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M Bab vs Fyodor Duz-Khotimirsky
Paris (1911), Paris FRA
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-06-11  MaxxLange: An odd game. After 20 g3? Nef4!, White is roasted.
Black then misses the fastest win, which seems to be 24...Kg6!, preparing to bring the Queen over.

Well, fine, he wants to double rooks instead, and plays 24...Rh4. That is still good enough, but there then follows 25 Raf1?! b6?, which gives White time to play Rh2 and Rfh1, when it looks like it Black must work a bit harder to break through.

Instead, White leaves the Rook on f1, playing a series of weak defensive tries, while Black plays ...Qa4 and ...Qc4 and ...Qxf1

Apr-06-11  Patriot: <patzer2> <However, finding other winning possibilities can be practical and useful. After all, in a game situation and under time pressure you may not always find the best winning move, but might still have a won position. So knowing how to find and exploit these alternative winning ideas could be useful.>

Very true. Dan Heisman has told me, "My algorithm is, when I see a winning move I play it." This is good advice especially in fast time controls and may have been advice directed more toward me because I often get into time trouble. What bothered me about yesterday's puzzle is that I didn't consider the alternative Qh3 or your winning move, Qxb5. It wouldn't be an issue to me if I saw Qd6 quickly but since that's not the case, it would seem that at least the Qh3 idea should be easier to spot. This is why I think it is helpful to sometimes "speed solve" in order to develop an awareness of the ideas we miss quickly that should be seen instantly.

Apr-06-11  ChessPieceFace: I didn't get this one at all. Not even close. I'll have to read more people's analysis, even of the final position, I still don't fully grasp everything. Looks like 1 1/2 stars is my ceiling. :( (Actually, I made a mess of yesterday's i guess 1 star is my tops).
Apr-06-11  desiobu: Got it. In response to Qxf4+ I probably would have played exf4+ and gone for the simple mate, but declining the queen is a nice touch.
Apr-06-11  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy" Black to play 29...?
Black has a Knight for a Bishop- Forces are equal.
A Queen sac can do the job:

30.Rxf1 Nf2
31.(B,Q,R)xf2 Rh3#
31.Rh1 Nxh1#

White can play another line but the results will be the same:

30.Qg1 Nxg1
31.Rxh4 Rxh4
32.Bd2 Qh3#

Apr-06-11  twin phoenix: i love the denouement also! Black eschews first chance of capturing Q for mate... a beautiful game.
Apr-06-11  stst: too many options, clue is to clear out the h-file for the double rook. 29... Qxf1 is first reaction followed by the "N-block"

A considerable long shot could be:
29... Nh5+
If (I) 30.Kh2 Nhf4+ 31.Kg1 RxR+ 32.Kf2 QxR#

<If 31.Kh2 then repeat (I)>

If (II) 30.Kg2 Nhf4+ 31.Kf2 Qxf1+
if (a)32.Rxq Rh2+ 33.Kg1 Rh1+ 34.Kf2 R8h2#
if (b)32.KxQ Rxh1+ 33.Kf2 R8h2#

...hurry in lunch, might miss something in between...

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: Count me among those who went for 29...Ng1.
Apr-06-11  MaczynskiPratten: A curious feature of today's position is that the White King is stalemated but that in order to force checkmate you have to release the stalemate at some point in all the different solutions.
Apr-06-11  MiCrooks: After Qxf4 Rh2 is a bit unneccesary. Simply g or e xf4+ and White is mated just as surely. Kxf2 Rh2+ Kg1 Rg1+ K any R8h2++.
Apr-06-11  cyclon: "Boys, those were the days!" (Joking). Now, strange-looking move 29.-Ng1 seems to win something in almost every case if I'm not over-hallucinating. Move is threatening mate starting with -Rh3+ from g2, so 30.Rhxg1 or Rfxg1 can't be played. 30.Rxh4 Qxf1 wins. Entrepreneurial 30.Qxg1 gets -Rh3+ and with or without rook-exchanges Kf2 Qc5X. "Escape" 30.Kf2 is followed by -Rh2+ 31.Rxh2 Rxh2+ 32.Kxg1 Rg2X. Maybe something else is also there. So, my friends, I think it's starts slowly to be the right time for Black to give some glances into his CUFFLINKS and check surreptitiously are they still in `design`.
Apr-06-11  cyclon: Ooh! There was that `something┬┤! Chess can be soo-o surprising every now and then. But it seems that 29.-Ng1 does the day, too - I`m now TOO tired to analyze.
Apr-06-11  SamAtoms1980: Had the right idea. I found 29....Qxf1 30.Rxf1 but then played 30....Ng1.
Apr-06-11  sevenseaman: I cannot honestly say I tried Bg1. But it did cross my mind, only I did not analyse. Frankly 29.. Qxf1 occurred too early because it was a Q sac too, puzzle gimmickery.

Every day I promise myself I will take more time the next day and every next day I renege.

Apr-06-11  MountainMatt: I knew 29. Qxf1 had to be the right move (though Nf2 also drew my attention for a spell), but in the three minutes I had available to cudgel my brains, I was unable to find any of the winning conclusions. However, since I rarely get even the first move right on Wednesdays, I'm damned near overjoyed!
Apr-06-11  sevenseaman: I cannot honestly say I tried Bg1. But it did cross my mind, only I did not analyse. Frankly 29.. Qxf1 occurred too early because it was a Q sac too, puzzle gimmickery.

<David2009> was so close to the solution.

Every day I promise myself I will take more time the next day and every next day I renege.

Apr-06-11  morfishine: <sevenseaman: How can I not have got 30...Nf2, the last and the simplest step to nirvana!> You got the first part <29...Qxf1>; took me awhile to figure it out as I was fixated on <29...Ng1> then realized the purest way was the queen-sac then clearing with <30...Nf2>

The doubled rooks are just too strong; Note: Black didn't need to play <31.Rh2> since 31...exf4+ 32.Kxf2 Rh2+ mates anyways :) Morf

Apr-06-11  YouRang: Once again, a puzzle that can be solved by finding a potential mating tactic that is being thwarted, and then unthwart it.

In this case, my (black's) doubled rooks on the h-file would quickly mate the white king if (1) my knight were not in the way and (2) white's rook wasn't guarding h2 and h3.

This prompts a search for a way to remove those obstacles. Moving the h3 knight immediately simply exchanges rooks, and doesn't look so promising.

However, the rook that is defending the h-file is also defending the other rook (i.e. it's overworked). I am attacking that other rook with my queen, so I can contemplate a Q-for-R sac.

If I deflect the Rh1 with <29...Qxf1 30.Rxf1>, I've removed obstacle #2, and I may safely remove the obstacle #1: <30...Nf2> (not 30...Ng1 31.Qxg1 and h2 is defended).

Simply put, white is helpless against my threat to play ...Rh3+, and end up with rooks on h2 & h3 -- which will be mate.

Apr-06-11  SuperPatzer77: Black's only move for a win is 29...Qxf1!, 30. Rxf1 Nf2!, 31. Qxf4 Rh2!, 32. Qxg5+ fxg5, 33. Rxf2 (or Bxf2) R8h3# 0-1


Apr-06-11  ajile: Got it 100%. The king is boxed in so rook attack on h file is logical. 29..Qxf1 moves the Rh1 off the h file.
Apr-06-11  WhiteRook48: I considered 29...Qxf1 but then switched to stupid 29...Nh5+... I'm so chess blind
Apr-06-11  Lambda: Black's position here is insanely good, it seems he wins just be choosing any plausible-looking attacking moves. He can completely waste his move here with something irrelevant like 29... a5 and still retain an advantage of over six pawns.

(Went for 29... Ng1 and a few suboptimal-but-still-winning lines since they were the first I thought of, like 30. Rxh4 gxh4+ 31. Kh2 Qxf1)

Apr-06-11  sevenseaman: I am impressed by the number of standard puzzle solutions being shredded to bits and many more lines putting up equally viable claims.

What enthusiasm! Its like a catchy tune; you do not even consciously know when you start humming it.

Apr-06-11  TheBish: M Bab vs Dus Chotimirsky, 1911

Black to play (29...?) "Medium/Easy"

I started out looking for a clearance move for the h3 knight, i.e. ...Nf2, which seems to win an exchange (29...Nf2 30. Kxf2 Rxh1), or possibly more (29...Nf2 30. Rxh4 Nd1! 31. Qg1 Rxh4 and White will have to give up the queen to stop mate), and then started wondering if it was better to sacrifice the queen first, to divert the h1 rook away from the h-file, allowing an easier win. However, after 29...Qxf1 30. Rxf1 Nf2 31. Qd2! (but not capturing on f2, since any capture leads to mate, e.g. 31. Kxf2 Rh2+ 32. Kg2 Rg2#) and the king will escape to e3 after 31...Rh3+ 32. Kxf2 Rh2+ 33. Ke3 and Black has simply lost a piece. However, no queen sac is needed, and after further review, Black wins easily in all lines with my first choice move.

29...Nf2! 30. Rxh4

Most captures on f2 lead to mate after 30...Rh3+, except for 30. Kxf2 Rh2+ 31. Rxh2 Rxh2+ 32. Kg1 Rg2+ 33. Kh1 Qxf1#.


This is simplest, instead of going into the line with 30...Nd1, as the white rook is now hanging and there is no move to save it -- Qd3 and Qe2 are not possible because of the Nf4, 31. Rxf2 and 31. Kxf2 both lead to mate, and 31. Rg1 Rh3+ (or 31...Nd1) 32. Kxf2 Rh2+ 33. Kg3 Qf1!! 34. Rxf1 (or 34. Kxg2 Qg3#) Rg2#.

I think this is correct -- doing it from the diagram, so it's time to check (it might be mate).


Hmmm... I should have stayed with my hunch of 29...Qxf1(!!) and worked it out -- missed the simple 31...Rh2! as in the game after my above analysis of 31. Qd2, and mate is unavoidable. Strange, as I always love a good quiet move!

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: I somehow sensed that Black had to sack the Queen ... I think I saw this one before ... tough problem, though. (I spent as much time on this one as a Sunday problem - which is nuts.)
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