|KEG: Post II
After 15...Nf6, Tchigorin committed his one serious mistake in the game; a mistake that should have lost him the small advantage he had so carefully nursed to this point.
Giving Marshall the sort of tactical chance one might have expected him to spot in a nanosecond. 16. c4 was best.
Missing his chance! Marshall could have completely equalized with 16...RxB (17. RxR Nfd5 [or 17...Nbd5] 18. NxN NxN 19. Rde1 [else Black forks with Nxc3+] NxR. 20. RxN0.
Now Marshall has to endure an inferior position for a while longer.
17. NxN NxN
18. Bd2 RxR
19. RxR Re8
If Tchigorin was hell bent on playing for a win, he might have tried 20. Rg1 to keep the last pair of Rooks on the board. But the text--objectively--was equally good.
The position was now:
click for larger view
Was there anything left to be made of this game? Tchigorin did have the two Bishops. He therefore tried advances on both wings, but to no avail with Marshall's careful play.
21. Kb2 Kf8
Perhaps 21...Ne7 was more accurate.
Trying his luck on the King's side.
Nothing doing there.
So Tchigorin tries the other side of the board.
24. Kc3 Ke7
The King is a fighting piece in the endgame, so perhaps 25. Kd4 was best.
Marshall refuses to crack.
26. Be3 b6
27. a3 c5
Given Marshall's solid play, Tchigorin decides to lock the Queen-side pawn structures. But this is tantamount to offering a draw,
29. a4 Bd7
If Tchigorin still wanted to try to make something happen, he might have tried 30. a5?! But it is doubtful that this would have avoided the draw that is looming.
Voluntarily burying his own Bishop, and relinquishing any advantage whatsoever he may heretofore have had (31. Bd2 was much better). The position was now:
click for larger view
Marshall, for the first time in the game, arguably had a small advantage. Yet, it was here that the players agreed to a draw.
It must be noted that this replayed game occurred on June 6--a day the other 13 competitors had free. The players may have been looking ahead. Tchigorin was scheduled to play Janowski the next day (June 7) and had another game to play on the following day (June 8). Marshall had games to play on the next three days: Pillsbury on June 7, Showalter on June 8, and Schlechter (a replay of their 10th round draw) on June 9. It is perhaps not surprising that neither Tchigorin nor Marshall chose to play on in the slim hope of making something out of nothing in this barren endgame.
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