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David Janowski vs Geza Maroczy
"I Could Have Had An a8!" (game of the day Jun-05-2019)
Munich (1900), Munich GER, rd 4, Jul-27
Queen's Gambit Declined: Albin Countergambit (D08)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-18-02  knight: Very interesting play by Maroczy.From the early advance of his kingside pawns to the enterprising way of bringing his queen's rook and queen into the game.
Apr-13-03  sleepkid: what's really interesting is that I've seen this game published in two different forms. One with the win for Maroczy (as it is given here) And one with the win for Janowski. . . which runs the same, except for 35. Ba7!! (if 35 ...Qxa7 then 36. Rd8++) 35 ...Bxa7 36.Qh6+ Ke8 37.Qg7 Rf8 38. Qxf8+ Kxf8 39. Rh8++ However, I don't think that this line actually took place, and instead was found after the game. (and I'm sure once it was pointed out Janowski went beserk!) Such a fine line between victory and defeat! Maroczy's 34. Qa8 seems unstoppable (and quite original!), until the unexpected bishop sacrifice crops up.
Aug-09-03  sleepkid: does anyone know which of the two different version of this game is the correct one? (please see my comment above for the winning line for Janowski)
Aug-09-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Does 35.Ba7 win? What about 35...Qe8 threatening the mate again?

This is the correct score. Maroczy won the game. This is definite because he tied Pillsbury and Sclechter for first place and his total would not be right without a win here.

Aug-09-03  sleepkid: 35 ...Qe8 is simply defended by 36. Qh5. The bishop on a7 is immune from capture because if 36 ...Bxa7 then 37. Qh6+ win instantly. In fact, at this point Black's bishop is hanging, and cannot move without instantly losing the game, so I would think that 36 ...b6 is forced. This traps white's bishop, but loses a tempo and gives White a chance to set up a more solid defense or search for counterplay, perhaps beginning with 37. Qd5 threatening to force a trade. Considering the fact that they were probably nearing time control, 35. Ba7 would have been a great tactical shot which would have complicated the game significantly. It certainly avoids the mate threat.

Thanks for letting me know that this is the correct score for the game.

Aug-10-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Still looks like a win after 35.Ba7 Qe8 36.Qh5 c5 and if 37.Qd5 then Qb5+ 38.Rd3 Rf2+ 39.Ke1 Qb4+ etc

Give Maroczy some credit! He undoubtedly saw this. My guess is someone wrote about Ba7 and how both players missed it. Really, whoever annotated the game was the one who missed it.

Feb-14-04  capanegra: I discovered this game recently, and studied it for the last few days. I find the final position astonishingly interesting –in fact, it is the most interesting I’ve seen lately-. I found also interesting the chat between <Calli> and <sleepkid> about who had the better position. Certainly, 35.♗a7 ♕e8 seems to be very effective. But my question is if it is so effective, why didn’t Maroczy play it the move before (instead of the actual 34…♕a8)? It looks as murderous as if white had his bishop in a7, and would have gained a tempo. My guess is that Maroczy played 34…♕a8 in order to enter with the queen with check for certain in case Janowski played 35.♔e1 ♕a5+ (which couldn’t had happened with 34…♕e8, although this is also a winning move: 35.♔e1 ♕b5 36.♗c5+ ♔e8 and white can’t avoid mate). My point is that Maroczy probably overlooked 35.♗a7 obstructing the queen’s way to the mate, in spite of the fact that he also wins in that variation. Does anyone have historical evidence of this game?
Feb-14-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: This game is in 'One Hundred Chess Gems' with the alternate ending i.e. Janowski winning as descibed by <sleepkid> above. What <Calli> says is quite logical but does anyone have a crosstable for Munich 1900 so we can finally put the baby to bed on this one.
Feb-14-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Yes, see http://www.chesscity.com/Features/1... for the crosstable.

Looking at it again, Black can also play 35.Ba7 b6 threatening Qc8-Qa6+. This may be simpler than Qe8 and perhaps why Maroczy did not play 34...Qe8.

Feb-14-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Thanks <Calli>. Janowski missed out here like he did with Capablanca 11 years later.
Feb-14-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Thanks to all for a very interesting discussion. 34...Qa8 is surprising and effective, but it could have been played on move 32 or 33, winning as well. That leads me to believe Maroczy saw this, but preferred to tidy the position with the ♗ takes ♘ exchange, and then to place the ♖ on c2 before starting the ♕ manuever ♕d8-a8-a6. The theme of ♕a8 over moves 32-34 may have blinded Maroczy to the possibility of the quicker 34.♕e8 which would have avoided ♗a7 as <capanegra> noted.
Feb-14-04  capanegra: Thank you too for those pretty comments. My point is that after the possible line: 34… ♕a8 35.♗a7 ♙b6 36.♕h3 (not 36.♕h5 because of ♕c8 37.♕d5 ♕h3+ etc.) ♕e8 37.♕d7 ♕xd7 38.♖x♕d7 ♔e8 39.♖e7+ ♔d8 40.♖x♙f7 ♔c8, black wins the white bishop and the endgame. But this way is far large than the strongest 34…♕e8! Don’t you think so?
Feb-14-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I just noticed 34...♗xd4 was stronger than either 34...♕a8 or ...♕e8 Taking the ♗ black doesn't have to fear the variation 35 ♕h6+ ♔e8 36. ♕g7 ♕xf6! 37 ♕xg8+ ♔e7 38 ♖d3 ♕f4 with mate on c1 in the offing.
Feb-15-04  drukenknight: the game is so complicated and crazy that its hard to say what they were thinking. 29...Nxe5 followed by R/Q captures on f6, looks strong
Feb-15-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <tamar> 34...Bxd4! very good point. Thanks
Feb-15-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: < 29...♘xe5 followed by ♖/♕ captures on f6, looks strong> Wow. Looks very strong. After 29...Nxe5 30. Nxe5 Rxf6 black can't capture the ♖ with 31 ♘xf6 ♕xf6+ 32 ♘f3 ♕a6+ and the queen will find her way to a6 by a different route about 3 moves earlier than in the game.
Feb-15-04  drukenknight: yeah, not sure what that line is going to look like. I really need to sit down and look at this game move by move to figure out what is going on. Trying to pick it up on move 29 or 34 is really difficult. Any more thoughts?
Jun-18-06  GeauxCool: An attacker, Janowsky was a master of alibis, either the furnace was too cold, or the radiator too hot, construction outside ruined his concentration. Finally, a tournament committee went to great lengths to ensure all comforts. Janowsky said, "You have robbed me of any conceivable alibi! How can I POSSIBLY DO MY BEST?!!!" He also called the two bishops, "the two Rabbis" when he had them. But he did not stand much of a chance against Maroczy's rabbis in this game at move 19. -Fine
Oct-01-06  Uzi: <This game is in 'One Hundred Chess Gems' with the alternate ending i.e. Janowski winning as descibed by <sleepkid> above.>

Edward Winter dealt with the above in C.N. 1652 (reproduced in his Chess Explorations). P. Wenman's One Hundred Chess Gems (1939) is identified as the earliest known source for the fake ending.

<Was Wenman (described by The Companion as 'the problem world's most notorious plagiarist') the first to tamper with the Janowsky-Maroczy game and if so was it an isolated offence in his game anthologies?>

Francis Percival Wenman

Nov-07-07  hakoba: From Maróczy's book :
I. 35. Ba7 b6 36. Qh5 Qc8 37. Qd5 Qh3+ 38. Rxh3 Rg1# II. 36. Rd3 Qc8 37. Rxe3 Qa6+ 38. Ke1 Qa5+39. Kf1 Qb5+ 40. Ke1 Qb1# III. 36. Qh3 Bg5 37. Rd7 Qe8 38. Bb8 Qxb8 39.
Rxf7+ Kxf7 40. Qh7+ Kxf6 41. e5+ (41. Qf5+! wins for white) 41... Ke6 42. Qxc2 Qb7 43. Qc4+ Qd5 44. Qg4+ Kxe5 But By Fritz 8
36... Rxa2 37. Qd7 Qe8 38. Bb8 Bf4 39.
Qd5 Ra3 40. Rh3 Rc3 41. Qd4 Qb5+ 42. Ke1 Bd2+ wins for black so Maróczy thought well, he was winning... He saw this, but dont tell to the other, because he wanted to publish it in Hungary. So it remained in Hungary...unfortunately.
Sep-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A very exciting but very difficult and controversial game. Somehow or another, the game was reported as a win for Maroczy in some sources and as a win for Janowski in others.

Having consulted the Tournament Book and other sources, it is quite clear that Maroczy won. Janowski played 35. Rd3?? and resigned after Maroczy's next move. He did NOT play 35. Ba7! (which would have been better but would not have saved the game for hims had MarocY responded 35...b6, and Maroczy did not blunder away the game after the supposed 35. Ba7 with 35...Bxa7.

The game was unusual in that Maroczy--one of the great defensive players of the time--played a gambit on move 2 as Black and went on the attack. A definite role reversal in a Janowski Maroczy game.

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e5?!

The Albin Counter-Gambit. Curiously, the same gambit was played on the same day in the same tournament in Burn-Cohn. Was Cohn perhaps looking at this game? Burn and Janowski parted ways on their fifth moves.

3. dx35 d4
4. e4

"?!?--MCO-13.

More normal and better was 4. Nf3, though Burn also played 4. e4?! (as did Burn yet again in his 8th round game with Schlechter. Burn won with this move against Cohn but (like Janowski here) lost in his latter game against Schlechter.

4... Nc6!
5. Bf4

Burn played the better 5. f4 in his games against Cohn and Schlechter in this tournament.

5... Nge7

5...Qh4, 5...f6, and 5...g5 were all reasonable alternatives, but not necessarily any better than the text.

6. Bg3 h5!

Well played. Maroczy could attack when the occasion required (especially when he was playing a gambit opening).

7. h3

The Tournament Book said--correctly in my view--that 7. h4 was better.

7... g5!

More excellent aggressive play by Maroczy. 7...h4 was another good option.

8. h4?!

Asking for trouble (but what would you expect from Janowski--slow defensive play?). 8. Nd2 or 8. Nf3 were theoretically much better.

8... g4?!

8...Ng6 immediately looks even better.

9. Nd2

9. Ne2 was more accurate.

9... Ng6

The position was now:


click for larger view

An unusual and extremely difficult position for both players.

10. F4?!

A wild and crazy Janowski move that seems to have taken Maroczy by surprise. the move could have led to disaster for Janowski. Safer and better were 10. Qc2 or 10. Ne2 or even 10. c5.

10... Be7?

Maroczy could have punished Janowski for his temerity with 10...Bh6! followed by d3. 10...d3 immediately was another good option for Maroczy.

Maroczy's plan with the text of targeting Maroczy's h-pawn should not have worked.

11. Bd3

11. Qa4 or 11. Qb3 or even 11. a3 were all much better.

11... Nxh4

Why not 11...Bxh4? Maroczy could also have tried 11...Nb4

12. Qe2 Ng6
13. e6

13. 0-0-0 was another possibility.

13... h4

If 13...fxe6 14. e5 (Tournament Book). But 13...Bxe6 looks better than the text.

The position was now:


click for larger view

A remarkable position. Maroczy has certainly taken the fight to Janowski, but Janowski also has all sorts of threats. But how to proceed? I will attempt to unravel what was going on here in my next post on this game.

Sep-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

The simplest and probably best line for Janowski in the diagrammed position with which I ended my last post was 14. Bh2. This, of course, losses the Bishop to 14...g3, but then White gets excellent counter-play after 15. Bxg3 hxg3 16. RxR+ NxR 17. Qh5 Bf6 18. e5.

Another possibility was 14. exf7+, but Janowski could then have gotten into trouble had Maroczy not taken the pawn but instead played 14...Kf8.

Janowski in fact played:

14. Qxg4

Perhaps he thought that Maroczy would play 14...hxB for then after 15. RxR= NxR 16. Qg8+ Bf8 17. QxN Bxe6 Janowski would have the better position. But Maroczy instead played the simpler and better:

14... Bxe6

14...Nce5 would have been even stronger than the text. Maroczy's actual move left the position as follows:


click for larger view

15. f5

Perhaps Janowski had reckoned he would be fine after this pawn fork, but if so Maroczy's judgment had been superior.

15... Bc8

15...Bd7 was more accurate.

16. Bh2 Nge5

Now, nothing is hanging!


click for larger view

17. Qe2

Janowski should probably have simplified matters with 17. BxN which would have given him reasonable chances. The text kept his King-side bottled up.

17... NxB+
18. QxN Nb4

The initiative (and the two Bishops) was now definitely in Maroczy's hands.

19. Qb3 a5
20. Nh3

Janowski should here had bitten the bullet and played either 20. 0-0-0 or 20. a3. After the text, Janowski's position--which by now may or may not be lost--was certainly a mess:

r1bqk2r/1pp1bp2/8/p4P2/1nPpP2p/1Q

Sep-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

The simplest and probably best line for Janowski in the diagrammed position with which I ended my last post was 14. Bh2. This, of course, losses the Bishop to 14...g3, but then White gets excellent counter-play after 15. Bxg3 hxg3 16. RxR+ NxR 17. Qh5 Bf6 18. e5.

Another possibility was 14. exf7+, but Janowski could then have gotten into trouble had Maroczy not taken the pawn but instead played 14...Kf8.

Janowski in fact played:

14. Qxg4

Perhaps he thought that Maroczy would play 14...hxB for then after 15. RxR= NxR 16. Qg8+ Bf8 17. QxN Bxe6 Janowski would have the better position. But Maroczy instead played the simpler and better:

14... Bxe6

14...Nce5 would have been even stronger than the text. Maroczy's actual move left the position as follows:


click for larger view

15. f5

Perhaps Janowski had reckoned he would be fine after this pawn fork, but if so Maroczy's judgment had been superior.

15... Bc8

15...Bd7 was more accurate.

16. Bh2 Nge5

Now, nothing is hanging!


click for larger view

17. Qe2

Janowski should probably have simplified matters with 17. BxN which would have given him reasonable chances. The text kept his King-side bottled up.

17... NxB+
18. QxN Nb4

The initiative (and the two Bishops) was now definitely in Maroczy's hands.

19. Qb3 a5
20. Nh3

Janowski should here had bitten the bullet and played either 20. 0-0-0 or 20. a3. After the text, Janowski's position--which by now may or may not be lost--was certainly a mess:


click for larger view

Maroczy took immediate advantage of the awkward position of Janowski's Queen:

20... a4!
21. Qd1 Nd3+

But here Janowski missed a chance to turn the screws on Janowski's position with 21...d3! Instead, he plays to win the White b-pawn.

22. Kf1 Nxb2

This left:


click for larger view

So Maroczy has won his pawn, but now--as I will discuss in my next post on this game, Janowski had chances to fight his way back into the game.

Sep-08-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post III

After 22...Nxb2, Janowski had his chances, and for a moment it appeared that we would see one of his famous something-out of nothing counterattacks:

23. Qg4! Ra6

Maoczy did not display his usual accuracy during this phase of the game. 23...Rf8 was better. Even 23...Kf8 or perhaps 23...Nd3 would probably have been better. After the texts, Janowski had chances to fight his way back into the contest. But:

24. Nf4

24. Be5 would have been better.

24... Kf8?

Surprisingly weak play by Maroczy. 24...Rc6 followed by Bf6 would have presented serious problems for Janowski. After the text, Janowski's counterattack picked up steam. 24...c6 would at least have prevented Janowski's next move.

25. Nd5! Rc6

He must protect c7.

The position was now:


click for larger view

With 26. Rc1, Janowski would have had about even chances. But...

26. Be5?

Practically inviting Maroczy's next move, which put the question to Janowski's Queen.

26... Rg8
27. Qh5?

A serious mistake that allowed the following retort by Maroczy. Janowski should have played 27. Qf3.

27... Bg5!

Combining attack and defense, since Rh6 would now drive away the White Queen.

28. Nf3?

He had to play 28. Qf3 (or perhqaps 28. Qe2). Janowski was already in serious trouble, but after the text he looks beaten--had Maroczy played the seemingly obvious 28...Rh6. But...

28... Nxc4?

After this careless move, Maroczy's winning advantage was gone, the position now being:

The position now was:


click for larger view

But here, as I will discuss in my next post on this game, Janowski blundered and never really got back into the game (despite Maroczy's later error on move 34. that might have allowed Janowski to make the game interesting).

Sep-09-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post IV

Maroczy's 28...Nxc4? gave Janowski a road back into the struggle had he played 29. NxB. Then, after 29...QxN 30. QxQ RxQ 31. Bf4 the position would have been:


click for larger view

Janowski is still down two pawns, but his attack on the weak Black pawns on c7 and h4 would guarantee regain of material. If not equality, Janowski would have been very much in contention. But instead of 29. NxB Janowski played 29...f6? leaving the position as follows:


click for larger view

Here Maroczy played:

29... Ne3+

As drunkenknight and tamar have stated long ago on this site, Maroczy could have won with the very strong 29...NxB, since if then 30. NxN (30. NxB would lose after 30...Rxf6+ followed by 31...RxN) 30...Rf6+ 31. NxR? (31. Ke1 would be less immediately disastrous but would also lose after 31...be6 32. NxR QxN leaving Black with three pawns for the exchange and an overwhelming attack) 31...QxN+ 32. Nf3 Qa6+ [the crushingly effective square for the Queen in many variations in this game].

But, as will be seen, Maroczy's actual move [29...Ne3+] also was very strong and sufficient to win.

30. NxN

30. Kg1 was probably better, but would still lose to 30...Bxf6 31. Rh2 [to avoid the mate on g2] NxN leaving Maroczy up a piece and with a strong position otherwise.

30... BxN

The position was now:


click for larger view

31. Rd1

This should have lost straight off, but the better 31. Qxh4 would also have left Janowski in hopeless shape after 31...Rc2!

31... Bg4

This is sufficient to win, but 31...d3! would have forced resignation in short order: e.g., 32. Nxh4 d2 33. Ke2 Bg4+ winning White's Queen.

32. Qxh4

This left:


click for larger view

From here, as I will show in my next post on this game, Maroczy [though not forfeiting his winning edge] missed another crusher, and the complications seem to have befuddled both players. [In fairness, I should note that I have spent days analyzing this game with computers ready at hand to check my calculations. Given the difficulties faced by both Janowski and Maroczy in this highly complex game in an over-the-board contest with the clock ticking, expecting anything approaching flawless play would be ridiculous].

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