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William Hartston vs Andrew Whiteley
Middlesex (1974)
French Defense: Winawer. Retreat Variation Armenian Line (C18)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-24-11  sevenseaman: All about timing.
(A puzzle created by Poesimannen.)

Here is simple puzzle. You have one look at the board and you'd wish to be Black. And you'd be right too. If Black has the move he mates in 2 easy moves.

click for larger view

W --

OK! I say you are White and you have the move. And since I am allotting you the color against your wish you may bid for the number of moves you'll mate Black in. 3, 4, 5...choose your no.

Its still a simple affair but not as easy. Your Skill will be measured by the number of moves you take.

Aug-24-11  patzer2: <Sevenseman> In your puzzle, 1. Qe8+ Kxe8 2. Bb5+ King moves 3. Re8# is mate-in-three.
Aug-24-11  sevenseaman: <patzer2> You aint no patzer! By the way I enjoyed your collection on Boden's Mate. A very discriminating collector, you are. A great set of games! Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  pittpanther: Like many others, the best I could find was the Q + Ps versus the two R ending. Wednesdays are often harder for me than Thursday or Friday. We will see if that is true this week!
Aug-24-11  Patriot: I missed this "medium easy" puzzle. There are a lot of candidates: Rexe7+, Rbxe7+, Qg8+, Qh8+. All of them meet certain "safety requirements" which keeps them on the candidate move list (i.e. they aren't refuted after 3-ply). After reading <Once>'s simply brilliant (!) post (I loved it!), my approach at this point is to use the "Howard Carter method". This requires time and diligence and to methodically turn over every stone until the solution is found.

Unfortunately, I missed the key mate pattern. Aside from that I failed because I thought 30.Qg6+ just drops the queen, which is a quiescence error. My method requires me to look at even the craziest of checks for at least 3-ply to see if it is worthy of considering. And at 3-ply, 30.Qg6+ Qxg6 31.Rexe7+ shows that it is at least worth considering. Then all it takes is just a little more to see the mate.

Aug-24-11  alexrawlings: Nice puzzle, which I also couldn't solve.

Playing through the game, can anyone explain the tactics behind 22 Bf4 and why black couldn't or shouldn't have played 22.. exf4?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: If 22...exf4, 23.Rxd4 wins.
Aug-24-11  Patriot: <alexrawlings> <Playing through the game, can anyone explain the tactics behind 22 Bf4 and why black couldn't or shouldn't have played 22.. exf4?>

My answer is to look at least 3-ply! As <Sastre> points out, 22.Bf4 exf4 23.Rxd4 pins the queen. This at least says 22.Bf4 may be good. The position is not quiescent enough for me because for one thing, black may be getting R&B for Q. 23...fxg3 (23...Qxd4 24.Qxd4+ leaves the ball in white's court) 24.Rxd5+ looks pretty convincing.

Aug-24-11  sevenseaman: <Patriot> <The position is not quiescent enough for me because for one thing, black may be getting R&B for Q.>

You have the material arithmetic but White is without any hamstring and has the preponderance of pieces in attack. As <Sastre> suggests, it wins.

To cite, one denouement for Black could be;
22...exf4 23. Rxd4 fxg3 24. Rxd5+Nxd5 25.Qxd5+ Kc7 26. Qe5+ Kkd7 27. Rf7+ 28. Qe7#

Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I found 29. Qg8+ Rf8 30. Qg6+ Qxg6 31. Rexe7+ Kd8 Rbd7#.
Aug-24-11  Patriot: <sevenseaman> Thanks for your response! Yes it certainly looks winning. But I had to wonder if there were complications that would suggest it's not as good as you might think. After 24.Rxd5+ I think 24...Nxd5 "potentially" offers less resistance than moving the king to leave the rook "hanging" and whether ...gxh2+ is even a problem. It doesn't take much to see that black is lost there. I'm just trying to be careful not to make any quiescence errors. :-)
Aug-24-11  kevin86: it looks like white missed the mate the first time around,but transposed into the correct combination.

White wins the queen or mates-as in the text.

Aug-24-11  BOSTER: It took me much too long to understand that this puzzle should begin with move 27 White to play.
Aug-24-11  gofer: This is the seductive dance a of queen, luring the king to his doom. Something akin to Salome wanting John the Bapist's head...

<29 Qg8+ ...>

a hip sway to the right

<29 ... Rf8>
<30 Qg6+ ...>

a hip sway to the left

<30 ... Qxg6>

The bait has to be taken, the alternative is losing one's own queen!

<31 Rexe7+ Kd8>
<32 Rbd7#>

The king's head is on a plate. Time to check...

I am sejourning in the South West and as I have very limited internet access, (i.e. <CG> isn't available for my morning fix) I decided "when in rome" I would check out the local paper (Western Morning News) for the chess puzzle. After all these are country folk, that probably don't even play chess, let alone have a daily puzzle.


No hint
No names
No move number
Just a diagram and "White/Black to win in N moves"

These guys are obviously quite "hardcore".

What really struck me was that the first one I tried had me floundering... ...where N was 12! Needless to say this has changed my perspective on the Cornish...

Today's is...

White to win in six moves

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: one of my favourite bill hartston wins-a beautiful coup
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <sevenseaman: how do you know <Hartston> missed it?>

I don't know it, I inferred it. But why else would he not have played Qg6+ at the first opportunity? If it had been move 38, then he might have been playing for time, trying to reach the control at move 40. But it was move 28.

If I knew how to get in touch with Hartston with I could ask him, but at this late date even his word might not be reliable.

<ray keene>: Can you ask him?

Aug-24-11 Hey <once>, very nice analogy. Lot's of food for thought.

In a computer science context, Indy's method is "depth first search" and Dr. Carter's technique is "breadth first search".

Aug-24-11  PeonNegro: When I saw the position, I recognized it immediately. It appears in the book "Pr├íctica del medio juego" ("Practice of the Middlegame") by Ludek Pachman. A beautiful combination.
Aug-24-11  Calculon: Is there a name for this type of mate? To me, it resembles a closet. The black rooks are the walls and the white rooks slide back and forth on the 7th rank like the doors. A 'closet' mate.
Aug-24-11  morfishine: <Once> Great analogy. As for me, I wasn't very lucky!

BTW: Good to see you over at the GMVA affair

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: he missed it first time round-i think i was even playing in the same team event-however it does not matter-the finish is lovely and quite hard to spot-i have used it in the winning move puzzles i have set-its a great game and the repetition doesnt mar it in my opinion.
Aug-24-11  BOSTER: <Phony Benoni> <I looked at 29.Qg8+ first simply because it was the funniest possibility>.

You can see this "such" way, or (pause) you can see this another way, maybe more "scientific" using the basic of knowledge. The pinned knight on e7 is caught in the Bermudan triangle b7-h7-e1. It has three defenders against three attacking pieces. In order to pin is working we need to find devious ways to decrease the amount of defensive pieces. Playing 29.Qg8+ we not only deflect the rook from the defense the knight, but at the same time take away the "f8" square from black king. Now the knight has two attacking pieces against two defenders. Continuing the same strategy now we have to find how to deflect the queen d6. Better to make this move by "force" and with a tempo, and only one move satisfies this.-Qg6+. And now white queen ,looking at unprotected black queen, began to smile.

Aug-24-11  stst: Not an easy win for me, one line runs like....

29.R(1)xN+ QxR
30.RxQ+ KxR
31.Qe4+ Kf8

W should be able to sweep the pawns and have a dominant pawn advantage.

Aug-24-11  rotgut: I missed yesterday's problem. I particularly liked one comment that went something like, "Hey, I don't need my queen!" after which the solution was obvious.

Today is very similar, and I got this one! :-)

I've always been amazed that anyone would play the Winawer. The philosophy behind it seems to be one my brother used to purvey: "Live fast, die young and make a beautiful corpse!"

Aug-24-11  sevenseaman: Thanks<al wazir>. I missed noticing that <Hartston> had missed it on move 28 and did the right thing only on move 30. The sharp-eyed <once> pointed it out to me and I came to know you were right in your claim. <Ray Keene> has also referred to the same fact.

Please believe me my question was devoid of any malice. I agree I should have been more alert.

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