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Munich 1900
Compiled by Phony Benoni
--*--

The 12th German Chess Federation Congress was held in Munich from July 22nd-August 18th, 1900. It featured several of the world's best players plus the usual gang of cannon fodder, to wit:

Johann Nepomuk Berger Moritz Billecard Amos Burn Wilhelm Cohn Alexander Halprin Franz G Jacob David Janowski Georg Marco Geza Maroczy Harry Nelson Pillsbury Carl Schlechter Jackson Whipps Showalter Curt von Bardeleben Hermann von Gottschall Ignatz von Popiel Heinrich Wolf

By round 4 the tournament had developed into a three-way race among Maroczy, Pillsbury and Schlechter, and they stayed there the rest of the way. Janowski was never a factor, Marco kept up for a while but couldn't stand the pace, and Burn made only a mild charge. By round 10, the big three were a full point ahead and it seemed obvious one of them would be the eventual winner.

The plot began to thicken after round 13. Pillsbury had taken his first sole lead at 11.0 points, Maroczy and Schlechter being 1/2-point behind. The latter two were scheduled to play in round 15, and neither could have relished the thought of trying to beat each other in order to catch Pillsbury. It was essential that Pillsbury be slowed down in round 14 to give them a chance to catch up, but he was playing Halprin whose score of 3.5-9.5 didn't inspire much confidence.

What happened next is one of the classic stories. To understand it fully, we need to go back to H Wolf vs Pillsbury, 1900 from round 12:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6

In round 3, Maroczy played the quieter 6.Bxc6, and the game was eventually drawn after Pillsbury had the advantage. Wolf goes for a more complicated line, with which Pillsbury was also familiar.

6.dxe5 Nxb5 7.a4 d6 8.e6 fxe6 9.axb5 Ne7

This appears to be an innovation by Pillsbury; previously, 9...Nb8 was played.

10.Nc3 Ng6 11.Ng5 Be7 12.Qh5 Bxg5 13.Bxg5 Qd7


click for larger view

Now Wolf tried 14.Ra3. This allowed Black to castle safely, beat back a kingside attack and convert his extra pawn in 40 moves.

Maroczy studied the position, and discovered the astounding idea of <14.b6> and 15.<Nd5>, giving White a strong attack. He went over the line with Halprin the night before round 14, hoping to give Pillsbury the surprise of his life.

Pillsbury was probably suspicious as soon as Halprin, who normally played 1.d4, came out with 1.e4 instead. Then when Halprin went into the complicated 6.dxe5 line, the radar was probably on full blast. But 14.b6 and 15.Nd5 were still a total surprise, leaving him facing a dangerous opening innovation with the clock ticking and first place at stake. Despite all this, Pillsbury managed to fend off the attack in what is generally considered one of the greatest draws in chess history.

It wasn't enough to maintain his lead, though, as both Maroczy and Schlechter won to catch Pillsbury. All three played hard in the last round, but draws resulted and the tournament itself ended with a three-way tie for first.

However, there were still tiebreak games to be played. Originally each of the three players were scheduled to have two games with each other. However, Maroczy lost the first game to Pillsbury after a horrible blunder and withdrew due to ill health.

The format was then changed to a four-game mini-match between Pillsbury and Schlechter. Schlechter won the first game, Pillsbury the second, then after two more draws they finally called it a day.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 Maroczy * 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12.0 2 Pillsbury * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12.0 3 Schlechter * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12.0 4 Burn 0 0 * 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 10.5 5 Marco 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10.0 6 Cohn 0 0 0 * 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 8.0 7 Berger 1 0 0 * 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 7.5 8 Janowski 0 0 0 0 1 * 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 7.5 9 Showalter 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 * 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 7.5 10 Wolf 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 1 1 1 1 1 7.5 11 Von Popiel 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 * 0 1 1 6.5 12 Von Gottschall 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 * 1 1 1 6.5 13 Halprin 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 * 5.0 14 Von Bardeleben 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 * 1 0 3.0 15 Billecard 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 3.0 16 Jacob 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 = 1 0 * 1.5

If you're looking for other interesting games, take a glance at Janowski vs Maroczy, 1900 from round 4. The finish is particularly fascinating.

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
Halprin vs H Wolf, 1900 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 72 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
J N Berger vs Janowski, 1900 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 77 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
G Marco vs Pillsbury, 1900 
(B73) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
Von Gottschall vs Burn, 1900 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 43 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
Maroczy vs Von Bardeleben, 1900 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 73 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
Showalter vs Schlechter, 1900 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
W Cohn vs M Billecard, 1900 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 23 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Monday, July 23)
Von Popiel vs F G Jacob, 1900 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 46 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
H Wolf vs F G Jacob, 1900 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 34 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
M Billecard vs Von Popiel, 1900 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
Schlechter vs W Cohn, 1900 
(D09) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 5.g3, 36 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
Von Bardeleben vs Showalter, 1900 
(C45) Scotch Game, 19 moves, 0-1

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
Burn vs Maroczy, 1900 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 104 moves, 0-1

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
Pillsbury vs Von Gottschall, 1900 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 25 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
Janowski vs G Marco, 1900 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 58 moves, 0-1

Round 2 (Tuesday, July 24)
Halprin vs J N Berger, 1900 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 28 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
J N Berger vs H Wolf, 1900 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 49 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
G Marco vs Halprin, 1900 
(C49) Four Knights, 43 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
Von Gottschall vs Janowski, 1900 
(C26) Vienna, 30 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
Maroczy vs Pillsbury, 1900 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
Showalter vs Burn, 1900 
(D20) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 49 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
W Cohn vs Von Bardeleben, 1900 
(B45) Sicilian, Taimanov, 29 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
Von Popiel vs Schlechter, 1900 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 49 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Thursday, July 26)
F G Jacob vs M Billecard, 1900 
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 47 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
H Wolf vs M Billecard, 1900 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
Schlechter vs F G Jacob, 1900 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 39 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
Von Bardeleben vs Von Popiel, 1900 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 37 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
Burn vs W Cohn, 1900 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 28 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
Pillsbury vs Showalter, 1900 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
Janowski vs Maroczy, 1900 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 35 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
Halprin vs Von Gottschall, 1900 
(D04) Queen's Pawn Game, 48 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Friday, July 27)
J N Berger vs G Marco, 1900 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
G Marco vs H Wolf, 1900 
(C41) Philidor Defense, 38 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
Von Gottschall vs J N Berger, 1900 
(C28) Vienna Game, 11 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
Maroczy vs Halprin, 1900 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 23 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
Showalter vs Janowski, 1900 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 45 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
W Cohn vs Pillsbury, 1900 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 47 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
Von Popiel vs Burn, 1900 
(B73) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 64 moves, 0-1

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
F G Jacob vs Von Bardeleben, 1900 
(C49) Four Knights, 17 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Saturday, July 28)
M Billecard vs Schlechter, 1900 
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 44 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
H Wolf vs Schlechter, 1900 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 51 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
Von Bardeleben vs M Billecard, 1900 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 51 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
Burn vs F G Jacob, 1900 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 21 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
Pillsbury vs Von Popiel, 1900 
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 74 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
Janowski vs W Cohn, 1900 
(D06) Queen's Gambit Declined, 37 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
Halprin vs Showalter, 1900 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 39 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
J N Berger vs Maroczy, 1900 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 66 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
G Marco vs Von Gottschall, 1900 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Von Gottschall vs H Wolf, 1900
(C25) Vienna, 38 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Maroczy vs G Marco, 1900 
(C49) Four Knights, 56 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Showalter vs J N Berger, 1900 
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 46 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
W Cohn vs Halprin, 1900 
(C49) Four Knights, 23 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Von Popiel vs Janowski, 1900 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 76 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
F G Jacob vs Pillsbury, 1900
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 38 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
M Billecard vs Burn, 1900
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 88 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Schlechter vs Von Bardeleben, 1900 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 9 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
H Wolf vs Von Bardeleben, 1900 
(C42) Petrov Defense, 21 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
Burn vs Schlechter, 1900 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 49 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
Pillsbury vs M Billecard, 1900
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 53 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
Janowski vs F G Jacob, 1900
(D63) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 35 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
Halprin vs Von Popiel, 1900
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
J N Berger vs W Cohn, 1900
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
G Marco vs Showalter, 1900
(C14) French, Classical, 26 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Thursday, August 2)
Von Gottschall vs Maroczy, 1900
(B23) Sicilian, Closed, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
Maroczy vs H Wolf, 1900 
(C28) Vienna Game, 44 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
Showalter vs Von Gottschall, 1900
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
W Cohn vs G Marco, 1900
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
Von Popiel vs J N Berger, 1900
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 49 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
F G Jacob vs Halprin, 1900
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
M Billecard vs Janowski, 1900
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 48 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
Schlechter vs Pillsbury, 1900
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Friday, August 3)
Von Bardeleben vs Burn, 1900
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 50 moves, 0-1

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
H Wolf vs Burn, 1900
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 83 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
Pillsbury vs Von Bardeleben, 1900
(C66) Ruy Lopez, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
Janowski vs Schlechter, 1900
(C72) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense, 5.O-O, 61 moves, 0-1

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
Halprin vs M Billecard, 1900
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
J N Berger vs F G Jacob, 1900 
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 17 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
G Marco vs Von Popiel, 1900
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 38 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
Von Gottschall vs W Cohn, 1900
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 66 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Saturday, August 4)
Maroczy vs Showalter, 1900
(C11) French, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
Showalter vs H Wolf, 1900 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
W Cohn vs Maroczy, 1900
(C48) Four Knights, 46 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
Von Popiel vs Von Gottschall, 1900 
(C26) Vienna, 53 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
F G Jacob vs G Marco, 1900
(C41) Philidor Defense, 51 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
M Billecard vs J N Berger, 1900
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 27 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
Schlechter vs Halprin, 1900
(D15) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 63 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
Von Bardeleben vs Janowski, 1900
(C79) Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Monday, August 6)
Burn vs Pillsbury, 1900 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (August 7)
H Wolf vs Pillsbury, 1900
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 40 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Tuesday, August 7)
Janowski vs Burn, 1900 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 52 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Tuesday, August 7)
Halprin vs Von Bardeleben, 1900 
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Tuesday, August 7)
J N Berger vs Schlechter, 1900
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Tuesday, August 7)
G Marco vs M Billecard, 1900
(C49) Four Knights, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Tuesday, August 7)
Von Gottschall vs F G Jacob, 1900 
(C30) King's Gambit Declined, 24 moves, 1-0

Round 12 (Tuesday, August 7)
Maroczy vs Von Popiel, 1900
(A03) Bird's Opening, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Tuesday, August 7)
Showalter vs W Cohn, 1900 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 13 (Wednesday, August 8)
W Cohn vs H Wolf, 1900 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Wednesday, August 8)
Von Popiel vs Showalter, 1900
(C13) French, 33 moves, 1-0

Round 13 (Wednesday, August 8)
F G Jacob vs Maroczy, 1900 
(B40) Sicilian, 22 moves, 0-1

Round 13 (Wednesday, August 8)
M Billecard vs Von Gottschall, 1900
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Wednesday, August 8)
Schlechter vs G Marco, 1900
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Wednesday, August 8)
Von Bardeleben vs J N Berger, 1900
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 83 moves, 1-0

Round 13, Game #103
Burn vs Halprin, 1900 
(D08) Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 13 (Wednesday, August 8)
Pillsbury vs Janowski, 1900 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 45 moves, 1-0

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
H Wolf vs Janowski, 1900 
(C79) Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred, 64 moves, 0-1

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
Halprin vs Pillsbury, 1900 
(C67) Ruy Lopez, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
J N Berger vs Burn, 1900 
(D40) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 50 moves, 0-1

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
G Marco vs Von Bardeleben, 1900
(C14) French, Classical, 69 moves, 1-0

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
Von Gottschall vs Schlechter, 1900
(D00) Queen's Pawn Game, 37 moves, 0-1

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
Maroczy vs M Billecard, 1900
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 61 moves, 1-0

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
Showalter vs F G Jacob, 1900
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 14 (Thursday, August 9)
W Cohn vs Von Popiel, 1900
(A04) Reti Opening, 53 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
Von Popiel vs H Wolf, 1900
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 67 moves, 0-1

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
F G Jacob vs W Cohn, 1900 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 45 moves, 0-1

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
M Billecard vs Showalter, 1900
(C48) Four Knights, 34 moves, 0-1

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
Schlechter vs Maroczy, 1900
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
Von Bardeleben vs Von Gottschall, 1900
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
Burn vs G Marco, 1900
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
Pillsbury vs J N Berger, 1900
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 59 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 15 (Saturday, August 11)
Janowski vs Halprin, 1900
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 44 moves, 0-1

Tiebreak, Game #1 (Sunday, August 12)
Maroczy vs Pillsbury, 1900 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 25 moves, 0-1

Tiebreak match, Game #1 (Tuesday, August 14)
Pillsbury vs Schlechter, 1900 
(C43) Petrov, Modern Attack, 34 moves, 0-1

Tiebreak match, Game #2 (Wednesday, August 15)
Schlechter vs Pillsbury, 1900 
(C79) Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred, 56 moves, 0-1

Tiebreak match, Game #3 (Friday, August 17)
Pillsbury vs Schlechter, 1900
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tiebreak match, Game #4 (Saturday, August 18
Schlechter vs Pillsbury, 1900
(C79) Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

125 games

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