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Paul Keres vs William Winter
"Invasion of the Pawn Snatchers" (game of the day Dec-30-2004)
Warsaw Olympiad (1935), Warsaw POL, rd 14, Aug-26
Sicilian Defense: Nimzowitsch. Advance Variation (B29)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <al wazir><But I couldn't see a win after 13...Bxh2+ 14. Kxh2 Qc7+ 15. g3 Qxf7. I still can't.> It's good you visualized it. I didn't consider 13...Bxh2+ in my calculation.

After 13...Bxh2+ 14. Kxh2 Qc7+ (position below),

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I like the computer recommendation 15. Ne5!

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Here, 15...Qxe5 16. f4! yields a crushing attack against the exposed Black King position. If 15...O-O 16. f4! , the extra piece should win easy.

Aug-24-13  RandomVisitor: Black appears doomed even as far back as 12.Nxe5:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.96] d=20 12...Bb4 13.Qc2 Qc5 14.Qxb2 Ba3 15.Rfc1 Bxb2 16.Rxc5 Na6 17.Bb5+ Kf8 18.Rxc8+ Rxc8 19.Nd7+ Kg8 20.Rxb2 f6 21.Bf4 Rd8 22.Bxa6 bxa6 23.Rb7 Re8 24.Bd2 Kf7 25.Ne5+ Ke6 26.Nc6 g5 27.Rxa7 Ra8

Premium Chessgames Member
  radtop: What happens if 13. Nxf7 Bxh2+

If white plays 14. Kxh2 0-0

Aug-24-13  stacase: 13 Nxd7 is fairly obvious, and it sort of plays it self after that.
Aug-24-13  morfishine: <radtop> Good point


Aug-24-13  newzild: <radtop: What happens if 13. Nxf7 Bxh2+. If white plays 14. Kxh2 0-0>

13. Nf7 Bxh2+
14. Kxh2 0-0
15. Qh5

and mates, eg

16. Qg6

or ...

16. Bxg6

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: I've been here before, but that was way back.
Aug-24-13  kabirbel: N×f7 is a good way to expose the king, activate the queen and get a advantageous position
Aug-24-13  KlingonBorgTatar: First saw this game when I was a teenager in the 70's. Still gives me the thrills.
Aug-24-13  KlingonBorgTatar: Nice pun!!
Aug-24-13  RandomVisitor: After 11.Rb1:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.63] d=20 11...h6 12.Bf4 dxe5 13.Bxe5 Be7 14.Bxg7 Rg8 15.Be5 Nc6 16.Rxb2 h5 17.Kh1 h4 18.h3 Kf8 19.Bf4 Qc3 20.Bh6+ Ke8 21.Re2 Qf6 22.Bc1 Be6 23.Bb2 Qf4

Aug-24-13  Dr. Funkenstein: White to play…. Keres is down 3 pawns so clearly he has a tactical shot of some sort planned that the rest of us need to find…

13. Nxf7 threatening the d6 bishop and h8 rook

13. …Kxf7 14. Qh5+

…g6 15. Bxg6+ hxg6 16. Qxh8 looks good with open lines to attack

…Kf8 16. Rfe1 Bd7 17. Re3 threatening Rf3+

…Kg8 16. Rfe1 g6 (Bd7 17. Re8+ Bxe8 18. Qxe8+ Bf8 19. Qe6#) 17. Bxg6

13. …Qc7 14. Nxh8 doesn’t look good for black even with the knight in the corner temporarily


Didn’t fully analyze 13. …Bxh2+ 14. Kxh2 Qc7+ and I doubt I would have found 15. Ne5! In this line

Aug-24-13  RandomVisitor: After 10.0-0 black needs to try something else in order to avoid a white advantage:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.00] d=21 10...Nc6 11.Re1 Be6 12.bxc3 h6 13.Bd2 0-0-0 14.exd6 Bxd6 15.Rb1 Rhe8 16.Nd4 Bd7 17.Nxc6 Rxe1+ 18.Bxe1 Bxc6 19.Qg4+ Bd7 20.Qxg7 Qxa2 21.Qxh6 Re8 22.Bd2 Re6 23.Qg5 Re5 24.Qg8+

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Eight of black's first eleven moves were wuth pawns. He had triplets on move 8-a great receipe for defeat.
Aug-24-13  gofer: I looked at Nxf7 for a long time. Black can reply with Bxh2+, O-O and Kxf7. After I had managed to avoid the complications of Bxh2+ with Kh1 everything became a lot clearer. Black has to accept the knight sacrifice!

<13 Nxf7 ...>

13 ... O-O
14 Nxd6

13 ... Bxh2+
14 Kh1 Kxf7 ( O-0 Qh5 )
15 Qh5+ g6 (Kf8 Rfe1 )
16 Qf3+ Kg8 (Ke8 Qf6 or Ke6/Kg7 Qf6+ or Bf4 Bxf4 )

17 Rfe1 Bd7
18 Be7

<13 ... Kxf7>
<14 Qh5+ ...>

14 ... Ke6+ 15 Bf5+

14 ... Kf8 15 Rfe1 Bd7 16 Qf3+ Kg8 17 Be7

14 ... Kg8 15 Qe8+ Bf8 16 Qxc8

<14 ... g6>
<15 Bxg6+ hxg6>
<16 Qxh8 ...>

At which point, white has ripped open black's defenses. A single solitary pawn stands up in front of the king and defending that AND the two loose bishops is a tall order...



Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: 17 Re1 is such a great move.

click for larger view

The threat is 18 Qh7+ Kf8 19 Bh6#.

The rook is untouchable because if 17...Qxe1+ 18 Rxe1 b1Q, it's still mate in two as shown above. <Notyetagm> had pointed this out back in December 2004.

It looks like in the end one way white can win is to set up a nice discovered check winning the queen (like below) after a series of checking moves.

click for larger view

Aug-24-13  LyzArts: Black's game is hopeless, but he might have held out a bit longer had he played 13. ... 0-0.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is three pawns down.

Black's threat 13... Bxe5 is not real because of 14.Re1 Nc6 (14... O-O 15.Rxe5 f6 16.Qh5 with attack) 15.f4 recovering the piece and 13... f6 loses to 14.Qh5+.

The king in the center invites to play 13.Nxf7:

A) 13... Kxf7 14.Qh5+

A.1) 14... Ke6 15.Bf5+ Ke5 (15... Kxf5 16.Bd2(8)+ and 17.Bxa5 + - [Q vs B+N+2P]) 16.Rfe1+ Kd4 (16... Qxe1+ 17.Rxe1+ Kd4 (17... Kxf5 18.g4#) 18.Qg4+ Kc5 19.Bxc8, etc.) 17.Be3+

A.1.a) 17... Kc4 18.Qe2+ Kb4 (18... Kc3 19.Qxb2+ Kc4 29.Qb3#) 18.Qxb2+ and mate next.

A.1.b) 17... Kc3 18.Bd2+ Kxd2 (18... Kc4 19.Bxa5 g6 20.Qe2+, etc.) 19.Qe2+ Kc3 20.Qxb2+ Kc4 21.Rec1+ Qc3 22.Qxc3#.

A.2) 14... Kf8 15.Rfe1 Bd7 (15... Qa4 16.Qf3+ Kg8 17.Qxd5+ Kf8 18.Qxd6+, etc.) 16.Qf3+ (16.Bxh7 Qc3) 16... Kg8 17.Be7 Nc6 (17... Bxe7 18.Rxe7 + -) 18.Bxd6 recovers the piece and keeps the attack.

A.3) 14... Kg8 15.Rfe1 Bd7 16.Re8+ Bxe8 17.Qxe8+ Bf8 18.Qe6#.

A.4) 14... g6 15.Bxg6+ hxg6 (15... Ke6 16.Bf5+ as in A.1; 15... Kg7 16.Bh6+ Kf6 (16... Kg8 17.Bf7#) 17.Qg5+ Ke6 18.Bf5+ Kf7 (18... Ke5 19.Bg7#) 19.Qg7+ Ke8 20.Rfe1+ and mate soon; 15... Kf8 16.Rfe1 Bd7 17.Be8 seems to win; 15... Kg8 16.Rfe1 is similar to the previous subline) 16.Qxh8 recovers material and keeps the attack.

A.4.a) 16... Bf5 17.Qf6+ Kg8 (17... Ke7 18.Qxd6 Nc6 19.Rxb2 + - [R vs N]) 18.Qxd6 Bxb1 19.Qe6+ Kg7 20.Qe7+ Kg8 21.Bf6 and mate soon.

A.4.b) 16... Bb4 17.Qf6+ Ke8 18.Qxg6+ Kd7 19.Qg7+ Kc6 20.Qxb2 and the material is more or less balanced but White keeps the attack.

B) 13... Bxh2+ 14.Kxh2 Kxh7 15.Qh5+ looks favorable for White because the square e7 is now available for a rook or bishop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <patzer2>: Thanks! (But maybe the win is easier after 13...Bxh2+ 14. Kh1.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Maybe Winter grabbed all of those pawns in the opening to put pressure on Keres to prove that the sacrifices were correct?
Aug-26-21  Damenlaeuferbauer: According to GM Reuben Fine, "The World's Greatest Chess Games", 1976, p. 213, this was the game, which made Paul "the Second" Keres world-famous. Together with Akiba Rubinstein, David Bronstein, Viktor Korchnoi, and Vassily Ivanchuk he was the strongest player, who never became world champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Winter cannot be accused of anything less than outright avarice in snatching virtually everything which his young opponent put on offer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: A more concrete example of the dangers of greed in chess could not exist.
Sep-16-22  news248: A more concrete example of the dangers of greed in chess could not exist.

Sep-16-22  ndg2: Fitting pun: "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" actually is more like "Invasion of the Soul Snatchers". And pawns are the soul of the game, as we all know.
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