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Geza Maroczy vs Isidor Gunsberg
Monte Carlo (1904), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 1, Feb-08
Spanish Game: Open. Italian Variation (C82)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: First round action at Monte Carlo, Feb. 8, 1904. A closely contested game, in which Gunsberg missed a draw in the ending.

At move 10, the most common continuations for White are 10.Nbd2, 10.Qd3 or 10.Qe2, all resulting in approximately an equal position. Fritz 9 also evaluates 10.Bc2 to give an almost equal position. Fritz indicates 10.a4 0-0 11.Nbd2 b4 to be slightly in favor of Black. Gunsberg's continuation of 10...Rb8, puts Fritz's evaluation of the position back to equal.

At move 27, Fritz indicates the game is still equal: (.01) (17 ply) 27...Kf7.

At move 33, a slightly better move for Black was (.25) (17 ply) 33...Ne4, instead of the game continuation (.36) (17 ply) 33...Nd7.

At move 36, Gunsberg makes a serious error with 36...Nf3??. Fritz now shows this winning line for White: 37.Bf4 Bxf4 38.Nxf4+ Kf7 39.Kf3 Ne4 40.Nd3 Nd2+ 41.Ke3 Nc4+ 42.Kf4 Kf6 43.b4!. The White knight is threatening to go to e5 and the White pawn to g5+. Fritz shows this position to be clearly winning for White.

Gunsberg should have played 36...h5!. Now all continuations lead to a draw. If 37.Bf4 Bf8 38.Kf3 hxg4+ 39.Kxg4 Nf6+ 40.Kf3 Nd7 41.Bg5. Fritz's evaluation is now (.01) (20 ply), with the suggested continuation of: 41...Kf5 42.b3 c5 43.dxc5 Bxc5.

Other continuations for White also lead to a draw. If 36...h5! (.00) (22 ply) 37.g5 Kf5 38.Kf3 Nf8 39.Bf4 Be7 40.Be5 Ne6 41.b4 Nf8 42.Bg3 Ng6 43.Be1 Bf8.

Or, 36...h5! (.00) (22 ply) 37.Kh3 hxg4+ 38.Kxg4 Nf6+ 39.Kf3 Ne4 40.Bf4 Be7 41.Kg4 Nf6+ 42.Kf3.

At move 37, Maroczy missed 37.Bf4! and instead played 37.Kf3?. Gunsberg now should play 37...Nd7!. If then, 38.Bf4 Be7 39.Bg3 Kf6 40.Bf2 Ke6, and Black has good drawing chances.

Instead, at move 37, Gunsberg played 37...h5??. What was good at move 36, (h5!) is now a losing move.

At move 40, it appears Gunsberg had a better move with 40...Nb6, but after 41.b3!, Black will soon have to let the White King enter at f5.

May-20-12  screwdriver: Even with pawns on opposite colors of the bishop, the bishop still proved to be stronger than the knight in this ending.
Feb-06-16  TheFocus: "The prize provided by Baron Albert de Rothschild of Vienna - 500 francs - was distributed as follows: 200 francs to C. Schlechter for his game against Marco; 100 francs to R. Swiderski for his game against Marco; 100 francs to G. Maroczy for his game against Gunsberg; 100 francs to G. Marco for his game against Gunsberg" - <American Chess Bulletin>, September 1904, pg. 78.

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