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Mandolfo vs Ignatz von Kolisch
"A Flurry of Sacrifices" (game of the day Sep-03-2018)
Trieste (1858) (unorthodox), Trieste AUE
Vienna Game: Stanley Variation (000)  ·  0-1


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Given 67 times; par: 28 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-02-16  ughaibu: Here's one that may have been an actual game: NN vs Greco, 1625
Sep-03-16  Marcelo Bruno: <john barleycorn> I think this is a somewhat Anastasia's mate.
Jul-26-17  shyamdas: Isn't 18...Rh1 mate?
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <shyamdas: Isn't 18...Rh1 mate?> Black is in check.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The reference is to "Mr. P.R.O.P", a character in a story related by Al Horowitz in Fred Reinfeld int heir book, "Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles."

This occurred in the days when Horowitz was making a living playing NNs for small stakes, often giving large odds. Mr. P.R.O.P. was a "Professional Rook Odds Player".

One day, Mr. P.R.O.P. came to the club with a proposition for Horowitz. "I'd like to play a game at the usual odds for a stake will be $10. At times during the game, I may suggest you take back a move and play a different one. If you accept my suggestion, I'll give you dollar. If you refuse, it costs you nothing."

This sounded odd to Horowitz, but what did he have to lose? He accepted the challenge, removed his rook from a1, and the game began.

<1.d4 Nf6> 2.Nf3

Mr. P.R.O.P said, "You know, the great Capablanca former champion of the world, used to play 2.Nd2 here, and I've been studying the move. If you take back your move and play 2.Nd2 instead, I'll give you dollar."

Horowitz thought this was an odd move, but, hey, if the great Capablanca played it, how bad can it be? So he pocketed a dollar, and the game continued.

<2.Nd2 e5>

This startled Horowitz. P.R.O.Ps <never> sacrifice material. Still he was about to take when it hit him -- "He wants we to take the pawn! If I play a different move, he'll offer me another dollar to take the pawn!"


"It you take the pawn instead, I'll give you another dollar!"

"Ha ha!", thought Horowitz. I've got the hand of this now!"

<3.dxe5 Ng4> 4.Nf3

"If you take that back and play 4.h3 instead, "ill give ou another dollar!"

Now Horowitz was a bit suspicious, but he quickly realized what was happening. Mr. P.R.O.P. was nervous about giving the pawn away, and wanted to be sure he got it back. So he accepted:

<4.h3 Ne3>

Now the truth became known, as everyone in the club collapsed in laughter.


Mr. P.R.O.P. thought of offering Horowitz a dollar to take the knight, caught a glance at the look on his face, and decided that particular game was over.


And Horowitz, having started a rook down, has managed to lose his queen for a knight in the first five moves.

There is a moral to this story. Or, at least, there should be. You see, despite everything, Horowitz wound up winning the game anyway!

Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: I am the only person that thinks this game might be made up?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: 16. dxe4
Mar-06-18  schnarre: ...A nice odds game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: That should be move 17.

Also, bishop takes d5 works as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Mandolfo no castell.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Seems that Black had lots of areas to improve here. One would've been 6)... Ne2 instead of burying the knight on a2 as he did. Another would have been to decline the obviously dangerous offer of the bishop on move 14.

Perhaps Stockfish or Rybka will reveal me to be a fool. But I stand by my limited and feeble prognosis.

Mar-06-18  goodevans: <ajk68: 16. dxe4>

I think you mean <17.dxe4> as there's nothing on e4 to take on move 16. ;)

I too have been considering if the <16...Ne4> Q-sac is still winning if black declines it. <17.dxe4> seems one of the more promising ways to decline but then <17...Qxg5> threatens both <18...Qxe5> and <18...Qh5> either of which looks devastating. I for one can't see how white would defend this.

Having spent a bit of time looking at this I think white is lost whatever he does after <16...Ne4> but the complications are just a bit too much for me to be sure.

Mar-06-18  morfishine: Amusing is simple-minded <john barleycorn> asking if this was a smothered mate

LMAO, what a dunce, questions like that require a special type of genius


Mar-06-18  ajile: <morfishine:>

A bit harsh isn't it?


Mar-06-18  RookFile: Terrific story, I remember reading it. That was a great book and Horowitz was a great writer.
Mar-07-18  ughaibu: RookFile: Do you know a Horowitz story about illegally moving a knight? I think it was Horowitz, in any case some master was giving a simul and his opponent attacked a knight, but taking the knight would allow mate. On the other hand, leaving the knight en prise would be suspicious, so the master moved it two squares diagonally, as if it were a bishop. Of course the opponent pointed out the illegality, insisted on the master making a king move, took the knight and was mated.

I'd like to see the game, if it's on record.

Mar-07-18  schnarre: ...I think White lost it with 7. Na2?
Mar-07-18  morfishine: <ajile> Not really, this miscreant <john barleycorn> has been trolling me and others at <CG> for years

His SOP here at <CG> is to blind attack unknown posters with a condescending manner. He's driven off a number of premium members over the years. I have him on ignore but saw his post inside another's post so couldn't resist.

I thought he had quit <CG> for good recently, but unfortunately, this turned out to be someone else :(


Mar-07-18  john barleycorn: <morfishine: <ajile> Not really, this miscreant <john barleycorn> has been trolling me and others at <CG> for years ...>

"trolling" you for years? boy, stop lying.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: A really good game. Almost like magic.
Sep-03-18  lentil: <john barleycorn> 2-1/2 years later, here's a counterexample! Samsonov vs Nezhmetdinov, 1929
Premium Chessgames Member
  casaschi: The PGN of the game has a small imperfection.

The castling rights section of the FEN string should have a uppercase Q instead of lowercase q; uppercase letters refer to White while lowercase letters refer to Black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: I don't like having "odds games" for GOTD.

That's of course my personal opinion. I don't see anyone else criticizing this practice.

Of course, this is only the 4th comment today - give it time!

Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: There is unfortunately no authorized definition of a smothered mate.

Consensus would certainly be, that the check must be given with a knight.

Also, hardly anyone would think of calling it "smothered" if only one escape square were blocked by the king's own man, the others by the winning party.

But from there? "All-but-one"? "More than 50%"?

To avoid using unclear terms I would recommend not using the expression about anything else than the 'classic' version we all know, where there is an unfortunate traitor on every square the king could go to.

Also not "semi-smothered", as it equally will lack a plausible clear definition.

I will immediately call my contacts in FIDE to lobby for getting this matter accepted on the agenda for the next General Assembly so my views on this important issue can be made officially endorsed.

<thegoodanarchist: I don't like having "odds games" for GOTD.>

Well, I liked this one. But needless to say the quality of the moves is unlikely to be great on both sides. As Kurt Richter once said: "The player who is given the advantage of the odds is obliged to play poorly."

This obligation is well respected in the overwhelming majority of games we see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: As a previous poster mentioned this is close to being an 'Anastasia's Mate.'

click for larger view

But as you can see the pattern is similar but it is not an Anastasia.

click for larger view

A Smothered Mate is generally accepted as a Knight Check where all flight squares are blocked by the King's own pieces...he is being smothered by them.

This type of mate where a Knight checks and some of the flight squares are covered by a single friendly piece (in this case the h8 Rook) the term 'Suffocation Mate' can be applied.

Usual examples of a 'Suffocation Mate' are given with a Bishop covering the flight squares as in Steinitz vs J B Brockenbrough, 1885 but I think we can safely use the term in this game.


GOTD and odds games.

If you click on c8 and copy just the moves, then paste the moves into any PGN player the a8 Rook appears as if by magic.

So the Rook is really there...we just cannot see it.

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