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Judit Polgar vs Ferdinand Hellers
Biel Interzonal (1993), Biel SUI, rd 5, Jul-20
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Amsterdam Variation (B93)  ·  1-0



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sac: 21.Rxh5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-18-07  Aspirador: <Do you mean to suggest that men and women play against each other?!> Men and women play against each other in a lot more ways than you can imagine.
Jul-18-07  TrueBlue: <<Do you mean to suggest that men and women play against each other?!> Men and women play against each other in a lot more ways than you can imagine> I like it better when they play WITH each other!
Jul-18-07  dghins: Black can salvage a draw.
Instead of 32.....d5 do ....dxe5
33.Rd7...Kf8 and eventually there comes ...e4, Qxe4...Qb5, Nh7...Ke8, Qxe6...fxe6, Nf6+...kf8, Nh7+...kg8 ad nauseum, voila draw
Jul-18-07  MikeChesss: Is there a name for a move where you move a piece to a square where it "can not" be captured because the opponent exposes himself to a tactic like a fork or checkmate? Other than a good move, of course.
Jul-18-07  Fezzik: @<Mikechess>

I can't think of the name of a move right off hand, but the piece is often said to be "immune". That is, it's immune from capture. I hope this helps.

Jul-18-07  Waitaka: Got only the first two moves. Missed 38 Rxf7+...
Jul-18-07  zb2cr: Managed to do this one. Quite proud of myself, given the complexity of the position.
Jul-18-07  RonB52734: <resty: isnt 36...Qe3+ possible?> I also wonder what would follow after 36...Qg1?
Jul-18-07  YouRang: Got it, after a minute or so. I noticed that black was threatening ...Rg1 (pinning our queen), but then I found 36. Rxd5, seeing that 36...Rg1? is met by 37. Rd7+ Kf8 38. Rxf7#.

Of course, the rook is safe from 36...exd5 because of the queen winning knight fork (which also kills the ...Rg1 threat).

Polgar had a mighty resourceful knight there!

Jul-18-07  unsound: After 36...Qg1, 37.Rd7+ Kf8 38. Rxf7 mate is a good follow-up.
Jul-18-07  Jack Kerouac: Check this out, chess community...
Chess on roller coasters!
Jul-18-07  aazqua: Very nice. She is a primo chess vixen.
Jul-18-07  bogo78: <MikeChesss: Is there a name > I believe you can say that the piece in question becomes "taboo", but I am not really sure its chesically correct.
Jul-18-07  YouRang: <MikeChesss: Is there a name for a move where you move a piece to a square where it "can not" be captured because the opponent exposes himself to a tactic like a fork or checkmate? Other than a good move, of course.>

If it's a pawn, it is often called a "poison" pawn. I don't know if the term applies to other pieces, but I don't see why it shouldn't.

Jul-18-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <noTALent: <MostlyAverageJoe:> <noTALent: What's the blunder?> <Black can play Qc6+, escaping the fork... (C), you forgot... (38 ... exd5). Except as noted, the following line has to be followed EXACTLY by the white to guarantee a draw (confirmed by backward/forward analysis with Hiarcs):

36. Rxd5 Rxc2+ 37. Kxc2? Qc6+ 38. Kb1 <or Kb2> exd5 39. Nxd5+ <g7 also has a chance> Kf8 40. Nf6 fxg6 41. Qd8+ Kf7 42. Qg8+ Ke7 43. Nd5+ Kd7 >

Didn't see that. What's Hiarc's opinion about 40. Qh1 in the above line?>

I'm posting from work, so all I have is a Java applet to shuffle pieces, but even so, I see no prospects for white after 40. Qxg6+, gaining a tempo and an attack (if 38. Kb1 is played earlier).

For the case if 38. Kb2 is played, I'll have to provide complete line later, but I think that it would have to diverge earlier, perhaps 39 ... Ke8 instead of Kf8, which leads to unpleasantness after your Qh1.

Jul-18-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <tallinn: ... after Rxc2+ suggested here white can even play Kb1 (which is in fact stronger then Qxc2> I don't believe that Kb1 is stronger in that variant. Please show how.

<the other part of the complete solution is to see the rook sac on f7 and the final mate with black king on h6. Then you understand that black is forced to take the rook after Rxd5>

No disagreement here. But taking the rook and allowing the royal fork is just as good as resigning, even if it is the best response for the black.

In any case, thanks for the encouragement for those (myself included) who rushed to conclusion after seeing the first move and a couple of followups. And for a very readable analysis. You should post more :-)

I am still unhappy with myself - should've spent the allocated 10 minutes on this one instead of rushing prematurely with the "too easy" feeling ...

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The opening move was easy-it screams out for Rxd5 as the rook is immune on penalty of a fork. The queen and knight deliver a final waltz around the falling black king before the final curtain comes down.(only in our minds of course,as black had left the stage long before the mate is to be delivered.
Jul-18-07  krusheto: I saw Rxd5 and Rd7 after that, but I didn't see Rxf7+. Maybe I should have taken a deeper look into that move and then the mate would be obvious.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Judit launches a furious attack & doesn't bother about Black's threat of Rg1 pinning the Queen & instead plays 36.Rxd5! now neither Black can grab the Rook because of the fork nor can he play 36...Rg1 as 37.Rd7+ Kf8 & 38.Rxf7# After the text 39.Qd7+ it's mate in 4 moves.
Jul-18-07  RonB52734: <unsound> right. I forgot the g-pawn is still there in that line, protecting the rook at Rxf7#.
Jul-18-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <MostlyAverageJoe (for noTALent): For the case if 38. Kb2 is played, I'll have to provide complete line later>

Here it is, for Kb2 in move 38:

36. Rxd5 Rxc2+ 37. Kxc2 Qc6+ 38. Kb2 exd5 39. Nxd5+ Kf8 40. Qh1 fxg6!

click for larger view

Now, black threatens to take the knight or to mate if g1/g2 squares become available for the rook. White can get a perpetual check in a number of ways, but no more than that.

Jul-18-07  soberknight: Yeah, I saw the point of Rxd5 immediately (recapture is suicidal), but I was too busy working out the variation following Qe3+ Rd2 (or Kb1) Qxf4 to see the main line response. My bad - Rxg6 was a plausible move, and I needed to consider it. Great combo by Polgar!
Jul-19-07  Crowaholic: Ok, now I have the time to look at yesterday's puzzle.

Hmm, 36. Rxd5 is too easy for a Wed, isn't it?

36. Rxd5 exd5 37. Nxd5+, good bye queen.

But 36. ..exd5 is not forced, so what are White's threats? Let's use the "null move heuristic".

36. Rxd5 (pass) 37. Rd7+ Kf8 38. Rxf7#

What defensive options does White have? BQ or BR can defend d7, but White simply sacs the rook and follows up with the queen. The BR can pin the WQ, but this doesn't stop the WR. Likewise, pinning with the queen is useless. Kf8 allows the royal fork Nd7+, this is why the black king moved to e7 in the first place if you ask me. Ok, but can't Black just take the g pawn? There are two ways to do this - fxg6 and Rxg6. I think this is where the Wednesday comes in (so far this was no harder than this week's Monday).

36. ..fxg6 and doesn't White have a nice R sac? Let's just pretend the g pawn was still there... 37. Rd7+ Kf8 38. Rf7+ Kxf7 39. Qd7+ Kf8 40. Qxc8+ and I see no way to stop the mate, the longest sequence I can find is 40. ..Qd8 41. Qxd8+ Kf7 42. Qe8+ Kg7 43. Qg8+ Kh6 44. Qh7#

So what about 36. ..Rxg6 ? White seems to mate in almost the same way...

Maybe I need to look closer at the non-mating, queen-winning lines (i.e. the best options Black seems to have). I already saw that 36. ..exd5 37. Nxd5+ wins ♕♙♙ for ♖ and the knight survives (37. ..Kd7?? 38. Nxb6++ wins another exchange). But 37. ..Kf8 seems to be even more devestating. Peeking at the solution...

Oh, wow, it really was that easy. This was way easier than yesterday's puzzle, perhaps even the Monday puzzle (which was, admittedly, unusually hard because the bishop sac could be declined) - some lines win a lot of material and others lead to an easy mate. No evaluation of subtleties like castling rights, development and "paralysis" was necessary to see that White wins.

But I have to admit I saw the exact same mating pattern with the triangle of rook, pawn and knight at the edge of the board before - I was toying around one day and playing some position either against myself or the computer (I don't remember) and found the same move as is correct in the following puzzle which is similar to the position from back then and which I just made up today (Black to play and mate in 7 - this is computer-verified).

click for larger view

PS: Granted, I missed the possible response 36. ..Qe3+ (damn, I really need a checklist - literally *check*list). But after the obvious 37. Kb1 (Kb2 allows ..Qc3+ protecting the c8 rook, which interferes with the R sac plan), Black is forced to play ..exd5 and it's royal fork again. Again, no deep calculation is required.

Jul-19-07  Crowaholic: Ok, I missed Qe3+ which is useless, I also missed that other check Rxc2+ which is equally useless. 37. Kxc2 would be a blunder, obviously, because of the queen fork. But my computer tells me White isn't even obliged to take the rook after 36. ..Rxc2 - 37. Kb1 evaluates to about the same score as Qxc2. So Kxb2 is the only non-winning move, and easy to avoid. So Rxc2+ doesn't really threaten anything. Maybe I would have also missed it if it actually threatened something, maybe not, I have no idea.

Some have talked about the many lines that need to be considered. I am doubtful - because White threatens mate with serial check, Black doesn't have many defensive options. Any move that's not a check itself, and doesn't defend against the threats at hand, is thus guaranteed to be pointless. If White needed one more tempo without check, for example, then things would be different altogether. The difficulty of the puzzle wasn't my problem when failing to see 36. ..Qe3+ and ..Rxc2+, it was mere sloppyness. If I would have looked at these moves, I would have quickly found that White still wins easily.

Jul-19-07  Crowaholic: <not yet a patzer: Do you mean to suggest that men and women play against each other?!>

Are you kidding? Do you want to suggest that they don't? Maybe in Afghanistan. And Ferdinand is a male first name, period.

The Polgar sisters even acquired the usual ("male") grandmaster title because they weren't content with the easier WGM title.

<Fezzik: I can't think of the name of a move right off hand, but the piece is often said to be "immune".>

Or "sacrosanct", "untouchable" etc. But "poisoned", which YouRang mentioned, seems to be most common.

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