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Erich Cohn vs Aron Nimzowitsch
Karlsbad (1911), Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) AUH, rd 7, Aug-29
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tarrasch Defense. Pseudo-Tarrasch (D30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-18-04  fgh: 89. Rc1?? is a terrible blunder;; A typical game by Nimzowitsch, long maneuvers.
Feb-07-09  whiteshark: <fgh> Yes, <89.Re1!> should have drawn the game.

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Apr-28-09  BISHOP TAL: Nimzo says in chess praxis white was afraid after 89 R-K1 of a break though by P-KKt4 90.PxP,P-KR5;91 PxP,P-B5;92.P-Kt6 P-B6 with dangous complications.Let the reader examine wether this fear was well grounded.I put that position in fritz 11 and it gave a win for nimzos black peices
Apr-28-09  whiteshark: <BISHOP TAL> I'll will re-check my analysis and post it in the near future. (I remember Nimzo's comment, but I thought is was a draw after all)
Apr-30-09  whiteshark: <BISHOP TAL> In Nimzo's given line 92.g6 doesn't make sense. But <92.Kg2=> is a safe move.

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The point is that Black can't create more pressure on the e-file.

- <92...fxe3 93.Rf3 Rg4+ 94.Kf1> how to make progress here?

- <92...Rxe3 93.Rxe3 fxe3 94.Qe2 Qe4+ 95.Kh3 Qxd4> looks drawish

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So he might go for the repetition <92...Qg4+ 93.Kh2 Qe6 94.Kh2>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: In "Chess Praxis", Nimzowitsch reviews this ending. Nimzowitsch stated, <the "logos" of the win does not stand out with the desirable clearness, but one thing is certain: the difficulties with which the defender had to contend were such that the question of the draw, whuch has been suggested, simply could not arise.>

However, at move 86, Fritz indicates the position was about equal: (-.11) (21 ply) 86.Rc1 Kb7 87.Qf3 Qd7 88.Rc2 Re4 89.Kg2 Qd6 90.Qe2.

Cohn then played (-.45) (21 ply) 86.Kh3, but after 86...Qe4, instead of 86...Qd7, the position would be equal had Cohn played 87.b4: (.00) (22 ply) 87.b4 a4 88.Rc1 Qe6 89.Kh2 Qd6 90.Kg2.

After 86...Qe4, another line giving equality was: (-.03) (22 ply) 87.Rc1 Qe6 88.Kh2 Qd6 89.Kg2 Kb7 90.b4.

As noted by <Whiteshark>, correct was 89.Re1: (-.44) (20 ply) 89...Kb7 90.Kg2 Rg4 91.Rf1 Qd6 92.Kf3, and White should be able to draw this position.

In the line Nimzowitsch gives: 89.Re1 g5 90.hxg5 h4 91.gxh4 f4, Fritz indicates White had seven replies that would give equality: (.00) (20 ply) 92.Re2 Rxe3 93.Rxe3 fxe3 94.Qe2 Qe4 95.Kg3, or 92.Qf3 Rxe3 93.Rxe3 fxe3 94.Qe2 Qe4 95.Kg3, or 92.Qg2 fxe3 93.Qh3 Qe7 94.Kg2 e2 95.Qf5, or 92.Qf1 fxe3 93.Qh3 Qe7 94.Kg2 e2 95.Qf5, or 92.h5 Qg4 93.exf4 Rxf4 94.Re7+ Ka8 95.Re8+, or 92.Kg2 Rxe3 93.Rxe3 fxe3 94.Qe2 Qe4+ 95.Qf3, or 92.b4 fxe3 93.Qg3 axb4 94.axb4 e2 95.Qc7+.

Nimzowitsch's variation gave White seven choices for equality at move 92, while his 92.g6? gave Black winning chances after 92.g6? f3: (-.98) (22 ply) 93.b4, (-1.45) (26 ply) 93...a4 94.b5 Qxg6 95.Kh3 Qe6+ 96.Kh2 Qf6 97.Kh3 Kb7 98.Rg1 Qe6+ 99.Kh2 Rxe3.

The above variations at move 86, 87 and 89, show that Nimzowitsch's opinion regarding White's drawing chances in this ending were incorrect. While White's position was difficult, he had more than one opportunity to obtain a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: If 89. Re1, Black does not need to hurry with an immediate ...g5 and ...h4 breakthrough. What if he first prepares, for example 89. Re1 Qe7 90. Kg2 and only now 90...g5 91. hxg5 Qxg5 92. Kh3 Re7.

I can't prove a win, but it looks like White will have his hands full watching the e-pawn and the possible kingside attack.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Besides, Black can also threaten to operate on the queenside, as in 89. Re1 Qe8 90. Re2 Re7 91. Kg2 a4. Black is threatening to take the c-file.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant> After 89.Re1 Qe7 90.Kg2 g5, 91.Qxf5! gxh4 92.Qxd5 leads to a clear draw. If then, 92...Rxe3 93.Rxe3 Qxe3 94.gxh4.

Also playable is: 89.Re1 Qe7 90.Kg2 g5, (-.16) (24 ply) 91.hxg5 Qxg5 92.b4 h4 93.bxa5 Rg4 94.axb6+.

May-01-09  eric the Baptist: fgh: 89. Rc1?? is a terrible blunder;; A typical game by Nimzowitsch, long maneuvers. Yeah, chess is about mental endurance. sometimes its just about who is gonna crack first. especially once you start getting beyond 70 and 80 moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant> Your suggestion of 89.Re1 Qe8, with threats of counter-play on the c-file, gives White a difficult position to defend. Over the board I think Black would have good chances, but with computer assistance, I think White can hold the draw.

Fritz preferred a different defense for White than your suggested line of: 89.Re1 Qe8 90.Re2 Re7 91.Kg2 a4. I will review your line later.

After 89.Re1 Qe8, Fritz suggested 90.b4 a4 91.Kg2 Re7, (-.16) (25 ply) 92.Qd2 Rc7 93.Rc1 Rc4 94.Kf2 b5 95.Rxc4 bxc4, (.00) (25 ply) 96.Qc2 Kb6 97.Ke2, with an equal position.

Another variation in this line is: (-.35) (25 ply) 92.Qf4 Qc6 93.b5 Qxb5 94.Qd6 Rg7 95.Qf6, (-.11) (25 ply) 95...Qb2+ 96.Kh3, (.00 (24 ply) 96...Rc7 97.Qxg6 Qxa3 98.Rb1 Rb7 99.Qc6 Qa2 100.Rc1 Re7 101.Qd6 Rxe3 102.Rc7+, with an equal position.

Also, after 89.Re1 Qe8 90.b4 a4, White could play: (-.47) (26 ply) 91.Qd2 Re6 92.Kg2 b5 93.Kf2 Rc6 94.Rc1, (-.22) (25 ply) 94...Rc4 95.Rxc4 bxc4 96.Qc2 Kb6 97.Ke2, with a near equal position.

As indicated, Fritz did not prefer your suggested line after the moves 89.Re1 Qe8. In your variation, Black retained the advantage, but I did not find a winning continuation, or a way to increase Black's advantage.

Here is Fritz's analysis of your suggested line: 89.Re1 Qe8 90.Re2 Re7 91.Kg2 a4, (-.33) (29 ply) 92.Qg1 Rc7 93.Kf2 Kb7 94.Qd1 Qe4 95.Rd2; or (-.33) (29 ply) 92.Qe1 Rc7 93.Kf2 Qe4 94.Qf1 Qd3 95.Qe1; or (-.34) (29 ply) 92.Qf4 Kb7 93.Kf2 Qc6 44.Qf3 Rc7 95.Rd2; or (-.35) (29 ply) 92.Qf3 Qb5 93.Qf2 Qd3 94.Qe1 Rc7 95.Kf2.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Pawn and Two>
Yes, I've been convinced that 89. Re1 Qe8 <90. b4!> is without major advantage for Black.

But maybe White feared losing the c-file after 89. Re1 <Qc6>. After that, it's hard to challenge the c-file without losing the e-pawn.

For example 89. Re1 Qc6 90. Re2 Qc1 91. Re1 Qc4 92. Re2 Qd3, or 89. Re1 Qc6 90 Qf1 Qc2+ 91. Qe2 Qb3. Black is threatening to swing his rook to the c-file, while White's pieces are tied down defending the e-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: As for the possible kingside breakthrough, it seems we all agree Nimzowitsch was wrong about that. If Black wanted a kingside attack, probably he should have kept a more fluid pawn structure there by playing ...g5 at some point before White played h4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant> A review by Fritz of your variation 89. Re1 Qc6 90.Re2 Qc1 91.Re1 Qc4, indicates a near equal evaluation after: (-.20) (26 ply) 92.Qd2 Qc7 93.Rc1 Qd6 94.Kg2 Rg4 95.Qf2 Kb7, (-.09) (19 ply) 96.Qf3.

In your variation, after 89.Re1 Qc6 90.Re1 Qc1 91.Re1, Fritz preferred (-.35) (26 ply) 91.Re1 Qc8 92.Re2 Qe8 93.Re1 Qe7 94.Kg2 Kb7, (-.28) (23 ply) 95.Qf3 Qc7, and Black has a small, decreasing advantage, with no line indicated to increase his advantage.

Another try by Fritz is 89.Re1 Qc6 90.Kg2 Re7, (-.32) (24 ply) 91.Qd2 Rc7 92.Kf2 Kb7 93.Rb1 Kb8, (-24) (25 ply) 94.Qd1 Rc8 95.Qd2 Kb7 96.Qd1 b5 97.b3 Qd6 98.Qe2 Kb6 99.Qb2 Qc7 100.Qd2, (-.24) (24 ply) 100.Qd2 Qc6 101.Rb2 Qc1 102.Qxc1 Rxc1, with a near equal evaluation.

Also, in this last variation, (-.30) (24 ply) 94.Ke2 Kc8 95.Qd1 Kb7 96.Kf2 Rc8 97.Qd2 Qc4 98.Qd1 Qa2 99.Kf3 Rc4 100.Kf4 Rc6 101.Qd3 Kc8 102.Kf3 Kb8 103.Kf4, (-.09) (20 ply) 103...Kb7 or 103...Kc7, with a near equal evaluation.

Another try indicated by Fritz is 89.Re1 Qc6, (-.35) (25 ply) 90.Kg2 Kb7 91.Qf1 Qd6 92.Qf3, (-.26) (27 ply) 92...Qc7 93.Kf2 Qc6 94.Qh1 Qc2+ 95.Re2 Qc7 96.Re1, with a very small and decreasing advantage for Black.

Clearly, 89.Re1 was White's best choice. I think with best play White could obtain a draw after 89.Re1. However, his position is difficult and it would have required exceptionally good play on his part to obtain the draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Pawn and Two>
Agreed that 89. Re1 is best. Also agreed that it's hardly possible to prove a forced win for Black after that. But I'm not satisfied with all of the computer's suggested moves.

For example, after 89. Re1 Qc6 90. Re2 Qc1 91. Re1 Qc4 92. Qd2, why not the obvious <92... Qb3> and it probably goes on 93. Kg2 Re7 94. Kf2 Rc7 95. Rc1 Rxc1 96. Qxc1 Ka6 97. Ke2 Kb5 98. Kd2 Qc4. This might still be a draw, but certainly not an easy one. Possible queen trades generally leave Black with a winning pawn ending.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <beatgiant> I think a draw is the correct result after 89.Re1 Qc6 90.Re2 Qc1 91.Re1 Qc4 92.Qd2 Qb3 93.Kg2. Fritz finds this position to be totally equal, (.00) (24 ply).

After the continuation 93...Re7 94.Kf3 Rc7 95.Rc1 Rxc1 96.Qxc1, (.00) (24 ply), 96...Qd3, the game would be drawn by perpetual check after 97.Qc7+.

Another continuation that should result in a draw is: (.25) (23 ply) 96...Kb7 97.Kf4 Qb5 98.Kg5, (.20) (22 ply) 98...Qe8 99.b4, or (.27) (22 ply) 98...Qe2 99.Kf6.

White is winning after 96...Qc4? 97.Qxc4 dxc4 98.e4 fxe4+ 99.Kxe4.

After (.87) (23 ply) 96...Ka6? 97.Kf4 Qc4 98.Qxc4 dxc4, (1.60) (23 ply) 99.Kg5 Qxb2 100.a4 Qf2 101.Qc7+ Ka6 102.Qb8 Qxe3+ 103.Kxg6 Qe7, and after 104.Qa8+ Qa7 105.Qxd5, White has good winning chances.

Mar-01-19  offramp: "Cross Section of a Cohn".

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