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Lusgin vs Manne Joffe
Minsk (1968)
Uncommon King's Pawn Opening (B00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-09-09  kevin86: I've seen hundreds of variations on the fools mate/queen capture theme but have yet to see this one!

Black either loses his queen by fork or gets the king mated.

This knockout takes only five moves!

Feb-09-09  YouRang: This has to be the earliest (in terms of move number) puzzle of the day ever. :-O

I figured that I would be taking advantage of blacks cramped up position to the tune of mate or winning the queen, but it actually took me minute or so to see how.

I wanted to move the knight first to free up the queen, but it wasn't forcing enough.

So, I went with very forcing 4.Bxf7+, and the rest pretty much solved itself: 4...Kxf7 5.Ng5+. Black has 3 ugly alternatives:

If black plays <5...Kg7> or <5...Ke8>, he loses his queen to 6.Ne6+ (interestingly, either a K+Q fork or a queen trap, respectively).

His only other alternative is <5...Kf6> -- but then: 6.Qf3+ Ke5 (6...Kxg5 7.d4+ Kh4 8.Qh3#) 7.d4+ Kxd4 and once again we have the K+Q fork: 8.Ne6+ (and at this point, losing his queen might be the least of black's problems!).

Feb-09-09  Patriot: <fyad reject: welp failed another monday

"very easy" isnt easy enough when you're me>

Hang in there and you will improve! My suggestion is study basic tactics repeatedly. When I say basic tactics, I'm referring to the building blocks of combinations such as pins, forks, skewers, removal of the guard, etc. Learn these patterns until you can recognize them instantly and you will see a big improvement.

Feb-09-09  AnalyzeThis: When the bishop comes out to c4 in any of these king pawn openings, you need to show it the proper respect.
Feb-09-09  dycotiles: Cool problem, but perhaps better for a Tue!
Feb-09-09  Justawoodpusher: From the time I needed so solve the puzzle and look into all lines I would also rather say this is a Tuesday puzzle.
Feb-09-09  swordfish: Yeah, I found this not particularly easy for a Monday - it took a few minutes to solve. But how could a (presumably) master-strength player play such weak moves in the opening as Black did here?
Feb-09-09  hedgeh0g: A winning combination already on move 4! Quelle surprise! Found it pretty quickly, although it seemed a bit more like a Tuesday to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: <fyad> On monday puzzles, just look for the most violent check you can find. (Not a bad idea in games, either, --routinely looking at all checks, not necessarily playing them.) In today's puzzle, there's only one check, so it has to be the solution. The king has to take the bishop, so you need another check. Again, there's only one check, this time with the knight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <fyad reject: welp failed another monday

"very easy" isnt easy enough when you're me>

I think this one is a Monday if you know the pattern and a Wednesday if you don't. But as <patriot> says, if you stick at it you will get better - either by remembering the patterns or by working it out for yourself.

<swordfish> I guess that black was playing a system opening and got the order of the moves wrong. Easily done, especially as you don't expect to be punished quite so quickly.

I used to be on the same team as someone who played Damiano's defence as black. This goes ... 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6?

click for larger view

He played this regularly for many games ... even after I showed him what was wrong with it. He said that on the bottom boards none of his opponents knew how to play against it.

For a bonus point, how does white gain an advantage from this diagram? To add some spice to the proceedings, can I suggest that all those who know the answer let the rest work it out for themselves?

Feb-09-09  TheaN: <onesax> my bad, I was a little fast in deciding on a better move than 3....Nd7?? and got to the blocking move 3....e6?. Of course 3....Bg7 is better, and as a player who occasionally deploys the Modern I should know that.
Feb-09-09  MiCrooks: Once - I actually got to play this a couple of times in real games. Most recently a party for my son for his work where his boss's son was the household chess champ and really wanted to play me a game (he was 15-16 years old). I felt a bit bad about hitting him with it, and explained to his dad that he walked into a line that was well known so I didn't have to think. Experience has its rewards :)!
Feb-09-09  SamAtoms1980: I castled. I really am the world's biggest schlemiel. Sigh.

No. Just kidding. I found 4 Bxf7+ Kxf7 5 Ng5+ Kf6 6 Qf3+ Kxg5 7 d4+ Kh4 8 Qh3 mate. Poor old Joffe -- he couldn't bear to lose his queen, so I took his king instead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: <Once> It's interesting that the line that I think you're thinking of is the only one in the opening data base to end up losses for white. More natural responses are also fine -- since ...f6 is so bad.
Feb-09-09  SamAtoms1980: <Zzyw: I won this game once with a white d4 and a black Bg7 interjected. Good times.>

I have a book, it's called "Attack and Counterattack in Chess," don't remember who it's written by. That very game is in one of the early chapters, White ends it all on move 7 with Qf3 mate. I knew I'd seen this before somewhere.

Feb-09-09  Utopian2020: I'm voting for easy even for a Monday. Generally any puzzle I can solve is easy. But given the position only 3 moves into the game and knowing this is a Monday puzzle, there was only a couple of moves to choose from and only one of real consequence. I also don't believe we need to calculate to mate to consider a puzzle solved. 3 moves into any game, who is calculating mate? I'm generally happy that I get next immediate move correct.
Feb-09-09  I Like Fish: So we can say...
that a lack of attention...
has a chilling effect...
on the game...
Feb-09-09  stacase: This one was somewhere between fool's mate and scholar's mate. Maybe when I was a little kid I lost one like this.
Feb-09-09  zb2cr: Hi <YouRang>,

You wrote: "His only other alternative is <5...Kf6> -- but then: 6.Qf3+ Ke5 (6...Kxg5 7.d4+ Kh4 8.Qh3#) 7.d4+ Kxd4 and once again we have the K+Q fork: 8.Ne6+ (and at this point, losing his queen might be the least of black's problems!)."

You missed 8. Qc3#. You needn't feel bad, a number of others did as well.

Feb-09-09  WhiteRook48: wow, total zugzwang, but it's check
Feb-09-09  YouRang: <zb2cr><You missed 8. Qc3#. You needn't feel bad, a number of others did as well.>

Ah, you're right. I had a feeling that white might be able to do better by going after the king hunt rather than nabbing the queen (which is why I wrote that "losing the queen might be the least of black's problems").

But, I saw the queen-winning knight fork right away, so I took the lazy way out and looked no further. This was a case where I should have at least looked at the obvious checks. :-\

Feb-09-09  zenpharaohs: fyad reject: "welp failed another monday

"very easy" isnt easy enough when you're me"

If you found this difficult then you can learn a very simple and valuable lesson which will truly improve your chess.

The lesson is: Always consider attacking the pawn at f7. Look for ways to attack that pawn. Whether it is a puzzle, or a game, or you are brushing your teeth: Think About Attacking The King Bishop Pawn Today.

It may sound simple minded, but if you use any chess database tool, you will find out that lots of chess players have learned this lesson, many of them (as in this case) the hard way.

Apr-09-09  WhiteRook48: 3...Nd7 cramps Black too much
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: <Jan-24-05 Benzol: Is this Manne Joffe? >

According to NicBase, yes. And this is him also:

Balashov vs A Ioffe, 1969

Premium Chessgames Member
  sachistu: <Stonehenge> re: your response to <Benzol>... I have to respectfully disagree. The last 3 games attributed to Manne Joffe probably belong to Alexander Ioffe. These online databases e.g. Chessbase, NICbase etc are somewhat error-prone.

For example, the game with Feldman is from the Leningrad chp sf, 1970. The name as spelled in Shakhmatny Bulletin, Issue 6, p.181, 1970 is Ioffe. Unfortunately, Shakhmatny Bulletin usually does not list first initials, so it's not certain this was Alexander Ioffe. However, had this been Manne Joffe, the name would have been spelled differently.

Unless there is some evidence Manne Joffe emigrated from Sweden, it seems much more plausible these last 3 games should be attributed to Alexander Ioffe. He was active during the 1970's and later. Regardless, it's highly doubtful those 3 games (Lusgin, Balashov, and Feldman) involved Manne Joffe.

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