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Klaus Wockenfuss vs Jan Timman
Bad Lauterberg (1977), Bad Lauterberg FRG, rd 5, Mar-10
Indian Game: General (A45)  ·  0-1



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sac: 20...Bxc2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-25-03  AussiePatzer: The inferior 20...Qc3 also wins due to the double threat of Qxc2+ and Qxd4. For example:

20...Qc3 21.Bd3 b3 22.Ra4 Rc8 23.axb3 Bxd3 (24.cxd3?? Qxb3+ 25.Ka1 Qxa4+ 26.Kb1 Qb3+ 27.Ka1 Ra8+ 28.Qa6 Rxa6#)

I'm afraid to say that the position after white's 20th cannot be called a puzzle. A chess puzzle is a position with only one solution.

Jul-25-03  kevin86: I beg to differ:you,yourself call the (second solution) "inferior". I don't think it's a question of black winning but of black making the best path to winning. A strict adherence to your definition of a puzzle is that black only has one path to victory-ALL others lead to loss or draw. This is clearly neither the intention nor the case here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: Maybe thats true when you present a composition. This game is not the only one with two possible solutions...
Jul-25-03  BrandonIke: puzzles are theoretical, in addition to proposing the best candidate move, you are also assuming your OPPONENT will react in accordance to the combination and resulting endplay with an indefinite time restriction.

Yet, other interposing factors during real-time gameplay can alter the intended goal. In a blindfold game or blitz game, where your time is running out, you would possibly LOSE taking the alternative rook capture, because it would subsequently take more moves to win the game.

Or perhaps white would not even accept the bishop sacrifice, and the game would extend even longer, even though black has a superior position to "win" the game.

Your talk of one solution must necessarily be effected for every single puzzle is an absurd notion considering chess is mathematically infinite with more possibilities of movements than the number of atoms in the visibile universe as computed by statisticians for various respected chess periodicals online.

Jul-25-03  fred lennox: With 20...Qc3 21 Bb3 is prefered to Bd3
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Aussie, I know what you are saying about chess puzzles but look at it from's point of view. These aren't compositions, these are real games!! They can't just add a pawn somewhere to prevent a certain variation, they have to use what actual occured in real play. When one side has a winning advantage and needs to "cash in" sometimes there is only one way to get the job done, but more frequently there are alternative avenues of approach.

I'm just afraid that if they raise the bar to what you are asking for, we'll have to settle for the puzzle-of-the-week (like it was in the old days here!) And I'm sure nobody wants that.

Jul-25-03  Elrathia Kingi: My analysis here is not deep, but I don't think 20...Qc3 works. 21.♕c7 ♕xd4 22.d6 ♗e6 23.♗xe6 fxe6 24.♕xb7 ♕d5 25.♕e7 ♕xa2+ 26.♔c1 ♕a1+ 27.♔d2 ♕xh1 28.♕xe6+ ♔f8 29.♕e7+ 30.d7. The black ♕ can chase the ♔ around for awhile, and the ♖ can get involved, but d8=♕ or ♕e8 both result in mate. I think that if white is careful, it can be a win.
Jul-25-03  kevin86: Can we call it a quiz? The strictest definition goes for "studies",they fit my definition above-one solution or no win. More than one solution in a study is a major flaw;like falling from the balance beam.
Jul-25-03  nateinstein: Bxc2+ really is the only good move to go on, allowing for either Qc3+ Qxd4 after, or just as the text suggests, b3 to win the queen. Qc3 could be played but is passive. The purpose is a quick hit, not a long haul. Besides as jaime put it, a puzzle can have more than just 1 solution, but its the best one you ought to look for. As Larsen put if, if you find a good move, wait, and look for a better one.
Aug-07-03  AussiePatzer: Sneaky, I agree. In fact I actually prefer these type of "puzzles" to the arcane compostions with only one known solution, as they are clearly a better exercise for over the board play. I just thought I'd point out that they aren't what I believed "chess puzzles" to be. Of course different people may define the the term differently. Perhaps I am thinking of a "chess problem".

BrandonIke, I disagree. You wrote:

"Your talk of one solution must necessarily be effected for every single puzzle is an absurd notion considering chess is mathematically infinite with more possibilities of movements than the number of atoms in the visibile universe as computed by statisticians for various respected chess periodicals online."

If we had an infinitely fast computer with infinite storage capacity we could classify any position as either 1-0, 0-1 or 1/2-1/2, assuming best play. We don't have one however, so in fact we can only classify as 1-0, 0-1, 1/2-1/2 or "unknown", for non-forceable positions. Of course, a chess player's main task is to assign a heuristic evaluation to these "unknown" cases. Nonetheless, those cases that we can give a perfect evaluation to all moves (ie. 1-0, 0-1, 1/2-1/2) where only one is "1-0" are the "proven white to move and win puzzles" in my sense of the word puzzle. So there are certainly provably "unflawed" puzzles in spite of the very large number of chess positions.

In truth I haven't proven that it isn't a real puzzle/problem/whatever, but rather found a line that suggests that there probably are multiple solutions.

Aug-07-03  AussiePatzer: Elrathia Kingi: 20...Qc3 21. Qc7?? Qxc2+ mates
Aug-13-03  drukenknight: was 16...Bxd5 more prudent?
Aug-13-03  xu fei: <drukenknight> If you mean 15...Bxd5, what about 15...Bxd5 16.exd5 Qc3 17.Ne2 Qc8 18.Nxd4?
Oct-24-07  syracrophy: <AussiePatzer> In a puzzle, the idea is to find the "solution that wins, but also, the solution that wins faster", so, without more discussion, 20...♗xc2+ is the best line and the answer to the puzzle <BLACK TO PLAY 20...?>
Oct-24-07  whiteshark: Where's the improvement for white in this opening ?

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