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Frank James Marshall vs Aron Nimzowitsch
New York (1927), New York, NY USA, rd 13, Mar-09
French Defense: Winawer. Delayed Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: FWIW, Nimzowitsch probably moved the other rook on move 12 (i.e., <12. ... Rae8>). That is the move given in ChessBase and also in the moves in the text of the tournament book ("New York 1927", by Alekhine, Alexander, tr. fr. German by Mary Lawrence, Russell Enterprises, Inc. (c)2011, at page 119). Interestingly, however, in that book, the diagram on page 120 with the position after 21. ... Qf5 has the remaining black rook on a8 (i.e., consistent with move 12 having been 12. ... Rfe8).

The main reason it seems likely to me that Black's move was actually <12. ... Rae8> is that with the move currently reflected in this (the database, in the position after 17. ...Ng6:

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... White could seemingly have safely won a pawn with 18. Rxe8 Qxe8 19. Bxc7.

In either case, the position would transpose after 26. ... Rd8.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Still further evidence that Black (Nimzowitsch) must have played <12. ... R<a>e8> is that, with the a8-rook still on its home square, in the position after 18. ... f5:

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... the simple 19. Rxe8+ Qxe8 20. Qxd5+ Qf7 (or 20. ... Kh8 21. Bxc7) 21. Qxf7 Kxf7 22. Bxc7 would have been totally winning for White.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: In the position after <41. … Qd7>:

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… Alekhine analyzes as no better than the game continuation the following variation: <42.Re8 Rd1 43.Ra8 a6 44.Rb8 Rd5> after which he concludes, “a win for White would not be evident either in the middle game or in the endgame”. (“New York 1927”, by Alekhine, Alexander, tr. fr. German by Mary Lawrence, Russell Enterprises, Inc. ©2011, at page 121).

From the resulting position, however:

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… it seems that White can generate a strong (but admittedly not necessarily winning) initiative by continuing with <45. h4> (playing this advance only <after> the Black rook is no longer on the first rank, thus avoiding the drawing combination that occurred in the game) <45. ...h5 46. Qe4> to prepare the advance of the f-pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Alekhine comments that <45.Qe4> (avoiding the drawing shot: 45. ... Rh1!=) in this position:

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... would have retained chances to continue playing for a win, but he says that after <45...Rd5> (Better is 45...Rc1.) Black should hold. But now <46.Rb8 Qf7> (46...Rf5? 47.Rxb7! ) <47.f4 Rb5 48.Rd8 Rf5 49.Kh2 Rd5 50.Rb8 Rb5 51.a4 Rc5 52.Rd8> would still have put Black to his mettle in defending.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: Alekhine (op.cit.) comments (correctly) that after <45. … Rh1!>, White was forced to take the rook, allowing a perpetual check. His analysis is flawed, however. After <46.Qc4? Nxh4+ 47.gxh4 Qh3+ 48.Kf2 Qh2+ 49.Ke3>, Alekhine’s analysis continues with: “<49...Qxb8> and wins”. In the resulting position, however:

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... White can draw as follows: <50.Qe4+ Kh8 51.Bxg7!+ Kxg7 52.Qe7+> with perpetual check.

After <49. Ke3> in this line, Black's only winning continuation is <49. ... Qg1+>.

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<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

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