Two Puzzles from the Russian Junior Championships

May 3, 2015, 5:35 PM |

Perusing the games of the recent Russian Junior Championships (congratulations to Ivan Bukavshin and Alina Bivol!), I came across the following two examples of interesting tactics. Can you solve both puzzles?

The first is perhaps more difficult to see. It comes from a game in round four between the eventual tournament winner GM Ivan Bukavshin and GM Urii Eliseev. Bukavshin played a double-fianchetto Reti with a slight twist on move twelve which allowed a speculative skirmish on the kingside that gained white some space, at the cost of weakening his own king position. As his moves kept coming quickly, it became clear that Bukavshin had worked out an interesting way to develop a strong attacking initiative. See if you can find the combination that lay behind his play (note that it does not necessarily win material in the short-term, but leads to a powerful positional advantage and attacking initiative):

The second puzzle comes from round eight of the same tournament. FM Dmitry Gordievsky played a Closed Sicilian against Eliseev. Black came out of the opening better and maintained a slight edge until, with both players under time pressure, a momentary inaccuracy allowed Gordievsky to seize a winning advantage. Can you find the winning line?
It should be noted that GM Eliseev, who lost both these games, in fact had a strong tournament and finished just half a point behind the eventual winner, Bukavshin, who has himself put in a series of strong performances so far this year.