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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Paul Saladin Leonhardt
San Sebastian (1911), San Sebastian ESP, rd 3, Feb-23
Four Knights Game: Nimzowitsch (Paulsen) (C49)  ·  1-0



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Given 27 times; par: 72 [what's this?]

Annotations by Aron Nimzowitsch.      [48 more games annotated by Nimzowitsch]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-24-04  Leviathan: <giancarlo> all the moves after 34.Qf5 the are unimportant since Black's position is absolutely hopeless.

The tenacious Paul 'Lion Heart' Leonhardt puts up the Alamo flag and keeps on playing although the game is already over.

Sep-24-04  Giancarlo: <leviathan>

I noticed that, but you dont usually see someone continue on like that.

Jan-07-16  andrewjsacks: Rather late resignation.
Jan-07-16  dfcx: The black queen lacks escapes,

29.Nd5 traps the queen

A. 29...Rxd5 30. cxd5 (c3? Qxd3 31. Rxd3 Rxd3 =)Bf7 white is up an exchange.

B. 29...Bxd5 30. c3 the queen is trapped

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: First Thursday puzzle of the year.

Now I got this puzzle, but I didn't solve it.

I remembered 29.Nd5 Rxd5 30.c3 Qxd3 31.exd5 Qxc4 32.dxe6 Qxe6.

I wasn't sure what came next, but white is up a rook for 3 pawns now, should be a win, good enough.

I saw this puzzle posted on <cg> FB a few minutes before midnight, and decided to check out the solution.

So yes, I got a Thursday puzzle, but I didn't solve it. But remember, don't work harder, work smarter.

Jan-07-16  RookFile: Black was fully equal through move 28, but you wouldn't know it through Nimzo's notes. 28...Re8 keeps all of black's options open. A goal of black's can be to prepare ...c6 and ..b5, which would benefit his bishop. The kingside attack is nice, but reality is that black has at least the same firepower over there that white has. If I had to choose on move 28, I would take the black pieces.
Jan-07-16  sushijunkie: Nope. No way. Wow wow wow!
Jan-07-16  Robespierre: Wow -- I don't believe that I've ever seen such carefully crafted notes. Even from Capablanca.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: I know this game.
Jan-07-16  patzer2: Today's 29. Nd5! Thursday puzzle solution traps the Queen. I found the solution easy, but that may be because I previously viewed this game as I had it in my Game Collection: Trapped Queen.

Going over the game with the computer makes some of Nimzowitch's commentary sound a bit pompous -- particularly his self-praise for setting a simple Queen trap with 27. R1g2.

At move 28, Black can avoid White's trap with several fully equalizing alternatives.

Instead of 28...Qd4??, Deep Fritz 15 gives 28...Qe7 = (-0.20 @ 25 depth) as its first choice. White will likely get a menacing looking Kingside attack, but Black should be able to defend and hold.

Jan-07-16  morfishine: <29.Nd5> hems in the Black Queen; One need only go back 1 move to find the major Black blooper: 28...Qd4


Jan-07-16  saturn2: I caught the queen after approximatley 2 min.

By the way I like the sadistic move 46 f4

Jan-07-16  whiteshark: Tal♔ about traps:
Jan-07-16  Cheapo by the Dozen: I missed the move order in which White first plays c3 and then captures the rook, but otherwise I had it. My notes before checking were:


Since this is a Nimzovich position -- with all pawns still on the board! -- the question naturally arises: Who or what can be strangled?

The answer turns out to be Black's queen, specifically via 29 Nd5 with the threat of c3. The best defense I can find for Black is

29 Nd5 Rxd5

At this point I'm not sure 30 c3 gives White much of an advantage, but White can at least snatch the exchange in a simple recapture.

Jan-07-16  thegoodanarchist: Anand said that chess intuition is the first move that comes to you when you see a position for the first time.

Nd5 popped into my head instantly - I guess I have Thursday-level chess intuition, but the rest of the week probably won't see me do as well.

Jan-07-16  Marmot PFL: The first move I considered was 29 Nf5 to force black to open the file. When that didn't work I found 29 Nd5.
Jan-07-16  JASAHA: Game Collection: 1911 Leonhardt - Nimozwitsch Leonhardt defeated Nimzowitsch in this match.
Jan-07-16  King Harvest: I see a few folks think Leonhardt resigned late (considering the 1-0 result a foregone conclusion after white's material gain). Perhaps... but as of 35. gf5, black has 8 connected pawns in just two islands with one minor flaw in the structure -- a doubling. White has 5 terrible isolated pawns. Isn't it easy for White to stall and let Black leverage his superior pawns into a draw? It would be for me. What a great piece of technical chess from Nimzo in the finish. He makes dismantling the black pawns look easy... the last 12 moves are my favorite part of this game -- it's a lesson in torpedoing good pawns with bad ones. It's so well done, so efficient... to me, honestly, it's more beautiful than the puzzle and very educational.
Jan-07-16  kevin86: The queen trap gained a rook!
Jan-07-16  stst: Almost blind to launch an attack by Nf5, but it does not really go thru. And peekaboo the Black Q is in trouble... Think it's POD!! and Nimzo!! - couldn't be that "Sore Loser!!"

Then recognize instead Nd5 can actually lock up the Blk Q!!

That should be it: Nd5 to lock / trap (whatever it's called) the Blk Q!! and Blk can resign. Actually almost all of the Blk pieces have no good places to go... meaningless to continue the game after White's Nd5!!

Jan-07-16  stst: <JASAHA: Game Collection: 1911 Leonhardt - Nimozwitsch Leonhardt defeated Nimzowitsch in this match.> !!!

have to see it, thought Nimzo was considered once by Chernev as one of the "Golden Dozen"?? - When was that?? Nimzo still very very young??

Jan-07-16  wooden nickel: <We'll just iron it out, said the tailor as he noticed he accidently made the fly on the wrong side of the trousers> ... However I don't think c3 can be ironed out!
Jan-07-16  mel gibson: No - didn't see it - I was looking for a quick checkmate.
Jan-07-16  CHESSTTCAMPS: White has a knight for a bishop in a closed position, with material otherwise even. The position of the black queen in the middle of the board entangled in a net of pawns suggests the possibility of a queen trap. With the BQ now having an escape hatch at d6, white must cut off the retreat.

29.Nd5! leaves black defenseless:

A.29... Bxd5 30.c3! Bxe4 31.cxd4 Bxg2 32.Kxg2 is winning (Q for R+P).

B.29... Rxd5 30.c3! Qxd3 31.cxd5 Qxe4 32.dxe6 leaves white a rook ahead.

Time for review...

Premium Chessgames Member
  kerpa: I'm going through My System - this is Game #16. Nimzowitsch used this game to show that putting the question to a pinning Bishop (ie following up 8. h3 with g4) depended on proper timing, and needed compensation for "disorganizing" the King's pawn protection. 9. g4? because Nxg4 10.hxg4 Bxg4 and Black is better. But he played a later g4 once he got rid of Black's f6-Knight, because the absence of a Black pawn on the d file permitted White to prepare the Kingside attack with g4, since the g6-Bishop was biting on granite and the center could be kept closed. I agree with the above comments about Black having compensation on the Queenside, wrecked by Black playing Qd4?, but Nimzo's lessons about this game are still worthwhile. That using g4 to disorganize one's Kingside pawns in preparation for an attack is worth it if the Bishop can be driven into a "desert" and the center kept closed. This is all from an admitted weak player - I do not mind being criticized so long as you point out where the above is incorrect!
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