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Gudmundur Kjartansson vs Jason P McKenna
Hastings (2009/10), Hastings ENG, rd 4, Dec-31
Modern Defense: Standard Defense (B06)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Ouch! I missed the double pin of the rook-on king and queen. The castle will come tumbling down!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: and if 27...♔f7 28 ♖f4! A triple play!

Enjoy the World Series tonight!

Premium Chessgames Member
  pittpanther: In response to mario1031: 24...Nxe5 instead of 24...f5, would that have saved the game for black? I think that 25. Nxe5 wins for white becuase if 25....Rxe5 white plays 26. Qg7! hitting both rooks. If black plays 26...Rxe4 then 27. Qxh8 Qf8 (no other move) and 28. Rd8! wins.
Oct-19-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Material is even with the BK trapped uncastled in the middle. Typically these situations are lost for the defender because the uncastled rook is inactive and the uncastled king is more exposed to pins, forks, and skewers. Black's threats (Nxg4, Nxe4, Rxe4) leave only two feasible choice, 26.Rxe6 and Nxf6+. I looked at 26.Rxe6 Qxe6 27.Nxf6+ (Qg7 Rf8) Qxf6 28.Re1+ Kd8, but didn't see a clear win. Also, 26.Nxf6+ Qxf6 27.Rxe6+ Qxe6+ 28.Qg7 looked promising, but 28... Rf8 29.Qc7 Qe7 appears to hold. Eventually I found a winning idea.

26.Nxf6+ Qxf6 27.Qe3

(On reviewing the following solution, I finally noticed 27.Rd6! and realized that this must be the actual game finish.)

This reinforcement of the pin leaves black without a good reply:

A) 27... Rxe4 28.Qxe4+ Qe7 (Kf7/f8 20.Rf1 wins the Q) 29.Qa8+ wins the BR.

B) 27... Kf7/f8 28.Rf1 wins the BQ.

C) 27... Ke7 28.Re1! Rxe4+ 29.Qxe4+ Kd6 (or d7/d8) 30.Qd5+ Kc7/c8 31.Qxc5+ Kd7 (or d8) (otherwise 32.Re7) 32.Rd1+! Ke8 (Ke6 33.Rd6+) 33.Qc8+ Kf7 34.Rd7+ Ke6 35.Qd6+ Kf5 36.Rd5+ wins the Q.

C.1) 29... Kf7/f8 30.Rf1 wins

C.2) 29... Kd7 30.Qd5+ Qd6? 31.Qb7+ Kd8 (Qc7 32.Re7+) 32.Qa8+ wins.

A little laborious, you think?

Oct-19-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Wow, I have seen a cross-pin before, but it's evident that my difficulty with this problem was not unique.
Oct-19-11  StevieB: I'm kinda glad I wasn't the only one having so much trouble with this puzzle. Never saw it, but that's typical for my level of play.
Oct-19-11  tacticalmonster: Now I see the key to solving tactical puzzles. Before brutal calculation, I believe we should characterize which tactical motif we should use. For example, in some case our guts tell us there has to be a back rank mate there somewhere and this insight help us see the solution quicker.

I admit this POTD took me longer than usual. I usually spent around 30 sec on Wed but today it took me around 2-3 min. I must admit I have never heard of the term " cross pin " before. I am sure now that I know about it it makes future calculation easier and faster.

Oct-19-11  Rob Morrison: Wow! A very pretty piece of geometry. I missed it completely. And it's more difficult than two stars.
Oct-19-11  MiCrooks: I took a while with this as well, and actually kept trying to make Rd6 work PRIOR to Nxf6 for longer than I should have! Once I gave up I came upon Nf6 Qf6 Rd6 quickly.
Oct-19-11  BOSTER: <Phony Benoni> <it felt like there could be a crosspin available>.

It would be really nice to read how you come up with it.

Oct-19-11  morfishine: I did not see the rank-pin: A pity...nonetheless white wins. I followed <al wazir> with 26.Rxe6 Qxe6 27.Qg7 Rf8 28.Rf1 Nd7 29.Rxf8+ Nxf8 30.Nf6+ Kd8 31.Qxf8+ Kc7 32.Qxc5+

click for larger view

Moves 29-31 were forced for Black. White, a piece ahead, can exchange down to an easily won endgame.

Studies have shown that Rank-pins are the hardest to see, whether on the attack or defending.

Oct-19-11  Harvestman: A few people have asked how the cross pin was found by those that saw it. I saw this almost immediately (unlike the previous 2 days which beat me!). Here's how:

The initial Nxf6+ is forcing, so should be looked at. I missed that the black king can go to f7, so thought that a recapture was forced. White will be a piece up anyway if the Knight isn't taken.

Then I saw that the Knight has to be captured by the black queen, since a rook capture drops a queen. That put into my mind that the rook is pinned along the e-file.

Once I'd seen the idea of a rook being pinned by a rook (counter-intuitive otherwise), I asked myself how I could prevent black capturing the rook on e4 on the next move. Answer: Rd6. A cross pin.

It then just took me a minute or so to realise that Black has no good reply.

Oct-19-11  newton296: missed it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <BOSTER: It would be really nice to read how you came up with it.>

I'd like to know, too.

I've been playing chess--and solving tactical puzzles--for over fifty years. Doing that, you get to see a lot of tactical patterns repeatedly, and they become ingrained.

And I'm more of a right-brained thinker anyway, seeing things instinctually rather than through a logical thought process. I've noticed that with POTDs I can generally sense the correct idea quickly, but am very sloppy at cleaning up the details.

Getting the first move doesn't count when your analysis is incomplete or inaccurate, and that's what I too often do. So I stick to making silly comments.

I've seen plenty of crosspins. I've even used them on occasion. But it's no use wondering how I "come up with it." I don't really know. It's just there.

Oct-19-11  TomOhio: 26... Kf7.

Black ends up with two Rooks. White ends up with a Queen and Knight.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: chuck the manuel book out gadzooks a4 be no need for that wettens the appetite wouldnt one say.

a lemming black f5 strike out adder missing link ahting kd8 queen aye in f6 it I reckon JP tire in cross seminal perk entwine x-ray.

knight take six for a knave queen walk rd6 black up in smoked fir cone blues -another on me- , garp anenymous

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is even.

Black threatens 26... N(R)xe4 and 26... Nxg4.

The rook on h8 is defenseless. This suggests 26.Rxe6 Qxe6 (26... Nxg4 27.Rxe7+ Kxe7 28.Qg7+,etc.) 27.Qg7, however after 27... Rf8 28.Nxf6+ (28.Rd8+ Kxd8 29.Qxf8+ Ne8) Rxf6 (28... Qxf6 29.Qd7#) 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Qxh7+ Ke8 White only has an extra pawn.

Another option tries to make the most of the alignment of the black queen and king on the e-file with 26.Nxf6+ Qxf6 27.Qe3:

A) 27... Rxe4+ 28.Qxe4+

A.1) 28... Kf8 29.Rf1 + -.

A.2) 28... Kf7 29.Rd7+ Kg8 30.Qa8+ Qf8 31.Qd5+ Qf7 32.Qxf7#.

A.3) 28... Qe7 29.Qa8+ Kf7 30.Qxh8 + -.

B) 27... Ke7 28.Qxc5+

B.1) 28... Ke8 29.Qc8+ Kf7 (29... Ke7 30.Rd7#) 30.Rd7+ Re7 31.Rexe7+ Qxe7 32.Rxe7+ Kxe7 33.Qxh8 + -.

B.2) 28... Kf7 29.Rd7+ Kg8 30.Rxe6 Qxe6 31.Qc8+ and mate next.

C) 27... Kf7 28.Rf1 or 28.Rd7+ wins.

D) 27... Re7 28.Rd1 Rxe4 29.Qxe4+ looks similar to A.

Finally, a much quicker alternative is 27.Rd6, instead of 27.Qe3, taking advantage of the double pin: 27... Rxe4 28.Rxf6 and there is no back rank mate because the white king is on g1.

Oct-19-11  CHESSTTCAMPS: Try your own solution for the puzzle position against Crafty EGT from the following link:

The alternative solution 26.Nxf6+ Qxf6 27.Qe3 (<agb2002>, <CHESSTTCAMPS> wins easily, with little resistance from Crafty.

Oct-19-11  BOSTER: <Phony Benoni> <I can generally sense the correct idea quickly>. If I understand you correctly, it means that looking at today POTD you saw rook on d6 and black queen on f6. Thanks for answer.

<tacticalmonster> <I believe we should characterize which tactical motiv we should use>. At least for beginning you have to know them.

Oct-19-11  psmith: I didn't see the cross-pin, but I did come up with the winning line beginning with 26.Nxf6+ Qxf6 27.Qe3. But I am glad to have been reminded of the cross-pin motif.
Oct-19-11  sevenseaman: <morfishine> Knowledge of cross-pins is not inherited; its acquired. If we have had lots of experience in their use, only then these could become part of our subconscious memory and could then sometimes occur to us even before the occasion arises.

It is something akin to our awareness of the possibility of a potential smothered mate. If there is a smother mate in the air of a position, I scent it even if it is 4 or 5 moves away. I cannot logically explain why.

Today you and some others have found a solution in a natural kind of way. It feels good. I think I might have done something similar but for my gawky slip up that I came across the so called 'cross-pins' just before I opened the home page. I cannot say this new idea would have occurred to me.

Solving today's puzzle w/o using the 'gadgetry idea' is really remarkable.

Oct-20-11  Kola: I saw Rd6 by thinking, "how can I put pressure on the pinned piece (rook)?". I first though Qg7, then Rd1, then Qe3 before i considered exchanging the knight. Then i asked myself the same question in the new position and saw Rd6 in seconds. Whenever there is a pinned piece or an overworked piece, sometimes it's good to simply capture the piece but I've found that most times it's better to first pile pressure before capturing.
Oct-20-11  morfishine: <sevenseaman> On your comment <Knowledge of cross-pins is not inherited; its acquired> The studies I was referring to included Grandmasters who also have difficulty in seeing these type of pins

BTW: It crossed my mind that after 26.Rxe6 Qxe6 27.Qg7 Black's best is to give up the exchange with <27.Qxg4>. Sure enough, Crafty confirmed this for me this morning. It is better to give up the exchange instead of giving up a piece.

Jan-01-19  Saniyat24: Instead of 21...Nf4 wouldn't 21...Nd4 been better for Black?
Apr-15-20  Sally Simpson: ***

click for larger view

See that Rook on e6? Well after this game the Rook had to seek piece counselling and rumour has it that it may never be the same be same again.

I tracked down the Rook living in a single bed. It told me it's life story.

"Hi, I started off in chess as an f-pawn. I enjoyed that, the e and g-pawns became great friends of mine, we still e-mail each other.

Then I was promoted to the b1 Knight. That too was good but when the opportunity to become a Bishop came up I jumped at it. (pun intended).

I was the c1 Bishop for 6 years and nine times I won the piece of the game award.

I thought I'd stay a Bishop for the rest of my time. Then someone convinced me I would make a good Black a8 Rook.

So I gave up the diagonals and played on the files.

I was adapting to the change of colour, just finding my feet when 'that' game happened.

I can still hear the taunts of the White Rooks as they pinned me on e6."

Page 94. 'Fallen Chess Pieces' by Tim Burr.


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