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Friedrich Saemisch vs Franz Herzog
"Sämisch's Immortal" (game of the day Jul-02-2008)
Reichenberg-Gablonz (1924), Liberec CSR, Aug-??
French Defense: Normal Variation (C10)  ·  1-0



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Given 24 times; par: 44 [what's this?]

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sac: 22.Qxh6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-21-11  Rob Morrison: It's all very pretty, but white could have just played 22. Bxf6 and it's over.
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Very pretty game.

<Rob Morrison: It's all very pretty, but white could have just played 22. Bxf6 and it's over.>

That was my preference but I am not sure that is stronger than what Samisch played - he would have had to convert a long queen versus rook and minor piece ending.

Note that 32..Qf2 33 Bxd3 doesn't help Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: What a stunning conception by Saemisch.

<black was lost after his third move> Good to know.

<It's all very pretty, but white could have just played 22. Bxf6 and it's over.> Spoilsport. :P

Oct-06-20  Jean Defuse: ...

This brilliant game was played in a club match, Reichenberg CC against Gablonz CC, in August 1924 in Reichenberg now Liberec.

Source: Shakhmaty Eshemesjachnyij Shurnal 1926, p. 13


Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: After the sac forcing moves leading to here,

click for larger view

the shortest win was 26.Re1! The only defense against 27.R1xe4 is 27...Re7 (27...c5 28.cxd5) and then White has 28.Bxe4+ followed by Rg7,Rxf7,Rxe7.

Mar-26-23  Brenin: My choice was 22 Bxf6, e.g. 22 ... gxf6 23 Qf5 Re4 23 Bxe4 dxe4 24 Qxf6+ Kh7 25 Qf5+ Kh8 26 Qg4 forcing Qxg3 27 Qxg3.
Mar-26-23  Brenin: And after 22 Bxf6, if 22 ... Qf4 (to defend against 23 Qxh6+) then 23 Rf3 Qd2 24 Qf5, threatening 25 Qh7 mate and forcing 24 ... Qxd2 25 Qxd2.
Mar-26-23  mel gibson: I saw 22. Qxh6+ within 20 seconds -
it was fairly easy - not insane.

Stockfish 15 says:

22. Qxh6+

(22. Qxh6+ (Qh3xh6+ g7xh6 Bc3xf6+ Bf8-g7
Rg3xg7 Re7-e4 Rg7-g4+ Kh8-h7 Rf1-e1 Rd7-e7 Rg4-g7+ Kh7-h8 Rg7-g3+ Kh8-h7 Bd3xe4+ d5xe4 Rg3-g7+ Kh7-h8 Rg7xf7+ Kh8-g8 Rf7xe7 Qc7-d6 Re7-g7+ Kg8-f8 ) +10.49/38 157)

score for White +10.49 depth 38.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: Saw the first couple moves almost at once, but thought a windmill was the goal.
Mar-26-23  Brenin: <mel gibson>: I also saw 22 Qxf6+ within 20 seconds (more like five, in fact), but it took me several minutes to work out that, while that move seemed likely to lead to a win, 22 Bxf6 was a much simpler and safer route to victory. I think it is far from "fairly easy" to show that 22 Qxh6+ wins: see the earlier kibitzing.
Mar-26-23  jrredfield: I thought of 22 Qxh6 right away, not really because of working it out (far from it actually), but because it's a Sunday POTD, I figured it might be something wild like that. But in wanting to chose a move that I could understand better, I settled on 22 Bxf6, which appears to be also winning. After more analysis and seeing the earlier kibitzing, I can see why the Q sac is best. Great Sunday POTD!
Mar-26-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: The first sequence I though was: 22. Qxh6+ gxh6 23. Bxf6+ Bg7 24. Rxg7 Re6 25. Rh7+ Kg8 26. Rh8#. But his line can ve rufeted (as our friend <Brenin> would say laterly), with 24... Re4. Then with the board at hands I found this variation: 25. Rg4+ Kh7 26. f3 Re7 27. fxe4 dxe4 28. Bxe4+ Rxe4 29. Rg7+ Kh8 30. Rxf7+ Kg8 31. Rxc7, but it is not forced and it is too long.

Things could be better if this could be applied: 23. Bxf6+ Bg7 24. Bxg7+ Kg8 25. Bxh6+? Kh8? 26. Bg7+ Kg8 27. Bf6+? Kf8?? 28. Rh3 Qxh2+ 29. Rxh2 Re1 30. Rh8#; but Black has 26...Qxg3 and after 27. hxg3 Re6 and the attack is over.

Therefore, I chose the simpler: 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Qf5! Now Black has to face 2 threats: 23...Bg7 24. Qh7# or 23...Re4 24. Qxf6+ (Bg7?? 25. Qxg7#) Kh7 25. f3 Rd6 26. Qf5+ Kh8 27. fxe4... White has a winning position without sacrifice. Let's check out!

Mar-26-23  Refused: Hum, bit too obvious for Sunday, or am I missing something?

22.Qxh6+ gxh6 23.Bxf6+ Bxg7 24.Rxg7 (white could always bail out with 24.Bxg7+ Kg8 25.Bxh6+ Kh8 26.Bg7+ etc. if he wants to) 24...Re4 forced (25.Rh7-h8# was a real problem) 25.Rg4+ Kh7 (white could again Bail out with Rg7-Rg4-Rg7) until now the line was pretty much forced, with white still having emergency exit at every move.

26.f3 +- now we get to some splits in the line, but black is completely bust at this point.

a) 26...Re7 trying to stabilize the blockade of the b1-h7 diagional doesn't work. 27.fxe4 dxe4 28.Bxe4+ Rxe4 29.Rg7+ Kh8 30.Rxf7+ and the Queen drops b) 26...c5 runs into similar problems 27.cxd5 Bxd5 28.fxe4 Bb7 (or anywhere else) 29.e5+ Rxd3 30.Rg7+ Kh8 31.Rxf7+ and the Queen drops again c) 26...h5 is probably the best attempt, at least that's opening up h6 for the King 27.Rg7+ Kh6 28.fxe4 c1) 28...dxe4 29.Bxe4 now there's no defense against 30.Rh7 (black would also get mated with the Kh8 in this position) c2) 28...dxc4 29.Bb1 that Bishop has to stay on the diagonal, and that Karpovian Bishop on b1 is super safe there) 29...Rd3 (black will have to play it after the e5 push anyway, and I don't see any good moves I want to make) 30.Bxd3 cxd3 31.Rg3 and white should be winning. There's probably a cleaner way to end this, but I fail to see it now.

Mar-26-23  King.Arthur.Brazil: I saw the move, but I don't believe this line was so strong after Black's Re4. Well, after 36...Qc6 37. Rf6+ Kg5 38. Rxe6+ Kf5 39. Rxc6... and the King is happy... lgs. But, I guess my move works too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Already knew this one, so no credit for me. 3/6 for the week. Egad. Monday yet?
Mar-26-23  geeker: I wanted to play 22. Qxh6, but it looked complicated so I analyzed 22. Bxf6, which seemed to work. That's what I'd have played in practice. I had a feeling the Q sac was better, but the combination of ineptness and laziness won out. ;-)
Mar-26-23  Mayankk: I wanted to play 22 Qxh6+ gxh6 23 Bxf6+ Bg7 24 Bxg7+ Kg8 25 Bf6+ Kf8 26 Bh7 (threatening Rg8#) Qxg3 27 fxg3.

White was still an exchange down although it had two strong Bishops and an opponent King on the run. But I wasn't convinced it was a sureshot win till I saw the text and realized 24 Rxg7 was much better.

Mar-26-23  Allderdice83: By the way, after 22. Qxh6!! Kg8, 23. Bxf6 there is a forced mate.

23 ... Qxg3 24. Qh7#

23 ... g6 24. Qh8#

23 ... Re4 24. Rxg7+ Bxg7 25. Qxg7#

23 ... anything else 24. Qh7#

Mar-26-23  Allderdice83: I saw through 24 ... Re4, but then my next move was 25. f3. After that, 25 ... Qf4 loses to 26. fxe4 protecting the bishop, and 26 ... Qxf1+ 27. Kxf1 Rd6 28. e5 followed by 29. Rxf7+ or 28 ... Rxf6 29. exf6 winning, or if 27 ... dxc4 (27 ... dxe4?? 28. Bxe4 and there's no stopping the mate) 28. Rxf7+ Kg8 29. Rxd7 cxd3 30. Rxb7 d2 31. Ke2.

26. Rxf7+ Rxf6 27. Rxc7 threatening R and B, 27 ... Rd4 28. Re1 Rf8 (28 ... Kg8 29. Bh7+ and 30. Rxb7 wins the bishop) 29. Ree7 Rd8 (Rb8 30. Rh7+ Kg8 31. Rcg7+ Kf8 32. Bg6 Ba6 33. Rxa7 wins the bishop due to the threat of Rh8#) 30. Rh7+ Kg8 31. Rcg7+ Kf8 32. Rxb7 and Black can't take on d3 due to the threat of Rh8#, or

27 ... Re3 28. Rd1 Ba6 29. Rxa7. Now if

29 ... Bxc4, then 30. Bxc4 and Black can't take back; 31 ... dxc4 32. Rd8+ with mate to follow.

29 ... Rxd3 30. Rxd3 Bxc4 31. Re3 wins, eg., 31 ... Rf8 32. Ree7 Bd3 33. Re6 c5 34. Rxh6+ Kg8 35. Rxb6 d4 36. Rd6 Bc2 37. Rc7

29 ... Bc8 30. Ra8 Re8 31. cxd5 cxd5 32. Ba6 Bd7 33. Rxe8+ Bxe8 34. Rxd5 should be enough to win; White's up 3 pawns with a rook each and bishops of same color, and White's pieces are more active.

Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: I picked 22 Bxc6 "despite" it seeming too easy for a Sunday. I'll count this as a find, partly because it meets the <Brenin> criterion and also, perhaps more crucially, it looks the more positive route to victory. The move I'd play OTB if anything was at stake, though perhaps Qxh6 in a bar game. Against good defence, a clearly winning advantage is easily secured after 22 Bxf6, but there's more work to do after 22 Qxh6.
Mar-26-23  agb2002: White is one knight and one pawn down.

Black threatens d4, closing the a1-h8 diagonal.

Four pieces aim at the black king. This leads to consider Bxf6 and Qxh6+.

In the case of 22.Bxf6:

A) 22... Re6 23.Qxh6+ Kg8 24.Qh7#.

B) 22... gxf6 23.Qf5 (23.Qg4 Qxg3 24.fxg3 dxc4 25.Bxc4 Bg7 with some resistance) 23... Re4 24.Bxe4 dxe4 25.Qg4 Qxg3 26.Qxg3 wins decisive material.

C) 22... Qf4 23.Rf3 Qd2 24.Qf5 Re4 25.Qxd7 wins decisive material.


In the case of 22.Qxh6+ gxh6 (22... Kg8 23.Bxf6 Qxg3 24.Qh7#) 23.Bxf6+ Bg7:

A) 24.Bf6+ Kf8 25.Bh7 Qxg3 looks winning for Black.

B) 24.Be5+ Kf8 25.Bxc7 Rxc7 26.cxd5 cxd5 does not seem to achieve much.

C) 24.Rxg7 Re4 (24... dxc4 25.Rh7+ Kg8 26.Rh8#) 25.Rg4+ (25.cxd5 cxd5 26.f3 Qf4 looks bad for White) 25... Kh7 26.Re1 Rde7 27.f3 h5 and Black seems to hold.


I'd play 22.Bxf6.

Mar-26-23  agb2002: I missed 27.Bxe4+ dxe4 (27... Rxe4 28.Rxe4 dxe4 29.Rg7+ Kh8 30.Rxf7+) 28.Rg7+ Kh8 29.Rxf7+ Kg8 30.Rxe7 Qd6 (30... Qf4 31.Rd1) 31.Rg7+ Kh8 32.Bc3 and the discovered check will win decisive material.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I'd fast viking brawl it's churn q marple do it's z Qxh6 abracadabra mob bishop ha about gloat coffin dud axiom jack it's a cog mug Qxh6 eye :)
Mar-26-23  Arlekhino: Very beautiful last move by White! If Black tried 36... Qc6 or Qb8, White would checkmate in four: 37. Rf6+ Kg5 38. Rg7+ Kh4 39. Rf4+ disc. Kh3 40. Rh4#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: Like JRRedfield, I found Q x h6 immediately because it was a 'puzzle; first few moves are obvious. I doubt I would have played it in a real game.
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