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Rudolf Spielmann vs Vera Menchik
Margate (1938), Margate ENG, rd 1, Apr-20
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-16-13  Nick46: <FSR After 20.Qxf8+, Menchik no longer had a knight on f8.> But he had HAD a knight on f8 -> an ambiguous linguistic problem.
Jul-16-13  TheaN: Tuesday 16 July 2013


A clear example of taking out the defender. White attacks both f8 and h7 twice, and either square has two defenders. However, one defender is shared (king), and it is just a matter of saccing on the right square to lure defenders away.

<20.Qxf8+ Rxf8> one defender of h7 is gone.

<21.Bxh7+ Kh8> f8 has lost both defenders.

<22.Rxf8# 1-0> and it all falls into place.

Jul-16-13  TheaN: <Nick46: <FSR After 20.Qxf8+, Menchik no longer had a knight on f8.> But he had HAD a knight on f8, an ambiguous linguistic problem.>

An ambigious genderistic problem, cause I'm pretty sure <s>he had a knight on f8, haha.

Jul-16-13  mistreaver: Tuesday. White to play. Easy. 20?
Wow, i spent really too much time on this one:
20 Qxf8 Rxf8
21 Bxh7+ Kh8
22 Rxf8 mate
Jul-16-13  Nick46: <TheaN An ambigious genderistic problem, cause I'm pretty sure <s>he had a knight on f8, haha.> Gotme - In Vino Veratas
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: What is the defense after 19 Qf3? I see none!

19 ... Be8/Nd8 20 Qxf8#
19 ... Ne7 20 Qf7+ Kh8 21 Qxf8+ Rxf8 22 Rxf8 Ng8 23 Nf7# 19 ... Ng6 20 Bxg6 hxg6 21 Qh3 and mating with Qh7#
19 ... Qxd3 20 Qf7+ Kh8 21 Qxf8+ Rxf8 22 Rxf8#
19 ... Qc5 20 Bxh7+ Nxh7 (Kh8 21 Nf7+ Kxh7 22 Qh5+ Kg8 23 Qh8#) 21 Qf7+ Kh8 22 Qh5 mating

<notyetagm>: So 19 Qf3 is not a "trap".

Its is the start of a forced mate.

Jul-16-13  TheaN: <gofer> am I missing something terribly easy after 19....g6? It's undisputed the most fugly defense in black's arsenal, but I see no forced mate after 20.Qf7+ Kh8.

White can probably play 21.Bxg6 hxg6 (not capturing allows 22.Qf6+ with 23.Bf7#) 22.Rad1 Qxe5 23.Rf3 Qxg5 24.Rh3+ Qh5 25.Rxh5+ gxh5 26.Qxh5+ looks strong but definitely not forced mate.

Jul-16-13  TheaN: Oh I am actually forgetting 21....Qxe5 as defense, so it seems 21.Bxg6 is not the way to go after 19....g6 20.Qf7+. Not so clear what to do then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <20.Qxf8+>, and that's it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <gofer> You're right: 19.Qf3! is murderous. As for <TheaN>'s fugly 19...g6, 20.Qf7+ Kh8 21.Qf6+ Kg8 22.Nf7! threatens both 23.Qh8# and 23.Nh6#.
Jul-16-13  Abdel Irada: <FSR: <Phony Benoni: Bent Larsen once said, no doubt jokingly, "With a knight on f8 you never get mated."

No joke here.>

After 20.Qxf8+, Menchik no longer had a knight on f8.>

That's why it's "no joke": Minus the knight, she was mated.

Jul-16-13  TheaN: <FSR> ah yes. Completely disregarded the knight's power from f7. Atypical placement, missed the Nh6 follow up... that definitely decides.
Jul-16-13  zb2cr: You have to make the right moves in the right order here.

20. Qxf8+, Rxf8. Now the Black Knight has been eliminated and the Rook drawn to f8.

21. Bxh7+, Kh8. Now the King has been driven away from being able to protec the Rook.

22. Rxf8#. Now the last protector of the weak back rank is eliminated by the White Rook as it gives checkmate,

Jul-16-13  Marmot PFL: Rudy loved to sacrifice.
Jul-16-13  YetAnotherAmateur: Took me a little while to get the ordering right, but this does the trick:

20. Qxf8+ Rxf8 (forced)
21. Bxh7+ Kh8 (forced)
22. Rxf8#

Some things that are no good at all are an immediate Bxh7+ or Qf7+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Hoofed over sat up free foot a foilable 20.Qxf8+,

honored d3 doesnt work on account f8 nick hem and black hasten horse to rebut advance maya queen flop belly up a wave crested f8 at he door harvest d3,

comes later a path to redeem versus cone 20...Rxf8,

21.Bxh7+s cadence ko use your noodles look fig sun he,

drench it ok a 21...Kh8 22.Rxf8#

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Mate in three:
1 Queen sac,removing the pesky knight.
2 Bishop takes,forcing the king away from the rook
3 QxR#
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Nick46: <FSR After 20.Qxf8+, Menchik no longer had a knight on f8.> But he had HAD a knight on f8 - an ambiguous linguistic problem.>

The demise of that knight was brought about in a fashion which was not at all ambiguous, in any form.

Jul-16-13  BOSTER: <Marmot PFL :Rudy loved to sacrifice>. But in this game the person who sacr. first was the great Menchik, playing 13...Rxf4, but not "Last Romantic".

<PB> < Bent Larsen once said "With a knight on f8 you never get mated".> I don't know about <never>, but if black played 12...Nf8 instead 12...0-0, I'm not sure that Spielmann could find the way to sacr. something.

This is the pos.,and you can evaluate it.

click for larger view

White to play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: After 19. Qf3, is there any way to avoid mate?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <ajk88: After 19.Qf3, is there any way to avoid mate?>

You can't get checkmated by resigning.

Seriously, this has discussed in the kibitzing, and outside of useless measures like 19...Qxa1 it doesn't look likely.

Jul-16-13  BOSTER: <gofer> What is the defense after 19.Qf3?>.

I'd better ask why did black play all suspicious combo beginning from 13...Rxf4 and 14....Qxb2 ? Maybe black forgot that <b2 pawn in French is taboo>, this is much is known.

Jul-16-13  tbentley: Houdini hasn't found a mate after 19...Qxa1 yet. "Second best" for black is 19...Qc5 which allows mate in 9.
Jul-16-13  tbentley: As to the actual puzzle, I immediately looked at 20. Qxf8+ and 20. Bxh7+, but it took me longer than I would like to combine the two.
Jul-16-13  Nullifidian: 20. ♕xf8+ ♖xf8 21. ♗xh7+ ♔h8 22. ♖xf8#
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