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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Frank Marshall
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 17, Mar-17
Benoni Defense: Knight's Tour Variation (A61)  ·  1-0



Annotations by Aron Nimzowitsch.      [48 more games annotated by Nimzowitsch]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-28-03  tip712: I love your site. Thank You.
Aug-10-03  morphynoman2: If 21... Nxd5, then 22. Rae1! Be6? 23. Bxc5!

23... Be6 24. Qxb7 Rc8 25. Rae1!

28. Re8!

May-01-04  refutor: according to Tal-Botvinnik 1961 by Tal, Marshall had the White pieces in this game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: nimzo was white i can assure you
Jan-01-06  syracrophy: After 30...Qf7 31.Qd8+ Qf8 32.Qxf8++
Jul-11-06  RookFile: Well, this is a famous game, Marshall had some ideas, but Nimzo outplayed him nicely.
Jul-11-06  KingG: Nimzo seems to play quite dynamically himself in this game.
Aug-04-06  KingG: Is this the first ever Modern Benoni? In any case, their don't seem to be many more Modern Benonis until the 1950's. Were people put off by this game?
Aug-04-06  whatthefat: <KingG>
You're spot on, they were put off by the success of the knight's tour in this game. I recall reading it from some 1970s Benoni book.
Aug-04-06  KingG: <whatthefat> Ok, thanks. Seems strange to modern eyes that this game could frighten people off the whole variation.
Aug-08-06  Albertan: Marshall missed the drawing resource 23...Kg7! Even if Nimzovitch continued 24.Qg3 (setting up the potential for a discovered check), Marshall could play 24...Be6! 25.Rae1 Qd7
Aug-08-06  mpl: After 23. .. ♔g7 white can win the exchange by 24. ♘e3 ♖e5 25. ♘d5 ♖xd5 (25. .. ♗e6 26. ♕xb7+) 26. ♗xf6+ ♕xf6 27. ♕xd5 with an ongoing attack.
Apr-20-08  Whitehat1963: Monday/Tuesday puzzle after 27...bxa5.
Apr-22-08  Sleeping kitten: <KingG> This was not the first ever modern Benoni. Marshall had already played it in the previous round against Capablanca Capablanca vs Marshall, 1927.

There are also some kinds of antecedents like Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1927, two rounds earlier; from a Queen's indian, the position soon got a modern Benoni flavour. And in Capablanca vs Janowski, 1924, we have a typical Modern benoni with colours reversed at move 9.

Jul-08-08  Ulhumbrus: One way of looking this is that with 21 Qb3! and 22 f5!! Nimzovich obtains a winning attack.
Jul-27-09  visayanbraindoctor: In this game, Nimzo follows Capa's strategy in a previous round (see <Sleeping kitten>'s post) Capablanca vs Marshall, 1927, the Nf3 - d2 - c4 maneuver. However Nimzo apparently out-prepped Marshall who probably had prepared an improvement in Capa's Fianchetto Variation by entirely avoiding the Fianchetto and immediately embarking on the Knight's Tour early in the opening. Even in the 1910s and 1920s, masters who got out-prepped were liable to get blown off the board. Here, Nimzo blew the out-prepped Marshall off the board in short order.
Sep-10-09  WhiteRook48: Nimzo is down 3 pawns and wins
Jul-14-14  paramount: <WhiteRook48: Nimzo is down 3 pawns and wins>

Dont look just on one side.

Yes, after 27...bxa5 white is down 3 pawns BUT look at the other sides:

1. Black is down a rook just for a knight

2. Look at the black king position, very bad position, exposed by all sides.

3. White rook on e-file just dominating the game.

so in terms of materials, i say its balance, 3 pawns to rook for a knight.

But in terms of position, black as a metaphor, is facing a hangman's knot while a bunch of soldiers pointing gunpoints to his back to get the neck to the knot. No road safety.

Where is the mistake?
Im sure, the mistake is 21...Rxd5, Nxd5 is much better.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zenwabi: This is Game 42 in the 21st Century Edition of Nimzowitsch's MY SYSTEM (Hays Publishing).
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The Benoni wasn't even recognized as an opening system when this game was played; already 6..g6 was a new move. Black should have exchanged knights with 9..Nxc4 when he had the chance. Opening the position on the kingside with with 16..f5!? was risky given that White was better developed; 16..Bd4!? was an alternative. 20..Rxd5 21 f5!..gxf 22 Bf4 would have been good foe White. Black quickly got into trouble after 21..Rxd5? 22 f5!; better was 21..Nxd5 22 Rae1..b5 23 Qxb5..Bd7 24 Qb3..Rb8 25 Qd1..Qf6 and Black seems to be hanging on. Black was lost after 22..gxf?; better was 22..Bxf5 23 Bg5..Rd3 24 Qxb7..Be4 25 Qa6..Qd7! and the piece sacrifice gives Black enough counterplay to get a draw: ie. 26 Bxf6..Qg4 27 Rf2..Rd1+ 28 Rxd1..Qxd1+ 29 Rf1..Qe2. One of the main points of White's play was 23..Be6 24 Qxb7..Rc8 25 Rae1 and Black has to lose material.

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