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Hans Kmoch vs Akiba Rubinstein
Semmering (1926), Semmering AUT, rd 3, Mar-10
Semi-Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-29-11  Memethecat: <37...Rf3+. 38gxf3 Qe3+. 39Kg3 Qxf3+. 40Kh4 or (Kh2) Qxh1+> etc. Whites other (but equally hopeless) options are <37...Rf3+. 38Kg1 Qe1+. 39Bf1 RxF1+. (39Kh2 Qg3+. 40Kg1 Re1+. 41 Bf1 Rxf1#) 40Kh2 Rxh1#>
Sep-29-11  hedgeh0g: The fact that White is threatening mate in two makes the solution much easier to spot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <hedgeh0g: The fact that White is threatening mate in two makes the solution much easier to spot.>

Indeed. In "real life" the temptation would not be moves like ...Rxd3?? but instead defending against the mate. But since this is a puzzle, we know we should be looking for attacking moves, the prettier the better. 37....Rf3+ is pretty indeed.

Sep-29-11  Strongest Force: Both of these guys knew much about pawn-power. Many moons ago, Kmoch would watch me play blitz and compliment the way I pushed the pawns. The old guy would have had a orgasm if he saw the way Chucky pushed the pawns against the world champ last night.
Sep-29-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even in this middlegame attacking position, with both sides conducting ferocious attacks against exposed opposing kings. White has the compelling threat of 38.Qh8+ Kf7 39.Rh7#, so black has to come up with something even better.

37... Rf3+! allows the winning entry of the black queenn. There is no defense:

A) 38.Kg1 Qe1+ 39.Kh2 (Bf1 Rxf1+ 40.Kh2 Rxh1#) Qg3+ 40.Kg1 Re1+ 41.Bf1 Rf(e)xf1#

B) 38.gxf3 Qe3+ 39.Kf1 Qxf3+ 40.Kg1 (Rf2 Qd1#) Qg3+ (Re1+ is one move slower) 41.Kf1 Re1#

B.1) 39.Kg3 Qxf3+ 40.Kh2 (Kh4 Qg4#) Qxh1+ 41.Kg3 Re3+ 42.Kf2 Qe1#

B.2) 39.Kg2 Qxf3+ 40.Kg1 (Kh2 Qxh1+ transposes to B.1) Qg3+ 41.Kf1 (Rg2 Qxg2#) Re1#

Time for game review...

Sep-29-11  LIFE Master AJ: When I first looked at the problem, I thought: "How stupid!" 37.Qh8+, Kf7; 38.Rh7#. Then I thought: "That's no kind of a puzzle at all!"

... Then I noticed the words, "BLACK TO MOVE." (Duh! Baaa!)

I git 37...Rf3+!; fairly quickly. (Since Black is threatened with a mate in two, the surest way not to get stomped is to do everything with check.)

Others - I am sure - will give the variations ... (time to check).

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: Black would like his queen to land on e3 to start a mating attack, so a reasonable try is to get the rook out of the way with 37...Rf3+. For example:

a. 38. gxf3 Qe3+ 39. Kg3 Qxf3+

a.1. 40. Kh2 Qxh1+ 41. Kg3 Re3+ 42. Kf2 Qe1#

a.2. 40. Kh4 Qg4#

b. 38. Kg1 Qe1+ 39. Kh2 Qg3+ 40. Kg1 Re1+ 41. Bf1 Rfxf1#

Sep-29-11  LIFE Master AJ: Played through the game, Kmoch was no fish.

All I can say is, "Incredibly well played by Rubinstein!!!!!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Doesn't happen often, but this seemed far easier for me than for most kibitzers. While there are some lines to pursue, the forcing nature of Black's options made it seem more like a Tuesday. I think the theme was encircling the King. I wouldn't argue with the idea it was a sham sac to replace the Rook with the Queen and let her diagonal powers take over on the e file. The most interesting part of the puzzle was Black's LSB as a silent monster in the background.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I found this one rather easily;black needed to clear the way for the queen to check. The rook sac allows black to mate with the bishop,rook,and queen.

Whew! it looked like white was going to win this one-but for the most part,the queen was the only attacker and the rook entered just too late.

Sep-29-11  sevenseaman: <OhioChessFan> I very much like your summation of the situation with today's POTD. You nail it!
Sep-29-11  jackalope: Is the key to White's loss ignoring the open E file after 28... Re6? It looks like 29. Re2 is an obvious move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <newzild: 38. Kg1 Qe1+ 39. Kh2 Rh3+!? 40. Qxh3 Qxd2 41. Qg3 Kf7 (threatening 42...Rh8+) >

I played that out a little and was shocked to see where it ended up. Here's the postion after 38. Kg1

click for larger view

38. Kg1 Qe1+ 39. Kh2 Rh3+!? 40. Qxh3 Qxd2 41. Qg3 Kf7 42. Bf1 Bxg2 43. Bxg2 Rh8+ 44. Kg1 Qd1+ 45. Kf2 Rxh1 46. Bxh1 Qxh1 and you wonder where all the pieces went! I'd be afraid of messing up and giving White a perpetual, so I'll stick with the quick mate. Entertaining line for sure.

click for larger view

Sep-29-11  jackalope: Never mind - just played out a few moves and found 29. Re2 is a very ugly move.
Sep-29-11  jackalope: 29. Re2 - "Animal House" move - black Queen spanking my backside and I'm yelling "Thank you, ma'am! May I have another?!"
Sep-29-11  BOSTER: Couple moves before the pos. on diagram, after 35.Qh6 Rubinstein could immediatly play Qe6, but he played 35...Qf6 . And only when white moved his king to f2 36. Kf2 he played Qe6, leaving the h8 without protection. Maybe he specially lured the white rook on h1, creating for white attack on h file. And white swallowed the bait.

But in my visualization was mistake.
I'd play 32...Rh3? If Qxh3 Qe1#?, not seeing the rook h1.

Sep-29-11  sevenseaman: <OhioChessFan> <I played that out a little and was shocked to see where it ended up.>

<38. Kg1 Qe1+ 39. Kh2 Rh3+!? 40. Qxh3 Qxd2 41. Qg3 Kf7 42. Bf1 Bxg2 43. Bxg2 Rh8+ 44. Kg1 Qd1+ 45. Kf2 Rxh1 46. Bxh1 Qxh1><and you wonder where all the pieces went! I'd be afraid of messing up and giving White a perpetual, so I'll stick with the quick mate. Entertaining line for sure.>

You may have created a ghost where there was none. How about this;

<38. Kg1 Qe1+ 39. Kh2 Qg3 40. Kg1 Re1 41. Bf1 R(3)xf1#>?

Black's mating threat disappears the moment his K goes to h2. Or you think there is a catch?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Direct approach e3 f3 effing nora aid enter e8 swoops like a bird Sweat Home Alabama!
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Contrite hark toppic of discussion in and oh reference pawn clink down re3 rf3+ thats why in home it black has strangulated all of white say play de file snuff cold rook sumo i rate Semmering pass the buck too easy stem argy bargy basically white what went wrong kids see gal 28.bd3 wit h4 so follow in coin a term in a bag 28.re2 torrent stop bus target in f4 vivacious pot penny fences tab oe in g6 cattle run general grounds came light wicked languishing.
Sep-29-11  dufferps: The continuations from 37 ... Rf3+ vary, but unless black blunders, they all end in check-mate for black and often in total wipe-out for white.

It doesn't matter whether white captures the rook (38. gxf3 Qe3+) or moves his king (38. Kg1 Qe1+), he cannot escape. That bishop at c6 really turns the tide, giving the black queen command over the white king from any place on the main white diagonal.

In one line, after capturing the rook at h1, black had the opportunity to freely capture the white queen, but resisted the temptation to more efficiently checkmate white using his control of the main white diagonal.

Sep-29-11  galdur: Cat vs. mouse after he captured d4.

Great play by a fantastic grandmaster.

Sep-29-11  Nullifidian: I found this easier than yesterday's puzzle. A straightforward mate in 6:

37... ♖f3+ 38. ♔g1 ♕e1+ 39. ♔h2 (♗f1 ♖xf1+ 40. ♔h2 ♖xh1#) ♕g3+ 40. ♔g1 ♖e1 41. ♗f1 ♖xf1# (either rook)

37... ♖f3+ 38. ♙gxf3 ♕e3+ 39. ♔g2/g3 (♔f1 ♕xf3+ 40. ♔g1 (♖f2 ♕d1#) ♕g3+ 41. ♖g2 ♕xg2# or ♔f1 ♖e1#/♕e1#) ♕xf3+ 40. ♔h2 (♔g1 is mate in 2 as analyzed above) ♕xh1+ 41. ♔g3 ♖e3+ 42. ♔f2 ♕e1#/♕g2#

Sep-29-11  ColeTrane: Rh3 might also work, no?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <ColeTrane: Rh3 might also work, no?>

37...Rh3 38.Qxh3 Qe3+ 39.Qxe3 dxe3+ 40.Ke2 exd2+ 41.Kxd2 is only equal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: There is no other game in the database with 6..g6!? - definitely an odd choice. Kmoch thought 16 Rad1 would have been more logical playing for a kingside attack. With 19 Bb3? (Kmoch recommended 19 a4) Kmoch missed Rubinstein's reply 19..b5! threatening both 20..b4 as well as 20..bxc - White was in trouble after this.
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