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Carlos Torre Repetto vs Edward Lasker
Chicago (1926), Chicago, IL USA, rd 13, Sep-02
Reti Opening: Reti Gambit. Spielmann Gambit (A09)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-28-11  sevenseaman: <lost in space> I am with you all the way. I too am sometimes so struck by an instinctive idea that I do not feel the need to mechanically check out other candidates. Its the degree of one's conviction that propels the buggy.

Today it just happened that 8...b4 caught my fancy first.

Sep-28-11  MiCrooks: srag: start small - it is hard to give concrete advice not knowing exactly where you are in progress, but so much of chess is pattern recognition that working on simple puzzles like these can be very beneficial. There are many other sites that provide them or you can get a book that has some...Polgar's book (the father) to start with is overly simplistic (lots of one movers) but it does provide in one place a ton of fairly simple puzzles with the whole idea being to improve your recognition of typical winning combinations or mating patterns.

Nimzo's book My System is a bit tough though the newer translation is a bit more accessible. Same for Kmoch's Pawn Power in chess.

Sep-28-11  vasja: 8. ...c3!!!

9 Bxc3 Qxa3

9 dc3 Qxe5

9 Qxd6 bc2

Premium Chessgames Member
  monopole2313: Was looking for the windmill but saw that it was Black's move.
Sep-28-11  Trouble: <srag> I agree with the other posters here that they best way to improve your game as a beginner is to study tactics. One thing I would point out though is that it tends to be much easier for young people(under the age of 10) to develop an intuitive sense of tactical play, simply because their brains are less worn, and thus they can acquire semantic recognition faster. However, a more seasoned player can learn good tactical play nonetheless by recognizing that there are often positional preconditions that make tactical play possible. For example, here is a relatively simply line of reasoning that would lead one to the correct answer in the above diagram:

Material balance:

1)equal points

2)Black has traded the dark square bishop for a

Positional considerations:

1)The positions of the two sides are
unbalanced(asymmetrical) which naturally
increases the likelihood that the best move will
be a tactical move as opposed to a positional

2)Both kings are uncastled

3)Both sides have unusual development:

a)the queens for both players are out early

b)the Black queen is better placed than the
White queen. In fact the White queen has few escape squares so trapping it may be

c)both sides are lacking in development, but
both sides are threatening to trade pieces.
White has the threat of material gain on c4.

d)White has a centralized knight but because of
his lack of development he can't coordinate
this knight with other pieces to put real
pressure on any particular point.

e)White's fianchettoed bishop can attack the
undefended g7 square if the e5 knight moves.

f)Black's fianchettoed bishop hampers kingside
castling for White because of the pin of the g2 pawn and the pin of the f1 bishop which must
guard the g2 pawn. But because Black has
already traded of his dark square(long range) bishop, it will be hard for him to generate any direct mating threats. To further this point, one can note that even though the position is open, neither side has good development and
so can't bring their rooks into play yet.

g)Both players have the option of trading queens
which will decrease the likelihood of a mating
attack in an open position.

h)Black's queenside pawns are very advanced for this stage of the game. This could become a
liability if they can't be defended properly.

i)because there is so much tension(threats of
trading) in the position, the best move will
probably be a decisive move(exchange or
combination) as opposed to a developing

Sep-28-11  Trouble: With the above considerations in mind we can come to the correct answer by a process of finding candidate moves and then eliminating them with logic:

Strategy 1: Black plays a kingside pawn move

Analysis: too slow and also antipositional. The move f6 (as played in the game) may be good because it nullifies the effectiveness of the b2 bishop and forces the e5 knight to leave the center. Also note that due to the back pawn on b5 , it's difficult for white to exploit the opening of the a2-g8 diagonal. I would consider this move if nothing more forcing is found.

Strategy 2: Develop the g8 knight and get the Black king to safety by castling.

Analysis: If the Black knight comes to f6 and thence to e4 or g4 it can only pressure dark squares in White's position, but we already know the Black dark square bishop is gone so it will be naturally harder to put real pressure on these squares. Castling is good positionally for Black, but the Black king is in no real danger despite the open position because White can't coordinate forces to attack it. Thus this strategy seems too slow given the situation, not to mention the fact that White is threatening to win material on c4.

Strategy 3: develop the queenside knight.

Analysis: Moving the knight to d7 or c6 has a tactical refutation and also a positional refutation. The tactical refutation is the weakness of the g7 point. The positional refutation is the fact that such a move allows several exchanges which decrease Black's tactical chances, and thus increase the relative severity of Black's queenside pawn weaknesses. Moving the knight to a6 is too slow and allows White to win immediately after Qxd6 cxd6, Nxc4 bxc4 Bxg7 Nb4 Kd1 etc.

Strategy 4: Move the bishop on b7 or queen on d6 to create a tactical threat.

Analysis: The b7 bishop cannot be improved on any square, nor can it create any tactical threat since all of White's pieces are guarded. Same for the queen. Nothing in White's camp is unguarded(thus prone to forking) and Black can't coordinate other forces with the queen to increase pressure anywhere.

Strategy 5: Look for tactics involving queenside pawn advances.

Analysis: Intuitively, this seems the most correct due to the unusual position of the White queen and also the fact the the b2 bishop must guard both a3 and e5 and hence may be subject to 'overload' or 'deflection' tactics. You'd want to look at these moves first, and if they don't work out, look for some other positional move.

Calculation: So the candidates are ...b4 and ...c3.

If ...b4(attempting to trap the queen White can play Qa4+ Bc6(...c6 or ...Nc6 allow the simple Nxc4), Nxc4!(Nxc6 Nxc6, Bxg7 0-0-0, 0-0-0 wins for White as well but it is harder to's easier just to eliminate the move ...b4 with a simple line) ...Bxa4, Nxd6+ cxd6, bxa4 and White relieves pressure by trading pieces and has an extra pawn.

Instead ...c3 gives the following variations:
1)Bxc3?? Qxa3
2)dxc3 Qxe5, c4 Qg5 and Black can hold the g7
square due to White's lack of development. In a
real game you'd want to formulate some plan of
getting the Black king to safety due to the
opening of the d-file for White, but this wouldn't present too many problems, although it would
take time to calculate.
3)Qxd6 cxd6!(...cxb2??, Qd4) and Black wins a
4)any other move, cxb2 wins a piece.

Sep-28-11  srag: <Once>: you have been to the point when you wrote "what it does is pass the move back to Black". That's it! I have read somewhere that Karpov is very good at offering his opponents a chance to go wrong and they always oblige! So it will be Morphy, then "Logical Chess Move by Move", then "The most instructive games ever played", also by Chernev. Then I'll bother you a bit more again. Thank you very much.
Sep-28-11  morfishine: <gmalino> On your comment <...I miscalculated this line......Thx for the hint> No problem! I went down this line thinking "This is it, its brilliant!" Then I saw <Qd4> and thought "Thank God I saw back to work"

<Once> Great Story!

<Patriot> Good work Today! This wasn't exactly straightforward: took getting some hands dirty, so to speak

<sevenseaman> I spent at least 10-minutes on this, so don't feel bad; Very much a Blue-Collar affair, at least for me

Sep-28-11  srag: <Shams>: Thanks for the Fischer quotation. The funny thing is that he used to play 6) Bc4 agains the Najdorf all the time!
Sep-28-11  srag: <MiCrooks>: Thanks for your tip. I have given up Nimzowitsch's book and games long ago: his games are too subtle for my blunt approach and his books seem to have been written in Sanskrit, then translated into Urdu, then into English or Spanish (I tried both, believe me!) by a broken computer with a drunk programmer. I'll stick to Morphy by now.
Sep-28-11  srag: <Trouble>: Thank you very much for your answer. I printed it and I'll read it very slowly, trying to understand each word.
Sep-28-11  morfishine: <srag> Get yourself a problem book like Reinfeld's "1,001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate". Work through them gradually. A lot are simple. On the tougher ones, set up the board and walk through the moves, time and time again. If you really can't get it, check the answer: You'll go "A HAH!". Then go back and work through THAT PROBLEM AGAIN so its ingrained. Then move onto the next one. It will start to take hold. Just give it time and don't get frustrated. Best, Morf
Sep-28-11  karnak64: Well, after a few moment's thought I saw the solution.

My real interest, though, was in how this mess came to be upon the 8th move.

Sep-28-11  Trouble: One small correction: after ...c3, dxc3 Qxe5, c4 the best move is ...Qe7 to trade queens and get fast development.
Sep-28-11  LIFE Master AJ: <srag> My "Training Page," might be of help ... the first tip I would HIGHLY recommend for you.

Sep-28-11  LIFE Master AJ: <morf> "Borrowing" my material, I see. (hehe)
Sep-28-11  crabgrass: what is the flaw in 8. ... b4 followed by chasing the Queen; then c3?
Sep-28-11  Shams: <crabgrass> 8...b4 9.Qa5 and everything holds for White.
Sep-28-11  Infohunter: <chessworm: Edward Lasker has commented on this game somewhere in his books. In that, I think, he mentions that he has seen that move, but did not play it for some reason. Anyone has further details to that?>

See Ed. Lasker's 1942 book, _Chess for Fun and Chess for Blood_. My copy is the 1962 corrected reprint by Dover Publications. Chapter 10, "Tournament Ethics", is written around a detailed analysis of this game, including the part where Lasker points out that he overlooked 8...c3 (pp. 197-198).

This game went on to form a standard book opening trap, being the 300th and final entry in Irving Chernev's _Winning Chess Traps_ (1946).

Because I already knew these things I recognized today's puzzle at once, and therefore can claim no credit for independently discovering the solution.

Sep-28-11  srag: <morfishine>: thank you! In fact I have a copy of Reifeld's 1001 Checkmates and I'll begin tomorrow.

<LIFE Master AJ>: thanks again; I'll visit your page as soon as I can and it means tomorrow.

Sep-28-11  LIFE Master AJ: <srag> Welcome, hope it helps you. Tip #1 (on my Training Page) has helped countless students.

Basically - if followed exactly - after 6 months to one year, you will have basically "re-wired your brain." (Made many new connections between existing neurons.)

Sep-28-11  stst: <Today it just happened that 8...b4 caught my fancy first.> --- Agreed.
No immediate checks or threats to the K, then see anything comes up for the Q, and trying the "smother" Q leads to b4. The long & apparently "goal-less" sequence in the real games does not give any "problem"-sense for today.
Sep-28-11  stst: < 8. ...c3!!! (???)
9 Bxc3 Qxa3 -- obvious, W wouldn't go like this

9 dc3 Qxe5 -- same

9 Qxd6 bc2 -- refuted by 10.Rb1 cxd6
11.Rxb2 ---- how to salvage this P??

Sep-29-11  kevin86: The correct response to Qxd6 is cxd6 attacking both bishop and knight.
Oct-25-11  AnalyzeThis: Well, Ed Lasker missed a win on move 8, but he still won the game.

All's well that ends well.

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