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Mikhail Chigorin vs Carl Schlechter
Monte Carlo (1902), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 19, Mar-06
Italian Game: Giuoco Pianissimo. Italian Four Knights Variation (C50)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-06-05  Runemaster: Another knight v bishop ending demonstration by Chigorin. He makes it look so easy to win with the knight!
Apr-06-05  paladin at large: <Runemaster>Thanks for bringing this one to our attention. Very impressive and very coolly played from move 27. on. I particularly like 33. g5+. Chigorin was well over 50 at the time and the formidable Schlechter must have been in his prime.
Feb-22-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Position after 22...Ne8


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A level position. Symmetric pawns, no weaknesses, no spatial advantages. But Chigorin does not like early draws. He isolates his e-pawn to expose Black's d-pawn and give a couple of semi-open files. 23.d4!?

Feb-22-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: Previous comments from Shereshevsky by the way!
Feb-22-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 31.Nd5 Chigorin famously loved his Knights and right now they are dancing.


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Black's reply 31...Nxd5 32.Rxd5 is a strategic error leaving White's centralized Knight more active than his own Bishop.

31...Rxe5 2.Nxc7 Bc6+ 33.Kf2 Kf7 34.Na8 And the Bishop now looks better than the Knight. Black ought now to seek an exchange of Rooks hence not 34...Ke7 35.Rd1= Shereshevsky but 34...Re4


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threatening ...Rd4 and White's Rook cannot retreat due to ...Kf6-g4 so 35.c3 Rf4+ 36.Ke2 Rf6 37.Rd3 h5 and it is Black who seizes the initiative!


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Chigorin had over-stretched his position but Schlechter failed to capitalize on this.

Feb-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 35.Kf3


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Here 35...a5?! was played by Schlechter. I get the impression he thinks that any Bishop is better than a Knight and when he weathers the storm he will win. He does not seem to appreciate that the exchange of his Bishop is good for him 35...Rc7 and ...Bc6 looks even to me. Shereshevsky even suggests 35...Bd7-c8-b7.

Feb-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 36...a4? Probably the losing move.


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It was too late for 36...Bd7 as White can now exchange off into a winning K+P ending. His last chance was 36...Bb5! with the idea of going Bb5-a6-b7 setting up a fortress that I've found no way to break e.g. 37.Rd2 (37.Rd8 is not so good 37...Re8 38.Rxe8 Bxe8 38.Ng4 Bc6=) Ba6 38.Rd8 Bb7


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To defend the pawn on b6 Black alternates his Bishop b7-g2 or his Rook e7-g7 unless White goes for Rf6 when the King can flee to c7.

After 36...a4 37.Rd8 there is no answer to the threat of 38.Rb8. That said, winning positions still require winning and that's not always easy.

Feb-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 41.Ra3!


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White wants an exchange of Rooks. On the other hand exchaning minor pieces may allow Black a draw. In this position the Knight is much better than the Bishop! Shereshevsky.

Feb-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 45.Rf6!


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The Rook manoeuvres to get to f7 for the exchange are a beauty to behold. Now if 45...Bxh3 White gets connected passed pawns with 46.Rc6+ and 47.Rxc5 winning easily. Black's position has been hopeless for some moves. White now takes his time to make any small improvement to the position of his pawns before making the exchange. It is so demoralizing for the other player.

Feb-23-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  manselton: 51.Ne4+


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Black is now obliged to make way for the White King. It is all over.

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