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Reginald Pryce Michell vs Aron Nimzowitsch
"The Price to Pay" (game of the day Jul-30-2006)
Marienbad (1925), Marianske Lazne CSR, rd 12, Jun-04
Sicilian Defense: Nimzowitsch. Exchange Variation (B29)  ·  0-1



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Given 30 times; par: 64 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: Nimzowitsch's last move is a great example of the axiom "If you've found a good move, look for a better one." The obvious move BxQ is a good move, and many players would play it instantly, however why be up a Rook for 2 pawns when you can be up a Rook and Bishop for those 2 pawns!
Jan-10-05  Whitehat1963: Nimzovich displays brilliant technique in his last 15 or so moves. A great game that features the opening of the day.
Jan-10-05  holierthanthou: 5. ..b6? is worth pointing out, white now has 6. e6! and black is in trouble.
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Are you sure?
Jan-11-05  holierthanthou: <samvega> I most certainly am. First of all, <6. ..fxe6> is naturally followed with 7.Ne5 and a crushing advantage for white. It's the same thing with <6. ..f6>, 7. Ne5 fxe5 8. Qf3. Any attempts to trap the white queen are in vain, 8. ..Qc7 9. Qxa8 Nc6 10.exd7+ Kxd7 11.Bb5.

After <6. ..d6> white has the simple 7.Bb5+ winning a piece. <6. ..Nc6> (7.exf7+ Kxf7 8.Ne5+ Nxe5 9.Qd5+) and <6. ..Bb7> appear to be just as losing as the other options I have mentioned. If <6. ..dxe6> then there's 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8. Ne5 Ke8 9.Bb5+ Bd7 (or 9. ..Nd7 10.Bc6 Rb8 11.Bf4 ) 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Bf4 with a very concrete .

Jan-11-05  Calculoso: <After dxe6> Is that really "very concrete?" White is down a pawn for his lead in development and the entire endgame is still to be played.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: <Calculoso> White will win the exchange, Rook for Bishop, one way or another e.g. 11. Bf4 a6 12. Bc6 Rc8 13. Bb7 Rb8 14. Bxb8 Nxb8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  samvega: Well this is interesting.

There are three instances of 5..b6 in the database, and in no case did white try 6.e6!.

Two of the games were won by black. The sole white victory was a Puzzle-of-the-Day Seidman vs Santasiere, 1939, and neither the victor nor the kibitzers saw 6.e6!. Bizarre.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <There are three instances of 5..b6 in the database, and in no case did white try 6.e6!>

I didn't know what you were referring to until I broke out a board and starting to play with it. I imagine you have something like this in mind:

5...b6 6.e6!? dxe6 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.Ne5!

click for larger view

Black has a real way to lose here: 8...Qc8 9.Qf3! and I don't see any suitable defense for Black. With that in mind, perhaps best is 8...Bxb5 9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 10.Kxf7+ and of course the knight will be doomed on h8, so maybe the game is about level here.

Jul-30-06  MarvinTsai: Although f and g files are open for black rooks, I think white could still hold it after 20... Rh7. But it seems that white is not very good at defence. I like black's marching e-pawn, it's just the right way to open the diagonal.
Jul-30-06  fersonatu: I like the basic idea behind 6 e6 but <Sneaky> is right the knight on h8 seems dead. How about trying 6 Ng5! It seems to force 6 ... Bb7 7 e6 fxe6 8 Bd3 and white is about to bring the pain on the K-side. For instance 8 g6 Nxh7 gets very ugly.
Jul-30-06  EmperorAtahualpa: Black was already winning by the end of the game, but 40...Bh1+! is a very cool finish.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Nice point by sneaky. But I like holierthanthou's line, 7. Qxd8+ Kxd8 8. Ne5 Ke8 9. Bb5+, when 9....Nd7 loses and 9....Bd7 10. Nxd7 is very strong for White, as already pointed out.

Fritz loves fersonatu's 6. Ng5! Bb7 7. e6 idea, giving white a winning advantage after 7...fe 8. Bd3.

Either way, 5....b6 doesn't look like one of Nimzowitsch's better ideas.

Premium Chessgames Member
  mahmoudkubba: I can see the what is called idiomatically having a dead pawn in w. answer 5- dxc3, yet till this point it was clear that w. still holding somehow the game. I do remember playing with someone I always used to fear in a club in Baghdad during the sevnties of the 20th century, Then I knew I can beat him even with his trying always to put down my feelings by talking to me.
Premium Chessgames Member
  mahmoudkubba: U C it is like exactly saying to someone who played queen gambit declined don't play it, it is refused. or when playing a move not in the books then someone might say to u, u r not allowed to do that it is not in the books. Here it is possible to win the game even with this situation of dead pawn yet someone might say to u: u definitely shall lose, cause u have a dead pawn situation.Apart from not rememebring or knowing the right condition or many things of the secrets of this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  mahmoudkubba: Apart from the fact that I knew Nimzo miles more than R. P. Michell. I do remember Nimzo and his book My style and some other occasions and I knew also that he is from a European country, Correct me if I am wrong and I also shall search the Ch.Base.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice surprize move at the finish. Black wins the queen for a rook instead of a queen for rook and bishop. This was after black had gained a two rook + piece edge over the bare queen.
Jul-30-06  ajile: I think any modern GM would instantly play 6.e6 in this position. Even with best play the doubled Black pawns severely hamper Black's development. Surely it's worth the price of a pawn for White. Plus if Black takes with the f pawn where will he put his king?
Jul-31-06  think: A very interesting game.

First of all, on move 22 the e pawn is untouchable because of 22. Bxe5 Nxe5
23. Rxe5 Rh1+
winning a queen for the rook.

I was also puzzled about blacks 29th move until I saw the mate threat on e8.

Oct-24-06  Alan McGowan: 6. e6!! was played in Rellstab-Schönmann, Hamburg 4-Master event, Easter 1932. The game continued 6...dxe6 (Or 6...fxe6 7. Ne5 with the double threat of Qf3 and Qh5+. Or 6...f6 7. Ne5! fxe5 8. Qf3 winning the exchange.) 7. Qxd8+ Kxd8 8. Ne5 Ke8 9. Bb5+ Bd7 (After 9...Nd7 10. Bc6 Rb8 11. Bf4!) 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. Bf4 a6 (The threat was 12. 0-0-0 winning.) 12. Bc6 Rc8 13. Bb7 Rd8 14. Bc7 Rb8 (14...Nb8 offered more resistance.) 15. Bxa6! Ra8 16. Bb5 Ra7 17. Bxb6 Rb7 18. Bxd7+ Kxd7 19. Bxc5 Kc6 (Not 19...Rxb2 20. 0-0-0+!) 20. b4 e5 21. 0-0-0 Rb8 22. Rhe1 f6 23. f4! Resigns. If 23...exf4 24. Re6! and a4-a5 etc. Notes based on those in the Wiener schachzeitung 1932, p180/1, and the Deutsche Schachzeitung 1932, p185. The DSZ mentioned that 6. e6!! had been pointed out by A. Pokorny in "Casopis" 1925.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Alan McGowan> is quite correct regarding the strength of 6.e6!! As Grigory Bogdanovich observes on page 260 of his book "Play 2...Nf6 in the Sicilian, Nimzowitsch-Rubinstein System," Nimzowitsch's 5...b6?? "[l]oses by force" to 6.e6!!:

(a) 6...fxe6 7.Ne5 (threatening both 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Qxg6# and 8.Qf3)

(b) 6...f6 7.Ne5! (played, as best I can recall, in Vesely-Pachman, 1947 or thereabouts - anyone who has Pachman's book <Semi-Open Games> handy can check this) fxe5 8.Qf3 dxe6 9.Qxa8

(c) 6...dxe6 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Ne5 Ke8 9.Bb5+ Bd7 (9...Nd7 10.Bc6 Rb8 11.Bf4) 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Bf4. There are many fun variations, such as 11...0-0-0?? 12.Ba6#.

Petrosian-Grigoriev, Tbilisi 1945, concluded 11...e5 12.O-O-O f6 13.Bxd7+ 1-0. 11...a6 was played in Rellstab-Schönmann, already discussed by <Alan McGowan>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: In variation c of my 2012 comment, my mention of 11...O-O-O?? is erroneous since the king has already moved.

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