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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Siegbert Tarrasch
Bad Kissingen (1928), Bad Kissingen GER, rd 9, Aug-21
Van't Kruijs Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-30-04  fasting: this is pure Mein System, and it seems to work - when it comes to the two different styles I've always (maybe for nationalistic reasons) liked Nimzowich better Tarrasch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Of course, it may help to put things into a perspective to note that Tarrasch was already 66-years old when this game was played; Nimzowich was 41. Because of the dis-collored bishops, Tarrasch should have held the endgame (IMKO). I do not understand <39...c4?> Thus I suspect that it was this move that made Black defensive task extra difficult (if not impossible).
Oct-01-04  fasting: You might be right. To me this end game seems pretty complicated - what does fritz say before 39...c4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <...what does fritz say before 39...c4? > Do not know, I do not use one. Maybe somebody else can help us here. But I suspect this may be one of those positions where engines do not do well -- yet.

For better of worse, this is what I think about the position: Black pawns initially interfere with the mobility of both bishops. It is thus imperative to increase the scope of the Black bishop and not of the White one. Tarrasch's <39...c4?> has exactly the wrong effect; Black should have played <39...f4!> (IMKO)

I see this as the key drawing line: <39...f4! 40.f3! Bc6! ...>, eg, 41.fxe4 Bxe4 42.c3 f3 43.gxf3 Bxf3 ..., or 41.Bg5 exf3 42.gxf3 Bxf3 43.Bxf4 ...; both obvious draws.

That may seem a bit funny line and a bit strong statement; so let me expand a bit. The 40.f3! is actually a quite cunning move because the f4-pawn is doomed, in most variations, whether after exf3 or after the tempting e3. For instance, the game could go 39....f4 40.f3 Bg6? 41.c3 exf3 42.gxf3 Bb1 43.a3 Kc6 44.Bg5 Kd5 45.Bxf4 Kc4 46.Bc7 b5 47.Bd6 ... and White, with two extra pawns, should score. Or the game cound go 39....f4 40.f3 Bg6? 41.c3 e3 42.Kg1 Bb1 43.a3 Kc6 44.Bg5 Kd5 45.Bxf4 e2 46.Kf2 Bd3 47.g4 and, again, White is two pawns up and his winning chances are good.

Alternatives to 40.f3, such as 40.Bg5 and 40.Bd6, pose no problems for Black. For instance 39...f4 40.Bg5 f3 41.gxf3 exf3 42.Kg2 is a dead draw, and 39...f4 40.Bd6? is a tactical error as it allows 40...e3 and sudenly White must thread carefully not to loose the game by 41.Bxf4? exf2 or something like that.

That is about all. Let me know if you find a gafe.

Oct-05-04  fasting: I find your analyses well done! Besides I consulted mr Fritz, and I think your right about him as well, he didn't even caculate 39... f4 as a move to consider - I must admit that I wouldn't have seen f4 neither, and even after looking into the position for about half an hour I do still think that its bloody complicated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Thank you for the compliment. In my haste, however, I failed to consider one thematic possibility which, I now believe, preserves White's winning chances. After 39...f4 40.Bd6 f3 <41.g4> Black has to try 41...h5 42.gxh5 Bxh5 43.Kg3 Kc6 44.Be3 Kd5 45.Kf4, but it probably will not be enough to save the game. What I failed to appreciate earlier is that if the pawn h7 stays put, Black bishop can not establish on g6 because of h3-h4-h5. Sorry about the slip.
Dec-04-04  capanegra: <fasting> <Gypsy> Very interesting and fascinating endgame. Euwe and Hooper made a good description of the position after move 38, which resumes very well the situation:

"Besides the queen's wing majority, which eventually means a passed pawn there, White has an advantage on the other side because his king can attack Black's weak pawns. White has threats on both wings; and the king's side threat means either that Black's king will be drawn away from the queen's side, or that White will get a second passed pawn on the king's side –else it means nothing; for a pawn majority on one wing cannot win unless there are also threats on the other wing. Here Black would draw if his king's side pawns could be defended by the bishop alone."

For that reason, 39...c4? was a mistake, as <Gypsy> correctly stated. As he also mentioned, not 39...f4? because White gets a king's side majority by 40.♗g5 f3 41.g4. According to Euwe and Hooper, the correct continuation was 39…♗b5! 40.♔g3 (40.♔g1 ♗e2) ♗f1 41.h4 h5 42.♔f4 ♗xg2 43.♔xf5 ♗f3, and the black king blocks the pawn majority, while the bishop guards the pawns on the other side of the board.

They also say that 39.♔h2? was a mistake, because it allows the bishop's maneuver. The correct route was, 39.♔f1 ♗b5+ 40.♔e1 ♗a6 41.b3 ♔c6 42.a4

Dec-06-04  capanegra: By the way, can you imagine Tarrasch's rage when Nimzowitsch started with 1.e3?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Aron Landau: The scoresheet does not mention the date and round. But according to the tournament book of Dr. Tartakower this game was played on Tuesday 21nd of August 1928 in the 9th round. Dr Tartakower's synopsis of this game was: "Agonie der Felder".
Apr-15-05  a.dehaybe: A Nimzovich - S Tarrasch [A00]
09 Bad Kissingen, 1928
[Shredder 9 (30s)]

A00: Irregular Openings
1.e3 e5 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.e4 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.e5 Ne4 9.Nxe4 dxe4 10.Ne2 last book move 10...Be7 11.Be3 Qxd4 12.Nxd4 Bd7 13.0-0 0-0 14.Rfe1 c5 15.Ne2 f5 [ 15...b6 16.Rad1 Be6 17.Ng3=] 16.exf6 [ 16.Nf4 Rfe8²] 16...gxf6 [ 16...Bxf6 17.Rad1 Rf7 18.Bxc5=] 17.Nf4 Rf7 18.Rad1 Bf8 19.Rd2 Re8 20.h3 Controls g4 20...Bc6 21.Red1 Rfe7? [ 21...b5 22.c3²] 22.Nd5 [ ¹22.Bxc5 and White is on the road to success 22...Re5 23.Bxa7 ] 22...Rf7² 23.Bf4 Rc8 24.Ne3 f5 25.Nc4 Rf6 [ 25...Bb5 26.Ne3²] 26.Na5± Be8 27.Rd8 Rxd8 28.Rxd8 Kf7 29.Rb8 b6 30.Nc4 Re6 [ 30...Bb5 31.Rb7+ Kg8 32.Ne3±] 31.Rb7+ [ 31.Ra8 Kg6±] 31...Re7 32.Nd6+ Ke6 33.Rb8 Bh6 34.Bxh6 Kxd6 35.Bf8 Kc7 36.Ra8 [ Weaker is 36.Bxe7 Kxb8 37.f3 Kc7=] 36...Kb7 37.Rxa7+! Demolition of pawn structure [ Inferior is 37.Bxe7 Kxa8 38.f3 Kb7=] 37...Kxa7 38.Bxe7 Kb7 39.Kh2 c4 40.Kg3 Kc8 41.Kf4 Kd7 42.Bb4 Ke6 43.Bc3 Bd7 [ 43...Bh5 44.g4 Bg6 45.b3 fxg4 46.hxg4±] 44.g3 b5 45.Kg5 Kf7 46.h4 Bc8 47.Kh6 Kg8 48.b3 cxb3 49.cxb3 f4? [ ¹49...Bd7 ] 50.gxf4 Bd7 51.Kg5 Kf7 52.f5 Bc6 53.Kf4 Ke7 54.Ke5 Be8 [ 54...Ke8 doesn't improve anything 55.Kd6 Bd7 56.f6 ] 55.Kxe4 Bc6+ 56.Ke5 Be8 57.Kd5 [ 57.f6+ seems even better 57...Kd7 ] 57...Bf7+ [ 57...Bd7 cannot change what is in store for ? 58.f6+ Kf7 59.Kd6 ] 58.Kc5 Be8 59.Be5 Bd7 60.Kb6 [ 60.f6+ and White can already relax 60...Ke6 ] 60...Kf7 [ 60...Bxf5 the only chance to get some counterplay 61.Kxb5 Be6 ] 61.f6 Be8 62.f4 Ke6 63.Ka6 Kf7 [ 63...Bc6 cannot change destiny 64.Kb6 Be8 65.b4 ] 64.b4 Ke6 65.a4! it's all over 65...bxa4 66.b5 [ 66.b5 a3 67.b6 ] 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <capanegra> Thanks for pointing out the bishop maneuver (39...Bb5! ...). The key is to shore up the holes in Black's K-side pawn structure. Dvorecky-Yusupov (in Technique) give it as a draw and as their source cite Averbakh.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dorsnikov: Concerning Nimzo vs. Tarrasch, Bad Kissingen, 1928 : The game is listed as Van't Kruy's opening . However, if you look close it is really the Nimzovitch Defense reversed. Question: after white's 5. e4 what is a good move for white if black played 5. ... p x p instead of 5. ...N - c6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Gypsy> I think this ending is featured in Fine's <Basic Chess Endings>. I'll see if he has anything to add.
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  keypusher: <dorsnikov> Probably just 6. Qxd8+ Kxd8 7. Bg5 Be7 8. 0-0-0+ Ke8 9. Bc4 with a big lead in development for the pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dorsnikov: Hello keypusher. thanks for your prompt reply. your 6. Q x d8 is exactly what I also came up with.I've played the position out and white regains his pawn with many threats to boot.
Jun-27-08  Alphastar: I dont like 16. ..gxf6. Why not 16. ..Bxf6 ? It's quite obvious (at least to me) that the bishop pair is restrained by the inferior pawn structure arising after 16. ..gxf6. If necessary black could've sacrificed the e4-pawn just to activate his bishop pair. It would surely save the game for him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  dorsnikov: if black plays 3. ...P-e4. what do you think is a better reply...? 4. p-f3 or 4. p-f4? with blacks pawns locked up in the center it deprives his pieces of center occupation. yes ?? very interested in other opinions.
Apr-16-10  Ulhumbrus: After the move 49 cxb3 Black's King is tied to the defence of the h7 pawn. Black's bishop is overworked because it cannot both keep White's potential passed a pawn back and stay as well on the h3-c8 diagonal in order to defend the f5 pawn against the threat of Kg5 eg 49...Bd7 50 a3 Be6 51 a4 ba 52 ba Bd7 53 a5 Bc8 54 Bd4 Ba6 55 Kg5 and the f5 pawn falls
Nov-26-11  AVRO38: <By the way, can you imagine Tarrasch's rage when Nimzowitsch started with 1.e3?!>

This is a typical misinterpretation of Tarrasch's views on hypermodernism. In his book "The Game of Chess" Tarrasch makes a clear distinction between the practical value and the theoretical value of an opening.

The hypermodern openings, according to Tarrasch, have a practical value and will result in a draw with best play. However, and this is his main thesis, their theoretical value is inferior to the classical openings. For example, 1.e3 might be a good tactic over the board, and cannot be refuted by Black, but it does not have the same theoretical value as 1.e4 or 1.d4 which seize the center, maintain White's initiative, and aid in the development of his pieces. It's like an engine eval of .02 vs .08

Tarrasch's problem with hypermodernists like Reti and Nimzowitsch was that they not only maintained the practical equality of the hypermodern openings but also their theoretical equality as well, something Tarrasch could not accept.

In my opinion, Tarrasch is right. I recommend that people actually read what Tarrasch had to say on this subject and judge for yourselves the validity of his logic.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: What a travel by the white ♔.
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  whiteshark: Was <3.Qh5!?> too off-beatish for Nimzowitsch? Tarrasch surely would have fallen off his chair.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <whiteshark> Ah, the dreaded Müller Game! As I'm sure you know (since you've commented on Harald Keilhack 's player page), it is named for the correspondence player Siegmar Mueller. He was born a decade after this game, after the deaths of both Nimzowitsch and Tarrasch. Perhaps 3.Qh5!? was too "out there" even for Nimzo.
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  Telemus: Some people really think that a man like Tarrasch could have played 21.. ♖fe7?, and that Nimzowitsch did not take on c5 (as given above)! But Tarrasch played 21.. ♖c7.

Tournament book, page 147 and WSZ 1928, page 267.

Feb-05-20  sea7kenp: I notice that Stockfish criticizes 30 ... Re6 (preferring 30 ... Bb5), and thinks that White is ahead after 31 Rb7+.

Stockfish also backs up <Ulhumbrus> about Black's issues after 49 cxb3, preferring 49 ... Bd7 over the actual move, f4.

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