Black has just played 21. ...f6 How should White win this?

The 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul went right down to the wire. In the overall results, Ukraine’s victory over China in the last round was crucial. Here is the Vassily Ivanchuk-Wang Hao 1-0 chess game from the top board. Read the full report on Armenia and Russia winning the Chess Olympiad in the men and women’s section at Chess Blog. In the position on the left, Black has just played the blunder 21. …f6. How should White win this from here? Does White really need to save that Knight?


That Knight is poisoned on e5! As it happened in the game, Black taking the Knight allows the White Rook to penetrate to the seventh rank. Instead of taking the Knight, Black could have followed up with Qg7 as shown below in the Houdini analysis. However, the game was lost after f6! Check out the game in the Chess King applet.

Ivanchuk, Vassily (2769) – Wang, Hao (2726)

Result: 1-0
Site: 0:03.57-0:04.57
Date: 2012.09.09
[…] 1.d4 ¤f6 2.c4 e6 3.¤c3 ¥b4 4.e3 O-O 5.¥d3 d5 6.¤f3 b6 7.a3 ¥xc3+ 8.bxc3 c6 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.£e2 ¤c6 11.O-O ¤a5 12.a4 ¦e8 13.¤e5 ¤e4 14.f3 ¤d6 15.¥a3 ¥b7 16.¥xd6 £xd6 17.f4 g6 18.£g4 ¤c4 19.£g3 £c7 20.¥xc4 dxc4 21.f5 f6 22.fxg6 fxe5
(22…£g7 23.¦xf6 £xf6 24.¦f1 £xf1+ 25.¢xf1 h6 26.¢e2 ¦f8 27.£h3 ¦ae8 28.£xh6 ¦e7 29.g3 ¦g7 30.¤f7 ¦fxf7 31.gxf7+ ¢xf7 32.£h5+ ¢f6 33.£e5+ ¢f7 34.£b8 ¢f6 35.£f4+ ¢g6 36.h4 ¦h7 37.e4 ¦g7 38.£e5 (0:00:05) 22.fxg6)
23.¦f7 £c6 24.gxh7+ ¢xf7 25.¦f1+ ¢e7 26.h8=£ ¦xh8 27.£g7+ ¢d6 28.dxe5+ ¢d5 29….
(29.¦d1+ ¢e4
(29…¢c5 30.£e7+ £d6 31.£xd6# (0:00:04) 29.Rd1+)
30.£g5 £xa4 31.£f4# (0:00:08) 28…Kd5)
Do you know why Black resigned after 21.d5+ Kd5 That is because there is a checkmate lined up for both the King escape squares of e4 and c5 after 22.Rd1+ as you can see in the Houdini analysis with world’s #1 chess-training software Chess King.