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Heinrich Wolf vs Isidor Gunsberg
Monte Carlo (1902), Monte Carlo MNC, rd 14, Feb-26
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation (C10)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 9...Bd6 was a blunder. It is unbelievable that experienced player like Gunsberg could overlook white's combination.
Aug-29-03  Qian: when you have a puzzle like this just look for the pieces attacking the castled king. Familiar threat moves such as Nh5 with the queen able to move to the h rank should give you a hint that the first knight is expendable.
Aug-29-03  MiCrooks: This is simply a case of a classic Bishop sacrifice with an extra set of Knights thrown in. Interesting thing is, that with b6 in the picture the sacrifice doesn't work. So blaming Bd6 is not really fair, though it is the losing move. Bb7 and the game goes on. But if the pawn was back on b6 then Bd6 would be fine. It is only the fact that the Queen picks up the a8 Rook that makes this line work.

Add to that the fact that Black does not defend well and you get the romp shown.

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Crafty> What is white's best continuation if black plays 11...Kh8?

After the 9...Bd6 blunder, black is down a pawn with a miserable position, but if black is to fight on then 11...Kh8 seems better than 11...Kxh7 which quickly loses the rook on a8 to the queen's double attack with 12. Qe4+ or 12. Ng5+ Kg6 13. Qe4+ (as in the game).

Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Honza Cervenka> What do you see as black's best ninth move, instead of the 9...Bd6 blunder? Are 9...Bb7 or 9...g6 worth considering, and if so which is better?
Aug-29-03  crafty: 11...♔h8 12. ♗e4 ♖b8 13. ♗g5 ♗e7 14. ♗xe7 ♕xe7 15. ♘e5   (eval 2.06; depth 13 ply; 250M nodes)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I would have played 9...Bb7.
Aug-29-03  Jonber: As <Honza Cervenka> points out, 9.Bb7 would’ve been a better ninth move for Black. Also playable would’ve been 9.h6. 9.g6 creates dangerous weaknesses around the Black king, and should be avoided, but it’s still better then the mainline.

The combination as shown in the mainline isn’t forced, however, and Black makes a second, and larger, blunder when he takes the knight on h7. Better would’ve been to simply leave the knight alone and move the rook out of harms way:

10.Nxh7 Re8

Black is down a pawn and in a tight spot, but, with his knights covering each other and the dark-square bishop coming back to e7, his position should be defendable.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: After 9...h6 I would be afraid of 10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.Qxe6+. Black then cannot play 11...Kh8 for 12.Nh4 and after 11...Rf7 white will play 12.Bg6 or 12.Bc4 winning Rook and two Pawns for two minor pieces.
Sep-01-03  Jonber: <Honza Cervenka> In the position Black is in, I wouldn’t be worried about giving up a pawn to take the pressure out of White’s attack. I’m not saying 9.h6 is the best move though, only that it’s playable, better then 9.g6 and definitely better then the mainline. I still value your suggestion, the simple and natural 9.Bb7, to be Black’s best choice.

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