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David Janowski vs Jackson Whipps Showalter
London (1899), London ENG, rd 22, Jun-28
French Defense: McCutcheon. Lasker Variation (C12)  ·  1-0


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sac: 42.Rxb7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A cute endgame combo by Janowski ends what had been a tough struggle against Showalter.

Janowski tried an off-beat 8. Be3 in the MacCutheon Variation of the French Defense and got somewhat the better game after Showalter's strange 12...Ncd7 (instead of 12...Qc7) and misguided 15...NxB (instead of the simple 15...0-0).

Janowski--strange to tell--allowed Showalter to solve many of his problems by permitting the exchange of Queens with 17. Qd2 rather than pursuing a middle-game attack with 17. Kf2.

After a few second-best moves by Showalter, Janowski would have had serious winning chances had he played 25. Nb5+, but instead played 25. Na2 (again surprising from the usually hyper-aggressive Janoswki) and settled into an endgame in which he patiently tried to break through Showalter's tenacious blockade.

Janowski's was held back for about 15 or so moves by Showalter's valient defense, but then the latter erred with 41...Ng6? (41...Kc7 would have avoided the fireworks) leaving Janowski to play in the following position:

click for larger view

Janowski's 42. Rxb7+, uncharitably called a "glaring threat" that Showalter "should have seen" by the Tournament Book was nonetheless quite pretty, and was indeed the "winning move" (to quote the Tournament Book once again).

Showalter, who had fought so hard to hold his own until 41...Ng6? then fell apart (in fairness, his game was lost anyway) with 43...Kd8 (instead of 43...Ke8), 45...Rc7 (instead of 45...Kc7), 46...Ke7 (instead of 46...Rg4 or 46...Rc8) and 47...Rh8 (instead of Kc7).

While Janowski's play after 42. Rxb7+ was effective and won quickly, I was surprised that he missed a gorgeous follow-up combo after 47...Rh8:

click for larger view

Janowski here could have played 48. Bxf5!! ending further resistance (48...exB 49. Nxd5+). Janoswki's actual move, 48. Ra8, ended the game soon enough, so nothing lost except a bit more artistry!

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