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Jackson Whipps Showalter vs David Janowski
Munich (1900), Munich GER, rd 5, Jul-28
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Botvinnik Variation (D60)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Every Janowski game was an adventure, and this one is no exception. Showalter had the edge for most of this game, but Janowski kept trying to lash out, and ultimately came out on top. Even though a pawn down in a heavy piece ending, Janowsi never stopped playing for a win. It wasn't always pretty, but going over this game provides an idea of just how difficult it must have been to face Janowski over the board.

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bg5 Be7
5. e3 Nbd7
6. Nf3 0-0
7. Bd3

This move, which loses a tempo, seems to have been in vogue at the time. 7. Rc1 (the "book" move) and 7. cxd5 both seem better. 7. Qc2 is another reasonable possibility for White.

7... b6

7...dxc4 or 7...c6 are normal here. But who expects normal from Janowski. 7...h6 was also good. Janowski's move is obviously also playable.

8. Qc2

8. cxd5 seems best and avoids losing a tempo, as happened here given Janowski's next move.

8... dxc4
9. Bxc4 Bb7

Having played b6, Janowski was bound to play this. 9...c5 and 9...h6 look like decent alternatives.

10. 0-0 Nd5

10...BxN and 10...c5 were somewhat better, since the coming exchanges give Showalter the better game.

11. BxB QxB

11...NxB was arguably better, but obviously not in Janowski's style.

12. e4

12. NxN followed by 13. Bd3 would give Showalter the edge. The text looks the center.

12... NxN
13. bxN

After some questionable (but not awful) moves by both sides, the following position was reached:

click for larger view

White holds the center but Black has various means of counterplay against it. Chances seem to be about even. But no position could be counted on to stay placid for long with Janowski at the board.

13... e5

The Tournament Book gives this a "!", but it seems to loosen Janowski's position. 13...c5 or 13...a6 were better.

14. Rae1

The other Rook seems to belong here, so 14. Rfe1 was better.

14... Rae8

I would have expected 14...a6 here from Janowski.

15. Bd3 Qd6
16. Re3

The position was now:

click for larger view

Both sides have chances here. But from here Janowski refused to sit back and strengthen his position gradually but--as I will discuss in my next post on this game--played for explosive complications, and the game became very sharp.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

In the diagrammed position with which I ended my last post, Janowski had a number of sound and solid moves at his disposal; e.g., 16...h6 or 16...Qc6 or 16...a6 or 16...Re7 or 16...Rd8. But, being Janowski, he struck out at White's center with:

16... c5?!

This allowed Showalter to obtain a protected passed pawn in the center, and indeed Showlater played:

17. d5!

Now surely, Janowski would muzzle his fangs with the careful 17...Nf6 or perhaps try to shore up his position with 17...Rb8 or 17...Rd8. But instead he played:

17... f5?!

Rightly called "risky" by the Tournament Book.

Look at how the position was been transformed with just two moves by Janowski:

click for larger view

As was noted by the Tournament Book, Showalter would have had excellent prospects with 18. exf5. But Showalter apparently had his eye on e6 and for a chance to be on the attack rather than give Janowski counterplay, and so he played the inferior (but playable):

18. Ng5

This move, however, gave Janowski the chance he wanted and obtained when he played:

18... f4!

This seemingly results in the retreat of the White Rook to e2 or e1. But Showalter had other ideas and played:

19. Rh3?!

This left:

click for larger view

Both sides are clearly going for the jugular.

19... h6

19...Nf6 looks better, but Janowski has other plans.

20. Ne6

Showalter had achieved his goal of posting his Knight in the heart of Janowski's realm. Janowski, as the sequel will show, appears not to have been daunted in the least.

20... Rf6
21. Bb5

Showalter apparently wanted to gang up on the d7 Knight and attack Janowski's pawn on a7. But this plan could have been foiled with good defense and so 21. Bc4 was better and would allow Showalter to retain the better chances.

21... Bc8

It is hard to explain why Janowski did not play the much better 21...a6.

22. Qa4 Re7
23. Ba6

23. Qxa7, which was probably best, was probably rejected by Showalter because of 23...Nf8.

After the text (23. Ba6), the position was:

click for larger view

As I will discuss in my next post on this game, Janowski here had the opportunity to seize the initiative he had been searching for--and missed it, winding up with a difficult defensive task to stay in the game.

Sep-19-18  sudoplatov: Marshall wrote that, "You had to get Janowski before he got you."
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

Janowski of all people should have been expected to find 23...b5! The game would then have gotten really wild after 24. Bxb5 (forced) Nb6! 25, Qa3 Rg6. This looks like just the kind of unbalanced position Janowski would have relished. But in fact he played the timid:

23... BxB

This gave Showalter the better game after:

24. QxB Nf8

The position was now:

click for larger view

Showalter seems to get the better of the struggle after 25. NxN on all variations, but the game continued:

25. Qc8 Ref7
26. f3

The Tournament Book (perhaps looking at the result) affixed a "?" to this move. But the move is not all that bad (it certainly looks better than the Tournament Book's suggested 26. c4) and solidifies White's pawn chain. Perhaps an immediate 26. Rh5 was best.

26... Rg6

The Tournament Book assigns a "?" to this move as well, and this time it is hard to disagree (especially since Janowski returned his Rook to f6 on his very next turn). 26...Qd7 and 26...Rd7 were both much better.

27. Rh5!

Eyeing a later possible Rf5.

27... Rgf6

This left:

click for larger view

Janowski was clearly in trouble now. But from here, Showalter squandered his chances and quickly let Janowski back in the game.

28. Qa8

The Queen does nothing here. Better was 28. Rb1 (bringing the shock troops into the battle) or perhaps 28. a4.

28... Rd7

Janowski could here have struck back with the tricky 28...c4! 29. NxN RxN 30. Qxa7 b5. But for now, Janowski seemingly decided to bide his time.

29. Qe8?

More pointless Queen wanderings by Showalter. 29. Rf5! would have given him good winning chances.

29... Re7

All of a sudden, Janowski is back in the game. Another possibility for Black here is 29...Rb7.

30. Qc8

This left:

click for larger view

From here, things got zany as I will discuss in my next post on this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post IV

As a result of Showalter's dithering on his last few moves, Janowski had an opportunity to defend himself and have excellent chances to draw. But Janowksi, who had gotten off to a poor start at Munich 1900 had no interest in drawing, so he lashed out once again with an unsound but scary looking:

30... c4

Janowski was prepared to give up a pawn to get attacking chances of his own. The problem with the text, however, is that Showalter--if he were prepared to forget about winning a pawn for a while--had a powerful retort: 31. Rf5!

But Showalter decided to take the pawn, and thus played the vastly inferior:

31. NxN RxN

I spent a long time looking at the intermediate move 31...Rc7 here, but finally decided that the simple recapture was best.

32. Qxc4

So Showalter has won his pawn, but at what cost--the position now being:

click for larger view

For the pawn, Janowski was rid of the invading White Knight on e6 and now had play on the c-file. The game is once again in the balance. But as will be seen, Janowski--though down a pawn--was playing to win.

32... Rc7!

Here comes Janowski!

33. Qb4 Rc5

"!"--Tournament Book.

34. Rd1

Very sloppy. The danger on the c-file should not have been ignored, amd thus 34. Rc1 was best.

34... Rfc8
35. c4

Wrong again. Yet again, Rc1 should have been played by Showalter.

The position was now:

click for larger view

Now, at long last, Janowski had chances to break through, and should have played 35...a5! In his zeal for complications, however, Janowski went astray with:

35... g5?

This allowed Showalter time to neutralize the King-side with:

36. g4

Both sides now look safe. But not with Janowski at the board:

36... b5!?

Clever play by Janowski (though 36...a5 may have been best). The position now was:

click for larger view

The position is very sharp, but--as I will discuss in my next post on this game--Showalter (perhaps overwhelmed by the complications Janowski had created), blundered, and when Janowski erred in turn, made his final (and losing) blunder on move 39.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post V

The finale to this game was no less thrilling than what preceded it, but the play was spotty (to put it mildly) on both sides.

37. a4?

Needless to say, Showalter could not have played 37. cxb5 which would have gotten crushed by 37...Qb6!

But Showalter would still have been fine with 37. Kg2 (getting his King off the potentially lethal a7..g1 diagonal. But his actual move should have cost him the game:

37. a4? a5!?

Janoski had other options here, but the text was more than good enough to sink Showalter.

38. Qxa5

He had no real choice. If, for example, 38. Qe1, 38...bxa4 would be crushing.

This left:

click for larger view

Jaowski was now on top, but not for long:

38... bxc4?

Hard to believe from Janowski. 38...bxa4! wins. The text gave Showalter a simple way to save the game, and perhaps even play for a win himself:

39. Qa7??

This sure wasn't the way. With 39. Qc3!, Showalter would have been in decent shape. But after the text, Janowski quickly blew him away:

39... c3!

Did Showalter really miss this? The position was now:

click for larger view

As is apparent, Showalter is toast.

40. Rc1 c2!
41. h4

Hopeless, but so is everything else.

41... R5c7
42. Qf2 Qa3

The game was now clearly over:

click for larger view

43. Qf1 Rb7
44. d6 QxR!
45. QxQ Rb1

This left:

click for larger view


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