15 tactical exercises from Kiev-2010


A few weeks ago a traditional open in Kiev called Independence Cup has ended. It is organized annually since declaration of Ukrainian independence. This year it was held already for 19th time. Unfortunately, this year's edition turned out to be relatively weak. Hardly any one of 53 participants could be considered as a chess professional. However, there still was a lot of interesting struggle at the chess board! I believe that even such run-of-the-mill event has some development value to the chess players and thus decided to offer the readers of Crestbook a sample of tactical fragments from Kiev-2010.

Try to play like amateurs in Kiev! (or better :-))


1. How Black could convert his obvious advantage?
2. How would you evaluate this position?

3. Find the most efficient way of converting Black's advantage

4. Can Black take the White's annoying rook?

5. Another "reflex check".

6. Look for tactics in this endgame!

7. Black is a piece down, but it is his turn to move. How should he continue the attack?

8. Can Black exploit the convolution of pieces in the center?

9. Is the standard attack 5...Qb6 good in this position?

10. Is it possible for Black to get adequate compensation for the exchange

11. There clearly should be something decisive for White... But what exactly?

12. White played the opening overly optimistically. How Black can use his development advantage?

13. White just played 17.Ng3. Should Black exchange knights?

14. Black just played an interesting strike 12...Nxe4 with the idea 13.Qxe4 Bc6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.Qxd5 Bxb2 -/+ (that's how the game continued). Could White react any better?

15. Find the best continuation.


1. Kosikov 2407-Kabachienko 2079, Kiev 2010, 1st round. Black has an overwhelming position that could have been converted to material advantage: 32...Qf6! 33.Bc4 Ne4 and Black wins a pure exchange, because 34.Rf1 loses to 34...Qg6 -+. In the game Black missed this and subsequently even lost.

2. Nogin 2249 - Vorontsov 1950, Kiev 2010, 1st round. In this position Black... resigned! However, it was still possible to save a game by playing 42...Ra8+ 43.Kb7 (43.Kb5 Rxa5+ 44.Kb4 Ra6! 45.Re2 Be3!) Rxa5 44.Re2 Be3! 45.Rxe3 Rb5+ and it turns out that White king cannot escape the perpetual: 46.Ka7 Ra5+ 47.Kb7 Rb5+, since 48.Ka6? is met by 48...Rb6+ 49.Ka5 Rxc6 -/+. Thus the position on this diagram is actually a draw! Another confirmation to Tartakower's old maxim: "No games were ever saved by resigning"

3. Lomsadze - Naboka 2104, Kiev 2010, 1st round. 32...Rb8! could finish the game immediately (33.Nxb8 Bxd4#; 33.Qxa6 Rb2+ 34.Ke3 Re1+ 35.Qe2 Rbxe2#). Black missed this chance by playing 32...Bc4? and the game eventually ended in a draw

4. Golubka 2362 - Karnaukh 2195, Kiev 2010, 2nd round. In the game Black did just that - 26...Rxc5?? and after 27.dxc5 immediately resigned, because he realized that 26...Qxc5 is met by a killing 27.Ne6! In fact, in the diagrammed position Black had only one move that allowed him to play on - 26...Nxc2! 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Bxf7+ Kh8! with approximately equal game.

5. Grygoriev - Solomaha 2308, Kiev 2010, 2nd round. Of course, 23...Rxh2! is winning 24.Rf1+ Kg6. White resigned, because he cannot avoid losing another piece on a 2nd rank.

6. Terekhov 2303 - Gogol 1989, Kiev 2010, 2nd round. White managed to exploit the abundance of pieces on d-file: 23.Rd1 Nxc1 24.Ne7+! Rxe7? (much more stubborn was 24...Kf8! 25.Rxd8+ Kxe7 26.Rd2 Nxb3 27.Rxb3 Bd4 and Black at least gets a pawn for the lost exchange) 25.Rxd8+ Kf7 26.Rxc1 +-

7. Burak - Sakhatskyi 2057, Kiev 2010, 2nd round. The clearest path to the victory was the following: 41...Qxe3+ 42.Kf5 Rf2+ 43.Ke6 Qh6+! Now 44.Ke7 loses to 44...Qxc6! with inevitable simplification to a hopeless pawn ending: 45.Qxc6 Rxf7+ 46.Kxf7 bxc6 47.Kxg7 e4 -+ And if the king steps back to 5th rank, then White remain an exchange dow - 44.Kd5 Rxf7 or 44.Kxe5 Qd6+ 45.Ke4 Qg6+ 46.Ke3 Rxf7 -+. In the game Black did not find 43...Qh6+ and simplified into an equal queen ending by 43...Rxf7 44.Kxf7 bxc6, which they finally managed to win on 123th (!) move.

8. Shankovsky 2337 - Stavroyany 2277, Kiev 2010, 3rd round. White gradualyl lost his advantage and with his last move fell into a trap: 31...Nxf2! 32.Rxf2 Rxd3! and White could already resign. In the game he did it 4 moves later.

9. Chubar 2116 - Dolzhykova 2309, Kiev 2010, 3rd round. I agree that the answer to this question was too obvious. However, this was exactly what Black played in the game :-О Perhaps, Black simply did not expect any malice from the opponent on the 5th move, but after 6.Nb5 there is no good defence against the threats of 7.Nc7+ or 7.Bc7.

What makes this case really interesting is that Black eventually won this game! This is why it made it into this collection - as an example of sheer willpower that sometimes help to overcome the objective evaluation of position. The game continued 6...e5 (the only move) 7.Nxe5 a6 (again the best) 8.Nc4! dxc4 9.Nc7+ Ke7 and here White returned the favour by playing 10.dxc5?? (he should have simply taken the rook - 10.Nxa8 Qxb2 11.Be2; the knight gets back in the game and White remains an exchange up) 10...Qxc5 11.Nxa8. It seems that there is no difference whether White took the pawn or not. But there is a big difference - Black queen is not attacked and controls 5th rank, so 11...g5! is now possible. Black already overtook the initiative and won against the demoralized opponent in just a few more moves: 12.Bg3?! Bg7 13.c3 Rd8 14.Qe2? Nb4! -+

This is exactly how one should play in the opens :) No passaran!

10. Shankovsky 2337 - Naboka 2104, Kiev 2010, 5th round. I must admit that this is the most difficult exercise in the whole set, way more complicated than everything else here.

Looking at all the bloodshed on the kingside, who in the sane mind would even look at the other part of the board? However, the strongest move in this position takes place on the queenside, 18...Qb6!! Due to pecularities of the position, Black wins d4 pawn and gets adequate compensation for the exchange. Tactical justification of this move lies in the variation 19.Kxh2? Nxd4 20.Bh7+ Kh8 21.Qb1 Nxf3+ 22.Kh1 Nxh4 -+

In the game the "human" 18...Bxg3 19.Bxg3 e5 was played and after enormous adventures the game was agreed drawn on 62nd move.

11. Brozhik 2086 - Kazakov 1870, Kiev 2010, 7th round. It turns out that the key to mating Black king is d7 square and to get access to it is worth a whole rook: 45.Qe6+ Kc7 46.Rb7+!! Kxb7 47.Qd7+! Ka8 48.Qc6+ Ka7 49.Qxc5+ Ka6 50.Qb5+ Ka7 and White can finally start the decisive attack: 51.Qa5+ Kb7 52.Rb1+ Kc6 (52...Kc8 53.Qc5+ Kd7 54.Rb7+ and mates) 53.Qa6+ Kd5 54.Qe6+ Kc5 55.Rb5#

Instead, the game played out as a real tragicomedy: 45.Qa7+ Kd6 46.Rb6+?? Kd5?? (46...Ke5! was winning) 47.Qf7+? (47.Qb7+ was winning) 47...Ke4 48.Qe6+?? Kd3?? (48...Be5! -+) 49.Rb3+?? (49.Rd1+ Ke2 50.Qa2+! Kf3 51.Rf1+ Kg4 52.Qxg8+ Bg5 53.Rb2+-) 49...Kd2 50.Re2+?! (50.Rb2+ Kxe1 51.Qc4 would force Black to find the only 51...Qh2+! 52.Rxh2 gxh2+ 53.Kh2 -+ due to passed pawns) 50...Kxe2 51.Rb2+ Kf3 52.Qxg8 e2? (52...d3! was winning easily) 53.Qd5+ Qe4 54.Qxe4+ Kxe4 55.Rxe2+ Kf5 56.a5? (56.Rc2 was still enough to hold the draw) 56...d3 57.Ra2 c4 58.Ra4 0-1 I assume that White lost on time here, but his position is alerady beyond repair, as after 58...d2 it is not possible to stop the pawn from queening.

12. Dolzhykova 2309 - Sergienko 2039, Kiev 2010, 8th round. The "computer" solution was 23...Nd3+!? 24.Bxd3 Rxd3 25.Qxd3 Qxc1+ 26.Ke2 (26.Qd1 Qxc3+ 27.Qd2 Bxe5-+) 26...Qxh1 27.exf6 0-0! It is not so easy to assess how real the threats against Black king are, even though the computer claims that Black can easily refute the attack.

I belive that a better technique was 23...Nd5 24.Qd2 0-0! with the idea 25.exf6 Rfe8+ 26.Be2 Nb4 and 26.Qh6 does not work because of 26...Nd3+ 27.Kf1 Qxc1+ with queen exchanges, while after 25.Be2 Nb4 26.Qe3 Nd3+ Black simply won the tempo compared to the previous line and thus is winning easily after 27.Bxd3 Rxd3 28.Qh6 Bg7 29.Qg5 Kh7!

In the game Вlack played 23...Nd5 24.Qd2, but then he probably ran out of gas. After a few more powerless moves - 24...Be7?! 25.e6 f5? 26.Be5 Nb4 - a draw was agreed.

13. Sakhatskyi 2057 - Shankovsky 2337, Kiev 2010, 8th round. Why exchange when one can sacrifice? :-)) The game was decided by a typical Sicilian blow 18...Nc3+! (although the game started as French). White cannot take the knight because of mating attack: 19.bxc3 bxc3 20.Ka1 Rab8! (less precise is 20...Qa3 21.Rb1 Rab8 22.Bc4!?) In the game White preferred to give up an exchange by 19.Ka1 Nxd1, but it had no effect on the eventual outcome.

14. Glushko - Moroz 2078, Kiev 2010, 8th round. In fact, White could completely refute this combination: 13.Nd5! Bxd4 14.Nxe7+ Kg7 15.Bxd4+ Nf6 16.Nxc8 Bxc8 17.0-0-0 with absolutely winning position.

15. Grygoriev - А. Bortnik 2318, Kiev 2010, 9th round. Black found a simple, but elegant strike: 14...Rxe2! 15.Qxe2 Nxd4, using the trapped position of rook a1. The fame continued 16.Qd3 Nf5 17.g4 Bxa1 18.gxf5 -+ Slightly more stubborn was 16.Qe4 Nf5 (not so clear is 16...Bf5?! 17.Qe3 Nc2 18.Bxc2 Bxc2 19.Qd2! Bxa1 20.Qxc2 =+) 17.Bc2 Bxa1 18.Bg5 Bf6 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.g4 Qe7 21.Qd3 Ra5, although White's position is hopeless in this variation as well.