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Laszlo Szabo vs Laszlo Liptay
HUN-ch 17th (1962), Budapest HUN, rd 1, May-19
Gruenfeld Defense: Exchange Variation (D85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-01-08  Marmot PFL: Cute idea of forcing the king to move into the knight fork, which occurs fairly often. If black had seen what was coming he could have played 28...g5 with a good position instead of Re5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: A little tougher than most Mondays, but the first move was obvious, so most people should have found the win anyway.
Sep-01-08  zanshin: Whereas I got this puzzle, I don't think it was "Very easy" .. or maybe I am just getting used to Queen sacrifices on a Monday ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Although I did eventually solve this, it took me about 30 seconds to notice the f-file skewer after 34. Rf8+. During that time, I was fallaciously thinking along the lines of: After 33. Re8+ Kf7 34. Rf8+, either 34. ... Kxf8 or 34. ... Kg7 walks into the Knight fork (35. Ne6+), but Black can still avoid immediate disaster with 34. ... Ke7. Finally (in a classic "DOH!" moment) I noticed the obvious 35. Rxf4 (after either 34. ... Ke7 or 34. ... Kg7).

This is a chronic problem for me (taking 30 seconds or even a couple of minutes sometimes to notice obvious tactics) that I would like to find a way to remedy.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

I do a fair number of tactics exercises (puzzle books), but maybe I need to do more. I also wonder if the problem is due to the fact that although I learned the rules of chess in third grade, I never played or studied much until I was in my twenties, which is rather late to be forming the relevant synaptic connections, so perhaps my problem is irremediable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Peligroso Patzer> wrote: [snip] Does anyone out there have any suggestions?>

I also tend to think slowly (but thoroughly). I suggest, which encourages a blitz speed of analysis.

Sep-01-08  YouRang: This one was SOOO easy, that I should have found it SOOO much sooner than I did. :-p
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Apologies - long post coming!

<Peligroso Patzer> A couple of random thoughts that may or may not help. I tend to look for patterns that might suggest particular combinations.

For example, knights alternate between white and black squares on each move. This means that they can only attack squares of a different colour from the one that they are on. So a knight on a white square can only attack black squares on its first move, white squares on its second, and so on.

This then means that forkable pieces must be standing on the same colour squares as each other. In the puzzle position ...

click for larger view

... the white knight and black queen are both on black squares. With a couple of exceptions, this ought to mean that the white knight should be able to attack the black queen in one move. In fact, there are two ways to do this - via e2 and e6.

This also suggests the next theme. As the black queen is on a black square, if we can lure the black king to another black square, there is a good chance that a fork will be on. If we can get the black king to f8 and g7, the queen fork will be "on" via e6.

The two exceptions are when the two targets are two far away or separated by one square along the diagonal, as in this example ...

click for larger view

There is no square where the white knight can fork black king and rook, even though they are both standing on the same colour squares.

The other pattern that might help is when your opponent's king and queen are on the same file and we have rooks on the board. Then we ought to be on guard for pins and skewers. Admittedly, skewers coming back down the board are harder to spot than those going away from you!

Sorry, for rambling, but I find that patterns like these act as cues to help me spot tactics and visualise ahead.

Sep-01-08  DavidD: The solution (33.Re8+ Kf7 34.Rf8+!) is easy to find. ALWAYS calculate ALL checks, captures and threats.

More interesting is an analysis of where Black went wrong. Clearly with 30... Rdxd5?? Black calculated 31.exd5 Re1+ 32.Rxe1 Qxf4 winning the Queen. However, it is very reasonable to assume he made a common error in chess calculation: He stopped one move too short. How natural to think, "I win the Queen so White must resign." Why didn't he see 33.Re8+ ? Simply because he didn't even look for it. He stopped all his calculations when he saw he was winning White's Queen. This is a great example of why you ALWAYS want to try to calculate just one more move than you think you should. Such a thinking habit prevents errors like Black made in this game.

Note that White probably saw to the conclusion of the game at move 30.Qxf4. Although Black's 30th move is not forced, and is a huge mistake, White probably laid a very well concealed trap thinking Black might just play into the game line and not see the combination at the end.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Once> wrote: [snip] I tend to look for patterns that might suggest particular combinations.>

I have trouble seeing N moves, and while I recognize the patterns you describe, I do not use them enough. Thanks for the detail, <Once>.

Sep-01-08  MaczynskiPratten: Lovers of curious games may enjoy the following, where Szabo found himself on the receiving end: Szabo vs C H Alexander, 1954

After 11 moves, all Black's pieces are on their original squares and all his pawns except one are on white squares. He then begins his development with a Queen move! Sounds like rank beginner play, but there is method in his madness....

Sep-01-08  Samagonka: Useful tips on knight moves from <Once>. I see more clearer now.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <Once> great post.

<Peligroso Patzer> - I also learned the rules as a child and returned to the game much later. :)

For you, and everybody else reading this page, with similar difficulties - I'd like to add another vote to <johnlspouge>'s recommendation of the Emrald Chess Tactics Server( Emrald simply can't be recommended enough - it is invaluable. It's a completely free site. You can play (practice) there as a guest, but they recommend registering, so that their program can keep track of your progress, in order to assign you puzzles best suited to your current level. I strongly second that recommendation. :) Register and always play logged in! It will make a huge difference in the site's ability to help you improve.

Getting started at Emrald can be a bit difficult, for two reasons - first, they are unfortunately a bit too picky about what kind of email addresses they will accept for registration purposes. I'm not sure anymore, but I think Gmail addresses were good last I checked... anyway, if you run into that problem, keep trying until you find one they'll accept. It's worth the hassle. The second problem that scares some people off is that your progress is tracked via a "rating system", and because of the high importance they assign to speed, if you are not used to finding tactics fast, your rating will be very low at first - and many people are simply embarrassed to play logged in for that reason. Don't let it bother you! If you let your embarrassment hold you back from letting the site help you improve to the best of its ability, you are only shooting yourself in the foot, and nobody else really cares that much anyway. ;p

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: One more thing I wanted to say about Emrald, but I had to run after I got the above post written that far... :)

A few of the people I've recommended Emrald to, had dismissed it with remarks along the lines of "Oh, it's a blitz training site. I don't play blitz, so that obsession of theirs with speed is just silly to me."

I want to address that reaction ab initio, because it's absolutely wrong - and it's also one that many people who try the site out for only a short time are likely to have, if only because players who are used to being rated, say, 2000 and above, at corr. chess sites, are going to be annoyed and put on the defensive about finding themselves rated as low as 1200-1300 at Emrald, and will wish to dismiss the "insulting" site. ;)

Yes, the Emrald rating system is heavily influenced by speed. But thinking that the site's purpose is blitz training is a complete misunderstanding of the lesson taught. The real purpose of Emrald practice is NOT to improve your blitz skills, but to train you to recognize dozens of tactical themes and opportunities AT A GLANCE - which will not only save you time in games of any time control, but is often the ONLY way you will catch those opportunities AT ALL. Those brilliant tactical shots that can be seen in anyone's collection of "most memorable games", ;) are often moves that will either occur to you as soon as you glance at the position, or you will miss them altogether. That's what Emrald really teaches - tactical chess intuition.

Sep-01-08  myschkin: . . .

Emerald's motto: A baj ritkán jár egyedül ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <myschkin>

1. Emrald (not Em<e>rald) doesn't have a motto AFAIK.

2. It's a German based site; the sentence you posted is Hungarian.

3. Its translation is: Trouble rarely comes singly.

Now - is this your idea of a funny or witty remark, or is this supposed to be some kind of threat?

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<Annie K.> wrote: [snip] thinking that the site's purpose is blitz training is a complete misunderstanding of the lesson taught. The real purpose of Emrald practice is NOT to improve your blitz skills, but to train you to recognize dozens of tactical themes and opportunities AT A GLANCE>

...and it certainly does exactly that for me. I did not have much time to explain emrald this morning, so thanks for elaborating so nicely, <Annie K.>.

Sep-01-08  myschkin: . . .

Dear <Anni K.>,

Ups I was AFK.
If you would have had a closer look at the main domain "" in advance, you should have noticed that it is basically a <Risk Consulting Company> - funny isn't it?

Hogyan mondjam magyarul <did my sources fool me> ?

I reckoned this Hungarian (believe it or not I was well aware of this fact) proverb can also be 'translated' as:

"A problem seldom comes alone" ?

I used the rare German given name 'Emerald' instead of 'Emrald' ... my deepest apologies for that, on purpose! Why? Simple, I am German!

Hmm ... explaining a joke is a boring thing, but I don't want you to have nightmares. Olala, <or is this supposed to be some kind of threat?> Well (now) comes my time asking if you were kidding big time??

That scared me . . . not scintillatingly witty either.

Good night

Sep-01-08  DarthStapler: Got it easily
Sep-01-08  just a kid: Clash of the Laszlos!
Sep-01-08  FizzyY: easy. . .
Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <johnlspouge> you're welcome - I really love that site too, glad to catch a chance to put in a word for it. :)

<myschkin> I wasn't kidding, I was annoyed. I don't exactly keep it secret that I speak Hungarian, but I don't really solicit being addressed in Hungarian either, particularly at a US based, international site - for the most part (excepting brief incidents of getting carried away chatting with fellow fans of some player during a live game relay, for example), I consider speaking minority languages at an international site "exclusive" and rather rude behavior toward our hosts and fellow site members. Not to mention that posting in a language the site administration can't understand has a disreputable history of being used to get away with saying things the site rules forbid. So when somebody accosts me out of the blue with a Hungarian reference to trouble... I'm not going to be just thrilled, ok? :p

I've checked out the main Emrald domain sometime around when I registered, a couple of years ago - it was of no interest, so I forgot about it. The chess site hosted by Emrald is actually called "Chess Tactics Server" only, but that's such a general name that when you want to discuss it with other chess players, it's much easier to refer to it as Emrald if you want to be sure you're both talking about the same site.

But - "nem baj" - no harm done. :) You want to watch it with those dictionaries though - they rarely take sufficient pains to point out connotation differences. 'Baj' may have 'problem' listed as one of its possible translations, but in Hungarian that word is ALWAYS used in a serious context only (trouble, harm, distress, etc). If you want to translate 'problem' in one of its "lighter" shades of meaning, try 'probléma' ('problem', obviously), 'rejtvény' ('puzzle/problem'), or 'kérdés' ('question', also used to mean 'puzzle/problem'). 'Baj' is <definitely NOT> the word to use when referring to a chess problem.

Sep-02-08  myschkin: . . .

Ok, I now understood that you got fed up . The reasons you give are quite convincing. My lesson: never rely on one soure only - jup, the old internet problem. Where our opinions fundamentally differ is the handling of an international board, but we don't have to stretch this out here on this player's page. Maybe sometime we find a 'right' place/time, no need to hurry. The first paragraph of your post contained a couple of points I am courious about. Back to the stale proverb post, let us put it this way was a misunderstanding, bad joke and faulty. My first reply was in a way rude, thin-skinned and overall not one of my brightest around here. Nevertheless I wrote it and that's the way I am. <Annie> sorry for this hullabaloo and hope this last lines helped to clarify this.

No harm done shalom

Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: <myschkin> Peace :)

You're welcome to bring any other questions or discussions to my chessforum.

Well, at least this discussion was "close to topic" of this page inasmuch as both players are (/were?) Hungarian. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A neat White "sacrificed" the queen before the puzzle position.

The solution is easy: black is forced into a fork or skewer.

33♖e8+ ♔g7 34 ♘e6+ a fork

33...♔f7 34 ♖f8+ skewer- ♔xf8 35 ♘e6+ a fork.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Black is definitely forked. I love the move Rf8+ lining up the K and Q. It's even better in the game context when you consider how surprised Liptay must have been, thinking that his f4 pawn could not be taken on account of his own clever combination to (apparently) win the White queen. I wonder exactly when he realized, with horror, that Szabo had seen deeper. Thanks, <Once>, for leading me into the game itself.
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