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Jan Hein Donner vs Hans Ree
Hoogovens (1971), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 10, Jan-23
English Opening: Symmetrical. Symmetrical Variation (A36)  ·  1-0



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sac: 33.Rxf7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-02-14  crawfb5: "The chessplayer who has lost his game -- who will describe him? I have seen him unable to move. The public was long gone, the lights were out, and he still sat rigidly in his chair, staring at the emptied board, because he had overlooked ♗g2. A case of complete petrification, with bystanders whispering and tiptoeing by. I have heard him begging for punishment in blasphemous language. He had forgotten ♘h5, and in his dismay had called down annihilation upon himself. Derisively, he rejected our words of solace, demanding insults and chastisement. Standing afar and horror-stricken, I have witnessed him swearing in orgiastic fury to rip off his genitals, because he had played ♕f6 instead of ♕b6...nothing in life is so tyrannical, so dogmatic, so cruel, so unplayful, as precisely a game." -- Hans Ree <The King>

Written a few months after this game, Ree might not have had this particular game in mind, but I'd like to think so.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: That's a Donner quote.
Jul-02-14  sneaky pete: First published in the newspaper <De Tijd>, July 31, 1972, when the 9th Fischer vs Spassky game has been postponed and there was room for a study of the blunder. The article is entitled <The hell of the chess player>.

The translation given here is not quite accurate. Donner writes "he had overlooked Qa7+" and "he had forgotten to play Bh3". We know of course which poor soul had overlooked Qa7+

A Matanovic vs J H Donner, 1965

Jul-02-14  crawfb5: I have to stop posting late at night during bouts of insomnia...
Jul-02-14  zanzibar: <<crawfb5:> I have to stop posting late at night during bouts of insomnia...>

I know the feeling... all too well!

Still, as poetry it fits rather nicely.

* * * * *

Critical position after 32.Qd6

(Black to move)

click for larger view

Black was winning, but blunders with 32...Bh3? allowing a nice double sac-combo finish by White.

(Some of the variations at the end are hard to calculate, e.g. after 33.Rxf7+! Kxf7 34.Bxg6+! Kg8 35.Qxd8+ Kg7 36.Re7+ Kxg6 37.Qd6+ Kxg5 38.Qg3+ Bg4

click for larger view

White really should have envisioned 39.h4+ here (or 39.f4+, anything else gives Black a win). There's still fun play from here too.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Have you played through the entire game? Amusingly, this game with the brilliant finishing combination began with as boring a opening as you can imagine. Just look at the position after 12...exd5.
Nov-04-20  saturn2: Blsck threatens Bg2.
I had 33.Rxf7+†Kxf7†34.†Bxg6+†Kg8†(king on the 7 rank yields quick mate) 35.†Qxd8+†Kg7†36.†Re7+†Kxg6 but only looked at 37 Qg8 and got lost in a myriad of variations not yielding a decision.
Nov-04-20  Walter Glattke: Black is a pawn ahead and threatens 33.Qxd8?Bg2#, that ask for 33.Rxf7+ A) 33.-Kh8 34.Qxd8#
B) 33.-Kg8 34.Qxd8+ Kxf7 35.Bxg6+ Kxg6 (gxf6 Re7#) 36.Qg8+ Kh5 37.Kh4 Re4+ wins 35.-Kg8 36.Re7+ transposes to B)
B2) 35.Qf6+ Qxf6 36.gxf6 draw or black advantage B3) 35.Qc7+ Kg8 perpetual, draw
C) 33.-Kxf7
C1) 34.Qe6+ Kf8 loses
C2) 34.Bxg6+ C2a) 34.-hxg6 35.Re7#
C2b) 34.Bxg6+ Kg7 35.Re7+ Kf8/g8/h8 mate next 36.Qxd8# The one-move-earlier-mate here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Easy.

Black should have played 32...Qf2, forcing white to defend against mate on g2, before playing Bh3: 33. Rg1 Bh3 34. Qg3.

This opening really is the "Symmetrical Variation." It doesn't become permanently asymmetrical until move 13.

Nov-04-20  Brenin: As <al wazir> wrote, easy, and made so by the almost unavoidable threat of mate on g2. Once you have eliminated the unsuccessful defences to this threat, you are left with the double piece sac, allowing Re7+ or Qxd8+, with mate to follow. One can sympathise with Ree: I'm sure we have all thrown away wins like that.
Nov-04-20  Brenin: After 33 Rxf7+, can Black survive with 33 ... Kg8 34 Qxd8+ Kxf7, e.g. 35 Qc7+ Kg8 36 Bc2 Ra1, or 35 Bxg6+ Kxg6 36 Qd6+ Kxg5 37 Qg3+ Kf6 38 Qxh3 Ra1 ?
Nov-04-20  AlicesKnight: The Black threats force looking for a check and Rxf7+ is the only viable one - but what an effect, after .... Kxf7, Bxg6+. What if ....Qb2 instead of ... Bh3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: <After 33 Rxf7+, can Black survive with 33 ... Kg8> Black can go down the exchange but it's a tough game to win with an exposed king.

The exact lines vary depending on where Black's king goes in response to checks along the 7th and 8th ranks, so I'll describe it instead of giving moves. White plays Bc2 when his queen is on c7, luring Black's rook to a1; then White plays Bb1, ending Black's attack while continuing his own. To survive, Black must play ... Rxb1 and continue on with a material deficit. But it looks like a tough position for White to win with such an exposed king.

Nov-04-20  mel gibson: I saw that.

Stockfish 12 says:

33. Rxf7+

(33. Rxf7+ (♖c7xf7+ ♔g7-g8 ♕d6xd8+ ♔g8xf7 ♕d8-c7+ ♔f7-g8 ♗e4-c2 ♖a2-a1 ♕c7-d8+ ♔g8-f7 ♕d8-e8+ ♔f7-g7 ♗c2-b1 ♖a1xb1 ♕e8-e7+ ♔g7-g8 ♕e7-d8+ ♔g8-f7 ♖e1xb1 ♕d4-e5 ♕d8-f6+ ♕e5xf6 g5xf6 ♔f7xf6 ♖b1xb4 ♗h3-f5 ♖b4-b7 h7-h5 ♖b7-b6+ ♔f6-e5 d5-d6 a6-a5 ♖b6-a6 a5-a4 ♖a6xa4 ♔e5xd6 h2-h4 ♔d6-e6 ♔h1-h2 ♔e6-e5 ♔h2-g3 ♗f5-d3 ♖a4-a8 ♗d3-c4 ♖a8-a5+ ♔e5-e6 ♔g3-f4 ♔e6-f6 ♖a5-c5 ♗c4-e2 ♖c5-c7 ♗e2-d1 ♖c7-c6+ ♔f6-g7 ♖c6-a6 ♗d1-e2 ♖a6-a5 ♗e2-d3 ♖a5-a7+ ♔g7-f6) +5.59/45 212)

score for White +5.59 depth 45.

However if we follow the text and the King takes the Rook it's mate in 23.

33... Kxf7
34. Bxg6+

(34. Bxg6+ (♗e4xg6+ ♔f7-g8 ♗g6xh7+ ♔g8-h8
♕d6xd8+ ♔h8xh7 ♖e1-e7+ ♔h7-g6 ♕d8-g8+ ♔g6-f5 ♕g8-e6+ ♔f5xg5 f3-f4+ ♔g5xf4 ♕e6-h6+ ♔f4-g4 ♕h6-g6+ ♔g4-f4 ♕g6-g3+ ♔f4-f5 ♕g3xh3+ ♔f5-g5 ♕h3-g3+ ♔g5-f5 ♖e7-f7+ ♕d4-f6 ♕g3-f3+ ♔f5-e5 ♕f3xf6+ ♔e5-e4 ♕f6-h4+ ♔e4-e3 ♕h4-c4 ♖a2-f2 ♖f7-e7+ ♔e3-d2 ♖e7-e4 ♖f2-f1+ ♔h1-g2 ♖f1-g1+ ♔g2xg1 b4-b3 ♖e4-d4+ ♔d2-e3 ♕c4-d3+) +M23/61 179)

Nov-04-20  SugarDom: Admin please ban Chrisowen. He's littering all the game pages with goobledydook.
Nov-04-20  mel gibson: <Nov-04-20 SugarDom: Admin please ban Chrisowen. He's littering all the game pages with goobledydook.>

You can block him so you'll never see his garbage.

I did - a long time ago.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Bit more entertaining than the typical snoozefests often seen in this line of the Symmetrical, even if the final result got turned on its head at the finish.

As to <sugardumb>, same as his hero <kudzu the prolix>, he simply must view every line of content, so suggesting the simple expedient of iggydumb is a worthwhile, but futile measure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is one pawn down.

Black threatens 33... Bxg2# and 33... Rxd6.

The bishop blocks the rook on e1. Therefore, 33.Rxf7+:

A) 33... Kxf7 34.Bxg6+

A.1) 34... hxg6 35.Re7+ Kf(g)8 36.Qxd8#.

A.2) 34... Kg7 35.Re7+ as above.

A.3) 34... Kg8 35.Bxh7+

A.3.a) 35... Kxh7 36.Re7+ Qg7 (36... Kg(h)8 37.Qxd8#) 37.Qh6+ Kg8 38.Qxg7#.

A.3.b) 35... Kg7 36.Re7+ as above.

A.3.c) 35... Kh8 36.Qxd8+ Kxh7 (36... Kg7 37.Qg8#) 37.Re7+ Kg6 38.Qg8+ Kf5 (38... Kh5 39.Rh7#) 39.Qh7+ Kxg5 (39... Kf4 40.Qh4+ and 41.Qxd4 wins) 40.Qg8+ and White seems to have perpetual at least.

B) 33... Kg8 34.Qxd8+ Kxf7 35.Qc7+ followed by 36.Bc2 stops the mate threat, recovers the pawn and exposes the black king.

Nov-04-20  Brenin: Thanks, <Predrag3141> and <mel gibson>: your analysis confirms my impression that Black's best hope of survival, after 33 Rxf7+, was to decline the sac with 33 ... Kg8, and then accept it with 34 Qxd8+ Kxf7 35 Qc7+ Kf8 36 Bc2 Ra1. If White tries 37 Bb1 then 37 ... Bg2+ 38 Kxg2 Qe2+ 39 Kf1 Rxb1 seems to draw, e.g. 40 Rxb1 Qxd3+ and 41 ... Qxb1, with Q+4P each. Of course, White has other 37th and 40th moves, but are they any better?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <al wazir> <Black should have played 32...Qf2, forcing white to defend against mate on g2, before playing Bh3: 33. Rg1 Bh3 34. Qg3.>

That's true in part, as white forces a perpetual after 32...Qf2 33 Qf6+, below.

click for larger view

Black can do better, it looks like, by keeping the queen on the a1-h8 diagonal. So it's black to play and win material, move 32, for those interested.

click for larger view

Nov-04-20  TheaN: I thought this was a tough Wednesday, if purely by virtue of the alternatives.

Instead of posting all variations, Black has in fact the option to decide the configuration of the White pieces after the sacs on f7 and g6. After <33.Rxf7+ Kg8> Kxf7 leads to a variation addressed later after 34.Bxg6+ Kg8, here else is Re7+ with Qxd8#. <34.Qxd8+ Kxf7>.

If White does decide to play 35.Bxg6+?! Black can decide on either 35....Kg7 36.Re7+ Kxg6 (which would have followed after 33....Kxf7):

click for larger view

or 35....Kxg6:

click for larger view

So the real difference is the rook on e1 or e7. As visualized and expected, position one is winning for White after 37.Qg8+ Kf5 38.Qf8+ Kxg5 (Kg6 Qh6+ +-) 39.Rg7+ Qxg7 (Kh6 40.Rg4+!; else Rxh7+) 40.Qxg7+ Kf4 41.Qg3+ +-.

click for larger view

However, I couldn't make line two work and rightfully so, as it's <drawn> after 35...Kxg6 36.Qd6+ Kxg5 37.Qg3+ Kf6 38.Qxh3 Ra1! =

click for larger view

So back to where we were without Bxg6+. White's best after 33.Rxf7+ Kg8 34.Qxd8+ Kxf7 is <35.Qc7+! Kg8 36.Bc2!! ± to +->:

click for larger view

Which is quite brilliant in itself, but way too complicated for a Wednesday.

Nov-04-20  SpiritedReposte: It's easy as a puzzle because there's really only one way forward.

During a game some may resign in whites spot! He's got nothing to lose let's just throw some pieces at the king see what happens.

Nov-04-20  morfishine: Was Donner blitzen?
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: I saw 33.♖xf7+ & 34.♗xg6+ b/c I knew I had to open up the black ♔ís position & open up the e-file for the ♖ on e1 to get into the fray. <morf> Thatís a great pun!
Premium Chessgames Member
  halito27: <morfishine> Like a Comet!

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