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Hermann Neustadtl vs Otakar Valenta
Prague (1889), Prague AUH
Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit. Steinitz Gambit Zukertort Defense (C25)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-12-07  Crowaholic: I saw this immediately but mostly because it's queen sac Monday. OTB this would have been much more difficult!

<Lawrence> said that 17. Be2 keeps White in the game. So I guess Bxb5 is losing?

19. Nxd4 Qxd1+ 20. Kf2 Ne4#

19. Qxd4 Nxf3+ 20. Kf1 Nxd4 etc. also loses badly

18. Nxd4 Qxd1+ to mate

18. Qxd4 Nxf3+ is again devastating

18. Qe1 Rd1+ 19. Be3 Bxe3+ 20. Kf1 Qxg2+ (or 19. Kf1 Qxg2+)

18. Qe1 Rd1+ 19. Nd4 Rxe1+ 20. Kf2 Rxh1 wins a lot of material (I'm too lazy to look for a quick mate)

18. Qf1 Rd1+ 19. Nd4 Rxf1+ 20. Kxf1 Qd1+ to mate

This analysis is not exhaustive but it seems that 17. ..Rxd4 is truly crushing.

Nov-12-07  syracrophy: I finally found this! I was looking for a lot of time for this puzzle, and finally it appeared :-) A delightful mate! A beaut!
Nov-12-07  YouRang: I found it in just a couple seconds, but still a very pleasing puzzle.

But I had to look at the game to figure out how white found himself in such a position.

There were a number of questionable moves (starting perhaps with 4. d4?), and 17. Bxb5?? was the absolute loser.

However, it can't be a good thing when your most active piece during the opening is your king (white's king moved 6 times in first 16 moves!).

Nov-12-07  blair45: <<Murphyman>> I too am working Laszlo Polgar's "Chess 5534 Problems" and agree -- it's an excellent book. I think it teaches that control of the squares is, at times, more important than value of the pieces.
Nov-12-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Does anybody ever win with this opening? Whenever I see it, it looks like White just pins a big "Kick Me" sign on his King and suffers accordingly.
Nov-12-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Typical Monday puzzle:queen sac-mate in two.

This one has a little wrinkle in that black CAN decline the sac via 20 ♔e1,but he is mated just the same after ♕f2#

Nov-12-07  YouRang: <Lawrence: 17.Be2 and White's still very much in the game. >

It would be much better than 17. Bxb5 (as played), but I think black is still winning.

After 17. Be2, we have 17...Nxf3+ 18. Bxf3 Qh4! (threat: 19...Rxd4 20. cxd4 Bxd4+ to be followed in various lines by Qf2# or Qe1#)

Black is short on good replies.

19. g3 <maybe the best?> fxg3 20. h3 g2
21. Rh2 Rhe8 <adding both rooks to attack and preventing Be3> 22. Bd2 <guard against Re1+> Rxd4! 23. cxd4 Qxd4+ 24. Kxh2 Qf2+ 25. Kh1 <all pretty forced> (diagram:black to move)


click for larger view

And now: 25...Re1+!! 26. Qxe1 <Bxe1 fails to ...Qg1#> Qxf3+ 27. Rg2 Qxh3+ 28. Rh2 Be4 <threat: Qg3#> 29. Qxe4 Qxe4

Nov-12-07  porgue: saw it sooo quickly, good ol mondays
Nov-12-07  Duque Roquero: It took me around 10 seconds. Nice recommendation <psmith>.
Nov-12-07  YouRang: <playground player: Does anybody ever win with this opening? Whenever I see it, it looks like White just pins a big "Kick Me" sign on his King and suffers accordingly.>

I agree. According to Opening Explorer, if white goes as far as 4. d4, then black's chances of winning after 4...Qh4 are better than white's (59 games, black wins 47.5% to white's 45.8%).

Nov-12-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Aurora: You dig out the well-known jokes!
Nov-12-07  zahbaz: I think 17... ? Would have made a good puzzle.
Nov-12-07  gBizzle: hehe a simple mate in two
Nov-12-07  ganesh957: Looks like there are only masters on this site, thank you all for your forced one-move-long variations.
Nov-12-07  OBIT: Yeh, the puzzle isn't too tough, but I feel like commenting on the opening. So long as you do your homework, the Steinitz Gambit is nowhere as bad as its reputation. If you are a good tactician, you may surprise yourself - not to mention your opponents - by how often you win with it. Many years back, I even tried it in three postal games (two of my opponents were masters, the third an A player) and won two of them. Naturally, the one I lost is the one that got published, ahem.

This game actually followed a main book line up to move 12. <JohnTal> makes a few suggestions, but they aren't improvements:

6. Nf3 Bg4 just transposes back to the book line after 7. exd5. Another idea is 7. Nxd5, since it is not clear if Keres vs W Kunerth, 1936 should have ended as it did. Either way, if White allows Black to play dxe4, he only gets in worse trouble.

After 8. Bxf4, Black gets an attack by 8...Re8+ 9. Be3 (or 9. Kd2 Qf2+ 10. Kc1 Nxd4!) Bxf3 10. Kxf3 Qxf6+ 11. Ke2 Nxd4+ 12. Kd3 Nf5.

After 11. Nxc7, Black does not waste time with 11... Kxc7? but instead plays 11... Bxd4! threatening Qxf2+, while 12. Qe1 allows 12...Qe7+.

Finally, for <MaxxLange>'s suggestion 9. dxc5: better than 9...Rxd1 is 9...Nf6! The queen has no place to hide, anyway, so keep attacking.

As for White's mistake in the game: 12. Kd3 looks dubious, as it allows 12..Bf5+. Instead, 12. Kd2 gives Black fewer ways to deal with the threat against his queen. This is an opening where, if White isn't getting mated, then he is probably winning. :)

Nov-12-07  YouRang: <YouRang><And now: 25...Re1+!! 26. Qxe1 <Bxe1 fails to ...Qg1#> Qxf3+ 27. Rg2 Qxh3+ 28. Rh2 Be4 <threat: Qg3#> 29. Qxe4 Qxe4>

Hmm, I think I left a move out. :-(

It should be 28. Rh2 <Qf3+ 29. Rg2> Be4 <threat: Qg3#> 30. Qxe4 Qxe4

Nov-12-07  xrt999: white moved his king seven times in his 19 moves, this must be some sort of record. I especially admire the four consecutive king moves in the shape of a square on moves 12 thru 15. Intriguing.
Nov-12-07  vibes43: Got it in the nick of time. Wouldn't want to miss out on monday puzzle.
Nov-13-07  MaxxLange: <OBIT> In your line:

9. cxd5 Nf6, can't the White Queen simply go 10. Qe1? Black's 2 pieces down, and is going to need something concrete. I'll check the opening explorer, maybe that's a book line.

Nov-13-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: With 19...Qxg2+!, White solves a fairly easy Monday puzzle with a variation of Boden's mate after 20. Kxg2 Bh6#.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boden'..., Boden's mate occurs when <the king is mated by the two criss-crossing bishops, and blocked by ...friendly pieces.>

Nov-13-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Of course, if White wishes to avoid Boden's mate, 20. Ke1 Qf2# is the other possibility.
Nov-13-07  OBIT: <MaxxLange> After 9. dxc5 Nf6 10. Qe1 Rhe8+ forces mate. White can try 9. Bxf4, hoping to set up this escape, but then 9...Bxf3+ wins the bishop while maintaining threats against the king and queen.
Nov-28-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <marekg248: Steinitz: <"We do not remember having seen a finer two-move combination in actual play ... Herr Valenta, who has hitherto been unknown to fame, certainly deserves a reputation in the future." >>

Source: The International Chess Magazine, October 1889, page 312 et seq.

Jun-06-12  Atking: OBIT thanks for your analysis of the opening. Quite embarassing indeed. This line looks a refutation of Steinitz gambit. Maybe 12.Bxf4 or 12.a4 (To secure c4 square for the King) but obviously by 12.Kd3? White lost a tempo in already critical position.
Feb-02-15  TheBish: This would make a great POTD for Black on move 17, probably Friday or Saturday.
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