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Carl Schlechter vs Kornel Havasi
Kassa (1918), Kassa (Kosice) AUH, rd 2, Aug-06
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Closed Bernstein Variation (C66)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-11-14  gofer: I think we have three choices;

a) dislodge the queen from the 5th rank and in so doing make her chances of coming back to protect her king very small.

b) attack Pg7 with a view to putting the white queen on c3 or c4 and reaching the king on either the a2-g8 diagonal or the a1-h8 diagonal.

c) remove the defender, play Rf7 with the simple plan of playing Rxf6 next move and that will allow Qxh7+ with a horrible attack for black to defend.

I would guess that a) and b) are too slow for a Wednesday!

<19 Rf7 ...>

The knight is going to be taken all black can do is decide how...

19 ... h6?
20 Qg6! mating

19 ... g6??
20 Rxf6!

19 ... Qxg5?
20 fxg5 Kxf7
21 gxf6

<19 ... Rf8>
<20 Rxf6 Rxf6>
<21 Qxh7+ Kf8>
<22 Qh8+ Ke7>
<23 Qxg7+ >

click for larger view

The best black can hope for is being a knight and two pawns down. The problem being that white can trade off into an end game with three connected passed pawns, so whatever black tries its really all over...


Hmmm, at least 10 years ago I have been proved "right" that Rf7 is quite playable. Otherwise "nul point" today...

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: It took me a few minutes to see 19.Nxh7! Nxh7 20.Qg6 and Black is fried.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight for a bishop.

Black is probably considering ... Be8, ... Bg6 and ... Re8.

The pawn on h7 prevents 19.Qg6. This invites to play 19.Nxh7:

A) 19... Nxh7 20.Qg6 and mate in two.

B) 19... Qh5 20.Nxf6+ gxf6 21.Qg3+ Bg4 22.hxg4 + - [N+P].

C) 19... Be8 20.Nxf6+ Kf8 (20... Kh8 21.Qh7#; 20... gxf6 21.Qh7+ Kf8 22.Qg7#) 21.Qh7 Kxe7 22.Qxg7+ Bf7 23.Nxc6+ and 24.Nxa5, etc.

D) 19... Bf5 20.Nxf6+

D.1) 20... gxf6 21.Qg3+ and mate in three.

D.2) 20... Kf8 21.Nxf5 gxf6 22.Qg3 and mate soon.

D.3) 20... Kh8 21.Nxf5 gxf6 22.Nxd6 f5 (22... cxd6 23.Qh7#; 22... Qc5+ 23.Kh1 f5 (23... Qxd6 24.Qh7#) 24.Nf7+ Kg8 25.Nxd8, etc.) 23.Nf7+ followed by 24.Nxd8, etc.

Jun-11-14  diagonalley: drat and double darn simple yet i couldn't find it! :-(
Jun-11-14  Ashperov1988: ok fair enough. But can Qg3 as a first move win?
Threat Rg7-->Nge6 and mate impending.
if Qg3 g6 Nh7 sets up nice threats I think. white has so much fire power around the king and black cant get his pieces to defend. Nh7 and Rf7 are indeed simpler moves.
Sure I do things the hard way more often than not, but the pros just edge the cons overall.
Jun-11-14  Nick46: No university studies required here: Havasi finished up worse than Schlechter.
Jun-11-14  morfishine: After <19.Nxh7> Black cannot prevent 20.Qg6


<gofer> In your line 19.Rf7, if 19...Rf8 White can also play 20.Rxd7 winning a piece outright due to the overworked Knight


Jun-11-14  zb2cr: I went with 19. Rf7, threatening 20. Rxf6. This isn't the text solution, but it looks like it will work. I'm short of time this morning.
Jun-11-14  goodevans: For once I tried the puzzle over my morning coffee and got nowhere. I came back to it at lunchtime and got it instantly. I guess I'm just not a morning person.
Jun-11-14  newton296: saw Rf7 threatening Rxf6 Qxh7+
Premium Chessgames Member We don't have the analysis handy, but an admin-note on this puzzle from months ago claims that 19.Rf7 is a "dual" (alternate solution) and works just as well as the text. So full credit to anybody who went with 19.Rf7!
Jun-11-14  Castleinthesky: What type of credit do I get if I didn't get Rf7 or Nxh7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's position is so fragile that a mere pawn capture takes care of the game as fast as thermite.
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: Count me in with the 19. Rf7 group.
Jun-11-14  sombreronegro: Looked hard at 19 Ne6 and then discounted the queen sac and sacking the rook. After that what else but to consider N X h7?
Jun-11-14  sombreronegro: <doubledrooks: Count me in with the 19. Rf7 group.>

Thought about that as well, but did not like that the king could squirm to f8 after the exchange sac, especially with e6 and f5 being disputed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: I looked at this early in the day and came to the conclusion that I would have played Rf7 with a view to removing the knight at whatever cost and then attacking the h7 pawn. If black plays Rf8 and retakes with the rook it falls a few moves later. When I saw I was "wrong" I did not post, as I had missed the power of the actual move played. Coming back to this later I was equally heartened and chastened to see the admin message. I should have posted ... it is easy to be intimidated by the speed at which most people on this site see the position unfolding. In the end you have to play your own game, albeit often a losing game!
Jun-11-14  Moszkowski012273: 17...Qc5 would of held out much longer.
Jun-11-14  sombreronegro: < In the end you have to play your own game, albeit often a losing game!>

It is not at all unusual to see a potentially much stronger move, but with less certainty. Is a certain +1 better than a seeming +3? Chess is played not just with good moves, but also on a risk adjusted basis. Who will always play the strongest move they see but also ripest for miscalculation? And then at what point? If I had played 10 brilliantly subtle positional moves, for say some 6th rank and uncontested knight, would I more likely safely cash in my chips? Would I not more likely look for a spectacular combination from a boring and symmetric position? What has already been earned? No matter how well you played, a miscalculation at the end will wreak havoc on the nostalgia many years from hence...

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Picked 19. Nh7 for my Wednesday solution, but only planned for 19. Nxh7 Nxh7 20. Qg6 . Didn't see 19...Qh5 20.Nxf6+ gxf6 21.Qg3+ Bg4 22.hxg4 .
Jun-11-14  BOSTER: <FSR: took me a few minutes to see 19.Nxh7 Nxh7 20.Qg6>. Black is not obliged to play 19...Nxh7
After 19...Nh5 20.Qg6 Be8 21.Nf6+ Kf8
Jun-11-14  ajile: Pretty easy. With the f pawn gone g6 is potentially weak. Dutch players get familiar with these ideas pretty quick.
Jun-11-14  benjaminpugh: Good to know I was right with the brute force approach of Rf7! Nxh7 is more elegant, though.
Jun-11-14  Nullifidian: I went for 19. ♖f7 as well. It seems to be an easier and more intuitive win to me.
Feb-02-18  mifralu: <Tabanus> <zanzibar>

Source "Berliner Tageblatt, 18 August 1918, p.9"

Source 2 "Časopis českých šachistů, 11/1918, p.150-151"

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