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Vitacek vs Oldrich Duras
Club Game (1900), Prague AUH
Center Game: Paulsen Attack Variation (C22)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A brilliant finish! Black delivers a surprise mate by a bishop hidden in the corner...a move all the way to b2!
Mar-17-12  waustad: I had all of the pieces of the attack but in the wrong order.
Mar-17-12  Patriot: Material: Does it even matter here?!

I looked at this for a long time because there are so many promising looking candidates. It seems that 22...Rxc2+ forces the win.

22...Rxc2+ 23.Bxc2 Qe3+

A) 24.Bd2 Nb3+ 25.Bxb3 Bxb2+ 26.Kxb2 Qxb3+ 27.Kc1 Qb1#

B) 24.Rd2 Rf1+ 25.Bd1 Rxd1+ 26.Kxd1 Bb3+ 27.Kc1 (27.Rc2 Bxc2#) Qe1+ 28.Rd1 Qxd1#

Mar-17-12  viking78: At first view today's puzzle seems a bit straight forward then yesterday's. Black has enough pieces waiting to attack white King, although if black Queen leaves 7th rank without giving check to black King there is the danger of white Qh7# or if Rook at f8 would be gone to attack white let's say via f1 then Qh7 Kf8 Qxh8 Ke7 Qe8#. So basically I think Black should attack giving checks all the way cause a lot of pieces can do that. Candidate 1: 22....Nb3+ 23.cxb3(only) Qe3+ 24.Bd2 (not Rd2 Rf1+ Kc2 Bb1#) Qc5+ (not Bxb2+ Kxb2 (not Kc2 Rxd2+ Rxd2 Qc3+ Kg1 Qc1+ Ke2 Qf1+ Ke3 Qf4+ Ke2 (not Kd3 Qd4+ Ke2 Rf2+ Ke1 or d1 Qxd2#) Qe5+ Kd1 Rf1+ Kc2 Qb1#) Rxd2+ Rxd2 Qxd2+ Bc2 Qd4+ Kxa2 attack over) 25.Bc2 Bxb2+ 26.Kxb2 Qd4+ 27.Bc3 and attack over cause Qxd1 leads to Qh7#. So let's start over with the another check option: Candidate 2: <22...Qe3+ 23.Bd2> (not Rd2 Re1#) <Nb3+> (remember must keep checking not to let White give checkmate as I wrote in the beginning) <24.cxb3 Bxb2 25.Kxb2> (if Kc2 Qc3#) <25...Rxd2+ 26.Rxd2 Qxd2+> pfff and looks like Black can't win from here... Well, it means it's something else, maybe 25.Qd4+ but I can't see win from there neither, so I burned my brain for more then an hour and I think it's time to give up, really felt this would be my first Saturday victory, I have to wait for at least another week. Time to read the posts and see where is the key.
Mar-17-12  kelvi: Nice attack showing the strengths of different pieces in such a position!

For example, with a different sequence of the same moves, it gets to mate using different pieces. One such (slower) line is -

22. .. Nb3+
23. cb3 Qe3+
24. Bd2 Bxb2+ (24. Rd2 Re1+ 25. Kc2 Bb1#)
25. Kxb2 Rxd2+ (25. Kc2 Qb3#)
26. Rxd2 Qb3+
27. K*1 Rf1+
28. R*1 RxR#

Mar-17-12  Patriot: Missed it completely! In line A, 25.Bxb3 is check so the whole thing fails. This was tough!
Mar-17-12  Patriot: <agb2002> <If the black knight, the pawn on c2 and the bishop on c3 disappeared then Black would deliver mate with ... Bxb2. Hence, 22... Qe3+ 23.Bd2 (23.Rd2 Re(f)1#) 23... Qxd2+ 24.Rxd2 Rf1+ 25.Rd1 Nb3+ 26.cxb3 Bxb2#.>

Seriously, this is all it took for you to solve this? I spent forever looking at this and was overwhelmed with too many permutations!

Mar-17-12  BOSTER: Honestly, I have to explain what helped me to find the correct moves order in this not very easy solution: If Duras could find it (I hope) , I have to . Believe me this is an excellent stimulus, and certainly , the back rank weakness and the open file for f8 rook support my decision.

22...Qe3+ 23.Bd2 Qxd2+ 24.Rxd2 Rf1+ 25.Rd1 Nb3+ 26.cxb3 bxb2#.

I guess you need the great imagination looking at <POTD> see the final position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: A possible variant is Qe3+ Bd2 Nb3+ cxb3 Bxb2+. I haven't run it through a computer but I think it leads to mate no matter what white tries.
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I transposed moves from the game line, but it still seems to be mate in five:

22...Qe3+ 23. Bd2 (23. Rd2 Re1#) Nb3+ 24. cb Qxd2+ 25. Rxd2 Rf1+ and now:

a. 26. Kc2 Bb1#

b. 26. Rd1 Bxb2#

I confirmed this with Crafty.

Mar-17-12  mikmik777: Black to play: 22. ...?
(Vitacek vs Duras)
"Very Difficult"

Black has a very nice position. He has complete control of the e-file using the queen-rook battery. Black also has influence on the open f file, a2-g8 diagonal, and a1-h8 diagonal. Also, Black's knight is well placed in the center. Although his king is quite exposed, it's not currently on immediate danger. White, on the other hand, has 2 pieces undeveloped at g1 and h1. His king has a cramped position on the queenside. I managed to calculate the resulting variation:

22. ...Qe3+
(23.Rd2 Re1 mate; 23.Rd2 Rf1 mate)
23. ...Qxd2+!!!(Sacrifices the queen but gaining a tempo) 24.Rxd2(forced)
24. ...Rf1+
25.Rd1 Nb3+!
26.cxb3 Bxb2+ mate

I managed to solve the puzzle in less than 5 minutes, owing to the nature of the tree analysis.. Time to check the answer..

Got it right!..:)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: For those looking for more, here's a great game to study (I found it in one of Nunn's books), with an excellent puzzle as well.

It's BLACK to play and win, move 25.

click for larger view

Below is the game link.
B Lalic vs Khalifman, 1997

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Couldn't solve it without touching the pieces. Beautful combination.
Mar-17-12  sevenseaman: <jimfromprovidence> Useful link to Lalic-Khalifman. Black is very aggressive. Do you have a link to the game with Nunn's annotations, may be video link.
Mar-17-12  LoveThatJoker: <Jimfromprovidence>

I'm liking <25...Rxa2! 26. Rxf5>

[26. Bd3 Bxd3 27. Qxd3 Ra1+ 28. Kc2 Nb4+ 29. Kb3 (29. Kxc3 Ra3+ is even better for Black) 29...Ra3+! 30. Kxa3 (30. Kc4 Nxd3 leaves Black a R up) 30...Nxc3+ 31. Kb3 Nxe5 and Black emerges a piece and two pawns up.]

<26...Nb4 27. Kb1>

(27. Bd3 Ra1+ 28. Bb1 c2! and Black wins)

<27...c2+ 28. Kc1 Ra1+> and 29...c1=Q+ is unstoppable .

I'm going to click on the link right now to see if I got it right.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <LTJ> <sevenseamen>

I'll comment on your posts on that game's page, in order to not to muddy the kibitzes concerning today's puzzle.

Mar-17-12  Crispy Seagull: The position shows a lot of promise for both sides. Too much in fact for me to see through! What a great finish!
Mar-17-12  Memethecat: I started looking at this puzzle almost 4hrs ago determined I would succeed & hallelujah on my 5th stint it came to me .

22...Qe3+ 23Bd2 Qxd2+ 24Rxd2 (this 1st part was there from the beginning)24...Rf1+ 25Rd1 Nb3+ 26cxb3 Bxb2#

The strange thing was, on the last time I looked it just all appeared & seemed so obvious, almost Monday like & I couldn't understand why such a simple thing had taken so long.

I understand, of course, by that time my mind was so familiar with the puzzle & all the elements, but it ain't happened to me before, hence the exuberance. ^.^

Mar-17-12  tacticalmonster: very easy: 22 Qe3+ 23 Bd2 (23 Rd2 Rf1#) Qxd2+ 24 Rxd2 Rf1+ 25 Rd1 Nb3+ 26 cxb3 Bxb2#

Time spent: 90 sec

Mar-17-12  5hrsolver: Finally solved this one. Black certainly has the better piece activity. But sometimes there are no guidelines on how to proceed with the attack. You just have to find a way to make your pieces work together.
Mar-17-12  BOSTER: Many generations of chess players enjoy brilliant Duras' combo.

But when I see such position (diagram)

click for larger view

where black,which rook and queen still on a8 and d8, played 19...Re2 I want ask the question: is this move really strong ,or this is a bluff? Who will win the game if here white would play timid 20.Qa3? One line :20.Qa3 Bd5 21.Nxe2 Nxe2+ 22.Kb1 Bxh1 23.Rxh1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: <David2009> Get behind the black rook!

In garbled it a past in b3+ or bet e2 it ok eg in smoke it often in noir

ba2 in cock it is.

Figure in qxd2+ it yeah in said it rookf1+ it is low in go bxb2#

Miffed it f3 in gate queen super it oil in claw back it alive in delve

defend it.

OE in 6...f5 is there a doctor in the house?

Castle long h3 cab to dancing queen in e3 sediment it pebbled as chunk

it your'd on I sat in river ecstacy it also in name it heragent


I gravy it double in dig boat angle it you in e3 or nb3

In half it looks in clubbing again manage it among in another it much in

ra ji changing elly it rooke2 crazy paving in braving it alone in each

again 20.bh7+! seals the deal in ok it feeling h4 in remind it open

might c3 bye!

Mar-17-12  TheBish: Vitacek vs Duras, 1900

Black to play (22...?) "Very Difficult"

I spent some time on this last night, but must have been too tired to solve it. I had looked at the knight sac on b3, but missed the idea of the queen sacrifice first. Obviously, Black needs a series of checks, since otherwise he needs to guard against Qh7# or Qxh8# if the Nd4 moves.

22...Qe3+ 23. Bd2

Forced, since White is mated after 23. Rd2 Re1#.

23...Qxd2+! 24. Rxd2 Rf1+ 25. Rd1

All of this was to clear White's second rank, as well as weaken the b2 square for Black's dark square bishop. Now the mate in 2 should be fairly obvious.

25...Nb3+ 26. cxb3 Bxb2#.

Very well conceived by Mr. Duras!

Mar-17-12  M.Hassan: "Very difficult" Black to play 22...?
Equal in materials

White threatening checkmate on h7
I tried soooooo many differnt lines that none worked and took time as an example:

23.cxb3 Bxc3
24.bxc3 Qe3+
25.Re2 Qxd2+
But in this line white could counter with:
24:Qh7+ Qxh7
25.Bxh7+ Kxh7
leaving two Black pieces under attack (Rook and Bishop).

At last, I thought why don't I start with the check by the Queen which could be the most obvious one!!

<if 23.Rd2 Rf1#>
24.Rxd2 Rf1+
25.Rd1 Nb3+
A second bright sacrifice that opens up row 2 for the action of Bishop backed by Rook.

26.cxb3 Bxb2#
I hope I'm right. Time to check

Feb-13-14  tranquilsimplicity: Duras! Another name to add to Chigorin, Spielmann, Tal, Nezhmetdinov, Bronstein, Keres (in his youth), et al.
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