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David J Strauss vs Tibor Weinberger
84th US Open (1983), Pasadena, CA USA, rd 5, Aug-11
Queen's Gambit Declined: Harrwitz Attack. Fianchetto Defense (D37)  ·  0-1


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sac: 45...Qxh3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: I saw the combination. It wins "only" a Pawn, but as Black is already a Pawn ahead going in, then simplifies to endgame, it is decisive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Move order! Move order!

The simplification is almost as important as the pawn won.

Aug-14-13  Bartimaeus: Tricky endgame position today. Black is up a pawn and there don't seem to be any forced mating lines here. The white knight is pinned as if it moves we have mate on g2. Initial thoughts tended towards exploiting this pin. First try was f5 but after

44...f5 45. gxf5 gxf5 46. Qg3+ Kf7 (Kf8 doesn't help either) 47. Nd6+ white wins the piece and the game

Then tried Ng5; as the Knight is pinned the Queen has to take but then we have :

44...Ng5 45. Qxg5 Bxe4 46. Qd8+ Kh7 47. Qh8#

Having realized the fruitlessness of trying to win the pinned Knight, looked for other alternatives and here spotted the important fork available with Ng5

44...Bxe4 45. Qxe4 Qxh3+ 46. Kxh3 (if white declines the sac he will lose more material) Ng5+

winning another pawn. Black is now two pawns up and should head into the piece endgame with a strong if not winning advantage. This was a tough cookie and i'm surprised we've seen it this early in the week.

Aug-14-13  Patriot: I saw the winning line pretty easily but declining the sac had me worried because black is nearly getting mated!
Aug-14-13  chesssantosh: Does this line also win? 44...Bxe4 45.Qxe4 Qf2+ 46.Kh1 Kh7! Now the threat of Ng5 followed by Nf3 looks really strong and difficult to meet.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I felt immediately that the solution must be a knight fork of K and Q. But how to get the white pieces into the right alignment?

44... Bxe4
45 Qxe4 Qxh3+
46 Kxh3 Ng5+

I think W should refuse the queen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 50. bxa5 would have given black a more difficult endgame.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black is one pawn ahead.

White is probably considering 45.Qh6, forcing Black to check perpetually.

Pattern recognition quickly finds 44... Bxe4 45.Qxe4 Qxh3+

A) 46.Kxh3 Ng5+ 47.Kg3 Nxe4+ 48.Kf4 (48.Kf3 Nd2+ and 49... Nxb3) 48... Nc5 49.b4 Nd3+ 50.Ke4 Nxe5 (quicker than 50... Nxb4) 51.Kxe5 a5 winning.

B) 46.Kg1 Qxb3

B.1) 47.Qa8+ Nf8

B.1.a) 48.Bd6 Qd1+ and 49... Qxd6, etc.

B.1.b) 48.Qxa7 (or 48.Qd8) 48... Qe3+ and 49... Qxe5.

B.2) 47.Qe2 a5 48.Qh2 Qd1+ 49.Kg2 Qe2+ and 50... Qxh2 with a won ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: There is the slightest hint of a lost childhood in this puzzle, a dream of simpler days.

Remember those long summers when you were a kid? It seemed that they would never end. Bicycles and superheroes and days that would go on forever. No school, no work, just play. The not so serious business of soaking up sunlight, breathing clean air and growing up.

Perhaps in those days you discovered the joys of knight forks. Your juvenile opponents would leave juicy pieces conveniently two forkable squares apart. Your knight would leap in exulting. Two pieces attacked for the price of one. A lowly three point piece shaming much more expensive MVPs.

And yes that was a great feeling. It was spiderman simultaneously blasting two bad guys with webs thrown from each hand. Judge Dredd calling on his gun to give a double whammy.

But then, although it seems that it would never come, the days start to shorten. Summer's heat fades. The Autumn/ fall arrives with a flurry of fallen leaves. School starts again, with the iron discipline of the alarm clock. We leave a little bit of fun behind in the garage with our bikes. Time to get into character, time to get a bit more serious.

Then we find that our opponents have grown up a little too. They don't leave pieces sitting waiting to be forked. Our lycra-wearing knight doesn't find easy pickings on the mean streets of Gotham. Chess can become a little sterile and boring.

Until we find another kick of adrenaline. Fun is still possible. We've just got to go looking for it. In the same way, knight forks still happen. But we have to drag the enemy onto forkable squares. Use Spidey's web to pull the enemy towards us and then punch him.

So in today's POTD, the answer is to fork the white king and queen with the knight landing on g5. But before that works we've go to take away the two protectors of g5, and then pull the enemy king and queen to e4 and h3 respectively. Only then will the fork work.

It turns out that the fun and freedom of those long summer holidays never really goes away. We just have to work a bit harder to recreate it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Dr. Funkenstein: 44. …? Black is up one pawn, I first looked at Nc5, but couldn’t see any finish after 45. Qh6 other than perpetual check, then I looked at 44. …Ng5 but after 45. Qxg5 still couldn’t see anything other than perpetual check (the white king has f1 and g3 because the knight controls f2 and white threatens Qd8+) so I settled with

44. …Bxe4 45. Qxe4 Qxh3+ 46. Kxh3 Ng5+ 47. Kg3 Nxe4+ 48. Kf4 Nd2 49. b4 Nc4 and black is up two pawns, but white will get in g5 and it will take black some time to grind it out… ---------------
Hmmm. Missed 49. Nc5 in this line which is much better as it trades bishops, so maybe 48. Kh4 in this line, still trying to get in g5 to slow black down….

Aug-14-13  marcwordsmith: Loved it <Once>!
Aug-14-13  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"
Black to play 44...?
Black is a pawn up

45.Qxe4 Qxh3+!
46.Kxh3 Ng5+
And it is a Royal fork and after exchanges, Black is two pawns up.

Thanks to Chessmaster that told me Black's move of 45. I did not see that Queen sac.

Aug-14-13  Abdel Irada: <The not so serious business of soaking up sunlight, breathing clean air and growing up.>

Clean air? There, meseemeth, is an aspect of childhood forever lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonalley: <once>: what a superb post... it has truly inspired my day... many thanks
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: After 44....Bxe4 45.Qxe4 Qxh3+ 46.Kxh3 Ng5+ 47.Kg2 Nxe4 Black is up 2-pawns


Aug-14-13  dTal: Nice one <once>. Evocative of the longing ache and pull of my long lost childhood, and fallen loved ones gone forever.
Aug-14-13  cyclon: 44. -Bxe4 ( threatening 45. -Qg2X and at the SAME time removing the threat Nf6+ ) 45. Qxe4 Qxh3+ 46. Kg1 ( 46. Kxh3 Ng5+ and Black will have a theoretically winning endgame ) -46. -Qxb3 and now if, for example; 47. Qa8+ Nf8, White can't play 48. Bd6 on account of -48. -Qd1+ and 49. -Qxd6, neither 48. Qxa7 because of -48. -Qe3+ and 49. Qxd6. Also move like 47. Qh1 doesn't come into question because then -47. -Qd1+ 48. K- Qxh1+ with endgame realization to follow.
Aug-14-13  Nick46: I considered 44...Bxe4 but rejected it in favour of 44...f5. Oh well, there goes my hat-trick for this week.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I missed it entirely. I was looking at 44...f5 and 44...Nc5. The knight fork idea never entered my mind.
Aug-14-13  pericles of athens: missed it, that's a nice combination to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gars: Blind at start, blinder at the end.
Aug-14-13  JohnBoy: I'm with FSR - tried to make Nc5 work, as Ng5 failed miserably. Totally missed the fork.

Nice puzzle. These two were local heros to all of the up-coming kids in SoCal in the 70s.

Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: D J Strauss vs T Weinberger, 1983

<M.Hassan: ... Thanks to Chessmaster that told me Black's move of 45. <<<I did not see that Queen sac.>>>>

I did.


Aug-14-13  stanliano: Love ur post'ONCE'
Premium Chessgames Member
  SuperPatzer77: White resigns in lieu of (see diagram below:)

click for larger view

51. Bc7 Nxb5, 52. Bxb6 a4, 53.Be3 (only move) a3, 54. Bc1 Kf7! (protecting the Black f-pawn), 55. Kf2 a2, 56. Bb2 Na3, 57. Ke2 Nc2, 58. Kd2 a1=Q, 59. Bxa1 Nxa1, 61. Kc3 f5!, 62. gxf5 gxf5 (See diagram below:)

click for larger view

White tries to trap the Black Knight but Black's last f-pawn threatens to go queening so, White is so hopeless.


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