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Oldrich Duras vs Heinrich Wolf
15th DSB Congress, Nuremberg (1906), Nuremberg GER, rd 16, Aug-10
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < Nickisimo: ... and Fritz and Cm9K have actually shown that Bxf7+ was slightly stronger than the solution Rxf7 > This is an accademic point, but I do not buy that.

After 22.Bxf7 R7xf7 23.Rxf7 Kxf7 you have a transposition to the game. I keep looking for an improvement on White 23rd move in this variation, but I can not find it. And untill somebody is able to supply us with such an improvement, I am inclined to view 22.Rxf7! as somewhat more acurate (than 22.Bxf7!) because it allows fewer defensive branches.

Oct-12-04  Stonewaller2: <re: fair play?> Actually the endgame looks to be very instructive. The way White's ♔ and then his ♖ keep the Black ♔ at bay and how White trades material to gain space is interesting. At the end White will cash in his ♖ for the rest of Black's army and march his two extra ♙s to victory. I for one am glad Wolf played on.
Oct-12-04  Stonewaller2: The end could be 44. ... ♗f5 ( 44. ... ♔b5 45. ♖e1 ♗f5 46. ♖e5+ and 47. ♖xf5 ) 45. ♖f1 ♗e4 45. ♖f6+ followed by 46. ♖xg6 ♗xg6 47. ♔xg6 and 48. ♔xh5.
Oct-12-04  Calculoso: true on the first line <jcmoral> i realized after i posted... as for the second, it is uncomfortable for black but not hopeless... better than the text at any rate
Oct-12-04  Knight13: No body can caculate 24 moves in there head! I don't get why <> put this puzzle on. But it's a good game, thought.
Oct-12-04  fgh: Does 22. e6 also allows to win?
Oct-12-04  aw1988: 22. ♖xf7 with irresistable threats.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Knight13> No need to see 24 moves ahead. Following the puzzle solution 22. Rxf7, if you can visualize the forced line through 25. Rxf8 that's all you need to determine it is a win for White. White either Queen's or gets a Rook gone wild on the 7th rank. With practice you'll be able to spot these single forced lines in less than a minute.

Try setting it up on a board, and playing it out. Then reexamine the starting position (22.?). Before you know it, you'll be able to play positions like this at blitz rate.

Oct-12-04  aw1988: Very simple for Monday and Tuesday I must say... but there still rests the three Hydra heads at the end of the week.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jaime gallegos: at the end 38.Rxc6+ Kxc6 39. Ke5 seems winning to me ..
Oct-12-04  Knight13: <jaime gallegos> You mean 39. Kf5 ? 39. Ke5 is not possible because the king is already on e5.
Oct-12-04  ricardolopez: Hello! What about 22..., Bxf7+; 23.Rexf7, e6 !!
Oct-12-04  ricardolopez: <patzer2> Thank you for your answer!! But I have seen Zaius analysis didn´t consider 23..., e6 that is a clearly winning move
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: 22.Bxf7+ Rexf7 23.e6! Rd8?! 24.Rxf7! wins clearly; 24.exf7? Kf8 would make the win a long haul.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <ricardolopez> Sorry. I reposted since I had misunderstood your question. I now assume you are looking at 22. Bxf7+ Rexf7 23. e6! as a winning line, which is an excellent option. However, the post by <Zaius> gives the Fritz 22. Bxf7+ Kh8 line, which also wins for White but puts up more resistance. The difficulty of that Fritz 8 line, incidentally, is what led me to look for the easier 22. Rxf7!
Apr-11-06  capanegra: <<Gypsy> This game is from Nuremburg 1906, where it received the 1-st Brilliance Prize.>

Regarding this game, in an article named "The myth of the brilliancy prize" Savielly Tartakower makes an interesting comment about the concept or brilliancy which I found interesting:

<The term "brilliancy" parades under fundamentally diverse conceptions. In the master's tournament of Nuremberg 1906, for example, prize judge Amos Burn awarded the top honor to the game Duras-Wolf. Not only did this partie lack the effulgent luster, but also the winner managed to snag a pawn and the exchange.

"This game, after all, did not contain a sacrifice", a bystander complained.

"So what?" was Burn's placid reply.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: White plays with great energy the whole game. Too bad Duras' career was so brief.

Chessmetrics gives a context to the sensation Duras caused in 1906 with games like this.

From Jan to Dec 1906, Duras moved from #38 player in the world to #5 according to Jeff Sonas' scale.

Heinrich Wolf, while not known now, was at his peak at #11 in the world, so was a worthy opponent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <tamar: ... Heinrich Wolf, while not known now, was at his peak at #11 in the world, so was a worthy opponent. > It seems that during early 1900's Vienna had several world-class players, now practically forgotten (Kauffmann, Volf, ...). They either seldom or never traveled outside of Vienna for tournaments, giving preference to the good old games in their chess-clubs. I recently ran accross a Reti letter where he complains how difficult it was to make living as a traveling chess-professional and compared that to Volf's approach who was making a decent income from playing daily for stake in his home chessclub...
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Gypsy> I've heard Schlechter described as epitomising the "Viennese School of Chess", but never really thought who the others were.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <tamar> I am hardly qualified to give a well-informed account. Here some random things I remember reading here and there:

Steinitz was born in Prague, but he was a chess pupil of Vienna. Other famous GM's that were defacto of Vienneese chess school include Kolisch, Englisch, Schlechter, Spielmann, Reti, Gruenfeld,

Besides native Vienners (Schlechter, Wolf, Krejcik, Kaufmann ...), Vienna had two sourcess players from all around Austro-Hungarian empire: students who picked up the chess bug (Steinitz, Breyer, Reti, Vukovic, Kmoch, ...), and business people who settled in Vienna (Kolisch, Englisch, Kotrc, Marco, ...)

A curiosity is the first class chess player and Russian refugee of the name Leonid Bronstein. He later became much more (in-)famous under his revolutionary pseudonym Leon Trocky.

Other Austrian players I recall of hand are Berger and Eliskases, but I am not sure if either could be considered a Viennese.

How strong were some of the obscure players? Well chessmetrics put Kaufmann at over 2600 and top 20 players when he played. He defeated decisively Reti and Tartakower during WW1 years. Practically nobody heard of Kotrc. But he and Traxler (they were brothers in-law) were the two strongest Czech chessplayers before Duras. Chessmetrics estimate Kotrc's strenght at mid 2500 and rank in top 30-50 in the World around 1900.


In some of his writings, Reti makes off-hand comments that the true strenght of the Viennese school of chess was underestimated in the popular view.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Come to think of it, guys like Kaufmann make the concept of 'club player' rather scary.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Alekhine seems to have reserved his harshest words in his Nazi articles for these members of the Vienna chess clubs.

I wonder if these now anonymous players thwarted his attacking style before he realised they had advanced defensive techniques.

<at a time of decadence in chess, when the "Viennese" school (founded by the Jew Max Weiss and subsequently developed by the Jews Kaufmann and Fahndrich), which saw the secret of success not in victory but in avoidance of defeat> Pariser Zeitung article

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Oh yes, Fandrich is the name! I had a sense I was missing a person of such a name. But not having any of my books with me, I got misled by Fahrni.

I tell you, with friends like Alekhine, who needs enemies!

I played through the Fandrich games we have here (fights with Steinitz, Schlechter, Charousek) -- in all but one it felt like watching two pre-WW1 vintage Shirov's going at it against each other.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Some 'forgotten Viennese' that I'v since came accross are Adolf Julius Zinkl (2605 in 1893, #22 best w. rank), Jacques Schwarz (2592 in 1896, #18 best w. rank)
Alexander Halprin (2577 in 1898, #25 best w. rank) and scores of obscure over 2400 players, such as Albert Mendelbaum (2439), Friedrich Weiss (2452), Joachim Weiss (2548 in 1894),...

I do not know if either Friedrich or Joachim were related to Miksa Max Weiss (2727 in 1889, #3 best w. rank), who indeed was one of the best in the world while he briefly played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: The game was approximately equal after 9...d6: (-.05) (20 ply) 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Qe2 Qe7 12.Rd1 Be6.

After 10.Qd3?, Wolf could have gained the edge with 10...Bg4!

After 10...Bg4!, White could try: (-.36) (20 ply) 11.Ne2 exd4 12.Nexd4 Ne5 13.Qe3 Bc5 14.Nd2 Bb6 or (-.36) (20 ply) 11.a3 Ba5 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.h3 Qxd3 14.cxd3 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Rfd8 16.Rd1 Rd6 17.Be3 Rad8; or (-.42) (20 ply) 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Qe2 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Nh5 14.g3 Qf6 15.Kg2 Nhf4+ 16.Bxf4 exf4; or (-.44) (20 ply) 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Ne2 exd4 14.Qxd4 Qxd4 15.Nexd4 Rfe8 16.c3 Bc5. However, in each of these lines, Black has the advantage.

Instead of playing 10...Bg4!, Wolf gave back the advantage by playing: (.31) (20 ply) 10...Bxc3? 11.bxc3

On his 11th move, Wolf had a number of playable continuations, including: (.23 ) (20 ply) 11...d5 12.Nxe5 Nxe4; or (.25) (20 ply) 11...h6 12.h3 Re8; or (.25) (20 ply) 11...b6 12.Rd1 Qe7; or (.28) (20 ply) 11...Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6; or (.29) (20 ply) 11...Bg4 12.Re1 Bxf3.

Wolf made a good choice by playing 11...d5, but after 12.Nxe5, he faced a critical choice. How should Black capture the e4 Pawn?

The best continuation was: (.15) (21 ply) 12...Nxe4! 13.Re1 Bf5 14.c4 Re8 15.cxd5 cxd5.

Wolf's continuation, 12...Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nxe4, was incorrect. However, Duras then gave back a considerable amount of his advantage with his 14th move, 14.Be3?: (.63) (21 ply) 12...Nxe5? 13.dxe5 Nxe4 14.c4 Nc5 15.Qg3 Bf5.

The decisive move in this brilliancy prize game was still a few moves away.

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