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David Janowski vs Oscar Chajes
"Havana Good Time" (game of the day May-17-2014)
Havana (1913), Havana CUB, rd 4, Feb-19
Four Knights Game: Spanish. Symmetrical Variation (C49)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-14-09  WhiteRook48: let's make it game of the day people
Feb-21-09  WhiteRook48: underpromote and skewer- great!
Dec-26-09  Whitehat1963: Yes, agree! Excellent game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: White puts up great defense then just throws everything at black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Good pun for today, and a good game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: This ups my estimation of Janowski quite a bit.
May-17-14  ThumbTack: A game this long I usually don't even like to start. And Four Knights boring! But I'm glad I had the patience to play it through. Beautiful chess.
May-17-14  Conrad93: Ah, the days when you could get away with playing like crap in the opening...
May-17-14  Shams:
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: One of the most interesting games I've seen in awhile

On a side-note, One of my old chess buddies is the spitting-imgae of Janowski: mustache, hairline, glasses, everything

So we nicknamed him 'Janowski'

May-17-14  goodevans: Lots of little gems in here, like <85.Kg8> breaking the pin for the f-pawn advance. At first sight this hangs a pawn, but of course <85...Rxf6> is answered by <86.Rxf6 Qxf6 87.Rf7> with a pin of his own.

What stamina these guys must have to keep playing inventively for so many moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Titanic struggle!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Check It Out: This ups my estimation of Janowski quite a bit.>

We tend to think of Janowski as a joke, largely due to the horrific beatings Lasker gave him in Lasker - Janowski (1909) and Lasker - Janowski World Championship Match (1910), and perhaps also his last-place finish at New York (1924) and his notorious loss in Janowski vs Reshevsky, 1922. However, he was a very strong player at his peak. Chessmetrics actually rates him the No. 1 player in the world from May to September 1904. (I think that Lasker got knocked down on the list for inactivity, which Chessmetrics "punishes" by taking away rating points - on the theory that inactivity makes a player weaker, although in point of fact that rarely seemed to be true for Lasker.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <FSR> Maroczy also ascended to the top spot for a time during Lasker's reign after the latter was penalised, under Sonas' system. This, thankfully, did not last overlong and order was restored.
May-17-14  RookFile: Lasker would have been amused, and probably would have found a way to get a sponsor to set up a match.
May-17-14  Eusebius: Fantastic play.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Both sides promote...but only white UNDERpromotes!
May-17-14  Howard: FSR has a point in that Janowski has gone down in chess history as an underrated player---no question about that. His two devastating losses to Lasker were mainly because Lasker was in a class all by himself back in those days. As for his last place finish at New York 1924, let's bear in mind that the man was in his 50's by then and way past his prime.

But, on the other hand, I find it hard to believe he ever deserved to be ranked #1 in the world---regardless of what criteria chessmetrics uses. Janowski might very well have been in the world's top-5 at various points in his career, but not Numero Uno.

May-17-14  RookFile: I guess he played five (!) matches against Marshall. My impression is that Marshall and Janovsky were roughly the same strength, although of course this fluctuated during their long careers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  SteinitzLives: Part of what may have hurt Janowskis reputation is that he was often described as self-centered, a dandy and pathetically addicted to the roulette wheel, known to be a sucker's game, compared to most games of chance.

-Personally, I find his games to be joyfully optimistic and his tactical style as exciting as that of any tactician out there during the time he played.

May-17-14  Rookiepawn: I also have read Janowski was very attracted to gambling, and always coming up with new "secret methods" to win.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <SteinitzLives: Part of what may have hurt Janowskis reputation is that he was often described as self-centered, a dandy and pathetically addicted to the roulette wheel, known to be a sucker's game, compared to most games of chance.>

If you are speaking of the American version of roulette, with an immutable 5.26 per cent house edge, agreed; but across the ocean, where one finds only 0 (not 00) and the <en prison> rule, different story, as the house edge can be reduced to 1.35%, compared to 1.40/1.36 per cent at craps, which is reduced when free odds bets are offered.

<-Personally, I find his games to be joyfully optimistic and his tactical style as exciting as that of any tactician out there during the time he played.>

Same as Larsen or Bogoljubov, this optimism helped him succeed in tournament play to a point, but he ultimately foundered against the cold-bloodedness of the very greatest players.

May-17-14  rookending: What a fascinating game! Rybka says Black can draw as late as 96 ... Rxf7! 97. Rxf7 Qa8+ (or even 97. ... Qc4) with a tablebase draw.
May-17-14  psmith: <rookending> "With a tablebase draw" may be accurate but it is not very instructive to a human being who will have to play without tablebases. Isn't it really that there is a perpetual check? Or am I missing something?
May-17-14  rookending: <psmith> Your point is a good one! Over the board Black's clearest drawing plan would be to continue giving Queen checks on the white squares (a8, a2, e4 and h1) until the cows come home, for example 96...Rxf7 97.Rxf7 Qa8+ 98.Kh7 Qe4+ 99.Kh8 Qh1+ 100.Kg8 Qa8+ 101.Rf8 Qa2+ 102.Rf7 Qa8+ DRAW by threefold repetition.
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