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Mikhail Chigorin vs Geza Maroczy
London (1899), London ENG, rd 23, Jun-30
King's Gambit: Declined. Classical Variation (C30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-09-03  ChessPraxis: Maroczy sets up a total blockade. White's Queen Rook and Bishop are completely out of play. It's as though Black is up a Rook (since his own Knight is inactive).

I think 34. ... Rd8 was an interesting way to win, too.

Mar-10-03  drukenknight: cp "another way to win?" are you sure Tchigorin is winning? What about 36...Qg2+ does this save blacks game?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: ChessPraxis, 34...Rd8 seems to be a typo (35.Qxd8 etc.). Do you mean 34...Rd7?
Mar-22-03  ChessPraxis: <to Honza Cervenka> Yes, 34. ... Rd8 is a typo. I wrote this note a couple of weeks ago but I think that I meant to write 32. ... Rd8. The idea is that White's in a mating net, though it has a hole in it. Black threatens to mate with 33 ... Rh8+ 34. Qh7 (or Qh6) RxQ # If 33. Qg7 then 33. ... Qh5# If 33. Qh7 then ... Rg8 with attack.

What White should play is 33. Kh4 but then Black wins with ... Rh8+ 34. Kg5 Rg8 35. Qxg8 Qxg2+

I just realized that 32. ... Rg7 uses the same basic idea but is more direct. If 33. Qxg7 then ... Qh5# Or if the Queen moves off the g-file then ... Qxg2+ and Qxh2# And if the Queen stays on the g-file the Rook will take it.

<to drunkenknight> No, I don't think that Chigorin is winning. I think that Maroczy is winning. Black has no need to save his game because he is winning.

Mar-23-03  crafty: 32. ... ♖g7 33. ♕f5 ♕xg2+ 34. ♔h4 ♕f2+ 35. ♔h3 ♖g3+ 36. ♔h4 ♕xh2+ 37. ♕h3 ♕xh3#   (eval -Mat05; depth 12 ply; 100M nodes)
Mar-23-03  ChessPraxis: So I was on the right track, but Crafty came up with a better defensive move for White and showed that even it couldn't prevent mate. It's cool to have my idea confirmed but I'd better make sure that I'm not just blowing smoke (although I guess that's what kibitzing is about).
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Tchigorin badly mishandled the White side of this King's Gambit Declined, most notably with his very bad 7. c3, and left a hole on his d3 which Maroczy exploited. Contrary to what the Tournament Book states, however, Tchigorin was not clearly lost after 7. c3 and, in part thanks to a few second-best moves by Maroczy, had chances to break the bind. As the game went, however, Tchigorin failed to break out of the shell he constructed for himself and effectively played the entire game without his Queen's Bishop or Queen's Rook, neither of which made a single move.

Maroczy's choice of 4...Nc6 is condemned by the Tournament Book and by the opening manuals I have. (4...Nf6 is considered by nearly everyone to be better). Tchigorin pinned the c6 Knight with 5. Bb5 and had reasonable chances until his awful 7. c3. The simple 7. d3 would have avoided all of his subsequent problems.

Maroczy's 7...a6! was very nice, and he had the better game after the resulting exchange of two sets of minor pieces.

But then both sides went astray. Tchigorin's 10. 0-0 compounded the problems he had created for himself with 7. c3 (he should have played 10. f5). But Maroczy erred with 10...Qd7 (10...exf4 seems to give him a winning bind on the position).

Tchigorin could probably have extricated himself from most of his difficulties had he played 15. Rb1 immediately. His actual 15. Qc2 gave Maroczy a chance to thwart the Rb1 plan with 15...Na5. But Maroczy instead played 15...Qc7?, and after 16...Rd3 (16...Rd6 first was better) Tchigorin seemed to be over the worst.

But Tchigorin pursued a bad plan with 17. B4 (17. RxR would have given him near equality), with 20. Kf1 (20. Re3 was better) and then with 21. Ke1 (21. Qe2 was best) after which he was utterly paralyzed.

Once Tchigorin played 27. RxR? (27. exf5 was the only chance) and Maroczy got in 28...Qh4+ the rest was a slaughter.

After Maroczy's 29...Qxe4, Tchigorin was dead. His 30. Qxg7 hastened his demise.

When Tchigorin played the suicidal 32. Kh3, Maroczy had a forced mate with the pretty 32...Rg7, a move discovered on this site by ChessPraxis 15 years ago. Marozcy missed the forced mate, but his 32...Rd6 did the trick.

As ChessPraxis has also pointed out here, 34...Rd7 is an even more brutal winning method than Maroczy's 32...f3, though in fairness the latter was quite sufficient to finish off Tchigorin.

Tchigorin had all sorts of problems in this tournament facing the French Defense as a result of his bizarre adherence to 2. Qe2. In the present game, Tchogorin was bested in an opening in which he usually had fabulous success, the King's Gambit.

As is obvious, Tchigorin (for once) did not shine in his play with the White pieces at London 1899.

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