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Emmanuel Schiffers vs Mikhail Chigorin
"The Damiano Effect" (game of the day Jun-22-2017)
Chigorin - Schiffers Sixth Match (1897), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 13
King Pawn Game: Damiano Defense. Damiano Gambit Chigorin Gambit (C20)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-01-13  Garech: Insanity!


Mar-01-13  JimNorCal: Terrific entertainment starting at 10. Ne5!
Nov-29-14  Knight13: Nobody ever said it was good, but the Damiano Defense is actually playable for Black. Chigorin enjoyed finding exceptions and trying out new things, e.g. the Chigorin Defense. If anything, Schiffers should be the one deserving of more criticism here, not Chigorin, for not winning the game.
May-22-15  offramp: <Knight13: Nobody ever said it was good, but the Damiano Defense is actually playable for Black....>

The most diamantesque chess player is Sam Sloan, a player that I really like. His record would be better if he did not play the Damiano all the time as black. He knew both Fischer and Whitaker.

Check out his incredible match with "Bill" William Brock.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <patzer2: The move 22...Rxh1+! is a decoy tactic Chigorin failed to play for a mate-in-six, as pointed out by <Honza Cervenka>.

The combination with 22...Rxh1!+ is listed as the solution to number 1170 in Chess Informant's 1980 "Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames," and is categoriezed there as a decoy (spelled "dicoying" in this multi-language reference book).

Black's first two moves are decoys in the combination <22...Rxh1+! 23. Nxh1 Bh2+! 24. Kxh2 Rh8+ 25. Kg3 Nf5+ 26. Kg4 Rh4#>.

P.S. Black also missed this same mate by not playing 23...Rxh1+!>

23...Rh1+?? 24. Nxh1 Bh2+ 25. Kxh2 Rh8+ 26. Kg3 Nf5+ 27. Kxf3.

The mating combination beginning with ....Rh1+ works only after 23...Bc6 24. Qxa7??

Maybe the score of the game has changed since those earlier comments were posted?

Jun-22-17  Eusebius: <al wazir>
Thank you for this. I was also confused about this post. 24...Rh1+ is the right move (and not 23...Rh1+)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <al wazir> Yes, I guess that there was added a repetition of moves after 17.Kh1 Be5 18.Kg1 (18...Bh2+ 19.Kh1 Be5 20.Kg1) which is sometimes omitted in sources mentioning this game. In current gamescore the missed mating combo starts in moves 24 or 25 of black.

Btw, even without 24.Qxa7(?) allowing mate in six moves white seems to be in big troubles in the position after 23...Bc6. For example, 24.Qe2 Nf5 25.Ne4 Nd4 or 24.Qa3 Nf5 25.Re1 Bxg3 26.fxg3 Nd4 is quite overwhelming, and white is probably lost despite of his huge material advantage. Instead of 26...Nxg3 it was better to play 26...Bxb2 27.Rad1 Nxe3 28.Rxd8+ Rxd8 29.Ne2 (white cannot play 29.Re1 or 29.Rb1 for 29...Bd4 with decisive threats) 29...Nxf1 with R+2B+2P for Q+N.

Jun-22-17  morfishine: The game score must be incorrect since after 22...Rxh1+ 23. Nxh1 Bh2+ 24. Kxh2 The studied move <24...Rh8+> is not possible since the Black Knight is on <g8>


Jun-22-17  Sally Simpson: Hi Morf.

I think they have the move number wrong, the combo starts here with Chigorin to play his 24th move.

click for larger view

Very easily missed OTB. You are a Queen missing and have to sac a Rook and Bishop and foresee a very uncommon mid-board mating pattern.

click for larger view

Chigorin had a chance to play it again on move 25. If it he had played it then the game would be up there with the 'Immortal' and 'Evergreen'.

I would like not to have to been the one who pointed out the missed win to Chigorin. It must have been soul shattering, akin to Da Vinci deciding to paint out the smile in the Mona Lisa.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Note to solvers: Today's puzzle was not solved iin the game. You'll have to think outside the score to find the solution.
Oct-29-21  NBZ: Thanks <Phony Benoni>. This would have been a really pretty combination, a shame Chigorin did not find it. Needless to say, I did not either. It almost could be a Saturday or Sunday puzzle. It does feature a series of checks that forces mate, but the first two moves are not easy to find!
Oct-29-21  Brenin: Thanks for the hint, <PB>! Down by Q for B, Black needs to winkle the White K out of its leaky fortress, and 24 ... Bxg3 is too slow, so let's sacrifice a few more pieces with 24 ... Rh1+ 25 Nxh1 Bh2+ 26 Kxh2 Rh8+ 27 Kg3 Nf5+ 28 Kf4 or Kg4 Rh4# (as others have shown, years ago).
Oct-29-21  mel gibson: Stockfish 14 says mate in 6.

24... Rh1+

(24... Rh1+ (♖h8-h1+ ♘g3xh1 ♗e5-h2+ ♔g1xh2 ♖d8-h8+ ♗c1-h6 ♖h8xh6+ ♔h2-g3 ♘e7-f5+ ♔g3-f4 ♖h6-h4+) +M6/103 11)

Oct-29-21  TheBish: I was familiar with the combination, but had forgotten that Chigorin missed it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: A bit too famous.
Premium Chessgames Member
  drollere: i thought 24. .. Bxg3, 25. Qa8+ Kd7, 26. Rd1+ Ke6, 27. Re1+ Kf7 looked fine for black. like chigorin, i didn't see the intricate middle board mate.
Oct-29-21  Nosnibor: Never seen this game before but got Black`s first move within one minute. Interesting finish.
Oct-29-21  Cellist: I wanted to play either 24. ... Bxg3 or Bf3, the latter controlling d1 against a potential R check should White play 25. Qa8+ and force Black's king to d7, but neither works. Bxg3 leads to a draw, and Bf3 looses big time. Sorrow!
Oct-29-21  saturn2: I had 24...b6 at first glance. It protects a8 and fends off 25. Qa6+ by Bb7. This black bishop is the superstar on the board, defends and attacks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Vem i o evict vis auld guv vehicle pb6 fab able its latch its abacus black eh its vem i o evict vis auld guv vehicle jab peg mcs v withins drs roi v yin yan quiff flick its a jogger piebald hood muck v its wu c cully z its lo its cements v i a cfo its baffles v bluffer dank cod a dip knight eg affable pa affix i v pin hood v icicle v iffy fact hack good i v bins bads brad are its credible v fed on good avarices it leaf through buff hen fighter i v touch dint ref v aisles eeyore o eg abouts leg evict it beowulf c i jo get c fox iced its cervix ehs v great cj ok ceo its eg x i v hedged its fine its narc eg it ghoul change v c ala its key gum fades it deffo vis ghost chap is v cumberband hmm figures mad c fun hell gate it said vis lost feck mack gate its flight budged it dig c for hinge its eon vem aim death it speed of an attack it sorry in v lieu see na position i v clogs tied it down its z at moma penance it is ma bb ace hook two faulty towers shiver me timbers h8 caged it hi woof noted b6 on as see no?
Oct-29-21  saturn2: 14.Bf4 and white wins easily
Oct-29-21  saturn2: or 14. h3
Oct-29-21  TheaN: Bit of mind blowing game that still shows the volatility of the game as long as you deviate early enough.

Though 2....f6 might not be the way to do so, Chigorin shows the concept of getting into an objectively terrible position, able to win #6 with <24....Rh1+! 25.Nxh1 Bh2+! 26.Kxh2 Rh8+ 27.Bh6 Rxh6+ 28.Kg3 Nf5+ with Rh4#>. I don't actually blame Chigorin for missing this, as the first <two> clearances do nothing else but block h1 so the White king is forced up the board.

To add insult to injury however, Schiffers blatantly accepts a draw in what is an almost trivial defendable position: 34.Kd4 Rd2+ 35.Qd3 +- and what exactly is Black going to do with the immense material deficit? 34....Rg4+ 35.Kc5 +- and 34....Rh4+ 35.Kc3 +- all take some time to calculate a successful king walk, but it works.

Oct-29-21  AlicesKnight: This is too well-known to be a POTD - ....Rh1+ followed by ....Bh2+ with mate in 3 - but Chigorin played ... b6 to secure his K. I think I would have missed it too ...
Oct-29-21  Ian McGarrett: I must have seen this combination before because the solution just sort of jumped out at me.
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