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Thomas Lawrence vs Mikhail Chigorin
Cambridge Springs (1904), Cambridge Springs, PA USA, rd 11, May-12
Spanish Game: Closed Variations (C84)  ·  1/2-1/2

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-18-09  Andrijadj: Short-Werle in 2009,first 12 moves like these guys back in 1904!
Aug-27-09  tibone: looks like Lawrence was much better somewhere in the middlegame.
Feb-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: 39 f7! was the shot Lawrence missed.

Perhaps Chigorin has some drawing chances with 39...Rxf7 40 Rxf7 Rf6 41 Rxf6 Qxg3+ but White retains his c pawn and the exchange.

Feb-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Of course if the score is correct, he missed an even bigger shot by agreeing to a draw after 49...Nc2

Seriously what gives here?

After 50 Rf2 the threat of g6 is unstoppable.

Feb-22-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <tamar> I checked the score against that given in the American Chess Bulletin, and it fits in every particular.

Then I managed to dig out my copy of Fred Reinfeld's tournament book from 1935. His comment: <"White must accept a draw, for if 50.g6 Qxf1+ 51.Qxf1 Re1 and Black wins.">

Have you made An Astounding Historical Discovery? Hard to believe nobody has noticed this in over a century.

Reinfeld's annotations don't inspire confidence. He gives Lawrence a couple of exclamation marks, queries a couple of Chigorin's moves, the result of which is White escaping with a draw. About the only suggestion he makes for White is 46.Kh2 so that the ♖f1 cannot be taken with check, but he gives a draw for Black with 46...Re2+.

He does not mention 39.f7+ at all. It looks like Black has good chances for a perpetual check in that line.

I fed the position to my Bozo 0.5 program, and it suggested Black could have forced a perpetual check with 49...d4, threatenting to trade queens. Maybe both players just assumed a perpetual check was coming, didn't analyze carefully, and everybody just took their word for it.

Feb-23-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Anyone with BCM or Chess Magazine from 1904? Someone must have questioned 49...Nc2???

<Phony Benoni> I let Rybka and Houdini 1.5 loose on 39 f7+ and they concur on the following sequence. Did Bozo show a way for Black to get perpetual?

39 f7+ Rxf7 40 Rxf7 Rf6 41 Rxf6 Qxg3+ 42 Kf1 Qxh3+ 43 Ke2 gxf6 44 Rf1 Qg2+ 45 Rf2 Nc6 46 Rxg2 Nxd4+ 47 Kd3 Nc6 48 Rb2 Kf7 49 Rb6 Nb4 50 Kc3 Ke7 51 Kd4 +5.10/20 Rybka 3 on Deep Analysis

White threatened to take the attack with 44 Rf1 so Black is forced to the queen exchange, and the ending is hopeless.

So it looks like Lawrence missed great chances, but showed a high level just getting them.

His games are full of ideas, maybe he just lacked confidence.

Feb-24-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <tamar> I checked a few other 1904 magazines available from Google Books. including BCM. None published or mentioned the game, though I can't be sure of the ones in German.

Reinfeld had his faults, but had someone published analysis before 1935 he probably would have known about it. He was more thorough about these things in the 1930s.

I'll believe Rybka and Houdini's evaluations. Let me explain what Bozo 0.5 is. I got my current edition of ChessBase around 2000, and it had an ancient version of Crafty installed on it. The thing must be a dozen years old by now. Good enough for quick analysis, but I don't trust it long range.

To understand Bozo 0.5, you need to have read John Watson's <Chessman Comics> from the 1970s. Hilarious stuff. One ad was for the "Bozo 0.5" computer, which on command would march its king to the center of the board, committing "Bozocide".

Feb-24-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Phony Benoni> Somehow your "Bozo 0.5" got through my facetious checker without a flag. I assumed it was a superstrong engine of the type that has Rybka trembling this year.
Feb-26-11  CambridgeSprings1904: The bulletin from Round 11 of the tournament says this about the game: "The game between Lawrence and Tschigorin was full of vicissitudes but eventually ended in a draw." The game score has two discrepancies compared to the moves listed here, but they appear to be typos in the bulletin. The first is listed as 15...B-B5. Since this is descriptive notation, that would have implied ...Bc4 or ...Bf4, neither of which are possible. I think the bulletin intended to write 15...B-B, which was the shortcut way B-B1 (i.e., Bf8) would have been reflected at that time. The second typo was 36...Q-K (i.e., ...Qe8), which would have been an outright blunder. The bulletin apparently should have listed the move as 36...Q-Kt. This is a good illustration of why modern notation switched to "N" instead of "Kt" for Knight. This is the first instance that I am aware of that the bulletin was wrong. Since the June 1904 American Chess Bulletin (first issue) was the successor to the CS1904 bulletin, we can assume the typos were identified in the month or so following the tournament.

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