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Ossip Bernstein vs Aron Nimzowitsch
St. Petersburg (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 4, Apr-26
Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov Variation (E12)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-30-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Although it ended in a draw this is a very interesting encounter.
Aug-16-07  JG27Pyth: Irving Chernev published an article with copious annotations of this game in the November 1935 Chess Life and Review (It is anthologized in "The Best of Chess Life and Review, Volume I, 1933-1960 ed. Pandolfini.)

Mr. Chernev's article begins: "The following game is, in the estimation of the writer, the most brilliant drawn game ever played, as well as one of the finest of chess masterpieces! Sparkling as this gem is, it needed the masterly annotations of Georg Marco to bring out its full beauty. So dazzling were its coruscations as to blind other eminent annotators--Dr. Tarrasch, Herr Emmerich, Bogolubov, Dr. Tartakover, etc. so that they placed exclamation points where question marks belonged! Historically, the game is important as being one of the first wherein Hypermodern principles are essayed, in this case an illustration of control of the centre squares, foregoing their occupation by pawns."

Some high points of the annotation:

8...d6 Chernev gives a mini-lesson on pawn play here, discussing why d6 is superior to d5 in this position.

16...Nxd2 Chernev likes this move, Tarrasch apparently didn't. The comments here are not analysis of the game but rather analysis of the analysis; fascinating and instructive.

22.fxe5??
Chernev goes crazy on this move. He hates it and gives a full typeset page of variation and counter-variation to back his point. For Chernev this is the critical move of the game. Setting up the brilliant....

30...Nd3 Let me summarize Chernevs full page of analysis of this move: OHHHhhh god why?!? LOL!

"It is remarkable that all of the annotators place an excalmation point after Nimzovich's 30th move, and none of them point out the winning line, or even suggest the first move! The critics include Dr. Tarrasch, Emmerich, Bogolubov, and Dr. Tartakover. The variations that follow are astonishingly beautiful."

(He gives the variations, which, I admit I haven't worked through... but what is "the winning move" anyway?

According to I.C. it's 30...Re2! and you have to admit -- that's a sexy move.

From there on all the exclamation points belong to Bernstein... 31!, 33! 37! 47!

Drawn!

Aug-16-07  Karpova: <JG27Pyth: According to I.C. it's 30...Re2! and you have to admit -- that's a sexy move.> What does black do after 31.Kh1 (31...Re7 32.Ra8+ Re8 33.Rxe8+ Bxe8 34.Qf6 looks winning for white)?
Aug-16-07  JG27Pyth: <What does black do after 31.Kh1 (31...Re7 32.Ra8+ Re8 33.Rxe8+ Bxe8 34.Qf6 looks winning for white)?>

Lord knows what he does... Chernev doesn't analyze any lines beginning Kh1 (although CM likes Kh1 too)... but Chernev does not answer Ra8+ by interposing the rook, he moves Kf7.

I believe Chernev would like 31. Kh1 Rc2

Unfortunately as I explore down that line with my computer, the silicon calculation engine comes up with white's Bf6, which I.C. did not look at either... at which point the page of human analysis starts to look frail and mortal. But who am I to judge.

The short answer is, it takes a better chess mind than mine to evaluate Chernev's analysis.

Here's where I've gotten: 31.Kh1 Rc2 32. Ra8+ Kf7 33. Bf6 Qg6 34. ? ... this is all starting to look pretty unclear.

Aug-16-07  paul1959: What about 31 Kh1 Rf2 with the threat of Rxf3.

If 32 Bf6 then Qxf6

If 32 Ra8+ Kf7 33 Bf6 Qg6 and White is in trouble

Aug-17-07  Karpova: <paul1959: What about 31 Kh1 Rf2 with the threat of Rxf3.

If 32 Bf6 then Qxf6>

30...Re2 31.Kh1 Rf2 32.Bf6 Qxf6?? 33.Rf8+ and black loses the queen

And Rxf3 is not a threat:
30...Re2 31.Kh1 Rf2 32.Rxc7 Rxf3 33.Qa8+ (33...Kf7 34.Rxd7+ Kg6 35.Qg8+)

So after 32.Rxc7 Black is threatening the Bd7 which cannot move because of 33.Rg7+ and has to be covered by the queen and black has no attack anymore

Aug-17-07  paul1959: <Karpova>

32 Bf6 Qxf6
33 Rf8 + is not possible

I guess you meant

33 Ra8+ Kg7
34 Rg8+ but then Kxg8
(and not Kf7 35 Rf8+)

You are right about Rxc7 so it seems tha Re2 was not good after all

Aug-17-07  Karpova: <aul1959>
you are correct.

<You are right about Rxc7 so it seems tha Re2 was not good after all> But I have to disagree on this one as only 30...Re2 31.Kh1 Rf2 had been refuted by 32.Rxc7 but not the whole line with 30...Re2. In <JG27Pyth>'s line 30....Re2 31.Kh1 Rc2 white can't play 32.Rxc7 because of 32...Ne6 and black threatens 33...Rc1+

But we can safely assume that Chernev's claim 30...Re2 was winning looks very dubious as it leads to an complicated and unclear position.

Feb-21-21  CharlesSullivan: This is a very famous game: Chernev called it the "most brilliant drawn game ever played"; Martin Beheim called it "almost the ideal game of chess." Modern computers show that Black needed to play 25...f4 because White had a win at move 28 that has been overlooked for 107 years:


click for larger view

After 28.Bxg7!!! the main line is 28...Rxe2 29.Bh6!! Re7 30.h3 (or 30.Ra8) Be8 31.Ra8 Qd7 32.Qc3


click for larger view

32...c5 33.bxc5 bxc5 34.f5! Qxf5 35.Rxe8+


click for larger view

and White eventually reaches a position with two extra pawns: 35...Kf7 36.Rd8 Qe5 37.Qf3+ Qf6 38.Qg3 Qe5 39.Qf2+ Qf6 40.Rxd6 Qxf2+ 41.Kxf2


click for larger view

etc.

Feb-21-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Alright, I've put in a computer analysis request, setting is on '4'. So it will be a while...
Feb-21-21
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Analysis completed!!
Mar-08-21  Stolzenberg: <Position after 5. ... Bb4> As Nimzowitsch had black and the tournament was played in St. Petersburg, one should perhaps call the opening of this historically important game a Nimzo-Indian Defense, St. Petersburg Variation (E43).

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