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Miguel Najdorf vs NN
Rafaela (1942)
Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General (D37)  ·  1-0


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Given 26 times; par: 34 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's puzzle solution, the decoy 22. Qxf7+! initiates a two-move smothered mate combination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's puzzle solution could have begun with the mini-demolition combination 19. Bxh7+!, which wins the Queen or mates as pointed out by several posters here.

I suppose this game might suggest that 4...a3?! is not a big improvement over the mainline 4...c6 or 4...Be7.

Dec-03-07  jigsaw1: too easy Be4 does the trick as well
Dec-03-07  xrt999: I think the purists have a valid point: solving the puzzle requires the move order to be forced. In other words, there is only one response to 22.Qxf7+, and that is 22...Qxf7

The alternate solution, 22.Be4, also leads to a winning position with the loss of the black queen. On the other hand, black can simply make the move 22...Bf6 and the game continues. Black, of course, loses the queen and will most likely succumb rather quickly, but my point is that the solution to the puzzle is that which is forced.

After 22.Be4 Bf6 23.Bxd5 Ra7 black has 2 rooks to white's queen and is still in the game for the moment. The game is not over. In fact, those that posed the alternate solution might want to look at this position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  a q maclanahan: for OTB i think YouRang's solution is certainly good enough. i don't see the purist POV of the solution having to have a forced result as terribly compelling. after all these are situations from real games not compositions. real games do not have to have unique forcing solutions. as an example i submit the opening position as a puzzle.....
Dec-03-07  MostlyAverageJoe: Regarding the issue: "what constitutes a solution?", the Daily Puzzle F.A.Q. is clear:

<<<>>The goal is to find the best move, or sequence of moves, in the given position.<<>>>

Note <the best>. Not <the second best>, nor <good enough to win>.

Frequently, the move played in the game is NOT the best one, causing interesting debates to ensue, since it contradicts the most obvious interpretation of CG's "See game for solution" directive on the front page (but CG has commented at times that "see the game" refers also to the annotations in the game and to the kibitzes as well).

Dec-03-07  Amulet: <zb2cr:>
You're perfectly right. My proposed solution was a mistake. When I was looking at the position. I missed that king move to h8. Thanks for pointing that out.
Dec-03-07  zb2cr: Re: my response to <aliboy>, also <centercounter>'s statement.

Both of these players claimed 22. Bg6 was a win. In my response to <aliboy>, I gave 22. ... Bf6 as a possible defense for Black, believing that 23. Rc7 was impossible, because of 23. ... Qd1#. Well, I'm the one wrong there, since the d1 square is still covered by White's Queen. (In my mind, the White Queen was already at h8, I suppose.)

Now that I'm at home and have time to analyze, I think Black's best defense is 22. ... Bd6 (giving Black's King a hole and preventing Rc7). After 23. Qh8+, Ke7; 24. Qh4+, Black must move 24. ... f6. (This is because of 24. ... Kf8?; 25. Nd7+!, Kg8; 26. Qh7#.)

So we reach the following position, with White to move:

click for larger view

While White has a great attacking setup, and can follow up with such moves as 25. Re1 with a variety of unpleasant threats, the win is far from clear.

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <xrt999><After 22.Be4 Bf6 23.Bxd5 Ra7 black has 2 rooks to white's queen and is still in the game for the moment. The game is not over. In fact, those that posed the alternate solution might want to look at this position.>

Without giving it a whole lot of thought, I forsee:

24. Ba3 <pinning the knight & threatening to win it> a5 <protects the knight, but it's still pinned and unable to guard c6 (which will soon hurt)>

25. Qh8+ <nasty looking check forces the king into the open> Ke7 <only move, where it faces knight fork:>

26. Nc6+ <forks K & R; that hurts> Kd7 <quite forced - protects Re8 and unpins knight>

27. Qh3+ <protect Q with tempo> Kd6 <or Kc7; pick your poison>

28. Nxa7 <there goes a rook; black is now down a full Q & B and his naked king is running around engulfed in flames>

And this isn't even white's best line. The computer quickly tells found a forced mate with 25. Ng6+. But again, why should I worry about finding subtle forced mating combos when I've clearly got the win in-the-bag?

Dec-03-07  resty: very easy indeed! got it in 30 seconds
Dec-03-07  sanyas: <resty> lol
Dec-03-07  xrt999: yourang, thanks for the detailed analysis of white's obvious win after winning the black queen.

Forced mate in 12 moves after 22.Be4, congrats.

Dec-03-07  ChessPraxis: Funny!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Very easy
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Yes,check my note above-boy did I goof! Obviously if white checks with the knight first,the cavalry will be unable to support the queen for the mate at move two. So scratch my response about reversing moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  a q maclanahan: so if someone says that they are satisfied with their own solution which wins, purists are justified by FAQ to belittle their personal satisfaction? LOL!
Dec-04-07  Duque Roquero: <TopaLove: <Duque Roquero: 22. Be4 is clearly not the best move. Sorry, you didn't solve it.> It´s a matter of opinion. If you say he didnt solve the puzzle, try playing as Black against him after 22.Be4. Maybe you will change your mind.>

Playing 22. Be4 is missing mate in 2. That's not a matter of opinion. As <MostlyAverageJoe> pointed out, the goal is to find the best move or sequence of moves in the given position.

<YouRang> Your post is very interesting: <I'm familiar with Lasker's admonition: "If you see a good move, look for a better one". On the other hand, if you see a move that gives you a very easy win (i.e. huge material advantage with mate just a few moves off), its a bit silly to spend time looking for another move that might make it an even faster mate, IMO>.

I think in this case we must follow Lasker’s advice because this is a puzzle not a tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  a q maclanahan: one may feel that _they_ must follow Lasker's advice but to try to make even good advice into a compulsion on another strikes me as inadvisable. is the [uzzle done for the satisfaction of the individual or the satisfaction of the FAQ? if it _must_ be for the latter, then perhaps i should resign my subscription and forego the puzzles?
Dec-04-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <a q maclanahan> Imagine you're playing this game with 2 seconds left on the clock. Move Qxf7 and you win. Move Be4 and you lose on time.

This said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting satisfaction from finding a second- or third-best winning move. I've enjoyed plenty of such occasions myself, but, AFAIK, did not claim having solved the puzzle (and if I did, I was mistaken).

Sometimes, even finding the general idea of the direction of the game is quite enjoyable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  a q maclanahan: reasonable enough. the distinction between "solving the puzzle to xyz's satisfaction" is of course not the same as "solving the puzzle". claiming the former is not grounds for opprobrium for not performing the latter.
Jul-03-08  Confuse: <Anatoly21> : Be4; if they do Qe6 then... Qh8#. : P but I have matured to see that black can simply move his bishop. good one!
Dec-22-08  zzzzzzzzzzzz: correct me if i'm wrong but did najdorf defeat two unknown amaters with nd7
Jan-06-09  Operation Mindcrime: This game is very similar to today's Puzzle of the Day - a queen sacrifice at f7 followed by a semi-smothered mate aided by the bishop at h7. Great finish.
Jan-13-10  The Famous Chess Cat: <zzzzzzzzzzzz: correct me if i'm wrong but did najdorf defeat two unknown amaters with nd7>

You are correct. Also ironic is that they both ocurred in 1942.

The other game is Najdorf vs NN, 1942

Excellent observation

Jun-24-12  e4 resigns: No pun?
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