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Ulf Andersson vs William Hartston
Hastings (1972/73), Hastings ENG, rd 6, Jan-02
Zukertort Opening: Kingside Fianchetto (A04)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-18-12  LoveThatJoker: <Dr. J> Thank you!! You are 100% correct: I am now officially old!


Jun-18-12  sevenseaman: How funny!


i) 37. Kxh3 Bf1#

ii) 37. Kf2/Kg1 Qf1#

iii) 37. Kh1 Qf1+ 38. Bg1 Qxf3#

"Choose your poison, Ulf", says William Hartston.

This was like the K going into the swimming pool and finding all his clothes stolen as he came out.

Jun-18-12  mohannagappan: 36 ...Qh3+! 37 Kxh3 Bf1#
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop and a knight for the bishop pair and a pawn.

White threatens 37.Qxa5 and 37.Qxb7.

Another example of how to lose a won game due to unexpected tactics. The white king has limited mobility and would have much less if forced to go to h3 due to Bf1#. Therefore, 36... Qh3+ and mate in two.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: You wonder what was going through Andersson's mind. He thought Hartston had just decided to give him a pawn for nothing? Andersson was awarded the GM title that same year, so he wasn't exactly a fish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Happy birthday, LTJ!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Very pretty! The solution is a symphony of the white kingside squares. The main characters visit all the squares of a large letter X - f1, f3, g3, h3 and h1.

White has the unenviable choice of which of two "keyhole" mates to allow. He can be stilletoed in the oubliette by a cleric:

37. Kxh3 Bf1#

click for larger view

or he could elect to be shivved by a lady of ample proportions whilst in the littlest room in the house ... 37. Kh1 Qf1+ 38. Bg1 Qxf3#

click for larger view

Not nice. Not nice at all. If you've got to die, you want it to be on your feet, with your boots and trousers on and a sword in your hand. You don't want to be in a seated position, with your trews around your ankles and a pained look of concentration on your face, a la Elvis.

I suppose that's what it means to die like a king.

I also liked the variation 37. Kh1 Bf1

click for larger view

White gets to thrash around a little sacrificing his queen and giving a pointless check, but he can't avoid mate on g2. Okay, so it's not as quick as Qf1+/ Qxf3#, but sometimes you've got to think that chess should have extra points for style.

Jun-18-12  LoveThatJoker: <FSR> Thanks!! :)


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: oops - make that g2 for the big letter X and not g3.
Jun-18-12  sorokahdeen: ...Qh3+ KxQ (Kg1 Qf1#)
...Bf1 #
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: It seems that queen sacs are often in the "easy" category. Is it just me or does that seem generally true?

Regardless, I love a good queen sac.

Jun-18-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<PhilFeeley>

depends. The queen is a hefty piece to give so something forcing usually has to justify her investment.

A book I recommend is Iakov Neishtadt's <Queen Sacrifice> (Pergamon Chess, 1991.) More queen sacs than you can shake an inflatable pawn at (440 examples).

For pure genius, see Ivanchuk-Karjakin Nice (rapid) 2008. Chucky sprang 14. Qxe6!!?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The tao of sacrifices seems to be this - a piece gives up its life so that the other pieces can attack. Sometimes, the point of a sacrifice is to draw the enemy king into a mating net. Sometimes the idea is to demolish his pawn cover and allow mate.

The piece to be sacrificed is often ... but not always ... one of the furthest forward in your army. Or, at the very least, it usually needs to be able to get to grips to the enemy. That means a mobile piece, and that often means that the queen fits the bill. She is the most agile of all chess pieces and can get into forward positions more easily.

I'm working through John Nunn's 1001 deadly checkmates with my son at the moment. We've been struck by how often the queen gets sacrificed in mating combinations. Okay, so a book isn't a fair sample of real life positions. But there does seem to be something about the queen's mobility which makes her a good sacrifice, provided that the return is worth the high cost.

There are many exceptions to this of course. In some cases, a sacrifice happens when we allow the enemy to capture one of our pieces, such as 36. Qxc7, or the Immortal Game's double rook sacrifice. In those cases, the sacrifice can be a piece which is some way from the action.

Odd that the queen's strength - her mobility - means that she is simultaneously a good piece to sacrifice and one that we are reluctant to sacrifice.

I wonder how many positions like today's have been reached but neither side spotted the queen sac and the zap mate? Lost opportunities, like the stranger who smiles at you but you are too shy to say hello.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: << It seems that queen sacs are often in the "easy" category. Is it just me or does that seem generally true?>>

Yes, I would say this is true. If you are giving up something as huge as the Queen, usually your compensation (as in the puzzle today) is mate, and that often means that you are looking at a fairly short, forcing variation. Also, many mates involving a Queen sac (Philidor's Legacy, Legall's Legacy, Boden's Mate) are already familiar.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <36...Qh3+>, and that's it.
Jun-18-12  Zatrikion: 36..Qh3+ and mate soon.

a) 37.Kxh3 Bf1#
b) 37.Kf2(or Kg1) Qf1#
c) 37.Kh1 Bf1 and 38..Qg2#

Jun-18-12  zb2cr: 36. ... Qh3+ initiates several short, forced, mating threats.

(a) 37. Kxh3, Bf1#.
(b) 37. Kh1, Qf1+; 38. Bg1, Qxf3#.
(c) 37. Kg1, Qf1#.

Jun-18-12  dragon player: A nice queen sac:


If 37.Kxh3 Bf1#

38.Bg1 Qxf3#

Time to check.




Jun-18-12  scormus: 36 ... Qh3+. That must have been a bit of a shock for W since he didnt know the position was going to be a CG Monday puzzle. A nice reply might have been 37 Kxh3 allowing the elegant finish 37 ... Bf1#
Jun-18-12  Marmot PFL: Sensational. Andersson almost never lost with white.
Jun-18-12  Marmot PFL: I think Hartston wrote a book on cheating at chess and this is almost a swindle.
Jun-18-12  gars: Congratulations <LTJ>! It is good to be thirtyish, believe me! I was one of those happy fellows from 1977 to 1986, a loooong time ago!
Jun-18-12  psmith: This seemed to me harder than usual for Monday -- not really hard, given that (as <scormus> put it) I knew it was a CG Monday puzzle and so should be looking at Queen sacs -- but this is not a move I would have seen over the board (Hartston had been planning it for some time, however, as the kibitzes above show).
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: Although I saw this one instantly, I'll have to say the geometry of this conception is really nice. I had not seen this game before.
Jun-18-12  JustAFish: I got to spring a mate very similar to this on a very surprised opponent in a tournament last year. As I recall, there was no knight on f6, but there was a pawn on h5.
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