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Jackson Whipps Showalter vs George Hatfeild Gossip
"Juicy Gossip" (game of the day Apr-24-2017)
6th American Chess Congress (1889), New York, NY USA, rd 5, Mar-29
Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation (C45)  ·  0-1



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Given 19 times; par: 38 [what's this?]

Annotations by Wilhelm Steinitz.      [129 more games annotated by Steinitz]

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sac: 26...Qxg3+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-11-11  kellmano: Surely not man. After Nxh4 black's threats are still huge and b5 can be met by ....c5 then .....Bf3 coming.
Aug-24-12  Llawdogg: Good Lord! That was astounding! Gossip's Immortal Game. He really was as good as he thought he was, at least once in his life.
Aug-24-12  DanielBryant: Wow, what a combination!
Aug-24-12  brankat: Beautiful!
Aug-10-14  Cheapo by the Dozen: Over the board I'd play ... Bf3.

The bishop is poisoned, because after the knight fork the g3 bishop is pinned (most likely against the mate square of g1).

If White pushes the h-pawn, the g3 bishop is hanging due to the pin.

If White does nothing defensive, then ... h4 is hard to deal with.

Aug-10-14  greed and death: Why not an immediate 23... Nf3 instead of h4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Lighthorse: I kept going back and forth amongst a few possibilities. h4 (as played), Bh3 (since taking it results in h4 and maybe Nf3+), Nf3+ and even Bxf2+

I finally decided that, since this was insanely difficult, then maybe h4 and then an eventual Queen sacrifice might be the solution since f2 was pinned, and it was! Yay!

I think over a board, I would keep thinking about that Queen-Rook battery on the g-file and how to exploit it and might have found it. Not sure, though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I wanted to play 23...Nf6 and essentially the same combination as in the game, but it doesn't work. The seemingly pointless ♙ sac gains a crucial tempo, and that makes all the difference.
Aug-10-14  devere: It's pretty, but not that difficult to see.
Aug-10-14  M.Hassan: "Insane"
Balck to play 23...?
Material is identical


A) 24.gxf3 Bxf3
25.Nd1 to open up row to attack f3
26.hxg3 Rxg3+
27.Bg2 Rxg2+
28.Kh1 Rg3#

B) 23...........Nf3+
24.Kh1 Nxe1
25.Rxe1 Qh6
26.h4 Qd2
27.Qb1 Qxc3
Black has good material advantage.
time to check
I saw 23....h4 but thought it was not necessary. Was it?

Aug-10-14  M.Hassan: Just noticed in my A) line:
28.Kf1 instead of h1
and King escapes, so there is a flaw in my line!!
Aug-10-14  rickycota: What if 24. Ne2
Aug-10-14  diagonalley: brilliant
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Gossip's Immortal. 23...h4! 24.Bxh4 Nf3+ 25.gxf3 Bxf3+ 26.Bg3 Qxg3+! 27.hxg3 Rxg3+ 28.Kh2 Bxf2 and wins. See my award-winning Wikipedia article for more:
Aug-10-14  1971: I agree with Steinitz last comment, amazing finish!
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Rumor has it I actually saw this game before, but this didn't stop me from persisting with 23...Nf3+


Aug-10-14  technique: <Steinetz: If however 9.h3, a fine variation might have arisen, which was first pointed out in the London Chess Monthly and afterwards ocurred in a match game between Messrs. Delmar (White) and Lipschutz, viz, 9...Nxe5 10.Re1 Qf6 11.Qe2 O-O 12.Qxe5 Qxf2+ 13.Kh1 Bxh3 14.gxf3<typing error; it should be 14.gxh3> Qf3+ 15.Kh2 Bd6, and wins.}>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A little too famous to be a puzzle, but like Morf I couldn't remember whether you play Nf3+ first or h4.

Excellent Wikipedia entry by our very own <FSR>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I didn't bother with this as it looked like there was a nice attack by Black (h4 or Nf3+ or possibly Bf3). (And I thought I would spend too long trying to find moves..) So I just played the game over. After I played it over (I was looking for the Q sac but earlier missed Bxf2 then saw it when following the game)...then I thought I had seen this game before but starting from a later point in the game.

Great game for sure by Showalter.

He had a higher rep. than Marshall for brilliant swindles I was once told...The Lion from Kentucky I believe he was called.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: No trouble solving today.
I kicked off a column with this very game a few weeks back.

Gossip was so upset about not getting the brillo prize he carried the argument on in his next book 'Theory of the Chess Openings' going so far as to have the position with Black to play his 25th move....

click for larger view

.....stamped on the cover of the book in embossed gold. (pic below).

Aug-10-14  catlover: Thanks, <Patzer2> for the links to the interesting links to bios of Showalter and Gossip. That made this POTD a triple treat -- a beautiful combination and two fascinating biographies.
Aug-10-14  MarkFinan: The only "Insane" thing about this game is why after h4 white didn't just take the knight.. Or at least kh1. They're both better moves than Bxh4? White has nothing going for him, that queen is in zugzwang anyway. I might have somehow got this if white hadn't taken the pawn on h4. And I like <Sally Simpson> diagram from the 25th move better. I can see there's a mate somewhere whereas with the position from move 23 I can only see that white is losing. ✌
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Rite for won good revery call be fly in cutoff

bishop am g3 route cadence down h5 up a h4 dead free dip in flight am too cliffs sight in dig or mind delve,

lane enter riff e5 knight good at f3 and hood wink dislodge bishop at g3 old sucker eg i ment punch a hole a g2 sight should win rain have face off since found rash cuff effects chin fare gain ha roof lance at f3 spikes eg ment quarter back hood clink aim fold glean as a right to do sense know,

ledge knight take care bus in reap a reward it now in attack mode line every cause enter each aka h4 punt horrible for light have leg question of a fashion where to put bishop or take even slims lad,

bind free cascadence bishopp dutiful evade aim h4 or side shuffle arm f4 light gets unstuck and a roll-over tickle g7 and alf g4 plus e5 all combine to finish him off ace mack have heads up smooch over batch I'm of the thought on advance his aims gives fright am i heel manage g7 queen free gift a g2 later or g3 etc hold fire i affix a cut in curry ive a favour as put afraid in fret ok got 23.Rab1 in bad bind a blight and blot of the landscape i prefer tile b5 as the ground to chew up act 23.b5 in accordance much better glide like a bicycle kick rook bin h4 on the card it ardent in aim back blind corner bishop as nowhere to go i bang bill health g7 queen ROI dip can be as the

notion a good sac in the off once free fence at
fly make headway be at e5 and g4 target ok f3

Aug-10-14  jdc2: White doesn't have to play Bxh4 so it's really a "Black wins material or mates" problem. Here's another one, Black to move:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <catlover> Your welcome! My thanks to <FSR> for doing the research and writing the wiki article about Gossip at
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