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Jacques Mieses vs Miklos Brody
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 15, Jun-14
French Defense: Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-01-14  strimble: It's mate in three: 25. Rxg7+ Kh8 26. Qxf8+ Nxf8 27. Rxf8++
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Brody emerged fine from the opening, but collapsed when Mieses launched a wild King-side attack.

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. exd5

The Exchange Variation of the French Defense is usually seen as an unambitious line generally leading to a draw. (See, e.g., the Schlechter-Maroczy game played in this tournament the day before). But Mieses played this to win, and understood its nuances.

3... exd5
4. Be3 Nf6
5. Bd3 Bd6
6. Nc3 c6
7. Qd2 0-0

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book called this move "dangerous" and recommended 7...Be6. In fact, there is nothing wrong with the text (which is probably best and certainly better than 7...Be6). Brody's problems only arose later.

8. 0-0-0

Probably unsound but very much in Mieses' style. 8...Nge2 is unambitious but safe and--at least on paper--probably best for White.

8... Nbd7

Safe but too placid. Best was 8...a5 or perhaps 8...Na6.

9. h3

A needless precaution and weakening. Best was 9. Bf4.

9... Re8

9...b5 beginning action on the Queen-side was better, though Black remains fine after the text.

10. g4?!

Wild and crazy, but probably a frightening move to face against an attacking and tactical wizard like Mieses. Best on paper was 10. Bf4. But, of course, I didn't have to meet 10. g4?! over the board.

10... Bb4

Part of Brody's plan at counterplay, but 10...b5 immediately was much better.

11. Nge2 b5
12. Ng3 Qa5

Continuing to pursue his doubtful plan. 12...Nb6 was best.

13. Rhe1

13. a3 was the best way to but a stop to Black's Queen-side demonstration. But Mieses isn't interested in wasting time and proceeds with his own attack.

13... Bb7

13...BxN would lead to trouble for Black after 14. QxB Qxa2 15. Qxc6 and now Rosenthal's suggested 15...Rb8? would get crushed by 16. Bf4 (but not Rosenthal's inferior 16. Qc3 b4 17. Qb3.

Best for Black here was 13...Ne4, but Black is still OK even after the text.

14. Nf5

14. a3 was still best, but Mieses is targeting the King-side and saw no need to worry about what Brody was doing on the Queen-side.

14... Nb6?

14...BxN would also have been bad, especially after 15. QxB Qxa2? (15...b4 or 15...QxQ, though not very appealing, were far superior to Rosenthal's proposed 15...Qxa2 which should lose) 16. Nd6! Reb8 17. NxB (Rosenthal's alternative 17. Bf4 is not as good).

Best for Black here was 14...g6. But Brody obviously didn't see what was coming.

The position after 14...Nb6 was:

click for larger view

Brody had been fine until 14...Nb6. Now, in the above position, the fireworks began as I will discuss in my next post on this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

In the diagrammed position with which I added my last post, Mieses played the beautiful:

15. Bh6!

"A very nice move which concludes the game brilliantly." (Rosenthal in the Tournament Book).

While I certainly agree that Mieses move deserves praise, and while it definitely set very serious problems for Black (Brody), it did not give Mieses anything close to a won game. He won as a result of: (a) further clever play by Mieses, after his doubtful 16th and 18th moves; and (b) blunders by Brody on his 16th and 18th moves.

15... g6!

The only saving move by Brody.

If 15...gxB 16. Qxh6 wins immediately (16...Bf8 17. Qg5+ Kh8 18. QxN+ Kg8 19. Nh6+ BxN+ 20. QxB and wins).

Rosenthal showed that 15...BxN loses after 16. Qg5!! [but not 16. bxB Qa3+ 17. Kb1 Na4 and White gets mated] 16...g6 17. QxN and wins [in this line, Black can extend the game--but not save-- with 16...Bd2+ 17. RxB Re1+ 18. Rd1 ]

After Brody's 15...g6!, the position was:

click for larger view

Here Mieses erred with:

16. Qg5?

16. Bg5! would give Black fits. After the text, Brody could have beaten back the attack---but he moved the wrong Knight.

16... Nfd7??

Right move, wrong Knight. With 16...Nbd7, Black brings another piece to the defence of his King-side. But now, he is utterly lost with proper play by White, the position now being:

click for larger view

17. Ne7+ Kh8

This left:

click for larger view

White's only worry here is an intermediate move by Black of RxR once the Knight leaves e7. Thus, White can win here with 18. Re3!

Mieses, however, opted for the spectacular but flawed:

18. Bxg6!?

The position was then:

click for larger view

18. Bxg6 must have been a frightful move to meet over the board, but it left Brody a chance to resist. As I will discuss in my next post, it was here that Brody missed his final chance to stay in the game and was quickly blown away thereafter.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Odd that Mieses didn't play 25.Rxg7+ Kh8 26.Rxf8+ Nxf8 27.Qxf8#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

<FSR>Your line [25. Rxg7+ Kh8 26. Rxf8+ Nxf8 27 Qxf8#]--previously noted by strimble on this site--was indeed one of the two fastest ways (mate in 3) to end the game (25. Rxf8+ NxR 26. Rxg7+ Kh8 27. Qxf8# is also mate in three). So why didn't Mieses play one of these lines? My guess--since I'm sure he saw them--is that he preferred his mate in 5 which is arguably more aesthetically pleasing (25. RxN NxR 26. QxN RxQ [Black can prolong the game one move here with 26...Qc7] 27. RxB#). Maybe Mieses wanted to end with a flourish and a Queen sacrifice. Your line, however, is definitely simpler and faster.

Returning to the game after 18. Bxg6, the position being:

click for larger view

Here Brody erred with:

18... Rg8?

As will be clear from what follows, Brody was now a dead duck after 18...Rg8? Did he have anything better.

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book said Brody was lost no matter what he played. He considers two alternatives. I agree with Rosenthal with regard to the first line he analyzes, but not on the second.

The first line Rosenthal considered was: 18...hxB. Black does indeed get mated after this move with 19. Bf8!! [a truly gorgeous move] NxB 20. Qf6+ Kh2 21. Qxf7+ Kh6 22. Ng8+ Kg5 23. Qf6+.

But things are not so simple after 18...fxB. Rosenthal claims a win for White here with 19. Nxg6+ hxN 20. Qxg6 Rg8 21. Qf7. This would have left:

click for larger view

Rosenthal claims that White can now win by playing Re6, but he overlooks Black's resources with 21...Raf8 22. BxR (anything else loses) NxB 23. Re5 (best) Rg7 24. Rh5+ (anything else loses) Nh7 25. Qe8+ (anything else loses) Rg8 26. Rxh7+! KxR 27. Qh5+ (anything else loses) Kg7 28. Re1 Bc8 (forced) Leaving:

click for larger view

White has an easy draw here if he wants it, but I don't see any way for White to win.

It must therefore be concluded that Brody could have saved himself with 18...fxB.

But after the text (18...Rg8?), the position was:

click for larger view

This is a remarkably fascinating position, but as Mieses quickly demonstrated, and as I will discuss in my next post on this game, White has a quick win here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post IV

In the position with which I ended my last post, Mieses' finish was fast and furious:

19. NxR RxN

Brody could have extended the game with 19...fxB, but that was clearly hopeless.

20. Re8 fxB

"If 20...RxR 21. Bxf7 and mate on the following move." (Rosenthal in the Tournament Book).

21. Rde1

21. Qd8 was faster, but the text is also brutal and decisive.

21... Bf8
22. Qh4

22. R1e7 was faster.

22... Rg7

Time for Brody to resign.

23. Qd8

23. RxB+ was faster.

23... Kg8

The only hope to extend the game was to play the hopeless 23...Qb4

24. R1e7 b4

This only accelerates the end.

25. RxN

As discussed in my last post, 25. Rxg7+ (as suggested by strimble and FSR on this site) is mate in three, as is 25. Rxf8+

The text, which involves a Queen sacrifice in some variations, is mate in four.

But it mattered not. Brody here resigned.


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