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Vasilios Kotronias vs Daniel John King
New York (1990), WFW
Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation. Van der Wiel Attack Dreyev Defense (B12)  ·  1-0


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Given 12 times; par: 26 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-29-08  MiCrooks: This is an easy one to find if you know the pattern, but also easy to overlook in the heat of battle as King did here. If you had never seen the idea before then I doubt you would ever discover it over the board. Our move filters automatically discard moves like place your best piece where it can be captured by a pawn.

Makes you wonder how much of this Kontronias had as home preperation? He makes a number of best moves in the ensuing complications many of them not terribly intuitive. For instance, 18. Qh3 to avoid Nf5 after Bxd4 or 24. b4.

Plus King several times missed his best defensive moves (18...f5 instead of Nc8 for instance or 21....Ne7 instead of Be7) but Kontronias never did. Looks like King walked into a well prepared variation. I wonder if the pawn sac and apparent piece sac Nd4 was a novelty?

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Nice finish. I spent a minute or so looking at other moves even as Nh6+ and Bxg7 (to be followed by Qh6) before noticing how deadly the immediate Qh6 would be.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: When I started looking for the fastest move, I stopped looking at bad moves and soon found Qh6. If Lucullus had been a chess player instead of a Roman general, this would be exactly the kind of move he'd make.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: 26 ♕h6!!}. White threatens mate at g7 and the only escape is gxh6,but then ♘xh6 is mate

I once saw a similar set-up where all three pieces (in that case,also a queen,knight,and bishop) were subject to attack,but the capture of one only meant that the others would deliver the bad news.

Jul-29-08  Geronimo: Agreed with <an Englishman> that every c player should have this pattern in mind. Does it have a name? Does anyone have a collection of these mates to help commit it to memory?
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Hi, <Geronimo>. I maintain a collection of named mates, but this pattern does not have a name, as far as I know.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: One to test our pattern recognition skills. If you know the pattern, it is pretty easy.

The other way to find the solution is to look for the most forcing moves on the board. Each of the three checks clearly goes nowhere, so let's look for a move that threatens mate in one ... and that leads us to Qh6.

<Geronimo> <johnspouge> I have seen this referred to as a "minor piece mate", but can't find anything more specific than that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: Black must have forgotten to never take the queen knight pawn.
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  YouRang: Arg! I went with the first thing I saw, which was 26.Bxg7.

I'm threatening 27.Bxf8, but also 27.Bf6 and 28.Nh6#.

I figured that black has to defend with 28...Qc6, and then I have 29.c3 (protecting my rook with attack) Bc5 30.Bxf8 Rxf8 winning the exchange with still a good attack.

Checking my work, I discovered that, not only did I miss a (virtual) mate-in-2, but black had 28...Bxe1, and 29.Bf6 Rfd8. Now 30.Qh6 (threat:Qg7#) is answered by 30...Bxf2+ followed by perpetural checks. :-(

And here I was thinking, "Gee, this is hard for a Tuesday", lol.

Tomorrow, I'll have to take these stupid blinders off...

Jul-29-08  Helios727: Earlier, why didn't black play 18... dxe3 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <helios727> 18. ... dxe3 19. Nd6+ Kd8 20. Nxf7 discovered check. Opens up a nasty-looking attack via the opened d file.
Jul-29-08  ruzon: I eventually got the puzzle, but the game mystified me. After 15 moves, Black is down in development and king safety but has a strong pawn center. I can see the pawn fork coming on d4, but I see no way to save "my" minor pieces. So White plays...a6? Huh? What? Did I miss something?

Ah, so 16...b6 prevents a nasty royal fork. Can I save my minor pieces now? Hmm. 17.Rad1. Guess not. But at least after 17...d4 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.Rxd4 I get two pawns for my piece instead of one.

Okay, there's 17...d4. We'll play on and see if we can recover somehow. Wait, 18.Qh3? Huh? What? Why am I giving up a pawn? I can't mate on d7 with Black's queen there! Well, at least after 18...dxe3 19.fxd3 I'll have an open f-file for my rook. And Black can't castle queenside, not that he was going to anyway.

Black did what? 18...Nc8? Huh? I'll get a pawn back! I guess trying to castle is more important than a pawn, as well as getting that knight on b5 to leave. Time to play 19.Bxd4 and cut my losses.

19...Nd6?! Really? He didn't see my bishop? My knight on b5 is that important? He didn't want to get the bishop out yet? Okay...

20.Rfe1. Finally out of the woods with a 2-on-1 against the e5 pawn. After that the game mostly makes sense, and Qh6 eventually penetrated my brain. But how do you get there?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheaN: 2/2

Woah, things can become too easy after CG acknowledges to have chosen a too hard puzzle the day before.

Exclamation mark, I don't know. It's a plain single mate threat on one square that can't be defended. There are two supporters of the Queen on the attacked square of which only one can be taken out (the Bishop with f6), but that won't work as the Knight would allow Qxg7‡. The attacker can be taken out, however, but this allows a new mate.

Prolonging, only. Black is getting mated anyway.

<27.Kxf1 gxh6>
Anything else, as said above, would allow Qxg7‡ now. No prolonging here by Black, however, as now the Knight on f5 and Bishop on e5 will work flawlessly to form the mating net that allowed Qh6. f8 is covered by the Black Rook, f7 and h7 by Black pawns, g7 and h8 are covered and need protecting by only one of the pieces mentioned earlier which is the Bishop, so only the square the King is on (g8) needs to be attacked, without any possible interposions or captures. Nuff said.


Jul-29-08  456: Not tuesday (see my previous post) but MONDAY puzzle 28-Jul-08 <28. ...?> Zsuzsa Polgar vs J L Arnason, 1989
Jul-29-08  Longbrow: <johnlspouge>, <Geronimo>.My humble two-cents. If Black played to the bitter end (one more move), then this represents a Two Minor Piece Mate, further defined as a Knight and Bishop Mate. My justification are the rules, or recognition factors, that mate can only be forced if the defender's King stands in a corner that is the same color of the Bishop, and another unit whether Black or White, takes a square away from the King to be checkmated.

This Mate would be impossible without the removal of the g7 pawn, so in an end game where this Mate is likely to occur, the White King could not provide the clearance that his White Queen performs.

Maybe it’s just that fancy, or we could call it “Kotronias Mate” acknowledging his use of the Queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Hi, <Longbrow>. Nice to meet you - and to see you overcome performance anxiety for one brief moment (and one long post).

Thanks for the comment, although after <Once>'s post, I did Google "minor piece mate", only to come up with the standard endgame K+B+N vs K mate. I agree that today's mate is pretty enough to deserve a name, however.

Jul-29-08  Longbrow: <johnlspouge: and to see you overcome performance anxiety for one brief moment>.

Yes it was for one very brief moment; however, it was not too difficult-as I was not playing the game. Salutations to you as well.

I realize you already know this but this is the recognized mating pattern I use and <Geronimo>.might use. The standard K+B+N vs. K mate is the same as this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Longbrow> wrote: Salutations to you as well.>


<I realize you already know this but this is the recognized mating pattern I use and <Geronimo> might use.>

I can be a little obtuse at times, but I understand your point now. I will add "your" minor piece mate to my list, with thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Hi, <Longbrow>. All links on my named mates page should now be functional, including "minor piece mate".

Fears exist to be overcome. Thanks for breaking silence :)

Jul-29-08  Longbrow: Right.
Middle Game is the key here for Two Minor Piece Mates. They would be a Bishop pair, Bishop and Knight, and Knight pair. While the first two are based from basic mating patterns of K+B+B vs. K & K+B+N vs. K ,many variations of this can arise in a Middle game. The K+N+N vs. K, obviously is only possible because of other pieces/pawns on the board which might obstruct a King’s movement.

Two Minor Piece Mates are:
a) Two Bishop Mate
b) Bishop and Knight Mate
c) Two Knight Mate

Many people, lots of their time, and many books provided this fundamental information some years ago. To all I am thankful.

There should be many examples on this website ,but I have not made a specific search.

Now I have become tedious and will climb back in my den.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <ruzon> This game can be difficult to follow if you think about it materialistically. White leaves pieces hanging and black doesn't take them. So just what is going on?

The point is that black left his king in the middle of the board for quite some time. And the standard recipe for attacking the uncastled king is rapid development and open lines against the king, even if that means sacrificing pieces and pawns.

By the time that black does manage to get castled, white has a positional advantage due to his command of space and better development. That allows the mating combination of today's puzzle.

The cleanest example I know of an attack against an uncastled king is the Morphy opera game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  arsen387: the beauty of chess has no limits!
Feb-27-09  WhiteRook48: what is a King worth? The game
:D I would play that Qh6 move away, but my opponents will never get fooled enough into that position
Premium Chessgames Member
  hedgeh0g: Beautiful, beautiful game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Kotronias got Kahonias
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