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Hasibul Hasan vs Michael Flannan Littleton
Chess Olympiad Qualifying Group 5 (1972), Skopje MKD, rd 3, Sep-21
Italian Game: Italian Variation (C50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-20-08  gtgloner: Very easy, indeed. 49. ... Qxe1+ 50. Kxe1 Nxd3+ (forking King and Queen) 51. K moves Nxf4 and the black King will scoop up the pawn that captures the Knight leaving Black 2 pawns ahead in the end game.
Oct-20-08  Aurora: 49...Qxe1+ and that's that!
Oct-20-08  hedgeh0g: Got the obvious Qxe1+, although this puzzle is different from most other Monday puzzles in that, technically speaking, the move doesn't immediately result in net material gain or mate, but rather a completely winning K+P endgame. Easy nonetheless.
Oct-20-08  TheaN: 1/1

Clear enough that Black wants to simplify with the clear a and b-pawns, or mate White. The latter is not an option, but the first is.


White: c6, d3, f2, g3, Ne1, Qf4, Ke2

Black: a6, b7, b5, d4, g4, Ne5, Qh1, Kg6

Material: -♙

Candidates: <[Qxe1]>

<49....Qxe1! 50.Kxe1 Nxd3 51.Kd2 Nxf4 52.gxf4 a5 > clear enough and completely forced.

<AccDrag: Counterattack?! Really?

Thea, I think you're complaining about a spotless floor here. ...Kf5 is fine, and completely winning.>

I never said that it wasn't winning... but my judgment IS correct:

Analysis by Fritz 11:

1. (-15.67): 4...b4 5.Kc2 Kf5 6.c6 bxc6 7.Kb3 d3 8.Kxb4 d2 9.Ka5 d1Q 10.Kxa6 Qb3 11.Ka7 Kxf4 12.Ka8 Qb6 13.f3 Qa6+ 14.Kb8 gxf3 15.Kc7

2. (-13.73): 4...a5 5.Kd3 Kf5 6.Kxd4 Kxf4 7.Kd5 a4 8.Kd4 Kf3 9.c6 bxc6 10.Kc5 Kxf2 11.Kxc6 g3 12.Kxb5 a3 13.Kc4 a2 14.Kc3 a1Q+ 15.Kc4

3. (-13.73): 4...Kf5 5.Kd3 Kxf4 6.Kxd4 a5 7.Kd5 a4 8.Kd4 Kf3 9.c6 bxc6 10.Kc5 Kxf2 11.Kxc6 g3 12.Kxb5 a3 13.Kc4 a2 14.Kc3 a1Q+ 15.Kc4

Not necessarily that a5 is better, but I judged Kf5 as being unnecessary at this point. If White refuses to spot the a and b-pawn, Black promotes one or two moves earlier. Not really a significant difference with ratings larger than -12, but objectively better, and useful in time trouble.

Oct-20-08  chopin4525: Pretty easy! 49...Qxe1 50.Kxe1 followed by the knight fork on d3. In the endgame black has a real advantage thanks to his pawns and the active king so he should be able to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: Monday (Very Easy):

H M Hasan vs M F Littleton, 1972 (49.?)

Black to play and win.

Material: Up a P. The White Ke2 has 2 legal moves. An examination of checks, captures, and threats reveals the candidate.

Candidates (49.): Qxe1+

49.Qxe1+ Kxe1 50.Nxd3+ K moves 51.Nxf4+ gxf4

Black has won a second P and has a simple K+P endgame win by advancing the Q-side Ps together to tie down the White K, while the Black Kg6 lunches leisurely on the K-side Ps.

Oct-20-08  ChessApplet: 50...Nxd3+
51.Ke2 Nxf4+
52.gxf4 Kf5
53.Kd3 Kxf4

An advantage for black.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The black knight is too close to the white royal family: 49... Qxe1+ 50.Kxe1 Nxd3+ 51.Kd2 Nxf4 52.gxf4 a5 and white loses the pawn endgame. For example, 53.Kd3 a4 54.Kxd4 a3 55.Kc3 b4+ 56.Kb3 Kf5 followed by Kxf4-Kf3-Kxf2 and the g-pawn promotes.
Oct-20-08  ThePawnOTron2: <Smothered Mate: Has there every been an easier monday?>

I agree. 49...Qxe1 is the oldest trick in the book. :-)

1 for 1 this week.


Oct-20-08  Patriot: Only one candidate really stood out: Qxe1+. So 49...Qxe1+ 50.Kxe1 Nxd3+ 51.Ke2 Nxf4+ 52.gxf4 and black transforms the position into an easily winning king and pawn endgame.

TheaN: Technically you are right. Black is so strong that he doesn't have to move the king. He can just start playing b4-b3. For example in my line above: 52...b4 53.Kd3 b3 and white has no time to take the pawn on d4. If 54.Kd2, then a5-a4 and white has too many passers to deal with. But almost any move wins here. Black can even waste time and play Kh7 and still have a trivial win.

The point where I disagree is when you said black gives white less space by pushing the queenside pawns. Space is generally important in middlegame positions if you can also control the weakened squares the pawns leave behind, but becomes a non-issue in endgames.

Oct-20-08  benjinathan: <MostlyAverageJoe> I think today's was much either than that other one. Smothered mates are more difficult to come to mind.
Oct-20-08  MostlyAverageJoe: <benjinathan>

I bet that in your disagreement you did not take into account <<who>> asked the question:

<<<Smothered Mate:>> Has there every been an easier monday?>


Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <Patriot> wrote: [snip] TheaN: [snip] The point where I disagree is when you said black gives white less space by pushing the queenside pawns. Space is generally important in middlegame positions if you can also control the weakened squares the pawns leave behind, but becomes a non-issue in endgames.>

Hi, <Patriot>. I indicated my preference to push the Q-side Ps first. The Q-side push forces the White K to remain within the corresponding queening square, reducing White's options. Although Black has a won game regardless, I advocate <TheaN>'s plan as part of a good habit: reduce your opponent's options to simplify analysis and reduce the possibility of later error.

I agree that the position does almost play itself, however.

Oct-20-08  benjinathan: <MostlyAverageJoe> Got me! LOL
Oct-20-08  Patriot: johnlspouge: I totally agree about reducing your opponents options and squares.

Here's what NM Dan Heisman writes in his article "The Six Common Chess States" ( (Paragraph 1, first page) " (useful in the middlegame and often meaningless in the endgame)". On page 3 "The Endgame...": "C) The concept of space is often useless, except possibly for pawns threatening to promote. It is usually easy for an opponent's forces to get behind advanced pawns and therefore the space advantage in the middlegame turns into a vulnerability in the endgame."

Apparently I took something he said out of context, so I stand corrected.


Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This is an easy as pie Monday puzzle.

A good idea is to bring it out at a later date and backtrack it one move.

It would make a good Tuesday or Wednesday puzzle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <Patriot> wrote: [snip] I stand corrected.>

I was stating an opinion: in chess, I rarely presume to correct anyone. You can stand "stated" if you want ;>)

Your quote was useful to me, so thanks.

Oct-20-08  PinnedPiece: One of those Mondays that when you see it, you don't even bother to check the actual game line.

At least for me.....

Beat my 30-second rule by a long shot (if I don't see Mondays in 30 seconds I lose)

Oct-20-08  Kasputin: Took me a couple of looks to give up the idea of checkmate and see the knight fork: 49 ...Qxe1+ followed by 50 ...Nxd3+
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Very easy indeed. Check followed by the knight fork leaps right out at you. No need to horse around with other moves.

<Kevin86> is right. This would have been more fun with W to move at move 48. It is just as forcing but (I think) is not as obvious.

Oct-20-08  BlackWaive: Saw it instantly.

Queen takes Knight followed by a recapture into a Knight fork, ultimately winning a pawn.

The endgame is easily won for Black.

Oct-20-08  Zzyw: I like this one, just because it at least requires you to evaluate a simple pawn endgame. A welcome change from the mate/material gain type puzzles.
Oct-20-08  stacase: Ding!
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Black initiates a Knight Fork with 49...Qxe1+! to simplify to a won ending and solve the Monday Oct 20, 2008 puzzle.
Oct-23-08  AccDrag: LOL. Thea, come on. ...Kf5 and ...a5 get the EXACT SAME EVALUATION according to the lines you posted: -13.73.

You're trying too hard to be "right." Pride comes before the fall, my friend.

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