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Pal Benko vs Sawyer
Simul (1964) (exhibition), New York, NY USA
Spanish Game: Cozio Defense. General (C60)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 9.Nxe5+ dxe5 10.Qe6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Fusilli: I can't believe this was voted one of Benko's "notable games". That's kind of insulting. It was a simul game, against a very weak player who handled the black pieces horribly. Benko has many great games against strong GMs. Come on!>

Au contraire. This game is far greater than the likes of Benko vs Fischer, 1958. I applaud members for their discernment.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a pawn up.

Black threatens Nxb3.

The prosaic 9.Qe6+ is met with 9... Kc6. Hence, 9.Nxe5+ dxe5 10.Qe6#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Mark Twain fans might say that Sawyer got Finned.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: I played Benko in a simul, in Melbourne in 1985. I wasn't quite as bad as Mr. (or Ms?) Sawyer, but I still got thumped. Mr. Benko seemed to be a grumpy guy, who managed to win every game.
Sep-09-19  stst: 9.NxP+ PxN (forced)
Sep-09-19  stst: <...grumpy guy, who managed to win every game.>

without any qualifier, that'd God!? to win every game!!

Sep-09-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: First move to look at is Qe6+. Since this is a puzzle, we should expect it not to work. Figuring out WHY it doesn't work quickly leads to Nxe5+, blowing up the escape route.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: This game, with today's Monday mate-in-two puzzle 9. Nxe5+ dxe5 10. Qe6#, is no doubt a tribute to GM Pal Benko who died Monday Aug 26, 2019 at the age of 91.

The article at does a good job of explaining how and why Benko fled Hungary to become a US citizen. It also does a good job of summarizing his accomplishments and contributions to chess.

P.S.: For a Black improvement, I strongly prefer 5...d5 = as in the draw in Dolmatov vs A Rodriguez Cespedes, 1993.

Though it's not the most popular move, 3...Nge7 is not bad and has surprise value. Super GM Alexander Motylev has used it effectively as a weapon in blitz, as evidenced by his wins in P V Vishnu vs Motylev, 2018 and V Sanal vs Motylev, 2018.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <FSR> Thanks for the link to Pal Benko's win in Benko vs Fischer, 1958, which was a "game of the day" tribute to him on Aug 27, 2019.
Sep-09-19  saturn2: 9. Nxe5+ dxe5 10. Qe6# was seen
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Mark Twain fans might say that Sawyer got Finned.>

Mark Twain was a great writer. Everyone should read him.

Sep-09-19  malt: 9.N:e5+ does away with the d pawn,
and a King chase, 9...de5 10.Qe6#
Sep-09-19  areknames: Ok, so does 9.Qe6+ lose for White? After 9...Kc6 10.Nxe5+ Kb6 11.Nc4+ Ka7 I think the Q is trapped.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <areknames: Ok, so does 9.Qe6+ lose for White? After 9...Kc6 10.Nxe5+ Kb6 11.Nc4+ Ka7 I think the Q is trapped.>

White has 10.Be8+! Kb6 (10....Qxe8 11.d5+ Kb6 12.Be3+ c5 13.Qxd6+, etc.) 11.Qf7 (SF).

9.Nxe5+ certainly is a big improvement, though.

Sep-09-19  zb2cr: I saw this quickly, exactly as I did when it was featured in January 2008. I have to say I didn't remember that previous appearance of this game.

9. Nxe5+, dxe5; 10. Qe6#.

Sep-09-19  areknames: Thanks, <keypusher>. 10.Be8+ is an unexpected resource, although the mate in 2 as played is of course preferable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: I wonder which player in the db has the fewest total moves (assuming Korchnoi has the most).

Sawyer has eight total moves. Might be hard to beat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Saw your mistake
Sep-09-19  TheTamale: I admire Sawyer's optimism, at least, playing the Corzio variation against a strong Grandmaster and then making no effort to free up his cramped position. Just a weird game, IMO.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: A very fine Monday puzzle. I ran through a couple of inconclusive lines involving Q checks and K chases before seeing how a queen check at e6 could, by first sacrificing a knight, be converted into a checkmate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Bleep! Missed it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <saffuna> Peter Napetschnig played five moves in the database.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <saffuna> Lance Darling has two.
Sep-10-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, my old Hungarian-American friend Pal finally found the mate in two moves with 9.Nxe5+!, dxe5 10.Qe6#. May his soul rest in eternal peace!
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