Spot Magic Move in Kosteniuk-Yanjindulam at 40th Istanbul Chess Olympiad 2012

Spot White's Magic Move! Black has just played 32.Bf8

Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk’s Russian team has won the gold for the second time at the Chess Olympiad. The 40th edition of the super team tournament concluded in Istanbul on Sunday. You can read reports and blog post by 12th Women’s World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk at Here is a position from Kosteniuk-Yanjindulam played in Round 3 at the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul. White is positionlly better. Can you spot the strong magic move that will win the game?

Yes, 33.Rd7 is the magic move in the position. The Queen cannot take the Rook because Ne5 forks the Black Queen and King!
So, naturally, Black played 33….Nd4 with the intention of “White takes Queen on c7 with Rook” and “Black takes White Queen on b3 with Knight”. That’s what happened in the game and here’s your position after 33.Rd7 Nd4 34.Rxc7 34.NxQb3

What should White play now? Can you spot the checkmating combination after 34.NxQb3? White to play and checkmate in four!

You can replay the game in the Chess King applet below.

Kosteniuk, Alexandra (2489) – Yanjindulam, Dulamsuren (2232)

Result: 1-0
Site: 0:30.14-0:10.57
Date: 2012.08.30

[…] 1.e4 e5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.¥b5 a6 4.¥a4 ¤f6 5.O-O ¥e7 6.¦e1 b5 7.¥b3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 ¤b8 10.d4 ¤bd7 11.¤bd2 ¥b7 12.¥c2 ¦e8 13.¤f1 ¥f8 14.¤g3 g6 15.a4 ¥g7 16.¥d3 c6 17.¥e3 ¤f8 18.dxe5 dxe5 19.c4 b4 20.c5 ¤6d7 21.£b3 ¤e6 22.£xb4 ¤dxc5 23.¥c4 a5 24.£a3 £e7 25.¦ed1 h6 26.¦ac1 ¤a6 27.£c3 £c7 28.h4 ¢h7 29.h5 ¦ac8 30.£b3 c5 31.hxg6+ ¢xg6 32.¤f5 ¥f8 33.¦d7 ¤d4 34.¦xc7 ¤xb3 35.¤3h4+ ¢f6

(35…¢h7 36.¦xf7+ ¢g8 37.¦g7+ ¢h8 38.¤g6# (0:00:16) 35.N3h4+)
(35…¢h5 36.¥e2# (0:00:04) 35…Kh5)


(+299.99|d18|2s 36.¦xf7# (0:00:02) 35…Kf6)

35.Nf3h4 is the checkmating move. Black King gets checkmated (see Houdini analysis in Chess King applet above) for each of the three escape squares of f6, h7, and h5! In the game, Black played 35….Kf6 and resigned because it’s checkmate with Rf7 immediately.

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