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Leonid Shamkovich vs David Blohm
American Open (1976), Santa Monica, CA USA
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio Gambit Accepted (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-31-11  morfishine: Got the first 3-moves through 24...Ke7 but varied with 25.Qxh8 Bxh8 26.Nxa8 (as did <Lost In Space>). Looks enough to win for white. Something to look at today.
Jul-31-11  DavideSuazo: This is my first daily puzzle at and i had the right answher: 22.Rxe7+ Kxe7 23. Nd5+ Ke6 24.Nxc7+ Ke7 25.Nd5+ Ke6 26.Nf4+.

But then i went "wrong". I thought Kf7 was the next move because it give black some extra time but the game move was Kf5. That a mate in 8: 27.Qg6+ Ke5 (<Kxf4 28.d4>) 28.Re3+ Kd4 29. b4 Kc4 30. Qd3 Kxb4 31.Qxd6+ Ka4 32.Ra3+ Kb5 33.Rb3+ Kc4 34.d3# (<also possible is Ka5 Qa5# or Ka4 Qa3# etc.>)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Round 614? Wow, they really must have been tired!
Jul-31-11  sevenseaman: <morf><Got the first 3-moves through 24...Ke7 but varied with 25.Qxh8 Bxh8 26.Nxa8>

Good. I should think you've done enough as far as the POTD goes. Anything more is shifting the goalposts. But we can be suave and not mention that.

Try and play the game score now.

There is a natural kind of flow in this game. If you keep a cool head you'll not go for Q exchange or even captures on Q-side. It looks quite fine to let the sleeping dogs sleep. If you did that, you are bound to reach 26. Nf4+ and see what happens. Your Q will connect with the R and the Black K gravitates towards the trap.

I'll admit 28. d4 looks a bit of a brilliancy here but the key move is the second sac, a N that keeps the caravan in motion.

(Each to his own. The above is all loud thinking, not criticism or advice)

Jul-31-11  sevenseaman: <DavideSuazo>Welcome aboard. <22.Rxe7+ Kxe7 23. Nd5+ Ke6 24.Nxc7+ Ke7 25.Nd5+ Ke6 26.Nf4+.> Quite a package for a first effort, and on a Sunday! You got more than enough, and no chance that you went 'wrong' thereafter. Different routes to mate, equally good.
Jul-31-11  scormus: <morf ... Got the first 3-moves through 24...Ke7 but varied with 25.Qxh8 Bxh8 26.Nxa8>

I went the same as you, but had the awkward feeling I was missing something better. In fact I considered 24. Nf4 but couldnt see a clearly winning line.

Picking up the c7 pawn and coming back to d5 keeps W's options open. I didnt look that close then butI still cant see how W wins after 26. Nf4. B has 4 26 .... moves - 2 of lose the Q while the game move seriously exposes the K.

But what after ... Kf7? Perhaps 27 Qg6 Kf8 28 Nd5 (again) Ne1 29 Rf3. Getting a bit beyond my analysis horizon. W certain has pressure

I think we merit at least partial credit!

Jul-31-11  Ferro: In the 27...Ke5 goes better for black. In surprise!
Jul-31-11  Ferro: I have resolved 22. Rxe7+ in first time. Better now
Jul-31-11  morfishine: <sevenseaman> & <scormus> One thing I was wondering (after seeing the continuation) is this: Is <24.Nxc7+> even necessary?...Why not <24.Nf4+> going straight for the throat?

Its almost like he planned on taking the rook then thought, "Whoa, I can finish black off right away"...curious since I briefly looked at <24.Nf4+> before settling on <24.Nxc7+>

Also, <scormus>, earlier <Lost in Space> demonstrated that White can capture one of the bishops leaving white with a huge plus: R+4 pawns vs B+N besides the fact that black is still all tied-up. Sometimes these 'insane' puzzles' have more than one 'insane' move!

Jul-31-11  David2009: L Shamkovich vs Blohm, 1977 White 22? Insane

White has RPPP against BBN so is behind on material, meanwhile his attack is petering out. Time to cut his losses and regain some material with 22.Qxh8 Bxh8 23.Rf3+ Bf3 (the alternative Ke8 allows 24.Nd5 also regaining material) 24.Rxe7+ Kxe7 25.Nd5+ Kf7 26.Rxf6+ Kg7 and White has PPP for a B and an ending with chances for bnoth sides which is likely to be won by the stronger player. Time to check:

click for larger view

I round off a bad week by missing the force of Nd5+ as follow-up to Rxe7+ (I thought White's attack after 22.Rxe7+ Kxe7 23.Nd5+ Kf7 would just burn out, missing 24.Qg6+ Ke6 and White has the choice of 25.Nxc7+ and Nf4+).

Here's the position on Crafty End Game Trainer: Enjoy exploring the variations interactively. You are white, drag and drop the move you want to make.

Jul-31-11  sevenseaman: <morf> Agree with you about 24. Nc7. Strictly speaking its irrelevant to the progress of the game. And the N does not take c7 as greed or with a design on the a8 R.

But I would call it a clever, waiting move of a possible trap. White wanted to see if Black would choose for his K a square any other than e7. The Qs are still facing each other. Any erroneous K move to e5, f5 or f7 gives White an opportunity to move his Q out of confrontation with a deadly tempo.

See it for yourself; there is no safe move for the K except to e7, and in that case the N reverts with assurance of a check.

Jul-31-11  morfishine: <sevenseaman> Kind of fitting that after <22...Kxe7> ...<e7> turns out to be his only safe square for awhile, until he's finished off.

My favorite miss-step is if after 25.Nd5+ <25...Kd8???> 26.Rg8+

Good luck next week working the POTD and good to see you signed-on for the Akobian game. :) Morf

Jul-31-11  morfishine: <David2009> Thanks for setting up "Crafty" (plus on other occasions). "Crafty is an understatement".

What I find strange [when you present a position with colors reversed], is at times I am more confused, while others, it makes it much simpler to see the solution.

Jul-31-11  scormus: <morfishine: ... One thing I was wondering (after seeing the continuation) is this: Is <24.Nxc7+> even necessary?...Why not <24.Nf4+> going straight for the throat?>

Good call! I was wondering that too but I hadnt really thought it through.

<sevenseaman> also a good point about W seeing what B would do in reply to <Nxc7+> I even wonderd if W had seen something in the Nf4+ line that required Nxc7 first, but I have yet to see what it was.

I simply must see what Rybka says. It might not be the toughest Sunday POTD but it raises some very interesting discussion.

Jul-31-11  Creg: I think 22.Rxe7+ is the key move, but after...

22...Kxe7 23.Nd5+ Ke6 is giving me troubles. All other King moves appear good for white. After...

24.Nxc7+ Ke7 I don't see how white makes headway as he's still down two pieces. Unless he plans on using his kingside pawns, say after...

25.Qxh8 Bxh8 26.Nxa8, white has 3 pawns for the piece?!

I must be missing something. Let's see what I'm missing.

I never thought of Nf4+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <morfishine> <One thing I was wondering (after seeing the continuation) is this: Is <24.Nxc7+> even necessary?...Why not <24.Nf4+> going straight for the throat?>

The reason white plays 24 Nxc7 first is to rid the knight's protection by that pawn.

This proves cruical in the variation if black deviates from the text with 26...Kf7.

click for larger view

White wins now after 27 Qg6+ Kf8 (or Ke7) 28 Qd3!

click for larger view

White has two threats, 29 Qxd6+ and Ng6+. Only one is stoppable, because of the now unprotected knight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <TheBish>: According to Benjamin Franklin (in Poor Richard's Almanack), "Three removes are worse than a fire."
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Jimfromprovidence: The reason white plays 24 Nxc7 first is to rid the knight's protection by that pawn.> Thanks.
Jul-31-11  DrMAL: Guess I was impatient, I just jumped to 24.Qxh8! also winning (checked to be sure). 24.Nxc7! was even stronger.
Jul-31-11  noendgame: Well, I got some of the moves, pretty good for me on a Sunday. I didn't anticipate black'e attack on the queen or the sweet little 28 D4, cutting off the escape.
Jul-31-11  VincentL: "Insane".

The only feasible move I see is 22. Rxe7+

Now black cannot play 22......Bxe7 on account of 23. Qxh8.

So 22....Kxe7, then 23. Nd5+.

(a) 23....Kd8 24. Rg8+ ! Qxg8 25. Qxf6+ Ke8 26. Qe7 mate.

(b) 23....Ke8 24. Nxf6+ followed by 25. Qxh8

(c) 23....Kf7 24. Qg6+ Kf6 25. Rf6 Qg7 26. Rxf6+ Kg8 27. Ne7+ Kh8 28. Qh5+ Qh7 29 Rf8+ Kg7 30. Rf7+ h8 31. Qxh7 mate.

Other black moves lead to a similar end.

(d) 23....Ke6 24. Nxc7+ Ke7 (if Ke5 black will get mated by the rook and pawns) 25. Re3+

Here I donīt quite see the finish, and I am out of time.

Letīs check.

Jul-31-11  scormus: <Jimfromprovidence: ....The reason white plays 24 Nxc7 first is to rid the knight's protection by that pawn.>

Thanks. Well found!

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a rook and three pawns for the bishop pair and a knight.

Black threatens 22... Qxh6 and 22... Ndf5.

The bishop on f6 protects the black queen and the knight on e7 covers the squares d5 and g6. This suggests 22.Rxe7+, eliminating a defender and incorporating the knight into the attack with tempo, 22... Kxe7 (22... Bxf6 23.Qxh8) 23.Nd5+:

A) 23... Kd8 24.Rg8+ Ne8 (24... Qxg8 25.Qxg6+ Ke8 26.Qe7# or 26.Nxc7#) 25.Rxh8 Bxh8 26.Qxh8 + - [Q+3P vs R+B].

B) 23... Ke8 24.Nxf6+ Qxf6 (else 25.Qxh8) 25.Qxf6 and 26.Rg8#.

C) 23... Kf7 24.Qg6+

C.1) 24... Kf8 25.Nxf6 (threatens 26.Nh7+ Ke7 27.Re3+ Kd8 28.Qg5+) 25... Nf7 (25... Ne4 26.Qe8#) 26.Nh7+ Ke7 27.Re3+

C.1.a) 27... Kd8 28.c3 (28.Qxf7 Qa1+ and mate next) 28... c6 (28... Nd6 29.Qg5+ and mate next) 29.Qxf7 + - [N+3P vs B].

C.1.b) 27... Ne5 28.d4 d6 29.dxe5 dxe5 30.Ng5 + - [N+2P vs B].

C.2) 24... Ke6 25.Nxf6

C.2.a) 25... Qxf6 26.Re3+ Kd5 (26... Ne4 27.Rxe4+ Kd5 28.c4+ and 29.Qxf6 + - [Q+3P vs B]) 27.Qxf6 + - [Q+3P vs B+N].

C.2.b) 25... Nf7 26.Re3+ Ne5 (26... Kd6 27.Qxf7) 27.Ng4+ Kd5 28.Rxe4+ wins.

D) 23... Ke6 24.Nxc7+

D.1) 24... Ke5 25.d4+

D.1.a) 25... Kxd4 26.Qe3#.

D.1.b) 25... Ke4 26.Rg4+ Kf5 27.Qf4#.

D.1.c) 25... Kf5 26.Rf3+ and mate next.

D.2) 24... Kf5 25.Rf3+ and mate next.

D.3) 24... Ke7 25.Qxh8 Bxh8 26.Nxa8 Ne8 (26... Kd8 27.Rg8+; 26... Nb5 27.a4; 26... Be5 27.Re3 Kf6 28.Nc7) 27.Nc7 Nxc7 28.Rg8 + - [R+4P vs B+N].

D.4) 24... Kf7 25.Qg6+

D.4.a) 25... Ke7 26.Nd5+ Ke6 27.Nxf6 is similar to C.2.

D.4.b) 25... Kf8 26.Nxa8 + - [R+4P vs 2B].

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: In my earlier post I should have continued a bit longer with that variation because there's another nice twist to that position.

Again, here's the position after 26...Kf7 27 Qg6+ Kf8 (or Ke7) 28 Qd3!

click for larger view

Now, after 28...Ke8 29 Qxd6, black pulls out this rabbit, 29...Be7?!, threatening mate in one and white's queen.

click for larger view

Luckily white has 30 Qxe7+, and wins after 30...Kxe7 31 Ng6+.

Jul-31-11  Patriot: Time limit: 20 minutes with chess clock

Material: Black has 3 pieces for a rook and 3 pawns

Threats: 22...Qxh6

My only candidate was 22.Rxe7+ in the entire 20 minutes. With black's rook and c8-bishop out of the game and the fact that black is slightly ahead materially, white must "strike while the iron is hot".

22...Kxe7 is forced since 22...Bxe7 23.Qxh8.

23.Nd5+ brings another piece into the attack.

23...Kf7 allows 24.Qg6+ Ke6 and I wasn't completely certain how to continue. 25.Nxc7+ is possible or 25.Nf4+ or even 25.c4. Here I thought 23...Ke6 right away is probably the best defense. 24.Nxc7+ is again possible or 24.Nf4+ Kf7 (marching forward looks suicidal) 25.Qg6+ Kf8 26.Nd5 looks murderous. That's about all I could see in the time spent on this.

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