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Viktor Korchnoi vs Eduardo Secchi
Cordoba (1960), Cordoba ARG
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation (B45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-18-07  Marco65: Easy when you know it's a puzzle, not at all otb. It's that kind of quiet closed position where you'd never suspect there's a tactic lurking.
Apr-18-07  goodevans: Far too easy for a Wednesday. Like others I got it in around 30 secs, much to my disappointment.
Apr-18-07  Draw Odds: I wasn't even close. If somebody give me a hint, like "psst trap the queen" I would have solved it in 5 seconds, but I wasn't even thinking along those lines.
Apr-18-07  zb2cr: Have to admit, I didn't see it. For those who are claiming this is "a Monday puzzle" or similar disparaging words--forget it. Mondays invariably are much simpler and almost always terminate in mate.
Apr-18-07  ColonelCrockett: interestingly, I looked for a mate right off, which there wasn't one . . . that took only about three seconds (maybe a little more but I didn't have a stopwatch, lol) . . . then I started looking at the breakthrough c5 and realized that it came to nothing, then I realized, the Queen is trapped!! An interesting path that I took to solve this puzzle, I think I would have found it even more quickly if I had not been told it was a puzzle (i.e. not looking for an immediate mate in a non-mating position, likely Korchnoi saw several moves before that a mate was pointless (hence the queen-side maneuvers).
Apr-18-07  nimzo knight: Wow. Its was unconventional but I got it spot on! a3 traps the queen. The position of queen in main weakness in blacks structure.
Apr-18-07  JG27Pyth: JG27Pyth: <MostlyAverageJoe: ... Not by much, and despite some weaker moves (what was 33.Qg4 for?), but white clearly is ahead.>

I couldn't disagree more with you guys critizing Korchnoi's play (or in AverageJoe's case, defending VK with faint praise) ... IMO this is an absolute positional schooling. Secchi is trussed up like a christmas goose, the poor guy never manages an actual threat and as a result Korhnoi has about as comfortable a game as it gets. That "weak" 33. Qg4... isn't weak at all -- it's just sort of a comical. Ordinarily you'd never willingly put a queen in front of discovered attack opportunity like that. But with 33. Qg4 the black bishop and rook(g8) are paralyzed in the meaningless defense of each other until black's other rook returns to the back rank. It's a tempo gainer and a poke in eye. One imagines Korchnoi thinking: "Hehheh your position is so impotent I can drop my queen in front of your rooks with impunity." Meanwhile on the Queenside the black queen is desperately trying to open up the position and generate counterplay on the half-open cfile... with _nothing_ to work with... secchi's last few pawn moves are blunders IMO... he could have struggled on a bit longer if he hadn't self-mated his own queen, but who can blame him for imploding? He just wanted the torture to end.

Apr-18-07  realbrob: 37.a3!, and the Black queen is trapped. Maybe today's difficulty was you had to look for a quite "banal" tactical pattern, instead of a big attack against the enemy king.
Apr-18-07  YouRang: I actually found this quite fast. The black queen's precarious lack of mobility was the first thing I noticed. Attacking it with the pawn left one move, and attacking it with the rook left no moves (except 'resign').
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black seemed to play this game in order to trap his own queen. a5 was the pits,as it sealed the queen's fate.

I didn't get the solution,but at least I knew it was a queen trap that was the defining factor,though I was tempted by possible fork possibilities at d5 or c6. I couldn't see a way of getting the knight to those squares,so I looked for traps of the queen.

Apr-18-07  Archives: Dang, first wednesday I've missed in a while =(

I feel so useless

Apr-18-07  pggarner: I especially liked Korchnoi's bishop-for-knight exchange on move 9. Instead of just retreating the knight on b5, WHite forces Black to double his f-pawn first. Black's king is left with no good side to castle on, and he's postionally in bad shape for the rest of the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Ahhh....everyone feels like a GM when they hit one of these quickly. It does make you wonder about the opponent, even playing Korchnoi, how could you walk into a chess 101 trap and get your Queen boosted (as Tony Soprano might say....)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: In the opening itself Krochnoi took the advantage & very well exploited the passive play of his opponent. His hawk-eyed spotted the opponent's Queen in jeopardy & trapped her Majesty.
Apr-18-07  outplayer: Nowadays everybody knows that 10...b5! is better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I think this one might actually be a bit harder for the more experienced player. As was mentioned earlier, 37.c5 is the first move you look at when you are familiar with this sort of position.

I did just that, and quickly calculated that after Black took with a pawn on c5, 38.Rc4 Qa3 39.Ra4 would trap the queen. Figuring I had solved the puzzle I then put it aside--only to realize later that the Black queen simply retreats to b5. Duh!

To show you the breadth of my stupidity, I then considered 37.a4 to close off that retreat. Finally, 37.a3 hit me, and the rest was simple.

Apr-18-07  MasterSavely: Lol, of course, i should have looked at the queen, i knew it was a bad position, but i thought it had to do with something with a knight sac or pawn c5
Apr-18-07  wals: Like lots of women, the black
queen found herself with a problem she created herself, and suffered the consequences.
Apr-18-07  ChessPraxis: Black built his own tomb.
Apr-18-07  Cannon Fodder: I thought this was a good, instructional puzzle. I didn't see any opportunities for tactics or threats in the very closed position so I said "The queen just can't be safe up there by herself. What can be done?" That said, I might have missed it over the board. After failing to trap yesterday's queen, I feel better today.
Apr-18-07  MaxxLange: Some years ago, I spent a lot of time analyzing with a strong player. One thing that impressed me was that he was constantly aware of possibilities for pieces to become trapped.
Apr-18-07  T Ciddasselepoh: What's going on?? Is this all chessgames could come up with today? 37.a3...39.Ra4 was so obvious I thought there had to be a catch somewhere. I couldn't find any catch. So I checked the game and, lo and behold! it was 37.a3. Huh???
Apr-18-07  Marmot PFL: Easy puzzle, but yes you could miss this OTB if you are mentally locked into another plan. One good rule to remember is that every move changes the board somehow. Here black's last move, a5, restricts his own queen giving white the instant win (although black's position was not too good in any case).
Apr-19-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <JG27Pyth: I couldn't disagree more with you guys critizing Korchnoi's play (or in AverageJoe's case, defending VK with faint praise) ... Secchi is trussed up like a christmas goose ...>

Well, what is there to get so excited about if the advantage established by move 14 is essentially unchanged until move 36?

Yes, the black got trussed up, but all that happened next is that white would loosen one piece of string here, tighten another loop there there, and finally loosen enough (33. Qg4) for the goose to put a noose on its own neck.

Jun-03-09  WhiteRook48: 37. a2-a3!!
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