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Leonid Shamkovich vs Fernando Visier Segovia
Palma de Mallorca (1966), Palma ESP, rd 12, Dec-11
Sicilian Defense: French Variation (B40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-14-13  Sho: Add me to the bachiller-nilba list.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Even though white was up a full rook, to me, the victory still seemed a long way to go.
Sep-14-13  gofer: Okay, lets do that counting thingy where we see how even the position is...

White is a rook up and also has a passed pawn, so in theory its a done deal. The only fly in white's ointment is the threat of 49 ... Rh2#.

But, as white is a whole rook up we can give it up as long as we are getting something for it! So lets line up a rook sacrifice that leads to a discovered check! But first we need to move the black king into harm's way...

<48 g5+ ...>

48 ... Kg7/Kh7 49 Rf7+ Kh8 50 Rbb7

48 ... Kxg5 49 Be4+ Rc5 50 Rxc5+ Bxc5 51 c7

<48 ... Kh5>

Now for the rook sacrifice blocking the b8-h2 diagonal... ...but which is better Rg3 or Rf4?

<49 Rg3! ...>

White is threatening Bf3#, so both Bxg3 and hxg3 are not available. Black should resign, but possibly might try to soldier on with Rh2+?

This was a bit easy for a Saturday!


I am not alone in thinking this is more like a Wednesday level puzzle. The moves and replies are all virtually forced, nothing to think about...

Roll On Sunday!

Sep-14-13  Rachit: 37.. Re8??? something wrong with the game record?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White will win-if he survives the mate threat. Here,white gives the rook back and then mates ON THE SPOT!
Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: On the one hand, yeah, it is a forced two-mover under a mate threat and it starts with a check to boot. On the other hand, it's my first correct Saturday solution.

Verdict: It's unquestionably a good Saturday puzzle, worthy of the finest master minds.

Sep-14-13  mistreaver: Saturday. White to play. Very Difficult. 48?
Okay, i think i have a basic idea:
48 g5+!
A) 48... Kxg5
49 Bb3+ is not an option
B) 48... Kh5
49 Rg3 and if black takes
49... hxg3 (Bxg3)
50 Bf3 is mate
C) 48 ... Kg7
49 Rf7+ and now
49 ... Kh8
50 Bg2
or C2)
49... Kg7
50 Rf2+
Time to check.
Beautiful, but i think also quite easy due to the forced nature of the play. I can't remember when i got Saturday puzzle so easy, and unfortunatelly it is not because my chess strength is growing rapidly :(
Sep-14-13  morfishine: <Once> There must be an error in the game score; I thought <al wazir> made a typo and meant Black should play 38...Rxd8, but what he typed is accurate: Why doesn't White play 38.Rxe8? (and then why doesn't Black play 38...Rxd8); I think what you mentioned explains it: Black played 37...Re7


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <morf> Well, it's a theory. These are two fairly strong players. Admittedly the odd part of the game happens around move 40, which could have been the time control. But it still seems very odd to have five poor moves in a row.
Sep-14-13  The Last Straw: According to, black's 37th move was 37...♖e5.
Sep-14-13  morfishine: <Once> Another possibility is White actually played <37.Rd7> instead of 37.Rb7. This would explain 37...Re8 Black trying to keep White off the 8th rank

We can arrive at the same position with this move order: 37.Rd7 Re8 38.Bd5 Ng5 39.Kf1 Re3 40.Rbb7 Bc5

A long shot, but something is amiss somewhere. One thing, trying to figure out the error is almost as fun as just plain solving a puzzle!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <morfishine> <Once> This really looks like a score error to me. Strong players rarely leave pieces so obviously en prise for several moves in a row, time pressure notwithstanding. Even weak players don't do it very often.

This suggestion of made earlier:

<Granny O Doul: My guess: Black's 34th move was actually ...Re7, and his 37th was ...Re2.>

This seems to be on the right track, though I would suggest <34..Re3>, due to White's resonse of 35.c4. 34...Re7 seems to have no purpose at all.

However, I would agree with 37...Re2, especially with the following sequence of <39.Kf1 Re3.>

I doubt the correct score will come to light without a lot of research, but I would bet 99% on an error of some sort.

Sep-14-13  quinlan: 49....Rh2+!, in spite of all!
It´s the only saving move,I guess...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <The Last Straw> 37...Re5 instead of 37...Re8 is the best answer I've seen so far, if only because it cuts down the number of errors to 1 (mistaking a "5" for an "8").
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Visier must have been licking his chops before White's 48th move and the problem-like denouement.
Sep-14-13  Abdel Irada: <chrisowen>: How many times do I have to tell you, you can't put a heffalump on a duck pedestal?

Sep-14-13  psmith: Note on score and game location. This was played at Palma de Mallorca 1966, and move 37 for Black was 37... Re5, according to:
Sep-14-13  psmith: Also according to that site, 34...Re2 is correct. Here is the entire score as given there:

[Event "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Site "Palma de Mallorca"]
[Date "1966.??.??"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Shamkovich, Leonid"]
[Black "Visier Segovia, Fernando"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo ""]
[BlackElo ""]
[ECO "B30"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 d6 5.Bg2 Be7 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 h5 8.h3 a6 9.Be3 Bd7 10.O-O Qc7 11.Qd2 Nf6 12.f4 Rc8 13.Nb3 b5 14.a3 b4 15.axb4 Nxb4 16.Nd4 O-O 17.Nce2 e5 18.Qxb4 exd4 19.Nxd4 Rfe8 20.Qd2 Bf8 21.Qd3 Bb5 22.Nxb5 axb5 23.Rf2 Qc4 24.Bd4 b4 25.Rd1 h4 26.g4 b3 27.Qxc4 Rxc4 28.cxb3 Rb4 29.Bc3 Rxb3 30.e5 dxe5 31.fxe5 Rxc3 32.bxc3 Rxe5 33.Rd8 Nh7 34.Rf5 Re2 35.c4 g6 36.Rb5 Kg7 37.Rb7 Re5 38.Bd5 Ng5 39.Kf1 Re3 40.Rdd7 Bc5 41.Rb5 Ba3 42.c5 Rc3 43.c6 Nxh3 44.Rxf7+ Kh6 45.Rf3 Rc1+ 46.Kg2 Rc2+ 47.Kxh3 Bd6 48.Rg3 1-0

Sep-14-13  Abdel Irada: <Phony Benoni: <The Last Straw> 37...Re5 instead of 37...Re8 is the best answer I've seen so far, if only because it cuts down the number of errors to 1 (mistaking a "5" for an "8").>

There are other moves that also satisfy that criterion (...Re7, ...Re3, etc.), but I agree with you in finding e5 the most plausible square.

We can probably rule out 37. ...Re1 because that would be check and force a king move, and although 37. ...Re7 is possible, 38. Bd5 would not seem the most efficient reply. And since the rook did go to e3 two moves later, I think we can also rule out that square.

By the process of elimination, I think 37. ...Re5 is the correct move.

Sep-14-13  Abdel Irada: <psmith>: If that score is correct, our puzzle solution (48. g5†) never actually occurred. But without it, 48. Rg3? makes no sense.

Sep-14-13  psmith: <Abdel Irada>-- right, I didn't check to the end of the score! I am guessing the score I posted is correct except for missing 48. g5+ Kh5 49. Rg3. But some confirmation would help... (Just as an aside, I got this puzzle, which is pretty unusual for me on Saturday, and thought it was a bit easy for Saturday, since it was pretty much forced to avoid mate...)
Sep-14-13  psmith: Same score as at the above linked site (with same error at the end), here...
Sep-14-13  psmith: If anyone has the first issue of the Chess Informant (1967) this game might be in there....
Sep-14-13  Patriot: 48.g5+ looks like it wins.

48...Kxg5 49.Be4+ Rc5 50.Rxc5 Bxc5 51.c7

48...Kh5 49.Rg3 hxg3 50.Bf3#

48...Kh5 49.Rg3 Bxg3 50.Bf3#

48...Kg7 49.Rf7+ Kh8 50.Rb8+ Bxb8 51.Rf8+ Kg7 52.Rxb8

Very cool problem!

Sep-15-13  morfishine: <psmith> Thanks for the update! This clears everything up
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