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Carl Schlechter vs Siegbert Tarrasch
Tarrasch - Schlechter (1911), Cologne GER, rd 9, Jul-17
Queen Pawn Game: Steinitz Countergambit (D00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: 95...Rg7 allows White to cut off Black's king on the wrong side of the f-pawn. I think Black still has a book draw with 95...Rf1 96. Rf8+ Kg7, etc.
May-27-08  Judah: In fact, Black still had a draw after the 95th move--after all, his King has not really been cut off: White cannot maintain his Rook on the f-file.

The mistake was 98.Rh7+, allowing White to penetrate with ...Kg6 (guarding the f-file from Black's King) and subsequently ...Re5+, cutting the Black King well and truly off.

Necessary was 98.Rf7, putting a crimp in Black's plans by forcing him back to defend the f-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: After this game, the next game of the match took 109 moves!

Source: Irving Chernev, "Wonders and Curiosities of Chess", Dover Publications, 1974

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Schlechter achieves nothing from an unambitious opening, and Tarrasch playing vigorously soon equalises. <18...Rc8?> is a blunder overlooking Schlechter's reply, instead Tarrasch had to play <Kf8>. The Knight cannot be taken due to <Qxe6+> winning the unprotected Rook on <c8>.

Schlechter appears to be cruising to victory when he too fails to appreciate an unexpected reply by his opponent.

click for larger view

<28.Nf4?> is refuted by the spectacular <28..Qe4!>. This loses a Knight for three pawns and gives the initiative to Black. Tarrasch needed to calculate this carefully as his King is now exposed, and White has two connected passed pawns on the Queen-side. It is probable that instead of taking the <d> pawn on move 30, Tarrasch would have been better off holding onto his <e> pawn for greater King security.

Schlechter obviously believed that he still had practical chances as he ignored a three-fold repetition on move 38. Tarrasch, however, has the better position.

<38.Rh4> is a straightforward blunder that neither player appreciated at the time, <39.Qb3+> followed by <Rd1> wins Black's Knight.

<54...Qxb2?!> allows Schlechter to obtain K-side initiative with <g4>, <54...Rd5> threatening <Rd2> seems strong.

<57...gxf6?> leads to mate after 58. Qe8+ Kg7 59. Re7+ Kh6 60. Qf8+ Kh5 61. Qf7+ Kh4 62. Re4+ Kg5 63. Qg7+ Kh5 64. Rh4+ Kxh4 65. Qg4 mate)

Tarrasch probably could have held the ending with perfect play, but Schlechter is able to decisively penetrate with his King at the cost of his <h> pawn.

Mar-20-13  whiteshark: <GrahamClayton: <After this game, the next game of the match took 109 moves!>

--> Tarrasch vs Schlechter, 1911

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: 36...Qd3 was a 3-time repetition of position. Was there no rule for that back then?
Jan-07-14  Fanacas: Check it out; yeah there probably was but somebody still has to claim the draw and if nobody claims it you can just play on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I analysed this game and both sides made a lot of blunders so that at one stage White was winning then Black then White then Black and so on. At the end Schlecter played correctly but both missed many opportunities to equalise or is a highly flawed game but interesting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: <Check It Out: 36...Qd3 was a 3-time repetition of position. Was there no rule for that back then?>

There was a rule but the position could be repeated more times than nowadays, I think as much as 5. It was at least more than 3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Richard,

I think you are right. I've seen it said at one time it was 6 moves though I always thought they meant three moves each so it was still 3 fold rep.

Did the Russian rules not state at one time the positions had to run concurrent not on say moves 29,33 and 40 (random numbers picked there) and Petrosian had to accept a draw with Fischer because he was unaware of the FIDE rule.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sansenecoitz: Analysis by Ruben Fine "Basic chess endings diag : 252 . He suggest 95. ...,Kf7; .
Jul-15-20  iron john: why not 78...ra7 ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <iron john>
On 78...Rxa7 79. Re7+ Rxe7+ 80. Kxe7 Kg6 81. Ke6, soon White's king will outflank Black's and win pawns.
Jul-15-20  Boomie: According to the 7 piece table base, it's a draw after 80. Kxg5.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Boomie>
According to that tablebase, it's drawn until 98...Rh7+, where 98...Rf7 would have held.
Jul-16-20  iron john: after 81...kg6 looks draw to me .
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <iron john>
Did you try checking <Boomie>'s link above? It shows that on move 81, all Black moves draw, except the ones that hang a rook.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<iron john> after 81...kg6 looks draw to me.>

Yes, it is a <theoretical> draw after 80.Kg5. But this game was played between two human players and human players make mistakes (chess engines too, just different mistakes). I went through the game move-by-move starting with 80.Kg5 using the 7-piece Lomonosov tablebases and here is what they indicated:

(a) The game is a theoretical draw from 80.Kg5 through 95.Kh5 assuming best play by both sides.

click for larger view

(b) Black blundered with 95...Rh7+ after which the tablebases indicates that White theoretically mates in 31 moves. I again have to say "theoretically" because White can make mistakes just like Black can and thus change the theoretical result. But instead of 95...Rh7+, 95...Rf1 is still a theoretical draw.

(c) In the final position after 106.Rg1

click for larger view

The tablebases indicate that White theoretically mates in 21 moves. The winning sequence is interesting and possibly instructive. Per the tablebases, with best play by both sides, the game could continue (and I say "could" because at any point a different move(s) would allow White to mate in the same number of moves as the "best" move) as follows: 106...Rb3 107.f7 Rf3 108.Kg7 Ke7

click for larger view

This position suggests a diagram because the winning sequence is "cute": 109.f8Q+ (109.f8R would work as well, but in this case neither 109.f8B+ or 109.f8N. But see The page says that "Endgame tablebases show that 40.1% of the legal positions with this material are theoretical wins, but that includes many unnatural positions that are unlikely to occur in games. Edmar Mednis estimated that less than 4% of starting positions that occur in games are theoretical wins." I would be interested to know how he estimated that. Sadly he passed away in 2002) 109...Rxf8 110.Rd1+ K(any) 111.Kxf8 and White mates in 15 moves.

And I've already bored everyone enough so I won't bother to show the K+R vs. K winning procedure, again assuming the mythical "best play by both sides". :-)

Jul-17-20  Howard: Black‚Äôs 95th was actually 95..Rg7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Howard> Thanks for the correction. I can't believe that I did that, particularly since my notes show 95...Rg7. What was I thinking? So I guess both Tarrasch and I blundered on Black's 95th move!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Black Vampire: Modern theory prefers 5.Nb5!, tying the knight to the defense of c7.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Black Vampire: I meant with my previous comment 'tying the black knight', just in case anyone could get confused.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Terrible blunders and mistakes! Very bad!

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