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Mihai Suba vs Lajos Portisch
"Suba Diver" (game of the day Oct-05-2011)
Thessaloniki Olympiad (1984), Thessaloniki GRE, rd 12, Dec-01
English Opening: Symmetrical. Anti-Benoni Variation Spielmann Defense (A33)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-27-09  TheaN: 2/2

Read <The White <King> has to be brought into position.> and the Kxc3 in variation A should be Kf3, obviously. Other than that, it looks like many people were fooled by Nxb4.

Jan-27-09  MostlyAverageJoe: <cu8sfan: <MostlyAverageJoe: My human-based control method (listening to my son's thinking aloud about the puzzle - he did solve it, BTW)> Is this the boy in your avatar? Now I feel embarrassed for not solving it. (-;>

He's a bit older now - 8 years, to be exact. Hoping to get above the 1200 ELO soon.


Jan-27-09  theodor: < al wazir: White should have played 18. Qxc3. > 18...Nb4 is devastating!
Jan-27-09  drnooo: The two moves that set the combo up are nice: if pawn takes knight queen takes pawn check, king up, bishop check, king f3 and pawn g4 check, king must take pawn, then bishop discovered check wins white queen: almost prettier than the relatively easy two move combo
Jan-27-09  patzer2: <UnsoundHero> Thanks for taking a deep look at 18. Qxc3? Nb5! and 19. Qb2 Nd5! . Your analysis looks good. Based on your examination, I conclude that 18...Nb4! is probably winning for Black.
Jan-27-09  mkrk17: Totally missed it. For some reason i thought that Nxc3 is winning for black. After seeing the solution and realizing that Nxc3 only loses, i feel like a jackass.

Anyway, definitely not an easy puzzle.

Jan-27-09  TheBish: Suba vs Portisch, 1984

Black to play (20...?) "Easy" (1.5 stars)

Well, I would call yesterday's about 0.5 stars, and this one more like 2.0 - not too difficult, for sure, but closer to "Medium" just because it's a little hard to see.

Candidate moves: 20...Nxb4, Qxb4, Qd5, Rd1+.

I rejected 20...Nxb4 Rxa5 21. Nc2+ Ke2, because there's no follow-up. We can dismiss 20...Qxb4 21. cxb4 because there's even less of a follow-up! 20...Qd5 is answered by 21. Qd4 or 21. Qa2.

What's needed here is a tempo move, to set up either a diversion of the rook on a1 (so that Nxb4 can't be answered by Rxa5), or to set up Nxc3+, in other words, luring the White king to either d1 or e2, which would set up Nxc3+ to win White's queen. What kind of move would do that?

20...Rd1+!! does both things mentioned above. It's a decoy move, to either lure the rook - 21. Rxd1 Nxb4 22. cxb4 Qxb4+ 23. Ke2 (Kd2 Rd8) Bc4+ wins more material, since 24. Kf3 g4+! 25. Kf4 (Kxg4 Be2+) Bxf1+ and Black has a queen for a rook - or the king, since 21. Kxd1 (Ke2 is similar) Nxc3+ 22. Qxc3 Qxc3, and now White either gets mated or loses more material: 23. Rc1 (or Rb1) Rd8+ 24. Ke2 Bg4+ 25. f3 Qd2#, or 23. Ra4 Qb3+, or 23. Ra2 Rd8+ 24. Ke2 Qc4+ wins the rook.

An interesting line is 20...Rd1+!! 21. Ke2 Nxc3+ 22. Qxc3 Qxc3 23. Rxd1 Bc4+ 24. Kf3 Qf6+ 25. Kg4 (Ke4 Re8+ 26. Be5 Qxe5+ is easy) Be6+ 26. Kh5 Qg6#! White's king marches up the board, hara-kiri style!

Time to see the game!

Jan-27-09  TheBish: <newton296: It took me about 7.2 seconds to get this . Well within the acceptable time frame for a snowy Tuesday.>

It took me about 20 minutes and 6.8 seconds - 6.8 seconds to solve it, and about 20 minutes to finish typing up the solution after regaining consciousness from the hailstone that came crashing through the window and hitting me in the head, knocking me out. Well within the acceptable time frame for a snowy, hailstone-filled Tuesday.

Jan-28-09  patzer2: I know 6. Ndb5 is a standard and frequently played opening move here. However, it seems to me that moving the Knight a second time, before completing development, is suspect and contributes to White's problems (uncastled King and under-developed pieces under attack) in this game.

My preference is 6. g3 as in E Iturrizaga vs Holzke, 2009. According to the opening explorer, 6. g3, which is the most popular move among masters, was played 326 times with 36.2% wins and 17.8% losses. The game continuation 6. Ndb5, the second most popular choice here, was played 183 times with 30.1% wins and 15.3% losses.

Jan-28-09  just a kid: I think 20...Rd1+! wins.I saw that the Queen was attacked by the Knight,but White's rook pinned it.So I thought for a minute and realized that if 20...Rd1+ that 21.Rxd1 runs into 21...Nxb4.Then I saw Kxd1 and thought for another minute and found 21...Nxc3+! removes the Queen's defender.Time to check.
Jan-28-09  just a kid: Yes!I'm two for two!
Sep-17-11  Everett: What a $&@?! brutal use of the initiative by Portisch.
Oct-05-11  sevenseaman: Suba attacked too early and at the cost of development. Portisch came up with adequate defense and was then able to mount a very good attack.

20...Rd1+ is daringly imaginative in order to get his N going.

Oct-05-11  hellopolgar: 19. Qe4 loses instantly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: This looks more like the US Open U1800, than a GM game.
Oct-05-11  goodevans: After 18 Qxc3 white's position doesn't look too dreadful, or am I missing something?
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: The Hungarian hero. Portisch could be a brutal tactician and this is such an example. Give away the odd tempo and your back is against the wall.
Oct-05-11  newzild: <goodevans: After 18 Qxc3 white's position doesn't look too dreadful, or am I missing something?>

I wondered the same thing - surely it's best to encourage exchanges? However, then I noticed that 18...Nb4 is extremely unpleasant, because of the threats 19...Nc2+ or 19...Rac8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Dang - what a crush!
Oct-05-11  whiteshark:

click for larger view

The position after <10... Qe7> reminds me of the <Schara Henning Gambit <*>>. Black sacrificed a pawn, c+d files are open, e file is semi open and black leads slightly in development. It a narrow path for white.

<11.0-0-0!> is the move from the technical department, but it's understandable that humans don't like to castle their ♔ onto an open file.

click for larger view

= ♙♙♙ = ♙♙♙ = ♙♙♙ =

<* <1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Sc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Da4+ Ld7 6.Dxd4 exd5 7.Dxd5 Sc6 8.e3 Sf6 9.Dd1 Lc5 10.Sf3 De7 >>

click for larger view

Oct-05-11  erniecohen: <UnsoundHero: 19 Qb2 looks better than the game's 19 Qe4. ... Instead, 19...Nd5 20 Be5 Nxe3 21 Bf6 Nc4 22 Bxc4 Bxc4 23 Bxd8 Rxd8 looks interesting. White is an exchange up, but white's king is a sitting duck. Black should win.>

That just shows that 20. ♗e5 is the wrong reply. On the other hand, 20. ♗d2 ♘xc3 21. 0-0 looks like a draw.

Instead, 19...♘xa2 20. ♗e2 ♕xc3+ 21. ♕xc3 ♘xc3 leaves black with some winning chances, but far from a win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What a brilliant final move! If white takes with the rook,the pin is broken and black can take the queen;if the king takes,black's knight check at c3 remeves the queen's guard and she goes next move.
Oct-05-11  erniecohen: Black missed an earlier win with 15...g5, which frees d8 but gives white a free tempo to guard e5. The correct continuation is 15... ♖c8. Then,

16. ♗e3 ♘e5 17. 0-0 ♘xd3 18. ♕xd3 ♗c4 wins;

16. ♗e2 g5 17. ♗g3 ♖d8 18. ♕c1 ♘d4 19. exd4 ♗xc3+ 20. bxc3 ♖xc3 wins;

16. f4 ♘d4 17. ♗xe7 ♗xe7 18. exd4 ♖f8d8 19. ♖d1 ♗f5 20. ♗e2 ♗f6 and white is defenseless against ♗xd4.

Oct-05-11  Amarande: 20 ... Rd1+!!, somewhat reminding of White's 26 Rd8+!! Duras vs Spielmann, 1907

Even masters never completely learn not to rely on relative pins in situations where their King is not safe, do they ...

I did see that after 21 Kxd1 Nxc3+ 22 Qxc3 Qxc3, White cannot play 23 Rc1 because of Bb3+ (I stopped looking for something better for Black after seeing that that wins the Rook), and that 23 Rb1 leads to a mate, but missed the fast mate with the prosaic 24 ... Bg4+; instead I found the more involved 24 ... Qd2+, which also forces mate in all variations, and is perhaps, in any case, much more pleasing to the classicist in all of us. This king-hunt actually even contains quite a number of quiet moves, which only serve to underscore the helplessness of White's underdeveloped Rooks and Bishops.

White's King has a fair amount of wiggle room, but he can't wriggle out after 25 Kf3 g4+ 26 Kf4 (if Ke4, Qd5+ mates next move) Rd4+ - and it's Scylla on the left with 27 Ke5 Re4+ 28 Kf6 (if the Rook is taken Qd5+ is again a mate in 2) Qc3+ 29 Ke7 (Kg5 is mated by checks on g7 then h6) Bf5+ 30 Kd8 (if Kd6, Qc6 is mate) Qc6 31 any Re8#, or Charybdis on the right with 27 Kg5 Qa5+ 28 Kh4 (28 Kh6 Qf5 mates in two more moves; if 28 Kf6 Black simply quietly plays 28 ... Kf8 and White can scrabble on the flypaper for a few moves but the mating net is obvious) Qf5 (a quiet but lethal move which threatens mate in 3 by checks on f6 followed by g6 and h6) 29 Bf4 (nothing else works, the King needs g3 as an outlet after Qh6 in the threatened line and any other DSB move allows 29 ... g3+ and 30 ... Qg4#) g3 (threat: Qg4#) 30 Be2 (the only other defences 30 f3 and 30 h3 lead to exactly the same end) Rxf4+ 31 exf4 Qxf4+ 32 Kh5 Bf5 (this final quiet move threatens mate by Bg6; it can be delayed for only one move).

Oct-05-11  Oceanlake: Agree White shouldn't move Knight on move 6.
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