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Leon Rosen vs David Janowski
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 6, May-28
Italian Game: Scotch Gambit (C55)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Enterprising play by Janowski to bring the Rook into the attack by 15...♖b4 and 17...♖h4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: In the final position, 24.QxBe2 is met by a discovered attack of the d-pawn 24...d3+. White has a few different responses, but has a losing position given that the queen drops.

Possible is the interpose 25.Be3 dxQe2 26.BxBc5. The d-file has opened setting Black up for a pawn supported 26...Qd1+ winning White's rook. 27.RxQd1 exRd1=Q+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Janowski mauls Rosen in a 23-move tactical mismatch. As always, Janowski was a genius in using the two Bishops.

This win gave Janowski a (short-lived) lead in the Paris 1900 tournament (Lasker lost to Marshall the same day).

But after winning his first five games, Janowski went into a tailspin for the rest of the tournament, losing seven of his remaining ten games.

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. d4

Many play 4. Ng5 here, but this allows Black to sacrifice a pawn for a dangerous attack. Rosen, not unreasonably, decides to seek the initiative rather than trying to weather an attacking storm from the dangerous Janowski.

Perhaps Rosen should have played the simple 4. d3, accepting a very small edge.

4... exd4
5. 0-0

5. e5 is a good alternative. 5. Ng5, however, may now be best for White.

5... d6

5...Bc5, transposing into a variation of the Scotch Gambit, may be best here. 5...Nxe4 is most frequently played, and is also better than the text. But Janowski is biding his time.

6. Nxd4 Be7
7. Nc3 0-0
8. NxN

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book recommends 8. Nf5, but White gets nothing after 8...BxN. Perhaps best here is the temporizing 8. Bb3. But Rosen is still fine after the text.

8... bxN
9. b3

Rosenthal calls this "weak," but it doesn't look all that bad to me. It is at least as good as Rosenthal's proposed 9. h3. 9. Re1 looks best, but Rosen is still fine even after the text. He still has the (somewhat) better game.

9... Be6
10. Ba6

Rosenthal is correct that 10. Be2 would be better, but the text is sufficient for equality. Best for White is probably the prosaic 10. BxB (always a good idea to deprive Janowski of one of his beloved Bishops).

10... Rb8
11. f4

Not fatal in itself, but the beginning of a bad idea. 11. Be2 is best.

11... Re8
12. f5

Exacerbating the King-side weaknesses he began to create with his last move. Rosen's game is still not all that bad, but he is continuing to float into trouble. Best was 12. Qd4.

12... Bc8
13. Bd3?

Very bad. Rosen should have played 13. BxB. Now, Janowski's White-square Bishop will become a ferocious monster.

13... d5!

Janowski is ready to bust Rosen's center and King-side apart. Rosen may already be lost here. With his upcoming errors, he is quickly blown away.

14. exd5

Best. As Rosenthal points out in the Tournament Book, 14. e5 gets crushed by 14...Bc5+ 15. Kh1 Rxe5.

14... cxd5
15. Ne2

15. Bf4 was his only real chance.

15... Rb4?

This move is praised by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book and by GrahamClayton on this site, but in fact it is a mistake. Janowski's idea of Rb4...Rh4 could have been easily countered by 16. Bf4. Janowski had a won game here with 15...Bc5+

16. c3?

Now Janowski is able to play Rh4 and Rosen gets ripped to shreds. Rosenthal's 16. Kh1 is better than the text but still probably insufficient. 16. Bf4 was the only road to saving the game.

16... Bc5+

Janowski now rules the board.

17. Kh1 Rh4!

The position was now:

click for larger view

The brutal conclusion of the game will be covered in a subsequent post.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

After Janowski's 17...Rh4!, the game did not last long.

18. Bf4

As Rosenthal notes in the Tournament Book, 18. Bg5 gets killed by 18...Rxh2+!! 19. KxR Ng4+ followed by 20...QxB and a devastating King-side attack.

The only alternative I can see to the text is 18. h3, but this is hardly sufficient or a significant improvement.

18... Nh5!

Now the Knight joins the attack. Janowski is in his element in this kind of position.

19. g3?

Hopeless and leading to immediate loss. But no move is good for White here. 19. Bg3 leads to mate in three for Black after 19...NxB+ 20. NxN Rxh2+ 21. KxR Qh4 mate.

The only way to prolong the game was 19. b4.

19... d4!

Opening a diagonal for his c8 Bishop.

20. B4

Fritz announces mate in 18!

20... Bb7+

Janowski loves his Bishops. 20...Qd5+ is perhaps faster, but Janowski's move is also deadly--and exactly what we would expect from the Bishop-loving Janowski.

21. Rf3 BxR+
22. Kg1 RxN
23. BxR BxB


As both Rosenthal in the Tournament Book and fredthe bear on this site note, 24. QxB is answered by 24...d3+

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