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Moritz Porges vs Emanuel Lasker
"This Porges is Too Cold!" (game of the day Oct-04-10)
Nuremberg (1896)  ·  Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Pillsbury Variation (C67)  ·  0-1
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Given 33 times; par: 43 [what's this?]

Annotations by Siegbert Tarrasch.      [16 more games annotated by Tarrasch]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 <Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense [C67]> 4. 0-0 Nxe4 5. d4 Be7 6. Qe2 Nd6 <Retreats the Knight while attacking the Bb5> 7. Bxc6 bxc6 8. dxe5 Nb7 <An old line, thought to be in White's favor due to more space and greater control of the center plus Black's awkward Nb7. This game illustrates it as a playable variation, with the Two Bishops and unbalanced Pawn formation both potentially yielding more winning chances for Black versus the standard Closed Defense.> 9. b3 0-0 10. Bb2 d5 11. exd6 <White really helps Black by undoubling his Pawns, also liquidating the Pe5 lets Black fight for the center.> cxd6 <[last book move]<>> 12. Nbd2 Re8 13. Rfe1 <White pins the Bishop.> Bd7 14. Ne4 <Trying to attack Black's Kingside, but this wastes time.> <[14. Bd4!? =]<>> d5 <Attacking the Knight while threatening the Discovery 15 ... Ba3.> <[ ]<>> 15. Ned2 Ba3 16. Be5 <White moves the Bishop out of danger while blocking the Discovery.> f6 <16 ... Bb2 17. Rab1 Bxe5 18. Nxe5 f6 19. Qa6 Nc5 20. Qa3 is better for White than the game continuation.> 17. Qa6 <The Double Attack on the Ba3 and the Nb7 prevents White from losing material.> fxe5 <17 ... Bb4 18. Qxb7 Bxd2 19. Nxd2 fxe5 and 17 ... Bb4 18. Bf4 Nc5 19. Qf1 Bg4 are both reasonable alternatives.> 18. Qxa3 <The Ba3 is more valuable than the Nb7.> e4 <An attacking move disrupting White's Kingside defense, moreover a fine example of Good Bishop/Bad Bishop being relative and not absolute.> 19. Nd4 Qf6 <Attacking the Nd4 and the Pf2.> 20. c3 <[20. Qb4 Rf8 21. Rf1 Bg4 ]<>> Rf8 <Black creates a Battery on the half open f file.> 21. f3 Qg5 <Attacking the Nd2 and the Pg2.> <[21 ... c5!? 22. Ne2 Bh3 ]<>> 22. Qc1 Nc5 23. Nf1 <White offers a Queen trade to reduce Black's Kingside pressure while avoiding the Knight fork at d3.> Qg6 24. Re3 Nd3 25. Qd1 Nf4 <Threatening 26 ... Qxg2#> 26. Ng3 h5 <Exploiting the terminal pin on the Ng3 against the g2 square> 27. Nde2 <Consider 27. Qf1> Nxg2! 28. Kxg2 exf3+ 29. Rxf3 Bh3+! <A second sacrifice to win the Rook> 30. Kxh3 Qg4+ 31. Kg2 Qxf3+ 32. Kg1? <[32. Kh3 h4 33. Nd4 (33. Kxh4 Rf6 34. Qd2 Kf7 ) Qxc3 34. Rc1 ]<>> h4 33. Nh1 <33. Nf1 Qf2+ 34. Kh1 h3 wins.> Qe3+ 0-1 <34. Nf2 Qxf2+ 35. Kh1 h3 mates; 34. Kg2? h3#.>

<[Fritz 7]<>>

Jul-09-08  johntkucz: Berlin defence to the ruy lopez, right? Trying to learn key openings.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <johntkucz: Berlin defence to the ruy lopez, right? Trying to learn key openings.>

Yes. Also, the name of the opening is at the top of the page. Nowadays in this opening they usually go straight to the ending with 5....Nd6 (instead of 5...Be7) 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ -- see the Kasparov-Kramnik games from their 2000 match.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: This game is mentioned in Irving Chernev's book: The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played. Lasker kept Porges on the defensive throughout with all manner of threats until the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: 30. Kf2 would have enabled white to hold out longer: 30...Rxf3+ 31. Kxf3 Rf8+ 32. Ke3 Qg5+ 33. Kd3.
Oct-04-10  I play the Fred: You're distraught
because you're not
able to cope
feel like a dope
when Lasker hits
Puttin on Moritz
Oct-04-10  Ferro: IN SPITE OF...
Oct-04-10  Ferro: I.....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: This game is an old favourite. I really admire the way that Lasker uses threat after threat to grind white down, and then to end with a sparkling combination.
Oct-04-10  goodevans: <Tarrasch: "White just manages to avoid the loss of a piece">

History is written by the victors, and never more so than in chess where games were often portrayed as an inexorable journey to the inevitable conclusion.

Tarrasch would have it that even the loser's good moves were some sort of fluke rather than a resource he had seen and relied upon several moves earlier.

Fortunately bias in commentary is much rarer now, perhaps because of the contribution made by the silicon monsters.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Sand in time flavored a gritty black rook queen attack. EL read sure the manual dining bloated. Knight tour in fine style sacrifice bold champ to net it. Wait tip-off hes pawn seals lamp raise floor whites king stuffed pudding and pie. Bald harrowing queen sticks blood in the gill you him axed!
Premium Chessgames Member
  drleper: <goodevans> I think Tarrasch's comment is fair here. White's 14.Ne4? allowing 14...d5 and the ensuing play suggests that he probably wasn't aiming for 17.Qa6, but rather that it was the only option to stay in the game (hence the "avoiding the loss of a piece"). If you look at the position after 13.Rfe1 and then after 15...Ba3, you see that black has moved 3 pieces, while the white pieces are essentially unmoved!

The result was a pretty strong positional advantage for black (those central pawns stifle the white pieces and create a nice outpost on d3). While there were surely better moves and resources for white, this is one of those games where it really does feel like black is marching towards an inevitable victory.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A good game by the good doctor-surgery at its finest.

BTW,wouldn't that make a sim-ex tournament "meatball surgery?

Oct-04-10  rapidcitychess: Quite nice.
Oct-04-10  hstevens129: If instead of 30.Kxh3, I have
30.Kf2 Rxf3+
31.Kxf3 h4
32.Nf1 Qe4+
33.Kf2 Rf8+
34.Ke1 Rxf1+
35.Kd2 Rxd1+
36.Rxd1 and Black has a decisive material advantage
Oct-04-10  GRANTZIERER: I voted against the pun in game of the day pun voting... I guess the guy showed me.
Oct-04-10  SugarDom: This porridge is too cold???
Oct-04-10  apexin: this is a truly terrible game by white.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <SugarDom: This porridge is too cold???>

From Golidilocks and the three bears. She tried Daddy Bear's porridge but it was too hot. She tried Mummy Bear;s porridge, but it was too cold. But Baby Bear's porridge was just right. So she ate the lot...

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Lasker' play from moves 14 onwards resembles a coiled spring that is let loose with full effect. Every move has a direct threat which White has to meet, eg 15.♘g3 ♗b4 using the discovered attack to win the exchange, for example.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I also first saw this game in an Inrving Chernev book but it was The Most Instructive Games of Chess Every Played, where I think its title was <Every Move A Threat>.

It's amazing how the black ♘ from g8 goes to b7, as often happened in that old Berlin, but quickly manages to reach g2! It's quite a sprint.

Feb-03-16  JimNorCal: <offramp>: "It's amazing how the black knight from g8 goes to b7"

This was the main line at that time, right? Wow. A main line that results in a knight being deposited on b7. What were they thinking?

Feb-03-16  Granny O Doul: The Nf6-e4-d6-b7 thing was the main line until rather recently. Korchnoi even played it in his '81 match with Karpov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <JimNorCal: <offramp>: "It's amazing how the black knight from g8 goes to b7" This was the main line at that time, right? Wow. A main line that results in a knight being deposited on b7. What were they thinking?>

It is a bit odd, but as <Granny O Doul> says it was used as recently as Karpov vs Korchnoi, 1981, and even after that. Lasker wouldn't have played anything suspect, of course.

I remember that there used to be a very flaky looking line in the Queen's Indian. But once Miles found the killer knock-out blow it disappeared forever: Miles vs Beliavsky, 1986.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: In Reinfeld's collection of Tarrasch's best games, he gave a game in one of these Berlin lines where Black played ....Nf5 rather than the conventional ....Nb7 and came to grief.
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