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Michael Richter vs Emanuel Berg
SS Manhem GM (2011), Gothenburg SWE, rd 4, Aug-16
French Defense: Tarrasch. Closed Variation (C05)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-23-14  patzer2: <Whiteshark><As ♔ I somehow don't like the idea of an untouchable ♕ in a microcosmical 8x8 world.>

Makes me think of MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" at

Apr-23-14  LIFE Master AJ: I just thought of something:

Especially annoying (and - cute - if you are Black) is the following line here:

36...Qb4!; 37.Qd1, QxR/d4!; 38.Qa1, QxR/a7!

Apr-23-14  sombreronegro: Easy if you know of a famous game by Capa that had a similar back rank mate with queen diversion. Though I can't remember who he was playing.
Apr-23-14  belgradegambit: Monday level problem as soon as you see the back rank weakness.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Funny! I saw this one instantly: the queen move threatens mate, forks queen and rook, and cannot be taken on pain of back row mate.

What a showstopper!

Apr-23-14  notyetagm: M Richter vs E Berg, 2011

You can all thank me for submitting the PGN for this game, explicitly for this puzzle position.

I found it in one of the first editions of the excellent but now defunct <CHESS EVOLUTION>.

You're welcome.


Apr-23-14  PJs Studio: One of those "gravity defying" solutions to exploit a weak back rank. (Overloading the heavy pieces can be achieved through seemingly obnoxious moves that serve to offset the dual protection of an opponents back rank square.)

Huge lesson for beginners for all the chess coaches out there. The kings the thing.

Apr-23-14  BOSTER: Couple years ago only Wednesday was considered as a puzzling day, but that time "Gone with the Wind". Now you can read only this:"I saw this one instantly".

The move patterns you have in your mind, the easier it is to pick them out from the crowd>

This is an a short episode from saga of the open file.

Black to play.

click for larger view

Apr-23-14  James D Flynn: Black has a pawn for the exchange which is insufficient but White has a back rank weakness which he cBlack can now exploit by 36…..Qb4. White cannot take the Q because after either 37.Qxb4 or 37.Rxx4 Rc1+ White has to interpose Q or R on d1 which is followed by 38….Rxd1#. White’s best defence then is 37.Rxb7 Qxb7 38.Qxb7 Rxb7 39.Rd2 but he remains a piece for a pawn down in a hopeless endgame.
Apr-23-14  Sally Simpson: Hi Boster.


Open files and diagonals - you cannot beat them.

Apr-23-14  James D Flynn: OOPs, I overlooked that after 36....Qb4 37.Rxb7 allows Qe1#
Apr-23-14  standardwisdom: Indeed Sally Simpson: I missed that there is indeed a better move by the queen, although the better move by the rook is denied due to the pin. Thanks!
Apr-23-14 Got it in 5 seconds. Gotta exploit that first rank.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jambow: Tuesday puzzle as the back rank theme made the solution become obvious imho.
Apr-23-14  DrGridlock: <JimNorCal: I spent some time trying to make Qc5 (forking the rooks) work. It almost does, but Raa4 seems to defend all.>

I also spent some time trying to make 36 ... Qc5 work also.

It is not 37 Raa4 which foils that line (37.Raa4 b5 38.h3 Qc1+ 39.Rd1 bxa4 40.Qxa4 Qxb2 with a won game for black), but 37 Rxb7 which saves the day for White.

Apr-23-14  Sally Simpson: Hi standardwisdom,

Often worried when correcting or helping out with somone's analysis on a forum that they may take offence at me sticking my oar in.

But to me it's like a crooked picture hanging on a wall, I must straighten it.


Apr-23-14  CC0112358: White has a Rook for a Bishop.


37. Qxb4 Rc1+
38. Rd1 Rxd1+
39. Qe1 Rxe1#


37. Rxb4 Rc1+
38. Qd1 Rxd1#

Apr-23-14  CC0112358: Second look reveals that also possible

36...... Qb4
37. Rd7+ Nxd7 (or Rxd7)
38. Qxb4 Rc1+ (or Rd1+)
39. Qe1 Rxe1#

Looks like 37......Rxd7 is better because if fends off possible 38.Qd1, white's attempt to save the checkmate

Apr-23-14  CC0112358: <LIFE Master AJ: I just thought of something:

Especially annoying (and - cute - if you are Black) is the following line here:

36...Qb4!; 37.Qd1, QxR/d4!; 38.Qa1, QxR/a7!>

Nice variation LMAJ. All seems to end in the same spot for white though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I guess 36...Rc1+ wasn't necessary. :|
Apr-23-14  Patriot: Black is down the exchange.

There are two very interesting candidates: Rc1+ and Qb4.

36...Rc1+ is the most forcing. 37.Rd1 Qb4 38.Rxb7+ Qxb7 39.Qxb7+ - Ok, this doesn't look so good.


37.Rd7+ Nxd7

37.Qxb4 Rc1+

37.Rxb4 Rc1+

37.Qe3 Qxd4

37.Rxb7 Qxb3 38.Rd7+ Nxd7

Apr-23-14  solver43: ...Qb4 Threatens mate and attacks the
white queen.

I will look at the game moves now.

Apr-23-14  Herma48852: Weak back rank yields a quick attraction sacrifice with 36.. Qb4 having recalled a similar puzzle a while back. Unfortunately I blew the, in theory, easier Mon and Tue puzzles. Once a patzer always a patzer ..
Apr-23-14  Marmot PFL: The back rank is all black has, so I found 36...Qb4 very quickly. White played 36 Qb3 to defend d1 and stop e3 but it fails to the trap we know was there (but he didn't).

Berg is a top Nordic player and beat Carlsen. So what if he was only 12?

Apr-23-14  morfishine: <goodevans> I was thinking that White could play 33.Qxe6+ Kxe6 34.Kf1 with a view to a blockade:

click for larger view


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