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Jonathan Rowson vs Andrew Ledger
Tyneside International (1995), Newcastle, rd 7, May-29
Caro-Kann Defense: Maroczy Variation (B12)  ·  1-0


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sac: 30.Rh8+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-22-12  Crispy Seagull: I went the Rg6+ route.
Oct-22-12  Elo: The solution to this puzzle =

Why is black still playing?

Oct-22-12  bhsakar13556: R-h8 is more aesthetic
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Today,the rook is sacrificed and the queen mates!

I loved the coy move of the en passant capture. The diagonal is open from d3/h7

Oct-22-12  BOSTER: Many players worry about lossing a <tempo>, but Ledger didn't. For ex. he could play his bishop from f8 to g7 using only one tempo, if he had a plan.,but he played Be7-Bf6-Bg7.

This is nice pos. for <POTD> in the middle of the week. White to play 26.

click for larger view

Here white played 26.Rf6!, and black answered 26...Rad8,and quickly lost the game.

The Q. is:could they escape if they played Rfd8?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <TheBish: I'm guessing A Ledger is a non-master, or he/she would have resigned before now.>

<al wazir: Black has a 2410 rating? Hard to believe.>

Andrew Ledger is an International Master who is on the verge of the GM title. When I knew him in the 1990s (around about the time this game was played), his rating was around 2300 and he had at least one GM norm to his name.

Okay, so he loses in this game to particularly forceful play by Rowson. But to suggest that means he's not a strong player? Please, no. Just no.

It was not too unusual for Andrew to allow his opponent to play all the way to mate. It empathically does not mean that he didn't see it, but shows respect for his opponent for a well-played attack.

Oct-22-12  tbentley: With black to move, best is ...Qg7, when it takes white seven moves to mate.

Through 11 ply, Rybka has found 24 moves (the maximum that can be shown) that lead to a forced mate. Worst of those is 30. Rh7, for which it has found a mate in 16.

Oct-22-12  kstokelyk: Move 24 is interesting. Anyone have the line if black accepts the bishop sac with fxg6? I'm imagining an immediate Qxe6+ and after that it's pretty tactical but it looks like black might not be able to hold his extra piece.
Oct-22-12  David2009: J Rowson vs A Ledger, 1995

If this had been a Tuesday or Wednesday puzzle I would have blundered horribly with 30.Rh8+ Bxh8 (so far so good) 31.Qxe6+?? Rf7! and it is suddenly all to play for. Being Monday I spot 30.Rh8+ Bxh8 31.Qh7+ Qxh7 32.Bxh7# although 31.Bh7+ Qxh7 32.Qxh7# is just as good.

If this had been an OTB game I would have found the pedestrian 30.Rg6+ etc. mating on h7 next move.

So what did happen? Time to check:
Unbelievably there is yet another mating variation - the line played in the game. Puzzle position:

click for larger view

Kudos to anyone spotting all these mating lines from the original puzzle position.

Oct-22-12  Nullifidian: 30. ♖h8+ ♔g7
31. ♕h7#


30... ♗xh8
31. ♕xh8#

Oct-22-12  waustad: OK, I wasn't hallucinating when I thought of Rg6+ instead of the game continuation.
Oct-22-12  gambler: Pretty much any move in this position wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I saw Rg6+ but not Rh8+.
Oct-22-12  tivrfoa: Hi folks. I also has the same question: <kstokelyk: Move 24 is interesting. Anyone have the line if black accepts the bishop sac with fxg6?> Thank you.
Oct-22-12  MiCrooks: Then fun one is Qxe6+ Kh8 Qxg6 where White not only has three pawns for the piece but a forced mate as well!

So that means that Black is forced to interpose with the Knight and after Rxf7 Rxf7 Qxg6 even though White is down a full Rook in this position Black has no good defense to White's many threats. Key is e6 opening the diagonal for the Bishop.

One line could go Qe7 Qh7+ Kf8 Nxf7 regaining the does Black recapture? Best is actually Qxf7 Rf1 Qxf1 Kxf1 but here the Queen and the advanced e-pawn crush the Rook and Bishop due to the exposed Black King.

If Kxf7 then e6+ is crushing. If you leave it you are in just as much trouble with an extra Knight floating around.

All told however it was actually Black's best hope in the position as after Bxg6 the mating attack rolls in.

Oct-22-12  rotgut: I saw 30. Rh8 Bxh8 31. Qxh8+ Kxh8 32. Nf7+ Kg8 33. Nh6#

Do I get full credit??? :-)

Oct-22-12  MiCrooks: Correction only two pawns as he had sac'd a pawn in the original attack but mate is good enough :)
Oct-22-12  MiCrooks: And I suppose you really need to look at interposing with the Rook too instead of the Knight first. There I think it is probably best to go straight for Qxg6 with e6 coming.
Oct-22-12  MiCrooks: Having looked at it more closely...not sure if gxf6 was any better than Qe7 with Rfd8 instead of Rad8. Both still get crushed but not a forced mate in either case.
Oct-22-12  MiCrooks: Might mention that after Rfd8 instead of Bd3 which is still quite playable, Rdf1 is more to the point since Rfd8 gave Black some luft but sold out the f7 square.
Oct-22-12  QueenMe: Easy enough: White black-square bishop will support both his Rook *and* his Queen - - and Black's bishop can take only one of them. So you throw away the rook - and as soon as Black prepares to take the Rook, he realizes what will come next and instead says, "Oh, @##$"... time to tip the King.
Oct-22-12  zb2cr: Mate in 2. 30. Rh8+, and two possibilities:

a. 30. ... Bxh8: 31. Qxh8#.

b. 30. ... Kg7; 31. Qh7# ( a swallow-tail mate pattern).

Oct-22-12  Abdel Irada: <Once>: <It empathically does not mean that he didn't see it, but shows respect for his opponent for a well-played attack.>

Although empathy may well have been a factor, I think you meant "emphatically."

Oct-22-12  master of defence: What´s wrong with 24...fxg6? If 25.Nxe6 Rxf1+ 26.Rxf1 Qe7, If 25.Qxe6+ Kh8.
Oct-22-12  Abdel Irada: <master of defence>: After 24. ...fxg6?; 25. Qxe6†, Kh8; 26. Qxg6, White threatens mate on h7.

If Black exchanges rooks on f1 and then retreats 27. ...Bf8, White will offer the rook on f7 to interfere with the queen's defense of h7. Unless I'm overlooking something, this should force Black to give up queen for rook, which will not save him in any case thanks to the bishop on c3, which will enter the fray with a timely pawn advance to e6.

I think Black was well advised not to accept the bishop, although as it turned out, he was lost in any case.

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