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Max Judd vs James Congdon
3rd American Chess Congress, Chicago (1874), Chicago, IL USA, Jul-16
Russian Game: Classical Attack. Mason Variation (C42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-08-07  zb2cr: I, too, am conditioned by past <> Monday puzzles to look for a speedy mate. I spent some 20 seconds looking at 30. Qxh8, Kxh8; 31. Bxf6+ before concluding there was nothing there. Then, I reconsidered and saw the fork.

The Mason variation in Petroff's Defense (to use the old name) is supposed to be a quieter opening line than other classical lines. In this game, Black let his development lag--he didn't move his light-squared Bishop until move 20. This gave White time to organize a slow, determined Kingside attack.

Oct-08-07  not yet a patzer: <Waitaka: <not yet a patzer> Cmon, you found it. You saw the royal fork, and nothing better. You found but did not believe you did. Cheer up!>

Hmmm, so trading a knight for a rook is the solution? Okay, I'll cheer up:o)

Oct-08-07  realbrob: Okay, so this was a Monday and I looked for an easy, rapid way to finish the game off, but it was immediately clear there was none. So the best thing to do was follow's 11th commandment ("thou shalt sacrifice thy queen every monday") and play 30.Qxh8+ Kxh8 followed by the royal fork. It seems I was right.
Oct-08-07  Men Tal: Board Assessment
White: Queen under attack, strong knight posting at e5 Black: King more exposed, Rooks uncoordinated
Suggested solution 30. Qxh8+ KxQ 31. Nxf7+ (nasty fork)K moves 32. NxQ RxN and White is up the exchange plus a pawn. If not capitulation, White could continue the assault with Re7+ (had the K moved to the 2nd rank, cleaning up the b pawn with the Rook, leaving Black's g pawn exposed, and should he choose, continue to trade off material with Bxf6 RxF6 at some point.
Oct-08-07  znprdx: Sheesh someone woke up in a grumpy mood (too much turkey visting Canadian relatives for our Thanksgiving?) Anyway what was with Black's death wish 34...c5? At least Nd7 may have provided a glimmer of hope or perhaps even better Ne4. In real life these kind of exchange up games more often than not deteriorate into draws...PS where was the problem? After White's 27.Kh2? I am curious - Nh5 looks pretty strong. An 1874 Petroff - who are these players - could they see the future? :)
Oct-08-07  znprdx: <mkrk17: The day i goof up on monday, i will give up playing chess & King mega:> Trust me it will happen - there are some amazing chess positions - and on the contrary precisely because you may miss it, will deepen your resolve to continue play - you won't quit. By the way you'd be in good company: >Blunders and Brilliancies< by Moe Moss, Ian Mullen, 1985 Pergamon Chess Series (ISBN: 0080371361)
Oct-08-07  xrt999: < znprdx: Anyway what was with Black's death wish 34...c5? At least Nd7 may have provided a glimmer of hope or perhaps even better Ne4.>

I agree, pretty bad move. It is along the same lines as 9...dxc4 allowing white to develop his light square bishop pinning the f7 pawn, where it stays pretty much the whole game.

In any event, at this point black is down the exchange and the moves are pretty much moot, black is hoping for a miracle.

Oct-08-07  zb2cr: <znprdx>,

I think your suggestion 34. ... Ne4 is better than 34. ... Nd7. The latter makes the Rook overworked, White could play 34. ... Nd7; 35. Bxg6 winning a Pawn, since if 35. ... Rxg6; 36. Rxd7.

Oct-08-07  YouRang: Like others, I spent more time looking for something better than actually finding the solution. Good of to throw a few curveballs once in a while. :-)
Oct-08-07  Marmot PFL: This is a simple standard combination, yet two world champions overlooked it - Alekhine vs Euwe, 1937
Oct-08-07  chessmoron: Weekend Puzzle EXTRA! EXTRA!

White to play and draw:

Post answers in here: chessmoron chessforum

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White lends the queen but in exchange picks up a rook and pawn for a knight. Black plays this one beyond a normal life span- when he finishes two bishops down. I guess he was hoping for a miracle...
Oct-08-07  Fezzik: Chessmoron, that's a cool position! Ok, so it's totally artificial, but it has a nice red herring idea in addition to the correct idea. (I won't divulge which is which in order not to ruin the fun for others) Here's a hint though: Watch out for Black's Bf5 because it's check! @WhiteKnight:

I always think of the famous Spassky-Petrosian fork when I see moves like Qh8 inducing a Knight fork. It's a classic!

Oct-08-07  chessmoron: <Fezzik> Be my guest on solving it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, White initiates a winning Knight Fork with 30. Qxh8+! This simple combination leaves White up the exchange and two pawns, with an easy win in sight.
Oct-08-07  TheaN: OMG IT'S NOT TEH MATEZ0R!


Well, anyways. I looked over 10 minutes at some crazy wicked mate in 2 or 3 moves, but I guess that the solution wins: the combination is Monday, the ending is not at all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Black not aware of the fork trick, plays 29...Rh8 which loses material & the game with simply 30.Qxh8+ Kxh8 31.Nxf7+ Kg7 32.Nxd6 Rxd6 33.Re7+ Kf8 34.Rxb7 Of course, White has to be cautious & not allow his huge winning advantage to just slip away.
Oct-08-07  Crowaholic: <not yet a patzer: Hmmm, so trading a knight for a rook is the solution?>

No, the solution is to trade the knight for a rook and a pawn. That's +3 not +2 points.

I got this one in a few seconds despite the fact that there was no mate simply because I am looking for the Monday queen sac and the only good square to sac the queen on was h8. But the pain outweighed the satisfaction. I am developing sort of a love-hate-relationship with queen sac Mondays because they make me feel like a Pavlovian dog. It's Monday!
Crowaholic: Sacrifice the queen! Good boy! Here's your treat.


Oct-08-07  zb2cr: Actually, I retract my previous comment to <znprdx>. 34. ... Ne4 is even worse for Black--White plays 35. Bxe4, Bxe4; 36. Be7+ and wins the remaining Black Rook for free.

So it appears that perhaps Black's 34. ... c5 may have been the least of the evils.

Oct-08-07  Achilles87: pedantic but wouldn't 49. a5 be better?
Oct-08-07  pawnofdoom: Wow. Even I got this one. Im surprised Congdon didn't resign earlier, though, as he was lost long before move 50. Congdon showed lots of resistance even after falling for the tactic, continuing to play good moves, like 40. ... ♗xf4+ and 37. ... ♗e4
Oct-08-07  zb2cr: Actually, <Achilles87>, I'm not so sure . 49. a5 may give Black more drawing chances than the capture.

49. a5, b4 and White's temporarily held up. 50. Bb7, b3; 51. Bc1. This is more or less forced, as b2 is the last square the Bishop can control. 51. ... Ke5; 52. Bb2+, Kd6; 53. a6, Kc7 gives White a chance to go wrong.

Oct-09-07  Tactic101: A common enough theme. Qxh8 and Nxf7+, winning the exchange.
Aug-31-09  WhiteRook48: Qxh8!!
Jan-12-11  chesskidnate: <chessmoron> It didn't seem like you had a forum... btw very pretty puzzle
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