|Oct-27-06|| ||Gouki: its surprising that no one has said anything about this classic game as yet!|
with excellent notes from blackburne as well as precise play on his part, I think this game is a good instructive example of how to play the slav.
|Jul-07-08|| ||Pawn and Two: At move 15, Fritz preferred (.35) (17 ply) 15.e4 Nf4 16.Bc4 N6h5 17.Nce2 Qg5 18.Nxf4 Nxf4 19.Bxf4 Qxf4.|
Instead, Blackburne played (.21) (17 ply) 15.Be1. Neither Schiffers, in the tournament book, nor Blackburne in his notes, made any comment regarding White's choice at move 15.
Colin Crouch in his "Hastings 1895" tournament book stated regarding move 15.Be1: <Showing too passive a mentality. 15.Nf5 painlessly wins the bishop pair.>
Fritz indicated that (.11) (17 ply) 15.Nf5 Bxf5 16.Qxf5 Rfd8 was no improvement over (.21) (17 ply) 15.Be1.
After 15.Be1, the best continuation was: (.14) (19 ply) 15...Rd8 16.Rd2 a6 17.Nf5 Bxf5 18.Qxf5 Bh2+ 19.Kf1 Rxd2 20.Rxd2 Be5 21.Rd1 Nh4.
Instead, after (.44) (19 ply) 15...Nh4 16.Qd3 Rd8 17.f4 Ng6 18.Bf2 Bc7 19.Qc2 Bb6 20.f5, White had a small advantage.
|Jul-07-08|| ||Pawn and Two: At move 16, instead of playing 16.Qd3 with a small advantage, White handed the advantage over to Black with: 16.Nf3? Bf5, (-.51) (20 ply) 17.Qa4? (a little better was (-.26) (20 ply) 17.e4 Nxf3+ 18.Bxf3) 17...Nxf3+ 18.Bxf3 Qe5 19.g3 Bxh3 20.Ne2.|
Schiffers stated after 19...Bxh3, <White has now lost a pawn, but obtains a strong attacking position which is still further enhanced by the open h-file.>
Blackburne stated after 19...Bxh3, <An open file and a good attacking position is worth more than the lost Pawn.>
Crouch stated that 19.g3 was a highly creative defensive resource, which showed Blackburne at his best. Crouch stated Blackburne was prepared to sacrifice a pawn, in return for time, and a chance for pressure on the h-file. Crouch indicated that perhaps Black should ignore the offer of the h-pawn, but stated few players would be able to resist the temptation.
So who was correct? Fritz and Bardeleben for preferring to accept the sacrifice, or Blackburne and Schiffers for preferring the attack, or Crouch, who indicted Black may be able to defend after accepting the Pawn?
I think computer analysis will provide us with the best answer, but it is a position where a definitive answer will be very difficult to determine.
|Jul-07-08|| ||Pawn and Two: After winning the Pawn by 19..Bxh3, Fritz indicated Black could maintain the advantage: (-.56) (20 ply) 20...Qe7 21.Bc3 Rfd8 22.Qh4 Bf5 23.Qg5 Be6 24.Nd4 h6 25.Qh4.|
Instead, Black erred by playing 20...Bc5?: (-.08) (20 ply) 20...Bc5? 21.Bc3 Qf5 22.Qf4.
Fritz now indicated that best for White was: (-.14) (20 ply) 21.Bc3 Qf5 22.Qf4 Rae8 23.Bxf6 Qxf6 24.Qxf6 gxf6 25.Rac1.
Instead, White played 21.Qh4, which Fritz evaluated as: (-.39) (20 ply) 21.Qh4 Qf5 22.Nf4 Bg4 23.Bxg4 Qxg4 24.Qxg4 Nxg4 25.Rd7 b5.
|Jul-08-08|| ||Pawn and Two: Instead of playing 21...Qf5, with a small advantage, Black erred with: (.07) (19 ply) 21...Be6? 22.Bc3 Qf5.|
Now White could continue with an approximately equal game by: (.09) (21 ply) 23.Nf4 h6 24.Bxf6 Qxf6 25.Qxf6 gxf6 26.Nxe6 fxe6 27.Rac1 Bb6 28.Rd7 Rf7.
Instead, White played 23.Kg2?. Crouch gives this move an exclamation mark and states, <Not a purely defensive move. Rh1 is coming. There is also the attractive point that if 23...g5 24.Qh6 g4, then White's attack arrives first.>
However, 23.Kg2? was an error. After 23...g5! 24.Qh6 Qg6! 25.Qxg6+ fxg6 26.Nd4, it is Black who has the advantage. Fritz evaluates this position as: (-.81) (26 ply) 26...Bg4 27.Bxg4 Nxg4 28.Rd2 Rad8 29.Re2 Bxd4 30.Bxd4 a6. White has drawing chances in this variation, but that is all.
|Jul-08-08|| ||Pawn and Two: Instead of playing 23...g5!, with advantage, Black erred with 23...Bd5?.|
Blackburne now played a very fine move, 24.Rxd5!!. Fritz confirms this was White's best move. White had only one other move that did not give Black a considerable advantage: (-.24) (18 ply) 24.Qf4 Bxf3+ 25.Kxf3 Qxf4+ 26.Nxf4 Be7.
After 24.Rxd5!! cxd5 25.g4 Qe6 26.Nf4, White has the advantage, but Black still had good drawing chances: (.36) (23 ply) 26...Qe7! 27.Rh1 h6 28.g5 Ne4 29.Bxg7 Qxg5+ 30.Qxg5 hxg5 31.Bxf8 gxf4 32.Bxc5 Nxc5 33.Bxd5 fxe3 34.fxe3 Rd8. Fritz evaluated the final position as only slightly in favor of White: (.22) (21 ply) 35.e4 Kg7 36.Rf1 Rd7, or (.21) (21 ply) (.21) 35.Rh5 b6 36.Rf5 Kg7.
After missing 26...Qe7!, Black's serious blunder 26...Qd6??, quickly ended Black's resistance.
Blackburne's attack carried the day, but analysis by Fritz indicated Bardeleben was correct in winning the Pawn by 19...Bxh3, and had he played 23...g5!, Blackburne would have been hard pressed to obtain a draw.