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David Janowski vs Carl Schlechter
"Party Like It's 1899" (game of the day Dec-31-2016)
London (1899), London ENG, rd 4, Jun-03
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Morphy Attack (C78)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The winning line jumped out of my memory for this one - possibly aided by yesterday's arabian mate pattern.

Memory aside, I think there are two ways to work out combinations like this one - check all the forcing moves or look for weaknesses to exploit.

The forcing moves are fairly easy to spot. Rxg7 leads nowhere as the g7 square is protected four times. So then we look at the forced sequence 34. Qxh7+ Kxh7 35. Rh5+ Kg8. Now if a protected rook could land on h8 it would be mate. How can we engineer this? Let's look at Ng6, when there is nothing that white can do to prevent Rh8 followed (after Rf6) by Rf8.

That is when we notice the helping hand offered by the pawn on d5, which stops the king from escaping via e6.

So much for examining forcing lines. Could we work out the solution by looking at the features in the position? Black's problems are a weak h7 (only defended by the king) and dreadful congestion along the seventh rank. The black queen and bishop are out of play. White's trumps are the doubled rooks on the g file (although this point is well defended) and the advanced queen and knight. That ought to suggest an attack on h7, which does indeeed turn out to be the answer.

Truth be told, I think that most people will spot this either by remembering it or by asking the "what if" question. What if I play Qxh7+?

May-28-08  xKinGKooLx: 3/3. Wow, what is wrong with me? I DID see the solution in the end, but it took me about 10 minutes to find it! I was staring at the position, and I was thinking to myself, "It can't be THAT hard can it, it's only a Wednesday puzzle!" I was getting rather frustrated, and then I just suddenly saw it. I guess it was because the solution is quite unusual. Good puzzle!
May-28-08  sfairat: Same here, xKinGKooLx. Took me an embarassingly long time - about 10 minutes to solve this one.
May-28-08  dabearsrock1010: My first instinct was Qxh7, but I missed Ng6, and i thought e5 might be a good move but didnt try to calculate many lines since im lazy and guessed it was e5. its pretty nice puzzle because vacating the f7 square after Ng6 does not work because of white pawn covering the e6 square.
May-28-08  Terry McCracken: <TrueBlue: is it Monday again!?!?!?!? Anyone else getting bored with the queen sacrifices?>

Is this trolling? It looks like it.

You fail to see the beauty of this puzzle if you're serious about what you said.

Queen sacrifices can happen any day of the week.

May-28-08  YouRang: <johnlspouge>< when 34.Qh6 did not work, I decided I was being far too fancy. I recalled the best advice I ever had from a teacher (an evening school art teacher, Xiao), which was, "Whenever you get into trouble, go back to basics." >

A good rule indeed, although in my case, it didn't really apply because I figured that 34.Qh6 DID work. :-)

Of course, there's the old adage: "if you find a good move, look for a better one", which I clearly didn't do. But then again, I'm not so sure that even this old adage is applicable in the case where you believe that your "good move" is in fact winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<YouRang> wrote: [snip] I figured that 34.Qh6 DID work. :-)>

Toga II 1.3.1 gives

[ply 15/63, time 04:52, value +3.41]

34.<Qh6> Qd4 35.Qxd6 Re8 36.e5 Kh8 37.e6 Bxe6 38.dxe6 Qxd6 39.exf7 Rf8 40.Rxg7 Qd8 41.Rg8+ Rxg8 42.fxg8Q+ Qxg8 43.Rxg8+ Kxg8 44.Ng2 Kf8 45.Nxf4 Ke7 46.Kg2 Kd6 47.Nd3 a5 48.f4 a4

...and as usual, your judgment was pretty good :)

May-29-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <johnlspouge: Toga II 1.3.1 gives [ply 15/63, time 04:52, value +3.41 >

Bad news: this puzzle needs way more than 15 plies. Slide down the proposed lines a couple moves, then back, and you should see a completely diferent best move 34 for black. Repeat, and yet another move surfaces. And this branching happens a lot, and then the engine starts dumping hash, so the analysis starts running in circles. I had to add this game to my engine-killer collection.

Good news: <YouRang> was correct, indeed. Qh6 wins handily, with backslid evals > 5.00. This may not be obvious in multi-PV mode unless one actually descends into the possible continuations (Hiarcs, for example, seems to almost give up on alternate lines if it finds mate in the best one).

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<MostlyAverageJoe> wrote: <johnlspouge: Toga II 1.3.1 gives [ply 15/63, time 04:52, value +3.41 > Bad news: this puzzle needs way more than 15 plies.>

It is always a pleasure to have you there, <MAJ>. Someone needs to keep us amateur chess-engine jockeys honest. Thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the Wednesday, May 28, 2008 puzzle solution, White takes advantage of the blunder 33...Rff7?? (33...Rf6! is likely winning) by sacrificing the queen for mate with 34. Qxh7+!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Janowski's Qxh7+ Queen sac was dubbed 'the pearl of St Stephen's' after the venue in London.

Schlechter was reputed to be a 'drawing master' -- yet he had a good plus score against Janowski, with draws in less than 25% of their 38 games.

Jun-23-14  JimNorCal: What's with the little "rook dance"?
31. Rg2 Re7 32. Rg5

Why move the rook to g5? Or, why not put it on g5 in the first place?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <JimNorCal> The best explanation that I can come up with is that initially, with 31.Rg2, White feels that it is necessary to defend b2. Then, after 31...Re7, he decides that b2 can be abandoned -- thus 32.Rg5 Qxb2 33.Rag1...

It's possible that Rg5, letting b2 go, was playable a move earlier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A brilliant combination by Janowski exploits one of Schlechter's few poor moves in this game. I didn't see the combo coming either, so I can't condemn Schlechter too severely, though his 33...Rff7 was "immediately fatal" as the Tournament Book correctly notes.

Up until then, and contrary to what some on this site have said, Schlechter played quite well. Indeed, according to Fritz, and as Tactic101 also points out, Schlechter had a solid, and nearly winning, position before his terrible mistake. Before move 33, Schlechter's most serious error was his failure to snatch White's QNP with his Bishop on move 28. He should also probably have played 29...RxN instead of 29...QxN. Had Schlechter played 33...Qd4 instead of 33...Rff7 and then ground Janowski into submission, we might well be celebrating a fine Schlechter win. But chess can be cruel, Schechter outplayed Janowski for most of the game, but made one fatal blunder which Janowski exploited brilliantly.

Janowski did not win the brilliancy prize for his winning combination here because--in the very same round of the tournament, Blackburne defeated Lasker with an amazing Rook sacrifice. Comparing the two games, it is hard to disagree with the tournament committee's decision on this. Among other things, apart from his spectacular closing combination, Janowski's aggression in this game was often misplaced. His 27. Rg1 was faulty (27. NxB check is better) and his 32. Rg5 could well have cost him the game where 32. Rag1 would have brought him near equality. As fate would have it, however, 32. Rg5 not only didn't cause Janowski to lose, it probably helped induce Schechter's fatal 33rd move.

The above notwithstanding, Janowski's combination is so gorgeous that all of his earlier missteps should no doubt be forgotten.

With this win, Janowski's score in the tournament went to 4-0, and put him two points above Lasker. That edge over Lasker, however, was not fated to last much longer.

Dec-31-16  morfishine: Janowski's lifetime score vs Schlechter in their 46 games was: +13-20=13

Not too bad


Dec-31-16  AlicesKnight: Looks fairly typical of Janowski 'in the groove' - risky and daring, coming off here.
Dec-31-16  WorstPlayerEver: Holy McCannoli! Another Ruy Lopez throw up party.
Dec-31-16  The Kings Domain: Nice build-up by Janowski leading to a pretty finish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <JimNorCal: What's with the little "rook dance"? 31. Rg2 Re7 32. Rg5
Why move the rook to g5? Or, why not put it on g5 in the first place?>

I think white wanted to double the rooks and then when black played Re7, white was (rightly) afraid of Re5, which practically traps the Queen (white would have to lose at least a pawn with Nf5, BxN, e4xN, Qxf5) so black played the "prophylactic move" Rg5

Dec-31-16  morfishine: Happy New Year Everybody!

I would like to announce that I'm officially resigning my position of "Pun Critic"

Please welcome my successor <thegoodanarchist> and support him in his efforts to educate the local morons in what constitutes an actual pun, the difference between elementary play-on-word and professional pun creation, as well as identifying and utilizing homonymic puns, compound puns, recursive puns, visual puns, etc.

May this be a prosperous year for everybody!


Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: <morfishine: Please welcome my successor <thegoodanarchist> and support him in his efforts to educate the local morons in what constitutes an actual pun>

That reminds me of when my uncle told me years ago: "There is only one good kind of pun..." "Yes," I interrupted, "one's own!"

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: I think I finally figured out why white didn't play 25. Nxf6+, Rxf6 (Qxf6 loses the Q after Bg5), 26. Bg5...which looks like it wins the exchange, but black has RxN! up his sleeve. Is that right?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Or maybe black just plays 25...gxf3. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
Mar-19-17  Mr. V: What a brilliant persistent attack
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Mr. V> Speaking of this game, I left you a message = King's Gambit Accepted (C33)
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