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Isidor Gunsberg vs James Mason
Monte Carlo (1902), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 15, Feb-27
French Defense: McCutcheon. Bernstein Variation (C12)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Gunsberg does not obtain a minimal advantage in the opening (pressure against the <h> Pawn), but Mason has adequate counter-play after castling on the Q-side. Gunsberg attempts a Q-side attack, but it lacks the means to break through and achieves nothing. In particular the manoeuvre <R(h)b1> Rb4 Rb1 Rb4 is a rather depressing episode. He should have concentrated on the K-side and taken the <h> pawn.

Gunsberg seems to have believed that Mason had no avenues for counter-play, and unwisely allows his opponent to manoeuvre a Rook to <g3>, at which point any illusions that he had the luxury of a better game must have promptly been dispelled.

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Gunsberg's position collapses as the Black Rook and Knight invade his position.

For example, if <48. Rxh4?> Rxe1! with Nxf3+ to follow if necessary. Mason could also have won imemdiately if he had played <49..Rf2+!> 50. Ke3 Re2+ winning the hapless Knight.

The Knight and pawn ending is lost for Gunsberg, but Mason tires. <61...Nd5?!> allows his opponent to prolong resistance when simply pushing the passed <b> pawn would have been decisive.

<68. f5!> would have drawn; <68...exf5> 69. e6 Nf4+ 70. Kc4 Nxe6 71. Nb3 f4 72. Nd4

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