KEG: A nice closing combination by Mieses in an otherwise poorly played game. Mortimer emerged in decent shape against Mieses' Vienna Game opening, but soon lost his way in the middlegame and was lost by move 21 (and perhaps before). The combination Mieses unleashed beginning on move 25 was pretty. Mortimer could have resigned by move 32, and certainly should have spared himself the last 14 moves of the game in which he was down a Knight in an endgame in which any amateur could have defeated him.
1. e4 e5
The Vienna Game, an opening in which Mieses usually excelled, though his play here hardly shows it.
3. Bc3 Bc5
A coffee house line, though playable. Best seem to be 4. Nf3 or 4. d3, the latter being recommended by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book.
4...Nd4 seems better. If then 5. Qxg7 then 5...Qf6 and Black has at least equal chances.
Surprisingly, MCO-13 gives only the text and 4...Kf8 (?!) and 4...Qf6 as options.
My musings notwithstanding, Mortimer's move (4...g6 is certainly OK.
MCO-13 gives 5. Qf3, but the text seems fine to me.
White should be developing his g1 Knight here. 6. Nge2 seems best.
Rosenthal in the Tournament Book says that 6...Nd4 was the correct move. He seems clearly correct. After the text, White has much the better game.
7. Bg5 Qd7
8. BxB fxB
8...QxB looks better. But Mortimer's idea is to prepare d5.
Losing time and throwing away almost all of his opening edge. Mieses apparently overlooked the strength of Mortimer's reply. The simple developing 9. Nf3 was best.
Only here did Mieses seem to notice that 10. c3 runs into trouble after 10...Nd4!
This move looks strong, but gets Black nowhere after 11. 0-0-0. Better was 10...Nge7 or 10...h6
Huh? Given his plan to attack on the Kingside, I do not understand why Mieses did not play the seemingly obvious 11. 0-0-0.
12. a3 BxN+
Giving away everything he has accomplished on the Queen-side. 12...Ba5 is best, as was pointed out by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book.
13. bxB Ndc6
I fail to understand why Mieses, especially in light of his King-side attacking plans, did not play 14. Nf3
14...0-0-0 was much better, as Rosenthal noted in the Tournament Book. Incredibly, Mortimer is planning to castle king-side, right into Mieses' coming attack on that wing.
15. Ne2 0-0
Not quite suicidal, but quite bad. The King does not belong on this side of the board. 15...h6 was best.
The attack begins.
Rosenthal in the Tournament Book says that 16...Kf7 was the "only move," but Black seems quite dead after 17. h5 (or 17. Bh6). The text, though not pretty seems best.
The position was now as follows:
Mieses is poised for a vicious King-side attack and Mortimer would have had to defend well to stay in the game. In fact, Mortimer fell apart at this point and was soon crushed as I will show in my next post on this game.