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L Gonzalez vs George Hasbroucq Perrine
"Not-So-Speedy Gonzalez" (game of the day Apr-25-2010)
Chess Review Victory Tournament, Section V46 (1943) (correspondence), corr
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical. Milner-Barry Variation (E33)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-10-06  Amarande: One of the most memorable games of the 20th century; why is this game so unknown? If Botvinnik or Bronstein or some other OTB great had played it, it would surely be in anthologies everywhere. As it is, for some reason I've only ever seen it published in two books, both quite old (The Fireside Book of Chess, and How To Improve Your Chess).

Perrine plays with incredible fury and accuracy here; there are really only two moves (7 e4 and 10 Bh4) that might even be thought of as mistakes, but who would expect them to be fatal? Every move from 11 ... Nxe4 onward is a virtual hammer blow, and White is not allowed a moment's respite, despite the apparently dormant state of most of Black's pieces until near the end.

Note the unfortunate state of the White Queen, despite her apparent security; 11 ... Nxe4 relies on this to blast open the center with dynamite (White cannot take the Knight at either opportunity and thus must open the center for Black in order to recover the lost Pawn), and it also prevents White from getting his King into safety or developing his light squared Bishop until it is too late, e.g., -

* 16 Kb1 (instead of 16 Kc2) Bf5+ 17 Ka1 Bc2, and the back rank threats cause White to lose the Exchange (18 Rd2? Re1+ is terminal); this and the game line both rely on the fact that White is unable to reply to ... Bf5+ with the natural move Bd3 because ... Bc5! will then catch his Queen.

* 20 Kc2 (instead of 20 cxb5) Qa4+ (better than trading the Bishops first) 21 Kb1 Bxd3 22 Qxd3 bxc4 and the coming 23 ... Rab8+ will be fatal.

It is impossible for me to find a move of Perrine's that was not the very best. This game is a gem of the highest order and deserves to be brought into the light of recognition - again I ask, why has this game been forgotten for 50 years?

Sep-19-07  paavoh: <Amarande> "again I ask, why has this game been forgotten for 50 years?" Because no one bothers to check the CC games, no one recognises the CC players or the fact how strong they are. IMO, one could pay a visit at or get Tim Harding's MegaCorr CD and learn a lot from these unknown CC giants.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <Amarande>It is impossible for me to find a move of Perrine's that was not the very best. This game is a gem of the highest order and deserves to be brought into the light of recognition - again I ask, why has this game been forgotten for 50 years?

I think that when this game was played might answer your question. With World War 2 in full swing, I think that many fine games, both OTB and CC do not receive the recognition that they would if they were played in peacetime.

There were no major international CC tournaments played during WW2, hence the "forgotten" nature of this game.

Irving Chernev considered this game to be the "Immortal Game" of CC.

Jan-17-09  blacksburg: wow, i can't believe i've never seen this game before. very nice.
Jan-17-09  computer chess guy: It looks like White was in trouble as early as 10. ♗h4: better was 10. ♗d2. A similar and more common line is 6. h6 7. ♗d2 e5 where White was ok in other games, for example: M Gurevich vs J Benjamin, 1989
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: 18.dc5 ♗c5 19.♕d2 ♕b6+ 20.♔a4 ♕a6 21.♔b3 ♕a3#
Apr-25-10  Underworld: Very fine game indeed. I don't think I would've seen Nxe4 OTB if I wasn't playing CC. Then again I'm not that strong of a player. I really enjoy Perrine's play here of pushing white's king where he wants it and destroying everything along the way.
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: king safety counts in postal chess too...

I read once that the success of a master in a simultaneous exhibition correlates well to early castling.

Apr-25-10  Wyatt Gwyon: Who are these guys?
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Wow - Perrine really "went postal" on Gonzalez's king!
Apr-25-10  DarthStapler: Correspondence games are an untapped mine of brilliancies.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: White castled to get into trouble-not out of it.


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Chernev and Reinfeld wrote on page 343 of The Fireside Book of Chess: "Had this game been won by a famous master, it would have acquired the status of an 'Immortal Game'. It deserves that status in any event: Black's play is perfection itself!" Indeed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: In the introduction to the chapter on correspondence chess in The Fireside Book of Chess (p. 341), Chernev and Reinfeld wrote that of the games in the chapter, this game "is undoubtedly the finest; it is in fact one of the best games ever played. Black's play is flawless, logical, forceful and brilliant."
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: This game features incisive play by Black. A gem.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: First publication may have been in "Chess Review", December 1943, p.410, in the <Readers' Games> department edited by Horowitz. He gives White's name as <L L. Gonzalez>, and wrote this introduction::

<"The following game is an object lesson -- an object lesson from which masters may well profit. On hiw 10th turn, White chooses an inferior move. It is not the kind of move which costs a Piece or even a Pawn. it is merely a slight error of judgment. From there on Black hammers away with telling blows, without intermission, until White's poor harried King collapses.

"This game was played by mail in Section V46 of CHESS REVIEW'S Victory Tournament. It is an excellent example of the possibilities of postal chess in developing play8ing strength. It is, in fact, on of the finest games ever submitted to this department.">

The "Victory Tournament" was a wartime equivalent of what later became the Golden Knights tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A very nice miniature. If it is true that "nobody bothers" to check corr games, then that is partly due to OTB players and their biases, and also to a database system that keeps CC games segregated. . I don't know why this should be the case. It's decades since I last played CC, but I still think it is theoretically important, and not only in openings
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Black's 19...b5 and 23...Re4! are both beautiful.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Upon revisiting this game in Chess Review, I see tht I gave White's name incorrectly. It was actually <Lt. L Gonzalez> (Lieutenant). This was wartime, remember.

Unless there is other information, it should probably be change.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: OK, I've changed it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Well, thanks. I was going to wait a bit before sending in a correction, but this should be fine.

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