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Geza Maroczy vs Miklos Brody
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 2, May-18
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Morphy Attack (C78)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: An otherwise uneventful game with a shocking conclusion.

After Maroczy's 31. b4, the position was as follows:

click for larger view

Despite his isolated pawn, the unheralded Brody had achieved the better game. So Maroczy had set a trap for his opponent. Had Brody played the tempting 31...Bxh3? he would--as Rosenthal pointed out in the Tournament Book, have lost a piece after 32. f3!

Brody didn't fall for that one, and played 31...f5. This weakening move was not best, but Brody was still OK.

But then after 32. Ne3 f4, Maroczy erred seriously with 33. Nc2? (he should have played 33. f3). The position was now as follows:

click for larger view

A draw was agreed! But Brody would have had great winning chances after 33...f3! (e.g., 34. Qxf3 QxQ 35. gxQ Bxh3). Could Maroczy have saved the game after 33...f3! I doubt it.

Agreeing to a draw hurt Brody twice over. First, he lost a likely win. Second, because of the unusual rules in the Paris 1900 tournament, the game was replayed (with colors reversed) and this time Maroczy prevailed. Thus, Brody likely lost a full point by agreeing to the draw.

The Tournament Book makes no mention of this lapse by both players.

I wonder who offered the draw. Was Brody happy to get a draw against his famous opponent? Or did Maroczy hustle Brody?

This could have been the upset of the tournament (or the second biggest upset after Marshall's win over Lasker in Round 6). Brody ended up in 13th place, while Maroczy (with the help of the point he eventually won from Brody) tied for third with Frank Marshall.

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