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Jerzy Kostro vs Wlodzimierz Schmidt
Rubinstein Memorial (1968), Polanica-Zdroj POL, Aug-??
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B48)  ·  0-1



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Given 19 times; par: 63 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-05-07  mpmeints: I am going to ask what must be the obvious (but I am missing-being at work and not having a much time to look).

Why did white not play 26 King H2 and take the rook while the bishop has blocked the rooks protection.

I know black can pull the bishop back and threaten the white rook with a discovered check, but the King has two ways to escape and would have an extra piece to sacrifice for protection.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <mpmeints> Indeed, that's the whole point of the puzzle. 26. Kxh2? loses to 26 ... Bf2+:

click for larger view

with mate after 27. Qh5 Rxh5#.

Oct-05-07  YouRang: I missed it. However, I feel like I learned something! :-)

This looks like a tactic worth remembering.

I knew I wanted to move the DSB, given white's weakness with dark squares, but I couldn't find a good place to put it.

I glanced at 25...Bh4, but (once again) my shallow analysis dismissed it since it left my rook hanging. Too lazy to notice that this rook sac leads to mate-in-2! :-(

Oct-05-07  outsider: wow! did three stars for the first time and in two minutes. hope everybody else succeeded as well
Oct-05-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <Creg> & <psmith> Yes, I agree that Q sac is beautiful play and very appealing to all sensibilities.

I should've elaborated my "I am not sure why black sacrificed his queen" remark; I meant more something along the lines of: what prompted Schmidt to even look at the Q sac, which does not get fully resolved until about 8 full moves later, when Kb8 was readily available? Computer evaluation is incidental here, just confirming that Kb8 is indeed a good move.

It sure took guts to play that sac, trusting yourself not to have made a mistake in the 16-ply calculation....

<VargPOD>, <awfulhangover> and anyone else who found it easy for Friday - yes, it was a bit below average according to my computer evals, but not much. On the other hand, Thu/Fri difficulties are not that far apart. This puzzle could've been just as well in the range of harder Thursdays.

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Some poor saps as White would have played 26. Kxh2, walking right into Bf2#. I'm not saying who.
Oct-05-07  kbaumen: I found Bh4 but why 27 ... Bb6 if 27. ... Bh4 can be played again? I can't really see how to avoid the mate 28. ... Rh1+ 29. Kxh1 Bf2+ 30. Qh5 Rxh5# without giving up a lot of material or getting another kind of mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White is in zugzwang: After 41 b3 a3 and black will gobble up white's knight pawns and with take the others in good time.
Oct-05-07  SuperPatzer77: White resigns because White is in complete zugzwang. If White moves the second b-pawn to b3, Black's strong reply to 41.b3 is 41...a3! (not 41...axb3?? 42.Kxb3 still unclear). Black forces White to give up all of his white pawns.

41. d5 (White is in despair) exd5, 42. Kd4 Kxb4, 43. Kxd5 Kb3, 44. Ke6 Kxb2, 45. Kf6 a3, 46. Kxg6 a2, 47. Kxf5 a1=Q, 48. Ke6 Qa4, 49. f5 Qg4!, 50. Ke5 Kc3, 51. f6 Qd7, 52. Kf4 Kd4, 53. Kg5 Qf7, 54. Kf5 Kd5 . Thus, White is in complete zugzwang.

Oct-05-07  Crowaholic: I found 25. ..Bh4! with the Rh1+ mating threat quickly but missed the great 26. Rd8+ deflection sacrifice by White and the following complications.

<lentil: Can anyone explain why black played 27. ... Bb6 instead of the (now) obvious 27. ...Bh5>

27. ..Bh4? 28. Nf3 has already been mentioned, but here is a more in-depth discussion:

28. Nf3 with the idea of Nh2 after the discovered check stops the mate, and after 28. ..Bg3 there is 29. Nxh2, of course. 28. ..Bxf3 is possible, but as the g pawn is no longer pinned after ..Rh1+, 29. Rxf3 again prevents the mate. E.g.

28. Nf3 Bxf3 29. Rxf3 Be1! 30. Qxe1 Rh1+ 31. Kf2 Rxe1 32. Kxe1 with approximate equality.

If White loses the Q anyway, maybe 29. Qxf3 is better, though. Black can trade both rooks for the queen with 29. ..Rh1+ etc., but this leaves White with a rook vs bishop endgame - not good. What's worse is that Black gets to keep the dark-squared bishop but all his pawns are on light squares (and after b3 the same goes for most white pawns). So this should be a white endgame win.

To sum things up, White can at least draw in this line, and possibly win.

Oct-05-07  Creg: <MAJ> Having explained your point in greater detail sheds new light on what you were trying to say. Though this happens to all of us at one time or another.

To answer your question in a very simple to the point kind of way is...Tactics!

Now the long answer...:)
Since the dawn of chess, or at least it feels like that...:) Masters have always expressed the importance of studying tactics. Study tactics every day, as often as possible, and never stop.

If you study tactics long enough, the queen sacrifice actually stands out as a primary candidate move for any master level player. Black has two rooks bearing down the h-file, one bishop on the a8-h1 diagonal and a knight sitting pretty at g4. With all this fire power hitting the king-side Shmidt only needed to find a way to get control of the dark squares. Once he envisioned the bishop coming to h4 he most likely realized that the knight at d6 would defend all too well. Viola! Lets get rid of the knight, and see what happens.

It's important to note that one probably does not think queen sac first, but rather sees the mating threats of bishop to h4 and then looks for ways to make the threats plausible. This is when moves such as Qxd6 become playable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: After a sac-fest, beginning with 20...Nxe5!? and 22...Qxd6!?, GM Schmidt follows up with the only continuation to maintain his attacking initiative against the weak Kingside castled position with today's puzzle solution 25...Bh4!

The outcome is simplification to a won King and Pawn ending. For those wishing to study true sacrfices, combinational attacking play, and endgame tactics this is truly a game worthy of study

Oct-05-07  JamesBJames: Wow, this is perhaps the first Friday one I've actually got. Bh4! is a very nice move.
Oct-05-07  willyfly: I didn't get this one. Not even close. But after looking at the solution - this is a beauty. I will really study this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It's a very tactical game all the way & I think, the puzzle should start on 22...Qxd6! However, 25...Bh4! threatening mate on next move [ but not 25...Rxg2+ 26.Qxg2 ] 26.Rd8+ what else? ...Bxd8 27.Nd4 Bb6 & Black is in a commanding position but for a win has to play precisely. Indeed, an instructive game & the end game tactics where White lands in zugswang is simply superb!
Oct-05-07  SuperPatzer77: <kbaumen> and <Crowaholic> - I completely agree with Crowaholic - 27...Bb6 is much better than 27...Bh4?. If instead of 27. Nd4, 27.Nd2?, Bb6+ forcing mate of 28...Rh1#. The only move for White is 27. Nd4 Bb6 pinning the White Knight on d4. Black creates very powerful pressure on King side and exploits White's weak Pawn structure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This is my first post. I got this puzzle but not until after many dead ends. I agree with Whiteshark’s comments about move number 28 for black.

“Starting with 28... Rxg2+ black transformed his advantage immediately into a winning endgame. However, he could have use the circumstance that white is in a zugzwang-like position. Moving <28...R8h3!> brings the rook in a better position, compared to the actual game, so that it's serves an even more superior endgame.”

I found this move as well. My analysis showed that after 28… R8h3 then white is indeed left between a rock and a hard place. If he tries say 29 a3 or a4 then the sequence: 29… Bxd4+ 30 cxd4 Rxg2+ 31 Qxg2 Bxg2 32 Kxg2 Rd3 wins white’s d pawn for black and a 2 pawn end game advantage.

Oct-05-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <fm avari viraf: It's a very tactical game all the way & I think, the puzzle should start on 22...Qxd6!> Alas, 22...Kb8 is a perfectly good (but plain and comparatively ugly) alternative to Qxd6, so it would not be a good puzzle.

<Creg> I am quite aware that tactical combinations frequently arise by first visualizing the desired position and then figuring out how to get there, and sometimes describe my thoughts in precisely that sequence, but thanks for the tutorial anyway :-)

The trust that black had in his 16-ply calculation is what impresses me most about this game...

Oct-05-07  birdplaya: When I went through the game i thought that he blew the win on move 40. ... f5 when he blocked his three pawns with one of whites. Then I realized that it was a brillant move, forcing white to lose the endgame. The puzzle was nice, but my favorite part was the well played ending by black.
Oct-05-07  Marmot PFL: Found it rather quickly for Friday with Bh4 cutting off the king's escape. Unusual in that the winner still has to win the ending.
Oct-05-07  netlava: lol I stopped calculating after Bh4
Oct-05-07  capabaro07: It took me 15 mts to find 25.....Bh4
Was knocked out to see 26.Rd8+ I wonder if Schmidt saw this in advance?
Oct-05-07  xrt999: Black's advantage going into the end game is 0.94 according to CM at move 32. So, after a series of exchanges and 7 moves later, black has a pawn advantage going into the endgame. I think that is the real solution.

I dont think solving the puzzle is just Bh4 threatening mate.

Oct-05-07  not yet a patzer: <MostlyAverageJoe: <not yet a patzer> and <moppa> Rd8+ is not really a desperation move - it gains a tempo that white is sorely missing>

<MAJ> I totally agree. I am just trying to think of a different word for "desperate" when a player trades a rook for a tempo, because that, to the uneducated, like myself, sounds pretty extreme. Is this a common technique - trading a piece, especially a rook, for a tempo?

Apr-10-17  docbenway: Just saw this game, what grabs me is the use of the black pawns in the ending.
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