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Rainer Erler vs Thomas Espig
GDR Junior Championship (1971), Dingelstaedt GDR
Alekhine Defense: Hunt Variation. Lasker Simul Gambit (B02)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-15-14  offramp: The game reminded me slightly of Fischer vs J Sherwin, 1957, one of the 14-year-old Fischer's best games. Better than that D Byrne vs Fischer, 1956 confection.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Missed it by going with the quick blitz try 16. Rad1?, which fails to 16...Be3+! 17. Kh1 Bb7! 18. Rf3! Qe7 .

What I missed was 16. Rxf7! Rxf7 17. Nxg5 Qe7 18. Rf1 (diagram below)

click for larger view

creates and piles on superior numbers against a winning pin (sham) sacrifice.

Feb-15-14  gofer: <16 Rxf7 ...>

Black cannot take back immediately.

16 ... Rxf7?
17 Nxg5 Qe7
18 Rf1

<16 ... Be3+>
<17 Rf2+! ...>

Obviously the Black rook cannot protect the king!

17 ... Rf7
18 Qxf7#

<17 ... Ke7>

What next? Rf1?


Hmmm, I missed the crucial <18 Qf3> - which is really rather nice!

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <gofer> Thanks for your insight! I didn't see after 16. Rxf7 that 16...Be3+ was the strongest defense, nor that in reply 17. Rf2+! continues the winning attack (e.g. 17...Ke7 Qf3! or 17...Rg6 18. Qxh7 ).

P.S.: There's a reason this Saturday puzzle is difficult, and it isn't because the only variation involved is the simple pinning combination 16. Rxf7 Rxf7? 17. Nxg5 Qe7 18. Rf1 .

Feb-15-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: I missed the whole thing -- I didn't notice that Rf2 gave a tempo with check, and so I never got far enough to see or miss Qf3. I'm not having a successful week of chess puzzle-solving.

My notes were:

16 Rxf7 seems to fail against ... Be3+.

16 R(a)d1 doesn't seem to do much against ... Qe7. ( ... d6/d5 doesn't work as a defense, however.)

Doubling rooks on the f-file is hard because there's no square on which the f-rook is safe. ..Qe7/h6 may be another defense.

The preparatory move 16 Kh1 reinstates both the Rxf7 threat and the Rf2/R(a)f1 plan, but ... Qe7 contributes to defending against both.

... Qe7 is of course also progress toward O-O-O, as is ... Bb7. The combination of ... Bb7 and ... Be3 can also put pressure on g2, inhibiting White's f-file adventures.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I probably got close, as eventually, I wanted to play to Rxf7. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Cheapo by the dozen> <I'm not having a successful week of chess puzzle-solving.> In terms of solving them, I'm not either.

However, in terms of learning new things from the ones I miss and refreshing my memory of old tactics I've forgotten, I'm having a great week!

Sort of a glass is half full week.

Feb-15-14  mel gibson: Tried it on my computer.
It doesn't follow all the same moves.e.g

17 Rf2+ Rg6
18 Qxh7 Bxf2+
19 Kxf2 Rxg2+
20 Kxg2 Bb7+
21 Kg3 Qe7
22 Qg6+ Qf7
23 QxQ KxQ score = -4.63 for black.

White is a minor piece up - a Knight -
& has a passed pawn.

White is in a winning position but there is no checkmate until move 69.

Feb-15-14  RandomVisitor: Perhaps 15...Qe7 was better for black, releasing the pressure on f7. Play might continue 16.Bd3 b6 17.Qf3 c6 18.a4 Bb7 =.
Premium Chessgames Member
  devere: Most amusing is 16.Rxf7 Be3+ 17.Rf2+ Rg6 18.Qxh7 Bxf2+ 19.Kxf2 and the Black rook is trapped and can not be saved.

click for larger view

I'd call this problem "medium", not "very difficult". 16.Rxf7 would occur to any chess player, and then it's just a matter of working out the details.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <RandomVisitor: Perhaps 15...Qe7 was better for black> Yes indeed! After 15...b6, the Rook on a8 becomes a loose unprotected piece that makes for a winning double attack after the game line 16. Rxf7! Be3+ 17. Rf2+ Rxf2 18. Nxf2 (diagram below).

click for larger view

Here, one of the main ideas behind 16. Rxf7! becomes clear. Thanks to the earlier 15...b6?, the Queen has a double attack on the loose Rook on a8 and the unprotected Rook on g7 (e.g. as in the game continuation 18...Ba6 19. Qf6+ Kf8 20. Qxg7 ).

P.S.: My apologies if this is over simplified, but it helps in teaching Chess to my five grandchildren who range in age from five to thirteen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black tries to divert with a check-white interposes with a stronger check. Can I coin a new word:zissencheck? lol
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <devere> If I were working with my grandchildren, I'd take your position and ask why the Rook couldn't move to safety with 19...Rg4.

The answer is of course the Queen fork double attack 20. Qh5+ checking the King and picking off the Rook on g4 on the next move.

A bit more advanced question occurs after 17...Rg6 18. Qxh7 Bxf2+ (diagram below):

click for larger view

Question: In response to 18...Bxf2+, how should White reply?

(a) Capture the Bishop with 19. Nxf2.
(b) Capture the Bishop with 19. Kxf2.
(c) Flee with 19. Kh1.

The correct answer is of course (b) 19. Kxf2 capturing the Bishop and winning the trapped Rook with the double attack threat already discussed in the question above.

The alternative (a) 19. Nxf2? allows 19...Qg5! with advantage to Black.

The final option (c) 19. Kh1 allows 19...Rg5! when White only wins back the exchange and not a whole piece (i.e. gives Black too much counter play and makes the win a lot more difficult).

Feb-15-14  RandomVisitor: A key branch point in the opening happens after 12.f4. Black has two choices.

click for larger view


<[-0.26] d=23 12...Bxg5> 13.fxg5 Nxe5 14.Qe4 Nxc4 15.Qxc4 d6 16.O–O Rg7 17.Rae1 Bd7 18.Qh4 e5 19.Qh6 Rg6 20.Qxh7 Be6 21.b3 c6 22.Kh1 Ke7 23.Qh4 Kd7 24.c4 b6 25.a4 Kc7 26.b4 Rg8 27.a5 Qd7

[+0.14] d=23 12...Nxe5 13.fxe5 Bxg5 14.Qf3 d5 15.exd6 cxd6 16.O–O Rg7 17.Rae1 Qe7 18.Rf2 Kd8 19.g3 Kc7 20.Qh5 f6 21.Qf3 Bd7 22.Nxg5 fxg5 23.Bd5 Bc6 24.c4 e5 25.Qa3 Bxd5 26.cxd5 a6 27.Qe3 Rf7

In the first line white gets some attack. The second line leads to the novelty 14.Qh5 and the pressure on f7.

Feb-15-14  BOSTER: < RV > 15...Qe7 was better for black.> Maybe 11...a6 was better.

click for larger view

Black to play 11...

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Line for one f7 rook flies in laud over h5 straight,

port of call safe got rook fattens the goose line g5 liege nt in tandem rode flog be f7 an fare as pare off h5 and g5 see edge of the seat stuff a f7 pawn offing first f7 lights every delve in blew away snuff him out have in affable give free success eg ment quarter back in camp a better tergid hive come crash in the gates king forced to elevates cable wire g5 line going queen to the slaughter in hand by foot and mouth f7 in crement gradually accrues for a fog in the clink cuffs eg a defence missed his chance in ja cobbled together bind in xray queen e7 allows hanging ground to the queen and rook feed affix f7 in his sights blacks a real ragged band and definately a motley crew after,

floats i know carry b6 gives luft for bishop changing the landsacpe at bog in b6 after award it ardent in spread rook farther in across f7 wins the house in lieu of imminent mate coming.

Marginal see going bishop pure free gold in wins f7 flow accents on light fastens a bind be fang tooth queen e7 keeps the game level to a degree hats off rook stand a foot out in just the thicket scrub b6 a screwed brick in the wall ace bishop beck and,

call down in jail you have in f7 be off and angle a
mind to feel fed a foilable mission a scar b6 lines a gone,

blot a f7 ink wash in walks away the finger of proof queen not so heavy burden mark in dig cuffs efface f7 offer a rook goog game black at sixes and sevens.

Feb-15-14  BOSTER: 11...a6 should be h6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair and a pawn.

Black threatens 16... Be3+ followed by ... Bb7.

The violent 16.Rxf7 seems to work:

A) 16... Be3+ 17.Rf2+

A.1) 17... Rg6 18.Qxh7 wins the rook (18... Rg4 19.Qh5+).

A.2) 17... Ke7 18.Qf3 Bxf2+ 19.Nxf2 wins one of the rooks and ends up a piece ahead.

B) 16... Rxf7 17.Nxg5 Qe7 18.Rf1 wins (18... Qc5+ 19.Kh1 Qxc4 20.Qxf7+ Kd8 21.Qf8#).

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: To me, this one looked relatively easy, of course ... it's Saturday, so we know we are looking for something very sharp and probably sacrificial.

< Black's King is in the center, so this begs the question: <"How do we get to it?" <<<<>>>> >>

16.RxP/f7!, Be3+;
<(Otherwise, if 16...♖X♙/f7; then {NxB/g5 & ♖f1 look like an easy win.)>

17.Rf2+, Ke7;
There are not many squares for the poor Black King.

18.Qf3!, (Hitting the hanger in the corner.) 18...BxR/f2+; 19.NxB/f2, " " and Black has one Rook hanging, and if ...♖b8; then ♕f6+ and ♕x♖/g7.

This can't be right, this was too easy, I only spent a few minutes on this puzzle.

Feb-15-14  PJs Studio: I found everything EXCEPT the critical Qf3. (Which isnt too difficult btw) After I saw it, everything made perfect sense.

To me this is an excellent example of taking advantage of your opponents backward development. Look at blacks position from an astethic point of view... Yuck!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Usually, Saturday's are more difficult, and the lines often split many ways, like Sunday.
Feb-15-14  john barleycorn: <LIFE Master AJ: To me, this one looked relatively easy, of course >

And the HKOTD goes to ...

Feb-15-14  Patriot: White is down a pawn.

16.Rxf7 is my one minute candidate.

16...Rxf7 17.Nxg5 Qe7 18.Rf1

16...Be3+ 17.Kh1 Rxf7 18.Rf1 Qe7 19.Bd3 Kf8 and this seems to fail.

16...Be3+ 17.Rf2+ Ke7 18.Qh4+ Ke8 19.Qh5+ will draw at best.

I don't see a win here.

Feb-15-14  RandomVisitor: After 11...h6 12.Bxd8 Rxg4 13.Be2! there is a tension of hanging pieces and odd moves:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.07] d=23 13...Re4 14.Bxc7 Nxe5 15.f3 Nd3+ 16.Kd2 Rxe2+ 17.Kxe2 Nxb2 18.Bf4 b6 19.Bxh6 Ba6+ 20.Ke1 Ke7 21.Nf2 Rg8 22.g3 f5 23.Rb1 Na4 24.Nd1 Kf7 25.Bf4 Bb7 26.Ke2 Ba6+ 27.Kd2 Bb7 28.Rf1 Ba6

[+0.09] d=23 13...Rxg2 14.Bxc7 d5 15.exd6 e5 16.Bf1 Rg6 17.Rg1 Be6 18.Rxg6 fxg6 19.f3 Kd7 20.Nf2 Bxd6 21.Bxd6 Kxd6 22.Bd3 Rf8 23.Be4 Rf4 24.Kf1 Bf5 25.Kg2 Kc7 26.Re1

[+0.23] d=23 13...Rb4 14.0-0-0 Kxd8 15.cxb4 Nxb4 16.Bh5 Nxa2+ 17.Kb1 Nb4 18.Bxf7 Ke7 19.Bh5 b6 20.Bf3 c6 21.Rhe1 Ba6 22.Be2 Bb7 23.Bf1 Nd5 24.Re4 a5 25.Rh4

[+0.41] d=22 13...Nxe5 14.Bxg4 Kxd8 15.Be2 Ng6 16.f4 d5 17.Bh5 Bd7 18.g3 e5 19.Nf2 exf4 20.Bxg6 fxg6 21.Nd3 Bd6 22.Nxf4 Bxf4 23.gxf4 Ke7 24.0-0-0 c6 25.Rdg1 Bf5 26.h4 h5 27.Rg5 Kd6

[+0.41] d=22 13...Kxd8 14.Bxg4 Nxe5 15.Be2 Ng6 16.f4 d5 17.Bh5 Bd7 18.g3 e5 19.Nf2 exf4 20.Bxg6 fxg6 21.Nd3 Bd6 22.Nxf4 Bxf4 23.gxf4 Ke7 24.0-0-0 c6 25.Rdg1 Bf5 26.h4 h5 27.Rg5 Kd6

Feb-16-14  TheBish: R Erler vs T Espig, 1971

White to play (16.?) "Very Difficult"

Candidates: Nxg5, Rxf7

There is nothing after 16. Nxg5 Qxg5.

But 16. Rxf7! leads to a winning attack:

(a) 16...Rxf7? 17. Nxg5 Qe7 18. Rf1 is easy.

(b) 16...Be3+ 17. Rf2+! is a better try, after which there are only two options:

(b1) 17...Ke7 18. Raf1! leads to a winning attack (after playing Kh1 to free up the rook for attack, followed by Nh3-g5)

(b2) 17...Rg6 18. Qxh7 looks like the best way to proceed, where Black's king is lacking shelter and will soon fall, e.g. 18...Bxf2+ 19. Kxf2!, and Black's king rook has no shelter, i.e. 19...Rg4 20. Qh5+ picks it off with a fork.


Close but no cigar (started working on it right before the day change). I missed 18. Qf3 in the game continuation, but maybe my line works too.

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