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James Mortimer vs Geza Maroczy
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 14, Jun-12
Sicilian Defense: French Variation. Normal (B40)  ·  0-1



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sac: 33...Rgh6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: This game is not of much interest. Mortimer's unsound Bishop sacrifice on move 11 left him a piece down for the rest of the game. Maroczy never gave Mortimer a chance after that (though at a few points he might have wrapped things up a bit sooner).

The only point of interest was the semi-Queen sacrifices by Maroczy in the air towards the end. Maroczy did not pursue the first two chances, but he finally finished Mortimer off with his very temporary Queen sacrifice on move 33.

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 e6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Bd3

5. c3 is usually played here. There is nothing much wrong with the text except that it is part of a long-tern failing by Mortimer, who did not move this Knight until his 17th move by which time he was long-since lost.

5... Nc6
6. NxN bxN
7. 0-0 d5

click for larger view

Maroczy has just about equalized already. The rest of the game was all downhill for Mortimer.

8. e5

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book states that Mortimer should have played 8. Qe2 here, but that is not much of an improvement over the text. Perhaps best was to develop the Queen's Knight with 8. Nc3 instead of leaving it sitting idly on b1 for the first 16 moves of this game.

8... Nd7
9. f4 Bc5+
10. Kh1 0-0

The position was now:

click for larger view

It is hard to understand why Mortimer thought a Bishop sacrifice made sense here. The Bishop he sacrifices was his only developed piece. Not surprisingly, the sacrifice fails and the game is lost. Hard to believe.

11. Bxh7+ KxB
12. Qh5+ Kg8
13. Rf3

So Mortimer's plan was to launch an attack with Queen and Rook. Did he really think this could work?

The position was now:

click for larger view

13... f6!

Of course.

14. Rh3

Mortimer should surely have tried to bring some other pieces into play. 14. Nd2 looks best (but down a piece Mortimer would still be lost).

14... Qe8

This is certainly good enough, but 14...fxe5 would have ended the game sooner.

15. Qh7+ Kf7
16. Rg3

This or 16. Nd2 were best, though hopeless. Rosenthal proposed 16. Rh6 in the Tournament Book, but Black simply plays 16...fxe5.

16... Rg8
17. Nc3

Finally developing the Knight. But since he is relying on a King-side attack he should have played 17. Nd2.

17... Nf8

Again good enough, but 17...Ba6 beginning a counterattack was even more decisive.

18. Qd3

He might as well have tried 18. Qh5+ and hoped for a miracle (i.e., 18...Ke7 19. exf6+ and White wins). But Maroczy would almost certainly have played 18...g6 winning easily.

18... f5

Closing the d3 h7 diagonal and essentially ending the game, the position now being:

click for larger view

What followed, as I will discuss in my next post on this game, was of interest only because of the neat tactics that ended the game. As a competitive matter, the game was long since over.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

Mortimer was clearly lost in the diagrammed position with which I ended my last post, but the game was not even half over.

19. Na4 Be7
20. Be3

Mortimer's play is poor throughout, but it is pointless to quibble since he is down a piece and quite lost. It is, however, remarkable how consistently throughout the game Mortimer manages to make his bad position even worse. I will not, however, recount each such misplay by Mortimer.

20... Nd7
21. b3 c5!

Maroczy begins his counter-attack.

22. Re1?!

I am not sure if this was an oversight or an effort to distract Maroczy with a sacrifice of the exchange, the position now being:

click for larger view

22... Bb7

Rosenthal in the Tourament Book claimed that Maroczy should have played to win the exchange with 22...Bh4, but the text is even better.

23. Bf2

Mortimer now decides to protect against the Bh4 skewer, but this all gets him nowhere.

23... Qc8

Maroczy proceeds with a slow but certain winning method: clear the first rank for his Rooks so he can attack on the h and g files, play d4, and then get his Queen to c6 to hold mating threats over Mortimer's head. Mortimer can do nothing to stop this. He might well have resigned here.

Maroczy could perhaps have accelerated the end by playing 23...d4 immediately, but his winning procedure gave Mortimer not the slightest chance.

24. Rh3 d4
25. Qe2 Qc6
26. Bg1

A truly ugly move. If Mortimer didn't care to resign, he might as well have played 26. Rf3. The position after 26. Bg1 was:

click for larger view

26... Rh8
27. Rf3 Rag8

Maroczy had now achieved his desired set-up. What followed was the winning assault on White's fragile defense beginning with the advance of Maroczy's g-pawn.

28. Nb2 g5
29. Nc4

The position was now:

click for larger view

The game is clearly over, but now comes the fun. The question now is when Maroczy should pounce and play QxR. I will address this in my next post on this game.

Mar-25-18  Granny O Doul: This game reminds us why it's considered brilliant when a player gives his pieces away and wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

After 29. Nc4, Maroczy could have prevailed with 29...QxR!! since 30. gxQ g4! 31. Rf1 gxf3 is murder. Maroczy's actual move was less spectacular, but also sufficient--and eventually led to a similar Queen sacrifice.

29... g4
30. Rd3

The only chance to prolong resistance was 30. Rg3, though this loses the exchange immediately after 30...Bh4.

30... g3
31. Rf3

The position was now:

click for larger view

31... gxh2

Rosenthal wrongly criticized this move by Maroczy in the Tournament Book. Rosenthal's alternative move, 31...Rh3, also wins with a Queen sacrifice: 32. Na5 (32. Nd2 was better but would hardly save the game) QxR! 33. gxQ g2+ (33...gxh2 also wins here) 34. Qxg2 Bxf3 and Black wins. But Maroczy's move (31...gxh2) was at least as good as Rosenthal's suggestion. 31...Nb6 also wins easily here for Black.

32. Bxh2 Rg6
33. Na5

The position now was:

click for larger view

In this position, Maroczy could have won easily with 33...Qd5. Instead, he ended the game with a very different kind of Queen sacrifice that the ones discussed above:

33... Rgh6

Leaving his Queen en prise! Mortimer has no choice and accepts the "gift," but gets blown away quickly.

34. NxQ RxB+
35. Kg1 Rh1+
36. Kf2 Bh4+
37. g3

37. Rg3 was slightly better, but it still loses after 37...RxR 38. QxR Rg8. With the text, however, Maroczy wins back the sacrificed Queen and ends up in an endgame a piece ahead.

37... Rh2+
38. Kf1 RxQ
39. KxR BxN
40. gxB BxR+
41. KxB Rxh4

The dust has settled and the game is clearly over (though Mortimer plays on):

click for larger view

The remainder is of no interest.

42. Re2 a5
43. Rg2 Nb6
44. Ke2 Nd5

Crushing! But Mortimer still played on.

45. Rf2 Nxf4+
46. Kd2 Ng6

And here Mortimer finally resigned.


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