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George Henry Mackenzie vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Match (1883), New York, rd 5, Feb-12
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Cozio Defense (C70)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: FWIW, the very plausible 56 Rxg7 Kxg7 57 Qf6+ Kg8 Qxd8+ Nf8 59 b8Q d1Q results in this very unusual position.

click for larger view

Per Rybka freeware, it's a forced mate for white in 10.

It's kind of a puzzle to play the position out as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White had to force mate,as black was ready to pounce-the mate was quick.
Nov-17-09  Patriot: <CHESSTTCAMPS> Thanks for your line. White is certainly on defense there.

When I say 56.Qf6 is "quiet", I mean it's not as forcing compared to other candidates. My point was that 56.Qf6 is a good candidate to consider, but it's important to calculate far enough to see that the more forcing 56.Rxg7+ is indeed winning or at least the best move. Since it is winning, 56.Qf6 becomes a moot point. If 56.Qf6 or another similar strong move was not there, then 56.Rxg7+ can be played without much consideration since it's a "Do or die!" situation that gives white some hope.

This is more evidence that quiet moves like Qf6 should be considered last and with extreme caution in such dynamic positions.

Nov-17-09  YouRang: Got it right away. Maybe after doing puzzles for a long time, you start to get the 'feel' for what has to be done.

In this case, it's clear that the pawn on g7 has to go. We have the rook right there able to eliminate it, and we have the positional benefit of a queen and bishop that can go to work on the now-exposed and cornered king.

Then, it's just a matter of confirming that you don't have any holes in the plan which would allow the king to escape.

Nov-17-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <Patriot>

OK, I agree with that - prioritizing "forcing" correctly is especially critical here, and a move that threatens mate on the move ranks just behind a check in the pecking order for consideration.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Frankly Steinitz looks to create a monster out of this d2 passer but the cocktail of queen, rook and bishop is enough securing white as the victor. 56..Rxg7 57.Kxg7 Qf6+ shell's out suitable punishment. Shortly in the future someone like the great hope Alekhine would've spotted it, possibly raising a vodka since pawn on is a tomato.
Nov-17-09  LIFE Master AJ: 56.RxP/g7+!

I got this one pretty quickly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Tuesday (Easy)

Mackenzie vs Steinitz, 1883 (56.?)

White to play and win.

Material: B for N+2P. The Black Kh7 has 2 legal moves and is vulnerable to 56.Rxg7+, which leads to a forced mate.

Candidates (56.): Rxg7+


(1) Black can accept the sacrifice:

56…Kxg7 57.Qf6+ Kg8 [Kh7 58.Qf7+ Kh8 59.Bf6#]


<[My variations were sloppy, because I missed the defense 58…Kg7. According to Toga, 58…Kg7 succumbs to a mate-in-15 after 59.Bf6, but requires b8=Q+ anyway, which I tried to avoid as an unecessary complication.]>

58…Kh8 [Kh7 59.Qf7+ Kh8 60.Bf6#] [Kf8 59.Bh6#]

59.Bf6+ Kh7 60.Qf7+ Kh6 Qg7#

(2) Black can refuse the sacrifice:

56...Kh8 59.Rh7+ Kxh7 [Kg8 Qf7#]

59.Qf7+ Kh8 60.Bf6#

There is a lot here for a Tuesday.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <JG27Pyth> wrote: [snip] Isn't 58...Nf8 the critical line? >

Yes. To ensure the win, White needs a clear plan to stop the Black passers, e.g.,

59.b8=Q Qd4+ eventually [else, Black runs out of checks]

60.Qb3+ Kg7 61.Qb7+ Kg6 62.Qf3

Black cannot make progress, so White eventually wins the Ps, and then the game.

Although my 58.Qe6+ also wins with a forced mate, Toga shows 58.Qxd8+ is a few moves faster.

Nov-17-09  YouRang: I wonder if, when white played <55.Bg5>, black looked at it lazily and thought: "oh, he's attacking my rook, I'll just ignore it and push the pawn" -- not realizing that the REAL target of 55.Bg5 was the f6 square.
Nov-17-09  tivrfoa: I'm starting to catch the patters. =)
Monday -> look for a queen sacrifice
today white was in difficult situation, so finally I thought "maybe some forced move ..."
Nov-17-09  David2009: Tuesday's problem Mackenzie vs Steinitz, 1883 White 56?

Unfortunately for Steinitz White (to move) mates first starting 56 Rxg7+. The main variation is 56 ...Kxg7 57 Qf6+ Kg8! 58 Qxd8+ Nf8! 59 b8=Q Qe8+ 60 Kh2 Qf1 61 Be7 d1=Q 62 Qxf8+ QXf8 63 Qxf8+ Kh7 64 Qf7+ fololowed by either Kh8 65 Bf6# or Kh6 65 Bg5#.
Variations are 56 Rxg7+ Kxg7 57 Qf6+ Kh7 58 Qf7+ Kh1 59 Bf6#; and 56 Rxg7+ Kh1 57 Rh7+ Kxh7 (or Kg8 58 Qf7#) 58 Qf7+ Kh1 59 Bf6#. Not difficult, but nice. It surprised me that the mate took 9 moves from the diagram: there may be a shorter mate involving 61 Qb3+ instead of 61 Be7. 57 Qf6? allows Rg8 58 b8=Q d1=Q+ 59 Kh2 Qxg2+ and Black is escaping - the penalty for messing around. Time to
Much as expected except that Seinitz allowed the faster mate with 57...Kh7. There is an additional variation in my main line: after 56 ...Kxg7 57 Qf6+ Kg8! 58 Qxd8+ Nf8! 59 b8=Q Qe8+ 60 Kh2 Qf1 61 Be7 d1=Q 62 Qxf8+

click for larger view

instead of 62 ...Qxf8 Black can play 62...Kh7 63 Qg7+ Kh6 64 Bg5#.

Nov-17-09  StevieB: Should have been a Monday puzzle, if you know what I mean.
Nov-17-09  TheaN: Tuesday 17 November 2009


Target: 1:25;000
Taken: 1:40;031
Bogey: +1s <> +1m

Material: Black up, 3♙

Candidates: <[Rxg7†]>

The key move for this Tuesday puzzle is easy enough, the follow ups make it more difficult. White should be able to force a winning mating combination with:

<56.Rxg7†!> Black can either accept or move away. Moving away seems to hold with all the counter threats, but White just continues to sac away:

<56....Kh8 57.Rh7†!> effectively getting the Black King in the White Queen's grasp:

<57....Kg8 58.Qf7‡ 1-0>

<57....Kxh7 58.Qf7† Kh8 59.Bf6‡ 1-0> where the Bishop's role is critical. So it is also after the acceptance of the sac.

<56....Kxg7 57.Qf6†> now the Queen also enters, but Black has a sting in this variation. Moving to h7 results in variation AB. So, Black will move to g8, and seems safe there.

<57....Kg8 58.Qxd8†> although this nets the Rook back, it's the only move that allows White to check to avoid Black's promotion threats. Moving back to the seventh rank will mean the end for Black due to the b7-pawn promoting:

<58....Kg7 59.Qd7†> there is a nice variation here:

<59....Kg8 60.b8=Q† Nf8 61.Qxf8†! Kxf8 62.Bh6† Kg8 63.Qg7‡ 1-0> showing that Black is helpless against two Queens.

<59....Ne7 60.Qxe7†> now back to the eight rank is mate in one with the pawn promotion, but:

<60....Kg6 61.Qf6† Kh7 62.Qf7† Kh8 63.b8=Q‡ 1-0> is still simple enough. Black should interpose the Knight on f8 immediately after the Rook capture.

<58....Nf8> now this is where some people would get stuck, I guess. However, they should reevaluate this position. Especially the Black counter threats. With the Queen on d8, there isn't really threat from Black. White may play:

<59.b8=Q> and win. The only effective check Black has is:

<59....Qd4† (59....Qe1† 60.Kh2) 60.Kh2 > and Black's forces fall as 60....e1=Q 61.Qxf8† leads to mate. As proved, almost always with four Queen on the board, the player to move wins. Maybe this is a bit too much for Tuesday (as was yesterday for Monday). Time to check.

Nov-17-09  TheaN: 2/2

Looks like it is the only winning line though. Steinitz' defense is weak, playing into the mate with 57....Kh7. I would've tried 57....Kg8. But alas, White played well.

As stated, the seemingly better 56.Qf6?? probably backfires after 56....d1=Q† 57.Kh2 Qxg2†!. Never allow a promotion with check is pieces can be sacced with check around your King. In the Nf8 variation, Black can't, because d1=Q ain't no longer with check.

Nov-17-09  David2009: Interesting line from <Jimfromprovidence>.

Fellow kibitzers may care to try to win against Crafty, who finds an slightly different defence which also loses.

click for larger view

Mackenzie vs Steinitz 56?

Nov-17-09  RandomVisitor: After 16...c5: (move played: 17.Rad1)

1: George Henry Mackenzie - Wilhelm Steinitz, match New York 1883

click for larger view

Analysis by Rybka 3 : <21-ply>

<1. (1.55): 17.Rf3> Kg8 18.Qxe6+ Kh8 19.Rh3 Qe8 20.Rd1 Qf7 21.Qxf7 Rxf7 22.Rh5 Kg8 23.Rd5 Re8 24.f5 Nb7 25.g4 Bd8 26.g5 Rff8 27.b4

2. ± (1.39): 17.e5 Qc8 18.exd6 Bxd6 19.Ne4 Nc4 20.f5 exf5 21.Rxf5+ Kg8 22.Nxd6 Nxd6 23.Rxf8+ Qxf8 24.Bxc5 Qf5 25.Qxf5 Nxf5 26.Rd1 Re8 27.Kf2 Re5 28.Bd6 Nxd6 29.Rxd6 Rf5+ 30.Kg3 Rg5+ 31.Kf3 Rf5+ 32.Ke3

Nov-17-09  WhiteRook48: got it, pretty simple
Nov-17-09  patzer2: Mackenzie catches Steinitz in a mating attack with 56. Rxg7+!, which solves today's Tuesday puzzle.
Nov-17-09  WhenHarryMetSally: The injustice of it all! Black really should have pushed home his advantage! he should have won this game
Nov-17-09  OrangeBishop: I spent a lot of time looking at what happens after 57. ... Kg8, though Rxg7+ is pretty much the only move that offers White any hope.

I agree with others who wonder why the great Steinitz just meekly surrendered with ... Kh7.

Nov-17-09  patzer2: Too bad Steinitz missed the win with 54...Rb8 or the draw with 54...Rg8 = noted by <Utopian2020>.
Nov-17-09  patzer2: <I agree with others who wonder why the great Steinitz just meekly surrendered with ... Kh7.> Maybe he played 57...Kh7 because he saw 57... Kg8 58. Qxd8+ Nf8 59. b8=Q is hopelessly lost and just wanted to end it quickly.
Nov-17-09  Prelate: ok - the rook needs sacrificing -
56.Rxg7 kxg7 57.Qf6+ kh7 58.Qf7+ kh8 59.Bf6#....
Time to check...
Feb-28-20  Straclonoor: 52....Rd8? great Steinitz's mistake.
After apparent 52....Rb8 or Rg8 black wins easely.

Analysis by Stockfish 230120 64 BMI2:

1. -+ (-9.97): 54...Rb8 55.Qf6 Qe1+ 56.Kh2 Qxh4+ 57.Qxh4 Nxh4 58.Rd7 d2 59.Bxd2 cxd2 60.Rxd2 Rxb7 61.Rd5 Ng6 62.g3 Kh6 63.Kg2 Kg5 64.Kf2 Kf5 65.Ra5 Ne7 66.Ke2 Ng8 67.Kd3 Nf6 68.Kc3 Rd7 69.Kc2 Rd4 70.Ra7 g6 71.Ra1 Nd5 72.Rh1 e4 73.Rh4 Ke5 74.Rh1 Ke6 75.Rg1 Kf5 76.Kc1

2. -+ (-8.03): 54...Rg8 55.Rc7 Rf8 56.Qe3 Qxe3+ 57.Bxe3 d2 58.Bxd2 cxd2 59.Rd7 Rb8 60.Rxd2 Rxb7 61.Rd5 Kg8 62.Ra5 Kf7 63.Ra4 Nf4 64.g3 Ne2+ 65.Kf2 Nd4 66.Ke3 Nf5+ 67.Ke4 Ke6 68.Ra6+ Nd6+ 69.Kd3 Rb3+ 70.Ke2 e4 71.Kf2 Rb2+ 72.Ke3 Rg2 73.g4 Rg3+ 74.Kf4 Rf3+ 75.Kg5 e3 76.Ra2 Rf2 77.Ra3

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