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Hannes Hlifar Stefansson vs Jorgen Norqvist
Rilton Cup (1998), Stockholm SWE, rd 1, Dec-28
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-31-13  Salty: Beautiful mate. I would never have found this.
Mar-31-13  vardeep: i thought 21.Qf3 to be the key move putting further pressure on f7 square. So I was wrong..anyways,after white's 21.Qc4, what happens if black responds with Be6??
Mar-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got the first move, and I bet I would have found two or three of the others if someone had supplied black's moves for me.
Mar-31-13  Salty: <vardeep> I was wondering the same because Be6 seems the most natural move, but at best it looks like black is down a knight after 22.Qxc3 Bxb3 23.Qxb3. 21. ...Nxa5 seems to misunderstand the threat on f6 while attempting to save the piece.
Mar-31-13  Abdel Irada: <<•>The War of the Plumbers?<•>>

After Stefansson planted his knight on h6, Norqvist vowed to shrink it until he could drown it in his bathtub. In that case, retorted Stefansson, I'll have to throw the kitchen sink at you.

With the key move,

<<•> 21. Qc4 >,

White takes advantage of Black's own forward (not to say froward) knight, which doesn't have time to retreat.

If it tries, there might follow (a) 21. ...Nb5? 22. Nxf7 and White wins in view of 22. ...Rxf7 (otherwise the combined threats against king and queen are too much) 23. Qxf7†, Kh8 24. Bh6, Bf6 25. Bf8, Be6 26. Bxe6, Qxf8 27. Nxa8 .

Black cannot simply permit his rook to be picked off, but allowing 22. Nxf7 is also not an option, so he must try one of the following.

< (1) 21. ...Be6?
22. Qxc3, Bxb3
23. Qxb3, Nxa5
24. Rxa5, Rb6
25. Rxa6 >

Black has saved the rook and the kingside, but is two knights down and has no obvious prospects for making up the deficit.

He must therefore make a more direct attempt to undermine the knight in quest of counterplay.

<<•> (2) 21. ...Nxa5

22. Rxa5, Qxb6

23. Nxf7! ... >

This sets a pretty challenge: Take my rook and see what happens!

< (2.1) 23. ...Qxa5?
24. Bh6†, Kg8
25. Ng5†, Kh8 >

Black has various interpositions, but they don't help.

< 26. Qg8†!, Rxg8
27. Nf7# >

And lo! White has found a version of Philidor's notorious Legacy: the smothered mate.

Note well that there is no hope in (b) 23. ...Rxf7? 24. Qxf7†, Kh8 25. Qg8#, so Black has only one sensible option.

<<•> (2.2) 23. ...Be6

24. Qxe6, Qxe6 >

Black still can't survive either (c) 24. ...Qxa5? 25. Bh6†, when White mates as in line (2.1) or (d) 24. ...Rxf7? 25. Qxf7†, Kh8 26. Bh6, Qf6 27. Rxa6!, Qxf7 28. Rxa8† .

<<•> 25. Bxe6, Rxf7

26. Bxf7, Kxf7

27. Bb2, Nb5

28. Bxe5 >

In this variation, Black's best defense, White emerges the exchange ahead. Victory will not be immediate, but the result is not in doubt.

When two men vie to plumb so deep a position, fortune smiles upon him who plumbs deeper, and his opponent's best laid plans are sure to go down the drain.

Mar-31-13  switz off: after 21.Qc4 is Be3 better?
Mar-31-13  Abdel Irada: <switz off>: Your question is answered in my solution post as well as the comment from <Salty>.

After 21. ...Be6? 22. Qxc3, Black loses a piece, and any attempt to swindle back material only worsens his plight.

Black's best chance lies in my variation (2.2).

Mar-31-13  M.Hassan: "Insane"
White to play 21.?
White is a pawn down.

21.Qc4 Be6
22.Qxc3 Bxb3
23.Qxb3 Nd4
24.Qa4
White becomes a piece ahead for a pawn
Time to check
==============
Looks like my move of 21...Be6 not relevant!

Mar-31-13  UnsoundHero: I thought it looked strange when Black developed his QN to c6, moved it back to b8, moved it to c6 again, then un-developed his QB from b7 to c8. It's almost as if he lost just for this reason.
Mar-31-13  mistreaver: Sunday. White to play. Insane. 21?
I would play here:
21 Qc4
and now both the knight and rook on a8 are hanging, and also a capture on f7 is threatened. I know this is a bit so simplistic for Sunday puzzle, but material is even and i don't see how black can defend both the rook and the knight at the same time, and also the f7 pawn. Say:
21... Be6
22 Qxc3 Bxb3
23 Qxb3 Rb8
24 Ng4
I know that there is probably some brilliant combination, but i think that Qc4 also wins. Time to check. ---
Yeah, Qc4 is the move. In the game line taking the knight with the queen would have also won, but the final combination is very pretty. I will take half a point again since i was to lazy to calculate, finishing the week with 5/7
Mar-31-13  Abdel Irada: <UnsoundHero>: Black's strange opening moves did serve a logical purpose and are not unusual in the Ruy Lopez.

White maintained a slight advantage, but I don't think Black was lost until he got greedy with 17. ...Nxc3, leaving his knight on a fatally vulnerable square.

Mar-31-13  morfishine: White has such an advantage (with the Black rook hanging and the undefended Knight on c3) that an immediate 'insane' move is not necessary nor even apparent; Instead <21.Qc4> overwhelming f7 while attacking the hanging Knight, forces the loss of material, no matter how much Black squirms; As it turns out, there's quite a lot of squirming left to be done
Mar-31-13  mira94: easyy
Mar-31-13  Abdel Irada: I hope no one found my pun about Norqvist and shrinking (the knight) until he could drown it in his bathtub too <taxing>. ;-)
Mar-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Energy youth in er see good recede alonger catcher c4 i alive to the threat of a 21.Qc4 looks to,

harass knight in f7 or c3 he straight you in,

landing a mighty blow at I 21.Nxa5 mechanical enterpise qu in c4 addressing i need to point out just it now in frayed blacks knight so call the back up it dichotomy in eingang!

Mar-31-13  vinidivici: Its kinda Friday puzzle or at least Saturday. not like Sunday one.
Mar-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a pawn down.

Black threatens 21... Bxg4.

The obvious move is 21.Qc4 with the double threat 22.Nxa8 and 22.Qxc4. After 21... Qd4 22.Nxa8 (22.Qxd4 Nxd4 23.Nxa8 Nxb3 recovers material) 22... Ne2+ 23.Rxe2 Qxa8 24.Re1 White has a knight for a pawn but the a-pawn is hanging and the knights may have problems.

I think I'll stop here. I had enough chess today watching Kramnik and Carlsen games.

Mar-31-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: fuget se mateereeaaal
Mar-31-13  Salty: 23. ...Qb4 looks like it staves off the end. Black keeps the piece but is down the exchange with a terribly uncoordinated position and bad pawn structure.
Mar-31-13  Patriot: After looking at this for a while, my top choice is 21.Qc4. I'm not sure what the catch is. 21...Nb5 22.Nxf7; 21...Be6 22.Qxc3 Ra7 23.Bxe6 fxe6 .

I must be missing something for an "insane" problem. But I don't feel like spending more time on this.

Apr-01-13  rwbean: Nice combination, but he should have played 20. ♘xe7+ ♕xe7 21. ♕c4 before that, winning a piece (either the ♘ on c3 or the ♖ on a8).
May-22-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: The last move should indicate mate (#)

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