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Pal Benko vs Wolfram Hartmann
"A Wolfram in Sheep's Clothing" (game of the day Feb-04-2022)
Norwegian Open (1984), Gausdal NOR
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation (A16)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-15-14 <perfidious> Try playing poker, watching all the money go in with one card still to come, be a big favourite (only one to four cards can defeat you of forty or so) and the miracle comes true.

Final showdown from The Cincinnati Kid.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Never seen the movie--just lived it on both sides of the equation, many times over.
Apr-15-14  Sally Simpson: Hi FSR,

Unfortunately that is me.

It was simul v a school as a favour for a lad who took the chess class. They had been primed with this trap, I faced it about 7 or 8 times. I of course knew it and either sacced on f7 or played Nxd5.

Later I figured out White can get a stonking attack with....

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5.0-0! Qxe5 6.c3

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But enough of that - back on thread. Same idea with a slight twist.

Kalix - Zunker, Germany 1994 (White to play)

(be careful it's not as easy as it seems.)

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Braga - Bruned, Spain 2004

(You have seen the mating pattern - play the trick.)

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If you run that mating pattern through any reasonable database you will find quite a lot of checkmates that were actually played. In defence of Benko it does seem that the pattern is sending no alarm bells to the defending player.

Madynski - Panek, Poland 1999
(I'll leave it to the lads to make up a 'panic' pun.)

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White here saw the idea and sacced the exchange to pull the c4 Knight away from defending the e5 square.

1.Rxa3 Nxa3 2.Qe5.

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Black should now pin the d4 Knight with 2..Qb6. Instead he played for a Queen swap with 2...Qc7 and White wrapped it up with 3.Qg7+ 4.Nf5++ and Nh6 mate.

Apr-15-14  PJs Studio: Boster. Even when I've never seen a mating pattern before I can usually find it fairly quickly. It's the amount of time I have to spend that I wish to improve on. Usually on Monday and Tuesdays I find the answer in five to ten seconds, but some are a little odd or awkward. This one isn't awkward, I just kept looking in the wrong direction...for less than a minute. Not too bad.

Now, if I could just get off my butt and study my strategic theory. Blech!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Wow!!!!!

Mate in three, 21...QxP/g2+!, followed by 22...Bf3+; and then 23...Nh3#. (No defense, it is all forced.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I'm amazed that Benko fell for this ... not totally unbelievable, but surprising! Especially since Benko - at his prime - might have been in the top ten in the world.
Apr-15-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Nice one by expert problemist Benko. Took me a couple of minutes, since I was looking at moves to f3 or h3. But since those didn't turn out to be forcing enough -- f-pawn moves and knight retreats are strong for the defense -- I soon found

21 ... Qxg2+
22 Kxg2 Bf3+
23 Kg1 Nh3#

Apr-15-14  barryh1976: Chrisowen, thanks for the comical post.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Sally Simpson> You needn't be so modest. Kalix - 1.Nf5 Bf6 2.Bxf6 looks easy. Of course 1.Qg7+?? doesn't work with h6 covered.

In the other game, 1.Qh6! Qf6 2.Bxf6 is curtains.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Cheapo by the Dozen: Nice one by expert problemist Benko.>

I think you are operating under a misconception. Benko <lost> this game.

Apr-16-14  Aurora: <FSR: <Cheapo by the Dozen: Nice one by expert problemist Benko.> I think you are operating under a misconception. Benko <lost> this game.>

That's exactly Benko's problem. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Cheapo> evidently operates under more than his fair share of misconceptions, for that is why he has, nolens volens, found himself forced to resort to cheapos.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Yes,I erred. The ONLY mate here is 21...♕g2+ 22 ♔xg2 ♗f3+ 23 ♔g1 ♘h3#.

I was thinking about it last night. Thanks for the correction.

Apr-16-14  independentthinker: FSR - thank you, Sir.
Aug-23-17  Optimal Pieces: So the black player isn't Christer Hartman from Sweden?

In this blog post it is Christer Hartman:

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessCoachClark: The pending mating pattern in the continuation of this game is actually one of two called Bird's Mate. The first one I noted is what I call Bird's Mate Type A, where the defending King is adjacent to the corner, the attacking Knight is on an edge file and the supporting Bishop (cutting off escape) is on a main diagonal.

click for larger view

(Ana Filipa Baptista vs Catarina Viana, Lisbon 1999, 37 moves, 1-0. These two girls, both under 10 years old, played for the championship of Portugal!)

The other form of Bird's Mate, which I refer to as Bird's Mate Type B, finds the defending King in the corner, the attacking Bishop is on a main diagonal and the supporting Knight is on an edge file.

click for larger view

(Harmen Jonkman vs Rob Bertholee, Haarlem NED 2002, 27 moves, 1-0.)

Many examples of both patterns are easily found in all chess databases.

Calling them A and B is an obviously personal and arbitrary choice.

The main idea to remember is that the Knight makes mate in one case (A) and the Bishop makes mate in the other (B).

Indeed, this was a beautiful game.

Feb-04-22  Immortal Gambit: Very worthy game and pun.
Feb-04-22  Cheapo by the Dozen: Wolfram Hartmann??!!

What a name for Buffy/Angel fans!!

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I nominated this for GOTD almost eight years ago, and had quite forgotten about it. What a shot!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <FSR> Interesting game, good pun, hope your 299 other ones will come faster.

Your previous comment summarises it: "I suppose that having won a pawn earlier with a simple tactic against his 2200-ish opponent, he was in "la de da, I'm a pawn up and I'll just trade off pieces and win" mode."

Many comparisons above about busting a winning position: boxing, football, poker, backgammon, etc. To add a more recent example: F1. British fans will know what it's about.

Feb-04-22  Brenin: <Teyss>: Your comparison of chess with F1 is interesting (and yes, the exciting finish of last year's WC still hurts for this UK F1 fan). At least in chess you need not worry about your Q suddenly disintegrating to a pile of sawdust, your opponent's K barging yours off the board, or FIDE changing the rules (or their interpretation of them) during a game to make it more interesting for a TV audience.

As for the game, I wonder what it must feel like to play a move such as 21 ... Qxg2+ against a GM; sadly, I'll never know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <Brenin> I sympathise although my partner who follows motor racing says the F1-DE rules were respected. But then she's Dutch... Honestly I'm neutral.

<I wonder what it must feel like to play a move such as 21 ... Qxg2+ against a GM>. Against a "normal" player it's already exciting so against a GM must be:
Quadruple-check for 30 minutes I didn't miss anything and he did.
Wipe forefront.
Drink water because of dry mouth.
Wipe spilled water and sweat from board without moving pieces. Say "J'adoube" five times just in case.
Continuously repeat mentally "Remove Pawn first, then move Queen".
Finally move pieces holding wrist with other hand to ensure it doesn't shake too much.
Avoid GM's gaze. Raise head and realise he already signed scoresheet and left table.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <Teyss> lol

What a beautiful final position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: I don't think I've ever seen that checkmate before.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The final position with all the pieces lined up on the g-file is picturesque:

click for larger view

Cf. Van Wely vs Carlsen, 2015 "g-Whiz" (see position after White's 20th move).

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