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Johannes Zukertort vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Steinitz - Zukertort World Championship Match (1886), St. Louis, MO USA, rd 7, Feb-05
Tarrasch Defense: Symmetrical Variation (D32)  ·  0-1



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Given 43 times; par: 46 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-03-05  ughaibu: DWINS: the game continuation is also a forced mate if continuous checks aren't necessary for a "forced mate".
Aug-03-05  DWINS: <ughaibu>, A forced mate is one where there is no defense that will escape mate. In this case 33...Bd4 is mate in 7. No matter what White plays, he cannot last longer than 7 moves. I don't understand why you think continuous checks are necessary.

Is 33...Bxf4+ also a forced mate? Maybe Hydra could work it out to a mate in 37 or something like that, but I haven't been able to. Like I said, it certainly wins handily though.

Aug-03-05  ughaibu: I agree.
Aug-03-05  erimiro1: I agree with <who> (and fritz!!...) that the puzzle of today has too many solutions. After checking 32. - Bd4 I came to conclution that no point to keep on trying other moves. But of course 32. - Be5 is better. I hope that the next puzzles will have only one winning way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <¬†DWINS> 36.Kh4 Qe1+ 37.Qg3 g5+ 38.Kh5 Qxg3 ... only a forced loss of the queen up to here; but a forced mate is close behind ... 39.Bxf7+ Kxf7 40.Bxg5 hxg5 41.Kxg5 ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <¬†erimiro1> What is so important about having a unique solution?
Aug-03-05  Marvol: <Gypsy: < erimiro1> What is so important about having a unique solution?>

Well normally I don't mind if there are a few solutions - it is a chess game after all, and in OTB play it doesn't matter which of the solutions you find as long as you find one.

But having too many like this one, then "solving" (as in, making a few moves and coming up with a big advantage) doesn't really mean much- whatever decent move one plays leaves one with a great advantage anyway. Although finding the ones that force a quick win should still be considered superior (both bishop moves for sure).

Aug-03-05  erimiro1: <Gypsy:> I'll tell you what is bothering me. Unlike positional game, Chess puzzles deal with combinatios, tactics and elegancy. I compare it to questions of exact science, math or geometric, from school. If you have many solutions, or too many ways to solve them, they are pointless. Puzzles like today's are the same, because after all, what is the challenge of finding the best way to win if you do it almost anyway?
Aug-03-05  awfulhangover: I found Bd4 too. But maybe Be5+ is more elegant.
Aug-03-05  HastyMover: I got the 32...Be5+, but figured white would respond with 33.Qxe5 rather than 33.f4. Either way results in moving white's queen. I found this one a bit easier than yesterday, probably because of the multiple solutions. White's position is in pretty sad shape.
Aug-03-05  Knight13: Dang it. I thought it was White to play and I found it impossible. So I gave up and, you know what, BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN! Jeesh.
Aug-03-05  Dudley: The point of these puzzles is finding the quickest most forcing win, not just to find any move that wins. If the continuation you come up with is not forcing (...Bd4) and doesn't seem unusual enough to qualify for a special study then you didn't get it. Finding some pedestrian continuation to grind out a win is not solving the puzzle.
Aug-03-05  fgh: Very easy puzzle. Black just has to keep the white queen from controlling the f3 square, and the Be5+ move accomplishes that.
Aug-03-05  xxdsdxx: Welcome to the 21st Century. We let Fritz do our puzzle solving for us! Fritz says... Suffice it to say that White's losing move was 29. Bc4, freely giving up the diagonal to molest the queen. The best move was probably Be3 adding a defensive piece in the presence of the Black Queen.

But on to the puzzle... When the forcing move Qh1 walked the king up the board without a win (Kg3 Kh4), I noticed a possible fork when the Bishop checked the king with Bxf4 and QxBf4. Now when the King stepped onto H4 the pawn hit g5!!! Forking the Queen & King... Good Game by Black, white never had a plan of attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <erimiro1: ... Chess puzzles deal with combinatios, tactics and elegancy. I compare it to questions of exact science, math or geometric, from school. If you have many solutions, or too many ways to solve them, they are pointless. > I asked because I wanted to ponder this very point: Is the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra (unique factorization) less fundamental because Gauss (right in the original paper nonetheless) gave a number of proofs of it? Probably not. In fact, mathematics values greatly new proofs of known results.

A different facet of things is to ponder what we realy mean by the term <unique solution>: Same sequence of moves? Same set of moves? Same key features or motives? At a certain level of abstraction, all variations of this combination (that I found) are based on one and the same set of features: (1) weakness of the a8-h1 diagonal, (2) weakness of the e1-h4 diagonal, (3) move g6-g5, and (4) at least one of the weaknesses of the diagonals a7-g1 and b8-h2. Now these weaknessess can be utilized in several different orders, but does that necessarily constitute a different solution? Clearly yes, in some sense, but not necessarily in all.

<... Puzzles like today's are the same, because after all, what is the challenge of finding the best way to win if you do it almost anyway?> Well, a tough challenge may be to find a win that utilizes a proper subset, of cardinality 3 or fewer, from the set of 5 key features I give above.

A third aspect of this uniqueness question -- one that repeatedly bugs me -- is a cognitive psychology aspect: Why is it that seeing one resolution of the puzzle obscures from us the other patterns? I saw the Be5+ almost immediately and it blinded me to the Bd4 alternative ... untill somebody mentioned the oposite problem.

To cut this note short, I should abandon here my list (yes, there is more). But, while writing this, I recalled a piece of american native visdom. It seems relevant, so here it goes: <While there is a dozzen good ways to start a camp fire, there are thousands of bad ways.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <dudley> I agree with your general statement <The point of these puzzles is finding the quickest most forcing win, not just to find any move that wins> but I don't think it applies here. As the lines quoted above demonstrate, 32...Bd4 is as forcing as ...Be5+, and it is a stronger move (just as, per <DWINS>, after 32...Be5+ 33 f4, 33...Bd4 is as forcing AND stronger than 33...Bxf4+). (I came up with 32...Be5+ 33 f4 Bxf4+ -- in other words I didn't see 32...Bd4 or 33...Bd4. I would be a stronger player if I had.)
Aug-03-05  who: I think the problem is in chess after a certain point there are no stronger moves. If I all the opponent has is a king, it's an easy way to mate if I have two pawns (generally), three pawns, four pawns..., a bishop and knight, two bishops, a rook, a queen etc.. So what's it mean to look for a stronger move. Winning a piece in this position is easy, the queen trade can be trivially forced after that, picking up/blocking the enemy pawns and promoting one of yours is obvious. So even if the win will take another 40 moves, there won't be a position where you have any doubt of winning. That's as good as having a rook against a lone king. I might not be able to tell you mate in X, but I will have no problem forcing the mate.
Aug-03-05  erimiro1: <Gypsy> You went too far, I think. We try to solve the puzzles by 2 steps: 1. Based on our experience, and our abilities to "feel" the game, we try to "guess" the solution, without checking the position too deeply (it works more than once, and when it does, the solution comes out within seconds) 2. When the first step doesn't work, we try to use our knowledge and analytical abillities, for a deeper examination of the position. But this is not enough. You can find the basic idea , like you did, but you also have to keep the moves on the right order. So you have to add also a third step: calculation. Every step of the 3 contains a challenge of itself, and if, like now, something is missing, the puzzle is worthless.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <erimiro1: ... Every step of the 3 contains a challenge of itself, and if, like now, something is missing ...> An interesting position and, I guess, the one taken by the artificial composition crowd. I am just thinking about its limits, benefits, but also limitating factors in the context of the OTB side of chess. The composition guys certainly know a lot about creativity! But, to keep things in perspective, I like to also keep in mind that they also consider it a great blight if a puzzle starts with a check -- a something of an artificial constraint for OTB.

<...and if, like now, something is missing, the puzzle is worthless.> Again a valid point of view. But too harsh from my perspective. To me, the principal variation (for instance) of the combo -- 32...Be5+ 33.Qxe5 Qh1+ 34.Kg3 Qg2+ 35.Kh4 Qxf2+ 36.Qg3 g5+ 37.Bxg5 hxg5+ 38.Kxg5 Qxg3 -- is both, instructive and beautiful. A great chess!

Aug-03-05  zb2cr: For those who wonder about the final position:

White's forced to move 36. ♔h4. Then 36. ... ♕e1+; 37. ♕g3, g5+; 38. ♗xg5, hxg5; 39. ♔xg5, ♕xg3.

If instead 38. ♔h5, ♕xg3; 39. ♔xh6, ♕xh3+; 40. ♔xg5, ♕e3+ and now if White tries to protect his Bishop with 41. ♔f6, then 41. ... ♕f4#.

Aug-03-05  YouRang: I didn't "get" this puzzle, if getting it means finding 32...Be5.

But I found 32... g5, which seals off the white king's escape squares (f4 and h4), thus making the upcoming queen attack seem nearly irresistable.

Aug-03-05  patzer2: Today's puzzle solution 32...Be5! is a good illustration of the deflection (via removing the guard) tactic.

Note the importance of the key followup deflection 35...Qg1!, which permits 36. Qh4 Qe1+! 37. Qf2 g5+ 38. Bxg5 hxg5+ 39. Kxg5 Qxf2 (removing the guarding King and picking off the Queen).

A similar Black deflection tactic follows if White plays 33. Qxe5.

Aug-03-05  ckr: I would have played

32...Qh1+ 33.Kg3 g5 (blocking the kings flight squares, threatening mate by 34.Qg2#. After which crafty starts throwing pieces away 34.Bxf7+ Kxf7 35.Bxg5 hxg5

Seems more direct to me than looking for a mate 10 moves out.

Aug-03-05  ckr: <YouRang> I also considered 32...g5, but took the check first as white has but one response.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The sequel is ugly for the first player:36 ♔h4 ♕e1+ 37 ♕g3 g5+ 38 ♗xg5 hxg5+ 39 ♔xg5 ♕xg3 and mate follows soon-but not soon enough for Zuchy
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