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Gideon Stahlberg vs Miguel Najdorf
Buenos Aires (1947)
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Positional Defense Closed Line (E94)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-22-10  felixd: Pretty easy for a friday... I found it in like 5 seconds...
Jan-22-10  desiobu: Missed it. The idea of a double attack with some bishop move occurred to me, but I still have a thing about willingly putting pieces en prise, so I didn't give it much more thought and spent much time trying to make Rxf6 work.
Jan-22-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this opposite-colored bishop middlegame, white has a meaningless extra pawn, but his real advantage is that he enjoys active placement of pieces, whereas several black pieces are passive and ineffective. In particular, the Ra6 is alone and vulnerable. In such positions, you should look for weak square targets (maybe g6?) on the color of your bishop. This suggests:


Now black has three captures that lose quickly:

A) 31... Rxd2 32.Qxg6+ forces mate in 4.

B) 31... Qxf7 32.Rxd8 wins the exchange and the control of the d-file ensures a quick win.

C) 31... Kxf7 32.Rxd8 Qxd8 33.Qb7+ picks off the loose rook and the exchange advantage is decisive.

D) 31... Bg5 32.Qxg6+ Kh8 (Kf8 33.Bd5+) 33.Rxd8+ Qxd8 34.h4 Bc1 35.Rd3 Qf8 (Qc8 36.Rd7! anyway) 36.Rd7 Ra8 37.Bd5 and black has no satisfactory defense against 38.Qh7#

Alternatives allow 32.Qxg6(+) with decisive effect.

Jan-22-10  Rama: I saw Bf7 opened an attack on the Rd8 but entirely missed the combined attack on g6 with the Queen, duh. I kept trying to make Rxf6 and Qh4+ work.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: For Gideon he brews attack with a storm to the kingside. Flowing like water Bf7 is just the tonic.. Bf7 Kxf7 Rxd8 Qxd8 Qb7+ trumpets the win. A judge of sound positional play he is railing against Rxf6 thus not pulling the wool over his own eyes. Bf7 is a testament to his faith, it does sho far and away the cleanest kill in my book.
Jan-22-10  cyclon: This started to "emerge" me more like a "mirage" in desert. It took a while. 31.BF7 is the move; White threatens 32.Qxg6+ with devastating effect. If 31. -Kxf7 ( -Qxf7 32.Rxd8 wins the exchange) 32.Rxd8 Qxd8 33.Qb7+ and 34.Qxa6 winning the exchange in prospectful position. Then, (31.BF7 ) -Rxd2 32.Qxg6+ Kf8 ( -Kh8 33.Qh6X) 33.Qg8+ Ke7 34.Qe8+ Kd6 35.Rxf6X and (again) no computer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: If you ever set up a battery, you ought to check what happens when you pull the trigger...

The Rd2/ Bd5 battery is white's pride and joy. Best of all, the Rd2 is not on the same rank as the white king, so a black rook capturing on d2 does not give check. This gives white a free move to do something dangerous.

How to pull the trigger? 31. Bf7 appeals straight away because it threatens 32. Qxg6+. Okay, so white offers his Rd2, but he gets an attack in return. Then we need to check the different variations:

31...Qxf7 drops the exchange to 32. Rxd8.

31...Rxd2 32. Qxg6+. The white queen will chase the black king around the Bf7 until Kd6/ Rxf6#. Yum.

31... Kxf7 (the game continuation) 32. Rxd8 Qxd8 33. Qb7+ and the Ra6 drops.

I sometimes think that chess is a bit like a Hollywood pitch. You get a creative type who will "pitch" his idea for a movie to a studio boss. Something like this: "It's gonna be like Die Hard ... on a battleship! We'll get Steven Siegal to be the Bruce Willis character, only he's a navy seal not a cop. Tommy Lee Jones as the baddy. And some token eye candy popping out of a birthday cake."

That's a bit like our initial idea for the combination: "It's Bf7 followed by Qxg6+. With an attack on the Rd8 thrown in for good measure."

Of course, we don't know if the idea is going to work, so after the initial pitch comes the money men. The suits will check every detail to make sure that it's going to make money. Is Siegal available? Can we borrow a battleship from somewhere? How much is it going to cost to make it? What audience figures can we expect? A summer blockbuster or a straight to DVD, made for TV special?

And that's like our analysis mode - checking to make sure that black doesn't have a defence in each variation.

When we play chess, we need to be both the creative types (floppy hair, audis and apple macs) and the suits (short hair, ties and spreadsheets). We need the imagination to spot the tactics and the precision to make sure that they work.

Or perhaps I'm just a cook ...

Jan-22-10  cyclon: <gofer:31 Rdd3 ...> This seems really a plausible move based on different view and "handling" of the puzzle-position. I pondered it also. Among other things that makes Chess so fascinating is the feature that sometimes there are only "only" moves, whereas in other occasions there may be more than one move - from two to few. There is (or was?) a thing like "playing-style" in Chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Missed it-the sac at f7 allows for a pin and the win of a rook-which is black's choice,but his only choice.
Jan-22-10  BOSTER: White has the nice bishop in the center on d5, active rooks a queen, luft for king! Black position: the weakness on g6 ,unprotected forgotten rook on a6, which is cut from all black forces , "bad" bishop ,unprotected queen on c7 with the limited mobility (pawns b6,c5,e5) . My opinion what you have to see immediately
1.weakness on g6
2. the point of intersection line a8-h1 and a7-h7(where the black king)- the square b7. Therefore:31.Bf7! ifRxd2
32.Qxg6 and mate in 3
if 31...Kxf7
32.Rxd8 Qxd8
33. Qb7+ Kg8
if 31...Qxf7
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Rats. I actually considered 31.Bf7! for no other reason than it threatens Qxg6+, and thus forces 31...Kxf7 (not 31...Qxf7 32.Rxd8 winning the exchange). I even glanced at 32.Rxd8.

But for some reason, I didn't consider Qb7+! forking K+R to win the exchange via the OTHER rook.

My view of the action was too narrow. You gotta use the WHOLE board. :-(

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Got it! I kept looking at the exchange sac on f6 but couldn't really see any advantage. It was clear that I needed to uncover the attack on the d8 rook with a tempo - from there it was a matter of working out the details of where and when to move the bishop. I would have never seen this OTB.
Jan-22-10  TheaN: Friday 22 January 2010

Back on the current day, yay. Just with three points though.


Target: 6:00;000
Taken: 3:19;079

Material: White up, ls♗+♙/ds♗

Candidates: <[Rxf6]>

The opposite color Bishops suggest a draw in a potential endgame, but Black neglected his piece activity. The terrible Rook on a6 and the outpost of the Bishop on d5 suggests the relatively simple:

<31.Rxf6> because of 32.Rf7† and 32.Qxg6† Black has no zwichenzug and has to capture.

<31....Kxf6 32.Rd3> such an elegant but effective move. White threatens a new 33.Rf3† Kg7 34.Rf7† and it's very hard to par with.

<32....Kg7 33.Rf3 Rf8> what else here?

<34.Rxf8 Kxf8 35.Qxg6 > wins.

<32....Rxd5> nice try but it comes too late.

<33.cxd5 > just wins due to the Rook on a6 still being very weak. Although I have no clear winning line in this position, material is still in White's advantage with an amazing position. Lets check this.

Jan-22-10  TheaN: 3/5

How weird. For the first time in a long time I see a lot of regular post the main line stating "it is relatively easy to spot" whilst I didn't at ALL. I'm still wondering how 31.Rxf6 Kxf6 32.Rd3 fairs, I think it's still pretty crushing. Lets check Rybka, be right back.

Jan-22-10  TheaN: Bah 31.Rxf6 Kxf6 32.Rd3 Kg7 33.Rf3 Rd7 is the main line, pretty drawn. Geez what am I doing this week?
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Friday's puzzle Stahlberg vs Najdorf, 1947 White 31?

31 Bf7 expecting Kxf7 32 Rxf6+ Kxf6 33 Qh4+ Kg7 34 Rxd8 with a powerful attack. In this line 33...g5? 34 Qxh6+ will leave White with at worst Q for two disorganised Rooks, or alternatively winning back the Rd8 in more favourable circumstances. Alternatives are 31...Qxf7 32 Rxd8 winning the exchange; or 31...Rxd2 32 Qxg6+ Kf8 33 Qxf6 or Rxf6 with a powerful attack: Rxf6 is playable since the Bf7 is available to cover on d5 (with discovered check) if Black attempts 33 ...Rd1+ 34 Kg2 Qc6+??.
Time to see how the game went:
No credit since (A) Stahlberg's fork (on b7) is a much more accurate liqidation after 31...Kxf7 and (B) on playing through the position 32 Rxf6? actually LOSES since after 32...Kxf6 33 Qh4+ g5! WINS since there is a flight square for the Black King on f5. I haven't time tonight to explore fully the lines with Crafty defending, but here is the puzzle position

click for larger view

(Stahlberg v Najdorf 1947, 31?) followed by the link: As usual, you are white, drag and drop the move you want to make: enjoy exploring the possibilities!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn ahead. The square g6 is only protected by the black king and the rook on a6 is defenseless. These details suggest 31.Bf7, threatening 31.Qxg6+ winning:

A) 31... Rxd2 32.Qxg6+ Kf8 (32... Kh8 33.Qxh6#) 33.Qg8+ Ke7 34.Qe8+ Kd6 35.Qe6#.

B) 31... Kxf7 32.Rxd8

B.1) 32... Qxd8 33.Qb7+ Ke6 34.Qxb7 Qd1+ 35.Kg2 + - [R+P vs B].

B.2) 32... Ke7 33.Rf8 Kxf8 (33... b5 34.cxb5 Rb6 35.Qa8 c4 36.Rg8+ Kh7 37.Qe8 wins) 34.Rxf6+ Ke7 (34... Ke8 35.Qxg6+ wins the queen or mates; 34... Kg7 35.Qxg6+ Kh8 36.Rf8#; 34... Kg8 35.Qxg6+ Qg7 36.Qe8+ Kh7 37.Rf7, etc.) 35.Qxg6 with the double threat 36.Qg7+ Kd8 37.Rf8# and 36.Rf7+.

B.3) 32... Kg7 33.Rf8 is similar to B.2 (33... Be7 34.R3f7#).

C) 31... Qxf7 32.Rxd8 Ra7 (32... Bxd8 33.Rxf7+ Kxf7 34.Qb7+) 33.Rd6 with the threat 34.Rfxf6, etc.

D) 31... Bg5 32.Rxd8 Qxd8 (32... Bxd8 33.Qxg6+ Kf8 34.Qg8+ mates in two) 33.Qxg6+

D.1) 33... Kh8 34.Be8 Qe7 35.Rf7 wins.

D.2) 33... Kf8 34.Bd5+ Ke7 35.Rf7+ Ke8 36.Qg8#.

Jan-22-10  ruzon: I really like the Queen windmill if Black takes the loose Rook:

31. ♗f7 ♖xd2?? 32. ♕xg6+ ♔f8 33. ♕g8+ ♔e7 34. ♕e8+ ♔d6 35. ♕e6+

All supporting diagonals of the Bishop are used!

Jan-22-10  newzild: I had a quick look at this last night and couldn't see the answer, but I did consider 31.Rxf6 Kxf6 32.Bf7, which doesn't work. I came back to it today and saw that 31.Bf7 wins.

These kinds of bishop moves are hard to spot. In a blitz game, I think I would have played 31.h4.

Jan-22-10  WhiteRook48: dude that was so tricky!! I tried 31 Qg4 w Be4!
Jan-22-10  tacticalmonster: 1) white has an useless extra pawn due to the doubled a pawn

2) b6 pawn is on an half-open b file and it is sufficiently defended

3) bishop of opposite colour. White bishop sits on a powerful d5 square while f6 bishop is hammered in by the e5 pawn

4) f3 rook controls the f file and attack the f6 bishop

5) a6 rook is out of play and d2 rook is unprotected

6) black kingside lacks second rank pawn protection. It has a weak g6 pawn and f7 and g8 square weaknesses.

candidate: Bf7

1 Bf7 Kxf7 2 Rxd8 Qxd8 3 Qb7+
1 Bf7 Rxd2 2 Qxg6+ Kf8 3 Qxf6 with a crushing attack
1 Bf7 Kxf7 2 Rxd8 Ra7 3 Rd1

Jan-22-10  Eduardo Leon: Today's puzzle wasn't evident, but it wasn't particularly hard either.


The threat 32.♕xg6+ is so deadly black must counter it immediately. Unfortunately for black, no matter how he takes the bishop, he loses an exchange.


Of course, if 31...♕xf7 32.♖xd8.

32.♖xd8 ♕xd8 33.♕b7+

After 33...(any) 34.♕xa6 ♕d1+ 35.♔g2, white is an exchange up.

Jan-22-10  ohfluckaduck: Gideon Stahlberg, congratulations on a brilliant move!
Premium Chessgames Member
  NakoSonorense: Whoa! I'm so happy I was able to solve it in about two minutes! It is my first Friday puzzle in months.

But in all fairness, I stopped after I found 34.Qxa6

Sep-14-11  tacticalmonster: candidate: 18 Bf7

a) 18 Kxf7 19 Rxd8 Qxd8 20 Qb7+ winning the exchange

b) 18 Qxf7 19 Rxd8 winning the exchange

c) 18 Rxd2 19 Qxg6+ Kf8 20 Qg8+ Ke7 21 Qe8+ Qd6 22 Rxf6#

time: 4:30 min

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