KEG: Brody emerged fine from the opening, but collapsed when Mieses launched a wild King-side attack.
1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
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.
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.
Probably unsound but very much in Mieses' style. 8...Nge2 is unambitious but safe and--at least on paper--probably best for White.
Safe but too placid. Best was 8...a5 or perhaps 8...Na6.
A needless precaution and weakening. Best was 9. Bf4.
9...b5 beginning action on the Queen-side was better, though Black remains fine after the text.
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.
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. 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...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. 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...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:
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.