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Amos Burn vs Mikhail Chigorin
6th American Chess Congress (1889), New York, NY USA, rd 2, Mar-26
Zukertort Opening: Dutch Variation (A04)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 30. Qa4? - ouch, that hurts.
Jul-08-09  outplayer: Burn definitely could have handled this game better even after the loss of the exchange. I think he has at least a draw after that. Let's see what fritz would say about it.
Jul-08-09  outplayer: 57.Kb4! holds the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <outplayer> Burn had a strong advantage until 30.Qa4??. In the tournament book, Steinitz referred to 30.Qa4?? as an extraordinary blunder. As the time control was 15 moves per hour, time pressure may have played a factor in Burn's error.

Additional analysis is needed to determine White's winning chances at move 30, but he had a number of very promising moves available, including 30.Rc1, 30.Qb3 and 30.Re1.

You have indicated that Burn could have held the draw with 57.Kb4. Interestingly, Steinitz also reviewed 57.Kb4, and he concluded that Black would win, beginning with the move 57...Ka6.

After reviewing this, I have to agree with Steinitz. After 57.Kb4 Ka6, my computer indicates the best line is 58.Kc3 Rd1 59.Bh4 Ka5 60.Bf2 Kxa4 61.Kc2 Rf1 62.Bg3 Kb5 63.Kd2 Kc4, and Black will win. Also, in other continuations, White is unable to prevent Black from capturing the a-pawn, and then maneuvering his pieces for further gains.

Even if White imprisons the Rook by 64.c6 Ra1 65.c7 Ra8 66.Bh4 Rc8 67.Bd8 Kxd4, the ending is a win for Black.

Jul-17-09  Knight13: <Honza Cervenka: 30. Qa4? - ouch, that hurts.> If a player of Burn's strengh would miss something like that I wonder what the other weaker players of that era were doing.

<Burn definitely could have handled this game better even after the loss of the exchange.> Yes, for example, by NOT playing 42. g4?

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