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John Emms vs Albert Blees
Isle of Man (1996), rd 9
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-24-07  Ultra: I saw this as fast as I have ever seen any puzzle in the past.

I have been coming here for at least 3 years.


Premium Chessgames Member <A rerun?> Oh dear, we used this earlier in the year. Our apologies. Normally we'd swap it out for a fresh one but since we've got so many new eyeballs here for the WCC we'll just stick with it. Mondays are only here to boost confidence anyhow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: Queen sac Monday is back! Black must have become complacent with the opposite colored square bishops and gotten careless.

Of course it's mate in three with 29 Qxh7+ Kxh7 30 Rh3+ Qh4 31 Rxh4#.

Experienced players should see this one in just a few seconds.

I must have been on vacation when this first ran.

Sep-24-07  goldfarbdj: <dzechiel: I must have been on vacation when this first ran.>

Um, have a comment back on page 1.

<dzechiel: It's Monday again and the standard sacrifice of the queen quickly followed by mate theme has made its weekly debut. The only thing really interesting is that a player of Blees strength would overlook this simple and straight forward combination.>

Got it instantly this time, don't remember how I did back on my 39th birthday.

Sep-24-07  Isolated Pawn: Wow. This took me like 30 seconds. LOL. Pretty cool mate.

OK, shameless excuse. I try not to just look for the queen sac but to study these positions, even Mondays. That said, I still should have seen this more quickly.

Sep-24-07  willyfly: White is up a ♙ and has the move and since it's Monday we already know that it's a ♕ check sac mate.

29 ♕xh7+ ♔xh7 30 ♖h3+ ♕h4 31 ♖xh4#

game over - very nice
and this form of mate probably has a name?

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <goldfarbdj: <dzechiel: I must have been on vacation when this first ran.>

Um, have a comment back on page 1.>

Indeed I do. This position did seem familiar, but obviously not familiar enough. I should have noticed that I was on page 3.

Sep-24-07  TheaN: I wasn't here when the puzzle was used the first time, so fresh start for me; which doesn't make it any harder anyhow.

29.Qxh7+ Kxh7 30.Rh3+ Qh4 31.Rxh4#

Sep-24-07  ahmadov: A very familiar theme... One needs only a few seconds to find the solution...
Sep-24-07  gus inn: Perhaps there is around 5% chance that
Qxh7+ is the move on a monday :).
A kind of "feelgoodmove" .
Sep-24-07  Manic: <Mondays are only here to boost confidence anyhow.>

Sigh, and I thought I was a good chess player :(.

Sep-24-07  Tactic101: Nothing much to say. Qxh7+! and Rh3+ and mate.
Sep-24-07  prinsallan: Monday>Queensac.
29. Qxh7+ Kxh7 (forced)
30. Rh3+ Qh4 (forced)
31. Rxh4#
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: As one might expect ♕x♙+
Sep-24-07  stanleys: I love this combination - first saw it in a game played by Paul Keres in a slightly different manner,(could not remember the position exactly)

click for larger view


Black was a rook and a piece up in this position,but here came the killer 1.Qh7+!! Kxh7 2.Bf7 mate

Sep-24-07  sfm: A move like 28.Qe4(!) should have made Black suspicious. It achieves nothing?!

Waiting for opponent's reply on fatal overlookable threats like this is among those things that makes chess exiting.

Will he see it? I sit with a poker-face, hoping to hide my exitement. In fact I try to look bored, like this game could go on for hours and end in a draw.

Now he raises his hand and moves it towards the Queen and grabs it. I think my heartbeat can be heard meters away. He moves the Queen forward. Please, please, don't stop at d6! He doesn't!! Onward his hand goes, I start believing in it, can hardly breathe. He puts the Queen down at d4 and while I try to keep my pokerface I stare wildly at his hand through the corner of my eye. Release that Queen! Release it! Release it!

He did it!! Pulse is near two hundred, like thunder in my ears, while I look one more time.

All angels sing when I capture the pawn at h7, and enjoy the look on his face.

Gotcha, you, my worst enemy, you, who seek my death, destruction and humiliation: You, my chess opponent.

Yes, something like this it was. Chess, while an inexcusable waste of time, dammit, it was the most exiting thing I ever did and nothing else came even close in the next 20 years...

Sep-24-07  dghins: 28...Qd4, bad move for Black. g6 or h6 can lead to Black win and Rb6 leads to draw.
Premium Chessgames Member
  BabalooMoon: <chessamateur><anyone know why it's called the Isle of Man?>

I'm not sure anyone really does. In Celtic mythology there was a sea-god called Manannan mac Lir and legend has it that he was the first King of the Island. In Manx Gaelic (the original language of the island) the island is called Ellan Vannin (Vannin Island) with Vannin being a version of the word Mannin, which itself may be derived from Manannan ...perhaps.

Anyway, nice straightforward Queen sac today .. I like Mondays!

Sep-24-07  jenspetersson: <sfm> Lovely way to describe chess emotions! I've been there and done that in similar positions! Only in my cases my equivalent of 29.Qxh7 has been answered by my opponents comment that I must first remove the check against my king on *g1*... Arrrrggghhh!
Sep-24-07  zb2cr: Found this in some 20 seconds. Initially, I was distracted by thinking that 29. Bg6 was the move, but then I cleared my mind of that idea and saw the Queen sacrifice.
Sep-24-07  Crowaholic: Oh Blees, don't repeat old puzzles! Last time around it took me about 30 seconds to notice the Q sac (the idea of Bg6 distracted me back then), this time it was one second to see the sac, three seconds to suppress the intense feelings of déjà vu, and two more seconds to confirm the mate.

When I opened the game page, I was certain that I had seen the exact same mate before (including the final BQ interference on h4) - even the bishop on b2 looked familiar - and thought it was odd that a position like this should arise in two different games.

Sep-24-07  Fezzik: BTW, I have a question about nomenclature: Is it only Anastasia's mate if there's an N on e7, or is this also a version of Anastasia's mate except with a Bishop on f7?
Sep-24-07  zb2cr: <Fezzik>,

Anastasia's mate is the Knight only. This pattern also has a name, but I don't recall it.

Sep-24-07  zb2cr: <Fezzik>,

One source I have seen calls this pattern with Bishop sealing off g8 while the Rook mates on the h-file "Greco's mate".

Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: The Monday queen sac attack is back.

The mate position is similar to last Tuesday's (if I recall correctly), except that it was a knight instead of a bishop blocking off the exits, and it was rook sac instead of a queen sac.

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