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James Mason vs Leon Rosen
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 12, Jun-08
Vienna Game: Anderssen Defense (C25)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A remarkably uninteresting game. Neither side ever comes close to winning, and the players repeatedly avoid any interesting or complicating lines, preferring first to trade pieces and then maneuver in their own territory to little purpose.

1. e4 e5
2. Nc3

The Vienna Game, a popular choice in this tournament, especially by Mieses. But neither side here does anything of much use other than avoiding complications.

2... Bc5
3. f4

The only sign of life in this game, but all signs of aggression are soon extinguished.

3... d6

As Rosenthal notes in the Tournament Book, 3...BxN 4. RxB Qh4+ (4...d6 is better and yields approximately equal chances) 5. g3 Qxh2 6. Rg2 Qh1 7. Fe5 strongly favors White.

4. Nf3 Nc6

Better, and the one chance to get any real edge, was 4...Nf6

5. Bb5

Rosenthal'w proposed 5. Na4 was better.

5... Nf6

He should have tried 5...Nge7, though the text does not hold any real dangers for Black.

6. Qe2

The one really interesting variation here is the one discussed by Rosenthal in his commentary on this game. If 6. fxe5 dxe5 7. Nxe5 leads to trouble--but not the loss Rosenthal claims--after 7...Qd4 since White can survive after 8. Nd3 Bg4.

6... 0-0
7. BxN

Seemingly looking to mess up Black's pawn structure,but he apparently changed his mind on move 10 and allowed Black to cure the problem.

7... bxB
8. fxe5 dxe5
9. Na4

Better than Rosenthal's suggested 9. Nxe5 Re8 10. Nf3 since Black then would get much the better game after 10...Nxe4 (much better than Rosenthal's 10...Ng4 11. h3, though Black would still be fine after 11...Ne4).

9... Bb6
10. NxB

Fixing Black's pawn structure. 10. d3 was better.

10... axN
11. d3 Rfe8
12. Bg5

This accomplishes nothing except to allow White to trade Bishop for Knight. Better was 12. 0-0 or 12. a4.

12... Qd6
13. BxN

Continuing with his misguided plan.

13... QxB
14. 0-0 Bg4
15. Qd2 Qd6
16. Qc3 c5
17. Nd2

Mason has forfeited any edge from having White. Black now has better chances, but Rosen immediately gives away much of his advantage by his poor idea of exchanging Queens. There was no reason to expect to win the endgame.

17... Qd4+

17...Ra7 was better.

18. QxQ cxQ

The position was now:


click for larger view

Black has whatever small chances exist in this uninteresting endgame. As will be discussed in my next post, White from here needlessly gives Black chances that Black repeatedly fails to seize.

Jan-27-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

The balance of the game is fairly depressing to watch.

19. Nc4

This accomplishes nothing and gives Rosen the opportunity to seize the initiative with b5---an opportunity he fails to seize on each of his next five moves. 19. Kf2 was better.

19... f6

Useless. He should have played 19...b5.

20. Nd2

Giving Black another chance. He should have played 20. a4.

20... Re6

Again missing 20...b5

21. Rfc1 Rc6
22. Kf2

Once again, why not 22. a4 here?

22... Be6
23. a3 Ra5
24. c4?

Though not bad enough to lose, this is quite a wretched move. 24. Nf3 was safe enough.

24... Rd6?

24...dxc3 e.p. was obviously better. This was Rosen's last real chance to try for a meaningful advantage.

25. Rc2

25. b4 was better, than this meaningless shuffling of pieces.

25... c5

25...Rd8 immediately was better.

26. Rcc1 Rd8
27. a4

27. B4 was better. The text dooms Mason to permanent passivity for the balance of the game, not that it matters since Rosen seems to have equally uninterested in trying to win.

27... Rda8
28. b3 Kf8
29. h3 Ke7
30. Ke2 Kd6
31. Rf1 Rf8

Black's last chance to try to do something here was to play 31...h5.

32. Rf2

32. Nf3 was better

32... Ra7

Another incomprehensible--but not losing--move. 31...h5 was better.

33. Raf1 Kc6
34. Kd1 Raf7
35. Kc2 Kd6
36. Nf3

And here the players gave the spectators a break by agreeing to a draw.

1/2 --- 1/2

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