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Stephen Mulligan vs Dominic Foord
Hastings Chess Congress (2006), Hastings ENG, rd 9, Dec-05
Dutch Defense: Classical. Huisl Variation (A96)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

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sac: 23...Rxd2 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-28-10  eightbyeight: If 29. Kf5 then 29. ... g5# or Rf6#, or 29. Kh2 Bxf2+ 30. Bh3 Rxh3#.

Now this is a rarity - a brilliancy no one has commented on! I love being first!

In Richard Palliser's The Complete Chess Workout, it says this game took place in 2007. I wonder what the mix-up is. Perhaps being so close to the new year...

This game is worthy of a Monday or Tuesday puzzle. Take note,!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: That clump of forces in the h1 corner just screams out for <26...Qxh2+>.

<27.Kxh2 Rh6+ 28.Kg3> [28.Bh3 Rxh3#] <Bh4+ 29.Kh2> [29.Kf4 g5#] <29...Bxf2+> (Another familiar pattern) <30.Bh3 Rxh3#>.

Looks straightforward.

Jan-26-11  azax: Wednesday puzzle. Black to move. Medium/Easy.

I skip over the material check. From a glance, Black's pieces are well-oriented for a Kingside smash. There are only two major candidates: 26. ...fxg2+ and 26. ...Qxh2+ (look for checks, captures, and threats!).

As the pawn capture rapidly leads to nowhere, the queen sack is my primary concern. This kind of sac (Qxh2/7, followed by moving a rook to the h-file) is a fairly common theme. A bonus is that it's usually an easy move to calculate.

26. ...Qxh2+ 27. Kxh2 Rh6+ 28. Kg3 (28. Bh3 Rxh3#) ... Bh4+ 29. Kh2 (29. Kf4 g5#) ...Bxf2+ 30. Bh3 Rxh3#


Nice! Spot-on.

Jan-26-11  Formula7: 26...Qxh2+ 27.Kxh2 Rh6+ 28.Kg3 (28.Bh3 Rxh3) Bh4+ 29.Kf4 (29.Kh2 Bxf2+ 30.Bh3 Rxh3#) g5#
Jan-26-11  azax: I'd just like to point out the beautiful coordination of Black's pieces that made this combination work. All the pieces seem to be protecting each other in a true team effort.
Jan-26-11  JohnTal: No Mulligan here - ...Qh2+! starts the forced mate. A cramped W position, a WQ away from the fray calls out for a forcing sacrifice to settle the issue.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: Black to move (26...?). White has an exchange for a pawn. "Medium/Easy."

Saw it in a trice. This looks all forced to me. Starting with...

26...Qxh2+ 27 Kxh2 Rh6+ 28 Kg3

On 28 Bh3 Rxh3# is mate.

28...Bh4+ 29 Kh2

On 29 Kf4 g5# is mate.

29...Bxf2+ 30 Bh3 Rxh3#

I think this is it. Time to check.

Jan-26-11  ComboKal: fxg2 is tempting but Qxh2 works best. Should be a Monday puzzle. Most CGers will see the queen sac right away.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: A familiar motif to fans of the King's Indian Defense or the Old Indian, but a beautiful finish in any case. Here's a famous game where the Queen sacrifice takes place on a nearby square: Averbakh vs Kotov, 1953. The idea remains the same: Her Majesty sacrifices herself to lure the White King into the open, the Rook draws the King further into the open, and the other pieces finish off the monarch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Odd how everyone so far, in the 29.Kf4 variation, is finding 29...g5# instead of 29...Rf6#.

Of course, we all prefer to mate with a pawn. And it might be a bit of the effect <Once> mentioned yesterday. We know the rook belongs on the h-file and are loath to move it off that line.

Now watch. We'll get a half-dozen 39...Rf6# in a row, plus a few who mention both mates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: saw it instantly.

26..Qxh2+ 27. Kxh2 (only move)

27...Rh6 28. Kg3
(or 28. Bh3 Rxh3#)

28...Bh4+ 29. Kf4
(or 29. Kh2 Bxf2 30. Bh3 Rxh3#)


Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: <Phony>, you should have given me a few seconds more before posting. I even haven't seen 29..g5#
Jan-26-11  Doktorn: <Phony Benoni>I actually went for 29...Rf6#. More obvious to me looking several moves ahead. Although when finally on move 29... I would probably play 29...g5# since I would probably be able to see it and, as you say, we all want to mate with a pawn.
Jan-26-11  SufferingBruin: I saw what everybody else saw and believe me when I tell you, I don't get to say that often. I'll take it.
Jan-26-11  rilkefan: <Phony Benoni: Odd how everyone so far, in the 29.Kf4 variation, is finding 29...g5# instead of 29...Rf6#.>

That's the only line I considered - the comic element of the rook return appealed to me. Sadly I didn't consider 29.Kh2, but as soon as I saw that white couldn't get anything over to or from the kside I was going to play Qh2 regardless.

Jan-26-11  rilkefan: Maybe there's a pun like "Foord Perfect" here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <An Englishman: The idea remains the same: Her Majesty sacrifices herself to lure the White King into the open, the Rook ...>

More generally, it's a variation on the Anastasia pattern. The canonical instant-win Anastasia requires a 3-deep g-wall, e.g. Ne2, which acts as a virtual rook owning g, so that Rh+ is #. (N.B. This requires a rook lift to make Rh+ feasible, so it's a checklist item when you're planning, and conversely a mental trigger when you see it. For newbies: You want a rook lift anyways for the cheesy Rh6-Qh2# threat.)

Sometimes you can't establish the 3-deep g-wall first. But, as <An Englishman> points out, the sac still works, by sparking a kinghunt into a 4-on-0 or so. This does seem more typical of KID (and KIA as White), when the pawn structure tends to prevent you from controlling g1 laterally. (Conjecture: Does Benoni's Bd4(+) enable more instant-win Anastasia sacs?)

Funny: The Anastasia pattern is a swell counter to the Rg1 defense. (Corollary: Don't try this against the KID Bg1, haha.) This crops up in many f3-lines against a fianchetto: swap off the LSBs, then f3 + Qh3, and the defensive Rg1[] is a helpmate because it completes the 3-deep g-wall for Black.

Jan-26-11  estrick: Queen sac leads to mate in four. Much easier than yesterday's POTD, which I didn't get.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: < rilkefan: Maybe there's a pun like "Foord Perfect" here >

Yeah, if it is "Foord Perfect", I'd like to buy a new car "Foord" instead of "Ford".


Premium Chessgames Member
  goldfarbdj: This puzzle reminded me a bit of Averbakh vs Kotov, 1953.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: As pretty as a picture! I am surprised that no-one has yet posted diagrams of the mates. So please walk with me for a tour in my virtual art gallery:

click for larger view

Here we see the position after 29. Kf4 Rf6#. It's a pleasing composition where every remaining black piece combines to give the mate. Perhaps the artist is making a comment about the nature of society. The white king is destroyed because he is alone. Black triumphs because his pieces work together. A metaphor for how a just society can support you, but an unjust society can leave you feeling alienated.

This first picture is called "alienation".

click for larger view

This picture shows the artist in a playful mood. The white king is brought down by a lowly pawn after 29. Kf4 g5#. And he leaves us a delightful puzzle - what is the point of the black rook on h6? On the one hand, we could say that the rook is redundant. And some might say that this devalues the picture because it no longer shows a pure mate. But I think the artist was trying to emphasise that might isn't everything. The black rook, like the white queen and rooks, is a heavy piece doing nothing while mate is delivered by a pawn. And that surely tells us something about pride and humility.

And perhaps not surprisingly this one is known as "pride".

click for larger view

And finally in this tryptich we have what some regard as the artist's darkest work. This was painted shortly after he chopped off his nose (somewhat in the style of Van Gogh) and presented it to a lover. Many have argued that his ear would have been a slightly less drastic facial organ to self-mutilate, but who are we to question an artist's inspiration? A rare example of autorhinoplasty, you might say.

Here we see the position after 29. Kh2 Bxf2+ 30. Bh3 Rxh3#. The white king has tried to run away from the attack and has been brutally chopped down by the black bishops and rook. There is a degree of violence in this painting that we do not see in the other two. While they deal with themes of entrapment, this painting shows the white defences being brushed aside. The Bh3 is summarily dispatched as the black rook crashes through. Where the first two showed public executions, this is a vicious street mugging.

The name of this third piece? Ah yes, I thought you might ask that. The official name is "cowardice" in reference to the king's attempted flight to h2. But the artist must have had other things on his mind. If you look closely at the bottom right hand corner you can see that he has written a different title in what looks suspiciously like his own blood.

But somehow we didn't think that "Oh, nuts, that really really hurts" sounded quite so good in the gallery guide book.

Jan-26-11  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy" Black to play 26...?
White has a Rook for a Bishop and a pawn.

26..........Rh6 threatening mate on h2
27.h3 Bxh3
28.Rxf3 Bxg2+
29.Kxg2 Qh2#
OR 26..........Rh6
27.Nxf3 Bxf3
28.Rxf3 Qxg2#
Time to check
Very different with Queen sac. Is there anything wrong with my solution?

Jan-26-11  M.Hassan: I found it myself.
If 26........Rh6
can protect h2 square and mate can not take place.
So, I was wrong
Jan-26-11  rilkefan: <If 26........Rh6 27.Nf1>

Isn't 27...Bh4 crushing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: S Mulligan vs D Foord, 2006

Black to play (26...?) "Medium/Easy"

Black mates with 26...Qxh2+! 27. Kxh2 Rh6+ 28. Kg3 (or 28. Bh3 Rxh3#) Bh4+ 29. Kh2 (or 29. Ke5 g5#) Bxf2+ 30. Bh3 Rxh3#.

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