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Ian Rogers vs Robert Huebner
Plaza (1988), Wellington NZL, rd 1, Mar-15
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-18-05  RonB52734: If I'm not mistaken, then as far as the <> database is concerned, 9.g4 is an innovation first seen in this game, and subsequently played on 12 more occasions, sometimes at high (but never highest) levels, with +6, -4, =3 results for white. See . With this move, white begins happily throwing his kingside forward, casually stopping only somewhat later (move 13) to castle long. It is an interesting move at that particular moment in the game, because white's battery on the d1-h5 diagonal seems to prevent any immediate reaction to the pawn by black, and black has nothing better than 9...Be6 (9...a5 was tried in V Yemelin vs V Loginov, 2001 without ultimate success). Thus, white effectively has several pawn moves on the king side before black can make a direct response. And as we see in the present game, the disruption of black's kingside pawns plays a big part in the outcome of the game. I wonder if any of our stronger players have any comment on this particular twist in the Najdorf opening? Thanks in advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: <Timetraveller> I'll go you one better:If 39 ♖h1 ♕h5, threatens mate in two at d1
Mar-18-05  DP12: The idea of this line is obviously based on the English attack with the idea that Be2 is a slightly more useful move than f3. Its not clear that this is true because in the english attack the bishop more often than not is played to d3 or h3. In anycase I myself have used this line in a couple of games just to give my opponent some problems to solve OTB rather than in home analysis.
Apr-13-05  Fulkrum: I think you missed my point. It takes work to get good at chess. Even the easy stuff.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Hübner was nominal Elo-favourite (2,590). Somehow indisposed, he lost this first round game against Rogers, who get a price for the best game of the first round.

Murray Chandler wrote laconically on the edge of the bulletin: <Hubner withdrew ill after the first round.>

Final standings:
1-3 Spassky, Chandler, Gufeld 7/10 each
4-5 Zs.Polgar, Rogers 6.5/10 each
6 Christiansen 6/10
7 Sarfati 4/10
8-9 Sarapu, Small 3/10
10 Dive 2/10
11 Ker 1.5/10

Note: In his last round game Spassky drew against ChandlerSpassky vs Chandler, 1988 missing a one move piece win, otherwise he would have been sole winner...

Jan-15-10  elohah: 8 !

Since I am currently playing only
8 f3 in this line, I need to use
this line at my level and PUNISH
with it!

Thanks, Rogers!

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <whiteshark>Murray Chandler wrote laconically on the edge of the bulletin: <Hubner withdrew ill after the first round.>

Hubner was definitely off his game, as he probably expected 27.♗d5, and totally missed 27.♖h8+.

Aug-03-14  Ke2: See Carlsen - Nakamura Tata Steel 2011
Jan-04-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: White is down a piece and pawn, and Black's apparently hanging rook is poisoned. The pseudo-sacrifice of the exchange via 35 Rxf8+ immediately gets a rook no matter how Black captures (in one case by a skewer and in the other case by unpoisoning the hanging rook), leaving White a pawn down with an attack.

I saw that and quickly stopped there, without actually checking how strong the attack is. Evidently it's very strong.

Jan-04-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: Well, actually, I did see that one capture allowed mate on the move. I just forgot that again before posting the previous comment. :)
Jan-04-20  Walter Glattke: Black is one knight and one pawn ahead. 35.cxd4? Rc1+ 36.Rxc1 Qxc1#, therefore 35.Rxf8+ Rxf8? 36.Qh7#- 35.Rxf8 Kxf8 36.Qh8+ Kf7 37.Qxc8 Qd2 38.Qe8+ (Qxb7+ Rd7) Kg7 39.cxd4 wins for white
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a knight and a pawn down.

The rook on d4 is untouchable: 35.cxd4 Q(R)c1+ 36.Rxc1 R(Q)xc1#. However, the rook on c8 is defenseless and White can recover material and keep the iniciative with 35.Rxf8+ Kxf8 (35... Rxf8 36.Qh7#) 36.Qh8+ Kf7 37.Qxc8.

Jan-04-20  malt: Gone for 37...Qd2 38.Qe8+ Kg7 39.cd4
Jan-04-20  mel gibson: I saw that one easily.
It's strange how I can miss a Wednesday puzzle but see a Saturday one.

Stockfish 10 says:

35. Rxf8+

(35. Rxf8+ (♖h8xf8+ ♔f7xf8
♕h2-h8+ ♔f8-f7 ♕h8xc8 ♕g5-e5 ♕c8xb7+ ♔f7-f8 ♕b7-h1 ♖d4-d7 ♖e1xe5 f6xe5 ♔a1-b1 ♖d7-g7 c3-c4 g6-g5 c4-c5 g5-g4 c5-c6 g4-g3 ♕h1-f1+ ♔f8-e7 c6-c7 g3-g2 c7-c8♘+ ♔e7-e8 ♕f1-g1 ♖g7-g6 ♘c8-b6 ♖g6-h6 ♔b1-c2 ♖h6-c6+ ♔c2-b3 a6-a5 ♘b6-c4 ♖c6-g6 ♘c4-e3 ♔e8-f7 ♘e3xg2 ♖g6-g3+ ♔b3-a4 ♖g3-g4+ ♔a4xa5 ♔f7-g7 ♕g1-a7+ ♔g7-g6 ♕a7-a6+ ♔g6-g7 ♕a6-e6 ♖g4-g5 ♕e6-d7+ ♔g7-h6 ♘g2-e3 ♖g5-g6 ♕d7-d5) +13.43/40 192)

score for White +13.43 depth 40.

Jan-04-20  jith1207: Got it, move for move until the end.

Yes, fewer pieces and more spaces do make the problem solving easier.

Black's King doesn't have much space to maneuver though, which makes it all forced moves.

Jan-04-20  jith1207: Apparently, this has won the game of the round award in the tournament.

I like that designation even if it doesn't get an actual price, it helps get to the best games of the tournament just by looking at the details.

I hope the tournament organizers of the present age begin to realize such added features, that could attract casual observers to more games rather than just looking at the list of tens of games blankly.

Jan-04-20  mckmac: This was played in the first round of the Plaza 1988 tournament, held in Wellington NZ. GM Huebner unfortunately had to withdraw after playing only this game, owing to illness.

Plaza 1988 was a landmark tournament for chess in New Zealand. It was not often that players the calibre of Spassky, Huebner, Gufeld, Christiansen and Susan Polgar played tournament chess down here.

Jan-04-20  5hrsolver: There is a way for white to go up a rook and not get checkmated in the back rank.

For example.
35. Rxf8+ Kxf8 36. Qh8+ Kf7 37. Qh7+ Kf8 38. Qe7+ Kg8 39. Qe6+ Kg7 40. Qxc8 Qd2 41. Qxb7+ Kh6 42. Qh1+ Kg7 43. cxd4

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Good puzzle!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Huebner was still near his prime in 1988, terrific game from Rogers. He looks to be winning even if RH doesn't lose a piece in the tactics.
Jan-04-20  King.Arthur.Brazil: I saw the sequence: 35. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8 (if ♖xf8?? 36.♕h7#} directly) 36. ♕h8+ ♔f7 37. ♕h7+ ♔f8 38. ♕e7+ ♔g8 39. ♕e6+ ♔g7 40. ♕xc8 (which now threats: 41. ♖e7+ ♔h6 42.♕h8#), so if Black deffends with 40...f5 lose the ♖ with 41. cxd4.
Jan-04-20  gustavo silva: Too easy for a Saturday POTD, methinks.
Jan-04-20  landshark: <5hr>
In the line you give unfortunately Black has the interposition 41.... Rd7 which forces White to retreat with 42.Qh1 =

I worked this line out this far in my head after quickly dismissing the (winning) game line with White taking the R on c8 on move 37 - oddly, missing that here he threatens 38.Qe8+ winning - using a similar battery that I saw for B as a defensive resource in your line.

Jan-04-20  TheaN: The <difficult> part of this position is methodologically calculating how White has to keep the initiative. That the most straightforward way works is in a sense just convenient.

After 35.Rxf8 Kxf8 (else mate) 36.Qh8+ Kf7 White has the game line and Qh7+. The game line works because of 37.Qxc8 threatening cxd4, Qxb7+ and Qe8+ which cannot all be parried (mainly the latter in case of Qg4).

If instead White tries to 'force' the Black king to g7 to create a rook check on the 7th Qg4 does work: 37.Qh7+ Kf8 (now White can still revert and play the winning line) 38.Qe7+? Kg8 39.Qe6+ Kg7 40.Qxc8 ⩱, White has <himself> created at least a draw for Black with 40....Qg4! 41.Qxb7+ (else QxQ -+ or 41.Re7+ Kh6 42.Qh8+? Kg5 -+ as White's out of checks) Rd7 ⩱, as it's essentially 3v3 with Black having the more active pawns.

Jan-04-20  The Kings Domain: Nice puzzle and one of the finest games ever played. It's neat how white takes advantage of black's weak kingside and pounces in for the kill.
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