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In his recent "Immortal Game" against Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Wei Yi initiated his king hunt with the move 22.Rxf7!! from this position

[FEN "3qr1k1/1b1rbp2/p2p2p1/1p1np3/4P3/P2BB2Q/1PP3PP/4RR1K w - - 0 22"]

The annotation to this move said that the next four moves were forced. My question is why the king recapture of the rook 22..., Kxf7 is considered forced, since 22..., Nf6 seems to be a viable alternative, defending against the threatened mate by the queen at h7, saving the knight and trapping the rook?

1 Answer 1

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After 22. ... Nf6, white will reply 23. Qe6!, threatening a nasty discovered check. 23. ... Bf8 won't work because it is mate after 24. Re7+ Kh8 25. Qxf6+ Kg8 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Qxh7#, and 23. ... Kh8 loses to 24. Bg5! and Black's position will collapse.

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  • So the rook capture was the lesser of two evils for black and was forced after all. Thanks, By the way, how do you make the diagrams on here? I tried unsuccessfully to import one so resorted to the Forsythe notation instead.
    – CConero
    Jul 26, 2015 at 21:50
  • @CConero if you edit your own post, you will see what code I have used. (It would be nice to have some manual added to help page).
    – Glorfindel
    Jul 27, 2015 at 6:09
  • Glorfindel, I've spent a lot of time analyzing the position after 23..., Kh8 and 24.Bg5 but can't seem to find a winning continuation after 24..., Bc8, indirectly controlling the important h3 square for White attacks by his Q. I've looked at everything, including 25. Rxe7, 25.Rxf6 and 25.Bxf6+. At best White regains his lost piece but that's it. In the best case scenario he remains a pawn ahead with Q, B and R vs the same for Black, perhaps a winning advantage but perhaps not. I don't see where Black's position has collapsed.
    – CConero
    Jul 30, 2015 at 12:49
  • Have you considered 25. Re3, threatening 26. Rh3+?
    – Glorfindel
    Jul 30, 2015 at 12:58
  • Actually I hadn't until after I posted my last comment, but now that I have, it looks pretty strong.
    – CConero
    Jul 31, 2015 at 13:12

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