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Paul Keres vs Wolfgang Unzicker
Hamburg m (1956), rd 2, May-21
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio de Janeiro Variation (C67)  ·  1-0


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Given 13 times; par: 32 [what's this?]

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sac: 23.Nxg7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Kere's 23. Nxg7! initiates a winning combination illustrating the theme "demolition of pawn structure" via "sacrifice at g7 (g2)."

Kere's 23. Nxg7! is the answer to problem number 1652 in Chess Informant's "Encyclopedia of Chess Middle Games/Combinations."

Note that if Black plays 23...Kxg7, then White wins with 24. Bh6+! Kg8 (24...Kxh6 25. Rxf7 ; 24...Kg6 25. Qg4#) 25. Qg4+ Kh8 26. Qd4+ Rg7 27. Rg5 Rg8 28. Rc3 Nd8 29. Re3 (threatening 30. Bxg3+ Rxg3 31. Re8+ Qxe8 32. QxR#) 29...Ne6 30. Rxe6 Qxe6 31. Bxg7+ Rxg7 32. Qxg7#.

If Black plays 23...Raf8, then
White wins after 24. Ne6! Rxf5 (24...Qxe6 25. Qg4+! Qg6 26. Rg5 )25. Qg4+! Kh8 26. Nxf8 .

If Black plays 24...Rf7 (24...Re7 and other Rook moves lose to 25. Rf8+ Rxf8 26. Qf8#), then White wins after 25. Rg5+ Kh8 26. Qc3+ Rg7 27. Rxg7 with a decisive White windmill attack (discovered check tactic).

If Black plays 25...Kxg7, then White wins with 26. Qc3+! Kg8 27. Rf3 (threatening 28. Rg3+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Kf7 30. Qg7+ Ke6 31. Re1+ ), with Black's exposed King and Queen unable to defend against White's actively deployed Queen and Rook.

Jul-10-05  Eric Xanthus: I was proud to select 23.Nxg7 and its continuation, but I could not see anything more than a won pawn after black's simple 23..Rxf5. Perhaps I am overlooking something simple--it is after midnight here.


Premium Chessgames Member
  crafty: 23...♖xf5 24. ♘xf5 h5 25. ♕g3+ ♔h7 26. ♕g5 ♕f7 27. ♘e7   (eval 9.75; depth 11 ply; 250M nodes)
Jul-10-05  murraygd13: I'm missing it as well.

what's to stop from

25 Rg5+ Kh7

Jul-10-05  murraygd13: Kh8

I shoulda typed

Jul-10-05  Boomie: After 24...♖f7 25. ♖g5+ ♔h8 26. ♕c3+ looks mighty tasty.
Jul-10-05  jahhaj: <al wazir> 26.♗f6 and White is winning easily.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 25...Bc2 26. Rf4 (26. Rxc2?? Qe1#) Qxg7 27. Rg4 Bg6. Where's the win??
Jul-10-05  sfm: <al wazir: 25...♗c2> Smart idea, but white plays 26. ♗f6 and wins quickly, e.g. 26.-,♕e8(or e4) 27.♕g3+ and it is all over.
Jul-10-05  fian: How about 24...d5 to prevent white from playing Rc4 later?

24. Bh6 d5 25. Bxg7 Qxg7 26. h4 h6 and black has just one extra tempo to defend with Rf8.

Jul-10-05  Snow Man: "Don't kick your opponent, kick through him."

After 22...Rf7 white targets the f8 square.

Jul-10-05  Eric Xanthus: Thanks for all the lines. In the morning light I can see that, in the 23..Rxf5 line, white has a lot more than the pawn--all his peices are swarming and black's are far away. I did not appreciate how easily and decisively white could invade g4 and h6.
Jul-10-05  psmith: <fian> After 24. Bh6 d5 25. h4! white wins, I think.
Jul-10-05  arenafootball9: I also looked at nf6+ with similar threats of having the pawn gone, empowering the bishop, and possible queen pins with the second rook. Any lines winning or losing?
Jul-10-05  Knight13: What the heck this puzzle doesn't make sense but hard.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <fian> Playing out 24...d5 with Fritz 8 @ 13 depth indicates it's a clear White win:

24... d5 25. h4! Nd6 (25... Rf7
26. Qg4+ Kh8 27. Qd4+ Rg7 28. Rg5 Rag8 29. Bxg7+ Rxg7 30. Re1 Nd6 31. Re6 Nf5 32. Qe5 Nd6 33. Rxd6 ; 25... Re7 26. Rf8+ Rxf8 27. Qxf8#) 26. Rf4 Nf7 27. Bxg7 Kxg7 28. Rg4+ Kf8 29. Qg3 Nh6 30. Rf4+ Nf7 31. Rc3 Re8 32. Rcf3 a6 33. h5 Re6 34. Rg4 Re1+ 35. Kh2 Bc2 36. Rg8+ Ke7 37. Qh4+ Kd6 38. Rf6+ Kc7 39. Rxf7 Qxf7 40. Qd8+ Kb7 41. Qb8#

Still, 24...d5 is a good idea for putting up strong resistance in a bad position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <...this puzle doesn't make sense...> Like most demolition of combinations, the basic idea of 23. Nxg7! is to sacrifice a piece to strip the King of pawn cover, and then throw everything into an all out attack on the unprotected King.

However, as the subtlties of this position indicate, the attack must be carefully and accurately conducted.

This position in particular shows the value of the two rooks and the Queen against a King with weak pawn cover and with a piece majority out of play and unable to provide adequate defense.

Jul-10-05  WhoKeres: This game was from a match won by Keres by a 6-2 score. All eight games in the match began with the Ruy Lopez.
Jul-10-05  dac1990: In fact, ALL the games played between Keres and Unzicker were lines of the Ruy Lopez. I wonder why.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: 19. ...Bg6 looked better than Ba4
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: NO -of course he loses the c6 pawn - Black is positionally lost - his knight is badly placed and his two centre pawns are weak in this case
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: : I solved this one!! It took me ages -I was looking at the line played then went back to Nf6+ The I realised that after 23. N:g7 if K:g7 24. Bh6+ K:h6 25. R:f7 Qe6 26. Rf6+ wins and saw the position WAS a win also 25. ...Qe8 black must win against the king - its mate in a few moves (I didn't see the exact moves but it was obviously won) Now if 23 Ng7 K:g7 24. Bh6+ Kg8 25. Rg5+ Kh8 26. Qc3+! etc if 24. ... Kh8 25 R:f7 wins and the line Qe6 26.Rf8+ R:f8 27. Q:f8 Qg8 27. Bg7#! is beautiful!! I was pleased to see that as 25 Qc3+ Qe5 isn't so convincing (it wins but isn't so pretty!)

The problem was 23. ... K:g7 now I thought of 24.Be4 and Bh6 or Rc4 - I rejected Rc4 - having the idea Bc4 was good as I wanted to triple on the f file - but then realised that blocked the B so the B had to go to h6 first! The point!! Then the Rook can ratchett around to partake in the king side attack) and decided on Bh6 (as played) and now I thought Re8 might be played when 25. B:g7 when K:g7 loses to 25. Qg4+ Kh8 26. Rf8+ (I was desperately wanting that move!!) R:f8 27. Q:d7 when I could see that even the c pawn was pinned and white attacks the knight on b7 and there was no mate on the back rank etc)

This all "visualised" ... but I thought (even earlier) that after R:f7 there was no progress but I thought if h4 creates a luft and also the rook threatens to pin the Queen so my line was now 23. N:g7 Rg7 24.Bh6 Re8 25.h4 (creates "luft" and threatens and 26.Rg5 and Rc4 is on also)then h6 27. Rc4 Re1+ 28. Kh2 and white is going to get the black Queen and has the attack as well. Also saw that 27. ...Qa1+ was no good...

The other move to analyse was 23. N:g7 R:f5 24. N:f5 d5 (say) 25. Qg3+ Kf8 26 Bh6+ Ke8 27 Re1+ Kd8 28. Bg5+ Kc8 29. Ne2+ and if Ke8 30. Nc6# but I didnt see all of this line - I saw that after 24. N:f5 white was winning... And d5 and c5 are moves by Black to be considered

I haven't looked at Patzer's analysis yet...but I feel I solved this one but it took me about 60 minutes of analysis to come up with it - the trouble is in these positions one has ot analyse all sorts of possibilities - and I started in on 23 Nf6+ g:f6 24. Bd4 -now Keres possibly saw fairly quickly that that doesn't win...

Patzer is right of course one always looks at ways to remove the defence from the (opposing) King I would have played somethng like this OTB even without a complete analysis -it looks winning - given I had sufficent time

However I didn't look at ..Qe7 but White in that case has an easier win I think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: <Richard> Glad you solved it. Well done! I totally missed it.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <benzol> thanks - I miss as many as I get -lol -thought wouldn't crack this one though at first.
Apr-13-17  southeuro: The tactical Ng7's equally beautiful positional counterpart is the move b4.
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