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John Owen vs Amos Burn
Casual game (1887), Hooton ENG, Oct-??
Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation (D02)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-09-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: i didn't see that black has defense with 17....e5. but I am happy that ♕xg7 was my 1st preference.
Jun-09-11  zb2cr: I found 16. Qxg7+, Nxg7; 17. Nf6+, Kh8; 18. Nxd7, with White being 2 P up. After seeing the games score and the comments from when this game was used as a puzzle in 2004, this seems to be right,
Jun-09-11  DarthStapler: I didn't get it
Jun-09-11  sfm: 16.-,gxf6 is a beginner move. Could the game be a fake?
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a pawn up.

Black threatens 16... exd5 and eventually ... Rxc2, ... exf5.

On the one hand, White exerts considerable pressure along the a1-h8 diagonal, particularly on f6 and g7. On the other hand, the pawn on g7 prevents the knight fork on f6. This invites to play 16.Qxg7+ Nxg7 17.Nf6+ Kh8 18.Nxd7:

A) 18... Rfd8 19.Rg1 e5 20.Nxe5 Bxe5 21.Bxe5 Rg8 22.0-0-0 h6 23.Rxg7 Rxg7 24.Rg1 Rg8 25.Rxg7 Rxg7 26.Kd2 Kh7 27.Bxg7 Kxg7 28.Kd3 with a won endgame.

B) 18... Rg8 19.0-0-0 (assuming this is legal)

B.1) 19... Bf8 20.Nxf8 Rcxf8 21.Rg1 is similar to A.

B.2) 19... Be7 20.f6 + -.

B.3) 19... Bc7 20.Rg1 exf5 21.Nf6 Rf8 22.Nh5 + -.

C) 18... Rxc2 19.Bxg7+ Kxg7 20.Rg1+ Kh6 21.Nxf8 Bxf8 22.f6 + -.

Another option is 16.Nf6+:

A) 16... gxf6 17.Rg1+ Kh8 (17... Ng7 18.Qxf6 + -) 18.Qxf6+ Nxf6 19.Bxf6#.

B) 16... Nxf6 17.Qxf6 e5 (17... gxf6 18.Rg1+ Kh8 19.Bxf6#) 18.Rg1 g6 19.0-0-0 Qc6 and White's attack seems to vanish.

16.Qxg7+ looks much stronger than 16.Nf6+.

Jun-09-11  Patriot: <Once> Great post. Last night I started reading (again) Jacob Aagard's "Excelling at Chess Calculation". I bought this book several years ago and just couldn't handle the intense analysis so I didn't follow it through. I tried to follow some of the analysis in my head and mostly looked for the main points he was trying to make.

Several points you made fall in line with the book. I don't have the book in front of me, but paraphrasing he said "When you're calculating you must be concrete and not generalize with ideas." He also made a point about assuming your opponent is not making a mistake.

This is exactly what happened in this game and is the same mistake I made on this puzzle! What's worse is I consciously looked for a defense after 16.Nf6+ Nxf6 17.Qxf6 and just didn't see the 17...e5 defense. I was focused on defending against mate on g7 directly. This goes with another point Aagard makes about "thinking wide before thinking deep". He says you must see what's right in front of you.

Jun-09-11  Marmot PFL: Rejected this combo, which anyway does not seem so clear after 16...Nxf6, in favor of 16 Qxg7+ Nxg7 17 Nf6+ and Nxd7 with an easy win. In the 19th century defensive play was weak so it made more sense to play for the tricky mate.
Jun-09-11  stst: Again the Bk K has to be locked in corner, virtually by a forced wall to be created after 16.Nf6+ forking K & Q.
Bk's resolve is to take this N (a sac & coy), thus
IF (A)16....Nxf6
17.Qxf6 (also a sac) gxf6
18.Rg1+ Kh8 (see the wall)
IF (B)16....gxf6
17.Rg1+ Kh8 (similar to (A))
18.Qxf6 Nxf6
19.Bxf6# --- Good that B's there as back-up fire-power. Burn was one of the respected Brit. veteran master (still remember one time McFarlane published his works, signed by Anand & Kramnik as prize for readers guessing the outcome of the Championship?) wonder how he got into this situation even though as Bk.
Jun-09-11  stst: Saw the troubling e5, but did not pursue amid work, will re-visit later (but the NBA Finals is coming again tonight!!)
Jun-09-11  sevenseaman: From the comments I see this game was a POTD in 2004 as well. What is the history of the <CG>'s daily puzzle. I mean how long have they been in this business.

I see little wrong with the current format but there must have been some changes along the way to have ended up being such a hot-shot favorite.

Jun-09-11  Marmot PFL: <Saw the troubling e5, but did not pursue amid work, will re-visit later (but the NBA Finals is coming again tonight!!)>

The finishes have been exciting, but the quality of play is not what I expect from championship teams.

Jun-09-11  sevenseaman: With big guns like Lebron, Wade and Bosh I was giving it to Miami but surprisingly Dallas keep coming back, thanks to their hot shot Nowitzki.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I went the route of Qxg7+,gaining a second pawn.

After the text,Burn must have dropped his pipe.

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I saw the 16. Qxg7+ line and rejected it for 16. Nf6+, not noticing the e5 line.
Jun-09-11  gars: Something must be wrong! I solved it and I'm not a "thursday solver" !!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <sfm: 16.-,gxf6 is a beginner move. Could the game be a fake?>

Fake games generally present the incandescent brilliance of one player, not the subpar play of both.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Phony Benoni: Fake games generally present the incandescent brilliance of one player, not the subpar play of both.>

Very well said, sir! It has the sonorous and authoritative ring of one of those memorable quotations that CG puts on the home page each day.

I heard a story once about a crusty British politician who had been accused by a newspaper of conducting three extramarital affairs at the same time. As the story goes, he guffawed and declared that the story had to be a fake. It was at least four...

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Flag-on off in ailing freddies coffin black rf8 or ow lunge check states pf6. Towed in the hole herald sh arc so up rook bills tichy? Due diligence a you school at heard option it linger ac e5 f6 ax!
Jun-09-11  Ferro: R x D
Jun-09-11  BOSTER: In the position after 15.Nxd5
<This move (e5) was not possible in the first variation 15.Nxd5 exd5 16.Qxf6>. But black
was not obliged to play exd5, they could play 15...e5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BOSTER> You know, I've come to enjoy these little chats we have. It is heartening to know that you're following on from my posts, looking for something to correct or pick me up on.

And oh! the little thrill of anticipation I get each time when I wonder if today will be the first day when you say "I agree with Once..."

Who knows? Maybe one day...

15. Nxd5 wins a pawn for white. Sure, black could play 15...e5. But after 16. Nxf6 followed by a queen retreat white gets to keep his extra pawn. So it's not exactly a thrilling prospect for black - even if Fritz does think that it is the best move.

But that's not the point, is it? The point I was exploring was why both players missed the defence e5 when it occurred later in the game. And the theory I was putting forward was the e5 isn't possible in the critical variation that both players would have been forced to examine - 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Qxf6.

In the game Burn chose 15...Ne8 over 15...e5. Why? I would suggest that he was focussing too much on the Qxf6 threat and had overlooked the strength of 15...e5.

Jun-09-11  wals: Rybka 4 x 64

:Looking good 6...Nbd7 =-0.13.

13.Qd4 not in top five -5

14.Bxd7 3rd best -2

14...Qxd7 4th best -3

15...Ne8 4th best -3

16.Nf6+ 3rd best -2

16...gxf6 3rd best -2

17...Kh8 3rd best -2

SCORE Black 10. White 9.

White won by checkmate 19.Bxf6#.

Better for White move 13.

1. (-0.31): 13.f4 0-0 14.Rg1 Nb6 15.Qd4 Kh8 16.0-0-0 a6 17.Bd3 Nc4 18.Bxc4 Rxc4 19.Qd2 a5 20.Nb5 Be7 21.fxe6 fxe6 22.Qg2 g6 23.Nd4 Qb6

2. (-0.38): 13.fxe6 fxe6 14.f4 0-0 15.Rg1 Nb6 16.Bd3 Nc4 17.Bxc4 Rxc4 18.Qd3 Qb6 19.Rg2 Be7 20.Nd1 Rfc8 21.Bd4 Qc7 22.c3 b6

3. (-0.48): 13.Bxd7+ Qxd7 14.Qd3 Ng4 15.Qe2 Ne5 16.Nb5 0-0 17.f6 g6 18.Nxd6 Qxd6[] 19.Bd4 b6 20.0-0 Nc4

4. (-0.59): 13.Qd3 0-0 14.f4 a5 15.Bxd7 Nxd7 16.Rg1 Qh4+ 17.Kf1 Nf6 18.Nb5 Be7 19.fxe6 Qxh2 20.Rg2 Qh3 21.Kg1 fxe6 22.Nd4 Kf7 23.Rh2 Qg4+ 24.Rg2 Qh5 25.Rh2 Qg6+ 26.Qxg6+

5. (-0.75): 13.Ne2 0-0 14.f4 Ng4 15.fxe6 fxe6 16.Bxd7 Qxd7[] 17.Qd3 Be7 18.0-0 Bf6 19.Bxf6 Nxf6 20.Rfd1 a6 21.Rac1 b5 22.Kg2 Qe7 23.Rg1 Ne4 24.Nd4

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <wals> Well, at least we know neither player used an engine to cheat. :-)
Jun-09-11  TheBish: Owen vs Burn, 1887

White to play (16.?) "Medium"

I first looked at 16. Qxg7+ Nxg7 17. Nf6+ Kh8 18. Nxd7, which leaves something to be desired after 18...Rfd8. It didn't take me much longer to find a move I like better.

16. Nf6+! Nxf6

Or 16...gxf6 17. Rg1+ Kh8 (17...Ng7 18. Qxf6 mates) 18. Qxf6+ Nxf6 19. Bxf6#.

17. Qxf6 e5!

The only move. Not 17...gxf6 18. Rg1+, transposing to the above note.

18. Rg1 g6 19. Rd1

But not 19. 0-0-0? Qc7!.

19...Rfd8 20. Bxe5

Whoops... this doesn't work at all! At least not the last move (20...Bxe5 21. Qxe5 Qxd1# or 21. Rxd7 Bxf6 loses a piece). Back to my original idea!


16. Qxg7+! Nxg7 17. Nf6+ Kh8 18. Nxd7 Rfd8 19. Rg1 Rxd7

Or 19...Rg8 20. Nf6!

20. Bxg7+ Kg8 21. Be5+ Kf8 22. Rd1 Rcd8 23. Bxd6+ Rxd6 24. Rxd6 Rxd6 10. fxe6 Rxe6

White has won another pawn, in addition to the extra one he had at the beginning. This is an easy win, or at least should be.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Once:...You can almost smell the tobacco smoke from Amos' pipe!>

Any estimate on the odds that Burn managed to light up for this one?

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