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Ladislav Mista vs Jiri Fichtl
Czechoslovakia (1974)
French Defense: Winawer. Petrosian Variation (C16)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <chessmoron>: You're right about 17...Rc8 18. Nxg5, but you can't mean 17...Qxe5 18. Qxe4 because of 18...Qxe4.
Apr-01-07  Ashram64: saw the Nxe6 but didn't out the whole line...however in general, not a bad week
Apr-01-07  chessmoron: <al wazir> My mistake. The line was pertaining to 17...Qxe6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <Tactic101> Those are some short games! In my years of playing tournament chess I can recall two times where someone said "Checkmate" in the first few minutes of the round.

The first time was in a high-school match when the games had just gotten underway and I heard my future brother-in-law say "Checkmate!" I wasn't sure I heard correctly, but he was already standing up from the board. The game went 1 e4 f6 2 Nf3 g5 3 Nxg5 fxg5 4 Qh5#.

The second time was a few years later at the Orange Chess Club. We had just started the round when I heard one of the players say "Mate!" and his opponent say "What!? Oh, no!" This game went 1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bc4 Nxe4 4 Qh5 Nf6?? (book is 4...Nd6) 5 Qxf7#.

Apr-01-07  Tactic101: I was really just joking. ;) An April Fool's joke, chess style. Still, would have been very amusing if Chessgames gave us a very easy puzzle for Sunday, for a change.
Apr-01-07  MostlyAverageJoe: <chessmoron: Even with 17...Qxe6, 18.Qxe4 white is up a major piece.> (line corrected as per the latter addition).

Which major piece? I see a positional advantage and extra pawn, but no extra pieces.

This is a second puzzle in a row where the winning line in the game, a.k.a "the solution", is based on bad play by the losing side.

Black should've played 17 ... Qxe3, and the white has much more work to do than he had to do in the game.

Apr-01-07  tallinn: Equipped with only a feeling that Nxe6 is the winning move I played it against Fritz to see Bd6!? as an answer. I thought "gee that's easy" and continued with exd6 Qxe6 Qxe6 fxe6 Bg3 Nxg3 Nxg3 but after Nf6 I started to worry on how to defend the pawn on d6 I had won.

Needles to say that there is a better continuation for white after Bd6. According to Fritz analysis it is almost as complicated as the continuation after fxe6. Maybe some of you can get more fun out of the problem by finding the best answer of white to Bd6. I did not see it.

Apr-01-07  jmrulez2004: to al wazir..if 17.Rc8...18Rd1!
Premium Chessgames Member
  goldfarbdj: I used to occasionally help direct scholastic chess tournaments, and in all of them, in every round, there would be three or four games ending in about ten seconds with the Scholar's Mate or some variation on it. (1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Qh5 Nf6?? 4. Qxf7#.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: Mmm. Saw it through 19 .. Qb5 (to not lose another tempo to a white Rook). Saw and rejected Rd1 (since d7 is covered). Saw 20 Rac1 (cute threat: 21 Rc7+ Kd8 22 Nxe6# -- we just had that puzzle last week :), forcing Rd8. Saw the R{c7+,c8} theme (cute point: 22 .. Rd7 cuts the black Queen from e8, exposing Qe8# in some lines). That's clearly a win.

Saw the line fragment in which Black returns the Knight to get space -- and that it fails. Didn't guess Black's exact move order -- I expected 23 .. 1-0 :)

Picturesque: After 20 Rac1, Black's Kingside has no moves. That's some compensation.

Apr-01-07  Kwesi: <Tactic101> I think last time they did a puzzle where the solution was an 'en passant' move; maybe today the puzzle should have been something like this:

White to play

click for larger view

Apr-01-07  gambitfan: <Puzzle of the day (01/04/2007)>

Contrary to the <"game of the day"> (a prearranged game which lead to a stalemate in 10 moves and a resulting "punishment" of both players) and the <"player of the day"> (NN!) this <"puzzle of the day"> does not seem to be a hoax!

I am proud to say that I found the first move... but not the long follow-up (9 moves!)... I am not that good!

click for larger view

White to play: 17.

Apr-01-07  Themofro: Well i played Qh5 first before Nxe6 with the idea of following up with Nxe6 Qxe6 Nd4 queen moves and e6. Nice puzzle.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It's a nice game where I like the Chessic ideas. Mista utilising the advantage, tactically outplayed Black!
Apr-01-07  johnsbrother: This one like most weekend puzzles got me. Can someone please let me know where to find a program that will allow me to cut and paste the moves from my internet games into a game viewer? thanks
Premium Chessgames Member
  outplayer: Is 17...fxe6 really forced. As Black i would play 17...Qxe6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  bright1: To outplayer, if 17. ... Qxe6 then white plays Qxe4 and the rook on a8 is hanging so black doesn't have time to play g5xBh4.

I think after Fichtl moves his rook, Mista can play Bg3 and has not only a stronger position but also a lead in development and an extra pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  outplayer: <bright1> You are correct though I still prefer an inferior position with some possibilities for equalizing than a totally lost position after 17...fxe6?
Apr-01-07  Alphalegacy: this puzzle wasn't too hard, Nxe6 was forced
Apr-01-07  LAK: Very rich position, indeed!

I spent a lot of time on this problem. I started by noting the following candidate moves: Bxg5, Nxe6, Rfe1, QxNe4, Nc3, Nf4.

Then I looked for tactical patterns. I saw that if the Black Queen did not protect the Ne4 White potentially had QxNe4 threatening the Ra8. I also noted that if the pawn e6 was eliminated, then a White Rook on d1 can work with the White queen on d7. That lead me to explore bringing a rook on d1, and then sacrificing the Knight on e6. I spent a lot of time on this branch calculating (for me) rather deeply to eventually reject this line.

The time was not ill spent, though. My calculations in that branch showed me the Queen can give a check on h5, and Black had little choice than to go to e7. So, after 17. Nxe6 fxNe6 18. Qh5+ Ke7, I spent some time on trying to bring a rook to the d-file, but it proved too slow. Then I hit upon the knight move to f4. It was very gratifying to see that the knight couldn't be taken due to the pin on the Black King by the Bh4. In my subsequent analysis, I only accounted for the Black queen moves to c6 and b7. I thought b7 was the most likely place for Black to place his queen, in order to cover his second rank, and in some variations to protect the e6 pawn through Qc8.

So, this was what I thought to be the main line:
17. Nxe6 fxNe6 18. Qh5+ Ke7 19. Nf4 Qb7 20. Qg6

I subsequently calculated variations with 20. ... Qc8, and 20. ... Ngf6 (to account for desperate Black moves). At that point I stopped searching concluding that White was better with a winning attack.

Checking my analysis with Fritz10, it becomes clear that although 17. Nxe6 is the best move by a large margin, apparently, 17. ... fxNe6 is not the best Black reply. Fritz gives:

(1.91/16) 17. Nxe6 Bd6 18. Ng7+ Kf8 19. exd6 Ngf6 20. Qf5 Kxg7 21. Qxd5 Nxd5 22. Rad1 Ndf6 23. Bg3 Nd7 24. f3 Nxg3 25.Nxg3 Rac8 26. Rfe1 Rc2

I wonder, however, whether 17. ... Bd6 is a "human" move. Is it reasonable to expect that a human would find it? Some of the stronger players might wish to comment on this.

If 17. ... exf6 is played, though, I was glad to see that the line I chose as the mainline is the one that Fritz also picks:

17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Qh5+ Ke7 19. Nf4 Qb7 20. Qg6 with the sub-variations: (4.04/4) 20... Qc6 21. Rac1 Nc5 22. b4 Qe4 23. Rxc5 Qxg6 24. Nxg6+ Ke8 25. Rc7 gxh4 26. Nxh8 Bxb4 27. Nf7 Ne7 (4.04/4) 20... Nc5 21. Rac1 Qc6 22. b4 Qe4 23. Rxc5 Qxg6 24. Nxg6+ Ke8 25. Rc7 gxh4 26. Nxh8 Bxb4 27. Nf7 Ne7

Overall, I really enjoyed this problem. It has some very nice tactics, and it also exercises one's calculating ability.

I would be interested to hear how a strong player went about solving this problem.

Apr-01-07  IMDONE4: got the puzzle, although i didnt see the need to continue analyzing after Rc1
Premium Chessgames Member
  outplayer: 17...Bd6!? is really awesome.
Apr-01-07  Fezzik: @Kwesi,

I like the idea of 0-0#! for an April Fool's position. Another one would be 1.f4 e6 2.g4 Black to move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A unique idea:double check from a knight in the corner. This was not the day for a "foolish" puzzle,since it is Sunday. A good puzzle for a MONDAY would be:

click for larger view


black to move-make the best move!

Oct-09-07  syracrophy: <kevin86> C'mon, man! Stop making jokes like that between chess experts like us! Of course that black has mate in 35 after 2...d5
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