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Leon Rosen vs Geza Maroczy
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 4, May-23
Sicilian Defense: French Variation. Normal (B40)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A less than inspiring game in which Maroczy ultimately prevailed. The finish was cute.

8. Nc3

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book calls this move "weak," but it looks fine to me. Rosenthal's proposed 8. Bg5 is useless if Black responds 8...h6 (a move not considered by Rosenthal, who only analyzes 8...Be7 and 8...dxe4).


Waste of time as shown by his 12th move. 8...Be7 was best.

9. exd5

Rosen missed a chance to obtain good chances with 9. e5 (with Qg4 to follow).

10. Ne2

Very weak and pointless. 10. Re1 or even 10. a3 were better.

11. Bg5

This move should accomplish nothing since Maroczy could simply have responded 11...h6. 11. Nd4 was much better.


11...h6 was indicated.

12. Ng3

Overlooking what Maroczy had--or should have had--in mind with 11...Bb7 (i.e., d4 followed by Qd5 or even Bxg2). 12. c3 was best.


Why play this now? 12...d4! threatening Qd5 and/or Bxg2 would have given Black much the better chances.


Again missing 13...d4

15. Qh5

This looks stronger than it is, and Maroczy fends off this King-side "attack" with ease. Rosen should have played to hold the balance with 15. BxB.

18. Re3

As Rosenthal points out in the Tournament Book, 18. Nf5 fails to gxN 19. Bxf5 f6, and 18. Nh5 would also be weak, though 18...f5, and not Rosenthal's suggested 18...Qf8, is best. The text is, however, inferior to 18. Rad1.


As Rosenthal correctly notes, 18...e4 gets crushed by 19. Nf5. (if now 19...gxN ?? 20. Rg3+ and mate next move). But 18...f6 was better than the text.

23. Bb3

Rosenthal claims that 23. f4 (which is probably best play) loses, but this is nonsense. After Rosenthal's proposed d5 (23...e4 is better) 24. Rh3 e4?? not only does not win as Rosenthal claims, but actually loses to 25. Bb3. In this doubtful line, 24...Nxf4 is best and leads to approximately even chances.

24. Bc2

As on the previous move, Rosen should have played 24...f4.


24...Rf7 was best

[More to follow in subsequent posts]

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post #2

After the trade of Queens on move 28, the game was about even. But from here on Rosen's play was extremely weak.

32. Bc2

Courting trouble. Rosen should simply have traded Bishops with 32. BxB

33. Nc1

A useless move. 33. h4 was better.

34. b3

As Rosenthal correctly notes in the Tournament Book, 34. Bxg6 loses to 34...Rg7!. But Rosen should have played 34. b4 here.

35. Bd3

Creating a target that allows Maroczy to create a pawn steamroller in the center. 35. a4 was best.


An awful move that allows Rosen to solve most of his troubles with 37. RxR (luckily for Maroczy, Rosen missed this chance). Maroczy should have played 36...Kh6 here.

38. a3

Ignoring Maroczy's threats. 38. Rd1 was best.


38...h5 was much better.


A good move that, among other things, prevents Rosen from playing Rd1.


Maroczy here fails to follow up properly. 41...h5 (or even 41...Rb8) were better.

42. Bg4?

A very poor move that allows Maroczy to wreck the White King-side pawn structure. Did Rosen overlook that he could not recapture with his Rook?


44...Bb5 was much stronger.

45. Kh2

Why not the seemingly obvious 45. Rf1+


I do not understand this move at all. 45...Rg5 seems best.

48. Ne2

Avoiding 48. Kg3? d4!

50. Ne6+

The losing move. Rosenthal suggests 50. Nxd5, but after 50...RxR 51. NxR Bb3 White seems lost. Best for White here was 50. RxR with reasonable prospects of holding the game.

52. RxR

Rosenthal wrongly claims that 52. Rh3+ was better, but after 52...RxR+ 53. KxR Rc3+ White's mating threats are at an end and Black wins even more easily than after the text. On any move, however, White is lost here.

55. Rxd5

55. Kh3 was better, but it is too late for White to save the game now.


This wins, but Maroczy had an even more decisive line beginning with 55...Kg4.

56. Rc5

Trading Rooks is hopeless, but his chances of surviving after 56. Re5 little or none.

I will cover Maroczy's cute winning procedure from here in a later post.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

After the trade of Rooks (56...RxR 57. NxR), the position was as follows:

click for larger view

While there are many ways for Black to win here, Maroczy's 57...e3 was prettiest. Rosen could not play 58. NxB since Maroczy would then Queen after 58...e2.

After 58. Kg1 Bc4 59. Nd7, Maroczy sprang another pretty end-game trick with 59...Kg4 The position was now as follows:

click for larger view

Rosen played the seemingly strong 60. Ne5+, but then had to resign after Maroczy's 60...Kxg3, since 61. NxB loses to 61...e2.

A nice finish to an otherwise lackluster game.

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