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Laszlo Szabo vs Gudmundur Sigurjonsson
"Szabotage" (game of the day Jan-17-2009)
Reykjavik (1968), Reykjavik ISL, Jun-??
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D47)  ·  0-1


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Given 21 times; par: 62 [what's this?]

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sac: 22...Rxc5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-03-11  stst: Insane soln:
(A)Short one:
22.... Bxg2
23.Kxg2 Qc6+
24.Kg1 Nf3+
25.Bxf3 Qxf3
26.Qd1 Qh3
27.Kh1 Ng4
28.Qxg4 Qxh2#
(B) for Marathon:
22..... Bxg2
23.Kxg2 Qc6+
24.f3 Ng4
25.Kg1 Bxh2
26.Kh1 Rxe3
27.Bxe3 Ne3
28.Qc1 Nxf1
29.Rxf1 Ng4
30.Ne4 f5
31.Pxg4 Pxe4
32.Kxh2 Qc7
33.Kg1 Qg3+
34.Kh1 e3
35.Qd1 Re8
36.Qb3+ Kh8
37.Qd3 h5
38.g5 h4
39.Qg6 h3
40.Bd3 Qg2# (at least one step ahead!)

See how it's actually played out....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: In the much-discussed variation 22... Nf3+ 23.Bxf3 Qd6 24.g3 Bxf3, white follows with 25 e4 (threatening Bf4 which forces the exchange of bishops).

click for larger view

So it’s odd that black follows with 25…Ng4, since white still has 26 Bf4. The amazing occurs because black now gives up his queen with 26 Qxf4!!

click for larger view

White cannot play 27 gxf4 because of 27…Bxf4 with mate next move. So black wins a piece.

Jul-03-11  Patriot: <stst> You missed something very early in your analysis: 22...Bxg2 23.Nxd7. I started down that path and quickly realized that not only is white threatening to snag the bishop-pair (23.Nxb7) but most importantly the queen!
Jul-03-11  abuzic: No doubt that 22...Rxc5 is a beautiful sacrifice, and that has disrupted the structure of white's position, and made some threats.. On the other hand as has been explained nicely by others (notably David2009), 22...Nf3+ is another nice sac, where black, even with material deficit, has superior position.

<tacticalmonster> suggests the following line in the actual game: <23 Nf3+ 24 Bxf3 Bxf3 25 Ne2! Qg4 26 Ng3 Be4! 27 f3 Qh4 28 fxe4 Ng4 29 h3 Bxg3- with compensation for the exchange>. White could continue instead of <27. f3?> with 27. Qc3, with good position afterwards.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Move 22 of a slav so black probably has 35-45 minutes left on his clock to make it to move 40, so spending 25 minutes here wouldn't be unreasonable. Black's queen is en prise so the first move needs to be forcing. Something like:


A) 23.Bxf3 I'll look gxf later.

A1) 23...Bxh2+ doesn't seem to lead anywhere.

A2) 23...Qd6 threaten mate on h2

24.g3 The only way to stop mate that I see


Black looks great here but I don't see the knock out.

B) 23.gxf3

23...Qh3 Looks crushing; I don't see how mate can be avoided.

Okay my clock has run down to 10 minutes left for 18 moves, I need to make a move!


Let's see what happened.


Hm, 22...Rxc5. Didn't look at that, though it's obvious now: kill that pesky knight then Nf3+. However, The lines I gave look like decent alternatives.

Partial credit?

Jul-03-11  fightclub: 22...Nf3+ If 23 Kh1 Qc7 24 g3 Nxe1+ (discovered check) 25 Nxb7 Nxc2 winning the queen and rook for a bishop.

If 23 gxf6 Qh3 and nothing can stop 24...Qxh2#

So the only defence is:

23 Bxf3 Qd6 24 g3 Bxf3 Here we come to the Sunday part of the puzzle where there seem to be many options for defense but the objective is to stop the Black queen from getting to h3.

A) 25 N3e4 Nxe4 26 Nxe4 Qe6 Now white Q has only 2-3 spots to go and none of them can stop Black queen from getting to h3.

27 Qd3 Qh3 and nothing can stop 28...Qg2#

B) 25 N5e4 Nxe4 26 Nxe4 Qe6 and it transposes into the (A) line above.

C) 25 e4 Nxe4 26 N3xe4 Rxe4 (Both 26...Qe6 and 26...Bxe4 seem to lead nowhere)

27 Nxe4 Qe6 28 Qd3

Ok seems like I'm giving up just short of a solution but this took me more than an hour. Time to check.


So I didn't even consider 22...Rxc5 (don't know if that's good or bad). Even in my line, I didn't see 25...Ng4. I think my mistake was thinking that black needs the queen for the mate. However, the line from <Jimfromprovidence> shows that it's not necessary.

So expanding on <Jimfromprovidence>'s post

After 22...Nf3+ 23 Bxf3 Qd6 24 g3 Bxf3 25 e4 Ng4 we reach:

click for larger view

Since 26 Bf4 Qxf4 27 gxf4 leads to mate, avoiding that line.

But can't find a good continuation to this. Does anyone see a mate here somewhere that I'm missing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: Saw the general idea; Rxc5, Nf3+ Bxf3 with strong attack and mate threats.

Of course I was far away from seeing all lines given here ....

Jul-03-11  fightclub: <patzer2> suggests 26 h3 in my line but I'm not sure why.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Having read through the kibitzing I see that my A line is good. I'll take full credit and, having solved yesterday's puzzle, pride in killing the Saturday and Sunday this week!

<jimfromprovidence> Very nice continuation from 25.e4

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: LMAJ <...Soltis's book, "The 100 Best Chess Games (of the 20th Century); Ranked.>

I also have this book and played over every game and note. It's one of my favorites, not only because of the games themselves, but because of the effort Soltis put into identifying and ranking the games. A "must" for serious students of the game.

So *I DID*, after all, play over this game, but it was several years ago and on my chessboard instead of my computer.

Jul-03-11  wals: 40...c3 and White resigns.

Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: d 20 : 10 min :

1. (-#16): 41.Ke3 h4[] 42.gxh4 gxh4 43.Kd3 h3 44.f3 h2 45.Kxc3 Kg8 46.f6 Kf7 47.Kd2 h1Q 48.Ke2 Kxf6 49.a4 Ke5 50.Kd3 Qxf3+ 51.Kc4 Qe4+ 52.Kc3 Qd4+ 53.Kc2 Qc4+ 54.Kd1 Kd4 55.Kd2

2. (-#16): 41.Kd3 h4[] 42.gxh4 gxh4[] 43.Kxc3 h3 44.Kc4 h2 45.Kd3 h1Q 46.Kc4 Kg7 47.Kd3 Qf3+ 48.Kc2 Qxf5+ 49.Kb2 Kf6 50.f3 Qe5+ 51.Kb3 Qe3+ 52.Kb2 Qxf3 53.Ka2 Ke5 54.Kb2 Kd4 55.Ka1 Kc3 56.a4

Jul-03-11  BOSTER: This is the position after black played 16... Bb8.

click for larger view

Certainly, white position is cramped, the king's side has weaknesses on g2 and h2. Black pieces have more freedom of the movement.
Nevertheless, from positional point of view it was necessary to play here Nc5, blocking not only c6 pawn and bishop on b7, but really all black queen's side. After 17.Nc5 Nxc5 18.dxc5 e4 19.g3 and then f3 black has not too much. About POTD. I'd play 22...Rxc5 and then 23...Nf3+, because I don't feel very comfortable when I have my queen under attack. Maybe this is natural instinct. But after reading <RV> and computer evaluation I agree that 22...Nf3+ is more strong.

Jul-03-11  gofer: I saw <22 ... Nf3+ 23 Bxf3 Qd6 24 g3 Bxf3 25 e4> and then didn't play Ng5 but instead <25 ... g5> trying to gain a "foot-hold" on f3, but by then I was a little confused and was hoping to sacrifice my knight on g3 at some point. Indeed this was insane!
Jul-03-11  wals:

Analysis by Rybka 4 x64: 24 : 2hrs 15 :

1. (-2.31): 22...Nf3+ 23.Bxf3[] Qd6[] 24.g3[] Bxf3[] 25.e4 Ng4[] 26.e5 Nxe5 27.Bf4 Rxc5[] 28.Re3[] Rxc3 29.Qxc3 Qd5 30.Bxe5 Bxe5 31.Qb3 Qxb3[] 32.Rxb3 Bg4 33.Re1 f6 34.Rd3 Rc8 35.Kg2 g5 36.h3 Bf5 37.Rf3 Be6

2. (-1.17): 22...Rxc5 23.bxc5 Bf3[] 24.h3 Qc7 25.g3[] Qc6 26.e4[] Bxe2 27.Rxe2 Nf3+[] 28.Kg2 Nd4[] 29.Qd3 Nxe2[] 30.Qxe2 Qxc5 31.Ra1 Be5 32.Qd3 Rc8 33.Ra2 Bxc3 34.Rc2 Qe7 35.Rxc3 Rd8 36.Qc2 Qxe4+ 37.Kg1 Qe6

Jul-03-11  WhiteRook48: I had the basic idea but I played 22... Nf3+ first. It was a Sunday puzzle, that was the best I could have hoped for anyway.
Jul-03-11  M.Hassan: <stst>:
Black Queen is lost
Jul-03-11  abuzic: <agb2002: Another option is 22... Nf3+ directly: .......... C) 23.Bxf3 Qd6 24.g3 Bxf3 25.Ne2 Rxc5 26.bxc5 Qd7 27.Nd4 Be4 28.Qb2 Qh3 29.f3 Ng4 30.Rf2 Nxf2 with attack.>

First not <29...Ng4> but (29...Bxg3) can keep balanced position Second not <30. Rf2?> but (30. Re2 and white is better)

Jul-03-11  M.Hassan: <jimfromprovince: The amazing occurs because black now gives up his queen with 26.Qxf4>

Excellent. I enjoyed reading through your line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I got the general idea
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: So 22...Nf3+ was the best move, after all? In that case, not only was this the first 7/7 week I've had in a looooooong time, it's the first time I've cooked a Sunday puzzle.
Jul-04-11  LIFE Master AJ: <<<<<<Jul-03-11 Passionate PatZER:> Life MASTER> -- may I suggest that ONLY "PERFECT practise makes Perfect."> Like other sports you must ingrain a habit that will stand up under pressure.>

Good point.

Jul-04-11  LIFE Master AJ: <dzechiel> Do you know if anyone here as assembled all 100 of those games? (It would make a nice collection, I think.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Szabo vs G Sigurjonsson, 1968

Black to play (22...?) "Insane"

Ok, doing this late (after 9 PM PDT or Monday EDT), but here goes.

I'm guessing it's probably 22...Rxc5! 23. bxc5 Nf3+!! (not sure about the exclams yet) and now:

A) 24. gxf3 Qh3 25. f4 (stopping Qxh2#) Qg2#.

B) 24. Bxf3 Bxf3 (threatening 24...Qg4 25. g3 Qh3) 25. h3 (or 25. Kh1 Qh3 and mate next, or 25. gxf3 Qh3 26. f4 Ng4) Qc7 26. g3 Qd7 27. Kh2 (or 27. g4 Nxg4 or even 27...Qc7) Qxh3+!! 28. Kxh3 Re5 29. g4 Nxg4 30. Kg3 (30. Kh4 transposes) Rf5+ 31. Kh4 Rh5+! (yet another attraction sacrifice) 32. Kxh5 Nxf2+ 33. Kh4 g5#.

C) 24. Kh1 Nxe1 25. Rxe1 Qh3 with dual mate threats on h2 and g2.

Can't wait to find out if I nailed it, or flew off the tracks at some point! If Black found all this over the board, that would help to explain why he is/was a GM and I am not!

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: I didn't even look at 25. Ne2, so I guess I get only partial credit. I think my analysis is correct though (will check later with the silicon).
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <abuzic: <agb2002: Another option is 22... Nf3+ directly: .......... C) 23.Bxf3 Qd6 24.g3 Bxf3 25.Ne2 Rxc5 26.bxc5 Qd7 27.Nd4 Be4 28.Qb2 Qh3 29.f3 Ng4 30.Rf2 Nxf2 with attack.>

First not <29...Ng4> but (29...Bxg3) can keep balanced position Second not <30. Rf2?> but (30. Re2 and white is better) >

You're right. Actually, 25... Rxc5 seems to be unnecessary and 25... Ne4 keeps the advantage.

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