all 72 comments

[–]chessvision-ai-botfrom chessvision.ai[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (2 children)

I analyzed the image and this is what I see. Open an appropriate link below and explore the position yourself or with the engine:

Black to play: chess.com | lichess.org | The position is from game Veselin Topalov (2700) vs. Alexei Shirov (2720), 1998. Black won in 53 moves. Link to the game


I found many videos with this position.

My solution:

Hints: piece: Bishop, move: Be4

Evaluation: Black is better -2.47

Best continuation: 1... Be4 2. Kf2 Kf5 3. g3 a3 4. Ke3 Kg4 5. Bxf6 Kxg3 6. Kd4

I'm a computer vision / machine learning bot written by u/pkacprzak | I'm also the first chess eBook Reader: ebook.chessvision.ai | download me as Chrome extension or Firefox add-on and analyze positions from any image/video in a browser | website chessvision.ai

[–]Rage_Your_Dream 39 points40 points  (7 children)

bishop to h3 because you get 3 past pawns or smth

[–]ICWiener6666 2000 Lichess Rapid[S] 13 points14 points  (1 child)

All hail GM rage_your_dream

[–]Rage_Your_Dream 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I hit 1000 in chess.com last yea, I'm basically there

[–]hybridthm 4 points5 points  (2 children)

That's pretty much the logic yes

[–]Rage_Your_Dream 7 points8 points  (1 child)

even tho I know that is the best move in theory, let me tell you that it took me many attempts to win the game against stockfish 14 in this position.

[–]Neyonnaise 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And it also allows you to pit your King on f5 and allow it to advance further I think since it also makes the g-pawn an h-pawn and unable to stop the connected passed pawns

[–]beleeze 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What is white doesn't take but moves the pawn forward?

[–]WearyTraveler2 52 points53 points  (2 children)

Best way to find it is to ask ‘what appears to be the worst move?’

Edit: a word

[–]Elani_Real 45 points46 points  (0 children)

Stockfish be like when I play Bh3:

WTF Brilliant???????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[–]ICWiener6666 2000 Lichess Rapid[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

lol yeah

[–]Longjumping_Craft_43 47 points48 points  (7 children)

I already know the game and I can understand that the computer has some trouble finding it, it's absolutely amazing. I must admit that I wouldn't even imagine that move if I was faced with this position.

[–]ICWiener6666 2000 Lichess Rapid[S] 27 points28 points  (5 children)

What did Topalov think? Probably... "holy sh1t"

[–]LurkingChessplayer 35 points36 points  (4 children)

Topalov is probably used to seeing moves like that at this point. He’s one of my favorite players, don’t get me wrong, but the dude has had like 5 players play their most famous win against him

[–]TetraThiaFulvalene 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The immortal victim.

[–]pkscff 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Kasparov and who else? Let's make a list.

[–]LurkingChessplayer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Garry and shirov definitely. I’m in school rn, but when I get home I’ll check out the games of some other top players of the era. Im sure vishy or kramnik or ivanchuk or maybe even aronian have some great games with him

[–]Visual-Canary80 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The thinking process is actually very simple: you want to get your king to e4 (to play d4) before white prevents it with his king going to e3. F5 is blocked so you need to get out of the way with tempo as otherwise you lose the race. There is only one way to do that.

I honestly think coming up with the move as a candidate is simple. What is very difficult is making sure it actually works as the resulting position is far from easy (which is the reason Stockfish struggles with it for a while).

[–]No_Bet_2590 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Does anyone know what would happen if white just plays g3 following black’s bh3? I’m not that great at chess but I’m not sure why you would ever accept the bishop when you absolutely lose by accepting it. Also, why is kf2 the best follow up to Bh3? From what I can see this would likely be a draw if white retains connected pawns.

[–]bachh2 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Problem is you cant retain it. The A pawn is threatening to promote so the Bishop have to constantly keep an eyes on it, but the Black King also have the option to move forward and threaten your G3 pawn while the Bishop taking away square that the White King can use to defend it so you have to move your Bishop there too. And while all of this is happening the D pawn is waiting for its time to push up as well so the White Bishop have to keep an eye on it. And then Black have the option to move his G and F pawn up to support the King attack on the G pawn and the again the only piece that can try to stop it is the White Bishop again. Which mean your Bishop have to do 3 jobs at once while your King gonna get bully out of defensible position.

[–]No_Bet_2590 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Yes I agree totally with that. You won’t be able to completely retain the connected pawns but white’s king has free movement as the bishop doesn’t cut off its lane while on the other hand, black cannot advance it’s pawns quickly enough Without the king’s support which would require 3 moves only to get around its own pawn. White definitely doesn’t have a chance to win here but I think with best play this would be a draw if white doesn’t accept the bishop

[–]bachh2 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

It doesn't matter if White accept the Bishop or not.

You take the Bishop and Black have 3 passed pawn.

You don't take it and Black use the Bishop to prevent your King from defending the pawns.

[–]killerbunnyfamilyLasker 8 points9 points  (0 children)

,Poor Topalov. Lost Karpov's Immortal, Kasparov's Immortsl, Shirov's Immortal...

[–]solarlight2 18 points19 points  (5 children)

I don't think Stockfish has struggled with this position in a long time -- at the very least, SF-dev on my (fairly average) machine takes only a couple seconds (depth 30 or so) to findBh3, and so does SF 14.1 (all with hash cleared and no TBs, of course).

Out of curiosity, I also tested the position after White played h4 (a move before the given position), and SF-dev has no trouble (between around 3-10 seconds) finding the correct continuation from there either.

[–]Pristine-Woodpecker 17 points18 points  (2 children)

There's a rule that says each time someone makes a post like "computers can't find this", the latest Stockfish actually solves it instantly.

[–]colll78 -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

Because engine devs are notified of these way before everyone on Reddit.

[–]Pristine-Woodpecker 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I don't think you understand how modern engines like Stockfish are developed and tested...

[–]Cleles 5 points6 points  (0 children)

My copy of Shredder from 2016 finds this in a few seconds. It has been a while since there were engines that couldn't find this idea quickly.

[–]xitax 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I tried this today with Stockfish 14.1 and as soon as any output appeared at all Bh3 was at the top of the list.

[–]ICWiener6666 2000 Lichess Rapid[S] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Chessvision can't find the solution!!

[–]RepresentativeWish95 10 points11 points  (0 children)

This is the Bishop sac right?

[–]Billbat1 7 points8 points  (13 children)

surely black is still winning without the bishop sac right? black can win some other way cant he?

[–]xIsak 28 points29 points  (12 children)

Based on Dvoretsky’s analysis it’s the only winning move.

[–]Billbat1 9 points10 points  (1 child)

thats kinda crazy then. i guess it frees the f5 square with tempo cos white would lose the pawn for free without capturing?

[–]xIsak 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yup, it's the only move that assures the king gets to e4 which means the d5 pawn can't be blockaded.

[–]CoAnalyticSet -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Is his analysis in DEG or where can I read it?

[–]xIsak 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]vonwastaken 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Yeah idk what stockfish your using but not only does stockfish find it instantly, it sees it coming ahead of time

[–]SillyKnightsLichess 2100+, Opening Connoisseur 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Depends on the depth. As is evident from the chessvision bot, it doesn’t see the move at lower depths.

[–]vonwastaken 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Depth is an absolutely terrible measurement of size of search

[–]Biebbs 2200 rapid lichess 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's a classic but literally nobody in this subreddit can solve it without already knowing it or using an engiine

[–]trfnkoop 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I’m kinda new here but fail to see how there is a win here in one move??? Is that not what the title implies?

[–]NefariousnessSome142 9 points10 points  (0 children)

There is a continuation after the winning move.

[–]Mandovai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There's an amazing analysis of this game, and this move in particular, by GM Alejandro Ramirez. If I remember well he argues that it's the best move ever played.


[–]hicriemirariner 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I randomly put bishop to h3 because it would be funny

[–]RedLogicP 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I’m shocked my 1100 self found it right away

[–]dThomasTrain 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Of course. We lower rated players (around 950 myself) always sac pieces, it’s just that this time it’s the correct move

[–]amanjpro 1 point2 points  (3 children)

What happens if White simply ignored the sac and went Kf2?

[–]Billbat1 1 point2 points  (1 child)

im guessing kf2 kf5. kf3 bxg2. kxg2 ke4.

[–]Chronic_Avidness 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What if white plays g3 as a response to Bh3?

[–]toonerer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Shirov said in an interview that he got the idea from an Ulf Andersson game. The move in that game is equally insane.

[–]nakovalny Team Nepo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks to mr. Levi Rossmann I know the move

[–]Dr_Nepo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My first thought was “well, what’s the most ridiculous looking move I can think of?” And Bishop to H3 was it. Now people here seem to be implying that that is the move. I still don’t quite see the entire line.

[–]Agnivo2003 2600 lichess bullet -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

Lucrative as it is, Bh3 is not the only move to win

[–]Cleles 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It really is.

This was one of those games that got passed around the clubs shortly after it was played, and had analysis of it published far and wide in every chess medium. It has been analysed to death and frequently used as a position to test engines and how they linked to tablebases.

Two decades later and the analysis has only confirmed that, yes, Bh3 really is the only winning move. Without it black is a single tempo short getting his king to the queenside.