Opportunity and chance

From Chess Combination as a Fine Art (Pitman, 1976) by Golz and Keres, which we’ve mentioned here before, another Irish game and a puzzle:

Oliff-Keogh, Dublin 1964
Oliff-Keogh, Dublin 1964

We’ll take up the story as Golz and Keres present it:

“Black, who had for some time been playing a losing game with one piece down was suddenly presented by “chance” with a trump card 1… Qg3+!! which naturally shattered White’s dreams of victory; however he saw that 2. fxg3? leads to mate by 2… Rxf1+ 3. Kg2 R8f2+ 4. Kh3 Rh1 mate. (Here his piece superiority was a nuisance as it hindered the collaboration of his rooks!) The only move left to him was 2. Kh1 and as he faced his difficulties White offered up a prayer to heaven that his opponent would be content with the small mercy of perpetual check (2… Qh3+ 3. Kg1 Qg3+! etc.). His prayer was heard and the game ended in a draw, Black being very glad to get off so easily.

From the psychological point of view this was understandable but in fact Black could have won (after 1… Qg3+ 2. Kg1)!


To this purely chess puzzle, let’s add a chess history one: who was White in this game, and what was the event?

Answers in a few days.

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