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Yasser Seirawan vs Adam Kuligowski
Hoogovens (1983), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 4, Jan-18
English Opening: Symmetrical. Three Knights Variation (A34)  ·  1-0



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Given 2 times; par: 37 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-20-08  Ladolcevita: suprisingly smooth for me to discover.
Immediately find the first move,then i beat the engine in such ending....
Dec-20-08  Ladolcevita: But the whole game is wild
Dec-20-08  agb2002: The direct attack seems to fail: 37.fxg6+ Nxf3 38.Qf7+ Ke5 39.Qe6+ (or 39.Rd1 Nd4) Kd4 40.Rd1+ Kc5 and the black king escapes.

Instead, 37.Re1, threatening 38.fxg6+ Nxf3 39.Qf7 mate, looks more promissory:

A) 37... Nxf3 (or any other knight move) 38.Qxg6 mate.

B) 37... gxf5 38.Rxf5 mate.

C) 37... e6 38.fxg6+ Nxf3 39.Rxe6+ Kf5 40.g7 mate.

D) 37... Rf8 38.fxg6+ Nxf3 39.Re6+ Kf5 40.g7 mate.

E) 37... Rc3 38.Rxc3 (38.fxg6+ Rxf3) and White is an exchange and two pawns ahead and threatens 39.Rc6+ Nxc6 40.Qf7 mate.

F) 37... g4 38.hxg4

F.1) 38... Nxf3 (or any other knight move) 39.Qxg6 mate.

F.2) 38... gxf5 39.Rxf5 mate.

F.3) 38... e6 39.fxg6+ Nxf3 (39... Kg5 40.Qh5 mate) 40.Rxe6+ Kg5 40.Qh5 mate.

F.4) 38... Rf8 (or any other knight move but Rh8) 39.g5+ Kxg5 40.Qh4 mate.

F.5) 38... Rh8 39.fxg6+

F.5.a) 38... Nxf3 39.Qf7+ Kg5 40.Qf5+ Kh6 41.Rh1+ Kg7 42.Qf7 mate.

F.5.b) 38... Kg5 39.Rxe5+ Kxg4 40.Rf4 mate.

I think that’s all. Time to post and check.

Dec-20-08  agb2002: I saw 37... g4 38.hxg4 g5 but forgot it:

F.6) 38... g5 39.Qh6+ Kf7 40.Rxe5 followed by 41.f6 is crushing.

Dec-20-08  Vishy but not Anand: The worst defense can even mate it in 39th move. The actual game made a very bad defense of Qd7?? as I explained in previous post that made mate inevitable at move 40th at Qh4. The best defense for black of which no one seem sees it so far from the post except me is 38.... g5 but will still get mated at 48th move at a6 or b8.

<Vishy but not Anand: Helpless position for black. One piece with losing position or mate! 37. Re1! g4 (Qd7? 38. fxg6+ Nxf3 Qf7+ mate)
38. hxg4 g5 (...Nxf3 39. Qxg6+ mate or ...Qd7? or Qc7? 39. g5+ Kxg5 (no option) 40. Qh4+ mate) 39. Qh6+ Kf7 40. Rxe5 Rg8
41. f6 and wins>

Dec-20-08  johnlspouge: Saturday (Very Difficult)

Seirawan vs A Kuligowski, 1983 (37.?)

White to play and win.

Material: 2P for N. The Black Kf6 is stalemated. The White Qh7 provides a tightrope, forbidding the 2-nd rank to Kf6. The White Rf3 is on the same file as Kf6, obscured by Pf5, suggesting a discovered check with fxg6+. The White Pf5 then becomes a serious candidate for g8=Q. The Black Ne5 attacks Rf3, providing a typical (and usually adequate) defense to a discovered check. The White Pf5 and Pd5 might be advanced enough, however, to provide Qh7 with footholds to harass Kf6. The White Rh1 requires activation, which might occur when Kf6 is driven to the e- or d-file. The White Kg2 is secure from immediate checks.

Candidates (37.): fxg6+

I went for 37.fxg6. I arrived at the position

click for larger view

believing that 43.Kf1 wins Ne1 or enforces g8=Q, but the fork 43…Qa6+ crosses the plan, so fxg6+ draws, according to Toga II 1.3.1. The solution activates a piece (here, Rh1), often the theme of the subtler puzzles.

Dec-20-08  Zzyw: Felt a bit easy for a Saturday. Black really doesn't have much of a defense after Re1
Dec-20-08  dzechiel: <pskchess: Re1!!..1-0


PSK - you need to have Java installed for your browser and OS. Go to

and follow the instructions. That should do the trick. Good luck.

Dec-20-08  njchess: After looking at 37. fxg6, I concluded that Black's king could escape via the e-file.

So, 37. Re1 it is. Black might play either 37. ... Rc4 followed by Rf4, or maybe 37. ... g4. Either reply is winning for White.

Dec-20-08  xrt999: Computer analysis of 36...Ke5 shows no clear-cut continuation, only a slight advantage for white.
Dec-20-08  crwynn: 32...e6 33.Rf3 Nf5 34.Qh8 Ke7 35.Qe5 is not so simple for Black.
Dec-20-08  TheCap: for once in a while I got a Sunday !!!!!!!!! Yeppeee
Dec-20-08  whitebeach: <johnlspouge> In the position you diagrammed, you correctly note that after 43. Kf1 black has the strong reply 43 . . . Qa6+. But what about 43. Kh1 instead? 43 . . . Qa6 (threatening . . . Qf1#) is only pseudo-dangerous, since after 44 Qe5+ white appears to stand better no matter where black moves his king. If . . . Kb1 45. Qxe1+; if . . . Kxa2 45. Rxa8+ forces the black queen to recapture, after which the knight falls; and if . . . Ka3 45. Rc3+ appears to lead quickly to disaster for black.

I'm only wondering about the position you reached in your analysis, btw, not arguing that fxg6+ back on move 37 was as good as the game solution.

Dec-20-08  TheBish: I didn't think this was too difficult (maybe 2.5 or 3 stars at most), but then again, I had the benefit of knowing the solution! I do remember solving it without too much difficulty, however. The key is to contain the king, which is accomplished by...

37. Re1! with the threat of 38. exf5+ Nxf3 39. Qf7#. White either mates or wins significant material, e.g. 37...e6 38. exf5+ Nxf3 39. Rxe6+ Kf5 40. g7#; 37...g4 38. hxg4 Qd7 39. g5+! Kxg5 40. Qh4#, or here 38...Rh8 39. fxg6+ Nxf3 40. Qf7+ Kg5 41. Qf5+ Kh6 42. Rh1+ Kg7 43. Qf7 mate. About the only way to hold out is by sacrificing a rook with 37...Rc3, after which simply 38. Rxc3 wins easily.

Dec-20-08  SufferingBruin: And the Lord said, "Thou shalt have Xmas break, for thou art a teacher and in need of diversity away from thine classroom." And the teacher so sayeth, "Thou art good. Thou art very, very good."

Sorry, I'm on break and I needed to share my eternal joy...

37. Re1 because I just knew that fxg6+ is far too obvious and besides, it doesn't get anywhere. So, I'm brilliant, right? Not bad for a 1200. My students will think I'm brilliant. I better try this on Chessmaster.

37. ... Qa3. And I'm blind. You know why? I'm a 1200. And I don't see the obvious continuation.

38. Rxa3 Rxa3
38. Rxe5 Kxe5
39. Qxe7+ and one of the black rooks might fall.

Why didn't I see it? Because I'm a 1200. The clock is ticking and I just know I have to fight it out, Queen/Rook vs. 2Rooks/Knight.

But I'm a teacher and I'm on break. I got the first move. I'm counting this as a win for me. :)

Dec-20-08  Jim Bartle: Reading that, I'm not anxious to meet your students...
Dec-20-08  johnlspouge: < <whitebeach> wrote: <johnlspouge> In the position you diagrammed, you correctly note that after 43. Kf1 black has the strong reply 43 . . . Qa6+. But what about 43. Kh1 instead? >

Toga II 1.3.1 declares it a draw. Without going into details, the two Black pieces (Q+N) can harass the White K sufficiently that White can make no progress.

I did think it interesting that g8=Q created some illusion of winning chances, but <whiteshark> said it best, and I paraphrase: to create mate threats, one should consider using the Rs cut off the opposing K's flight.

Live and learn :)

Dec-20-08  whitebeach: <johnlspouge: Toga II 1.3.1 declares it a draw. Without going into details, the two Black pieces (Q+N) can harass the White K sufficiently that White can make no progress.>

Could certainly be drawn. Of course there are many possible offshoots before even reaching this stage. It's funny, but a winning solution like 37. Re1 can be pretty cut-and-dried, where a second-best move like 37. fxg4+ can be fascinating to analyze.

Thanks for the reply.

Dec-21-08  johnlspouge: Hi, <whitebeach>. The variation for a best play draw from Toga II 1.3.1 is as follows:

43.Kh1 Rxc8 44.Qxc8 b5 45.Qf5 Qd4 46.d6 e5 47.Kg1 Qd5 48.Kf1 Nf3 49.Qf7 Nh2+ 50.Kg1 Nf3+ 51.Kf1

Toga is freeware, and my chessforum gives detailed instructions for downloading it.

<It's funny, but a winning solution like 37. Re1 can be pretty cut-and-dried, where a second-best move like 37. fxg4+ can be fascinating to analyze.>

Yes, and it's not always the case that the "best move" from a computer is the most convincing to a human (although 37.Re1 today is much more convincing than the also-run 37.fxg6). In the puzzle position, Q+R can herd the K to neither their own forces or the side of the board, so (as more experienced players have pointed out) they are insufficient to win on their own. The interest to me in the side variation was that Pg6 is additional resource for White, apparently not sufficient either.

Dec-21-08  SufferingBruin: Dear Jim Bartle,

Hi. Sarcasm can be accepted to a point, as can oblique insults--part of the terrritory when dealing with some of the commenters here on That said, I always thought this was a pretty safe forum to share and discuss any number of things and yet there's always that one person who comes along and just goes a little too far.

Like insulting my students. Or me--kind of hard to tell with that penetrating prose style of yours. So here's a proposition: it's time for you to meet my students. I'm in South Central Los Angeles at a magnet school and I'm doing my damndest to teach kids a great game. From the snarky tone of your post (nice minimalist style, especially the ellipsis at the end, implying that perhaps more can be said but why bother--just too cool for words!), it sounds like you've got some issues with my method of teaching, or the fact that I'm a 1200, or something--feel free to fill in the blanks here, jacka-- uh, sorry, I meant Jim.

When you come, a little advice: an exceedingly arrogant attitude may go over well in your circles but I wouldn't recommend it with the young men and women in the chess club, currently running strong at 45 members. They're eager to learn and though it's hard to tell from your penetrating comment, it seems as if you feel you've got something to give them that my puny 1200 mind can't provide (and for those reading, never underestimate how some chess players equate "rating" with "intelligence"; it's a long story). My kids would love to meet you, so long as they learn something from you. Whether they learn to avoid pompous windbags or some steps to improve their play is, I guess, your call but I'll be there, too, in case things get a little rough. We're hoping to have Jack Peters and Jeremy Silman come by at some point in the Spring; I'm drafting letters as we speak. I'm sure they would be anxious to help as they have done so with other schools in the past but what do they know, right? What you should do is send my post from yesterday to Silman and Peters and let them know the truth! "Don't go--I'm not anxious to meet them, I mean just check out this post from their teacher!" But I'll leave it to you.

This is a serious offer. Let me know when you can make it. You've got between now and June.


Clay Landon aka Suffering Bruin
King/Drew Medical Magnet High School
Los Angeles, CA

Dec-21-08  Jim Bartle: Hi Suffering Bruin:

Sorry. I think I misinterpreted your post. My impression was that you were thrilled to be on break, since you mentioned it twice, and were exhausted from dealing with your students. Re-reading it, looks like I was wrong.

What you are doing sounds remarkable. If I'm ever in LA again (I live in Peru), I might take you up on the offer. I'm no chess master, though, as many kibitzers here can confirm.

I do have the address of the school, maybe I'll send you some Peruvian (non-chess) material.

Dec-21-08  SufferingBruin: Jim,

Hi. I'm feeling really, really foolish right now. You'll excuse me while I go outside and scream.

Thanks for your thoughtful post.



Dec-21-08  Jim Bartle: No need. I misread your post and tried to be droll.

Tell me, are there Spanish speakers at your school?

Dec-21-08  whitebeach: <johnlspouge: The variation for a best play draw from Toga II 1.3.1 is as follows: 43.Kh1 Rxc8 44.Qxc8 b5 45.Qf5 Qd4 46.d6 e5 47.Kg1 Qd5 48.Kf1 Nf3 49.Qf7 Nh2+ 50.Kg1 Nf3+ 51.Kf1>

Looks pretty convincing. 44 . . . b5 is one fly I never saw in the ointment. (Missing obvious flies in ointment is among the numerous reasons I'm not a GM.)

<Toga is freeware, and my chessforum gives detailed instructions for downloading it.>

I'll certainly check out both Toga and your forum. Looking forward to it. Thanks again.

Dec-24-08  patzer2: For the Saturday Dec 20, 2008 puzzle solution, White initiates a deep mating attack with 37. Re1!!
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