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NN vs John Cochrane
Casual (1822), Match?, rd 6
Italian Game: Classical. Closed Variation (C53)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-03-20  sfm: So odd. Against a leading player of his time, NN plays a brilliant game and could even win with 37.Rb5! Then a totally trivial mistake ends the game. Hmmmmm....
Mar-03-20  Damenlaeuferbauer: <Chessgames> What the f... is that? I spent 10 minutes of my life and thought, I am unable to solve an "easy" (not "insane") "super Tuesday" puzzle, which leads to a win for black, and finally found out, that this game is completely equal after 37.-,bxc3 38.bxc3! (of course NOT 38.Kxf3?,cxb2! -+) 38.-,Rxc3 39.Ra8+,Kg7 40.Ra7+,Kf8 41.Rxh7 =. For the same motive/motif, you should have chosen J. Lautier - B. Gelfand, Belgrade 1997, after 39.Rc3-c5?, because 39.-,b5-b4! wins.
Mar-03-20  mig55: Ra8 draw!
Mar-03-20  cuendillar: I saw the "solution" as black's best try for a win, but still considered him having to fight an uphill battle for a draw after 38.bxc3 Rxc3 39.Ra7 Kg8(39...Rd3? 40.Nf6 Bg8 41.Ra8 winning a piece) 41.Nf6+ Kf8 and white can choose between getting a pawn up or keeping the black king completely caged in and passive. White may not yet be winning, but he's clearly having an easier position to play.
Mar-03-20  TheaN: I see some sour reactions on this puzzle. Not entirely justified: <37....cxb3=> is not <winning<>>... it is however the <best move>. Nobody ever at CG said you always have to win PotD positions, you know :>. If White errs with 38.Kxf3? cxb2 -+. If White goes on correctly with <38.bxc3 Rxc3 39.Ra8+ = (practical ⩲)> Black still has some work to do but it's drawn.
Mar-03-20  zb2cr: Is this a spoiler? All White has to do is refuse the Rook sacrifice which Black offers with 37. ... bxc3. If White had played 38. bxc3; Rxc3; 39. Ra7, Bd5+ he could easily hold the draw.
Mar-03-20  Ratt Boy: The chessers are restless today.
Mar-03-20  Muttley101: <sfm: So odd. Against a leading player of his time, NN plays a brilliant game and could even win with 37.Rb5! Then a totally trivial mistake ends the game. Hmmmmm....>

37. Rb5 b:c3 38. Rb3 (presumably the idea) 38 ... c2. I don't think black is losing here. If 37. Rb5 b:c3 38. b:c3 R:c3 how does white win?

37. c:b4 eliminates the pawn as a danger. Although the pawns are now split white can advance the b-pawn and support it. Complicated technical ending still, though. 37. Rc5 is slower but keeps the pawns connected, notwithstanding the b4 pawn still existing.

Mar-03-20  asiduodiego: Nice Tuesday problem. The dangers of ignoring promoting pawns.

Regarding the game itself, White plays very well during the whole game. But that reminded me one lecture I once saw in youtube by GM Ben Finegold: "The difference between a GM and a good amateur, is that the amateur always blunders. He can play very well for 30 moves, then he makes one blunder, and now he is lost". John Cochrane was not a GM, but he was one of the leading players of his age, so he just needed one blunder to turn the tables.

Mar-03-20  Cfachini28: I went with bxc3 thinking it would win a pawn, as white "couldn't" play Kxf3. Proven wrong I guess ;-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Nackered?
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: I am of two minds about this puzzle. Yes, I wasted time looking for a foolproof win. Boo!! However, there is value in finding a trap or "swindle" (Frank J Marshall's term) that might salvage a game if the opponent is unwary.
Mar-03-20  goodevans: Since this is a Monday I too assumed we were looking for a win and gave up after a few minutes.

As far as I can tell, <37...bxc3> is the only move that doesn't leave white with a big advantage so even if it doesn't win this is a valid <find the best move> puzzle. But I would say that only puzzles with a clear win are suitable for the early weekdays. On the other hand the first move is too easy to find for it to be suitable later in the week.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst this is a <valid puzzle> it's just <not a good one>.

Mar-03-20  goodevans: * "Since this is a Monday" <?>


So what happened to Monday then?

I think my comments were still appropriate for a Tuesday puzzle.

Mar-03-20  landshark: For what it's worth - Not being able to find a clear win I wondered if my regression as a chess player was complete - as I was feeling baffled by a Tuesday. Then I bit the bullet and chose the only move I'd play in a live game - and alas, I did <not> flub this easy puzzle.

Imagine my relief....

Mar-03-20  SpamIAm: Perhaps this should be called Black to play and hope that white acts like a fish. Certainly when one's much-stronger opponent offers you a whole rook one should step back and think for a long while. <Muttley101>, after 37.Rb5 bxc3? 38.Rxb3 c2 white has 39.Rb8+ Kg7 40.Rc8 stopping and winning the passed pawn. It's probably a win for white being a whole knight ahead with pawns still on the board although black has swindling chances. After 37.Rb5 black should try 37...Rxh3 instead.
Mar-03-20  Atking: What is wrong with 25.c5 ? Until this move White played under a pretty good strategy. Not bad for a usual NN
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: Crap puzzle.

Black to play and draw
White to play and blunder

Mar-03-20  jith1207: <Atking: What is wrong with 25.c5 ?>

I think you meant 25.c4, that looks like a good continuation.

Mar-03-20  sp12: This game was played almost 200 years ago! Fascinating.
Mar-04-20  Atking: <jith1207: I think you meant 25.c4, that looks like a good continuation.> Yes c4 Looks to me more and less equal.
Mar-04-20  Carrots and Pizza: Cochrane played a somewhat modern looking game, relatively speaking.
Mar-05-20  jith1207: << sp12: This game was played almost 200 years ago! Fascinating. >>

Thanks for pointing out! Ha Ha, I imagine the match was played out in a Riverside to decide who should become the owner of the Southern plains.

Mar-05-20  Sally Simpson: ***

The game was from a simultaneous display given by Cochrane in England in 1822.

This game lasted the longest so we can assume last to finish and perhaps (I'm trying to get a reason for White's blunder) the last few moves were played at a quicker pace and White tripped up.


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <The game was from a simultaneous display given by Cochrane in England in 1822.>

Coming from <Bill Wall>, that requires a <caveat lector>, but it does raise the interesting matter of the history of the simultaneous display, standard and blindfold. Perhaps Winter has weighed in on this, but it doesn't ring a bell.

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