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Paul Keres vs Paul Troeger
FRG-URS (1960), Hamburg FRG, rd 1, Jul-27
French Defense: Classical. Burn Variation (C11)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-06-11  gofer: The poor over-worked black queen is trying to protect Nc4 and Rd8, but what is worse is that Rd8 is already attacked AND if white plays Rxd8+ without the queen being able to take back it will be Rxd8#!

<31 Qf7 ...>

31 ... Qxf7 32 Rxd8#
31 ... Nxd2/Rxd2 32 Qxc7 winning the queen and knight 31 ... Qc8 32 Qxc4! winning the knight with tempo
31 ... Qb8/Qb6/Qa5 32 Rxd8 Qxd8 33 Qxc4 winning the knight 31 ... Rd7 32 Rxd7 Qxd7 33 Qg8+ mating

<31 ... Kb8>
<32 Rxd8 Qxd8>
<33 Qxc4 ...>

The knight and pawn advantage is enough for a win.

Sep-06-11  morfishine: <31.Qf7> attacking Queen and knight costs black a piece due to his weak back rank.
Sep-06-11  gofer: <fyad reject: ok so

31. Qf7 Qc8
32. Qxc4 Qb8

then what

<33 Rxd8 Qxd8>
<34 Qf7 ...>

34 ... g5 35 h5 winning
34 ... g6 35 Qxg6 winning
34 ... Qh8 35 Be4 Qb8/Qc8 36 Qxg7 winning

So <31 ... Qc8> is not the best option for black as it allows the knight to be taken without white losing tempo.

But even if black plays more astutely than that white simply plays Be4 and applies pressure to Pb7 if black moves it to b6, then the white queen simply comes to a8 and attacks Pa7. Either way black has no chance of defence. In the simplest variations white swaps off the bishop for the b7 pawn (trading queens at the same time) and moves white into a won end game...

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <rilkefan: <whiteshark>'s quote translated> One of the several sadnesses is he was never world champion
Sep-06-11  sevenseaman: Black has more irons in the fire than he should care to contemplate. And <31. Qf7> puts him in a quandary that really is the logical next step after what White started on move 30 i. e. <Rxd8+>.

In fact it would have been a tougher POTD had it been initiated at White's 30th move, may be not fitting a Tuesday menu.

Back to the current scene, the benighted Black is now under pressure for saving his Q, R, N and K (from an imminent mate).

31. Qf7 really embodies a multi-dimensionally configured hostility. The circumstance could even induce capitulation from an overwhelmed, hapless Black.

Sep-06-11  stacase: Took me me a little while to figure it out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a pawn for a knight.

Black threatens 31... N(R)xd2.

The black queen is overburdened after 32.Qf7:

A) 32... Qc8 33.Qxc4 + -.

B) 32... Qxf7 33.Rxd8#.

Sep-06-11  pogotheclown: Not hard to see the possibility of a back rank mate. The move Qf7 is a classic example of deflection and the kind of move that can be difficult to see when defending a position.
Sep-06-11  mslr45: look at the similar finish from Capablanca : O Bernstein vs Capablanca, 1914
Sep-06-11  Patriot: 31.Qf7 should be winning. 31...Qxf7 32.Rxd8#. Or 31...Qc8 32.Qxc4 wins a piece. <gofer> mentioned 31...Kb8 which I didn't consider. As he said, 32.Rxd8+ Qxd8 33.Qxc4 .

<<fyad reject>: ok so 31. Qf7 Qc8 32. Qxc4 Qb8 then what> Then white wins a piece for nothing, right? As long as black doesn't have a dangerous reply (he doesn't) you have to see that black is down a piece which means white is winning. You don't have to calculate mate at that point or try to win even more material. It's enough to say "white is winning" and stop analyzing. If black threatened a counter-attack immediately then more calculation is probably necessary.

Sep-06-11  solskytz: It's a puzzle, so I racked my brain and found it in around 10-15 sec

I knew that there has to be something... so I looked hard. It was quite an act of mental gymnastics!

First I said: well I'm a pawn up, isn't that good enough?

Oh no - it's a puzzle... we need to get more

But - the king's defended, our rook is threatened twice, so - move that rook. Where can he move? If I take on d8 that's nothing - well yes, still up a pawn, but...

and then I asked a question: how can I threaten anything? What should I attack? What can my queen do?

The triangle f7 - c7 - c4 flashed in front of my eyes, and the rest is history... (some checking, some verifying, because truth be told, this is a move that looks incredible, and even more incredible is that with all the GOOT freedom we give black, he really, but really, has no way out of this)

- - - - - -

All this goes to say that in a blitz game I wouldn't suspect this resource.

In a long time control game I might well have seen it on the spot - but not in my calculations a move or more earlier. It would have come as a pleasant surprise were it my move, or as an unpleasant one on the contrary case...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Nice example showing the themes of deflection and overload.
Sep-06-11  sevenseaman: <mslr45> A great matching find of a similar situation in O Bernstein vs Capablanca, 1914.

Your link has brought huge relief to me as I had a big <deja vu>. Before posting my solution I replayed the Keres vs P Troeger, 1960 game twice just to see if I could recall and provide a reference for the benefit of other solvers. It was of no avail.

Now I see I even have the Capablanca game in a collection (as I suspected all along).

Thanks. The basic idea is same, and that is so pleasant to observe.

<scormus> That is very true. I think all chess lovers feel very sad about <Paul Keres> missing being the WC that he deserved so much.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's queen is overworked:she must guard the rook and knight. White thrusts his queen to a spot where black must abandon one of the pieces or capture white's queen and get mated.
Sep-06-11  Memethecat: Blacks poor Q can't protect the R the N and the threat of BR mate, talk about an overworked Q this is regicidal. <31 Qf7 > was the proverbial straw but I think < 24 ...BxE5> was the losing move, after that black is on the back foot. Keres was so great at converting these tiny advantages into wins! Nice n easy POTD to build up my confidence before crushing it at the weekend.
Sep-06-11  Creg: 31.Qf7 (black can't take due to 32.Rxd8 mate) 32.Qc8 Qxc4 and that ought a do it.
Sep-06-11  jackpawn: It is so strange how the human mind works. Normally I can get Tuesday puzzles in a few seconds. For whatever reason, this took me a couple of minutes today. I'm sure at other times I would have found it very quickly. Now why?
Sep-06-11  VincentL: "Easy".

I have been too busy to look at these puzzles recently.

I am obviously rusty, since today I first thought it was black to move. But in that case Rxd2/Nxd2 is not even Monday morning level.

Having read that it is indeed white to move, the solution is apparently 31. Qf7. There is no successful defence against the combined threats of Rxd8+ Qxc7 and Qxc4.

Let´s check.

Sep-06-11  micartouse: Saw this after about 40 seconds. My first instinct was "back rank mate", so I was trying to get weird moves like Qe8 or Rd7 to work. Next thought was "just attack something" and I moved Qf7 to attack the knight and it all clicked in a second after that.

Then if those ideas didn't work, I would have tried to trap a piece, but fortunately it didn't come to that. It goes without saying that I would never have seen this combo over the board.

Sep-06-11  Memethecat: <jackpawn: its so strange> I sometimes find that it can take a little longer to see the move when there's no captures involved, but all the sweeter when you do spot them!
Sep-06-11  Petrosianic: The reason it's unintuitive is that you just expect the white rook to be on d1, when it's really on d2.
Sep-06-11  newton296: this is one of those puzzles where you go, it would be nice if I could divert blacks Q so I could play RxR# back ranker. then you realize Qf7 does just that, but wait? black can play Qc8 and just protect the rook and knight at the same time! but wait? I can then divert the Q again with Bf5! yep !

what took me so long to see this 2 mover?

Sep-06-11  stst: Late in the game! - after a very laborious & painful week fixing & repairing what that fierce lady I, leaving an awful basement (no pump would work without POWER!!) - - come an easy day!! No easy mate, but an easy Q-hunt:
31.Qf7-checking, not the K, but the Q
IF (A)...NxR or RxR, 32.QxQ
IF (B)...QxQ, 32.RxR#
Sep-06-11  stst: Yeah, blame it on fatigue, got overlook the response Kb8 - but Bk does no good in this line too, as 32.RxR+ QxR and W Q just in good place (f7) to take the N(c4) out too! Bk loses the exchange anyway (as some mentioned, Bk Q is over-loaded, not like C/C++, overloading here is not good for a chess piece, as defense would be weak and give opponent chances of attack both the overloaded piece and those that it defends.) Bed time now.
Sep-11-11  Cemoblanca: Black has already lost the game in the opening. If you look at the position after 11.0-0-0 you know what I mean! 13...0-0-0? Why??? 13...0-0 would be absolutely fine here! What has impressed me is the fact how Keres attacked on both wings throughout the whole game! Great!
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