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Rezso Charousek vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Nuremberg (1896), Nuremberg GER, rd 6, Jul-25
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bishop's Gambit Bogoljubow Variation (C33)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-02-10  LIFE Master AJ: < Oct-02-10 Once: <LIFE Master AJ: Hello ChessGames ...> You may find that will let the debate roll for quite a while before they comment, if they comment at all.

Their rationale seems to be that this is not a puzzle, it's a position. We kibitzers will work out for ourselves the "truth" of the position - what the best move is, and what the result ought to be with best play.

You might say that this site is a sort of chess wiki, where the knowledge base is built by the users not by the moderators.

The answer to today's position seems quite clear - 37. d6 seems to be the best move. As to whether it wins or not, I think we have to work that one out for ourselves.>

All true! (I have spent quite a few hours looking at the variations ... I also examined RV's line. Without question, it seems that White is winning. I suspect that the <"37.d6!! '=' "> came from a written source ... perhaps published B.C.)

Oct-02-10  LIFE Master AJ: B.C. = before computers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: My idea was to push the passed pawn and then deploy the bishop if the rook tries to intervene--white would win!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: < Random Visitor> <Updated Rybka 4 analysis: after 37.d6! Rybka 4 x64:

<[+3.34] d=26 37...Rd8> 38.c5 d3 39.Bf3 d2 40.Ke2 f6 41.Kd1 Kf7 42.c6 Ke6 43.c7 Rh8 44.Bg4+ Kxd6 45.c8Q Rxc8 46.Bxc8 Kc5 47.Kxd2 Kd4 48.Ke2 g5 49.Kf3 Ke5 50.Bb7 Kf5 51.Be4+ Ke5 52.Bc2 f5>

I don't get this line at all. Why wouldn't black play 40...f5, instead, preventing Bg4?

click for larger view

Rybka obviously thinks that 40... f5 is inferior. I would sure like to know why.

Oct-02-10  EXIDE: I wanted to tie down the black rook and king to prevent white pawns from reaching 8. Then the white king would do the rest. I tried d6, but was getting the pawns tied up at c5 and d6, the wrong color squares for a white bishop. I was attempting a white win, did not see that drawing was an option. So, I missed the puzzle.
Oct-02-10  nuwanda: Hi <Jim>,

i ran the position with the computer, and it looks like whether 40...f6 or f5 doesnt matter much, because Bg4 isnt a necessary part of whites winning plan.

after both white can play 41.Kd1 Kf7 42.c6 Ke6 43.c7 Rh8 44.Bb7 Kd7 45.Kxd2 Rxh2+ 46.Kd3 Rh8 47.Kd4 g6 48.Kd5

if in this position the pawn is on f6 black has 48...Rh5+ which prolongs the fight a bit, although its not ennough, if the pawn is on f5 black is helpless to Ba6, Bb5, Kc6

maybe thats the reason the comp judges f6 a bit better than f5, but both seem to be hopeless anyway...

Oct-02-10  LIFE Master AJ: <<JimfromProvidnce> <Rybka obviously thinks that 40... f5 is inferior. I would sure like to know why.>>

If you compare my two lines, ...f5 works out to a much greater edge for White ... apparently Rybka sees all this comimg and tries to avoid it.

Probably not the answer you are looking for ... if its any consolation, I am a Master, and I thought ...f5 was practically forced there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <nuwanda>
<i ran the position with the computer, and it looks like whether 40...f6 or f5 doesnt matter much, because Bg4 isnt a necessary part of whites winning plan.

after both white can play 41.Kd1 Kf7 42.c6 Ke6 43.c7 Rh8 44.Bb7 Kd7 45.Kxd2 Rxh2+ 46.Kd3 Rh8 47.Kd4 g6 48.Kd5>

Thanks for picking up the thread. So, it looks like white can get to protect c8 anyway by Bb7. I did not see that.

So, what happens if black does not play 45…Rxh2+ but plays 45…Re8 instead? (to keep the king from going after the f pawns)

click for larger view

I know what happens. It makes for a nice derivative puzzle

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 37.d6 is a move I would play instantly in this position but I would hardly evaluate it as win for white. Connected Passers are true beasts and if Charousek, Tarrasch and everybody present in Nurnberg could have missed it, I am not feeling so bad in such a company.
Premium Chessgames Member <This seems to strongly suggest that White was winning - as does RV's R4's analysis ... yet the note says 37.d6!! is equal.> It might not be equal--we were just reporting what a computer engine said about the move.

Our main goal with computer analysis is not to determine who is winning the game, we just have to be certain that the position is puzzle-worthy. We had to prove to ourselves two things:

(1) That alternatives to 37.d6 lose the game. We were able to do that quite quickly by discovering that all other attempts actually lose the game for White, which is somewhat surprising giving the menacing look of that bishop and those passed pawns. For example, 37.Bf4 Rb8! and White is in big trouble, even worse than in the game above. 37.c5? Re5! throws the game away as well.

(2) That 37.d6 does not lose the game. It would be a very poor puzzle if the intended solution only prolonged White's agony. Since Toga reported a score of 0.02 after a few minutes of analysis, we regarded that move as equal and then included the note.

So if you decided that 37.d6 must be played, give yourself full credit, whether or not you believed that White was winning or merely drawing.

(By the way, this is exactly why we stopped saying "White to play and Win" or "White to play and Draw" on the homepage.)

Oct-02-10  wals: out of my league.

Analysis Rybka 4x64

Black: depth 19 : 5 min :
1. = (-0.05): 8...d6 9.Nxb4 Nxb4 10.d4 g5 11.Qd2 a5 12.a3 Nc6 13.h4 d5 14.Bd3

White: depth 16 : 6 min :
1. (1.21): 11.Qd3 h6 12.Qe4 Bh5 13.c3 Bg6 14.Qe2 Bb6 15.Rae1 Kh7 16.b4 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 dxe5 18.Bxe5 Nd6 19.Bd3 c6 20.Nf4 Bxd3 21.Qxd3+ g6 22.a4

2. (0.96): 11.c3 h6 12.Qd3 Be6 13.Ne3 Bxc4 14.Nxc4 Bb6 15.a4 d5 16.Ne3 Qd7 17.b4 a5 18.b5 Ne7 19.c4

White: depth 20 : 16 min :
1. = (0.00): 35.c5 Kf8 36.d6 Ke8 37.Bc4[] Kd7[] 38.Bb5+[] Ke6[] 39.Bc4+[] Kd7 40.Bb5+[] Ke6[] 41.Bc4+[] Kd7 42.Bb5+[] Ke6[] 43.Bc4+[] Kd7 44.Bb5+[] Ke6[] 45.Bc4+[] Kd7 46.Bb5+[] Ke6[] 47.Bc4+[] Kd7 48.Bb5+[] Ke6[] 49.Bc4+[] Kd7 50.Bb5+[]

Black: depth 20 : 5 min :
1. (-1.99): 36...Rc8 37.b3 gxf4[] 38.Bg4 Rf8[] 39.h4 f5[] 40.Bh5 Rd8 41.Kf3 Kf8[] 42.Kxf4 Ke7[] 43.Bg6 Kd6 44.Kxf5 d3 45.Ke4 d2 46.Bh5[] Rh8 47.Be2 Rxh4+ 48.Kd3 Rh3+ 49.Kc2 g5 50.Bd1 Rh2 51.Kd3 Kc5

2. (-1.63): 36...Kf8 37.c5 Rc8 38.c6 gxf4 39.Bg4 Rc7[] 40.Kf3 Ke7 41.Kxf4 Kd6 42.Ke4 d3 43.Kxd3 Kxd5[] 44.Bd7 f5 45.h4 Ra7 46.h5 f4 47.Ke2 Kd6 48.Kf3 Ra8 49.Kxf4 Rb8 50.Kg5 Rxb2[] 51.Kg6 Rg2+

White: depth 19 : 6 min :
Best, as indicated,

1. (1.92): 37.d6 Kf8 38.c5[] Rc8 39.b4 axb4 40.d7[] Ra8 41.Bf3 Rd8 42.c6[] Ke7 43.c7[] Kxd7 44.cxd8Q+[] Kxd8 45.Ke2 Kc7 46.a5 Kb8 47.Kd3 b3 48.Bd1 b2 49.Kc2 Ka7 50.Kxb2 Ka6 51.Kc2 g5 52.Kd3

Black: depth 19 : 4 min :
1. (-4.31): 37...Re5 38.h4 d3 39.Bf3 Kf8 40.b3 d2 41.h5 Ke7 42.h6 gxh6 43.c5 Re1 44.Bg4 d1Q 45.d6+ Kd8 46.Bxd1 Rxd1

2. (-3.71): 37...Rb8 38.Kf3 Rxb2[] 39.Ke4 g6 40.Kxd4 f5[] 41.Bf3 Kf7[] 42.c5 Rf2 43.Bh1 Rxh2 44.Bf3 Rf2 45.Bh1 f3 46.c6 Ke7 47.Ke3 Rh2 48.Bxf3 g5 49.Be2 Rh3+ 50.Kd4 Kd6

White: depth 20 : 2 min :
better was d6, -3.26.

White: depth 17 : 2 min :

Black moved 39...Kf7, -4.11, better,
1. (-13.52): 39...fxg4 40.d7 Kf7 41.dxe8Q+ Kxe8 42.Ke2 f3+

Oct-02-10  RandomVisitor: After 37.d6! Rybka 4

click for larger view

<[+4.44] d=27 37...Kf8> 38.c5 Rc8 39.b4 axb4 40.d7 Ra8 41.Bf3 Rd8 42.c6 Ke7 43.c7 Kxd7 44.cxd8Q+ Kxd8 45.Bd5 g5 46.Bxf7 Ke7 47.Bb3 g4 48.Bd1 f3 49.a5 Kd6 50.Ke1 Kc5 51.Ba4 d3 52.a6 Kb6

[+5.21] d=26 37...Rd8 38.c5 d3 39.Bf3 d2 40.Ke2 f5 41.Bd5+ Kf8 42.Kxd2 Ke8 43.Be6 Kf8 44.Bxf5 Kf7 45.Bg4 Kf6 46.Kc3 Ke5 47.b4 g5 48.Bf3 Rh8 49.bxa5 g4 50.Bxg4 Kd5 51.d7 Kxc5 52.h4 Kd5

Oct-02-10  BOSTER: <Jim> If you have time check out this human's variation. 37.d6 Re6
38.c5 Kf8
39.Bg4 (or c6) Ke8
any white moves like c7 or d7
black play Kd7 or Ke7.
Maybe I am wrong,but if white takes black rook black King can block white pawns.
Oct-02-10  RandomVisitor: 19.Nh5! might even be winning:

click for larger view

[+1.46] d=19 19...Nf5 20.Qe5 g6 21.Nf6+ Kh8 22.Nd7+ f6 23.Qe6 Re8 24.Qf7 Re7 25.Qxf6+ Rg7 26.Qxd8+ Rxd8 27.Nc5 Rb8 28.Re4 Bb6 29.Rfe1 h6 30.Ne6 Rf7 31.Kf2 Rf6 32.Re5 Nd6 33.Kg3 a6 34.a4 a5

[+1.48] d=19 19...Ng6 20.f4 Qh4 21.f5 Qxg3+ 22.Nxg3 Nh8 23.f6 Rae8 24.fxg7 Kxg7 25.Nf5+ Kg8 26.h4 Bd8 27.h5 Bg5 28.Kf2 Rxe1 29.Rxe1 h6 30.Rg1 Kh7 31.Nd6 b6 32.Ke2 b5 33.Rf1 Kg8 34.Kd3

Oct-02-10  VincentL: "Very Difficult".

Black is the exchange up, but white´s king is better placed.

If white can get two pawns to the sixth rank, he could win.

I think the initial move may be 37. d6. After 37....Rd8 38. c5. Now if 38... Rc8 39. d7 !

Black must try to bring the king over, but the white´s passed c and d pawns, combined with the bishop, may be enough to win.

Let´s try some lines.

37. d6 Rd8 38. c5 Kf8 39. Bg4 Ke8 40. d7+ Ke7 41. c6 Ra8 42. c7 and white will win.

37. d6 Kf8 38. c5 Ra1 39. Bg4 Ke8 40. c6 Kd8 41. c7+ and again white wins.

It´s late so I may be the last poster today. Let´s check the game and other kibitzes.

Oct-02-10  RandomVisitor: Final post on 19.Nh5!

click for larger view

Rybka 4 x64:

[+1.48] d=25 19...Ng6 20.f4 Qh4 21.f5 Qxg3+ 22.Nxg3 Nh8 23.Re7 Rab8 24.f6 Bd8 25.Nf5 Ng6 26.Rd7 Bxf6 27.Nd6 Rbd8 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.Nxf7 Rb8 30.Ne5+ Kh8 31.Nd7 Re8 32.Nxf6 gxf6 33.Rxf6 Re2 34.Rf2 Re7

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: <BOSTER> <If you have time check out this human's variation. 37.d6 Re6 38.c5 Kf8
39.Bg4 (or c6) Ke8
any white moves like c7 or d7
black play Kd7 or Ke7.
Maybe I am wrong,but if white takes black rook black King can block white pawns.>

I understand what you are getting at but the rook can't go to e6 because of 38 d7, (seeing 38 ...Rd6 39 Bg4 Kf8 40 c5, etc.)

click for larger view

Oct-02-10  VincentL: I chose 37. d6 almost straight away, but that in no sense means that I solved the puzzle. Rather it means that I did not go off on the wrong track at the beginning.

As expected black had resources I did not consider.

Today I didn't have time to check defences thoroughly. With more time I may or may not have seen more.

Oct-03-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: This is clearly a study in pawn quality: white is down the exchange, but it is of little consequence in view of the dangerous connected passed pawns on c4 and d5. A rule of thumb that I used to hear for endgames was that two connected pawns on the 6th rank were worth about a rook. Throw away your old rules of thumb - these white pawns are 3 moves short of that lofty status, but with the available support of the bishop, the connected pawns are worth at least a rook, even though the defending king is within the square of both pawns! For black, the passers on d4 and f4 are equally advanced, but are virtually worthless separated, especially with the white king and bishop in good defensive positions. The d4 pawn actually takes away a square that the rook might use to defend the white pawns from behind. So how best to mobilize the white pawns - e6, d5, or a supporting bishop move? I chose my primary candidate on general principles: (1) Move the advanced pawn first; (2) control a dark square (which the bishop can't control) that limits the approach of the defending king; and (3) create an immediate threat of 37.d7 (gaining a tempo) Rd8 38.Bg4 which is very forcing. Therefore:


Black's options are very limited - the black rook can't get behind the pawns and king can't join the defense in time. I think the main line is

37... Rd8 38.c5 Kf8 39.Be2! (weaker is 39.Bf3 Ke8 40.Bc6+ Rd7! 41.Bb5 Kd8) f5 (Ke8 40.Bb5+ Rd7 41.c6 Rxd6 42.c7+ wins) 40.Bb5 Kf7 41.c6 Rxd6 (Ke6 42.c7 Rc8 43.d7) 42.c7 d3 43.c8=Q wins (d2 44.Qc7+ Ke6 45.Bc4+ Ke5 46.Qe7+)

.. and I don't have time to analyze further. Let's see...

Oct-03-10  CHESSTTCAMPS: Wow - white blundered and lost.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: < Since Toga reported a score of 0.02 after a few minutes of analysis, we regarded that move as equal and then included the note.>

Frodo: "You're late."

Gandalf: "A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to."

Good to have you with us, the White! Your answer is more or less exactly what I was expecting, with the exception of one slight detail...

The horizon effect can sometimes mean that the initial evaluation by a computer is misleading. In today's position, Fritz's first eval was = 0.00 for 37. d6. But when I walked Fritz through the variations, the horizon lengthened and he realised that white was in fact winning. And that is consistent with the analysis by m'learned colleagues.

Not a big deal, by any means, and I thought it was a good Saturday puzzle - <once> you understand the way that this site works. As you rightly say, it's not a "white to play and win" type of puzzle. It's a "white to play" puzzle.

BTW, I think you are doing a great job! Love the beard.

Oct-12-10  njchess: I cannot believe that White blew this game, and there wasn't even time control then. Ugh.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <njchess> Interestingly, both players missed a win. Charousek missed the winning move 37.d6!. However, two moves earlier, Charousek erred in an equal position with 35.Bd1??. Steinitz then erred with 36...gxf4??, missing the winning moves 36...Rc8!, or 36...Kf8!.

Tarrasch, in the tournament book, incorrectly stated that 33.Rxd4 led to the loss of the game. He did note that 35.Bd1 was incorrect, <"This is clearly not right. At least the advance of the passed pawns should follow".>. Fritz confirms that 35.c5! (.00) (26 ply) 35...Kf8 36.d6 Ke8 37.Bc4, gives an equal game. Tarrasch did not provide any analysis for 35.c5!.

Tarrasch also missed that 36...gxf4?? and 37.Bg4?? were losing moves, and he missed that 36...Rc8!, 36...Kf8! and 37.d6!, were winning moves.

Per the Nuremberg 1896 tournament book, the time limit was 30 moves in the first two hours, and then 15 moves in each succeeding hour.

Play was from 9:00AM until 1:00PM, and from 4:00PM to conclusion. A one-hour rest was taken at 8:00PM, if necessary.

Nov-19-18  Straclonoor: I wanna add some
Analysis by Stockfish 111118 64 POPCNT:

+- (5.58): 37.d6 Rd8 38.c5 Kf8 39.Bg4 d3 40.c6 Rxd6 41.c7 Rc6 42.c8R+ Rxc8 43.Bxc8 d2 44.Ke2 Ke7 45.Kxd2 Kd6 46.Ke2 Ke5 47.Kd3 f5 48.h4 Kf6 49.Ke2 Kg6 50.Kf3 Kh5 51.Bxf5 Kxh4 52.Kxf4 g5+ 53.Kf3 Kh5 54.Kg3 g4 55.Bxg4+ Kg6 56.Kf4 Kf6 57.Be2 Ke6 58.Ke3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: <AJ: ... if its any consolation, I am a Master, and I thought ...> The ultimative reason! Lol.

Okay, <Tabi>, I accept to appear on your next list of off-topic posters. Urgently expected.

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