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Oldrich Duras vs Zsigmond Barasz
18th DSB Kongress (1912), Breslau GER, rd 16, Aug-01
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line (D55)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-15-12  JoergWalter: <sevenseaman> Pachman gives this as an example in his "Moderne Schachstrategie" vol. 1.

He writes that it was necessary to see through the combination up to move 39.Qg8. The hopeless position of the black king will make a winning continuation most likely then. Calculating to the end (after Qg8) he calls a waste of energy.

Jan-15-12  Yodaman: I spent five minutes and found 35.Rxd6 Rxd6 36.Qa8+ Kh7 36.Rc8. At this point I thought black would play either Qf6 or Qh5, although I wasn't sure. I knew that white had to play Rh8 and Nh4 at some point, but I wasn't sure if white needed to bring his queen in somehow. Having seen the game I am surprised I didn't notice that Qg8 is so good. It allow the knight to do its work by pinning black's g pawn. I doubt there would be another way for white to continue without playing Qg8.
Jan-15-12  Patriot: I started into the game line, 35.Rxd6 Rxd6 36.Rc8+ Kh7 37.Qa8 but didn't spend the time looking at each reasonable defense (37...Qf6, 37...Qg4, or 37...Qh5). I only looked at 37...Qg4 38.Nh4 and not the tougher 37...Qf6 defense. That's really not a whole lot of options so I'm not sure why I didn't methodically look at each.

<LoveThatJoker> I also looked at 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Qf8 but found that a later ...Qxe4 ties white's hands. So it looks like we were both on the same track.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: FWIW, I made the mistake of playing 38 Nh4 first in order to prevent the king from escaping to g6, but 38...g6! wins for black.

click for larger view

Jan-15-12  Shelter417: <Taking the queen does not look like a good idea, eg: 37...Rxd5 38 Nxg6 and, as black has both rooks hanging, white is again guaranteed to recover his exchange, emerging up a pawn.>

What about 38...Rxe4? Looks like the rooks support each other...or am I missing something?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Rookc8+ in it hinders it ar in kh7 qua8 it single in low Oldrich again iron cross in lost it track havings it further sight for queen up gain knight windmill.

<Once> Isnt it I managed to recall via telekinec cycling genealogy finger nana memory wake really we claim struck it is again with Mr Stanley establish it hedge spoke nun in school debatable my special friend Simon du rascal liked concept albums more i pine weeze late thru show legend EC.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: In less than two minutes I see a simple sequence.

<35 Rxd6 Rxd6>
<36 Qa8+ Kh7>
<37 Rc8 ...>

Black must deal with Rh8#, so the queen must move.

37 ... Qh4/Qe6
38 Nh4! ...

Pawn g7 must move...

38 ... g5
39 Rh8+ Kg7
40 Nf5+ Rxh6+ winning

38 ... g6
39 Rh8+ Kg7
40 Qf8 Kf6
41 Rxh6 Qg5/Qg4
42 Rxg6+ Qxg6
43 Nxg6 winning easily

<37 ... Qf6>
<38 Rh8+ Kg6>
<39 Nh4+ Kh5>
<40 Nf5! ...>

Black is in serious trouble. The knight sits untouchable on f5 controlling the show.

40 ... g6 41 Rxh6+ Kg4 (Kg5 42 h4+ Kg4 43 Ne3#) 42 h3+ Kg5 43 h4+ Kg4 44 Ne3#

40 ... g5 41 h3! g4 42 hxg4+ Kxg4/Kg5 43 Rg8+ winning the queen or mating

The problem for black is that white paws are going march up the board and mate the king but at the same time white is threatening to play Qb8 and Rxh6 opening the g file and mating with g5 or winning all of blacks pieces!

Time to check...


Interesting, the move order was slightly different. The moves were all the same eventually but I didn't expect the knight to be dancing all over the place. Also, I didn't expect Kg5 after Nh4+. Crafty EGT finds a better defense than the one in the game.

<35 Rxd6 Rxd6>
<36 Qa8+ Kh7>
<37 Rc8 Qf6>
<38 Rh8+ Kg6>
<39 Nh4+ Kh5>
<40 Nf5! Red7>
<41 Qb8 Qg6>
<42 Nxg7+ Kg5>
<43 h4+ Kf6>
<44 Ne8+ Ke6>
<44 Qxg6+ fxg6>
<45 Nxd6 Rxd6>
<46 Rxh6 Kf6>
<47 h5 Kg5>
<48 Rxg6+> exchanging into winning endgame.

Jan-15-12  Thrajin: <Once> Love the Star Wars references, but it was Mark Hamill, not Luke Hamill. Or was it Mark Skywalker...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The final rounds at Breslau 1912, produced an extremely close and exciting finish.

After 14 rounds, with 3 rounds remaining, Tarrasch and Teichmann led the field with 10 pts., closely followed by Duras, Rubinstein & Schlechter, each with 9 1/2 pts.

Tarrasch suffered losses, (to Spielmann & Carls!), in rounds 15 & 17, to finish with 11 pts.

Schlechter and Teichmann drew all of their remaining games, to finish with 11 pts., and 11 1/2 pts.

Duras drew in round 15, and then won his last two games, to finish with 12 pts., and a first place tie with Rubinstein.

Rubinstein won in rounds 15 & 16, but he could only gain a draw against Teichmann in the final round, to finish with 12 pts., and a first place tie with Duras.

In the puzzle position, I sensed a win could be found, if I could get at the Black King. In a game of my own, I may have overlooked 35.Rxd6!, but as this was a puzzle position, I was able to find this excellent move.

After 35.Rxd6! Rxd6 36.Rc8+ Kh7 37.Qa8, it took me a while to determine that the best continuation was 37...Qf6 38.Rh8+ Kg6 39.Qg8!.

After finding these moves I felt the position was winning for White. I admit I was too elated with the moves I had found, to try work out any subsequent variations, and decided at that point to see how Duras had finished the game.

Jan-15-12  sevenseaman: <Pawn and Two><After 35.Rxd6! Rxd6 36.Rc8+ Kh7 37.Qa8, it took me a while to determine that the best continuation was 37...Qf6 38.Rh8+ Kg6 39.Qg8!.

After finding these moves I felt the position was winning for White. >

Thanks for furnishing some tournament details. You grasped the essentials of the position quickly. After White Q reaches g8 he almost has a win. The White N gets unqualified freedom to hop around and wreak serious damage.

But having seen the game you must have also realized that in this game tension is not broken until the last few moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <Once> Those are some beautiful mating positions you have provided!

<sevenseaman> Your comment on 'Kamasutra' may have been overlooked by others, but not by me...made my day! :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even.

Black threatens 35... Nxe4 (35... Qxe4 36.Rxd6).

White can infiltrate the queen and a rook with 35.Rxd6 Rxd6 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Rc8:

A) 37... Qe6 38.Nh4

A.1) 38... g5 39.Rh8+ Kg7 40.Qg8+ Kf6 41.Rxh6#.

A.2) 38... g6 39.Rh8+ Kg7 40.Nf5+ Kf6 (40... gxf5 41.Qf8 Kf(g)6 42.Qxh6#) 41.Qf8 Qd7 42.Rxh6

A.2.a) 42... Qd8 43.Rxg6+ Kxg6 44.Qh6#.

A.2.b) 42... Kg5 43.h4+ Kg4 (43... Kf6 44.Qg7#) 44.f3#.

B) 37... Qh5 38.Nh4

B.1) 38... g5 39.Rh8+ Kg7 40.Qf8+ Kf6 41.Rxh6+ Qxh6 42.Qxh6#.

B.2) 38... g6 39.Rh8+ Kg7 40.Qf8+ Kf6 41.Rxh6 Qxh6 (41... Qe2 42.Rxg6#; 41... Qg5 42.Rxg6+ Qxg6 43.Nxg6 Red7 44.Nh4) 42.Qxh6 + -.

C) 37... Qg4 38.Nh4

C.1) 38... g5 is like A.1.

C.2) 38... g6 39.Rh8+ Kg7 40.Nf5+ Kf6 (40... gxf5 41.Qf8+ Kf6 -41... Kg6 42.Qxh6#- 42.Rxh6+ Qg6 43.Rxh6+ Kxg6 44.Qxe7) 41.Nxd6 + -.

D) 37... Qf6 38.Rh8+ Kg6 39.Nh4+ Kg(h)5 40.Nf5 recovers the material at least.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I'm sure the solution must begin with 35.Rxd6!! Rxd6 36.Rc8+ Kh7 37.Qa8!, but I'm having too hard a time visualizing what happens after Black's various queen moves. As such, I doubt I'd have the guts to play this in an actual game.
Jan-15-12  FlashinthePan: Duras' brilliant play was an emBarazsment to his opponent!
Jan-15-12  Cibator: Love it, <Once>. Luke Warmwater! Hahahahaha!! Hadn't heard that one before (what a sheltered life I must have had .....).
Jan-15-12  James D Flynn: Before tackling today's game I would like to address one try in yesterday's, After 25.---Rf2 26.c5 (to interpose the B on d5 after e3+) Qf5 threaten Qf3+ and mate if Bd1 then Qh3, if Bxf3 e3+ and the d5 sqrare is covered by B and Q and if Kg1 Qxf2#
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <sevenseaman> I agree there was tension in this game until near the end.

I just got enthused with White's position after I found 39.Qg8!. With the Black King trapped between the Queen & Rook on one side, and the Knight and Pawns on the other, I believed the game must be practically over.

Plugging the position into Fritz yielded some interesting results. In the puzzle position, Fritz needed 23 ply before its' evaluation soared from over +1 to near +5.

At move 37, Fritz preferred 37...Qe6 38.Nh4 Qxc8. I do not think a human player would pick this line, as it is so clearly without prospects for Black.

After 39.Qg8!, Fritz gave the following three lines as Black's best defenses: (9.82) (25 ply) 39...Qe6 40.Nh4+ Kf6 41.Nf5 Qxf5 42.exf5, or (10.65) (25 ply) 39...Rd3 40.Nh4+ Kg5 41.Nf5 Qg6 42.Rh7 Kf6 43.Rxg7 Qh5 44.Rg4 Qxg4 45.Qxg4, or (12.65) (25 ply) 39...Qxf3 40.Kxf3 Kf6 41.Qh7 g6 42.Qxh6.

After 39...Rd3 40.Nh4+ Kg5, a little deeper search gave the following top choices for White: (17.26) (26 ply) 41.Rh7! g6 42.Qf8 Qc6 43.Qxe7+ f6 44.Nf3+ Rxf3 45.Kxf3, or (11.33) ( 26 ply) 41.Nf5 Qg6 42.Rh7 Kf6 43.Rxg7 Qh5 44.Rg4 Qxg4 45.Qxg4 Rc7 46.Nxh6, or (7.62) (26 ply) 41.Qh7 Kh5 42.Nf5 Qg6 43.Nxe7.

After 41.Nf5 Re6, Fritz indicated: (20.80) (24 ply) 42.h4+ Kg4 43.Rh7 Qxf5 44.Rxg7+ Rg6 45.exf5 Rxg7 46.Qxg7, or White could play, 43.Rh7 Qxf5 44.Rxg7+ Rg6 46.h4+ Kg4, which is the same variation.

Fritz shows the game continuation: 43.Nxh6 Kh5 44.Nxf7+ Kg4 45.Nh6+ Kh5 46.Nf5+ Kg4 47.Rh7, leads to a forced mate.

Instead of 43.Nxh6, White could also win by playing: (28.39) (24 ply) 43.Rh7 Qxf5 44.exf5 Kxf5 45.Qxf7+ Rf6 46.Qxg7 Rd4, or (14.28) (24 ply) 43.Rxh6 Qxf5 44.exf5 Rxh6 45.Qxg7, or (9.10) (24 ply) 43.Qc8 Rf3 44.Qc2 Rd6 45.Nxd6 Qxd6 46.Rh7 Qd3 47.Rxg7+.

At move 47, Black could have delayed the forced mate a little with: 47...g6 48.Nh6+ Kh5 49.Qf7 Rxg3+ 50.fxg3 Qxf7 51.Nxf7+.

At move 49, as you have noted, White needs to be careful. White needs to mate with 49.Nf7+, or he can force a winning ending by: 49.g4+ Kxh4 50.Nf7+ Kxg4 51.Rxg7+ Qxg7 52.Qxg7+.

Duras deserves great credit for playing 35.Rxd6!, and for playing the remainder of this game so well. This must have been a very tense game. Duras had to play for a win, if he was to have a chance for a first place finish in this tournament.

Jan-15-12  soberknight: Look at that knight fly! It reminds me too much of knight forks playing against the computer.
Jan-16-12  njchess: Nice puzzle.

I think Duras obviously saw elements of the position that allowed him to consider the game's line of play. Prior to move 35, there is a considerable amount of "cat and mouse" type of play. However, throughout, Black's position is considerably more constrained than White's. And, by move 35, Black's position is definitely worse.

White's rooks are much more active and he owns the c-file which allows him the possibility of a back rank check. White's knight could be more active, if only he could place it on f5.

In contrast, Black's active pieces are his knight and his queen. The problem for Black is that his knight is awkwardly place on d6 and by placing his queen on g6, it allows an attack by White's knight via h4 AND it cuts off his king's escape route.

Add to the fact that Black has very limited counterattack possibilities and the time is right to seize the initiative. Duras sees that taking the Rxd6 will allow his knight to reach f5 via g4 BUT it also allows Qa8! assuring that Black's king will have to flee to the 6th rank (i.e. to a more exposed position). The really devious part of this is that with Black's king ending up on g6, the only way to dislodge White's knight, is by exchanging it with Black's queen.

After 37. Qa8, everything pretty much falls into place. Black's king is penned up and White just plays solid tactics using his knight, rook and queen to gang up on Black's king and pawns.

The only real surprise was how long Black played before resigning, though it is tough to resign with your queen and both rooks still on the board.

Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: In this middle-game position, material is even, with the black position bunched defensively (rooks doubled to protect e-pawn) and white calling the shots. Once again, it all comes down to mobility. Particular features of interest are black's vulnerable back rank and the confined state of the black queen. Everything points to a back rank attack, with the black king having a very challenged escape route. The attack has to be set up by

35.Rxd6!! (breaking rook protection of back rank) Rxd6 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Rc8 and now black needs to move the queen to avoid 38.Rh8#. The BQ has 4 legal moves that are not en prise:

A) 35... Qh5 36.h3! (threatening 37.g4 Qg6 38.Rh8#) g5 37.Rh8+ Kg7 (Kg6 39.g4! traps the Q) 38.Qf8+ Kf6 (Kg6 39.g4!) 39.Rxh6+ Qxh6 40.Qxh6#

A.1) 36... f5 37.Nh4! g6(/g5) 38.Rh8+ Kg7 39.Qf8#

A.2) 36... g6 37.g4 wins BQ.

B) 35... Qd6 36.Nh4! g6 37.Rh8+ Kg7 38.Nf5+!! Kf6 39.Qg8! Qd7 40.Rxh6! Qd8 (/e8 is worse) 41.Qg7+ Ke6 42.Rxg6+! fxg6 43.Qxg6+ Kd7 44.Qxd6+ Ke8 45.Qxe7+ leaves a won K&P ending.

B.1) 36... g5 37.Rh8+ Kg7 38.Qg8+ Kf6 39.Rxh6#

B.2) 38... gxf5 39.Qg8+ Kf6 40.Rxh6#

B.3) 39... (other except Qxf5) 40.Qg7+ Kg5 41.Qxh6+ Kf6 42.Qh4+ g5 43.Qh6#

B.4) 39... Kg5 40.h4+ Kg4 41.f3#

C) 35... Qg4 36.h3! Qd7 (Qe6 37.Nh4! wins as in B main line) 37.Nh4 g6 38.Rh8+ Kg7 39.Nf5+ Kf6 40.Qg8 Kd6 41.Rxh6 Qd8 42.Rxg6+ is similar to B

C.1) 40... Re8 41.Qg7+ (Qxe8 may be won, but harder to win) Ke6 42.Rxh6! and the threat of Rxg6+ is again decisive.

D) 35... Qf6 36.Rh8+ (not Nh4 g6) Kg6 37.Qg8 Qe6 (otherwise 38.Qh7+ Kh5 39.h3!) 38.Nh4+ Kf6 39.Nf5! g6 40.Qg7+ Kg5 41.h4+ Kg4 42.f3+ Kh5 43.Rxh6#

I had the main idea quickly, but got confused in the details of B. Time for review....

Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: I missed the complex defense of the game. Definitely on the difficult end of the spectrum.
Jan-16-12  David2009: Duras vs Z Barasz, 1912 White 35?

Try 35.Rxd6 seeing 35...Rxd6 36 Nxe5 Rxd5 37 Nxg6 ending a Pawn up.
Right start, different win starting Qh8+. Time to check the puzzle position

click for larger view

against Crafty End Game Trainer (link: Alas, my line is completely unsound (36 Nxe5? loses to Qf6). On the second attempt I started 36 Qa8+ which transposes and then fell into <Jim's> pitfall: 36..Kh7 37.Rc8 Qf6 38 Nh4?? g6! 0-1. On my third attempt I crashed through with a direct King hunt: 38. Rh8+ Kg6 39.Nh4+ (varying from the game) Kh5 40.Nf5 Red7 41.Qg8 (treatening Rxh6+) Qg6 42.Nxg7+ Kg5 43.h4+ Kf6 44.Ne8+ Ke6 45.Qxg6+ fxg6 46.Nxd6 Rxd6 47.Rxh6 Kf6 48.h5 Kg5 49.Rxg6+ Rxg6 50.hxg6 Kxg6 1-0
I see I forgot to post this before going to bed. Better late than nver- but better never late.

Jan-16-12  stst: Late try:
35.Nh4 Qf6
36.Rxd6 Rxd6
37.Qa8+ Kh7
38.Rc8 g5
39.Nf5 Rd2
40.Rc6 Re6
41.Rxe6 Qxe6
42.Qf8 Kg6
43.Qg8+ Kh5
44.Ng7+ forks and Bk Q is lost
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: 35.Rxd6! was by far the strongest, and most clearly winning move for White.

White's next best three choices: 35.b4, 35.Re1, and 35.h3, give White a very strong position, but not a clearly winning position.

A comparsion by Fritz shows:

(4.80) (28 ply) 35.Rxd6! Rxd6 36.Qa8+ Kh7 37.Rc8 Qg4 38.Nh4 Qxc8 39.Qxc8 g6 40.Nf3 f6.

In this line, Fritz could see what was coming, and preferred either 37...Qg4 or 37...Qe6, preparing to give up his Queen. Most human players, would play as Barasz did, 37...Qf6.

(1.13) (28 ply) 35.b4 Re8 36.Re1 R8e7.

(1.04) (28 ply) 35.Re1 Qf6 36.h4 Re8 37.h5 Rd8.

(1.04) (28 ply) 35.h3 Re8 36.Re1 Qf6 37.Rc7 a6.

Even after 35.Rxd6! Rxd6, White must be careful. The continuation 36.Nxe5? Qe6! 37.Qxe6 Rdxe6, (-2.26) (28 ply) 38.Rc8+ Re8 39.Rxe8+ Rxe8 40.Nc6 Rxe4 41.Nxa7 Rd4, or (-2.18) (28) 38.f4 Re8 39.Rc7 f6 40.Ng6 Rxe4 41.Kh3, would give Black a winning ending.

If White plays 35.Nh4?, Black then has the opportunity to gain the advantage with: 35.Nh4? Qxe4+! 36.Qxe4 Nxe4, (-.57) (29 ply) 37.Rxe6 Rxe6 38.Rc8+ Kh7 39.Rc7 Rf6 40.Nf3 Nxf2! 41.Nxe5 Nd1, (-.62) (27 ply) 42.Ng4 Rf5 43.Rxa7 h5 44.Rd7 Nxb2.

Jan-18-12  LIFE Master AJ: An analysis - in my forum - on critical part of this game ... I divided it up into three sections, it was too long for one post.
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