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Samuel Lipschutz vs Henry Edward Bird
"Bird On A Wire" (game of the day Mar-04-2019)
6th American Chess Congress (1889), New York, NY USA, rd 14, Apr-09
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation. Traditional (B25)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-16-04  aw1988: In this game the Ng1 makes 93 moves.
Jul-16-04  aw1988: Rather, the Nb1 makes 93 moves.
Sep-26-04  fgh: What's wrong with 141. ... Kc2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <fgh> Good catch - 141 ... Kc2 142. b3 Rxb5+ 143. Kxb5 Kxb3 draws immediately. Looks like both sides were still trying to win. Those Knight moves are funny!
Dec-05-04  buscher07: Nice. Nights are great, aren't they? :)
Jun-28-05  Knight13: What a long game! This must the the longest game ever played in the 1800s that is recorded.
Jun-28-05  aw1988: Betcha don't know what the longest tournament was.
Aug-21-06  pokemonman: <Knight13> Longest game I've ever seen, that's for sure.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The game might have continued, but on his 109th move Lipschutz made a claim for a count of 50 moves.

The tournament book notes after move 159: <Drawn by decision of the umpire after a count of fifty moves had taken place at the request of White.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Drawn by decision of the umpire after a count of fifty moves had taken place at the request of White.>>

Wierd, because Black makes a capture on move 127, so the 50-move rule shouldn't take effect until move 177.

Jan-13-09  WhiteRook48: maybe they were tired of playing. OR maybe it was the 30 move rule.
Jan-31-09  WhiteRook48: wow, I forgot they played so long back then
Feb-27-09  JonathanJ: well there were over 50 moves without a capture: between moves 51 and 107.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <JonathanJ> To claim a draw by the 50-move rule, the 50 moves must be without a capture and also without a pawn move. That's why it didn't apply between moves 51 and 107.
May-03-09  WhiteRook48: the dark ages- there were so many knights.
May-04-09  BraveUlysses: <Pawn and Two: The tournament book notes after move 159: <Drawn by decision of the umpire after a count of fifty moves had taken place at the request of White.>>

The 50 move rule must have been different back then, as in this game there is a capture on move 127 and a pawn move on 157. The current FIDE rule (rule 9.3) states:

The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, if (a) he writes on his scoresheet, and declares to the arbiter his intention to make a move which shall result in the last 50 moves having been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without the capture of any piece, or (b) the last 50 consecutive moves have been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without the capture of any piece.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <aw1988>Betcha don't know what the longest tournament was.

The New York 1889 tournament ran for two months, which is a record for the longest time for a major international tournament. It also was a 20 player double round-robin, with replayed games if the 2nd game was drawn. There was also a 4 match playoff between Chigorin & Weiss. So approximately 40 games for each player.

Sep-19-10  JimmyVermeer: <JonathanJ> well there were over 50 moves without a capture: between moves 51 and 107.

Black's 59th move would have reset the count.
So there was no draw by the 50-move rule, but at 7 occasions during this game there could have been a draw by repeated position. They are: White's 73rd, White's 74th, White's 76th, White's 82nd, Black's 85th, White's 86th, and Black's 124th.

The result of this game was probably due to a poor understanding of the relative values of the pieces. Black had an easy win on 88 ... Rxd4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: <kapinov: Bird missed an easy win with 88...Rxd4...> Certainly. An incredible miss for a player of Birds strength. A more obvious move to look at is hard to find.

<Pawn and Two, Brave Ulysses> Right, and rather unthinkable that the 50-moves-rule back then rule really didn't have the no-moved-pawn requirement. As, if the rule only required no-capture-made then a extreme number of "won" endgames would have been claimed as draws.

And, as pointed out, in this game both events (captured piece and moved pawn) happened within a 50-move horizon. So it is likely that the umpire simply used his powers to say "This is enough" (and indeed it was), and so the reporter got it a bit wrong.

It is always worth noting that claims of draw must be made _before_ making a move. I have seen a couple of times where the player made the move and said "There! 3 times same position, draw!" Nope, the game goes on, and there may not be a new chance to claim anything.

Another time there was a friend of mine finally managing to get his opponents king into the right corner in a K+B+N vs K endgame. Mate was two moves away - but a correct 50-moves claim was made in time. LOL, but I recall something similar happening on master level too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: Here is the complicated history of the 50-move rule, and some very funny examples from the world top of chess.
Mar-04-19  mrknightly: "Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I've tried in my way to be free." (Leonard Cohen)
Mar-04-19  spingo: Leonard Cohen took the title from his favorite Mel Gibson movie.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wtpy: White played passively in this game: 17 Nd5 would have given him a good edge, and 24 f3 is clearly inferior to e5.
Mar-04-19  ndg2: "Nice knight for a walk, eh?" - Terminator, 1984
Mar-04-19  centralfiles: Score is certainly wrong. There is no way White would allow 88...Rxd4 Then Black would go on and miss it in return.
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