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Karl Gilg vs Aron Nimzowitsch
"Oh, What a Knight" (game of the day Aug-06-2012)
Karlsbad (1929), Karlsbad CSR, rd 16, Aug-19
Indian Game: Yusupov-Rubinstein System (A46)  ·  0-1



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find similar games 2 more Gilg/Nimzowitsch games
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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-19-05  fgh: Fantastic knight handling at the end! One of the best played games I have ever seen!
Feb-19-05  Rama: Nimzovitch was practically unbeatable at Karlsbad 1929.

Everybody talks about the Two Bishops but what about the Two Knights? Eh? N taught me a lot about Knights.

Feb-19-05  Rama: For example check out this game.

A Mattison vs Nimzowitsch, 1929

Jun-08-05  n30: this is one of the best knight games ever! simply awesome!
Oct-23-07  notyetagm: Black To Play: 39 ...?

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Here Black (Nimzowitsch) unleashes the truly wicked tactical shot 39 ... ♘f5-e3+!!.

Position after 39 ... ♘f5-e3+!!:

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Here Nimzowitsch unleashes a relatively rare tactic, <DISCOVERED INTERFENCE>. This great tactical blow 39 ... ♘f5-e3+!! does three things simultaneously:

1) it opens the f-file for the Black f6-queen and f8-rook to attack the White f3-knight

2) it <BLOCKS> the third rank from the defending White d3-queen to the now <LOOSE> White f3-knight, cutting off the <LINE OF LIFE-GIVING FORCE>

3) and it does 1) and 2) <WITH TEMPO> by checking the White g2-king to boot!

Also note how Nimzowitsch's last move had been the subtle 38 ... ♘d6-c4, which covers the e3-square to prevent the White d3-queen from capturing the Black e3-knight after 39 ... ♘f5-e3+!!.

After the further 40 f2xe3 <interference> ♕f6x♘f3+ 41 ♔g2-h2 ♘c4xe3, White resigned.

Position after 40 f2xe3 <interference> ♕f6x♘f3+:

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Position after 41 ♔g2-h2 ♘c4xe3:

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Tremendous knight and tactical play by Nimzowitsch.

Oct-23-07  notyetagm: <DISCOVERED ATTACKS> that make the Point-Of-Contact (White f3-knight) <LOOSE> or which <PIN> the Point-Of-Contact (White f3-knight) are -extremely- dangerous, as Gilg (White) found out in this game.

Here the <DISCOVERED INTERFERENCE> 39 ... ♘f5-e3+!! makes the White f3-knight <LOOSE> and -simultaneously- <BLOCKS> the line of the White d3-queen from its defense, hence putting it <EN PRISE>, while giving <CHECK> to the White g2-king.

Oct-23-07  notyetagm: In the final position Black threatens to win both the White h2-king with 42 ... ♕f3-g2#

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-and- the <UNDEFENDED> White d3-queen with a simple <DISCOVERED ATTACK> 42 ... ♘e3-g4+

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followed by 43 ... ♕f3x♕d3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: I have video annotated this game:

Apr-17-11  xombie: Somehow this game seems to have become a French. The weakness of the e6 pawn is unexploitable. But the d4 and f file attack themes are present.
Aug-06-12  sevenseaman: 40...Qf3+, 41...Nxe3 Nimzowitsch just wont be denied penetration.
Aug-06-12  RookFile: I think white's opening play would have been better if he had played Bg5 at some point and chopped that bishop against either the f6 knight or the e7 bishop.

For example. 12. Bg5 is a good move.

Aug-06-12  ounos: 22. g3?

Completely misreading the position...

Aug-06-12  SuperPatzer77:

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White to play and lose after 41...♘xe3!

42. ♖g1 ♘f1+!, 43. ♖xf1 ▢ ♕xf1, 44. ♘f4 ♖xf4!, 45. ♕xf1 ♖xf1

42. ♘f4 ♖xf4!, 43. ♖c8+ ♖f8, 44. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8

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Now White is forced to capture the Black Knight to avoid getting mated. Or the Black Knight fork check forces White to lose the White Queen


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Hmmm. One of the best played knight games ever? I'm afraid I have to disagree.

History has a way of lionising the victor. The chess version of this is that commentators praise every move made by the winner and criticise every move made by the loser. It sometimes seems that nearly every victory started in the opening with some grand plan by the winner which came to its inevitable conclusion some 30 or so moves later.

Today, I'm not convinced. This is the position after 38...Nc4

click for larger view

Black has little more than a slight advantage. It's a comfortable position to play, but it's hardly crushing.

At this point, white plays a poor move. 39. Rc1 is a tactical mistake as it takes away the defence of the Nf3. This gives black the chance to play 39...Nfe3+ and white is busted.

But if white didn't play 39. Rc1, then what? How does black make progress? Fritz evaluates this position as -0.36, which is pretty close to level.

Full credit to Nimzo for spotting the tactic and for creating the conditions on the board for his opponent to blunder. But a great game? Not for me. I mark this one down as a white loss rather than a black win.

Aug-06-12  DanielBryant: Best knight game ever? It's a good one but has nothing on this one: Tal vs Hjartarson, 1987
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The knights really dominate this one!
Aug-06-12  tonsillolith: Why not <28. Qxe6+>? I see something like <28...Qxe6 29. Rxe6 Nxd4 30. Re3>, but I'm not sure of stuff.
Aug-06-12  MiTaxi: <tonsillolith> I think that maybe because after 28. ♕xe6+ ♕xe6 29. ♖xe6 black wouldn't have played 29...♘xd4 but 29...♖xf3 and after 30. ♔xf3 then 30...♘xd4+ would fork the rook.
Aug-09-12  tonsillolith: <<tonsillolith> I think that maybe because after 28. Qxe6+ Qxe6 29. Rxe6 black wouldn't have played 29...Nxd4 but 29...Rxf3 and after 30. Kxf3 then 30...Nxd4+ would fork the rook.>

I was imagining White retaking on f3 with the knight on g1.

Aug-17-12  MiTaxi: You are right <tonsillolith>, white could have played 28. ♕xe6+ as you mentioned. I completely missed the retaking with the g1 ♘, sorry about that.

Why he didn't go that way? Who knows...

Anyway, the game wasn't that bad for white until 39.♖c1 which unleashed black's deadly combination.

Aug-17-12  OBIT: Greatest knight endgame ever? Oh, pshaw. I think the game G Marco vs Maroczy, 1899 deserves consideration for that honor. The two players are down to kings, knights, and pawns after just 22 moves, and Maroczy puts on the ultimate squeeze play, winning it 56 moves later.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <OBIT> Another gem from Nimzo was this (Lasker vs Nimzowitsch, 1934) against a man who knew how to play the endgame a little.
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