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Bernardo Wexler vs Osvaldo Manuel Bazan
Mar del Plata (1960), Mar del Plata ARG, rd 7, Apr-05
English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation (A15)  ·  0-1


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Aug-10-10  scormus: I was sure I'd posted on this earlier, I suppose I've succumed to ADD.

Anyway, a very elegant, crisp finish.

After 25 .... Rd1, B has 3 active pieces and there all en pris. I thought at first it was the only immediate win. A tie between Rd1 and Re5 I think

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <Once>You realize your explanation just makes us folks who saw ...Re5 first feel abnormal. Oh, well, I suppose I've gotten used to that. I mean, I tried being normal once. It was soooo booooring.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <OBIT> Don't say "abnormal"; say "Thinking outside the box". Means the same thing, but sounds better.
Aug-10-10  estebansponton: En memoria de Osvaldo Bazán, un grande!
for the Osvaldo Bazán's memory... a Great player from Cordoba, Argentina!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <OBIT> No, no, never be normal, my friend! Let me see if I can make amends.

25...Re5 is a beautiful, artistic, intelligent move. It is harder to spot than 25...Rd1, and so much more select and elite because of that. It is the move that a poet would choose, unconventional, a free spirit, a genius.

Put it this way, it is 1986 and you are flying an F-14 in the film Top Gun. Who would you rather be - the cool, calculating, accurate Iceman (played by a pre-Batman Val Kilmer) or the unpredictable, fiery, tormented Maverick (played by Tom Cruise before his hair went floppy)?

Iceman would play 25...Rd1 in a shot. It is the textbook answer - the accountant's choice. But Maverick is such a great instinctive pilot that he would see 25...Re5 instead. And remember which one got the girl, roaring off on a motorbike with his raybans on, and Highway to the Danger Zone in the background ....

Me - I went for the boring, predictable, ho-hum, meat-and-two-veg 25...Rd1. I didn't even think about 25...Re5 until I read the kibitzes. To all those who chose the more creative move, I salute you!

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Obit: You realize your explanation just makes us folks who saw ...Re5 first feel abnormal. Oh, well, I suppose I've gotten used to that. I mean, I tried being normal once. It was soooo booooring. >

Aug-10-10  ZUGZWANG67: W is up the exchange + a pawn but it's nothing here: B threatens mate by means of Philidor on the 1st rank and Q at g2. The only defense, the WQ, is easy to remove. In fact, when I laid my eyes on the diagram, the answer came instantly.

25...Rd1 and the only thing W can do to avoid mate is sacrificing everything on the board. Thus, 26.Rxe1 Qxf3 and 27...Qg2+ mate to follow; 26.Qxc6 Rxd1+ mate; 26.Qxh3 Rxe1+ 27.Qf1 Rxf1+ 28.Kxf1 Qxh1.

Aug-10-10  MaczynskiPratten: This seems to be "en prise" week. Yesterday Black played a move that put all 4 Rooks mutually en prise. Today Black puts all his pieces en prise simultaneously (one twice over).

Interesting question on whether Rd1 or Re5 is the more artistic - or which one we would be more likely to see if it was a blitz game, rather than a puzzle where we're already programmed to look for spectacular moves. Re5 looks "safer" and more "natural". I bet Bazan spotted both but enjoyed playing Rd1 more, for the sheer splodge effect.

Incidentally Re5 seems to allow one extra defensive line, as it doesn't pin the d1 Rook; 26 Re3, but of course either Qc1+ or Rxe3 still wins at once.

Aug-10-10  ZUGZWANG67: <<OBIT:> Heh, it always fascinates me how, whenever one of these puzzles has two equally good solutions, the move played in the game is invariably picked much more often than the alternative win. Right now ...Rd1 is getting mentioned four to five times more often than ...Re5. Would any amateur psychologists here care to venture an explanation for this? I mean, aside from the obvious?>

It's probably because it's more natural for the eye to spot a "physical pin" than a "virtual" one. That is, when the BR sits at d1 it pins the Re1 in the most obvious way, as opposed to 25...Re5, which "only" pins virtually: 26.Rxe5 Qc1+. Our eye works that way because at some point in our formation we've been taught the same thing: don't allow counterplay.

This brings me to the (irrational) fear of a move like, say, 26.Re8+.

Ok. Of course when the BR stands at e5 it prevents such an annoying reply. But when solving on tuesday you don't want to see so deeply in the position. You look at the position, see the "absolute pin" at d1, and so you pin. Physically and without any risk of counterplay.


Aug-10-10  ZUGZWANG67: <<Once:> 2. I sometimes think that horizontal rook moves are harder to spot than vertical moves. We may be programmed to look first for moves that go forwards, rather than retreats or sidesteps. For the same reason, backward bishop moves can be tricky to see.>

Probably true.

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: <Once>LOL, and here I was thinking all the guys who see ...Re5 first are either left-handed or gay.
Aug-10-10  Lil Swine: wtever
Aug-10-10  cjgone: Interesting puzzle. It's bizarre on how white trapped his rook like that.
Aug-10-10  James Bowman: Rg5 won so quick I didn't look for an even more decisive continuation? Oh well I was haste.
Aug-10-10  wals: White's move 24.Bxf6 does not appear to have any reason for being made. It was a huge blunder, -12.28.

Avaailable were g4 +0.50 and

1. = (0.00): 24.Rc1 Ne4
2. = (0.00): 24.Ra1 Ne4
3. = (0.00): 24.Bd2 h6[]
4. = (0.00): 24.Bb4 h6[]
5. = (-0.13): 24.Rb1 h6

courtesy of Rybka 3 1-cpu.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <OBIT: ... whenever one of these puzzles has two equally good solutions, the move played in the game is invariably picked much more often than the alternative win.>

An interesting observation! I can only speak for myself, but I spotted 25...Rd1 very quickly (my eye was naturally attracted to the "back rank mate" nature of the threat and the half-pin it put on the white rook), and once I saw that it worked, I never looked for another possible move. Had I seen 25...Re5 first, I'm sure that I would not have continued looking for 25...Rd1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <OBIT> Dunno. I'm another of the "thinking outside of the box"-ers (thanks, Phony Benoni!) who saw ...Re5 first. To me, it's easier to see because it leaves one of Black's pieces protected. After I confirmed that ...Re5 won, I thought, "oh, ...Rd1 works, too!" I think on another day I might have seen the moves in the other order.
Aug-10-10  randomsac: ...Rd1 poses two mate threats. Thanks to the bishop on h6, both Rxe1# and Qg7# are looming, and the white pieces can't withstand such pressure. Black comes out a queen up after Qxh6. White's pawn structure finally came back to bite him.
Aug-10-10  DavidD: The reason most players saw 25...Rd1 rather than 25...Re5 is well known by researchers who study how chess players think. Chessplayers get use to moving pieces "forward" to the center and then into the enemy position. It is very natural to think of forward moves first. Studies have shown the most difficult moves to visualize when calculating are retreating queen moves. Players just don't naturally think of pieces moving "backwards". Players have to train to visualze these types of moves. One thinking technique used by masters is to visualize all the squares a piece influences, no matter how many pieces--your own or your opponent's--are on the file, diagonal or rank. This helps avoid tactical blunders.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <DavidD> That sounds like an excellent observation. For another example, I'm thinking about Monday's puzzle:

click for larger view

I had a lot of trouble finding ...Rxb4, even though the resulting position shows a theme I'm very familiar with. Had the position been such that Black could play ...Rxb4 down the b-file, I think I would have spotted it instantly.

Aug-10-10  LIFE Master AJ: Got it. Nice miniature.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: On the heavy preference for ...Rd1 over ...Re5 in the posts: The theories that most players tend to see forward moves before sideways moves are interesting, but I'm still wondering if the biggest influence is the game score. This implies, of course, that guys peek.

A fun way for to test this suspicion would be to change the game score so that it ends in ...Re5 instead of ...Rd1 and resubmit this puzzle in a year or so. Let's see if ...Re5 suddenly becomes the move of choice. Ah, but chessgames would never do anything that sneaky. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: <OBIT:> An interesting suggestion. FWIW, I chose 25...Re5, partly because the first idea that occurred to me was the odd 25...Rg5(??). When I saw that didn't work, I looked for another horizontal move.

Another argument for 25...Re5 is that it threatens mate in 1 instead of mate in two.

Another interesting experiment would be to display the position with colors reversed to 50% of a selection of similarly rated chessplayers and see if the "forward" move is more likely to be seen by this audience.

Premium Chessgames Member
  CHESSTTCAMPS: Skip the 2nd idiotic, incorrect observation - I had 10 hours hard driving behind me when I wrote it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hedgeh0g: 25...Rd1 is a very beautiful move. The amount of pins and crosspins working in the final position are too many to list, not to mention the fact that every Black piece on the board is en prise. Lovely puzzle!
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