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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Abraham Mocatta
Simul, 17b (1875) (exhibition), City of London CC, London ENG, Jun-02
Vienna Game: Anderssen Defense (C25)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-04-15  Nick46: I went with the firm Mendrys&Bronstein
Feb-04-15  TheaN: Wednesday 4 February 2015 <27.?>

White has centralized the black king, whom has barely any space to move. White can break through and doesn't even need to activate his inactive a1-rook to mate black.

<27.Rxf7+!> further exposes the black king <27....Kxf7 (Ke6 28.Qf6#) 28.Qg7+ Ke8 (Ke6 29.Qf6#) 29.Nf6+ Kd8 30.Qf8+ Qe8 31.Qxe8# 1-0>. The f7-pawn is the sole dependance of the black position, showing white only needs the queen and knight (the best combining pieces) to mate black.

Feb-04-15  TheaN: Initially I wanted to play 28.Rf1+, as it 'seems' to be the most logical move in the position: white reloads a rook, brings in the only inactive piece into the attack and seems to take more space away from the black king. Why does it pale in comparison to Qg7+? The coordination between the queens, white knight and black king is crucial: after Rf1+, white loses the subsequent tempos Qg7+ and Nf6+.

Rf1+ is mate in four, not five, after <21....Kg6<>>: 28.Rf1+ Kg6 29.Nf4+! is quickest, 29....Kf7 (Kf5 30.Qf6+ Ke4 31.Re1# is a nice mate) 30.Ne6+! Kg6 31.Qf6+ Kh5 32.g4#. All other variations end on move 32 or earlier.

However, Rf1+ becomes an astonishing mate in 13(!) if black plays <21....Qf5>. The reason is that freeing d7 allows black to escape the mate for a few more additional moves. Of course it's lost, but an intriguing difference compared to the initial queen and knight coordination.

Feb-04-15  morfishine: <TheaN> Nice post! My first inclination was the rook re-load <28.Rf1+>


Feb-04-15  wooden nickel: ...There are many ways to skin a Mocatta!
Feb-04-15  eblunt: < Sally Simpson: A family Fork Checkmate >

Except that it's not actually checkmate until 2 moves later ....

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I'll give myself half credit for coming close: 27.Rxf7+ Kxf7 28.Qf6+? Ke8?? 29.Ng7+.
Feb-04-15  Cheapo by the Dozen: This is a weird one, because it looks like White can snatch a rook without major repercussions, ... c4+ notwithstanding. But even better is

27 Rxf7+ Kxf7
28 Qg7+ Ke8
29 Nf6+ Kd8
30 Qf8+ Qe8
31 Qxe8+

Feb-04-15  Castleinthesky: I chose 27. Rxf7+ Kxf7
28. Rf1+ with either of blacks two options Kg6 or Ke7 leading shortly to mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: The forced mate is clearly the best, but I found a gigglesome line:

27. Rxf7+ Kxf7 28. Qg7+ Ke8 29. Nf6+ Kd8 30. Nxd7

click for larger view

I know, I know, 30. Qf8+ is mate in two. We're just having some fun. The point of 30. Nxd7 is that black cannot recapture the knight. 30...Rxd7 31. Qf8# would be unpleasant.

Now white is threatening Nxb8 and Qg8+. 30...Rc8 runs into Rf1-Rf8 yuckiness. So black is forced to play 30...Kc8. Now the immune knight can be immune again. 31. Nxb8!

click for larger view

And of course 31...Kxb8 loses to Qg8+ picking up the loose rook. In just three moves white has picked up the black queen and both rooks, like a weird flashback to the 1980s and pac man.

LPDO - loose pieces drop off. But rarely so many expensive pieces in a row.

Feb-04-15  eblunt: < Cheapo by the Dozen > I agree, 27 ♕xb8 c4+ 28 ♔h1 ♖d3 29 e6! blocks the black queens attack on h3, threatens ♖xf7+ and if 29 ... ♕xe6 ? 30 ♖(a)e1 pins the queen. IMO white is winning easily.
Feb-04-15  M.Hassan: "Medium/Easy"
White to play 27.?
White has a Knight for a Bishop

It is tempting to capture the Rook on b8, White can fall ahead but with win at a distance:

19.Qxb8 c4+
20.Kh2 Qe8
21.Qxe8 Rxe8
22.Nf6 Rd3

Instead, sacrificing a Rook for a pawn will make a huge difference:

<if...Ke6 20.Qf6#>
So, King is compelled to take the Rook:

28.Qg7+ Ke8
29.Nf6+ this is a Royal Fork and Black Queen is lost after

30.Qf8+ no need to capture Queen 30....Ke8

Feb-04-15  M.Hassan: correction:
30.Qf8+ no need to capture Queen
Feb-04-15  Bycotron: I found the game continuation by first seeing this line:

27.Rxf7+! Kxf7
28.Qf6+ Ke8 and I would love to put my knight on f6 where my queen is resting. Aaah! Then I had the answer.

Short and sweet!

Feb-04-15  Marmot PFL: As usual I miss the simple mate and opt for 28 Rf1+.
Feb-04-15  Sally Simpson: Hi Blunt.


A family fork Checkmate is even rarer than you think - because this aint one!

However this is.

Blek - Tal, Riga 1955.

click for larger view

Still not found one with a King mated and Queen and Two Rooks all being forked.

I will. Watch this space.

Feb-04-15  stst: problem is to find the quickest kill
Rxf7 is obvious..

27.Rxf7 Kxf7 (if not? Ke6 meets Qf6#)
28.Qg7+ Ke8
29.Nf6+ Kd8
30.Qf7+ Qe8 (forced)

Feb-04-15  BOSTER: "What took you so long?"

White to play 21.

click for larger view

What's wrong with 21.Qxf6?

Feb-04-15  Marmot PFL: <BOSTER> Works on move 22 as well, doesn't it?

There was also a recent Carlsen game where he won easily on the king side attack while black had a useless bishop on b6. Carlsen vs Radjabov, 2015

Feb-04-15  BOSTER: <Marmot PFL>.
Thanks for the link.
Feb-04-15  FlashinthePan: <Edeltalent>"Your" Wednesday puzzle: 23.Rf8 Qg7 (forced), 24.Bxg6+ Kxg6, 25.h5+ Kh7, 26. Qc2+ Bg6, 27. hxg6+ Qxg6, 28. Qxg6+ Kxg6, Rxa8 and wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: 27.Rxf7+ was easy to spot, but annoyingly I missed the most convincing line 28.Qg7+. Instead, I went astray with 28.Rf1+, only seeing the mate after Kg6, but missing Black's tricky Qf5-defense. Dumb!
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: The rook re-loader is a forced mate. I wouldn't stop to fork the queen/king - although that is devastating too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: Actually, black can probably escape by sacrificing the queen straight away. This creates some space for the king.
Jan-24-21  ZoneChess: Not a very interesting game these days because everyone now knows that gxf6 is a blunder if you also have Qxf6.
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