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Lewis T Haller vs Alexander Henry Robbins
St. Louis, MO USA (1884), it
King's Gambit: Falkbeer Countergambit. Blackburne Attack (C31)  ·  0-1


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sac: 30...Rxh2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  LucB: Wow, I got it!.. 'took me over 5 minutes to work out the variations, but still..
Apr-16-14  Patriot: Black is down a pawn. White threatens 31.Qxe5.

Black can play the very forcing 30...Rxh2+ 31.Kxh2 Qxg3+ 32.Kh1 Qh4+:

33.Qh3 Rxh3+ 34.Bxh3 Qxh3#

33.Kg2 Rg3+ 34.Kf2 Qh2#

Apr-16-14  Patriot: I somehow missed the bishop hitting f2 in the second line so 33.Kg2 Rg3#.
Apr-16-14  mathlover: relatively easy
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one pawn down.

White threatens 31.Qxe5.

Black has four pieces and one pawn to attack the black king. This suggests 30... Rxh2+ 31.Kxh2 Qxg3+ 32.Kh1 Qh4+ 33.Qh3 (33.Kg2 Rg3#) 33... Rxh3+ 34.Bxh3 (34.Kg2 Q(R)g3#) 34... Qxh3#.

Apr-16-14  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"
Black to play 30...?
Black is a pawn down

31.Kxh2(forced) Qxg3+
32.Kh1 Qh4+
<if 33.Kg2 Rg3#>

33.Qh3 Rxh3+
34.Bxh3 Qxh3#

Apr-16-14  diagonalley: darn... i spent ages trying to get 30 ....QxR to work and didn't even look at 30 ....RxP+ :-(
Apr-16-14  stacase: I spent too much time looking at ways to Queen the Pawn before I saw that there was a Rook and Bishop on the job. Then it fell apart.
Apr-16-14  ferrabraz: Just like Patriot, I missed the imediate checkmate with 33. Kg2 Rg3 (the bishop on c5 covers f2).
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The sham Rook sacrifice 30...Rxh2+! demolishes pawn cover and decoys or deflects the White King to force mate and solve this Wednesday puzzle.
Apr-16-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see a good defense for White after 30 ... Qxa1, with the dual threats of Qxe1# and Rf1+. In particular, I don't see how White can proceed in the line:

30 ... Qxa1
31 Qe8+ Bf8

Apr-16-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Ack. I considered the game line first, but missed something -- I think it was that Black's queen could check at h4 to get around the defense at h3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White missed an opportunity with 17. bxc5! bxc5 18. dxc5 Bxc5 19. d6! Nd7 20. Bxa8 Rxa8 21. Qd5 Qxd5+ 22. cxd5 Bxd6 23. Rac1 , winning the exchange with a strong initiative.

Fritz 12 shows White's decisive mistake was 22. Qd3? which gives Black a decisive advantage with 22...Rb4! (-1.67 @ 20 depth).

Instead, Fritz recommends 22. Qc2 or 22. Rb1 .

Apr-16-14  morfishine: 30...Rxh2+ 31.Kxh2 Qxg3+ 32.Kh1 Qh4+
33.Kg2 Rg3#


Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Cheapo by the Dozen> Black wins after 30...Qxa1 31. Rxa1 (diagram below)

click for larger view

However finding the winning 31...Re3! here might be difficult, especially since the tempting alternative 31...Rf1+?? 32. Kg2! turns the tables on Black.

Apr-16-14  zb2cr: Straightforward, for a Wednesday. 30. ... Rxh2+; 31. Kxh2, Qxg3+; 32. Kh1, Qh4+. Now two short variations:

33. Kg2, Rh3#.

33. Qh3, Rxh3+; 34. Bxh3, Qxh3# (Or 34. Kg2, Qg3#).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I thought of 31...Rf1+, but realized there are 2 attackers and only 1 defender.
Apr-16-14  PJs Studio: I couldn't see the mate after quickly calculating to 31...Qxg3+ Because Qh3 was distracting me.

Something I've noticed having trouble with is deeply calculating the effects of open board queen checks AFTER line openings and exchanges. Any recommendations on how I can work on that?

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The rook and queen should mate soon...and do.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Interesting that the Prince Charles pawn on e2 doesn't have much to do with the solution. Black puts the coronation dreams to one side and delivers a snap mate.

Except that isn't quite true. This is the position after 26...e2

click for larger view

At first glance, it looks as if the e pawn's job is to reach the first rank and promote. But it's also preventing white from keeping a rook on f1 and kicking white away from the f file so that black can use it.

After 27. Qxf7+ (what else?) Kh8 28. Re1 Rf8 ...

click for larger view

... we can see a striking transformation. The f file which had seemed so utterly in white's power now belongs to black. What is worse (for white) is that black will follow up with Rf2+ and then nasty things will happen in the vicinity of the white king.

It seems that the power of a passed pawn isn't just the threat of promotion, it is also its ability to control squares deep in enemy territory.

Honourable mention must also go to the Bc5. This not only protect f8 (thus making 28...Rf8 possible), it also allows 29... Rf2+.

But then I suppose that is the essence of chess. Both sides start the game with identical and symmetrical forces. The only way to win is to make your pieces more useful than your opponent's. And one way to do that is for your pieces to do more than one job whilst some or all of your opponent's pieces are not doing anything useful.

Interesting also how we can sometimes wins by switching tactical goals. Today black starts with a materialistic objective (to queen a pawn) and then switches into a checkmate. Similarly, we can sometimes break off a mating attack to grab decisive material.

Not just multi-tasking but also multiple objectives at the same time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Trade for one line every chance aim fold delve in...

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Apr-16-14  MostlyWatch: I set up Stockfish to play against itself, level 10 v. level 1, from move 30 Kh1. It played the text. I can actually beat level 1, so this must be an area of the tree of possible moves which has no escape.
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