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Carl Schlechter vs Julius Perlis
Ostend (1906), Ostend BEL, rd 26, Jul-06
Semi-Slav Defense: Meran Variation (D48)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: The first game in the database for the Meran variation! I've gained a lot of respect for this opening when I studied it a few years ago. If White doesn't really go out on a limb to try to secure an advantage, Black is equal. Even in variations where it looks like Black is in big trouble, hidden resources seem to save his hide every time.

For example, the obvious and natural move 9.O-O leaves Black with in a fine position--9.e4 is the only way that I know of to keep the pressure on. (I was crushed in a tournament by a guy who played 9.O-O but he was rated a good 400 points higher than me, so what do you expect.)

About this game, I have a question: What is 18...Ne8? Isn't 18...Nd5 natural and strong? The e8 square seems like such a dismal place for the knight.

Feb-23-05  euripides: <sneaky> 18...Nd5 looks better to me. Perhaps Black wanted to keep the white Queen out of e4, perhas he had Bd5xc4 in mind, and perhaps the principles of blockade really weren't widely understod before Nimzowitsch spelt them out.

Schlechter's attack, taking on f6 en passant then advancing with f5, reminds me of the classic Botvinnik vs Capablanca, 1938

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Sneaky>,<euripides> You may be right that 18...Nd5 is a better defense, but the purpose of 18...Ne8 may have been to cover the d6 square. This can come into play after 18...Nd5 19. Bg5, when the defense with 19...Qd8 loses a pawn to 20. Bxe7 Qxe7 <21. Nd6> Rc7 22. Nxb7 Rxb7 23. Qxa6.

If Black can't cover with ...Qe7, the g5 square becomes vulnerable, so the typical attack with Bxh7+, Ng5+ is possible as in 18...Nd5 19. Bg5 Rce8 20. Bxe7 Rxe7 21. Bxh7+, although I'm not sure if this wins. At least Black can defend with 21...Kxh7 22. Ng5+ Kg8 23. Qh5 N7f6, giving the piece back immediately.

If that doesn't look good enough for White, then simply 18...Nd5 19. Ng5 Bxg5 20. Bxg5 similar to the game but now White can aim for the knight post at d6.

Feb-23-05  euripides: <beat> I think you're right.
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