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William Hartston vs Lajos Portisch
Olympiad Final-A (1974), Nice FRA, rd 11, Jun-25
French Defense: Winawer. Positional Variation (C19)  ·  1-0


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Given 3 times; par: 30 [what's this?]

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sac: 22.Bxh6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-07-05  AlexanderMorphy: Yeah i got this one from the moment i saw the puzzle!
Oct-07-05  SamuelS: After 23. Qxh6 I thought of 23...f5 24. Qxg6+ Qg7 and Black is only a pawn down. Did anyone analyze this further?
Oct-07-05  EmperorAtahualpa: I saw the first three moves coming. 22.Bxh6, 23.Qxh6 and 24.Ng5 all seem ed the obvious moves here, but 25.Nh7 came as a huge surprise to me!

A very nice puzzle and great play by Hartston.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jahhaj: ♘h7 is the key. I missed it completely.
Oct-07-05  EmperorAtahualpa: <SamuelS> Interesting suggestion. Here's what I have in mind:

22.Bxh6 gxh6 23.Qxh6 f5 24.exf6! Qf7 25.Bxg6 Qxf6 26.Ng5

In the longer run, this should also be winning for White.

Oct-07-05  Koster: IM, 2485 knocks off GM, 2635. Nice sac, nice attack. I guess Portisch missed Nh7 too.
Oct-07-05  eaglewing: <SamuelS> I won't give you your line with one pawn down and the Pf5 standing. Consider
23. ♕xh6 f5 24. exf6 e.p.
There are many moves for Black but the main options seem to be:

A) Giving back a Knight. For example immediately:
24. ... ♕h7/f7 25. ♕xg6+ ♕xg6 26. ♗xg6
Maybe Black gets the Pf6 for free and is only one pawn down, but Queens exchanged and connected passed pawns g and h should win. Consider such a constellation in other variants, too.

B) 24. ... ♘h8 25. ♘g5 ♖d7 26. ♘xe6 ♕d6 27. ♘g5 with threats ♗h7/♘x♕+♕f8/♗h7+♖e8 on the way.

C) 24. ... ♘f8 25. ♗xc4 dxc 26. ♘e5 ♖d7 (♕h7 ♕g5+ ♔h8 ♖e3) 27. ♖e3 ♖h7 28. ♕g5+ ♔h8 29. ♖g3 with threats x♘c4/f7+/♖g3+ and finally on g8.

D) 24. ... ♘f4 Use line C) with ♕x♘f4 instead of ♕g5+.

D) 24. ... ♘e5 25. ♘xe5 ♘xe5 26. ♖xe5. Knight back, threats Rg5 and on g7.

I did not see another variant/defense giving clearly better options for black than A). At least a Knight should be lost back.

Oct-07-05  zb2cr: Well, I feel better--this was a bad week for me. I missed the Monday puzzle! Got the others, but with a lot of effort. This one, I saw all the way with little effort.
Oct-07-05  dakgootje: ♗xh6 was easy to see, ♘h7 was harder
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: I never got to ♘h7, as I had black defending with:

23. ... ♕e7
24. ♘g5 ♘cxe5
25. ♖xe5 ♕f6.
26. ♖e3

Still a winning line for white, just not quite as decisive. Do I get credit for solving it anyway?

Oct-07-05  paul dorion: <eaglewing> after
22 ... Ncxe5
23 Nxe5 Nxe5
24 Rxe5 gxh6 does not transpose in your main line ( There is no check by the rook or bishop) so

25 Qxh6 f5

Oct-07-05  MaxxLange: Hard enough for a Friday, as far as I am concerned - I did not find the key move at all.
Oct-07-05  Greginctw: Odd that noone has mentioned Nf8 after Qxh6. when i was solving this that was the defense that gave me the most trouble by far (although i eventually realized it was winning for white as well)
Oct-07-05  eaglewing: <benveniste> Another interesting defense idea. However, White may improve with

26. ♘xf7 winning effectively the pawn f7 and getting connected passed pawns on g+h.

Oct-07-05  eaglewing: <paul dorion> You are right.

So White should switch in that case
perhaps to threat winning the knight on move 24
24. ♗f4 f6 25. ♗g6
Now Black cannot properly defend the loss of the Knight. Any black move, e.g. Bd7, will be followed by:

25. ... ♗d7 26. ♕h7+ ♔f8 27. ♕h8+ ♔e7
28. ♕xg7+ ♔d6 29. ♕xf6 and losing the ♘e5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I missed this one,entirely. I even missed <gypsy>'s mate after the resignation. Friday isn't my day.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <eaglewing>: Nice analysis. I wonder how many people who "got the answer" checked out all these possibilities. I certainly didn't. And as always, I wonder how many of them Hartston considered before playing 22. Bxh6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: Hartston! That was the guy who wrote "How to Cheat at Chess" Absolutely crazy book, hilarious! Find it if you can.
Oct-07-05  TheSlid: <sfm> I never owned the book - bad omission. From memory here are some high points:

In a casual game it is often useful to advance a rook pawn one and a half squares. E.g. h3.5. This maintain flexibility, as the pawn can take on g4 and also advance to h5.

Another useful trick is placing a large tomato like smudge on a key square, thus ensuring that the opponent has to manouvre around it.

His best chapter was the one in which RJF sells his soul in return for a number of wins against his opponents in the 69-72 candidates cycle. These opponents are charicatured as Teastrainov, Larcenist and Petroleum.

Happy Days : )

Oct-07-05  Fezzik: The key to this position, Nh7!! is the really hard part to see. Bxh6 was one of the most forcing moves on the board, but it took me quite a while to realize that Nh7! solves the problem of the run-away king. This was yet another good, challenging position!

Keep up the great work, Chessgames!

Oct-07-05  FLCLlove: This was rather easy for a Friday puzzle or.............maybe I'm just having a good day!
Dec-21-07  Funicular: wasn't 23. ... Ncxe5 a simple way out of trouble for black? of course it's a dnagerous position anyways, but being a bishop least i think that's what i'd have played.

If somebody can tell me why my analysis is wrong, please do so

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Reading through all the kibitzing it's still without an answer where black went wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: What a load of rubbish! One sees games like this every day played by 12-year-olds.
May-12-14  Albion 1959: Bill Hartston was the top British player at the time. He was British champion in 1973 and 1975. He was a regular board one in team events, though he never managed to attain the coveted grandmaster title. In the 70's he played some good games including this one against Portisch, who was no pushover !! I missed Nh7, just like everyone else execept Hartston it would seem. I wonder at what point he saw Nh7 move ? He is no longer active as a chess player, the last that I heard of him was a column he writes titled Beachcomber in The Daily Express.
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