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Mikhail Chigorin vs Siegbert Tarrasch
Budapest (1896), Budapest AUH, rd 10, Oct-17
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-24-04  JohnBoy: Where's the game? This is an important ending and should be posted! See Botvinnik's essay in "100 Selected Games".
Jan-30-05  InfinityCircuit: I'll upload it right now.
Jan-30-05  InfinityCircuit: In the comments box to the game I uploaded I linked to this game and mentioned that it is the same game, but just with the moves.
Jan-30-05  InfinityCircuit: BTW, this is one of my favorite games of all time and is currently being run through Fritz at 30 ply, 100 seconds per move. If anyone wants to see the result, just contact me.
Jan-30-05  fgh: For some reason, this game can't be seen in Mychess. Here is the score: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Qe2 d6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5 d3 7. cxd3 dxe5 8. Nxe5 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 O-O 10. Bxc6 Bxd2+ 11. Nxd2 bxc6 12. Nxc6 Qd6 13. Ne7+ Kh8 14. Nxc8 Raxc8 15. O-O Rfd8 16. Ne4 Qxd3 17. Qxd3 Rxd3 18. Nxf6 gxf6 19. Rfd1 Rcd8 20. Rxd3 Rxd3 21. g3 Rd2 22. Rc1 Rxb2 23. Rxc7 Rxa2 24. Rxf7 Ra6 25. Kg2 Kg8 26. Rb7 Ra2 27. h4 a6 28. Kf3 h5 29. Rc7 Ra5 30. Kf4 Kf8 31. f3 Kg8 32. Ra7 Kf8 33. g4 hxg4 34. fxg4 Ra1 35. Kf5 Rf1+ 36. Kg6 Rf4 37. g5 fxg5 38. hxg5 Ra4 39. Ra8+ Ke7 40. Kh6 a5 41. g6 Ra1 42. g7 Rh1+ 43. Kg6 Rg1+ 44. Kh7 Rh1+ 45. Kg8 Ra1 46. Ra7+ Ke8 47. Ra6 Rh1 48. Rxa5 Re1 49. Rh5 Rg1 50. Re5+ Kd7 51. Kh7 1-0
Jan-30-05  InfinityCircuit: <fgh> Oh I never thought to try that. Maybe my newly uploaded version will work.
Feb-05-05  InfinityCircuit: Great! The game now works in MyChess!

For those who care, I plugged it into Fritz 8.

It stated that although the original opening system may appear, at least outwardly, to be unsound, the weakness of the isolated, not-advanced d-pawn proves to help gain some equality.

Surprisingly it found few improvements in the endgame. Holding onto all of those pawns that were under attack by the rook might have been a fundamental mistake. However, Fritz 8 says that even sacrificing the f-pawn wouldn't have given enough counterplay for a draw.

The win is in 15 moves: 51. Kh7 Kc6 52. Kh6 Rxg7 53. Kxg7 Kd7 54. Kf7 Kd6 55. Kf6 Kd7 56. Rd5+ Kc7 57. Ke7 Kc6 58. Ke6 Kc7 59. Rd6 Kc8 60. Rd7 Kb8 61. Rg7 Kc8 62. Kd6 Kb8 63. Kc6 Ka8 64. Kb6 Kb8 65. Rg8#

Mar-13-05  ksadler: A very nice handling of the middlegame by Chigorin, who although was known as a tactical player, played the late middlegame and ending superbly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Black looks convincingly lost by move 24 with his king cut off.

23...Kg7 24. Rxa7 also looks probably lost with a pawn less and a weakened kingside.

If Black tries 22...Rd7, he becomes tied down to purely passive defense of the weak pawns. I don't see a lot of hope in that line either.

What about 19...Rd6? Then after a rook trade, at least Black will have some chance of activity with the passed d-pawn. For example, 19...Rd6 20. Kf1 Rcd8 21. Rxd6 cxd6 22. Rc1 Rd7 23. Rc4 Kg7 24. Rg4+ Kf8 25. Ke2 Re7+ 26. Kd3 Re1, etc. and Black seems to get some drawing chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  gambitfan: Endgame RPP//RPP

Commented and interesting!

Premium Chessgames Member
  gambitfan: important ending!

click for larger view

44... ♖h1+
White to play... and win!

45. ♔g8 ♖a1 46. ♖a7+ ♔e8 47. ♖a6 ♖h1 48. ♖xa5 ♖e1 49. ♖h5 ♖g1 50. ♖e5+ ♔d7 51. ♔h7

Sep-13-12  vinidivici: You know, what brought Tarrasch down is the careless move 34.Ra1 (error)

It permits white king to move ahead and finally staying at the strong g6 square.

34.Kg8 or Rb5 would draw.

Dont mind the a-pawn though. Its a useless piece on the board, consider it non-exist.

Sep-14-12  vinidivici: 34...Ra1 is a pathetic senseless move based on Tarrasch principle "Always place a rook behind your enemy or our passed pawn".

It works for many rooks ending but, apply it on all rook endgames just like this game is a ridiculous one.

Oct-31-15  Ziryab: 31...Ra4+ seems to hold. For example, 32.Kf5 Ra3 33.f4 Rxg3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Ziryab> White does not need to hurry. 31...Ra4+ 32. Ke3 Ra3+ 33. Kf2 Ra2+ 34. Kg1.

click for larger view

White threatens 35. Rc5 winning the h-pawn.

If 34...Ra5 35. Kg2 etc. and eventually g4 with play similar to the actual game. Or if 34...a5 35. Rc5 a4 36. Rxh5 a3 37. Ra5, and with careful play it looks to me like a White win.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: A great endgame by Tchigorin, but I can't play the moves from 45 onward in my browser--they are greyed out. Did Black resign after move 44 (perhaps after an adjournment?), and the remaining moves given as the reason why?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <vinividivici> might have been right about 34...Kg8. If then 35. Ke4 Kf8 36. Rd7 Kg8 37. Rd5, Black has a clear draw with <37...Rxd5> (which I missed).

click for larger view

While White's king goes offside to pick up the a-pawn, Black prepares to play ...f5 at the right time and trades off all the kingside pawns.

But, I am not completely sure about his other suggestion of 34...Rb5 35. Rxa6. As we saw in the line above, the a-pawn really does provide some value for Black.

Jul-02-16  zanzibar: The grayed-out moves aren't PGN moves, but a PGN comment (so they look like moves).

Why are they commented out?

<CB>,<NIC> and <365> all give this ending:

<45.Kg8 Ra1 46.Ra7+ Ke8 47.Ra6 Rh1 48.Rxa5 Re1 49.Rh5 Rg1 50.Re5+ Kd7 51.Kh7 1-0>

<NIC(2)> and <CG> both end at Black's move 44.

However, a newspaper reports the game going 49 moves (closer to 51 than 44):

Premium Chessgames Member
  Retireborn: <z> In my database the greyed out moves are given as played ie agree with <365>.

Again, my source is a specific player book which I no longer own;

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The two tournament books, <Budapest 1896 International Chess Tournament>, by John C. Owen, and <Das Internationale Schachmeisterturnier in Budapest 1896> by Geza Maroczy, both give the final moves as: <45.Kg8 Ra1 46.Ra7+ Ke8 47.Ra6 Rh1 48.Rxa5 Re1 49.Rh5 Rg1 50.Re5+ Kd7 51.Kh7 1-0>.

The books, <Mikhail Chigorin - Selected Games> by Efim Bogoljubow, <Mikail Chigorin - The Creative Chess genius> by Jimmy Adams, and <Mikhail Chigorin - The First Russian Grandmaster> by A. Khalifman & S.Soloviov, the game score is the same as the tournament books, but ending with 50.Re5+.

Sep-11-17  andrea volponi: 34...Kg8! -h5 Kf8 (Rb5!? ; Rg5!?)-h6 Kg8 -Rg7+ Kf8 -Rg6 Kf7 -h7 Ra4+ - Kg3 Ra3+ -Rh4 Ra1 -h8 = N+ Kf8 (ke6!?)-Rxf6+Kg7 -Kg5 Ra4! -Ng6 Rxg4!+ with draw
Apr-23-18  Sourav: Isn't 15...Rcd8 a better move because it allows 16...Rfe8 in response to 16.Ne4?
Apr-25-18  Sourav: To me, White appears to have a winning position by move 17. Am I wrong? If I am right, then which move by Black was a mistake?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: The Computer declares that, as others have previously stated, 34..Ra1 was the fatal error. Playing 34..Rb5 or Rc5 or Rd5 should have drawn, for example:

+0.38 (60 ply) 34...Rc5 35.Rxa6 Kg7 36.Ra7+ Kh6 37.Ra4 Kg7 38.h5 Rc1 39.Rb4 Rh1 40.Rb7+ Kh6 41.Rf7 Rf1+ 42.Ke3 Re1+ 43.Kf2 Re6 44.Kg3 Rb6 45.Kh4 Rc6 46.Rb7 Rc4 47.Rb5 Kg7 48.Rd5 Rc1 49.Ra5 Rh1+ 50.Kg3 Rg1+ 51.Kf3 Rf1+ 52.Kg2 Rd1 53.Rb5 Kh6 54.Rf5 Kg7 55.Ra5 Rd2+ 56.Kg3 Rc2 57.Ra7+ Kh6 58.Rd7 Rc1 59.Rd5 Rc3+ 60.Kh4 Rc1 61.Rf5 Rh1+ 62.Kg3 Rg1+ 63.Kh3 Kg7 64.Rf2 Rh1+ 65.Kg3 Rg1+ 66.Kf4 Kh6 67.Rf3 Kg7 68.Kf5 Rd1 69.Rf4 Re1 70.Rd4 Rf1+ 71.Ke4

A very instructive endgame.

Apr-26-18  Sourav: <Gregor Samsa Mendel> Thank you! I will analyze further and understand this game.
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