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Johannes Zukertort vs Count de Kostaki Epoureano
"Count Down" (game of the day Apr-10-2018)
Knight Odds Game (1872) (unorthodox), Berlin GER, May-??
Chess variants (000)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-18-06  who: The whole game is fantastic, but 22.Rh8+!! is unreal.
Apr-18-06  Richerby: Problems 439 and 707 in Reinfeld's `1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations' are taken from this game, after Black's nineteenth and fourteenth moves, respectively.
Jan-07-07  sambo: lovely
Jan-07-07  jackmandoo: that was deep yo!
Jan-08-07  syracrophy: 15.♗h7!! is simply charming! Now if 15...♔xh7 16.♕g6+!! fxg6 <16...Kh8 17.Qxh6#> 17.hxg6+ ♔h8 18.♖xh6#

Now Black can avoid the mate on h1 with 23...♕h4 or 23...♕c7 because of 24.fxe8=♖+ mating next move

Jan-09-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 19...Ne5 was better, but NN would still be in deep trouble. As he usually is :-)
Jan-09-07  Silverstrike: Does 19.h6 not work?
Jan-09-07  Cyphelium: <Silverstrike> Yes, it does work. 19. h6 ♔g8 20. hxg7 ♘xg7 21. ♗xf6 with complete annihilation seems forced. Zukertort probably saw this, but being an artist, he went for the queen sacrifice instead.
Jan-09-07  malthrope: <Silverstrike: Does 19.h6 not work?>

Interesting <Silverstrike> the game continuation played by Zukertort is really quite beautiful (first Q-sac followed by the R-sac, et al) but 19. h6! (with a *huge* threat) is of interest...

<Cyphelium: <Silverstrike> Yes, it does work. 19. h6 Kg8 20. hxg7 Nxg7 21. Bxf6>

Here NN could try 21... Qxf6 22. Qxf6 Be7 and hold on for a spell...

I present two secondary strong alternatives (hopefully):

Solving from the diagram (just using my brain not an engine) after 19. h6 it looks like 19... Kg8 is forced here (to avoid 20. gxh++ > 21. Rh8#) and now 20. gxh (big threat again with 21. Rh8#) 20... Nxg7 appears forced here and now...

Main Lines:

1) 21. Rh8+ Kxh8 22. Qf7 (see the first diagram below) this is the cleanest as again 22. Bxf6 here also allows black to sac the Q which gets messy. This seems to win very cleanly (22. Qf7). Now on 22... Qg8 (forced how else to plug up and defend on the 'h-file?' and protect 'g7' since 22... Nh5 loses immediately and 22... Qe8/Qe7 then 23. Rh1+ is mate next) then simple is 23. Rh1+ Qh7 23.Rxh7+ Kxh7 24. Bxf6 and mates quickly (24... Bf8 25. Qxf8 Kg6 [instead if 25... Nh5, Nf5 or Ne8 then 26. Qf7+ Kh6 27. fxg++] 26. Qxg7+ Kf5 27. Qxg5+ Ke4 28. Kd1! [the threat is 29. Ke2 > 30. d3#] 28... d4 [28... Nd4 29. Bxd4 cxd 30. Ke2 and mates for if 30...dxe then 31. Qe5# and 30...d3+ 31. cxd#] 29. Ke2 now if 29...dxe 30. d3# or 29...d3+ 30. cxd#).

There is also another win here with 2) 21. Rh7! (see the second diagram below) which also works very effectively (and is very instructive) for if 21... Bf8 or Qf8 (both self blocks on the 'f8' square) then of course 22. Rgh1 and mates next. Plus, running the king with 21... Kf8 here fails to either (both mates in 2) 22. Qxg7+ > 23. Qf7# or 22. Rh8+ > 23. Qxg7# (note this all works efficiently due to the self-blocks on the two key squares 'd6' and 'd8'). Finally on 21... Qe7/Qd7/Qc7 (all guarding g7) then 22. Rgh1 also looks very convincing to me! For if on 2a) 21...Qe7 (which is no defense since 'Qe7' is also a self-block on the 'e7 square') 22. Rgh1 Kf8 23. Rh8#, or on either 2b) 21... Qd7/Qc7 then again simply 22. Rgh1 Kf8 23. Rh8+ Ke7 24. Qxg7#

A good shot <Silverstrike>! ;-)

It appears Johannes just wanted to sac his 'Q' (all forced after the defense 19... Ne7 followed by the wonderful rook sac forcing the K to take on 'h8') just for the spectators! Plus his main line (as played in the actual game continuation which is only temporarily upset by the move pointed out by <Calli> 19... Ne5) is also quite short enough (in total number of moves to finish).

However, this is all a far cry from the masterwork (the game as played) by a true chess artist! :-)


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The first diagram the position after 22. Qf7 (1st variation).


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The second diagram the position after 21. Rh7 (2nd variation - note: remove the white Q-bishop from the chessboard and this line still works!).

- Mal

PS: Hoping that I didn't miss anything too much! ~lol~

PPS: Sorry for the multiple 'delete & repost' just to get everything correct and in the right place (worked over 5 hours on the layout and type) - the analysis was the easy part! :-)

Jan-09-07  Silverstrike: <malthrope> LOL The analysis looks interesting, I haven't the time to look through it all right now, but I will when I get the chance.

My main idea was 19.h6 Kg8 20.Rxg5 or 20.hxg7 Nxg7 21.Rg5 which also has ideas of shifting the rook to the h-file and such.

Jan-09-07  malthrope: <Silverstrike: <malthrope> LOL The analysis looks interesting [...] My main idea was 19.h6 Kg8 20.Rxg5 or 20.hxg7 Nxg7 21.Rg5 which also has ideas of shifting the rook to the h-file and such.>

If only <Cyphelium> and I could have read your mind! ;-) I think we can all agree we are examining alternative lines to victory. Your idea of 19. h6 is thematic (opening lines immediately) and supports the 'N sac on g5' (which just took place). Further, we understand the danger of opening up the 'a1-h8' diagonal as if in this case the 'h-pawn' reaches 'g7' under these circumstances it's over quickly. So, all we can do is look at the lines and count the number of moves to mate (even after established winning positions have been achieved).


click for larger view

The position after 20. Rxg5 <Silverstrike>

First we can eliminate a few tries here many of which contain brilliant concepts and ideas as follows (some sample lines *not* exhaustive analysis by any means):

A) Main Line with 19.h6 Kg8 20.Rxg5

Var 1) 20.... fxg 21. hxg and there is simply no defense to 22. Rh8#

Var 2) 20... d4 & e5 (closing the diagonal) then 21. hxg and wins as above.

Var 3) 20... Bf8 21. h7+ (the simplest) 21... Kh8 22. Qf7 and mate in two.

Var 4) 20... Ne5 21. 21. Qh7+! Kf7 (not 21... Kxh7 due to 22. hxg+ Kg8 23. Rh8+ Kf7 24. g8=Q+ Ke7 25. Rh7+ and mates in two) 22. hxg and mates in three.

Var 5) 20.... Qe7 21. hxg (21. Qh7+ is also interesting) now if 21... Nxg7 (not 21... Qxg7 due to 22. Qxe8+ Bf8 23. Rxg7+ Kxg7 24. Rg1+ and mates shortly) 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. Qxf6 Bf8 24. Rh8+ (24. Rhg1 also wins) 24... Kxh8 25. Qxf8+ and mates next.

Var 6) 20... Qd7 21. hxg (the quickest) 21... Nxg7 (instead if 21... Qxg7 then 22. Qxe8+ and mates as in the above line) 22. Bxf6 Bf8 23. Rgh5 mate next.

The tough one (if there is a tough one!) appear to be:

Var 7) 20... Ne7 then 21. h7+ the simplest (if 21. Qh7+ Kf7! [not 21... Kxh7 22. hxg+ Kg8 23. Rh8+ Kf7 24. Rf8# and if 21... Kf8 then 22. Qh8+ Kf7 23. Rxg7+ [23. hxg Ng8!] Nxg7 24. Qxd8 and wins but mate is still a few moves away yet] lastly not 21.... Kh8 for then 22. Qf7! with insurmountable problems! ~lol~) 21... Kf8 22. h8=Q+ Ng8 (tenacious isn't he? NN has his 'principals' you know!) 23. Rgh5 and wins (threat Qxg8+) but this is still many moves away from mate with 23... Ke7 24. Qxg8 Kd7 and 'NN' is quite safe for the moment! ~lol~

'Part II' follows - Main Line B: 19.h6 Kg8 20. hxg7 Nxg7 21.Rxg5.

Jan-09-07  malthrope: Part II (continued from 'Part I')


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The position after 21. Rxg5 <Silverstrike>

B) Main Line with 19.h6 Kg8 20. hxg7 Nxg7 21.Rxg5

Var 1) 21... Kf8 22. Rh8+ Ke7 23. Qxg7#

Var 2) 21... Bf8 22. Rgh5 (better than 22. Bxf6 Ne7!) and mates next.

Var 3) 21... Qf8 22. Rgh5 mate next move.

Var 4) 21... Qe7 22. Rgh5 (if 22. Bxf6 Qf7 [22... Qxf6 23. Qxf6 and mates in 3 more moves on move #26] 23. Qxg7+ Qxg7 24. Rxg7+ Kf8 25. Rh8#) and mates next move.

Var 5) 21... Qd7/Qc7 22. Rgh5 (if 22. Bxf6 Qf7 23. Qxg7+ Qxg7 24. Rxg7+ Kf8 25. Rh8#) and mates in two moves (on move #24).

Guessing I could have saved a lot of time by noticing 21. Rxg5 (the flashy) as opposed to 21. Rh7 (the methodical) both of which appear to win on move #24! So, we'll call it draw! ('NN' smiles gleefully!) ~ROFL~

All this with due apologizes if I missed something obvious (all done late at the end of my day). Perhaps <Silverstrike> (and/or others) can demonstrate something even more conclusive... :-)

As we can clearly see many roads lead to Rome. However, we only had one 'Johannes Zukertort' and this his treasured chess game (as played) will live on forever in the hearts and minds of chess fans everywhere! :-)))

Hope you all had fun with these attacking lines and ideas! Blast and sac away! - Mal

PS: Not using an engine - just what's left of my meager brain cells... ;-)

Jan-10-07  Cyphelium: <malthrope> <19. h6 Kg8 20. hxg7 Nxg7 21. Bxf6 Here NN could try 21... Qxf6 22. Qxf6 Be7 and hold on for a spell...>

I think it's wrong to say that he is 'holding on', as black is mated in 6 moves: 23. ♕g6 ♗d7 (there seems to be no useful move here, as the king cannot move. he can prolong the game with 23.- ♘e5 24. fxe5, making it mate in 6 instead of 5, but that's all) 24. ♖h7 ♗f8 25. ♖xg5 with inevitable mate on g7.

I think we can conclude that black is completely out of it and that almost everything wins.

Jan-10-07  Silverstrike: <Malthrope> Thanks loads for taking the time to do all this analysis! :) Don't worry about not seeing 20.Rxg5 or 21.Rxg5, as you said, just about everything wins here.

<PS: Not using an engine - just what's left of my meager brain cells... ;-)> Not to worry, it all looks fantastic. I promise to look through it when I get the chance. :)

Jan-10-07  malthrope: <Cyphelium: <malthrope> <19. h6 Kg8 20. hxg7 Nxg7 21. Bxf6 Here NN could try 21... Qxf6 22. Qxf6 Be7 and hold on for a spell...> [...] I think it's wrong to say that he is 'holding on', as black is mated in 6 moves: [...]>

Everything as stated is given in relationship to the actual game where Zukertort won brilliantly in 23 moves ('NN' resigned facing a forced mate in 25/26 moves - i.e., 23... Qh4 24. fxe=Q/R+ Bf8 25. Q/Rxf8# or 23... e5 24. Rh1+ Bh3 25. Rxh3+ Qh4 26. Rxh4#). All of the analysis given (as we have pointed out two forced wins with alternative mates in 24 moves (my Var 2 and <Silverstrike> second variation all based on 19. h6) is all related to this fact! :-)

I suppose you missed the humor in which all of this was written ('tongue & cheek') specifically this line:

<A) Main Line with 19.h6 Kg8 20.Rxg5 - Var 7) 20... Ne7 then 21. h7+ the simplest (if 21. Qh7+ Kf7! [not 21... Kxh7 22. hxg+ Kg8 23. Rh8+ Kf7 24. Rf8# and if 21... Kf8 then 22. Qh8+ Kf7 23. Rxg7+ [23. hxg Ng8!] Nxg7 24. Qxd8 and wins but mate is still a few moves away yet] lastly not 21.... Kh8 for then 22. Qf7! with insurmountable problems! ~lol~) 21... Kf8 22. h8=Q+ Ng8 (tenacious isn't he? NN has his 'principals' you know!) 23. Rgh5 and wins (threat Qxg8+) but this is still many moves away from mate with 23... Ke7 24. Qxg8 Kd7 and 'NN' is quite safe for the moment! ~lol~>

It was all done with fun & humor in mind and 'hold[ing] on for a spell' (the actual quote in full) in this case is that good ol' 'NN' has simply avoided mate in 24 moves in the above line the same applies to the line <malthrope> <19. h6 Kg8 20. hxg7 Nxg7 21. Bxf6 Here NN could try 21... Qxf6 22. Qxf6 Be7 and hold on for a spell...> you're quoting... ;-)

<Silverstrike: <Malthrope> Thanks loads for taking the time to do all this analysis! :) Don't worry about not seeing 20.Rxg5 or 21.Rxg5, as you said, just about everything wins here. [...]>

Thanks <Silverstrike>! :-) The position (Zukertort's fantastic game) was just so rich in combitional ideas (especially the Qh7+ idea!!) I had to investigate further and see what was what no matter what! ~lol~ I remember this game as a kid ('Golden Treasure of Chess' - I think it was) and it just shows how 'rich' Caissa's royal game of chess really is! ;-) Regards, - Mal

Jan-09-09  Hugh the Drover: This was a game presented in Chernev's books which I enjoyed in my childhood first getting into chess in the 1960s (Fireside Book of Chess; 1000 Best Short Games of Chess). The sacrifices are truly spectacular, and "Who" is right, Rh8 is totally unreal. Chernev had a nice style of writing, easily ingratiating one into chess with his useful explanations.
Jan-30-09  WhiteRook48: and it's pretty obvious why Black resigned
Jul-20-10  apexin: Yeah, but the moves leading to resignation, arent so obvious. The whole combination Starting with Bh7,Ng5 and a great finish 22.Rh8! is fantastic.
Jul-20-10  RandomVisitor: 12.Rg1! is winning for white.
Jul-20-10  RandomVisitor: After 12.Rg1!


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Rybka 3:

+13.85 12...g5 13.Nxg5

+16.76 12...Ng4 13.Qxg4

+M9 12...g6 13.Bxg6

+M5 12...Nh5 13.Qxg7+

+M5 12...Ne8 13.Qxg7+

Jul-20-10  RandomVisitor: perhaps 17...fxg5 is black's last chance to hold:


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Rybka 3:

[+0.00] d=16 19.Qxh6+ Kg8 20.Qg6 Ne7 21.Qxg5 Nc6 22.Qg6 Ne7 23.Qg5 Nc6 24.Qg6 Ne7 25.Qg5 Nc6 26.Qg6 Ne7 27.Qg5 Nc6 28.Qg6 Ne7 29.Qg5 Nc6 30.Qg6 Ne7 31.Qg5 Nc6 32.Qg6 Ne7 33.Qg5 Nc6 34.Qg6

Jul-20-10  RandomVisitor: 14...d4! and black is winning:


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Rybka 3:

[-2.36] d=16 14...d4 15.Kb1 Be7 16.Rh3 f5 17.exd4 cxd4 18.Re1 Qd6 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.fxe5 Qd7 21.Be2 Nc7 22.Rg1

Jul-20-10  lost in space: As often also here a center-counter-attack is best to "defend" against a wing attack:

After 9. g4 d4! 10. g5 Nd5 11. c4 Nde7 Black is fine (-0,69 according to Rybka)


click for larger view

Jul-20-10  screwdriver: Flashy game!
Jul-20-10  mworld: knight odds, as well as Bird's opening?! Very cool!
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