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Marc Esserman vs Phillip Nutzman
Greg Hager Memorial (2009), Boylston Chess Club, rd 2, Nov-22
Sicilian Defense: Kan. Modern Variation (B42)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-21-13  whiteshark: <VaselineTopLove: I had 17. Nd6+> 17... Qxd6+, losing the ♘ with check. :)
Apr-21-13  gofer: Black is in so much trouble that I don't see anything that is going to stop white's on-slaught. Ideally white would like to play Nd6+ causing mayhem, but Qxd6+ puts a stop to that, so after that we simply have to find the best way to keep the king in the middle of the board and at the same time allow Nd6+!...

<17 Bh7! ...>

17 ... Ra5 18 Rxd8+ Kxd8 19 Qd1+ Bd7 20 Nd6
17 ... Bd7 18 Nc7+ Kf8 19 Bg6
17 ... Rxh7 18 Nd6+ Kf8 Nxf7


Wow, I seem to have got it right, not only that I seem to be among the few...

White could also have killed off black quicker!

19 Nxf7 Nc6
20 Nxh6+!!

much neater!!!

20 ... Qf6 (forced)
21 Rxf6+ gxf6 (forced)
22 Qg6 Rxh6+ (forced)
23 Qxh6+ winning easily

Apr-21-13  abuzic: 17.?

White wishes to play Nd6+ or Nc7+, but the Q guards d6 and d7 with a check, the B on d3 blocks the d file in front of the R and black can castle ...0-0 to avoid Nd6+, so

17.Bh7 both opens the d file for the R to support d6 and prevents black castling

1) 17...Ra5 pins the N/Q and prvents Nd6+

18.Qe5 (gets rid of the pin and threatens Qxg7 and Nd6+)

<18.Rxd8+? Kxd8 19.Rd1+ <(19.Qd1+? Bd7 20.Bd3 <20.♘d6?? ♔c7! loses for white> 20...Bxb5 21.Bxb5+ Kc8)> 19...Ke8 20.Qe5 <(20.Be4 Kf8)> 20...Rxb5 21.Qxb5+ Bd7 22.Qxb7 Rxh7 white will be satisfied with a draw>

18...Rxb5 giving the exchange to avoid catastrophy <18...Qh4+ 19.Kg1 Rxb5 20.Qxb5+ Nc6 21.Qb6 Qe7 22.Be4 0-0 23.Bxc6 bxc6 is no better for black>

19.Qxb5+ Nc6 <20...Bd7 21.Qd3 Bc6 22.Rd2> 20.Bd3 white no more needs the open d, and has to safeguard the B <20.Qd3? Qc7+ 21.g3 Ne5, not so pleasant for white>; <20.Be4? Qh4+>

2) 17...Ra6 18.Qe5 Rxh7 19.Nc7+ Kf8 20.Nxa6 Nc6 <20...bxa6 21.Qc3 Bb7 22.Qd3> 21.Qc7 Qxc7 22.Nxc7

3) 17...Rxh7 18.Nd6+ Kf8 19.Nxf7 Nc6 20.Ne5+ Kg8 21.Rf7 Qe8 22.Nxc6 bxc6 <23...Bd7 24.Ne7+ Kh8 25.Rxd7> 23.Rxg7+ Rxg7 24.Kxg7 Qxe8.

Apr-21-13  Erik Wynn: @diagonally - I also had Bg6, but castling seems to neutralize the threat.
Apr-21-13  mistreaver: Sunday. White to play. Insane.17?
When i glanced at the position on the board, i wanted to move the bishop almost instantly : 17 Bg6!
The idea is of course pressure on f7 and also opening the d file so knight can come on d6. I think black can't defend here:
A) 17 ... fxg6
18 Qg6+ Nf7
19 Nd6+
and black gets killed
B) 17 ... Rf8
18 Nd6+ Kd7
19 Nf5+ and Nxe7
C) 17... Ra6.
I think this is most clever defence.
18 Rxd8+ and now:
18... Qxd8
19 Rxf7 and black is doomed:
18... Kxd8 and again
19 Rxf7 Qg5
20 Qd1+ concludes matters:
Time to check.
Ahhh, i missed the cunning 0-0.
Also, after 17 Bh7 Ra6 is most tenacious defence, white has to find: 18 Qe5! in order to threaten Nc7+ which wins.
Apr-21-13  solskytz: I saw and would have totally played 17. Bh7!!

However the rest of it rather beat me... Sunday, after all

Apr-21-13  James D Flynn: Material is equal but Black’s pieces are poorly placed mostly on the back rank while his K is still in the center, whereas White’s pieces are aggressively placed and his K has lost most of its pawn cover but is under no threat. Black could castle on his next move so White needs to check: 17.Nd6+ and if Qxd6 Bb5+ wins the Q for at most a N and a R. 17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.Nxf7 Nxf7 19.Bg6(White threatens 20.Rxf&+ winning back his N and in addition Q for R, Black has no way to defend f7 he can try to save his Q by moving his Q off the 7th rank e.g. Qb4 but the he is mated by 20.Rxf7+ Kg8 21.Rd8 Qf8 22.Rdxf8# so he must defnd d8 while saving his Q : Qc7+ 20.Kh1 Qb6 21.Rxf7+ Kg8 22.Qe5 Rh7 23.Rdf1(threat Rf8# next) Qb4 24.Bxh7+ Kxh7 25.Qxg7#.
Apr-21-13  devere: 17.Bh7!! is entirely logical and very brilliant. To win White must stop Black from castling. It's the thrill of a lifetime to find and play a move like that over the board.
Apr-21-13  David2009: M Esserman vs P Nutzman, 2009 White 17? Insane

click for larger view

Egg on my face! I couldn't understand the problem because I saw 17.Nd6+ Qxd6 18.Bb5+ etc - missing the fact that 17...Qxd6 is CHECK!

Crafty EGT is back after a long absence: here's a link to the puzzle position above: The link is interactive: play the position out against the robot, you are white, drag and drop the move you want to make.

The hang-tough robot replies meets 17.Bh7 with 17...Ra6 and I can't see the win. The robot won't castle so it should(?) be beatable from the diagram position. For example White can win a Pawn with the sequence 17.Kh1 Kf8 18.Nd6 f6 19.Bb5 Bd7 20.Nf5 Be8 21.Bxe8 Qxe8 22.Qxe8+ Kxe8 23.Nxg7+ Ke7 24.Nh5 Rf8 25.Rd2 Nc6 26.Rfd1 Rfd8 27.Rxd8 Nxd8 28.a3 Nc6 to reach

click for larger view

There may be better for both sides in this sequence

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Boy this is a real quagmire heading bishop in looks,

key to prevent castling beck and called knight bed,

sussed in men a pause for thought it now included dips in h7 for instance prevents the king safely retreating to g8 as f7 then covered big pull for,

white a habitue 17.bh7 in eulogy preach into the pulpit you in bishop the rigger he clears the way it is for in kb5 to land in d6 causing all sorts of mayhem,

church in xrays d6 head a quarter 17...ra5 in bastion of hope it her in h5 mitigate off linger in e5 when rook takes knight a alabaster 19.Qxb5+ provides ample give as the beast harbour in c6 orm,

d7 allows h7 to escape exchange up ride a lion cover d3 white fine for choosing how to proceed you see a6 believe it is double in e5 rook take bishop,

and a c7 fork b5 still a6 won again light for,

colours in good game back to the matter at hand a h6 i diluted 17.bh7,

bone in the throat to swallow duck in rxh7 allow in ground knight I provides 18.nd6+ black does best here a riddings 18...Qxd6+,

in keep tabs again cruise a wave a crestings 19.Rxd6 have in beautiful crums it a via ducked in,

general one liquidate in step up ok evermore motor in ancy it a peach in meld bain cue off ping g5,

black aim crushed below knightd6 bishop h7 a stab in the dark it old in every it seem in a tour etc free ellucidate a cube in the vale you at I onguards 18.Kf8 in a good while go knight give in f7 blew away it is pedal in c6 get the picture bud in e5 escry it double hive in mind cackles kingg8,

in a 21.Nxc6 another bind in f7 white will indeed mate it horde in hammer c7+ lesson it a king in g1,

h1 seem inate a black bath in g6 I trouble in exactly it ring among time thod in g7 changes little crying g2 freedom it re in h7 a gainful plod

Apr-21-13  Patriot: White is up a pawn. Black's king appears uncastled so I will go on the assumption he is.

A) 17.Nd6+ looks very interesting but 17...Qxd6 is check!

B) 17.Rxf7 is another try:

17...Qxf7 18.Nd6+

17...Nxf7 18.Bg6 O-O and I don't see anything for white.

C) 17.Bg6

17...O-O 18.Rxd8 Qxd8 19.Bxf7+ Kh8 (threatening 20...Qg5) - I don't see anything here either.

17...fxg6 (looks very dangerous) 18.Qxg6+ Nf7 19.Nd6+

I'll go with "C". There may be something I'm missing after 17...O-O. 18.Rxd8 is critical and could easily be a big mistake.

Apr-21-13  Patriot: 17.Bh7 was not even on my radar.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: I looked at 17 Be2, which does not work because it allows black to castle and prevent 18 Nd6+.

Even after I looked at the solution 17 Bh7! I did not see the follow-up to 17...Ra6.

click for larger view

But by looking at the kibitzing in response to 17...Ra5 I guess it's the same solution, 18 Qe5.

This leads me to present a side puzzle after 18…Kf8.

click for larger view

Apr-21-13  David2009: M Esserman vs P Nutzman, 2009 postscript: I think <Jim>'s problem

click for larger view

can be cracked by 19.Rxd8+ etc. Here's a link to Crafty End Game Trainer to test this out:

Seems to work: White ends up a N ahead. Theis should be enough to win - but be careful! I drew first time through liquidating too soon into a "won" R+P ending.

Luckily for me, my human opponents are usually less tough and resourceful in endings than the EGT!

Apr-21-13  Whitehat1963: Bh7 definitely deserves !!.
Apr-21-13  Bengambit: 17.Nd6+ QxN 18.Bb5+ winning the Queen??
Apr-21-13  Whitehat1963: <Bengambit>, 17. Nd6+ doesn't work because 17...Qxd6 is check.
Apr-21-13  lost in space: No, I never even thought even about 17. Bh7
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black is about to play 17... O-O.

It seems it is necessary a sacrifice to keep the black king in the center. This suggests 17.Bh7, threatening Rxd8+, destroying the defense of f7:

A) 17... Rxh7 18.Rxd8+ Kxd8 (18... Qxd8 19.Qxf7#) 19.Rxf7

A.1) 19... g6 20.Rxe7 gxh5 21.Rxh7 Rxa2 22.Nd6 Bd7 23.Rxh6 Rxb2 24.Rxh5 Rxc2 25.Nxb7+ and White seems to have the better ending.

A.2) 19... Qb4 20.c3 g6 (20... Qxb2 21.Rf8+ Kd(e)7 22.Qe8#) 21.Qd1+ Ke8 22.cxb4 Kxf7 23.Qd8 with the threat Nd6+ and looks winning.

B) 17... g6 18.Bxg6 looks disasterous (18... fxg6 19.Qxg6+ Nf7 20.Rxf7 Qxf7 21.Nd6+, etc.).

C) 17... Ra6 18.Rxd8+ Kxd8 19.Rxf7 Qb4 (19... g6 20.Bxg6) 20.Qd1+ Ke8 21.Bg6 with many threats.

D) 17... Ra5 looks similar to C.

Apr-21-13  JimNorCal: Since this game was played at the Greg Hager Memorial, a bit more about Mr Hager. (Did not know him, just "bing"ed the 'net). What a thrill to play a brilliancy like this played at a memorial tournament :)
Apr-21-13  MostlyWatch: ... I didn't see anyone mention this:

17 Bh7 Ra4!

White better not just ignore this... say he does

18 Nd6+ and white thinks he's got the newt by the nose but actually he's got the tiger by the tail

18 ... Kf8 black K hops away: can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!

19 Nxc8 I first thought of this, grab the bishop and attack the Queen, can't be counterattacked, but it's the wrong thing

19 .. Rh4+ and kiss Queen goodbye

Don't know what the right thing is tho.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I was thinking Bg6 but I didn't even consider castling as a defense. Bh7!! is one nuts move.
Aug-06-13  Conrad93: Haha... "Nutzman"!
Mar-09-19  clement41: The very idea of Bh7!! is so strong and aesthetic at the same time. A real problem move, preventing black from castling and in the event of ...Rxh7 which happened in the game, it creates some mating nets (e.g.: 19...Nxf7?? 20 Rd8+ Qxd8 21 Qf7+ Kh8 22 Qf8+ Qxf8 23 Rxf8#)
Mar-25-21  Triebe: What about 20. Nxh6+? I suppose the queen is lost.
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