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John A Curdo vs Robert Byrne
95th US Open (1994), Chicago, IL USA, rd 4, Aug-10
Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack (B51)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Well, whaddya know? Curdo got him when he was old.
Feb-11-21  mel gibson: Nice one.

Stockfish 12 says:

20. Qxh7+

(20. Qxh7+ (♕h6xh7+ ♔g8xh7 h4xg5+ ♔h7-g8 g5xf6 ♗f8-h6+ ♖h1xh6 ♗c6-f3 f6-f7+ ♔g8-f8 ♖h6-h8+ ♔f8-e7 ♖h8xa8 ♔e7xe6 f7-f8♕ ♗f3xd1 ♖a8-e8+ ♔e6-d5 ♕f8-f7+ ♔d5-c6 ♖e8-c8+ ♔c6-b6 ♕f7-c7+ ♔b6-b5 ♕c7xc5+ ♔b5-a4 b2-b3+) +M14/73 33)

mate in 14.

Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <chancho: 17...Qxa2 and White is busted.> Really? What happens after 18. b3 ? If 18...O-O, then 19. Qc3.
Feb-11-21  Ivan Karamazov: It's not as easy as it seems. I saw moves 20-22 surprisingly quickly, and was very pleased with myself. But the story's not done there.

Six-Second-Stockfish points out 22...Bh6+ 23.Rxh6 Bf3. Black is still in a mating net, but it takes up to another 11 moves to deliver the coup de grace.

Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a pawn for a bishop.

Black threatens Bxh6 and Rxe6.

The control of f7 and convergence of the bishop and rook on h8 suggests 20.Qxh7+ Kxh7 21.hxg5+:

A) 21... Kg8 22.gxf6

A.1) 22... Be8 23.f7+ Bxf7 24.Rh8#.

A.2) 22... Be7 23.f7+ Kf8 24.Rh8#.

A.3) 22... Bd6 23.f7+ Kf8 24.Bxd6+ Kg7 25.Be5+ Kf8 26.Bf6 and 27.Rh8#.

A.4) 22... Bg7 23.f7+ Kf8 24.Bd6#.

A.5) 22... Bh6+ 23.Rxh6

A.5.a) 23... Bd5(e4,e8) 24.Rh8+ Kxh8 25.f7+ Kh7 26.Rh1#.

A.5.b) 23... Bxg2 24.Rxg6+ Kf8 (24... Kh7(8) 25.Rxg2 and mate in two) 25.Bd6+ Qxd6 (25... Ke8 26.Rg8#) 26.Rxd6 wins decisive material.

B) 21... Kg7 22.gxf6+ Kg8 23.f7#.

C) 21... Bh6 22.Rxh6+ Kg8 (22... Kg7 23.Bxf6+ Kg(f)8 24.Rh8#) 23.Bxf6 and 24.Rh8#.

Feb-11-21  Walter Glattke: D) Think, that also 20.Bxf6 Bxh6 wins: But 21.hxg5 Bg7 22.d7 Re8 23.Rh2 Rxe7 24.Bxe7 Kf7 seems to be no more than draw, and E) 20.Qxf8+ Rxf8 21.hxg5 Bxg2 is won by black, A.5b) with 24.f7+ Kf8 25.Rh8+ Ke7 26.Rd7#
Feb-11-21  Walter Glattke: Oops, 26.-Kxe6, but slaughtering by 25.Rxa8 Kxe6 26.f8Q Kxe5 27.Re8+ Qe6 28.Rxe6+ mating
Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Kudos for Curdo!
Feb-11-21  Brenin: <Ivan Karamazov>: True, Stockfish's desperate defence delays the end, but White doesn't need to calculate all the way to the mate in 11: after 22 ... Bh6+ (clearing an escape square f8 for the K, with tempo) 23 Rxh6 Bf3 (clearing the 6th rank for Qxe6 and threatening Bxd1) 24 f7+ Kf8 25 Rh8+ Ke7 26 Rxa8 Bxd1 29 f8=Q+ Kxe6 Black is down by R+P with a hopelessly exposed K and no counterplay, so the game is effectively over.
Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: What a creative attack.
Feb-11-21  AlicesKnight: Found the game line. Give Stockfish credit for "fighting to the last watt" (as Alexander once said).
Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Docfoster Qh7+ gungho victor afflict plucks babble bevels vibrant low vagabond visage honour harangue joops docfoster favour victor quagmire mib but knelt learn her way its pocket cow nuzzles village demarcates vibrant hibiscus beggy bf8 hatches ablush luncheon pg4 felthat aka efface aorta visage a jar koinus jackrebus blusher goody 4 5 it ok von guv i quality it mews Qxh7+ gob;
Feb-11-21  BwanaVa: Considering his record, I don't know that I would call John Curdo an "ordinary master". While not a titled player, Curdo (now 89) has won the Massachusetts state title 17 times, is a former US US Senior title, and has won over 850 tournaments.

Curdo is one of those "Regional Champs" who is very strong, dominated his region, and was always a dangerous opponent. Guys like Rob Rowlett, Klaus Pohl, Viktors Pupols, and Charlie Powell come to mind (while Charlie was in VA). Curdo beat Bisguier, R. Byrne, and Benko over the board.

Feb-11-21  landshark: <BwanaVa>
I agree with you - Curdo is a beast. I remember him at tournaments in the 70's. He was super steady and always in contention for top honors.

I also remember - no beast is without cracks in his armor - he lost notably once to a class C player and it got written up in Chess Life. I wonder if anyone still has that game; I'd like to see a link to it.

Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Queen h7 what the fat forever no?
Feb-11-21  KevinDenelsbeck: Indeed, chrisowen, what the fat forever.
Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <KevinDenelsbeck> HAKA rank and file no?
Feb-11-21  woodenplayer: <al wazir> after 17. ...Qxa2 18. b3 O-O 19. Qc3 then either c4 or g4 or both and checks by Black's black-squared Bishop will thwart White's threatened mate on the long diagonal, leaving Black a piece up and White with a precarious king.
Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Sorry Phooey Qa2! humbug no? thank-you.
Feb-11-21  CaliWest: what's wrong with black responding with something like 22...Be8 ? I don't see a clear win for white at that point
Feb-11-21  CaliWest: ohhh now I see it. cuz black wouldn't be able stop Rh8#
Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < Curdo is one of those "Regional Champs" who is very strong, dominated his region, and was always a dangerous opponent. Guys like Rob Rowlett, Klaus Pohl, Viktors Pupols, and Charlie Powell come to mind (while Charlie was in VA). Curdo beat Bisguier, R. Byrne, and Benko over the board.>

Yes, I remember Klaus Pohl from some South Carolina tournaments long ago. What a terrific player he was!

I’ve seen a few Curdo games lately. Seems like you could write a good instructional book from his games. Maybe not this one. :-)

Feb-11-21  saturn2: For helpmate the solution is
20. Qxg6+ hxg6 21. hxg5 R any move  22. Rh8
Feb-11-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Kurt Braskin, Minnesota/midwest champion, 70s and 80s.
Feb-12-21  Nullifidian: 20. ♕xh7+ to lure the king in front of the rook. {20... Kxh7 21. Phxg5+ Kg8 (Bh6 22. Rxh6+ followed by Bxf6 and Rh8#) or the attractive ♔g7 22. ♙gxf6+ ♔g8 23. ♙f7#) 22. ♙xf6 and now white has two connected passed pawns and one will assuredly promote or black will give up a ruinous amount of material to stop it.
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