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NN vs Johannes Zukertort
Berlin (1868), Berlin GER
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  0-1


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sac: 31...Qxg2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Monday (Very Easy):

NN vs Zukertort, 1868 (31?)

Black to play and win.

Material: B for N. The White Kh1 is stalemated. Check, check, check!

Candidates (31): Qxg2+

31Qxg2+ 32.Nxg2 Bxg2#

Jan-05-09  withingrace: i must say, this was almost... too easy.
Jan-05-09  krippp: <31.Kh1??> really bothers me... it's utter madness. I've tried to think of good reasons for playing it instead of the obvious <31.Rxf2>, and the only reasonable explanation I've come up with is, that NN had simply stopped calculating (due to his opponent's stature?) after seeing the eventual pin of <..Bb6>, and hoped for something as ridiculous as <31...fxe1Q??>.

I fired up Rybka 3, and it suggests <31.Rxf2 Rfg8 32.Kf1 Bb6 33.Qe5 Bxf2 34.Kxf2>, and now it's Black who has to be careful; <34..Qd5> to keep equality, <35.a4! Qxe5 36.Rxe5> and White is doing fine, better than Black actually... Any immediate capture on <g2> will suit White just fine, etc..

Jan-05-09  Marmot PFL: More like a warm up for a monday than a monday.
Jan-05-09  ZUGZWANG67: How is such a thing possible ? Each and every black pieces are aimed at white K-side !
Jan-05-09  benjinathan: I found it quickly in a round about way: Once I saw that White is threatening mate the next move then I knew that Black had to give check and the solution is easy.
Jan-05-09  WhiteRook48: humm... what's up with 31. Kh1?
Jan-05-09  YouRang: To solve this, you need to notice two things:

1. White threatens mate-in-1.
2. It's Monday.

From this, we know that an immediate queen sac with check is in order, and 31...Qxg2+ is the only way.

At this point, the problem is solved.

For beginners, however, I recommend taking the time to see that the queen sac actually works. It might be instuctive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Easy mate in two-on the bias. Queen sac followed by bishop mate,typical Monday puzzle.

Mondays here are for massaging our egos until the big puzzles come in and make most of us fools by Friday.

Jan-05-09  YouRang: <cu8sfan: What I like best about the final combination is the fact that the ♖ covering the ♗ is pinned to it's ♔.>

Thankfully, the rules of chess permit an absolutely pinned piece to still control squares as far as the opposing king is concerned.

If not, then chess could get really complicated.

For example:

click for larger view

Would 1.Qxb7 be mate? The white rook guarding the Q cannot move since it's pinned to the white K by the black bishop. On the other hand, that black bishop cannot move since it is pinned to the black king by the other white rook. Mate or not mate? :-p

Jan-05-09  SufferingBruin: As God as my witness, I couldn't find a solution until I saw three key words: "Black to play."

Yeah, I was playing white to move.


This wouldn't be an issue if I took up golf.

Jan-05-09  Octal: <SufferingBruin> I thought it was White to move too, but when I saw mate in one (Qxg7#), I realized that that was too easy. Maybe you should work on mate in ones...?
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <SufferingBruin> wrote: [snip] This wouldn't be an issue if I took up golf. >

It also would not be an issue if the puzzles with "Black to play" were presented from Black's point of view.

Jan-05-09  njchess: Too easy even for a Monday.
Jan-05-09  muralman: My chess playing son was here and watched me just stumble onto the answer. When the bishop follows the queen, I thought out loud, "King takes bishop...... Oh! That pinned rook just happens to be in the right place. That must have been NN's best chess day.

Last week was a bust for me pretty much, so this easy one helps heal the wounds.

Jan-05-09  MiCrooks: Yourang: your comment on "allowing" pinned pieces to guard other pieces is kinda silly. This is only "allowed" when you are protecting it from the opposing King. The reason is obvious. Chess doesn't allow you to commit regicide! But in this case no regicide occurs since likewise Black is not allowed to commit regicide either.

It is mate because if Black takes White he loses his King first! You could easily remove the rule about absolute pins and play until capture of the King, but then you would also eliminate stalemate since your opponent would have to advance his King to where you can capture it!

Bottom line is, the way the rules stand without any special rule needed, your diagram is simply mate with Qxb7++.

Jan-05-09  YouRang: <MiCrooks: Yourang: your comment on "allowing" pinned pieces to guard other pieces is kinda silly. This is only "allowed" when you are protecting it from the opposing King.>

Fine, but it seems to me that's just what I said: "...the rules of chess permit an absolutely pinned piece to still control squares <as far as the opposing king is concerned>."

Anyway, it was a point for the sake of amusement more than anything else.

Jan-05-09  MiCrooks: I would say it was NN's worst day :)! Walking into mate in two when Rxf2 gives a very playable game! Not a great game for Zukertort, and since he was playing Black, can we assume this was NOT a simul? Wonder who NN could have been :)!
Jan-05-09  YouRang: <MiCrooks><Wonder who NN could have been :)!>

Some suspects:

Niels Jorgen Fries Nielsen

Nebojsa Nikcevic

Nils S Nilsson

Nikolay Noritsyn

Nikolay Novotelnov

N.N. are unfortunate initials for a chess player. :-)

Jan-05-09  eblunt: < YouRang:>

The goal in chess is to 'take' the opposing king first. In your example White will 'take' black's king first. Whatever happens afterwards is irrelevant.

Jan-05-09  whitebeach: <newzild> Thanks. I of course meant 31 . . . Qf6, not Qg6. But I almost typed it wrong again here too. I think that many of us geezers who grew up on traditional notation ("31 . . . Q-B3" in this case) will go to our deathbeds still a little confused about whether we're on the f-file or the g-file, even though we've scored games the "new" way for decades.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <YouRang> wrote: [snip] Anyway, it was a point for the sake of amusement more than anything else. >

I am glad you explained that to me, <YouRank>. <<>Now>, I get it ;>)

Jan-05-09  YouRang: <MiCrooks,eblunt,johnlspouge> Ah well, my apologies to anyone who who took my post more seriously that I intended it to be taken.

I do realize that the rule I'm speaking of (i.e. the ability of an absolutely-pinned piece restrict the movement of the opposing king) should be expected by reasoning for consistency with the other rules.

Never-the-less, one might consider the the alternative rule to be (at least) plausible. After all, most good chess books will take the time explicity point out this rule, rather than leave it to be assumed. I was just giving an example of what could transpire in this imaginary alternate case. :-\

Jan-05-09  beginner64: <YouRang: ...>Actually, I found your comment and the presented case pretty amusing funny. Bring more on - next time, I am sure others would have been already prepared of your sense of humor.

On the game note, yeah, this Monday I found to be the easiest Monday in many months. Almost all Mondays involve fascinating queen sacs, but a queen and a bishop in a row, attacking the king, that is a bit much (or less?)

Oh, and I forgot to mention, Zukertort had a very sweet day.

Jan-05-09  xrt999: What does Rybka say about 31.Rxf2 Rfg8 32.dxc4 bxc4 33.Rxg7 Rxg7 34.Qxc4 Qe6, CM says this is white's equalizing line, -0.2 d=9

(In this line, 32...Bb6 fails black: 32...Bb6 33.Qe5 Bxf2+ 34.Kxf2, your 34...Qd5 is not possible, and after 34...Qe4 35.Qxg7+ Rxg7 36.Rxe4 it is +1.43 d=9)

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