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William Hartston vs Lajos Portisch
Nice Olympiad Final-A (1974), Nice FRA, rd 11, Jun-25
French Defense: Winawer. Positional Variation (C19)  ·  1-0



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Given 8 times; par: 26 [what's this?]

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sac: 22.Bxh6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Aug-19-21  Brenin: 22 Bxh6 gxh6 23 Qxh6. Now the Black K is trapped, and White threatens to deliver mate by Ng5, Nh7 and Nf6. What can Black do? 23 ... Qe7 24 Ng5 Qf8 allows 25 Qh7 mate. If 23 ... Ncxe5 then 24 Nxe5 Nxe5 25 Bh7+ Kh8 26 Rxe5 Qxe5 27 Bg6+ Kg8 28 Qh7+ Kf8 29 Qxf7 mate. Anything else, e.g. f6 or f5, is ruinously expensive in material.
Aug-19-21  Walter Glattke: 22.-Nce5 23.Nxe5 Nxe5 24.Rxe5 gxh6 25.Qxh6 f5 (paul dorion) 25.-Qxd5? 26.Bh7+ Kh8 27.Bg6+ Kg8 28.Qh7+ Kf8 29Qxf7# / 25.-f5 26.Re3! wins Rd7 Rxe6 / Qg7 Rg3 / Kf7 Qh7+ + QxQ
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <whiteshark: Reading through all the kibitzing it's still without an answer where black went wrong.>

It's been over 13 years since you posted this, but since you're still a premium member, you might still be lurking here. According to The Computer, black went wrong with 20..Bc8, and would have been equal after 20 Be8 or 20 Bb5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Your humble poster hopes against hope that <whiteshark>--one of the decent people hereabout--is indeed able to visit. Has always been a pleasure to see him. Hoping for the best.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: <humble poster>??? Haughty and pompous comes readily to mind.
Aug-19-21  stacase: White's next move Nf6# can't be stopped, and I missed it. Well maybe not mate as Black can push his Pawn f6 allowing an escape square Kf7 but then Qh7+ winning the Queen and then it's over.
Aug-19-21  mel gibson: Well I got the first ply easily but the rest was a mystery.

Stockfish 14 says:

22. Bxh6

(22. Bxh6 (♗c1xh6 g7xh6 ♕h5xh6 ♖d8-f8 ♗d3xc4
d5xc4 ♘f3-g5 f7-f6 ♕h6xg6+ ♕c7-g7 ♕g6xg7+ ♔g8xg7 e5xf6+ ♖f8xf6 ♖a1-a5 ♗c8-b7 ♘g5xe6+ ♔g7-h6 ♘e6xc5 ♗b7-c6 ♘c5-e6 ♖a8-e8 ♖a5-e5 ♖f6-g6 ♘e6-f4 ♖g6-f6 ♖e5xe8 ♗c6xe8 ♖e1xe8 ♖f6xf4 ♖e8-e6+ ♔h6-g5 ♖e6-c6 ♖f4-f7 ♖c6-c5+ ♖f7-f5 h2-h4+ ♔g5-f6 ♖c5-c6+ ♔f6-e5 ♖c6-a6 ♔e5-e4 ♖a6xa7 ♖f5-d5) +6.83/35 413)

score for White +6.83 depth 35.

Premium Chessgames Member

White has the bishop pair for a bishop, a knight and a pawn.

The pawn on h6 invites to play 22.Bxh6 (22.Bxg6 fxg6 23.Qxg6 Qf7):

A) 22... gxh6 23.Qxh6

A.1) 23... Ncxe5 24.Nxe5 Nxe5 25.Rxe5 is winning (25... Qxe5 26.Bh7+ Kh8 27.Bg6+ Kg8 28.Qh7+ Kf8 29.Qxf7#).

A.2) 23... Nb2 24.Ng5

A.2.a) 24... Nxd3 25.Nh7 f5 (25... Nxe1 26.Nf6#; 25... Qe7 26.Nf6+ Qxf6 27.exf6 and mate next) 26.Nf6+ Kf7 27.Qh7+ Kf8 28.Qg8+ (much better than 28.Qxc7) 28... Ke7 29.Qg7#.

A.2.b) 24... Rd7 25.Nh7 f5 26.Nf6+ Kf7 27.Qh7+ Kf8 28.Qg8+ Ke7 29.Qe8#.

A.2.c) 24... f5 25.Nxe6 (25.exf6 Nh8 26.f7+ Nxf7 27.Qg8+ Kf8 28.Nh7+ Ke7 29.Qf6+ Ke8 30.Qg7 Ke7) 25... Bxe6 (25... Qg7 25.Qxg7+ Kxg7 26.Nxd8 wins decisive material) 26.Qxg6+, followed by 27.Qxe6 wins two pawns at least.

A.2.d) 24... f6 25.Qxg6+ Qg7 (else Nh7+ or Nf7+ wins the black queen) 26.exf6 Qxg6 27.Bxg6 with a won ending. For example, 27... Rd6 (due to Nxe6) 28.f7+ Kg7 29.Nh7 Bd7 30.f8=Q+ Rxf8 31.Nxf8 wins decisive material.

A.3) 23... Qb7 (to protect the queen) 24.Ng5 with the same idea Nh7-f6.

B) 22... Nb2 23.Bg5 and the double threat Bxd8 and Bxg6 wins a pawn at least. Also Bf6 combined with Ng5 is interesting but unclear.

Aug-19-21  cocker: These days Bill Hartston can sometimes be seen on Gogglebox.
Aug-19-21  Brenin: <perfidious>: <whiteshark>'s last posting (29 Jan 2021) was: <More bad news : In mid-September, I had a spontaneous retinal detachment on my eyes and have been severely visually impaired ever since.... I can see almost nothing on the screen, let alone read. My Premium expires in February - I don't think I'll be able to post much in the ...> That's a pity: his comments are missed.
Aug-19-21  Socrates2: Beating Portisch like that was amazing !
Aug-19-21  TheaN: Okay this was a bit of a intuitive play. I saw <22.Bxh6 gxh6 23.Qxh6 with 24.Ng5>, but missed Black's reply. OTB I would have seen Nh7 eventually, but as that's the main idea (the other being Qh7+ with Bxg6 which I did spot) I'm not claiming full credit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Empties vampus evicts Bh6 hatchet addendum nadda its empties vampus evicts hit piston time its gay quadrant dubloon flicker jerk it would viz it history land rehave gab flabby wicked its z totadd grinds it amalgamate axioms avidus kevlar it eg evicts jastha its toes vampus dearly its wicked its photon beam z its mope c dif Bh6 flap clear it hooted;
Aug-19-21  Walter Glattke: A1) To 25.Rxe5 f5 (paul dorion) I found 26.Re3 Rd7 27.Rxe6 Re7 (Rg7 Re8#) 28.Qg5+ Kf8 29.Qf6+ Kg8 30.Rxe7 (Rf7 Qh8#) Brenin plays 23.-Nce5 24.Nxe5 Nxe5 not 25.Rxe5 as above, but 25.Bh7+ Kh8!?. This allows 25.-Kf8 or 25.-Kxh7 26.Bf4+ Kg8 27.Rxe5 Qe7 =
Aug-19-21  Walter Glattke: Corr. I missed 22.Bxh6 gxh6 23. Qxh6 (forgot that) Nce5 24.Nxe5 Nxe5 now 25.Bh7+ (Brenin) Kh8 26. Rxe5 f5 now threatens Qxh7 27.Bg6+ Kg8 >Qg7
Aug-19-21  Walter Glattke: Ah, 27.Bxf5+ Kg8 28.Bxe6+ Bxe6 29.Qxe6+ 3P, now I see
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Bh6 no x heard this one before..
Aug-19-21  Brenin: <Walter Glattke>: After 22 Bxh6 gxh6 23 Qxh6 Ncxe5 24 Nxe5 Nxe5 25 Bh7+ Kh8 26 Rxe5 f5 27 Bxf5+ Kg8 28 Bxe6+ Bxe6 29 Qxe6+ White has rather more than a 3P advantage, namely a mating attack, e.g. 29 ... Qf7 30 Rg5+ Kf8 31 Rf5 Qxf5+ 32 Qxf5+ and 33 Ra6, with mate in a few moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: Beautiful combination. 25.Nh7! is difficult to see as one would automatically go for Qh7+? which apparently leads to a complicated yet drawish position. Portisch apparently missed it, else he would have played something else than 23...Nb2 (although everything loses).
Aug-19-21  Dionysius1: I'd seen that Nh7 idea somewhere before, which made it easier to see the combination through further.

Funny to feel almost like I'm cheating when I'm just applying what I've seen before, but that's what most professionals are doing nowadays isn't it?

Whether the gifted amateurs in the 70s had seen enough to have that advantage is another matter. I have a sneaking feeling they were having to see more at the board than modern players (lack of literature, no internet, lack of over the board practice against strong competition), so I have a lot of respect for them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Dion>, seems to me that is what excellence is all about--same as in my line of poker--pattern recognition.
Aug-19-21  Stanco: I played 22.Bg5, also winning
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: <Stanco: I played 22.Bg5, also winning>

Not according to Stockfish:

analysis of move 22...?

25.Nh7 was a lovely move that I didn't see.

Aug-19-21  Walter Glattke: Sorry, I often did not take time enough for analysis, of course my latest line had a mate threatening, sometimes I sit at the sofa, and suddenly having a continuation in my imagination. I saw the mate threatening after writing some minutes later this way.
Aug-19-21  Dionysius1: I know what you mean <perfidious>. More and more though, I think of the past times when these patterns were being established, when chess players had to find the combinations from their imagination, not because they'd seen them before. And regardless of whether those pioneers would be able to live with today's top players, I respect them more. What imagination!

And take it to nearer modern times, as I was trying to with my comment about Bill Hartston and so on. Even if the patterns had been around for a long time by then, without internet, or the time to study 6 hours a day, these players would have learned a lot fewer patterns to apply. Huge respect to them for creating the combinations for themselves.

Take the Philidor's Mate. I was shown it between rounds at an Irish Schoolboy championship in the 1970s. It made my week, even though I did pretty well in the 7 rounds. I was in a daze imagining what it would have felt like to discover that for the first time, or for myself.

And it probably does happen sometimes still: someone, not knowing the sequence and its name, finds it on her own. The thought of the joy that would bring is electrifying! And my respect for that person's imagination is huge.

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