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Leonard J McLaren vs Ahmad Ismail
8th Asian Seniors 50+ Championship (2017), Auckland NZL, rd 5, Oct-12
Scandinavian Defense: Modern Variation (B01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: Very swashbuckling! Attacks from all directions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: A nice miniature! I like the fact that the combatants with quite reasonable play manage to create an original line just 3 or 4 moves in! There's obviously a puzzle of the day here, too, after 16...Qxh3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Cheapo by the Dozen: I went with:

17 Rxg7+ Kh8 (the rook is poisoned)

18 Bxf6 Qf5 (to protect against discovered checks)

19 Qh6, and mate quickly follows even though Black's queen defends h7

Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: I guess the only way this wasn't "very easy" is that 18 Rg8+ is better than 18 Bxf6, which mates in 5 instead of 3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 13...Bf4 might have spared Black a little trouble by forcing 14.Be3.
Jul-08-20  Walter Glattke: Thought for 17.Bxf6 wins. 17.-g6 18.Rg3 Qh5 19.h4 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Rad8 decisive material 18.-Qxh2 19.R3g1 threatens Rh1 wins, 17.Rxg7+ Kxg7 18.Rg1+ Bg4 19.Qf4+ wins
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White is a bishop and a pawn down.

Black threatens cxd4.

The semi-open g-file suggests 17.Rxg7+:

A) 17... Kxg7 18.Qg5+ Kh8 19.Bxf6#.

B) 17... Kh8 18.Bxf6 (threatens Rg6#)

B.1) 18... Bxc3 19.Rg8+ Kxg8 20.Qg5#.

B.2) 18... h6 19.Rg3+ Kh7 20.Rxh3 wins decisive material.

B.3) 18... Qf5 19.Rg6+ Qxf6 20.Rxf6 wins decisive material.

B.4) 18... Rg8 19.Rxg8+ Kxg8 20.Qg5+ Kf8 21.Qg7+ Ke8 22.Qg8#.

Jul-08-20  saturn2: 17. Rxg7+ Kh8 (Kxg7 18.Qg5) 18. Bxf6 Qf5 19. Rg6 was enough for me
Jul-08-20  Brenin: Nice finish! I went for the slower mate by 18 Bxf6. The classiest move was White's B sac 16 Bh3, opening up the file for the R and deflecting Black's Q from defence of f6. Black was doing well until the unwise 14 ... Bb4 and 15 ... c5; better would have been 14 ... Bf4, forcing exchanges of White's potentially attacking pieces.
Jul-08-20  malt: 17.R:g7+ Kh8

(17...K:g7 18.Qg5+ Kh8 19.B:f6# )

18.B:f6 h6

(18...Qf5 19.Rg6+ Q:f6 20.R:f6 )

19.Rg3+ Kh7 20.R:h3

Jul-08-20  DrWeevil: I also had 18 Bxf6. Had a sneaking suspicion there must be more to it given the day of the week, but never saw the beautiful 18 Rg8+!
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheaN: <17.Rxg7+ Kh8 (Kxg7 18.Qg5+ Kh8 19.Bxf6#)>, however I'm also in the <18.Bxf6?! #5> crowd (Rg8+! #3), not realizing it's unavoidable mate in five, just complete disaster.

The combined threats of 19.Rg6#, 19.Rg8+ Kxg8 20.Qg5# and 19.Qh6 make it so that Black has no reasonable escape. After 18....Qf5 I'd played 19.Rg6+?! (Qh6! #4 is obviously much simpler) Qxf6 20.Rxf6 +- and I don't see how this is playable for Black. SF solves this rather swiftly, similar to what I was intending, with 20....Rfd8 21.Qxd8+! Rxd8 22.Rxd8+ Kg7 23.Rxe6! +- as White simplifies <four pieces in four moves> with a rook interest, starting with 20.Rxf6. Black doesn't have much better on move 20, really.

Now it's the question as to whether CG intended this as a Wednesday because of the forced mate with 18.Rg8+, or just for the demolished castle. The latter makes more sense as 18.Bxf6 is, in hindsight, also mate in five. Tl;dr, Black's busted after either move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: <TheaN: not realizing it's unavoidable mate in five, just complete disaster>

Same here, until Stockfish analyzed Bxf6. It doesn't really matter except that it justifies our choice of 18 Bxf6 as only a tiny bit worse than 18 Rg8+.

Jul-08-20  GlennOliver: Welcome back online, Chessgames.

You have been greatly missed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Maybe an even better puzzle, certainly less obvious, might have been a move earlier, after 15...c5.

click for larger view

How many of us would have considered, much less played, 16.Bh3 to clear the file for the Rh1? Certainly not me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Predrag3141: <How many of us would have considered, much less played, 16.Bh3 to clear the file for the Rh1?>

I'd like to think a lot of us would try clearing the g file and overloading the queen (which is the only defender of the knight on f6), since these are thematic.

There are two ways to do this: Be4 and Bh3. Stockfish gives White just over +3.00 for either.

Jul-08-20  Milesdei: I came up with 18. Bxf6 Rg8 19. Rxg8+ Kxg8 20. Qd8+ Rxd8 21. Rxd8#
Jul-08-20  mel gibson: So easy - it should have been a Monday puzzle.
Jul-08-20  W Westerlund: Good game! Bh3!
Jul-08-20  morfishine: Ismail suffered a whale of an attack by White finding himself harpooned after <17.Rg7+> and then having to watch his ship sink
Jul-08-20  sophiephilo: beautiful! an overwhelming attack. got it
Sep-01-20  castlemindng: the video of the game above


Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: This is a variation of an "Opera Mate" after 21.RxRd8# 1-0. The Opera Mate was made famous by the great zenith Paul Morphy of New Orleans, LA.

The Opera Game was an 1858 chess game played at an opera house in Paris, during Bellini 's opera Norma, between the American chess master Paul Morphy and two strong amateurs: the German noble Karl II, Duke of Brunswick and the French aristocrat Comte Isouard de Vauvenargues. It is among the most famous of chess games. Morphy vs Duke Karl / Count Isouard, 1858

The classic book "The Art of the Checkmate" by Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn dedicates Chapter 15, page 142-153 to Morphy's Mate examples. Believe you-me, Paul Morphy mated opponents just about every way possible!! This chapter of the book emphasizes queen sacrifices to achieve back rank mate. It has a broad swath for the various Morphy Mates.

For teaching purposes, I recommend "Morphy's Mate" (or perhaps "MORPHY'S BISHOP MATE" is best) to be defined more narrowly to the bishop giving check on the long diagonal to the cornered king, restricted by a rook on the open g-file. See the diagram below.

click for larger view

Chapter 15 contains various examples that blur the lines from one to other, but all are back rank mates w/bishop and rook, usually preceded by a queen sacrifice. I would argue that the "mate No. 14B" on page 143 is actually "Pillsbury's Mate" with the rook on the open g-file. See the diagram below.

click for larger view

Read page 129, Mate No. 10B and Game No. 68 on pages 130-131 to see how the Bh6 contributes to "Pillsbury's Mate" by the rook on the open g-file.

The term "Opera Mate" is reserved for bishop-supports-rook giving check on the back rank. See the diagram below.

click for larger view

There's not enough space here to address all the various back rank mate examples in Chapter 15, page 142-153. I'm not fond of referring to all such types as Morphy's Mates. It's too generic for the variety that occurs. However, differentiation is difficult to define.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jonathan Sarfati: This game is on Youtube

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