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Elijah Williams vs Howard Staunton
"Profit Elijah" (game of the day Sep-23-2009)
London (1851), London ENG, rd 4, Jul-??
Bird Opening: Dutch Variation (A03)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 43 times; par: 91 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-23-04  Knight13: 46... Kd7 47. c8=Q Rxc8 48. Rxc8 Kxc8 49. Kc4 Kd7 50. Kd5 Ke7 51. e6 Ke8 52. Kd6 Kd8 53. e7+ Ke8 54. h4 g5(forced> 55. hxg5 Kf7 56. Kd7 and the pawn Queens.

Good game.

Sep-22-09  Guguni: what if 36... N:a2? Black pawns seem pretty dangerous.
Sep-22-09  RandomVisitor: 15...Nxe5! 16.fxe5 Qxg5 might be good for black.

14...Nxe5! (even 14...Bxe5!) 15.fxe5 Qxg5 might also be good for black.

Sep-22-09  UrVileWedge: It's a terrible move, but the idea of ...40 bxa2 is so visually appealing, that I almost wish Staunton had played to get isolated tripled pawns on the a file like that.
Sep-23-09  widjaja: What if 36.... Nxa2? Is anybody check that black could have a winning chance?
Sep-23-09  OneArmedScissor: I'm pretty positive black wins if Nxa2
Sep-23-09  OneArmedScissor: Actually, he doesn't because white can play e6+! Ke8 and then d6!!
Sep-23-09  mertangili: At first glance, 36...Nxa2 37. e6+ Ke7 38. Re1 seems good enough for white as black knight on a2 cant move anywhere without being taken and on a2 it hinders its own pawns' advance. on the other hand white acquired pretty strong way to queening with his three connected passed pawns and rooks behind them.
Sep-23-09  shakespeare: I think too that Nxa2 is a good idea
lets say Re1 (Rd1 looses immediately)
37. Nc3! to gain tempo
38. Kxc3 (almost forced) a2
39. Ra1 Rxc5+ reduces pressure in the center
40. Kd4 Rc2 followed by a3 b2
If correctly played, black will not promote, but white looses at least one rook
Sep-23-09  TheaN: <Knight13: 46... Kd7 47. c8=Q Rxc8 48. Rxc8 Kxc8 49. Kc4 Kd7 50. Kd5 Ke7 51. e6 Ke8 52. Kd6 Kd8 53. e7+ Ke8>

White actually mates faster from this move on in comparison with 54.h4?! you provided. Mate in 5 after:

<54.Ke6! g5 55.fxg5 f4 56.g6 f3 57.g7 fxg2 58.g8=Q 1-0> which is actually a very known pattern to abuse the stalemated King position if there are still other pawns OTB.

Sep-23-09  TheaN: Ironically, White can promote to any piece:

<58.g8=R 1-0>

<58.g8=B g1=Q 59.Bf7 1-0>

<58.g8=N g1=Q 59.Nf6 1-0>

Nice.

Sep-23-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <RandomVisitor: ...14...Nxe5! (even 14...Bxe5!) 15.fxe5 Qxg5 might also be good for black.> What's the best move after <16.Ne4 Qd8 17.Nd6>?


click for larger view

An exchange sac with 17...Nf7 18.Nxe8 Bxe5 maybe?

Sep-23-09  martas: mertangili, shakespeare: I've checked Nxa2 with Rybka, evaluation is +2 for white. 37 .. Nc3 is wrong idea, because with moves Re1, e6 and e7 (with d6 if Ke7) black rook needs to be involved in defending promotion (which is deadly) and c3 knight is then taken by white king for free. Rybka's best line after Nxa2 is 37.e6 Kf6 38.Re1 Ng8 39.d6 Ne7 40.Rd1 b2 41.g4 Nc1 42.g5 with evaluation 2.3
Sep-23-09  tivrfoa: 18. Qh4 and 26. b4 are nice. =)
very well played.
Sep-23-09  WhiteRook48: 20Nxd4!
Sep-25-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: What an army of pawns on both sides-white's were better organized and his was the last standing.

I know a friend that named his boys,Micah,Elijah,and Isaiah. Of the three,the most important one (prophet,not boy) was Elijah-who didn't have the time to write a book,lol.

Jul-19-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

E Williams vs Staunton, 1851.
YOU ARE PLAYING THE ROLE OF WILLIAMS.
Your score: 102 (par = 96)

LTJ

Jul-23-12  LoveThatJoker: Four notes of major importance by Stockfish on this game:

<A> Both 14...Nxe5 and 15...Nxe5 would have left Black with at least a advantage

<B> 24. Nxc5 - the move I chose in GTM - was more accurate. Stockish gives the following line to prove it, 24...Rxe5 25. Na4 Re3 26. Bb2 Rxd3 27. Rad1 Re3 28. Rfe1 Rxe1+ 29. Rxe1 Kf7 30. Kf2 (+5.65 at a Depth of 22)

<C> It would not have been as accurate to play 35. axb3, due to the following line: 35...a2 36. Rb2 axb3 37. Ra1 Nb4 38. Kc3 Nc2 39. Rxc2 bxc2 40. Kxc2 Ra3 41. Kb2 Rg3 42. Kxa2 Rc3 43. d6 Rxc4 44. Kb3 Rc8 45. Ra7+ Kf8 46. e6 Re8 47. e7+ Kf7 48. Kc4 Ng8 49. d7 Rxe7 50. d8=Q (White wins eventually, but it requires engine-like precision).

<D> 36. Kc4 is an innaccuracy in an otherwise tremendously precise endgame from Williams. After this, Staunton should have played 36...Nxa2! giving him some practical holding chances.

[The entire line that Stockfish gives is 36. Kc4 Nxa2 37. Rd1 Ra8 38. c6 Rc8 39. Rxb3 axb3 40. Kxb3 Ng8 41. Kxa2 Ne7 42. Kxa3 Nxc6 43. dxc6 Rxc6 44. Kb4 Rc2 45. g3 Rg2 46. Rd7+ Ke6 47. Rd6+ Kf7 48. Rd3 Ke7 49. Kb5 Rh2 50. h4 Rg2 51. Kc5 Rc2+ 52. Kd5 (+3.67 at a Depth of 31)]

Better was 36. c6, when in the resulting Rook endgame White not only has a two pawn advantage over Black, but a positional stranglehold over the second player as well.

36. c6 Nxd5 37. c7 Nb6 38. c8=Q Nxc8 39. Rxc8 Ng8 40. Rc7+ Ne7 41. Kc4 Ke8 42. axb3 axb3 43. Kxb3 Nd5 44. Rc4 Ne3 45. Rd4 a2 46. Ra1 Rb5+ 47. Kc3 Rc5+ 48. Kd3 Nc2 49. Rxa2 Nxd4 50. Kxd4 Rb5 51. Kc4 Rb1 52. Ra7 (+10.18 at a Depth of 24)

LTJ

Jul-23-12  LoveThatJoker: My friend User: morfishine came up with an excellent addition to Stockfish's analysis by stating that 9...Ne7 is a better move than Staunton's 9...Nh6.

Both Stockfish and I agree with <morf> on this.

Here are two lines from Stockfish that validate that 9...Ne7 was a better choice - of course, positionally it is extremely apparent that 9...Ne7 is a better move, but this is one of those occasions where it is interesting to get an engine's take on a move as well:

<9...Ne7>

Analysis Diagram - Position after <9...Ne7>


click for larger view

A) 10. d3 O-O 11. e5 Bh6 12. g3 Nf5 13. Na3 Qb6 14. g4 Ne7 15. Nb5 a6 16. Nd6 f5 17. Qg2 fxg4 18. Qxg4 (+0.32 at a Depth of 22)

B) 10. e5 O-O 11. d3 Bh6 12. Na3 a6 13. Bd2 Nc6 14. g3 Qc7 15. Rab1 Rfc8 16. Rfd1 Rd8 17. b4 cxb4 18. Bxb4 Nxb4 19. Rxb4 Bf8 20. Rb3 Bc5 (+0.16 at a Depth of 21)

LTJ

Jul-23-12  tonsillolith: The moves <4. Bb5+> and <5. Bxd7+> are distasteful to my amateurish positional judgment, since the setup of the pawn chains would suggest White's light-squared bishop is better than Black's.

Could someone explain to me why it is favorable to White to make the trade of light-squared bishops in this opening?

Jul-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <tonsillolith> This exchange actually works better when White can snap off a knight on c6: here's an example from modern days (Fischer vs Mecking, 1970), and one from early 20th century (Nimzowitsch vs Rubinstein, 1926).
Jul-23-12  LoveThatJoker: <tonsillolith> You have a point here.

I actually play the Bird's regularly, but not as often as I used to. One of the reasons why I don't play it as often anymore is because of the quick exchange of White's LSB either for the N on c6 (if it appears there) or the B on d7.

(This said, to be honest, I would rather have Black play 4...Nc6 against me allowing me to realize a standard plan involving b3, Bb2, Bxc6, and Ne5 - especially when Black does not play ...g6 and ...Bg7 - only then do I not mind having exchanged off my LSB).

The way this game looks after 5...Nxd7 can almost be considered as an accelerated Bogo-Indian with reversed colours. I say 'accelerated' as White has already played f4 and only then Nf3; in many instances in the Nimzo-Indian or the Bogo-Indian, it is good to play ...f5 as Black.

One thing that is instructive about the way the opening was handled in this game, is the manner in which Williams, after the trade of LSBs, starts putting his pawns on light-squares - so as to give his Bishop no impediments and have a more dynamic game.

Another surprisingly decent idea would have been to play 6. b3 and an eventual Bb2 clamping down on the dark squares - but this is aiming for a more solid and quieter game.

Either way, man, Bird's Opening tends to be more of a slightly unsound "I play for draw/surprise" option for White. I wouldn't recommend that you get too involved with this opening as White, but do learn certain setups as Black against it.

One final thing, up until 9...Nh6?!, Staunton had been playing the Black side of this pretty well; of course as <morf> and Stockfish stated earlier, however 9...Ne7 was better.

LTJ

Jul-23-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Bird's Opening 'slightly unsound'? This is rubbish-while it's not a mainstream line, it's hardly bad.
Feb-28-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Black could have played 39...♙b3xa2 to reach this unusual position:


click for larger view

...in which white mates in 4.

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