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Rudolf Spielmann vs Oldrich Duras
Karlsbad (1907), Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary) AUH, rd 19, Sep-14
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Moeller-Therkatz Attack (C54)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: This may be 99 moves long, but don't let that put you off playing thorough this terrific clash of two uncompromising grandmasters battling from opening to middlegame to ending. Enjoy!
Dec-11-03  Master of Sacrifice: 99 Rc4 was a mistake. Under the circumstances, however, he should have resigned around move 90.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: No! Apart from a mutual blunder on move 65, the endgame was only lost on move 99! The game illustrates a very practical and useful R v R+2 P's endgame, after we have also enjoyed the initial fireworks. Here are other quoted text book examples:

Bondarevsky vs Keres, 1939
Keres vs Sokolsky, 1947
Gligoric vs Smyslov, 1947
Kotov vs Flohr, 1951

Tartakover and du Mont in their "500 Master Games of Chess" give a 21 move version. This appears to be someone's analysis of a possible combination. This is the full game.

Spielmann plays the Moller attack which was only some 9 years old at the time. Duras, gets a worse position but then fight s back into the ending.

12...0-0?!, the book move is 12...Bxg5. Duras is too daring, he allows his K-side pawns to be disrupted for complications, that do not turn out to be in his favour.

11...0-0 12.d6 cxd6 13.Bf4 d5 14.Bxd5 Nxd5 15.Qxd5 d6 16.Rae1 Be6 17.Qxb7 Bxa2 18.Ra4 Be6 19.Rxa7 Rxa7 20.Qxa7 Bxb2 21.Ng5 Qf6 0-1 is Salwe-Rubinstein, Vienna 1908.

20....Rd8 20...h6! 21.g3 (21.Bb5 Nf4) creates a much more secure position.

22.Re8 Rxe8 23.Bxe8 Kf8 24.Bxf7 Ne7 25.Be6 Bxe6 26.dxe6 is a strong alternative.

22...Nh8?!. Instead 22...Nf4!? would keep Black in the game 23.Ree7 Rf8= (23...Nxd5? 24.Rxf7+! Kh8 25.Rh7+ Kg8 26.Rcg7+ Kf8 27.Nh4

24.Bd3!? would have better maintained the initiative, now Duras is back in the game.

Not 26...fxe6 27.Rh7 f4 28.Rxh6+ Kf5 29.Rxb7 winning

27...Rad8?, 27...a6!? would have avoided the game continuation after which the advantage swings back to Spielmann.

41...fxg2 42.Nf3+ Kh5 43.Rd8-+ Nh4 44.a7 Nxf3 45.Rd1 Ra2 46.Kxf3 Rxa7 47.Kxg2 with thge same type of ending (disconnected f and h pawns). This may be theoretically drawn, but is very hard to play for the defender. Duras would use one of his pawns as a decoy to Q the other to try to create a Lucena position.

51...Rxf3 52.gxf3 Nd4 53.Rb6 Nxf3+ 54.Kg3 is not enough to win.

65.Rb4?? is a tired fingerslip of a blunder. Both players miss the loss of the R by 65.Rh4+. Speilmann has defended the ending well so far.

99.Rf4?? Spielmann makes a fatal blunder after achieving a draw. Any legal K move would have been sufficient.

For the record the winning process is: 99...Kg5 100.Rxf5+ Kxf5 101.Ke3 Kg4 102.Kf2 Kf4 103.Ke2 Kg3 104.Kd3 f5 105.Ke2 f4 106.Kf1 Kf3 107.Ke1 Kg2 108.Kd2 f3

Jul-26-04  notyetagm: 99 Rf4?? is featured in one of the Tragicomedies section of Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual. Spielmann was obviously expecting 99 ... RxR+ 100 KxR and the resulting pawn endgame is drawn. Duras, instead, piles on the pinned rook with 99 ... Kg5!, forcing the exchange 100 RxR KxR and now the pawn endgame is trivial win.

So Spielmann goes from a drawn R+P endgame to a lost K+P ending in one careless move. A great advertisement for really learning the endgame.

Premium Chessgames Member
  waddayaplay: I don't trust 65.Rb4. More probable is that he played 65.Rb3.
Mar-24-06  Resignation Trap: I am currently going through <The Chess Career of Rudolf Spielmann> Volume One by Jack Spence, 1961.

A different game and result is in this book!

It follows the version up to and including 13.Bxf6 gxf6. But there it takes a diversion: 14.Nh4 Ng6 15.Qh5 Kh8 16.Rae1 Bd7 17.Bd3 Rg8 18.Re7 Rg7 19.Bxg6 fxg6 20.Nxg6+ Kg8 21.Rxg7+ 1-0

All available crosstables to this tournament show a win for Duras over Spielmann, so the cg score is probably correct, and the score in the Spence book was most likely opening analysis by somebody who carelessly thought it was the actual Spielmann-Duras game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Resignation Trap> Kalendovsky's compendium of known Duras' games gives the game as presented here. Jiri Vesely (Psychological guide ...) gives the same closing moves.
May-12-07  Chessmensch: Silman discusses this ending in his Complete Endgame Course, page 87. His commentary is very similar to Chessical's (above). Is Chessical Silman?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Tartakower and duMont in <500 Master Games> give the 21-move version, which was recently added to the database: Spielmann vs Duras, 1907. It may have been an offhand game, though <Resignation Trap>'s suggestion of opening analysis seems even more likely. I wonder if the line is mentioned in the tournament book?
Feb-11-08  suenteus po 147: <Phony Benoni> Uhhhh...that would be my bad. I submitted the PGN for the alternate score since this game didn't match the score in the Tartakower/duMont book.
Feb-11-08  sneaky pete: <suenteus po 147> Thank you anyway for submitting that game. Tartakower/Dumont has been a fertile something for my love baby Game Collection: The dirty dozen.
May-04-12  Edeltalent: I would never have thought Black could get out of the position after move 23 alive, let alone win it! In the end Spielmann doubtless knew it was a theoretical draw (Philidor position), but carelessness and/or tiredness did him in. What a brutal loss!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: The key blunder by Spielmann in this game, of course, was 99. Rf4, allowing Duras to force an exchange of rooks with Black obtaining the opposition one rank in front of his pawn, thus transposing to a winning pawn ending, but there may have been a second “blunder” not previously mentioned in this thread.

As he played 66. Rb8, Spielmann could have claimed a draw by threefold repetition of <position>. (Although the moves were not repeated, the same position was repeated after White’s 62nd, 64th and 66th moves.) Perhaps this tournament was following Bilguer’s <Handbuch des Schachspiels> (1874) pursuant to which a threefold repetition of <moves> was required before a draw could be claimed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  K Any: Chessical's comment that 65. Rb4 is a blunder in that it allows 65...Rh4+ winning is strange in that Black's rook is on a5.

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