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Mikhail Chigorin vs Rezso Charousek
"Giuoco Fortissimo" (game of the day Sep-19-2011)
Nuremberg (1896), Nuremberg GER, rd 7, Jul-27
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo (C53)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 20...Rd7 was a serious tactical mistake. Chigorin's 21.h6! is the most energetic and precise reaction. Not so good continuation would have been 21.Nf6+ Qxf6 22.Nxe7+ Qxe7 23.Qxa8 Rxd3 and black has some counter-play for exchange. After 21.h6 black has no satisfactory answer, for example 21...gxh6 22.Nxh6+ Bxh6 23.Nf6+ ; 21...Nxf5 22.gxf5 Qd5 23.hxg7 Bxg7 (23...Kxg7 24.Qg4+ Kh8 25.Rxh7+! Kxh7 26.Nf6+ Kh6 27.Qh5+ Kg7 28.Qg5+ Kh8 29.Qg8#) 24.f6 Bf8 25.Qg4+ Kh8 26.0-0-0 threatening 27.Rxh7+ Kxh7 28.Rh1+ Bh6 29.Rxh6+ Kxh6 30.Qg5+ Kh7 31.Qg7#; 21...Rdd8 22.hxg7 Bxg7 23.Ng5 Qd7 24.Nh6+ Bxh6 25.Qxf7+ Kh8 26.Qxh7#; 21...Rad8 22.hxg7! (22.Nc5 is possible too.) 22...Bxg7 23.Rxh7 etc.

<alogo> 24...f5 25. Rh8+ Kxg7 26. Rxa8 fxe4 leads to mate after 27.Qf8+ Kh7 28.Qh8#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Gowe> 21.Nc5 doesn't work for 21...Qd5.
Jan-11-05  euripides: Steinitz won a famous game against Chigorin using a restricted centre to launch a powerful attack down the h file. Chigorin seems to have learned from it.

The quick attack with g4 from an uncastled position has a quite modern appearance.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Willem Wallekers: 24. c4 is also winning.
Jan-11-05  maoam: <Willem Wallekers>

That was my solution too! I saw the h7 sac, but thought it was even stronger after 24.c4 Nf4 25.Rxh7 Kxh7 when the clearance of the h1-a8 diagonal wins the rook back. But even if Black declines with e.g. 25...Rad8 then simply Qh1 wins.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: In addition to 24. Rxh7 and 24. c5, White also can win with the Knight fork 24. Nc5 or the subtle 24. 0-0-0.

24. ♘c5 ♕d6 25. ♕h3! [also winning and much easier (but less fun perhaps) is 25. Nxd7 Qxd7 26. 0-0-0 (26. c4 bxc4 27. dxc4 e4 28. Qh3 Nf6 29. g5 ] 25...h5 26. gxh5 ♘f4 27. ♕xd7 ♘xd3+ 28. ♔d2 (looks dangerous moving the King into discovered check, but it's actually quite safe and best here) 28...♘xc5+ 29. ♕xd6 ♘e4+ 30. ♔e2 ♘xd6 31. h6

24. 0-0-0(this works because Black can't simultaneously parry the two threats 25. Nc5! or 25. Rxh7!) 25...h5 25. ♘c5 ♕f6 26. ♕xf6 ♘xf6 27. ♘xd7 ♘xd7 28. gxh5

Jan-11-05  AniamL: I don't claim to be particularly knowledgeable about chess, but how about 24. g5 kg7 25. f6

Which forces black to either make a poor trade, and 26. h7 is checkmate unless black trades or moves 25 ...kf8

It's certainly not as strong as c5 or Rxh7, but it's just a thought.

Jan-11-05  sanferrera: another defense (although it is also lost for black) is 24...Rd8. 25. Qh3 f5 26.Rh8+ Kxg7 27.Qh7++
Premium Chessgames Member
  benveniste: <Honza Cervenka> 20...Rd7 was bad, and 21...g6 was worse. 21..gxh6 limits the loss to the exchange.
Jan-11-05  Nickisimo: I actually tried 24. Ng5, threatening the Black Queen and also 25. Rxh7, with the possibility of 26. Rh8#. I missed the obvious defense of 24...Qf6 though. :( I stink.
Jan-11-05  Madman99X: Good puzzle. I'll ask for a history lesson here. Didn't Chigorin like to play the Evans gambit with the giucoco piano? I thought that the giucoco piano was passe by this time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <I'll ask for a history lesson here. Didn't Chigorin like to play the Evans gambit with the giucoco piano? I thought that the giucoco piano was passe by this time.>

Note that this Italian arrised by a transposition! Charousek offered to play Two-Knights-Defense, which Chigorin refused and transposed into the pianissimo variation of Italian.

After Chigorin's 4.d3, another transposition into Evans is not realy a sensible option, as <an immediate d4 is the purpose of the Evans' b4 sac>, and the d3 would have been just a plain loss of time.

Whereas the era of Italian was giving away to Spanish in 1890's, the whole Italian Game Complex was definitely still live and well with these two players. Incidentally, in "200 Open Games" Bronstein proposes to rename Two-Knight -Defense as <Chigorin's Counterattack>. A very fine proposal in my mind.

Jan-11-05  MindlessOne: i dont see why black recaptured the rook on 24...Kxh7 I knew that possiblility so why would black subject himself to that, he should ignore that move and then white should play 25.Rh8+ Kxg6 26.Rxa1 and white won a rook instead of a queen, slightly better for black. Did I miss something then? Kxh7 just seems too insane
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: 15. g4 is a really cool move that made no sense to me when I was replaying the game. I would have expected a much more sterotyped attack of h4-5 etcetera. but the purpose of pawn at g4 is not to open the king's defenses, but to support the knight that will soon be on its way to f5. The move also helps prevent black from playing 15....f5, since after 16. gf, the g file is open for white's rook and black has more worries.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I saw c4 also;white must be cautious, as his king is exposed-the text does win faster,however.
Premium Chessgames Member MindlessOne, without 24...Kxh7, say 24...Rad8 instead, then Qh3 will lead to mate.
Jan-11-05  catlover: <MindlessOne> Not taking the Rook looks safer, but I suspect that Black gets fried whether he takes the Rook or not. If 24...Qe7 (to avoid the Knight fork), a possible continuation might be: 25.Qh1 f6, 26.Rh8+ Kf7, 27.Rxa8 and there are still all sorts of mate threats on the back rank.

For example, 27...Rd8, 28.Qh7 Rxa8, 29.Pg8=Q#.

If 24. Rdd8 (to link the rooks), it might go something like: 25.Kd2 f6, 26.Rah1 Ne7, 27.Rh8+ Kf7, 28.Ng5+ Kxg7, 29.R1h7#.

Jan-11-05  Ernesto7: the best i see...can anyone check with their super computer?crafty?anyone??
Jan-11-05  chessowl: I loved the rook sac, it was almost irristable to take it as black could try and battle on from that position. nice game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Ernesto7> What about 25.Qh3?
Jan-15-05  crafty: 24...♖e8 25. ♕h1 f6 26. ♖h8+ ♔f7 27. ♕h7 ♔e7 28. g8=♕+ ♔d8 29. ♕xe6 ♘e7 30. ♖xe8+ ♔xe8 31. ♕h8#   (eval Mat07; depth 13 ply; 250M nodes)
Sep-19-11  sevenseaman: This is how I'd like to play my chess. I should be glad and proud to imitate Tchigorin. Stark limitations stare at me with a twinkle in their eye.

Will I ever make that avalanche of sacs to get the opponent's Q and my game flowing! What beauty, and spunk! And it has been a POTD.

Sep-19-11  Oceanlake: Hope Black didn't play moves 5 and 6 again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black's passive play led to a vicious attack by Chiggy.
Sep-21-11  Ladolcevita: Nice pun:)
Makes me recall the days when one of my friends named himself "forever fortissimo",and I thus named myself "forever pianissimo" which I did mainly out of rhetoric as well as the fact that we were good friends too. Though perhaps there wouldnt be a game we might call dolcissimo...
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