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Carl Schlechter vs Jackson Whipps Showalter
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 2, May-19
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-16-11  Xeroxx: Nice way to trap a rook.
Feb-03-16  psmith: 32... Bxe5 33. Re8+ Kxf6 34. Rxe5 Rxe5 35. f4 gxf4 36. Kxf4 wins a piece.
Feb-04-16  morfishine: Nice <psmith> Better for black is to give up the exchange 32...Rxe5, but he still loses
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A fine game by Schlechter that comes to a sudden end when Showalter blunders on move 30 and allows his Rook to get trapped.

The opening here--a Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez was very well played and in fact contains the very moves played in the Kasparov-Kramnik match in 2000. At least one of the contemporary commentators (Rosenthal in the Tournament Book, Marco, and Schlechter) unfairly condemned one or more of the following moves, all of which were played in the Kasparov-Kramnik match:

6. BxN

10. Rd1+

Schlechter claims this move was "necessary to cut off the King from the Queen's flank." Marco calls the move "important." Kasparov played this move in Game 9 of his match with Kramnik, and then played the better 10. h3 in Game 13.


As Marco points out, 10...Bd7 loses to 11. g4! Ne7 12. e6! fxe6 13. Ne5. Showalter's move (also played by Kramnik in Game 13 of his match with Kasparov) avoids this disaster.

11. b3

11. h3 as played by Kasparov is slightly better.


"In order to prevent Nf4" (Marco).

14. g4

Rosenthal gave this move an ! in the Tournament Book, and it seems indicated. Fritz prefers 14. c4.


A nice effort by Showalter to exploit the weakness created by Schlechter's 14. g4.


Not a terrible move in itself, but the beginning of a plan that ultimately loses the Rook. The Tournament Book suggests 19...Bc8, but says the text is also good. Perhaps best of all would have been 19...c5.


Best was 21...NxN. No need to commit to exchanging two sets of minor pieces.

22. NxB

22. RxR+ was best.

23. gxN

Once again, RxR+ was best.

25. Rk1

This move gives away all of Schlechter's advantage and leads to a completely even endgame that should have ended in a draw. Best was 25. Rd1+.


Rosenthal and Marco condemn this move, but I see nothing wrong with it. Showalter still had a drawn ending had not blundered on move 30.


This is the one and only losing move in this game. Showalter would have been fine with the simple 30...Rf4.

The Rook now gets trapped as noted previously on this site by Xeroxx psmith, and morfishine.

psmith has shown why 32...Bxe5 is unavailing.

morfishine is correct that 32...Rxe5 also loses. The line then--as pointed out by Schlechter--would then be 33. BxR BxB 34. Ra8 Bxf6 35. Rxsa6 Kd5 36. a4

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