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Gideon Stahlberg vs Albert Becker
Buenos Aires (1944)
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. General (D58)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: In an alternate universe...

Henry the H pawn was an old and venerable pawn. He was so well used that he was neither truly white nor black. Instead, he had taken on that faded yellowing colour that an optimist might call honeyed gold and a pessimist would say was decades of old men's sweat.

His glory days were long since gone. Once he had played on board one for the club championship. Once he had taken a part in a simul with an unpronounceable Russian who smelt of fish. Those were the days when Henry had been someone...

But now he was the forgotten mismatched pawn in the set at the back of the cupboard. The set that only saw the light of day when the club was really busy - say when the first, second and third team were playing on the same night. Or when some newbie would reach right to the back of the cupboard and grab one of the really old and dusty boxes. Just to see what they were like.

So one day Henry decided he wanted to write a chess book. But what subject should he choose? All the good subjects had been taken. And anyway who would want to read the memoirs of a pawn?

Then inspiration struck. It would be one of those "1001 things to do before you die" books. After a considerable amount of thought (well, he was an inanimate piece of wood so we can't expect instant inspiration), he decided to write ...

"1001 things to do on a chessboard before you die if you are a pawn"

Okay, so it wasn't the snappiest title ever dreamt up. And, admittedly, it was a bit of a niche market. But everyone needs a dream. Even a lowly pawn.

And so Henry started to write. At first it was easy. #1 - play 1. e4. #2 - capture a queen. #3 - form a fianchetto. And so on.

It was round about number 50 that Henry realised he had a problem. 1001 things for a pawn to do now seemed an unrealistic objective.

So then he started to combine things. Number 52 was to capture a knight and then promote to a queen. 53 was to capture a knight and then promote to a rook.

He's still writing the book of course. Huddled away at the back of the cupboard, furiously chewing a pencil (with hypothetical teeth), having in idea (with a hypothetical brain) and scribbling it into his book (with hypothetical fingers).

If you listen really hard you might hear him shout out with joy today. "Number 267 - on your first move, after having protected your king from an enemy rook, force your own queen to sacrifice herself for you so that you can become unpinned and then give checkmate"

Jul-26-11  mohannagappan: 48. Qe1+ Rxe1 49.g3++
Jul-26-11  scormus: <sevenseaman: If a bird had picked away the f7 pawn you'd have had a second solution.>

I was getting mixed up with my proverbs

<Once> Brilliant! Brings to mind the question, "what is the highest rank of all in the RA?" Anyone from military background like to answer?

Jul-26-11  Nullifidian: This is even more straightforward than yesterday's puzzle.

48. ♕e1+ with two replies for Black:

48... ♖f2 49. ♕xf2#
48... ♖xe1 49. ♙g3#

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even.

Black threatens 48... Qe5+ followed by ... Re1+.

The black rook prevents 48.g3#, hence divert it with 48.Qe1+: 48... Rxe1 49.g3#.

Jul-26-11  newzild: My first candidate was the elegant 48. Qh1, intending the "discovered mate" 49. Kg1#. If Black tries to stop this by 48...Re1, then 49. g3#. Unfortunately, 48...Qe3 rains on White's parade.
Jul-26-11  ROO.BOOKAROO: Finding the move is not the result of fumbling around the board, but, as Seirawan explains in his book, of simple straight chess logic: the Black King has no move available and is stalemated, hence any check will be mate.

Playing the White g2 pawn to g3# is the check that will do it. But this move is blocked by the pin from the Black rook on e2. Removing the guard on e2 by taking the Black rook with the Queen won't do, as the pin will be re-established by the Black queen taking back the White Queen on e2.

A deflection of this Rook on e2 can be done only with the White Queen, and it must be a Zwischenzug, a forcing move, a check in order not to lose the tempo, not allowing the Black Queen to destroy the position, for example with Qe6-e5+.

The White Queen has only two checks available: Qe1+ and Qd8+. Queen to e1+ works immediately, it is a forcing move that will remove the guard on e2. Rxe1 is forced. Hence g2-g3# follows.

Giving the check with Qd8+ is a good idea that cannot be ignored, but it is not forcing and won't remove the guard from e2 because of Black using his pawn to play f7-f6 blocking the check.

This kind of thinking is done in a few seconds and the move Qe1+ seems practically obvious, but it is the result of the implicit logic described above.

Jul-26-11  Fuegoverde: 48 Qe1+ Rxe1, 49 g3++ is very nice, of course black can prefer 48... Rf2, 49 Qxf2++
Jul-26-11  target4Q2011: another very easy puzzle
Jul-26-11  DarthStapler: Got it easily
Jul-26-11  YetAnotherAmateur: This is just so pretty, and not hard to discover either: g3 would win if white could play it. He can't play it because of the e2 rook. Ergo, get the rook to move.
Jul-26-11  abuzic: 48.Qe1+ wins.

48.Qd8+?? and black will dance with joice, white has no defence aginast 48...f6, facing mate or loss of R or Q

-49.Re8 Qxe8 50.Qxf6+ Kxg4 51.Qf3+ Kg5 52.Qg3+ Kf6 53.Qf4+ Kg7 54.Qg4+ Kh8 55.Qd4+ Qe5+...

-49.Qd4 Qxg8

-49.Qe8 Rd6+ 50.Kh1 Rxe8

All other -49.moves lead to mate, example:
49.Rg5 fxg5 50.Qd4 Qc6 51.Qg1 Qc7+ 52.Kh1 Qg3 53.Qf1 Re1 54.Qxe1 Qxe1+ 55.Kh2 Qg3+ 56.Kh1 Qf4 57.g3+ Kxg3 58.b3 Qf1#

Jul-26-11  David2009: Stahlberg vs A Becker, 1944

48.Qe8+? (seeing 48...Qe7? 49.Qxe7+ Rxe7 50.g3#) fails to 48...f6!, but White has much better: 48.Qe1+! Rxe1 49.g3#. Time to check:

click for larger view


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Without the pin,48 g3 would be mate. The queen sac diverts the queen away.

Whimsical to fight queen and queen and then mate with a pawn!

Jul-26-11  Dupleix: Once, your story is simply excellent !
Jul-26-11  stst: One small step by the gP-g3 will do it, but the Bk R is pinning it, so what's the best way to move this R? Q-d8 looks good, but f6 is blocking, so a direct Q-sac: 48.Qe1+ RxQ (what else?)
Jul-26-11  stst: <Whimsical to fight queen and queen and then mate with a pawn!>

this tells the trap - Qd8 and Q block -----> but it's inferior defense by Bk: f6 will block the W Q if going this way.

Jul-26-11  hedgeh0g: A nice finish. After Qe1+! Rxe1 (forced), g3 is mate! :D
Jul-26-11  benjaminpugh: Black actually has two legal moves after Qe1+. Either Rxe1 or Rf2. Of course, Rf2 just leads to Qxf2#, but at least Black doesn't get mated by a pawn.
Jul-26-11  BOSTER: The double isolator pawns, as usual, are weak and need a good protection, but sometimes, like in this game they show irresistible power.

May nice words have been said about pawn g2, but nobody mentioned anything about g4. And I'd say this is unfair ,because only with help g4 black king was involved in mating net,and I'd say on the position pawn on g4 is hanging the outcome of the game.

And if somebody decided to give the prize only to g2 pawn, g4 would say "Shame of you, guys!" and even could leave the board.

Jul-26-11  drnooo: one small step by stalberg but one giant leap for chesskind
Jul-26-11  garrido.benjamin: very easy
queenne1 check
Jul-26-11  garrido.benjamin: 21.-RxF6 is the began of one beutifull
combination, please me my inglish
benjamin garrido
Jul-26-11  Ghuzultyy: I'm sure I saw it somewhere before.
Jul-26-11  ajile: lol

Took me way too long. Finally realized that it was CHECK on Qe1.

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