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Heinz Wirthensohn vs Veselin Topalov
Altensteig (1990), Altensteig FRG, rd 4, Jul-??
Zukertort Opening: Dutch Variation (A04)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-11-14  EIDorado: Failed to count the pieces too!
Mar-11-14  dfcx: looked at the back rank and realized 27. Bxd5 wins the knight and the rook at g7.

27. Bxd5
a) 27...Bxd5?? 28 Rd8#
b) 27...B moves 28 Bxg7
c) 27...R at g7 moves 28 Bxc6

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a pawn for a knight.

Black threatens 27... e6 to unpin the knight.

Black's lsb protects the knight. This suggests 27.Rxc6. However, that bishop prevents 27.Rc8# and this detail invites to play 27.Bxd5:

A) 27... Bxd5 28.Rc8#.

B) 27... Rf5 28.Bxc6 Bxd4 29.Be4 Rf6 30.Bxg5 + - [B+P].

C) 27... Bd7 28.Bxf7 (28.Rc7 e6) 28... Kxf7 29.Rc7 Ke8 30.Rxa7 Bxd4 31.Bxg5 + - [R+P vs B].

D) 27... Bb7 28.Bxb7 Rxb7 29.Rc8#.

Mar-11-14  morfishine: White is down a piece with a winning position

<27.Bxd5> recovering the piece 27...Bd7 (If 27...Bxd5?? Rc8#; or 27...Bb7?? 28.Bxb7 White has won a piece) 28.Bxf7 Kxf7 29.Rc7 Bf5 30.Bxg5 Bf6 31.Bxf6 Kxf6 32.Rxa7 and Black is down an exchange with a position fast melting away

*Note: 27.Rxc6 looks tempting, but after 27...Rxc6 28.Bxd5 Rc2 29.Bxf7 Rxd2 30.Bxg6 Bxd4 Black can draw due to the opposite-colored Bishops


Mar-11-14  zb2cr: White's a piece down, but he regains it and more with 27. Bxd5. Black can't retake with 27. ... Bxd5 due to 28. Rc8#. Now Black must lose the exchange by 27. ... Bd7; 28. Bxf7, Kxf7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Count me among those who might have played 27. Rxc6 in a blitz game.

However, the fact this was a puzzle made me realize there must be something better.

So, I looked at 27. Bxd5! With the dual threat of a back rank mate or the win of the exchange, white wins easily.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: just failed :(
Mar-11-14  PJs Studio: One has to notice the kings lack of mobility before noticing the win of a piece. OTB we all would see it. But In a puzzle rated "Easy"?
Mar-11-14  Coriolis: In "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, the human mind has two systems (apologies for inaccuracies): System 1 is intuitive, rapid and jumps to conclusions. It is often correct, but not always. System 2 is careful and analytical and will check System 1's assumptions thoroughly. Unfortunately system 2 (or possibly it's owner, the person?) is typically incredibly lazy and will usually let system 1 make decisions. For anyone (eg: myself) who settled for Rxc6, "problem solved", "done and dusted", I would say this puzzle is a text book example of the theory.
Mar-11-14  schachfuchs: Oh, what a disaster for Topalov!
On the first quick look, I thought he was playing white and Wirthensohn set up this awful back rank mating position... ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 2/2 this week, as I saw this one right away.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: That's a sneaky little Tuesday. The answer looks for all the world to be 27. Rxc6 until you start to calculate 27...Bxd5 Rc2

And that is when someone in your party of brave adventurers says ... "Hm. I'm not sure we're on the right path. Maybe we should have turned left instead of right at that last fork in the road."

Look again and find 27. Bxd5 - the bishop being immune because of the threat of a back rank mate. White wins at least the exchange as the black Rf7 just has to stand there and take a kicking.

Fun. Tricksy, but definitely fun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I imagine that last move had a shocking effect on the young Topa. Would have liked to see the look on his face!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The bishop cannot move and must be lost.
Mar-11-14  Ratt Boy: Yeah, count me among those who looked first at 27.♖xc6. The Black ♖ and ♗ do get activity after 27...♖xc6 28.♗xd5, ♖c2 29.♗xf7, ♖xd2 30.♗xg6, ♗xd4—even material, and if anything, Black is better.

Looked away for a bit, came back and found the ♗xd5 shot. Topalov's subsequent resignation looks like the right move.

Mar-11-14  MountainMatt: Simple and cute - 27. Bxd5! wins the exchange, because if 27...Bxd5?? 28. Rc8#
Mar-11-14  psmith: So I fell for Rxc6 too... In a game I would I think have realized I was a piece down.

Topalov was 14 or 15 when this game was played... already an IM.

Mar-11-14  M.Hassan: "Easy"
White to play 27.?
White is down. Has a pawn for a Knight.

<if....Bxd5 28.Rc8#>

Now White is up by a Bishop and a pawn.

Mar-11-14  StevieB: My first thought was

27. b5

but then 27...Bb7 prevents 28. Rc8 for mate.

Suddenly, there it was 27.Bxd5! gaining a piece.

Ahh yes, the Eureka moment that makes chess so much fun.

Mar-11-14  goodevans: For a future World Champion to be on the wrong end of a Tuesday puzzle is a little ignominious, even if he was just a young IM at the time.
Mar-11-14  Marmot PFL: I see, Toaplov was only 15, otherwise 26...Bxc6? would be one of the worst blunders by a WC (even if only FIDE WC).
Mar-11-14  Whitehat1963: Took me a couple of minutes, but I finally found the back-rank mate threat and free pieces.
Mar-11-14  BOSTER: I'd say this is a perfidy what overprotected
pawn e7 ( knight d5. rook f7 , king f8 ) showed ,
because she had to stay home even after 20 (moves).

The exit for black king was closed.

Mar-11-14  HowDoesTheHorsieMove: Yay! I counted the pieces and found the right solution.

It took a while, though.

Mar-11-14  Mendrys: Sort of ironic that so many people fell for 27 Rxc6, I certainly latched onto this when I first looked at the puzzle, which is likely what Topalov expected when he played 26...Bxc6 instead of the better 26...Rxc6. Taking a piece while forking both rooks is so irrepressible.
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