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Carl Ahues vs Mir Sultan Khan
"The Sultan of Swat" (game of the day Jan-05-2008)
Liege (1930), Liege BEL, rd 3, Aug-21
Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation (E43)  ·  0-1



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Given 22 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Oct-22-09  wals: Karl Ahues - Mir Sultan Khan, Liege Belgium 1930

Analysis by Rybka 3 1-cpu:

1. (-8.55): 44...Ng3+ 45.hxg3...fxg3 46.Qc2...Qh5 47.Ke2...Qh2 48.Qxd3...cxd3

Oct-22-09  smalldreams: 44. ... Ng3+
45. hxg3 fxg3

But white can complicate things by Qb2 or Qc2. Time to check...


And black switches gears without warning to preserve the win. I stink at these. :) I probably wouldn't have played Ng3+ if this position occurred in a game and not a puzzle. Khan is another fun player to watch.

Oct-22-09  David2009: Thursday's puzzle Ahues vs Sultan Khan, 1930 Black ...44?

If I have calculated correctly the solution is
44...Ng3+ 45 hxg3 fxg3 (threat Qf2 mate) 46 Qc2 (only sensible defence, keeping the Black Rook pinned) Qh5 47 Kf2 Qh2 48 Rc1 (what else?) Qxg2+ 49 Ke1 Qh1+ 50 Ke2 g2 and the Pawn promotes. This is at the limit of my calculating ability. To win able to move the Q alone (the Rook being pinned) is most unusual, and more like a composed problem than an actual game. Time to check.
Amazingly I may have got it right. Time to check by reading other comments.

Oct-22-09  SuperPatzer77: <smalldreams: 44. ... Ng3+
45. hxg3 fxg3

But white can complicate things by Qb2 or Qc2. Time to check...


<smalldreams> In my opinion, 46. Qb2 doesn't complicate but 46. Qc2 does.

46. Qb2 Qh5, 47. Qc2 (wasted move) Qh1+, 48. Ke2 Qxg2# 0-1

46. Qc2 is much better than 46. Qb2 because White has to give up his White Queen for the Black Rook.

It sure as heck gives Black a big advantage.


Oct-22-09  Marmot PFL: the first two moves were obvious, but it took too long to find 46...Qh5 and be sure that white had no defense.
Oct-22-09  SuperPatzer77: <David2009> Your analysis - 46...Qh5, 47. Kf2 (illegal move because the Black g-pawn takes control of the f2 square)

It should be 47. Ke2 (not Kf2 - illegal move).


Oct-22-09  jheiner: Not sure why, but this one was immediate. Saw the main idea and immediate continuation through to the end. Unusual for me for a Thursday.
Sep-29-12  Conrad93: 36...Qxc3 is much better than Khan's original move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Hmmm, not one person in this three pages has mentioned that Sulthan Khan seems to be adept at Nimzovich's "My system" here playing the Nimzo like Nimzovich itself and applying successfully restrain, blockade destroy strategies against the doubled pawns.

This is a person who was not even playing the Western version of chess until 1929 and we have a game which Nimzovich would be proud of.

Even the dissolution of the doubled pawns doesn't help White as it lead to the effect of "Mighty Knights".

From a purely evolutionary style perspective, this game is exceptionally interesting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Video annotation here from the perspective of Chess style:

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Dang, I wanted to use that pun, but someone beat me to it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: < kingscrusher: Hmmm, not one person in this three pages has mentioned that Sulthan Khan seems to be adept at Nimzovich's "My system" here playing the Nimzo like Nimzovich itself and applying successfully restrain, blockade destroy strategies against the doubled pawns.

This is a person who was not even playing the Western version of chess until 1929 and we have a game which Nimzovich would be proud of.>

Sultan Khan was also illiterate. He would never have read <My System>. It's not for nothing that Hooper and Whyld call him "perhaps the greatest natural player of modern times." A great genius.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> While you and I are familiar with Reuben Fine's comments regarding one of the true geniuses of chess, I shall reproduce his thoughts for the edification of others:

<The story of the Indian Sultan Khan turned out to be a most unusual one. The "Sultan" was not the term of status that we supposed it to be; it was merely a first name. In fact, Sultan Khan was actually a kind of serf on the estate of a maharajah when his chess genius was discovered. He spoke English poorly, and kept score in Hindustani. It was said that he could not even read the European notations.

After the tournament [the 1933 Folkestone Olympiad] the American team was invited to the home of Sultan Khan's master in London. When we were ushered in we were greeted by the maharajah with the remark, "It is an honor for you to be here; ordinarily I converse only with my greyhounds." Although he was a Mohammedan, the maharajah had been granted special permission to drink intoxicating beverages, and he made liberal use of this dispensation. He presented us with a four-page printed biography telling of his life and exploits; so far as we could see his greatest achievement was to have been born a maharajah. In the meantime Sultan Khan, who was our real entrée to his presence, was treated as a servant by the maharajah (which in fact he was according to Indian law), and we found ourselves in the peculiar position of being waited on at table by a chess grand master.>

Jul-01-21  Nov8: Chess engine please!
Jul-01-21  Brenin: 44 ... Ng3+ 45 hxg3 fxg3 (threatening 46 ... Qf2 mate) 46 Qc2 Qh5 (threatening 47 ... Qh1+ 48 Kf2 Qxg2 mate) 47 Ke2 Qh2 looks good enough, e.g. 48 Rc1 (what else?) Qxg2+ 49 Ke1 Qh1+ 50 Ke2 g2 and the g-pawn queens.
Jul-01-21  Olsonist: Surprisingly easy but only because there isn't many choices to go wrong. The rook is pinned.
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: the black R is pinned, which makes the solution less elusive. the "trapping pawn" with the forcing 44. .. Ng3+ is a straightforward idea, as it also opens the h file and eventual 47. Ke2 Qh2 while white is yielding tempos with defensive moves like Qc2.
Jul-01-21  Walter Glattke: Black get three pawns at the king's wing after 44.-Ng3+ 45.hxg3 fxg3 46.Qc2 Qh5 47.Ke2 Qh2 48.Qxd3+ (all forced, other moves get mate) 47.-cxd3 48.Kxd3 Qxg2 48.Nf5 Qxf3+ 49.Ne3 ***49.-h5 50.c4 h4 51.c5 h3 52.Rc1 g2 53.c6 Qxc6 54.Rxc6 g1Q 55.Rc2 h2 56. Rxh2 Qxh2 other tries ended draw or worse for black
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The attempt to unpin the rook with 44... Kh8 is a bad idea: 45.Qb8+ and mate in three.

Black can open the h-file with 44... Ng3+ 45.hxg3 fxg3:

A) 46.Re2 Qh5

A.1) 47.Rb2 Qh1+ 48.Ke2 Qxg2+ 49.Ke1 Qg1+ 50.Ke2 Qf2#.

A.2) 47.Qxd3+ cxd3 is a massacre (48.Rd2 Qh1#).

B) 46.Qc2 Qh5

B.1) 47.Rc1 Qh1+ 48.Ke2 Qxg2+ 49.Ke1 Qg1+ 50.Ke2 Qf2#.

B.2) 47.Ke2 Qh2 48.Qxd3+ (48.Rf1 Qxg2+ 49.Ke1 Qxc2 wins) 48... cxd3+ 49.Kxd3 Qxg2 - + [q+p vs R+N].

Jul-01-21  mel gibson: Saw the first move but I wasn't sure.

Stockfish 13 says:

44... Ng3+

(44. .. Ng3+ (♘h5-g3+ h2xg3 f4xg3 ♕b1-c2 ♕c5-h5 ♔f1-e2 ♕h5-h2 ♕c2xd3+ c4xd3+ ♔e2xd3 ♕h2xg2 ♘e7-f5 ♕g2xf3+ ♘f5-e3 h6-h5 ♖e1-f1 ♕f3-c6 ♖f1-g1 h5-h4 ♔d3-e2 ♕c6-g6 ♔e2-f3 ♕g6-h5+ ♔f3-f4 g7-g5+ ♔f4-e4 ♕h5-g6+ ♔e4-d4 h4-h3 a2-a4 ♕g6-f6+ ♔d4-d3 h3-h2 ♖g1-a1 ♕f6-c6 c3-c4 ♕c6-g6+ ♔d3-d2 ♕g6-e4 ♖a1-e1 g3-g2 ♘e3xg2 ♕e4xg2+ ♔d2-e3 ♔h7-g6 a4-a5 ♕g2-g1+ ♖e1xg1 h2xg1♕+ ♔e3-d3 g5-g4 ♔d3-c2 g4-g3 ♔c2-c3 ♕g1-a1+ ♔c3-b4 ♕a1-b1+ ♔b4-c3) +14.10/44 444)

score for Black +14.10 depth 44

Jul-01-21  Andrew Chapman: 47.Rc1,say, to protect the queen from being skewered Qh1+ 48. Ke2 Qxg2+ 49.Ke1 Qg1+ 50.Ke2 Qf2 mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NMABQjmgChess: Found this one right off. To me, there did not seem to be that many moves to pick from given the starting position for the puzzle.

My sentiment is similar to what fm avari viraf

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Runny keyins runkle Ng3+ gives it?s evict keyins an ointment ji again quite keyins runny keyins runkle lapsy keyin palsy marquis dutch betcha it?s wibble again tankard it?s runny keyins runkle funny keyins fog v it?s jezebel it?s lo hail keyins honey haunty me likely bawls it?s ivory puddle z again Re4 flush anteater keyins oarups Qb1 fertile it?s a douche again baggins nah keyins fluff gacky cigar chugger garcon dutch totups caddy edict keyins do it was morning keyins it?s plot thickens haggle rescind keyins Ng3+ do it!
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  chrisowen: Case it's closed. Guitar man xxx
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Wake up sueshi no
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