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Peter Scheeren vs Jonathan Speelman
Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) 1983  ·  Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Bishop Attack Classical Defense (E48)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-15-09  karuppu.raja: Got it!
Qg4! leads to mate.
Jul-15-09  Major Dude: Ya. A pretty mate too
Jul-15-09  Shyfe: This is an odd puzzle because White has several choices for his 47th move that win easily, including Rab7, Qf2, h4, and Qf1. However, the best move is 47.Qg4 which takes advantage of black's vulnerable king.

If black plays the obvious 47...Bxg4 he immediately loses as seen in the game. If 47...h5, the fastest way to win (white can also win with Qe6, Qxd7, or Rxd7) is 48.Qf5+ Bxf5 49.Rg7+ Kh6 50.exf5 and black must lose his queen to avoid immediate mate. If 47...f5, then 48.exf5+ Kf6 49.Qh5 and black is clearly doomed.

Any other 47th moves for black lose the bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: White to play. White is up an exchange. "Medium/Easy."

Cute. This one took me about 20 seconds. Quickly I decided I wanted to move the queen somewhere, but had a tough time finding a square I liked. Then I saw...

47 Qg4

I initially looked at this move because the queen hemmed in the black king nicely by covering h5. Of course I then spotted


and was about to give up on the line, but then noticed

48 Rg7+ Kh5 49 fxg4+ Kh4 50 g3#

A pretty checkmate. First giving up the queen, the mating with a pawn. I love it.

Time to check.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Diabolical. Easy, but what a diabolical shot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Yes, I saw 47 Qg4 and the mate if Black takes the proffered queen. So I concluded that this must be the "Medium/Easy" solution. But I could not quite work out (just by looking at the diagram with no board) the exact sequence after Black refuses with 47...h5. The sequence is not that hard to see, really, but my eyes are just a bit bleary tonight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <gawain>47...h5 48. Rxd7! hxg5 49. Rg7+ Kh5 (or ...Kh6) 50. Rh7+ Kg6 51. Rag7# looks pretty convincing. 47...f5 looks tougher, though - maybe MY eyes are getting bleary.
Jul-15-09  zooter: This took me a bit to see, but 47.Qg4 should win brilliantly

Now, the bishop is attacked 3 times and defended twice and there is no chance of adding another defender...The bishop cannot escape too

Trying the obvious 47...Bxg4 leads to mate by 48.Rg7+ Kh5 49.gxh5 (or 49.fxg5) Kh3 50.g3#

A nice combination and feels good getting this after missing Tuesday.

Time to check

Premium Chessgames Member
  SamAtoms1980: 47 Qg4!! must have hit Speelman like a bolt out of the wild blue.

If 47 ... Bxg4 48 Rg7+ Kh5 49 hxg4+ Kh4 50 g3 mate!!! If 47 ... h5 48 Rxd7!! and Black has no safe harbor: 48 ... Qxd7 49 Qxd7! Rxd7 50 Rxd7 or 48 ... hxg4 49 Rg7+ Kh6(h5) 50 Rh7+ Kg6 51 Rag7 mate.

Jul-15-09  Pawnage: If 47...h5 then 48 Qf5+ is meaaaan.
Jul-15-09  Lightboxes: Say What!
Premium Chessgames Member
  zenpharaohs: Wow. What doesn't win? All the moves I looked at even for the slightest consideration all win.

47 Qg4 (which I settled on)
47 h4
47 Qf2
47 Rab7

and there is yet another move that wins that I didn't consider at all!

47 Qe1

You can check these with your favorite engines.

Black was behind for a long time, but his real downfall was

36 ... Rd4

but White missed 40 e5 and played 40 Qg1?

Black dropped the game again with

43 ... f6?

(better was 43 ... Kg6)

this time White did not misfire, and Black again stumbled with 46 ... Qb5? (instead of 46 ... Qd6 - but that only prolongs the agony). When we arrive at White's 47th move, we have already seen that Black is well and truly fried.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: OK, to tie up the last loose end, after 47...f5 White has 48. exf5+ Kf6 (or 48...Bxf5 49. Rg7+ Kf6 50. Rgf7+ followed by Qxf5+) 49. Qh5 Kxf5 (or ...Bxf5) 50. Qf7#!
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: P Scheeren vs Speelman, 1983

White to play (47.?) "Medium/Easy"

White is up an exchange, so it's just a matter of whether there is a quick win or if a little maneuvering is needed.

Noticing that Black's bishop is blocking White's rooks from executing a quick mate, I got this right away.

47. Qg4! White threatens to win the bishop, but moving it leads to mate. The other option is pushing one of the pawns.

A) 47...Bxg4 48. Rg7+ Kh5 49. hxg4+ (or fxg4+) Kh4 50. g3 mate.

B) 47...h5 48. Rxd7! hxg4 (or White is up a rook) 49. Rg7+ Kh6 50. Rh7+ Kg6 51. Rag7 mate.

C) 47...f5 (best try, but still losing) 48. exf5+ Kf6 (other king moves lose quickly, e.g. 48...Kf7 49. Qxd4 exd4 50. Rxd7+ Ke8 [50...Kf6 51. Rf7#] 51. Rh7 followed by mate) 49. Qh5 and the queen will invade on either g6 or f7:

C1) 49...Kxf5 50. Qf7#

C2) 49...Be8 50. Qf7+! (50. Rf7+ is equally effective but less flashy) Rxf7 51. Rxf7#

C3) 49...Rd6 50. Qg6+ Ke7 51. Qg7+ Ke8 (or 51...Kd8 52. Qf8+) 52. Rc8+! and mate next move.

Jul-15-09  Summerfruit: White is an exchange up:


a) 47...f5 48.exf5+

a1: 48...Bxf5 49.Rg7+ and wins.

a2: 48...Kf6 49.Qh5 Be8 (the only way to stop Qg6+ (Kxf5 50.Qf7#)) 50.Rf7+! and mates.

a3: 48...Kg7 49.f6+ and the bishop is lost.

a4: 48...Kh7 48.Qh5 Rd6 (to stop Qg6+) 49.Rxd7+ Rxd7 50.Qg6+ and mates.

a5: 48...Kf7 48.Qh5+ and wins (e.g. 48...Ke7 49.Qg6 Rd6/Qb3 (to stop 50.Qe6+) 50.Qg7+ and wins).

b) 47...h5 48.Rxd7! hxg4 49.Rg7+ Kh6/Kh5 50.Rh7+ Kg6 51.Rag7#

c) 47...Bxg4 48.Rg7+ Kh5 49.fxg4+/hxg4+ Kh4 50.g3#

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Came up quickly with <47.Qg4> as blacks kings position is 'very fluffy'.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Artar1: I spotted the solution right away; a beautiful tactical theme. What I'm puzzled about is why Speelman allowed himself to be checkmated when it's fairly clear after <47. Qg4 Bxg4> that Black is lost?
Jul-15-09  vodkaboris: This was easier than yesterday's, I think; 20 seconds' thinking time, at most.

Speelman is obviously a gentleman to let this be played out to mate. A queen sacrifice and herding the king down the h-file is very pretty, and props to him for being gracious enough to recognise it.

I was always taught that it's rude not to resign when the position is clearly lost but a long way from mate, but equally rude to resign within a few moves of mate and deny your opponent the pay-off for his/her hard work, especially if that mate is well-worked. Obviously these giys play many levels higher than I could ever dream of, but the principle is still a good one.

Jul-15-09  TheaN: Wednesday 15 July


Target: 2:00;000
Taken: n/a
Par, more about later

Material: +R / B

Candidates: Rxd7, <[Qg4]>

A bizarre puzzle if you ask me... White is simply up an exchange. White has an easy finisher, and I saw this move within 50 seconds:

<47.Qg4!> I also saw two of the main continuations within a minute.

<47....Bxg4> any other Bishop move leads to Rg7 <48.Rg7 Kh5 49.hxg4 Kh4 50.g3 1-0> which is a very nice mate.

<47....h5 48.Rxd7! > now Black is doomed. If <48....hxg4 49.Rg7 Kh5 50.Rh7 Kg6 51.Rag7 1-0>

<47....R/Q 48.Rxd7 > which is too simple, but grants White a full Rook nonetheless. Most fierce, which took me >2 minutes of looking, is:

<47....f5!> blockading anything needs blockading. Now 48.Qxf5?? Bxf5 49.Rg7 Kh5 and White is stumped. I finally settled on the strong exf5, but this seems essentially only winning due to the initial exchange, although White is better than before:


<48....Bxf5 49.Rg7 Kf6 50.Rgf6>

<50....Kg6 51.Qxf5 Kh5 52.Qg4 Kg6 53.Rg7 Kf6 54.Raf7 1-0>

<50....Ke6 51.Qxf5 Kd6 52.Rac7 > and mate in two cannot be avoided. No, Black should not just capture f5.

<48....Kf6 49.Qh5 > and now White is much better, but he already was. I'm not seeing much better. Time to check.

Jul-15-09  TheaN: 3/3

Oh, 47....f5 48.exf5 Kf6 49.Qh5 actually does lead to mate, I kinda missed 49....Kxf5 50.Qf7; 49....e4 is mate in twenty for White. Nice puzzle.

Jul-15-09  alshatranji: Strangely enough, I didn't see the simple 50.g3#, but 50.Rh7, which as far as I can see. leads to mate in the next move.
Jul-15-09  boringplayer: I believe just capturing with 48. hg4 also wins.
Jul-15-09  alanmcintyre: I spotted this, but I wonder whether I would have done so given the position one move earlier. Deflecting the queen from interposing on e6 was a crucial part of the combination.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is an exchange down and his king looks in danger. White can reach him by unblocking the seventh rank with 47.Qg4, threatening 48.Rxd7:

A) 47... Bxg4 48.Rg7+ Kh6 49.f(h)xg4+ Kh4 50.g3#.

B) 47... <any other bishop move> 48.Rg7#.

C) 47... h5 48.Rxd7 hxg4 49.Rg7+ Kh5(6) 50.Rh7+ Kg6 51.Rag7#.

D) 47... f5 48.exf5+

D.1) 48... Bxf5 49.Rg7+ Kf6 50.Raf7+ Ke6 51.Qxf5+ + -.

D.2) 48... Kf6 49.Qh5 Ke7 (49... Kxf5 50.Qf7#) 50.Qxh6 + -.

D.3) 48... Kg7 49.Qh5 Rd6 50.Rxd7+ Rxd7 51.Qg6+ Kf8 (51... Kh8 52.Ra8+ mates in two) 52.Ra8 Rd8 (52... Ke7 53.Re8#) 53.Rxd8+ Ke7 54.Qd6+ Kf7 55.Qe6+ Kg7 56.Qg6#.

D.4) 48... Kh7 49.Qh5 Rd6 50.Qf7+ Kh8 51.Ra8+ Be8 52.Qh7#.

D.5) 48... Qh5+ is similar to D.2.

E) 47... Qd3 48.Rxd7 + -.

Jul-15-09  Manic: <alanmcintyre> That's a good point. Note if 46...Qe6 47.Qg4 still works because if Qxg4 48. hxg4 and white is going to win the bishop because the bishop is pinned to stopping Rg7#.
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