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Rolf Suckow Hoff vs Norman Tweed Whitaker
17th Western Championship (1916), Chicago, IL USA, rd 6, Aug-16
Spanish Game: Open. Open Variation (C80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-10-12  zb2cr: I wasted some time with 42. Rh6+ (which works if Black plays 42. ... Kxh6) before hitting on the text move.
Apr-10-12  JG27Pyth: The black pieces' inability to come to the aid of their King makes this feel almost composed. Nice easy puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Wow. I don't I was thinking of a wrong move, but am now 2/2 this week.
Apr-10-12  whiteshark: Very similar to y'days puzzle
Apr-10-12  whiteshark: <1. Rh8+!> that is.
Apr-10-12  newshutz: <Once> I have a list of "seeds" I have gathered from Heisman's articles. Though it is not in the article you pointed to, "3+pieces near enemy king" is on my list, as is "domination of force in one area of the board".

"Exposed pieces with little mobility and might easily be trapped" is on the list, which is a generalization of stalemated king. (Checkmate is a subset of trapped piece)

Apr-10-12  dragon player: Black's king is in trouble. A matingattack should be possible. This sac seems to work:

42.Rh8+ Kxh8
43. Kg6

There's no defence against 44.Re8#. (Well, 43...Re2, but that doesn't really work)

Time to check.


Yes, there was no defence


Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: <Once> <newshutz> What about <seeds> gleaned not from the board but from the other player.

Looks bored and says the position is "drawish"
Asks if you would like a cup of tea.
Suggests we might need to speed up play as they have an urgent appointment.

Asks whose turn it is.

And <self-seeds> - those thoughts that seem to hit me just before I lose catastrophically: 1. An overwhelming certainty that I have seen a brilliant move. Struggle to stop arm twitching and playing the move out of turn. 2. Vaguely wonder why they have made that pointless knight move. Probably could not think of anything useful. 3. Checked and double checked - there is no way out for them. (Followed by the unexpected - KxQ, and I have to resign).

It is the sudden change of perspective that is so shattering. From 'I am bound to win,' to 'I have just lost.' "Why didn't I see their queen, rook, knight, bishop, pawn?" - delete as appropriate.

Apr-10-12  SuperPatzer77: White to play and win - see diagram below:

click for larger view

42. ♖h8+! ♔xh8, 43. ♔g6! (Δ ♖e8#) - see below:

a) 43...♖e2, 44. ♖xe2 ♗e5, 45. ♖xe5 mating in next move.

b) 43...♖xf2, 44. ♖e8+ ♖f8, 45. ♖xf8#

Thus, Black has no defense against the mating threat of ♖e8# 1-0


Apr-10-12  TheaN: Tuesday 10 April


Material: White up ♖+♙ vs ♗, endgame with also ♖+3♙

Candidates: Rh6†, f4, <[Rh8†]>

Is there something as a position with 'too few' pieces to launch a tactical strike? In chess there is not, except for two lone kings or with either side having an extra pawn. With more pawns the breakthrough and race tactics arise, and from there on anything else we have learned.

But psychologically, the less there is on the board, the less likely we are looking at tactical blows and try to play the endgame technically. I would say White has no option to play the endgame at hand technically. The major problem is the en prise pawns on f2 and b3, the latter leading to a pretty dangerous passed b-pawn for Black. White must account for it if he wants to stay alive, and has problems saving his kingside pawns. Not pretty.

Tactics. A stalemated Black king, making the 'no tactic' part less likely. The problem for White is that the current position does require all of his pieces, the rooks and the king. The king can't mate, bringing pawns down the board seems likely but is illfated because of the rogue Black rook swooping away at the remaining kingside pawns and the White king. Hence, White has to mate with a rook.

42.Rh6† comes to mind once someone flashes this position. It is such a move that in case of the forced 42....Kxh6 Black cornered himself and White is indeed able to mate with 43.Rh8‡. Problem is, g7 is not an unmovable brick, it is a pawn, so 42....gxh6 destroys the combination there and then. The other way around then?

42.Rh8†. Weird move, for it brings the Black king further away from the White pieces, and seemingly gives him more freedom. The edges of the board are unforgiving however. After:

<42.Rh8† Kxh8 43.Kg6> it is exactly the moves White needed to waste Black. Rxf2 is no longer check, the Black king is trapped (though not stalemated, Kg8 doesn't help). Black may only decide to throw the not that helpful pieces at White before getting mated:

<43....Re2 44.Rxe2 Be5 45.Rxe5> but after that, the pieces go in the box.

<45....h4/Kg8 46.Re8‡ 1-0>

Apr-10-12  pericles of athens: found it in about 5 seconds!

Rh8+ brings the house down.

Apr-10-12  pericles of athens: I think why I got this so quickly is because I've been studying this caro-kann game a lot lately:

Fischer vs Petrosian, Bled 1961

(the last move of this game is also a king advance with the white pieces - from M6MG)

Apr-10-12  JG27Pyth: Norman Tweed Whitaker... interesting name, interesting fellow -- no-show'd a U S championship match... swindler... jail bird... IM.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White is ahead an exchange and a pawn,but his pawns are under fire.

But he had a lightning win-first,force the black king to the corner. Second,hem him in with your king. Finally,send your rook in for the kill.Quick KO

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Oxspawn> I think of it this way. Chess isn't one game. It's several different games that you happen to play sitting down in the same spot.

An endgame is very different from an opening. That's why some players will get up from the board as soon as an ending is reached and go for a little walk. They are readjusting their minds to the new rules of a new game within a game.

Something similar happens when we reach a tactical position, when everything starts to get a bit juicy. Then the "rules" of chess change. Okay, not the FIDE rules. But the internal thinking rules that we all develop over time.

If it's a crispy position then we can go into puzzle mode ...

... we can (and should) spend more time on it than normal. If mate is near we shouldn't be so worried about the clock.

... we can entertain extravagant moves that we wouldn't ordinarily consider. Sacrifice the queen or both rooks? Why not? Don't mind if I do.

... we need to be even more careful than usual about the tactical counter-shot from the other guy.

... and even when we are sure we've got it right, we check and double check the variations. After all, to quote James Bond "we have all the time in the world".

I've actually watched players change the way they sit when a tactical position is reached. Sometimes they sit up, move closer to the board, tense up, shade their eyes with their hands. And afterwards you can point it out to them and they didn't realise that they were doing it.

Apr-10-12  Comejen: Why black did not play 20...Nc2 instead of Nd5, Fritz give me (-2.48) in that line
Apr-10-12  cyclon: 42. Rh8+ Kxh8 43. Kg6, done.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: <Once> <and even when we are sure we've got it right, we check and double check the variations>

I agree, but good players know how to check. Weaker players compound errors. If I add a list of numbers in my head and make a mistake, I am likely to make the same mistake when I "check". If I switch the way I add up (say bottom to top, instead of top to bottom), then I am more likely to spot the error.

When I <check and double check> a chess position, I often miss the same vital - and in retrospect obvious- threat. Knowing how to <check and double-check> is an advanced skill in chess. I am not self-depreciating. If I could learn the chess equivalent of adding up from the bottom (checking in a different way) I would be a much stronger player, and I suspect the same is true for many other players of about my standard. If chess is a training for life, then this lesson could be transferred to things that are (dare I say it?) even more important than chess!

Apr-10-12  BOSTER: Being impressed by the position from the game <Bronstein vs Korchnoi, 1962> (see the diagram).

click for larger view

where Bronstein sacr. the rook playing Rh8xh6+! , I tried at first 42.Rh6+ if Kxh6 43.Rh8#, but if gxh6 43.Rd7+ black king can be protected or can escape,

but 42. Rh8+ (decoy) and 43.Kg6 creates the mating net.

In the position on diagram the pawn on g4 and the queen together can capture black queen 39.Rxh6+ Kxh6 40.Qh8+ Kg5 41.Qh5+ Kf6 42.g5+ or 39...gxh6 40.Qg8+ Kf6 41.Qf8+.

Apr-10-12  ruzon: Will one of you bright chaps explain why Black avoided Nc2 twice, forking the rooks earlier in the game?

And here's a somewhat similar Tuesday puzzle from Liu vs. Ruzon, 2012 (Black to play):

click for larger view

Apr-10-12  M.Hassan: <once>: <M.Hassan I had answered your copy and paste question two days ago, when you first asked it... It's worth checking back on old posts, especially those where you ask a question ;-)>

Absolutely good of you. I should have checked old posts and appologize not have done so. I am sending my warmest thanks.

Apr-10-12  M.Hassan: <gofer: M.Hassan: 1 ... Ng3+ 2 hxg3 Rf6 3 Rxf2 exf2 4 Any white move Rh6#>

Right on and I bet it did'nt take you long

Apr-10-12  Patriot: Nice puzzle. This took me several minutes to find. I don't think this would be easy to find with 5 minutes on the clock since I would be pressed to find something pretty quickly to avoid loss on time.

42.Rh8+ Kxh8 43.Kg6 -- quiet but it's a killer!

Apr-10-12  bwarnock: <ruzon: Will one of you bright chaps explain why Black avoided Nc2 twice, forking the rooks earlier in the game?>

I suspect that White's 19th move is ♕c3 rather than ♕f3 (both of which would/could be notated "Q-B3" in descriptive notation). The game would then continue 19... ♖e8 20. a3 (getting rid of the knight) 20... ♘d5 21. ♕g3 etc...


Apr-10-12  srag: Too easy for a Tuesday, I'd say.
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