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Cecil Purdy vs Frank Arthur Crowl
"Purdy Please" (game of the day Feb-01-2014)
corr (1934) (correspondence)
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation (E32)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-05-13  DytnTD: Crowl, who lost, "declared it (this game) to be 'perhaps the best game of chess he had ever played,' i.e., up till 1935." Thus it is the first game in "How Purdy Won," a collection of 53 of Purdy's games on his way to winning the World Chess Correspondence Championship.
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  Richard Taylor: Both comments are right as in the book "How Purdy Won" Purdy, Hutchings, Harrison. Castle Books, Melbourne, 1983.
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  Richard Taylor: Purdy says of 19. ... Nce5

"19 ... Nce5!! A brilliant and imaginative conception, at any rate. I was taken completely by surprise, but thought I had discovered a refutation."

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  Richard Taylor: Then he comments: "And if 22. RB4 ... etc"

That is he says if 22. Rf4 Ng5! 23. hxg5 Rxf4 24 Nxf4 Bxe4+ 25 Kf2 Bxc2 26 Nxg6 "Black cannot lose and even has winning chances. White thought at the time that his next move should win, and at least it gives Black the maximum opportunity of going wrong."

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  Richard Taylor: He also suggests that 26. ..Qc6 was better than Nd6 as "White's advanced pawns would become weak, though he would have drawing chances. Crowl thought he was clearly winning."
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  al wazir: Why is this game over? What's wrong with 46...Rc4 ? And why didn't black play 27...Rfe8 ? If 28. dxc7, then 28...Qxd5+ 29. cxd5 R8e3+ 30. Kf4 Re4+ 31. Kg5 Rxc4.
Feb-01-14  morfishine: The double-pin on White's Bishop after 21...Qg6 is highly pleasing and worthy of a better fate. Reminds me of that famous Tal game

<al wazir> 46...Rc4 47.Bd6 Rc6 48.Kd4 and White wins the d-pawn; positionally, Black is lost: a rook move on the c-file is answered by Bc5 queening, while Rb6 and White Queens


Feb-01-14  Tim Delaney: <al wazir> if 46 ... Rc4 then 47. Bd6 threatening Bc5. The bishop, of course, is invulnerable on d6. The elegant deflection h5! lured the black king away from the critical area.
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  Richard Taylor: <al wazir> In your second question I think you mean Rc4 but then White is better after d6.

Purdy says the ending is lost.

If 46. ... Rc4 47. Kd3 (this is Purdy's analysis) and then if d4 48. Bd6 Rc6 49. Kxd4 Rxd6+ 50. Kc5 Rd8 51. Kb6 Rc8 52. Kb7...

or if here 47. ... Kg6 84. Bd6 threatening Bc5.

It was important for White to play 45. h5+!

I haven't put the game on an chess engine but recall there were no such things in the days this game was played!

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  Richard Taylor: I think <Tim Delaney>'s line works also.

<morfishine> the cross pin was great as was the move 19. ... Nce5!

Purdy was probably lost if 24. ... Qc6 (Purdy's comment).

The trouble for Crowl was he was convinced he was won and missed that he couldn't exchange Qs on move 27. ... but the ending would be lost (it seems).

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  Richard Taylor: Fritz, cruel Fritz finds 20. g5! immediately. Just shows that errors can arise even in correspondence games by relatively strong players. I've played correspondence chess and it is quite possible to "blunder" but errors of the type as typical of OTB play are less frequent.
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  Richard Taylor: I have Kommodo but it is harder to quickly load a game with the system I have but someone else might be interested in checking this game out. Purdy's comment about Nce5 was that it was a brilliant idea "in any case" (he doesn't have much analysis: perhaps he later found 20. g5 if it is so good...
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  Richard Taylor: In <al wazir>'s 27. ... Rfe8 28. dxc7 R8e3+ (but then) 29. Kg4 re4+ 30. Kh3 Rxc4 (I see how this move is sometimes Rc4 now) 31. Qf3 Re8 32. Rd1 1.98 but that is only with a quick look.

Objectively 19. ... Nce5 seems to be a mistake and the less imaginative 19. ... fxg4 was better with plenty of play.

But chess is played by fallible people.

Feb-01-14  morfishine: <Richard Taylor> Yes, 19...Nce5 was terrific, starting the main sequence.

One move not noted is 28...cxd6 (instead of 28...h5) controlling e5. Though White is up a pawn, he's down an exchange and so must make the Q+B battery work or he draws at best. For example, 28...cxd6 29.Qd4 Re5 30.Qxd6? can be answered by 30...Rxf5+ 31.gxf5 Qxf5+ 32.Kg2 Qf2+ 33.Kh1 Qf3+ and draw by perpetual


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  Richard Taylor: Purdy also missed (although he saw the idea as is clear by his analysis) 35. Bd4 and the 36. Re8+ which wins very easily.

I finally got to the end position and it is, it seems, a clear win whatever Black does...

Humanum est errare.

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  Richard Taylor: <morfishine> but it seems they both missed 20. g4! which is winning. Nce5 was brilliant idea but as I say above a mistake. From they way Purdy comments int he book I have they might have both found 20. g5 or maybe on a longer analysis it isn't so clear. Fritz (or my version) is not always so accurate) but 20. g4 looks strong.
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  Richard Taylor: < morfishine: <Richard Taylor> Yes, 19...Nce5 was terrific, starting the main sequence.> [fortunately they both overlooked the refutation!]

One move not noted is 28...cxd6 (instead of 28...h5) controlling e5. Though White is up a pawn, he's down an exchange and so must make the Q+B battery work or he draws at best. For example, 28...cxd6 29.Qd4 Re5 30.Qxd6? can be answered by 30...Rxf5+ 31.gxf5 Qxf5+ 32.Kg2 Qf2+ 33.Kh1 Qf3+ and draw by perpetual >

Yes, that's right but White has 30. Qf4 and White is better.

Stronger for Black seemed to be 28. ... Rxd6 (I'm cheating with the computer now) although maybe it isn't but he at least has 29. Qe5 Rd3+ and then 30. ... Rxc3 which might give him more of a chance to draw.

Feb-01-14  morfishine: <Richard Taylor> Yes, of course, 30.Qf4

I looked at that sequence too: 28...Rxd6
29. Qe5 Rd3+ followed by 30...Rxc3 31.Qxc3 and thought this looks like a difficult ending for Black to hold; I guess it can't be worse than the actual outcome

FWIW: IMO, I wouldn't call routine analysis "cheating with the computer" unless you are trying to solve a problem like the POTD


Feb-01-14  Ferro: "A Night at the Opera"
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  kevin86: White will exchange the passed pawn for the rook and will easily win a with bishop ahead.
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  Richard Taylor: <morfishine> I was previously analysing without comp. I think it's a good idea to start with your own brain etc "cheating" was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

I played in 2 NZ Corresp Champs and also two International Corresp events in the mid to late 80s, It is very absorbing but very very time consuming.

My ex wife hated me playing chess. She now hates me and chess completely.

Feb-02-14  morfishine: <Richard Taylor> Very funny! I enjoy reading your posts. Question: Are you 100% serious on your comment(s) about chess being addictive and one should not pursue this game, etc.? Or was that also tongue-in-cheek?
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  Richard Taylor: Maybe not 100% as I know there are situations where it is good: although I sometimes wonder why such a brilliant mind like (name a great chess player) devotes his or her life to chess. Being a medical researcher or I dont know it might be just as good to be drainlayer (seriously, I've worked mostly in my life in "hands on" and outside work or indeed in factories etc

But if a youngster asked me (they never do, my grandson plays but he isn't big on chess: I have two others and one on the way! so I dont know if they will be interested...

I gained a lot from learning and playing chess and these days playing over games, solving problems etc

But there are many for whom chess can be quite terrible in its effects. Chess as an activity seems to foster an heirarchical thing which I think can be psychologically harmful.

So overall (unless the person was a real prodigy) I would dissuade a young person away from chess to say sailing boats, athletics, art, literature, music, stamp collecting.

It is necessary for the individual to learn also to feel good about themselves (I don't mean arrogance). Now people who have mastered that or have that are very fortunate and could well "take" the many downsides of playing professional chess.

As a hobby to complement other things it has it's place.

One promising young player over here stopped playing (I was told) because his mother "hates(d) chess": that is when they could be on holiday all together father and son were pouring over chess boards and so on.

Overall I see little benefit in playing chess for people such Bobby Fischer (he should have learned more things at school or taken more interest in his mother's left wing politics), whereas Smyslov, who WAS sane, had music as did Taimanov, Euwe maths and boxing at one will help Anand that he is widely educated...

Carlsen is clearly onto a good thing but what about in 6 to 10 years? He will be knocked over and we will forget him as people are forgetting how good Topalov, Kramnik, and Anand are. Kasparov wisely checked out early, Smyslov played on, Karpov also but he is quite laid back, plays bridge and collects stamps etc

But chess looked at beyond rating levels and winning and losing still has many fascinating aspects - but there is where the addiction starts!

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  Richard Taylor: It's true about my wife hating chess: but she used that as a way (with other things) to make sure she could leave me. It was true that when playing chess I was "away" I would spend hours analysing. I'm not sure that was good as I had a young family.

But when I played in a simul against Spassky she was there and shouted out to everyone how boring chess was.

Now she had a point: we also used to go to art openings and art seemed to me, coupled with a certain wider social-philosophical implication than chess, to be more important than chess. And indeed nothing is so important as human interelationships (even if it is one's local community or whatever). Chess is a game.

It is ultimately trivia. It is not life.

Or is it? Is it a significant part of the intellectual-psychic appreciation of the complex beauty of life. I read a book about mathematicians and they often say that at least some of their (abstruse, abstract) maths has some utilization. Actually I think similar arguments (perhaps wrongly "guilty") apply to spening time watching porn or writing or playing golf or swimming or eating! Whatever...

I'm only throwing out ideas but I am dubious of chess.

In NZ I really enjoyed chess more when it was the time I started learning ideas, great games and combos, and endings etc also in NZ we had our own rating system. Today there is more and more connection to the rulings of FIDE which is a body slowly destroying what was ever good about chess.

There are too many stupid rules that have been introduced. There was nothing wrong with the old classical chess.

And I preferred it when I heard nothing about having a FIDE rating etc when it seemed any case I loved the cosy atmosphere with players blundering on and all the eccentrics etc

It has all become to rule burdened. I'm not sure I want to play in another chess tournament.

But I love the game and play over old master games (I love Smyslov's games)...There is no need to actually play as such.

But then the addiction kicks in...more misery.

Sep-06-18  NBZ: This is such an incredible game. Can't believe I have not seen it before.
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