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Gyula Sax vs Jan Smejkal
Vrbas (1977), Vrbas YUG, rd 7, May-??
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit. Advance Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-06-14  abuzic: 1) <39.Rg4?> dosen't 39.Qxh6+ Qh7 (39...Kg8 40.Rg4+ Qg7 41.Qxg7#> 40.e7 win? Yes it does.

2) <39...Qf8?> 39...Qc7+ 40.g3 Rd2+ 41.Kh3 Rh2+ 42.Kxh2 Ra2+ 43.Kh3 Rh2+ 44.Kxh2 Qxg3+ 45.Kxg3 or 45...Rxg3 stalemate (if 45.Kh1 Qh2+ Kxh2stalemate).

Sep-06-14  gofer: Ahhh, okay, this is a "find the defense" POTD. White threatens two mates that are not easy to combat and a draw is going to be hard to find...

1 Qg8#

1 Qxh6+ Qh7 2 Qxf6+ Qg7 3 Qxg7#

The obvious defense fails as we have no way to sacrifice the black queen!

39 ... Qc7+
40 g3 Rd2+
41 Kh3 Rxg3?
42 Rxg3

The next obvious defense seems to fail

39 ... Qf8?
40 e7! ...

But what happens if we combine the two!!!?

<39 ... Qf8>
<40 e7 Qb8+!>

Now we have a route for the queen to give check and keep tempo on the white king!

<41 g3 Rd2+>
<42 Kh3 Rh2+!>
<43 Kxh2 Ra2+>
<44 Kh3+ Rh2+!>
<45 Kxh2 Qb2+!>
<46 Kh3/Kh1/Kg1 Qh2+/Qh2+/Qg2+>

click for larger view

<47 Kxh27/Kxh2/Kxg2 STALEMATE>

A nice swindle!

I wonder how many smeegal references we are going to see...



I can't see the draw with Qc7+ as per the annotation, but I can see it with the main continuation which was a loss???!!!!

The black king is in stalemate, if we take the 2R and Q off the board, so all we have to do is "take the 2R and Q off the board", this sort of problem is "quite a normal one" for chess puzzles...

What am I missing?

Sep-06-14  Smothered Mate: @gofer: What you're missing is 41. Rg3.

With 41. g3, black can still force a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <gofer> Today's puzzle is one where one of the players missed the best continuation. You got it right with 39...Qc7+. In the game black went wrong with 39...Qf8 and soon had to resign.

It wasn't too hard to find the main idea. We are close to being mated so we need to find something that defends against the mate threat or gives a mate of our own.

Defending against the mate seems impossible. We can't hold both h6 and f6. 39...Qf8 allows 40. e7.

So we are looking for either a mating attack of our own or a stalemate. And either way that means prising the white king out into the open. I tried Rh3+ and Qd6+ before hitting on Qc7+.

Not too hard for a Saturday.

Fun puzzle.

Sep-06-14  gofer: <Once>: I don't think I am missing quite what you think I am. After 39 Qf8 e7 39 Qb8+ 41 g3 the stalemate I found <IS> available, but Smejkal didn't see it! But what I did miss is that 41 Rg3 is now a win for white! Thanks <Smothered Mate>!

So "Null Point" today...

Sep-06-14  Smothered Mate: <gofer>: Actually, I'm far from convinced that 41. Rg3 is a win for white.


41. ... Qxg3+ 42. Qxg3 Rxg3 43. e8=Q+
or 41. ... Rxg3 42. e8=Q+ Qxe8 43. Qxe8+

followed by 43. ... Rg8 , one gets the position

click for larger view

for which my engine's evaluation is holding steady, which convinces me that it doesn't see a way to promote the c pawn or make any other progress.

Sep-06-14  Refused: white has several mating threats, which can't be dealt with in a conventional manner.

e.g. Ra8 prevents Qg8 and the Qxh6+ - Qf8+ - Qxg8# sequence, but leaves that leaves white with Qxh6+ - Qxf6 - Qxg7#

So that means we have to try to look for more aggressive solutions.

39...Qc7+ only solution to the problems I see.

a) 40.Kg1 Rd1+ here white gets mated 41.Kf2 Rd2+ 42.Ke1 Qe5+ 43.Kxd2 Qb2+ 44.Kc1 Ra1# b) 40.Rg3 Qxg3+
c) 40.g3 now this is getting tricky
c1)40...Qxg3+ 41.Rxg3 Rxg3+ 42.Qxg3
c2)40...Rxg3 41.Rxg3 Rh2+ is also not working
c3)40...Rh2+ 41.Kxh2 Ra2+ now.
c3a) 42.Kh3 Rh2+ 43.Kxh2 Qxg3+ 44.Kh1 Qg2+ stalemate c3b) 42.Kh1 Rh2+ 43.Kg1 (Kxh2 transposes into the line above) 43...Qxg3+! 44.Rxg3 Rg2 45.Kf1 Rf2+ gotta love the crazy rook motif.

editorial note for c3a) 42.Kh3 Qxg3+ seems to hold, too. 43.Kxg3 Rg2+ 44.Kf3 Rg3+ 45.Ke4 Re3+ 46.Kd4 Re4+ etc. 43.Rxg4 Rh2+ 44.Kg4 Rh4+ 45.Kf3 Rf4+ etc. Black must simply avoid that white King gets to a5. so checks from the 4th rank look like the smartest choice.

Sep-06-14  Prosperus: 39...Qc7+! draws by stalemate

40. Kh1?? Ra1/Rd1#

40. Kg1? Rd1+ 41. Kf2 Ra2+ 42. Ke3 (42. Kf3 Ra3+ 43. Ke2 Qe5+ 44. Kxd1 Qa1+ ) Qe5+ 43. Re4 (43. Kf3 Rd3#) Qc3+ 44. Kf4 Rf1+ 45. Kg4 Qf3+ 46. Kh4 Rh1#

40. g3! ...

Sep-06-14  whiteshark: There's a time gap between two comments that allow me to post this link:
Sep-06-14  agb2002: Black has a rook for two pawns.

White threatens 40.Qg8# and 40.Qxh6+ and mate in two.

Black can try to achieve either perpetual or stalemate (the passive defense 39... Qf8 loses to 40.e7).

One possibility is to get rid of the queen and rook with 39... Qd6+ 40.cxd6 Rh3+ 41.Kxh3 Rd3+ 42.Rg3 Rxg3+ but after 43.Qxg3 Black is lost.

This suggests 39... Qc7+ instead (39... Rh3+ 40.Kxh3 Rd3+ 41.g3 + -):

A) 40.Rg3 Qxg3+ wins.

B) 40.g3 Rd2+ 41.Kh3 (41.Kg(h)1 Ra1#) 41... Rh2+ 42.Kxh2 Ra2+

B.1) 43.Kh3 Rh2+ 44.Kxh2 Qxg3+ and stalemate or perpetual along the third rank.

B.2) 43.Kg1 Qxg3+ 44.Rxg3 (else mate next) 44... Rg2+ and stalemate or perpetual along the second rank.

B.3) 43.Kh1 Rh2+ 44.Kg1 (44.Kxh2 Qxg3+ transposes to B.1) 44... Qxg3+ 45.Rxg3 Rg2 transposes to B.2.

C) 40.Kh1 Rd1#.

D) 40.Kg1 Rd1+ 41.Kf2 Rd2+ 42.Ke1 (else 42... Ra1#) 42... Qe5+ 43.Re4 (43.Kxd2 Qb2+ and 44... Ra1#) 43... Qa1+ 44.Kxd2 Qb2+ and 45... Ra1#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I must have misinterepted the puzzle, as black is up a rook for 2 pawns, so I was trying to play for a win. Unfortunately, 39...Rd8 wouldn't work (which is what I would've played) due to 40.Qxh6+ Qh7 41.Qxf6+ Qg7 41.Qxg7# 1-0.
Sep-06-14  kevin86: I was on the right track, but took the wrong train. I was for Rh3+ oops.
Sep-06-14  Vinod S U: even after 41.g3 there is a draw here,, black should not have resigned!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Yes, black still has a draw after 41 g3, by checking with any of the 3 major pieces.

Earlier, as <abuzic> stated, white missed a forced mate starting with 39 Qxh6+, seeing 39...Qh7 40 e7.

click for larger view

Sep-06-14  DanielBryant: I saw the idea but went about it wrong. I went for the immediate check on c7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Tag along allow g6 round h6 at gives a dank and,

dusty hoofed heaven hunts h6 a key to fish around g7 stay in place hordes heffa h6 a lump huff effectively rich affront is off he goes the two front gauge got almighty 38...Ra7 grow ever a veer of fate in a7 the palm of his hand you think leg over and up a toe good ramble give rascals in flight rampings up amongst arrive alright raiding a raggled band rag lose your source of trouble of g3 cage any og hurt jibs in safe got ramp rook eg face off at dance a7 gave flight give feel again either at get fancy leg de frag camoflague accents on light to prove hand a break through amongst a bridge g7 aim f4 good for victory accost and accrued by design as mace in the face camp in a7 collates over the storm abide h6 a mack daddy h6 dead coma black by abracadabra still in it goof alive h6 target ado clack click match in strike a clavicle fracture stern um pace at a7 heuristic it watch over batch in viced aim garrelous 39...Qc7+ steps up itching in switch inch a good heels over board it ardent in act he eh heave ho hent ever ebullient hope in eh etch escape have hell to pay in leash eg ai shows cheetah f8 too slow and back as c7 a cake for cheer all around c7 ok cinch ay wire difficult to forsee ciao for now it's good i clock over again croak ok clinch i sock rock in case i crock of on wealth c7 hang escry i changes the picture king gets booted from pllar to post rooks in a3 an d5 cuples crammed ive for curtins up creeped around clanger chugger up tour cuff to give cog flog face to gain flinch toggle struggle fact rooks at calf to gain black bull as heave f8 again cab cub b8 bad call at g3 press bag call blink black gift of the gab call back cab again baulk,

crossed f8 balaclave mask over ash f8 lab black special effect safe got extricate in line c7 hilly and cold reason equal man child again linch h6 a pin a7 co ladder f8 gives away only chance although as returns aim favoured 38...Qf8 these moments hear ever he seem have in heat jocular fatefuls fervious form floating fan dangle chief fanciful officer f8 as tend patrol ock i stock off hog roast affabled hug ever hoof a fag huff agile off gush enough to fly rough to force fob off in face bind babe in the woods g6 a foilable mission it brave in bow food for thought fish around fountain of you tune call folly up arm bog off a feeble give spark h6 our bane feed door 40.g3 black at rooks come d5 own in a3 jail get out clause queen follows f8 to arrive around lane e5 and king is stalemated at a chief in h8 up low an e1 chuck the kitchen sink in switch h8 above g6 inch a ford 40.e7 Qb8+ counting down at reala,

leap draw a line in the sand at sixes and sevens until now yes a rids hire soppy g6 a quest rused held referral fine on file g as plans more see a fog da dip a vend in eg do good feet aped halt slim man pop a3 fat good cuffs eg ment quarter b8 all band fond... duet mint oke doke d5 a toe us la ship pens cap again mint joy bold dine bad tock b8 sling red off tads no for quad a rook as g3 pair of a3 children mash tier a g6 im palms life hairy,

ancy finger c7 man do pot queen in b8 bold em a beautiful one final strike mall i ship a bib bade hula h6 am dote join clock dally creds he reap a fees x 41.g3 again draw it is ok in by over throwing material at king hunt down a 41.Rg3 light wins at due in effect e7 can promote after am g8 grab in at g3 rook queen g6 swap off rook g8 covered e8 check c6 mops up pawns start falling like ripe plume in bade tickle e7 as tender e8 victor have!

Sep-06-14  M.Hassan: Black has a Rook for two pawns. The following includes my move as well as receiving help from Chessmaster

40.e7 Qb8+

<if 41.g3 Rd2+ 42.Kh3 Rh2+ 43.Kxh2 Ra2+ 44.Kh3 Rh2+ 45.Kxh2 Qxg3+ 46.Rxg3 Draw by stalemate>

41.Rg3 Rxg3
42.e8=Q+ Qxe8
43.Qxe8+ Rg8
44.Qe6 Rf8
45.Kh3 Rxc5
And this may be long before a clear advantage is seen or may be drawn. I don't know

Jan-14-16  Howard: Just looked at the Informant the other day, and it gave 41.g3?? as a blunder...but then White immediately won ! Couldn't figure out why until reading these comments---so Black resigned in a drawn position.

Thanks for the help here!

May-22-16  Smothered Mate: Analysis by Stockfish of the Final Part of this Game:

Up to 32 ply, but no longer at 33 and 34 ply, ​ 36. ... Rdd3 ​ gives a negative eval, so after Rdd3 it seemingly should be _white_ who needs to play fairly-well to draw. ​ ​ ​ Nothing else gave a negative eval at any decent depth. ​ ​ ​ Lots of moves were such that they evaluated to [+0.00] at every decent depth, and Rdd3 also evaluated to [+0.00] at depth 33 and 34.

At 35 ply, in addition to the played ​ 37. Qg6 , ​ Qf2,Qg4,Qf4 also give a [+0.00] eval.

At 32 ply, ​ 37. ... Rg8 ​ and ​ 37. ... Raa8 ​ both give a [+0.00] eval. ​ ​ ​ Rg8 was doing that at every decent depth; Raa8 only started that at 31 ply.

At 31 ply, ​ 38. Bxh6 ​ evaluates as by-far the best. ​ ​ ​ The lines it evaluates as next-best are ​ Bmove Ra8 Bxh6 .

At 31 ply, ​ 38. ... Ra7 ​ evaluates as best, and Kg8 evaluates as unique-_next_-best.

39. Qxh6+ ​ mates in 8, with main line ​ ​ ​ 39. ... Qh7 ​ 40. e7 Rh3+ ​ 41. gxh3 Rd2+ ​ 42. Qxd2 ​ . ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ 39. g3 ​ evaluates as unique-_next_-best.

As the annotation says, ​ 39. ... Qc7+ ​ draws. ​ ​ ​ Qf8 is unique-_next_-best.

At 27 ply, ​ 40. e7 ​ evaluates as by-far the best. ​ ​ ​ g3 evaluates as unique-_next_-best, but its evaluation favors _black_ much more than the current evaluation favors _white_.

40. ... Qb8+ ​ is the only move that doesn't result in white winning with mate-in-at-most-. ​ ​ ​ Rh3+ is unique-_next_-best, with main line ​ 41. Kxh3 Rd3+ .

41. Rg3 ​ gives white significant winning chances. ​ ​ ​ g3 is unique-_next_-best, and lets black draw by stalemate as in the puzzle.

Now, to essentially-repeat and then significantly expand on my previous comment here:


41. ... Rxg3 ​ 42. e8=Q+ Qxe8 ​ 43. Qxe8+ or ​ ​ ​
41. ... Qxg3+ ​ 42. Qxg3 Rxg3 ​ 43. e8=Q+

followed by ​ 43. ... Rg8 , ​ one gets the position

click for larger view

. ​ ​ ​ In that position, Qxc6 immediately would allow Rxf5 attacking h5, which will, one might say, be difficult to defend. ​ Accordingly, at 31 ply, Stockfish evaluates Qe6 (threatening f6), as by-far the best. ​ After Qe6, at 28 ply, Stockfish evaluates Rf8 (defending f6) as by-far the best. ​ _Now_, with the rook no longer attacking g4, Stockfish evaluates Qxc6 as unique-best at 32 ply. ​ That yields the position

click for larger view

. ​ ​ ​ In _that_ position, black obviously needs to do something about the attacked Rd5. ​ At 35 ply, Stockfish evaluates Rxf5 (eval +2.06) as unique-best, with Rdd8 and Re5 as the two next-best moves (eval +2.18). ​ The reason Rxf5 isn't obviously much better is it lets white fiarly-easily use g6, both for Qg6 threatening h6, and for Kg6 threatening both h6 as well as possibly Q_7#.

I haven't tried playing this out, but I believe the defensive strategy "double the rooks on black's own 7th or 8th and then just shuffle the non-f-file rook" would lose to either [the c-pawn being pushed while supported by both K&Q forcing black to exchange the rooks for the Q&P] or [white sacing the Q for an R, in turn forcing black to sac the remaining rook for the c-pawn], giving white a won pawn ending.

Accordingly, consider Rxf5. ​ At 32 ply, Stockfish evaluates g4 as unique-best for white. ​ That gives the position

click for larger view

. ​ ​ ​ From there, at 36 ply, Stockfish's top two lines correspond to two different strategies:

(+2.10) Rg5, attacking g4 and preparing to double on black's own 7th

(+2.34) Rf2+ Rc2, so black can check horizontally and the c-pawn will remain under attack even after that pawn moves


Should white win?

May-22-16  Howard: Looks like Sax may have had a bit more than his share of luck back in the 1970's.....after all, a lot of us no doubt know about a certain 1975 endgame he had which he won the same way he did in this one----his opponent resigned in a drawn position!

No need to say which 1975 game to which I'm referring......

May-22-16  Smothered Mate: (In my previous comment,
"mate-in-at-most-." should have been "mate-in-at-most-5.".)
Jul-03-18  Retireborn: <Howard> What was the other game you refer to, have no idea what is?
Jul-06-18  Howard: Oh, that was that "elementary" rook ending against the late Tseshkovsky in 1975. It was R +P vs R, but....the latter resigned in a drawn position.

That ending, in fact, appears in at least a few books on endgames--very well known.

Jul-06-18  Retireborn: <Howard> Thanks.
Jul-07-18  Howard: No problem---you'll find my usual fee on your next credit card statement.
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