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Lajos Portisch vs Robert Huebner
Bugojno (1978), Bugojno YUG, rd 4, Mar-01
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Bronstein (Byrne) Variation (E45)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-02-04  vonKrolock: thanks Chessgames for promtly deleting the faulty version of this game whith 33...Qd6 (a pity that the transcription from RH own comment was deleted too, but i can repeat it in a near future)
Dec-14-04  kostich in time: I occasionally call Huebner dull. Here is an example of the papyrologists deep strategy culminating in very nice combination.
Jul-04-09  backrank: Nice final mating combination with a knight sac preparing the queen sac. After 37. ... ♘e4+! the knight must be taken since g3 hangs. But after 38. fxe4 fxe4+ 39. ♔e1 the new-born pawn on e4 plays an important role: It deprives the white king of the flight square d3, a fact which becomes obvious after 39. ♕xg3+! 40. ♖xg3 ♖h1+ 41. ♗f1 ♖hxf1+ 42. ♔e2 ♖7f2#. Inexorable precision!
Jul-23-14  SpiritedReposte: There are 2 different puzzles of the day in that finishing combo.

37. …Ne4+! is a bolt!

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: I played the Nimzo-Indian every time White offered the opportunity during my chess career because I believed the NID was one of the few openings where if God played God, Black would win. Black's quicker and better development let him retain the initiative for the duration of the game. Great example of the defense at its best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair.

All black pieces are ready to attack the white king starting with 37... Ne4+:

A) 38.fxe4 fxe4+

A.1) 39.Ke1 Qxg3+

A.1.a) 40.Rxg3+ Rh1+ 41.Bf1 (41.Rg1 Rxg1+ just delays mate one move) 41... R1xf1+ 42.Ke2 R7f2#.

A.1.b) 40.Kd1 Qxg1+ 41.Be1 Qxe3 - + [r+3p vs B].

A.2) 39.Kg2 Qxg3#.

A.3) 39.Bf3 Rxf3+ followed by Rfxg3 - + [2p] and attack.

B) 38.Ke1 Nxg3 wins a pawn at least (39.Bd3 Bxf3).

C) 38.Kf1 Nxg3+

C.1) 39.Ke1(f2) Nxe2 40.Kxe2 Qh2+ 41.Kd3 (else lose a rook) 41... Bxf3 - + [2p].

C.2) 39.Kg2 Nxe2 40.Kxh6 Nxg1+ 41.Rxg1 Bxf3 - + [2p].

D) 38.Kg2 Qxg3+ 39.Kf1 Qf2#.

Mar-30-17  Walter Glattke: White must not not open the f-line for the 2nd rook: 38.Ke1 Nxg3 39.f4 g5 40.Qc8
Mar-30-17  AlicesKnight: I saw the N sacrifice break-in but was surprised that White captured, making the f-file dangerous - and I then missed ...Qxg3. This is an admirable attack; why did Huebner not make more of an impact on chess?
Mar-30-17  The Kings Domain: Good puzzle and glad to have gotten it. White simply played a bad game by weakening his position with questionable moves from the start.
Mar-30-17  gofer: This one is beautiful, but mostly because I found it and it took me a while to find it. I looked at Ng4+, Rh2+, Bxf3 and Be4 all before seeing the queen sacrifice...

<37 ... Ne4+!>

1) The knight is immune!

38 fxe4 fxe4+!

a) The bishop can't block the open f file as that just gives back the piece immediately loses two pawns and looks horrible!!!

39 Bf3 Rxf3+
40 Ke2/Ke1 Rfxg3

b) But the problem is that the king cannot run either!

39 Ke1 Qxg3+!!

Beautiful, white either has to lose immediately or give up the rook for nothing either way he is doomed...

40 Kd1 Qxg1+ 41 Be1 Qxe3

40 Rxg3 Rh1+ 41 Rg1 Rxg1+ 42 Bf1 Rgxf1+ 43 Ke2 R7f2#

So, instead of taking the knight, the king must run, but Ke1 is the only option!

38 Kg2 Qxg3+
39 Kf1 Qf2#

38 Kf1 Nxg3+
39 Ke1 Nxe2 (Rxg3 Qxg3 or Kf2 Rh2 or Kg2 Nxe2 40 Kxh3 Rf6 ) 40 Kxe2 Bxf3+
41 Ke1 Rxg3

<38 Ke1 Nxg3>
<39 Bd3 Bxf3>

click for larger view

It all looks horrible for white...!

Mar-30-17  zb2cr: Got this one. It took so long I have no time to comment.
Mar-30-17  Carlos0012358: After 37.....Ne4+ Portisch blew it by playng 38.fxe4 instead of 38.Ke1. Devastating error! Back would have still had a slight advantage but the game would have continued.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: How about if after 37 Ne4+ 38 Ke1 Nxg3
then 39 Bd1 (protecting the f pawn). Now comes 39...Rh1!?

click for larger view

Expecting 40 Rxh1 Nxh1, below, seeing 41...Qg3+ with a nice attack

click for larger view

Mar-30-17  mel gibson: The pawn can't take the Knight.

The computer says:

37. Be2 Ne4+ (37. ..
Ne4+ (♘f6-e4+ ♔f2-e1 ♘e4xg3 ♗e2-d1 ♕b8-d8 ♗d2-b4 ♘g3-h1 ♔e1-f1 ♗d5xf3 ♗b4-e1 ♕d8-d5 ♖g1-g2 ♖f7-f6 ♖g2-h2 ♕d5-b5+ ♗d1-e2 ♗f3xe2+ ♕c2xe2 ♕b5xe2+ ♖h2xe2 ♘h1-g3+ ♗e1xg3 ♖h3-h1+ ♔f1-f2 ♖h1xc1 ♖e2-b2 ♖c1-c6 ♗g3-f4 ♖f6-f8 ♖b2-a2 ♔h7-g6) +3.46/16 135)

score +3.46 depth 16

Mar-30-17  gars: Sometimes Portisch played badly against weaker players. I am not stating Huebner is a weak player, far from that, but I don't see him and Portisch in the same league. In the Rio Interzonal (1979) Portisch lost to Torre, Kagan and Sunye, three players cleary weaker than him. I wonder why this happened.
Mar-30-17  saturn2: I went for 37..Ng4 with the same ideas as in the game. Either black gets the open f-file or looses the pawn g3.
Mar-31-17  WorstPlayerEver: 37...Rh2 also wins.
Mar-31-17  swclark25: I also went with 37)...Ng4+ like <saturn2> mentioned. Can someone tell us if that also works?
Nov-06-17  PJs Studio: Portisch was asking for it in this game. His play prodded Portisch into the attack.
Jan-08-20  W Westerlund: Gars: I disagree. Huebner was pure world champion material. It's his perfectionism and his 'pessimism' - biting self-sarcasm that stood in the way. If you write 46 pages of analysis on one position in one game, my god! (how can you *play*?).
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Portisch losing to Huebner was, in no way, losing to a 'weaker' player: for examples of that phenomenon, we may look to such gems as Portisch-Aaron, Stockholm 1962 as well as that great player's defeat vs Lombard at Biel 1976.

Formidable as Portisch was, he exhibited signs of psychological instability in critical moments which, despite his overall record, cost him further chances at the world title.

Jan-08-20  mckmac: <Perfidious:Formidable as Portisch was, he exhibited signs of psychological instability in critical moments which, despite his overall record, cost him further chances at the world title.>

Remarkably, GM Portisch was still playing outstanding chess well into his seventies.

R Rapport vs Portisch, 2010

Jan-08-20  Granny O Doul: Re: just above, I'm pretty sure perfidious meant to write that Hubner showed signs of instability. For instance, resigning two different candidates matches while just a point down.

Of course, it's nonsense to suggest a league's worth of separation between the two players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: That was no mistake on my part, but as noted, Huebner displayed his own signs of that failing, which were to prove ruinous to his hopes.

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