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Raymond Keene vs James Tarjan
15th Costa del Sol (1975), Torremolinos ESP, Feb-??
Gruenfeld Defense: Russian. Smyslov Variation (D99)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn ahead.

Black threatens 23... Qxb3 24.axb3 Rc2 followed by Ra2.

The rook on c8 protects the black queen. Hence, 23.Rd8+ Kg7 (23... Rxd8 24.Qxc2 Rxa2 25.Bc4 + -) 24.Qxc2 Rxc2 25.Rxa8 + -.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There is something a little magical about this combination. All of black's pieces seem to be defending each other. There is a chain of macho muscle stretching from the rook on a8 via the rook on c8 to the queen on c2.

And yet white is able to dismantle this three piece chain with just two pieces of his own.

Who would have thought that the Rc8 would be overworked as it needs to defend both the Ra8 and the Qc2?

And that white would achieve this wizardry by placing a rook on a square where it is totally undefended?

It seems to make a mockery of all those wise sayings about chess and war. In this POTD, white attacks the black position where it is strongest (the Rc8), not where it is weakest. Rc8 is after all the only black piece which is defended twice.

And white does this by putting a piece en prise.

What a weird and wonderful thing this game is!

Oct-06-14  morfishine: First, a deflection <23.Rd8+> forcing 23...Kg7 (23...Rxd8?? 24.Qxc2); then the capture <24.Qxc2> overloading Black's rook on <c8> which is unpleasantly pinned by White's rook on <d8>; if 24...Rxc2 then 25.Rxa8 and White is up a rook; or 24...Rxd8 and White is way ahead in material having traded rook for Queen


Oct-06-14  dakgootje: <It seems to make a mockery of all those wise sayings about chess and war. In this POTD, white attacks the black position where it is strongest (the Rc8), not where it is weakest. Rc8 is after all the only black piece which is defended twice.>

In a way, the black king is defended twice ^^

Hmm.. and there is the pawn on g6, defended even once more - but let's not have such trivialities stand in the way for a nice story ;D

Oct-06-14  zb2cr: Cool! A Monday not involving a Queen sacrifice!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Ah, but pawns aren't pieces.

And a king can only be protected by blocking an attack, not by other pieces being able to recapture if the king is taken. So we could argue that the Rc8 is no protection at all to a rook check on d8!

Defensive, moi? ;-)

Oct-06-14  HowDoesTheHorsieMove: I solved it, but it took a while. I thought this was hard for a Monday. It seems more Tuesdayish to me.
Oct-06-14  Nick46: It took me quite a while too. I won't say how long.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: No mate and no ♕-sac today, but material gain by means of overloading poor Rc8: White plays 23.Rd8+! and 24.Qxc2

23...Rxd8 loses the queen for a rook, but 23...Kg7 is not better: Now the Rc8 is overloaded with protecting the queen and his comrade on a8, and White wins a rook or a queen for a rook.

Oct-06-14  ehins: a good lesson on why one has to be carefull when wanting to exchange queens.i have found out that many times,the player attempting a queen exchange if not carefully done ends up losing a pawn or a piece
Oct-06-14  Sally Simpson: Oh Yes. This position with Black to play...

click for larger view definate human blunderland. Black played 22..Qc2.

The last thing a player suspects is that his a8 Rook is a potential target so the warning bells are silent. 'Check all Checks.'

On a previous page Ray states he had the whole game prepared and the critical position was sitting on his pocket set in his hotel room.

Brilliant, the good old golden days when humans looked for plausible OTB blunders instead of running the games through a box. A box won't even show the user this wee pitfall especially if it is looking at the positon from 4-5 moves previous, yet there is it and a very good human player fell into it.

A similar setting and finish.

John Curtis - Arinbjorn Gudmundsson, Australian Championship 1971.

click for larger view

Black has just captured a pawn on c2 by playing 21...Qc5xc2.

White played....? 1-0.

Oct-06-14  Beancounter: When you are struggling to get a Monday puzzle is that a signal that it's time to pursue a different leisure activity? Finally, Rd8+ but I certainly would have missed it OTB.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw immediately that Rd8+ forces the rook to capture and abandon his queen.

change of pace: WIN the queen on Monday.

Oct-06-14  mistreaver: Monday. White to play. Very Easy. 23.?
23 Rd8+
A) 23... Kg7
24 Qxc2 Rxc2
25 Rxa8
B) 23... Rxd8
24 Qxc2
leaving white material up in every continuation.
Oct-06-14  sfm: Less than a month ago I had white against GM Burmakin in Skovbo Rapid 2014, Denmark (my only tournament in 25 years :-)

We had just played
and had reached the following position:

click for larger view

What is black to do? The knight is under fire, and if it moves there's a pawn to grab on f7. On 16.-,Be6, White can play 17.Ne4, and Black has something to wonder about. But what else? Maybe 16.-,Be6 is still the best move?

This is luck in chess: complications that fills up the opponents mind, so he overlooks a simple alternative.

While he was thinking I discovered it. He can't play that move! To my unspeakable joy it still came, after several minutes of thinking:


click for larger view

Without a split second of hesitation from either side came 17.NxN,BxN
Ah! The Monday puzzle!
Black now thought one second and played
we played a few more moves until the d-pawn had marched to d7; then the resignation came.

Oct-06-14  Nick46: <Beancounter: When you are struggling to get a Monday puzzle is that a signal that it's time to pursue a different leisure activity?> OUCH !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct-06-14  Nick46: Tarjan swings, Tarjan falls, Tarjan hangs ...
Oct-06-14  sfm: The first example I recall with this theme is from the incredibly brilliant game R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963
we have this position.

click for larger view

White plays
He is not happy with this move, as it puts his king on a White square, and 21.-,Dd7 is crushing.

So why not just play 21.Kg1 instead? Now 21.-,Qd7 22.Qf2,Qh3 wins as it is White to move, not Black as in the game, where Fischer had prepared something pretty.

But on
and on
and we have the Monday puzzle again.

Oct-06-14  sfm: I should rather have written:
Now 21.-,Qd7 22.Qf2,Qh3 wins *for White*
Oct-06-14  BOSTER: <ray keene: I had the final pos. on my pocket set...where I prepared the entire game in advance!>.

I don't think this is a cunning way to create in advance the <trap> with tactics which you can find in any chess book , and hope that your opponent take a <bite>.

If Tarjan was as bold as Gelfand in the game Caruana vs Gelfand, Baku 2014,who sacr. the exchange and draw the game being the rook less, he would play 19...Rxa2,and your <home preparation> will be destroyed.

I know that most strong players prepare a lot of novelty, but they <don't count on blunder>.

Oct-06-14  JG27Pyth: Me Tarjan, you Keene.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: At first, I was looking for mate, but then saw the deflection move.
Oct-06-14  johnlspouge: <JG27Pyth>, as wonderfully witty as ever!

IMHO, the author of the funniest post ever on this site:

Glucksberg vs Najdorf, 1929

Oct-06-14  Pedro Fernandez: A very illustrative and instructive puzzle where simplicity could defeat the abstraction of our minds!
Oct-06-14 I studied this for a few minutes, then the solution hit me like a ton of bricks.

Very nice! Overload on one rook, x-ray attack on the other.

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