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James Mortimer vs Leon Rosen
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 8, May-31
Italian Game: Scotch Gambit (C55)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Mortimer (who had been 0-7, finally gets on the board against Rosen (who was 1-6 going into this game). The game was reasonably well played through about move 20, but then Rosen fell apart.

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. d4

A playable and aggressive alternative to 5. Ng5 which wins a pawn but subjects White to a dangerous attack (4...d5 5. exd5 Na5).

4... exd4
5. 0-0 d6

5...Nxe4 was much better than the text and better than the move (5...Be7) recommended by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book.

6. Ng5

6. The simple 6. Nxd4 was better.

6... Ne5
7. Qxd4 h6
8. Nf3 NxN+

Better than looking to get the two Bishops by 8...NxB. With the text, Black messes up White's King-side pawns.

9. gxN Bh3
10. Re1 Nd7
11. f4 Qh4
12. Qe3 g5
13. Qg3 Be7
14. Bf1 BxB
15. QxQ gxQ
16. KxB 0-0-0

Both sides have both chances weaknesses in this endgame. Chances are about even:


click for larger view

17. Nc3 c6

17...Rhg8 was somewhat better, but the text is certainly reasonable.

18. Be3 Rhg8
19. Rad1 h3
20. f3

Needlessly fearing 20...Rg2. Much better was 20. Ne2 and if then 20...Rg2 21. Ng3.

20... b6

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book calls this weak and recommends 20...Rg2, but that gets black nowhere after 21. Re2. Best for Black to exploit the advantage he got from White's best move was the developing 20...Nb6.

21. Rd2 Rg7

Waste of time, especially in light of Black's next move. Much better was 21. Nf6.

22. Ne2 Rg2
23. Ng1

23. Nd4 was better.

23... Bf6

23...RxR was best.

24. c3

The position was now as follows:


click for larger view

White definitely has better chances here, but Black's game is hardly lost. But from here Rosen fell apart (indeed his game started going downhill beginning on move 20)as I will show in my next post on this game.

Nov-09-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

After Mortimer's 24. c3, Rosen would have chances with 24...RxR. Instead, he commenced a misguided campaign that led to a lost position in very short order.

24... Nc5

As noted above, he should have played 24...RxR.

25. RxR

Mortimer should have taken advantage of Rosen's last move with 25. Red1

25... hxg+
26. Kxg2

Rosen is now down a pawn, but thanks to Mortimer's bad 25th move still has chances.

26... Nd3

Rosen's idea (for better or worse).

27. Rb1 h5

27...d5 or 27. c5 were much better.

28. Kf1 c5

28...the wrong plan. 28...Kd7 was better.

29. Ne2?

Another miscue by Mortimer in what was probably a winning position. 29. Ke2 or 29. Nh3 were better.

29... d5!

Rosen's best chance.

30. Nc1

Yet another misstep by Mortimer. He should have played 30. b3.

The position was now as follows:


click for larger view

Rosen is still down a pawn, but he now has chances to put up a fight with 30...NxN 31. RxN Re8. Instead, Rosen seemingly loses his mind and gives away a piece. I cannot fathom what he was thinking.

30... Nxb2??
31. RxN Bxc3
32. Rc2 d4
33. Bd2

33. Nd3 was simpler, But White is still winning even after the text.

33... Ba1?

Awful. Rosen's only compensation for the piece he blundered away on move 30 was his passed d-pawn. Now he loses even that. He obviously should have played 33...BxB.

34. Nd3

Of course.

34... Kb7

Making a bad situation even worse. 34...Rg8 was the only even slight chance at counterplay.

35. Rc1 Bc3
36. BxB dxB
37. Rc3 Rd4
38. Ke2 c4

Another horrible move, but by now it hardly matters.

39. Ne5 b5
40. Nxf7 b4

Did Rosen really miss the coming combination? The position was now:


click for larger view

41. Rxc4

It was surely time for Rosen to resign here.

41... RxR

Equivalent to resignation. Maybe he wanted to allow Mortimer to play his little combo.

42. Nd6+ Kb6
43. NxR+ b5
44. Kd3

1-0

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