Monday, 20 July 2009

A Climactic Combination

I finally made the time to watch "The Luzhin Defence" last week, and I must say it was well worth it. Visually it is a magnificent movie (with a lot of the scenery reminding me of Bled, although it was shot around Lake Como) and the performances of all the actors were very good. Even the chess scenes were pretty well done (GM Jon Speelman was a consultant for the movie) although like most movies about chess, there were some shortcuts taken for dramatic effect.
One of the most interesting scenes involved a brilliant combination involving a rook and queen sac. It looked familiar while watching it, and I recalled it somehow involving Max Euwe. It turns out that Euwe was on the losing end of the combination, with the winner being Milan Vidmar Sr. It also turns out the position used in the movie was (a) not exactly the same as in the game and (b) this resulted in the actual combination being illegal.
Here is the game, with the diagram at the crucial point. The problem for the movie was that the Black rook on c2 was placed on c1, thereby pinning the rook on the d file, meaning the final move couldn't legally be played!
(And yes for those who have already seen the movie, I did notice there was other action going on between the moves, hence the title of the post)

Vidmar,M - Euwe,M [A48]
Karlsbad Karlsbad, 1929

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nbd2 c5 5.e3 b6 6.Bd3 Bb7 7.0-0 h6 8.Bf4 d6 9.c3 Nh5 10.Qb3 Nxf4 11.exf4 0-0 12.Rad1 Nc6 13.Bb1 cxd4 14.cxd4 e6 15.Ne4 Ne7 16.Qa3 Nf5 17.Rd2 Qe7 18.Ng3 Nxg3 19.fxg3 Rfc8 20.g4 Rc7 21.f5 exf5 22.gxf5 g5 23.Re1 Qf6 24.h3 Rac8 25.Rdd1 Rc4 26.d5 a5 27.Nd2 Qd4+ 28.Kh1 Qxd5 29.Be4 Rxe4 30.Nxe4 Qxf5 31.Nxd6 Bxg2+ 32.Kxg2 Rc2+ In the movie this may have been 32. ... Rc1 33.Kh1 Qf4 (D)
34.Re8+ Bf8 35.Rxf8+ Kxf8 36.Nf5+ Kg8 37.Qf8+ Kxf8 38.Rd8# 1-0


Anonymous said...

Aren´t there two??

I guess you saw the "new" one.

Cheers from Andorra.

Henrik Mortensen

Shaun Press said...

There's more than 1? When was the "old" one made?

Good luck in Andorra btw Hopefully it will be as much fun as Mt Buller.