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Jan Timman vs Robert Huebner
Hoogovens (1982), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 8, Jan-24
Queen's Gambit Declined: Charousek (Petrosian) Variation (D31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: <djp> nvidia Listed 2 possible 40th moves for black.. Note the comma (and the move #s).

<40. Qxe4+ Qxe4 41. Nf8++,
40. ...f5 41. Qxf5++>

If Black played 40...f5 then 41. Qxf5++ is possible. However 40. Qxe4 is Check so the combination will not work.

Jun-25-03  djp: Ahhh.... thanks < AgentRegent>. I've deleted my comments to avoid confusion here.
Jun-22-13  rodantero: After 37.Nb6?? Houdini found a very nice win for black... 37...Qxb2+!! 38.Rxb2 Rxg1+ 39.Ka2 Rd1!! and white has to give back the queen.
Sep-07-14  patzer2: Vaguely recollected the solution was 37...Qxb2+ 38. Rxb2 Rxg1+ 39. Ka2, but did not recall 39...Rd1!! from 11 years ago.

Basic idea of combination, provided you can visualize it, is a math problem (calculating net material gain):

Step 1: Sacrifice Queen 37...Qxb2+ (-9) for pawn (+1) and Rook (+5) after 38. Rxb2 Rxg1+ = -9 +6 = -3 initial material loss.

Step 2: Trap Queen with Rooks after 39. Ka2 Rd1!! to trade back Rook (-5) for Queen and pawn (+10) following 40. Qxd1 Nc3+ 41. Kb3 Nxd1 42. Rd2 Rc3+ 43. Ka2 Nxe3 . Material gained back by trapping Queen with Rook at step 2 = +5 (+9 +1 -5 = 10 - 5 = +5).

Step 3: Assess (i.e. add pluses and minuses) net material gain from step one and step two (-3 +5 = +2), as at least a two pawn net gain. Fritz 12 assessment is closer to three pawns due to Black's domination of the position at the end of the combination.

Sep-07-14  diagonalley: holy shmoley... what a position! ... i instinctively looked at 37... QxP+ but failed to spot the superb follow-up of 39... R-Q8 ... hmmmm... perhaps not quite 'insane' but a fantastic puzzle
Sep-07-14  morfishine: I dismissed 37...Qxb2+ too quickly; Nice finish by Timman

In the event Black found 37...Qxb2+, perhaps White's best chance was capturing the other rook: 37...Qxb2+ 38.Rxb2 Rxg1+ 39.Ka2 Rd1 <40.Qxc4> 40...bxc4 41.Nxc4 Bxb2 42.Kxb2


Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop for a knight.

White threatens 38.Nxc4 and 38.Nd7 followed by Rxg1 (38.Rxg1 Qxb2#).

The first idea that comes to mind is 37... Qxb2+ 38.Rxb2 Rxg1+ 39.Ka2 Rd1:

A) 40.Qxd1 Nc3+ 41.Kb3 (41.Ka1 Nxd1 42.Nxc4 bxc4 followed by Nxb2 - + [B+P], 43.Nd3 is impossible due to 43... cxd3) 41... Nxd1

A.1) 42.Nxc4 bxc4+ 43.Kxc4 Bxb2 - + [B].

A.2) 42.Rc2 Rxc2 43.Kxc2 Nxe3+ - + [B+2P vs N].

A.3) 42.Rd2 Rc3+ and 43... Nxe3 - + [B+2P vs N].

A.4) 42.Re2 Rc3+ as in A.3.

B) 40.Nxc4 Rxd3

B.1) 41.Nxd3 bxc4

B.1.a) 42.Rb7 cxd3 (42... Nd6 43.Rd7) 43.Rxf7+ Kg6 44.Rd7 (due to 44... Nc3+ and 45... d2) 44... d2 and White seems to be unable to stop the pawn: 45.Kb3 Nc5+ and 46... Nxd7, 45.Kb1 d1=Q+ 46.Rxd1 Nc3+ and 47... Nxd1.

B.1.b) 42.Nb4 Nc3+ 43.Ka1 Nd1 wins the rook, ending up a bishop ahead.

B.2) 41.Nb6 Rxe3 - + [B+2P vs N], and 42.Ra2 is not possible due to 42... Nc3+.

C) 40.Qb3 Nc3+ 41.Qxc3 Rxc3 - + [R+B+P vs 2N].

D) 40.Qe2 Nc3+ 41.Kb3 Nxe2 42.Rxe2 (42.Nxc4 bxc4+ 43.Kxc4 Bxb2 44.Nxe2 Bxa3 - + [R+B+P vs N]) 42... Ra1+ 43.Kb3 Rc3+ 44.Kb4 Raxa3 looks disastrous for White.

Sep-07-14  boikovpro: the Puzzles the way i understand them is to find the best way for continuation of game, not mistake which that player makes !!!
Sep-07-14  Refused: After some failed trials to get something from luring the Queen away with Rd8 I decided to try

37...Qxb2+ 38.Rxb2 Rg1+ 39.Ka2 Rd1 40.Qxd1 Nc3+ thus far everything is forced. (40.Qb3 Nc3+ is obviously bad)

41.Ka1 Nxd1
41.Kb3 Nxd1
now black should be able to pick up at least anotherr pawn on e3 and it's just a matter of technique.

Not sure if I missed something.

My irst attempts to lure the Queen away were not a total waste of time, because that idea reappeared with 39...Rd1

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I suspected that 37...Qxb2+ was the answer but didn't find the perfectly spiffing (technical term) 39...Rd1!

click for larger view

The point is that the white queen has nowhere to run to. The c and d files are obviously mined by the two black rooks, as is the first rank. Qxd1, Qe2 and Qb4 all drop her majesty to Nc3+.

However white wriggles, black exchanges off pieces and ends up material ahead.

Clever stuff. Who would have thought with such an open board that the solution would rely on a queen trap?

Perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on either player for not spotting it. It was just a few moves before the time control.

Sep-07-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Insanely complicated indeed.

Black's c4 rook hangs.
Black's g8 rook would hang if White's g2 rook weren't needed to protect b2. Black's knight is pinned.
White's g2 rook is pinned against his g1 rook.
There are lines in which Nd7/Nf8 is a nasty White mating threat.

Anyhow, it looks to me as if the main line is

37 ... Qxb2+
38 Rxb2 Rxg1+
39 Kh2 Rd1
40 Qxd1 Nc3+
41 Kb1 Nxd1
42 Nxc4 bxc4

Before reflecting on what happens next, let's check for alternate lines.

White's first chance to deviate is on Move 40, but his queen is almost trapped, and none of 40 Rd2, 40 Nxc4, or 40 Qe2 works.

If White plays 41 Kb3, he forfeits his chance to snatch the exchange, as bxc4 will now give check.

If he deviates on Move 42 he's simply a pawn down, plus Black has a bishop for knight, on the correct color of squares to support promotion at a1.

Anyhow, after Move 42, White has exchange for pawn. His rook and e-pawn are hanging. He can't safely move his rook to defend the e-pawn, but he can move it to b6 or b7 with threat. Black can quickly escort his passer to c2 with his bishop at h8 and his knight at e3, but queening it will be harder. And I don't feel like trying to analyze the endgame from here. :)

Sep-07-14  JohnBoy: The note by <rodantero>, June-22-13, gives 37.Nb6 a ??. It's a nice move which unfortunately fails to an extremely sick counterattack/queen trap. I didn't see 39...Rd1 w/o a board, and an pretty sure that having the wood in front of me would not have helped much at all.
Sep-07-14  JG27Pyth: 39...Rd1!! Hard to find on the move, let alone two moves in with a Queen sac to make first. Yet -- necessity being the mother invention, and it being necessary, Timman might have found it -- it wasn't hard to see Qxb2 was worth some looking, and if the Queen could be deflected then the Black N might have some moves.... all that was there and Timman might have found it. I on the other hand, never had a chance.
Sep-07-14  patzer2: <Cheapo by the Dozen: ...White's first chance to deviate is on Move 40, but his queen is almost trapped, and none of 40 Rd2, 40 Nxc4, or 40 Qe2 works.>

<Once: ...the perfectly spiffing (technical term) 39...Rd1!

click for larger view

...The point is that the white queen has nowhere to run to. The c and d files are obviously mined by the two black rooks, as is the first rank. Qxd1, Qe2 and Qb4 all drop her majesty to Nc3+.>

All true! However in this position (diagram above), it gets more complicated (diagram below) after 40. Nc4!? (diagram below).

click for larger view

Now (diagram above) the forced reply is 40...Rxd3 41. Nxd3 (diagram below).

click for larger view

From here (diagram above), Black must find 41...bxc4! as all others lose.

Not only that, but after 41...bxc4! (-4.17 @ 22 depth per Fritz 12), Black must figure out the complications after 42. Rb7 (winning two minor pieces versus Rook ending) or the tricky 42. Nc5?! (diagram below).

click for larger view

Here (diagram above) 42...Nc3+! 43. Ka1 Nd1 wins a whole Rook (instead of just the exchange after 42...Bxb2 to ) by combining the deflection, discovered attack and pin tactics in one neat forcing sequence.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: The move I first saw was 37...Rc7 (not 37...Rxg2?)

click for larger view

This is the only move that seemed to hold for black.

Only much later, when I came back to the puzzle, did I find 37...Qxb2+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Tail e5 vows in the high e5 and the lows a b2 or foot;

a jinky run down gcolumn g8 ran super tinker ala show boat a g2 inch a my peg couple leather a b2 a bind at wins for black whilst a g8 rush headlong wheels come off loved axle in am grease the cog e5 tend in sense i would choose first a mind for won key a delve aim cred a effece off at con door e5 be moans lack of room deems duo fold a flight aka ship longer koinus true delight in floor for a good e5 dou bags spot in the sun a thought at fly cutoff a kings escape has again take couple bugs backer screen in ear to the ground a g8 elephant garrelous call i wag a g2 devious ploy in dig light stump up the goods b6 wins the exchange i shall demon-strate d7 or at f5 slide a queen over feels about right both mean arm ave c4 rook is gonna come off link queen in around probably better although a square c7 looks safer at tries evermore in hug the rail fatefuls aim good i beneath a wave;

e5 in duo be free good glean it now in ahoy rows cedes am lane behests huffle an fog of war descend a knights light better feel and coordination than black alive no more as cool a g8 churlish ploy a bone of contention as carry due carving 37.Nb6 had rub hand in mouth pawn h5 up better glide dash off;

Sep-07-14  Skakalec: Found it up to 39...♖d1. After that its pretty uncertain what white would play.
Sep-07-14  vajeer: The key move is 39...Rd1. I actually found it when looking at the board in its default orientation (white pieces on my side). I don't if I would have found it with the board rotated (black pieces on my side).

My suggestion to CG - why not rotate the board on the homepage if it is Black to play?

Sep-07-14  DanielBryant: As for the rest of the game, before today's position... it's completely beyond my ken, I'm afraid.
Sep-07-14  Whitehat1963: <no a hint it hone in have at dip dasher bet reign b6 in dear ave nosh down arm c4 target nut hatch dance duo hold h5 at bay manage back danger to hint hanker again couple free cog dint good cut castle act c4 dog and alf cat dont have h5 a better batter like bantom weight punch up beyond the horizon buffet;>

Some kind of code?

Sep-07-14  DanielBryant: <Whitehat1963> He's on my ignore list.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <DanielBryant: <Whitehat1963> He's on my ignore list.>

Ah cain't see him either! Too much of that there gobbledygook, twentyleven times over, for mah taste.

Sep-09-14  Whitehat1963: Ignore. Check.
Jan-09-16  Howard: A position from this game--with Huebner's missed win--was given in the latest issue of New in Chess.

Timman obviously had a close call.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: When I saw Black play 28...Be7-c5,

click for larger view

I was puzzled because I knew the bishop ended up on h8 ...

click for larger view

...and I could not at first see the route.

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