Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (77)

1/29/2012 – Correspondents often send the Editor of Chess Notes forgotten brilliancies published in old newspaper columns, and here he shows half a dozen such games. They include queen sacrifices and some moves which look like misprints, and they range from a lightning skirmish to a complex battle between Nimzowitsch and Marshall. Enjoy these entertaining games.

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Chess Explorations (77)

By Edward Winter

Game 1:

From page 8 of the New York Herald, 12 January 1896:

C.N.s 7482 and 7485 discussed a strange victory by Jackson Whipps Showalter’s wife Nellie. Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) forwarded the above cutting, and Jerry Spinrad (Nashville, TN, USA) found the game-score in the New York Recorder of 2 December 1894:

Nellie Love Marshall Showalter – Louis Schmidt
Venue?, 29 November 1894
Scotch Game

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nxc6 bxc6 6 Bd3 d5 7 e5 Ng4 8 Bf4 Bc5 9 O-O O-O 10 h3 g5 11 Bg3 Nh6 12 Qh5 Kg7 13 Nd2 Nf5 14 Nf3 h6 15 Bh2 Rb8 16 g4 Nd4 17 Nxd4 Bxd4 18 c3 Bb6 19 e6 Qf6 20 Rae1

20...Qg6 21 Be5+ Kh7 22 e7 Re8 23 Bf6 Ba6

24 Bb1 d4 25 cxd4 Bxf1 26 Bxg5 Qxb1 27 Qxf7+ Kh8 28 Bf6 mate.

Game 2:

In C.N. 7461 Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) gave this game from page 16 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 26 May 1927:

Charles Alexander Gilberg – Philip Richardson
Brooklyn, 15 April 1883
King’s Gambit Accepted

1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 Bc4 g4 5 Ne5 Qh4+ 6 Kf1 f3 7 d4 d5 8 Bxd5 fxg2+ 9 Kxg2 Qh3+ 10 Kg1 Nh6 11 Bf4 Bg7 12 c3 c6 13 Bc4 Nd7 14 Nd3 Nb6 15 Nf2

15...Nxc4 16 Nxh3 gxh3 17 Qd3 Nxb2 18 Qe2 Na4 19 Qd2 Ng4 20 Na3 Nb6 21 Rd1 Nf6 22 Qd3 Nh5 23 Be3 Bg4 24 Rf1 O-O 25 Nc4 Nxc4 26 Qxc4 Rae8 27 e5 Re6 28 Kf2 b5 29 Qc5 f5 30 Ke1 Rf7 31 Qb4 Bf8 32 Qb3 Ng7 33 Rhg1 Rg6 34 d5 cxd5 35 Qxd5 Ne6 36 Qxb5 h5 37 Qd3 Kg7 38 a4 f4 39 Bd4 Kh6 40 Qd2 Rg5 41 Qf2 Rd7 42 Qb2 Nxd4 43 cxd4

43...Rxe5+ 44 Kf2 Rxd4 45 Rxg4 hxg4 46 Rc1 Red5 47 Rc2 Bc5 48 Rxc5 Rd2+ 49 Qxd2 Rxd2+ 50 Kg1 Rd1+ 51 Kf2 g3+ 52 hxg3 h2 53 Rc6+ Kh5 54 Rc5+ Kg4 55 White resigns.

Game 3:

‘A typical, sparkling, ten-second contest replete with hair-raising escapes, astonishing sacrifices, counter-sacrifices, furious assaults on both kings and amusing, child-like blunders.’

That was Santasiere’s description of a game which he won in a rapid-transit tournament at the Marshall Chess Club:

Anthony Edward Santasiere – Shedlovsky
New York, 1926
Centre Counter-Game

1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 Nc3 Qa5 4 b4 Qxb4 5 Rb1 Qd6 6 Nf3 a6 7 Bc4 e6 8 d4 Nf6 9 O-O b5 10 Bd3 Bb7 11 Qe2 c5 12 dxc5 Qxc5 13 Nxb5 axb5 14 Rxb5 Qc7 15 Nd4 Bd6

16 Nxe6 fxe6 17 Qxe6+ Kf8 18 Bh6 Bxh2+ 19 Kh1 Bxg2+ 20 Kxg2 Be5 21 Rxe5 Ra6 22 Qf5 Kf7 23 Bxa6 gxh6 24 Bd3 Rg8+ 25 Kh3 Nbd7 26 Re3 Rg5 27 Qf3 Rh5+

28 Qxh5+ Nxh5 29 Rf3+ Ndf6 30 Bxh7 Nf4+ 31 Kh4 Qe5 32 Rb1 Qh5+ 33 Kg3 Ne4+ 34 Kxf4 Resigns.

The score was supplied by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére in C.N. 7487 from page 4A of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 23 September 1926.

Game 4:

Mr Bauzá Mercére also provided, in C.N. 7433, this brilliancy-prize game from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 2 June 1932, page 28:

Gunnar Gundersen – Fedor K. Kelling
New Zealand Championship, Napier, 1 January 1932
Four Knights’ Game

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bb5 Bb4 5 O-O O-O 6 Nd5 Nxd5 7 exd5 Ne7 8 Nxe5 Nxd5 9 d4 d6 10 Nf3 h6 11 c3 Ba5 12 Bc4 Nf6 13 h3 d5 14 Bd3 c6 15 Ne5 Bc7 16 Re1 Re8 17 Bf4 Be6 18 Re3 Kh8 19 Qe2 Bxe5 20 dxe5 Nh7 21 Qh5 Rg8 22 Rg3 Qf8

23 Rg6 f6 24 Bxh6 Bf7 25 Be3 Resigns.

Game 5:

In C.N. 7445 Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) pointed out that according to page 17 of the Brisbane Courier of 13 February 1932 John Keeble described this battle as ‘The Game of the Year’:

G. Hanson – G. Van Mindeno
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 cxd5 cxd5 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 Bf4 Nc6 6 Nf3 e6 7 e3 Qa5 8 Bd3 Bb4 9 Qb3 O-O 10 O-O Nh5 11 Bg5 f6 12 Bh4 Kh8 13 Qc2 g6 14 Bxg6 hxg6 15 Qxg6 Ng7 16 Bxf6 Rxf6 17 Qxf6 Be7 18 Qh6+ Kg8 19 Ng5 Bxg5 20 Qxg5 Bd7 21 e4 Nxd4 22 exd5 Rf8 23 Qg4 Ndf5 24 dxe6 Bxe6 25 Rae1

25...Ne3 26 Qg6 Bf5 27 Qg5 Nxf1 28 Re7 Rf7 29 Re8+ Kh7 30 Qh4+ Kg6 31 Rh8 Rd7 32 Rh6+ Kf7 33 Kxf1

33...Rd1+ 34 Ke2 Rd7 35 Rf6+ Kg8 36 Qc4+ Ne6 37 Qc8+ Rd8 38 Qxb7 Qe5+ 39 Ne4 Bxe4 40 Qf7+ Kh8 41 Qxe6 Bd3+ 42 Kf3 Be2 mate.

Game 6:

In C.N. 7310 Per Skjoldager (Fredericia, Denmark) offered a game which will be appearing in the book he has written with Jørn Erik Nielsen, Aron Nimzowitsch On the Road to Chess Mastery, 1886-1924. It was a ‘serious game’ played at the Börsen Café.

Aron Nimzowitsch – Frank James Marshall
Riga, 26 January 1912 (new style)
Petroff Defence

(Annotations by Nimzowitsch, translated by Per Skjoldager and Jørn Erik Nielsen)

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 Nc3 d5 Involves a promising sacrifice of a pawn. Normally 5...Nxc3 6 dxc3 Be7 7 Bd3 is played, with a somewhat better game for White. 6 Qe2 Be7 7 Nxe4 dxe4 8 Qxe4 O-O 9 Bc4 Bd6 10 O-O Re8 11 Qd5 The introduction to a faulty combination. 11 Qd3 was better. 11...Be6! 12 Qxb7 Bxc4 13 Qxa8

13...Bd5! White had overlooked this move in his calculations. Now, he loses his queen but obtains quite a lot of wood in return. Bad was 13...Bxf1 14 Kxf1 Qe7 15 g3 c6 16 d3 Qd7 17 Be3 and the queen will be saved. Also 13...Bc5 was less strong than the text move since 14 d4 (not 14 Qb7 because of 14...Bb6!) 14...Bb6 15 Bg5 f6 16 Rfe1! Rxe1+ 17 Rxe1 fxg5 18 Qe4 and White has two pawns for the exchange and a good game. 14 Qxd5 Bxh2+ 15 Kxh2 Qxd5 16 d3 h6 17 Bd2 A fine move! White intends to put the black knight out of action by means of Bc3, i.e. to deprive him of the squares f6 and e5. 17...Nd7 18 Bc3 Re6 19 Rae1 Rg6 20 Re3 Nf6 The a2 pawn is not worth much since the already weak pawns on the black queen’s flank then become even more vulnerable (after Ra1). 21 Bxf6 Rxf6 22 b3 Qa5 23 a4 Qc3 24 Re2

24...Re6! 25 Rfe1 Rc6! A fine point! The rook should not be immediately placed on c6 because of 24...Rc6 25 Re8+ Kh7 26 Ne5 Rc5 27 Nd7 and perpetual check. With the rook placed at e1, Ne5 is not possible any more because of Qxe1. 26 Re8+ Kh7 27 R1e4! Qb2 28 Ne1 Rxc2 This must, if at all, happen immediately; otherwise 29 Rc4 Rxc4 30 dxc4 with a bombproof position. This attempt to split the pawns by means of the sacrifice of the exchange only fails to the vivid defence by White. 29 Nxc2 Qxc2 30 Rf4! The only move in order to avoid the loss of a pawn.

30...Qc5! A beautiful protection. 31 Re1! a5 32 Kg1 Qc3 33 Rf1 Qxb3 34 Rc4 Qxd3 35 Rxc7 Qd4 36 Rxf7 Qxa4 37 Rf3! The isolated a-pawn cannot be saved after this move. 37...Qa2 38 Re1 a4 39 Ree3 Qb2 40 Ra3 Qb4 41 Ra1! Qd4 42 Rfa3 The game could have been drawn at this point. White still made attempts to win the game by attacking the g-pawn from behind, which Black however knew how to parry with the threat of perpetual check. 42...Qe5 43 Rxa4 Drawn.

Source: page 3 of Feuilleton-Beilage der “Rigaschen Rundschau”, 10 February 1912 (new style).

C.N. 7108 reproduced, courtesy of Mr Skjoldager, this excellent photograph of Aron Nimzowitsch (circa 1916):

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All ChessBase articles by Edward Winter

Edward Winter is the editor of Chess Notes, which was founded in January 1982 as "a forum for aficionados to discuss all matters relating to the Royal Pastime". Since then, over 7,480 items have been published, and the series has resulted in four books by Winter: Chess Explorations (1996), Kings, Commoners and Knaves (1999), A Chess Omnibus (2003) and Chess Facts and Fables (2006). He is also the author of a monograph on Capablanca (1989). In 2011 a paperback edition was issued.

Chess Notes is well known for its historical research, and anyone browsing in its archives will find a wealth of unknown games, accounts of historical mysteries, quotes and quips, and other material of every kind imaginable. Correspondents from around the world contribute items, and they include not only "ordinary readers" but also some eminent historians – and, indeed, some eminent masters. Chess Notes is located at the Chess History Center. Signed copies of Edward Winter's publications are currently available.

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