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Hans Ree vs Vlastimil Hort
Wijk aan Zee 1986  ·  Wade Defense: General (A41)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-16-10  Chesschatology: "gmalino: <gofer> Your absolutely right, white should try 60. Qg7 and play for the point! That's why it's a thursday puzzle I guess. With his unconnected pieces and the rook hanging, it should be hard for black not to loose more pieces or at least pawns."

I don't buy this. After Qg7 White has a material disadvantage, and after 60... Rh7 Black is solid, and can consolidate, tuck his king away, and try to gang up on the pawns. After Rxh4+! White should take the draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: N+B trapped/stalemated the Q. Cuuuute. :D
Dec-16-10  capanegra: Stalemate to the Queen... one of the most original endings I've seen lately. Thanks for sharing.
Dec-16-10  TheaN: Thursday 16 December


Material: White up, Q vs R+B

Candidates: Rxh4... Bd4, wait a minute... <[Rxh4]>!

This is an awkward puzzle. In the starting position, Black's position looks more than shaky. In any perfect world Black can just watch the White onslaught: Ree ought to finish this up with 60.Nxg6 and whatever follows. However, Ree is not in a perfect world and Black is to move and has a swindle. Hort takes this opportunity with a rare fortress; one with a stalled queen!

<59....Rxh4!> originally, one might look at this move for some mate pattern but a bishop only with some supporting pawns does not suffice for checkmate. Then, the lightning strikes, and Black's world turns bright!

<60.Kxh4> making this move and seeing Black's intention, White already accepts the draw playing this. On the contrary, though, after <60.Qg7 Rh7 <>> White's only hope is a salvaged draw and White is better off playing the capture and let Black show that he understands the position.

<60....Bd4> of course, the intermezzo move related to the mentioned mating pattern is 60....Bf2 61.Kh3 Bd4, which does not differ.

<61.Kg3 Ke7 62.Kf3 Ba1 1/2> and the idea is clear: the White Queen is trapped (!), the kingside is closed off for the White King and the queenside is an untakable bastion. If White makes the walk to c6...

<(...) 67.Kc6 Bb2-d4> ...White would only have one winning move which is taking at least one piece for the Queen (so not Qe6 etc) and the d-pawn:

<68.Qxf8 Kxf8 69.Kxd6> tricky? Not really. One obvious way to win is:

<69....Kf7 70.Kc7> Kc6 makes no real difference.

<70....Bc1-e3 71.d6 Bxf4 72.Kd7 Bxd6 > with a win for Black. Time to check.

Dec-16-10  knight knight: Move 59, Black to play, rook and bishop for queen. White threatens 60. Nxg6.

I see a cute drawing move, 59...Rxh4 60. Kxh4 Bd4 stalemating the queen and creating a fortress-like position. Or 59...Rxh4 60. Qg7 Rh7 61. Qb2, maybe black could even try for a win in this case.

But is it black to play and win? Perhaps 59...Bf2+ 60. Kxf2 Rxh4 61. Qg7 Rxf4+ 62. Ke3 Rg4 63. Qf6 looks unclear, but white could instead play 61. Kg3, after which black's best reply is probably 61...Rh7, another fortress.

Well, I can't see a winning move, time to see what happened...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: i didn't really look at 59...Rxh4, having decided that 59...Bf2+ 60 Kxf2 Rxh4 61 Ke3 Rh7 would draw. Hort's line trapping the queen is simpler though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: If 59...Bf2+ 60 Kxf2 Rxh4 61 Ke3 Rh7 the problem is that either d6 falls soon or the queen escapes. The rook can't trap the queen and also prevent the WK from reaching c6. Black meantime can win f4, but still looks lost. probably both players saw this but Hort also found the drawing line in the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: 60.Nxg6 is the threat so it must be dealt with in some way. I really wanted to play 59...Bd4 to threaten 60...Rh8 but 60.Nxg6 stops this. 59...Rxh4 then became interesting but I missed the Bd4 idea to trap the queen. I was thinking 59...Bf2+ 60.Kxf2 Rxh4 61.Qg7 Rh7 and black can play 62...Rd7 to set up a barracade. But I guess the white king can march into c6 and follow-up with Qxf8, using the "overloaded piece" theme, followed by Kxd7 and winning.

This doesn't exactly fit a "trapped piece" theme, does it? Usually trapped pieces are meant to be taken. This is more like an "imprisoned piece" theme, if there is such a thing.

Premium Chessgames Member
  M.Hassan: "Medium" Black to play 59.....?
White has a Queen for a Rook and a Bishop.
While White Queen has pinned the Black knight, herself is imprisoned on g8 and can not move anywhere without being captured. The only danger for Black is if the White Knight is allowed to capture g6 pawn, then White can make a severe attack against Black. Elimination of this Knight therefore should be Black's first aim and I think Black will continue the game by:

60.Kxf2 (forced, otherwise the Knight will be captured for nothing) 60..............Rxh4
The game may continue long after this and I worked hard on this puzzle but don;t have time to show analyses at this moment.Either Black wins or it's a draw!! -----------
Never thought that the Rook will take the Knight. Solution void

Dec-16-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: Black has rook and bishop for a queen, a material disadvantage, but the WQ is trapped. Nonetheless, white threatens 60.Nxg6 Rf7 61.Nxf8 Rxf8 62.Qe6+ Kd8 63.g6 winning, so black should not set expectations too high. There are two reasonable-looking defenses to white's threat, 59... Rxh4 and 59... Bf2+. However, a closer examination of the 2nd candidate reveals a serious flaw: 59... Bf2+ 60.Kxf2 Rxh4 61.Ke3! and black must either allow the queen's escape with 62.Qg7 or he must play 61... Rh7, allowing the maneuver K-d3-c4-b5-c6-(...Ke7)-c7! forcing zugswang! A king move loses the black d-pawn or a rook move allows escape of the white queen via h8 or g7. Therefore, black must play it safe with

59... Rxh4! 60.Kxh4 Bd4

Now it's a clear draw, with neither side able to make progress. A white king march to c6 is met by ....Ke7 and white can't force zugswang because the bishop always has safe moves on the h8-diagonal, keeping the queen trapped.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black sac-ed the exchange to trap the queen. As there is no way to capture the queen,the game does end in a standoff.
Dec-16-10  tacticalmonster: < CHESSTTCAMPS > See my previous posts. After Kc6, Black still has a draw.
Dec-16-10  doubledrooks: Black draws by keeping the white queen confined, and making the white king a non-threat, with: 59...Rxh4 60. Kxh4 Bd4 (trapping, but not winning the queen) 61. K moves Ke7, and the bishop just moves along the a1-h8 diagonal.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I completely failed to see this, even after looking at ...Rxh4. I thought of fortresses and 'stalemating' the Queen, but just didn't see that the two minor pieces could do it.
Dec-16-10  mrsaturdaypants: I would guess we're playing for a draw here.

59...Bf2+ 60 Kxf2 Rxh4

Now if white's king moves, Rh7, and white's queen is in a box, and I think white can make no progress.

More promising is 61 Qg7 Rxf4 and now

(a) 62 Ke3 Re4+ 63 King move...Re7, and again white's queen is contained.

(b) 62 Kg3.

And I had to think about this a little. I think black should resist taking on g4, and should instead get the rook to the e-file, then to d7. I think black then has a fortess that will hold together and preserve the draw.

Time to check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  JohnBoy: <gofer: <JohnBoy:> Ke7 protects Pd6 and has to be played.> - true, but this is hardly necessary immediately. Or is this just blacks way of saying "I have all of the bases covered. Do your worst."

My first observation was that the white Q has no mobility. I tried to trap it, but kept running in to the g6 threat. Given this, ...Rxh4 was pretty obvious.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This game has a neat fortress theme: 59....Rxh4 60.Kxh4 Bd4, and all Black need do is shuttle his bishop along the diagonal d4-a1, while moving his king to e7 to end any hopes of White getting at the weakness on d6.
Dec-16-10  WhiteRook48: 59...rxh4 60KXR Bd4, trapped queen
Dec-16-10  BOSTER: 59...Rxh4
60.Kxh4 Bd4
61.Kg3 Ke7 1/2-1/2, because white queen has no moves,and white king can not go through to black camp. This is a good ex. which shows that even the strongest piece on the board without mobility has no power. And at the same time this is a good ex. that to count <Material even> without evaluation the position has no sense.
Dec-16-10  wals: 59...Rxh4 was easy enough but didn't
get the text moves.

Rybka 4 x 64 blunders only

depth: 22 : 5 min :
(+3.39):34...Kf7. Best, Qxh8, =-0.20.

1. = (-0.20): 34...Qxh8 35.Rxh8+ Bxh8 36.Bb4 Bxb2 37.Bxd6 Bc3 38.Qe3 Bg7 39.Bxf8 R8c3 40.Nxc3 Rxc3 41.Qxc3 Bxc3 42.Bc5 Kf7 43.Kf3 Bd2 44.Bd6 Ke8 45.Be5 Kd7 46.Ke2 Bb4 47.Kf3 Bc5 48.Ke2 Ba7 49.Kf3 Bb6

depth: 20 : 5 min :
(+3.63):38...R8xc3+. Best, Rc4, +1.63.

depth: 24 : 10 min :
(+1.29):39.bxc3. Best, Nxc3, +3.23.

1. (3.23): 39.Nxc3 Rxb2 40.Qxd6[] Rd2 41.Nb1[] Rd1 42.Qb4[] Rd3+ 43.Kg2[] Kg8 44.a4[] Bg7 45.axb5[] Rd4 46.Qc5 axb5 47.Qxb5[] Nf8 48.Kf3 Rd1 49.Na3 Rc1 50.Ke2 Rc3 51.Qa4 Kh7 52.Nb5 Rc8 53.Kf3 Rc1 54.d6

depth: 41 : 4 min :
(=0.00):41.Qe6+. Best, a4, +1.25.

depth: 27 : 4 min :
(+1.25):41...Kg7. Worse, Kf8, +8.79.

depth: 22 : 8 min :
(+5.00):52...Ra6. Best, Rc4, +4.22.

depth: 24 : 5 min :
(+2.56):54.Qf6+. Best, Nxg6, +5.93.

depth: 34 : 3 min :
(=0.00):57.Qf6. Best, Kg2, +2.38.

depth: 27 : 4 min :
(+2.34):57...Rf7. no better.

depth: 38 : 5 min :
(+3.78):59...Rxh4. Best, Bf2+, +2.04.

With both sides stalled the game ended in a draw on move 62.

Premium Chessgames Member
  4tmac: "Best 59. ..Bf2+" is what my comp says too. They don't eval these positions well. All the more surprising since this is not a true fortress (well it is against the King) but the Queen is trapped/restricted & I thought this would be represented in the eval. Bf2+ loses. Anywho, very pretty draw by the most underrated player.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <gofer> <1 Qxf8+ Kxf8 2 Kxd6 ...
<2 ... Kf7!>>

<gofer> You're absolutely right! No way White King can reach the Black g-pawn at g6. Of course, White better avoid taking his own risk like this by accepting the draw.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <Wals> <depth: 24 : 5 min : White
(+2.56):54.Qf6+. Best, Nxg6, +5.93.>

Thanks for posting that. 54 Nxg6! is absolutely winning.

click for larger view

Now, after 54...Kxg6 55 Qf6+ Kh7 56 Qxf8, black will soon lose his f pawn as well.

click for larger view

The only trick black has left is if he plays 56...Ra2+, trying to force the king to h4, where white will be mated.

White's solution is to "hopscotch" towards the rook on the white squares until the rook runs out of checks; then he will be able to take the f pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <wals> Wow! After 5 minutes Rybka thinks 59...Bf2+ is best and that white is still winning? That's interesting. I can see how it can still be a dangerous game after the white king comes to c6 because white could sac with 1.Qxf8+ Kxf8 2.Kxd6 so the bishop needs to be ready to stop the pawn. Black is winning there however after the bishop goes to the c1-h6 diagonal. For example, 2...Bd2 3.Kc7 Bxf4+ 4.d6 Bxd6+ 5.Kxd6 .

This just shows how computer evaluation can be wrong in endgames or at least not always trustworthy. Rybka is evaluating this materially as winning for white so it is probably making random king moves in order to avoid a draw.

This reminds me of a game I watched on the ICC where white was a GM and black was a strong chess engine. Materially black was winning but the GM was ahead on time, with no time delay or increment. The position was locked and black couldn't make progress. Because the computer evaluated itself as winning, it avoided 3-fold repetition of position to prevent a draw. It just kept making random piece moves until it ran out of time!

Dec-16-10  muralman: Got this, but was disappointed in the draw. I like to win.
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