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Henry Bird vs Johannes Zukertort
CCA Congress Masters International (1886), Nottingham ENG
Bird Opening: From Gambit. Mestel Variation (A02)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-09-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: I can't believe no one has commented on this game! It's amazing to see this one play out without knowing the score. Zukertort was a contender for the world championship against Steinitz, wasn't he? That made him a real challenge for the likes of Bird. The queen sac at the end is startling. Bird was an innovator and not afraid to improvise. It's his best skill and probably his biggest contribution to the game. It separates his best games (like this one) from the rest.
Mar-09-04  marcus13: Great game. I was asking myself if 12 ... fxe6 e.p. was better. This seems to lesd to a dangerous attack for Black.
Mar-09-04  Egghead: marcus13: Yes, Fritz says 12. ... fxe3+ gives Black a distinct edge, though he doesn't have enough development to follow it up decisively. But what was the point of 5. ... Ng4?
Mar-10-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: <Egghead> <what was the point of 5. ... Ng4?> He might have been considering 7.Ne3 originally, but decided to play g5 instead.
Jul-05-05  Knight13: Well... Zukertort won the battle of the opening, climbed up to the top of a mountain, and then slipped and fell from the moutain in the late middlegame (or early endgame).

Impressive win by Bird.

Jan-26-07  Themofro: <Egghead> ...5 Ng4 is the Mestrel Variation of the From's Gambit. With it black attacks whites kingside but it costs development and time. It is a variation that will probably be classified for all eternity as "unclear". IM Tim Taylor who plays the Bird's quite often says in his new and excellent book on the Bird's that he has been looking at the position for 30 some years and still not sure who's better. He was referring to a position that very commonly arises from the Mestrel variation.
Feb-07-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: An escape square that is covered by an enemy piece is not an escape square!
May-19-07  Paladin88doug: When I first saw this Ng4 opening scheme when I began to play the Bird, I responded with Bg5 as well. The new normal line is Qd3, which leads to strong tactical lines, but Bg5 has merits too...forcing White either to wreck his kingside or allow Black a chance at a quick queenside castle.
Dec-07-07  grasser: 36...Qxe4 was a blunder.
Simply 36...Qf7 threatens ...Qh5+

36...Qf7
37.Ng3 Qg7
38.f5 Ng4+
39.Kg1 (forced) Qxc3
40.bxc3 Kg7 and Black is fine.

Jan-18-10  Nullifidian: <Knight13: Well... Zukertort won the battle of the opening, climbed up to the top of a mountain, and then slipped and fell from the moutain in the late middlegame (or early endgame).>

Actually, he only slipped and fell two moves from the end.

The best move for him was 35... ♕xe4. This leads to a solid edge for Black. My hypothesis is that he saw that *after* he played 35... ♗xf4?, realized his mistake, and tried to make up for it by playing 36... ♕xe4??. But without the bishop protecting d8, it's mate in 4.

Apr-29-16  zanzibar: BTW- the movelist is wrong for this game, at least for 4...Nf6.

It should be 4...Nh6, though it doesn't matter too much after 5...Ng4.

On the other hand, 5...Ng4 makes more sense if preceded by 4...Nh6.

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