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Vlastimil Hort vs Paul Keres
"Red Hort Chili Peppers" (game of the day Sep-10-2012)
EUR-chT (Men) 2nd (1961), Oberhausen FRG, rd 3, Jun-23
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Modern Steinitz Defense (C71)  ·  0-1


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sac: 35...Qxc1+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Very good fight!
Jan-30-04  Catfriend: A must-see game! Pawns are the soul of chess 2!
Sep-30-04  reasoanblep: According to V. Jansa, who was playing next board against Petrosian, Keres was down to 10 minutes after his 34th move. He used 8 of them on Qc1!!. The result? Hort literally fell off his chair when Keres sacrificed his Q!
Nov-11-04  aw1988: Did anyone else think of that McDonnell-La Bourdonnais game when they saw this?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Apparently Hort fell off his chair in shock when Keres uncorked 35...♕xc1+.
Nov-11-04  iron maiden: I've seen other queen sacs to promote pawns, but none of them needed this long of a combination. Nice job by Keres.
Apr-22-05  aw1988: One of Keres's best games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Some possible lines in this game are stunning. For example, 43.Qb5!? c2 44.Qf1 Rd5! 45.Be3 cxb1Q 46.Qxb1 Ra5 47.Kf2 Kg8! or 43.Be3 c2 44.Rf1 Bd4!!

Hort could save the game playing 41.Qxb8! c2 (41...Ra1 42.Rf1 c2 is not good for 43.Qxb2) 42.Qxb2! Bxb2 43.Rf1 Ra8 44.Bb6 Ra1 45.d8Q Rxf1+ 46.Kxf1 c1Q+ 47.Kf2 Bc3 with some initiative of black, but no forced win. After 48.g3 Qh1 49.Qd3 Qxh2+ 50.Kf1 Qh1+ 51.Kf2 Qe1+ 52.Kg2 black is even a Pawn up but the endgame is still probably drawish.

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Keres was down to 10 minutes after his 34th move. He used 8 of them on Qc1!!> I'm left speechless for such courage and willpower.

I mean 35...Qd2 36.Be1 Qd4+ 37.Bf2 was an easy draw and nobody ever would have investigated the position in-depth.

Nov-11-10  Wein Stein: Great sacrifice, but still drawish: the correct move was 40.g4!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: According to Andy Soltis in <Chess to Enjoy>, the story about Hort falling out of his chair has been somewhat exaggerated. Soltis relates that Hort kept his cool at the moment and made the time control. He spent about 45 minutes sealing his 41st move, then got his feet tangled in the chair when he stood up. The more colorful version was reported in a Czech newspaper at the time, and such good stories never die.
Apr-15-11  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  Shams: <sevenseaman> See <Honza>'s line below.
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  Abdel Irada: <Once>: "Silicon monster" = Vlastimil (the) Horta?
Sep-10-12  govind: on 35Qxb3 why not Bc1 when re2 is not possible?
Sep-10-12  jusmail: Agood pun too
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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: <Melonhead> 46.Qxf5+ g6 47.Qd7+ (47.Qxf6 b1Q+) Bg7 48.Bd4 b1Q+ wins.
Sep-10-12  Abdel Irada: <Melonhead>: I wondered about that, too. On further examination, however, it appears that Black wins faster after <46. ♕xf5, g6!; 47. ♕b1...> (47. ♕d7, ♗g7; 48. ♗d4, b1=♕; 49. ♔f2, ♖b7 ) <47. ...♖a8; 48. ♗a7, ♖xa7; 49. ♕c2/♕d3/♕e4, ♖a1 >.

It seems to me that Keres' 46. ...g6? was unnecessary, because after the consistent 46. ...♖a8; 47. ♕xf5, g6!; 48. ♕d7, ♗g7; 49. g4, b1=♕; 50. ♔g2, g5; 51. ♗d4, ♖a2; 52. ♔g3, ♕e1 White is getting mated.

Sep-10-12  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/'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...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Fantastic cross-generational battle, with the veteran Keres triumphing over the 17-year-old Hort.
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