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Elijah Williams vs Daniel Harrwitz
Harrwitz - Williams (1846), London ENG, rd 1
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Old Variation (D20)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-24-09  TheaN: Tuesday 24 February

White to play and <draw>

<84.?>

Material: /-\ ♘+♙

Candidates: Rb4, <[Rb3]>

-ML-
White has to hit where he has the possibility. With a Knight and rook Pawn down, the stalemate tricks HAVE to work. And they do: I'm guessing Black made a blunder just now what costs him half the point.

<84.Rb3!> these kind of moves are completely different from your usual puzzle move. Definitely not forcing but drawing at that. Black can't take.

/A\
<84....Kxb3 stalemate 1/2>

/B\
<84....Nb1/b5> defending the Rook won't work. White can simply take it.

<85.Rxa3> and without any mate threats with the Knight and King, Black should or should not take back.

<85....Nxa3 <(85....Nc3 86.Rxa2 1/2)> 86.Kxa2 1/2>

/C\
<84....Ra8> so Black can only retreat. Now, White refuels his stalemate threat and draws at it.

<85.Rxc3> once again immune from capture, this crazy Rook ensures White's draw.

<85....Kb4 <(85....Kxc3 stalemate 1/2)>> trying to preserve the rook Pawn and have some winning chances: White just continues with the crazy Rook.

<86.Rb3>

/CA\
<86....Ka4 87.Ra3 Kxa3 <(87....Kb4?? 88.Rxa8 )> stalemate 1/2>

/CB\
<86....Kc4 87.Rb2> and the pawn is going to fall.

<87....Kc3 88.Rxa2 Rh8 89.Ra3 1/2> and there is no mate anymore for Black. Nice draw by White.

Time to check.

Feb-24-09  karnak64: Proof once again that no one ever won or drew by resigning.
Feb-24-09  TheaN: 2/2

Of course, 84....Rxb3 is also stalemate. Initially I had that added as move alternative in variation A, why it's gone I don't know. Maybe is my variation C a bit too long, 86.Rc2 Kb3 87.Rb2 ensures a draw just as easy.

Feb-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: So much for the theory of overprotection
Feb-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Tuesday (Easy):

E Williams vs Harrwitz, 1846 (84.?)

White to play and draw.

Material: Down N+P. The White Ka1 is stalemated, so to draw White wants to eliminate his Rb2 while preserving the stalemate.

Candidates (84.): Rb3

84.Rb3 (threatening 85.Rxa3, with a book draw)

(1) 84Rxb3 or 84Kxb3 is stalemate

(2) 84Nb5 [or Nb1] 85.Rxa3 Nxa3 86.Kxa2 is a book draw

(3) 84Ra3-moves along the a-file

85.Rxc3+ Kxc3 stalemate [Kc4-other move 86.Rh3 is a book draw.]

Feb-24-09  JG27Pyth: Today's puzzle is a psychological study <water glass 1/2 empty, 1/2 full> -- So, do you see this puzzle and immediately put yourself in the place of

White: HA! I can swindle a draw!

or Black: OH NOES! He swindles a draw! How did I let this happen? He should have resigned half an hour ago... I must quit chess forever!

I recently self-mated with a mate in three of my own on the board and my psyche is still struggling to recover.

Feb-24-09  UnsoundHero: Black should search for a line such as 82...Nb4 83 Rc7 Rh3 84 Rb7+ Kc4 85 Rc7+ Kd4 86 Rc1 Rg3 87 Rd1+ Kc3 88 Rc1+ Nc2+ 89 Kxa2 Rg8 90 Rg1 Ra8+ 91 Kb1 Ra1 mate.
Feb-24-09  ZUGZWANG67: White can' t mate nor can he win the black rook. Here one that only draws and the tactical device in such a position is stalemate.

84.Rb3 and:

a) 84. ...Rxb3 stalemate

b) 84. ...Kxb3 is still stalemate

c) 84. ...RaX 85.Rxc3+ and:

c1) 85. ...Kxc3 stalemate

c2) 85. ...Kb4 86.Rc2 Kb3 87.Rb2+ Kc3 88.Rxa2; draw.

Time to check (GULP !)

Feb-24-09  ZUGZWANG67: Cool.
Feb-24-09  WhiteRook48: I found 84. Rb3 right away, because I have seen this game before.
Feb-24-09  LIFE Master AJ: TUESDAY / February 24th. 2009.
Problem of the day.

White to move and play his 84th move.

I actually took over five minutes on this one, I am not sure if I was "wool-gathering" or what.

I came up with the wild, desperado kind of idea with 84.Rb4+! The Rook can now chase the Black King all over the board, offering itself at every turn. Black can never take - because of the stalemate threat. If 84...Kd3; then 85.Rd4+!, to be followed by more checks, and eventually RxN.

However, I must admit that 84.Rb3!! is better, quicker, and even contains chess artisry.

Feb-24-09  Jim Bartle: Now I reap the rewards of looking at the games slomarko's posted on Carlsen's page! Makes it easier to see stalemates.
Feb-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I found the solution rather easily. The rook is immune and the other options are no better.

84...♘b5 85 ♖xa3 ♘xa3 86 ♔xa2 and the knight cannot mate solo.

84...♖ retreats 85 ♖xc3+ and again the rook is immune.

So a knight and a pawn ahead is insufficient for victory.

Feb-24-09  muralman: I don't know much about chess. Yet, it was obvious white's chances of winning was nil. So, how to work a draw.... Simple enough, just force black to stifle the white king's move.... No check mate.... a draw! right?
Feb-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <fouard> wrote: Isn't 84 Rc2 just as good? >

84...Rb3 (threatening 85...Rb1+) wins.

< <LIFE Master AJ> wrote: [snip] I came up with the wild, desperado kind of idea with 84.Rb4+! [snip] >

84...Kxb4 85.Kb2

(The stalemated was lifted when Rb2 moved.)

Feb-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: The Bristol Sloth (Williams)strikes again! How many hours did Harrwitz have to endure before his mind began to break down?
Feb-24-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Good one. What a swindle! Frank J. Marshall would have loved it.

The winning strategy for B was to protect the pawn with the knight (posted at b4_ freeing the rook to move off the file (say to h3) and then check at h1.

Harrwitz actually had this position at move 81.


click for larger view

81...Rh3 wins. White can check on the B file and trade his rook for knight and pawn but Black likes that just fine.

Feb-24-09  zb2cr: Looks like <Elijah Williams> was not some kind of patzer; he had a plus score against Lowenthal, and he gave Staunton all he could handle in games between them (Staunton 9 wins, Williams 8 wins, 5 draws).
Feb-24-09  YouRang: LOL, hopefully it didn't take anyone long to realize that white is aiming for a draw here.

From there, it shouldn't take long to figure out that your best hope for getting to drawland is stalemate -- and that's what you if you play 84.Rb3! and black captures your rook.

Black must decline the rook and save his own rook (e.g. 84...Ra8) and then we take the knight 85.Rxc3 and black still can't take the rook!

From there, it's simply drawn.

Feb-24-09  zenpharaohs: JG27Pyth: "Today's puzzle is a psychological study <water glass 1/2 empty, 1/2 full> -- So, do you see this puzzle and immediately put yourself in the place of

White: HA! I can swindle a draw!

or Black: OH NOES! He swindles a draw! How did I let this happen? He should have resigned half an hour ago... I must quit chess forever!"

Except 12 years later Black went on to beat Paul Morphy, which isn't exactly the same as quitting chess forever.

Feb-24-09  MaczynskiPratten: I liked this - a really elegant stalemate trap. The basic trick is to lure or force the Black King to cover White's escape square b2. White actually tried a similar trap a few moves earlier with 77 Rc3+ which Black did not fall for.
Feb-24-09  YouRang: <LIFE Master AJ: TUESDAY / February 24th. 2009. Problem of the day.

White to move and play his 84th move.

I actually took over five minutes on this one, I am not sure if I was "wool-gathering" or what.

I came up with the wild, desperado kind of idea with 84.Rb4+! The Rook can now chase the Black King all over the board, offering itself at every turn. Black can never take - because of the stalemate threat. If 84...Kd3; then 85.Rd4+!, to be followed by more checks, and eventually RxN. >

I don't understand. If 84.Rb4+, why not 84...Kxb4, which leaves b2 unguarded? Then, 85.Kb2 a1=Q+ and black wins.

Feb-24-09  YouRang: Oop - I see that <johnlspouge> already addressed the 84.Rb4+ idea.
Feb-24-09  WhiteRook48: this was a great stalemate trap
Feb-24-09  powerweb: what if 81. ...Rb3?
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