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Robert Steel vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
"Steel Second" (game of the day May-19-2009)
Simpson's Divan (1881)
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Pierce Defense (C52)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Given 42 times; par: 30 [what's this?]

Annotations by Joseph Henry Blackburne.      [148 more games annotated by Blackburne]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-26-03  suenteus po 147: If 27. Re4 Bxc3 then 28. Rb2 Rxb2+ 29. Bxb2 Be6 and I suppose, yeah, you're down the exchange and two pawns. Still, the bishop is pinned along the e-file and the Rook is stuck in a corner for the moment. If black creates loft for his king so the bishop can move, then the rook can start trying to gobble up pawns. It's not a hopeless situation even if it is an undesireable one.
Apr-05-05  Granite: I disagree Suenteus, I think it is completely hopeless after Re4. He's not down the exchange after your variation he's down a piece and two pawns, and the c pawn is already passed, not far but passed.

Rh6 can't be stopped after those exchanges and the rooks can connect and support the c pawns advance. It's very hard for white to do anything now to stop it.

Also note that blacks king is still very safe. I also don't see how you intend to attack any of blacks pawns. The king defends his pawns well and without a dark square bishop white can't make very much progress on the queen side. the h-pawn is weak, but black doesn't need it to win since he's still up a piece, an *all* of white's pawns are weak. It's only a matter of time before the rest of white's army falls and black queens.

I would have resigned here against a strong opponents like Blackburne but probably not in my own games against similarly rated opponents who are prone to make endgame errors.

Apr-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: Just because it goes well with the pun of the day: Check out the standings on http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/s.... The Cubs are in first!!! (-;
Apr-05-05  Saph: I like the style of Blackburn's comments. It hints of days past.
Apr-05-05  YouRang: <suenteus po 147>, you said: <If 27. Re4 Bxc3 then 28. Rb2 Rxb2+ 29. Bxb2 Be6 and I suppose, yeah, you're down the exchange and two pawns.>

Where you refer to b2, don't you mean b1?

Apr-05-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black 26th is painful!! White loses a piece and will be continually hounded by the bishops-much as Galileo was.
Apr-05-05  Ezzy: Blackburne was very lucky not to lose this game. Nge7?? A dreadful move?? Which should have lost him the game! I wonder why Blackburne never mentioned this move in his notes? I suppose they always see their own games through rose coloured glasses! 11.e5?? An even worse move?? <[11.Bg5! Qe6 12.Bxe7 Rxb5 13.Qxb5 Qxe7 14.Nxd4 With a massive chance of winning the game.> - 16.Bxd7+? <(16.g3! Qh5 17.Re1 Qxb5 18.Qxd4 Be2 19.a4 Qf5 20.Qe3 With a winning advantage> - 19.cxd4?! <[19.Qa3+ Kg8 20.c4 With a sstrong advantage.> - 24 Bf5?? After this i am not surprised that he was "Steel second". <24 Bxg2>
Apr-05-05  Ezzy: <kevin86 ...and will be continually hounded by the bishops-much as Galileo was> LOL. Steel could have done with Galilao's telescope to see 11 Bg5! and Blackburne not to play 10..Nge7??
Apr-10-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The little demolition combination 23...Bxg2! quickly leads to a winning double attack.
Aug-18-05  midknightblue: fun game
Jul-26-08  mmmsplay10: Crazy game. Steel put up a good fight against Blackburne.
May-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Nice try by Steel, but this game illustrates a weakness of the Evans; White's Ra1 sometimes doesn't get into the game for a very long time. Steel in effect gives Blackburne Rook odds, something even Steinitz would never dare.
May-19-09  ZucchiniMann: Nice game. Blackburne doesn't mention 11. Bg5 and White has an edge.
May-19-09  FHBradley: "Threatening many things -- including an obscure mate." I'm rather fond of Blackburne's annotations.
May-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: As Blackburne's notes indicate (See note to 17. ... Kf8), it was "touch and go" for awhile, but in the end, Joe Henry hammered Steel.
May-19-09  solskytz: I would call it "Steel on Fire" - quipping on the excellent Aztec Camera song "Still on Fire". Don't you know it? Go to YouTube then :-)
May-19-09  solskytz: Just so I get BB's comment on his 23rd move - what is exactly the answer on 24. Bxg2?

On 24...h3 I play 25. Qd5, threatening 26. Rg5 and even keeping the option to embarrass Black somewhat with 26. Qe4 (as after 25...c6), so I didn't see anything better than

25... Qxg2+ 26. Qxg2 hg

leading to my being able to hold the d-Pawn, for example by 27. Rd1 - and I feel fine.

Any problems with that, anybody? :-)

May-19-09  LimSJ: solskytz: perhaps JHB might have meant after the Bishop exchange on G2 the Knight then moves to 25.Ng3 hg (26.Kg2 Qh6 27 Rh5) for a simplified ending which would "have given him a drawing chance".
May-19-09  solskytz: Dear LimSJ,

yes, this is for sure... there was that maneuver to save the game too, but my question is, is 23. Qc4 losing? Blackburn's comment seems to imply that it is.

I still don't see how he is lost, until he goes 24. Bf5.

May-19-09  ZucchiniMann: solskytz: after 25. Qd5, 25. ... Bxd4 seems interesting. Of course white cannot take the bishop because of Qxg2# but there is still your 26. Rg5. I'll have to put it on a board.
May-19-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A big day for the clergy;first white's bishops attack and then black's.

The fork is so sharp at the end!

May-19-09  sagahelten: After 24. Bxg2 h3 25. Qc6 Rh6 26. Rd1 Qg4 27. Qf3 Rg6 28. Qg3 hxg2 29. Qxg4 Fritz says it's only 0.49 advantage for black. That means that the real mistake was Bf5??
May-19-09  WhiteRook48: what about 27 Re4?
May-19-09  ZucchiniMann: WhiteRook48: There's little to add to what Kenkaku said: Oct-26-03 Kenkaku: If 27. Re4 then 27...Bxc3 28. Rxc4 Bxa1. White cannot avoid losing at least the exchange with 27. Re3, and he is already down two pawns.
May-20-09  solskytz: Hi ZucchiniMann,

thanks for relating to my question.

I actually took 25...Bxd4 into consideration, which is why I mentioned Rg5.

But now that I read your post and look at it in a fresh day... I think that an interesting variation -

25...Bxd4 26. Rg5 Qb6 - would tend to embarrass white somewhat. White is a piece up temporarily, but is already missing two pawns.

While it is certainly true that the pawn which currently stands at h3 has his days numbered, there is still another pawn to account for, not to mention the threats to two white pieces and a key pawn, and maybe possibilities of penetration involving the b-file and the 1st rank (after an exchange on c3). Already as things stand I don't see the white answer to the c-pawn.

I didn't really analyze this carefully.

It may well be that Blackburne knew what he was talking about, in view of all of the above advantages that black is enjoying, but...

if I respond now 27. Qf3, suddenly it looks like a heavy-metal (Q+2R each) position with two many open lines, neither king being too safe (or, for that matter, too unsafe at the moment), when a pawn doesn't count quite as much, and where everything depends on concrete variation and any result is still possible. My evaluation would be -1.09

-1 because of the pawn, and -.09 to look more scientific :-)

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