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Grigory Levenfish vs Mikhail Yudovich Sr.
USSR Championship (1933), Leningrad URS, rd 17, Sep-06
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Main Line (C09)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: My Wednesday puzzle try was 28. Qd6!?, missing the much stronger 28. Rxg7! Levinfish had planned with the trap set by 27. Qe5!! as noted by <Englishman>.

After 28. Qd6!? Bxb2 29. Rge1 (position below),

click for larger view

Fritz 12 indicates Black must find 28. Re4! = to keep the balance, as White obtains a strong advantage with other tries.

May-08-14  gofer: Pg7 is worth his weight in gold, so if we can remove him without losing tempo then black's in trouble!

<28 Rxg7+ ...>

28 ... Nxg7/Kxg7
29 Qxf6#

28 ... Rxg7
29 Qxf6+ Kg8
30 Rxe6 mating

<28 ... Bxg7>
<29 Qxf5+ Ke7+> (Bf6 30 Qxf6#)

<30 Qxe6+! Kd8> (Kf8 31 Qxe8#)

<31 Bf6+! Bxf6> (Kc7 32 Qd6+ )

<32 Qxf6+ ...>

32 ... Kc8
33 Rxe8+ Rxe8
34 Qxc6+ winning easily

32 ... Kd7
33 Qd6+ Kc8
34 Rxe8+

<32 ... Kc7>
<33 Qd6+ Kb7> (Kc8 34 Rxe8+ Rxe8 35 Qxc6+ winning easily) <34 Rxe8 >

click for larger view

Black has no attack and no defense. Time to resign!


Hmmm, I looked at <30 Rxe8> but felt Qxe6+ was more forcing...

May-08-14  morfishine: <28.Rxg7+> Bxg7 29.Qxf5+ Ke7 30.Rxe6+ Kd7 (or 30...Kd8) 31.Rxe8+ Kxe8 32.Qxh7

(1) 28...Nxg7 29.Qxf6#

(2) 28...Rxg7 29.Qxf6+ Kg8 30.Rxe6 Qf8 31.Re8


May-08-14  TheBish: Levenfish vs M Yudovich Sr., 1933

White to play (28.?) "Medium".

Material is even, but White has two sets of doubled pawns (which turns out to be irrelevant). White has a nice battery of queen and bishop aimed toward the enemy king, but unfortunately, Black has a skewer with his own bishop (if 28. Qe3 Bxb2). I didn't look at it until now, but one way to get out of this predicament would be 28. Qxf5 (pinning the bishop) which leads to interesting complications after 28...Rxf4 29. Qxh7 (29. Qxf4 Nxf4 30. Rxe8 Rxe8 31. Bxf6 Kxf6 is better for Black) Bxb2 30. Qg6+ Kf8 31. Qxe6 Qxe6 32. Rxe6 Rf6 (doing this in my head, but check your favorite engine for a silicon evaluation) -- which is interesting but far from winning or easy, which the solution is both of (in my opinion).

The reason I found it right away (under a minute) was because I was focused on the queen/bishop battery and the fact that the g7 pawn was causing White major problems, rendering the battery useless! So it's natural to look at eliminating that obstacle, and we have a powerful way of doing so!

28. Rxg7+!! (even if you think this only merits one exclam, I'm giving an extra for its devastating effect). Now Black has several ways to lose (and four ways to capture the rook), some ending in mate and others just losing overwhelming material.

(A) 28...Kxg7 29. Qxf6# is an dovetail mate.

(B) 28...Nxg7 29. Qxf6# is a swallow's tail mate (see for explanation of mating patterns).

(C) 28...Rxg7 29. Qxf6+ Kg8 30. Rxe6 Qf8 31. Re8! with mate to follow either on g7, f8 or h8 (e.g. 31...Rf7 32. Qh8#).

(D) 28...Bxg8 29. Qxf5+ Ke7 (29...Bf6 30. Qxf6# is similar to variation B) 30. Rxe6+ Kd8 31. Rxe8+ Kxe8 32. Qe6+ Kf8 33. Bf6! is crushing (33...Ra7 34. Qd6+) - but even quicker is 30. Qxe6+ Kd8 31. Bf6+!.

(E) 28...Kf8 (the only non-capture and least likely to be played but it covers all the bases) 29. Qxf6+ Qf7 30. Qxf7#.

One thing solving tactics puzzles has taught me is to consider crazy-looking moves, because often they turn out to be not so crazy!

May-08-14  PhilFeeley: For once I got a Thursday puzzle. I figured it had to be a queen move, but then I saw the possibilities of Rxg7 and liked that better.
May-08-14  TheBish: Of course, variation (D) in my note above should start 28...Bxg7 (not g8). I rushed my proofreading because my battery was dying!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Trying to create a bishop which moves on both colours, are ya?

Nice idea, but will the powers that be let ya git away with it?

May-08-14  Conrad93: <But as we have seen 27...Bf6 loses to 28. Rxg7. So why can't black simply play 27...g6?>

28. Rg5! and it's game over.

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: 28.RxP/g7+, and its close to time for Black to resign.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Conrad93: 28. Rg5! and it's game over.>

27...g6 28. Rg5

click for larger view

It's a nice interference move with the intention of Qf6#, but unfortunately it's just a bit too slow. Fritzie reckons that black gets an advantage with 28...Qe7 or 28...Bxg5 29. fxg5 Qe7 or 28...d4.

May-08-14  Vermit: Black got his revenge next year in the game: M Yudovich Sr. vs Levenfish, 1934

A nice game also exploiting the weakness of black squares around the opponent's king.

Strange to have the same theme occurring.

May-08-14  Chess Dad: First I tried this line, but it didn't seem to be decisive.

28. Qxf5 Rxf4
29. Qh5+

Then I thought perhaps Qc7+ might lead somewhere, but it doesn't seem to lead anywhere after Nxc7. Rxe8 is available, but then Nxe8 leaves no good choices.

I'll go back to Qxf5, and then if I'm right, I'll see what black plays in response to decide my next move.


Ok, I see it now. I was on the right track with f5, but I needed to eliminate the defender first to make it more decisive.

Good puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: I found this one relatively easy for Thursday. Strange how you sometimes spot the key idea immediately and sometimes go off on wild goose chases before finding the solution!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Several posters mentioned 30. Qxe6+! as an alternative winning follow-up. It's rated stronger by Fritz, but after 30...Kd8 (position below)

click for larger view

White has to find 31. Bf6+! to improve. Otherwise 31. Qd6+ Qd7 forces White to find another clever resource in 32. Rg2! just to maintain a slight winning edge.

Later on in the game, Fritz rates the option 31. Bf6+ (diagram below)

click for larger view

as stronger than the simple winning 31. Rxe8+. Play in this line might go 31. Bf6+ Bxf6 32. Qxf6+ Kd7 33. Rxe8 Rxe8 34. Qd6+ Kc8 35. Qxc6+ .

P.S.: Correction to my earlier post. Today is Thursday, so my consolation is I didn't miss a Wednesday puzzle with my much weaker 28. Qd6!? attempt.

May-08-14  Sally Simpson: Who ever chooses these puzzle has chosen this one on purpose to keep the fire burning from Wednesay's puzzle debate about what do you call mating patterns.

It was Mating Pattern hysteria and as usual I was right in the middle of it.

G Marco vs A Hodges, 1904


click for larger view

28.Rxg7+ and if 28...28.Nxg7. 29.Qxf6 mate.

click for larger view

A perfect Dovetail (or Shoulder Blade) Mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Sally - what I think has happened is this ...

There is no single definitive dictionary of chess terms. People invent new terms for things all the time, whether these are openings or mating patterns.

At some time in the past, someone came up with the name epaulet/ epaulette mate. Originally this does seem to have been any mate where the mated king is self-blocked by two of his own pieces standing on the same rank, file or diagonal.

This was such a useful description (and quite evocative) that people started using it. It stuck.

A little while later, someone comes up with a refinement where (1) epaulet mates with the self blockers on the same diagonal are called dovetail mates and (2) mates with the self blockers on the same rank or file behind the king are called swallowtail mates.

These are also nice visual names, so again people started to use them. They stick too.

Now comes the confusion. Does epaulet still have its original meaning - ie any mate with a pair of self blockers? Or has it acquired a new meaning that only includes a pair of self blockers on the same rank or file and level with the king?

Some people think that dovetails and swallowtails are subsets of epaulets - in the same way that the Tarrasch is a subset of the French. Any dovetail or swallowtail mate is by definition an epaulet mate.

The counter argument is that they are (or have become) separate mates. Some say that a position cannot be both a dovetail and an epaulet.

There is no right and wrong here. The language is evolving as new terms are invented. One day we may all settle on one definition. Until and unless that happens, all of the different variations are equally valid.

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, your second diagram is a swallowtail and not a dovetail!

But frankly it really doesn't matter.

May-08-14  cyclon: 28. Rxg7+ Rxg7 ( 28. -Bxg7 29. Qxf5+ Ke7 30. Rxe6+. On 28. -Kxg7 or 28. -Nxg7 comes simply 29. Qxf6X ) 29. Qxf6+ Kg8 30. Rxe6 and if -Q- somewhere, follows 31. Re8+ mating, or trying to prolong the anguish slightly by 30. -Qxe6 31. Qxe6+ - White wins anyway.
May-08-14  Castleinthesky: Easy for a Thursday, I am usually done by Tuesday. There really is only one proper move that will free the queen. The options for the king are limited and all of them bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessCoachClark: Voltaire said, If you wish to converse with me, first define your terms. So, <Once> and <Sally Simpson> raise issues that I basically agree with, but need some clarification. We can use chess classics to keep things more consistent and urge others not to be so loose with their terminology, as Voltaire commends. The Art of Attack in Chess by Vukovic and the Wikipedia article on checkmate patterns, as well as books like the Art of the Checkmate by Renauld and Kahn all agree that the Epaulette Mate has King between two friendlies in a straight line, but the Swallow's Tail is in a V, the King being one step away from the line of the other two. Also, consider that if a Rook were the attacker, it could not do an Epaulette Mate at all, unless other blockers were present. That's a very significant difference. Now, that being said, I find it less important to distinguish between the Swallow's Tail (equivalent to Dovetail), Gueridon and Cozio's Mates, since they are truly the same, only rotated about a point. I coach my Royal Guards Chess Club members to always try to see mates in ANY position, whether on the edge, the middle of an edge, the Center and the corners as well. Thus, the "SR-71 Blackbird Mate," "Naboo Royal Starship Mate," "Goldfish-Tail Mate," "Butterfly Mate" and other cute names that they apply to a Dovetail Mate are fine. The important point is to recognize that pattern in an OTB game. In a similar vein, the "Shoulder Pads Mate," "Bodyguards Mate" and other names for the Epaulette Mate are fine. However, I would not care to make these two types the same because the formation is different and the tactics to achieve them are different. Function and practicality are as relevant as terminology to a serious player. Blurring the lines is not recommended, but emphasis on the names is not nearly as important as the patterns themselves, especially for visual learners. So, while I will agree that the names may change, the recognition of the patterns should be preserved, not blended/blurred so much that their functions are diminished. Further, I do say we need the USCF or FIDE or some brave writers as a group to take Voltaire's role in these mates and tactics, to relieve difficulties for beginners and intermediate players. I'm doing some research myself and James Stripes has made an excellent start on a book about checkmates, so we can hope for a better situation soon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White will mate quickly, black has no game.
May-08-14  sombreronegro: Took me awhile but it looks like the pawn on g7 and holding onto f6 is vital for black. Looks like the shoulder blade theme talked about yesterday as a threat. I was spending time on Q X f5 and checking on the H file and a retreat with little to show for it.

So rook X g7 it is.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 28.Rxg7+ Bxg7 (best) 29.Qxf5+ Ke7 (best) 30.Rxe6+ and 31.Rxe8+ will leave White with Q+N v. RR, winning easily.
May-08-14  BOSTER: I can't tell you that according to the theory or not ,but black didn't regain the pawn c5.

But he opened "g" file for white and then opened his cards(diagram) "Sacr." the the knight g5 and saying "I agree to draw".

But white, the future first Soviet GM, didn't accept this offer , playing 15.f3.

click for larger view

After 20.Na5 black accepted the invitation to visit white country and went to b2.

When you visit another country, you always should remember jhow to return home.

After 21 Nb3 the situation on the border has been changed, and now rook on b2 was cut from his forces.

Move 25... black king decided to defend the knight e6,but it was not his duty.

Playing 27.Qe5 white created very nice trap.

May-08-14  Whitehat1963: Yay! I got a Thursday puzzle! That's a rare event for me!
May-08-14  solver43: 28 R x Pawn check
29 Q x Bishop check
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