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John M Emms vs Peter K Wells
British Championship (1989), Plymouth ENG, rd 3, Aug-02
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Breyer Defense Zaitsev Hybrid (C95)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-08-12  psycho path: Thanks eggman,

Hard to find players around my area that want to play chess (hopefully when i get out of community college and to a 4-year school I can find a chess club), so I am stuck playing against CPU chess all day. I love having the board in front of me, I do not like the 2-dimensional feel of it. So I found this site and shredder chess that really help with the puzzles. Trying to study some openings now, from what I have learned: Sicilian,french, queens gambit declined, Nizmo Indian, Kings Indian attack/defence, are really popular, right now I am just studying the sicilian and queens gambit declined.

Any pointers from any one? or any book or dvds I should get?

Aug-08-12  Alex56171: <M.Hassan> Something is not right in your analysis. Black can not play 31. ... h6, because the pawn went to h5 in the 19th movement. Similarly, white can not play 34. Bxh6.
Aug-08-12  Elo: Is this intended to be a "Puzzle of the Day" or an "Oversight of the Day"?

28...Qf2+ is obvious, probably the first thing everyone here (correctly) looked at.

Wells hallucinated and missed it. How is that a Puzzle?

Aug-08-12  The Last Straw: Solved this immediately from Emms' book himself so will take full credit. O my god this is the 3rd time <> has given out a puzzle from his book!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 28...Qf2+ 29.Kh1 Nxe1 wins easily. As I recall, Wells reflexively recaptured on e5 instead.
Aug-08-12  kevin86: Funny,I saw Qf2+ and wins the rook. I thought it was TOO easy.
Aug-08-12  The Last Straw: <sevenseamen: White must be a weak player for it seems as if Wells won a jackpot.> I think it's due to carelessness. See Kasimdzhanov vs Kasparov, 2001.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: No fun I thought in up again queen weak it porky in pig saffron

<Qf2+ 29.Kh2 Qxe1> and sea green defence knights overwhelming it d3

in e1 queen cafe it her in d2 blacks will mop he advantage after in

cringe st amen e5 gets the piece back oh boy scotch in alive rookxe5 highball it down in gaffer cape off queen in check!

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: A pew take silver coin e5 equal measures in nod off queen he king flee so white has to take back in e1 light window gone over chance in prey it h2 in draw him away it e1 see her d2 in god a good whip, in gauge the age count as for nothing rooke5 simply draws instead you play queen sufferance in f2 and black knight wins right off rooke1 ellucidate in crazy got effect in kamikaze queen see aiming it binge o f2!
Aug-08-12  ex0duz: Yeah. I have no idea how a 2500 missed this(or both of them?) when we can spot it instantly, while he has been concentrating and probably planning this for the whole game..

blind spots can't be that bad can they? seems like they both missed it.

Aug-08-12  ex0duz: I agree that this shouldn't be a 2 star puzzle, or even a 1 star. It shouldn't even be a puzzle to begin with..

even a 1400 would see this instantly and would get nothing out of it

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Well, yes, we did all spot this rather easily, but then we do have a number of advantages that the players didn't.

To understand what is happening here we need to rewind to an earlier time. This is the position after 24... Nfd7.

click for larger view

Black's position is fairly passive, with only the Nc5 making any effort to get to grips with the enemy. Neither side will be spending too much time looking for tactics. We're in Petrosian mode, not Morphy mode.

Then black makes three aggressive moves in a row - Be5, Qf6 and Nd3. That gets us to here ... one move before the puzzle. It's white to play:

click for larger view

Black's position has gone from passive to active in a short space of time. This means that both players need to readjust their thinking. It's a time of quickening, a time of blood, a time of tactics.

But because it has only just arisen, neither player has explored the new possibilities offered by the black pieces. A few moves ago, black cannot have dream of whipping up a mating attack so quickly.

White then trades pieces with 28. Bxe5. Black's natural inclination, if he's still in sleep mode, is simply to exchange back.

That's something that isn't easy to spot in a POTD. We look at the position without knowing that Bxe5 was the last move. We're not conditioned to recapture. Indeed, we've noticed many times that it can be hard to spot when you are a piece up or a piece down in a POTD.

We also have the advantage that we know this is a puzzle and that tactics are likely. The players didn't have that.

The final thought is to notice the date. The two players would have been 22 and 25 respectively and some way from being 2500.

Aug-08-12  michael104: I think the listed ratings reflect their ratings when the game was played. Wells became an IM in 1987 and Emms became an IM in 1990.
Aug-08-12  Jack Kerouac: <CHRISOWEN> What is your first language? Judging by your earlier posts, computer generated?
Aug-08-12  M.Hassan: <Alex56171: M.Hassan Something is not right in your analysis. Black can not play 31. ... h6, because the pawn went to h5 in the 19th movement. Similarly, white can not play 34. Bxh6.>

Thank you for mentioning that which resulted from wrong setting of practice board. I also realized that my move of 29...Qxe1 is not a good move and should be replaced by 29...Nxe1 threatening mate on g2. Appreciate that with regards

Aug-08-12  sfm: One of the hardest puzzles ever. The task was to convince yourself that the most obvious move in the position, grabbing an uncovered rook, was really what you was intended to "find".
Aug-08-12  lzromeu: Easy and intuitive.
Black has few choices.
Qf2+ is clearly the better
I think this game was a blitz to explain the 2500 ELO of the players
Aug-08-12  morfishine: <alligator> Yes, 'Always check, it might be mate!' was made famous a long time ago. Irving Chernev loved that phrase. I had read the advice from some tutorial awhile ago 'Always check your checks', which implies it isn't always best to check if a better move beckons. Obviously here, Black should have taken a deep breath and looked one last time to see if a decent check was available. Luckily, his oversight only cost him half a point.
Aug-08-12  Patriot: Black is down a piece.

There are so many forcing moves on this. But I would say 28...Qf2+ 29.Kh2 Nxe1 wins on the spot. Mate is threatened on g2 and the e5-bishop is hanging.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <Jack Kerouac> Are you my counsel like fig speak prune on no time light ok hastle queen came lift across bishope5 will it mean for f2 either in ghosting beat c1 h5 to river can e5 go why queen cerise idea it off in?
Aug-08-12  stst: Maybe I was actually "early" last night, it's the same "puzzle" I see it now.

Then there's this comment:
<One of the hardest puzzles ever. The task was to convince yourself that the most obvious move in the position, grabbing an uncovered rook, was really what you was intended to "find".>

It sounds very curious to me, and somewhat counter-"intuitive", as many agreed upon this one as a "double-oversight" but pretty instant, there's simply nothing to be "find." (meant to be "found" for correct grammar.)

Aug-09-12  Abdel Irada: Re: "Always check; it might be mate":

Some checks bounce. I long ago lost count of the number of beginners I've seen try to apply that maxim and succeed only in losing a piece.

Aug-09-12  kevin86: Whatsa matter with 28...♕xf2+ 29 ♔h1 ♕xe1+ 30 ♕xe1 ♘xe1 attacking both bishops. I guess if white replies Kh2,then the knight move is better.
Nov-23-12  The Last Straw: If you examine the position after 27...♘d3, you'll see why Emms played 28.♗xe5??. The position is desperate.
Nov-23-12  The Last Straw: After 27...♘d3, correct was 28.♗xd3 cxd3 29.♗xe5 ♖xe5 30.♘f3 dxe2 31.♘xe5 ♘xe5 32.♕xe2 ♘d3, with slight advantage to black.
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