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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Mikhail Chigorin
Vienna (1898), Vienna AUH, rd 11, Jun-15
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Move Order (D31)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-04-07  micartouse: What the heck happened in this game between the two titans? I'm curious to know when White went wrong and if he was ever better.

Pillsbury tried the same QGD setup with c4-c5 and Ne5 that blew Winawer off the board in 21 moves: Pillsbury vs Winawer, 1896. It looks quite pleasant for White after 15 moves: he gets a couple knight outposts, some space, and his opponent's bishop is restricted.

So White gets an outpost, then a material advantage, then an attack ... and then Black suddenly consolidates and runs a pawn up the board and wins all the while his bishop is on the back of the board.

Poor Pillsbury with his orderly, inventive chess mind had to deal with chaos masters like Chigorin and Lasker who just plain won games concretely.

Dec-04-07  Calli: 29.Ra3 looks suspicious because it unguards the d pawn. 29. Qd2 looks better. Later Pillsbury should play the Q back, 40.Qh6 -Qh4-f2 and should at least draw.
Dec-05-07  micartouse: Thanks <Calli>. Ra3 hardly seems like an awful blunder though. It must just be a really well played game by the Russian!
Dec-08-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <micartouse & calli> A review by Fritz indicated winning chances for White at move 29: (1.52) (21 ply) 29.Qe5 Rb7 30.Ra3 f6 31.Qxc7 Rxc7 32.Rxa5 Rxd4 33.Ra8 Kf7 34.a4. Fritz's evaluation now is: (2.17) (18 ply) 34...Rd5 35.Rc3. Additional Fritz analysis from this point indicated good winning chances for White.

Fritz's 2nd choice at move 29 was: (1.50) (21 ply) 29.Rb3.

Fritz's 13th choice was: (.97) (21 ply) 29.Ra3 Rxb6 30.cxb6 Qxb6 31.d5 Qxe3+ 32.Rfxe3 cxd5 33.Rxa5.

Fritz's 14th choice was: (.95) (21 ply) 29.Qd2 Rxb6 30.cxb6 Qxb6 31.Rfe3.

Pillsbury's move 31.Rf1 allowed 31...Rxd4 32.Rxa5, and now Chigorin could have played: (.32) (17 ply) 32...Qxa5 33.Qxd4 Qxa2 34. Ra1 Qd5 35.Qxd5 cxd5 36.Ra8.

Instead, Chigorin erred: (.96) (17 ply) 32...c5? 33.Ra8 Qc6.

At move 33, Chigorin slipped again with 33...Kf8?: (1.30) (18 ply) 34.Rc1 Rd5; or (1.23) (18 ply) 34.Rc8 Rd5; or (1.19) (18 ply) 34.Qa3 Ke7. I did not find a winning continuation for White at move 34. Additional analysis would be required to determine if White can win or if the position is a draw. Instead of the moves favored by Fritz, Pillsbury played 34.Qh3.

The tournament book noted the natural looking move 40.Rb1? was a fatal mistake, and recommended the move 40.Qh6.

After 40.Qh6 Fritz indicated: (.45) (17 ply) 40...Qd3 41.Rc1. As noted by calli, Pillsbury certainly could have had a draw in this position.

Feb-09-17  Straclonoor: <Fritz's 14th choice was: (.95) (21 ply) 29.Qd2 Rxb6 30.cxb6 Qxb6 31.Rfe3.> Stockfisch's first choice!
Analysis by Stockfish 180916 64 POPCNT:

1. (1.41): 29.Qd2 Qa7 30.Rfe3 Qc7 31.Re2 Rb7 32.Qe3 Rdb8 33.Ra3 Ra7 34.h3 Rd8 35.Rc2 f6 36.Nc4 Rb7 37.Nd6 Rb1+ 38.Kh2 Bf7 39.Rb3 Rxb3 40.Qxb3 Rb8 41.Qc3 Rb1 42.Rf2 Rb8 43.Qd3 Qa7 44.Qe4 Qc7 45.Rd2 Rb4 46.Re2 Qd7 47.Qd3 Qc7 48.Qc3 Rb1 49.Qe3 Rb4 50.Rf2 a4 51.Qc3 Rb1

Feb-09-17  Straclonoor: <I did not find a winning continuation for White at move 34. Additional analysis would be required to determine if White can win or if the position is a draw.> Here are lines
Stockfish 060217 64 POPCNT 1.88 (depth 38) 34.Qa3 Qd6 35.Rc1 Rd1+ 36.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 37.Kf2 Qd4+ 38.Qe3 Qd5 39.Rc8 Qxa2+ 40.Kg3 Qd5 41.Qxc5+ Qxc5 42.Rxc5 Ba4 43.Kf2 Ke7 44.Ra5 Bd1 45.h3 Bb3 46.g4 Kf8 47.Ra8+ Ke7

1.78 (depth 37) 34.Rc8 Ke7 35.Rc1 c4 36.Qa3+ Kf6 37.Qc5 Qxc5 38.Rxc5 Rd2 39.a3 Rd3 40.R1xc4 Rxa3 41.h4 Ra2 42.Rc7 Kf5 43.Rc8 Bd7 44.R8c5+ Kf6 45.Rc7 Rd2 46.R4c5 Ke7 47.R5c6 Rd4)

1.73 (depth 37) 34.Rc1 Ke7 35.Rc8 c4 36.Qa3+ Kf6 37.Qc5 Qxc5 38.Rxc5 Rd2 39.a3 Rd3 40.R1xc4 Rxa3 41.h4 Ra2 42.g3 Rb2 43.g4 Bd7 44.g5+ Ke7 45.Rc7 Rd2 46.Ra7 f6 47.Rcc7 Rd4)

1.41 (depth 37) 34.h3 Ke7 35.Qa3 Bd7 36.Rf2 f5 37.Ra6 Qc7 38.Ra5 Rd5 39.Kh2 Kf7 40.Ra7 Qd6 41.Qa6 Qxa6 42.Rxa6 Rd4 43.g3 c4 44.Rc2 g5 45.fxg5 e5 46.h4 f4 47.gxf4 Rxf4

Feb-10-17  Straclonoor: I checked position after 33 moves with Stockfisch for Haswell and a little bit longer

Stockfish 060217 64 BMI2 2.01 (depth 39) 34.Qa3 Qd6 35.Rc1 Rd1+ 36.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 37.Kf2 Qd6 38.Qe3 Qd5 39.Rc8 Qxa2+ 40.Kg3 Qd5 41.Qxc5+ Qxc5 42.Rxc5 Ba4 43.Kf2 f6 44.Rc8+ Ke7 45.Rc7+ Kf8 46.g4 Bd1 47.g5 Bg4

I think, final position of this variation is tough for black

Feb-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Straclonoor> How can white win if Black does nothing? I don't see how.

I investigated the position when you posted Feb09, and both SF and Komodo 10 get static evals, just above 2.00, but static.

Feb-10-17  Straclonoor: <tamar> In final position Black King cut off in 8th line and White can move King to Rook attack black pawns. I don't see easy win too but let's wait for more powerful versions of Stockfisch. Offtopic: Before computer era, this game was my favorite Chigorin's game
Feb-10-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: This game is kind of a cousin of the game these played in Nuremburg Pillsbury vs Chigorin, 1896 Pillsbury finally converted the exchange up, and Chigoin hesitates a couple of time letting the knight live on d6 before snapping it off when it reached b6.

I think Chigorin's game was barely good enough to draw, and to improve Pillsbury's play you might have to not exchange the bishop for knight on move 17.

Aug-19-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: 40 Qh6 getting the queen back into play looks like the right path toward stopping the c pawn.

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