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Bergell / Neumann vs Victor Knorre / Cordel
Berlin (1865), Berlin GER, Jun-17
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Compromised Defense (C52)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-26-08  whiteshark: I can't imagine what Knoore and Cordel discussed before moving <11...b6>.

Jun-29-08  sneaky pete: They said to each other: If Steinitz plays 11... b6 (Taylor vs Steinitz, 1865) it can't be all bad.

The real mistake is 13... fxe6. After 13... 0-0 14.exf7+ Nxf7 it's not clear who is better. Black might also have tried the Steinitzian 12... Nd8.

They were also discussing Victor Knorre 's imminent name change.

Feb-20-14  thomastonk: I've added the date from this source: NBSz, 1865, p. 111.

<sneaky pete: They said to each other: If Steinitz plays 11... b6 (Taylor vs Steinitz, 1865) it can't be all bad.> Bachmann gives J O H Taylor vs Steinitz, 1865 as played in summer 1865. In 1889, Taylor wrote that another one, J O H Taylor vs Steinitz, 1865, has been published on June 17, 1865 in the ILN. Moreover, he adds: "Played at the Divan shortly after the Great Master began to reside in England."

So, the order of these games is still open.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 15...Qf6 16. Qxc6+ Kf7 17. Qxa8 Qxa1, and if 18. Bxh6 then 18...Qc3. Black is up two ♙s.

My move was 14. Bxe6.

Jan-28-15  dfcx: <al wazir: 15...Qf6 16. Qxc6+ Kf7 17. Qxa8 Qxa1, and if 18. Bxh6 then 18...Qc3. Black is up two ♙s.>

White can follow with 19.Qf3+ up B to 2 pawns.

Even better for white is 17.Bxh6! and black can't save the rook

17...Rb1? 18.Qxc7+
17...Bb7 18.Qxc7+ Qe7 19.Rac1

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and three pawns.

The d-pawn is overburdened with the protection of the knight on c6 and the pawn on e6. This invites to play 14.Nxe6:

A) 14... dxe6 15.Bd3 Qf6 (if, say, 15... Qf7 16.Qxc6+ and 17.Qxa8 + -) 16.Qxc6+

A.1) 16... Kd8(e7) 17.Qxa8 + - (17... Qxa1 loses the queen to 18.Bg5+).

A.2) 16... Kf7(8) 17.Bxh6 wins decisive material (17... (g)Qxh6 18.Qxa8; 17... Rb8 18.Qxc7+ and 19.Qxb8; 17... Ba6 18.Bxa6).

A.3) 16... Bd7 17.Qxa8+ Kf7 18.Qxh8 Qxa1 19.Bxh6 is a massacre.

B) 14... Qf6 15.Nxg7+ Ke7 16.Re1+ Ne5 (else loses the queen) 17.Rxe5+

B.1) 17... Kd8 18.Re8+ Rxe8 19.Qxf6+ wins.

B.2) 17... Kd6 18.Ba3+ Kc6 19.Bd5+ Kb5 20.Qc4+ Ka4 21.Bc3+ Ka3 22.Qb4#.

B.3) 17... Kf8 18.Rf5 wins the queen (18... Qxf5 19.Nxf5; 18... Nxf5 19.Qxf6#).

C) 14... Ke7 15.Bg5+ wins (15... Kf7 16.Nf4+; 15... Kd6 16.Rfd1+, etc.).

D) 14... Bb7 15.Nxc7+ Kd8 16.Nxa8 and White has an exchange for a pawn and the better position. Black counterchances against the white king are insufficient. For example, 16... Ne5 17.f3 Nxc4 18.Qxc4 Bxa8 19.Bf4 Bc6 20.Rad1 + -.

Jan-28-15  gofer: We have a couple of choices;

A) try to win a pawn and Ra8 via route 1; Bxe6
B) try to win a pawn and Ra8 via route 2; Nxe6

Ah! So that makes things easier, because I actually much prefer route 2.

<14 Nxe6 ...>

This ticks far more boxes than 14 Bxe6

a) Threats of Nxc7+ and Nxg7+
b) Keeping Ke8 on either e8 or e7 as Kf7 (and O-O) loses to Nf4+ c) It opens up the possibility of a combination starting with Bxh6 forcing Qxh6

But more importantly than all these the knight is immune.

14 ... dxe6
15 Bd3! Qf6/Qh5/Qf7
16 Qxc6+ any move
17 Qxh8

So what can Black do after Nxe6 that doesn't lose immediately???

I can's see anything!!!


<al wazir: 15...Qf6 16. Qxc6+> and <dfcx>...

15 ... Qf6???
16 Nxg7+ ...

click for larger view

Who cares about a couple of pawns???

Black loses everything trying to hold onto its queen...

Jan-28-15  Abdel Irada: <al wazir: My move was 14. Bxe6.>

I also liked that move at first glance.

But Black appears to escape after 14. ...Bb7!, when his king soon finds safety on the queenside. White can keep him from castling with 15. Bxd7+?!, but appears to have no sufficient follow-up.

Jan-28-15  pedro99: played after a few snifters I suspect
Jan-28-15  morfishine: What I really like about this puzzle is it forces one to carefully analyze the primary candidates: 14.Bxe6 & 14.Nxe6. Neither can be accepted: (1) 14.Bxe6 dxe6?? 15.Qc6+ and (2) 14.Nxe6 dxe6 15.Bd3 simultaneously attacks the Black Queen and threatens 16.Qxc6+

However, 14.Bxe6 can be met by 14...Bb7, a move which is not a good answer against <14.Nxe6> since the Knight is attacking <c7> & <g7>

By process of elimination, <14.Nxe6> is best

An excellent Wednesday puzzle


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: This puzzle looks easy, but I didn't get it. :| However, if someone told me the knight on c6 is unprotected after a sacrifice on e6, maybe I would've gotten it.
Jan-28-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is three pawns down, but white's developed pieces have excellent location, the bishop pair is strong on an open board, and black's uncastled king is a real handicap (the major factor). My first candidate was 14.Bxe6, but after 14... Bb7! (to prepare O-O-O), I could't make it work, e.g. 15.Bxd7+ Kxd7 16.Qh3+ Qf5 holds. White's first move must have more punch.


Threatens Nxc7+ and prevents castling on either wing.

A. 14... dxe6 15.Bd3! (the key move to find) Qf7 16.Qxc6+ Qd7 17.Qxa8 Qxd3 (O-O 18.Bd4 and white can withdraw the queen safely a rook up) 18.Qxc8+ wins.

A.1 15... Qxd3 16.Qxd3 and black has insufficient compensation for the queen

A.2 16... other 17.Qxa8 nets a rook.

B. 14... Rb8 15.Nxg7+ Kd8 16.Ne6+ dxe6 17.Qxh8+ Qg8 18.Qf6+ wins quickly.

B.1 15... Kf7 16.Nc4+ wins the queen.

B.2 15... Ke7 16.Ba3+! d6 17.Nxc7 wins

C. 14... Qf6 15.Nxg7+ Ke7 16.Re1+ Ne5 17.Rxe5+ wins

D. 14... other 15.Nxc7+ K any 16.Nxa8 wins material and black's king remains exposed.

A.1 may be the best defense.

Time for review...

Jan-28-15  Castleinthesky: I got the pin, but not the right pin, so I'll say half a point. Is it called kibitzing when you have two people on each side of a chess board both giving each other bad advice?
Jan-28-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: I saw all this, but wasn't convinced that White had an obvious win after

14 Nxe6 Bb7.

Black will soon be a pawn up and facing a nasty attack. However, he will have a chance to connect his rooks, and he will also have a chance for a tempo gain by moving his knight to discover a mate threat.

White is also threatening to win the exchange in various ways, so he can get up knight for pawn as well as having much better attacking chances. But that didn't seem as clear cut a win as I was expecting for a Wednesday puzzle.

Jan-28-15  BOSTER: <gofer: 14.Nxe6 dxe6
15.Bd3 Qf6
16.Qxc6 any move

So what can black do after Nxe6 that does not lose immediately???

I can't see anything!!!>.

My opinion that your comment is too emotional.

Are you sure that <I can't see anything!!!> need only three explanation points, maybe more.

After 14.Nxf6 black could play Nf5 if 15.Nxc7+ Kd8 16.Nxa8 Bb7 and now you can prove how <Black loses everything>.

Jan-28-15  BOSTER: May be <exclamation point>.
Jan-28-15  Edeltalent: 14.? White to move

Black is three pawns up, but seriously behind in development. Also b6 has weakened his structure. The easiest way to open the floodgates is 14.Nxe6 dxe6 (forced, as Black doesn't have another way to parry Nxc7+ and Nxg7+) 15.Bd3, and Black can't protect the Nc6 and his queen at the same time.

He can try 15...Qf6 to snap the Ra1 in exchange for the Ra8 which will be lost, but it doesn't work after 16.Qxc6+ Kf7 17.Bxh6, netting White a piece.

Jan-28-15  Edeltalent: <gofer: 14 Nxe6 ... Keeping Ke8 on either e8 or e7 as Kf7 (<and O-O>) loses to Nf4+>

Quite cunning, even illegal tries are refuted ;-)

Jan-28-15  TheBish: Bergell / Neumann vs Knorre / Cordel, 1865

White to play (14.?) "Medium/Easy", White is down three pawns.

Candidate moves: Nxe6, Bxe6

14. Bxe6 seems fairly strong, since 14...dxe6 15. Qxc6+ and 16. Qxa8 would be winning. But it doesn't contain a real threat, and after 14...Bb7 it seems Black will be able to play 15...0-0-0 and not only survive, but probably win. The other capture seems stronger, with threats and also the benefit of preventing Black from castling.

14. Nxe6! dxe6

Losing, but nothing else seems to help, as White threatens 15. Nxc7+, 15. Nxg7+ and 15. Re1.

15. Bd3!

The point. After Black saves their queen, 16. Qxc6+ and 17. Qxa8 is the answer.

Jan-28-15  patzer2: Got suckered on this Thursday puzzle with my poor choice of the inferior 14. Bxe6? which give Black the advantage after 14...Bb7 15. Bd5 0-0-0 .

The point of 14. Nxe6! is that 14...Bb7 no longer works due to the Knight Fork threat 15. Nxc7+ .

P.S.: Lesson learned is to stop and think a little longer when a Thursday puzzle looks too easy. Also, think about Lasker's maxim to look for the better move.

Jan-28-15  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"
White to play 14.?
White is 3 pawns down and has a Bishop for a Knight.

I spent quite a bit of time on this and beleive that Knight move or Bishop move both bring win for White

A) 14.Nxe6 dxe6
15.Bd3 Qf7
16.Qxc6+ Kf8
17.Ba3+ Kg8
18.Qxa8 Qd7
19.Rad1 Qe8
20.Bb5 Bd7
21.Qxd8+ Bxd8
After 9 move, White has a R+B for two pawns and a winning position.

B) I assumed that this line is not played:
<14.Bxe6 dxe6 15.Qxc6+ Bd7 16.Qxa8+ Ke7 17.Qxh8 and winning both Rooks>

14.Bxe6 Ke7
15.Ba3+ Ke8
16.Rfe1 Kd8
17.Rad1 Nb4
18.Qxb4 Qxg5
19.Qe4 c6
20.Qxc6 Qb5
21.Be7+ Kxe7
After 9 moves White is down by a Knight but has a definite winning position. So, why 14.Nxe6 was prefered to 14.Bxe6?

Jan-29-15  TheaN: Wednesday 29 January 2015 <14.?>

Black went up three pawns but did so at the expense of a fairly underdeveloped position. White strikes, but needs to do it in the right way. Due to potentially the discovered attack on c6, white can capture on e6. The bishop capture however, gives black plenty of time to simply avoid the threat. Not so after <14.Nxe6>.

Point of the knight capture is the dual threat of Nxc7+ and Nxg7+ with the black king already in the center. Nxc7+ comes with the exchange so white will be up. Instead, <14....dxe6 15.Bd3! > white continues the discovered attack on c6. Sadly for black, this comes with the Ra8 as interest.

I missed the 15....Qf6 defense, ie 16.Qxc6+ Kf7 17.Qxa8 Qxa1, now 18.Bxh6 Qc3 19.Qf3+ is still winning, but after 16.Qxc6+ the damage has already been done, and 17.Bxh6! is the more simple win. But I would have tried 15....Qf6 as black.

Jan-29-15  patzer2: Correction: It was a Wednesday puzzle I missed with the 14. Bxe6? mistake. Thought it was after midnight EST when I posted, but I guess not.
Jan-29-15  Abdel Irada: <explanation points>

Sounds like an interesting new article of punctuation, but I'm not sure what one would look like.

Jan-29-15  Abdel Irada: Perhaps an asterisk* could be thought of as a sort of explanation point.


*Since if you see one, it usually** implies the existence of a corresponding footnote.

**Unless it's an "asterexasper"***, which, like this one, leaves the reader looking in vain for such a footnote.

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