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NN vs Lionel Kieseritzky
Paris (1846)
Russian Game: Damiano Variation. Kholmov Gambit (C42)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-13-05  who: This is clearly a mislabeled sac. 4...Qe7 sacrifices nothing.
Sep-13-05  who: I guess 10.Nxe7 Nxe4 11.Nd5 is better as it forces black to lose the right to castle, but I assume there is something better for white here.
Sep-13-05  who: On second thought that seems to win a pawn, so maybe that's good enough.
Oct-30-08  Toastman: 4...Qe7 sacrifices the knight on e4 temporarily.
I guess since the equalizing capture doesn't come for a few moves it qualifies.
Apr-14-14  RookFile: This game is a piece of genius by Kieseritsky. Everybody "knows" that 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nxe4 is unplayable for black. Then Chess Life had some cutting edge analysis by Charles Hertan in the 1980's showing that it was playable. It came as a surprise to me to learn tonight that Kieseritsky had ventured this back in 1846!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Nxe4? 4.Qe2 Qe7 5.Qxe4 d6 6.d4 f6?

<Why? The kingside should not be weakened. 6...dxe5 7.dxe5 Nc6 is the natural and good continuation. White is better, but not severely.>


<Incorrect. The immediate 7.Nc3 develops and causes headache for Black.>


<I think somewhat better is 7...dxe5 8.dxe5 Qb4+ 9.Qxb4 Bxb4+ 10.Bd2 Bxd2+ 11.Nxd2 fxe5 12.fxe5 Nc6>

8.Nc3 fxe5

<In Greco vs NN, 1620 and in P Damiano vs NN, 1497 Black took with the d-pawn.>


<While still being better, the objectively most precise play was 9.fxe5! dxe5 10.Nd5 Nf6 11.Nxe7 Nxe4 12.Nxc8 Rxc8 13.Bd3 Nf6 14.dxe5 with a serious pull.>

9...Nf6 10.Nxf6+

<10.Nxe7 Nxe4 11.Nd5 Kd8 12.Bd3 and White is OK.>

10...gxf6 11.Bb5+

<Objectively better was 11.fxe5 dxe5 12.Be2 exd4 13.Qxd4 Bg7 (or 13...Qb4+ 14.Qxb4 Bxb4+ 15.c3) 14.Kf2 and White has the upper hand.>

11...c6 12.Bxc6+

<After 12.Be2?! either the d- or f-pawn should be pushed and Black is not worse.>

12...bxc6 13.Qxc6+

<13.0-0? d5 with a huge center.>


<Or else 14.Qxa8 is good.>


<Capturing a poisoned rook. 14.Qd5+!! Kg7 (now Rg8 is too slow) 15.Qxa8 exf4+ 16.Kf2 Bb7 17.Qxa7 Qe4 18.d5 Qxc2+ 19.Kg1 Qd1+ 20.Kf2 leads to a perpetual. But what if Black places the king on g6? 15.f5+!! Bxf5 (15...Kxf5?? 16.0-0+, and if 15...Qe6? or 15...Be6?, then White simply captures on a8 with way better prospects.) 16.Qxa8 exd4+ 17.Kf2 Be4 18.Qb8 d5 19.Re1 achieves a draw!>


<Interestingly, the immediate 14...exd4! is stronger, as it forces 15.Kf2 Bb7 16.Re1 Bxa8 17.Rxe7+ Bxe7, and I don't see how can White survive. 15.Be3 is impossible (a little bit more about this laughable on move 16), as after capturing with the queen, Bg4 ideas will create a mating net.>

15.Qxa7 exd4+ 16.Kf2

<The computer likes the absurd 16.Be3!? Qxe3+ 17.Kd1 line. I guess I need to check it deeper, why is it favourable instead of 16.Kf2 - maybe the queenside pawns can generate some kind of counterplay. White is on the verge of losing in both variations, certainly.>

16...Rg8 17.Rg1 Qe4 18.g3

<In an already terrible position NN throws away the game at once. 18.Qa5 Rxg2+ 19.Rxg2 Qxg2+ 20.Ke1 Qg1+ 21.Ke2 Be7 22.Qh5+ Kg7 23.Kd3 Ba6+ 24.c4 Qf1+ is a nightmare for White, but at least there is some space for Kieseritzky to blunder away the attack.>

18...Qxc2+ 19.Kf1

<19.Ke1 does not save the game. After 19...Qe4+ Black's pieces will invade, anyway.>


<The digital monster announces a mate in 20. Not extremely surprising.>

20.Kf2 Qf3+ 21.Ke1 Bg7 22.Qxd4 Re8+ 23.Kd2 Re2+ 24.Kd1 Rf2+ 25.Ke1 Qe2# 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Very nicely done <Messiah>! The blue links are helpful, too. This is one of the oldest openings in chess.

For a different variation where pawn-takes-knight (6...dxNe5), see <FSR>'s miniature: NN vs F Rhine, 2017

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