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Bent Larsen vs Miguel Najdorf
"The End is Najdorf" (game of the day Dec-04-2008)
Chess Olympiad Final-A (1968), Lugano SUI, rd 2, Oct-26
Nimzo-Larsen Attack: English Variation (A01)  ·  0-1


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Given 44 times; par: 72 [what's this?]

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sac: 35...Qh5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <egg-on-face attack>

Oh, I'm stealing that.

This game is featured in Marovic and Parma's _An Opening Repertoire for Black_ to illustrate that any old thing is good enough against Bird's Opening. Nevertheless I got beaten badly by <SwitchingQuylthulg> in an online tournament in this line (via 1.b3). I guess any old thing is good enough if you're Najdorf.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Well, having checked my line on Winboard I see it mates a move faster than I thought :

35...Rd3 36. Qb4 Qh5 37. Kh2 Rxh3#

Feb-02-18  saturn2: I went with 35..Rd3 because it is against the threat RxNe4 QxRc3 and covers d5 Later on I planned to play..Nf2 Kh2 Nxh3
Feb-02-18  Walter Glattke: Black could win material with 35.-Nf2+ 36.Kh2 Ng4+ 37.Kh1 Nxe5
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: Found the game line but puzzle had a number of solutions. Did not even consider Rd3, or Nf2 then Rd3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: REQUEST ANALYSIS

click for larger view

Black to move

1) -13.82 (31 ply) 35...Qh5 36.Qxc3 Nxc3 37.Re3 Ne2 38.Rf1 d4 39.Ref3 Qg6 40.Nc8 Qe6 41.Na7 Qb6 42.Nc8 Qc7 43.h4 Qxc8 44.Kh2 Qc2 45.R3f2 Qe4 46.Re1 d3 47.h5 d2 48.Rexe2 d1=Q 49.Rxe4 Rxf2 50.Re3 Qxh5+ 51.Kg1 Rxf4 52.Ra3 Qd1+ 53.Kh2 Rh4+ 54.Kg3 Rg4+ 55.Kf2 Qd2+ 56.Kf1 Qxg2+ 57.Ke1

2) -13.53 (31 ply) 35...Nf2+ 36.Kh2 Rd3 37.Ra1 Rxd4 38.Rxa2 Nd3 39.Ree2 Qc7 40.Nd7 Rxf4 41.g3 Rf3 42.Re8+ Kf7 43.Rf8+ Kg6 44.Rg2 Qxd7 45.Rb8 Ne1 46.Rb6+ Kh7 47.Rbb2 Nxg2 48.Rxg2 Qc7 49.h4 Rc3 50.h5 Qf7 51.Rf2 Qxh5+ 52.Kg2 Qg4

3) -7.74 (30 ply) 35...Rd3 36.Rxe4 fxe4 37.Qe5 Rf2 38.Nc8 Rxf4 39.Nd6 Qf6 40.Qxf6 Rxf6 41.Nxe4 dxe4 42.Kh2 Rf2 43.Rb1 Rdd2 44.Kg3 Rxg2+ 45.Kf4 Rge2 46.h4 Rd3 47.Rh1 Rf3+ 48.Ke5 Rff2 49.Ra1 Rh2 50.Rxa6 Rxh4 51.Ra8+ Kh7 52.Kd4 Rf4 53.Ra6 Rff2 54.Kc3 g5

15.0 minute analysis by Stockfish 8 v270317

35...Rd3 was my choice, I saw the ...Rxh3+ idea, but didn't connect the dots...

Feb-02-18  SpamIAm: <Walter Glattke>, in your line I think white will simply reply 38.Qxc3 staying ahead in material.
Feb-02-18  scormus: Didn't quite get this one. Just doing it pseudo-OTB I looked briefly at 35 .... Qh5 but didn't see past 36 Qxd5+ etc. It's a move I would perhaps play online but would chicken out of OTB.

So I thought 35 ... Nb2+ followed by ... Rxh3+ and Ng4+, not realising that W gets off the hook with 38 Kg3. Too late for .... Qh5 as 39 Qxd5+ is W's ace-in-the-hole.

Missed 36 .... Rd3+!, winning the WQ (whether or not he takes the R) and the game

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <whiteshark: 3) -7.74 (30 ply) 35...Rd3 36.Rxe4 fxe4 37.Qe5>

I never even considered 36. Rxe4. Is that really the best line or does SF need more time?

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: There's more than one way to solve today's Friday (35...?) puzzle. According to Stockfish 8, in addition to the game move 35...Qh5! -+ (-21.84 @ 32 ply) Black also wins with 35...Nf2+ -+ (-15.95 @ 32 ply), 35...Rd3 -+ (-9.04 @ 32 ply) and 35...Rd2 -+ (-8.16 @ 32 ply).

I forgot I had seen this one here over 13 years ago, shortly after it was featured as a puzzle on Thursday, October 28, 2004.

This time around, I instinctively wanted to play 35...Qh5! as in the game. However, the possibility of the Queen fork 36. Qxd5+ followed by the capture of the White Rook with 37. Qxa2 caused me to pause and immediately stop my calculation of Najdorf's pretty mating line.

Instead, I went for 35...Rd2 which also wins as White apparently has nothing better than 35...Rd2 36. Rxe4 (36. Qa4 Nf2+ 37. Kh2 Rxh3+! 38. gxh3 Ng4+ 39. Kg3 Nxe5 40. fxe5 Qg6+ 41. kf4 Qxg1 -+) 36...Rxd4 37. Rxd4 Qf6 38. Rb4 Qd6 39. Rbb1 d4 -+ (-9.99 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 8).

P.S.: White's game takes a serious turn for the worse with 28. Re5?, allowing 28...Ra2! -+ (-2.00 @ 31 ply, Stockfish 8). Instead, White can hold it near level with 28. Rg1 = to ⩱ when the computer gives its strongest line as 28. Rg1 Kh7 29. Nxc4 Rf2 30. Nd2 Qb2 31. Qxb2 Rxb2 ⩱ (-0.37 @ 34 ply, Stockfish 8).

Earlier, White could have improved over 22. Qc2 Rb6 23. Nd2 Rb2 ⩱ (-0.68 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 8) with 22. g3 = (0.00 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 8) when play might go 22.g3 Rb6 23.Nd2 Rb2 24.e4 Rc2 25.exd5 Qb2 26.dxe6 Qxa3 27.exf7+ Rxf7 28.Qxc4 g6 29.Re8+ Kg7 30.Qe6 Rxd2 31.Qe5+ Kh6 32.Qg5+ Kg7 33.Qe5+ Kh6 34.Qg5+ Kg7 35.Qe5+ = with a draw by perpetual check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There's an interesting wrinkle in the 35...Nf2+ line.

Here's the position after White has responded with 36. Kh2

click for larger view

The Black pieces are starting to cluster around the White king, but his Rc3 is attacked.

Here I spent an inordinate amount of time ignoring the attack on the Rc3 and trying to do something devious with the knight and/or queen. Have I got time for 36...Nxh3 or 36...Ng4+ or 36...Qh5?

There is a promising line with 36... Rxh3+ which Fritzie subsequently said was good. But it's a long line and needs some thinking about.

But why go for those complications when we have the delightful 36...Rd3?

click for larger view

The white queen has to run away, but it has nowhere to run to where it can keep on attacking the black rook. That gives Black a free hand to attack the castled white king without having to calculate whether White can grab the rook.

After 37. Qc5 (what else?) Black can take his pick of winning lines. 37...Rxh3+ or Nxh3 or Qh5 or Qf6.

Interesting that this alternative winning line with 35...Nf2+ and 36...Rd3 has no fancy sacrifices or tricks. Black simply tightens his grip on the position with straightforward moves.

Memo to self - tactics aren't always about swashbuckling smiting moves. Sometimes little threats (like 36...Rd3) can bring a position to a crisis point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: I was on the wrong road on this one. ..Rxh3+ 36.gxh3 Qh5 ,,,
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <WorstPlayerEver> <35... Nf2 36. Kh2 Rd3>

In this brief line the queen is dead lost. Amazing!

click for larger view

The queen can't move to either b4 or c5, because if say 37 Qb4, then black wins with a discovered check after 37...Rxh3+ 38 gxh3 Nd3+.

click for larger view

Never would have found 35...Qh5

Feb-02-18  WorstPlayerEver: <Jimfromprovidence>

I first looked at 35... Qh5, but the loss of a Rook seemed not too promising. So I looked at 35... Rd3 and soon I found 35... Nf2

My first goal is to limit the use of time. And avoid lines which seems too complicated for us humans to figure out during a game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: White's game is so bad that almost any reasonable move should win. I would play 35...Nf2+ 36 Kh2 Rd3 37 Qb4 (or Qc5) Rxh3+ 38 gh3 Nd3+ winning the queen
Feb-02-18  trnbg: Were the last moves of the game really made on the board? Then I wonder why Larsen didn't resign after 37...Rxh3, at the latest. Perhaps he was in extreme zeitnot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <trnbg: Were the last moves of the game really made on the board? Then I wonder why Larsen didn't resign after 37...Rxh3, at the latest. Perhaps he was in extreme zeitnot.>

The point being that Larsen wanted to be nice to his opponent and let him checkmate him.Afterwards Don Miquel was very grateful.

Feb-02-18  BOSTER: First idea was 35...Nf2+ 36.Kh2 Ng4+ and here my guess was that white "had" to play 37.Kh1, and after 37...Rxh3+ 38.gxh3 Rxh2#. Simple 37.hxg4 destroyed this nice line.
Feb-02-18  BOSTER: Looking at the game I'd say 30.Nxc4 protecting "b2" was better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Actually the pun makes more sense because the opening is the Larsen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Hehehe... Had to look it up, there are 20 games in DB where Larsen as black plays the Najdorf Sicilian.

Repertoire Explorer: Bent Larsen (black)

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <I Like Fish:
where is fruits...>

He went bananas.

Feb-02-18  BOSTER: < Walter Glattke> 37.Kh1>. Mate in two.
Feb-02-18  BOSTER: But even the great Najdorf sometimes was wrong playing 34...Rxc3 moving the rook from second rank , when 34...Qg6, and white'd resign.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I thought 1 Rd3 was the move and then Q h5 so basically I found the right move as Rd3 also wins. Najdorf's move is -11 and mine -6 according to Stockfish so I suppose it is the time taken to mate that is the difference... I couldn't see much difference between then but Rd3 prevents the check on d5.
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