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Lajos Portisch vs Zsuzsa Polgar
Hungary (1991)  ·  Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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sac: 36...Qxf1+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Black has to ignore the threats of White and pinpoint the weak square f2: 30...♘g4 31. g3 ♘xf2 (31. ♗xf7 ♔f8 don't change anything) 32. ♔g2 ♕f5 The threat is ♔xf2 ♘d4+

I was not able to see the complete line to mate, but this should be the key idea for a black win.

By the way: If White would have to move in this position: 30. Ra8! with white advantage

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I got it!! (The first move.) But after 30...Ng4, I thought white would play 31. Bxf7+, which I would have answered with 31...Kf8.

If I had been playing black and white answered with 31. g3, then I might have played 31...Qf5. But probably I would have played 31...Nxf2+, followed by 32. Kg2 Nh4+ 33. Kxf2 Qf5+ 34. Ke1 Ng2+ 35. Ke2 Qf3#. (The last two moves can be played in reverse order.)

If instead white plays 33. Kg1, then black wins with 33...Nh3+ 34. Kh1 Qf5, and now white cannot stop ...Qf2 or ...Qf3 with mate to follow.

I think I can give myself the point.

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <BlazingArrow56: Wow! Im guessing 39. Kg2 Ng4+ 40. Kh3 or Kh1 and Rxh2#. Great queen sac!>

Yeah, BlazingArrow56 - After 39. Kg2 Ng4+ below:

Instead of 40. Kh1 or Kh3, White's alternate moveis 40. Be2 Rxe2+, 41. Kf1 Rf2#

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: Black to move (30...?). Black is up a pawn. "Insane."

Tough not to notice that the black knight on f3 is under attack. Should it be moved? Nope, instead

30...Ng4

threatens 31...Nxf2#. Taking the knight on f3 doesn't change this. White has only two ways of dealing with the mate threat (31 Qc2 and 31 g3), and one of them loses quickly. White needs to play

31 g3

because 31 Qc2 loses to 31...Rd2. This move attacks the queen and blocks the defence of f2. Capturing the rook with the knight allows the smothered mate.

Now, what does black play? A chess friend and I looked at the position and liked

31...N4xh2

seeing stuff like 32 Nxh2 Nxh2 33 Kxh2 Rd2, but then we peeked at the solution and saw that we weren't even close. I was also concerned that in many of these lines white could play moves like Qc3 with serious threats.

This one was certifiably "insane", a tip of my hat to anyone who even got close.

May-18-08  Helios727: What happens after 33. Nxd2 ?
May-18-08  Manic: <Helios727> 33.Nxd2 Nxf2+ 34.Kg2 Qh3+ 35.Kxf2 Qxh2+ 36.Kf1 Qg1#
May-18-08  HelaNubo: <al wazir: I got it!! (The first move.) But after 30...Ng4, I thought white would play 31. Bxf7+, which I would have answered with 31...Kf8.

If I had been playing black and white answered with 31. g3, then I might have played 31...Qf5. But probably I would have played 31...Nxf2+, followed by 32. Kg2 Nh4+ 33. Kxf2 Qf5+ 34. Ke1 Ng2+ 35. Ke2 Qf3#. (The last two moves can be played in reverse order.)

If instead white plays 33. Kg1, then black wins with 33...Nh3+ 34. Kh1 Qf5, and now white cannot stop ...Qf2 or ...Qf3 with mate to follow.

I think I can give myself the point.>

In your line, 31...Nxf2+ 32. Kg2 Nh4+?? is a mistake as it follows 33. Kxf2 Qf5+ 34. Kg1! (and not 34. Ke1??). After that the black attack vanishes, and white has a slight advantage.

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  dakgootje: Yay, I got the first move and saw Rd2 if white would respond with Qc2 -- so was rather glad at that point :P

Obviously, didn't see Qf5 after g3, possibly due to the amount of time I've spend on it, but far more probable is that I would not have gotten it either way :P

May-18-08  kaputnik: lovely tactics!
May-18-08  MadBishop: Very nice! I got 30. ...Ng4, but then deviated with 31.Bxf7+ Kf8 32.g3 Nxf2+ 33.Kg2 Rd3 at which point I was hopelessly confused! ;-)
May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For today's insanely difficult Sunday puzzle solution, Susan Polgar's 30...Ng4!! decisively exploits Portisch's weak King position.

Here's my computer checked analysis:

<30...Ng4!! 31. g3>

The point of 30...Ng4!! is that White cannot play 31. gxf3?? Nxf2#, and this mate threat allows Black two aggressively positioned Knights and a tempo to initiate a winning attack against the now decisively weakened King position.

<31... Qf5!>

Also winning for Black is 31... Nxf2+!! 32. Kg2 Qf5 33. Be2 Rd2! 34. Qc3 (34.Nxd2? Qh3+ 35. Kxf2 Qxh2+ 36. Kf1 Qg1#) 34... Be5 .

<32. Be2>

Also losing for White is 32. Qc2 h4 33. Qe2 Ngxh2! (with the decisive threat 34. Nxh2 Qh3 ).

<32... Rd2! 33. Ra8>

Allowing Black a quick mate-in-four is 33. Nxd2? Nxf2+ 34. Kg2 Qh3+ 35. Kxf2 Qxh2+ 36. Kf1 Qg1#.

<33... Nxf2+!> This initiates a mate-in-nine combination.

<34. Kg2 Ne1+ 35. Kg1 Nh3+ 36. Kh1 Qxf1+!> The Queen sacrifice initiates a mate-in-six and is the only clearly winning move.

<37. Bxf1 Nf2+ 38. Kg1 Nf3+> 0-1

White resigns in the face of the coming mate-in-three, 39. Kg2 Ng4+ 40. Be2 Rxe2+ 41. Kf1 Rf2#.

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I got 30...Ng4 (idea: 31...Nf2#) 31.g3 (31.Qc2 Rd2!!) Nxf2+ 32.Kg2 Rf6 with the threat of Nh4+.
May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Sunday (Insane): Black to play and win.

Material: N+P for B. The White Kh1 has no legal move and is still potentially vulnerable to back-rank mates. Both sides have very active pieces. On one hand, Black has focused pressure on Ph2, from Bb8 (obscured by Rd6) and Nf3. The Black Nf6 and Qg5 can both join the K-side attack immediately. The Rd6 has an open file but is presently passive, because it defends Nf6. On the other hand, the White Qb3 and Bc4 form a battery attacking and pinning Pf7 to Kg8 behind it. The Bb2 rakes the adjacent diagonal (ready to remove Nf6 without warning), and Ra1 is ready to enter the Black position along the open a-file. The only piece on the entire board restricted solely to passive defense is the White Nf1, which guards Ph2. The tactical situation is tense, with White threatening 31.Bxf7+ or perhaps 31.Ra8. The threat 31.gxf3 also requires tactical assessment, with the zwischenzug Bxf7+ held in mind.

Candidates (30): Qxg2+, Ng5

30Ng5 (threatening 31Nxf2#)

Amusingly, on 31.gxf3, control of g1 shifts from Nf3 to Qg5, so the threat 31Nxf2# still holds. White has 3 options: (1) play the zwischenzug 31.Bxf7+; (2) guard Pf2 with 31.Qc2; or (3) provide the flight square g2 to Kh1 with 31.g3.

(1) 31.Bxf7+ Kf8

and White is worse for defense than in the lines below, because Bf7 hangs.

(2) 31.Qc2 Rd2 (threatening 32Nxf2 and 32Rxc2)

32.Qxd2 Nxd2 (threatening 33Nxc4)

33.Ra8 [Nxd2 Qh4] Qd8 34.Nxd2 Qc7 (threatening 35Qxh2# and 35Qb7)

(3) 31.g3 Nxf2+ 32.Kg2 Qf5 (threatening 33Nh4+ 34Qf3+ 35Nh3#)

33.Be2 {Kxf2 Nd4+] [Bxf7+ Kf8] Rd2

(3.1) 34.Nxd2 Qh3+ 35.Kxf2 Qxh2+ 36.Kf1 Qg1#

(3.2) 34.Ra8 Ne1+ 35.Kg1 Nh3+ 36.Kh1 Qxf1+ 37.Bxf1 Rxh2#

Because I do not move the pieces, I had board blindness and forgot that Pg3 was still there in line (3.2), but the game mate follows the same idea.

I am starting to be impressed by how the insane moves follow positional reasoning. Either Black plays 30Ng5 or White can deflate the attack with 31.Bxf6.

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <tedbee> You may find the introduction to chess site at http://www.princeton.edu/~jedwards/... useful.
May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: It looks like 29 Qb3? instead of 29 Ng3, below, was the losing move for white.


click for larger view

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<patzer2> wrote: The Queen sacrifice initiates a mate-in-six and is the only clearly winning move.>

Thanks for verifying this statement, <patzer2>. With all Black's amassed firepower, the Q-sac was not the first thing I looked for. Polgar could have calculated the long losing and drawing lines (of which I calculated at least 3), as well as the Q-sac, over the board! Whether she did or not, however, might depend on which mating pattern drew her attention first. Regardless, some people's capabilities are simply amazing.

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<DavidD> wrote: [snip] However, it isn't so hard to find the mate after 33...Nxf2+ as each move is a check and the king can't escape.>

I disagree, the game line might not be obvious to everyone - I reached 33...Nxf2+ quite rapidly relative to my analysis thereafter. (I certainly found sacrificing the Q with so much firepower available a subtle concept.) Checks are plentiful, so that Black can even chase the K right over to the Q-side (e.g., to a3, in one line I saw fit to calculate), before Black loses to the mate threat from Ra8.

I take my hat off to Polgar for seeing the right line over the board.

May-18-08  iqbalianpawn: I only got the first move from both sides.... i was thinking if white doesn't take the rook off the 1st rank can he defend better against the knight checks at the back rank
May-18-08  234: Saturday puzzle <16. ...?> May-17-08 Taimanov vs Kaidanov, 1988
May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <Johnlspouge> - <I disagree, the game line might not be obvious to everyone - I reached 33...Nxf2+ quite rapidly relative to my analysis thereafter. (I certainly found sacrificing the Q with so much firepower available a subtle concept.) Checks are plentiful, so that Black can even chase the K right over to the Q-side (e.g., to a3, in one line I saw fit to calculate), before Black loses to the mate threat from Ra8.>

Hey, Johnlspouge. Do you remember me - SuperPatzer77? I completely agree with your remark about DavidD's explanation. Black has to stop White's mating threat of 33. Ra8 with the Black Queen sacrifice by Zsuzsa Polgar.

Of course, we all take our hats off to Zsuzsa (Susan) Polgar for stopping White's mating threat of 33. Ra8 and for sacrificing the Black Queen. She demolishes the White Knight defending the h2 square with 36...Qxf1!!.

Johnlspouge, it's nice to hear from you. Take care, Johnlspouge.

SuperPatzer77

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<SuperPatzer77> wrote : [snip] Hey, Johnlspouge. Do you remember me - SuperPatzer77?>

Sure: Cubby Montalvo, with the weird (but thoroughly gentle and enjoyable) sense of humor. How could I forget you?

<Take care, Johnlspouge>

Always. In fact, I use exactly this parting phrase myself - because I never liked "Take it easy" :)

Thanks for your good wishes, <SuperPatzer77>.

May-18-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <Johnlspouge> I like the parting phrase - "Adios (Spanish), Addio (Italian), Adieu (French) and Adeus (Portuguese)" LOL

Well, we have fun analyzing the chess games especially the greatest chess players such as Garry Kasparov, Victor Korchnoi, the three Polgar sisters, Tigran Petrosian and Jose Capablanca.

I'm a Jose Capablanca and Judy Polgar fan.

I'm originally from New York. Now I'm a Hoosier - LOL.

Adios, Adieu, Addio & Adeus, Johnlspouge -- LOL

SuperPatzer77

Go Hoosiers Go!!!

May-18-08  znprdx: <DavidD:...The problems here are twofold: first, find the right tactical ideas in the position,> Ab-so-loot-lee <and second, accurately calculate the lines.> Nonsense...in fact to claim anyone would see the 13 ply queen sac is delusional or simply wants to contribute to this myth. The fact is if you can see the key point, the rest is just following the bread crumbs...PS I was very pleased to have found the >platinum coins< move 30..Ng4 ..it was not immediately obvious to me I was about to give up- at which point it was obvious Black would prevail.
May-19-08  arsen387: What a spectacular mating combination!
May-19-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<znprdx> wrote: Nonsense...in fact to claim anyone would see the 13 ply queen sac is delusional or simply wants to contribute to this myth. The fact is if you can see the key point, the rest is just following the bread crumbs...>

Okay, <znprdx>, here is another "trail of bread crumbs":

33Nxf2+ 34.Kg2 Qh3+

which is followed by a chase across the board

35.Kxf2 Rxe2+ 36.Kxe2 Qg2+ 37.Kd1 Qxf1+ 38.Kc2 Qe2+ 39.Kb1

leading - oh whoops - to a loss for Black.

If Zsuzsa Polgar had followed that trail from the (IMHO) obvious 34...Qh3+ instead of the (again, IMHO) subtle 34...Ne1+ leading eventually to the Q-sac, we would not be seeing this game as our Sunday puzzle.

It is an unpalatable truth, but sometimes, to find the winning line, you need to calculate...

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