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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Siegbert Tarrasch
Monte Carlo (1902), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 17, Mar-03
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Morphy Attack (C78)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 13 times; par: 40 [what's this?]

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sac: 28.Rh7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-31-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: These puzles can be painful;imagine the stress on the brain that comes from feeling like a genius on Monday-to feeling like a dope on the weekend!

White gives up rook to lure black into the dark hallway of the h-file,only to be captured by the faraway rook,lurking in the southwest corner,just itching to get into the game. lol

Oct-31-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Doh! How embarrassing. I suppose it's too late now to delete my stupid post. I suppose I can't say that I found the solution either, because I failed to notice the follow-up. Lesson: Never post anything before drinking coffee.
Oct-31-05  psmith: <YouRang> Don't be embarrassed, I've done as badly. And your avatar is very appropriate today.
Oct-31-05  FAME: I got it in about 20 seconds, didnt see the checkmate threat for a while forgot about the rook on a1.
Oct-31-05  Eric Xanthus: <kevin86>, the real anguish is when you solve a late-week puzzle and then tank a Monday. THAT's painful. :)
Oct-31-05  yataturk: I'd call this trashin Tarrasch :p
Oct-31-05  snowie1: This was a good lesson for me in how to clean house. Black's move 23..g5 sealed the sarchphogus on this one by opening up the h-file. Now it was a matter of which side could get power there first.
Oct-31-05  Halldor: The black king can't protect h7 and f7 at the same time. So 28.Rh7+! is mate in 2-3 moves.
Oct-31-05  soberknight: For those who asked why Tarrasch waited to resign until 29 Qxf7, instead of surrendering immediately after 28 Rh7+:

The rook sacrifice of 28 Rh7+ must be accepted, or else 29 Qxf7 is mate. Tarrasch probably took the rook after only a few seconds. However, 29 Qxf7+ left him with two choices, neither of which is clearly better than the other. As Tarrasch evaluated them, he realized that it made no difference because it was mate next move - so he resigned.

You have to think like a chessplayer to understand what causes a chessplayer to give up. If you have only one playable move, for example a capture, you play it first and ask questions later. If you need to make a choice between two or more moves, then you consider the alternatives until you reach the best attainable understanding of the resulting positions.

Once you know that you've lost, there's no need to play until checkmate unless you suspect your opponent is incompetent. (For example, if I had king against king, bishop and knight, I would play against an ordinary human until checkmate because maybe he or she doesn't know how to execute this difficult elementary endgame.) As I understand, the unwritten code of chess sportsmanship requires the honorable player to give up once he knows he is in a mating net or down by a piece without compensation. Of course, not all players followed this rule. Bogolyubov once played 20 moves after losing a rook before he resigned, just for the enjoyment of playing chess. (If anyone recalls which game this was, please post the link.) Also, rumor tells that in the famous "Game of the Century" (D. Byrne-Fischer 1956), after Fischer recovered a pile of material for the sacrificed queen, Byrne asked a friend if he should continue playing until checkmate. The friend responded, yes: it was the honorable, sportsmanlike thing to do.

Ultimately, the question of whether it is sportsmanlike to resign in a dead lost position or to play until checkmate depends on the relationship between the players. I frequently show composed endgames to my younger sister Bracha, who is probably about 300-400 rating points weaker than me in playing strength. I walk her through the endgame, explaining to her the logic of the moves and the underlying positional or tactical theme. At the end, when she has finally solved the puzzle and promoted to a queen, she almost always insists that we continue until checkmate, just for fun. (More than once, she has stalemated me, but I let her take those moves back.) This relationship is what lends the mathematical game of chess a beautiful human quality. When I play with Bracha, our relationship dictates that we keep the game alive until checkmate. Under competitive conditions, I would resign so that my opponent and I could leave the game and do something more important.

Oct-31-05  JoeWms: A couple of you guys referenced a theme, Deflection, suggesting a theme of the week. Is this inferred from just one Monday game? Is a theme announced somewhere? If that is so, then I get a kind of heads up on the other six puzzles. Right?
Oct-31-05  chesscrazy: It was very easy, only took a couple of seconds. When I first looked at it I saw that 28.Rh7+ Kxh7 29.Qxf7+ would win a pawn after 30.Qxe6. Only after about 9 seconds did I see the rook on a1 and the move Rh1 which led to mate.
Oct-31-05  midknightblue: <chesscrazy> I guess your right. Very easy. I feel stupid for missing it.
Oct-31-05  chesspadawan: (SOBERKNIGHT) I believe that if a chess player feels insulted because the opponent doesn't resign when he feels his position is superior, is unprofessional. there's always a chance either player could blunder. It's happened to Kasparov, why not the guy in front of me? To me resigning is a bit "un-American". I say play to the bitter end. And if you feel insulted, sorry, you're the master so finish it!
Oct-31-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <JoeWms> The theme of the week is never 'announced' by chessgames.com, the members here always try to guess based on Monday's puzzle. =)

So far <cu8sfan> have been getting the theme right more often than most. =)

Oct-31-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <soberknight> Maroczy vs Bogoljubov, 1931
Nov-01-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: On second thought, I think I'll put yesterday's puzzle solution 28. Rh7+! in my decoy collection, instead of calling it a deflection.

Reinfeld was not incorrect in classifying this problem as a "removing the guard" tactic (number 480 on page 99 in 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations). However, it seems to me that the key idea of the combination is the decoy (forcing the King to a critical square). Once this objective (decoying the King to h2) is realized, the mate which follows is easy.

Dec-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: <patzer2> I disagree. To me this tactic is a <deflection> because the Black king is overworked. The Black king has to keep the White h1-rook out of h7 and the White f3-queen out of f7 and it cannot do both since a king defends only one square. By making the Black king meet the threat to h7 with 28 ♖h7+! ♔xh7, the king is <deflected> away from its defense of the critical f7-square.
Dec-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: For the most stunning example of this theme that I have ever come across, be sure to check out Judit Polgar's incredible 24 ♖d7!! from Judit Polgar vs J Fernandez Garcia, 2003. This remarkable move is neither a check nor a capture but yet it forces mate in all variations.
Dec-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 23...g5? is not Dr. T's best idea.
Dec-04-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Also checkout my note in Chen Fan vs Bu Xiangzhi, 2005 as to why White cannot move his c3-knight after 18 ... b4.

Why not? Because the <king deflection> 19 ... ♖xa2+! 20 ♔xa2 ♕xc2+ forces mate, that's why not. The mating line would look something like 19 ♘d5?? ♖xa2+! 20 ♔xa2 ♕xc2+ 21 ♔a1 ♖a8+ 22 ♗a7 ♖xa7+ 23 ♗a6 ♖xa6+ 24 ♘a5 ♖xa5#.

Oct-15-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 23...g5 is disastrous, but even against 23...Ne7 24 g5 Nxf5 25 exf5 d5 26 Qh5


click for larger view

White's threats of g6 and gxh6 are winning.

Jan-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: I thought HP preferred 1e4?
Jan-14-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  James Demery: I meant 1d4.
Jan-15-10  AnalyzeThis: I don't know who the strongest player all time was, but in my mind, Pillsbury played the most interesting chess.
Jan-15-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  visayanbraindoctor: <AnalyzeThis: I don't know who the strongest player all time was, but in my mind, Pillsbury played the most interesting chess.>

Among native born American chess masters in the era of the chess clock, IMO the strongest ones (intrinsically) in order are:

Fischer

Pillsbury

Fine

Marshall

Morphy was active in a time where there were no chess clocks, and probably messy tournament conditions, so it is hard to compare him with his successors. However, if he was born a hundred years later, he could have churned out performances as impressive as Fischer's for as long a period of time.

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