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Jesus Nogueiras vs James Tarjan
Bogota (1979), Bogota COL, Apr-??
Sicilian Defense: Fischer-Sozin Attack. Flank Variation (B87)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-15-06  awfulhangover: Wow, black is beating Jesus in chess!
Sep-15-06  Castle In The Sky: I had 35...♗e6 with the idea of 36...♕a8+ does this go anywhere?
Sep-15-06  zb2cr: Missed it, rats. I'm with the 35. ... Bb7+ crowd.
Sep-15-06  jahhaj: <Castle In The Sky> That was my first thought but after 35...Be6 36.Rg1 Black doesn't have anything.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This is one of the rare cases where a threat of mate in two is better than a threat of mate in one. The real problem is that Bb7+ Kh2 Qg2# is impossible because a dead elephant is in the way-the d.e. being the pinned rook at g7-lol
Sep-15-06  brainzugzwang: Oh lord, I got a Friday puzzle (I think))! I also went in for 35... Qf7 instead of ...Qf8, thinking it was better for the Q to maintain access to the a8-h1 diagonal. From what I've seen this far, no one has refuted ...Qf7.
Sep-15-06  Sasquatch777: Why couldn't white capture black's queen on move 24?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Sasquatch777> If White takes the queen on move 24, Black has 24...Nxh5, with rook and two pieces for the queen. White must have felt that the game continuation, which left him a piece down but with a more active queen, offered better chances.

What I can't figure out comes after 35...Qf7; can White play 36.Qb8?

Sep-15-06  jahhaj: <Phony Benoni> 35...Qf7 36.Qb8 Qd5+ wins
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <jahhaj> Good enough. I'll be quiet now.
Sep-15-06  moonrain: Dear Billosky, pinning does not stop any other rule. But even if would and 36. Kg1 36 ... Kg8+, right?
Sep-15-06  trumbull0042: <siilarsi: <trumbull0042: ... Were the players on drugs or something?> Did you ask that because the game was played in Columbia?> Of course not!
Sep-15-06  worktobedestroyed: I think 19 Bxf7+ is winning, no?

19. Bxf7+ Qxf7 20. Qg4
seems pretty good for white. What have I overlooked?

Sep-15-06  avidfan: 31.Qe5+ Qg7 32.Qe8+ would be perpetual check.

*** *** ***
The only way to stop immediate mate was 39.Nf5 but 39...Qxf5 40.Qxf5 Bxf5 and Black would win the endgame with an extra bishop.

Sep-15-06  GoldenKnight: <WarrenHam: Tarjan is the brother of the famous computer scientist Bob Tarjan.>

Thanks for this piece of information! I remember James Tarjan when he was a chess boy wonder back in the sixties. I was at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1986 (held in Berkeley, CA that year) when Robert Tarjan won the Fields Medal. At first I wondered if they were the same person, then when I realized that their first names were different, I was disappointed and thought they were probably not even related -- until your post! Thanks again.

Sep-16-06  dzechiel: I picked 35...Qf7. Does that work as well?
Sep-16-06  RandomVisitor: <dzechiel>yes.
Sep-20-06  patzer2: White misses an easy win with <RV>'s 21. Nf5! and suffers defeat after 35...Qf8! (even stronger is <dzechiel>'s 35...Qf7!) as he cannot stop the attack on his exposed and helpless King.
Sep-20-06  patzer2: White should have tried <RV>'s 35. Qf6!? However, after 35. Qf6!? Bb7+ 36. Nf3 Qf7! 37. Qd8+ Rg8! 38. Qd4+ Qg7! 39. Qxg7+ Rxg7 40. Rf1 h5! 41. h3 Rg3 Black is still winning.
Sep-20-06  patzer2: White might also have held with 28. Qd6 or 31. Re1 or 34. Rf1 =.

After 34. Qe5+?! (instead of 34. Rf1 =), it would appear White is busted. Following Black's reply 34...Rg7! there does not seem to be a saving line for White (note earlier analysis indicating 35. Qf6!? fails to save White).

Dec-19-12  Howard: USCF members back in 1980--such as myself--might still recall this particular game as the subject of a "chess challenge" article that Tarjan wrote !

Simply put, he presented this game (Among other things he said that White's strong 13. Rxf7! woke him up "faster than a cup of Columbian coffee.") with fairly detailed notes, but then stated that even though he won, he couldn't help but suspect that nonetheless he probably had a lost position at some point. Despite analyzing the game with some other players at the Bogota tournament, no one--at the time--could find an absolute forced win for White.

So Tarjan's "chess challenge" to Chess Life readers was to see if anyone could indeed prove that White had a completely won position at some point.

Fast forward to an early 1981 issue of
Chess Life, where Tarjan ran several letters from readers, including Yasser Seirawan, which pointed to certain positions in the game along with possible "improvements" as to where White could have won. Seirawan's attempt was apparently a case of close-but-no-ciger, according to Tarjan.....

.....but another leading American player Lubosh Kavalek presented some detailed analysis of a certain position in the game, arguing convincingly that White had a win at that point. Tarjan's response was "Very precise analysis ! I can only concur."

I don't have that analysis at my fingertips, but the Chess Life issue it appeared in is at home. Remind me to look this up.

By the way, for those of you who suspect that Kavalek simply fed the game into either Rybka or Fritz and then let his computer analyze the game overnight.......times were a bit different back when I was a junior attending college in Ohio !

Jan-19-13  jerseybob: As far as Tarjan's mistake - and I haven't read his original article - I'd prefer to develop the queenside some more before castling, i.e. 8..Bb7 9.f4,Nbd7, but I'm not sure that's the mistake he's talking about.
Jan-19-13  jerseybob: Looking further in this database, I see in Tarjan-R.Byrne, U.S.Chp. 1981, in the identical position after 12.Be3, Byrne played 12...Nxe5(instead of Tarjan's 12..Qc7), and Byrne easily repelled the white attack.
Oct-10-13  Howard: Jerseybob's latest comment regarding Tarjan-Byrne is quite correct. In fact, in his book on the 1981 U.S. Championship, Christensen remarks that in that particular round of the tournament, he was seated right next to the Tarjan-Byrne game as it was being played, adding that he was closely watching the opening part as it was being played. Why ?! Apparently, he wanted to see if the late Robert Byrne was amply prepared.....and sure enough, he was. In other words, he wisely sidestepped the 13. Rxf7 novelty that had caught Tarjan by surprise the year before !
Oct-03-17  Howard: Just looked up the February, 1981 issue of CL last night...Kavalek's analysis of where White could have forced the win takes place roughly around the 26th move.

RandomVisitor, however, seems to prove that White could have forced the win at an earlier point.

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