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Vlastimil Hort vs Paul Keres
"Red Hort Chili Peppers" (game of the day Sep-10-12)
Oberhausen (EU/MM: CSSR-SU) (1961)  ·  Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Modern Steinitz Defense (C71)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

explore this opening
find similar games 8 more Hort/Keres games
sac: 35...Qxc1+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: < An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Hort seems to have been on the receiving end of some spectacular brilliancies, but as Larry Evans wrote, it takes a great game to beat a great player. Certainly this must rank among Keres' finest, even if Hort could have turned this game into a defensive brilliancy with 41.Qxb8.>

Good afternoon. I doubt it. Hort had 41...Ra1+ looming and his concern about this R was well-placed.

Apr-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <sevenseaman> See <Honza>'s line below.
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Now <that's> a great game. Both players giving their all and a strong sense that the game was won by good play rather than lost through an oversight.

35...Qxc1+! A stunning move. Keres temporarily gives up queen for rook but in the process gives his passed pawns a little extra push.

But ... he also had to calculate how to deal with white's back rank attack starting with 39. d7 intending Qe8+. To defuse that attack, black has to invest even more heavily into the combination. He needs to give up a rook to liquidate the white passer.

And that means that we get to here (after 42...Rd2) when the material balance is that white has a queen for two passed black pawns.


click for larger view

No wonder Keres spent such a long time analysing 35...Qxc1.

Can white hold this? It almost seems a shame to turn the silicon monster onto the position and spoil some of the mystery of a well-fought game. But here Fritzie really doesn't like 43. Rxb2. Instead he suggests 43. Qa6/Qb5/Qc4 (all achieve the same result) c2 44. Qf1


click for larger view

White's plan is to give up his queen for the two menacing black pawns. Now the only line that gives black an advantage is: 44...Rd5 45. g3 Ra5 46. Rxb2 Bxb2 47. Be3 Ra1 48. Qxa1 Bxa1 49. Bc1


click for larger view

I can't help feeling that black ought to win this. His aim is to make such mischief on the kingside that white doesn't have time for Kxc2.

Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <Once>: "Silicon monster" = Vlastimil (the) Horta?
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  govind: on 35Qxb3 why not Bc1 when re2 is not possible?
Sep-10-12  jusmail: Agood pun too
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Silly pun, but a great game.
Sep-10-12  Melonhead: Hi. Can someone please explain 46. Qb1 when there seems to be a free pawn begging with 46. Qxf5+. The queen can still block the pawn after the king has moved. The pawn in question comes in handy to Keres later.
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <Melonhead> 46.Qxf5+ g6 47.Qd7+ (47.Qxf6 b1Q+) Bg7 48.Bd4 b1Q+ wins.
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <Melonhead>: I wondered about that, too. On further examination, however, it appears that Black wins faster after <46. Qxf5, g6!; 47. Qb1...> (47. Qd7, Bg7; 48. Bd4, b1=Q; 49. Kf2, Rb7 ) <47. ...Ra8; 48. Ba7, Rxa7; 49. Qc2/Qd3/Qe4, Ra1 >.

It seems to me that Keres' 46. ...g6? was unnecessary, because after the consistent 46. ...Ra8; 47. Qxf5, g6!; 48. Qd7, Bg7; 49. g4, b1=Q; 50. Kg2, g5; 51. Bd4, Ra2; 52. Kg3, Qe1 White is getting mated.

Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: What a game, I'm in awe.

After 35 ... Qxc1+ OMG*. It seems incredible that 41 d8=Q would be losing, while Qxb8 might save W. I guess W would have needed to find 43 Rf1 followed by a whole more hard to see moves.

I'll have to run this on Rybka and see how long she takes.

* is that why the pun, Hort felt he'd swallowed a RHCP?

Sep-10-12  sushijunkie: I'm just a patzer, and this game was precisely executed, but the themes front/middle/&back are really worn out for me. The Ruy-exchange/exchange/exchange-see who promotes first/best...it's just tired. I'm sure I'll catch flak, but I'll never play at that level, but I don't care to see this type of game again. Maybe it's time for me to start doing 960...
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Fantastic cross-generational battle, with the veteran Keres triumphing over the 17-year-old Hort.
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's pawn seems a bigger threat as a pawn, than AFTER it promotes.
Sep-10-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Remarkable! After 40 ... Kh7 Rybka picks 41 d8=Q and evaluates it as 0.00 up to d=16. Only at deeper search does she "realise" it loses (-2.88) and "finds" 41 Qxb8 as the best damage control strategy. At d=20 and 22 MN she rates it -1.25.

Hard to fault Hort for his play in this position, Keres was simply superhuman. I'm just glad <CG> didn't give this as yesterday's puzzle!

Sep-10-12  master of defence: If 41.Qxb8 Ra1 wins, or I missed something?
Sep-11-12  Gambit All: What if White plays 42. Qa2? Then all I see is 42... c2 43. Qxb2 Rd1+ 44.Be1 and how does Black continue?
Sep-11-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Gambit All> Since White cannot play 42.Qa2, I'm assuming you meant <43.Qa2>, producing this position:


click for larger view

when after <43..c2 44.Qxb2> Black just plays <44...Bxb2>.

Sep-11-12  Gambit All: Thank you Phony Benoni; yes, I totally lost sight of Black's Bishop guarding the pawn. Now I feel stupid but not puzzled.It won't last (the unpuzzled part).
Sep-12-12  Akshay999: this game is beyond a computer......
Oct-08-13  AngeLa: @honza cervenka... luckily there's no houdini on that day :)(to much silicon power takes away someone's creativity :)
Oct-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Phony Benoni,

I've never been shy in going forward and back in 1982/83 I actually asked Hort himself about this incident, even showing him the original passage in the book from Vukovic.

He said it was not true. It was as you say, he got up from the board and his feet became tangled up in another chair and stumbled.

Great game even without the 'Shock of the Sacrifice' story.

Oct-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: It's not even that shocking of a Queen sacrifice.
Oct-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I've just fallen off my chair.
Oct-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <Sally Simpson: ...
He said it was not true. It was as you say, he got up from the board and his feet became tangled up in another chair and stumbled.>

Good old Vlastimil. I asked him the last time in the casino how he did it...and he showed it after 15 Budvars...

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