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Leon Monosson vs Maurice Fauque
Paris-ch (1935), Paris FRA
Uncommon King's Pawn Opening (B00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-16-07  donnybrook222: rare to see a game where every move by black after his first deserves a question mark or worse. truly hideous.
Jul-16-07  realbrob: I also think I've already seen a position like this. Today's puzzle wasn't so easy, anyway, or maybe I lost a couple of minutes looking for a mating tactic, and I couldn't find it because there's none (if 5..Kf8, or 5..Ke8, instead of the horrible 5..Kf6??, probably the guy didn't want to play anymore). Then I realised that the idea was winning the queen, and that's very easy to do (5..Kf8 6.Ne6+, or 5..Ke8 Ne6, a nice smothered mate to the Black queen).
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: That wasn't so easy for a Monday! Got it, though. Black's Kf8 leads directly to checkmate, do not pass Go, do not collect $200; and Ke8 costs him his Queen when White plays Ne6. How does a real chess player get into such a jam?
Jul-16-07  Crowaholic: Wasn't there a similar puzzle just a few months ago? The solution in this case (which was not played in the game, but that's another story) was 4. Bxf7+ Kxf7 5. Ng5+, winning the Q or else checkmating. The dark-squared BB was not fianchettoed, however, and the white d pawn was still on 2, preventing the dark-squared WB from covering g5. With the pawn on d4, mating should be easier and quicker in case Black does something stupid (more stupid even than allowing the current position), but the d6 pawn, d7 knight was the same theme. So let's see.

5. Bxf7+ Kxf7 6. Ng5+ now

..Kf6 7. Qf3# that's what I was talking about.

..Kf8 7. Ne6+ wins the queen by fork
..Ke8 7. Ne6 wins the queen by smothering

The Bg7 is thus of no relevance in those lines.

But the free f8 square does change things somewhat if the B offer is declined.

5. Bxf7+ Kf8 6. Ng5 Nb6 7. Ne6+ Bxe6 8. Bxe6 with the threat of Qf3+ seems to be winning, but as far as the material is concerned, I see only winning a pawn.

7. Qf3 seems nice, though. I don't want to calculate all this (hey, it's Monday), but Black is fatally paralyzed before he could even begin to develop. White is definitely winning here.

6. ..Ndf6 is probably better since the knight now helps defend the king against Qf3. It will be hard for Black to even draw, but anyway it's way better than the ridiculous mate seen here. Since seeing the text line is easy, but best play is rather complex, I declare that this was too _hard_ for a monday, unless you think that winning one pawn and preventing the BK from castling and stalling development is sufficient to convince most beginners that the line is winning. Which is possible, but I doubt it.

IIRC, the position one move prior to the puzzle from a few months ago was (White to play in both diagrams):

click for larger view

And White actually missed 4. Bxf7+!, playing 4. Ng5?? first, where 4. ..Ne5 and other moves would hold because this is the wrong move order. Black then still missed the grave threat and played 4. ..Nh6?? once again dead losing because while the knight will prevent checkmate with 5. Bxf7+ Nxf7, the queen will still be smothered with 6. Ne6. The actual puzzle position was thus:

click for larger view

Jul-16-07  Crowaholic: Ok, the previously mentioned game was Cukierman vs. NN and it was the Tuesday puzzle on April 17: J Cukierman vs NN, 1934

Ironically, this puzzle was MUCH easier than today's because 5. ..Nxf7 is 100% forced.

Jul-16-07  gilbertblondy: re-bonjour,
Please, how do you insert figurines in yours comments instead letters? Merci
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What a quick knockout! Such is the penalty for four passive opening moves. Black's other fifth move choices are just as hopeless: he has a choice of a quiet dearh or a voilent one.

5...Kf8 6 Ne6+ with a fork-
5... Ke8 6 Ne6 smothers the queen with a pillow.

Jul-16-07  Crowaholic: <gilbertblondy: re-bonjour,
Please, how do you insert figurines in yours comments instead letters? Merci>

Enclose the text in curly braces and use the English piece shorthands. PNBRQK, when enclosed in braces, becomes ♙♘♗♖♕♔.

Premium Chessgames Member
  triangulation: hey! i did this immediately cause i've done it before. this has been there before i think.
Jul-16-07  Timex: The pirc would be a better choice rather than 2... Nd7??? which traps the queen.
Jul-16-07  skakmiv: Heh, I think I have fallen for this once or twice in blitz games, mindlessly busting out the usual moves of the Tiger opening or whatever it is called.
Jul-16-07  Nasruddin Hodja: This is actually a semi-famous game which appears in several books on chess openings, including at least one of Reinfeld's, I think. So I knew the answer instantly as soon as I saw it.

It is more important to look at each of black's moves and see how they incrementaly led to disaster. Black was trying to start with a King's Indian formation for his chess pieces, but chose practically the worst move order to do so.

1. ... d6 is the standard opening of the Pirc defense. Quite playable, but too passive imo. It's the only correct move black makes in the game.

2. ... Nd7 is not good given that it weakens his hold over the e6 square by blocking his bishop and ignores his kingside development.

3. ... g6 loses a tempo to develop the wrong piece; black needed to develop his g8 knight in order to prevent queen checks, in this case by blocking the f-file.

4. ... Bg7 has the same objections as above. Even more importantly, black has not moved a single pawn or piece adjacent to his queen, which is usually a recipe for trouble in such openings.

5. ... Kxf7 is both horrible and the move that loses the game. He had to play ... Kf8 (reconciling himself to loss of castling and dislocation of his position), which also avoids losing a tempo when white plays Ng5 with check.

In short, it's quite fascinating how black loses by playing very plausible opening moves in the wrong order. The game also reminds me of the famous smothering trap in the Smyslov/Karpov variation of the Caro-Kann:

1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 dxe4
4. Nxe4 Nd7
5. Qe2?! Ngf6??
6. Nd6#.

where black also perishes because of the wrong move order and because of failing to move pawns and pieces adjacent to his king.

Jul-16-07  MaxxLange: 5...e6 saves Black from that Caro-Kann trap. I actually won a tournament game with that once, even though I don't usually play for traps (5 Qe2?! isn't really a good move).
Jul-16-07  Crowaholic: <Nasruddin Hodja: 5. ... Kxf7 is both horrible and the move that loses the game>

As several kibitzers have pointed out, ..Kf8 likely loses, too, at least theoretically (i.e. assuming perfect play from both sides from that point on). It would also be hard for Black to even reach a draw from this position in a GM vs GM game. The White material advantage that results from the next few moves is small, but the developmental advantage is great. But 5. ..Kxf7 is certainly the worse of the two legal moves here, while 6. ..Kf6 is the worst of three legal moves. I wonder whether Fauque really missed the mate in 1 or decided to end his misery seeing that the game was dead lost already. This assumes, of course, that the game isn't "faux".

Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: It is very important to play the opening well otherwise u r very much penalised if neglected. Here, Black played the opening without understanding the order of moves & heavily paid the penalty after 5.Bxf7+ Kxf7 6.Ng5+ now Black either loses the Queen after 6...Ke8 or Kf8 7.Ne6 traps the Queen or mated. Hence, never neglect your opening & play with much understanding.
Jul-16-07  patzer2: A little demolition with 5. Bxf7+!! solves today's puzzle.
Jul-16-07  PAWNTOEFOUR: now this is better!!.......needless to say,i did get this one!..this position,i believe occurs in the pirc and i was familiar with it...a far cry from sunday's puzzle......i still have shredder wrapped in ice,trying to cool him off!
Jul-16-07  zb2cr: <Crowaholic> wrote:

"5. Bxf7+ Kf8 6. Ng5 Nb6 7. Ne6+ Bxe6 8. Bxe6 with the threat of Qf3+ seems to be winning, but as far as the material is concerned, I see only winning a pawn."

Maybe not. Just about any plausible 8th move for Black, such as 8. ... Nf6, is met by 9. Qf3. Now the Knight is pinned and vulnerable to being attacked by a White Pawn from e5. For example, 9. ... Nd7; 10. Bxd7, Qxd7; 11. e5, dxe5; 12. dxe5 and Black's Knight drops. Black can't prevent this by 8. ... Ke8, since after 9. Qf3, Nf6 is needed to stave off mate, and so the Black Knight at f6 is still effectively paralyzed.

8. ... Nd7 prevents this, but then Black is back to his previous entanglement.

What improvements for Black can you see?

Jul-16-07  Dick Brain: this problem is in every beginner's book on chess combinations!
Jul-16-07  soberknight: Yeah, I've seen it before too. Note to the "Logical chess move by move" analyst above: 3...e5 transposes into the Philidor Defense. It's not my idea of a picnic as Black (I haven't played it since my brother crushed me fifteen years ago) but it's better than the text.
Jul-17-07  Crowaholic: <zb2cr: Maybe not. Just about any plausible 8th move for Black, such as 8. ... Nf6, is met by 9. Qf3. Now the Knight is pinned and vulnerable to being attacked by a White Pawn from e5. For example, 9. ... Nd7; 10. Bxd7, Qxd7; 11. e5, dxe5; 12. dxe5 and Black's Knight drops.>

Black has the counter-pin 12. ..Qe6 and White misses a tempo to execute his plan, e.g. 13. O-O Qxe5 or 13. Qf4 Kg8 14. O-O Nd5.

Dec-02-07  TheaN: <skakmiv: Heh, I think I have fallen for this once or twice in blitz games, mindlessly busting out the usual moves of the Tiger opening or whatever it is called.>

It's called 'De Leeuw' in Dutch so it has to be The Lion. Minor difference XD. FAFAIK it has a Dutch origin and is somewhat modern (a clubmember of mine uses it). The ideas are, IIRC, to use the d7 Knight to get to g6 by f8. That might also be a regular idea from the Pirc, but I don't play it.

Apr-09-09  WhiteRook48: 5. Bxf7+!! wow. Black would rather be mated than lose his queen?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I recently pulled off this exact mate in an Internet game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: White really Fauqued Black up.
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