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Leonid Stein vs Lajos Portisch
"Stein Glass Beauty" (game of the day May-30-2020)
Stockholm Interzonal (1962), Stockholm SWE, rd 12, Feb-14
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1-0



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Given 72 times; par: 22 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The game is annotated in Keene's book <Leonid Stein: Master of Attack>, p. 151, and also in Gufeld and Lazarev's <Leonid Stein: Master of Risk Strategy>, pp. 127-28.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got the first two moves, but not the crushing 21. Qf3.

But is it really crushing? After 21...Bxf6 22. Qxf6 Nd5 23. exd5 Qd8 24. Nh5+ Qxf6+ 25. Rxf6 cxf6, black's passed e-♙ could make a nuisance of itself; still, white is a piece up.

But white can play 23. Rxd5. Yes, I guess it is crushing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black threatens 19... B(N)xc4.

My first idea was 19.Bf6 Bxc4 20.Qg4 Rg8 21.Bxg7+ Rxg7 22.Qxg7#, but Black can play 19... gxf6 and White has problems.

Another idea is 19.Nxg7, weakening the black castle:

A) 19... Bxc4 20.Bf6

A.1) 20... Bxe2 21.Nf5+ Kg8 22.Nh6#.

A.2) 20... Rfd8 21.Ne6+ Kg8 22.Qg4#.

A.3) 20... h6 21.Qd2 Kh7 22.Nf5 wins.

A.4) 20... Be7 21.Qf2

A.4.a) 21... Bxf1 (or 21... Qb7) 22.Ne6+ and mate in two.

A.4.b) 21... Bxf6 22.Qf6 Nd7 (22... Kg8 23.Nh5 and 24.Qg7#) 23.Rxd7 Qxd7 24.Nf5+ Kg8 25.Qg7# or 25.Nh6#.

B) 19... Kxg7 20.Bf6+

B.1) 20... Kg8 21.Qd2 Rfd8 22.Qh6 Bf8 23.Qg5+ Bg7 24.Qxg7#.

B.2) 20... Kh6 21.Qd2+ and 22.Qg5#.

B.3) 20... Kg6 21.Rd3 with a mate attack.

C) 19... f6 20.Nxe6 wins a piece at least.

D) 19... Rg8 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Bf6+ wins the exchange at least.

Jun-28-14  goodevans: After <19.Nxg7> it seems black must play <19...Be7>. Then after <20.Nxe6 fxe6> black is a pawn down with the remaining pawns wrecked but at least he has staved off immediate defeat.
Jun-28-14  morfishine: Almost right, I had:

<19.Nxg7> Bxc4 20.Bf6 Bxe2 21.Nf5+ Kg8 22.Nh6#


Jun-28-14  Refused: 19.Nxg7 Bxc4 20.Bf6 this has to be winning
20...Be7 21.Qf3

Unless black has some strong resource I am missing the threats of uncovered checks and the Queen storming in has to be lethal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: After getting reasonably close the first 5 days of the week, I was nowhere close today. :|
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Missed it by that much... would you believe this much? ...OK ,how about this much?

Sorry about that, I didn't have a clue.

Jun-28-14  Nick46: By chance I guessed the moves 19. Nxg7 and even the crushing 21. Qf3 but the ones in between were shrouded in thick fog.
Jun-28-14  sombreronegro: I would say I don't find liquidating the bishop under fire on c4 with B X e3 unless its for an endgame because the attack is over I think. Though the pawns would be a mess. B to f6 looks like it can blockade the f7 pawn. But then the rook is coming to the g file.

A knight sac on g7 looks interesting, but still very speculative to me I just don't see much on the g file.

Maybe just Q h5 , sac the bishop baiting it to attack the rook for a rook lift to f3 headed for h3.

h6 is well cover so putting the hammer on h7 seems like the only attacking plan to me. But then what to do about 19 Qh5 B x f5? The bishop still hangs. That will fail too I think.

Yep what I missed was mate with the minor pieces on knight X g7. The queen was not needed either. After N to f5+ N to h6 mate. Pretty...

Jun-28-14  RookFile: Everybody has their own style, but I would not have played 9.... Bc5+ with black.

At first, you way, hey, it gains a tempo.
But, I would argue that it actually loses one instead.

1) Kh1 is a typical move for white in these setups, here he is "forced" to make a move he's going to make anyway.

2) Who is attacking? I believe the answer is: white. What does the bishop on c5 do for defensive purposes? The answer is: nothing. It would be better posted on e7.

I believe that black should have played either 9...d5 or 9....d6, followed by a later ... Be7. If white's king sits on g1, that might be useful for a later ...Qb6+ or something from black.

Jun-28-14  stst: go sacrifice and attack:
19. Qh5 BxB
20. NxP KxN
21. Bf6+ Kg8
22. Rf3 Re8
23. Qh6 and Qg7# next
(in between Black can move the Rooks at the back rank, but White simply shift Rook to e/f/g files, avoiding exchange) Main idea is having the Q locking the Black K, and using the f7 P to block off Black Q from defending... Could be off --- that's why "Difficult"
Jun-28-14  TheBish: Stein vs Portisch, 1962

White to play (19.?) "Very Difficult"

The position seems right for a destructive sacrifice.

19. Nxg7! Bxc4

Or 19...Kxg7 20. Bf6+ Kg8 21. Qh5 Rfd8 22. Qh6 Bf8 23. Qg5+ Bg7 24. Qxg7#.

20. Bf6! Be7

But not 20...Bxe2 21. Nf5+ Kg8 22. Nh6#, or 20...Nd7 21. Rxd7!.

21. Qf3 Kg8 22. Ne8! and wins, e.g. 22...Rfxe8 23. Qg4+ Kf8 24. Qg7#, or 22...Bxf6 23. Nxf6+ Kg7 24. Qg4+ Kh8 25. Qh5 with 26. Qxh7# to follow.

Sep-09-16  andrea volponi: 15De1!?a5?-Cxg7!Rxg7-Txf6
Oct-25-16  andrea volponi: 11e5!
Apr-25-17  andrea volponi: 11e5!! dxe5 -fxe5 Dxe5 -Cc4 Dh5 -Ae2 Dd5 -De1 0-0 -Txf6 gxf6 -Dh4 Df5 -Ae3 Axe3 -Ad3 Ag5 -Dh5 Dg6 -Axg6 .
Sep-28-18  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I think, Cheapo, that after 19 Nxg7 kg8,

White would have continued as in the game with 20 Bf6!

Jan-09-19  paavoh: "Einstein of Attack", anyone?
May-27-19  N.O.F. NAJDORF: I especially like this finish:

21 ... h6

22 Ne8+ Kh7

33 Qf5 mate

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Stein died much too young--he and Fischer should have played *many* games together.

After 14.Nf5, it superficially appears that White has already placed Black in severe danger. The Nxg7 sacrifice becomes a permanent threat, Bg5 and Bh6 (with or without sacrifice) already come into consideration, the Queen can easily enter the fray via e1 or f3, the lift Rf1-f3-h3 or g3 might happen, et cetera. Should Black have shunned 11...e5, perhaps?

May-30-20  areknames: <Should Black have shunned 11...e5, perhaps?> Possibly, at first glance 11...d5 looks like a better choice to fight for centre control.
May-30-20  lentil: This game has the aroma of home-cooking.
May-30-20  RandomVisitor: As mentioned previously, black could do better at move 11:

click for larger view


<49/73 38:00 0.00 11...d5 12.Qe1 Nxe4> 13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.Qxe4 f6 15.b4 Be7 16.Nd4 Qd7 17.c4 Bxb4 18.Rb1 Bc5 19.Nb3 Be7 20.Be3 0-0 21.Na5 Qe8 22.Nxc6 Bd7 23.Nxe7+ Qxe7 24.Rb6 Rfc8 25.Rd1 Rab8 26.Rxb8 Rxb8 27.c5 Qe8 28.Rd6 Rc8 29.Qc4 Rc6 30.Rd1 Rc8

49/86 38:00 +0.32 11...Ng4 12.Qe2 Qa7 13.b4 Nf2+ 14.Rxf2 Bxf2 15.c4 Bb6 16.Bb2 f6 17.e5 dxe5 18.fxe5 f5 19.c5 Bd8 20.Nd4 0-0 21.Nxc6 Qb7 22.Qf3 g5 23.h3 h5 24.Nd4 Qxf3 25.gxf3 Kf7 26.Bc4 Be7 27.Nxf5 Rb8 28.Bc3 Ke8 29.Nd4 a5 30.Bd2 Kf7

May-30-20  RandomVisitor: After 11...e5 white has 12.Qe1

click for larger view


<60/85 1:21:54 +1.68 12.Qe1 a5 13.Qh4> h6 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Qg3 Nh5 16.Qxe5+ Qxe5 17.Nxe5 Nf6 18.Bd2 Ng4 19.Nxg4 Bxg4 20.Bc4 0-0 21.h3 Be6 22.Bxe6 fxe6 23.Rxf8+ Kxf8 24.Bc3 Bb4 25.Be5 a4 26.a3 Be7 27.Bc3 Rd8 28.Rf1+ Kg8 29.Kh2 Bg5 30.Kg3 c5 31.Kg4 Rd7

May-30-20  RandomVisitor: After 7.Nd2 there is 7...d6 and likely an even game

click for larger view


<50/69 54:25 0.00 7...d6> 8.Re1 g6 9.b4 Bg7 10.c4 0-0 11.a3 b6 12.Bb2 Nbd7 13.Qb3 Bb7 14.Rad1 Rac8 15.N4f3 Rfd8 16.e5 dxe5 17.Nxe5 Ne8 18.Nef3 Bxb2 19.Qxb2 Nef6 20.Qc3 Qf4 21.h3 Qc7 22.Be4 Bd5 23.Bxd5 exd5 24.Rc1 a5 25.Qd4 axb4 26.axb4 Qd6

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