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Klaus Bischoff vs Karsten Mueller
"Smother's Day" (game of the day May-11-2008)
75th German Championship (2004), Hoeckendorf GER, rd 7, Feb-05
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-08-14  geeker: Funny. I'm not having a good chessic week, and struggled with the Monday and Tuesday positions (!), but saw this Exchange sac on e6 / smothered mate almost instantly.
Oct-08-14  awfulhangover: If you have seen smothered mate multiple times, this is a monday puzzle. If not, it may seems like magic.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Normally, smothered mate is a Monday puzzle, but today, it was just an additional exchange sacrifice before that. Also, after 31.Rxe6, if black refuses and plays something like 31...h6, 32.Re3 protects the pinned bishop, and white is up a full piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: 31.Rxe6 wins a piece, as 31...fxe6 32.Qxe6+ leads to the classical smothered mate, while 31...Rxb3 fails to 32.Re8+ with back rank mate; otherwise the rook returns to e3 next move (or will be exchanged after 31...Ne4 32.Re8+).
Oct-08-14  gofer: Well <31 Rxe6 fxe6 32 Qxe6+ ...> leads to a classic smothered mate. So that's nice! But what can black do as an alternative response?

<31 Rxe6 ...>

31 ... Rxb3 32 Re8+ Nxe8 33 Qxe8#

31 ... fxe6 32 Qxe6 Kh8 33 Nf7+ Kg8 34 Nh6++ Kh8 35 Qg8+ Rxg8/Nxg8 36 Nf7#

<31 ... Ne4>
<32 Rxe4 dxe4>
<33 Nc4 Qb4>
<34 Qxb4 Rxb4>
<35 c6 Rb8>
<36 Nd6 e3>
<37 Bc4>


Well you don't see many of those do you! <said the wide-mouthed frog>

Oct-08-14  Sally Simpson: Hi Chess Dad,

"I'm starting to get something from this whole "pattern recognition" thing."

I'd say it is the most common and easiest middle-game pattern to spot.

Once seen never forgotten.

click for larger view

In a flash you are calculating a mate in 5.

But how many people are going to admit they never saw it when first shown it in their beginner days>

I never got it first time I saw it.

Some have expressed shock, horror, disbelief and dismay that Mueller played it out. Why not. I always allowed a mate if it was a cutey.

Of course Mueller knew such smothered mates existed. 12 years earlier.

K Mueller vs T Cording, 1992

click for larger view

Black played 21...Qa2 'Please take the Queen...Please." Mueller declined the offer not wishing to see 22.QxQ Ne2 mate.

Instead White played 22.Rd-h1 creating luft for the King and threatening Rh8 mate. Which infact happened.

Oct-08-14  mistreaver: Wednsday. White to play. Medium/Easy, 31?
I think we have a classical example of exchange sacrifice followed by Lucena's smoothered mate. 31 Rxe6 fxe6 (on any other move white remains a piece up or gives back rank mate) 32 Qxe6+ Kh8
And now the fun part
33 Nf7+ Kg8
34 Nh6+ Kh8
35 Qg8+ Nxg8(Rxg8)
36 Nf7 mate.
Oct-08-14  Castleinthesky: This was a fairly easy Wednesday, as the Rook sac was the only apparent move to cause mischief. I worked out other variations, non-computer of course, and the best I could find is Black is a piece down and the worst I found is the smothered mate that actually happened.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw the rook sac right off. The pun actually gives the solution away...after the highly predictable first move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: What Black really needs here is just one extra move. Just one.
Oct-08-14  Pedro Fernandez: <<M.Hassan.: "Medium/Easy">?? Agree, just 3 min. The key <Hassan> is that this kind of mate is very well known, that's why it is very easy.
Oct-08-14  yadasampati: <M.Hassan> 31. Rxe6 is not check, therefore the + in your notation should not be there
Oct-08-14  Pedro Fernandez: Good job <Morphy>, greetings.
Oct-08-14  GoldenKnight: At least by the time White makes his 30th move Black, whose endgame tomes are classics, knows he's dead in the water. He knows that by saving his Queen he's allowing a smothered mate (I myself saw it almost instantly), but he succumbs to that in the interest of seeing a pretty combination, even at his own expense. A good sense of humor and a good sport. I like it.
Oct-08-14  bengalcat47: I know two comedians who would enjoy this one -- the Smothers Brothers! "Mom always liked you best!"
Oct-08-14  vanytchouck: Very, very easy. But here again, i'm most puzzled by the fact that black is still playing after Rxe6 (i even check his rating)...

Maybe it's the shock.

Oct-08-14  gars: The more I see it, the less I understand it: I did not solve Monday's nor Tuesday's POTD and solved this one in five minutes. Go figure...
Oct-08-14  nazgulord: A very enjoyable puzzle. I was initially barking up the wrong tree with Bxd5 exploiting the discovered attack on the queen, but couldn't find a way forward from there. I saw the smothered mate and then realised that I didn't need the bishop to do it, so I found Rxe6 eventually.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: Is this easy for a Wednesday? I usually don't get the whole thing on Wednesday. I saw the first move in a flash, and eventually concluded all the way to mate.

A rare occasion, yay!! ('makes up for the terrible game I played yesterday at the chess club)

Oct-08-14  TheBish: K Bischoff vs K Mueller, 2004

White to play (31.?) "Medium/Easy", material even.

31. Rxe6! wins a piece, since Black gets mated after either 31...Rxb3 32. Re8+ Nxe8 33. Qxe8# or 31...fxe6 32. Qxe6+ Kh8 (32...Kf8 33. Qf7#) 33. Nf7+ Kg8 34. Nh6+ Kh8 35. Qg8+ Rxg8 36. Nf7# with a smothered mate.

Oct-08-14  morfishine: <Pedro Fernandez> Thank you my kind friend! The more I look at it, the more I'm convinced Black missed a chance to hold by not playing <30...Rxd6>
Oct-08-14  PJs Studio: 31.Rxe6 winning instantly - took me way too long. Ugh
Oct-09-14  dfcx: I got it! Potential smothered mate!

31. Rxe6 wins the bishop
32. Qxe6+ Kh8
33. Nf7+ Kg8
34. Nh6+ Kh8
35. Qg8+ Rxg8
36. Nf7#

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Interesting that Mueller allowed the mate to be played.
Nov-16-16  sakredkow: Sportsmanship.
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