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Pal C Benko vs Israel Albert Horowitz
"Benko Bunco" (game of the day Sep-02-2020)
USA-ch (1968), New York, NY USA, rd 9, Jul-??
Reti Opening: Anglo-Slav. Bogoljubow Variation Stonewall Line (A12)  ·  1-0



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Given 35 times; par: 28 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-29-12  vinidivici: <sastre> so?
May-29-12  vinidivici: <sastre> so so
Jul-29-19  lost in space: 20. Qg8+ and smothered mate to follow.
Jul-29-19  landshark: Now that's a real Queen-Sac Monday (:
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a bishop and a pawn for a rook.

20.Qg8+ Rxg8 21.Nf7#.

Jul-29-19  Cheapo by the Dozen: Finally! An actual smothered mate!
Jul-29-19  scormus: Bizarre! Horowitz knowingly cooperates in setting up the smother mate, then resigns before the mating move. An example of his sense of humour?
Premium Chessgames Member
  malt: Smothered mate, with 20.Qg8+ R:g8
Jul-29-19  mel gibson: So easy - good one.
Jul-29-19  TheaN: Good ol' smother. Think I solve about six a day now during Puzzle Rush so I kind of played this on auto pilot.
Jul-29-19  zb2cr: 20. Qg8+, initiating the well-known mating pattern known as "Philidor's legacy" or "smothered mate", does it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

I agree with wordfunph, Horowitz missed it, the Smothered Mate did not arrive by the normal way.

18...Nh6+ was not a Double Check and it was set up with 19.Qxd5 which usually in this pattern the QUeen is already somewhere on the a2-g8 diagonal.

Though if Horowitz had spotted it his position still looks grim.

Whole game is good play from Benko.


Jul-29-19  gambitfan: 1) +1.55 (21 ply) 17...♘c3 18.♗xc3 ♖xf7 19.♗d5 ♗f6 20.♗xa1 ♕e7 21.♗xf6 ♕xf6 22.♕xf6 gxf6 23.♖b1 ♖b8 24.♖b6 ♔g7 25.♗xf7 ♔xf7 26.e4 ♖d8 27.♖xb7+ ♔g6 28.♖a7 ♖d4 29.♖xa5 ♖xe4 30.a4 ♖e1+ 31.♔g2 ♖e8

instead of 18. ... Qc8

Jul-29-19  gambitfan: Why not 17. ... Rf8xNf7 ??
Jul-29-19  gambitfan: 1) +1.77 (21 ply) 17.♘xf7 ♖xf7 18.♗xd5 ♕f8 19.♖xa1 ♖d8 20.♗c4 b6 21.e3 ♗c5 22.♖c1 ♕e7 23.a4 ♖f8 24.♖d1 ♔h8 25.♗xf7 ♖xf7 26.♖d8+ ♖f8 27.♖xf8+ ♕xf8 28.♕d5 ♕d6 29.♕a8+ ♕f8 30.♕e4 ♕e7 31.♗e5 ♔g8 32.♔g2 ♔h8 33.♕a8+ ♕f8 34.♕xf8+ ♗xf8
Jul-29-19  King.Arthur.Brazil: Monday started well... Phillidor teached: ♕g8+ ♖xg8 ♘f7+... :-)
Jul-29-19  King.Arthur.Brazil: I don't know the reason why White has to be so passive <gambitfan: 17.♘xf7 ♖xf7 18.♗xd5 ♕f8 19.♖xa1 ♖d8> {20.Bxf7+ Qxf7 21.Qxa5 Qe6 22.Qe5 and White has 2♙ to win the game. It is not easy, but is best than proposed.
Jul-29-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering, my old friend Pal finally found the smothered mate with 20.Qg8+!,Rxg8 21.Nf7#. This miniature against Al Horowitz is tactically as well as positionally impressive and will be remembered as one of Pal's masterpieces of the royal game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: The good old Monday smothered mate. Always gratifying.
Jul-29-19  erdogankilic: My 7 year old daughter saw it at first glance:))
Jul-29-19  PhilFeeley: I'm always glad to see strong players fall prey to stuff like this. It makes some of my losses seem not so bad.
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: Embarrassing.
Feb-04-20  Cheapo by the Dozen: This cries out for a GoTD pun.

Since there's swindling involved and also Pal Benko, there's Bunco or Benko Squad.

Sep-02-20  spingo: On <Dragnet>, Joe Friday worked on the Bunco Squad, which was set up to catch conmen. One of the conmen he caught was a fictionalised Norman Whitaker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I am reminded of an opening I once thought up, the "Bunco Gambit"

<1.e4 Nc6 2.f4 f5 3.e5 g5!?>

A profound positional concept, but it has certain tactical weaknesses.

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