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Siegbert Tarrasch vs Jacques Mieses
"Mieses Two Pieces" (game of the day Aug-29-2021)
Gothenburg (1920), Gothenburg SWE, rd 6, Aug-09
Scandinavian Defense: Anderssen Counterattack (B01)  ·  1-0



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Given 21 times; par: 74 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-09-04  Lawrence: 4...e5 was weak, 4...♘f6 would have been much better.

13...0-0-0(...♘f6), 18...♔e8(...♔c8), and 37...♘ac8(...f5) aggravated matters. (Junior 8)

May-31-04  Swindler: A nice game! Black "only" needs two tempi to castle kingside after move 12 and put the king to safety, but White's slight lead in development is enough to foil the plan.
Nov-05-04  WMD: 24...Kf7 sets a little trap which Tarrasch avoids. 25.b5? Na5 and Black would manage to successfully activate his pieces, because 26.Kb4 Nd5+ 27.Kxa5?? Ra8#.
Mar-04-07  Octavia: game 28 in Chernev: Logical chess, move by move
Nov-02-07  Dr. Siggy: R. Fine, "Basic Chess Endings", New York 1941, page 460: - "Two pieces plus one Pawn always win against a Rook. Rook plus one Pawn vs. two pieces is normally a draw, while Rook plus two Pawns vs. two pieces is always won. With more material on the board, positional considerations may alter these rules."

F. Reinfeld, "Tarrasch's Best Game of Chess", London 1947, pages 169-71: - (i) After 17... Kxd8: "Tarrasch's little combination has given him a winning endgame. An agile Rook and two Pawns are more than a match for two awkwardly placed Knights which are incapable of cooperation. White's goal will now be two united passed Pawns on the Queen's side, but first he will improve the position of his King and reduce the Knights to virtual helplessness." - (ii) About 20. Kc4: "The King is strongly posted here, as will be seen." - (iii) About 27. Rd3!: "Black must either yield the open file or else permit an exchange which will make clear the helplessness of his Knights." - (iv) About 29. a5: "The advance of the Pawn practically stalemates one of the Knights." - (v) After 31... Na7: "[...] Now that one of the Knights cannot move, the other Knight must be dislodged by means of c4." - (vi) About 36. Ra1: "The Rook has completed its work on the a-file; the occupation of the seventh rank is now in order." - (vii) About 38. Kc5: "The King is now posted for the kill."

Apr-09-10  pferd: In Reinfeld's book he has the correct move 37 for Black: Ndc8. In response to 37...Nac8 White has simply 38.a7

So the position at move 41 is:

click for larger view

This makes a nice puzzle, (with White in check!) because after the obvious 41.Rxd7+ Kxd7 White wins, not with the tempting 42.Kb6? but 42.b5

White could even lose with 42.Kb6? Nc8+ 43.Kb7 Nd6+ 44.Kb8 Nxc4 45.a7 Nb6 46.Kb7 Na8! 47.Kxa8? (47.Kb8 draws) Kc7 and Black wins.

Feb-28-12  Naniwazu: Very methodical endgame play by Tarrasch.
Feb-11-17  Howard: Evans claims in The Chess Opening for You that 7.a3! would have been much better than 7.Be2.
Aug-29-21  Brenin: As <pferd> noted 11 years ago, White's 41st move would make nice puzzle, the point being that after the obvious 41 Rxd7+ Kxd7, the natural-looking 42 Kb6 leads to at best a draw (and possibly a loss), whereas 42 b5 wins.
Aug-29-21  optimal play: Yes, it's interesting that Mieses gave Tarrasch the benefit of the doubt and resigned without testing him.

Most players might have been inclined to continue with 41...Kxd7 and wait to see if white made the correct move.

Also I like the pun.

It's Mister Jinks and Pixie & Dixie, right?

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: What happens after 39...Kd7 ?

40. b5 cxb5 41. cxb5 Kc7 doesn't seem to buy white anything.

I think the proper way to win is 39. Rb1 Nd6 40. b5 cxb5 41. cxb5 Ndxb5 42. Rxb5 Nxb5 43. Kxb5 Kb8, and now white scoops up black's king-side ♙s.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <al-wazir> In your line, after 41...Kc7:

click for larger view

<42.Re6> looks extremely strong. Both knights are parqlyzed, 42.b6+ is threatened, and the kingside pawns are vulnerable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Teyss: <optimal play> Yes "I hates those meeces to pieces." And of course Mieses has two Ns vs R after move 17 (just in case anybody with a Sunday hangover missed that).

Nothing to add to the very good posts above. I like the dogmatic quote: "Two pieces plus one Pawn always win against a Rook. Rook plus one Pawn vs. two pieces is normally a draw, while Rook plus two Pawns vs. two pieces is always won." (BTW what about R vs 2 pieces?) Generally true but of course depends on positions and the fact there are Ns or Bs.

Aug-29-21  Ironmanth: I like this game! Thanks, chessgames. Y'all stay safe out there today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Phony Benoni: In your line, after 41...Kc7 <42.Re6> looks extremely strong>.

You're right. I guess this was as good a way to win as any. Thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <al-wazir> Just wanted to tank you for taking a skeptical attitude toward these games, and saying what you think rather than passively accepting everything. Many are afraid of doing that.

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