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Friedrich Saemisch vs Aron Nimzowitsch
"Pardon My French!" (game of the day Apr-15-2008)
Berlin BSG (1928), Berlin GER, rd 12, Feb-18
French Defense: Classical. Frankfurt Variation (C13)  ·  0-1



Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [405 more games annotated by Keene]

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sac: 38...Ncd4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-25-06  ChessDude33: Fantastic game by Nimzowitsch! 5. Ng8 looks fun to play.
Sep-16-06  ganstaman: Where do these notes come from? "Before concluding this discussion of Nimzowitsch's handling of the French Defence from the Black side" makes it sound like Ray Keene wrote a book or something that must have included a discussion on either Nimzo or the French Defense (which is probably easy to find out, but that still wouldn't tell me where these specific annotations come from).
Sep-16-06  psmith: Keene wrote a book on Nimzovich. A very good book. " Aron Nimzowitsch 1886-1935: a Reappraisal" -- 1974.
Apr-15-08  Karnatakiaditya: Fantastic annotation by GM Keene. Thanks!
Apr-15-08  jadedpawn: 6 h4 looks like an interesting response to Ng8, especially playing against Nimzowitsch himself.
Apr-15-08  Smothered Mate: How about 13... f5 ?
If 14. ♗xf5 ♗xg2 15. ♖g1 ♗c6
If 16. ♖xg7+ ♔xg7 17. ♕g4+ ♔f6 and the attack is not strong enough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: I wonder why White chose 68 f6 instead of 68 fxe6.
Apr-15-08  RookFile: It seems to me that early in the middle game, white was playing on the wrong side of the board. I think he should have organized b4 even if it meant sacrificing a pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kasp: <Gregor Samsa Mendel> Maybe because of 68.fxe6 d2 69.e7 d1=Q 70.e8=Q Qf3+ .. and it is a draw by repetion Qf2+ Qf3+ Qf4+ etc. Instead with 68.f6! White controls the f file by the queen.
Apr-15-08  whiteshark: <19.b3> is worth considering.

It's impressive to see black holding back ...c5 until move 20.

Apr-15-08  Samagonka: Remarkable defence by white despite his over exposed King.
Apr-15-08  RandomVisitor: After 42.Kg3:

click for larger view

Rybkav2.3.2a.x64: 27-ply

1. (-2.33): 42...Qd5 43.Rh2 Kb7 44.h5 gxh5 45.Rxh5 Kc6 46.Rh2 Kb5 47.Kf2 Qd4+ 48.Kg2 Qe4+ 49.Kf2 Ka4 50.Kg3 Kxa3 51.Kg4 Kb3 52.Kg3 Kc4 53.Rg2 Qd4 54.Kf3 Kd5 55.Rf2

2. (-1.97): 42...Qe4 43.Rh2 Kb7 44.h5 gxh5 45.Rxh5 Kc6 46.a4 Qe2 47.Rh2 Qd1 48.a5 Kd5 49.Rf2 Ke4 50.Kg2 Qg4+ 51.Kh2 a6 52.Rg2 Qf3 53.b5 axb5 54.a6 Qd1 55.Kg3

3. (-1.73): 42...Qa1 43.Kf3 Kb7 44.Ke3 Qg1 45.b5 Qg3+ 46.Rf3 Qg2 47.Rf2 Qh3+ 48.Rf3 Qh1 49.a4 Qd1 50.Rf2 Qxa4 51.Bc3 Qb3 52.Bd4 d2+ 53.Kxd2 Qxb5 54.Ke3 Qb3+ 55.Ke4 Qb1+ 56.Ke3 Qe1+ 57.Kd3 Qd1+ 58.Rd2 Qf3+ 59.Be3 a5 60.Rb2+

4. (-1.73): 42..Kb7 43.Kf3 Qa1 44.Ke3 Qg1 45.b5 Qg3+ 46.Rf3 Qg2 47.Rf2 Qh3+ 48.Rf3 Qh1 49.a4 Qd1 50.Rf2 Qxa4 51.Bc3 Qb3 52.Bd4 d2+ 53.Kxd2 Qxb5 54.Ke3 Qb3+ 55.Ke4 Qb1+ 56.Ke3 Qe1+ 57.Kd3 Qd1+ 58.Rd2 Qf3+ 59.Be3 a5 60.Rb2+

5. (-1.64): 42..Kc7 43.Kf3 Qa1 44.Ke3 Qb1 45.a4 Kc6 46.Kd4 Qc2 47.Ke3 Kd5 48.Rf1 Qc4 49.Re1 Qe4+ 50.Kf2 Qf5 51.Kg3 Kc4 52.Rc1+ Kb3 53.Kf3

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: So, according to <kasp> 68 fxe6 instead of f6 was an easy draw for white. Unlike f6, fxe6 queens and also picks up a pawn in the process. So why didn’t he play it? It was not mentioned in the notes.

The notes end with:

“After further serious errors by White Nimzowitsch did eventually win from this drawn position on move 88. “

Keene never elaborates on what the specific errors were.

In addition, 72 b5 instead of Qf6 is suspect as well as 75 Qd6 instead of Qf4+.

Apr-15-08  kevin86: This game really turned on move 42.According to Mr Keene,black blundered away the win and had to gain it back later after white's own mistakes. The material was about even but black was very dominant in space.

However,as stated above,neither42... ♕e4 nor 42...♕a1 was the best move-it was 42...♕d5. That is,if you believe that rybkav is accurate.I probably would have played 42...♕b2 or temporized with my king.

Apr-15-08  Eyal: <Keene: On 34.Bc1 Nimzowitsch planned 34...Rxd1 35.Qxd1 Qf2 36.Ne2 Kc8! 37.Qa4 Qf3 . If 37.a4 Nce7 followed by ...Nd5 and ...Ne3 and White is paralysed. A wonderful variation.>

Engine analysis indicates that after 36...Kc8? 37.Qh1! White is actually ok; on the other hand, the idea of bringing the knight to d5 wins already at move 36, since checks with the white queen (which Kc8 supposedly aims at preventing) can't stop it : 36...Nce7! 37.Qd8+ Nc8 38.Qd2 Nb6! 39.Qd8+ Kb7 etc.

However, in the game itself 37.Rf2? helps Black - what happens to the "amazing" combination if White plays Qf2 or Qg2 instead?

Apr-16-08  whiteshark: re delayed ...c5

Here is the forerunning game:
A Vajda vs Nimzowitsch, 1927

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: John Moles - mentioned in Ray Keene's note to white's 7th - had a really deep understanding of the French. His book 'French Defence: Main Line Winawer' was one of the first 'tabia' opening books in English -- dealing in great detail with a position which started on move 11.

Apr-16-08  whiteshark: After <7.h4 h5 8.Be2 g6 9.Nf3 Ba6 10.Qd2 Bxe2 11.Nxe2> the move <11...c5> is weaker than 11...Nc6, because of <12.c4! cxd4 13. Nfxd4 dxc4 14.Qc2 Qd5 15.Nf4 Qxe5 16.0-0-0> as happened in Mikenas vs Vistanezkis, Vilnius 1947.

Funnily enough all three monographs (Schwarz 1967, Slotnik 1982 and Tiemann 1998) that quote this game stopped here. 2xCribber! :D

Mar-22-19  Garech: Great game by Nimzowitsch and interesting annotations from GM Keene, although I have some comments to make on those:

"After 32. Bxd2 Rcd8 the pin is overpowering" - whilst this is true, 32...Rd3! seems to be much stronger:

click for larger view

The queen must move and is tied to defending against Rxg3#, and after for example Qg2 h4! smashes white out of the park.

"With 42...Qa1! Nimzowitsch could have crowned his outstanding combination. White cannot prevent the loss of the a-pawn and a black victory is assured" - the decisive idea in Qa1 (at least from what I can gather by looking at the game with Stockfish) is that it tactically prevents white from playing an eventual h5, and the weak h4 pawn is the key to black's winning plan in the resultant position, which otherwise looks like something of a fortress:

click for larger view

After a3 drops, white can shuffle his rook in this position and everything is safe - except for the h4 pawn, which black can win by bringing his king down to e4-f5-g4 in combination with threats from the queen. Winning the a pawn is largely irrelevant.

As we saw in the game continuation, Saemisch was able to push h5, and after that he certainly does have a fortress. The question then arises - where did black misplay his winning position? The answer appears to be with 30...d3 - whilst this is obviously a very attractive move to make, Rcd8 is much stronger:

click for larger view

the threat of h4! more-or-less forces white to exchange on d4, after which he's strategically lost. For example:

31.Nxd4 Ncxd4 32.cxd4 Nxd4 33.Qf1 Nf5!:

click for larger view

And white has no reasonable defence. Rxd5 gives black connected passers, Rhd2/Rdd2 runs into Qe3! and if white moves the rook from the d file then Rd3! is crushing.



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