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Oldrich Duras vs Richard Teichmann
Ostend (Belgium) (1906), It, Jun-21
Spanish Game: Closed. Averbakh Variation (C87)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Duras is a player I go to when I am unhappy with my tactical vision. Here is a hundred-year old game from Duras first tournament as a "master with a diploma". He and Teichmann created enough combinative material here for about five normal, interesting games.

Move 14. Provocative 14.-Na5? would have lost a pawn.

Move 18. Today, such positions arise from KID. It would have been prefectly logical (and 'cleaner') for White to attack on the Q-wing with b3, a3, b4. However, K-side attacks suit Duras temperament better.

Move 22. Exchange Black bishop before f6 and Nf7.

Move 27. The threat was 28.e5 dxe5 29.Nh5 Qh8 30.Rxe5....

Moves 28-34. Game is in an interesting dynamic equilibrium: Black pieces occupy arguably better squares and lines, but their coordination is slower due to his space deficiency.

Move 35. If 35.-g4 36.hxg5 Bxg5, then 37.Qf4.

Move 38. Teichmann is allert. After 38.g4, White choice between 39.Rf4 and sharp 39.Nf5+ Bxf5 40.Rxf5 gxf5 41.Qg5+ is pleasant.

Move 41. Position after 41.-f5 42.Qf2 looks bad for Black.

Move 42. Only now we are geting to the fun part! Of course, White would love to sac 43.Nf5+ but black has that indirectly covered. So the next crazy option to consider is a speculative sac 43.Rf5! Would we dare? Duras did.

Move 43. Do we take the rook or do we counterattack? Damn if we do, damn if we do not. Unlike in the famous Keres-Smyslov, Zurich 1953 game, here Black could have skated to a draw if he did take the rook. Many famous annotators got it wrong, however (Foldelak, Mieses). The key is that after 43.Rf5 gxf5 44.Nxf5+ Kg6 45.Nxh6 Kxh6 46.Qe3+, two retreats of the king loose, but one seems to hold. This was discovered by a group of Prague masters back in fifties. They therefore speculated that Duras would have probably forced a draw after 46.Qh4+ Kg7 47.Rf3 f6! 48.Rg3+ Bg6 49.Qg4 Qg5 50.Qf3 Qe5 51.Qg4... All in all, we are just scratching the surface of possibilities of what could have happened here. For better or worse, Black declined the offer.

Move 44.e5! There are two benefits of this sac: One, it opens the lines of the White bishop; two, it closes the lines of the Black queeen.

Move 44.-dxe6. If 44.-Rxe5, mate follows in three moves.

Move 45.-Kh7. Immediate threats were Nf5+ and Qf6+.

Move 46.-gxf5. It is hopeless to surender quality here. Consolidation of the position would have been too easy for White.

Move 47.-Rg6. After 47.-Kh8 48.Rh5 Qe3 49.Kh2 Kg7 50.Qg4 White wins in interesting wariations.

Move 48.-Qd4+. Black uses this 'only' manuever to stave off Rh5+ and/or Qxe7.

Move 50.-e4. Black has to close the diagonal. After 50.-Rd7 simple 51.Rf3 wins.

Move 52.-Qe1! Once again, one and only move. The thereat was Rxf7. Intermezo 52.-Qxb3+ fails to 53.Rf3.

Move 53.Qxe8!! To a normal mortal it may still not be clear who will prevail in this fight. But, without a doubt, Duras already saw the end here. After taking the bishop, Duras was commited to sacrifice his queen. Enjoy the end.

Apr-16-04  Lawrence: <Gypsy>, an exciting game but Junior 8 suggests that both sides made some egregious errors. For example, Duras's 43.♖f5? (b4) 46.♘f5? (♕f6!) and 51.♕xe7? (♖xg6!), and Teichmann's 43...♕c3? (gxf5!), 45...♔h7 (♔f8) and especially his 47th move. Teichmann only had 2 possibilities, one gave him equality, 0.00 and the other gave his opponent an advantage of +6.03 so guess which one he chose.

As you can see, Junior definitely thinks Teichmann should have taken the Rook on move 43. eval -1.84 It follows the line you mentioned but thinks 46.♕h4+ eval -2.28 is worse for White than 46.♕e3+ ♔g7 47.b4 ♘d7 48.♖f3 f6

What's your opinion of chess engines? Do you use one?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Thank you <Lawrence>. Here is my background story: I am an applied mathematician (OR, Stat) that has not played a serious game in quite a long time. About a year ago, however, I decided to catch up with chess again because I became interested in two aspects of it: (1) as a testbed for various strategic decision-making musings, and (2) as a testbed for human problem-solving experiments. The former involves more positional aspects of chess (which always had been dear to my hart), the latter more tactical aspects of chess (which I used to love and fear in equal parts). [And, of course, a big part of studying chess again is that chess is lots of fun!]

I definitely am not a ludite, but I do not presently use a computer to analyse. Its just a part of an informal exploratory experiment to see if and how my tactical perception will change when I do swith over. I want to see and understand what type of moves I (while standing in for ordinary humans) typically miss. (And as you already know, I missed plenty. :-))

I do not usually use chess-board, but work from book- or screen diagrams. I noted that there is several of us like that around here. For instance, someone asked of <ughaibu> to, please, use redundant notation Rxg6 instead of logically sufficient Rg6, because it helps such as us. I second that motion. (When needed, I can borrow a pocket board from my daughter, but I am used to doing math in my head, on long car rides.)

I shall now honestly record the moves I missed---for those, who like me, are interested in the same issues of fallibility of the human A* heuristic search algorithms.

43.b4 - I did not miss. I personally would have played on the Q-wing in the first place. But this was Duras game.

46.Qf6! I discarded in view of 46.-Qd4+
47.Rf2 Qd1+, not considering 48.Nf1. In my mind, that knight had to go forth.

Materialism makes one to take a what-else move 51.Qxe7? A cursory look at 51.Rxg6! ended with 51.-Qh5+ 52.Kg1 Qd1+. Here I missed the possibility of 52.Kg3 because of an inate fear of my kings of harrasment in open spaces. And for the same reason of king acrophobia, I took Teichmann at his word when he played Rg6 instead of Kh8.

Well, I embarased myself enough. Have to run.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <gypsy> In defence of humanity, 46.Nf5? looks natural and strong, whilst <46.Qf6!> is a twisting and precarious variation, for example:

46...Qe3+ 47.Rf2 Qc1+ 48.Nf1 Rd7 49.Rxe5 Qc3 50.Nh2 Qa1 51.Ng4 Ne4 52.Qf4 Qxb1+ 53.Rf1 Rh1+ 54.Kxh1 Qxf1+ 55.Qxf1 Ng3+ 56.Kg1 Nxf1 57.Rxe8

The books used to call this period one of technique and draws, games like this (and many others) put a lie to that lazy assertion.

Apr-17-04  Lawrence: <Gypsy>, what about Capablanca as inspiration for tactical, positional, and strategic vision? Is anyone better?

btw, is that a slight Slavic "accent" I detect in your writing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: You have a fine ear for accents, <Lawrence>. Ammong my Slavic accents, a dialect of Czech should be the most detectable.

As for great Capablanca: No, no one realy eclipsed him in the over-the-board play. If there is any wrap against Capa, it would be that he was, by his temperamet, a counterpuncher. He had no overarching desire to win (Alekhine, Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov come to mind), though he pasionately hated to loose. Thus he seldom took fight to his oponents.

There seems to be a wide belief that Capablanca was a kind of an "idiot servant", a player born with an innate understanding of all aspects chess. I do not buy into it much. Capa was very tallented, but he was also a profound thinker. At his early years, Capa worked hard at chess (He sais so in his writings, we just do not take him at his word.) and he developed a profound understanding of chess at a higher level of strategy---the doctrine. From this, he simply evolved his strategies and tactics over the board. If you changed the geometry and topology of the board, and then redefined the action of piecess, Capablanca would have been just as formidable in that new chess as in the old one. He had a superior understanding what chess was all about.

Apr-19-04  nikolaas: Do yu speak Czech? Maybe you can see or there's a biography of Colle on and eventually translate the most important part of it? They're asking for it on the Colle page.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Yes, there is a short Colle chess bio which I will translate.
Apr-19-04  nikolaas: Thanks very much.
May-04-08  Karpova: W. E. Napier: <‘Důras needs no better monument to his genius than this lofty and exciting struggle with an eminent opponent. In my catalogue of genuinely great contests it rises up close to the top. It is chess all the way, but from move 43 it goes in a dignity unsurpassed.’>

Sep-05-11  SimonWebbsTiger: I just became acquainted with this game via <Middlegame Combinations> by Romanovsky.

A lovely gem, it should be game of the day on

Mar-17-14  LIFE Master AJ: # 92 in the Soltis book.
Mar-17-14  LIFE Master AJ: One of the prettiest ends to a chess game ...

... that I have ever seen!

Aug-23-14  Karpova: Regarding move 43: In the variation 43...gxf5 44.Nxf5+ Kh7 45.Nxh6 Kxh6 46.Qh4+ Kg7 47.Rf3, Lasker found 47...f6 when reproducing Marco's annotations for the 'American Chess Magazine', noting that White didn't have an adequate reply. Marco had stopped after 47.Rf3, assessing Black to be in mortal danger.

Source: 'Wiener Schachzeitung', Supplementheft 1906, p. 328 (the annotated game can be found on pp. 314-316, also source for the date 21 June 1906).

Mar-25-15  Malfoy: I have always considered this game as "The Queen of Ruy Lopez battles", but unfortunately modern engines easily refute White's imaginative play, and in more than one way: for example, in the critical variation stemming from 43...gxf5, a part from Lasker's defence 47...f6, as reported by Karpova, Black can play more energetically 47...Nxe4! which temporarily inhibits the g3 square to the enemy rook. The point is that the natural 48.Bxe4, which apparently removes the defender in a quite obvious way, is met by the important intermediate check 48...Qd4+! which enables Black to recapture on e4 with the rook, thus vacating the e7 square to the king: after 49.Kh2 Rxe4 50.Rg3+ Kf8 or 50.Qg5+ Kf8 51.Rh3 Qg7 White is left with little, if not nothing at all, to show for the sacrificed piece. I do agree that 46.Qe3+ (or the slightly more precise 46.Qd2+ as suggested by Romanovsky) is better than 46.Qh4+, yet it is insufficient to even guarantee White a draw, to say nothing of a win :-(
Apr-27-15  Howard: Looks a GOTD candidate !
Jul-25-17  newzild: Edward Winter:
<‘Duras needs no better monument to his genius than this lofty and exciting struggle with an eminent opponent. In my catalogue of genuinely great contests it rises up close to the top. It is chess all the way, but from move 43 it goes in a dignity unsurpassed.’>
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