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Mark B Ruderfer vs Leonid Stein
"Downing a Stein" (game of the day Jan-24-2017)
URS (1972)
Sicilian Defense: Richter-Rauzer Variation. General (B60)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-24-17  newzild: Impressive game by Mr Ruderfer.

I especially liked his little queen shuffle on moves 15 to 17.

Jan-24-17  newzild: <razetime> 19...Rg7 does look like a blunder, but the most likely improvement, 19...Bd7, looks like it fails to 20. Nxe7 Bxe7 21. Rxe7 Kxe7 22. Qxd6+, etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: "Ruderfer's Immortal" just doesn't have that magical ring to it


Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Stein brought his queen out too early
Jan-24-17  AlicesKnight: <newzild: <AlicesKnight> Your line can be taken further, after which White emerges with a rook and two pawns> Thanks; thought it might, but breakfast intervened on looking further....
Jan-24-17  paavoh: There are 52 games with 6.- Qa5 in the CG database, and 20 with 8.Nb3. The real bummer seems 8.-Qe5, with only three games, all 1-0.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: black can take the queen, he can also get mated!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <FSR: This has to be one of the most crushing defeats that Stein ever suffered.> I doubt that, since Stein is consistently crushed by Papier in the German version of rock, paper, scissors
Jan-24-17  Dirkster: Very good, ChessHigherCat! Hey, I just realized the pun in your name - that's very clever also! (What else ya got...???)
Jan-24-17  EboLedder: Is there a Monday puzzle here at 20: white to move? Or is the position too complex for a Monday?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <AlicesKnight: A Stein on his record. After the spectacular Qxd6 White is clearly winning, but what is the best/quickest line after ...Bd7? You can exchange four pieces on d7 and follow with Nxb6+ (Black K on d7) winning the exchange at least - is there anything smarter?> What about Bd7, Nf6? If exf6, Qxf8+, Kc7, QxR+ etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: If black is so uncooperative as to play 20...exd6, it's a bit trickier, but after all this is the Ruderfer Immortal. Seriously, for example, 21. Rxe6, and if..Kc7 22. Rxd7 at least wins back the queen. If 21...Rg7 22. Re8+ Kc7, 23. Rxd7 again.. It has to work somehow, this is Saint Ruderferd's Day!
Jan-24-17  Cheapo by the Dozen: Great game.

Great puzzle material too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: Didn't Tarrasch once say that sometime even weak players can play a great game?
Jan-24-17  garuffa: Ok, he doesn't see the queen sacrifice. Anyway why 19...Rg7? I don't understand it.
Jan-25-17  ajile: Look at Black's position after 16.Qxe4.


Black doesn't even have a measly pawn to compensate for his horrible position.

Well maybe the 2 bishops but his king is in the center, rooks not connected, behind in development, c8 bishop blocked.

What an opening disaster.

Jan-25-17  newhampshireboy: Stein was a sucker. Most great players would have seen white's last move. Certainly Fischer or Karpov would have seen it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <profK: Didn't Tarrasch once say that sometime even weak players can play a great game?> I don't know what that could possibly mean. That's like saying even a bad artist can paint a masterpiece or even a bad composer can write a great symphony.
Jan-25-17  ajile: If you feed the end position to Rybka the variations are surprisingly tricky and would be hard to find over the board. In one case after 20..Bd7 White has to find the sneaky queen retreat 22..Qe5 for example.

20..Bd7 21.Nxe7 Bxe7 22.Qe5!

click for larger view

Other variations are also tricky to find.

If Black plays 21..Rxe7 instead in the above line we arrive at the following position:

20..Bd7 21.Nxe7 Rxe7 22.Rxe7 Bxe7 23.Qe6!

click for larger view

And again Black's goose is cooked. Mate in a maximum of 12 moves is forced.

Finally 20..Qd7 (which seems possible since White's queen is also hanging) loses quickly to the same queen retreat idea:

20..Qd7 21.Qe5!

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <profK: Didn't Tarrasch once say that sometime even weak players can play a great game?>

The reverse is also true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <keypusher: profK: Didn't Tarrasch once say that sometime even weak players can play a great game? The reverse is also true.> But he didn't say that weak players can sometimes play a good game, he said a "great game", so the reverse would be that great players (=GMs) can occasionally play a whole game like absolute patzers, which I've never witnessed, although there may be a few rare cases when they're drunk or sick. A a patzer can occasionally play a great move, even "by accident", but not a whole great game against a GM - if they could, they wouldn't be patzers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ChessHigherCat>

I was making a little joke. Tarrasch may have been doing the same thing. You're thinking about all this much harder than you should.

It might be fair to describe Ruderfer as a weak player compared to Stein, even though he'd no doubt crush me and 99% of the kibitzers here. I don't know the context of Tarrasch's original remark -- perhaps he was talking about someone who was weak in comparison to a top master of his own time, but very strong against an average club player.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: A weaker player can often catch onto the coattails of a great player's idea, and find the flaw that turns the game around. He can't produce the concepts himself more than sporadically, but once they are out there, he can follow the logic, and even find great moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Robyn Hode: He may have downed a Stein, but he wasn't a third the player Leonid was.>

<profK: Didn't Tarrasch once say that sometime even weak players can play a great game?>

Tell you what: Ruderfer was not the weakling that has been implied, or stated outright. I challenge anyone here to prove how someone can qualify for multiple semifinals in the former Soviet championships and be 'weak'. Even in those days, such a player would likely have been 2400+ and an aspirant for GM had they played outside Mother Russia--as <keypusher> astutely noted, the 'weak' player would beat the spots off about all of us.

It is true that the winner of this game caught a top GM in a one-mover, but the former could definitely play a little, despite the assertions of some posters who do not understand pissall.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <keypusher: <ChessHigherCat> I don't know the context of Tarrasch's original remark -- perhaps he was talking about someone who was weak in comparison to a top master of his own time, but very strong against an average club player.> I assumed he was muttering under his breath about some lowlife who had the effrontery to beat him once (i.e., unfairly criticizing a lesser rival). From my own very limited experience with beating IMs in 5-minute blitz in the park (which has happened to me all of twice), they both lost their temper and started raving about what a nobody I was (which I'm the first to admit, at least in chess), presumably because 1) they thought I was silly enough to imagine I was a better chessplayer than they are just because I finally happened to luck out in one game out of hundreds, and 2) those guys base their self-esteem so much on chess that they take it as a vile personal attack if you ever happen to win, even on time, in some stupid blitz game. GMs are even more temperamental, and although I have been on friendly terms with a few, I only played a few games with them (and was duly shellacked). My father used to ask me "Did you win?" and I said "You don't understand anything, it's all about the fascination of the game", but I discovered later that on the GM level it really is all about who won the game.
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