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Geza Maroczy vs Francis Joseph Lee
London (1899), London ENG, rd 2, May-31
Caro-Kann Defense: Maroczy Variation. Maroczy Gambit (B12)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-10-08  xrt999: at move 25 Maroczy has a solid position: the bishop pair, centralized king on e4, pawn wall on the d thru f file. White appears winning.

Lee forces a draw, however, capitalizing on less than perfect play by Maroczy. Lee turns Maroczy's centralized king into a weakness by pinning it to the e file with the rook on e8. White's play is invariably halted, and cant build an attack, forced to defend d4 for the rest of the game.

Looking at the end position, I feel that actually white should <not> have centralized his king and left it at g2, taken the knight immediately with 25.Bxe6, then built up an attack with doubled rooks on the h file.

Materially, in this context, both sides have the dark squared bishops, will double rooks, <BUT> white has the potent pawn wall on d4,e5,f4 and g3, with no open files. White is winning.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Maroczy had numerous chances to win this game. His 3. f3 against the Caro-Kann befuddled Lee, who got himself into the equivalent of a bad version of the Scotch Gambit, and then erred with 8...Qc5 and (even worse with 9...QxQ check). Maroczy would have done better with 9. Be3, but even after that he would have had an overwhelming game with 11. RxB instead of 11.PxB. It was no doubt tempting to have a pawn mass in the center, and this no doubt should have been sufficient to win, but with an open f file for his Rook Marozcy should have had an easy win had he played 11. RxB. Even after missing these chances, he should not (as xrt999 correctly points out) have sent his king on an expedition to e4 on his (faulty) 23rd and 24th moves. By move 25, the win was gone, and I do not agree that Maroczy could still have won with 25. BxN. Although the win was probably gone, Maroczy should at least have tried 36. f5 as the Tournament Book recommends. After that, if he wanted any winning chances, Maroczy had to try g4 on Move 37, 39, 41, or 44. Lee could have prevented this with h5 on his 38th, 40th, 41st, and 43rd moves. However, neither g4 by White nor h5 by Black was played, and this less than classic ending was drawn after Maroczy's 44th move.
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