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Raymond Keene vs Karl Robatsch
"Smells Like Keene Spirit" (game of the day Oct-27-2010)
Madrid (1971), Madrid ESP, Mar-??
Catalan Opening: Closed Variation (E08)  ·  1-0


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Given 59 times; par: 31 [what's this?]

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [406 more games annotated by Keene]

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sac: 21.Rxf7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <wooden nickel><But which move is really the best i.e. surest way to win after 24... Ne7> Deep Fritz 14 prefers 25. Bh3+ (+25.78 @ 23 depth), but the program also indicates GM Keene's 25. Qa4+! (+6.09 @ 22 depth) forces the game finish with a clearly decisive result.

The Fritz second choice is the surprising 25. Qd1 (+6.13 @ 23 depth).

I prefer GM Keene's forcing 25. Qa4+! as it's easier for me to comprehend.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

The pawn on d5 is immune at the moment (Bxd5 Rxd5 Qxd5 Nf6+).

The pawn on f7 protects the knight and is protected by the king only. This leads to consider 21.Rxf7:

A) 21... Kxf7 22.Rf1+

A.1) 22... Kg8 23.Nf6+

A.1.a) 23... gxf6 24.Qxg6+

A.1.a.i) 24... Kf8 25.Rxf6+ Qxf6 (25... Ke7 26.Q(R)f7# or 26.Qg7#) 26.Qxf6+ Kg8 27.Qg6+ followed by 28.Qxh6+ + - [Q+3P vs 2R].

A.1.a.ii) 24... Kh8 25.Qxh6+ Kg8 26.Qg6+ Kf8 (26... Kh8 27.Rf5 wins) 27.Rxf6+ transposes to A.1.a.i.

A.1.b) 23... Kh8 24.Qxg6 transposes to A.1.a.

A.1.c) 23... Kf7 24.Nxe8+

A.1.c.i) 24... Kxe8 25.Qxg6+ Kd7 (25... Ke7 26.Rf7+ Ke8 27.Rxg7+ Kf8 28.Qf7#) 26.Qxg7+ Kd6 (26... Kc8 27.Rf8 wins) 27.Qxb7 or 27.Rf6+ wins.

A.1.c.ii) 24... Kg8 25.Nf6+ Kf7 (25... gxf6 26.Qxg6+ is similar to A.1.a) 26.Nh5+ wins decisive material.

A.1.c.iii) 24... Ke7 25.Qxg6 Qxe8 26.Qe6+ Kd8 27.Qd6+ Kc8 (27... Qd7 28.Rf8#) 28.Bh3+ Qe6 29.Bxe6#.

A.1.d) 23... Kf8 24.Nxe8+ transposes to A.1.c.

A.2) 22... Ke7 23.d6+

A.2.a) 23... Kd7 24.Rf7+

A.2.a.i) 24... Kc8 25.d7+ Qxd7 (25... Kb8 26.dxe8=Q Qxe8 27.Rxb7+ followed by 28.Nd6+ wins) 26.Rxd7 Kxd7 27.Nxc5+ bxc5 28.Bxb7 Rab8 29.Qxg6 Rxb7 30.Qxg7+ Kc8 31.Qxh6 + - [Q+3P vs 2R] (31... Rxb2 32.Qc6+ Kd8 33.Qf6+ and 34.Qxb2).

A.2.a.ii) 24... Ke6 25.Ng5+ Qxg5 (25... hxg5 26.Qxg6+ Qf6 (26... Ke5 27.Rf5#) 27.Rxf6+ gxf6 28.Bxb7 + - [Q+B+P vs 2R]; 25... Kxd6 26.Qxg6+ wins decisive material; 25... Ke5 26.Qf5+ Kxd6 27.Qxg6+ transposes to the previous subline) 26.hxg5 Kxf7 (26... Bxg2 27.Qxg6+ followed by 28.Kxg2 wins) 27.Bxb7 Rab8 28.Qf5+ Kg8 (28... Ke7 29.Qxg6 Rxb7 30.Qxg7+ and 31.Qxb7 wins) 29.Bd5+ Kh7 30.Bf7 wins decisive material.

A.2.a.iii) 24... Ne7 25.Qa4+ Kc8 (25... Bc6 26.Bh3#) 26.d7+ Kc7 (26... Qxd7 27.Bh3 Qxh3 28.Qxe8+ Kc7 29.Rxe7+ Qd7 30.Qxd7+ Kb8 31.Qc7#) 27.dxe8=Q Qxe8 28.Qxe8 Rxe8 29.Rxg7 with an extra pawn and the better ending.

A.2.a.iv) 24... Re7 25.dxe7 Nxe7 26.Rxg7 with an extra pawn and a much better position.

A.2.b) 23... Ke6 24.Bh3+

A.2.b.i) 24... Ke5 25.Rf5+ Ke6 26.Rxc5+ Kf7 27.Rc7+ followed by 28.Rxb7 with two pawns for the exchange and attack.

A.2.b.ii) 24... Kd5 25.Nc3+ Kc6 (25... Kc4 26.Qa4#; 25... Ke5 26.Qf5+ Kxd6 27.Rd1+ Kc7 28.Rxd8 Raxd8 29.Qxg6 + - [Q+N vs 2R]; 25... Kxd6 26.Rd1+ as in the previous subline) 26.Qa4+ Kxd6 27.Rd1+ Kc7 (27... Ke7 28.Rxd8 Raxd8 29.Bxb7 + - [Q+B vs 2R]) 28.Nb5+ Kb8 (28... Kc6 29.Bg2+ wins) 29.Rxd8+ Rxd8 30.Qg4 Ne5 (else 31.Qf4+ wins) 31.Qxg7 Nd7 32.Bxd6 wins.

A.2.c) 23... Qxd6 24.Nxd6 Bxg2 (24... Kxd6 25.Qxg6+ etc.) 25.Rf7+ Kxd6 26.Qxg6+ Re6 27.Qd3+ Bd5 28.Rd7+ Kxd7 29.Qxd5+ followed by 30.Qxa8 wins.

B) 21... Rb8 22.Ng5

B.1) 22... hxg5 23.Qxg6 wins.

B.2) 22... Ne5(h8) 23.Qh7#.

Aug-23-15  BOSTER: In the <puzzle> pos. white has open "f" file, united rooks, advanced pawn d5, knight e4, which controls f6 and d6, more space, more open lines and the move.

From other side black has undefended bishop b7, rook a8-out of the play, knight g6 almost hanging in the air-attacked by the queen c2 through Ne4, f7 pawn is weakness.

The sacr.21.Rxf7 is standard in such pos., and if Kxf7 another white rook reloaded to f1. After Kg8 Nf6+ destroying all black shield.

After Kd7,white has d6 check and black king has to move somewhere on white squares, where white rook f1, bishopg2 and queen c2 are waiting for him.

I'd not put 2 exclamation points after 21.Rxf7,how did GM R.Keene

So, <Smells> Like Keene Spirit>, but

this is not the same like "Scent of a Woman".

Aug-23-15  BOSTER: Should be After Ke7.
Aug-23-15  Pedro Fernandez: Generally insane puzzles are hard to find all the moves. This time I did play 21.Rxf7 Kxf7 22.Rf1! but now I did play 22...Kg8. Nice white combination in the variation begining with 22...Ke7. BTW, Stockfish does not play 21...Kxf7 but 21...Re7 (+3.94). <Penguin> has pointed out that in a lot of puzzles the game is lost before the puzzle first move and he is right! But, on the other hand, a puzzle cannot begin with a blunder!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I had the same intuitive approach as the white player...
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I never get Sundays (Never on Sunday), so why start now, but I think the first moves are probably 21. Rxf7 Kxf7 22. Rf1+ Kg8 23. Nf6+ Kh8 (...Qxf6 24. Rxf6 or 23...gxf6) 24. Qxg6 threatening mate on g7 must be winning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I didn't analyze the game line 23...Ke6 which is a much tougher nut to crack. One variant Keene didn't comment on (probably because it's too obvious) is 27. Kb8? dxe8->Q since the white queen is on e8.

Very fine game Mr Keene!

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Keene's note to move 21 shows that he hadn't calculated the whole combination in every detail ahead of time. The sacrifice was *speculative*, or as you might say, a guess. (Of course GM Keene's guesses, based on experience and intuition, are a hundred times more accurate than my calculations. That's why he's a GM.)

I have always wondered about the brilliant sacrificial combinations we see here <>. Did GM Shakmatovich calculate the whole sequence ahead of time, down to the last alternative move his adversary could have made, or was it partly guesswork? If the latter, then *sometimes* the guess must be wrong and the bold sacrificial attack must fail.

But in that case <Chessgames> wouldn't select it for the Saturday night insanity or the GOTD.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Solved Saturday and Sunday, flubbed Thursday and Friday, 5/7 for the week. Although keep thinking I've see this game before.
Apr-15-18  NBZ: Interesting to see Ray Keene's thoughts on how he decided to play Rxf7. I think I ended up doing pretty much the same thing (though with less attention to detail). The key is to verify that Rxf7 Kxf7 Rf1+ Kg8 Nf6+! is winning, and realize that Rxf7 Kxf7 Rf1+ Ke7 d6+ has to be winning even if the precise winning line isn't apparent.
Apr-15-18  mel gibson: I saw that first move but it looked too risky.

Stockfish 8 agrees with the first move
but the black King doesn't take the white Rook:

(21. Rxf7

♖e8-e7 ♖f7-f2 ♖a8-b8 d5-d6 ♖e7-d7 ♘e4-f6+ g7xf6 ♕c2xg6+ ♖d7-g7 ♕g6xh6 ♗b7xg2 ♔g1xg2 ♕d8-e8 ♕h6-f4 ♕e8-e6 d6-d7 ♖b8-d8 ♖d1-d6 ♕e6-e5 ♕f4xe5 f6xe5 ♖f2-d2 b6-b5 ♖d2-d5 c5-c4 a2-a3 a7-a5 ♖d5xe5 ♖d8xd7 ♖d6xd7 ♖g7xd7 ♖e5xb5 ♖d7-d3 ♔g2-f3 c4-c3 b2xc3 ♖d3xc3 ♖b5xa5 ♔g8-h7 g3-g4 ♔h7-g7 ♖a5-a8) +3.97/33 137)

score for White + 3.97 depth 33

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Forget some lame reference to Nirvana,

A much better game title: "Keene's Immortal"


Apr-15-18  stacase: Once you decide on the Rook sacrifice, it pretty well plays itself. I parted company at 24.Rf7+ and would have played 24.Bh3+
Apr-15-18  schachfuchs: I played this sacrifice after only a few minutes thought. It is clear that 21...Kxf7 22 Rf1+ Kg8 23 Nf6+ gxf6 24 Qxg6+ Kh8 25 Qxh6+ Kg8 is inadequate, and - as it is a puzzle - I felt that after 21...Kxf7 22 Rf1+ Ke7 there had to be a mate ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Have
21.R:f7! K:f7 22.Rf1+ Kg8 23.Nf6+ gf6 24.Q:g6+ Kh8 25.Q:h6+ Kg8 26.R:f6 looks like winning
Apr-15-18  Everett: Great finish by Keene, who contributed quite a bit to English and Reti praxis back in the day. Here’s another one that many may find enjoyable Keene vs V Kovacevic, 1973
Apr-15-18  BOSTER: In his notes Keene <after only a few minutes thought> gave this line: 21.Rxf7 Kxf7 22.Rf1+ Kg8 23.Nf6+ gxf6 and so on. But Black'd play 23...Qxf6 24.Rxf6 Ne5, and we have the pos on diagram with 25.White to play

click for larger view

White is better, but black'd play such pos.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I remember this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: It ain't no Sunday when memory flashes back...
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: Thanks for publishing my game I said, instinct played a significant role. On occasion, from personal experience, this does not always work! This time it did.
Apr-15-18  Patriot: Thanks <ray keene> for this game and your insight! It is very cool to have the player himself on this site! A lot of solvers seem to think very strong players calculate everything through but as you say instinct sometimes plays a big role. Great game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: < ray keene: Thanks for publishing my game I said, instinct played a significant role. On occasion, from personal experience, this does not always work! This time it did. >

yea and it was a great game Ray! wtg

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: It wasn't as spontaneous as all that:

<22. Rf1+Ke7 Now I paused to think for 50 minutes before continuing with the combination. White is winning but some of the variations demand precise calculation.>

When you're sacrificing a rook for a pawn you'd better make sure it works in all the variations.

Apr-16-18  Patriot: <ChessHigherCat> GM's calculate about the same as experts but recognize many times more patterns according to research. They have a better feel of what candidates are critical and which ones to not concern themselves with. He thought for 50 minutes because it was critical and could see the position in front of him more clearly but probably based the Rxf7 decision mostly on instinct and experience.
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