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Lucien Didier vs Leon Rosen
"There's a First for Everything" (game of the day Jul-25-2018)
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 1, May-19
French Defense: Classical. Delayed Exchange Variation (C11)  ·  0-1



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Given 14 times; par: 82 [what's this?]

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sac: 35...Rxe5 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-10-12  erniecohen: The ♕ sac 35...♖xe5 was not the strongest move; white could have defended with 37. ♕c8+ ♖f8 38. ♗xd5+ ♖xd5 39. ♕e6+ ♔g7 40. ♕xd5 ♖f1+ 41. ♔h2 ♗d8+ 42. ♔g2 ♗f3+ 43.♕xf3 ♖xf3 44. ♔xf3, leaving White down a ♙ (though in a probably lost ending).

The more brutal continuation is 35...♗xd4+ 36. ♗xd4 ♗f1 37. ♗xc6 ♗xh3 38. ♗xe8 ♖xe8, leaving Black up the exchange and 2♙. Or 37. ♕g4 ♖xf4 38. ♕xf4 ♕xd7, leaving Black up the exchange and 3♙ (39. ♕xf1 ♕g4+ 40. ♔h1 ♖e2 41. ♗f2 ♖e5 0-1).

Dec-10-12  kevin86: A good game...and it was a great start to

Congrats on 11th anny!

Dec-10-12  ricardolopez: What about 22..., cxd4 ?
Dec-10-12  ProLogik: Wow, White got played.
Dec-10-12  master of defence: Well, this is the first game that was added at the database of
Dec-10-12  BlackSheep: <al wazir> : 42...Bb8! 43. Qxb8 Rfxg2+ 44. Kh1 (44. Kh3 R2g4 45. Qf8+ Kh5 46. Qg7 Rh4#) Rg1+ 45. Kh2 R5g2+ 46. Kh3 Bg4+ 47. Kh4 g5# . In the subline 46.Qg7 is just a waste of a move , how about Qf2 to intercept Rh4 , then Bf1+ , Kh2 (forced the bishop is immune) , Rh4+ , Qxh4 , Kxh4 (or Rg2+ , Qxg2 , Rxg2) either way wins the queen , black is a R+P up and will still win its just a more stubborn resistance .
Dec-10-12  MountainMatt: <gregtebble: Surely black is winning after! and 25 Na4 loses to Qxa4 or am I missing something?>

Yeah, I'm wondering about that too. Black definitely wins material in the line that seems most likely (to me) to be played - 25...Qxa4 26. Rxg4 Bxg4 27. Qxg4 cxd3 28. Qe6+, and here I'm not sure if the best white has is simply forking the Bishop on b6, or if he has a mating net after 28...Rf7. It looks like he might, but I can't see it!

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <BlackSheep>: You're right about 46. Qg7. I found the line you described after I posted, but I didn't bother posting it because I figured no one was interested.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: < *** A good game *** >


Based on a quick play-through, some of the moves seem passing strange, to the point I have to wonder if the move score is correct.

Dec-11-12  BlackSheep: <al wazir> Interested ? haha you should know that scrutinizing improvements is a staple diet here . I'm surprised Abdel Irada didnt pick you up on it when he scanned his watchful eye over your variations .
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: FIRST! Tomorrow there might be some comments on this game based on the bizarre idea of a birthday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: An exciting game between two also-rans in the Paris 1900 tournament with a gaggle of ups and downs. These kinds of games can't happen with players like Carlsen or Kasparov or Karpov, but they are fabulously useful for the amateur chess-lover, who can relate to some of the errors here.

Since this was apparently the 1,000,000th game on, there have been many comments and many fine discoveries. The commentary on this game on this site is far better than what appears in the Tournament book.

Didier got much the better of the opening. His 4. dxe5 in the Classical French is less usual and forcing than 4. Bg5, but it seems to have flummoxed Rosen whose 5...Be6 and (especially) 6...Nbd7 were weak. Didier's 9. Nb5 needlessly lost a tempo (as noted by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book), but Rosen--apparently spooked by the double attack on his c7 pawn-- erred with the wimpy 9...Ne8 instead of the dynamic 9...c5. But after Didier's poor 10. Ne5, Rosen was able to drive him back with 10...a6 (10...c6 would have been even better).

Didier should not have swapped Knights on his 11th move (he should have swallowed his pride and just retreated with 11. Nc3), but Rosen's 13...Bf6 was bad (13...Nd6 would have been much better).

Didier once again had much the better of the contest, but he quickly gave away his advantage with a series of weak moves. After Rosen's 20...c5, the game was about equal.

But then Didier ruined his position, first with 21. Rfe1 (instead of 21. Kh2 or 21. Rd1) and then with the wild and crazy 22. g4.

Rosen now had a won game, the position (after 22. g4) being as follows:

click for larger view

Rosen here played 22...fxg4, and this was--theoretically--sufficient to win. But also winning and perhaps even better would have been 22...cxd4 as noted by ricardolopez on this site. Rosenthal in the Tournament Book says that Rosen was right to reject 22...cxd4 which--he claims--blows the win. I have to side with ricardolopez on this one. Rosenthal only considers two lines after 22...cxd4 23. gxf5: (A) 23...dxR and (B) 23...Bxf5. Rosenthal is correct that neither of these lines leads to a win for Black. But he missed the winning move: (C) 23...dxN that proves that ricardolopez is correct:

I consider all three lines below, all of which assume 22...cxd4 23. gxf5:

(A) 23...dxR does indeed blow Black's win and actually leads to a better position for White after the line given by Rosenthal: 24. fxe6 Qxe6 25. Bxg6!! Kh8 (25...hxB loses to 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27. Kh2!!) 26. Qg5.

(B) 23...Bxf5 is not a losing move as Rosenthal states, but it leads only to equality. After 23...Bxf5 24. BxB QxB 25. Nxd5 NxN 26. QxN+ White is most definitely not winning (Rosenthal apparently overlooked that 26...Rf7 holds everything after which the best White can do is 27. Rd3). But Black is also not winning here.

(C) 23...dxN, however, does win. After 24. fxe6 BxR+ 25. RxB Qxe6 26. bxc3 Ne4, Black is an exchange ahead with the better pawn structure and out of danger.

Bravo ricardolopez. Great find.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post #2:

After Rosen's 22...fxg4, Didier erred badly with 23. hxg4 (he should have played 23. BxN). Now, Rosen could have effectively ended Didier's resistance with 23...cxd4 [an idea very similar to that of gregtebble's proposed 24...cxd4 on the next move, which I will examine in my next post].

After 22...fxg4 23. hxg4, the position was as follows:

click for larger view

Rosen here played 23...Nxg4, and this still left him with a win. But much better would have been 23...cxd4. Rosenthal in the Tournament Book says that Didier could have held on after 23...cxd4. His analysis, however, is deeply flawed.

After 23...cxd4, Rosenthal gives 24. f5 as best for White. In fact, 24. BxN would have been the best chance. After Rosenthal's 24. f5, Rosen could have played 24...dxN after which White is busted (25. bxc3 Nxg4 26. QxN Bxf5). Rosenthan only considers 24...dxR for Black here. This move is inferior to 24...dxN but also wins, Rosenthal's comments notwithstanding.

After 24...dxR White's best chance--and not much of a chance--would have been 25. BxN. Rosenthal's proposed 25. fxB is hopeless. Black simply plays 25...Qxe6 and now after Rosenthal's 26. BxN Black has 26...e2+!. Even after Rosenthal's vastly inferior 26...QxB 27. Qxd5+, Rosenthal's claim that "White can hold on" is nonsense. The position after 27. Qxd5 would have been as follows:

click for larger view

Unless I am missing something, this is an awfully clear win for Black.

I thus conclude that Rosen could have won much more simply with 23...cxd4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post #3

As show on my last post, Rosen had a clear win with 23...cxd4. Nonetheless, even after Rosen's 23...Nxg4 he still had the game in hand.

After Didier responded 24. Rg3, the position was as follows:

click for larger view

As previously noted on this site by gregtebble--but as was overlooked by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book--Rosen had a win here with 24...cxd4.

If then 25. Ne2 (best) Black has the game in hand with 25...NxB 26. fxN Qg7.

So far as I can see, gregtebble's line is clearly correct, and somehow overlooked by Rosenthal and Rosen.

Bravo gregtebble!

After Rosen's far inferior 24...c4, Didier could probably have saved the game with 25. RxN for it then 25...BxR 26. Nxd5 cxB 27. NxB (a nasty little fork) after which 27...Qc6 28. QxQ bxQ 29. cxd3 [Not 29. NxR?? d2] leaves White with his powerfully posted Bishop on e5 plus an extra pawn as compensation for the lost exchange.

As I will discuss in a later post, Didier's actual move: 25. Na4 led to defeat. But Rosen--after missing gregtebble's 24...cxd4, would probably not have won had Didier played 25. RxN.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post #4

After Rosen missed a win on his 24th move and Didier erred with 25. Na4, the position was as follows:

click for larger view

The question raised here by gregtebble and MountainMatt is whether Rosen could have won by simply playing 25...QxN. Rosenthal in the Tournament Book says yes. But, once again, Rosenthal is wrong.

After 25...QxN, both Rosenthal and MountainMatt consider only 26. RxN. But 26. Bxg6! leads to near equality for White. If 26...hxB 27. RxN BxR 28. QxB. Black is a Rook ahead, but White's king-side attack allows him to survive. If 28...Qc6 (best) 29. Qh4! and now if 29...Rae8 30. Qh8+ Kf7 31. Qh7+ Ke6 32. Kg2 Bxd4 33. f5+ Kxf5 34. Qh3+ Kg5 35. Qg3+ Kf5 [not 35...Kh6 36. Rh1 mate) with perpetual check.

Even after 26. RxN, White can survive. After 26...BxR 27. Bxg6 is once again sufficient for reasons similar to those in the 26. Bxg6 line. Both Rosenthal in the Tournament Book and MountainMatt consider only 27. QxB, which does indeed lead to defeat for White.

The move Rosen played: 25...Ba7 is best and wins in all variations. Didier's 26. RxN was not best, but nothing works for White here. The Bxg6 idea no longer leads to a draw since Black's Queen is on d7, and 26. Nc5 --which I examined--also proves unavailing.

Rosen made several second-best moves in this game, but his 25...Ba7 was on the money.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post #5

Although Rosen had a clear win after 25...Ba7, the conclusion of the game was not without interest.

After 35. Bd7, erniecohen is quite correct that 35...Bxd4+ is best and completely decisive. But I still think that Rosen had a win even after his needless Queen sacrifice.

After 35...RxB 36. BxQ Rxf4,I agree with erniecohen that White has some resources after 37. Qc8+. But Black still would have prevailed after 37...Rf8 38. Bxd5+ RxB 39. Qe6+ Kg7 40. QxR Rf1+ 41. Kh2 Bb8+ 42. Kg2 Bf3+ 43. QxB RxQ 44. KxR since--as erniecohen correctly points out--Black is up a pawn in the ending. After 44...b5, the ending certainly looks like a clear win to me.

As for the game's conclusion, Rosen's 42...RxQ was absolutely sufficient to close out all resistance. But al wazir's 42...Bb8!! is a thing of beauty.

Bravo al wazir and BlackSheep for their work on the 42...Bb8 line. I love this move.

According to Fritz, after 42...Bb8 it is mate in 7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I don't get the pun.
Jul-25-18  andrewjsacks: Neither do I. Weird game too.
Jul-25-18  ASchultz: @FSR, andrewjsacks: I didn't either until I checked out the first page of comments. ROT13 spoilers (sort of) : gur TVQ va gur HEY qbrfa'g fgneg ng bar ohg fbzr uvture ahzore.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <I don't get the pun> gid=1000000 is the first game of their database.

Game Collection: Chessgames Games

Jul-25-18  Bobby Spassky: It is the first game added to the database.
Jul-25-18  thegoodanarchist: < FSR: I don't get the pun.>

Read the comments from the beginning!

Seems this was GOTD at least once before, for the same reason

Jul-25-18  lzromeu: For Further puzzle
42... Bb8! mate in 7 (instead 42...Rxg3 - [-7,77])

mate-in-7 (33 ply) 42...Bb8 43.Qxb8 Rfxg2+ 44.Kh3 Rg1 45.Qf8+ Kh5 46.Qh6+ Kxh6 47.Kh2 R1g4 48.Kh3 Rh5#

Other inacuracy:
27... Bxe2 instead 27...Bh3

But still win

Jul-25-18  cormier: Opening Explorer
Premium Chessgames Member
  jffun1958: Interesting game, not least on behalf of some inaccuraces. B missed mate in 7 in move 42, as <lzromeu> pointed out. Overall, it's a good choice for 1st game in datebase of CG.
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