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Liu Wenzhe vs Jan Hein Donner
"The Chinese Immortal" (game of the day Jan-10-09)
Buenos Aires 1978  ·  Pirc Defense: Chinese Variation (B07)  ·  1-0
To move:
Last move:

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Given 31 times; par: 23 [what's this?]

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sac: 16.Qxg6+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 6 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-14-11  reti: This is a beautiful combination.
Aug-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  David2009: Liu Wenzhe vs J H Donner, 1978 postscript: <sevenseaman: <David2009> Crafty puts up a scintillating fight but it is essentially a losing battle for the machine this time. Anything faster than this? 14.Qh4 Bh3 15.Rxh3 Qa5+ 16.c3 Qxc3+ 17.bxc3 f5 18.Qh7+ Kf7 19.Qxg6+ Kxg6 20.Bh5+ Kh7 21.Bf7+ Bh6 22.g6+ Kh8 23.Rxh6+ Kg7 24.Rh7#> Congratulations- your win with 16.c3! was eight moves faster than mine: 14...Bh3 15.Qxh3 Qa5+ 16.b4!? Qxb4+ 17.Nxb4 f5 18.Qh7+ Kf7 19.Qxg6+ Ke7 20.Nd5+ Kd8 21.Rb1 Rb8 22.Rh7 b6 23.Rxg7 Rc8 24.Bh5 Nf6 25.Nxf6 Ne5 26.Qh7 Rc7 27.Rxc7 Rf7 28.Rxf7 Nxf7 29.Qxf7 Kc8 30.Nd5 Kb8 31.Qc7+ Ka8 32.Qc8#. In the final position, Pawns are level but Black suffers from the trifling material disadvantage of Q, one R, both B and both N. Sort of finish that takes me back me to my very early chess experiences (both losing and winning).

16.b4!? is the move I would instinctively make OTB playing safe (winning the Queen just in case the combination has a flaw). Confession time - first time around after 15...Qa5+ I played 16.Bd2? which wins on material - but the Q sacrifice no longer works (White's Bishop is pinned!).

Aug-14-11  bachbeet: Relentless checking until the eventual mate. Really nice game!
Aug-14-11  dimiss: if today's puzzle is too hard for you, you might want to try with easier ones:


click for larger view

Blak to move

Difficulty: 3/5
Source: http://tinyurl.com/3z9bshn

Aug-14-11  tacticalmonster: very easy Sunday puzzle. I only spent 5 mins on it.

At first I was looking at Nf6+ with the idea of blocking the f-pawn advance but I realize BK at f7 is " stalemated " anyway.

14 Qh4 f6 (or f5) 15 Qh7+ Kf7 16 Qxg6+ Kxg6 17 Bh5+ Kh7 18 Bf7+ Bh6 19 g6+ Kg7 (19...Kh8 20 Rxh6+ Kg7 21 Rh7#) 20 Bxh6+ Kh8 21 Bxf8#

Aug-14-11  WhiteRook48: <dimiss> um...
1...f1=B 2 Bf2 Nf3 3 any move Bg2#
Aug-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: <David2009> <Confession time - first time around after 15...Qa5+ I played 16.Bd2? which wins on material - but the Q sacrifice no longer works (White's Bishop is pinned!).>

You are harsh on yourself. First time anyone could play those moves you went for. Now forewarned against Crafty I exactly knew what pieces are needed in the mating net later and kept them dry and handy.

Aug-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: < DrMAL: A computer (with a bit more time to compute than the Crafty Endgame thing) reveals 14.Qh4!! or 14.Qh2!! is a forced mate in 10 (or less) after either 14...Bh3 or 14...Qa5).

I did not see this it is (extremely) far from obvious, and I sincerely doubt anyone on here did. I would have played 14.Nf3 probably winning. Brilliant move and great game by Liu!>

Thats too much of a blanket statement. Looking at the puzzle first time, Q check at h7 was the first thing I saw in a flash. Fortunately in this case that is all I needed to. How to get there was merely the mechanics of the combination. The chips just kept falling into place.

And I'd rate myself close to the humble 1000 or lower and do not use any cyber analysis at all. At times I fail to reach a solution, some days laughably simple and obvious in hindsight. Feeling awkwardly pedestrian is also a pleasure, of sorts.

I believe most solvers here are doing an honest day's work. How else would they attain any sense of fulfillment?

Aug-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <sevenseaman> <And I'd rate myself close to the humble 1000 or lower and do not use any cyber analysis at all.> NO WAY! You are much stronger than that! I personally know players around 1000 and they would never calculate the way you do. Judging from your analysis I would say you are AT LEAST 1700 USCF.
Aug-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: <Patriot> I should feel flattered but I am a realist.

Rating a chess aficionado on the basis of his puzzle solutions posted from the comfort of his own drawing room could be dicey.

OTB is a different cup of tea and I am sure you'll realise the error of your ways some day.

Aug-14-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this opening position, white is down a pawn and has three undeveloped pieces, but controls that all important open h-file. The vulnerable castled black king is already close to being entombed. It is quickly seen that after 14.Qh2, the only way to avoid 15.Qh7# for black to play f6 or f5. The candidate 14.Nf6+ (?), an attempt to hold down the f7 escape hatch, is worth investigating, but after 14...Nxf6 (Bxf6?? 15.Qh2 wins immediately) 15.gf Bxf6 16.Qh2 Re8 the king escapes via f8.

So the forcing approach of direct threats is best:

14.Qh2! essentially limits black to two serious defensive tries which are virtually identical:

A) 14... f5 (or f6) 15.Qh7+ Kf7 16.Qxg6+!! (a familiar h-file attack tactic) Kxg6 17.Bh5+ Kh7 18.Bf7+ Bh6 19.g6+! (the key find for me) Kg7 (Kh8 20.Rxh6+ Kg7 21.Rh7#) 20.Bh6+ Kh8 21.Bxf8+ (mate in the case of 14.... f6) Qh4 22.Rxh4#

A.1) 17... Kg8 18.Qh7+ Kf7 19.Bh5#

B) 14... Nf6 15.gf Re8 16.Qh7+ Kf8 17.Qxg7#

14... Qa4+ (15.b4), 14... Bc3+, and 14... Bh3 are other options that delay mate by a few moves.

Time for review. Very pretty, but not particularly complex.

Aug-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: <sevenseaman> You're just too modest!
Aug-15-11  DrMAL: <sevenseaman: Looking at the puzzle first time, Q check at h7 was the first thing I saw in a flash.> Solving a puzzle means to compute in one's head the entire set of possible sequences in advance. If you or anyone else actually did this, rather than looking ahead or stumbling into it or using a computer, congratulations. Again, I sincerely doubt it.
Aug-15-11  dumbgai: I love this game. A GM makes a couple of poor opening moves and he's dead meat just a dozen moves into the game.
Aug-16-11  50movesaheadofyou: A pirc defense, chinese variation? I didn't know there was such thing. This game is the birth of this variation I imagine.
Jan-20-12  pericles of athens: fantastic game! uber-aggressive play from white. wow.
Feb-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Naniwazu: Saw this in Kavalek's column. Qxg6+ is a fantastic move!
Mar-05-12  LawrenceBernstein: Donner once asked a colleague, "how can a western gm lose to a chinese player?" boy, did he find out.
Jul-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: < LawrenceBernstein: Donner once asked a colleague, "how can a western gm lose to a chinese player?" boy, did he find out.>

Did he ever-the full quote's here, according to Speelman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_He...

Nov-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <50movesaheadofyou: A pirc defense, chinese variation? I didn't know there was such thing. This game is the birth of this variation I imagine.>

There's nothing new under the sun. The line (4.Be2 Bg7 5.g4!?) had been played before, unsuccessfully, in F Blatny vs Vadasz, 1974.

After this spectacular win, the line was indeed dubbed the "Chinese Variation." Objectively, I don't think it's any great shakes. Seirawan won elegantly against it in V Kovacevic vs Seirawan, 1980. Since then, the line has been played rarely, and mostly by lesser lights. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... But it certainly worked great against Donner's cooperative play (7...0-0?).

Nov-20-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<FSR>

The variation also has the nickname "the Spike". Interestingly, John Nunn gave the Seirawan game as his main line in "The Complete Pirc" (pp.210-211, Batsford 1989). James Vigus in "the Pirc in Black and White" (pp. 366-370, Everyman 2007) also gives the Seirawan game.

Nunn (unclear) and Andrew Martin ( ) recommend 9. a3 as an improvement on that game, and thus Vigus recommends 5...d5 instead of Seirawan's 5...c6.

In Vigus' opinion, the Spike is a bit more potent when delayed by 5. Be3 0-0 6. g4! English FM Graham Lee has played this for a quarter century.

Nov-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Abdel Irada: Another act of auto-cannibalism by Donner.
Nov-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Abdel Irada> Yup. A classic "Donner Partie."
Nov-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <SimonWebbsTiger: ... English FM Graham Lee has played this for a quarter century.>

Ah. He must be the "G. Lee" I always see in game scores.

Aug-28-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajile: Black 0-0 right into the attack.

Here is Seirawan's improvement:

V Kovacevic vs Seirawan, 1980

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