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Julius Perlis vs Milan Vidmar
1st Trebitsch Memorial (1907), Vienna AUH, rd 9, Jan-21
Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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sac: 32...Nxh3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jun-03-08  ex0duz: I considered g5 first for a second(thinking to win a piece), and then remembered yesterdays puzzle and how CG is being tricky this week, then turned my sights onto f4, realising its a mate in one threat with no reasonable defense, and much more forceful. After that, there was nothing else to think about(that's how i roll) -_-
Jun-03-08  DavidD: The checks and captures in the position lead nowhere so one has to examine threats. 40...g5 is a very logical move to consider (41...g4 is difficult to deal with), however, it is slow giving White time to try for some type of defence. Is there another move that is faster? Yes. 40...f4! The threat of ...Qg3+ is now winning. Examining both 40...g5 and 40...f4 is logical and correct.

MostlyAverageJoe's lengthy post accurately and concisely summarizes a strong player's thinking process of this position. Well worth reading.

The most interesting question concerning the position is when Dr. Milan Vidmar--an incredibly strong player who had the unfortunate circumstance of living during the time of the "giants" Capablanca and Alekhine--saw the move 40...f4. He is a piece down in the position and if no move works, he's totally lost. Playing back, it seems he had to see this resource on move 32...Nxh3!! when he invested a piece in the attack. If so, the game is a remarkable demonstration of his calculation and visualization ability. If he didn't see this resource, then credit his intuition. However, it is very likely he saw the final game position before playing 32...Nxh3!! And that is a real tribute to his chess talent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  dzechiel: <MAJ>, <jheiner> and <JLS>: I have to agree with you assessment that today's position is much more easily solved by asking the question, "Where would I like my pieces to be?" and then figuring out a way to get them there.

While I have used this technique many, many times in the past, I didn't use it on today's position (I saw 40...f4 before getting to that point), and that explains my comment about "nothing pointing" to the key move.

I really should have given more consideration to what I was writing. Thanks for pointing this out.

Jun-03-08  YouRang: The initial assessment of the position is that I (black) have 3 pawns vs. white's bishop. It would figure then that I can win by winning a piece.

Fortunately, 40...f4 was the first move I considered. I confess that my first idea was that it gives my queen a nice double-attack square at g3 (attacking the K and B). It actually took me a minute to realize that ...Qg3 was actually threatening mate, lol!

Once I saw the mate threat, I noticed that white could do surprisingly little about it. That's because 40...f4, besides guarding g3, also guards e3 -- which happens to be exactly the square where white would need to put his queen to prevent both ...Qg3+ and ...Qf2+, either of which is deadly.

So, white's only other choice is to back his king away from the bishop, leaving it for grabs. Great puzzle!

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: My move was 40...♗d3 cutting the queen from the knight and if 41 ♕xd3 ♕f2+ and mate next. The text is FAR more forceful in that white's main defenses against the mate at g3 sucuumb to the queen check above.

41 ♘e2 blocks the queen from guarding f2. Or 41 ♕c3 of course removes the queen from the second row.

Jun-03-08  YouRang: <kevin86: My move was 40...♗d3 cutting the queen from the knight and if 41 ♕xd3 ♕f2+ and mate next. >

Hmmm, you have <41.Qxd3 Qf2+> alright, but I think the <mate next> is missing. 42.Kh1 is followed by...what?

Jun-03-08  YouRang: Going back to look at the game, one has to be impressed with 32...Nxh3 and the subsequent use of pins to get 3P for a knight plus exposure of the white king.

Granted, it wasn't a 'winning' move in that white lost it via the blunder: 40.Nd4. Nevertheless, it was certainly a *sound* sacrifice, creating a situation where white was under much more pressure to play accurately than black, and it paid off.

Jun-03-08  mworld: great puzzle! thx
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: oops,I tried to use a piece that I sacrificed.
Jun-03-08  Magic Castle: <Randomvisitor> Hmm. I disagree. 24...Qe8 forces white queen to retreat otherwise white concedes the open file to the white rook.(Qxr RxQ) Then, if white queen moves away, 25...Rxf1 follows and black queen rules the open file, threatening Qe5+ etc. So where is white's advantage? Help explain please.
Jun-03-08  TheaN: 2/2

Looking through the moves was hard. g5 seemed obvious, but it leads to all kinds of difficult variations. I discarded it on the account of 41.Kg1, strangely enough, but 41.Nf3 seems stronger... anyways, as it's NOT the solution I don't really care.

It's actually a pleasant move to play, on such an open board. It threatens Qg3# directly, and, well, White has a hard time coping.

Har. Everything else is futile and even mate.
--a--41.Qc3 Qf2+ with mate.
--b--41.Ne2 Qf2+ with mate, how nice.
--c--41.Qxf4/e1/f2 QxQ; Qg2 BxQ, *sigh*
--d--41.Kg1 Qxh3, futile enough.
--e--41.Nf3 Bxf3 with the pending, and more severe, threat of Qg3#.


--a--42.Qxd5 Qxh3+... hm, maybe keeps the Queens but Black is ahead so much he should win easily.





And White cannot defend the d and f advanced pawns before creating a potential breakthrough on the Queenside.

Jun-03-08  Magic Castle: <MostlyAverageJoe> I had the same result. I found 40. f4 unsure of its strength but there is no other plausible continuation for black to continue the attack but to set up Qg3+. So I somewhat guessed, this could be it. Because of the open board situation, I figured that white has a lot of resources defending or attacking but as I look further. There is no defense to f4 and no attack also by white LOL. If white leaves the second rank to defend g3, Qf2 is equally devastating. Not even the Knight can help!!! Brilliant puzzle.
Jun-03-08  YouRang: <Magic Castle: <Randomvisitor> Hmm. I disagree. 24...Qe8 forces white queen to retreat otherwise white concedes the open file to the white rook.(Qxr RxQ) >

On the other hand, after 24...Qe8 25.Qxe8 Rxe8 26.cxd5 cxd5 27.Rc1, now white commands the open c-file (in exchange for black commanding the open e-file.

White's rook may be stronger since it can hit c7 (black's cannot hit e2), and black has back-rank vulnerability.

Jun-03-08  YouRang: <kevin86: oops,I tried to use a piece that I sacrificed.> That almost always leads to trouble. ;-)
Jun-03-08  MiCrooks: 24 Rxe1 was fine, perhaps slightly worse than Qxd8+ but in neither case did either side have any kind of major advantage (Black plays Qd8 and is fine in that line).

White made a couple of errors with one being Nb3, allowing the piece sac, but even then he had chances. The major blunder was Nd4 instead of Nc5 just the move before.

Jun-03-08  Madman99X: Can white play on after 40. Nc5 ? It seems to stave off the threat for a while, and perhaps draw the game if he can give back a minor piece for three or in some cases two pawns.

40. Nc5 f4
41. Nxe4 dxe4

Jun-03-08  MiCrooks: Oh, and David D. he did not need to find f4 that far back (how could he know that his opponent would blunder?)

He was confident that with the exposed king and his advanced extra pawns that he had a draw in hand and was really the only one with serious winning chances. 3P for a piece is one of those funny situations. Everything depends on the position of the rest of the pieces and their mobility along with kind safety. The more pieces there are left, the worse the evaluation UNLESS you can create enough threats against the king to win some material back.

But with few pieces left, and with an open king and advanced pawns, the pawns are clearly stronger.

Jun-03-08  SuperPatzer77: <TheaN> You're absolutely right! After 41. Nf5 Bxf5, 42. Qg2 Qxh3+!, 43. Qxh3 Bxh3, 44. Kxh3 d4 . The Black pawns are ready to be awfully stormy and unstoppable.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Unusual position - very enjoyable!

You can find the solution by accident. It is almost the only move worth playing. The black queen and bishop are already very well placed. The king seems safely tucked away and does not need to be shifted, The a and h pawns seem to be spectators. g5 is tempting but opens the king to awkward checks.

So all we are left with is f4. And then we notice that it threatens an unstoppable mate. Strange stuff.

Jun-03-08  Whitehat1963: I remember finding this one a couple of years ago and thinking it would be a good simple (and out of the ordinary) puzzle, but what happens if 41. Ne2?
Jun-03-08  tatarch: 41.Ne2 leads to 41...Qf2+ and mate next
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <<dzechiel> wrote: I really should have given more consideration to what I was writing.>

We can only hope you start a trend, <dzechiel> :)

Jun-03-08  Magic Castle: <YouRang> After 26. cd5 Nf4 and there is no open C file to speak off in the first place since black bishop retreats and black takes the pawn with the Knight. If Bc4 to protect the pawn cd5 attacks the bishop and gain a tempo.
Jun-03-08  YouRang: <Magic Castle: <YouRang> After 26. cd5 Nf4 and there is no open C file to speak off in the first place since black bishop retreats and black takes the pawn with the Knight. If Bc4 to protect the pawn cd5 attacks the bishop and gain a tempo.>

The problem is that if 24.Qxd8 Qe8 25.Qxe8 Rxe8 26.cxd5 is answered by <26...Nf4>, then white doesn't retreat his bishop. :-)

Instead he takes another pawn: <27.dxc6!> which now threatens black's bishop. White ends up a couple pawns ahead.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I enjoyed this one. Definitely not easy. I agree with <dzechiel> in every particular. I tried every possible move and finally saw how unanswerable f4 was.
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