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Louis Paulsen vs Ignatz von Kolisch
Paulsen - Kolisch (1861), London ENG, rd 1, Sep-30
Sicilian Defense: French Variation (B40)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: This is the first game of what seems to be the longest single match between leading players before 1927,

Does anyone know why the players played it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <offramp> Interesting question, does anyone know how the Paulsen-Kolisch match came about?

Paulsen was so low-key, he seems to have not raised a ripple in the chess scene in England until this match. On the Ignatz Von Kolisch page,<SBC> quote a May 1861 letter Paulsen wrote in which he says, "Since my arrival here on the 12th of December I have neither done anything important in chess, nor heard any interesting news; and have not even yet determined when I shall go to Berlin and Breslau to challenge Anderssen, Lange, and Suhle."

Meanwhile, Kolisch had been traveling about Europe and England since 1859 with a sponsor playing matches in which he either won or drew. According to The Oxford Companion to Chess, Kolisch "defeated Harwitz (+2 =1 -1), Horwitz (+3-1) Barnes (+10 -1)..."

So they met in London, and played this extra-ordinary match. Probably, I would surmise at Kolisch's or his sponsor's urging, who would have been eager to play another opponent of Morphy after duplicating his victories over Barnes and Harrwitz. But it was Paulsen's reputation which was enhanced by the outcome.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Here is how the 31-game match went:

Paulsen,Louis ½01½11½½½½1½½1½1½000½0½1½0½½½½½ 16.0
Kolisch,Ignaz ½10½00½½½½0½½0½0½111½1½0½1½½½½½ 15.0

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Does 79...Bh7 win? Anyone have those creepy tablebases?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "[A] most remarkable case in point is the match between Kolisch and Paulsen for the first eleven games up, in which the latter stood at once time with five games against one ahead in the score. Kolisch then contented himself to draw game after game, occasionally adding a victory, until at last the match was given up as undecided, with the final score of—Paulsen 7, Kolisch 6, and 17 drawn. However, it should be pointed out that the two above-named contests occurred before the introduction of the time limit, and it is difficult to say how far the modern time restriction would interfere with such defensive tactics..."

-- The Field, (London), 16th July 1881

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: "That same year [Paulsen] played a match with Kolisch, which, after a prolonged contest, was abandoned as drawn; at one time Paulsen's score was 6 to 1, but, greatly to his credit, Kolisch fought on bravely, and eventually scored 5 to his opponent's 6, with 14 draws. It was reported at time that when the score was 6 to 1 against Kolisch, he was greatly encouraged to exert himself to the utmost by the back-pats and promises of pecuniary reward given to him by the late Mr. N. Strode, of Chiselhurst, a well-known member of the St. George's Chess Club. It was said Mr. Strode gave him 5 pounds for every game he drew, and a still larger sum for every game he won."

-- G. A. Macdonnell, The Knights and Kings of Chess.

Apr-25-06  Boomie: The premature 55. f5 blew a won game. The proper technique involves infiltrating with the king on the h-file.

55. Kg3 Ke6 56. Bg7 Kxd6 57. Bxh6 Ke6 58. Bg7 Be8 59. Kh4 Kf7 60. Be5 Bb5 61. Kg5 Bd3 62. Kh6 Bc4 63. h4 Bd3 64. f5 gxf5 65. g5 f4 66. Bxf4 Ke6 67. g6 Kf5 68. Bg5 Bc4 69. Kh7

Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Black had the game won until he played 79...Kb5??, enabling the White king to reach the a1 corner via c3. Instead, 79...Kb4 wins, the difference being 80. Kd4 Bh7 (or 80...Bf5 or 80...Bg6 - any waiting move will do) puts White in zugzwang, forcing the White king to move away from the critical c3 square. After 81. Ke3 Kxa5 82. Kd2 Kb4 83. Kc1 Ka3, the White king can't reach the corner, giving Black the game.

<offramp's> 79...Bh7 is also fine. It's the same idea: the White king is forced to move off the shortest path to the corner, allowing the Black king to capture the pawn and get to a3 before the White king can reach a1.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: It does look as if, right at the end, black missed a win in this position: 3681: Paulsen,L - Kolisch,I, London m2 1861

click for larger view

79...Bg6 seems to win as well as <OBIT>'s 79...Kb4.

Dec-22-14  poorthylacine: First Paulsen, then Kolisch, challenged Morphy for a match; but Morphy refused rather angrily, reminding the first that he had already published no more to play without giving odds; so Paulsen proposed to accept a match with the odd of points gained for him before beginning; Morphy just replied "no" again, adding that this insistence began to tire him; to Kolish he answered in a sarcastic meaningful way: "the result of your matches against Anderssen and Paulsen was not favorable to you". In fact, Morphy was no more interested to play chess seriously and accepted only to play some casual games in equal terms at Paris with his french friend Arnous de Rivière in 1863. Of course, he won mostly of them, like in 1858... But even so, he accepted only with reluctance that these games would be published...

Much later, he accepted to meet Steinitz only under the condition they would not touch the topic of chess: a veritable sadism towards the poor Steinitz, as we can guess it easily!! To a friend who spoke to him about Steinitz, he answered only: "yes, I know him, his gambit is bad!"...

Dec-22-14  poorthylacine: Indeed, this match is one of the longest of the XIXth century; if I remember well, the match between Harrwitz and Loewenthal of 1853 also counted 31 games...
Jan-21-15  poorthylacine: Very difficult endgame; Kolish lost a last opportunity to win it at the 79th move by 79...Kb4, or even a move faster, by 79...Bg6 or Bh7; the three only winning moves at this last crucial moment... After 79...Kb5?, Paulsen played the only saving answer!!

Of course I found ALONE this very evident solution!!!!!!

Jan-21-15  poorthylacine: Oops! Sorry sorry!... I overlooked that OBIT ANF OFFRAMP published already this solution, (and explained it, unlike me,) but of course I was the first who discovered it December 11/2012, but it was at midnight and I remember very well, I was just to sleepy for publishing it immediately......

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Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
79...Bh7 wins, 79...Kb5?? draws
from Interesting Endgames (Six Pieces or Less) by Artsemthon
by Gottschalk
Game 1, 30.09.1861 (TF, 1861.10.05)
from Kolisch - Paulsen (1861) by MissScarlett

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