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John A Curdo vs Robert Eugene Byrne
US Open (1994), Chicago, IL USA, rd 4, Aug-10
Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack (B51)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: A nice Queen sac. (against a GM no less)
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Is Byrne's play in this game weak, or is the game as brilliant as it appears? Any comments?
May-28-07  THE pawn: <chancho> Unfortunately, no. The final attack is brillant and leads to a pretty mate (see diagram), but the overall quality is average at best.

after d5, Qc4 was better (10...Qc4 11.exd6 exd6 12. Qe2+ Qxe2+ 13.Kxe2 f6 and it's equal) or maybe Bf5...

11.Qf3?! is bad (Qh5!) and after 15.0-0-0?? white is just plain lost with a piece down.

Problem is, Byrne played an atrocious blunder with 19...Bf8?? allowing the queen sacrifice. The simple 19...g4 was requiered.



click for larger view

May-28-07  vaskokibika: ... or another mate: 22...Bg7 23.f7+ Kf8 24.Bd6
Apr-18-11  MaczynskiPratten: An interesting final position as there are several different mate patterns. The obvious threat is 23 f7#. Black has a number of possible defences which all lead to slightly different but equally attractive mating positions:

22...Be8 23 f7+ Bxf7 24 Rh8#, as shown by <THE pawn>

22...Bg7 23 f7+ Kf8 24 Bd6#, as shown by <Vashokibika>

22...Be7 23 f7+ Kf8 24 Rh8#

22...Bd6 23 Rxd6 Kf8 (trying to escape) 24 Rh8#. But what if Black simply plays 23...Qxa2? 24 f7+ Kf8 25 Rh8+ Ke7! So in this line White's answer may simply be 23 f7+ Kf8 24 Bxd6+ Kg7 25 Be5+ Kf8 26 Bf6! and 27 Rh8# now looks unstoppable.

Almost problem-like in its patterns. Can anyone find a quicker mate in the last line?

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Does 18...Bf6 improve? Then if 19.e7, 19...Bxe5 20.exf8(Q)+ Rxf8, Black should be very happy with two bishops for a rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Great game! Amazing that I'd never see it. How often does a strong GM like Byrne get cracked off by an "ordinary master"? And in 22 moves, no less.
Apr-29-11  Nilsson: GM Byrne must have had a very bad day.
The position after 17 Bxe5 is totally lost for white after 17...Qxa2! for example 18. Bxh8 Qa1+ 19.Kd2 0-0-0 /JN
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Hmm, it seems that Nilsson makes an excellent point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Nilsson: GM Byrne must have had a very bad day. The position after 17 Bxe5 is totally lost for white after 17...Qxa2! for example 18. Bxh8 Qa1+ 19.Kd2 0-0-0 /JN>

This game was published at the time (possibly by Byrne himself), though I never analysed it, but I see no reasonable line for White after 17....Qxa2 either.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I Looked at the position with Fritz 10.
<Nilsson> is right.

17...Qxa2 and White is busted.
There goes a brilliancy down the tubes.

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