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Mikhail Chigorin vs James Mason
6th American Chess Congress (1889), New York, NY USA, rd 7, Apr-01
Bird Opening: Dutch Variation (A03)  ·  0-1



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

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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  nasmichael: There are a couple of games that black responds with ...f5 after an initial f4 by white. I am not sure why this happened in this tournament. But they end with black's demise. Was it "protocol" (in the same way that gambits were usually accepted, by 'gentleman's rules')?
Jul-26-05  Boomie: Experimentation in 1. f4 was obviously a hot item in 1889. Today we know that 1.f4 f5 can transpose into a Dutch defense with colors reversed, usually a bad idea. See J M Hanham vs J Mason, 1889 from this tournament for a reversed Dutch.

Chessplayers then as now enjoy experimenting with openings. There were a lot of tournaments at that time devoted to one opening, for example, the Vienna Gambit tourney of 1903. Obviously they are going to stumble and bumble their way through new landscapes.

Jul-17-09  Knight13: <As explained in the "Modern Chess Instructor" we, as a rule, do not approve on principle of the early advance of any but the two center Pawns>, in which, it seems, that this rule was later burned in hell by Nimzovich and Reti.

<The Bishop is not well placed here, being subject to the attacks of the advancing hostile Pawns on the Q side, as will be seen> Bullcrap. The bishop is happy there!

Premium Chessgames Member
  scutigera: <Knight13>: I can't agree about the bishop; it's on a nice diagonal, but the blocking of the c-pawn means that it will have to quit that diagonal if attacked, and the bishop's position in front of the pawns means that it can be attacked easily. The classic counterexample is, of course, Lasker vs J Bauer, 1889, but against play less supine than Bauer's, the plan is overoptimistic; compare the positions on the sixth move, where Bauer is putting his own light bishop into exile, but Mason is preparing to challenge White's. With the d-pawn fixed, White's QB can only enter play via b7; with the plans for both bishops known so far in advance, Black can thwart them without much effort.
Aug-04-13  RookFile: Regarding the final comment in the game's annotations, of course black is better, but a great defender like Lasker, given time, would make this a very tough win for black to actually achieve.
Nov-04-14  Karpova: This is the story behind White's forfeit:

This game was adjourned, and Chigorin had filed a protest against the arbiter's decision in his game against Judd played on Saturday. I'm not sure, but considering the length of the game, I guess this one M Judd vs Chigorin, 1889 was meant.

In Europe, it was usual that the counting of the 50-moves rule began anew, if a piece had been taken or a ♙ promoted. The rules of the 5th American Congress stated, that checkmate had to be delivered in the span of 50 moves (it's not clear to me, when they started to count, but in the game I linked to, both parties promoted a ♙ to a ♕ and I guess that this was not relevant for the 50-moves rule). All of the playing conditions of the 5th Congress were in effect for the 6th Congress.

The Jury decided in favour of the arbiter, but told Chigorin that he could appeal to three judges. They tried to make clear to Chigorin, that no huffiness (<Gereiztheit>, maybe simply that it was nothing personal against Chigorin himself) against him was involved, and that it wasn't impossible that the three judges would rule in favour of him. Actually, the three judges would rule in favour of Chigorin later.

Still, Chigorin took the matter so much to his heart, that he declared to be incablable of playing that evening. So his clock would be set in motion, and Mason declared to be the winner after 1 hour.

Source: Deutsches Wochenschach, 21 April 1889, issues 15/16, pp. 139-140 (originally from the New Yorker Staats- und Handelszeitung)

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: 30...? would be a nice Tuesday puzzle.
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