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Hans Berliner vs Robert Henry Steinmeyer
US Championship (1963), New York, NY USA, rd 11, Jan-03
Semi-Slav Defense: Marshall Gambit. Main Line (D31)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-07-13  M.Hassan: "Medium"
White to play 20.?
Equal

White's Knight is under attack and I choose to save it:

20.Ne4 Nf5
21.Qd5 Ne7
22.Ng5 Qd8
23.Qd6 Nf5
Black hopes to draw by 3 times repetition.
24.Qd3
There could be several variations now
24...h6 or 24...Nd4
More plausible is:
24.........Nd4
25.Rxe5 Nxe5
26.Qxd4+ Nd7
27.Qd6 Ke8
28.Bd3 f3
29.Re1+ Kd8
30.Bxg7
<if...Qxg7 31.Ne6+ Royal Fork>

30..........Bb7
31.Re7 Bc6
32.Bf6
Next, a discovered check and picking up the Queen
32..........Qg5+
33.Bxg5 fxg2
34.Rxh7+ Ke8
35.Qe7#

Nov-07-13  King Sacrificer: It was all about preventing black's <Nf5>. Still, this puzzle is harder than Thursday level.
Nov-07-13  Nick46: I achieved the sacrosanct first move.
Nov-07-13  TheaN: Thursday 7 November 2013

<20.?>

NB: solution checked before writing this answer.

I was a bit startled by this one, especially cause I don't really think it's Thursday level in retrospect. For a ♘ vs 2♙ White keeps the pressure on the position, but any slowdowns will be his downfall eventually.

The key move <20.Bxe5!> is White's only try to avoid the semi-liberating 20....Ne5, as now 21.Qc7#. However, by doing so, the knight on g3 is still en prise. Black has alternatives to consider besides <20....fxg3>, but that would facilitate the sac and not challenge White.

We are at crossroads though. White can try to rush the attack with 21.Be2 and 22.Rd1, but this probably runs into 21....gxh2 and h1=Q, and without sufficient firepower this loses for White. I actually played <22.Bxg3 > to control the position and go for 23.Bh4, but as this is very unclear I probably wouldn't have played it OTB.

The text move <22.hxg3<>> opens up a second weakness for Black at h7, but I'm not convinced this is sufficient. I don't really get the rush to play 22....Rb7 (if really required against Qc7+, White had no need to play 22.hxg3 anyway) and after 23.Bd3 to eventually allow 25.Bg6. Yes, White has pressure and will probably win the piece back somewhere but I'm not entirely convinced this is completely won after 22.hxg3 alone. Especially that 23.Bd3 blocks the Rook on d1, and grabbing another pawn at h7 will not necessarily mean White is better. Some analysis would be good.

Nov-07-13  diagonalley: after 21 RPxP i imagined black would have played 21... N-KB4 then if 22. Q-Q5 22 ... B-N2

algebraic:
after 21 hxg3 i imagined black would have played 21... Nf5 then if 22. Qd5 22 ... Bb7

this (as is often the case!) is not clear to me

Nov-07-13  realbrob: It seems that the theme of this week is take a pawn and get positional advantage. In these early days the first move is intuitive, but it's not easy at all to be sure that it's winning.

Though, I have to say that even before 24..Kd8, Black's position looks fairly bad. He's up a piece but his pieces are out of position, tied to defense, while White's pieces are nearly all attacking his king.

For instance, White is threatening 25.Qxb6+, which looks pretty devastating. <diagonalley> 21..Nf5 22.Qc7#

Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Help! My Chess engine is not working. Does 20. c5 win or gain any advantage?
Nov-07-13  Shams: <patzer2> Your move wins as well! Shredder has White basically continuing with the same ideas as in the game, with an eval of around +2 instead of +3.
Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Shams> Thanks!
Nov-07-13  fokers13: hahahaha thank you patzer that was the move that occurred to me also.

4/4 without putting too much thought into it so far either.

Nov-07-13  Dr. Funkenstein: I went with 20. c5 like Patzer2, with the idea of 21. c6 if black grabs the hanging knight or tries to bring the rook or bishop into play or 20. c5 bxc5 21. Bxa5+ Ke8 22. Nf5
Nov-07-13  morfishine: I don't see how Black can hold after either <20.Bxe5> or <20.Ne4>

(1) 20.Bxe5 fxg3 21.hxg3 Rb7 22.Bd3 and here its hard to visualize a reasonable move for Black since 22...Nf5 is not possible now

(2) 20.Ne4 h6 21.Be2 Rb7 22.Rd1 and here again, its hard to visualize a reasonable move for Black; For example Black can't try to relieve the pin with 22...Ke8 due to 23.Bh5 g6 24.Bxg6

*****
PM: Quite a challenge visually for a Thursday

*****
PM2: After reading the posts, I'd have to agree that a different move/position is warranted since at this point, White is simply winning

*****

Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: In the end,the pin wins.
Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  kbob: A perfect situation for Tal's adage: "FIRST you sacrifice, THEN you calculate! I applaud the somewhat open ended approach the editors take to these problems. Often times more specific situations are actually less challenging because you know from the onset that a spectacular sacrifice is "on". I like to look at the games of madmen like Tal or Shirov a move or two before the stunner and wonder how they understood that more preparation was necessary.
Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black threatens 20... fxg3.

The are a number of possibilities:

I. Ne4 combined with c5 and c6 or Ng5.

II. Nh5 combined with Bxe5.

III. Bxe5 fxg3 Bxg3 with the idea of Bd3-Rhe1-Bh4(d6).

IV. c5 to play c6 or to weaken a5.

-----

20.Ne4 has the problem of the 20... Nf5 21.Qc6(d5) (21.Ng5 Nxd6 22.Nxf7+ Nxf7) 21... Ne7 attacking continuously the queen and the rook.

-----

20.Nh5 Nf5 seems to lose the knight.

-----

20.c5 fxg3 21.c6 Nxc6 is unclear.

-----

So, it remains 20.Bxe5:

A) 20... fxg3 21.Bxg3

A.1) 21... Nf5 22.Qc7#.

A.2) 21... Rb7 (to protect c7) 22.Bh4 Re8 23.Bd3 h6 24.Rhe1 g5 25.Bg3 and Black looks defenseless against 26.Bg6.

A.3) 21... g5 22.Bd3 Rb7 23.Rhe1 Re8 24.c5 bxc5 25.Ba6 Ra7 26.Bxc8 seems to win material.

B) 20... Bb7 21.Bxf4 + - [B+2P vs N].

Nov-07-13  David2009: Berliner vs R Steinmeyer, 1963 White 20?

I haven't solved this one - I could not see a convincing follow-up to 20.Bxe5 fxg3. The game line 21.hxg3 is elegant. When I set the puzzle position


click for larger view

up on Crafty End Game Trainer (back at the time of posting) link http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-t... the EGT defends with the game line until 22...Qf8 (instead of 22...h6) and I cannot yet break through. I can win four Pawns for my piece in the line 22...Qf8 23.Be4 Ra7 24.Rd1 Ke8 25.Bc6 Kf7 26.Bxg7 Nf5 27.Bxf8 Nxd6 28.Rexd6 Nxf8 29.Bd5+ Kg7 to reach


click for larger view

but this is far from decisive. Is there a better line for White against 22...Qf8?

Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Today is Thursday, isnt it? IMO quite a tough one to find the continuation after 20 Bxe5 fxg3. In fact I think B had chances to fight on until 22 ... h6, but his position was clearly a difficult one to defend
Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: .... and I confess I was not at all sure what W should play on move 21. Qc7+ looked tempting but it doesn't seem to do anything useful
Nov-07-13  Kikoman: <20. c5> and <20. Bxe5> are my two candidates move on POTD.
Nov-07-13  dark.horse: Black is completely tied up. Piling up on the 7th rank squares is decisive, and it's worth the knight to get the bishop into play for this purpose. There are various ways for Black to try to defend; the knight sac is a positional one because there is no forced sequence at this point.
Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I got 20.Bxe5 fxg3 (expecting 21.fxg3 though).
Nov-07-13  LIFE Master AJ: In response to an e-mail ...

there are (at least) three very interesting candidate moves.

20.c5!?
(To release the LSB.)

20.Ne4,
(To prevent the pieces lost
and place it on a very
aggressive square.)

20.BxP/e5!
(The move actually played in the game itself.)

Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <kbob> -- < I like to look at the games of madmen like Tal or Shirov a move or two before the stunner and wonder how they understood that more preparation was necessary.>

Nice point. But change "madmen" to "geniuses" and you may be closer to an answer.

Nov-07-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: a very interesting puzzle.

I like the line after 21...Ke8, followed by 22 Be2.


click for larger view

The threat of course is 23 Bh5, so if 22 ...Rb7 (black also has 22...Nxd5) then 23 Bh5 g6 24 Bxg6!


click for larger view

Nov-07-13  Patriot: I had a real problem with this one but I think 20.c5 may be best--I'm not positive.

20.c5

20...fxg3 21.c6 Nxc6 22.Qxc6 - It's not convincing.

20...fxg3 21.c6 Qf4+ 22.Bd2 so the above line with 21...Nxc6 looks better.

Perhaps 21.Bb5 (removing the guard) makes better sense. 21...Rb7 22.c6 Nxc6 23.Bxc6 Rc7 24.Bxd7 Rxd7 25.Qxb6+ is interesting.

I spent way too much time on this one.

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