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Jackson Whipps Showalter vs Harry Nelson Pillsbury
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 1, May-19
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation (C67)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: By move 17, the double Rook ending seemed to be a dead draw. Showalter had no difficulty in dealing with his doubled b-pawn, and by move 28 neither side appeared to have any chance to win.

Predictably, Pillsbury pushed hard to complicate, and his provocative 38...Rh6 could have gotten him in trouble.

After 39. Raa8 Pillsbury decided to give up his h-pawn to try to keep the game in hand by playing 39...Rb6.

Showalter could thereupon have played 40. Rxh7. This might not have led to victory, but why not win a pawn? This was the one and only chance for either player to win the endgame.

For reasons I don't understand, Showalter played 40. Rhd8+, after which the game was again a dead draw.

There was one trap into which Pillsbury could have--but didn't fall. After 45. Rb8, the position was as follows:

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Had Pillsbury tried to complicate with 45...f5, Showalter would have had a win with 46. Rb7 (as noted by Marco) since if 46...Kd6 47. RxR (even better than Maroc's 47. a7, which also wins).

But, as one would expect, Pillsbury simply played the correct 45...Kd6, and a draw was agreed.

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