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Mikhail Chigorin vs Alexander Vladimirovich Solovtsov
Moscow (Match) (1884)
Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit. Steinitz Gambit Fraser-Minckwitz Defense (C28)  ·  1-0



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sac: 45.Qxd8+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-29-09  MiCrooks: I found this a bit disappointing, even for a Monday. First there was the manditory Q sack mate...yes mating with the Knight is alway cute, but then there was mate with the same two moves just in reverse order!

Not to mention a position that is SO one-sided! White is up a full Rook to start! And if he was in the mood to rub in NOT resigning he could simply play Re7+ cashing in his Rook advantage for a Queen advantage!

A bit TOO easy even for Monday.

Jun-29-09  MiCrooks: I just noticed that YouRang had the same thought that I did...Re7+ with the questions NOW do you resign? Though I guess I have to grant that this WAS in the time when at least some players thought it the gentlemanly thing to do to play to the end. I say some because this was also the age that brought on the need for chess clocks as players would try to outsit their opponents in lost positions, or simply walk off and never come back to the board!

So give him the benefit of the doubt that he was being a gentleman, in which case Chigorin was a gentleman as well to put him out of his misery as quickly as possible. An chose the Queen sack line because it was considered more artistic to mate with the Knight than in Black's face with the Queen.

Jun-29-09  xrt999: Back in 1884 when chess was a real sport, it was considered rude and ungentlemanly to resign when losing.

So, nowadays, young players are taught to resign when chess. In no other "competitive millieu" are youngsters taught to give up.

Jun-29-09  lzromeu: <xrt999: Back in 1884 when chess was a real sport, it was considered rude and ungentlemanly to resign when losing.>

I think the same.

In any another sport how stupid will be look if the loser simply walk off before the times end.

In other hand, continue a hopelessness game is not gentleman too. <Chigorin was a gentleman as well to put him out of his misery as quickly as possible (MiCrooks)>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <xrt999: In no other "competitive millieu" are youngsters taught to give up.>

Apart from a tap-out in wrestling...

Or a fold in poker...

Or throwing in the towel in boxing...

Or F2 in spider solitaire...

IMHO, in 2009, chess is still a real sport. Let's not forget that some people think it rude if you don't resign a lost game. The argument is that not resigning is a sign of disrespect to your opponent, as it suggests that you don't think they have the skill to win.

Jun-29-09  David2009: Rewind the game to six moves earlier. White has just played Qb1-g6! to reach

click for larger view

Lightning from a clear sky. 39..Qh8? lost immediately to 40 Rh2! etc see game. 39 Ne6 is much better: can it save the game?

Jun-29-09  xrt999: <once>
throwing in the towel is done by the boxer's corner, not the boxer. The boxer doesnt stop fighting and give up because he is losing. On the contrary, the corner stops the fight because the boxer has continued past the point where he cannot effectively defend himself and is in danger.

Second, my post was in reference to sports; poker is gambling. Thats like saying you should hold on to a losing stock as its going down. (solitaire is a card game....)

Lastly, tapping out...hmmm, I am going to have to give you that one, although it is NOT done in wrestling, it is done in MMA; not something routinely taught to youngsters. On the contrary, a youngster would typically study something like Tae Kwon Do, which teaches the tenet Baekjool Boolgool (indominatble spirit).

Jun-29-09  YouRang: Well, making analogies between chess and sports is full of pitfalls.

In some cases, resigning is quitting, and this should be discouraged.

In other cases, resigning is showing respect for your opponent, and should be encouraged.

In the case of beginners, I would recommend playing games out to completion. That way, one player learns how to win a won game, and the other player can learn to look for swindles.

Jun-29-09  estrick: Don't know where xrt999 plays, but the kids I encounter from Boston, CT, & NYC are usually coached to make you play it out til mate.

Last Saturday, I played a couple of nationally ranked 10 - 11 year olds, and both kept scratching and clawing well past the point when a gentlemanly adult would have resigned.

Jun-29-09  aazqua: This opening is so stupid I can't believe it even has a name.
Jun-29-09  johnlspouge: Monday (Very Easy):

Chigorin vs A Solowzov, 1884 (45.?)

White to play and win.

Material: N+R for B. The Black Ke8 is stalemated, so White wants to check, check, check!

Candidates (45.): Nc7+

45.Nc7+ Nxc7 46.Qxd8#

I suppose the reverse order is classier, because it "gives" more away.

Jun-29-09  Artar1: This was an easy puzzle to solve. I went with the queen sacrifice:

<45.Qxd8+ Nxd8 46.Nc7#>

However, I spent more time making sure that the queen move was not a dumb one than I did seeing the pattern, something I would do in a real, over-the-board contest.

Jun-29-09  dabearsrock1010: I saw Nf6 and probably would have played it right away. It's good enough, right?
Jun-29-09  Hugh the Drover: Michael shoots Sollozzo (with a Black Knight laid out on the bedsheets, no less). Michael was denied a guarantee they wouldn't go after his father. "I'm not taking it personal; it's not personal, Sonny, it's strictly business."
Jun-29-09  Artar1: I actually prefer the alternative <45.Nc7+> solution because it gives up less material to deliver the game-ending blow, if that matters!

<45.Nc7+ Nxc7 46.Qxd8#>

Jun-29-09  Fezzik: Artar1 says, "I actually prefer the alternative <45.Nc7+> solution because it gives up less material to deliver the game-ending blow, if that matters!"

For me, playing the most brutal move is aesthetically more pleasing **because** it gives up more material. It shows my opponent that I can indeed see two moves ahead and am not afraid to give up material for mate.

Jun-30-09  Major Dude: OK. Pretty easy. 1 for 1 so far.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <xrt999> At the risk of over-prolonging this...

Throwing in the towel can be done by either the boxer or his corner. Most often it is the corner, but not always.

Poker may not be a sport, but I thought we were talking about "competitive millieu"?

I am not an expert on wrestling, but wikipedia seems to think that there are forms of the sport (as opposed to the WWF style fictions) where submission holds and tap-outs are part of the victory conditions.

I suppose it all depends what we want to teach our children. Competitiveness and not giving in are certainly important traits. But don't we also need to teach them ideals such as respect for others, tolerance, honesty and realism?

My 8 year old son is currently getting into warhammer - a fantasy wargame. At a recent game, his opponent (also aged around 8) was trying every trick in the book to win - inventing new rules, crooked dice throws, pre-measuring (a huge sin in warhammer) and so on. To his great credit, my son just shrugged and ignored all that nonsense. Afterwards he said to me "Daddy, I don't want to win like that". Maybe I am teaching him something right after all...

Jun-30-09  lzromeu: <once>:
tap-out in wrestling or other marcial arts looks like checkmate in chess. The loser really cannot walk of the ring. Tap-out or death? Tap-out is better and gentleman too.

Fold in poker is not a walk of atitude.

Boxers never throwing in the towel. It´s very shame. Just coachs do it.

F2 in spider solitaire... no comments about that "solitaire sport".

Maybe your 8 year old son can teach you something. Don´t over-prolonging this

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <lzromeu> I'll take this r.e.a.l.l.y slow so that it is easy to understand.

Most games or sports don't need the option to resign. They end relatively quickly and safely when certain conditions are met. Time based sports like soccer end when the time allocated for the game is over. Score based games like tennis end when one player reaches a certain score. Golf ends when all the holes have been played. Races end when a certain distance has been run.

But some games or sports need to give a player the chance to resign or withdraw. Sometimes this is for safety reasons (wrestling, martial arts, boxing, horse racing, motor racing). And sometimes resignation is allowed because the result is not in doubt but actually winning will take a lot of time. Chess is a prime example of this but there are others. Some forms of golf allow you to concede a hole when there is no chance of winning. Conceding a game is also possible in cricket.

Does this mean that these are not real sports because the rules allow you to resign? Of course not!

Does this mean that children should be taught to play on to the bitter end and never resign? Also, of course not. If the win is clear, far better to resign and start a new game.

Would you play on in this position?

click for larger view

One last thought. You are quite new here, so a gentle word of advice. The usual rule is to treat each other with courtesy and respect. I will never suggest that you can learn something from a child, nor will I ever tell you to stop commenting. I suggest you do the same.

Otherwise, you may find that people react to you by pressing the ignore button. And I am sure that is not what you want.

Jul-02-09  lzromeu: Sorry, I wasn't trying to insult you.
I really believe we at all can learn something with children or anybody, since we have the heart openned to other point of view.

Press the ignore button, resing, walkoff, all of this, how can I explain? This the same path.

How many games the player resign just because lost the Queen in the midle game? How kind of a man cannot play whitout your Queen? We need try until the end (in good sense of the end). Remember the final Brazil x USA (0x2 at first round)

Your example above is not a happy example. It's just rudge attitude of a bad-winner. I repeat a comment above: <Chigorin was a gentleman as well to put him out of his misery as quickly as possible (MiCrooks)>

You don´t need to stop commenting if you want. I will try to explain so good I can in my rustic english possibilities. Sorry if you misunderstood me or if I misexplain (?). I'll improve this and try better at next.

I really apreciate your courtesy and help to begginers. Thanks at all, and at a brilliant comment of your son you share with us.

Otherwise you disagree me. Ok. We can live with this, in the same way We can play whithout queen (unless it's the last piece). It's just a good sense sport.

Jul-03-09  xrt999: Unlike chess -where no danger is present- in sports where safety IS a concern, a participant may withdraw, of course. To use your example, car racing, a racer may withdraw if there is, say, a gas leak and he and other racers are in danger. However, a racer wont "resign" a race because he is 39 laps behind with 30 laps remaining. He will continue to race. Why?

In your other example, golf, the possibility of conceding a hole may exist, but a golfer doesnt walk off the course in the 4th hole because he is down 13 strokes, he continues on. Why?

These sports, as you say, have a prescribed beginning and end, just like in chess, yet in these sports, the teams do not resign. There is time left on your clock, and you are down material, and you resign? Why?

The game has, as you say, a defined beginning, a defined end, why give up? Play on.

<Does this mean that children should be taught to play on to the bitter end and never resign? Also, of course not. If the win is clear, far better to resign and start a new game.>

I think this is the main point we disagree on. The end does not have to be "bitter", it can also be the the spirit of competition, and not giving up when behind. It can also be the ability to accept defeat graciously, humbly, and politely.

This value can also carry over to real life, like giving up on a sick spouse, or giving up on a bankrupt company.

I never give up in anything I apply myself to, including chess. When I start a chess game, it ends in either a win or a loss, just like in my life. If my opponent feels the need to resign, then so be it. I have won twice.

Jul-03-09  crwynn: Of course nobody resigns in football or in golf. Now think of a sport where

a) there are only two opposing sides (so there is no point going for second, third, etc.)

b) there is only one player on each side (so nobody "lets down the team" by giving up)

c) there is actually such thing as a hopeless situation when the game is not near its finish (in chess you can hang a piece on move 4 and the game is over, even though 30 more moves and an hour or two of play could follow; a game of baseball, football, basketball or whatever is rarely "hopeless" unless the period of play is nearly over)

then you have found a valid analogy to chess vis a vis resignation. Oh wait, there is no such sport? Well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <crwynn> As I have said, games where you need to resign are rare, because most games naturally end when a condition is reached - a time limit or a certain number of points.

Adding in your criteria makes it even harder to find games like chess where you can resign in a hopeless situation.

But, in the spirit of this thread, I don't give in so easily! I'll offer you two examples:

1. snooker. In theory, it is possible to win a frame of snooker no matter how many points you are behind as long as both the pink and black ball are on the table. You keep on hiding the cue ball behind the black ball and receive 6 penalty points each time the opponent fails to hit the pink. But in reality it is very unlikely that you will get many points this way. So if you are, say, 20 or more points behind most snooker players would resign at that point.

2. Matchplay golf. You are six shots behind Tiger Woods and only has a six inch putt to win the title. Do you really insist that he putts out?

<lzromeu>, <xrt999> - the theme of this debate is whether it is ever right to resign. I think we may need to agree to disagree here or we may be continuing this for a long time! Clearly none of us wants to concede this point, so this may be a case of the irrestible force meeting the immovable object.

I agree with both of you that it is important to keep on fighting. Nobody won a game by resigning. So I only ever resign when I am 100% certain that I cannot win or draw. By resigning, I show respect to my opponent. In effect, I am saying "I trust you to have the skill to finish the game from here."

If ever I am fortunate enough to play a simul against a super GM, I will almost certainly get crushed. If I lose my queen part way through the game, I will almost certainly resign at that point. It would be a matter of courtesy to the GM.

Where I think we may never agree is that I think there are circumstances (admittedly quite rare) where resignation is the right course.

Two last examples - Sir Ernest Shackleton is one of my heroes. He spent his life trying to reach the South Pole but never made it. But one of the bravest things he ever did was to turn back when his expedition had enough food to get to the pole, but not enough to get back. By contrast, Scott tried to get to the pole at all costs and died snowbound in his tent, along with his men.

At the time, the world raved about Scott. In more modern times, we are coming to realise the strength of what Shackleton did.

I think it was Ayrton Senna who once refused to race when a grand prix circuit was lethally rain-soaked. Was this cowardice or supreme courage? Sometimes it a takes a lot of courage to admit that something is not safe.

But we're not going to agree here, are we? You've said that chess is the only game where you can resign; I think I have shown that it isn't. You believe that you should never resign. I disagree.

Perhaps we ought to leave it there.

Jul-06-09  lzromeu: I agree with almost all of your comment, unless a few points.

Chess is not the only sport we can resign. We always can resign. I think that "resign" needs to be good for all: winner, loser, audience, and the SPORT.

"...there are circumstances (admittedly quite rare) where resignation is the right course." Look at this database. Resigns is very often.

All the sports, trecking too, have developmentd and changed to encourage some atitudes, and desencourage others. This is the point.

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