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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Isidor Gunsberg
"Have Guns, Pill Travel" (game of the day Sep-30-2011)
Hastings (1895), Hastings ENG, rd 21, Sep-02
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-30-11  whitecrow: <PaulLovric> I think it's part of his endgame plan. After eliminating all the rooks, white king is much more powerful in the center than g1.
Sep-30-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: Even though he had white, from the outset of the game Pillsbury made strenuous efforts to trade down. He must have known that he had a won ending. But how?
Sep-30-11  beatgiant: <al wazir>
I don't think it's necessarily a won ending at, say, move 20. For example, 20...Nb8 21. Bd2 Nc6 looks drawish, at best.
Sep-30-11  newzild: <al wazir: Even though he had white, from the outset of the game Pillsbury made strenuous efforts to trade down. He must have known that he had a won ending. But how?>

He traded down because he thought a draw would be good enough for first place. Then he noticed that his main rival, Chigorin, was winning his game and threatening to catch up. So Pillsbury started playing to win in the ending.

Sep-30-11  Nilsson: I think the big misstake by Gunsberg was in the exchange, if instead 25...Nxc5 and black is ok. /JN
Sep-30-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A pawn ode:push for the show,promote for the dough. In this game "the doughboy" promotes his pawn to win.
Sep-30-11  Llawdogg: How did Pillsbury get this good?
Sep-30-11  drnooo: "A genius has left us"
Lasker
Sep-30-11  drnooo: However the pun is hardly a work of genius they're getting worse, boys, much worse great as this site is, and it is, maybe it needs new writers for the puns
Sep-30-11  belgradegambit: Aw, I liked the pun. I loved Palladin.
Sep-30-11  karnak64: Neatly done.
Sep-30-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Nilsson: I think the big misstake by Gunsberg was in the exchange, if instead 25...Nxc5 and black is ok>

25. Nxc5? 26. bxc5 Bc7 27. Nb5. Now what? The a-♙ is lost; if 27...a5, then 28. Nc6+.

Aug-26-12  bengalcat47: With his move 36...h5 Gunsberg concedes defeat without much of a struggle. Had he played 36...Ke7 instead the following wild finish would have occured, taken from Chernev's book The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played: 37.Kc4 b3; 38.axb3 a3; 39.Kc3 f5;(played to create a passed pawn on the King side)40.gxf5 h5; 41.b4 a2; 42.Kb2 a1=Q+; (forcing White's King onto rank 1, so that another Black pawn will queen with check) 43.Kxa1 g4; 44.b5 h4; 45.b6 g3; 46.hxg3 hxg3; 47.d6+ Kxd6; 48.b7 Kc7; 49.e7 g2; 50.b8=Q+ Kxb8; 51.e8=Q+, and White wins by one move. Chernev gives the move 47.d6+ an eclamation point. As is often the case the best moves in a game are the ones that did not actually occur.
Aug-26-12  beatgiant: <al wazir>
I don't see White's follow-up after 25...Nxc5 26. bxc5 Bc7 27. Nb4 a5 28. Nc6+ Kd7. Can you post your continuation?
Aug-26-12  beatgiant: Even as late as move 26, what does White have against <26...a5> instead of the game's 26...Nb8?
Dec-04-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Naniwazu: No wonder the moves Ne5 followed by f4 are named after Pillsbury. He seems to play it in almost every game I review by him. Here are some select examples: Pillsbury vs Tarrasch, 1895; Pillsbury vs G Marco, 1900; Pillsbury vs J Mason, 1903; Pillsbury vs J Barry, 1904; and the list goes on..
Dec-04-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Naniwazu> The attacking motif is named after Pillsbury with far more justification than many opening variations receive their names.
Aug-28-13  Dragi: Great end game by Harry ...Pity he died so young ...
Jan-25-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: < jessicafischerqueen: <Pillsbury> had to win this game outright in order to finish first at <Hastings 1895>.

It's considered to be his "Immortal Endgame"-

The trick is to find a plan to win from this rightly famous position: >

I was playing this over and I found the moves from a move before as I saw White was heading for Nb4 then a5 was coming so I calculated the rest except the longer lines. I kind of found it in stages as when N took on c6 I "recalculated"...

I was reading Ruebin Fine re Pillsbury and it reminded me how short P's life was and how great he was. This was the winning game of what I think was the first Hastings and for many Pillsbury came from nowhere. His game against Tarrasch is very good too.

Jan-26-14  RookFile: This is no reason why black shouldn't be able to at least get a draw after 20. Bxc1.
Jan-23-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  WorstPlayerEver: This is such a deep game! Pillsbury plays flawless.
Oct-10-16  Mr. Blonde: The greatest ending I have ever seen. To think that after 27. f5 Pillsbury basically needs to play the absolute best move in the position to maintain the winning advantage, and that no second choice would do, it's scary. In fact, any second choice would've lost the game, and so the tournament. Amazing. What I like about this game is that there is only one way to win in all the variations I've checked with my engine. Do you guys really think that Harry calculated that far?
Oct-10-16  Sally Simpson: As this was the last round it was the only game where Pillsbury knew for certain who he would be playing that day.

Before this RR tournament started the who would play who in what round was drawn but kept secret from the players till the day of the game.

Sep-16-17  Marcelo Bruno: <PaulLovric> Perhaps he would like to get ready quickly for the endgame and activating directly his King and other pieces: for me it seems an ambitious, optimistic and ultradynamic forces coordination.
Dec-08-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  DanQuigley: The critical position is Black's 26th move. Gunsberg's defense had to be world class and he just wasn't up to the task. f5 by White can't be allowed. After Black taking twice on f5, White's Nb4 with double attack on a6 and d5 shows what's wrong with Black's position. Therefore, Black had to play 26...f5 himself, simply to prevent White from playing a pawn to the square next move. After 26...f5! White is still better, but I see no win for him. Does anyone else?
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