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William Horner vs James A Leonard
Third Free HandicapTournament New York (1860), Morphy Chess Rooms, New York, NY USA, Nov-??
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit (C53)  ·  0-1


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sac: 18...Rxf2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one pawn ahead.

The rook on a1 is defenseless. This suggests 17... Nxf2:

A) 18.Bxf2 Rxf2+ 19.Rxf2 Rxf2+

A.1) 20.Kxf2 Bxd4+ and 21... Bxa1 - + [b+3p vs N].

A.2) 20.Kg3 Bxd4 as above.

B) 18.Rxf2 Rxf2+ (or 18... Rxe3 19.Rd2 Rf4 ends up three pawns ahead)

B.1) 19.Bxf2 Rxf2+ transposes to A.

B.2) 19.Kg3 R8f3+ 20.Kg(h)4 Rxe3 - + [r+b+2p vs N].

B.3) 19.Kg1 Rf1+ 20.Kg2 Rd1 followed by R8f1 ends up more than a rook ahead.

C) 18.Re1 Nd3 (or 18... Rxe3 19.Rxe3 Bxd4 20.Rc3 Bxc3 - + [3p]) 19.Re2 Nxb4

C.1) 20.a3 Rxe3 21.Rxe3 Nc2 22.Re2 (22.Ra2 Nxe3+ and Bxd4 - + [b+4p]) 22... Nxa1 and White cannot trap the knight (23.Rb2 Bxd4).

C.2) 20.Na3 Rxe3 21.Rxe3 Bxd4 22.Rae1 Bxe3 23.Rxe3 Nxa2 - + [5p].

C.3) 20.Bg1 Rf1 21.Be3 (due to Rxg1+) 21... Rd1 followed by R8f1 wins decisive material.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: White's game starts to go bad with 7. Bb5? potentially allowing 7...Ne4 (-0.96 @ 28 depth, Stockfish 251216.)

Instead, 7. Bb5 = holds it level.

The Wednesday puzzle solution 17...Nxf2! forces a winning double attack (Bishop fork) after the smoke clears with 20...Bxd4+ .

If 18. Rxf2, then 18...Rxe3 19. Rxf8+ Kxf8 20. a4 Re1 21. Kf2 Rh1 22. Ke3 Rxh3 (-6.30 @ 21 Depth, Deep Fritz 15) is winning easy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: It took me a while before I figured out that the only plan was to trade everything down and capitalize on the captive rook with Bxd4+. Ho hum.
May-03-17  saturn2: 17..Nxf2 white can continue to exchang
e on f2 and will have lost another two pawns.

If white rejects the knight by 18 Re1 he is also lost.

May-03-17  AlicesKnight: All the pieces can be exchanged on f2 leaving the K there. Then ....Bxd4+ wins the corner R and leaves Black several pawns up. Any deviation leaves Black up in material and with a more active position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: <17 ... Nxf2>

The knight is immune...

18 Bxf2/Rxf2 Rxf2+
19 Rxf2/Bxf2 Rxf2+
20 Kxf2 Bxd4+
21 K anywhere Bxa1

But if the knight cannot be taken then can white stop Rxe3?

18 Re1 Rxe3
19 Rxe3 Bxd4
20 Re2 Bxa1 (Nc3/Nd2 Bxe3 )
21 Rxf2 Rxf2+
22 Kxf2 c5

So can the bishop move and give up the protection of Pd4!?

<18 Be2 Bxd4>
<19 Nc3 Rxc3>
<20 Bxc3 Bxc3>
<21 Rac1 Ne4>

click for larger view

White has 2R v R+B+N, but this is only part of the picture of Dorian Gray, the three-pawn-deficit is the really ugly bit...

May-03-17  mel gibson: How embarrassing -
I didn't look far enough ahead to see the bishop pin the Rook with a check.

The computer says:

17. Be3 Nxf2 (17. .. Nxf2 (♘e4xf2
♗e3xf2 ♖f3xf2+ ♖f1xf2 ♖f8xf2+ ♔g2xf2 ♗b6xd4+ ♔f2-e2 ♗d4xa1 ♔e2-d3 ♗a1-e5 a2-a3 ♔g8-f8 ♘b1-d2 ♗e5-b2 a3-a4 ♗b2-a3 b4-b5 c6xb5 a4xb5 ♔f8-e7 ♘d2-f3 ♔e7-d6 ♘f3-d4 ♗a3-b2 ♘d4-b3 g7-g6 ♔d3-e2 g6-g5 ♔e2-d3 ♗b2-g7) +4.32/22 91)

score for black +4.32 depth 22

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: White gets carved up like a Thanksgiving Turkey


Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: I started with 17...Rf2+. Same difference. A little more forcing, perhaps.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Carlos0012358: Nice puzzle! The trick was to recognize that the a1 Rook is trapped, and can be prey to the black Bishop with the fork on d4.
May-03-17  Iwer Sonsch: Black wants everything to exchange on f2 in order to take the Ra1 via Bd4.

After 17...Rxf2+ 18.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 19.Bxf2 Nxf2, White isn't forced to play 20.Kxf2?, but can instead free his rook by playing 20.Nd2 Bxd4 21.R any.

Instead, 17...Nxf2! forces White to retake on f2, as Black is now threatening to play 18...Rxe3, and White can only defend with 18.Rf1, surely allowing Black a pretty strong attack.

May-03-17  Iwer Sonsch: 18.Rf1 simply allows 18...Rxe3 19.Rxe3 Bxd4 .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Perfect. The whole game seemed to tick like clockwork after 11..f6.
May-03-17  gars: <Carlos 0012358> said it all. This is indeed a nice puzzle and the trick is to notice that, after all is said and done, the a1 rook is trapped. Unfortunately I did not see that.
May-03-17  Iwer Sonsch: <Sally Simpson> Actually, even though Black had a decent advantage since White played the novelty of 8.Bb5?!, it mainly began to tick like a clockwork after 13.h3? Bxh3! 14.gxh3 (-4.03 @depth 30), providing Black with a whole bunch of winning queen moves to choose from. Black decided for the safest and easiest of them, exchanging Queens.

After that, White could have saved his Rook with 16.Nd2 Nxd2 17.Bxd2 Bxd4 18.Kg2 Raf8 19.Rad1, when Black can simplify to an easy victory with 19...Rxf2+ 20.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 21.Kg3 (-3.08 @depth 30).

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Correction: Black's game starts to go bad with 7. b4? Instead 7. Bb5 = as in Mamedyarov vs Karjakin, 2017 holds it level.
May-03-17  Iwer Sonsch: <patzer2> 7.b4(!?) looks unreasonable, but isn't that terrible according to a longer Stockfish analysis. As I commented under

F Berend vs J Barle, 1992,

8.exf6 dxc4 9.b5 0-0 10.0-0 is being rated as -0.20 @depth 28.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Neat puzzle, not difficult. Black just has to blast away at the f2 square and his persistence will be rewarded when the a1 rook drops into his lap after an eventual ...Bxd4+
Premium Chessgames Member
  swclark25: Would this also work?
17).... Ng3
18)fxg3 Rxe3
19)Rxf8 Kxf8
20)Nd2 Re2+
21)Kf3(Kf1,Kg1,Kh1) Rxd2

Black can then do Bxd4. White will be left with R & 4P. Black will have R & B & 6P. Please let me know if you see anything I missed.

May-03-17  Iwer Sonsch: <swclark25> The Knight is immune, but for the rest...

17...Ng3? 18.Nd2! won't do any better than just exchanging equal pieces. Black has turned a constantly won position into a draw just for the sake of a poisonous, but useless Knight.

White won't even look at 18.fxe3?? because of 18...Rxf1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Iwer Sonsch> The line I'm looking at with 7. b4? Ne4! (-1.13 @ 25 depth, Stockfish 240813 64 bit) doesn't appear to automatically transpose into the game line you analyzed with stockfish in F Berend vs J Barle, 1992.

The move 6. b4 in F Berend vs J Barle, 1992 does transpose to this game after 6...Bb6 7. e5 d5.

However, after 7. b4? in this game, it would appear the computer suggestion 7...Ne4! (in lieu of the transposing move 7...Bb6 in the game continuation) gives Black a much stronger advantage.

The popular mainline 7. Bb5 = is surely better than 7. b4? Ne4! .

What your analysis with Stockfish does suggest is that 8. Bb5? allowing 8...Ne4 was not a good move for White. Instead of 8. Bb5?, your suggested improvement with 8. exf6 dxc5 = to would have been better for White in this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  swclark25: <Iwer Sonsch> thanks for the reply. I did assume white would take with 18)fxg3 rather than 18)Nd2!

Would 18)Nd2! also have been a better response in the game line after 17)Nxf2 ?

Trying FEN to show the final position from my previous post..

click for larger view

May-03-17  Iwer Sonsch: <patzer2> Oh right, 7...Ne4! 8.Bb5 transposes to the gameline, or after 8.cxb5 dxc4 9.cxd4 0-0,

click for larger view

Black is about to play 10...Bg4, 11...Qd5 and Rad8, gaining decent control over the board.

<swclark25> 18.Nd2 Rxe3 19.Rxf2 Rxf2+ 20.Kxf2 Bxd4 and Rxh3+ loses two more pawns. Interestingly enough, White played without any more flaws after 13.h3?, the entire combination was pretty much forced.

May-03-17  JohnDMaster: I really would like to understand Chris Owen
May-10-17  Abdunnaser: White shouldn't have played 18 Bxf2 may be 18 Na3 followed by Rd1 is better.
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