

15. .... Be7

Black defends the f6 pawn, but White proves that the defense is futile.

16. Nexf6+, Bxf6
17. Re8+, Qxe8
18. Nxf6 mate.

A picture-perfect mate.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Caro-Kann Defense: Panov Attack, Modern Defense Reifir-Spielmann Line

MIKHAIL BOTVINNIK vs. RUDOLF SPIELMANN
Moscow, 1935

1. c4, c6
2. e4, d5
3. exd5, cxd5
4. d4, NF6
5. Nc3 ....

The Panov Attack.  This is an opening thoroughly studied and recommended by Anatoly Karpov, former world chess champion.

5. ...., Nc6
6. Bg5, Qb6

The Modern Defense, Reifir-Spielmann Line.

7. cxd5, Qxb2

Black is willing to exchange Knights, which would be in his favor.

8. Rc1, Nb4
9. Na4 ....

White sets a trap.






















9. .... Qxa2

If 9.....Qa3, then 10. Rc3 Nc2+ 11. Qxc2 Qd6 12. Rxc8+ Rxc8 13. Qxc8+ Qd8 14. Bb5+ Nd7 15. Bxd7 mate.  However, in this variation, Black's Queen may escape but may suffer relentless attack after 10....Nd3+ 11. Bxd3 Qd6 12. Qc1 Bd7 13. Nc5 ....

10. Bc4!!, Bg4

Black creates a distraction, but White is unperturbed.

11. Nf3, Bxf3
12. gxf3, Resigns

Black's only move is Qa3 and after that the Queen is trapped after 13. Rc3 as in above variation.

Monday, October 7, 2013

French Defense, Winawer Variation

ALEXANDER ALEKHINE vs. ARON NIMZOWITSCH
Bled, 1931

1. e4, e6
2. d4, d5
3. Nc3, Bb4

This variation, named after Szymon Winawer and pioneered by Nimzowitsch and Botvinnik, is one of the main systems in the French Defense3... Bb4 pins the knight on c3, forcing White to resolve the central tension.

4. Nge2, dxe4
5. a3, Bxc3
6. Nxc3, f5
7. f3 ....

White resolves the central tension, but Black gains a pawn in the process.

7. .... exf3
8. Qxf3, Qxd4
9. Qg3, Nf6
10. Qxg7, Qe5+
11. Be2, Rg8
12. Qh6, Rg6
13. Qh4, Bd7
14. Bg5, Bc6
15. 0-0-0, Bxb2
16. Rhe1, Be4
17. Bh5! ....

White's attack begins.
 





















17. .... Nxh5
18. Rd8+!!, Kf7
19. Qxh5, Resigns

White threatens Qxh7+.  Now, if 19....Qg7, then 20. Nxe4 fxe4, 21. Rf1+ clinches victory for White.

If 19....Kg7, then 20. Rg1 f4, 21. Bh6+ Kf6, 22. Rxg6+ hxg6, 23. Rf8+ Ke7, 24. Qxe5.  Black's Queen is gone and White wins the game.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Italian Game, Scotch Gambit - Max Lange Attack

FRED BROWN vs. GIBBS
London, 1918

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. d4 ....

The e-pawn is sacrificed in order to open up the e-file.

4. .... exd4
5. 0-0, Bc5
6. e5! ....

The Max Lange Attack.  The position can arise from many different opening lines. including the Two Knights Defense, Petroff Defense, Bishop's Opening, and Center Game.

6. .... d5
7. exf6, dxc4
8. Re1+!!, Kf8
9. Bg5, gxf6?

This move aggravated Black's position.  Black instead should have moved his Queen to a safer location.

10. Bh6+, Kg8
11. Nc3, Bg4
12. Ne4, Bb6?

Better for Black is Be7 in order to defend the pawn at f6.

13. Qe2 ....

Threatening Nxf6, then Qe8.

13. .... Ne5
14. Nxe5 ....






















A totally unexpected Queen sacrifice.

14. .... Bxe2

Better (but still inadequate) reply for Black is 14. .... Bf5, 15. Qf3 fxe5, 16. Qxf5  ...

15. Nd7 !! ....

Threatening N(any)xf6+.  At this point we could not see any solution for Black.

15. .... Ba5
16. N7xf6, Qxf6
17. Nxf6 mate.

Beautiful.

Danish Gambit Accepted, Copenhagen Defense

HANS LINDEHN vs. LADISLAS MACZUSKI
Paris, 1863

1. e4, e5
2. d4, exd4
3. c3, dxc3
4. Bc4, cxb2

The Danish Gambit Accepted is marked by a series of pawn sacrifices in return for an open center where White can attack furiously.

5. Bxb2, Bb4+
6. Nc3, Nf6
7. Nge2, Nxe4

It is hard to believe at this point that White is giving away another pawn for free.

8. 0-0, Nxc3,
9. Nxc3, Bxc3

Materially superior, Black thought that the best way to victory is to exchange pieces.  He is unaware of the danger that the open lines brought.

10. Bxc3, Qg5
11. Re1+, Kd8

Forced.  If 11....Kf8, then 12. Qe2 Qd8, 13. Qh5 g6, and mate follows.

12. f4, Qxf4
13. Bxg7, Rg8
14. Qg4 ....


14. .... Qd6

If 14....Qxg4, then 15. Bf6 mate.

15. Bf6+, Qxf6
16. Qxg8 mate

White's victory is attributed to Black's greed, without considering defense of central structure.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sicilian Defense Najdorf Variation Adams Attack

ROBERT JAMES FISCHER vs. MIGUEL NAJDORF
Varna Olympiad Final 1902

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. h3 ....

The Adams Attack.

6. .... b5
7. Nd5, Bb7

If 7....Nxe4, 8. Qf3 and White controls the a8-f3 diagonal.

8. Nxf6, gxf6
9. c4, bxc4
10. Bxc4, Bxe4

White gives up the e4 pawn in exchange for control along the e-file.

11. 0-0, d5
12. Re1, e5
13. Qa4+, Nd7

Not 13....Qd7, because of 14. Bb5 axb5, 15. Qxa8+ which is favorable for White.

14. Rxe4 !! .....

A surprise move by Bobby Fischer!  The purpose of this move is to increase the control of the c4 Bishop.

14. .... dxe4
15. Nf5, Bc5
16. Ng7+, Ke7
17. Nf5+, Ke8
18. Be3, Bxe3
19. fxe3, Qb6
20. Rd1, Ra7
21. Rd6, Qd8
22. Qb3 ....

Now, we begin to understand why Fischer placed such importance on the c4 Bishop.

22. .... Qc7

If 22....Rf7, then 23. Ng7+ Ke7, 24. Qa3 .... Black's latest move intends to give room for the Black King at d8.

23. Bxf7, Kd8
24. Be6, Resigns

The Black Knight is pinned, and there is nothing else Black can do to relieve the situation.

A great lesson on material value.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sicilian Defense, Fischer-Sozin Attack

ROBERT JAMES FISCHER vs. OLICIO GADIA
Mar del Plata (1960)

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. c4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. Bc4 ....

The Fischer-Sozin Attack.  Introduced by Veniamin Sozin in the 1930s, this received little attention until Fischer regularly adopted it, and it was a frequent guest at the top level through the 1970s. White plays 6 Bc4 with the idea of playing against f7, so Black counters with 6...e6 7 Bb3 b5. The Sozin has become less popular because of 6...e6 7 Bb3 Nbd7 where Black intends to follow up with ...Nc5 later. It is possible to avoid the Nbd7 option with 7 0-0, but this cuts the aggressive possibility to castle long.  (Source: Wikipedia)

6. .... e6
7. Bb3, b5
8. 0-0, Bb7
9. f4 ....

The e4 is a poisoned pawn. If 9....Nxe4, 10. Nxe4 Bxe4, 11. Re1 Bb7, 12. Bxe6 fxe6, 13. Nxe6 .... White's attack becomes disastrous.

9. .... Nc6
10. Nxc6, Bxc6
11. f5, e5
12. Qd3, Be7
13. Bg5, Qb6+
14. Kh1, 0-0
15. Bxf6, Bxf6
16. Bd5, Rac8
17. Bxc6, Rxc6
18. Rad1, Rfc8
19. Nd5, Qd8
20. c3, Be7
21. Ra1 ....

Fischer prepares for a flank attack.

21. ... f6?

Black seals the f-file, but in so doing opens the a2-g8 diagonal.

22. a4 ....


The flank attack begins.  The intention is to divert Black's attention to the defense of the b5 pawn, and leave the c6 Rook at White's mercy.

22. .... Rb8
23. Nxe7, Resigns

Black loses a piece.  If 23....Qxe7, then 24. Qd5+ ....

Marvelous play by White.







Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spanish Game, Morphy - Modern Steinitz Defense

ROBERT JAMES FISCHER vs. EFIM GELLER
Bled, 1961

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, a6

In the Modern Steinitz Defence (also called the Steinitz Defense Deferred or the Neo-Steinitz Defence), Black interpolates 3...a6 4.Ba4 before playing 4...d6, which was frequently played by Alexander Alekhine, José Raúl Capablanca and Paul Keres. The possibility of breaking the pin with a timely ...b5 gives Black more latitude than in the Old Steinitz Defence; in particular, in the Old Steinitz, White can practically force Black to give up his strongpoint at e5, but in the Steinitz Deferred, Black is able to maintain his centre. Most plausible White moves are playable here, including 5.c3, 5.c4, 5.Bxc6, 5.d4, and 5.0-0. (Source: Wikipedia)

4. Ba4, d6
5. 0-0, Bg4
6. h3, Bh5
7. c3, Bf6
8. g4, Bg6
9. d4, Bxe4
10. Nbd2, Bg6
11. Bxc6 ....

Creating a double-pawn ....

11. .... bxc6
12. dxe5, dxe5
13. Nxe5, Bd6

Black's Queen cannot capture the Knight because of the threat 14. Re1.

14. Bxg6, Qxg6
15. Re1+, Rf1
16. Nc4, h5
17. Nxd6, cxd6

If 17....hxg4, then 18. Bf4 gxh3+, 19. Bg3... Here White wins the exchange because the Knight at d6 cannot be captured.

18. Bf4, d5
19. Qb3, hxg4
20. Qb7 ....

It is hard to believe that Fischer was not able to see the winning line 20. Qb4+ but there must a reason for the delay: he wants the Rook as well.

20. .... gxh3+
21. Bg3, Rd8
22. Qb4+, Resigns

Black's Knight and Rook will be lost in later moves, or face immediate mate.

Monday, May 20, 2013

King's Indian Attack

BOBBY FISCHER vs. PETER LAPIKEN
5TH US Open, 1956

1. Nf3, Nf6
2. g3, d5
3. Bg2, Bf5
4. 0-0, e6
5. d3, c6
6. Nbd2, Na6
7. a3, Nc5
8. c4, b5
9. Nd4! ....

Attacking both the c6-pawn and the Bishop at f5.

9. .... Qd7
10. Nxf5, exf5
11. Nb3, h6
12. Be3, Ne6
13. Nd4, g6

If 13....bxc4 dxc4, 14. dxc4 Bxc6! and Black loses his Queen.

14. Qb3, Rb8
15. Nxc6, Qxc6
16. cxd5, Nc5

17. Qc3!!, Qd6

White's pin on the Queen leaves Black has no other choice.  Now, if 18. Nxd5 Bxd5, 19. Qxd5 Qxh8.

18. Bxc5!!, Qxc5
19. Qxf6, Resigns

Black loses one Rook.  If 19....Rg8, then 20. Qe5+ followed by Qxb8.

Wonderful winning combination!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sicilian Defense Scheveningen Variation Delayed Keres Attack Perenyi Gambit

ALEXEY SHIROV vs. VISWANATHAN ANAND
8th Amber Tournament, 1999

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, a6
6. Be3, e6

The Scheveningen Variation of the Sicilian Defense. Black's central pawn structure provides a solid defense, controls the important d5 square, and gives flexibility to break in the center using e5 or d5, providing richness in flexibility and variations.

7. g4 ....

The Delayed Keres Attack, with the intention of driving the Black Knight from the center.

7. .... e5
8. Nf5, g6
9. g5 .....

The Perenyi Gambit.  White sacrifice the f5 Knight in exchange for an attack.

9. .... gxf5
10. exf5 ....

If 10.....Nfd7, then 11. Bc4 and 12. Qh5 with a strong attack.

10. .... d5!

The table has turned.  Now, it is Anand who sacrifices his Knight in order to break in the center.

11. gxf6, d4!!
12. Bc4, Qc7

Of course, not 12....dxc3 or dxe3 because of 13. Bxf7 Kxf7 and Black loses his Queen.

13. Qd3, dxe3
14. fxe3, b5!!
15. Bb3, Bb7
16. Nd5, Qa5+
17. c3, Nd7
18. 0-0-0, Nc5!
19. Qc2, 0-0-0
20. Rhg1, Bh6
21. Rg7, Nxb3

If 21....Bxg7, then 22. fxg7, Rg8, 23. Ne7+ which is favorable for White.

22. Qxb3, Bxd5
23. Rxd5, Qb6


If 23......Rxd5, 24. Qxd5 Rd8, 25. Qc6+ and White gets a strong attack.

24. Rxe5 ....

White defends the e-pawn against Qxe3 which would be disastrous.

24. ..... Qd6!!

White resigns. He cannot avoid mate without losing his e5 Rook.

Superb play by Anand!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov-Petrosian Variation, Romanishin Attack

MISO CEBALO vs. VISWANATHAN ANAND
7th Corsica Open, 2003

1. d4, Nf6
2. c4, e6
3. NF3, b6
4. Nc3, Bb7
5. a3, d5
6. cxd5, Nxd5
7. Bd2 ....

The Kasparov-Petrosian Variation, Romanishin Attack.  The move prepares for a Queenside castling.

7. .... Nd7
8. Nxd5, Bxd5
9. Qc2, Rc8
10. e4,Bb7
11. 0-0-0, Be7
12. Kb1, 0-0
13. Bc3, c5
14. d5, exd5
15. exd5, c4!
16. h4, Re8
17. Be2, Rc5
18. Ng5, Nf8

Protects the h7 pawn and adds pressure on d5.

19. Bf3, Bxg5
20. hxg5, Qxg5
21. Bb4, Rxd5

22. Rxd5, Bxd5
23. Rh5?? ...

To an untrained eye, this may look like a good move, winning an extra piece.  But Black's reply shows this to be a blunder.  White's best chance to equalize is 23. Bxf8 Kxf8, 24. Qxh7 f6, 25. Qh3 Be6, 26. Qh8+ Ke7, 27. Qh2 Qe5, 28. Qh4 Kd6, 29. Ka1 Kc7, 30. Qh7 Qg5, with a clear (but not yet decisive) Black advantage.

23. .... Qxh5!!

White resigns.  If 24. Bxh5, then 24..... Be4, 25. Qxe4 Rxe4 leaves Black with material advantage.  Impressive victory for Vishy Anand.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sicilian Defense, Kan. Polugaevsky Variation

VISWANATHAN ANAND vs. KIRIL NINOV
Baguio City, Philippines, 1987

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, e6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, a6
5. Bd3, Bc5
6. Nb3, Ba7
7. Nc3, Nc6
8. Qe2, d6
9. Be3, Bxe3
10. Qxe3, Nf6
11. g4, b5

If 11....Nxg4, 12. Qg3!, White has the advantage.

12. 0-0-0, 0-0
13. g5!, Ne8
14. f4, b4
15. Ne2, a5
16. Nbd4, Nxd4
17. Nxd4, Qb6
18. d5, Bb7
19. Rhf1, dxe5
20. fxe5, Rd8
21. Bxh7+!! ....

A beautiful Bishop sacrifice.  It also protects the Knight at d4.

21. .... Kxh7
22. g6+!!, Kg8

If 22....Kxg6, then 23. Qd3+ f5, 24. exf6+ Kf7, 25. fxg7+ Kxg7 26. Qg3+ wins the Rook. 

23. Qh3, Nf6

If 23....fxg6, then 24. Rxf8+ Kxf8, 25. Nxe6+ followed by 26. Rxd8!

24. exf6, fxg6
25. fxg7, Resigns

The threat is Qh8 mate.  If 25....Kxg7, then 26. Nxe6+ Kg8, 27. Rxd8 Rxd8, 28. Nxd8 Qxd8, 29. Qxe6+ Kh8, 30. Qxg6, and White develops a mating attack.

Fabulous!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sicilian Defense, Dragon-Yugoslav Attack, Panov Variation

VISWANATHAN ANAND vs. ANDREW JONATHAN MESTEL
London, 1985

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, d6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, Nf6
5. Nc3, g6
6. Be3, Bg7
7. f3, 0-0
8. Qd2 ....

The Dragon Variation of the Sicilian.  Notice the dragon-shaped outline of White's pieces.

8. .... Nc6
9. g4 ....

The Panov Variation.

9. .... Be6
10. 0-0-0, Ne5
11. h4, Bc4
12. Bh3, Ba6
13. b3 ....

Preventing 13.....Nc4 which would be favorable for Black.

13. .... Qa5
14. Kb1, Qa3
15. g5, Nh5
16. f4, Nc6
17. Bg4, Nb4
18. Bxh5, gxh5
19. Nf5, Rfe8

Protects the e-pawn.  If 19.....Bxc3, 20. Qxc3 Qxa2+, 21. Kc1, the position would benefit White more.

20. Nxg7, Kxg7
21. Qd4+, e5
22. Qxd6, Rac8
23. Qf6+, Kg8
24. Rd7 ....

Unperturbed by dangers in his own turf, White pushes on with the attack.

24. .... Rf8
25. g6!! ....

Black resigns.  He cannot avoid mate after 25.....hxg6, 26. Rg1 Kh7, 27. Rxg6.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sicilian Defense Closed Variation

VISWANATHAN ANAND vs. BORIS GELFAND
Wijkaan Zee Hoogovens, 1996

1. e4, c5
2. Nc3, d6
3. f4, g6
4. Nf3, Bg7
5. Bc4, Nc6
6. d3, e6
7. 0-0, Nge7
8. Qe1, h6
9. Bb3, a6
10. e5, Nf5
11. Kh1, Nfd4
12. Ne4, Nxf3
13. Rxf3, dxe5
14. fxe5, Nxe5
15. Rf1, g5
16. Qg3, 0-0
17. Bxg5!! ....

A surprise move!  Gelfand was caught off-guard.

17. .... hxg5
18. Nxg5, Ng6
19. Rae1 ....

White could have taken the f7 pawn by 19. Nxf7 Rxf7, 20. Qxg6.  But Anand has other plans.

19. .... Qe7
20. Rf5 ....

Now it is clear that White is planning a mate by Queen on h7, but he has to protect the Knight first.

20. .... Bf6

Black knew of White's plan, and figured that he must eliminate the White's Knight.

21. Nxe6!! ....

His plan on the h-file destroyed, White set on plan B: to destroy the kingside pawn structure.

21. .... fxe6

A correct reply.  Black would lose more material after 21....Bxe6, 22. Rxe6 fxe6, 23. Qxg6+ Bg7, 24. Bxe6+ Rf7, 25. Rxf7 ...

22. Rxe6!! ....

White pursued his plan knowing that the aftermath, as stated before, would be favorable for him. Now, if 22.....Bxe6, 23. Qxg6+ Qg7, 24. Bxe6+ would be decisive.

22. .... Kg7

Forced.

23. Rxe7, Bxe7
24. Rxf8, Bxf8
25. h4!!, Resigns

White delivers the coup d grace.  Black opted to resign than lose more materials.  If 25....Kh7, 26. h5 Ne7, 27. Qf3 Bg7, 28. Qe4+ Nf5, 29. g4 ....

Friday, March 22, 2013

Vishy (Busy) Knight

VISWANATHAN ANAND vs. IVAN SOKOLOV
S.W.I.F.T. 1992
Sicilian Defense, Kan. Knight Variation

1. e4, c5
2. Nf3, e6
3. d4, cxd4
4. Nxd4, a6
5. Nc3, d6
6. a4, Nf6
7. Be2, Nbd7
8. 0-0, Nc5
9. Bf3, Be7
10. g3, 0-0
11. Bg2, Qc7
12. Be3, Rb8
13. f4!, Re8
14. e5, dxe5
15. fxe5, Nfd7

Knight has to back off.  Black's Queen cannot take the pawn because of 16. Bf4....

16. Rxf7!! ...

 A shocker!  Only at this point has Black realized that his King is exposed.

16. .... Kxf7
17. Qh5+!, Kf8

Not 17....Kg8 because of 18. Qxe8.  If 17....g3, then 18. Qxh7+ Kf8, 19. Bh6 mate.

18. Rf1+, Nf6
19. exf6, Bxf6
20. Ndb5!, axb5
21. Nxb5, Qd7

The Knight at c5 is lost anyway, and the Black Queen has nowhere to go.

22. Qxh7, Qe7

Vishy may have other plans.  Now, Black defends his Knight.

23. Rxf6!! ....

Another stunner!  Now, if 23....gxf6, then 24. Bh6+ leads to mate.

23. .... Qxf6
24. Bxc5+, Re7

If 24.....Kf7, then 25. Nd6+ and White wins instantly.

25. Qh8+, Kf7
26. Nd6+, Resigns

Black's King can only go to g6, and mated after 27. Be4+ Kg5, 28. Qh4+.

Fantastic!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Morphy's Knights

NAPOLEON MARACHE vs. PAUL MORPHY
New York, 1857
Italian Game: Evans Gambit, Pierce Defense

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Bc5
4. b4, Bxb4
5. c3, Ba5
6. d4, exd4

The Pierce Defense. 

7. e5, d5
8. exd6, Qxd6
9. 0-0, Nge7
10. Ng5, 0-0
11. Bd3, Bf5
12. Bxf5, Nxf5
13. Ba3, Qg6

White is trading one of his Rooks for the opponent's Knight.

14. Bxf8, Qxg5
15. Ba3, dxc3
16. Bc1, Qg6
17. Bf4, Rd8
18. Qc2, Ncd4
19. Qe4 ....


19. .... Ng3!!

The Knight could not be taken because White loses his Queen.  White then thought that he gets a piece by simply eliminating the threat ....

20. Qxg6, Nde2 mate.

Spectacular!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Semi-Slav Defense, Meran Variation

LEVON ARONIAN vs. VISWANATHAN ANAND
Tata steel, 2013

This game is considered one of the most brilliant chess games ever played.  Vishy Anand, 2012 FIDE World Chess Champion, handled the black pieces real well.

1. d4, d5
2. c4, c6
3. Nf3, Nf6
4. Nc3, e6
5. e3, Nd7
6. Bd3, dxc4
7. Bxc4, b5
8. Bd3 ....

The Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Slav Defense, Meran Variation.

8. .... Bd6
9. 0-0, 0-0
10. Qc2, Bb7
11. a3, Rc8
12. Ng5, c5!
13. Nxh7 ....

If 13.....Bxh7, Black simply moves his King to h8.

13. .... Ng4!!
14. f4 ....

White's only hope.  Game is lost after 14. h3 Bh2+, 15. Kh1 Qh4, and Black threatens 16. Qxh3 ....

Neither can White survive after 14. g3 Qh4, 15. gxh4 Bxh2 mate.

14. .... cxd4!
15. exd4, Bc5!!

A surprise move!  Black's intention is to activate the sleeping Knight on d7 and to post his Queen on d4.

16. Be2, Nde5!

Another surprise.  Now, if 17. dxc5, Qd4+, 18. Kh1 Nf2+, 19. Rxf2 Qxf2 and Black wins the game.

If 17. fxe5 Bxd4+, 18. Kh1 Qh4 and Black threatens mate.

17. Bxg4, Bxd4+
18. Kh1, Nxg4
19. Nxf8, f5

Taking the wandering Knight would prolong the game.  If 19....Kxf8, then 20. Qh7 ....  Black's Queen is too valuable to stray away from her intended square, which is h4.   Now, if 19....Qh4, then 20. Qh7+ and the exchange of Queens would favor White.

20. Ng6, Qf6
21. h3, Qxg6
22. Qe2, Qh5

Black threatens 23....Qxh3 mate.

23. Qd3, Be3!

A fantastic cover!  White resigns since he cannot prevent the impending mate without tremendous loss of materials.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Scotch Game, Scotch Gambit

PAUL MORPHY vs. HART
Unknown Location, 1854

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. d4, exd4
4. Bc4 ....

The Scotch Gambit is an aggressive line in the Scotch Game that gives up an early pawn for a strong early attack against the black King.

4. .... d6
5. c3, dxc3
6. Qb3, Qe7

If 6....Na5, then 7. Bxf7 Ke7, 8. Qxc3 ....

7. 0-0, b6
8. Nxc3, Na5
9. Qb4, Nxc4

If 9....c5, then 10. Bb5+ Bd7, 11. Qa4 ....

10. Qxc4, Bb7
11. Re1, 0-0-0
12. Bf4, f6
13. Rac1, Kb8
14. Nd5, Bxd5
15. exd5, Qd7
16. Nd4, Ne7
17. Rxe7!! ....

Eliminating a major defensive piece....


17. .... Bxe7
18. Qa6, c5

Black's Queen cannot go to c8 because of the threat 19. Nc6+ and mate afterwards.

19. dxc6, Qc8

Of course not 19....Qc7, because White threatens 20. Nb5....

20. c7+!!, Ka8
21. cxd8=Q, Qxd8
22. Nb5, Qb8
23. Rc7, Resigns

Fantastic attack! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Morphy's Ball in Corner Pocket

PAUL MORPHY vs. CHARLES LE CARPENTIER
New Orleans, 1849
Irregular Opening

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. d4, exd4
4. Bc4, Bb4+
5. c3, dxc3

White sacrifices one pawn after another.  What could be his plan?

6. 0-0-0, cxb2
7. Bxb2, Bf8
8. e5, d6
9. Re1, dxe5
10. Nxe5!!, Qxd1
11. Bxf7+!! .....

A surprise move!  Morphy takes advantage of the opponent's exposed King.

 11. .... Ke7

If 11.....Kd8, then 12. Rxd1+ ....

12. Ng6+!!, Kxf7

The most logical move against White's double-check.

13. Nxh8 mate.

Astounding!  A brilliant Queen sacrifice.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham Variation

PAUL MORPHY vs. JAMES MCCONNELL
New Orleans 1849
King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham Variation

1. e4, e5
2. f4, exf4
3. Nf3, Be7

The Cunningham Variation.  The Bishop intends to wreck havoc at White's kingside position.

4. Bc4, Bh4

5. Kf1 ....

Another main line of the King's Gambit is 4. g3 and castle afterwards. Obviously, Morphy has other plans.

5. .... d6
6. d4, Qf6?

A useless move.  It invites danger for the Queen.

7. e5!, dxe5
8. dxe5, Qe7
9. Bxf4, Bg4
10. Nc3, c6
11. Ne4!!, Resigns

The resignation may come as a surprise, but clearly White has a strong advantage after 11. Nd6+ threatening the f7 pawn and Black's Rook at h8.

If 11......Kf8, then 12. e6!! f6, 13. Bd6 and White wins.

If 11....Be6, then 12. Bxe6 fxe6, 13. Nxh4 Qxh4, 14. Bg5! Qxe4, 15. Qd8 mate.

One of the shortest of all brilliant chess games !!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italian Game: Evans Gambit

PAUL MORPHY vs. ALONZO MORPHY
New Orleans, 1849

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nf6
3. Bc4, Bc5
4. b4, Bxc4

The Evans Gambit, with the intention of controlling the d4 square.

5. c3, Bc5
6. d4, exd4
7. cxd4, Bb6
8. 0-0, Na5
9. Bd3, d5
10. exd5, Qxd5
11. Ba3, Be6
12. Nc3, Qd7
13. d5!! ....

A poisoned pawn, intending to drive away the Bishop, but Black accepts the bait....

13. .... Bxd5
14. Nxd5, Qxd5
15. Re1+, Resigns

Black's King cannot go to d7 because of 16. Bf5+ Kc6, 17. Be4 and White wins.

If 15....Kd8, then 16. Bb5 c6, 17. Qxd5 cxd5, 18. Re8+ and White wins material.

Superb play by Paul Morphy!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

King's Gambit Accepted, Traditional Variation

JAMES MCCONNELL vs. PAUL MORPHY
New Orleans, 1840

1. e4, e5
2. f4, exf4
3. Nf3, g5
4. Bc4, Bg7
5. d3, h6
6. 0-0, Nf6
7. c3, b5!?

A move that intends to deflect the White Bishop from its intended target, the f7 pawn.

8. Bxb5, c6
9. Bc4, d5!!

Keeping the pressure...

10. exd5, cxd5
11. Qe2+, Be6
12. Bb3, 0-0
13. d4? ....

A bad move.  This allows Morphy to post his Knight at e4.

13. .... Ne4!
14. Bc2, f5
15. Nd2, Nc6
16. c4, Bxd4!

17. Nxd4, Nxd4
18. Qd3, Qb6!!

A perfect post for the Queen. Note its threat on the opponent's King.

19. Kh1 ....

White removed his King from danger.  So he thought.

19. .... Nxc2!!
20. Qxc2, Nf2+!!
21. Kg1 ....

Still White underestimates Black's attack....

21. .... Nh3+
22. Kh1, Qg1+
23. Rxg1, Nf2 mate

A picture-perfect mate!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Scotch Game, Lolli Variation

PAUL MORPHY vs. NN
1850

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. d4, Nxd4

The Lolli Variation of the Scoth Game.

4. Nxe5, Ne6
5. Bc4, Nf6
6. Nxf7, Kxf7
7. Bxe6!? ....

Trying to get Black's King into the open, where it will be vulnerable to attack.

7. .... Ke8
8. Bc3, Bc5
9. e5, Qe7
10. 0-0, Ng8

The e5 pawn is untouchable because of the threat 11. Re1.

11. Nc3, c6
12. Ne4, b5
13. Nd6+!!, Kd8

The only escape square for Black's King.  If 13....Kf8, then 14. Qf3 and White wins.

Capturing the Knight will not do any good: 13....Bxd6, 14. exd6 Qf8, 15. Re1+ and the game favors White.

14. Bg5+, Resigns

The game leaves Black without a Queen.  If 14....Qxg5, then 15. Nf7 double check.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Four Knights' Game: Spanish - Symmetrical Variation

JOSE RAUL CAPABLANCA vs. HERMAN STEINER
1933

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Nc3, Nf6
4. Bb5, Bb4
5. 0-0, 0-0

If 5....Bxc3, 6. bxc3 Nxe4, then 7. Re1 will be good for White.

6. d3, d6
7. Bg5, Bxc3
8. bxc3, Ne7
9. Nh4, c6
10. Bc4, Be6
11. Bxf6, gxf6
12. Bxe6, fxe6
13. Qg4+, Kf7

Black protects the e6-pawn, but inadvertently places himself to a center attack.

14. f4!, Rg8
15. Qh5+, Kg7
16. fxe5, dxe5
17. Rxf6!!, Kxf6
18. Rf1+ ....

The point of White's 17th move.  Capablanca seeks an open file.  Now, if 18....Kg7, then 19. Rf7+ Kh8, 20. Qxe5 and wins.

18. .... Nf5
19. Nxf5 ....

White could have captured with the pawn, but intends to keep the pressure.

19. .... exf5
20. Rxf5, Ke7
21. Qf7+, Kd6
22. Rf6+, Kc6
23. Qxb7, Qb6


24. Rxf6!!, Qxf6?

Black could have prolonged the game with 24....Kb5, 25. Rxb6 axb6 but might not be able to control White's central pawns.

25. Qb4 mate

A picture-perfect mate!  A dashing brilliancy, indeed.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Two Knights Defense: Polerio Defense Goering Variation

CHRISTOPHER SCHROEDER vs. JOSE RAUL CAPABLANCA
Blitz 1916
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense, Polerio Defense Goering Variation

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. Ng5, d5
5. exd5, Na5
6. Bb5, c6
7. dxc6, bxc6
8. Be2, h6
9. Nf3, e4
10. Ne5, Qc7

The Polerio Defense Goering Variation.

11. f4, exf3
12. Nxf3, Bd6
13. d4, 0-0
14. c4, Ng4
15. Qd3, Re8
16. Nc3, Bg3+!!

 17. hxg3, Qxg3+
18. Kd2, Nf2
19. Rh3, Bxh3

White resigns. He will lose material irregardless of the error of his last move. The game demonstrated Capablanca's ability to penetrate the opponent's defense in extraordinary circumstances.

Spanish Game Morphy Defense, MacKenzie Variation


JOSE RAUL CAPABLANCA vs. LEONARD MEYER
New York, 1908

1.  e4, e5
2.  Nf3, Nc6
3.  Bb5, a6

Black’s third move is Morphy Defense, popularized by the legendary chess master, Paul Morphy.

4.  Ba4, Nf6
5.  d4 ….

The Mackenzie Variation, which provides great play in the center.

5. …. Nxe4
6.  d5!!, Ne7
7.  Nxe5, b5
8.  Bb3, Bb7?

Black should have played 8….Nd6 in order to avoid the upcoming disaster.

9. d6!!! ….

 9….. Nxd6

Black thought that he avoided mate. 

10.  Qxd6, Resigns

One of the shortest in chess miniature games.  Superb play by Capablanca.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Battle of Hastings

WILLIAM STEINITZ vs. CURT VON BARDELEBEN
Hastings, 1895
Italian Game Classical Variation, Greco Gambit
1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Bc5
4. c3, Nf6
5. c4, exd4
6. cxd4, Bb4
7. Nc4, d5

The Greco Gambit allows the e4 pawn to be taken in return for an open file. In this game, however, the gambit was declined.

8. exd5, Nxd5
9. 0-0, Be6
10. Bg5, Be7
11. Bxd5, Bxd5
12. Nxd5, Qxd5
13. Bxe7, Nxe7
14. Re1, f6

Black blocks 15. Re5 followed by 16. Qe2 pinning the e7 Knight.

15. Qe2, Qd7
16. Rac1 ....

Bringing the other Rook into an open position.

16. ... c6
17. d5!!, cxd5
18. Nd4, Kf7
19. Ne6!, Rhc8
20. Qg4, g6
21. Ng5+!!, Ke8

Defending the Queen.  The White Knight could not be taken.

22. Rxe7+!! ....



















 22. .... Kf8

If 22....Qxe7, then 23. Rxc8+ Rxc8, 24. Qxc8+ and White wins.

King takes Rook exposes the King to enemy attack, as in:  22.....Kxe7, 23. Re1+ Kd8, (if 23....Kd6, then 24. Ne4+ dxe4, 25. Rd1+ ...)   24. Ne6+ Ke8, 25. Nc5+ and White wins.

23. Rf7+ ....

The Black Queen is still untouchable because of Black's mating threat at c1.

23. .... Kg1
24. Rg7+, Kh8

If 24....Kf8, White continues the attack with 25. Nxh7+ followed by 26. Qxd7+....

25. Rxh7+, Resigns

Mate can only be averted if Black sacrifices his Queen.  Analysis:  25....Kg8 26. Rg7+ Kh8 27. Qh4+ Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Qg8+ Ke7 32. Qf7+ Kd8 33. Qf8+ Qe8 34. Nf7+ Kd7 35. Qd6 mate.

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