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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Mikhail Chigorin
St. Petersburg (1895/96), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 4, Dec-19
Queen's Gambit Declined: Chigorin Defense. Main Line (D07)  ·  1-0



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Given 2 times; par: 85 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-14-04  kostich in time: At the risk of souinding like a chauvinistic braggart..THIS IS THE FIRST GREAT TRIUMPH OF NATIVE AMETRICAN GENIUS OVER MOTHER RUSSIA..ok, now I got that off my chest..still, its a wonderfully spirited game from Pillsbury. Too bad he found out he had caught syphilis and collapsed in the final rounds.
Dec-14-04  iron maiden: <kostich in time> Native American chess genius? When was the last time a Cherokee or an Iroquois beat an elite-level Russian?
Dec-14-04  kostich in time: It was a joke, son..a joke..I was referring, in a rather hyperbolic way , to native American pragmatism, energy,etc.
Dec-14-04  drukenknight: it seems in these kinds of endings, the defender needs an active K to get involved. Of course w/ Qs on the board this seems impossible. WOuld it be better for black to trade queens on move 39 then?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <WOuld it be better for black to trade queens on move 39 then?>

A queen trade on move 39 looks totally hopeless. Black's down too much material. A sample line is 39...Qxc3 40. Nxc3 Rb2 41. Kf2 Ke6 42. g4 Kd6 43. Nd5. If Black's king goes toward the queenside, he loses yet another pawn on f6, while White's additional piece means Black can't really blocade the b-pawn forever anyway.

By keeping the queens on, Black has chances to play for a perpetual check.

Dec-17-04  drukenknight: hmmm, what about 28...Ra2?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <hmmm, what about 28...Ra2?> What's Black's idea if White simply plays similar to the game with 29. Qg3, etc.? Two minor pieces and a pawn for a rook is a huge material advantage.
Dec-17-04  drukenknight: Gee, I have to come up with ideas now too?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Gee, I have to come up with ideas now too?> If there's no idea, then Black's down too much material by move 28. We have to look earlier. Maybe something like 19...Ra5 20. Bb5 Bc8 21. Qf2 Bc5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: This game was played on December 19, 1895. During the first half of the tournament, Pillsbury scored 5 1/2 of 6 versus Chigorin and Lasker. Whether or not one believes the story about him having syphillis confirmed the day before his 4th game with Lasker on Jan 4 1896, his early powerful play seems both magical and eerily tragic.

<beatgiant> the line <19...Ra5 20. Bb5 Bc8 21. Qf2 Bc5> runs into 22 b4!

...22 Bxb4 23 Bxd7 Bxd7 24 Bxb6 Qb8 25 Rxd7 Bxc3 26 Bxa5 Bxa5 27 Kh1 Given as + 2.13 Shredder 8 Advantage would be less though than in the game as pawns are even.

22...Bxd4 23 Qxd4 Ra7 24 e5 Qg5 25 f4 Qh4 26 Qd6 Rg8 27 Ne2 threatening 28 Rxc8 +2.31

Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Black's 7th sucks. ..f5 and ..Qh4+ and ..Qf6 are all imp[rovements.

What I heard; Pillsbury's veneral disease dated from his next event: ST. Petersburg~~so he wd have been healthy here..??

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <IMIDay>This was St Pete. It started in 1895 and ran into the new year. Hastings was in September 1895 I believe.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Such a major pity! Health intruding into our ivory tower! It would have been a different world if Pillsbury, healthy, had defeated Lasker for the 1905 World Championship.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Good points, <tamar> and <IMlday>. In addition, I think it must be wrong to open the position with 13...Rc8 when White's pieces are so much better placed than Black's. Black should patiently prepare before opening.

Maybe Black can still try to hang on with 13...Nd7, for example 14. Na4 c6 15. Rfd1 Qb8 16. Qd2 Rc8 17. Bf4 Bd6 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. b4. It looks like White has the typical Queen's Gambit space advantage and Black's very uncomfortable, but still surviving.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Chigorin got his revenge in a later round with 7...Bb4 8 f3 f5, so it appears he learned his lesson about 7...Nf6?

Pillsbury vs Chigorin, 1896

<beatgiant> 13...Nd7 looks playable, but uncomfortable as you noted. 13...c5 just drops the c pawn doesn't it? 13...c5 14 dxc5 Bxc5 15 Bxc5 bxc5 16 Na4 Qd4+ 17 Kh1 Rac8 18 Nxc5

Mar-06-09  dwavechess: 41/57 concur with Rybka 3 at 3 min. per move for Pillsbury
Premium Chessgames Member
  HarryP: John Owen says 29 Qg3 is a "careless move which not only prolongs the game, but may even offer prospects of a draw." But if 29 Qd4 followed by Kf2 and Qc3, "Black could quietly resign." Also he says 38 ... e5 is a blunder, and "If Black had kept his King shielded and in possession of e7 and f7, it is not easy to find a win for White."
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