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David Janowski vs Semion Alapin
"Janowski's Masterpiece" (game of the day Sep-19-2007)
Barmen Meisterturnier A (1905), Barmen GER, rd 10, Aug-24
Queen's Gambit Declined: Charousek (Petrosian) Variation (D31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-20-05  RookFile: I guess the point is: this is deep.
Black did not play poorly: for about
20 moves he was 1 tempo short of being where he needed to be to consolidate. Janovsky pressed this home in relentless fashion. 14. Ne5 may deserve two exclamation marks.
Nov-20-05  aw1988: Looking at it again, you're exactly right.
Sep-19-07  Mortadulo: 14. Ne5 was indeed an interesting move that gave white clear domination of the D-file however I feel that 35. Rh4!! was the true gem of this game.

In his desire to build pressure on the g6 pawn he saves a tempo by first playing Rh4! setting up for the possible sac after 36. hxg6 ... fxg6 37. Rxh6+ ... Kxh6 38. Qh4# (if Black did not free up the g8 square as he was forced to do). This allowed him just enough pressure and tempo to finalize his kingside assault with accurate play afterwards.

This was my first time seeing this game and I am happy I did. Good pick today guys!

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Alapin paid dearly for not playing ...c5 sooner, perhaps on move 10. This is a wonderful example of a long-term sustained initiative. My favorite move is 39.g2-g4!, a simple little move with a simple little threat (40.g5!) that undermines the defense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 43. Qh3+ also wins. If 43...Qh6, then 44. Qxh6+ Kxh6 45. g5+, followed by f7 and d7. If 43...Kg8, then 44. g5 Qf7 45. Qh6 with Zugzwang.

43. g5 wins too. In fact, almost any reasonable move wins.

Sep-19-07  King mega: I love Janowski's style. Pushing pawns like crazy when all major pieces are locked up.
Sep-19-07  sanyas: About time this game got some recognition!
Sep-19-07  whatthefat: Beautiful game.
Sep-19-07  Amarande: Quite beautiful ... no wonder Chernev selected it for Logical Chess, Move by Move (especially as Janowsky had to be so perfect and relentless here, as Black always threatens to consolidate) ...

White's victory is amazing, can we say triumph of the will? Because it really is - Black takes every defensive advantage he can and if White didn't have this relentless will to win he would most likely not have ... after all, where did Black go wrong? The dark square weaknesses are all but unexploitable as the Knights and dark B's were exchanged early; Black's Bishop may be very bad but it is still good enough for defense up until the VERY end; Black gets in his ... c5, and he hits on the best strategy for switching blockaders against White's d-pawn.

Indeed the fact that g6 is the fatal weakness can hardly be deduced - the white squares seem too strong for Black to be conquered there! Even the strongest stone yields to the hammer in the end, though, and so it goes for Alapin. Such is usually the case in games like this where the defender has ample defensive resources and a lack of notable weaknesses, but no real choice but to defend; Capablanca's famous loss to Lasker in 1914 is another example of the insufficiency of passive defense. The attacker simply has too much latitude to probe for another assailable point (indeed, g6 turns out to only be weak inasmuch as it is a spot that force can be mustered against - per se it is really more strong than weak - but that is enough) and overload the defenders (Black's Bishop fails because it is an overloaded piece and not because it is a bad Bishop).

To this end, Black lost when he lost his chances for counterplay ... the game from move 22 through the finish is virtually a lingering death that Black fights like a lion but eventually must succumb to. Black's last chance for a tenable game I think was 21 ... e5! (c5 can wait another move, as it would take White at least 2 moves to prevent it due to the advance being supported and White having no guard at all of the square) Now Black has a very serious threat of 22 ... Kh8!! after which the advantage would even pass to Black, because b1-h7 is permanently blocked by White's e-pawn (thus making a K-side attack difficult at best), and if White were to transition to an endgame he would even lose (as d6 would be untenable, and Black has a healthy Q-side majority).

Thus, after 21 ... e5 White must knock out this pawn before Black can play Kh8 (as then the support by f6 is inevitable), and is virtually forced to play 22 f4. After 22 f4 exf4 23 e5 Kh8 (not 23 ... c5? 24 e6! and wins) 24 Qe4 c5 25 Qxf4 c4 26 Bc2 White still has the better of it, but the center is more open and Black has more open lines for counterplay which should at least make things more difficult.

Indeed games like this are perhaps more worthy of the title immortal than many so-called Immortals ... for instance the original Anderssen Immortal, the attack is indeed pretty and sound (even the grimmest defenses have been seen to be insufficient in the end, even if Anderssen would have had to win a relatively boring endgame), but Kieseritzky's play was subpar. Morphy's games are flashy, but most of his opponents played poorly. The perfect game could be described as a ratio, perhaps; between the winner's artistry and how subtle the loser's errors were. Another good example in my opinion of true immortality would be Gonzalez vs Perrine, 1943 which is also one of the best games ever played (and where White meets an even more violent destruction despite the fact that his errors are just as subtle!) ...

Sep-19-07  xeroxmachine: Leaving your enomy a passed pawn without any particolor reason is usaolly a very bad idea.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A fine finish! The entrance of the queen into the final thrust at h5 is the highlight of this one. After the smoke of exchanges and sac is complete,white is left with a super passed pawn at d7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: BTW,it is my imagination,but do we seem to have a lot of players on the GOTD this week who were challengers to Lasker in the early part of the 20th century-Schlecter,Tarrasch,Janowski?

Maybe I should get a peize for figuring this out-lol

Sep-19-07  Chessmensch: <Amarande> Thanks for recommending Gonzalez vs Perrine, 1943 in your post. The game and your comments regarding it are worthwhile. While I'm here, thanks for your generous and appropriate comments to this game.
Sep-19-07  notyetagm: What a stupendous game by Janowski!
Sep-19-07  lau7aro: <notyetagm> Truly a stupendous game? huh? what game have u been playing on? Araoz could have played this, simple chess. The finale was (rather) intelligent. PEACE DUDE
Sep-19-07  ounos: Janowski has played much more challenging games. This game is way overestimated by Chernev. Black simply dropped the complete control of the center by 14. ... Nxe5. Then his position becomes so passive that White is at no pressure at all, and can develop an attack at his leisure.
Sep-19-07  RookFile: I see. So you would prefer to leave the knight on e5, and allow white to play f4 like Pillsbury played in such positions?
Sep-19-07  xKinGKooLx: Great game Janowski! Well done!
Sep-19-07  psmith: 15... Nd7 might have given Alapin better defensive chances.
May-21-08  Trigonometrist: <Amarande:Can we say triumph of the will?>

A brilliancy among brilliancies..

May-24-08  addiction to chess: A true Masterpiece!
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: So far unmentioned is the defence <19...c5 20.Bc2 c4 21.Qd2 Rxd6 22.exd6 Qg5 23.f4 Qc5>.

click for larger view

I think black's main task (and problem during the game) is to get the queen in front of the pawns to have some active play.

Jun-11-08  Ulhumbrus: After 35 Rh4 White is playing with an extra Rook on the King side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There was something about the dark squares in this tournament! See also Maroczy vs H Suechting, 1905 and Schlechter vs W John, 1905
Nov-19-11  HectorChess: Without programs, chess was art.
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