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Tony Miles vs Lothar Nikolaiczuk
Dortmund (1986), Dortmund FRG, rd 5, Apr-??
Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation (D50)  ·  1-0



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Jun-14-07  tarek1: <How about 38...Nd5 39.Rh2 Nxf6 and I don't see mate.>

On 38...Nd5 39.Qxh6!! Kxh6 40.Rh2 mate.

Jun-14-07  tarek1: <On 38...Nd5 39.Qxh6!! Kg8> But it mates as well :)) 39...Kg8 40.Qh8+ Kf7 41.Qg7 mate.
Jun-14-07  Billy Ray Valentine: I liked this puzzle... though I am still curious about the move 38. Kg3 which others suggested.
Jun-14-07  anelka: I notice right after I send the Post. :)
Jun-14-07  aktajha: I had the <'ppm'> answer as well.

Nxh6 Bxh6 f5 gf5 g5 and a good game to follow.

The game continuation is (of course) better.

Jun-14-07  Gilmoy: Elements: Material's even. White has intersections of force at h6/h8, relative K safety, and an N en prise at f5. Black also threatens dxe3, so White has two reasons to strike now.

Retrograde: What was the immediately preceding move? Black probably didn't just push g6 (as he could have just as easily played gxf6), hence the N must have been dangling since 36. I suppose it could have been (K on h8, B on g5) 35.Nf5 g6 36.Bf6+ Kh7.

First thought: Sac-pin and the triangle mate: 37.Nxh6 Bxh6 38.g5 ... but Qxh3+ oops.

Second thought: Well, the triangle mate works with a R, too. Can we exchange (or sac :) the Q and follow with both Rs up h? Then White would need Kg3 at some point -- this is dicey if Black gets in dxe3 and e1=Q+. That in turn suggests the problem-like idea e4!? for the sole purpose of stranding Black's pawn on d -- where it's temporarily blockaded, buying White time for a couple of "quiet" moves.

What to do about the N? Cute point: we could sac the N now, and just delay g5 -- Black's B-K aren't going anywhere, and he doesn't have time for Nd5-e7-g8 to defend h6.

Doodling: [A] 37.Nxh6 Bxh6 (dxe3 see [B]) 38.e4 (also stops Nd5) Rf8 (to clear e8) 39.Rh1 Ne8 40.Kg3 hyulp -- mate threat! I thought White had to trade Qs and recover the B later -- I overlooked that White simply pins-and-doubles it.

[B] 37.Nxh6 dxe3 38.Nf5+ crushing Kg8 39.Qh8+ Kf7 40.Qh7+ Bg7 41.Qxg7#.

Black desperados: [C] Sac an exchange on f6? Doesn't protect h6, so White still doubles on the B, with mate threats (Qh8+ Kf7, Rh7#).

[D] Rh8 offering an exchange? Well, Black's K would be overworked, so it drops an R for nothing: Rh8, Bxh8 Kxh8, Qxh6+ etc.

[E] Qg8-f8? But Qg8 unpins g4, allowing the instant g5, so the B is still lost. Plus, it help-mates Black's K -- he needs g8 empty.

Funny: White's QB triangle threat means Black's K wants to run to g8-f7-(e6,e8)-d7. Look where Black's heavy pieces are: e6-e8-d7 :)

Jun-14-07  Gilmoy: Cute point: After 35.g4! Black doesn't dare take the N: gxf5 36.gxf5 Qc6 cuts the board in half, and White has an irresistable attack up the open g-file.
Jun-14-07  Fezzik: I agree that the new rating bar is cool!

I know that determining the relative difficulty of a puzzle is almost impossible, but the ratings will show approximately how difficult these are. Thanks again,!

RE: 37...Bxh6: That's the sort of move that is either made in extreme time pressure (the players probably had very little time to make it to move 40, and there was no delay on the clocks back in 1986) or was an acknowledgement of defeat.

A computer may play 37...Rg7, but to expect a human to make such a move in 1986 is way too much.

Since 37...Rg7 still loses, I think it's safe to say that a person will have solved the puzzle if s/he sees that 37...Bxh6 wins for White and why (38.Kg1!).

Btw, g5 moves lose the white Queen unless they are with check!

Jun-14-07  dabearsrock1010: I didnt look at it too hard because i have work soon but I had Nxh6 Bxh6 Bg5, which I thought won a pawn and the black king was exposed...turns out its not very good but thankfully it doesn lost...anyway i am a believer in learning mating patterns and of course the position after Qxh6 and Rh2# is a good example of a common pattern
Jun-14-07  YouRang: Rot. I took a look at 37. Nxh6 Bxh6, and even figured I could get the piece back (with a pawn to the good) with 38. Kg3.

But I didn't look deeply enough to see that there was a winning attack to follow, so I went fishing for something better. :-(

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: An interesting way to proceed. White's key move was retreating the king to allow the second rook to enter with lethal pressure on the poor black bishop on a6. The king move has the effect-and even the look- of cocking a gun.
Jun-14-07  Marmot PFL: White plays this whole game about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it works and he just overpowers black. Nxh6 is easy to see and then i went for the forcing f5, g5 line although i see the Kg1 or Kg3 lines making room for the rooks are really better.
Jun-14-07  noendgame: The king move is wonderful and so easy to overlook. Sometimes the best attack is a quiet but devastating little move in the background.
Jun-14-07  newton296: got nxh6! ...bxh6 then I thought kg3 with the idea of swinging both rooks to the h file. seems the same to me . I didn't see the q sac at h6 ! drat!! I hope I would in the game but I had only planned playing Rh1 and Rh2 with a big attack and regaining the piece!
Jun-14-07  newton296: I see my choice 38) Kg3 evaluates higher (12.15+) than Kg1 (7.8+)which was played in the game . I Guess I got something brag about .
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Miles was so great--what a shame he died so young.
Jun-14-07  Sredni Vashtar: Indeed Kg3 is clearly superior to Kg1; the explanation was given by <Dick Brain> on the first page of the comments: <Kg3 is simpler than what was played since it protects [against] the check on g4>.

I missed both.

Jun-14-07  Strelz: I was thinking Nxh6 Bxh6 and then f5 with the idea of a possible g5 or e6. But the King move is definately better.
Jun-14-07  IMDONE4: first was thinking something along the lines of Nxh6 and g5, exploiting the pin. That didnt work because of the Queen on h3. Took me a while (1-2 minutes) to figure out that white's king is trapped by the bishop, and then I quickly decided Qxh6+ and Kg3
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: Miles' position looks commanding & to invade Black's shaky fortress 37.Nxh6 is the only logical move. Of course, I found 37...Bxh6 38.Kg3 with the plan of shifting the Rooks on the h-file with a crushing effect but I missed the most elegant threat of 39.Qxh6+ KxQ & 40.Rh2# Indeed, Miles was a great player & his sad demise will always be felt by our Chess fraternity.
Jun-14-07  Tacticstudent: Beautiful puzzle; we can see how the advance ...h6 weakens Black's castle.
Jun-14-07  Crowaholic: Nice solution. Like many others, I got 37. Nxh6 Bxh6 38. f5 to prevent the queen exchange after g5, and then White has powerful mating and promotion threats. I now checked this move with the Spike engine and it considers this to be a clear win for White (+6.00 at 15 ply), which is reassuring. Too bad however I missed the even stronger 38. Kg1 or Kg3 with the beautiful side file mate threat. This is ironic because I did notice that White could mate by moving a rook to the h file after 37. Nxh6 Bxh6 38. Qxh6+ Kxh6 if only the white king wasn't in the way. But moving the king out of the way for some reason did not occur to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Today's puzzle solution 37. Nxh6! Bxh6 creates a pin on the Bishop that Black exploits with the decisive clearance move 38. Kg1! + -, threatening the quick mate 39. Qxh6+ Kxh6 40. Rh2#.
Jun-14-07  MaczynskiPratten: I spotted Nxh6 quickly but after Bxh6 went for 38 f5 (interference) gxf5 39 g5 which also seemed to win. But Black has Kg8! and if 40 Qxh6, Rh7! wins the White Queen which is pinned! So Kg1 and Kg3 have an extra point besides clearing the h file for White's Rook. Still, after 40 gxh6 White is probably still winning.
Jun-14-07  Tactic101: That's a very elegant ending! A great puzzle.
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