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Jacques Mieses vs James Mortimer
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 7, May-30
Vienna Game: General (C27)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  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
2. Nc3

The Vienna Game, an opening in which Mieses usually excelled, though his play here hardly shows it.

2... Nc6
3. Bc3 Bc5
4. Qg4

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... g6

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.

5. Qg3

MCO-13 gives 5. Qf3, but the text seems fine to me.

5... d6
6. d3

White should be developing his g1 Knight here. 6. Nge2 seems best.

6... Be6

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.

9. Na4?

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.

9... Bb4+
10. Nc3

Only here did Mieses seem to notice that 10. c3 runs into trouble after 10...Nd4!

10... Nd4

This move looks strong, but gets Black nowhere after 11. 0-0-0. Better was 10...Nge7 or 10...h6

11. Rc1

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.

11... Ne7
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
14. Rb1

I fail to understand why Mieses, especially in light of his King-side attacking plans, did not play 14. Nf3

14... b6

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.

16. h4!

The attack begins.

16... Rf7

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.

17. h5

The position was now as follows:


click for larger view

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.

Nov-03-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

After Mieses' 17. h5, it would have taken strong defense to hold off his attack. Mortimer's play from here on, however, was feeble (although I love his 19th move) and he succumbed quickly.

17... Raf8

Awful as it looks, 17...gxh5 was the best chance, since it allows Black to bring his Knight to g6. Black may or not be able to survive with this defense. After the text, Black is toast.

18... Re8
19. Kd2

Although this effort to allow the a1 Rook to join the attack was the first move to occur to me, upon reflection (and after seeing Fritz' analysis) I have decided it was a mistake (the last error of any significance by Mieses in this game).

The best plan for Mieses here would be the problem-like 19. Ng1! bringing the e2 Knight into the attacking party. After the text, Mortimer suddenly has a glimmer of a chance.

19... d5!

Mortimer's last hurrah in this game. This effort at counterplay in the center is undoubtedly his best chance.

20. f3 Qd6
21. Rh4 d4?

21...Kh8 was Mortimer's last chance to organize a plausible defense.

22. Rg4

Enter the shock troops. The game is nearly over.

22... dxc3+
23. Nxc3 Kh8

Too late. Though likely hopeless, 23... Rf6 was the best chance here.

24. hxg6 Nxg6

The position was now as follows:


click for larger view

Mieses now finished off the game beautifully.

25. RxN! hxR
26. Qxg6 Qe7

Black gets mated after 26...Ree7 27. Rh1 Rh7 28. Bg5 (even better than Rosenthal's suggested 28. Qf6+ in this line).

27. Rh1 Rh7

Mieses's closing combo is so nice I give the position for eary reference:


click for larger view

28. Bg7+

"Very well played. This move concludes the game brilliantly." (Rosenthal in the Tournament Book).

28... QxB
29. RxR+ QxR
30. QxR+ Qg8
31. QxN

The game is now over. But Mortimer plays on.

31... Qxg2+
33. Kd1 Qe7
34. Qc3 Qg7
35. f4

Playing to swap off Queens, which should convince even Mortimer to give up the ghost.

35... exf4
36. QxQ+ KxQ
37. Nxf4

The position was now:


click for larger view

Surely now Mortimer was resign, I hear you cry. But no, the game dragged on for another 14 moves. No further comment is required.

37... Kf6
38. Ke2 Ke5
39. Ke3 c5
40. c3 b5
41. d4+ cxd4
42. cxd4+ Kd6
43. e5+ Kd7
44. Ke4 a5
45. Nd3 Kc6
46. Nc5 b4
47. axb4 axb4
48. Nxe6 b3
49. Kd3 Kd5
50. Nf4+ Kc6
51. Kc3

1-0

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