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Pal Benko vs Sawyer
Simul (1964), New York, NY USA
Spanish Game: Cozio Defense. General (C60)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-07-08  goodevans: I canít see why Benko needed to play 6 d4. As far as I can see black doesnít have a good response to the immediate 6 Qb3. Was 6 d4 objectively better or was Benko simply anticipating a poor response (6 Ö d6) from weak opposition?
Jan-07-08  D4n: What short game...
Jan-07-08  zooter: <goodevans: I canít see why Benko needed to play 6 d4. As far as I can see black doesnít have a good response to the immediate 6 Qb3. Was 6 d4 objectively better or was Benko simply anticipating a poor response (6 Ö d6) from weak opposition?>

6.Qb3 would have been met by d5! After which 7.exd5? Na5 and white is left very bad.

But After 6.Qb3 d5! 7.Nd5! (threatening mate on f7 and forcing the exchange) Nxe5 8.dxe5 and mate is definitely looming around the corner.

Hope my analysis is right and helps

Jan-07-08  gilbertblondy: 1.♘e5 de 2.♕e6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Zooter> <6.Qb3 would have been met by d5! After which 7.exd5? Na5 and white is left very bad.> As Sports commentator Lee Corso (see is famous for saying, "Not so fast my friend!"

I prefer 6. 0-0 here, but <goodevans> 6. Qb3 is surely not bad and seems to be a worthy alternative to 6. d4 =. Playing it out move-by-move with Fritz 8 yields 6. Qb3 d5 7. exd5 Na5 8. Qa4+ b5 9. Qxa5 bxc4 10. Nxe5 Qxd5 11. Qxd5 Nxd5 12. Nxc4 Nf4 13. d4 Nxg2+ 14. Ke2 Bg4+ 15. f3 Bh3 16. Rg1 O-O-O 17. Kf2 (0.66 @ 17 depth)

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[Position after 17. Kf2 (Black to move, from above analysis)]

P.S. Since it was a simul, I'm not particularly concerned with Benko's opening choice. However, if there was anything to consider changing in the Opening for Benko it might be the interesting diversion 5. Bc4!? from the Book move 5. Ba4 as in I Rogers vs D K Johansen, 2006.

Jan-07-08  meteficha: Oh, it's monday! What is the SOTD? =)
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: What I found a bit tricky about this position is that you have be able to visualize the board (after Nxe5+ dxe5) and "see" that the d pawn is gone and that Qe6 will now be mate (where it wasn't before).
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Good Monday puzzle. One's eye is immediately drawn to Qe6+, which would indeed be mate except that the king can hide behind his d6-pawn.

In such a case, one should look for a way to displace that d6-pawn -- and one should find 9.Nxe5+!, which itself is mate except that the d6 pawn can (therefore, must) move, making way for 10.Qe6#. Simple, but nice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I bad start to the year for me! A missed it! I was looking for 9 ♕e6+ ♔c6 10 d5+ but I couldn't find a follow up.

What happened to the monday morning coffee of queen sacrifices?

Jan-07-08  zb2cr: <kevin86> plaintively wrote: "What happened to the monday morning coffee of queen sacrifices?"

Too many people complaining about "Monday's always a Queen sacrifice", my friend. I think the fine fellows at <> said, in effect, let's give them what they're asking for!

Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Ta-dah! Wasn't even fooled by a Monday puzzle that did NOT entail a Queen sac.
Jan-07-08  Steve Case: Got it! Yes throwing away the Knight in order to get get the saving pawn to move was the trick.

Did black not see the Queen and bishop lining up?

Jan-07-08  Terry McCracken: Although it's not a Q-Sac as in sacrificing her violently you do leave her enprise and sac the Night directly. I suspect wanted you to look at the Queen under attack with all her checks, ie Qe6+? and Qa4+?? then finally ignore the fact she's enprise and find the mate with Nxe5+!
Jan-07-08  wals: After several hours of searching, constantly interpreting the results of each search, noting the dynamics of the position, the recurring themes, key tactical ideas, the ideal posts for the pieces, I realised the King must be checked else the Queen says sayonara and Nf3xe5 fitted the bill. My good friend Fritz 11, the chess program that beat world champion Vladimir Kramnik confirmed the choice.
Jan-07-08  alphee: Very nice, a bit more difficult to spot than usual. A rather unconventional (or rarely played) openning for a spanish game, at least for me as I never saw it before. From the outcome I may tend to avoid it ... :-)
Jan-07-08  ChessPraxis: Thank God for simul games!
Jan-07-08  notyetagm: <zb2cr: Ah, a Monday without a Queen sacrifice! Lovely.

The position admits of several possible moves. What's striking is that 9. Qe6+ would be mate ... if Black didn't have the c6 square to run to. With this hint in mind, the first move 9. Nxe5+ becomes visible. Black's recapture is forced, and White mates.>

Exactly. As soon as I saw that ♕b3-e6+ would be mate if it wasn't for the Black d6-pawn <BLOCKING> the line e6-c6 from the White e6-queen to the c6-flight square of the Black d7-king, I knew that the Black d6-pawn could not also <DEFEND> either the c5- or e5-squares.

Since the e5-square is therefore <UNDEFENDED>, 9 ♘f3xe5+! immediately caught my attention.

Jan-07-08  Amarande: <Terry McCracken: I suspect wanted you to look at the Queen under attack with all her checks, ie Qe6+? and Qa4+??>

IMO, more like Qe6+?? and Qa4+?; Qa4+ is only a mistake inasmuch as it misses the mate, as White still has a tremendous game afterwards. Qe6+ on the other hand actually should lose the game for White if Black doesn't screw up :)

Jan-07-08  zooter: well this puzzle was easy to me because one of the first things I do is to look objectively at all the checks (even if it means giving up a piece).

In fact my eye first went towards Nxe5+ bringing one more piece into the attack. I did not even notice the queen en prise to the rook...

Once i figured out that Nxe5 indeed does win, the only reason I saw that the queen was en prise was because of other people's comments

Jan-08-08  TheaN: 1/1

A bit late but I already had this one early yesterday:

9.Nxe5 takes away the only flight square of a hunted king in this Ruy variation, dxe5 10.Qe6# where c6 has been blocked in the end by the Queen.

I think that this game shows some psychological elements: 6.Qb3 seems stronger than played move (I have had this setup not to long ago with the Scotch Gambit Hungarian defense (4....Be7?)), threatening mate and winning at least one pawn, however, White grabs the simple 6.d4 to gain positionally while keeping the tension as it is tactically.

After 6....d6, Black plays into this idea, as now the sacrifice Nxe5 comes into play after the king flees to d7. Nonetheless, 7....Na5 is just an inferior move, even if it wasn't for the mate in two.

Educational miniature, I'd say.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I spent some time looking at 9 Qe6+ thinking that I was just missing some trick to interrupt the King's flight. Then in a flash 9 Nxe5+ appeared. Whew!
Mar-07-08  frank124c: Black's d6 Pawn is <enslaved>--or if you want to used a more polite word <obligated>-- because it must <block> White's penetration of the 6th rank to prevent mate. When White plays 9.Nxe5+ forcing the d6 Pawn to take the Knight, the poor <overworked> Pawn can no longer perform and so his King must die. The White Queen is under attack while this <inbetween> move takes place making this very short game rich in themes and beautiful to behold!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: I can't believe this was voted one of Benko's "notable games". That's kind of insulting. It was a simul game, against a very weak player who handled the black pieces horribly. Benko has many great games against strong GMs. Come on!
Dec-02-12  JENTA: 9. Be6+ Ke8! 10. Ne5? (10. Bf7+! Kd7 11. Ne5+!) 10... Be6! 11. Qe6 de5 12. Qe5 Nac6 13. Qh5+ g6 NOTHING
Dec-02-12  JENTA: 5. Bc4?! d5! 6. ed5 Nd5 7. 0-0 Be7 8. Re1 Qd6= (ECO)
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