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NN vs W Curran
Philadelphia (1876)
Italian Game: Italian Variation (C50)  ·  0-1



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Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: As frequently happens in the Italian Game, too-early castling by White invites an immediate pawn storm and piece deluge. You will find many similar games in the database, some of which took place in this millennium. After 4.0-0?! White can only hope for 4...Nf6?! (d6!), allowing the Deutz Gambit 5.d4, which succeeded in Movsesian vs Adams, 2009.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 16...Rxh3+ 17.gxh3 Bf3+ 18.Kh2 and now Black has a difficult choice between 18...Bg3# and 18...Bg1#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Both players played feebly. Of course 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4? is bad for White, and he's lost after 9.Nxg5? h4! But instead of 13...gxf2+?, correct is 13...Ne2+ forcing 14.Qxe2, for if 14.Kh1, Rxh3+ 15.gxh3 Bf3#. In the game continuation, White should have played 15.Kf1, winning, rather than 15.Kh1??
Dec-03-13  Nullifidian: 16... ♖xh3+ 17. ♙gxh3 ♗f3+ 18. ♔h2 ♗g1/g3#
Dec-03-13  vigipirate: I think I had another one.
17.KH2 NF1+
18. KH1 RxH3+
19. pxH3 BF3 mate
Dec-03-13  Confuse: got the mate one move later with Ng3+ Nf1+ Rxh3+ Bf3#.

yep yep.

Dec-03-13  morfishine: 16...Rxh3+ 17.gxh3 Bf3+ 18.Kh2 and its mate after 18...Bg3# or 18...Bg1#

In Irving Chernev's "The 1000 Best Short Games of Chess" this is game# 523, and his short description reads "Black gives up his Queen to let his minor pieces have themselves a picnic"


Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a rook and a bishop for the queen and two pawns.

White threatens 17.Nxh8.

The first idea that comes to mind is 16... Rxh3+ 17.gxh3 Bf3+ 18.Kh2 Bg1(3)#.

However, I prefer the more artistic 16... Ng3+ 17.Kh2 Nf1+ 18.Kh1 Rxh3+ 19.gxh3 Bf3# with all black minor pieces aligned.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Disregard everything I said above about the theory of this line. Houdini 3 says it's OK for White, contrary to received wisdom.
Dec-03-13  zb2cr: Huh. I did not get the actual line, instead going with 16. ... Ng3+; 17. Kh2, Nf1+; 18. Rxh3+, gxh3; 19. Bf3#. Takes one mov longer, but just as forced.
Dec-03-13  morfishine: <FSR> I'm not sure what you mean by <Disregard everything I said above about the theory of this line...> "Everything" is too harsh since 15.Kf1 is clearly better: Black has too many pieces hanging


Dec-03-13  Refused: I went for
16...Ng3+ 17.Kh2 Nf1+ 18.Kh1 Rxh3+ 19.gxh3 Bf3#

Looked checkmate enough.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: For that matter, Fritz reckons that white can avoid mate as late as 16. Qg5 (instead of 16. Nf7).

This looks like a case of a strong player showboating with some risky but unsound moves and getting away with it. Fun to play through but not really sound.

Dec-03-13  Castleinthesky: Ohio State would never have made these mistakes!
Dec-03-13  JustAFish: I found the Ng3+ line as well. Hey, whatever works. And, as an Ohioan, great to see Michigan lose.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: My mate was the same as the text except my last move was Ng3#-

It looks like Michigan went for two-and lost again!

Dec-03-13  Abdel Irada: <FSR: Disregard everything I said above about the theory of this line. Houdini 3 says it's OK for White, contrary to received wisdom.>

Wouldn't *this* "wisdom" be received from Houdini? :-D

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Took me a while to get it, but I found it. :) 1/2 this week.
Dec-03-13 The whole state?
Dec-03-13  dumbgai: I'm pretty sure Michigan was winning here. 15. Kh1?? simply hangs a rook. Instead 15. Kf1 Bxf2 (or else Rxe2) 16. Kxf2 Rxd8 17. hxg4 Nf4 18. Kg3 and white is simply up a pile of material and black has no attack.
Dec-03-13  actinia: the prettiest line is the one I saw in my head, forgetting that there is a pawn on h3 after 16. ... Rxh3+ 17. gxh3 then: (after removing the h3-pawn) 17. ... Bf3+ 18. Kh2 Ng4+ 19. Kh3 Ng1++
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <morfishine> OK, just disregard this:

<Of course 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4? is bad for White, and he's lost after 9.Nxg5? h4!>

Dec-03-13  Dezaxa: Best play may be 13...Ne2 14. Qxe2 Bxe2 15. Ne6 Bb6 16. Nc3 Bxf1 17. Kxf1 gxf2, with a slight advantage to Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Dezaxa: Best play may be 13...Ne2 14. Qxe2 Bxe2 15. Ne6 Bb6 16. Nc3 Bxf1 17. Kxf1 gxf2, with a slight advantage to Black.>

Yes. Houdini 3 gives 18.Na4 Kd7 19.Nxb6+ axb6 20.Kxf2 b5 21.Bb3 c5 22.Ng5 c4 23.dxc4 Rag8 24.Nf3 Nxe4+ 25.Kf1 b4 26.Rd1 Rf8 27.Kg1 Kc6 28.Ne1 Nc5 29.Nd3 Nxd3+ 30.Rxd3 e4 31.Ba4+ Kc7 32.Re3 Rf4 33.c3 bxc3 34.bxc3 with a minimal advantage to Black (-0.14).

Sep-22-14  Karpova: < The assumption is that it's a player named Michigan, but we're not really sure.>

No, it was a player from Michigan facing W W Curran.

<The following is a sample of how the "Centennial Visitor" is done for in Philadelphia.>

[...] <between Mr. Curran and a gentleman all the way from Michigan:>

on 9.Nxg5 <The gentleman all the way from Michigan begins to feel that he has not made the trip in vain.>

on 11.Nxd8 <How absurd, said the gentleman all the way from Michigan; of course I take his Queen.>

on 18...Bg1# <And Mr. Curran was about to make some remark, when, looking across the table, he saw that his late adversary was already on the road back to Michigan.>

Source: G C Reichhelm & W P Shipley, Chess in Philadelphia, 1898, p. 82 (originally from 'The American Chess Journal', August 1876)

I will submit a correction slip.

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