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Leon Rosen vs Miklos Brody
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 9, Jun-01
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Improved Steinitz Defense (C66)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-27-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Brody obtains a slight advantage when Rosen needlessly allows him to isolate the White e-pawn, but Rosen defends carefully and the game seems headed for a draw until Rosen suddenly decides to pursue a mating attack and unleashes a flawed exchange sacrifice on moves 33 and 34. Brody sees through the mating threat but misses the winning line. As a result, Rosen is able to salvage a draw by means of perpetual check.

1. e4 e5
2. Nf6 Nc6
3. Bb5 Nf6

The Berlin Defense seems to have been the defense of choice against the Ruy Lopez at the Paris 1900 tournament.

4. 0-0 d6

This move, often played at Pari 1900, is inferior to 4...Nxe4 but playable.

5. d4 Nd7

5...exd4 is much better. I can't help wondering if Brody wasn't peeking at the game Marshall v. Tchigorin in which this same (albeit inferior) move was played

6. Re1

Marshall here played the move recommended by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book: 6. BxN. While 6. BxN is better than the text, best for White here is 6. Be3.

6... Be7
7. Nc3

7. d5 taking advantage of Black's strange set-up was better.

7... 0-0

The simple 7...Nxd4 was best.

8. Ne2

Another strange opening move. Rosenthal's proposed 8. Nd5 seems best.

8... Nxd4
9. Nexd4 exN
10. Nxd4 Bf6

White at most has tiny advantage at this stage.

11. c3 Nc5
12. Qc2 c6
13. Bf1 Re8
14. Bd2 Ne6
15. Be3

Rosenthal claims that the "right move" was 15. Nf5. While that was perhaps a tad more promising than the text. both moves seem fine.

15... d5

15...NxN was much better. Now White has a clear road to getting the better game beginning with 16. exd5

16. Rad1?

Allowing Brody (after a series of exchanges) to saddle him with an isolated e-pawn. As noted above, Rosen should have played 16. exd5.

16... NxN
17. BxN BxB
18. RxB Bf5!

Cute. Bordy cleverly exploits the pin of White's e-pawn, and soon leaves Rosen with a weak e-pawn in the center.

19. f3 Qe7

19...Qb6 was better.

20. Re2

20. Bd3 was better.

20... dxe4

The isolated e-pawn Brody here creates for White will be a theme for much of the rest of the game (until Rosen's hair-brained attack beginning on move 33).

21. fxe4 Bg4
22. Re3 c5
23. Rd2 Bf5

23...Be6 was simpler and better.

The position was now:


click for larger view

24, Rde2

Missing his chance to equalize with the clever 24. Bc4! (if then 24...Bxe4 25. Rde2!! with much the better chances).

24... Bg6

He should have played the more aggressive 24...Be6.

25. Re1 Qe5
26. Qb3 Re7
27. Bc4 Rae8
28. Bd5 Qc7
29. c4 b6
30. Qc3 Re5

The position was now:


click for larger view

Rosen has now solved most of his problems and chances are about even. But now Rosen decides to go king-hunting and hatches a flawed mating combination. This strange but exciting conclusion to the game will be covered in my next post on this game.

Nov-28-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

Having fought hard to achieve a nearly even position, Rosen after 30...Re5 decided--for reasons best known to him--that he had makings of a King-side attack. He also decided to set a little trap for his opponent.

31. Rg3

Even with Black's f-pawn temporarily pinned, it hardly appears that White has any real King-side chances. Rosen's move, however, gives Brody a chance to blow the game on his next move. The text itself is not really a mistake. What was a mistake, as we will soon see, was Rosen' idea behind the move.

31... Kh8

Not falling for Rosen's not-so-subtle trap. If 31...Bxe4? White wins a piece immediately with 32. RxB since if 32...RxR?? 33. Qxg7 mate (as pointed out by Rosenthal in the Tournament Book).

32. Rf1

Tempting Black to play 32...f6 (which in point of fact is Black's best reply).

32... f6

The position was now:


click for larger view

33. RxB?

Rosen thinks he sees a mating net. He in fact has miscalculated, but Brody has to watch his step here. (Best for White here was 33. Re3).

33... hxR
34. Qg3?

Despite the loss of material, Rosen still had chances to hold the game with 34. g4. Now, however, he is lost with best play by Black.

34... Kh7?

Now Rosen can save the game. But Brody could have snuffed out Rosen's chances and won--as Rosenthal pointed out in the Tournament Book---with 34...Qe7 (34... R8e7 also wins) 35. Qxg6 (if 35. Rf5 RxR [not 35...gxR 36. Qh4 of Qh3 mate!] 36. exR Qe1+) 35...Rg5 36. Qf7 QxQ 37. BxQ Rxe4 and wins.

After Brody's actual move (34...Kh7?) the position was:


click for larger view

Rosen now draws by force:

35. Rf5 gxR

Forced. If 35... g5, then, as noted by Rosenthal 36 Qh3+ Kg6 37 g4 and mate in two moves!

36. Qh4+ (or 36. Qh3+) and draws by perpetual check.

1/2 -- 1/2

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