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Nick de Firmian vs Robert Eugene Byrne
22nd World Open (1994), Philadelphia, PA USA, rd 3
Sicilian Defense: Classical. Anti-Fischer-Sozin Variation (B57)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <plainsane: ...
I knew there had to be something faster on a monday but i was happy to find a forced mate, so I went to see the solution and was o.O how could i not see that. >

Welcome and it's all part of the job: see Rubinstein vs Nimzowitsch, 1912, Black's 25 and White's 26...
May-04-09  TheaN: Monday 4 May 2009

Target: 0:40;000
Taken: ~0:05;000
Par: ...kinda.


Material: /=\ ♕ & 2♖ & 6♙

Candidates: <[Qxh6]>

Queen sac, correct, 5 seconds (not counting the switch from the online stopwatch to cg and back, as the stopwatch showed ~9 seconds).

<37.Qxh6 gxh6 38.Rh7 1-0> the Black Rook is incorrectly placed so that such a pattern might occur. Refrain from putting a Rook next to a King in the corner; that seems to be the lesson.

Time to check what happened beforehand.

May-04-09  geeker: <plainsane>

I did *exactly* the same as you...I have to wake up in the AM before trying these puzzles!

May-04-09  Patriot: <plainsane> and <geeker>

I also started down the 37.Rxg7 path, when I noticed that 37.Qxh6+ gxh6 38.Rh7# is much better.

For example:
A) 37.Rxg7 Rxg7 38.Rd8+?? Rxd8 39.Qxd8+ Rg8 is terrible.

B) 37.Rxg7 Rxg7 38.Qxh6+ Kg8 39.Rh3 looks very strong.

But thankfully I didn't even calculate that much when I noticed 37.Qxh6+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: 37 Qxh6+ gxh6 38 Rh7# is perfect in its simplicity.

I did see it immediately--aided by knowing that it is a puzzle position and "Very Easy" at that.

Evidently Black (Byrne) saw it as soon as he had made his own 36th--or at least he saw it while White (DeFirmian) was double checking to confirm his good fortune before making the move.

May-04-09  awfulhangover: LOL! So funny that some people here missed 37. Qh6+! Maybe there is something about using the Queen to take a pawn defended by a pawn. Glad I saw it in 2 seconds. It's after all Monday, and since it is a combo, you should try to see what happens after the only possible check in the position. :-)
May-04-09  Patriot: Oops, I miscalculated. Line A actually works: 40.Qxf6+ Rg7 41.Qf8+ Rg8 42.Qxh6#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: First look was at Rd8. I realized that was too complicated for a Monday, and then saw the solution. Total time about 3 seconds.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A really elegant Monday puzzle. White sacs his queen to open the gate for the rook to mate at h7;like the Godfather's offer,this one too,cannot be refused.
May-04-09  xrt999: this is confusing; black moved and white won? Black didnt resign out of turn, did he? I thought thats against the rules.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <xrt999> You can resign any old time you want. What's the TD going to do, forfeit you for resigning at an improper time? Offering a draw while your opponent's on move is improper since it cuts into his thinking time, but your opponent has no cause to complain if you resign while he's on move.
May-04-09  cincinnatifan: I guess 36. Qg5 doesn't save Black, only prolongs his agony, b/c after queens are exchanged, white's push of the f pawn leads to victory?
May-04-09  Milesdei: Whoa! What was Byrne thinking on that last move of his? As Tactical Alertness Panda says, "Greedily grabbing poisoned pawns exposes you to punishment! Byrne left h6 undefended and threw the game away...and that makes me a saaaaad Panda."
May-04-09  TheaN: <xrt999>: it happens in my own games, from both sides; either it's:

1) "nah, I'm resigning", where a player realizes that his position is completely hopeless after making a move, as it might not be that trivial that his position is hopeless (two pawn disadvantages; piece deficits where there is some positional compensation, etc).

2) Or "oh!? I'm resigning due to *opponent combination*" as in this game, where a combination is missed and only spotted once a player has moved. This is rarer, as one or two-movers are rarely missed when thinking (time trouble comes to mind), and three-movers or more are usually not seen by the losing player in the time the opponent thinks, or they decide to let the opponent play it in the hope he doesn't see it. Actually, a player might decide to play on purely on the fact he wants to see his opponent play the combination: in this case it's different as we're talking about DeFirmian here, and Black was already worse.

All in all, for two main reasons resigning is feasible when not on turn and not a problem as FSR illustrates.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Milesdei> Byrne was probably in time trouble and just grabbed the pawn without thinking about it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Even a great master makes a hideous blunder now and then. Reminds me of the time we met Bev Francis, legendary female bodybuilding champion: she patted her spare tire and said, "I've got to get rid of this!" Well, if she can't stave off a pot belly, what hope is there for the rest of us???
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: While Byrne's final move is a blunder, his position seems hopeless at move 36 anyway.

I see nothing better than 36. ... ♕f4, which loses fairly quickly to 37. ♕d1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <FSR: What's the TD going to do, forfeit you for resigning at an improper time?>

OK, you got me to laugh out loud!

May-04-09  zenpharaohs: <Milesdei> "Byrne was probably in time trouble and just grabbed the pawn without thinking about it."

I think he grabbed the pawn, and he didn't see the trap, but probably he thought about it. If you leave that pawn chain there, White has a big promotion threat via chain reaction. Since White also has a queenside promotion threat, Byrne might have had good reason to attack the threat he thought he could attack.

May-04-09  MiCrooks: Okay, I was about to comment that this was a bit harder than normal Monday fare, as I immediately saw that Rxg7 forced mate, but some of the lines were a bit more than you would expect from Monday.

Then I popped over here and saw that Qxh6+ was a lot more direct :)!

Forced mate is forced mate, but I should have at least backed into this one since one possibility is moving the g8 rook to give the King some luft which is answered by Qxh6++.

May-04-09  SamAtoms1980: Zing, zap!
May-04-09  WhiteRook48: 37 Rxg7 forced mate
May-04-09  Sabinas: Hi guys, first time post! Hope to, uh, kibitz, more often in the future. It took me about 3 seconds to see the right move, one, because I am rusty hehe and two, I wouldn't expect highly rated players to make such a gaff! I'm assuming they are highly rated players, like 2000 or so? I went with 37. Qxh6+ etc.
Read you guys later :)
May-04-09  slowcrawl: I like how ChessGames didn't reveal the answer.
Sep-18-09  WhiteRook48: open lines
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