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Bernhard Fleissig vs Carl Schlechter
"Schlechter's Immortal" (game of the day Nov-13-10)
Vienna (1893)  ·  Polish Opening: General (A00)  ·  0-1
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Given 29 times; par: 42 [what's this?]

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sac: 10...d4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-07-10  vonKrolock: April 1894: the "Deutsche Schachzeitung" answer to <B. F.> in Wien: <"Sie teilen uns mit das Sie die in der Rubrik "Partiestellungen und Endspiele" unter Nr 589 mitgeteilte Partie gegen den begabten jungen Schachmeister Carl Schlechter in Wien tatsächlich verloren haben, dass diese partie jedoch zu den sogenannten "Husarenpartien" gehört, von denen 12 Stück auf ein Dutzend gehen und die kaum länger als höchstens je 5 Minuten dauern. - Wir nehmen nicht an, dass der Einsender der Partie durch Verschweigen dieses Umstandes eine Mystifikation unseres Blattes oder gar eine privat Bosheit gegen Sie beabsichtigte. Zu derartiger pikant gefärbten persönlichen Angriffen, welche in Einzelnen Schachblättern das Hauptfutter der Leser bilden, gibt sich die Schachzeitung nicht her.">

researched by Peter Anderberg, the clipping is kindly provided by Edward Winter today in "Chess Notes" number 6668 (same link above)

Bernhard Fleissig concedes that he actually <LOST> this game to Schlechter, but it seems that he would like to have emphasised that it was a blitz game. The magazine rejects any claim that the omission of details about the lightness of the encounter could be intentional.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: After <13...Nd7>:

click for larger view

Does 14.Qc4 give White a chance to survive? He threatens the Ne4 as well as a queen trade. Black has 14...Rd8, but White might try 15.Qxe4 and wind up trading the queen for a couple of Black's more active pieces. It seems scary, but might be worth looking into.

By the way, not 14.Qc4 Rd8 15.Qb4+ Ndc5+! 16.Bd2 Rxd2+ 17.Kc1 Rd1+! 18.Kxd1 Qd8+, and we get back toward the game scenario.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: 14.Qxb7 is best according to Shredder with a evaluation, but 14.Qc4 Rd8 15.Qxe4 Ne5+ 16.Qd3 Rxd3+ 17.exd3 Bxg1 18.Rxg1 Qb6 19.Rh1 Ng4 looks like a brutal sequence for an OTB player to follow up with for a win, so I'd say you're on to something, <Phony Benoni>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: Lovely attacking game from one of the great (and undervalued?) players of all time.

<Schlechter fleissig; Fleissig schlecht>

Nov-13-10  WhiteRook48: ouch...Nf2!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: For a moment there, this looks like a fairly modern use of the Polish Opening. <Riverbeast> favors 3.b5 over 3.a3, which is the way Sokolsky usually played it (and the Russians don't call it "the Sokolsky Opening" for nothing).

I, too, prefer 3.b5, but you see a3 often enough to accept it. The real dud was 5.d4, deserving of double question-marks. Far better, and pretty much de rigeur by now, would be 5.e3, allowing the Bishop to protect the pawn on b5 and keeping Black from playing his pawn to d4. 5.d4 just hems in the "Sokolsky Bishop" and hopelessly cramps White's position.

No one playing this opening nowadays would have played that move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Schlechter was known as a "drawing master" but ironically when he had the title nearly in his hands,played for a win and lost vs Steinitz.The pieces fly in this game as black is left with a lone knight and queen while white has a queen,two rooks,two bishops,and a lone cavalier-all oassive,except for the rook that aids in the adverse mate.
Nov-13-10  tentsewang: Carl Schlechter's an absolutely beautiful man. I think the outbreak of WWI caused him to think of mass suffering and impermanence, which lead to graven his depression and died of malnutrition. A master of an art itself. May all beings be happy...
Nov-13-10  ounos: 18. Kb1, then what
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sastre: 18.Kb1 Qb5+ 19.Kc1 Qb2#.
Nov-13-10  ounos: but then 19. Bx...oh wait
Nov-13-10  theodor: 5.d4 and 6.Nc3 are the bigining of the desastre! why to analize 13th, 14th and so on moves?!!
Nov-13-10  Bdellovibrio: <<<Schlechter fleissig; Fleissig schlecht>>> groan
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: <Bdellovibrio> <<<Schlechter fleissig; Fleissig schlecht>>> You beat me to this pun fair and square. I was just getting ready to enter it.
Nov-13-10  Bdellovibrio: <chessmensch> Credit goes to <scormius>, actually (see below).
Nov-13-10  donehung: Wow! i cant believe ive never saw this game. Well done.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Chessmensch:> Well, 1/2 - 1/2 perhaps
Dec-10-10  mulde: Maybe, after 7.Qd3? cxd4 White is already lost. 4.b5 is a bad move, and 5.d4 (better is 5.Nf3 / e3) is a bad one, too.

On the other hand, it seems to be something unclear what Black intended to do after 11.Nf3 instead of taking the rook h8. I don't see more than an equal game after doing so.

And a blitzgame ... hm. Did they have in 1893 had already chessclocks allowing such a rapid play?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Stunning! White's queen was like in pac man mode, but the white king soon got hopeless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The possible improvements in White's defence noted here in no way detract from the splendour of Schlechter's conception. Lovely stuff.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Makes one wonder - what is the greatest imbalance of potential power (pieces)under which someone has won at master level or above?
Mar-30-14  DirkMcCallahan: <why not 2...Bxb4?>

3. Bxg7 is rather unpleasant.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: Someone reliable has submitted a correction slip which claims, although without providing any evidence, that this game ended with 18...Qd2+.

It's always best to document such assertions. Can anybody confirm that this game ended after move 18 for black? The remaining moves shown would obviously be analysis if that's the case.

Jun-07-15  thomastonk: <Sargon> I'm sure you have checked C.N.s 6665 and 6668, which are cited above. So I have only one additional information: the chess column in "Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung" appeared in 1893 under the name of (Dr.S.) Gold, but in fact it was already Schlechter himself who led the column. This was revealed on 26. November 1893, when the change was made offical. Moreover, it is stated that he led the column already for one year.*

In my view, this makes the snippet presented in C.N. 6665 a primary source, even though Schlechter mixed up the names.* Therefore, it would be correct to assume that the game ended already after 18.. ♕d2+.


* I observed this some time ago, when I read that Schlechter claimed that he led this chess column since 1892 (instead of 1893).

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I think that old discrepancies in game scores can be explained if players did not keep score during the game. Then when the game was over, if it was any good, the players had a post mortem and reconstructed the game. Reporters watching the post mortem may have had to rely on their memory.
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