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Richard Reti vs Savielly Tartakower
"Sucker Punch" (game of the day Jan-16-2005)
Vienna (1910), Vienna AUH
Caro-Kann Defense: Main Line (B15)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-06-13  clownface: If you think like a champion you....
Mar-20-14  Makavelli II: Brilliant little game. Annotations from a book :)


White: Reti. Black: Tartakower.

Caro-Kann Defence.

1. P-K4 P-QB3

2. P-Q4 P-Q4

3. Kt-QB3 PxP

4. KtxP Kt-KB3

5. Q-Q3

White wishes to castle as soon as possible on the Queen's side, in order to operate on the Queen's file with the help of the Rook.

5. ... P-K4

Here Black loses two moves in bringing White's centre pawn away. The manoeuvre therefore is not sound. QKt-Q2, KtxKt, and Kt-B3, or any other developing moves would be preferable.

6. PxP Q-R4ch

7. B-Q2 QxP

8. Castles!

Diag. 148

White prepares a magnificent mating combination, which can only be made possible at such an early stage, when the opponent has utterly neglected his development.

8. ... KtxKt

9. Q-Q8ch!! KxQ

10. B-Kt5 double ch K-B2

11. B-Q8 mate

A beautiful mate. If 11. ... K-K1, 11. R-Q8 mate.

Mar-20-14  Xeroxx: This game is famous.
Mar-21-14  Makavelli II: @Xeroxx. Apparently so :) I've always thought I could solve any mate in 3 if I know that the mate is there but im not so sure here

click for larger view

Jun-25-14  sobic: Tartakower should have taken the knight with his queen and the game after 2 moves is equal. But thanks to his mistake we can enjoy over and over again this beautiful queen sacrifice by Mr Reti.
Jun-26-14  sobic: My mistake, Tartakower should have never taken that knight, because he loses queen after Re1. That knight was poisoned :)
Jun-26-14  Rama: "The mistakes are all there, waiting to be made."
Nov-05-14  Christoforus Polacco: One time in my life I played like grandmaster :) It was about 2 years ago. I was playing against my simply chess program ''Chess Titans''. I like this programme because it isn't possible to place ready chess position and wait for computer's analyse - I must think myself. I played at seventh level - so, it's about 1650-1700 Elo. And after a few moves my flesh crept and I could feel excitement - I played 5.Qd3 and comp 5....e5. It will be repetition from Vienna 1910 ?? After six moves I was sure ! - it's repetition from chess classic :) It was the only one time when me and my computer we played like grandmasters and both from world's top ten :) Me - like Reti and ''Chess Titans'' like my one of the best liked players : Ksawery Tartakower.... P.S.
I dont' remember if I mated comp by bishop or by rook :) - it's mixed real game with virtual :) But probably by the rook...
Jan-08-15  GoldenBird: 8...Nxe4 was the critical error, perhaps Be7 would've saved the day
Jan-27-15  TangoJoseph: sobic: Tartakower should have taken the knight with his queen and the game after 2 moves is equal. But thanks to his mistake we can enjoy over and over again this beautiful queen sacrifice by Mr Reti.

how about niether QxN or Nxn but rather just simple Be7 !

Aug-18-15  nilanjanasm: There is something wrong in the game. The last moves were ke8, rd8# instead of kc7 bd8#. I saw this in my book
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: A kibitz from some time ago,

<Oct-05-04 <InspiredByMorphy>: According to the round # this game happened before the first round - 0.44 ! A very similar queen sac and mate is in the following game Maczuski vs Kolisch, 1864>

In fact, "44" was apparently a reference to Chernev's "1000 Best Short Games of Chess", where this appears as game 44. I have deleted it from the round number field.

Jul-19-16  zanzibar: OK, I'll buy <FSR>'s assertion that this was a skittle's game.

The question then becomes - where was it (i.e. Reti's Mate) first published?

Jul-19-16  zanzibar: Edward Winter discusses the game a little here:

Probably the Event tag should be "casual".

Oct-16-16  Christoforus Polacco: @ TangoJoseph.
It's doesn't matter :) My comp (''Chess Titans') took also the knight by Queen and he lost her .... After simply 9.Re1
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: 10.Bg5 double check. Gorgeous move. The bishop or rook can be blocked/captured in 13 different ways, but doesn't matter. Double check the king always moves.
Feb-04-20  pajaste: This game is partly replayed in the episode 'observer effect' in Star Trek :Enterprise 4th season. In the episode Mayweather forfeits to tactical officer Reed on move 6 stating, "you win in five."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: That White formation on the d-file:

click for larger view

Might be labeled the "Ever Reti Battery".

Oct-21-20  Whitehat1963: One of my all-time favorite miniatures. If it’s never been a puzzle before, it’s long overdue!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: This game was also played in the Netflix series Queen's Gambit based on the book of that name. In the first episode, the heroine Elizabeth Harmon played the highschool coach Mr Ganz including the last moves few moves blindfold.
Nov-18-20  Monocle: <Jonathan Sarfati: This game was also played in the Netflix series Queen's Gambit based on the book of that name. In the first episode, the heroine Elizabeth Harmon played the highschool coach Mr Ganz including the last moves few moves blindfold.>

I just watched that episode and came here. I recognised it after 6...Qa5+ 7.Bd2 Qxe5. I was thinking, "Surely not Reti-Tartakower, they wouldn't be so cheeky..." But they were. I was amused.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: <Monocle:> This also wasn't the first to be cheeky enough to show the Morphy Opera game. An episode of the rebooted Hawaii Five-O series showed it too. But I suppose that we should be thankful that they used a real game, unlike the bad old days with black in the right corner. Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858
Feb-10-21  Tadeusz Nida: YO ALL, HERE IS THE REVOLUTIONARY LUBEK CASTLE 2000/0000 ANIMATION: /LongLongCastle.txt /Rocky /2356

click for larger view

click for larger view

Mar-21-22  Mathematicar: Beautiful game by Reti.
Jul-19-23  generror: This miniature is equally famous as it is lovely and instructive, and thus definitively part of my personal chess game. Probably the most famous double check in chess history. Sure we've all seen it dozens of times, but I still love how the sudden queen sac allows not one, but two beautiful and elegant mates (my favourite is the bishop, one course).

According to Edward Winter (, the most credible source for this game mentions that Tartakower resigned after <10.Bg5++> and that it was a casual game with 15 moves per hour, so not exactly a skittles game and kinda amazing that someone of Tartakower's format fell for this. Of course they may have imbibed stuff while playing this. (Lichess lists over 100 amateur games with the exact same moves up to the queen sac, including a blitz game where Black was rated over 2800. The truth hurts :) And recently it has been played in So vs Firouzja, 2021

Also, <5.Qd3> is much better than it looks. Stockfish evaluates <5.Nxf6+> to about +0.4, this to about +0.2, and all the other moves lead to equal or worse, and in the few master games it was played in, it has actually has better score (43% white wins to 33% black wins for <Qe3> versus 36% to 28% for <Nxf6> on <CG> and, surprisingly, 39% to 17% versus 35% to 24% on <lichess>). It was also played in a few recent rapid and blitz games recently, including So vs Firouzja, 2021 (1/2-1/2), Rapport vs V Asadli, 2021 (1-0) and Rapport vs G Mitrabha, 2021 (1-0).

As to whether this was prepared or not, who knows? I can well imagine Réti was kissed by Caissa while playing this game and suddenly saw the potential of <8.0-0-0>. Then again, maybe Réti found it at age 11 for all we know; kids often have crazy ideas and sometimes they're even good. After all, Réti published his first chess problem aged 15:

click for larger view

White to mate in three. (However, the published solution is actually a mate in four, but there is a mate in three that apparently both Réti and Schallopp missed, so all in all I tend do think Réti found it OTB :) (source:


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