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Emmanuel Schiffers vs Geza Janny
Budapest (1898), Budapest AUH
King Pawn Game: Tayler Opening (C44)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-04-20  Cibator: Like Billy Connolly*, Schiffers was probably thinking "Ah'm gan to murrder the Janny". But as with Sir Billy, it didn't happen!

* In this YouTube clip:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: No, no, my friends. You misunderstand. 8. Kg3 is actually a move of deep positional understanding. The move of a master. If I might be so bold, it is the sort of move that I would play.

Of course white could play 7. Kg1 or 8. Kg1. But these moves would entomb the poor rook on h1. Let's leave these prosaic moves for the woodpushers.

After 8. Kg3, white audaciously routes his king to g1 whilst leaving the Rh1 a chance to develop. What elan! What spirit! What imagination!

White will play Re1 or Rf1 then h3 ... the knight has to move ... then Kf2 or Kh2 and finally Kg1. All is safely gathered in and white has a fantastic position.

It's what the chess authors call castling by hand. Just think of it ... all the books will exclaim that this is "Schiffers immortal Kg3".

Of course the white king is perfectly safe on g3. White will shoo the black knight away with h3. Black doesn't have a dark squared bishop. What could possibly go wrong?

Yes, my friends, it's the sort of move I would play. Imaginative. Bold. Thinking outside the box ... until my king ends up back in the box.

It is one of the unfair elements of chess - that a move of such deep strategic intention could be underdone by a pesky thing called calculation.

May-04-20  Brenin: 10 ... d5 or 10 ... d6? A difficult choice. I would have gone for d6, as more elegant.
May-04-20  sfm: I think Mr. Janny may hold a record of most claims of noteworthy players playing worse than beginners against him. With this amazing ability a 100% score in recorded games is no surprise.
May-04-20  Brenin: Schiffers has a record of +114 -124 =74 on CG, with victories against Steinitz, Chigorin, Blackburne and Pillsbury. This game supports <sfm>'s theory (Apr-27-20) that Janny (+6, -0, =0, total 88 moves) was a hypnotist.
May-04-20  Nullifidian: 9... ♙h4+ forces the capture of the knight, then 10... ♙d6/d5 mates.
May-04-20  saturn2: The final plunder was 9 h3 instead of h4
May-04-20  faulty: so cruel that the player of the day is also featured like this. Schiffers was somewhere between world no20 and no30 in his prime, maybe even higher. just a very adventurous player. with the entertaining spirit, games like these come naturally
May-04-20  stacase: I guessed wrong, I thought it would be 10...d6# not 10...d5#   (-:

Akshully as Mondays go this was a little bit tricky and a great puzzle. Hard to believe it was an actual game and not a set-up problem to illustrate one of those things you do in Chess which is to see if the other guy's King has anywhere to go. In this case no. All you have to do is find the series of attacks on the immobilized Black King that works.

Hmmm, One of those little hints that pop up when you're posting says, to check all the possible attacks on the King, it might be mate, or something like that. Very true in this case.

<scormus: ...the final move was like switching on a light sabre!> No light sabers in 1898, but I liked that (-:

May-04-20  Nosnibor: Schiffer my timbers this was a very easy one!
May-04-20  TrollKing: 6. Rf1, intending 7. Kg1 would have been much safer.
May-04-20  Cibator: Janny get your pun.
May-04-20  mel gibson: Good beginners puzzle.
May-04-20  TheaN: <9....h4+> there's some synergy to this move: the knight's currently covering the crucial squares; f2 and h2. The pawn's advance secures g3 which White's forced to vacant, removing his access to f2 and h2, thus the need for Ng4. <10.Kxg4 d#>. I'm not going to discuss any difference between d6 and d5, not from practical (there is no difference) nor aesthetic (there is no difference :>) value.

White plays this well. The 'center fork BxKB2+' trap is played <so> often considering how bad it is: including by yours truly against one of the former youth leaders of my chess club when I aged a bit already. The king's weakness is superficial. The color playing the 'combination' just gave up their best piece to attack the exposed king for an impenetrable center.

After 7.Kg1, White'd be on +1.5. After 8.Kg1, White'd be on +2. After 8.Kg3, White's only on -0.3 (considering how such a terrible move only gives Black a minor advantage). After 9.h3, he's dead.

May-04-20  lost in space: Why ever this took me (much) longer than the usual 1 second on Monday.
May-04-20  goodevans: I've just played through all of Geza Janny 's games on It doesn't take long. His six games (+6 -0 =0) amount to a mere 88 moves. A remarkable collection indeed.

He has contributed 3 Monday puzzles and a GOTD so I guess we should be grateful to him.

May-04-20  ndg2: Not nice to bring this doozie of a GOTD (for white) for the player of the day (Schiffers).

Of course Kg3 was a howler as others pointed out already

May-04-20  Damenlaeuferbauer: After long pondering the unknown Hungarian chess player Dr Géza Janny finally found the mate in two moves with the knight sacrifice 9.-, h4+! 10.Kxg4,d5/d6# against the much more famous Russian Emmanuel Schiffers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Tabled it is slippage no?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Wooh hoo dichotomy?
May-04-20  Predrag3141: Janny has six nice games. He won all six, and he sacrificed a piece to do it in five of them. I read where people were skeptical that he existed but someone said he wrote the forward for a tournament book (New York 1924? I'm too lazy to check).
Premium Chessgames Member
  monopole2313: <FSR: Holy death wish, Batman! Simply 7.Kg1 would have left White with a large advantage: > Perhaps that's why Janny played 4. ..Nxe5 25 years later in I Abraham vs G Janny, 1923.
May-04-20  sophiephilo: Got this. Phew.

Why did the black king not scurry back to his hovel?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Messiah: Catastrophic game.
Oct-18-21  Jean Defuse: ...

White is not the great Emmanuel Schiffers


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