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Siegbert Tarrasch vs Karl Eckart
"Take Another Rook" (game of the day Apr-04-2009)
Nuremberg (1892)
King's Gambit: Falkbeer Countergambit. Blackburne Attack (C31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: 22. ♖xh7+! easy to see but pretty nonetheless.
Jun-12-03  Vacuum: 21. h6 Rxg7 22. Kxg7 Qg3+ 23. Kf7 Nc7+ etc and black could have delayed loss.
Jun-12-03  The King Returns: Very elegant mate. All of Tarrasch's pieces are on perfect squares for the attack. I always like when games are played out to checkmate, too. Was Eckart thinking that Tarrasch would miss mate after the rook sacrafice?!?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: There is an interesting black opening trap early in the Falkbeer Counter Gambit, if white accepts too many of black's pawn offers.

After 1. e4 e5 2. f4 d4 3. exd5 c3 and white gets too greedy by taking a second pawn with 4. fxe5??, then white is immediately busted as 4...Qh4+! is a win for black. You'd think experienced players would not fall for that, but I've beaten many club players, a class A player and a master with this trap.

After 1. e4 e5 2. f4 d5 3. exd5 c6
4. fxe5?? and 4...Qh4+!:

If 5. g3, then 5...Qe4+ 6. Qe2 QxRh1 7. Nf3 Bg4 wins

If 5. Ke2, then 5...Qe4+ 6. Kf2 Bc5+ 7. d4 Bxd4+ 8. Kg3 Ne7 (threatens 9...Nf5+ followed by 10...Qh5#) wins.

You might try the Falkbeer in off hand games against white King's Gambit players to see if you can't get a few scalps with this opening. You'd be surprised how many white-side players can't resist taking the second gambit pawn in the Falbeer Counter Gambit with 4. fxe5??

Happy gambiting!

Jun-12-03  rodolpheb: Just to mention the only alternative for black :
22.Rxh7 Kg8? 23.Nxe7++ Kxh7 24.Qh4#
very beautiful position !
Jun-12-03  drukenknight: interesting analysis above, what about: 17....Bxa2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Wow! This one's a beauty, with the knight administering a pretty mate to the king enclosed on f6, and a double discovered check and mate waiting as the nasty alternative. Tarrasch was a superb tactician, albeit here against a much weaker opponent. I've had good success playing the black side of the King's gambit with the falkbeer counter gambit, but this game makes me wonder if white doesn't gain an advantage by declining it.

White's opening play is chock-full of sacrifices, tactics and threats. The offer to sacrifice the bishop with 12. Bxc7 is a particularly interesting example. At first I wondered if the sacrifice offer was sound and why black couldn't simply take the bait and recapture with 12...Qxc7? So I got out my analysis board to set up the position and play it out. To my surprise, the white bishop is really poison! After 12. Bxc7! Qxc7 13. Rxf6 gxf6 14. Qh6 f6-f5 15. Qg5+Kh8 16. Qf6+ Kg8 17. Nd5 wins as black must surrender the queen (18.Ne7+QxNe7 19.QxQe7 is the key threat).

Next, I asked why black couldn't get away with at least accepting the exchange sacrifice after 14. Rxf6, with 14...gxf6 instead of 14...Qa5? After a quick analysis, I found the rook here is also poison. After 14. Rxf6! gxf6 15. Qh6 f6-f5 16. Qg5+Kh8 17. Qf6+ Kg8 18. Nd5 again wins the black queen (19. Ne7+ QxNe7 20. QxQe7 is threatened).

Notice also, how white initiates the final blow with the move 20. Bc4!, followed by the offer of a third poison piece in the game with 21. Re7! And after black took the poison bait with 21...Nxe7, chess history was blessed with this pretty mate in yet another Tarrasch brilliancy .

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <rodolpheb> Yes, 22.Rxh7 Kg8 23.Nxe7++ Kxh7 24.Qh4# works nicely. However, 22. Rxh7 Kg8 23.Nf6# mates with one less move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black had actually played the opening well up to his seventh move. After 8. NC3, BCO recommends 8...Nbd7 (developing instead of 8...Bxe5) 9. Nc4 Nc5 10. Nxd6 Qxd6 11. f5 Nxd3=(Radchenko).

However, black cannot be blamed for not seeing all the complications Tarrasch had in store for him after "winning a pawn" with 8...Bxe5, 9...Qd4 and 10...Qxe5. This is a superbly played game on the part of Tarrasch, with the opening moves (even today) offering white good chances for a strong winning attack, and, almost certainly, no less than equality.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Vacuum> You suggest, if 21...h6, that 22. Rxg7 Kxg7 23. Qg3+ 23. Kf7 Nc7+ is a winning continuation for white. However after 21.... h6 22. Rxg7 Kxg7 23. Qg3+ Qg5! (and not Kf7?) 24. Qc3+ Kh7 25. Rf4 Be6, the tables turn and it is now black who is winning.

More convincing is, if 21...h6 in this game, to play 22. Qf4! Qxe7 (practically forced) 23. Nxe7 with a clear winning advantage for white. This analysis is courtesy of the program.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: If 18...Qd2?, instead of 18...Bc8, 19. RxBe6 QxRe6 20. Bc4 pins and wins the queen with decisive advantage.
Jun-14-03  Vacuum: patzer2:

I do not use programs to analyse. I still think 21...h6 is better continuation for black than 21... Nxe7.

Any way, as you suggested.
21.... h6 22. Rxg7 Kxg7 23. Qg3+ Qg5!? (and not Kf7?) then why not 24. Qxg5+ and white wins.

I agree on the other line. But my point was, black can delay mate. <<black could have delayed loss.>> Cheers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Vacuum> Sorry if I misunderstood. I read your comment "black could have delayed loss" and your followup "black can delay mate" comment to mean "white has a winning (albeit longer than the game) continuation," by utilizing your suggested line.

However, after 21...h6 22. Rxg7 Kxg7 23. Qg3 Qg5! (and not Kf7?), then black has not only "delayed the loss," but is actually winning. And white no longer has a winning continuation. For after your suggested 24. Qxg5+ in this line, black simply plays 24...hxg5 and white does not win. White is lost, as black is a rook up with an easy win in all variations.

Play might go 24. ... hxg5 25. Rh5 Kg6 26. Rh3 Be6 27. Rd3 Rae8 28. Rd1 Bxd5 29. Bxd5 Re2 30. Bxc6 bxc6 31. Rd6+ Rf6 (chess analysis).

I do not always use programs to analyse, however since Kasparov and all of best super GMs use them, I believe they have value. I think it's like having a GM available to analyse positions for you, without having to pay for it. However, I also realize you sometimes have to be careful and analyze the lines for yourself, as they can be wrong at times. More often than not, though, especially in tactical situations, the computers are correct. In positional situations, though, they can and often do err.

Dec-28-04  aw1988: Beautiful!
Mar-01-06  DeepBlade: This is called a Magnet Attack in Dutch
Apr-04-09  zooter: nice rook sac on e7 to prevent the black queen from defending h4....tough to see this
Apr-04-09  SuperPatzer77: Instead of 23...Kg6, Black's another try is 23...Kg8, 24. Nf6# (or 24. Nxe7#) (double-check and mate). 1-0


Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Better for black is 21...Qxe7 22. Nxe7 Nxe7 23. Rxh7+ Kxh7 24. Qh4+ Kg6 25. Qxe7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: If Black tries 21...h6 then White wins with 22 Qf4 threatening mate in three starting with 23 Qxh6+. Black has to give up a lot of material to stop this

I think Black must refuse the rook with 21...Qd6. In this case neither I nor Hiarcs sees any clearly winning continuation for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A good one-the good could have been improved if white had another thirteen rooks to sacrifice.
Apr-04-09  WhiteRook48: "Please have two rooks," said Tarrasch.
Apr-04-09  Chessmensch: Black develops only one piece that he didn't lose or return to its starting square.
Apr-04-09  tivrfoa: 14. Rxf6 gxf6
15. Qh6 f5
16. Nd5
... white wins

Is that why black didn't take the rook in 14?

Apr-04-09  chillowack: That's one reason, tivrfoa. Another is the variation pointed out above by patzer2. In both cases Black must sacrifice a queen to avoid mate.

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