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Richard Reti vs Aron Nimzowitsch
Semmering (1926), Semmering AUT, rd 14, Mar-25
Reti Opening: Reti Gambit (A09)  ·  0-1



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Given 7 times; par: 129 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-08-04  drukenknight: Look let us be serious for one minute. Dont we all agree that nearly every main line chess opening is draw with best play?

Let's start with that. If that is the case, the OBJECTIVELY there is no reason to prefer any one particular variation over another.

So honestly, there is no way I can say that e3 is better than Na3. No way objectively. (assuming again that both var. are draw w/ best play)

SO what is left? How do we choose a variation? Psychology.

Sure. exactly, when I am depressed almost every variation I see is losing or at least offers no hope for victory.

DId you ever see these letter to e..g Pandolfini:

"Dear Pandolphini:

"Help me! I am stuck. I just got to my 1500 rating but cant seem to beat anyone at my club. I usually try Italian but that offers really no hope for win after x,y, z....what do you do if he plays the 2 knights? Just 00? If I play the Fried Liver that is too risky, yes?"

"[signed] Help Me"

It's really too much isnt it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <Dont we all agree that nearly every main line chess opening is draw with best play?> I'm really not sure. Some people, like Weaver Adams, felt that White has a winning advantage.
Dec-08-04  Minor Piece Activity: So basically people we don't know? ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Even Fischer didn't claim to know the truth absolutely, although he felt in his heart that Black could defend for the draw even if White plays perfectly.
Dec-08-04  drukenknight: Well then how in the hell can no computer find it! I mean there are problems that have solutions, e.g. mate in 120, yes?

How is it then if we are so smart we can find mating patterns in 100 moves but no one has yet shown a win from the original starting position.

What is even more puzzling is how come no one can show a forced win, say 3 moves into the Grunfeld. Say 3 moves into Kings Gambit, or say 4 moves into QGD. or say in the spanish, or italien, or dutch, etc.

THere must be at least 30 major openings in Tartakovers great book and none of them are busts.

Gee thats really odd dont you think? I mean we have huge computers working on this and not one major opening pattern is a forced loss. Odd.

Dec-08-04  drukenknight: Getting back to the actual game. Isnt Reti not a good endgame player? On about move 60 he should be blockading the pawn w/ his K. We have just had this blockader problem from Capablanca/Corzo a few days ago. Not saying that he can save the game at move 60 becaus he is down so much but this would seem to be standard technique.
Dec-08-04  euripides: <dk> Reti was one of the greatest endgame study composers. The position is lost; White's king at d3 effectively prevents the c pawn from advancing while keeping slightly closer to the action than it would be on c2. In the end Nimzowitsch sacrifices the pawn to divert the king; he wouldn't have needed to do this if the king had been on c2.

In some endgames this idea can be crucial, e.g. I think that K+B vs K+R+P can sometimes be drawn by using the K and B to blockade the pawn while keeping the attacking K away. Lasker said that the mark of a good player was the ability to defend the king with economical forces, and the same applies to economical blockade of passed pawns; you keep your pieces as active as possible while making sure the pawns are restrained.

Dec-08-04  drukenknight: I didnt say the position could be saved, plus I dont care if he was a great composer he is messing up the endgame.
Dec-08-04  euripides: <dk>: my point was that by keeping the king on c2, as you suggest, White would have accelerated his own defeat.
Dec-08-04  drukenknight: you are missing the pt. on move 60 where the K should go is obvious, it is not so obvious where the B should go. And "no" I am not nailing the K onto c2, either. Here, doesnt this take longer:

60. Kc2 Ke5
61. Kd3 f5
62. gxf5 Kxf5
63. Bf7 Ke5
64. Bg8 h5
65. Bf7 Kf6
66. Be8 h4
67. Bd7 Ke5
68. Bh3 Kf4
69. Be6 g5
70. Bd5 g4
71. Bc6 g3

Dec-08-04  drukenknight: is 41 Rf1 better? 39 Nd4?
Dec-09-04  euripides: <dk> I don't see how the manoeuvre Kc2-d3 helps White - or actually makes any difference.
Dec-09-04  drukenknight: jeezus. do you want to look at the moves before that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <drukenknight>:
<is 41 Rf1 better? 39 Nd4?>

White has been slowly losing for quite a long time.

If 39. ♘d4 ♘xd5 40. ♗xd5 ♖d2 is possible.

If 41. ♖f1 ♘d6 42. ♖xf6? ♗e5 so Black can blockade the d-pawn. I agree White should probably try this instead of exchanging off his good knight as in the game. But I'd be surprised if White can save this.

Dec-09-04  drukenknight: you make some interesting comments. Is he not agressive enuf? or not creative enuf? why is he not trying to hold the d pawn on move 49 or so??
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <drukenknight>:
<Is he not agressive enuf? or not creative enuf?>

He simply got outplayed positionally much earlier in the game.

<why is he not trying to hold the d pawn on move 49 or so??>

On move 49 itself, Black's threatening ♗d4 to pin the rook. On something like 48. ♗c4 ♔d6 49. ♖e1 ♔c5 50. ♖e4 ♖a2 51. h4 ♖c2 , Black threatens to break through with ...a4 , so it looks like White eventually loses the d-pawn anyway.

Dec-09-04  euripides: <dk> Interesting question. Reti probably wanted to activate the king at the cost of a pawn and was worried about 49 Rd3 Ra2. He might also have been worried about 49 Rd3 Bc3 50 Bc4 a4 e.g. 51 ba b3 52 Rxc3 b2 or 52 Rd1 b2 53 Bd3 Bd4+ 53 K any Rxd3. However, 50 Ba4 is also posssible, when I don't think 50...Rxa4 works.

Another possibility is that Reti hoped the ending after move 51 still had drawing chances. 52 Be8 looks like a tactical error after which White loses the h pawn and only succeeds in exchanging the rooks off at the cost of allowing the creation of the passed c pawn.

However, on balance the ending is probably lost by move 52 anwyay and I agree White's drawing chances look better with 49 Rd3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>:
<White's drawing chances look better with 49 Rd3.> Black probably replies something like 49...♔c5 50. ♗c4 ♗d4+ 51. ♔g2 ♖a2+ followed by ...a4 .
Dec-09-04  drukenknight: so how many questionable moves is Reti making here? move 39, 41, 48, 52. He is making questionable moves like every other move at this stage of the game. Dont you get the feeling he is playing this man (NImzo) at the height of his powers, able to bang down 10 sound moves right like that, and he is just hoping to stay alive one move at a time.

Dont you get that sense? I mean yes, of course he is great composer of problems. But in this game, over the board, what is happening?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <drukenknight>:
<so how many questionable moves is Reti making here? move 39, 41, 48, 52.>

I'm not sure I'm qualified to critique Reti's endgame technique, but...

Move 39 looks like the only way to hold the d-pawn. I agree that the plan of exchanging knights (move 41) might be wrong, but I don't have a proof, and it is reasonable to think of trading into an opposite-colored bishop ending when a pawn down. By move 48 the position looks lost, so it's to his credit that he hangs on for another 20 moves.

Dec-09-04  euripides: <beat> My thought was (as in the lines I gave) that if the Black king goes to c5, then the white bishop should go to a4 rather than c4. This stops the rook's queenside play and keeps the king out of the queenside. However, I think Black would probably win by allowing the bishop to blockade on d6 and bringing the king into the kingside.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>:
<My thought was (as in the lines I gave) that if the Black king goes to c5, then the white bishop should go to a4 rather than c4. >

Of course, but then the d-pawn falls after 49. ♖d3 ♔c5 50. ♗a4 ♗d4+ followed by 51...♔xd5 , and we reach a situation similar to the actual game.

Dec-09-04  euripides: <beat> true
Apr-04-08  Knight13: This game is like hypermodern backfired.
Jul-24-08  Ulhumbrus: 25 f4 looks premature. Instead of this,if White castles and plays his N to e4 first, he may gain the advantage eg 25 0-0 Ng8 26 Ng3 Bd6 27 Ne4. The trouble with a premature 25 f4 is that after 25...Ng8 26 0-0 ef 27 Nxf4 Bd6 the N is misplaced,and it can't gain access to e4, as the Black B controls the g3 square. The N can go to e6, but the d5 pawn which supports it there happens to be vulnerable to attack from 28...Ne7 and 29..Qb5.
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Semmering 1926
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