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Borislav Kostic vs Geza Maroczy
West England Major Open (1922), Weston ENG, Apr-18
Blumenfeld Countergambit: General (E10)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-16-06  Whitehat1963: Interesting game that I have serious difficulty understanding.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: If the opening seems familiar, it is the same as occurred in the well-known game Tarrasch vs Alekhine, 1922. That game was played on April 7, 1922, while this game is from a tournament that rand from April 15-22, 1922.

ACB (May / June 1922, p. 100 ) quotes analysis from "The Field", but does not give the date. So, it's possible Maroczy was imitating Alekhine. Or, it could be that the line was analysis that was floating around among the masters of the tiem -- except, apparently, Tarrasch and Kostic.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Telemus: Maroczy lived already for months in the Netherlands, when Tarrasch vs Alekhine was played (see Just around this time he played a match with Olland. The game Tarrasch vs Alekhine was published in some important Dutch newspapers, say "Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant" and "Algemeen Handelsblad", both 11 April 1922, the day Maroczy gave a simul in the Hague.

I think you can safely assume that Maroczy knew the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Telemus> Thanks. News could spread quickly even before the Internet.
Premium Chessgames Member
  DanQuigley: I can say definitively that this game was played on Tuesday, April 18, 1922. From British Chess Magazine, page 174: Tuesday. The openings this morning were: Yates v. Mackenzie and Spencer v. Blake, Ruy Lopez; Louis v. Tregaskis, Ponziani (a favourite with Louis); Kostich v. Maroczy, Q.P.; Price v. Thomas (Q.P., Tchigorin Defence, in effect). Both the last two openings are somewhat unusual in form. Kostich-Maroczy ran : 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 c5 4.d5 b5 5.cxb5 Bb7 6.dxe6 fxe6 7.e3 d5 8.Nc3 Bd6 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 Qe7 Maroczy having given up his b-pawn for a strong centre and a promising attack. Price-Thomas began: 1.Nf3 g6 2.d4 d6 3.e4 Bg7 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Nbd7 6.Be3 e5 a position now which might also conceivably be reached through the Philidor.

It was just about the end of the third hour of play that any results were reached. First Yates carried his Ruy Lopez to a successful conclusion, Mackenzie being unable to escape a mate on the 29th move; and then Tregaskis, who had sacrificed a piece early for an attack, found the weight of material too much and resigned. Thirdly, Thomas already in a superior position and taking advantage of a weak move (26.g3) on the part of his opponent, set a trap, into which Price walked. The result was a mate (see below). The last game to finish was Kostich-Maroczy, which Maroczy brought to a successful conclusion at the close of the morning's play. We shall give this game in full later, as it is a fine example of Old School v. New not that we agree with Maroczy's description of himself as "old" in years! In the game Spencer-Blake, Blake gained a Pawn early, lost it again, but appeared to have some chances of success in the end-game, and at any rate a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  DanQuigley: On pages 242-244 of BCM are George A. Thomas's excellent notes to the game. I found them to be so enlightening that I provide them here in full (they are out of copyright):

GAME No. 4,942.

Played in the Weston-super-Mare tournament. Notes by G.A.T. Queen's Pawn Opening.

WHITE: B. Kostich
BLACK: G. Maroczy

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 c5 4.d5

White could of course keep to the normal lines of the QP Opening by 4.e3.


Practically an unknown move at this stage. It is said, however, to have been analysed some years ago in a continental magazine by its inventor, Blumenfeld. Though clearly an innovation of importance, the analysis does not seem to have attracted much attention. Curiously enough after the idea had lain dormant so long without being tested in an important game, Aljechin adopted this move against Tarrasch in the Posteyn tournament, almost simultaneously with Maroczy's exploitation of it in this game. Black won that game also, though the games diverged from Black's 5th move.


The alternative would be 5.e3. The text-move allows Black to obtain a very powerful centre at the cost of a Pawn.

5...Bb7 6.dxe6 fxe6 7.Nc3 d5 8.e3 Bd6 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O Qe7

Black has obtained a splendid position in exchange for his Pawn. Here, however, he should apparently play 10...Nbd7 first, following with ...Qe7. The transposition might have had a distinctly adverse effect on his game.


For now White might have attacked the centre by 11.e4, threatening e5. If then 11...dxe4 12.Ng5 h6 13.Nh3, and though White has returned the Pawn he has broken Black's centre; or if 11...Nbd7 12.exd5 exd5 13.Bg5, and the menace of the Black centre has been considerably lessened. Had Black played 10...Nbd7 instead of 10...Qe7, White would not have had this resource; as in that case 11.e4 would be answered by ...d4, with advantage.

11...Nbd7 12.Bd3

Played with the intention of inviting c4, and so opening the square d4 for his Knight. Against this must be reckoned the loss in time, and the fact that the Black Knight comes in powerfully at c5; but it is not easy to suggest a more promising line.

11...c4 13.Be2 Nc5 14.Nd4 Nfe4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.f4

A choice of evils. This closes some of Black's lines of attack, but enables him to bring a deadly attack to bear on the e-pawn. The Black Knight cannot be driven away by 16.f3 because of 16...Qh4 in reply.

16...e5 17.Nc6

Of course 17.fxe5 Qxe5 would be fatal; for if then 18.Nf3 Rxf3; or 18.g3 Nxg3.

17...Bxc6 18.bxc6 exf4

If 19.exf4, then 19...Bc5+ 20.Kh1 Qh4 threatening ...Ng3 mate.

19.Bf3 Bc5 20.b4

A desperate attempt at counter attack.

20...Bxb4 21.Rb1 Bc5 22.Rb7

Black can ignore this move. Nevertheless, White's only hope lies in raising a counter-attack.


Of course his Queen can not be taken as 23...e2+, would be immediately fatal.

23.Qe2 Qe6

Preferring to maintain the attack, rather than to play for a winning end-game, which he could now obtain by 23...Nc3 24.Rxe7 (best), Nxe2+ 25.Bxe2 Bxe7.

24.Bb2 c3 25.Bxe4 cxb2 26.Bf3 Qxc6 27.Rxb2 Bb6 28.g3 Rf5 29.Kg2 Raf8 30.Rc2 Qe6 31.Qd3 Qf7 32.Qe2 h5

Not really necessary. But White can do nothing; and Black can afford to take his time.

33.h4 d4 34.Qc4 d3 0-1

A very finely played game by the winner.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <they are out of copyright>

Depending on where you reside, are you sure of that? In the UK, I understand it's 70 years after the author's death, and Thomas didn't pass until 1972. If so, I'm legally obliged to ignore your post for the next 22 years.

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