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Davide Marotti vs Wilhelm Schoenmann
The Hague Olympiad (1928), The Hague NED, rd 12, Jul-31
Sicilian Defense: Nimzowitsch. Closed Variation (B29)  ·  0-1



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Jan-23-09  Lightboxes: Wow...four posts and answers to one
Jan-23-09  dzechiel: Black to play (29...?). Material even. "Difficult."

The first move I looked at is


This move seems like a real natural, in that, a) the pawn was threatened with capture, b) the move now threatens the white rook and, c) it cannot be captured (30 fxe3 Nxg3+ 31 Kf2 Ne4+ picks up an exchange).

I think white must respond with

30 Rc2

Now black gets to play


On the knight, and also threatening 31...Nxg3+.

31 Kxf2 Rf7

Threatening 32...Nd4+

White has two moves here to save the rook:

- 32 Rcc1
- 32 Rcd2

Moving the king either allows the rook fork via 32...Ne3 or drops the g-pawn with check. After that black can bring the rook on d8 to either e8 or h8 to take advantage of the naked white king.

I'm not sure how this ended, but I feel good up to this point.

Time to check and see how this played out.

Jan-23-09  dzechiel: Looking at the game score, I at first wondered why black didn't simply play 33...Ne3+ to pick up the exchange.

But the move played (33...Nd4+) picks up a whole rook!

If 34 Kf1 or Kf2, then the knight capture on d2 is with check. If instead white opts for 34 Kh1, then 34...Rh8+ forces 35 Nh4 which is followed by 35...Nxd2 36 Rxd2 gxh4 leaving black a rook ahead.

Jan-23-09  zooter: My endgame needs a lot of work no doubt, but I would have played 29...c5 OTB

Not sure if that's the correct answer or not

Jan-23-09  offramp: I saw something unusual.
If black did not have the knight and played ...e3

click for larger view

If white now played ♔xe3, black would deliver an unusual mate by ...♖e7:

click for larger view

Jan-23-09  percyblakeney: 29. ... e3 was a nice move and once you realise that it has to be how it all starts the rest isn't impossible. I was too lazy to look beyond 31. ... Rf7 since eveything seemed to be winning there but I probably missed lots of lines. 32. ... Ne3+ seems to be the quickest win (Kxe3 is mate in one and Nf3 Nxd1+ isn't much better):

click for larger view

Jan-23-09  MiCrooks: offramp working on your helpmates are you :)! It's helpmate in 3...Nd4+ exd4 e3 Kxe3 Re7 or Re8...hmmm problem is a bit cooked :) In fact it is really cooked as White can play almost any Knight move in conjunction with any move by White which keeps the position viable.

And the point of this exercise is???

Jan-23-09  MiCrooks: Oops that's cxd4...
Jan-23-09  MiCrooks: Percy...I like 32. Ne3 better than Re8 though the latter has blunt force behind it, Ne3 is sneaky and is almost (but not quite) the better move! White must play Ke2 when he is still losing a full Rook and if he's not careful getting mated.

Just to cover the bases Nf3 does nothing due to Rxf3+ and the full Rook drops. Kg1 Rf1++. After Ke2 Re8! sets up more shots. Again attempts to block the file with Nf3 just drop the Knight to Rxf3 with the same threats. Rc2 Nc4++. So Rd1 has to go somewhere. Ra1 Nc2+. Rb1 or Rc1 and Ng2+ Kd1 Rxe1+ Kc2 and now Ne3+ forces Kb3 when Rxb1(c1) Kxc4 again leaves Black up a ful Rook.

Not really better than the game line, but to me better as White is walking a line to avoid getting mated or losing more material.

Jan-23-09  MiCrooks: oops again...Kg1 Rf1+ Kh2 Rh8++
Jan-23-09  Woody Wood Pusher: Pretty easy for a Friday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A maze of complications today. I saw the beginning but nowhere near the end.

We start with a tense battle for d3. Black is firing doubled rooks and a pawn at the backward d3 pawn. White is hunkered down with doubled rooks, back rank knight and Ke2 to defend. Think Michael Caine in Zulu, trying to defend Rourke's drift against an overwhelming force.

I just couldn't break down d3, no matter how many silly moves I looked at. Nxg3 doesn't work, because the f2 pawn defends. c4 allows d4. ed releases the tension and allows white to unbottle.

Okay, if we can't kill d3, can we just go around it? Aha - 29...e3. Now on 30. fe we have Nxg3 and on 30. Rc2 we have either ef or we could shift rooks onto the e and f files. The fork square on e3 beckons.

And here I started to get lost with the different possibilities, but black seemed to be fine in all of them. So I was happy to go for 29...e3 and work out the variations OTB.

Here's part of the unplugged position.

click for larger view

White is defending the d3 pawn, but his position is horribly cramped. The d2 rook in particular has very little mobility. White would dearly love to free his position with d4, d5, d6 etc all the way to 1-0.

Black's main tactic in this position is to pile up on d3, doubling his rooks behind it and throwing in pawns and minor pieces. But if that doesn't work, he can try other strategies to exploit the cramped nature of white's defences, such as hitting the d2 rook or shifting the attack across a file or two to hit the misplaced Ke2.

In today's game, black's winning plan was to force white to contort his pieces in defence of d3, then to go around the pawn and hit the vulnerable king with rook checks and knight forks. White's pieces are far too passive to do anything to help.

Jan-23-09  Jupp53: A nice variation is missing:

29. - e3 30. Rc2 ef2 31. Ng2 Rf7

Jan-23-09  tallinn: I did go for e3 after seeing the line fxe Nxg3 Kf2 Ne4+. The computer (Rybka 2 this time) revealed that it considers this the best line for white. OTB I would have expected Rdc2 and would try to figure out how to continue while my opponents clock is running.

<MiCrooks> likes 32. Ne3+ more then the game line and he is right. White missed 34. Nf4 as a better defense against 32. Re8 33. Ng2 Nd4+. The best black can get here is a piece: Nb3 Re2 Rxe2 Kxe2 gxf gxf Rxf4. Instead after 32. Ne3+ Ke2 Re8 Rc1 Ng2+ Kd1 Rxe1+ Kc2 Ne3+ Kb1 Rxc1+ Ka2 (Kxc1 Rf1+ and #) black cashes in an additional rook. And a lot more pats on the back for being so witty :-) (If there weren't those team mates that consider lines they do understand always better then the best lines).

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The development of white forces is so woefully poor (it looks like a tribute to obstruction) compared to Black’s that probably a few moves will suffice to reach a clearly winning position. I would try to exploit the exposed position of White’s king and rooks with 29... e3:

A) 30.fxe3 Nxg3+ 31.Kf2 Ne4+ .
B) 30.Rc2 exf2
B.1) 31.Kxf2 Rf8 (threatening 32... Nd4+)
B.1.a) 32.Kg1 Ne3 .
B.1.b) 32.Ke2 Re7+ 33.Kd2 Ne3 .
B.1.c) 32.Rcd2 Ne3+ 33.Kxe3 Re7#.
B.1.d) 32.Rcc1 Ne3+ 33.Kxe3 Re7+ 34.Kd2 Rf2#.
B.1.e) 32.Re2 Nd4+ .
B.2) 31.Ng2 Rf8
B.2.a) 32.Kxf2 Nd4+ .
B.2.b) 32.Kf1 Nxg3#.
B.2.c) 32.Rf1 Nxg3+ .
B.2.d) 32.Ne3 Nxe3 33.Kxe3 f1=Q .

Let’s see.

Jan-23-09  njchess: I got the first three moves since they are almost forced (29. ... e3 30. Rc2 exf2). I did analyze lines based on Kxf2 and Ng2 for White's 31st move. Both lines favor Black in that White trades a rook for a knight.

You don't often see the Sicilian Nimzowitsch today. Few players are prepared for it, though either side can transpose it readily enough to other Sicilian variations. In this game, Black gets his own version of the Maroczy Bind, which, in the end, proves to be deciding.

Jan-23-09  JG27Pyth: Found the e3 line leading to the N+fork, but I never consider Rc2 :( 1/3 credit.
Jan-23-09  YouRang: There is a lot of tension in this position that is created by our Pe4 and white's somewhat cramped position.

I briefly looked at 29...exd3, but this simply relieves white's tension and crampedness.

However, 29...e3! turns up the heat by forking Rd2 and Pf2.

White hardly wants to play 30.Rc2, allowing 30...exf2 31.Kxf2. This puts his king in a vulnerable position and leaves Pg3 hanging. It might continue 31...Rf7 which threatens both (1) an exchange-winning discovered check or (2) an exchange winning N-fork at e3. White can't avoid it: e.g. 32.Ke2 Re8+ 33.Kd2 Ne3+ .

So, white must capture with 30.fxe3 leaving Pg3 undefended: 30...Nxg3 forcing 31.Kf2 and now we have an exchange-winning knight fork with 31...Ne4+, thanks to the pinned rook.

Jan-23-09  stacase: Push the Pawn! They don't call those of us with low Elos woodpushers for nothing!
Jan-23-09  wals: Davide Marotti - Wilhelm Schoenmann, Olympiad The Hague NED 1928

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu 32-bit: 16 ply time 6min 5 sec

1. (-2.65): 29...e3 30.fxe3 Nxg3+[] 31.Kf2 Ne4+[] 32.Kg1 Nxd2[] 33.Rxd2 Rh8[] 34.Re2 Rh3 35.b4

2. = (-0.09): 29...exd3+ 30.Nxd3[] Rd6 31.b3 Rf8 32.Re1 Re8+ 33.Kd1 Rxe1+ 34.Nxe1 Kf6 35.Kc2 Rxd2+ 36.Kxd2 Nd6 37.Kd3 Ke5

(, 24.01.2009)

Jan-23-09  SamAtoms1980: Ding!! The endgame is my realm.
Jan-23-09  whiteshark: Both white rooks stand in the other's way. Pretty how the black ♘ mixed it with them.
Jan-23-09  johnlspouge: Friday (Difficult):

D Marotti vs W Schoenmann, 1928 (29…?)

Black to play and win.

Material: Even. The White Ke2 has 1 legal move. The Black battery Rd8 and Rd7 faces the White battery Rd1 and Rd2, obscured by Pd3. The White Pd3 is not pinned to Rd2, but Ke2 is burdened with Rd2. The Black Nf5 can give check, whereas the White Ne1 passively defends Pd3. The Black Kg2 is secure.

Candidates (29…): Nd4+, Nxg3+, exd3, e3


Black is attacking the base of the White P-chain. Feasibly, White can take Pe3 or move Rd2:

(1) 30.fxe3 Nxg3+ 31.Kf2 Ne4+

White drops an exchange because Pd3 is now pinned.

(2) 30.Rc2 Rh8 (threatening 32…Rh2 and then …Rd7)

Black has no good defense against the invasion of the 2-nd rank.

(2.1) 31.Ng2 Rh2 32.Nxe3 [Rg1 Rd7] Rd7

and Ph2 pins Pf2 whether or not Ke2 moves.

(2.2) 31.fxe3 Rh2+ 32.Kf1 Nxe3+

White drops a N.

<[Toga rates the difference between 30…Rh8 and 30…exf2 at about 0.3 P.]>

The main point is of course that after 29...e3 there are several winning variations. The move attacks the base of the P-chain and further cramps the White position, so Black's superior mobility becomes decisive: White cannot organize his pieces for defense.

Jan-23-09  TheBish: D Marotti vs W Schoenmann, 1928

Black to play (29...?) "Difficult" (3 stars)

My first impression was that the only move to really consider (i.e. the only candidate move) is 29...e3! This is based on opening lines to the White king, without allowing White's rooks to get active. Also, the pawn on e3 becomes very strong, and immune to capture.

After 29...e3!, there are only two options:

a) 30. fxe3 Nxg3+ 31. Kf2 Ne4+! 32. dxe4 (else White loses the exchange anyway) Rxd2+ 33. Rxd2 Rxd2+ 34. Ke3 Rxb2 and Black wins easily;

b) 30. Rc2 Rh8! (stronger than Re8 or Re7, but exf2 also wins), threatening 31...Rh2 -- and now:

b1) 31. Ng2 (fxe3?? Rh2+ 32. Kf1 Nxe3+ 33. Kg1 Rxc2 loses a knight) Rh2 32. Nxe3 (or Rg1 Re7 33. Rc1 exf2+ 34. Kxf2 Re3! 35. Rd1 Rf3+ 36. Ke1 Rxg3 37. Rd2 [Kf2 Rhxg2+ 38. Rxg2 Rxg2+ 39. Kxg2 Ne3+] Nh4 38. Kf1 Nf3 wins the exchange) Re7! and 33...Nxe3 will kill, regardless of whether White moves his king or not, i.e. 33. Ke1 Nxe3, and the win of a knight plus an exchange = a whole rook!

b1) 31. Kf1 (or Rcc1 Rh2 32. Kf1 e2+! 33. Kxe2 Nxg3+ 34. Ke3 [Kd2 Rxf2+ 35. Ke3 Re2#] Re7+ 35. Kd2 Rxf2#) exf2 32. Kxf2 (or Rxf2 Ne3+) Rf7! and White has no good move to avoid either Nd4+ or Ne3(+), e.g. 33. Rcd2 Ne3+! 34. Kxe3? Re8#, or 33. Ke2 Rh2+ 34. Kf1 Ne3+, winning a knight as in note b1).

The "skinny" is, the key move weakens White's defense, simultaneously weakening e3, f2 and g3, and allowing Black's pieces to take advantage of White's passive piece placement.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black prepares a deep Knight Fork combination with the deflection sham sacrifice 29...e3! , which also happens to be the solution to the Friday, Jan 23, 2009 puzzle.
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