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Henrique Mecking vs Antonio Rocha
"To Kill a Mecking Bird" (game of the day Feb-23-2011)
Mar del Plata Zonal (1969), Mar del Plata ARG, rd 17, Apr-09
Spanish Game: Exchange. Gligoric Variation (C69)  ·  1-0



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Given 26 times; par: 35 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-10-04  euripides: After 19...Kb7 20 Nc4 Qc5 (other moves lose the queen or 20...Qa7 21 Na5+ Kb6 22 Qb3+ followed by 23 Qb4 mate)) 21 b4 Qg5 22 Na5 + Kb6 23 Qe6 Black is in deep trouble. After other moves Black is likely to be down on material with passively placed rooks. White's combination in the game is not that easy to see three moves ahead - the strength of 22 Qd1 is not so obvious in advance. So I don't think 19...Qxb2 is that bad - a strong player would probably consider and analyse it rather than rejecting it out of hand.
Nov-10-04  white pawn: I'm 3 for 3 this week :-D. I saw this one rather quickly, or atleast I solved it faster than I usually solve puzzles. I was almost suspicious when I thought I'd solved it, like I'd overlooked something, but... I didn't! Nice game.
Nov-10-04  aw1988: 22. Rb1+.
Nov-10-04  aw1988: All right! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday... :)
Nov-10-04  Saruman: <beenthere240> I was thinking quite the same, very strange though :-)
Nov-24-04  johnwgoes: Also 23. NxC7!...Qxc7 24. Qd4!!
Jan-23-08  jovack: nothing better than when people go on boasting how they "saw this one" and how they solved it the instant they looked at it or some sort of variation along those lines 1. it's not a puzzle
2. there's no clear attack until black leaves the defense of his king on his 19th suppose black instead chooses to slow down and defend for a bit, although white's knight is very powerful, there is no clear win
Nov-23-10  sevenseaman: Mecking has no viable moves after 21. Rb1+; he could resign there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: Would the pun have worked better if Mecking had started the game <1.f4> and lost?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Energetic play by Mecking. Earlier kibitzing condemns 19...Qxb2, and the worst seems almost forced afterward. At a glance 19...Rd8 seems fine, but Black might have been worried about losing his kingside pawn and setting up an pawn armada for White.

The pun is OK, but doesn't fit the game well. It would have been far more appropriate had Mecking lost with Bird's Opening (or at least the Pelikan).

In the Pun Voting Booth (1-4 scale), I'd give the pun a 2 and the game a 3. Black probably didn't have to go down so easily.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Brilliant play. It's so unfortunate that were it not for illness, Mecking probably would have joined the Karpov-Korchnoi-Kasparov rivalries.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: If we can forget the slightly grumpy kibitzing from years gone by there is a great combination here. The initial exchange sac 16. Rxd7 drags the uncastled black king into the open. The white queen zigzags all over the board - b3-f7-d7-d1(her home square)-d4. The Ra1 corrals the black king all the way over on a7. Then a petit (petite?) queen sac for a pretty rook and knight mate.

Okay, so black doesn't do himself any favours with moves like 19...Qxb2 but I guess he wanted to try something, anything to break free.

And yes, I too, dearly wanted this game to begin with 1. f4 and end 0-1. Ho hum.

BTW, serious point coming up ... To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the greatest books ever written. In my list of "1001 books to read before you die", it comes way way up into the top ten.

If you haven't read it yet, then I deeply envy you because it means that you will have the inestimable pleasure of reading it for the first time.

Feb-23-11  Eduardo Bermudez: Mequinho, second best latinamerican chessplayer after Capablanca !
Feb-23-11  Knightrider655321: not really
Feb-23-11  chessaddict25: <beenthere240>!!!
Feb-23-11  paavoh: @beenthere240: <Too bad Nxc6 is mate -- otherwise he could have won the queen!>

Good one! White just could not get it all...

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Once: BTW, serious point coming up ... To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the greatest books ever written. In my list of "1001 books to read before you die", it comes way way up into the top ten.>

Books are useless! I only ever read one book, To Kill A Mockingbird, and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin . . . but what good does that do me?

For more words of wisdom, see Homer (Computer)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I like that line <Zaius> and <milanez> found 6 years ago. It looks more fun than an ordinary 3 move mate.
Feb-23-11  ajile: You could see this exchange sac a mile away.

Leave king in center too long = fail in many games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Queen sac and knight mate! wow!
Feb-23-11  twin phoenix: Seeing some of the kibitzing earlier made me take a look at position before black's 19.--,Qxb2?! (which is, yes a bad move, but black is already losing.) White has connected passers, a knight which is more active than either black rook, an active queen and blacks king is on the run. white is clearly winning. the move 21.Q-d1!! was the star. it looks so quite only going back to protect the rook...but it is an absolute killer ensuring the rook can move to the b file next move. a very pretty game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: Any of you old enough to remember (Argentino) Antonino Rocca? That's the way the announcer introduced him to wrestling fans. He was the cat's pajamas when I was a kid.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Once> Whenever I see a "Things to do before you die" list, I wonder whether I'll live forever if I don't do those things.

Speaking of the game, 9...Nh6 may have been Black's first misstep. The usual move is 9...0-O-0, when Black seems to equalize in the database (28 games). That's a familiar theme in the Exchange Ruy; Black has been granted a half-open d-file, and queenside castling is a quick way to utilize it.

9...Nh6 has only been played three times, Black scoring one draw. Hardly conclusive, especially since Black is likely to play ...Nh6 sometime anyway. But possibly mistimed.

Note how Mechking doesn't play Qb3 until he has broken the pin on the ♘f3. After 10.Qb3, Black has the latent threat of ...Bxf3 when White will have to recapture with the g-pawn to hold his e-pawn.

Even after 11.Qb3, Black should probably consider 11...O-0-O. White can attack the castled king by using his pawns in a kind of minority attack, but the queen is in the way.

11...b6 instead helps the combination to click. I imagine Mecking was already thinking of it at this point.

I doubt 17...cxb6 was any better than 17...Qxb6. Black straightens out his pawns, but clears the entire seventh rank. White can exploit this wit 18.Qxf7+ and 19.Rd1-d7.

I suspect Black didn't see or underestimated the force of 21.Qd1. When you're under attack, the last thing you expect is the opponent moving back to square one!

Feb-23-11  Lil Swine: its good to see a game once in a while that doesn't end in a draw or a resignation
Feb-23-11  WhiteRook48: this is a very nice attack
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