|KEG: A game with a brilliant but flawed winning combination.|
11...Bd7--White had a small advantage coming out of the opening, but Black should here have sought counterplay with 11...Rb8. Now White has time to build up dangerous attacking chances.
12...dxe5--a mistake which gives White strong winning chances. Mieses should have played the simple 12...Rb8.
13. Bxe5---Showalter avoids the inferior 13. Qxe5, which would--as demonstrated by Marco--have allowed Mieses to obtain the superior position with 13...QxQ 14. BxQ f6 15. Bg3 e5.
13...Bd6--Mieses' idea in going into this line. Rosenthal gives the move a ! in the Tournament Book, but as will be shown below, Mieses' intended combination was flawed.
After 13...Bd6, the position was as follows:
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Showalter here played 14. Bxg7, a move harshly criticized by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book and by Marco and by Schlechter in their commentaries on this game. In fact, this is best play and could have led to a winning position for Showalter if correctly followed up. Rosenthal's proposed 14. BxB QxB 15. c4 yields White no significant advantage.
15. Bf6--This move, and not 14. Bxg7, is where Showalter lost his chance to win. As Rosenthal notes in the Tournament Book, 15. Bc3 was best. The text allows Black to obtain much the better--though certainly not a winning--position.
16...Qf4---Mieses' plan comes to fruition, and White's King is in great danger. He needs to play carefully from here to avoid disaster.
17. Qh5---Best. As Marco pointed out, the superficially attractive 17. Bb5 hoping to obtain perpetual check after 17...Qh6 (even better would be 17...Rb8) 18. BxB+ would fail against the problem-like 18...Kf8!!
18...Ke7---Mieses prepares to bring his other Rook into the attack against Showalter's vulnerable king.
22. c3---Though not mentioned by any of the commentators, this move should have lost the game for Showalter. He needed to drive Black's Rook away with 22. Be2, and would probably have been able to hold the game. Now, the roof should fall in for Showalter.
24...h5---this should have blown the win for Mieses. It is hard to see why he didn't play the obvious 24...Qg7 creating a crushing line-up of major pieces on the g-file.
25...Kd8---this forfeits just about all of Mieses' advantage (though given a !! by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book). The only move to keep his advantage was 25...Ke8. The pin in the e-file is unimportant. After 25...Kd8, the position was as follows:
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26. Qxa7??---This move loses the game immediately. Rosenthal and Marco say that Showalter was lost anyway. But they overlook that after 26. Kh2 Qe7 27. Bf5 saves the day for White. The Bishop comes to h3 on the next move, and Black's mating attack is foiled.
After 26. Qxa7?? Qh4+!, White can delay but cannot avoid mate.