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Paul Keres vs Verbac
"Terse Correspondence" (game of the day Jun-12-2010)
corr (1933)
French Defense: Alapin Gambit (C00)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-18-09  JG27Pyth: Well, as usual engine analysis is enlightening (and a bit surprising)... 9.f4 was indeed a blunder, and 10.Rxf4! correct... but after 10...e5 Keres' 11.Bc5+?! was a weak 2nd best continuation that let Verbac back into the game (11.Rxf6! was winning). However Verbac's 11...Kxf7? was as stupid as it looked and pure losing. He should have played the natural 11...Bd7 with plenty of hope remaining.
Nov-18-09  JG27Pyth: <Marmot<JG27Pyth> Keres was just a little known teenager when this was played, not that that excuses black's greedy play.>

Oh 1933! Thanks I should have noticed that.

Nov-18-09  JG27Pyth: Well, as long as I'm spamming the board with too many posts... (why stop now?) ... one more comment (then I'll stop, I promise) ... Many of us, including myself, have remarked on Verbac's apparently very bad opening play... for what it's worth, my engine (Stockfish) doesn't find it bad at all... until the blunders move 9 - 11, it thinks Verbac's game is fine.
Nov-18-09  psmith: Well, I guessed 14. Rxf6, missing the fact that after 14...gxh5 15.Rf7+, Black can play 15...Kg6.

However, contra <Patriot> I believe this is still winning for White after 16. Raf1! (found by Fritz 5.32 after I read Patriot's post).

Nov-18-09  SharkBait: Easy for me today. Queen sacrifice Q-R6+ Why did not Black move his Queen's Bishop to block the check? Or at least some other piece.
Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Three easy parts:

1 sac the queen

2 dounle check

3 mate with the bishop

Another version of the Reti-Tartakower theme.

Nov-18-09  njchess: I make it point of studying Keres' games, so this one, actually two, are known to me.

Keres adopts an unusual line in the French with 3. Be3. There are only 38 other games (not counting both of the Keres vs Verbac games) in the Chessgames database with this move order. Chessgames refers to it as the Alapin Gambit while ECO refers to it as the Alapin Variation. It is also known as the Alapin-Diemar Gambit since f3 is typically played in similar fashion to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit.

Though I question Black's strategy in this game, despite appearances, he doesn't make any real mistakes until 11. ... Kf7??. The real problem with Black's play is that his aggressive style leaves no margin for error. One slip, as in this case, and the position comes crashing down around him. The simple Bd7 is a much better alternative leaving a wild position and probably advantageous endgame for White.

Nov-18-09  turbo231: Help! Why do I do better on Wednesday and Thursday puzzles than I do on Monday and Tuesday puzzles. This puzzle was very easy. The same thing happened last week. Has there been a mix up in the software for the last 2 weeks?
Nov-18-09  Patriot: <<psmith>: Well, I guessed 14. Rxf6, missing the fact that after 14...gxh5 15.Rf7+, Black can play 15...Kg6. However, contra <Patriot> I believe this is still winning for White after 16. Raf1! (found by Fritz 5.32 after I read Patriot's post).>

You are right, it should be winning. This shows how much I avoid quiet moves, because they usually give the other player more options and more ways to refute a sacrifice so I tend to look for lines more forcing. This helps me to prune my tree of analysis and instead look for something more reliable (like Qh6+). But if a move like Qh6+ didn't exist here, then I am forced to look at Rxf6 more carefully and then considering a move like Raf1 as in your line.

So basically when I said that after Kg6 "it didn't look good for white", I'm not really concluding that white loses. I was pointing out that it looks suspicious and therefore I'm not spending any more time on that line just yet until I examine other possible candidates. This follows a principle my coach taught me--"Look wide before you look deep."

In essence my written analysis attempts to demonstrate what I was thinking and how I concluded with the correct (or incorrect) solution to the puzzle.

Thanks for pointing it out!

Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Well, I made that a lot harder that it was...

Of course I saw the potential mate threat of Qh6# if only my rook were out of the way of my DSB.

Naturally, I started looking at forcing rook moves. Although there were none as forcing as I would like, it did seem that <14.Rxf6> was intriguing, since the rook can't be taken (14...Kxf6 15.Qg5# or 14...Qxf6 15.Qh6#).

Black's obvious reply is <14...gxh5>, and I lose my queen, but have a strong attack underway (perfect for a puzzle, right?)

I continue <15.Rf7+ Kg6> (not 15...Rg8 16.Rd7#)


click for larger view

I was kinda stuck for a moment, until I noticed that moving my LSB to d3 would be mate if only my LSB weren't busy guarding my rook on f7.

So, I relieve the bishop from defending the rook with <16.Raf1>, now threatening Bd3#. With my board vision getting blurry, I couldn't be sure this was foolproof, but I couldn't see any good way out for black.

If 16...Bf5, then 17.Nxf5 and now I threaten Nh4#.

If 16...e4 (to prevent Bd3), then 17.Bd5! threatens Bxe4# (note: 17...Qxd5 18.R1f6#).

I realized afterwards that I overlooked 16...h4, which creates an escape square for the king. Even if I had considered it, I probably wouldn't have forseen the correct follow-through, which my computer tells me is 17.Bd3+ Kh5 18.Ne4! (threat: Nf6+).

Anyway, I was a bit surprised when I realized that the game went in a different (and much simpler) direction that the one I took. But I think the 14.Rxf6 line gets more points for daringness. ;-)

Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <Gilligan: Hello everyone! Been a regular visitor for several months now, just joined up today.>

Welcome aboard, Gilligan. Let's hope you stay for more than a three hour tour.

Nov-18-09  mworld: this opening looked very familiar to me. I used to play around with the mieses gambit in the caro kann and this opening that Keres employs looks like the french equivelent of it.
Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Hello there cooey, Qh6+ cries out to be played. It is a forced mate from my reckoning. Verbac is all at sea once the rook collides into the f4 pawn. Kf7 is just bad, whether Bd7 would have saved him in the storm is questionable. I'd argue there's no safe port after his 9th, the common wealth of development by a wizard like Keres overcomes him.
Nov-18-09  butilikefur: Oh here is another cute tactic in that position.. <14. Nf5+ Bxf5 15. Rxf5 h6 16. Qh4 Be7 17. Rxe5 Nd5 18. Qd4 Bf6 19. Bxd5 Re8> 19...Qd6 20. Rf1 Bxe5 21. Rf7+ Kg8 22. Qc5 Qxc5 23. Bxc5 wins ..also 20...Qxe5 21. Qxe5 Bxe5 22. Rf7+ Kg8 23. Bc5 transposes <20. Rxe8 Qxe8 21. Qxf6+ Kxf6 22. Bd4+ Kg5 23. Ne4+> and White wins the queen in all variations for a piece..
Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Wednesday's puzzle Keres vs Verbac, 1933 White 14?

Much easier than yesterday because there is only one line of play: 14 Qh6+ Kxh6 15 Rh4++ Kg7 (forced, because of the power of the double check) 16 Bh6 mate.

POSTSCRIPT: Qh6+ leaps out as candidate move to any chess player brought up to look out for/ beware of double checks as a winning tactic in a tactical arsenal. Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn devote a chapter to the tactic in their book "L'art de faire mat" (English translation has benn published - The Art of Checkmate).

An odd thing about this position is that material is absolutely level. Was it a simultaneous display? Time to check/ play through the game.
====
It was a correspondence game. I hope Verbac felt his postage was well spent. See also Keres vs Verbac, 1939 (same moves up till move 14).

Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  zenpharaohs: I am really surprised this was a correspondence game; I saw this line instantly (and as such it was the only line I considered). I can understand over the board this sort of failure, but in correspondence I cannot imagine missing this.
Nov-18-09  WhiteRook48: had 14 Rxf6??
Nov-18-09  Patriot: Wow...I managed to miss the fact that black's knight on f6 is gone in two different variations in my first post--"C2" and "A1"!
Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: o.k., I think now I have a side solution (I have no clue if this was posted before):

14. Nf5+ Bxf5 15. Qh6+
(15. Rxf5? h6! 16. Qg4! Nxg4? (16...Nbd7 17. Ne4 Kh7 18. Nxf6 Nxf6 19. Rxf6 Qxf6 20. Rf1 Qc6 21. Qh4 g5 22. Bxg5; White is more than fine but Black is still not completely lost) 17. Rf7+ Kg8 Rd7#)

15...Kxh6 16. Rh4++ Kg7 17. Bh6#

I move more compared to the game

Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: 14. Qh6+ Kxh6 15. Rh4++ Kg7 16. Bh6# gets the job done with no muss and fuss.
Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: <JG27Pyth: Well, as usual engine analysis is enlightening (and a bit surprising)... 9.f4 was indeed a blunder, and 10.Rxf4! correct... but after 10...e5 Keres' 11.Bc5+?! was a weak 2nd best continuation that let Verbac back into the game (11.Rxf6! was winning). However Verbac's 11...Kxf7? was as stupid as it looked and pure losing. He should have played the natural 11...Bd7 with plenty of hope remaining.>

You are quite right! 11...Bd7


click for larger view

12 Ne6! works ONLY if the Queen moves. Unfortunately Black simply hands back the material with 12 exf4 13 Nxd8 Kxd8 to leave


click for larger view

and White will lose another piece.

I give Crafty credit for all this - I thought Ne6 was winning. Crafty link: http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-t... Keres vs Verbac 11?

Nov-18-09  psmith: <JG27Pyth>, <David2009> 11...Bd7 12. Bxd7+ is better, and seems good for White.

12...Nbxd7 13. Ne6
12...Nfxd7 13. Ne6
12...Kxd7 13. N2f3! exf4 (13...Kc8 14. Nxe5) 14. Nc6+ 12...Qxd7 13. Rxf6 gxf6 14. Ne4 Be7 15. Qh5+ Kd8 16. Rd1 Kc7 17. Nc3! exd4 18. Rxd4 Qe6 19. Re4 Qc6 20. Rxe7+ (with help from Fritz 5.32)

Nov-18-09  JG27Pyth: Psmith: <11...Bd7 12. Bxd7+ is better, and seems good for White.>

Don't get me wrong, after 11...Bd7 White has the better game in more than one variation... it's just that Kf7 loses outright. 11...Bd7 leaves Black with reason to continue. By no means is he equal. I believe with accurate play he ends up down a full pawn without compensation.

Nov-18-09  combokal2: <dzechiel> re: <Welcome aboard, Gilligan. Let's hope you stay for more than a three hour tour.>

Lol! You are showing your age. Alot of our younger Kibitzers may not get that one.

BTW, if the Professor could make cars out of bamboo and a radio out of a coconut, how come he coudn't patch a lousy hole in the boat!!!

Nov-18-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <combokal2> wrote: <dzechiel> re: <Welcome aboard, Gilligan. Let's hope you stay for more than a three hour tour.>

Lol! You are showing your age. Alot of our younger Kibitzers may not get that one. >

Here you are, kids - educate yourselves!

http://www.televisiontunes.com/Gill... :)

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