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Moishe Leopoldowicz Lowcki vs Savielly Tartakower
"Staircase to Heaven" (game of the day Jul-23-2010)
POL-ch (1937), Jurata POL, rd 10
Philidor Defense: General (C41)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Going through some old issues of "Michigan Chess", I came across a favorite combination which features more of a "spiral staircase" manuever:

click for larger view

BLACK TO PLAY. This is from Landon Davis (1894)--Attila Lehtozky (2071), Michigan Open, 1983. White might have some less bad moves than what he plays here, but he doesn't have any good ones.

<44...Qc4+ 45.Ke3>

He really needs to keep the f3 pawn protected. And if 45.Rd3? We're coming to that; be patient.

<45.Ke3 Qc5+ 46.Ke2 Qb5+ 47.Ke3 Qb6+ 48.Ke2 Qxb2+ 49.Rd2 Qb5+ 50.Ke3 Qc5+ 51.Ke2 Qc4+ 52.Ke3 Qxc3+ 53.Rd3>


<53...Rxf3+! 54.Kxf3 Qxd3#!>

Dec-07-06  Fisheremon: <Phony Benoni: Going through some old issues of "Michigan Chess"> In your line 46. Kd2 leads to a minimal advantage of White, or much better 45. Kd2 equalizes the game at once.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Fisheremon> 45.Kd2 does look a bit better for White than the game, since 45...Rxf3 can be answered by 46.Qd8+ Rf8 47.Qxd6. However, I don't think that 46.Kd2 is so effective; with the Black queen on c5, the d6 pawn is protected.

In either case, I think Black is at least some better, but 45.Kd2 was probably the best chance for White.

Dec-07-06  Fisheremon: <Phony Benoni: <Fisheremon> 45.Kd2 does look a bit better for White than the game, since 45...Rxf3 can be answered by 46.Qd8+ Rf8 47.Qxd6. However, I don't think that 46.Kd2 is so effective; with the Black queen on c5, the d6 pawn is protected.> Let's have a look at the main line with 46. Kd2: 46...Rxf3 47. Kc2 Qc6 48. Kc1 Qb6 49. Qh6 Qe3+ 50. Qxe3 Rxe3 51. Rxd6 Rxe4 and a further analysis shows that the rooks ending is drawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Fisheremon> <46. Kd2 Rxf3 47. Kc2 Qc6 48. Kc1 Qb6 49. Qh6 Qe3+ 50. Qxe3 Rxe3 51. Rxd6 Rxe4 and a further analysis shows that the rooks ending is drawn.>

OK. I think Black could have played better in there (47...Rf2+ for instance), but let's look at the resulting position.

click for larger view

Maybe this is a draw; I haven't analyzed it closely. But my judgment is that White is going to have to work very hard to get one; he's a pawn down and I don't see any particular compensation for it. In particular, the rook on g2 is very passively posted. Still, it is better than the game continuation, though.

Dec-07-06  Fisheremon: <Phony Benoni> In the worse variation 46. Kd2 Rxf3 47. Kc2, 47...Rf2+ quite interesting, but I also analysed as 48. Rd2 Rf4 49. Qh3 Qc4+ 50. b3 Qxe4+ 51. Kb2 Rh4 52. Qe6+ Kh7 53. Qxd6 Rh1 54. Ka3 Qf4 55. Qe6 e4 56. Rde2 Rh4 57. Kb2 here are three plans 57...b5, 57...a5 or try to attack by the first horizontal. In each case White has enough resources to gain a draw. Moreover I don't see Black's advantage at all in the variation 45. Kd2.
Mar-04-07  gauer: Another similar 1919 puzzle that comes to mind is one the could be entitled

Heaven's Ladder (white on move, checkmating in twelve):

click for larger view

source: Positional Chess Handbook, ch. 20, two diagonals.

Mar-04-07  gauer: Another example of the staircase is: Deep Fritz vs Deep Junior, 2001
Jan-02-09  WhiteRook48: what a Tartakower game. oh and WHAT STAIRCASE?
Jul-23-10  ILoveFruits: i can play...
stairway to...
heaven on my...
guitar that...
i bought for...
my friend for...
his birthday but...
ended up keeping...
it myself...


Jul-23-10  frenchfan: why didn't white just swap the knights immediately when he got the chance with 28.Nxg5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <frenchfan> Probably because he thought the way he played would be much better, leaving him a pawn ahead. It was very difficult to foresee Tartakower's combination at that point. I wonder if Tartakower even did.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: What a lovely game by Tartakower!!

Awesome tactics!!


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen does a francy soft shoe routine-alternating checks with desperado moves. The final was fine-as in the Godfather,this offer can't be refused.

Or it's the tiger or the tiger.

Jul-23-10  Bixel: That is some great queen play.
Jul-23-10  screwdriver: The double attack by the queen attacking the rook and queen combined with black's rook threatening mate proves fatal. Seems like the double attack either by the queen alone or combined with another piece is often how games are won.
Jul-23-10  rapidcitychess: It's stairWAY to heaven. Anyway, it's a nice game, but "Stairway to Destruction" is more appropriate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Cool one eight track queen demo <ILoveFruits>. Do you fingerpick it fifth and seventh bar?
Jul-23-10  tivrfoa: this was really awesome. I never saw anything like that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: <chrisowen: Cool one eight track queen demo <ILoveFruits>. Do you fingerpick it fifth and seventh bar?>

I assume that ILoveFruits's favorite song would be Stairway to Heaven - this song played by the hard rock group called Led Zeppelin.



Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: This has to be one of the most creative series of maneuvers ever.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: It would appear Tartakower only saw the plan at move 32... Otherwise, wouldn't he have played 31...Qc5+ directly? This would seem to shorten the procedure by 2 moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Tools of those passing <SuperPatzer77> it explain idiosyncrasies <ILoveFruits> pitted generally? Hoping for teenage kicks 5 6 7 8 tease me tease me gane your rythmn stick.
Dec-14-11  sicilianhugefun: Good game for learning.. very instructive
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: It is curious that while neither rook moves, it is their position on the board that makes the "staircase" tactic a winning tactic.
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