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Miklos Brody vs Manuel Marquez Sterling
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 12, Jun-08
Dutch Defense: Rubinstein Variation (A84)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A poor effort by Sterling who gets outplayed on the Black side of a Dutch Defense and then tries a wild--and clearly unsound--combination with 23...g5 that soon leaves him two pieces down. Sterling played on, hoping for a miracle checkmate, and then resigned when that did not emerge.

Brody played the early stages of the game fairly well (albeit with several foibles), but essentially only had to show up to prevail.

1. d4 f5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. e3

A reasonable alternative to the lines by White against the Dutch featuring g3.

4... Be7
5. Bd3 b6
6. Nge2 Bb7
7. 0-0 0-0
8. Qc2 Nc6

Although this doesn't work out badly for Sterling, to the extent he was planning to play 8...Nb4 his idea is easily countered by Brody.

9. a3!

Eliminates the possibility of Nb4 and prepares b4.

9... a6

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book suggests 9...a5, which is not much of an improvement over the text. 9...g6 appears best.

10. e4!

Brody had been preparing this move with 5. Bd3 and 8. Qc2. He now has the better game, the position now being:

click for larger view

10... g6

10...fxg4 was better.

11. e5!

Exploiting Sterling's lapse and leaving the Black camp badly disorganized.

11... Nh5
12. f4 Rf7

Making a bad position even worse. 12...d6 or 12...Nb8 were better ideas. Sterling may not be lost at this stage, but his position is at best in critical position:

click for larger view

13. d5?

Premature and needlessly allowing Sterling counterplay on the c5-g1 diagonal. Better was 13...b4, and perhaps better still was 13. Be3.

13... Bc5+
14. Kh1 Nd4

14...Qh4 was a better way to try to punish Brody for his misguided 13. d5?

15. NxN BxN
16. Ne2 Bc5
17. b4 Bf8
18. Qb3 Qe7

18...Bg7 was better.

19. Be3

The position was now:

click for larger view

Sterling now can fight his way back into the game with 19...d6 or 19...Bh6. Instead, he played the incomprehensible:

19... Rb8?

I am at a loss to explain this move.

20. Nc3

Why not 20. Nd4 which would give White good chances.

20... Bh6

Sterling could have gotten a playable game with 20...d6. The text should have led to trouble.

21. Rf3

Too slow. 21. Be2 was best.

The position was now:

click for larger view

Sterling's play to this point has been sloppy, but he is (with a little help from Brody) still in the game. But from here his play went to pieces and he was quickly defeated. How that happened will be covered in my next post on this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

The balance of the game is almost painful to watch.

21... Rg7?

21...d6 would have given Sterling reasonable chances to slow down Brody's steamroller pawns.

22. Be2 Kh8?

Sterling was hell-bent on an attack on the g-file. But he needed to counter White's pressure first. 22...d6 was best.

23. Raf1 g5?

Rightly called "a mistake" by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book. Sterling's notion that he could blow the game open on the g-file was misguided. If this was his hope, he should have tried Rosenthal's 23...Rbg8. Better was to abandon his unfortunate idea and play 23...Rgg8 or 23...Qf7.

The position was now:

click for larger view

From this point on, Sterling was lost. He apparently overlooked Brody's next move, which pretty much ends the game.

24. Rh3!

Sterling was kaput, so he attempted a wild do-or-die attack on the g-file, and sacrificed nearly all of his pieces in support of this wild idea.

24... gxf4
25. Bd4!

Sterliong could have resigned here. But he decided to go down swinging.

25... Ng3+

Rosenthal recommends 25...f3 here, but that gets crushed after 26. Bxf3. If Sterling wanted to play on for a while, he might have tried 25...c5.

What followed was carnage.

26. hxN Rxg3
27. RxB!

Did Sterling overlook this? He was now two pieces down, and his mating attack was going nowhere.

27... Rbg8

27...Rxg2!? would have allowed Brody a chance to blow the game (if 28. KxR Qg5+ 29. Kh1?? Qxh6+ actually loses for White, and 29. Kf2 runs into 29...Qg3 mate. But even here White can still win with 29. Bg4!) But 28. Bf3 would be crushing.

Sterling's actual move does not even have the merit of giving Brody a realistic chance to blunder away the game.

28. Bf3!

Game over. But Sterling plays on.

28... Qg5
29. Rh2 Rg6
30. Ne2 Rh6
31. NxR

31. RxR would presumably have ended the game immediately. The text apparently allowed Sterling to retain his fantasy of a mating attack.

31... RxR+

The last chance to let Brody walk into a self-mate was 31...fxN. Then, if 32. RxR??? Sterling would mate in two after 32...QxR+ But now, it is hard to see how Brody could have managed to lose--being up a Rook plus Bishop.

32. KxR Qh4+
33. Kg1 fxN

Oh well, at least Sterling gets to "threaten" mate in one. If Brody fell asleep, perhaps he would have missed it.

34. Rd1

Unfortunately for Sterling, Brody was awake.

34... f4
35. dxe6 BxB
36. QxB


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