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John C Moore vs Michael John Read
corr (1981)
Italian Game: Scotch Gambit. Max Lange Attack Long Variation (C55)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  sleepyirv: White is threatening mate. Black is winning if the threat is not there 41...Qxf2
42. Kh1 Qf1+ Removing the pin
43. Rxf1 (or white loses the rook) cxb6

And with that, Black shall queen one of his two passed pawns

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The thing about having your queen protected by a pin is that if the pin can be eliminated, there she goes. For example, Black could play 41...Qd1+ 42.Rxd1 cxb6, but that is going nowhere fast after 43.Rxd3.

Is there a way to set up two connected passed pawns on the sixth rank before "trading" the queens? We know that wins from earlier this week. Maybe 41...Qxf2+ 42.Kh1 Qe1+? No, because the rook still wins a pawn with 43.Rxe1 cxb6 44.Rxe3.

But there's the key: give the queen away on a square where the rook can't take a pawn! So <41...Qxf2+ 42.Kh1 Qf1+! 43.Rxf1 cxb6>, and that should do it. White has some spite stuff on f8, typical of the Max Lange, but that is going nowhere.

Jul-25-13  Bartimaeus: Nothing better to clarify the mind than a mate in one. Black has to find immediate forcing moves. Black's pieces are tied up on the King side trying to block white's passer. Fortunately he has his own set of connected passers in the center coupled with a well-placed Queen. The crux here is to note that if the rook gets distracted from the c-file the Queen can be taken.

41...Qxf2+ 42. Kh1 Qf1+ 43. Rxf1 (forced capture) cxb6 and now black's passers should win atleast the rook (if not more) and hence, the game.

Jul-25-13  Doniez: After 41...Qxf2 43. Kh1, I don't know how to keep put pressure on the White King avoiding White to mate...
Jul-25-13  SimonWebbsTiger: a little rule of thumb: if the Squares ahead of united passed pawns* is 4 or less, a rook cannot cope.

The White bishop and Black rook don't play, so this is a sort of endgame puzzle in disguise.

*When did "passers" enter chess parlance? I hate the word! Passed Pawns please.

Jul-25-13  M.Hassan: "medium"
Black to play 41...?
Black is 2 pawns down

Black is on the verge of being mate on c7 and has to act quickly:

Black is now one pawn down and has two deadly passed pawns on rank 3

42.Kh1 (forced) Qf1+!
43.Rxf1 (forced) and pawn on c7 is unpinned
44.Kg2 e2
45.Rc1+ Kd7
46.Kf2 d2
One pawn will be promoted or the King has to stay to watch it plus loosing the rook 47.Rc7+ Kxc7
48.Kxe2 Rd8

Jul-25-13  goldfarbdj: Hans Kmoch's book _Pawn Power in Chess_ (published 1959, according to Wikipedia) coined a number of words for certain types of pawn and pawn move (e.g., "sweeper-sealer twist"). "Passer" was the only one that caught on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a knight for a bishop and two pawns.

White threatens 42.Qxc7# and 42.Qe6+.

Black can force the trade of queens with 41... Qxf2+ 42.Kh1 Qf1+ 43.Rxf1 cxb6:

A) 44.Rf8+ Nxf8 45.gxf8=Q+ (45.g6 d2 wins) 45... Rxf8 46.Bxf8 d2 (46... e2 47.Bb4 + -) wins.

B) 44.Kg2 e2 45.Rf8+ (45.Re1 d2 - +; 45.Kf2 exf1=Q+, etc.; 45.Rc1+ Kd7 46.Kf2 d2 47.Re1 d1=Q, etc.) 45... Nxf8 46.gxf8=Q+ Rxf8 47.Bxf8 e1=Q+ wins.

C) 44.Rc1+ Kb7 (or 44... Kd7 45.Rc3 d2 46.Rd3+ Kc7 followed by e2 winning) - + (45.Kg2 d2 wins).


Another option is 41... Qg4+ 42.Kf1 (if 42.Kh1 Qf3+ 43.Kg1 Qxf2+ as above) 42... e2+ 43.Ke1 Qg1+ 44.Kd2 Qxc1+ 45.Kxd3 (45.Kxc1 e1=Q#) 45... Qd1+ and 46... cxb6, etc.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: *What*, please, is a "sweeper-sealer twist"?
Jul-25-13  TheaN: 25 July 2013


Interesting endgame position where it seems likely the game will not conclude in the endgame, seeing the power of all threats currently on the board. It's very tempting to present the position at this move: is 41....Qxf2+ simply the best move, or is some interplay with Qg4+ and exf2 required?

The biggest problem for black lies in the white queen position. Free, on an open board threatening a direct mate in one and winning the black rook is asking for problems if only one move in Black's combination is not forced. Striking is that the white queen is en prise, but by the pinned c-pawn. This does open options for take out the defender tactics, and let it be that this is perfectly possible after Qxf2+.

It took me a while to spot cause you consider black can force mate, hitting on c1 or trading queens in a profitable way. The latter happens and is profitable due to the two passed pawns, but with a twist.

<41....Qxf2+> is indeed the best move. Regardless the position after Kh1 can only be considered wednesday at best, as by then black has only one move left.

<42.Kh1 Qf1+!> of course! Completely forced trade of queens, and the d and e-pawn will be a thorn in the eye for white. Black has to calculate not that he is not losing ground at his own kingside, but everything is in time.

<43.Rxf1 cxb6> black is winning in case white tries to defend against the pawns: one rook can't stop them and the h6-bishop has been idle ever since g5 got to where he is. Even so:

<44.Rf8+> is still a decent try, but the best counter for black is:

<44....Rxf8!> cutting off the f-file. Only option now is:

<45.gxf8=Q+ Nxf8 46.Bxf8> freeing the bishop and a piece up, but:

<46....d2 > it is too late already. Nice position.

Jul-25-13  TheaN: Hm. Have to admit that non-Rf8+ after cxb6 is still worth to analyse. With the white king so close, black has to decide with 44.Kg2 e2!, rather than overcomplicating things with 44....d2? 45.Kf3!, black has no control over f8. Have to admit I looked only at a quick glance after Kg2 and thought d2 would be plain winning, but now I see it's not.
Jul-25-13  mertangili: <Thean> After 45. gxf8=Q+ Nxf8,

Can't white try 46.Kf2 stopping the pawns from queening, and maintain the material balance? I know black still has the advantage with the two connected passed pawns; but the game has to continue for a little while for black must figure out a winning way since white is threatening to put his bishop on d2 and collect the pawns with his king in a couple of moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Black wins after 41...Qxf2+ 42.Kh1 Qf1+ 43.Rxf1 cxb6 44.Kg2 e2 45.Re1 d2


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: You are standing in a dark cave. You are carrying a map, a lamp, a green key and a bird in a golden cage. There is an annoyingly random dwarf here. There are exits to the North and South. A brightly lit staircase leads down.

As a yoof I spent many a happy hour in places like this, cheerfully unlocking doors with obscurely coloured keys and cursing axe-throwing dwarves. For our younger readers, that was in a time after black and white but before yoofchoob and girls, when computers had less processing power than your fridge. Indeed the average computer had such limited memory that you knew each byte by name as if they were old friends.

Welcome to the world of the text adventure, where we didn't kill pigs with a swipe of our avian fingers. Instead we typed things like "kill dwarf" (in the early days) and then proceeded to the giddy heights of sophistication with phrases like "stab dwarf with frozen kipper and then run away". Oh, what larks we had!

You soon learned to follow the adjective. If there were two paths and one was plain but the other was described, go for the one with description. A brightly-lit path was infinitely preferable to a plain Jane exit to the south. You see, when memory as scarce the programmers didn't squander adjectives on dead ends. Follow the adjectives, my friends.

The chess equivalent is "follow the forcing moves". Any move that gives your opponent no choice of reply is worth at least a cursory delve. To find your Prince (or Princess) Charming you must kiss a lot of frogs. But it improves your odds if you look for the frogs wearing little golden crowns.

So to today's puzzle. 41...Qxf2+ has to be considered because White has only 42. Kh1 in reply. Then our next twisting passageway is 42...Qf1+, because again White has no choice. 43. Rxf1 and all is revealed. The c pawn is no longer pinned, white's queen falls, and then we have the unstoppable passed pawns.

Or in adventure speak....

Deflect rook

Capture queen.

Push pawns

Get gold.

Jul-25-13  TheaN: <mertangili> the key to that question is based on where the white king is at. Black hits on f8 with different pieces based on the position. In my main line the king is still on h1, so Kf2 can't be played and Rxf8 is safe.

<44.Rf8+ Rxf8 45.gxf8=Q+ Nxf8 46.Kg2> then would lead to 46....d2 anyway. In case of 44.Kg2:

<44.Kg2 e2 45.Rf8+ Nxf8!> is crucial, as if now Kf2 black can simply retreat the knight from f8 and be up a full rook. The key to that is that after <46.gxf8=Q+ Rxf8> black is covering the f-file so the king can't come closer. Typically, <45....Rxf8? 46.gxf8=Q+ Nxf8 47.Kf2!<>> does indeed worsen black's position and is probably not won anymore after <47....Ne6 48.g6!<>> though I'm not sure.

Looking at that, white's resignation was probably a move too soon after 44....e2 and white should have a least tried 45.Rf8+, only to resign after 45....Nxf8.

Jul-25-13  cyclon: For White > "Read More".
41. -Qxf2+ 42. Kh1 Qf1+ 43. Rxf1 cxb6 and after this FORCED sequence of moves, White loses either his Rook by 44. Kg2 e2, or Black Queens by 44. Rf8+ ( 44. Re1 d2 / 44. Rd1 e2 ) -44. -Nxf8 45. gxf8Q+ Rxf8 46. Bxf8 ( 46. g6 d2 ) -46. -d2 ( 46. - e2?? 47. Bb4 wins ) is curfew for White.
Jul-25-13  zb2cr: 41. ... Qxf2+; 42. Kh1. And now the point of the whole exercise: 42. ... Qf1+. The White Rook must take, 43. Rxf1, cxb6.

I remember reading somewhere that 2 connected passed Pawns on the 6th rank beats a Rook.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 41...Qxf2+ 42.Kh1 Qf1+ 43.Rxf1 cxb6 looks easy enough. White is helpless against Black's connected passed pawns on the sixth rank. If 44.Rf8+ Nxf8 45.gxf8(Q)+ Rxf8 46.Bxf8 d2 and queens.
Jul-25-13  Abdel Irada: Since I can offer no improvements, I'll not add anything to the many analyses already posted on this fairly forthright puzzle.

But I will say that I recognized my old friend the Max Lange Attack (Marshall Variation) at a glance; the bishop on h6 and pawns on g5 and g7 are unmistakeable. Speaking as a Two Knights' player, it is always gratifying to see it taken down a notch or three. :-)

Jul-25-13  Abdel Irada: That bishop on g5 has always cut both ways.

On the one hand, it is very secure there, and anchors the pawn on g7: all very useful if White can defang Black's counterattack.

On the down side, the bishop not infrequently never moves again, so White often finds himself missing a defender when he needs it most.

Premium Chessgames Member
  hms123: <Dom>

<Sweeper-sealer twist>

Scroll down to page 155:

Premium Chessgames Member
  gofer: Well, at first I thought 40 ... Qxf2+ was a draw and 40 ... exf2+ 41 Qxf2 seemed too complicated, and 40 ... Qg4+ transposed back to 40 ... Qxf2+, so I went back to look at 40 ... Qxf2+!

<41 ... Qxf2+>
<42 Kh1 Qf1+!>
<43 Rxf1 cxb6>

Suddenly, black's connected passed-pawns are looking god-like! White's bishop is going nowhere, so white is effectivley a bishop down! White probably resigns because the best white can hope for is exchanging the rook for both pawns and that is going to be very difficult to achieve! I think that a rook for one of the pawns is far more likely!

44 Rf8+ Nxf8
45 gxf8=Q+ Rxf8
46 Bxf8 d2

44 Kg1 d2

44 Kg2 e2
45 Kf2? exf1=Q+



Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: Surprisingly I didn't get it although I really should have
Jul-25-13  James D Flynn: White is 2 pawns down and Black threatens mate on c7 next move. However, Black has 2 advanced pawns which become 2 united passed pawns if he plays Qxf2+ next, and he can force the exchange of Qs by checking on the 1st rank and taking the White Q after the R takes his Q, if he does that with his united passed pawns not under attack he wins. 41..Qxf2+ 42.Kh1 Qf1+ 43.Rxf1 cxb6 44.Rf8+ Nxf8 45.g6(if gxf8=Q+ Rxf8 46.Bxf8 d2 and Black will have Q versus B with an easiiy won endgame) d2 46.gxf8=Q+ Rxf8 47.Bxf8 Qd1=Q+ wins easily
Jul-25-13  haydn20: < Once: You are standing in a dark cave. You are carrying a map, a lamp, a green key and a bird in a golden cage. There is an annoyingly random dwarf here. There are exits to the North and South. A brightly lit staircase leads down. As a yoof I spent many a happy hour in places like this, cheerfully unlocking doors with obscurely coloured keys and cursing axe-throwing dwarves. For our younger readers, that was in a time after black and white but before yoofchoob and girls, when computers had less processing power than your fridge. Indeed the average computer had such limited memory that you knew each byte by name as if they were old friends.> Good God, my friend! You must be as old as I am to have played these games. Very humorous post & well-written. Are you old enough to have stood around the counter at 2 AM to await your printout from the mainframe CDC 6400?--btw, it took me a good half=hour of struggle w/o comp to find all the lines for the puzzle.
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