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Michael Janata vs Heinz Lehmann
Germany (1969)
Reti Opening: Reti Gambit (A09)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A strange one-at one time,though he had lost his queen,black was ahead in material :♕ vs ♖♘♘. His pieces were not cooperating well so white was able to win the day after all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Nothing obvious appears. Time to go back to basics.

Material: even
Spatial and temporal advantages: White 's doubled on the semi-open c file against the Black ; and 2 's in advanced posts. Intrinsic weaknesses minimal (Black Nd4 has a potential post at b3 and threatens the Rc2 and Pe2; has little mobility). Pawn Structure: Holes near Black's . King Position: Black unsafe.

Burdened Black pieces: ♕, ♖, and ♘d4 must defend both e6 and ♙f5.

The 2-ply brain gives candidate moves 31.Ne6+ and 31.Nxf5+, but the Black captures, and White's position falls apart. CG does not pose diluted help-mates, so the ♘'s need reinforcements.

In fact, the Black ♘d4 might be worth the ♖c2, because the ♘ is the only counterattacking Black piece. This suggests letting the ♖ hang tough and bringing up some support for the ♘'s with 31.e4. Can Black snatch the exchange and run? Time to calculate.

31.e4 Nxc2 32.Nxf5+

32...Rxf5 33.exf Nd4 34.Qg6+ and Ne6 (at last!) will toast Black with his drafty and loose ♙'s, when the ♘d4 disappears.

So Black has to tolerate the ♘f5, which furthers the strategical objective, an assault on the ♔.

32...K moves

To take or not to take, 32.Rxc2? I think NOT, when White can inflict more pain with 33.Qxg4. The move Rg6 remains impossible in many lines because Qxg6...Kxg6 and Nxe7+ forks the ♔ and ♕. The Black ♘c2 therefore must remain hanging, while White continues to beat up Black's ♔.

Alright, so I definitely have the key move 31.e4, but now the advanced Black ♙ at g4 is under the gun, and without it, Black's K-side crumbles. Moreover, Black's fundamental strategical problems on the Q-side exclude many defences.

Because 32.Nxf5+ threatening 33.Qxg4+ forces 33...Nxf5, the worst-case scenario after 31.e4 is general mayhem on the K-side, with massive exchanges, followed by a won game with the hideous penetration of the White ♖s at c7.

No further calculation is necessary for 31.e4, although there might be lines that rip Black's K-side apart. Time to peek.

Great! I got the first move 31.e4, although it will be interesting to check how the line in the game improves on my analysis.

Thanks to <dzechiel> and <UdayanOwen> in particular for demonstrating how to minimize calculations during analysis.

Dec-15-07  tatarch: Spent a few minutes looking but didn't get it. However, I may have actually learned something today-- the nastiest move possible looked to be Nxf5+, so the big question should have been how do I get rid of the rook at f6 so I can play Nxf5? Well, if I can get a pawn to e5 in two moves, that looks like a pretty good way to do it... occam's razor wins again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <alshatranji> <I don't see why Black has to accept the sacrifice. What about 31...Qe8?>

<wouldpusher: I consider 31. ... Qe8 as the best defense found so far against 31. e4.>

I calculated more than I wrote, and I agree that Qe8 is the best defense. It still loses after 31.e4, however, because Black's Q-side falls to pieces without the Q.

The push 32.e5 in the game is probably better than my choice 32.exf, but I am not sure. My choice 32.exf effectively transposes the game into the safe winning line from 31...Qe8. In the game, the strong resistance Black offered until losing material suggests that without grandmaster judgment, 32.exf might be a safer choice over the board than 32.e5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Great move! (That means I did not get the answer.)

Looking at the match in hindsight I didn't care for 29...g4 because it lets the white knight slip over to the desirable h4 square on the next move. Maybe 29... Nd7 would have been better.

Also, moving the king out of harms way on move 30 instead of 30...Nd4 for black might have kept the material loss to a pawn.

Dec-15-07  zenpharaohs: Rats. About fifteen minutes into my attempt at solution, I accidentally revealed the correct answer to myself. Wow. I haven't fully analysed it, but this one appears really brilliant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: 32.Nxf5+, not 32.exf in my last post.

With apologies also, I am still getting used to the kibitzing interface, and inadvertently omitted a few symbols for chess pieces in my post before last.

Dec-15-07  CaptGeorge: Let's see...
Material: even
King safety:
Threats: + Nxc2, Nxe2

I would move R to safety
31. Rd4 ... Protect R & e2 and prepare to advance d&e pawns

But since this is a puzzle, there must be a forcing combo somewhere. But, I don't see it. {:(

Dec-15-07  zb2cr: Well, it looks as though I'm in good company, as <dzechiel>, <alshatranji>, <psmith>, and <al wazir> all confess to never considering 31. e4. Guess what--neither did I!
Dec-15-07  yanez: me neither
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Just couldn't see e4. Maybe a trip to Home Depot isn't the best way to prepare for a chess problem.
Dec-15-07  sushijunkie: Only one of the following questions is directly related to the above game, but seeing as this kibitz is likely to see a lot of action today, I thought I'd start here. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

2 puzzle questions:

Firstly, I'm confused: I pooched Wed, but I found Thur withs a lot of work, Fri in about 5 secs, and I found e4 today after some light work in the Knight move dead-ends along with h3, f3, and e3. This weekly result is not uncommon for me. Next week I'm likely to ace the ez's and not hit on the hard ones. What gives?

Secondly, although this game is not an example, am I the only one who gets bent when the text of the puzzle does indeed demonstrate the best move, but it isn't clearly winning, and is only so because the opponent fails to continue with best moves? I mean best move is best move, but we're to look for clear wins in these positions, and if it's only clear after the opponent boots a continuation, isn't that somewhat counter-productive to the exercise?

And 2 Engine/Evaluation questions (I use freebie versions of Spike and Rybka on a crap laptop):

1.) Why is it that when I'm evaluating a position of a game, and don't see the subsequent text move in the best lines, and then I advance to the next text move, evaluate a little, and then return to the original position, that next move now often shows up in the best lines, often as the very best line? Is this the whole "backsliding" deal I hear about? Is it a function of the weakish versions of the engines I'm using? Or is it my a function of my crap hardware coupled with the horizon effect? Or something else?

2.) I have noticed that when evaluating a position of say, approximately .85 to 1.75 (greater advantages answer their own questions, generally), and the side with the advantage makes a less than best, but still advantageous move (say .25), that even with best play by both sides to follow, that advantage will creep back up, often to clearly winning. I thought that a less than best play would allow the other side to equalize or reverse. This happens with significant, but not common, frequency, in my experience. Is this a function of engines not being able to *truly* evaluate long-term positions properly as dominating almost regardless of the next move? Or is it again my crap engine and laptop and ol' horizon effect?

Thanks for reading, and doubly thanks for any cogent replies!!

Dec-15-07  Komapsimnita: <sushi junkie> Yeah a few folk would like the puzzles to have best moves only in the line. I'm of the thinking that there are loads of puzzles that give best moves only.

It is good that sometimes that isn't the case here. For me I don't mind getting them or not, probably because I more often than not don't get em.

However, these puzzles do seem to open up more discussion. You read a lot of what if's and people looking for lines that are better. Anyhoo, I think that CG puzzles are no so much puzzles as an opertunity to discuss a games that are often flawed. Makes ya feel like a chess journo trying to annotate a game :)

I am toffee at the ol' chess but often find stuff I shouldn't. Like today I did consider the e4. However, I could not really follow it up with any good juice and it looked flimsy to me.

I think the reason I sometimes see things I shouldn't is because I do really know chess motiffs and, therefore, any move becomes a possibility to me. Some stonger players maybe are blinkered by looking for certain lines or what not. It's tough to think of a dog as anything other than a dog unless you've never seen a dog, if you get my drift.

It's the monkeys on a typewritter where I'm concerned, put enough puzzles in front of me and I'll eventually nudge the right peice.

Dec-15-07  Komapsimnita: I meant do NOT know chess motiffs. But I'm sure you get ma drift.
Dec-15-07  Goldenraf: Well, material might be even, but the pieces are worth for what they do, not for just being on the board. The black king is really unprotected, the rook is the only defending piece, but the rook is also defending F5, F5 is where forces are converging and needs to be attacked, the pawn going to E5 just does it, black should not take the rook with the horse, that was black's main mistake. The following moves are just complementary, hard to guess without knowing what the reply could be.
Dec-15-07  zenpharaohs: OK the best line appears to be:

31 e4 Qe8
32 Nxf5+ Rxf5
33 Qxe8 Rxe8
34 exf5 Nxc2
35 Rxc2 Rc8
36 Nxb7 ...

White has two pawns and black has little to say about it.

I spoiled the problem for myself, so I don't know if I would have found e4 on my own, but I can say that the move I was considering at the time of accidental revelation of the correct answer, is worth talking about. I was thinking about 31 Rd2. The line

31 Rd2 e6
32 e3 Nb3
33 Nxb3 axb3
34 e4 Qd7
35 e5 Rf7
36 d4 Nd5
37 Rd3 Ne7

At this point it becomes clear that white is attacking the pawns on the e, f, and g files. So my thinking about how to get the solution was that the better move would lead to a better attack. 31 h3?? is sure the wrong end of the stick, but 31 e4 would be the obvious other choice.

Now I didn't get that far before I caught a glimpse of the answer. But under the theory that having found one decent line, I would only look for better lines for white, that is one way I think someone could "reason" their way to the correct answer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <sushijunkie 2 puzzle questions:>

Because nobody else is stepping up to the plate, I will offer my two cents worth.

Question 1:

You have the basic imagination to see key moves, but you are not building up a routine for analysis. The routine should be thorough enough to get the elements of the position into your head, but its exact details are unimportant. My routine is the four basic chess elements (material, position - space and time, pawn structure, and King safety), the defensive burdens and positional vulnerabilities (e.g., to discovered attacks) carried by the opposite pieces, and the available moves (the "2-ply brain" - what can your pieces do?). By the time you have run through your routine, you should find the elements of the position in your head, and you can start to weave them together. When I am stumped, as I was today, I "go back to basics" (the best and most general advice I had from any teacher); I run through my routine. Eventually with enough practise, I expect to go through my routine unconsciously. Voila, my "intuition" is then doing all the work.

I found <UdayanOwen>'s posts this week very helpful. In particular, they explain that the routine for analysis terminate when a tactical stroke fulfills the strategical aims of the position. This wonderful harmony of tactics with position is something that I have not appreciated properly. I also recommend <dzechiel>'s analyses (who doesn't?) because they indicate his routine for analysis so transparently.

Question 2:

The feature you describe does not bother me, although others might disagree. The puzzles usually contain a "critical line", where the loser toasts himself, and frequently the game follows the critical line. (Who would want to play poker without a sucker at the table?) If the loser does not follow the critical line, however, the key move yields a strategic advantage for the winner, where inferior moves dissipate it.

Dec-15-07  willyfly: Didn't spend much time on this one but tried a few lines utilizing the check potential from the ♘s. Never even thought about a ♙ push. Weekends is when I work most and puzzles are hardest. Look forward to Monday.
Dec-15-07  zenpharaohs: johnlspouge: "Who would want to play poker without a sucker at the table?"

Who would want to be famous for only beating the fish?

Dec-15-07  sanyas: 31.e4 is about the most incredible combination starter I've ever seen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <zenpharaohs: johnlspouge: "Who would want to play poker without a sucker at the table?"

Who would want to be famous for only beating the fish?>

Kasparov and Fischer? ... but I do take your point :)

Dec-15-07  zenpharaohs: johnlspouge: "<Who would want to be famous for only beating the fish?>

Kasparov and Fischer? ... but I do take your point :)"

Yes. I was surprised yesterday to find out that a guy that works for me was a serious chess player back in the Ukraine, he got close to becoming a master before he gave up. He beat Kramnik once. He probably beat a lot of fish along the way, but it's that victory over Kramnik which he will be able to tell his grandchildren.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: <zenpharaohs>, thanks for responding to my jocularity. I could continue with "Yes, but who would want to play Kramniks at the time?", but let me continue this way instead.

Your employee will be an incredible inspiration to his grandchildren. The courage and work it would take to play Kramnik passably, let alone beat him, simply amazes me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: For the very difficult Saturday Dec 15, 2007 puzzle solution, White played the surprise 31. e4!!, offering his Rook on c2 as a positional sacrfice in exchange for the right to play 32. e5!, weaken the Black King side, and force Black to give back the loaned material with interest.

Black might have practial survival chances after 31...Qe8! 32. Nxf5+ , but with best play White seems to come out ahead.

Here's my break-out of the combination with Fritz 8:

<31. e4 !! Nxc2>

Black's best may be 31... Qe8! 32. Nxf5+ Rxf5 33. Qxe8 Rxe8 34. exf5 Kf6 35. Nxb7 Rb8 36. Na5 Nxc2 37. Rxc2 Kxf5 38. Rxc7 Nd5 39. Rc5 Ke6 40. Rc6+ Kf5 41. Rxh6 , when White still appears to have a winning advantage..

<32. e5! Rc6>

Other tries for Black also fail:

32... Rf7 33. Qg6+ Kf8 34. Ne6+ Ke8 35. Qg8+ Kd7 36. Qxf7 ;

32...Rf8 33. Qg6+ Kh8 34. Ne6 ;

32... Nd4 33. exf6+ exf6 34. Qg6+ Kf8 35. Qxh6+

<33. Nxf5+ Qxf5>

Equally hopeless for Black are:

33... Kf8 34. Qxg4! Re6 35. Qg7+ Ke8 36. Qg8#

33...Kh8 34. Nxh6 Qf8 35. Nf5+ Kg8 36. Qxg4+ Kf7 37. Qh5+ Kg8 38. Qg5+ Kf7 39. Rxc2 Qg8 40. Qxe7+ Kg6 41. Ne4 Nd7 42. Rxc6+ bxc6 43. Qg5+ Kf7 44. Nh6+ ;

33...Kh7 34. Qf7+ Kh8 35. Qg7#.

Now White initiates a pin to gain decisive material with <34. Qxf5! Rxc5 35. Qxg4+ Kh8 36. Qd1 c6 37. Rxc2 .> With a winning advantage, White makes short work of Black's resistance after <31...Rxe5 38. Qd2 Kh7 39. d4 Rb5 40. Qd3+ Kg7 41. Re2 Re8 42. Re6 Rg5 43. f4! Kf7 44. Rxh6 1-0>

Dec-17-07  astaub: The ChessMaster 9000 program playing at a rating of about 2650 recommended 31...Kg8 as a defensive move. However, it then proceeds to defeat that move by 32 ef Nc2 33 Rc2 Nc6 34 Ne4 Rf7 36 Qa5 Rh7 37 Ng6 Kg7 38 Qg4 Kf7 39 Nc5 Rg7 40 Re2 Nd5 41 Ne6 Qe6 42 Re6. This seems a more difficult line for White to find than the attacks against 31... Nc2 which loses the Black queen in two more moves and 32 ...Qe8 33 Nf5+ Rf5 34 Qe8 Re8 35 ef Nc2 36 Rc2 Rb8 37 Ne6+ Kf6 38 Rc7 Kf5 39 Nc5 Nd5 40 Rb7 Rb7 41 Nb7 a4 42 Nc5 Nb6 which leaves Black two pawns down in a knight and pawn ending.
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