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Anatoly Karpov vs Istvan Csom
"Csomic the Hedgehog" (game of the day Apr-23-11)
Bad Lauterberg (1977)  ·  English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation (A16)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: 50...e5 51. Rh7+ Nxh7/ Kg8 52. Qg7#

The queen still mates on g7 - she just takes a different route to get there.

May-23-13  Nick46: One can't be too fussed about correct pronunciation when punning.It cuts out all the FUN. Even the recent (excellent) "two van collision" wouldn't have stood up to the pronunciation test.
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  xthred: Nf5 was my first thought but I thought e5 stopped the threat.
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw the key move quickly. Clearence is given for the queen to come to h2 and queen/knight mate threats on g7.

<xthred> 32...e5 is met by 33 Rh7+ and mate with the queen on g7-if black takes or not.

May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: It takes a bit of mental doodling to see that e6-Re8 perfectly deny flight squares, and so Kf7 is a swallowtail death trap, which makes Qg7# worth pursuing. Then Black has 3 pieces doing nothing (haha), and his Nf8 is actually outnumbered 3-1.

After a couple years of PotD-ery, checking for flightlessness becomes third nature.

One of these days, chessgames will confuse us all with a simple position in which your piece is attacked, and <retreating it anywhere> wins, and is the <only> winning plan. We'll never see that one coming!

May-23-13  dumbgai: <soberknight: and Hemsky's loose! Hemsky! He scores!> lol
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: In which Karpov plays the badger to Csom's Hedgehog.

May-23-13  Refused: ok, saw the motifs but missed that the Knight on f8 is attacking the Rook on d7 and thus fell for 50.Nh5? The main threat 51.Rh7+ 52.Qg7# is the same.
But like I said I missed 50...Nxd7
And the big difference between 50.Nf5! and 50.Nh5? is that the Knight on h5 would block the h-file and thus prevent the other mating pattern with 51.Qh2+

So, yeah, I messed this one up. No virtual points for me this time. :(

May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: It took me a while to see that there are two mate threats after 50 Nf5, 51 Rh7+ and 51 Qh2+, so a move like 50...Qe4 does not work.


click for larger view

Very nice puzzle.

May-23-13  BOSTER: Does this is real that the <seven rank> has a such magical power that playing even without a piece with naked king you can win a battle? Maybe it sounds strange, but the answer <Yes>. Two open "g" and "h" files are decisive in this puzzle. 50.Nf5 with threat Rh7+ Nxh7 Qg7#, or 50...Nxd7 51.Qh2+ -not very long move, but long enough 51...Kg8 52.Qg3+ with mate. If 50...exf5 51.Qh2+ Kg8 52.Qg3+ Kh8 53.Qg7#.

What is interesting that Csom opened "g" and "h" files for himself, but sold it for a <lemon>. I don't know why but many games chosen by <CG> were lost by <blunder>.

May-23-13  5hrsolver: <Jimfromprovidence: It took me a while to see that there are two mate threats after 50 Nf5, 51 Rh7+ and 51 Qh2+, so a move like 50...Qe4 does not work.>

Actually I saw 51 Rh7+ rather quickly but not 51 Qh2+ maybe because it is hidden by the white knight. I kept trying 50 Nh5 until I saw that the white queen could give a check on h2 after the knight moves.

May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I never thought Nf5 was a possibility. I considered only 50 Nh5 which employs one important threat but does not actually work. Unblocking the diagonal while also unblocking the h-filecto allow the threat Qh2+ is a terrific idea.
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: 50.Nf5 looks really good (clearance sac).

50...Nxd7 51.Qh2+ Kg8 52.Qg3+ Kf7 53.Qg7#

50...exf5 51.Qh2+ Kg8 52.Qg3+

50...Rc8 51.Rh7+ Nxh7 52.Qg7# (same happens on 50...Qc8 for example)

I don't see a decent defense to this.

May-23-13  Balmo: The great Karpov. What a player he was in his time. Nf5 is a beautiful move. I saw it, but I must have seen this game before because I thought I recognised the position. It's hard to see because you must retreat the queen all the way back to h2. However, once you see the consequences of the check on h2 and then g3, it's all over. Black's position is completely lost. Great game by the positional genius.
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <BOSTER> Maybe you can call 49...Nf8 a blunder, but black had a very difficult position. And for black to see 50.Nf5! before playing 49...Nf8 is not easy. It's a silent threat that is very effective.
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <BOSTER> I just ran move 49... through Houdini and it says 49...Nf8 is absolutely a blunder since 49...Ng5 wins for black! And it's the only move that doesn't lose!

Perhaps the question is, why did black play such a defensive move? After all, it is usually best to look for offensive moves first than such defensive moves. Or at least try to find a move that mixes offense and defense.

May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: One of the all-time great swindles. 50.Nf5!! with the dual threats of 51.Rh7+ Nxh7 52.Qg7# and 51.Qh2+ Kg8 52.Qg3+ Kh8 53.Qg7# wins.
May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The position with Karpov to move before 50.Nf5 was given in the British Chess Magazine in Keene's article on Bad Lauterberg. Just wish I could recall the exact description of Csom's demeanour after Nf5, but he was in a state of shock.
May-23-13  BOSTER: <Patriot> <Houdini says 49...Ng5 wins for black>.

My guess that move 47...Qa8 was very passive, this move put the powerful queen on the defensive duty. Maybe was better to return the knight, and activate own pieces playing ending with extra pawns on the side where white had no any pawn. For ex. 47.Qb7 48. Qd7+ Re7 49.Qxb7 Rxb7 50.Kxg2 Ng5.

May-23-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <BOSTER> Your line isn't a bad line. Houdini says that 47...Qa8 and 47...Qf3 are crushing--almost a 4 pawn advantage for black! It's hard to imagine how a move like 47...Qa8 can be completely winning but when you count material, black definitely has the upper hand. 47...Qb7 is about 0.5 pawn advantage to black.
May-24-13  kurtrichards: killer combination by one of the Ks... :)
May-24-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Patriot: <BOSTER> I just ran move 49... through Houdini and it says 49...Nf8 is absolutely a blunder since 49...Ng5 wins for black! And it's the only move that doesn't lose! Perhaps the question is, why did black play such a defensive move? After all, it is usually best to look for offensive moves first than such defensive moves. Or at least try to find a move that mixes offense and defense.>

I daresay Csom thought that that was what he was doing, defending against mate and simultaneously threatening 50...Nxd7. Let's follow his thought processes after White's 49th move:

<<<<"OK, he threatens 50.Rxh7+. Gotta move the knight to stop it. Just two choices: Ng5 and Nf8. Ng5 looks decent, but it doesn't threaten anything. Nf8 looks like a good defensive move, shoring up my king position. <And> it attacks the rook, so he has to move it. Once the rook moves, I can move my knight on g2, threatening Qg2#, and his king is in big trouble. Then I'm the one on the attack, and I'm a piece up. Looking good. Where does his rook move after Nf8? Let's see: maybe Rg7, intending Rg4 and Qg7 mate? All right, 50.Rg7 Nh4 (threatening Qg2#) 51.Nh5 - whoa, he threatens 52.Rh7+! Nxh7 53.Qg7#! 51...Nf5 looks like a good response, when my knights are guarding against any mates on g7 and h7. Wait a sec - then 52.Nxf6! Nxg7 53.Qh2+ and I'm mated! Yikes! OK, calm down. I don't have to play Nh4. Let's try that again. 49...Nf8 50.Rg7. How about 50...Nf4! That stops 51.Nh5, and his rook hangs after 51.Qxf4 Kxg7. Wait, 52.Nh5+ is still scary. 52...Kg6! 53.Qxf6+ Kxh5. Surely there's no perpetual here? 54.Qf7+ Ng6 55.Qh7+ Kg5 wins. Or 53.Qg4+ Kh6 54.Nxf6 Ng6! 55.Nxe8 Qxe8. I'm a piece up. I win.

All right, where else can he move the rook after 49...Nf8? I suppose 50.Rd2, attacking my knight. Then 50...Nh4 threatens to fork on f3. He can pin the knight against my king with 51.Rh2. No problem, 51...Nfg6 defends. Then 52.Nh5 threatens mate, 52...Rg8! Yeah, right! No mate, and now my pieces are going to mate him off the board! I'm beating the world champion!! Sweet!">

Csom confidently plays 49...Nf8.>

Karpov instantly plonks down 50.Nf5!, hits his clock, and stares at Csom.>

"What is this? Holy crap! Aieee!!!">

May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: <FSR>: What you're saying, then, is that Csom underwent a brief out-of-body experience, during which his place was filled by <cormier>?

May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Abdel> You really don't like the rainbow thing, do you? I thought that was a fine exposition of what Csom was probably thinking. <pouting>
May-25-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: Not that I don't *like* it per se.

I merely note without judgment that it is a recognized <cormier> trademark on this site.

(I'll be disappointed, though, if you get a cease-and-desist letter.)

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