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Vasilije Tomovic vs Milan Vidmar
Liberation (1945), Ljubljana SLO, rd 2, Dec-27
Queen's Gambit Declined: Traditional Variation (D30)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-05-08  zb2cr: Got it. I have nothing to add to the detailed write-ups by <zenpharaohs> and <dzechiel>.
Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <68...Rxe5> with either stalemate (69.Kxe5 f6+ 70.Kxe6) or perpetual check due to a desperate rook (69.Rxf7 Rd5+)
Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: With <66.Ra8> white could cancel out the stalemate +drawing lines, e.g. <66...Kg7 67.Kd5 Rd1+ 68.Kc5 Re1 69.Kd6 Re2>


click for larger view

<70.e6!!>

Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Immediately <66.e6> is also winning, e.g. <66...fxe6 67.fxe6 Kg6 68.Ke5!>


click for larger view

Mar-05-08  uuft: I'm not good enough (yet) to realize a draw is good enough for black in the given position. So I missed the catch.

Oh well. You live, you learn, I guess. Though I dont' feel like I have learned something from this particular puzzle.

In my experience, being down on material does not mean, of course, one should automatically aim for a draw; even during endgames. A lot depends on the position. The chance I'll ever get into today's position is pretty slim, so again: what did I learn here?

Mar-05-08  uuft: BTW: no hard feelings, CG! Ever! :)
Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <uuft> You may never have this actual position, but you're bound to reach Rook-and-Pawn endings sometime. It's not about specific moves so much as themes, and the perpetual check and stalemate themes are surprisingly common. It's useful to know about them.
Mar-05-08  prinsallan: After about one minute I realized I must be looking for a draw and then the Rook-move cam pretty fast. Another minute to check that I hadn't missed any. Very nice posts by several people today!
Mar-05-08  TheaN: 3/3

Ok, weird that they throw in a draw in the middle of the week.

68....Rxe5! throws in the draw for Black. I admit that I missed Rxf7 at first glance, but the crazy rook pattern still applies then:

69.Kxe5 f6+ -> stalemate.

69.Rxf7 Rd5+ (Re6+?? 70.fxe6) 70.Ke6 Rd6+ and White won't escape. Fleeing to the 8th rank won't work either as RxR would still be stalemate, followed by Kf8 Re8+ somewhere, with Kxe8 stalemate forced. Aside the tactic, Black maybe even has a technical draw here.

69.R anywhere else seems a futile try, with equal material.

Mar-05-08  Marmot PFL: I would say I learned something here. The idea of a rook sacrifice for stalemate is very common, but usually it takes the form of an endless series of rook checks (unless the rook is captured). The rook sac followed by a pawn check is very unusual, which is probably why white overlooked it. So it's a lesson about spotting familiar themes in unfamiliar positions.

BTW Tomovic must have been a very strong player (wins against Alekhine, Gligorich, Pachman, and Vidmar in other games) yet I never heard of him and he seemed to just disappear from chess soon after WWII.

Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Once you see that B must aim for stalemate, there are not very many different tries available. Still Rxe5 is a pretty move.
Mar-05-08  YouRang: Got it. It's pretty obvious that black is seeking a draw. It's even obvious that he's going for a stalemate/crazy-rook tactic.

One might be tempted to rush the stalemate position with 68...f6?, but black can find shelter his king from the the crazy-rook by moving to f7.

But black can do the crazy-rook bit FIRST with 68...Rxe5!, which destroys white's advantage without fear of recapture, because recapture (69. Kxe5) permits black to force the stalemate trick with 69...f6+!

Very pretty. :-)

Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: It seems to me that Black's tactics, leading up to the stalemate try, were counterproductive: the Rook seemed to be driving White's pawns foreward into stronger and stronger positions.
Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A very unusual finish! If white takes the rook,black will move the pawn-opening up the rook to prevent his own escape. Whether white takes the pawn of not,black is stalemated.

A unique finish-fashioned from a selfmate style of problem.

Mar-05-08  ganstaman: <uuft: I'm not good enough (yet) to realize a draw is good enough for black in the given position. So I missed the catch.

Oh well. You live, you learn, I guess. Though I dont' feel like I have learned something from this particular puzzle.

In my experience, being down on material does not mean, of course, one should automatically aim for a draw; even during endgames. A lot depends on the position. The chance I'll ever get into today's position is pretty slim, so again: what did I learn here?>

Well, there are two good responses to your concern. First, I have seen several games with a similar theme: the king is already stalemated, so the one remaining mobile piece goes on a perpetual check crusade without worrying about being captured. It doesn't have to be this exact position -- you now know the theme and can apply it to other positions.

Secondly, this is something I've learned from Dan Heisman's articles (http://www.chesscafe.com/text/heism... is one of his articles, you can change the 68 in the URL to other numbers to get other articles): you learn tactics to work on your defense against them, not pulling them off (offense). You see, most of us probably think that by working on tactics and puzzles like this, we are helping ourselves if we get into such positions. This is partly true -- you can draw as black if you get into a similar position as this, or you can pull off winning tactics similar to other puzzles.

But, these puzzles are also great for defense. If you can solve the queen-sac puzzles, then you can prevent your opponent from soundly sacrificing his queen against you -- you've seen the pattern and can defend against it before it becomes a legitimate threat. So say that you have the white pieces here. You're ahead in material and think you have winning chances. But wait! Black has a drawing resource. Since you've seen this puzzle, you can see this coming up before it actually does, so you can work on preventing it. You don't want to let your opponent walk away with a draw if you have a win, do you?

Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: For those who don't know what a selfmate is,here is a very simple version:


click for larger view

/

White selfmates in one by 1♕g7+ as black is forced to capture and mate the white king.

Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  DarthStapler: I kept thinking f6+ first
Mar-05-08  MaczynskiPratten: A nice twist to <kevin86>'s puzzle is that it is White OR BLACK to play and selfmate in 1 - with the same move! 1..Qg7+ and White likewise is forced to capture and mate!
Mar-05-08  wals: Noting think: Power-up the brain cells in both hemispheres and rip this one apart:-
look at board

what can black move ? go for f6,

68. f6 69.exf6 ...Re8 70.Kd7...Rh8

look at board

O dipped out there, much too subtle for me.

brain score L 0.10 R 0.10

Mar-05-08  012: Tuesday puzzle <12. ...?> Mar-04-08 Sils vs Schmid, 1971
Mar-05-08  karnak64: Too clever.
Mar-05-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Wednesday (Medium/Easy): Black to play and draw

Material: Down a P. The Black Kh6 is restricted, suggesting stalemate possibilities with a crazy rook, which wants to immolate itself to create stalemate.

Candidates (68...): f6, Rxe6

The main line is

68...Rxe6 69.Kxe6 f3+ 70.K moves stalemate

Alternatives for move 69. include

69.Rxf7, and Black now has a crazy rook.

The Black R checks from the 1-st rank. If the White K tries to flee through f6 (or f8), the R checks from e6 (or e8), forcing its capture and stalemate.

Black must now construct a drawing plan for the R+2Ps vs. R+2Ps endgame. If the Rs were off the board, there are two cases (1) Pf7 stays put or (2) Pf7 advances. In Case (1), Black loses because of his weak K position. White wins by playing his Kd6 to e7 or e8. He waits until the Black Kh6 is at g8, and then he makes the winning move f6. In Case (2), Kd6 has e6 and e7 to attack the Pf6, whereas Kh6 can only defend from g7, and so must abandon Pf6. Black must therefore keep the Rs on the board.

After Black has won Pe5 with his stalemate threat, he has enough time to withdraw his Re5 to b5 for checks along the rank. He then plays his K to g7, to build a fortress. His R checks if the White K approaches e6 or e8 to reinforce the R's attack on the Pf7. If White moves f6+, Black moves Kg6, and White can make no progress against the R checks along the rank.

Note that Black cannot draw with

68...f6 69.Ra5, relieving the stalemate threat and protecting Pe5.

Time to peek. Everyone else seems to be very happy to call it draw and go for a beer. I might as well follow :)

Mar-05-08  RandomVisitor: 18...Ba3! and now 19.Bh7+ Kxh7 20.Rxd8 Rfxd8 21.Nd4 Ra8 ; 19.Nd4 Bxa2, 19...Qg5 or 19...Qe8 .
Mar-06-08  vortex2639: thanks for the replies Mark Thorton and zanshin, both make sense. I figured it was a draw line either way, I just hate playing for a draw.
Dec-28-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Marmot_PFL>BTW Tomovic must have been a very strong player (wins against Alekhine, Gligorich, Pachman, and Vidmar in other games) yet I never heard of him and he seemed to just disappear from chess soon after WWII.

Marmot-PFL,

The name of the tournament being "Liberation" would suggest that this game was played in the immediate post-WW2 period.

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