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
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.
7. d5 taking advantage of Black's strange set-up was better.
The simple 7...Nxd4 was best.
Another strange opening move. Rosenthal's proposed 8. Nd5 seems best.
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
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...NxN was much better. Now White has a clear road to getting the better game beginning with 16. exd5
Allowing Brody (after a series of exchanges) to saddle him with an isolated e-pawn. As noted above, Rosen should have played 16. exd5.
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. Bd3 was better.
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:
Missing his chance to equalize with the clever 24. Bc4! (if then 24...Bxe4 25. Rde2!! with much the better chances).
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
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.