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Walter Browne vs Heikki Westerinen
Siegen Olympiad Final-B (1970), Siegen FRG, rd 9, Sep-23
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Modern Steinitz Defense (C72)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-07-15  oldnovise: Relativy easy for a Saturday puzzle

Bf5 big mistake - should have played Qg4+ trapping both the black queen and Rook on e3.

Rf7 Kxf7 (or mate) 2. Qxh7+ Ke6 3. Qxg6+ Ke7 4. Qg7+ Ke6 5. Qg4+ Kf6 6. Qxc8 Rxe3 7. Qf8+ Ke6 8. Qh6+ Ke7 9. Qxe3+

Feb-07-15  morfishine: <35.Rf7> is not too hard to see with the White Queen breaking in at <h7> and the subsequent Q/B convergence on <g6>

35.Rf7 Kxf7 36.Qxh7+ Kf6 37.Qxg6+ Ke7 and here I had <38.Rf3> (whereas the game line continues 38.Qg7)

Its incredible that Browne would follow the brilliant move 35.Rf7 with such a blooper 39.Bf5+???, but I guess we've all done it at some time


Feb-07-15  raviarun: Is today's puzzle to spot the wrong move in the game played ? What if black declines the sacrifice and plays 35...Rh4
Feb-07-15  shivasuri4: <raviarun>, 35...Rh5 loses immediately to 36.Qf6.
Feb-07-15  gofer: The first two moves are obvious, just pattern recognition really.

But the lose queen on c8 makes this much easier, not only is blocking the king's escape, but it is a worthy prize if we should ever need to trade...

<35 Rf7 ...>

35 ... Rh5
36 Qf6 mating

<35 ... Kxf7>
<36 Qxh7+ ...>

So now we have infiltrated the black position and we have done it with tempo, but what is black's response?

Option 1
36 ... Kf8

37 Qh8+ Kf7 (Ke7 38 Rxe5+ Rxe5 39 Qxc8 )
38 Rf3+

Option 2
36 ... Ke8

37 Qxg6+ ...

37 ... Kd8/Ke8
38 Qg8+ Kd7 (Ke7 39 Rxe5+ Rxe5 40 Qxc8 )
39 Bf5+! Rxf5 (Ke7 39 Rxe5+ Rxe5 40 Bxc8 )
40 Qe6+ Kd8
41 Qe8#

37 ... Kd7
38 Bf5+! Rxf5 ((Ke7 39 Rxe5+ Rxe5 40 Bxc8 or Kd8 39 Qg8+ Ke7 40 Rxe5+ Rxe5 41 Bxc8 ) 39 Qe6+ Kd8
39 Qe8#

37 ... Kf8
38 Rf3+ Rf5
39 Bxf5 Rxf5
40 Rxf5+ Ke7
41 Rf7+ Kd8/Ke8
42 Qg8#

Option 3
36 ... Ke6

37 Qxg6+ Ke7 (Kd7 38 Bf5+! Rxf5 ((Ke7 39 Rxe5+ Rxe5 40 Bxc8 or Kd8 39 Qg8+ Ke7 40 Rxe5+ Rxe5 41 Bxc8 ) 39 Qe6+ Kd8 39 Qe8#) 38 Qg7+ Ke8/Kd8
39 Qg8+ Kd7
40 Bf5+! Rxf5 ((Ke7 39 Rxe5+ Rxe5 40 Bxc8 or Kd8 39 Qg8+ Ke7 40 Rxe5+ Rxe5 41 Bxc8 ) 41 Qe6+ Kd8
42 Qe8#

<36 ... Kf6>
<37 Qxg6+ Ke7>
<38 Qg7+ ...>

38 ... Ke8/Kd8
39 Qg8+ Kd7 (Ke7 39 Rxe5+ Rxe5 40 Qxc8 )
40 Bf5+! Rxf5 (Ke7 39 Rxe5+ Rxe5 40 Bxc8 )
41 Qe6+ Kd8
42 Qe8#

<38 ... Ke6>
<39 Rf3 ...>

White threatens Qf7# and Rf6#, black must give up the house to survive as Re1+ fails

39 ... Re1+ 40 Kf2 Re2+ 41 Kf1! Re1+ 42 Kxe1 Re5+ 43 Kf1 etc

<39 ... Rf5>
<40 Qg6+ Ke7>
<41 Bxf5 Rxf5>
<42 Rxf5 ...>

42 Ne5 Qg7+ mating

42 Qe6 Qg7+ winning

42 Qe8 Qg7+ (43 Ke6 Ke5 44 Rf8+ )
43 Kd8 Rf8


Yep, but white losing was a little bit of a surprise! Maybe time-trouble?!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop for a knight and a pawn.

Black threatens 35... Rxe3.

The black castle looks very weak and the black queen is defenseless. This invites to play 35.Rf7 Kxf7 (35... Rh5 or 35... h5 36.Qf6 wins) 36.Qxh7+:

A) 36... Ke8 37.Bxg6+ Kd8 (37... Kf8 38.Qf7#) 38.Qg8+

A.1) 38... Kd7 39.Bf5+ Ke7 (39... Rxf5 40.Qe6+ Kd8 41.Qe8#) 40.Rxe5+ Rxe5 41.Bxc8 + - [Q+B+P vs R+N].

A.2) 38... Ke7 39.Rxe5+ Nxe5 40.Qxc8 Nxg6 41.Qxa6 + - [Q+2P vs R+N].

A.3) 38... Re8 39.Qxe8#.

B) 36... Ke6 37.Qxg6+

B.1) 37... Kd7 38.Bf5+

B.1.a) 38... Ke7 39.Rxe5+ Nxe5 (39... Rxe5 40.Bxc8 as in A.1) 40.Qg7+ (40.Bxc8 Nxg6 - +) 40... Ke8 (40... Kd8 41.Qf8#) 41.Bxc8 as in A.1.

B.1.b) 38... Kd8 39.Qf6+ Ke8 (39... Ne7 40.Qf8#; 39... Re7 40.Qf8+ Re8 41.Q(R)xe8#) 40.Rxe5+ and 41.Bxc8 as in A.1.

B.1.c) 38... Rxf5 39.Qe6+ Ke8 40.Qe8#.

B.2) 37... Ke7 38.Qg7+

B.2.a) 38... Ke6 39.Qg4+

B.2.a.i) 39... Ke7 40.Rxe5+ Kd8 (else 41.Qxc8 wins) 41.Re8+ Kxe8 42.Qxc8 wins.

B.2.a.ii) 39... Kf6 40.Qxc8 Rxe8 41.Qf8+ and the next check, on f4 or h6, wins the rook on e3.

B.2.a.iii) 39... Kf7 40.Rf3+ Rf5 41.Bxf5 with a winning attack.

B.2.b) 38... Ke8 39.Qg8+ Kd7 40.Bf5+ transposes to A.1.

B.2.c) 38... Kd8 39.Qg8+ Kd7 (39... Re8 40.Qxe8#) 40.Bf5+ transposes to A.1.

C) 36... Kf6 37.Qxg6+ Ke7 38.Qg7+ transposes to B.2.

D) 36... Kf8 37.Bg6 (probably better than 37.Qh8+)

D.1) 37... Rxe3 38.Qf7#.

D.2) 37... Rf5 38.Qh8#.

D.3) 37... Qe8 38.Qh8+ Ke7 39.Qxe8+ Kf6 40.Qf7+ Kg5 41.h4+ Kg4 (41... Kh6 42.Qh7#) 42.Bh5+ Rxh5 (42... Kh3 43.Qf1#) 43.Qf4+ Kh3 44.Re2 and 45.Rh2#.

D.4) 37... Nd8 38.Rf3+ Rf5 39.Bxf5 Rxf5 40.Rxf5+ Ke8 41.Rg5 Ne6 42.Rg8+ Nf8 43.Rxf8+ Kxf8 44.Qh8+ and 45.Qxc8 + - [Q+P].

Feb-07-15  nalinw: Are Saturday puzzles getting easier? I have got most of them two weeks in a row now.

Unfortunately I also suffered the same hallucination as Browne - without the effect of time trouble - thought that

40. Bf5 was a brilliant move and that

41 Qg4 would be mate.

Too bad for me .... and him.

Feb-07-15  wooden nickel: Browne must have been in zeitnot, didn't he actually make 2 blunders in a row? ... after 39.Bf5+? Kxf5, instead of 40.Rf3?, 40.Qf7+ still saves the day!
Feb-07-15  TheBish: Must have been a time-pressure blunder on move 39, when time control was probably on move 40. Did Browne forget that Black's queen would cover g4, preventing what would have been mate with Qg4? He must have seen 39. Qg4+, but maybe he didn't have time to calculate that he would be winning the rook on e3 after winning the queen. Time trouble does horrible things to great positions!

Browne briefly mentions this game on page 48 in his massive (464 pages) book "The Stress of Chess... and its Infinite Finesse", which I purchased at a tournament in Reno in April last year, and had Browne autograph. He writes:

"I then played first board for Australia in the Olympiads of Siegen 1970 and Skopje 1972. The Aussies gave me paid tickets, that's all, but I was happy to represent them and the very positive team unity dwarfed that of the US teams that I played. In October 1970 I played in Siegen, a beautiful quiet German town, where almost every store had a poster up about the Chess Olympiad. The organizers made the competitors feel welcome, giving a box of chocolates to each player before every round. I love chocolate, however after accumulating ten boxes even I had enough!

"During the Finals there was an epic confrontation beween World Champ Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, which unlike the other boards was quardened [sic - cordoned] off, with plenty of room for Bobby's extra table, with all kinds of food and drinks on it. I never saw so many spectators for a chess event -- at least ten thousand, and the hall was jam-packed.

"After 16 rounds I thought I had the gold medal locked up with a 13-3 score. Other teams might've benched me, but we were trying to win Section B. I scored 2 draws and a loss to my nemesis, IM Heikki Westerinen of Finland, in the last three rounds. I ended with 14-5 and had to settle for silver. Actually my last game with Kagan of Israel was the very last game of the whole Olympiad, going around 130 moves. My team came third in Section B, the best finish for an Australian team ever! We were staying in a quiet, smallish hotel in a picturesque area among lush rolling hills 7 miles from Siegen, where they served some of the best super-fresh breakfasts I ever had. In town the Wiener Schnitzel and beer combos were excellent, but we always had to catch a 7 p.m. bus, keeping us sober!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <morf> I wonder if the salient point here is that 39. Bf5+ comes on move 39, which could be just before the time control? Browne could have been very short of time.
Feb-07-15  wooden nickel: <Once> Seems to fit... I'm not sure if 2 1/2 hours for 50 moves was the more common time control in those days!
Feb-07-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has B for N+P, but the black forces do not defend the weakened castled position well. Black threatens Rxe3 and to bring the queen back to a better defensive position with Qe8. However, white now has a splendid opportunity:


The mate threat gives black no time to get organized.

A) 35... Kxf7 36.Qxh7+ Kf6 37.Qxg6+ Ke7 38.Qg7+ Ke6 39.Qg4+ Kf6 (Ke7 40.Rxe5+ Kd8 41.Re8+ wins the Q) 40.Qxc8 Rxe3 41.Qf8+ Ke6 (Ke5 42.Qf4+) 42.Qh6+ wins the Re3 and the game.

A.1) 36... Ke6 37.Qxg6+ Kd7 (Ke7 38.Qg7+ transposes to main line) 38.Bf5+! Rxf5 39.Qe6+ Kd8 40.Qe8#

A.2) 36... Kf8 37.Qh8+ Kf7 (Ke7 38.Rxe5+ Kd7 39.Qh3+ Kd8 40.Re8+ wins the Q) 38.Rf3+ Rf5 39.Rxf5+ Qxf5 (otherwise 40.Qxc8) 40.Bxf5 Rxf5 41.Qh7+ followed by Qxc7 with a winning position.

A.3) 36... Ke8 37.Bxg6+ Kd8 (Kf8 38.Qf7#) 38.Qg8+ Kd7 39.Bf5+! Rxf5 40.Qe6+ Kd8 41.Qe8#

B) 35... Rh5 36.Qf6 mates next.

C) 35... Rh5 36.Qf6 mates next.

D) 35... h6 36.Qxh6 Kxf7 37.Qh7+ transposes to A

Found the candidate quickly - might have seen the game long ago. Time for review....

Feb-07-15  CHESSTTCAMPS: <TheBish> Nice background piece. As I recall, Fischer's loss to Spassky in the event was their last encounter before the 1972 match.

Like <nalinw>, I nearly fell into the same trap as Browne in analysis; undoubtedly would have done so with the clock ticking!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I would've played 35.Rxe5...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: After 35 Rf7 Kxf7 36 Qxh7+ Kf8 <37 Rxe5> wins as nicely as some of the others mentioned.

click for larger view

Feb-07-15  patzer2: <Once> We've all witnessed eventss like this in movie battle scenes. The good guys split themselves into two groups. One smaller group rushes out in the open. Then with the enemy exposed the remaining forces surprise the enemy and rout them with a surprise attack.

However, in this Chess version of the plan, things go terribly wrong. The White Rook has done its part in making the "ultimate sacrifice" with 35. Rf7!! to force the enemy King out into the open and expose Black's forces to a decisive attack.

The White Queen, who no doubt came up with the plan to sacrifice her Rook in the first place, fails miserably with her portion of the plan. In the critical position (39. ?), the Queen hesitates to execute the decisive attacking move 39. Qg4+! .

Instead, in the heat of battle, she falters and comes up with a hasty ill conceived idea to modify the plan and pull in extra forces to help her with the attack. She uses her charms to convince the White King that since she's sacrificed her Rook, the King should sacrifice his Bishop with 39. Bf5+?? The White King, who apparently is not much good at battle planning or resisting the lure and appeal of his lovely Queen, reluctantly agrees to this last minute chance of plans.

After 39. Bf5+?? Kxf5 , the White fortress is burning and going down in flames. The White Queen immediately sees her disastrous mistake, as the White King, who is waving the white flag of surrender, glares at her with a look of scorn and disappointment.

The White Queen turns to her hapless King and says "Don't try to pin this all on me! You should have comforted me and reassured me the original plan we came up with just fine. It also wouldn't hurt if you would do some of the thinking, planning and fighting around here. When the battles take place I'm the one who always has to rush into the fight while the rest of our forces waste effort protecting you."

Feb-07-15  patzer2: Here's my look with Fritz 12:

<35. Rf7!!>

My failed try at this Saturday puzzle solution was 35. Qf6? Qe8! (not 35... Rxe3? 36. Qf7+ Kh8 37. Qf6+ =) 36. Be4 d5 37. cxd5 Rc1+ 38. Kg2 Rxe4 39. Rxe4 Qxe4+ 40. Kh3 Qe8 41. dxc6 Rc5 .

<35... Kxf7 36. Qxh7+ Kf6>

36... Kf8 37. Rxe5 Rxe5 (37... Qg4 38. Re4 Qh5 39. Rf4+ Ke8 40. Bxg6+ ) 38. Qh8+ Kf7 39. Qxc8

36... Ke6 37. Qxg6+ Ke7 38. Qg7+ Kd8 39. Qg8+ Kd7 40. Bf5+ Rxf5 41. Qe6+ Kd8 42. Qe8#

<37. Qxg6+ Ke7 38. Qg7+ Ke6 39. Bf5+??>

Instead, White could have won with 39. Qg4+! Kf6 40. Qxc8 , when White has an easy win and the Rook is untouchable due to possibilities like 40...Rxe3 41. Qf8+ Kg5? 42. Qf4+ Kh5 43. Qh4#

<39... Kxf5 40. Rf3+ Ke4 0-1>

Feb-07-15  houtenton: <morfishine>

yes, sure! I made those bloopers also now and then in my life, even without a brilliant move before it!

Feb-07-15  BOSTER: Move 35.Rf7 is <standard> in such pos. when black queen was unprotected.

After 35...Kxf7 36.Qxh7+ Kf6 37.Qxg6+ Ke7 38.Qg7 Ke6. We are here.

click for larger view

No doubt that Browne could put two plus two and saw 39.Qg4+ Kf7 40.Qxc8 Rxe3.

I'm sure Browne had enough time to see all this.

But to win the queen for two rooks looks not very attractive,he decided to save the rook with check playing 39.Bf5+ Kxf5 and 40.Rf3+.

And here he saw the nice mating pattern with white queen on g4.

click for larger view

When black king was on e6 black queen was shaking behind, but after king moved to 40...e4 black queen opened her >jackpot> card "g4".

Feb-07-15  Edeltalent: 35.? White to play

White is a pawn down, but there are a lot of weak squares around the black king and Black's pieces are awkwardly placed for the moment. Candidate moves are 35.Ref3 (doesn't convince me after e.g. 35...Re1+ 36.Kg2 Ne5), 35.Rf7, 35.Bxg6 (looks dangerous, but not as forcing as Rf7).

After 35.Rf7, Black has not much choice, as 35...Rh5 or 35...h5 is met by 36.Qf6. So 35...Kxf7 36.Qxh7+, and now Black has a lot of choices, but whatever he does the King will get mated or has to abandon his Queen:

- 36...Ke8 37.Bxg6+ Kd8 38.Qg8+ Kd7 39.Bf5+ Rxf5 (or 39...Ke7 40.Rxe5+) 40.Qe6+ Kd8 41.Qe8#

- 36...Kf8 37.Qh8+ Kf7 (37...Ke7 38.Rxe5+ Kd7 39.Qh3+ Kd8 40.Re8+) 38.Rf3+ Rf5 39.Rxf5+ Qxf5 40.Bxf5 gxf5 41.Qc8, and Black won't be able to hold the endgame

- 36...Ke6 (or 37...Kf6) 37.Qxg6+ Ke7 (if 37...Kd7, it's the same 38.Bf5+ motive again) 38.Qg7+ Ke6 (the positions after 38...Ke8 39.Bg6+ Kd8 40.Qg8+ or 38...Kd8 39.Qg8+ Kd7 40.Bf5+ we've already seen from different move orders), and here I wanted to put the finishing touch to the last variation of the solution with 39.Bf5+ Kxf5 40.Rf3+ Ke6 41.Qf7# or 40...Ke4 41.Qg4#, when I realized that this is pretty, but not really mate ;-)

click for larger view

It took me some time to come up with 39.Qg4+ instead (a very counter-intuitive move in my opinion). Now 39...Kf7 40.Rf3+ Rf5 40.Bxf5 and Black is defenseless, or 39...Kf6 40.Qxc8 Rxe3 41.Qf8+ and White picks up the rook (41....Ke6 42.Qh6+ or 41...Kg5 42.Qf4+).

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Browne was probably in his usual gross time pressure when he found 39.Bf5??
Feb-07-15  Edeltalent: Oh no, what a tragedy! After totally outplaying his opponent, Browne spoiled the game just when victory was there to grab it... I guess he must have seen the combination before 33.f5 already, but maybe didn't have time to double-check his calculations.
Feb-07-15  Edeltalent: <gofer> I think your idea 39.Rf3 is refuted by 39...Ne7.

click for larger view

After that, I see nothing better than 40.Qg4+ Nf5 41.Qg6+ Ke7 42.Qg5+, and it's probably a draw by perpetual.

Feb-07-15  optimal play: <TheBish> <After 16 rounds I thought I had the gold medal locked up with a 13-3 score. Other teams might've benched me, but we were trying to win Section B. I scored 2 draws and a loss to my nemesis, IM Heikki Westerinen of Finland, in the last three rounds. I ended with 14-5 and had to settle for silver.> Interesting recollections by Browne.

A real shame he didn't win the individual gold medal. This was his only loss in the whole Olympiad, and probably affected his last two games.

He played every single game (naturally on top board) finishing 6½/9 in qualifying group 1 [+4 =5 -0] and then 7½/10 in the B final [+6 =3 -1] scoring an overall result of 14/19 [+10 =8 -1]

Australia finished 4th in the qualifying group behind the Soviet Union, Spain & Poland and then 3rd in the B Final (15th overall) on 24½ points behind Israel & Poland. Heikki Westerinen’s team, Finland finished on 21½ points. So if Browne had won this game, we would have jumped Poland (on 25 points) and finished 2nd.

Oh well, he was still far and away the best player on the team, even with a blunder like 39.Bf5+??

Feb-07-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: Browne had terrible problems with time trouble and the associated stress. There was one occasion when, with Browne in time trouble, an opponent who was trying to queen a pawn grabbed a queen from another board and slammed it down next to the one on which he and Browne were playing. Browne, grabbed the piece and flung it over his shoulder across the room. (Most games had ended by then, so the chance of him hitting somebody wasn't that high.)

Also, although this isn't time trouble, I recall him analyzing something with Saidy and it rising to a shouting match, specifically with him yelling "You don't know anything about endgames, Saidy!" and trying to bully him into a bet about whatever they were disputing.

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