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Stephen Mulligan vs Dominic Foord
Hastings (2006/07), Hastings ENG, rd 9, Dec-05
Dutch Defense: Classical. Huisl Variation (A96)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-26-11  estrick: <azax: my eye has been trained to look for "Bughouse mates" first>

I blame Bughouse for turning me into a 'sac first, ask questions later' player.

Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The final position is amusing,white can choose the method of mate,but either way,the rook does its maximum:

29 ♔h2 ♗xf2# discovered mate or

29 ♔f4 ♖f6# direct mate.

Jan-26-11  galdur: Didn´t spot 29...g5 mate, but 29...Rf6 achieves the same.
Jan-26-11  VincentL: "Medium/Easy".

Black is nominally an exchange down, but has a mating attack.

The first move is surely 26.....Qxh2+. Then 27. Kxh2 (forced) Rh6+. 28 Kg3 (Bh3 Rxh3 mate). Bh4+. After this

(a) 29. Kh2 Bxf2+ 30. Bh3 Rxh3 mate

(b) 29. Kf4 g5 mate.

I cannot see any other lines; let´s check.

Jan-26-11  TheTamale: Ugh, I saw the whole thing, except I ended it with Ng3 "mate." Except it ISN'T mate; White can just play KxB. I guess I thought the B was protected by the Black f-pawn, which is seeing things upside down. Alas, is it my fault that I can't move pieces around in my head very well???
Jan-26-11  mecking93: I'm brazilian, so, ignore my english's mistakes. Let's go: I will use 26...Rh6,cause then there are just three moves for the white: 27.h3 or Bh3 or Nxf3 if not, mate in 1.Analizing this moves: If 27.h3 Qxh3;28.Bxh3 Rh3++
If 27.Nxf3 Nxf3;28.Bxh3 Qxh2++
If 27. Bh3 Qxh3;28.Rg2 Qxg2++
Are there any mistakes in my reasoning?
Jan-26-11  noendgame: I have a couple of discussion questions for all you puzzle solvers who are so much better than I.

Q1: By move 26 it was clear that black had a powerful attack on the king; getting the move order right was the challenge. But at what point do you think black conceived his plan?

Q2: It has been my habit to open these puzzles before a series of exchanges prior to the assigned key move. Sometimes that enables a little insight. In this case, I started at move 19. The well placed black queen and bishop were already in evidence, but I did not anticipate all the preparatory moves on the other side of the board. Here's my question: does anyone else do as I do and open the game before the key move?

Jan-26-11  mworld: <Ratt Boy: Nobody has commented on Black's brilliant 23...xd2!, which set up the puzzle, which I agree is relatively easy for a Wednesday. Black to move at Move 23 might be a good Friday or Saturday puzzle.>

A great point! Thanks for the comment, it made me go through the game and appreciate black's deep thinking.

Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <noendgame> My twopennorth:

A1: Some part of black's plan was set as soon as he played his first two moves. By playing the classical dutch (e6/d6/f5) black is largely playing for one of three main plans. Option one to push pawns in the centre, usually with e5, but sometimes also d5 to reach a belated stonewall. Option 2 is to use the advanced f5 pawn as a conduit for a kingside attack with 0-0, Qe8-Qg4 (or Qh5), Rf6-Rh6 (or Rg6). Option three is to plonk the Nf6 on e4.

All standard stuff in the dutch. Then you chuck the f pawn forwards, feed minor pieces into the attack, magic happens, exchange pieces, sac, checkmate.

Black gets to play all three standard plans in this game up to move 18:


click for larger view

Now white tries to whip up some counterplay on the queenside. He is trying to distract black from his kingside mugging. So white throws in b4 and a somewhat inexplicable decision to sac his a pawn.

Black might as well take the proffered a pawn. After 23. Rg1 we end up here:


click for larger view

Up to now, black's play has been sensible if formulaic stuff, but he doesn't yet know how he is going to end the game. After all, he didn't know that white was going to sac the a pawn, or to box his own king in with 23. Rg1.

I think that this is then the point when black worked out the finish. He makes one committal move - 23...Rxd2 to sac the exchange in return for a crushing attack. And the rest we have seen.

A2. It's an interesting approach. I don't look at the moves before the puzzle because there is a chance that I will inadvertently spot the key move. But I will usually try to work out what the previous move might have been. For example, if we start with a piece under attack it is reasonable to assume that the last move by the opponent was the move which attacked us.

Jan-26-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <mecking93> From our starting position, Fritz finds several moves which win for black. 26...Qxh2+ is the only quick forced mate, but 26...Rh6 also wins. Fritz gives it an evaluation of -8.38, which is pretty crushing.

White's best defence to 26...Rh6 seems to be 27. Nf1 but after 27...Bg5 (threatening Bf4), white has to give up lots of material to stop mate on h2.

By the way, congratulations on your english. Much better than my Portuguese or Spanish!

Jan-26-11  MaczynskiPratten: Not at all a bad game for a 14 year old rated below 1900!
Jan-26-11  Patriot: Material: Who cares? The white king is stalemated and with all the pieces aimed at the king, let's just look for mate starting with a queen sac.

26.Qxh2+ Kxh2 27.Rh6+

A) 27...Bh3 28.Rxh3#

B) 27...Kg3 28.Bh4+

B.1) 28...Kf4 29.Rf6#

B.2) 28...Kh2 29.Bxf2+ Bh3 30.Rxh3#

Material: White is up the exchange for a pawn. :-)

Jan-26-11  jheiner: <Once> One of your best. Bravo!
Jan-26-11  estrick: <noendgame:
Q2: It has been my habit to open these puzzles before a series of exchanges prior to the assigned key move. does anyone else do as I do and open the game before the key move?>

I do that sometimes, especially with the puzzles that come later in the week. People often say they can solve them because they know it's a puzzle, but wonder if they would have found the solution in a live game. So, why not take advantage of the opportunity that this site provides to see what moves were played that led up to the position presented in the POTD as a way to try to understand what the flow of the game was and what the focal points of the players in the game might have been?

The only reason I can see for denying oneself the option of playing through the preceding moves would be if you're a 'puzzle purist' and a stickler for following what others may think are 'the proper rules' for how to go about solving a chess puzzle. But if you're more concerned about your own learning, and less about following others' preconceived notions of what's proper, then why not do whatever aids in the process? I'm a strong believer in the idea that different people have different learning styles, and what works for one learner is not necessarily the way another must approach the same problem.

Jan-26-11  Marmot PFL: These names are not exactly household words so it shouldn't be too hard, right? Besides the queen sac looks tempting and if it works no need for further analysis. Qxh2+ Kxh2 Rh6+ Kg3 Bh4+ Kf4 Rf6 mate.
Jan-26-11  wals: And could have finished-

Analysis by Rybka 4 x64:

1. (-#2): 29.Kh2 Bxf2+[] 30.Bh3 Rxh3#[]
2. (-#1): 29.Kf4 Rf6#

Jan-26-11  knight knight: Queen sac 26...Qxh2+! 27. Kxh2 Rh6+

a) 28. Bh3 Rxh3#

b) 28. Kg3 Bh4+

i) 29. Kh2 Bxf2+ 30. Bh3 Rxh3#

ii) 29. Kf4 Rf6# (pretty)

Jan-26-11  WhiteRook48: I got it
Jan-26-11  newzild: This game was a good effort for a 1900 player - Black must have been very pleased.
Jan-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <noendgame: But at what point do you think black conceived his plan?>

I echo <Once>'s insightful remarks: Black was just playing his opening consistently up to about <21..Rf6>. Black's <19..Qh5> is a deep double: primarily a double on Nf3, but also a clearance for Rh6-and-battery. Its doubleton-ness is theory for both sides, which manifests as a constraint in White's protection-graph, and thus some new checkboxes in both of their task lists.

Any player who's done homework will be familiar with "thematic" sacs at the end of the lines he's studied. So Black already knows (or he should!) the "thematic" constraint that Rg1 blocks a flight square. As soon as White played <23.Rg1>, it should have triggered a dozen alarms, which supercedes all previous work on Black's mental whiteboard. Only then can he seriously start calculating the sac line. The idea for the sac itself should not be new; that's why we do homework.

As for seeing it OTB, sometimes you just do. Then you spend 3-4 moves jockeying for the right set-up. Sometimes your opponent doesn't see it at all (fun), or sees it but blunders after k-1 correct moves (ehh), or sees everything but emerges with a hopeless endgame.

Jan-27-11  mriddle: I looked at the line starting with 26...Rh6, and then if 27. Nxf3 Nxf3. Past posts have suggested 27...Bg5 is better here, but as far as I can tell, Nxf3 works out well too, unless I'm missing something.

In the most interesting line I followed, white gives up its queen to set up a discovered check with threat to black's queen, but black gets out of it by blocking the check while simultaneously checking white with two different pieces:

26...Rh6; 27.Nxf3 Nxf3; 28.h3 Bxh3; 29.Qxg7+ Kxg7; 30.Bxf3+ Bg2+; 31.Kxg2 Qh3#

In this line white can put off mate a bit longer with 30.Bxh3+, but after Nxg1, black is up by at least a queen and I believe should be able to mate soon as well.

Anyone have a better defense by white to this line?

Jan-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: 26...Qxh2+ 27.Kxh2 Rh6+ 28.Kg3 Bh4+ 29.Kf4 Rf6#
Jan-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <mriddle> Fritz says that 26...Rh6 wins but it's not a quick forced mate. White's best seems to be 27. Nf1 rather than 27. Nxf3, but black still crashes through with the plan of Bg5-Bf4
Jan-27-11  mriddle: <Once> Oops, I misread your earlier post that 27. Nf1 was the best response to 26...Rh6. Somehow I read it as Nxf3 and missed Nf1 as a possibility. Thanks!
Jan-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: No worries! Nf1 is such an unusual move that's it's quite natural to read it as the far more typical Nf3.
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