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Carl Schlechter vs Isidor Gunsberg
Monte Carlo (1901), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 11, Feb-23
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Move Order (D31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-23-09  babaul: i think after 37.Nxd5 Bf7 38.Nxf6+ is a winning for white. A) 38...Bxf6 39.Qxg5+ (Bxg5 40.Rh8 mate) Ng6 40.Bxf6 Qxf6 (Rxf6 41.Rxd7 Qxd7 42.Qxf6) 41.Qxf6 Rxf6 42.Rxd7 Bxb3 43.fxg6 and white should win this.B) 38...Rxf6 39.Bxf6 or 39.Qxg5 and the position looks better for white.
Apr-23-09  Patriot: Patriot: <agb2002: <CHESSTTCAMPS: ... B. 37...Rxd5 38.Rxd5 Rxd5 39.Qxe8! Qxe8 40.Bxd5+ Qf7 41.Bxf7+ leaves white an easily won ending.> I also saw 39.Qxe8 but noticed that it would work if, after 39... Qxe8 40.Bxd5 Ne6 41.Bxe6+ Kf8, White's DSB could check from b4.> True, but what after 42.Bb4+ axb4?

<CHESSTTCAMPS> Why consider 40...Qf7 when 40...Ne6 is a good option to hold onto the queen? For example, 41.Bxe6+ Kf8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I didn't even venture a guess at this one-I guess it was above my pay grade.
Apr-23-09  goodevans: Got the first move fairly quickly and most of the main variations after a little while, but that was pretty tough for a Thursday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: <Patriot: <agb2002: <CHESSTTCAMPS: ... B. 37...Rxd5 38.Rxd5 Rxd5 39.Qxe8! Qxe8 40.Bxd5+ Qf7 41.Bxf7+ leaves white an easily won ending.> I also saw 39.Qxe8 but noticed that it would work if, after 39... Qxe8 40.Bxd5 Ne6 41.Bxe6+ Kf8, White's DSB could check from b4.> True, but what after 42.Bb4+ axb4?>

Actually, that's what I said, 39.Qxe8 does not work (probably my poor English composition misled you).

Apr-23-09  Patriot: <agb2002> Sorry, I misread that somehow. It's not your English, but apparently my eyesight.
Apr-23-09  TheChessGuy: Very fun puzzle. It looks so complicated at first, but you just need to look at it in small pieces to start. Start with the critical variations, like if Black accepts the queen. Calculate that variation, and you'll see that 38.Nxf6++! wins by force. Having rejected that line for Black, look at the best possible defenses. 38...Bf7 is likely best, but it still loses. Now that the bare bones of the combination are worked out, you can get artistic. Bring the full force of your imagination into the fight and create a work of art! Bury your opponent!
Apr-23-09  YouRang: Well, shoot. I missed it by, oh I dunno, maybe a mile or two.

Anyway, with my queen under fire and not seeing any stunning threats, the best I could come up with was <37.Qd1> putting more pressure on Pd5.

After <37...Bf7> (to guard Pd5), I have <38.Rd4> (prevents ...d4) to be followed by Be1 and Bg3 (attacking Rd6), and the pawn is mine and black can resign (well, he *can*).

Apr-23-09  Kasputin: I had a feeling that Nxd5 was the correct initial move (because of the discovered check and double check possibilities that the move sets up), but I didn't calculate to any definite conclusion. No points for me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Rats! Thought it was Monday, and sacrificed my Queen!
Apr-23-09  Eduardo Leon: The first move was rather obvious.

37. Nxd5!

White is intending 38. Nf6#, a threat black has many ways to counter. None of them works in the long run, though.

The greedy 37. ... Bxh5 loses immediately to 38. Nxf6+ Kh8 39. Rxh5+ Bh6 40. Nxd7+ (not 40. Rxh6+? Kg7), winning a lot of material.

It's clear black has to counter the threat in the a2-g8 diagonal first. The most obvious way is by blocking it. There are two possibilities:

a) 37. ... Rf7 38. Nxf6+ Bxf6 39. Qh8+, and mate next move.

b) 37. ... Bf7 38. Nxf6+ Rxf6 39. Bxf7+ Rfxf7 40. Qh8+, with the same idea.

It's because of this mate that blocking the a2-g8 doesn't work either. Therefore, black's next move is forced.

37. ... Rxd5 38. Rxd5

Now the threat is 39. Rxd7. Black has only two defensive possibilities, but they both allow white to consolidate his material advantage:

a) 38. ... Rxd5 39. Bxd5+ Qxd5 40. Qxe8.

b) 38. ... Bf7 39. Rxd7 Qxd7 40. Bxf7+ [Note: In my original analysis, I missed 40. Rd3, which is even better, because it delays the exchanges that bring black's king to the center, and gains a tempo to bring his own rook to the central files.]

Apr-23-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: <butilikefur:> < in variation C. 37...Bf7 38. Nf6+ Bxf6 39. Qh8+ (rather than 39. Rxd6) is just mate.>

Agreed - not sure why I saw this in one line and missed it in the other.

<Patriot> , <agb2002:> <[snip] 39.Qxe8 does not work ..>

Yes, sloppy of me not to analyze 40.Bxd5+ Ne6. I see that a few other posters mentioned this continuation. Actually, white retains reasonable practical chances after 41.Bxe6+ Kf8 42.Rd3 followed by g4 (maybe) and Rd7. However, this is an unnecessary risk, given the easy winning advantage that white has with the simple 39.Bxd5+. I think this would be a situation where I would come to my senses upon reaching the position at move 39.

Thanks for keeping me honest!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Crowaholic: Or just 43. Bxf6#>

Well, yes, then I don't get to set up my other discovered check...

Can I wriggle out of not spotting a mate in 1 by claiming artistic licence? Maybe not. <Blushes>

Good spot!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Arbiter58: After some while I could see 37 Nxd5! with a very complicated set of variations which I can assess totally

37 .. Rxd5 seems clear (not 37 .. Bxh5 because of 38 Nxf6+ Kh8 39 Rxh5+ Bh6 40 Bxh6+ Kg7 41 Ng4+ and then neither Rd4 nor Rf6 help e.g 41.. Rf6 42 Bxf6 Qxf6 43 Rxd7 or 41.. Rd4 42 Rxd4 Rxd4 43 f6+ Qxf6 44 Rxf6 Rxg4 45 Rf4 )

37 .. Rxd5 38 Rxd5!?

now again not 38 .. Bxh5 because of 39 Rxd4 Kh8 or h7 and 40 Bxd8 .

also 38 .. Bf7 seems difficult for black because of 39 Rxd7 Qxd7 and 40 Rd3

where I am struggling is

38 .. Rxd5 . The fancy 39 Qxe8 Qxe8 40 Bxd5+ doesn't work, because of 40 ..Ne6 41 Bxe6 Kf8 and after Qb5 black has counter play and probably might even win.

which leaves 39 Bxd5 Qxd5 and 40 Qxe8 with white being an exchange up and having a better position, but I am not sure if it could actually win this.

There probably is a better solution out there which I overlooked.

Now let's see the game.

Apr-23-09  FlashinthePan: 44.a4!! An apparently insignificant move, which in fact prevents Black from setting up a blockade of Pa4 + Bb3 (if Bxa4?? Qc4+ and wins the bishop), thus forcing victory.
Apr-23-09  GreenFacedPatzer: I got it!

Well, sorta kinda mostly, which is the best I'm likely to do on a Thursday. I found 37 Nxd5, worked it out to checkmate if 37 ... BxQh5, and then pondered the better defense that follows after 37 ... Rxd5. There were, I admit, too many defensive variations for me to follow them all to the bitter end, but I didn't find any way for black to survive---so I would have played the attack, in a real game. Got the first few moves of the game continuation, though, and the general sense of the attack.

I'll give myself 60% credit for this one.

Apr-23-09  CHESSTTCAMPS: Actually, I should have been more assertive in my last post. After the line 37.Nxd5 Rxd5 38.Rxd5 Rxd5 39.Qxe8 Qxe8 40.Bxd5+ Ne6 41.Bxe6+ Kf8 42.Rd3, I should have said that white has excellent winning chances:

click for larger view

The threat of 43.Rd7 is very serious. Chessmaster gives 43...Ke7 44.Kf2! Qc6 45.Rd7+ Qxd7 (of course not Kf8? 46.Rf7+ Kg8? 47.Rxf6+ Kh8 48.Rf8+ Kh7 49.Rf7) 46.Bxd7 Kxd7 47.a4 and the endgame with the "tall pawn" on g7 looks awful for black.

Apr-23-09  Gambit All: I found it! It's the first time that I solved the puzzle on a difficulty level higher than 2 stars. The highlight of my day! Yes, it's been a slow day. I noted black's under defended F7 square and the ♕ and ♗ bearing down on it and found my way from there.

Of course it's one thing to find this combination when being primed to look for one, and quite another to analyze so precisely after hours of sitting over the board through a slow building positional game like this one; with repositioning and redeployment of Pieces, and only 1 Piece off the board from each side after 36 moves. I know I couldn't have "seen straight" long enough to find this sequence if I'd had to play the game up to this point.

:) - Credit to Gunsberg for playing "Alekhine's Gun" years before Alekhine invented it. As in many sports, greatness is underappreciated when it comes in defeat.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Thursday (Medium):

Schlechter vs Gunsberg, 1901 (37.?)

White to play and win.

Material: Down a P. The Black Kg8 is stalemated. White has a battery Rh3 and Qh5. The White Bb3 pins Pd5 to Kg8, and Bc3 aims at the Black K-position, in particular h8. The White Ne3 and Rd3 require activation, although Rd3 could reload the h-file battery after Ne3 moves. The Black Be8 threatens Qh5. The White Kg1 is secure from check.

Candidates (37.): Qh8+, Qh7+, Nxd5

White needs some central action to support the battery on the h-file by overburdening the Black battery on the d-file.

37.Nxd5 (threatening 38.Nxf6+)

(1) 37Bxh5 38.Nxf6+ Kh8 39.Rxh5+ Bh6 40.Rxh6+ Kg7

<[Toga regards as a better defense

40Rh7 41.Nxh7+ Rd4 42.Rxd4

with mate soon. I went for 41.Nxd7+, which mates, whereas Toga gives

41.Ne8+ Kxh6 42.Rh3#]>

(2) 37Rxd5 38.Rxd5

<[Toga prefers 38.Bxd5, although 38.Rxd5 and 38.Bxd5 have almost the same evaluation of 1.9 P.]>

Black must capture something to maintain material parity.

(2.1) 38Bxh5 39.Rxd7+

(2.1.1) 39Kh7 40.Rxh5#

(2.1.2) 39Kh8 40.Rxh5+ Bh6 <[Nh7 41.Rxd8+ Bf8 42.Bxf6#]>

41.Rxh6 Nh7 42.Rhxh7# or 42.Rdxh7#

(2.1.3) 39Bf7 [Ne6 40.Bxe6+ is no better] 40.Bxf7#

(2.1.4) 39Ne6 40.Bxe6+ Kf8 [other moves are like above variations, but worse]


Black is down 2R, although White might have better.

(2.2) 38Rf7 39.Nxf6+ Bxf6 [Rxf6 40.Rxd8] 40.Bxf6 Qxf6

41.Rxd6 Qg7 [Qxd6 42.Qh8#] 42.Rh6 (threatening 43.Rh8+)

42Qd4+ [Nh7 43.Rxh7] 43.Kh1

Black has run out of checks, and White is about to mate.

(2.3) 38Rxd5 39.Bxd5+ Qxd5 40.Qxe8 Qxf5

White has R for N+P, with a superior position.

I missed the game defense, as usual.

Apr-23-09  WhiteRook48: chose 37. Nxd5 because 37...Bxh5?? 38. Nxf6+ Kh8 39 Rxh5+ Nh7 40 Rxh7#
Apr-23-09  petrie911: 39. Qxf7+ seems more forceful than what was played. The best Black can do is 39. ... Kxf7 40. Rxd7+ Ke8 41. Rxd8 Kxd8, where White's up a full rook and has the two bishops.
Apr-23-09  TheBish: Schlechter vs Gunsberg, 1901

White to play (37.?) "Medium" (2.5 stars)

Like yesterday, I only had one candidate move (since 37. Rxd5 fails and a queen retreat goes nowhere), so it was just a matter of calculation.

37. Nxd5!! Now Black can accept the "Greek gift" at the cost of a brutal attack, or give up the exchange:

A) 37...Rxd5 38. Rxd5 and now:

A1) 38...Bxh5? 39. Rxd7+ mates after either 39...Bf7 40. Bxf7# or 39...Kh7 40. Rxh5# and 39...Ne6 40. Bxe6+ followed by winning the queen is crushing.

A2) 38...Rxd5 39. Bxd5+ Qxd5 40. Qxe8 Qxf5 41. Re3. This seems to hold out the longest; White is ahead an exchange for a pawn and Black's pieces are horribly placed, but mate is a long way off. Still, just a matter of technique for a master.

A3) 38...Bf7? 39. Qxf7+! Kxf7 (39...Rxf7 40. Rxd8 is worse) 40. Rxd7+ and White emerges a full rook up.

B) 37...Bxh5 38. Nxf6+ Kh8 39. Rxh5+ Bh6 40. Rxh6+ and now:

B1) 40...Kg7 41. Ne8+! Kxh6 42. Rh3 mate.

B2) 40...Nh7 41. Rxd6 (almost anything wins here) and White finishes quickly here since 41...Rxd6 42. Rxh7 is mate, and 41...Qf8 42. Nxh7+ Rg7 (or Qg7) 43. Nxg5 mate.

B3) 40...Rh7 41. Nxh7+ Rd4 42. Rxd4! and mate in a few moves.

There is another option for Black, but it fails badly:

C) 37...Bf7 38. Nxf6+ and now:

C1) 38...Bxf6 39. Qh8+! Bxh8 40. Rxh8 mate.

C2) 38...Rxf6 39. Bxf7+ and now Black must choose between 39...Rfxf7 40. Qh8+!, mating as in line C1, or 39...Rdxf7 40. Rxd8, losing his queen for a knight.

That should just about cover the bases. What a devastating attack!

Apr-23-09  muralman: I got it all the way. I am starting to think like a chess player (I'm not). The last move took me the longest. Then, I started thinking oh well, let's clear the board. Endangering pawns with the queen is a great pressure move. I was happy Schlechter agreed. I could see checkmate was nowhere close at hand anyway. I just don't know why Gunsberg hung on so long.

This is how I tackle these puzzles. I do my best to deduce the first move. In this case I could see my queen was under attack. I could also see my bishops had the board in a vise, and the H1 rook was backing my queen.

Taking out the d5 pawn was very logical. The night there was menacing the guard pawn at f6 while allowing my white bishop a clear shot.

Making that move, I now click the puzzle in. I forshortened the window, so only the chess board is visible. Now I can see my advesary's moves. I have to admit, sometimes I am surprised by their moves. It makes it all the more exciting, because I have to rethink my line.

That is three out of four. Yesterday I went awry right after the second move.

Apr-23-09  Buttinsky: Also prefer 39.Qx+
Apr-23-09  MaczynskiPratten: At move 37, every one of White's players is in its best position and plays an essential role. The only piece that didn't seem immediately vital was the Bishop on c3 - but lo and behold, if Black plays Bf7, the Bc3 plays a key role in the mating patterns involving h8 (which was the one part of the puzzle I missed).

Schlecter was known as the "drawing master" but this shows his combinative vision too. He well deserved his shot at Lasker's world title. But a sobering thought that he died of starvation towards the end of World War 1.

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