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Henry Bird vs Geza Maroczy
London (1899), London ENG, rd 16, Jun-20
Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation (C45)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-25-08  Knight13: They could've agreed a draw on move 45... Bird sûr n'a pas pensé vraiment qu'il gagnerait, n'est-ce pas ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Having defeated Janowski in Round 13, Bird gets a draw with Maroczy (and comes close to beating him). He later drew with Pillsbury in Round 26, thus scoring against all three of the eventual second prize winners in the very strong London 1899 tournament.

Bird--by transposition--tried a Scotch Opening against against Maroczy, and was able to get a slight edge (in contrast to the many wretched openings by White in this tournament). The Tournament Book faults Bird for his 11. Qf3, but MCO gives the move as best and says that 11. Ne2 (the move championed by the Tournament Book) gives Black no problems. Pressing too hard for a win against the aging Bird with 11...Re8 and 17...a5, Maroczy got the worst of the struggle against Bird's accurate play.

Bird gave up most of his advantage with his 23. Qe3, but got an ending in which he faced no dangers. This in itself would have been an achievement against so formidable an opponent.

But Maroczy, trying hard to win a drawn ending, got into trouble against Bird's precise endgame play, and after his reckless 30...f5 and 31...Nxf5+ (31...Bxf5 was essential) found himself in a lost Bishop versus Knight ending after Bird's powerful 33. b5.

But Bird, after what most have been hours of tough play, finally erred with 36. g3 (Black seems dead after 36. g4) and later with 40 Nf5+ (40. h5 also appears to give Bird a win).

Bird did indeed wind up winning a pawn, but found himself with King, Knight and Rook Pawn against King and Bishop. This was enough to make the last 19 moves exciting, but the position was a draw and the wily Maroczy made no mistakes after Bird's 40. Nf5+ (though 46...Kg6 would have made his task easier). I therefore have to agree with Knight13 that the players could have agreed to a draw by move 45.

A good effort and a near miss by the veteran Bird.

Mar-09-17  Straclonoor: <finally erred with 36. g3 (Black seems dead after 36. g4) > 36.a6 looks better
Stockfish give it is best. 36.g4 only third

Analysis by Stockfish 210117 64 POPCNT:
1. (53.93): 36.a6 Bxg2 37.Nc8 d4+ 38.Kxd4 Bf1 39.a7 Bg2 40.Ke5 Ba8 41.Nb6 Bb7 42.Ke6 g5 43.Kf6 Ke8 44.a8Q+ Bxa8 45.Nxa8 Kd7 46.Nb6+ Kd6 47.Kf5 Kc5 48.Kg6 h5 49.Kxh5 Kxb6 50.Kg6 Kb7 51.Kxg5 Kc6 52.h4 Kd7 53.Kf6 Kc6 54.h5 Kd5 55.h6 Ke4 56.h7 Kd3 57.h8Q Kd2 58.Qh6+ Kd3 59.Qh3+ Kd4 60.Kg5

2. (9.70): 36.Nc8 Bxg2 37.a6 d4+ 38.Kxd4 Ke8 39.Nb6 Kd8 40.a7 Kc7 41.Kc5 Be4 42.a8Q Bxa8 43.Nxa8+ Kb8 44.Nb6 Kc7 45.Nc4 Kd7 46.Kd5 Ke7 47.Ke5 Kf7 48.Kf5 g6+ 49.Ke5 Kg7 50.Ke6 h5 51.Ne3 h4 52.Ng4 Kh7 53.Kf6 Kg8 54.Kxg6 Kf8 55.Ne3 Ke7 56.Kg5 Kd7 57.Kxh4 Kd6 58.Nc4+ Kd5 59.Kg5 Ke4 60.Ne5 Kd5 61.h4

3. (7.51): 36.g4 Bg2 37.Nc6 d4+ 38.Nxd4 Bf1 39.Ne6+ Ke7 40.Kf2 Bd3 41.Nxg7 Kf7 42.Ke3 Ba6 43.Nf5 h5 44.gxh5 Kg8 45.Kf4 Kf8 46.Ng3 Kg7 47.Kg5 Bd3 48.Nf5+ Kf7 49.Kf4 Kf8 50.Nd6 Be2 51.Kg5 Ke7 52.h6 Kf8 53.Ne4 Bc4 54.Nc5 Bd5 55.a6

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