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Steven Craig Miller vs Michael Dougherty
30th World Open (2002), Philadelphia, PA, rd 2, Jul-04
Sicilian Defense: Classical. Anti-Fischer-Sozin Variation (B57)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-19-09  Patriot: The lack of mobility of white's king thanks to the g3 pawn controlling f2 and h2 and the rook on f1, the open h-file controlled by the h8 rook, and the black queen ready to jump to the h-file--all lead to a familiar pattern:

23...Rh1+ 24.Kxh1 Qh4+ 25.Kg1 Qh2#

<<dzechiel> If you didn't see this sequence right away, it only means you need more experience in these sorts of positions.>

Very true! At first I wanted to play 23...Qh4 but then thought "Isn't this the old rook-check, queen-check and queen delivers mate trick?!"

Knowing these types of patterns (without having to figure them out) is a basic step toward chess improvement, since it will not only become more obvious once they present themselves OTB but also because you're more likely to see them deeper within variations.

Oct-19-09  TheaN: Monday 19 October 2009


Target: 0:40;000
Taken: 0:10;824
Birdie {-10s - -1m)

Material: White up, ♘ / ♙

Candidates: Qh4, <[Rh1†]>

Didn't really look at the material difference when I initially looked, because the mating attack is so obvious. 23....Qh4 24.Nxg3 and wins, Black has to strike now and does so with mate:

<23....Rh1† 24.Kh1 Qh4†> now with tempo, and the Rook is due to the g3♙ not necessary, a very common pattern.

<25.Kg1 Qh2‡ 0-1> time to check how this game went.

Oct-19-09  TheaN: 1/1

Common demolition, unwilling play by White.

Oct-19-09  A Karpov Fan: slam-dunked it!
Oct-19-09  LoveThatJoker: <e4knightf3> Thanks, man. I aim to please.

<patzer2> I got there before you with the 23. Rf3 line, dude. ;)


Oct-19-09  Summerfruit: White has a knight for a pawn.

23...Rh1+ 24.Kxh1 Qh4+ 25.Kg1 Qh2#

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A forced mate in three-starting with a rook sac.

A slam dunk (on an 8 foot basket).

I had a recent friend who can touch the net without jumping.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <LoveThatJoker> I guess you did see 23. Rf3 delays the mate and prolongs the game, but the real problem in White's game was 20. Nd4? instead of 20. Nxe4=.
Oct-19-09  YouRang: Pretty easy with that pawn on g3 and the open h-file to spot 23...Rh1+!

We sacrifice a rook just for the priviledge of bringing our queen to h4 with check -- the difference is just one tempo, but it's worth a quick mate.

Oct-19-09  LoveThatJoker: <patzer2> Fair enough, man. I really didn't care much about what happened before the sac. I was looking at this from a pure puzzle perspective.

I didn't feel like analyzing the game. Just seeing how White could put on a better face instead of allowing a rudimentary (primer) 3 mover.


Oct-19-09  Billy Ray Valentine: I didn't think this was hard, but it did take me longer than normal for the easy Monday puzzle (since I've been conditioned to look for a Queen sacrifice first).
Oct-19-09  Patriot: <patzer2> I believe you're right--20.Nxe4 is probably best. Black is already threatening 20...Ng3+ 21.Nxg3 hxg3 (threatening 22...Rxh2#) 22.h3 d4 (threatening 22...dxc3 and also 22...Rxh3+).

20.Nd4 stopped this sequence, but allowed black a dangerous attack as in the game.

Oct-19-09  wals: I went for Bxd4.

Steven C Miller - Michael Dougherty, World Open: 5-Day 2002

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. (-#3): 23...Rh1+
2. (-#5): 23...Bxd4+

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Patriot> Black gets not just a dangerous initiative, but an outright winning attack after 20. Nd4? Ng3+! .
Oct-19-09  Patriot: As to my previous post, 20...Nf2+ is of course a simple threat as well.
Oct-19-09  David2009: <patzer2: White might have tried 23. Rf3, but it still loses after 23. Rf3 Qh4 24. Rxg3 (24. Kf1 Qh1+ 25. Ke2 Qxg2+ 26. Ke3 Rh1 27. Qe2 Qg1+ 28. Kd2 Qxd4+ ) 24... Qxg3 25. Nce2 Qh2+>. A little better is 23 Ba4+ first e.g. 23 ...Kf8 24 Rf3 Qh4 25 Rxg3 Qxg3 26 Ne2 Qh2+ 27 Kf2, but White is the exchange down with no compensation. <the real problem in White's game was 20. Nd4? instead of 20. Nxe4=> Nxe4 stops the Ng6+ trick but opens up the position. One can understand why White didn't like it. Black still has a very strong attack. You can try it against Crafty. Good luck with the defence!

click for larger view

Miller-Dougherty 20?

PS- On playing through this link, I have just discovered that (just to confuse everyone further) Crafty prefers 20 h3 to 20...Ng3+. Silicon brains have a mind of their own.

The following link resumes the game at move 23 (just before the 23 Ne2?? catastrophe). Playing the line starting 23 Ba4+ given above, after 27 Qf2 Crafty plays 27...Rh3 (apparently playing for attack?) but after 28 Qg1 exchanges Queens 28 ...Qxg1+ 29 Kxg1 Rh5 30 Be3 Rc8 31 c3 Bxd4 32 Bxd4 Nc6 33 Kf2 Rh2 34 Kg3 Rh5 we reach

click for larger view

White is still the exchange down without compensation but has survived the worst of the attack.

P.P.S: Curiouser and curiouser: Out of interest I set Crafty to play Crafty using the next link (Miller-Dougherty colours reversed 21?) We know from Sunday's puzzle that Crafty does NOT always find the best moves. Crafty as White amazingly holds on against Crafty as Black to reach

click for larger view

and a draw by repetition (74 Kd4 Rh2 75 Ke3 Rh3+ 76 Kd4). The final surprise is that Crafty as Black accepts a repetition. A human player would try 74...fxe5+ and try to win the ending (which is a difficult theoretical draw).

Oct-19-09  Patriot: <<patzer2>: <Patriot> Black gets not just a dangerous initiative, but an outright winning attack after 20. Nd4? Ng3+!>

Yes, but my point is that without figuring everything out at that point, 20.Nd4 "appears" more dangerous (than 20.Nxe4) after 20...Ng3+. At that point in my line of reasoning, it's just a dangerous attack.

Oct-19-09  WhiteRook48: 23...Rh1+ duh!
Oct-19-09  BOSTER: <wals>, or somebody who has Rybka 3 , please evaluate the position after 20.Nxe4 instead Nd4. I doubt that it is equal how said <patzer2>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <David2009> Pitting Fritz against the online Crafty link you gave is an unfair contest, but in the 20. Nxe4= line it does show some potential for White here.

The result of this contest is 20. Nxe4 dxe4 21. Ng1 Rh7 22. Qe2 Rd8 23. Nh3 Rh8 24. f5 Qxe5 25. Bf4 Qxb2 26. fxe6 fxe6 27. Ba4+ Ke7 28. Bg5+ Kd6 29. Rad1+ Nd5 30. Rf7 Bd4 31. Qxe4 Rhf8 32. Nf4 Rxf7 33. Qxe6+ Kc7 34. Bxd8+ Kb8 35. Nxd5 Bxd5 36. Qxd5 Rb7 37. Bc6 h3 38. Qd6+ Ka7 39. Rxd4 Qb1+ 40. Rd1 Qb4 41. Qe5 hxg2+ 42. Bxg2 Qb5 43. Qd4+ Kb8 44. Qd6+ Ka7 45. c4 when White will mate in 6 moves.

Oct-19-09  TheaN: <wals: I went for Bxd4.

Steven C Miller - Michael Dougherty, World Open: 5-Day 2002

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. (-#3): 23...Rh1+
2. (-#5): 23...Bxd4+>

In all fairness, this does not prove that you got the solution, as the #5 for 23....Bxd4† is based on 24.Rf2 gxf2† 25.Kf1 Rh1† 26.Ng1 fxg1=Q† 27.Ke2 Qxd1‡ (which I calculated myself and checked with Rybka), and if White does any other move on move 24, which all seem more logical, Black still has to play Rh1†.

Oct-19-09  MathMage: I keep on looking for White moves in Black puzzles. I kept thinking, "What possible combination does White have? Ba4+ followed by something?...Oh, wait, Black to Rook-sac-win. Dammit!"
Oct-20-09  David2009: Thanks <patzer2> for this fine collaboration by Fritz and your good self. After 20. Nxe4 dxe4 Fritz finds the fine defence 21. Ng1 Rh7 22. Qe2 Now Crafty continues Rd1 rather than 0-0-0 because castling is not allowed in the cut-down online version. If we allow castling, we get

click for larger view

Miller-Dougherty (Fritz-Crafty variation) 23? and the corresponding link <Pitting Fritz against the online Crafty link you gave is an unfair contest> Perhaps. Could I ask for a rematch from the position above. I suspect the end result will be the same - but you never know.

Oct-20-09  wals: <BOSTER>

Steven C Miller - Michael Dougherty, World Open: 5-Day 2002

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. = (0.00): 20.Nxe4 dxe4[] 21.h3 0-0 22.Nc3 Rad8 23.Qe2 Nc6 24.Nxe4 Nd4 25.Nf6+ gxf6[] 26.Qg4+ Kh8 27.Qh5+ Kg8 28.Qg4+ Kh8 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.Qg4+ Kh8 31.Qh5+ Kg8 32.Qg4+ Kh8 33.Qh5+ Kg8 34.Qg4+ Kh8 35.Qh5+

2. (-0.37): 20.Ba4+ Kf8 21.Nxe4 dxe4 22.h3 Rh6 23.Nd4 Rd8 24.c3 Nd3 25.Be3 Rg6 26.Qh5 Kg8 27.f5 exf5 28.Rxf5 Bd5 29.Qxh4 Be7 30.Bg5 Bxg5 31.Rxg5 Rxg5 32.Qxg5 Nxe5 33.Bc2

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: White's play wasn't real good, however Black's play was sublime. In fact, I am sure that I lost a training game - as White - (to Fritz 10 or Fritz 11); in a similar manner.
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