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Andrey Smorodsky vs Aron Nimzowitsch
All-Russian Masters (1914), St. Petersburg RUE, rd 1, Jan-06
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov. Modern Variation Kasparov Attack (B17)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-12-04  fred lennox: 7...Qc7 shows Nimzowitch independent spirit if, in this case, dubious. 7...Be7 than 0-0 is more classical and sound but Nimzowitch heard a differant drummer.
Oct-01-05  rjsolcruz: is it possible to add the original game of steinitz that made this variation?
Oct-01-05  sneaky pete: <rjsolcruz> Impossible, Steinitz NEVER employed the Caro Kann defence. Why this line is called <Steinitz Variation> (on this site, I'm not sure if I've seen it elsewhere) is a mystery. It's usually referred to as the (nameless) <4... Nd7 variation>.
Oct-01-05  Brown: This is named the Smyslov or occassionally the Karpov variation of the Caro-Kann.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Pachman's "Theory of Modern Chess, written sometime in 1950's, called it a Nimzowich's invention.

This agrees with the "Course of Openings" (Kurs Debutov) by Panov and Estrin: "<4...Nd7> Sistema Nimzowicha, idea kotoroy zaklucit sa v podgotovke choda 5...N8f6" (A system by Nizowich which idea is to prepare 5...N8f6). (Mine Panov-Estrin is 5th printing, 1973, Fizkultura i Sport.)

I would understand Karpov's name tag on this variation; he realy made it his own. But where the Steinitz label came from is a mystery to me.

Sep-01-06  e4Newman: black's struggle for e5 appears to be in vain - in this example
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: It was very foresighted of the players in this 1913 game to play the Kasparov Attack against the Modern Karpov Variation. And yes, as far as I can see calling 4...Nd7 the Steinitz Variation makes as little sense as calling the Benko Gambit "Greco's Defense" would.
Feb-04-10  rune ohlsson: The correct name is the Flohr variation
Feb-01-12  RookFile: Nimzo often moved the queen too early in the opening. How in the world do you know it belongs on c7 on move 7?

You don't. You develop the f8 bishop first.

Nov-27-12  Mrs. Alekhine: This game is from Round One from the <All Russian Masters St. Petersburg 1914>.

Although Round One began on 4 January, Nimzowitsch didn't play this game until 6 January, for a curious reason-

"Mr X," later revealed to be <Dus-Chotimirsky>, was invited but did not arrive at the tournament. <Smorodosky> was offered "Mr. X's" spot on the strength of a 2d place finish in a Hauptturnier event that had occurred just prior to the Master's event. Therefore, on 6 January 1914, <Nimzo> had to play this game (round one) and also finish an adjourned game vs. <Lowcki> from (Round 2), a game that had begun on 5 January: M Lowcki vs Nimzowitsch, 1914

--<Aron Nimzowitsch: On the Road to Chess Mastery, 1886-1924> Skjoldager and Nielsen, McFarland 2012, p226-7

Nov-28-12  TheFocus: <Aron Nimzowitsch: On the Road to Chess Mastery, 1886-1924> <Skjoldager and Nielsen, McFarland 2012, p226-7>

Ah! I see you got your copy.

Isn't it a great book?

Nov-28-12  Mrs. Alekhine: <TheFocus> to be sure, like all McFarland Chess books it is full of actual academic scholarship and rigor. I can tell you that the top tier of my collection were all published by McFarland.
Oct-05-15  zanzibar: A A Smorodsky vs Nimzowitsch, 1914 (kibitz #5)

seems to suggest that the move 4...Nd7 debuted here. But <CG>'s Opening Explorer identifies the following game for the move's debut:

I Rabinovich vs A Selezniev, 1914

See comments here as well: chessforum (kibitz #23536)

Oct-05-15  thomastonk: <zanzibar> I have a corr game from 1891, which went 4.. ♘d7 5.♘f3 ♘gf6 6.♘g3. I think I know the tournament and where to find a primary source. So, if it is of some importance, please let me know.
Oct-05-15  zanzibar: <thomastonk> well, I'm always curious.

I'm working through FCO by van der Sterren, and he mentions the history of several variations, but doesn't cite the actual games.

Using the Tree Window in SCID is very similar to using CG's Opening Explorer, and it allows one to see the games which share the same position - which makes it easy to spot the debuts.

Whether or not its truly important - well, I suppose that's a matter of opinion.

I've always thought that many opening innovations come from correspondence chess, and are often under-attributed as such. It's also interesting that Nimzowitsch's played one of the earliest games with 4...Nd7.

I suppose its important in the same sense that mentioning the Marshall Attack in the Spanish really should include at least a passing reference to a Walbrodt consultation game even if it was Marshall's game against Capablanca which marked its introduction to the "general public".

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <zanzibar: <thomastonk> well, I'm always curious. I'm working through FCO by van der Sterren,...>

What's FCO? I can guess that the CO is Chess Openings, but I can't imagine what the F stands for.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: One of the oddest d├ębuts of an opening is the enigmatic 4...Qh4 variation of Scotch Game (C45). I've always thought of this as another Steinitz variation - it's a very good and playable variation for black.

But it was first played by the enigmatic NN versus the enigmatic Turk: The Turk vs NN, 1770.

1770! And still going strong! (E.g. M Turner vs C Hanley, 2012.)

Oct-06-15  thomastonk: <zanzibar: well, I'm always curious.> That's not enough! ;-)

To be serious: the game has been played between Walter Penn Shipley and James Ephraim Narraway in the second Globe tourney 1891-94. I think I remember that Narraway was the organisator, and so it could be the Toronto Globe. More details can probably be found on page 88 of Hilbert's Shipley book.

I cannot export it easily to PGN, and so I made a picture:

Oct-06-15  zanzibar: <offramp> FCO = Fundamentals of Chess Openings

which a quick google search on "FCO chess" reveals:


FCO: Fundamental Chess Openings

Paul van der Sterren

Gambit Publications (2009-11-24) 448pp


It even uses FCO in the title.

Probably the best single volume opening book for a player at my level. In my opinion, and others. (w sample)

vdS (van der Sterren) does a very good job describing the motivations and strategies. It's not exhaustive in considering all lines, nor exhaustively deep in the line actually considered - but it's very good in what it does cover.

Oct-06-15  zanzibar: <thomastonk> that's great. The image scan is appreciated.

I'll stop back later when I input it into SCID.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <zanzibar: <offramp> FCO = Fundamentals of Chess Openings>

Because I dislike the opening stage my guess at the F was wildly wrong, though oddly adjacent to the correct "Fundamental".

Oct-07-15  zanzibar: Ha <offramp>, I should consider myself an expert, having fundamentaled more than my share of openings.

But I thought you liked openings, at least the Steinitz variation in the Scotch!

* * * * *

Here's my annotations of the Shipley--Narraway game, I'll submit it to <CG> without annotations though:


[Event "Globe tourney-2 1891-4"]
[Site "corr"]
[Date "1891.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Shipley, Walter Penn"]
[Black "Narraway, James Ephraim"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B17g"]
[EventDate "1891.??.??"]
[Annotations "zanzibar"]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Ng3 e6 7.Bd3 Bd6 8.c3 O-O 9.Qc2 Re8 10.O-O Qc7 11.Re1 b6 12.Be3 ( 12.Ng5 ) 12...Bb7 13.Rad1 Rad8 14.Nf1 ( 14.Ng5 ) 14...h6 15.h3 c5 16.Be2 Nd5 17.dxc5 Nxc5 18.Nd4 Nxe3 19.Nxe3 {and Black should be very happy with the opening} 19...Ne4 {maybe a little too happy, this is too aggressive, 19...Be4, 20...Bh2+ (or vice-a-versa) is better. This move allows White to neutralize Black's powerful lsb} 20.Bf3 Ng5 21.Bxb7 Qxb7 22. Nc4 Bc5 23.Nb3 Be7 24.Nd4 Qc7 25.Ne5 {now it's White who should be happy with recent events (and centralized knights)} 25...Rd5 {too aggressive (there is no target on e5), allowing White to gain a tempo in next move} 26.Qa4 Red8 {interesting to note how well White pieces work together now (e.g. consider why 26...b5 fails)} 27.Nec6 R8d7 28. Nxe7+ Rxe7 29.Nc6 Red7 30.Rxd5 Rxd5 31.Nxa7 b5 {What's this?} ( 31... Nxh3+ 32.gxh3 b5 {transposes} ) 32.Nxb5 Nxh3+ $1 {the ace in the hole for Black, who seizes the initiative to force a draw. White's king is lacking support, as a result of his Q-side attack.} 33.gxh3 Qb7 ( 33...Rg5+ 34.Kf1 ( 34.Kh1 Qb7+ 35.Qe4 Qxb5 36.Re2 Rh5 37.Kh2 Qb8+ 38. Kg2 Rg5+ 39.Kh1 {etc.} ) 34...Qb7 35.Re4 ( 35.Nd4 {saving the knight is costly} 35...Qh1+ 36.Ke2 Re5+ 37.Kd3 Qxe1 ) 35...Rxb5 ) 34.Re3 { White protects the rook, and must lose back the knight. It's a draw due to the exposed king, despite the three passers (and extra pawn).} 34...Rxb5 35.c4 Rg5+ ( 35...Rxb2 36.Rb3 Rb1+ 37.Rxb1 Qxb1+ 38.Kh2 Qf5 {also drawing} ) 36.Rg3 ( 36.Kf1 Qg2+ 37.Ke1 Rf5 38.Re2 Qxh3 39.Qa8+ Kh7 40.Qe4 ) 36...Re5 37.Re3 Rg5+ 1/2-1/2

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