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Frank Zimmermann vs Wolfgang Huebner
Germany (1977)  ·  Sicilian Defense: Najdorf. Polugayevsky Variation (B96)  ·  1-0
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Aug-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Zimmermann vs Huebner, 1977

White to play (18.?) "Very Difficult"

For me, this was a case of "persistence pays off". I saw the first move pretty quickly, but it took me a while longer to see how to finish it off. Overall, a very good Saturday puzzle.

18. Qxe5+! Qe6

Forced, as 18...Nxe5 19. Rd8# and 18...Be7 19. Qxe7# are quick finishes.

19. Nf6+!!

This was the hardest move to find. I had earlier looked at 19. Qxe6+ fxe6 20. Bh5+ g6, and later stumbled on the above move when nothing else did anything. I then realized the power of the knight check -- forcing the g7 pawn out of the way, where it can no longer block the bishop check.

19...gxf6 20. Qxe6+ fxe6 21. Bh5#.

Very pretty combination!

Aug-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: <standardwisdom: ...Question. Why 7..b5?. Why not 7..Be7. Is there a problem with Be7 that I am missing?>

There is nothing wrong with 7...Be7, in fact I believe that is more common. The move 7...b5 is simply another line, the Polugayevsky Variation.

Aug-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: The potential mate delivered by the bishop and knight is a theme I have not seen before !! Very cute.
Aug-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: It occurs to me that the solution to this puzzle illustrates how composed problems can help in solving puzzles or in actual play.

When looking at it, I quickly saw the possibility of deflecting the ♘d7 to play Rd8#. And 18.Nf6+ was a move I considered, but quickly dismissed since Black had either 18...Qxf6 or 18...gxf6, neither of seemed to give White an opening.

So I found 18.Qxe5+ Qe6 all right. Who didn't? And I saw the possibility of getting the bishop a check on h5 by trading queens. Easy enough. And I even thought about 19.Nf6+ but there the problem came in because I had trouble recognizing why 19...gxf6 changed the position in such a way as to help White.

Now here is where composed problems come in. Take this ugly monstrositiy, which is a <mate in two>:


click for larger view

Now, if it were Black's move in the position, White has certain mates ready for certain Black moves.

1...Nh2 2.Qd4#
1...c1Q 2.Ng2#
1...c3 2.Qe4#

Note that none of these mates are present in the initial position, but Black's replies make them possible.

The key move is <1.Nd2>, which changes the mates against these defenses in a cyclical way:

1.Nd2 Nh2 2.Ng2# (not 2.Qd4#)
1.Nd2 c1Q 2.Qe4# (not 2.Ng2#)
1.Nd2 c3 2.Qd4# (not 2.Qe4#)

There are other lines, of course, and the artistic beauty is irrelevant to what I'm trying to say--that in composed problems a slight change in the position will lead to a completely different continuation. To solve composed problems, you have to be aware of these tiny shifts and their changing effects. This is a very useful skill in actual play as well.

Which brings me back to today's puzzle. 18.Nf6+ gxf6 serves no purpose. But looking at the position after 18.Qxe5+ Qe6, you must be aware that ...gxf6 at this point will render a future Bh5+ decisive once White finishes clearing the diagonal. A tiny shift in the position, but it yields a big result.

Aug-06-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: White is down a pawn and a bishop for a knight, in exchange for a massive development advantage and an enemy king caught in the middle with very active white knights in the neighborhood. I took a brief look at this after the puzzle turned over and figured the solution was probably Rxd7 to remove the defender of the key e-pawn. Saturday puzzles often take a lot of time, so I decided to wait for a fresher moment to solve the problem. When I finally sat down to solve it, I realized the simple possibility I'd missed.

18.Qxe5+! Qe6

Now I thought, probably 19.Qxe6+ fe then 20.Ng5 or Bh5+ weakening the defenses around the king. But wait - there's more!

19.Nf6+! gf 20.Qxe6+ fe 22.Bh5#

A forced mate in 4 - now wouldn't I have solved that a lot faster if I'd known it was a Tuesday/Wednesday puzzle?

Remembering the wise advice of <agb2002> in my forum a couple of years ago:

<My conclusion (actually reached a long time ago): ignore CG's (machine) assigned stars and just concentrate on the puzzle, no matter it is insanely easy or most loony.>

A straight examination of forcing possibilities takes us right to the solution. Time to see who else had similar blindness today...

Aug-06-11  WhiteRook48: ugh, I failed it because I was intimidated by the fact that it was a Saturday puzzle
Aug-06-11  Fezzik: Why was this a Saturday puzzle?

18.Qe5 is dead easy to find, and after 18....Qe6, it's just a matter of finding a series of checks.

The last two Saturdays have been surprisingly easy.

Aug-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: Just under a minute, I decided 18.Qxe5+ was very likely the best move seeing that the obvious 18...Nxe5 19.Rd8#. Black must play 18...Qe6 and I spent another 8 or 9 minutes to see that 19.Nf6+ gxf6 (forced) 20.Qxe6+ fxe6 21.Bh5#.

It would be easy deciding the first move OTB. I would hope not to use much more than the average time per move to play it. After that while scanning for checks, I would hope to quickly see 19.Nf6+ quickly.

Aug-06-11  standardwisdom: <TheBish...b5 is simply another line, the Polugayevsky Variation.>

I see, thanks! Could you please point me to one or two other games with this variation? My current naive thinking is that b5 is just plainly inferior, but now learning from you that it is another (I assume acceptable) variation, perhaps a much deeper analysis is required before discarding 7..b5.

Aug-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  chessgames.com: <standardwisdom: Could you please point me to one or two other games with this variation?> That's the kind of question that our premium Opening Explorer Move Lookup is good for. Here's a freebie: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...
Aug-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Why I consider F Zimmermann vs W Huebner, 1977 a great Saturday puzzle? I've given my reasons in my comments on the POTD. Here I give some opinions culled from postings made by some distinguished solvers, with my observations on these comments. Part 1.

I start off with the best comment, though not in the context of an actual solution.

<karnak64: I marvel at this rich, complex and beautiful solution. As Keats wrote, a joy forever.>

Some other relevant comments, randomly selected.
(All of these relate to two moves, 19. Nf6+ and 21. Bh5#, or the quality of the POTD)

< WhiteRook48: ugh, I failed it because I was intimidated by the fact that it was a Saturday puzzle> Telling; predisposition can make all the difference.

<CHESSTTCAMPS:A forced mate in 4 - now wouldn't I have solved that a lot faster if I'd known it was a Tuesday/Wednesday puzzle?> Again!

<PB:And I even thought about 19.Nf6+ but there the problem came in because I had trouble recognizing why 19...gxf6 changed the position in such a way as to help White.> Cannot decipher what he really thought!

< profK: The potential mate delivered by the bishop and knight is a theme I have not seen before !! Very cute.> A profound, knowledgeable observation!

< TheBish: 19. Nf6+!!

This was the hardest move to find. I had earlier looked at 19. Qxe6+ fxe6 20. Bh5+ g6, and later stumbled on the above move when nothing else did anything. I then realized the power of the knight check -- forcing the g7 pawn out of the way, where it can no longer block the bishop check. 19...gxf6 20. Qxe6+ fxe6 21. Bh5#. Very pretty combination!> Says it all.

<Once:And who would have thought that the shy little bishop on e2 would have the last word with Bh5#? Perhaps in a coat he borrowed from James Dean and a voice that came from you and me.> A fitting portrait of a sharp-eyed, battle-hungery veteran called up to the front line, to display his mettle again in a situation found too hot by most others.

<chrisowen: Essay it was a poor old man who didny spot he haw the donkey slow zebra qxe5 ah wheel chair quite crossing paths word on hill baroow king Sisyphus down when launching an offensive.> If I dare unscramble his intent here, I think Owen is mainly alluding to the e2 B.

< Creg: For whatever reason I couldn't find 19.Nf6+. What a beautiful move.> !!

<Marmot PFL: This even after it occurred to me that the key might be getting Be2 into the attack.> Perceptive!

Aug-07-11  LIFE Master AJ: Earlier today, I wrote: <<<<<Aug-06-11> LIFE Master AJ:> I saw 18.QxP/e5+ almost right away, however if ...Qe6; initially I was completely stumped!>

It took nearly another 20+ minutes for me to discover the simple 19.Nf6+,> followed by swapping the Queens and Bh5#.>

Tonight, (it's now 11:35 PM at my house); I got an e-mail, one of the users here absolutely blistered me for this; called me a lot of nice names. [Like <arrogant pig?!?>.]

All I meant was that I DID see QxP/e5+ almost right away. This does NOT mean that the problem was poor or that it was easy!!! (I NEVER said that!!!!!)

I actually agree with you, the game IS very brilliant. 18.QxP/e5! is at least one exclam and 19.Nf6+!! is also very nice, at least one exclam ... and probably two.

19. '?' White to move.


click for larger view

19.Nf6+!!, gxf6▢;
(Taking with the Knight allows Rd8#.)
20.QxQ/e6+, fxe6; 21.Bh5#.

Why do I consider this a simple mate?

This is the mating pattern ... with all the non-essential stuff stripped away:


click for larger view

Its actually a pretty simple and rather common mate. (But it is also very pretty, somewhat elegant ... and also a "perfect" mate.)

#1.) Did I see it (initially) from the original problem position? <NO!!>

#2.) (Did I ever say that) it was easy to spot - from the original problem position? <NO!!>

#3.) <Was I putting down the game ... or the players involved? <NO!<!!!!!>>>

#4.) Was I somehow - as you suggested - stating that I was vastly superior to everyone else here? <NO!!>

#5.) Did I say that I got the solution either quickly or easily? <No, no, no, no, NO!!!> [In fact, I had to set up the position on my magnetic set, something I have not done in over two months!!!]

Does this help to clear the air a little? <I hope so.>

Aug-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: Why I consider F Zimmermann vs W Huebner, 1977 a great Saturday puzzle ...Part 2.

< lost in space: 19. Nf6+!!
This took me ages to see. It is all about avoiding the move g7-6 and to make Bh5 lethal. Has to be a check otherwise Black can play Qxe5)

19...gxf6 20. Qxe6+ fxe6 21. Bh5# > Honest concerns!

<FSR: Now it dawned on me: 18.Qxe5+! Qe6 19.Nf6+!! gxf6 (19...Nxf6 20.Rd8#) 20.Qxe6+! (now that White has diverted the g-pawn from its appointed mission of interposing itself to the bishop check) fxe6 21.Bh5#! Was this a Polugaevsky Variation? This looks like the kind of nightmare that happens in a Polugaevsky gone wrong.> Good. An historical perspective.

< consul: Wow, i didn't see 19. Nf6+, and i relied on Bg4, with an unclear position. And yet i was thinking about Qxe6+ followed by Bh5+, but i rejected it because of g6... I wasn't able to put things together.>

If you do not succeed at first...

<ounos: When I saw the first move, I thought "is this Monday?". When I failed to see the second, I realized this was a good Saturday puzzle alright> Dawn sometimes comes slowly but its still a delight.

<PB: Obvious is trading queens and playing 20.Bh5+, then figuring out what to do after 20...g6. The light goes on when you realize the g7 pawn might not stay there forever!Probably a lot of complaints that it's too easy for a Saturday by people who see the second move. But it's hardly trivial.> Very sharp observation from ages of experience.

< al wazir: Well, I got the first move. But if I had seen 19. Nf6+ gxf6 20. Qxe6+ fxe6 Bh5# I'd have broken an arm patting myself on the back.> Says it all by the awe expressed. Good! Providence saved you a serious fracture.

Counterpoint!

<Eggman:Probably the easiest Saturday puzzle I've seen. Nice, though.> Some real fast seeing powers you got!

< Fezzik: Why was this a Saturday puzzle? 18.Qe5 is dead easy to find, and after 18....Qe6, it's just a matter of finding a series of checks. The last two Saturdays have been surprisingly easy.> A lucky, gifted solver! Needs to be on the <CG> com. staff.

<goodevans:Any puzzle I can get in under 30 seconds isn't "very difficult"!> One can only wish God had been more equitable in distributing rare, exceptional talent.

<gofer:Very neat. Very nice. But not Saturday level> Sunday OK? Lets not spoil other good looking days.

A cryptic suspicion:
<standardwisdom: There is the haystack, I donít think we found the needle yet, but time to check.> A very sensitive metal detector is a must, these days.

Aug-07-11  LIFE Master AJ: <sevenseaman> None of my comments made your list?

:p

Aug-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: <LMAJ> <I saw 18.QxP/e5+ almost right away, however if ...Qe6; initially I was completely stumped!

It took nearly another 20+ minutes for me to discover the simple 19.Nf6+, followed by swapping the Queens and Bh5#.>

A fair point <AJ>. I've selected comments that relate to White moves 19. Nf6+ and 21. Bh5# or overall quality of the POTD.

You'll be surprised I have not been flippant. The foregoing comment of yours made the list but you then terming 19. Nf6+ a simple move spoiled my copy.

I do not think it was a simple move at all. On the contrary it was the hardest move of the set.

You said so when you conceded 20 minutes in finding it. Then you sweep your precious 20 minutes under the carpet by calling it a 'simple' move. A move that can defy you that long cannot have been simple. Many others have stumbled on this move.

May be it was the mere semantics that turned me away but I would not have the best move down-graded; and I did not then have the time to quarrel with the contributors.

Aug-07-11  JoergWalter: <sevenseaman>
<I do not think it was a simple move at all. On the contrary it was the hardest move of the set.>

I totally agree. However, different people have different approach

< Jul-29-11
LIFE Master AJ: <morf> I only post the truth. Somedays I get it very quickly, others ... not so much.

I have a strange and unique mind. I (SOMETIMES) solve easy problems slowly and difficult problems quickly.

Go figure! ha! (I still have not solved that mystery!)>

Aug-07-11  LIFE Master AJ: <<<LMAJ> <I saw 18.QxP/e5+ almost right away, however if ...Qe6; initially I was completely stumped! It took nearly another 20+ minutes for me to discover the simple 19.Nf6+, followed by swapping the Queens and Bh5#.>

A fair point <AJ>. I've selected comments that relate to White moves 19. Nf6+ and 21. Bh5# or overall quality of the POTD.

You'll be surprised I have not been flippant. The foregoing comment of yours made the list but you then terming 19. Nf6+ a simple move spoiled my copy.

I do not think it was a simple move at all. On the contrary it was the hardest move of the set.

You said so when you conceded 20 minutes in finding it. Then you sweep your precious 20 minutes under the carpet by calling it a 'simple' move. A move that can defy you that long cannot have been simple. Many others have stumbled on this move.

May be it was the mere semantics that turned me away but I would not have the best move down-graded; and I did not then have the time to quarrel with the contributors.>>

Perhaps I should have said: "In hindsight, it was all so simple ..." Would this have made it better?

Aug-07-11  LIFE Master AJ: And ignore the troll. Apparently, I got another one of those dang, stupid idiots determined to follow me all over this site and make monkey-shine comments.

I would put him on ignore, but my list is full. (CG, are you listening? I need more slots on my ignore list! Help!!!)

Aug-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Thanh Phan: <, but my list is full. > Try select Favorites-Mode to On?
Aug-07-11  LIFE Master AJ: Doesn't work, apparently you are limited to 100 whacko's to block.
Aug-07-11  LIFE Master AJ: What does work is to find someone (on your ignore list) who has not been active in a long time ... remove that person ... and add the new pest to the list.
Aug-07-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <AJ> As time goes by, I am finding it more and more irritating that you continue to refer to anybody you don't like as <troll> or <whacko> or some other term.

They are humans. They are members of this website.

If you really want the truce to continue, you are going to have to stop doing this. Period.

It's making me sick to keep reading the word "troll" thrown so carelessly about- and you are not the only one who does this, obviously.

But there's no excuse for it. It's never time to call someone a "troll."

Humans, <AJ>, humans. Created by God exactly the same as you were.

Aug-08-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: <LMAJ> <Perhaps I should have said: "In hindsight, it was all so simple ..." Would this have made it better?> Right. I am sure it would have. As I said <May be it was the mere semantics that turned me away> and perhaps it was, after all.

When people are not talking face to face and using a medium like internet 'chat', it is very easy to make a slip and become a victim of conveying something entirely different than what we intended.

In a 'chat' or for that matter in any written document words are the most important (and delicate) tools of communication. They have personalities. It becomes doubly important to make sure we say what we really wish to as these 'people' will stay on record.

You are a fine chess analyst and you cannot afford to let the communication aspect lag deplorably behind. It (the lapse) will hurt and haunt you.

You could pay more attention to your good friend <jessicafischerqueen>. She really means to help you rather than criticise for the heck of it. You cannot go on rejecting people en mass.

A small anecdote to illustrate my main point.

A girl had been dating a boy she was desperately in love with. Every time she returned from a date, her room mate would clearly see the disappointment on her face and refrain from asking much more detail than like <does not talk to me nicely, doesn't look at me with adoring eyes, sit closer to me, never mentioned we meet again et al>.

After the affair had gone on ages, one day the girl returned very cheery, all perked up.

'Did he propose to you?' "No". 'Did he mention he would take you some new place or to meet his pals or parents'. "No" 'Proposed another meeting?' "No". 'kissed you or held you close?' "No". 'You found another boy?' "No, silly"

'Then what is it for your big confidence and high spirits?'

"He bought me a dictionary".

I saw your good analysis on the Sunday POTD

<[Much worse is: 36...dxc5? 37.Nfxe5! Qa6 38.Nxd7+ Nef6 39.Nxc5! (</= 39.Nxf6!? Qa1+ 40.Qxa1 Rxa1+ 41.Kh2 <Nxf6 42.bxc5 Nd7√∑) 39...Qa1+ 40.Qxa1 Rxa1+ 41.Kh2 Ra2 (Or </= 41...Rd1!? 42.Bxb5 ) 42.d6! (42.Bxb5!?) 42...f3 43.e5! Rxf2 44.exf6+ Nxf6 45.Kg3! Rxg2+ 46.Kxf3 Rd2 47.Kf4!! Nd5+ 48.Ke4 Nb6 (Or 48...Nf6+ 49.Ke5 ) 49.d7! Nxd7 50.Nxd7 h5!? (Or 50...g5 51.Nc5 Rh2 52.Kf5 h6 53.Kg4 ) 51.Nde5 Rh2 52.Bxb5 Rxh3 53.Bd3 Rh2 54.Kf4! Rf2+ 55.Kg3 Ra2 56.Bxg6, " " (position below)>>

Could you kindly tell me the way White should proceed after 37...Bxc6.

You can post it here or better in Tal vs Hjartarson, 1987. I'll locate it for my guidance.

Aug-08-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: <Thanh Phan><<, but my list is full. > Try select Favorites-Mode to On?>

The cutest suggestion ever. Invert the problem, lo! the solution walks in.

In a narrow street a car was trying to pass a big flock of sheep - without success. Then the sheep man asked the car to stop while he turned the flock in 180 degrees opposite direction. The sheep passed the stationary car in narrow spaces around it without much ado. Lo! In less than a little time the car was clear of the sheep to speed away.

Aug-08-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: <<<UnsoundHero>: <lost in space>: The loosing move was 14....Nd7. 14...Rb7 and Black is somehow o.k. in this complicated position.> If 14...Rb7 15 Bf3 Rb6 16 Qc7 is awkward for Black. One entertaining line is 16...Qd8 17 Nxe6 Qxc7 18 Nxc7+ Ke7 19 N3d5+ Kd6 20 Nxb6+ Kxc7 21 Na8 mate.>

Well, I don't agree with the analyze. I still think that Nd7 is the loosing move and that Rb7 is better - but I am not sure that Rb7 is enough;

14...Rb7 15. Bf3 (following you analyse) the best move is NOT Rc7 but

15...Qg6 with an unclear position

e.g. 16. Bxb7 Qxg3
(17. Bc6+ Nxc6 18. hxg3 Bb7 19. Nf3; maybe small advantage white)

17. hxg3 Bxb7 =

or

16. Qe5 Nd7! 17. Qe2

this seems to be the critical position:


click for larger view

17...Qg5+ seems to be inferior after 18. Kb1 Rc7 19. Nd5!)

17...b4 18. Nd5 Bd6 19. Nc6 and white is more than o.k.

17....Bb4 18. Nd5 is not better.

In any of these variations Black is better compared to Nd7, as already said "somehow o.k." and black can get into trouble when white plays absolutely accurate.

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