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Theodor von Scheve vs Richard Teichmann
Berlin (1907), Berlin GER
Italian Game: Classical. Closed Variation (C53)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-20-06  Kriegspiel: <chriseah> In Master level games, when a player is forced to choose between a forced mate and massive loss of material, resignation is common. I don't have Chernev's book in front of me (have you read it?) so I can't relate his comments, but looking at the game here in the database and at your comments I see:

19.Bf4 Qh3+ 20.Bh2 Ne3 (forking White's rook and queen). Now if White moves the queen, say 21.Qd2 then 21...Qg2#. No doubt there are other lines, all leading to similar predicaments.

As an aside, I've seen a lot of really bad criticisms of Chernev from others at this database, of a nature which suggests that they either haven't read his book and are mindlessly parroting fashionable criticism of him, or else that they are acting in bad faith. And that, too, raises the issue of why such criticism is fashionable. The book in question is one of the best on the market. Very easy to follow, for beginners, not because it is simple-minded but because it is so well written. It has some weak points, but so do its competitors.



Jan-20-06  Kriegspiel: P.S. Chernev, as I recall, explains the lines leading to a resignation at the end of each game where actual mate does not occur.



Jun-07-06  J.A. Topfke: I was just playing through the game in Chernevs book when I noticed the line already mentioned 18.Bxf7+!. After 18Kf8 (18Kxf7 leads to a forced draw as previously pointed out) 19.Bf4 Qxf4 20.Bh5! (cited above) it does appear to me that White can keep fighting.

If, in this line, 19Qh3+?, the best move however is 20.Nh2, with a double attack on the knight on g4, instead of 20.Bh2, though even 20.Bh2 holds.

A) 20.Bh2 Ne3 the only reply is 21.Rxf2! and then 21Nxd1 22.Rxd1 with three minor pieces for the queen and White has the initiative, for instance Juniors line 22Ke7 23.e5!.

B) 20.Nh2!

B1) 20g5 21.Bxd6+! cxd6 22.Qxg4 Qxg4 23.Nxg4 Kxf7 24.Rxf2+

B2) 20Kxf7 21.Qxg4 Qxg4 22.Nxg4 Ba7 23.Bxd6+

B3) 20Nxh2 21.Bxh2 Kxf7 22.Rxf2+

Another example of a premature resignation.

Mar-06-07  ToTheKings: "Kriegspiel: <chriseah> In Master level games, when a player is forced to choose between a forced mate and massive loss of material, resignation is common."

This game contains neither.

"Kriegspiel: I don't have Chernev's book in front of me (have you read it?)"

The comments above yours (have you read them?) as well as a very deep analysis by Fritz show that this position is drawn by a very clever combination beginning with Bxf7+. The analysis in Chernev's excellent book is flawed, big deal. Theres always going to be someone picking on past masters for missing something subtle, but it is still there. Please don't troll and be rude to people without reading their comments first.

Mar-26-07  patzer77: Could you guys please explain how 18Kxf7 leads to a forced draw?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <patzer77> If 18...Kxf7 is played, you get

click for larger view

Then 19. Qd5+ and perpetual.

Mar-30-07  patzer77: Wannabe, perpetual no matter where black king goes?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <patzer77> after Qd5+, black's king have 5 possible squares, g8 and e6 are out, as possible squares.

if Kf6, that's a mate in 4, if Kg6, that's a mate in 1.

Only other 3 options are Kf8, Ke8, and Ke7, and they are all draws. =)

Apr-02-07  patzer77: Thanks Wannabe
Nov-25-09  Wayne Proudlove: I was looking at Chernev's analysis; above all he wants use this game as an example to point out to students of the game the problem of weakening a castled position with a) the h3 move preventing the pinned Knight and b) moving the Knight from f3, quoting Steinitz: "Three unmoved pawns on the kingside in conjunction with a minor piece form a strong bulwark against an attack on that wing".
Dec-23-09  gorney38: This game is referenced in the preface to Action Chess, C. Purdy. Unfortunately there is some criticism directed at Chernev's analysis of this game beginning on move 8.

It gives reference to St Petersberg, 1914, Gunsberg-Alekhine. Alekhine reached the above position until he played 8...Nxa5 9.Rxa5 Bxa5 10.Qa4+ b5 (Oops!) 11.Qxa5 bxc4 and White doesn't have enough compensation for the exchange. So 7.a5? was possibly a blunder which Chernev fails to mention in his book.

I'm currently reading Logical Chess and, as a novice, I'm finding it to be very instructional, educational and a joy to read despite its obvious flaws and oversights. I try to focus on the lessons that it is trying to teach from the games.

I also did spot 18.Bxf7+ but didn't do much analysis on it. This tells me that I can be a bit lazy sometimes!

Jan-20-10  njchess: The problem with Chernev's book is that it is often incomplete, inaccurate and misleading. Frankly, it is unforgivable for him as the author to not find 18. Bxf7+! and detail the line in the book. He had all the time in the world to thoroughly analyze this position. Even without a computer, a three or four move deep analysis is easily possible and yet, he didn't do it.

He makes no mention of the 18. Bxf7+! line in his book leading one to conclude that he either did not analyze the games in his book, or, if he did, he simply didn't see it. Either way, it reflects poorly on him.

Don't get me wrong; I appreciate Mr. Chernev's enthusiasm for all things chess. In many ways, he made chess more accessible and popular in the US prior to Fischer winning the World Championship than any other figure. However, and let me be clear on this point, his analysis, like his play, was sadly, regrettably, lacking.

P.S. I own the third edition paperback printing of Logical Chess Move by Move and I am assuming that corrections were not printed in subsequent editions. If they were, kudos to Chernev or whoever did them.

Jan-26-10  gorney38: I'm reading the new algebraic edition and corrections haven't been made.

Chernev writes about move 8: "Should black, after 8 a5 play 8...Nxa5, the continuation 9 Rxa5 Bxa5 10 Qa4+ nets White two pieces for a rook." This is an obvious error because Black can play 10...b5! as did Alekhine. This line isn't even mentioned and wasn't hard to spot even for a novice like myself.

Despite this I still like the book and am learning from the general themes that are being expounded.

Jan-27-10  njchess: I took a longer look at the missed ending by White.

18. Bxf7!+ Kf8 (18. … Kxf7 19. Qd5+ Ke7 20. Bg5+ Kd7 21. Qf5+ Kc6 leads to a draw by repetition) 19. Bf4! Qxf4 (19. … Qh3? 20. Nh2! g5 (best?) 21. Bxd6+ cxd6 22. Qxg4 Qxg4 23. Nxg4 Kxf7 24. Rxf2+ ) 20. Bh5 Nf6 21. Qd5 Ng3+ 22. Kg1 c6 = with a draw by repetition likely after 24. Qe6 Re8 25. Qd7 Nxe4 26. Re1 Re7 27. Qd8+ Re8 28. Qd7 etc.

Feb-03-10  njchess: Don't know where the weird characters came from, but here is the corrected annotation to the ending:

18. Bxf7!+ Kf8 (18. Kxf7 19. Qd5+ Ke7 20. Bg5+ Kd7 21. Qf5+ Kc6 leads to a draw by repetition) 19. Bf4! Qxf4 (19. Qh3? 20. Nh2! g5 (best?) 21. Bxd6+ cxd6 22. Qxg4 Qxg4 23. Nxg4 Kxf7 24. Rxf2+ ) 20. Bh5 Nf6 21. Qd5 Ng3+ 22. Kg1 c6 = with a draw by repetition likely after 24. Qe6 Re8 25. Qd7 Nxe4 26. Re1 Re7 27. Qd8+ Re8 28. Qd7 etc.

Feb-22-11  mleonard: I think njchess missed out a couple of moves. Assuming he meant 18. Bxf7+! Kf8 19. Bf4! Qxf4 20. Bh5! Nf6 21. Rxf2! Nxh5 22. Qd5 now ...g6 looks best. Incidentally this sets up the threat ...Qxe4

In my edition of Chernev's book he only gives 18. Rxf2 as a possible defence.

Aug-20-11  jackiemoon22: I have two questions. In his book, Chernev highlights 7. a4 as a bad move because it was too early an attack and 9. h3 as a bad move for weakening the castle structure. Which moves would have been best to play in both these circumstances? I am a beginner trying to learn and although there seems to be much criticism of Chernev's treatment at least of this game, I'm mostly using this game as a lesson on the flaw of playing h3 and not continuing the opening development fully so the answers to my question would enlighten me on both these subjects. Thank you!
Sep-10-11  quirmche: "The game von Scheve-Teichmann (No. 1) shows what happens when White plays h3 instinctively to prevent a pin. Teichmann fixes on the pawn that stepped out of line and makes it the object of his attack. Eventually he sacrifices a bishop for the h-pawn in order to break into the position with his other pieces."

I saw this as it was. Chernov's chapter title was "Kingside Attack" & not "Checkmate Patterns" or something of that nature. So, it is what it is. Agreed, his wrap up for game was shaky but the guy resigned and as I stated above.

@Jackiemoon22 I believe you answered your own 2 questions 7. a4 was bad because... it was too early of an attack as you and Chernov said. To go further White had too many unaddressed attacks & threats of his own that he was not meeting. His a4's only support could arguably have been his rook. Anyway, still a solid book with respect to well explained grandmaster ideas behind moves and obviously a power player in chess promotion.


Love this place!

Dec-23-12  Kasputin: <njchess> actually I can forgive Chernev for missing 17. Bxf7+ but <gorney38>'s point about getting the whole 8...Nxa5 variation wrong is a worse failure in my estimation. Like others I'm not trying to knock Chernev - well not too much anyway. There are good reasons why this book is still in print. But there definitely is some poor analysis in this first game in the book. I will read more of the book for sure, but I do find it a little odd that Chernev doesn't mention that 4...Nf6 is black's main move. It does develop a knight to it's "natural square," and it develops a piece with a threat. On the other hand, I can also see why he doesn't want to throw in too many alternative moves given the audience he's pitching the book too. (Plus there are other Giuoco Piano examples in the book.) Also I think the criticism of Chernev (and other chess writers) that many people share is that general chess principles are stressed too much at times over concrete positional concerns. But I will cut the guy some slack. I'm sure it is not easy finding the right balance. Still, out-and-out errors in analysis is pretty sloppy. But hey, catching those is part of the learning process too.
Jan-17-13  nobilgiuoco: Just to try and save at least the idea of the attack on h3, it could be pointed out that Black would have hold the better chances after 16...0-0 insted of 16...Qg3+ White can play 17.Bf4 but after 17...Nxf2 18.Rxf2 Qg4+ Black should stay better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: What about 12. ♕d3 for White, giving extra protection to the h3-pawn?
Apr-09-15  thejack: Maybe 16.- 0-0-0? For example, after 17.Bf4 Ne5!
Sep-21-15  senojes: I am an ~1800 rated player who has been playing chess at the club level on and off since the 1960s. I have recently bought Chernev's "Logical Chess: Move By Move" (1998) and had decided to play through the games in the book on my smartphone's Chess for Android app when away from my computer, while highlighting in the book Chernev's tips for better play.

I played through and highlighted this first game, and in copying and pasting its PGN on this site, I was surprised to read that Von Scheve resigned too soon. His position certainly looked hopeless to me.

After having loaded the game into Houdini 4, I agree that Chernev, who according to Wikipedia was US Master strength, should have analysed that White could have fought on by 18. Bxf7+ Kf8 (18... Kxf7 19. Qd5+ [0.00]) 19. Bf4 Qxf4 20. Bh5[-0.31].

Nevertheless, it was hard to see and Von Scheve, a German chess master, did not see the resource over the board.

Moreover, Houdini regards 12. ... Bxh3 as the best move for Black [-1.05]. But after 13. gxh3 Qg3+ 14. Kh1 Qxh3+ 15. Kg1 Ng4 16. Nf3 instead of 16... Qg3+ Houdini gives 16... O-O-O [-2.94] as decisive for Black.

So, despite both Teichmann's and Von Scheve's errors at the end of the game, likely caused by time pressure, Chernev's comments about Teichmann's masterly positional play (which is after the main thrust of the book), remain valid.

I apologise if these point had already been made in the preceding kibitzing but I did not read it all.

Dec-05-15  Tokikot: 13. Nf3 also seems to hold
Jan-04-17  gesualdo: <Kasputin> I agree that that it is unfortunate that the final saving line Bxf7 was not noted, and particularly that it was not checked for the algebraic edition. But I don't think your complaint about the Nxa5 line is valid: If you read closely, Chernev says after 7. a4 that the threat is 8. a5 after which taking the pawn leads to two pieces for a rook. But your b5 only works after 7. .. a6 has been played. If black plays some other move, say h6 just for sake of argument, then Chernev perfectly right. He never says the tactic works after a6 has been played. If you want to argue that we should assume 7. ... a6 (although Chernev never says it in the text) then I don't think that is a valid point: for Black could avoid that combination also by other (admittedly worse) moves.

My concern with this game is rather its central message. I played it through with my kids and I was slightly annoyed when Chernev said a4 was such an "illogical" move, but did not offer any alternatives. So, not looking at the book, I told my kids we should look for the best move by thinking about what Chernev just said about White's fragile center pawns. Based on this, we came up with a few moves, including h3. Of course, I was a bit surprised to find Chernev immediately saying it was a horrible "coffee house" move that would be played only by weak players! He then quotes Tarrash and Alekhine to support this view. Never move the pawns in front of the king unless you have to!! That seemed not entirely right to me, so I looked in the database: Alekhine, Tarrash and even Anand have played the illogical a4 (as have many other grand masters). How about h3? Same story. Anand played that too, although without the pointless a5, Ba7 intermezzo, and it has been played by grand masters many times until even this year. According to Chernev, h3 is coffee house stuff for a general reason, it weakens the King. But, leaving out the 7. a4 a6 8. a4 Ba7 intermezzo, the immediate 7. h3 has also been played many times. E.g. by Tartakower against Euwe in 48, by Torre in 89, by Amonatov in 2009 (rated around 2650). So what is my point? I thought it a good lesson for the kids: An older generation of writers like to draw absolute rules and sometimes to ridicule moves as generally bad because they happen to lose in a famous game. Defensive technique has come so far since the 50s (when Chernev wrote) that a move like h3, as long as you understand the risks and take them into account when planning, could just as well work as not. Of course, this is supported by analysis of the game itself - the position only crumbles after white makes several moves allowing Black to take advantage of h3, the worst of which is probably 10 dxe5 which hands the advantage to Black. John Watson could do an instructive book just on the revision of this work I, I would say.

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