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Geza Maroczy vs Richard Teichmann
Monte Carlo (1902), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 8, Feb-14
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Morphy Attack (C78)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-06-04  Calli: Superb endgame by Maroczy. Teichmann's error, 44...h5+?, is not obvious, but 53.g5! exploits the weakness. Then White temporarily sacrifices a bishop and both sides queen before the simplification to an easy win. Very finely calculated by Geza Maroczy.
May-19-18  Saniyat24: This is a fascinating display of end game technique...!
Jan-28-19  zydeco: 53.g5! is the shot. If Teichmann had seen it, he could have prevented it with 52....Bc8.

With 60....Kb3 Teichmann again misses Maroczy’s idea. He should have played 60....a5 right away.

If 62....gxh5+ 63.Kxh5 a5 64.g6 Bf8 65.d6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A fabulous endgame by Maroczy that is enjoyable to play over as it is to analyze.

Maroczy was rolling along at the top of the leader board (with five points out of six) along with Janowski (5.25 out of 7) even before this game was played. Meanwhile, Teichmann began the game with 3.5 points out of a possible five with no fewer than four outstanding replays ahead. The strange scoring system at Monte Carlo 1902 was not kind to Teichmann. And to make matters worse, this game went so long he didn't get to make up and of these replays, and thus entered the next round (Round 9) with four replays still to go while Maroczy and Janowski had none.

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6
4. Ba4 Nf6
5. 0-0 Be7
6. Nc3

This move has long since gone out of fashion, but it is entirely sound, even if not as sharp as the lines after the (today) much more usual 6. Re1. Teichmann himself played on several occasions, and it was also played frequently by Tarrasch (at least 15 times!), Janowski, Pillsbury, and Lasker.

6... b5
7. Bb3 d6
8. d3 Na5
9. Ne2

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The sort of slow maneuvering for which Maroczy was known. On its face, it seems too passive to be a way to play to win with White. But as will be seen, Maroczy knew what he was doing, and he was happy to build up a King-side attack with amazing patience; and ready to pounce on an opponent who tried something rash. With so correct an adversary as Teichmann, Maroczy knew a long game was likely.

9... 0-0
10. Ng3 Re8
11. c3

This was a novelty at the time. It likely would seem slow to most, but Maroczy was true to his style and was confident he could fare well in any positional struggle.

11... NxB
12. axN Bf8

Teichmann could also be patient.

13. Re1

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13... c5

Not prepared to let White pursue his plans, Teichmann staked his claim to the center with this nice thrust.

14. h3

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14... Qc7

"A mistake which loses time. g6 should have been played so as to prevent White's following maneuver of Nh5 and g4." (Hoffer)

The plan for White hardly seems so dangerous that Teichmann had to play g6. While g6 would avoid Nf5, it would create other weaknesses apart from the ones Maroczy was eventually able to exploit. With the benefit of hindsight, however, the text (with which I have no quarrel) did create weaknesses of which Maroczy was able to take advantage. But only as the game went, and I think it wrong to call 14...Qc7 a "mistake" of any kind.

15. Bg5

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Maroczy's plan as mentioned by Hoffer notwithstanding, there was nothing much wrong with Teichmann's position at this point or indeed for quite a while. Among other things, he had the two Bishops. But a notable feature of this game is how Maroczy turned possession of two Bishops by Black into a fatal weakness when Teichmann game him a chance to do so.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

15... Nd7

While hardly a mistake of any significance, this tend to play into Maroczy's scheme. Simpler was 15...Be7 so that Nf5 could be answered by BxN and other White moves likewise do not lead to any real attacking worries for Black.

16. Nf5

Now this is playable for White, and 16...g6 is not great in light of 17. Nh6+.

16... h6

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17. Bc1

Not my personal cup of tea, but very much in Maroczy's unhurried style. Having created a small weakness on the Black King-side in light of 16. h6, Maroczy retreats and prepares for his intended advance. Most of us would have been choosing between 17. Bh4 and 17. Bd2. But Maroczy was keeping all his options open.

17... Kh7

Over-caution on Teichmann's part. If he had f5 in mind, he had little to fear on the a2..g8 diagonal, and it is hard to imagine he was planning on Rg8 and an attack on the g-file. All-in-all, 17...Nf6 looks clearly best. But given the closed nature of the position, the text was hardly any sort of serious error. Perhaps Teichmann was waiting to see what Maroczy's plan was. If so, he didn't have long to wait.

18. g4?!

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What about Maroczy's supposed patient style? I hear you cry. As will be seen, however, Maroczy had to get his pawn off g2 for his upcoming maneuvers. Objectively, 18. Ne3 or 18. Nh2 or perhaps 18. c4 might seem more solid. But Maroczy liked to create and follow a plan, and pursue it step by step.

18... g6!

Creating another weakness, but at least for now this stopped Maroczy's attack in its tracks (not that a small delay likely troubled the careful Hungarian). Or am I prejudiced because I am 1/4 Hungarian?

19. Ne3 Nf6

Teichmann had achieved a solid highly defensible position with reasonable counter-chances. By almost any objective measure, he was somewhat better here. But--to beat the same tune--Maroczy was in no hurry.

20. Rf1

With the idea of Ne1-g2. Maroczy in action! I am no Maroczy, my lineage notwithstanding, and I was thinking about 20. c4.

20... Bg7
21. Ne1 Rf8
22. N1g2

The set-up at which Maroczy had been aiming:

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22... c4?!

"This move is now necessary in order to prevent White from advancing his f-pawn with a strong attack." (Hoffer)

I disagree. If anything, the text allowed Maroczy chances on both wings and left the game in balance. Black would still have had a slight edge with 22...Qa7 or 22...Bb7.

23. bxc4 bxc4
24. f3?!

24. Nxc4 seems an easier way to simply and achieve equality (24...Nxd4 25. dxN QxN). But Maroczy wanted more, and was willing to complicate.

24... cxd3
25. Qxd3

25. c4 first was an interesting alternative. After the text, the position was:

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Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

25... Bb7

Especially in light of what later transpired, 25...a5 was probably better, as was 25...Be6. Once again, however, Teichmann's move was hardly a mistake, and the game--which to this point had been quite well handled by both sides--remained very much in the balance.

26. Rd1 Rfd8
27. c4!

Well-played by Maroczy, staking out squares on the Queen's-side and preparing to recapture with his c-pawn after 28. Nd5.

27... Bf8

Not bad, but yet again Teichmann could have saved himself a lot of suffering had he played 27...a5.

28. Nd5

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This worked out splendidly for Maroczy, but only because of a Teichmann miscue. Better and more in line with Maroczy's legendary patience were 28. b4 or 28. Nb4 or 28. Ne1 or even 28. Qe2.

28... NxN
29. cxN Rdc8
30. Be3

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30... Qc4?

The last move before the move-30 time control and the first real "mistake" in the game. A glance at the board reveals the problems Teichmann was potentially creating for himself. He had the two Bishops, and so long as the Queens were on the board and a5 was an option, his Bishops had the potential to spring into action. But the text was the first step by which Teichmann allowed Maroczy to smother his Bishops.

31. Ra3?

MIssing the chance to obtain a sizable positional edge with 31. QxQ. But not to worry:

31... QxQ?

Teichmann could have avoided the problems that now arose by 31...Qc7. But now:

32. RdxQ

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Teichmann's Bishops were already becoming a sorry lot, but his game was not beyond repair.

32... Rc7

32...a5 would not have worked out so well in light of 33. Rdb3 Rcb8 34. Bd2.

33. Rdc3 Rac8

Digging a deeper hole for himself. He should be able to hold the game with 33...Rd7.

34. Bb6

34. Rab3 or even 34. Bd2 were even better.

34... RxR
35. RxR RxR
36. bxR

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We have now arrived at the minor piece ending for which Maroczy's handling has justly earned him high praise. White is obviously much better here. Black's f8 Bishop is practically embalmed, and his a-pawn cannot advance. With best play, Teichmann might just have been able to hold the game. But Maroczy was exactly the sort of opponent one would not want to face while playing the Black side here. To play to win, White has to engage in long precise maneuvering to press Black's weaknesses; most notably the Black pawn on d6. With the exception of his upcoming 37th move, Maroczy rose to the occasion brilliantly.

I derived great enjoyment and satisfaction in watching Maroczy's workmanlike performance in this endgame. As will be seen, Maroczy's long-range plans included a Bishop sacrifice as well as a reduction to a Queen and Pawn ending.


Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post IV

36... Kg7?

"Black should have sacrificed the a-pawn to get his Rook [I assume he meant 'Bishop'] into play with an excellent chance of drawing the game." (Hoffer)

Such drastic measures were not in order, and after 36...a5 37. Bxa5 Black's dark-square Bishop would still be out of play and his prospects look dim. Better was 36...Bc8.

But after the text, Maroczy made his only slip in his otherwise magnificent play in this ending:

37. Bd8?

"Not the best continuation. Ne3-c4 seems to win the d6-pawn by force, since Black cannot bring his King to defend it because of the check on d8 as soon as the King moves to f6." (Hoffer)

Hoffer's plan beginning with 37. Ne3 does indeed appear to be best, but the win would still be laborious. After the text, Teichmann found some nice counter-play that should probably have saved the game for him.

37... f5!

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38. Ne3 fxe4
39. fxe4 Kf7
40. Nc4 Ke8

Forced, but seemingly sufficient to save the game. At this point, it appeared that Teichmann had nearly exploited Maroczy's slip on move 37 and was poised to survive the "Maroczy bind" in this ending (pun intended).

41. Bb6

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41... Kd7
42. Kf2 Be7
43. Kf3 Bc8
44. Kg3

Maroczy may have been marking time until the move-time control was reached. But here the game took an interesting turn.

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44... h5!

<Calli> refers to Teichmann's non-obvious error in playing "44...h5+" I am not sure if he is faulting 44...h5 or 45...h4+ If the former, I disagree and think the text was the best attempt for Teichmann to break his shackles. But I agree that Teichmann's next move, though not necessarily losing, was not best.

45. Ba5 h4+

Now the King-side is locked and Teichmann faced--at best--a monumental task to try to withstand what was coming from Maroczy. Much better were 45...hxg4 or just sitting pat with something like 45...Bb7.

46. Kf3

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46... Ke8
47. Ke3

47. Bb4 looks like a more direct solution, but--as always--Maroczy was in no hurry.

47... Bg5+
48. Kf2 Be7
49. Kf3 Bb7
50. Bb4 Kd7
51. Na5

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Teichmann was still very much alive and kicking, but after his next two moves, his game--as will be seen--descended from from difficult to hopeless, though he fought on to the bitter end and made Maroczy demonstrate his technique.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post V

51... Kc7?

Teichmann had been tenaciously handling a rear-guard defense for a while, but this was a potentially fatal error.

As Hoffer noted, 51...Bc8 is best and then if 52. Nc6 Bb7. Also, if White after 51...Bc8 tries 52. c4, with c7 free Black can defend with 52...Bd8 53. Nc6 Bc7 54. c5 Bb7.

After the text, however, Maroczy had a win, the position being now:

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But now Maroczy erred:

52. Ba3?

I had erroneously stated in discussing Maroczy's 37th move that he played basically flawlessly from that point on. But now I see that 52. Ba3 was a mistake which gave Teichmann chances. Correct for White is 52. c4! Play might then proceed: 52...Bc8 53. Nc6 Bf6 54. Bd2 Kd7 55. Be3 g5 56. Bb6 Bb7 57. Na5 Bc8 58. c5 dxc5 59. Bxc5 Kd8 60. Bd6 Bd7 (or 60...Kd7 61. Nc4) 61. Nc6+.

But after the text, the position was quite different:

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Teichmann, however, failed to seize this his final chance:

52... Kc8?

Hoffer correctly identified this as the losing move. His suggested 52...g5, and also 52...Bc8 [pointed out by <zydeco> on this site], seem to make victory by White difficult if not impossible.

Now, however, Maroczy spotted the win in the following position:

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53. g5!

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As <Calli> has aptly noted, 53. g5 brilliantly exploits the Black weakness on h5.

There was probably no escape for Black now, but Teichmann made matters hopeless with:

53... Kc7?

The only chances (slim though they may have been) were 53...Bxg5; 53...Ba8 (avoiding the upcoming trade of minor pieces) and 53...Kb8.

After the text, Maroczy plan neared fruition:

54. NxB! KxB

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Talk about a bad Bishop!

Material was equal, but Black is now helpless against Maroczy's lovely scheme. It requires time and patience, but--as I have noted ad nauseum--Maroczy had all that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post VI

From here we can sit back and watch Maroczy's splendid endgame technique in action:

55. Kg4

Now Black's h-pawn falls.

55... Kb6

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Rather than sit back and watch Maroczy win with the extra pawn he was about to gather, Teichmann decided to go on the attack by advancing his a-pawn and going after White's c-pawn. At first sight, this counter-plan by Black may appear quite plausible, but as will be seen Maroczy had calculated the ramifications and had both a brilliant Bishop sacrifice and a winning Queen and pawn ending in view.

56. Kxh4 Kb5
57. Kg4 Ka4
58. Bc1 Kb3

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59. h4

In the long run, Black has no answer to this advance. But seeing everything through to the end is not easy for us mortals.

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59... Kxc3

Other moves also fail to similarly beautiful lines and sacrifices: (a) 59...Kc2[suggested by Hoffer] 60. Ba3 Kxc3 61. h5 gxh5+ 62. Kxh5 Kd3 (as good as anything) 63. g6 Bf6 64. Bxd6 Kxe4 65. Be7! [a cute Bishop sacrifice that Black obviously cannot accept] Bh8 66. d6 a5 67. d7; or (b) 59...a5 60 h5 gxh5+ 61. Kxh5 a4 62. g6 Bf8 63. c4 Kxc4 64. Kg5 (64. Ba3 also wins) Kc3 65. Kf6 Kb3 66. Ke6

60. Ba3!

Setting up the forthcoming winning Bishop sacrifice, the position now being:

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60... Kb3

Even more exciting, though holding no chances of success, is 60...a5 as recommended by <zydeco> White then wins as follows: 61. h5 gxh5+ 62. Kxh5 Kd3 63. g6 Bf6 64. Bxd6 Kxe4 65. Be7! Quite beautiful, isn't it!!

Teichmann's move allowed Maroczy to play the main line of his plan--sacrificing his Bishop on d6:

61. Bxd6! BxB
62. h5

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Despite Black's extra piece and chances to Queen his a-pawn, he is lost.

What a marvelous conception by Maroczy!

62... a5

As <zydeco> has pointed out, 62...gxh5+ loses straightaway after 63. Kxh5 a5 64. g6 Bd8 65. d6 and the Bishop cannot stop both White pawns from Queening.

63. h6

Faster was 63. hxg6 a4 64. g7 a3 65. g8(Q) a2 66. Qa8 Be7 67. d6 Bxd6 68. Qf5+ Kb2 69. QxB and now if Black Queens with 69...a1(Q) 70. Qxe5+ cleans house.

After 63. h6, it was simply a pawn race that Maroczy had calculated nicely, including the resulting Queen and pawn ending:

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Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post VII

63... a4
64. h7 a3
65. h8(Q) a2

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66. Qh3+

66. Qh1 also wins. On either line, Black is able to Queen his a-pawn but only at the cost of: (a) his Bishop; and (b) arriving at a lost Queen and pawn ending.

Once again, we can only marvel at Maroczy's wonderful winning conception.

66... Kb2
67. Qg2+

Watch how Maroczy's Queen wraps up the game.

67... Kb1
68. Qf1+ Kb2
69. Qb5+ Kc1
70. Qa6

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Teichmann must either give up his a-pawn or allow Maroczy to win the Bishop and arrive at a won Queen and pawn ending. He sensibly chooses the latter option, but that only prolonged the game for a few moves.

70... Kb1
71. QxB a1(Q)
72. Qxg6

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Queen and pawn endings can sometimes be onerous to win. But not this one. White has too many pawns poised to Queen, and his King can easily escape from checks by Black.

72... Kc2

Black is already finding it hard to attack the White King.

73. Qc6+ Kd3
74. d6

Nice to have multiple passed pawns ready to promote and a Queen and King to assist them!

74... Ke3
75. Kf5

And now White wins the Black pawn to boot. He could also have just played 75. d7 winning easily.

75... Qf1+
76. Kxe5

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76... Qf7
77. d7 Qe7+
78. Qe6 Qxg5+
79. Kd6 Qd8

If 79...Qf4+ 80. Qe5 Qh6+ 81. Kc7 Qh7 82. Kc8

80. e5

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80... Qf8+
81. Kc7 Qc5+
82. Kb7

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A cute finish. If Black checks the White King on the b-file White plays Qb6+ winning.


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