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John A Curdo vs James Fried
Wesleyan G/60 (1993) (quick), Middletown, CT
Bishop's Opening: Berlin Defense (C24)  ·  1-0


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sac: 16.Nxg7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <16. Nxg7 Kxg7 17. Bxh6+ Kxh6 18. Qxf6+>, and that's it.
Jul-13-12  Ratt Boy: I got this one very quickly, before I had my morning coffee. That means that it was way easy for a Friday.

Nice to see a combo from Curdo, the longtime dean of Massachusetts chess.

Jul-13-12  Djoker: 16.Nxg7 (If Kxg7 its mate in 4).
Any other move is obviously better than this..but leaves black pawns down as well as with bad position as king is exposed.
Jul-13-12  David2009: J Curdo vs J Fried, 1993 White 16?

16.Nxg7 is the chess equivalent of snooker's 'shot to nothing': 16...Kxg7 17.Bxh6+ and if 17...Kxh6 18.Qxf6+ Bg6 19.Nf5+ Kh5 20.g4#. There are no doubt better defences for Black; time to check:
Yes. Puzzle position:

click for larger view

Crafty End Game Trainert link:

Against 16.Nxg7 the combative robot hits back with 16...Nxd3! and suddenly things are not so simple. Over to you to finish the robot off - if you can. Good luck!

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Hmmm. Every bit on the board and no clear mate in sight unless you consider that black is going to accept the knight sacrifice... ...which we really can't can we?

<16 Nxg7 ...>

16 ... Kxg7
17 Bxh6+ ...

17 ... Kxh6
18 Qxf6+ Bg6
19 Nf5+ mating

But black can also "not accept the bishop sacrifice" and probably survive a little longer

17 ... Kg8
18 Qxf6 Ne6
19 Re3 Qe7
20 Rg3+ Bg6
21 Rxg6+ fxg6+
22 Qxg6+ Kh8
23 Bxf8 Rxf8
24 Qh6+ Kg8
25 Nf5!

So really black cannot accept the first knight sac, but in which case this position is indeed difficult!


Okay, luckily black accepted both sacrifices and lost quickly!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: Thursday July 13 2012
So it is Thursday and it says under the puzzle “Difficult”. So obviously then, I can’t do it. But suppose under the puzzle it said “easy”, would I look at it differently? And in a real game of chess does anyone come and tell you whether your next move is hard or easy to find? (Well, yes they do, but generally you drive those people away from the board with threats of violence).

So I am going to re-label this puzzle that I cannot do as “easy-peasy, lemon squeezy” and then just do it.

They have played 15 moves each and not managed to take anything yet, so there is a lot of repressed demand all over the board. Black has designs on the e pawn and f-pawn (as oppose to e-porn and f-porn) while white, to move, has a developing attack on the kingside pawns.

I am very tempted by
16. Bxh6+ when black is more or less obliged to play gxh6 (16. Kh8 17. Bxg7+ kg8 18. Bxf6 followed by Nh6+ would be masochism) 17. Nxh6+ Kg7 (if 17 Kh8 18. Qxf6++)
18. N(h4)f5+ Kh8 (now this square, previously a death trap is a bolt holt)

19. Qg3 looks threatening but I don’t know what to do after Rg8 or Nh5 So maybe, now the point is to play exd hoping to bring the white bishop into play. I can’t see how this goes (black can take the white bishop with the knight) but I feel like I would rather be playing the white pieces now and that the black king is very exposed (and – how bored he must be with hearing this – black’s position looks ‘fried’). Maybe these are not the right moves, but if I had accepted the ‘difficult’ tag I would never have started this puzzle. And least there are some pieces in the box now, rather than cluttering up the board. So 16. Bxh6 is my nominated move.....

Jul-13-12  Djoker: <David2009> What does Crafty say to Qxf6...If Nx38/c8 then Nh5 with mate in what's the point of Nxd3
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: OK so Curdo is a better player than I am and the game attack is a thing of beauty, while my line is a muddle. But I still think I will award myself a piece of toast for Bxh6. That's because I like toast, and I still like Bxh6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Oxspawn: OK so its Friday not Thursday and I meant d&e pawns, not e&f and my line doesn't work. Friday the 13th eh? Think I'll go back to bed and wait for Monday. The toast was good though.. Jam.mmmm
Jul-13-12  Djoker: Btw Fish on my phone says "Save the Knight" 16...Be7....and for 16..... Nxd3 it replies with Qxf6 with 3 pt more advantage than in Be7 line.
Jul-13-12  James D Flynn: 16.Nxg7 Kxg7(if Be7 17.Bh6 threat Ne8 then Qg3+ and If Bg6 Nxg6 or Qe7 17.Ngf5 Qd7 18.Bxh6 threat Qg3+) Nxg6 17.Bxh6+ Kxh6 (if Kg6 18.Qf5+ transposes if Kg8 18.Qxf6 and mate on g7 cannot be stopped) 18.Qxf6+ Bg6 19.Nf5+ Kh7(if Kh5 20.Qh4#) Qg7#
Jul-13-12  SimonWebbsTiger: I read "the Middlegame" by Euwe and Kramer as a teen. There is a whole chapter devoted to sacrifices in the attack on the King's side. Nxg7 pops into mind in a second. The rest is details (esp. looking to see hidden resources for black which refute).
Jul-13-12  David2009: J Curdo vs J Fried, 1993 postscript: <Djoker: <David2009> What does Crafty say to Qxf6> It's an interactive link: just play 16.Nxg7 Nxd3 17.Qxf6 to find out the reply! (interactive link repeated:
Jul-13-12  psmith: <David2009> So, here's my line against Crafty... 16. Nxg7 Nxd3 17. Bxh6!? Nxe1 18. Rxe1 Bxe4 19. Rxe4! Kh8 (Crafty declines the second exchange... work out what happens if Black takes the Rook!) 20. Qxf6 Qd8 21. Ne8+ Qxf6 22. Nxf6 Be7 (if 22...dxe4 23. Nf5 Rg8 24. Nxd6 ) 23. Nxd5 cxd5 24. Bxf8 Rxf8 25. Bxd5 up a piece!
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I did not even come close to solving this one. I was on the wrong track, wondering which piece to sacrifice at h6. And thinking that neither one looked very promising but not seeing anything else to try.

It's a nice finish.

Jul-13-12  dragon player: Black's king position looks solid, but a sac changes this:

16.Nxg7 Kxg7

Of course you could refuse the knight, but than you have to find another way to cope with 17.Qxf6 and 17.Bxh6.

17.Bxh6 Kxh6
18.Qxf6+ Bg6
19.Nf5+ Kh5 (19...Kh7 20.Qg7#)

Time to check.


Yes, a very nice combination.


Jul-13-12  hrobert5: I did this early this AM before food and drink, so excuse me if I screw it up!

16. exd5 cxd5
17. Bxh6 gxh6
18. Qxf6
leaving d6 Bishop trapped for the taking...Nxd6 or Nxe7 scot free.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Missed it! Looked for knight sac at h6.
Jul-13-12  BOSTER: From the beginning it is clear that only Qf3,Bc1,Nf5 and Nh4 are the main actors in the performance, because rest white pieces are too far from the scene.(certainly the e1 rook can take part later).

I remember the episode from game Bronstein-Keres,1955, where Bronstein sacr. the bishop playing Bxh6.

This is why I'd play 16.Bxh6 Bxf5 17.Nxf5 g6 18.Nxd6 Qxd6 19.Bxf8 and white is better.

Continuation in the game reminds a picture from <hot> film, where Fried was too hot to eat everything what was possible.

After 16.Nxg7 black can play for ex. Ne8 and after moving the f7 pawn can include the queen for defending.

Jul-13-12  Babes: The combination White plays here is basically the combination White could've played on move 23 of Kavalek vs Karpov, 1970, only better for White.
Jul-13-12  lzromeu: I found Bxh6
It's winning in the same way Nxg7
or I miss something?
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Ah, good old Jim Fried-we played many New England events together in the 1980s, but only met once. It's unfortunate that he's only represented here at CG by the one game, against a formidable player, because he was quite a good attacker. If you gave Jim a chance, he'd play a King's Gambit or the Black side of a Schliemann or Wilkes-Barre (probably why Curdo played 2.Bc4, an opening I never saw him play in any other game). Another favourite of Jim's was the Budapest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: I pin key it ok in dxe4 or kh8 instead c5 allow in combination five

move mate for little feint gasping for a foothold in looking f5xg7

destroy it aloof f6 get netted in flint locking faith ironing out

the wrinkles it hope in good game d3 doesnt our def rants zip up f6

and pedal the metal in sacrifice h6 calfed in be7 fishy it a piece

up for white so going back king up pyred in gobbles to very exact

removal of the guards bishop interposes success in 19.nf5+ win eg good year for Curdo doyen, in jail use your too knights for go ahead it he i neck in gum bottle the total eclipse 16 raid one g8 heading off situ in.

Jul-13-12  The Last Straw: yay got it the idea was from one of lasker's games
Jul-13-12  Patriot: I would say 16.Nxh6+ looks good.

16...gxh6 17.Qxf6 Ne6 18.Bxh6 looks good.

16...Kh8; Ok, I could simply retreat the knight.

I don't have much time so I'll go with 16.Nxh6+.

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