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Amos Burn vs Georg Marco
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 7, May-30
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Move Order (D31)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-01-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Burn gets much the better of Marco's version of the Dutch Defense, but Burn underestimates Marco's open g-file and gets swamped by Marco's ruthlessly effective counterattack.

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 c6
4. Nf3 f5

A questionable line of the Dutch Defense. Having played 3...c6, Marco could better have played Nf6.

5. Bf4

A logical way to attempt to exploit Marco's last move, but 5. Bg5 was perhaps even better.

5. Bd6
6. e3

Simpler and better than 6. Be5 as recommended by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book. Curiously, though the two Black-square Bishops stare directly at each other for quite a while, the exchange never takes place.

6... Nf6
7. Bd3 0-0
8. 0-0 b6

Here Marco should have exchanged Bishops. The text invites trouble, although the posting of the Bishop on b7 which the text allows ultimately leads Marco to victory.

9. Rc1 Qe7
10. Qe2

10. Re1 was clearly better.

10... Ne4

A fine move, and Maroc's first real effort to obtain counterplay.

11. Rc2

11. Qc2--admitting that his last move was a mistake--was better.

11... Bb7
12. Rfc1 Nd7

This rote move looks correct at first glance, but in fact it gives White all the play. Best was 12...a5.

13. a3

13. cxd5 opening the c-file was much better.

13... g5!

The beginning of Marco's play on the g-file that ultimately brings him victory. I was reminded of Kasparov's g5 thrust in his game against Karpov that made him World Champion.

Burn still has the upper hand after 13...g5 here, but from here on his King-side threats plague Burn.

14. BxN

He should have played 14. BxB, seizing his final opportunity to exchange this pair of Bishops. Now Maroc has the advantage of the two Bishops.

14... gxB
15. Bd3

The position was now as follows:


click for larger view

The position is quite complicated and double-edged. Burn has chances on the c-file. Maroc has chances potential chances on the g-file, and has the two Bishops. As matters now stand, Burns' chances can materialize faster. But danger signs abound for him.

15... Rae8

15...fxe3 was much better.

16. exf4 Bxf4
17. Re1 Qf7

Consistent with his questionable 15th move, he should have played 17...e5

18. Qd1

The beginning of a series of moves in which Burns delays playing the indicated cxd5.

18... Kh8

Focusing his attention on the g-file, but at this stage he didn't have time for this. 18...Nf6 was stronger.

The position was now as follows:


click for larger view

The position is now as good as it will get for Burn in this game. From this point on, he runs his position down and Marco's attack on the g-file picks up steam. How and why the game turned after move 18 will be discussed in my next post on this game.

Nov-01-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

Having achieved a favorable position after 18 moves, Burn grossly underestimated Marco's King-side chances and was quickly blown away.

19. Ne2

He should have begun operations on the c-file with 19. cxd5 and now wasted time with the text. If he was thinking defense, 19. g3 was also much better than his actual choice.

19... Bb8
20. Ng3

Once again, Burn should have played cxd5. As will quickly become clear, Burns' Knight on g3 is a target, not a way to defend his increasingly vulnerbale King-side.

20... Rg8

Marco's intentions are now crystal clear. Attack, attack, attack on the g-file.

21. cxd5

Better late than never!

21... cxd5
22. Bb5 f4!

Driving away the g3 Knight and showing the uselessness of Burns' 19th and 20th moves.

23. Nf1 Ref8

The closest thing to a second-best move by Marco in the final stages of the game. 23...Qg7 or 23...Rg7 were better ways to continue his play on the g-file.

24. BxN?

Inexplicable. This exchange benefits only Black. 24. h4 was much better.

24... QxB
25. Ne5?

Blocking his chance to generate pressure on the weak Black pawn on e6. 25. Qe2 was best.

25... Qg7
26. f3?

After this lemon, the game is lost for White. The only viable defense was 26. g3. From here, Marco finishes brilliantly.

26... Rf5

This Rook, of course, is headed for the g-file.

27. Qe2

The best chance at defense was 27. Qd3. The text allows Marco to finish neatly.

27... BxN
28. dxB Rg5

The position was now:


click for larger view

As is obvious, Burns' position is dreadful. With his next move, any chance at resistance is ended.

29. Kh1?

29. h4 was the only possible chance.

29... d4!

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

30. g3

The only way to avoid an immediate mating net was 30. Ng3. The rest is carnage.

30... fxg3
31. Nxg3 RxN!
32. hxR Qxg3

White has no answer to this move.

0-1

Nov-01-17  sudoplatov: On the 365chessgames opening database, 5.Bg5 scores(W-D-L) 42.3-28.2-29.4 while 5.Bf4 scores 51.5-27.7-20.8. Thus Bf4 wins about 9% more often with a similar draw percentage.
Nov-02-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: <sudopatov> Both moves appear reasonable. I prefer 5. Bg5 because 5. Bf4 almost asks for 5...Bd6 and a likely exchange of Bishops. Fritz gives a slight nod to 5. Bg5, but computers are very unreliable in such opening positions, so your game data may be more significant.

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