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Jens Enevoldsen vs Aron Nimzowitsch
"Knight Fall" (game of the day Oct-10-2008)
Copenhagen Politiken (1933), Copenhagen DEN, rd 4, May-31
Indian Game: Yusupov-Rubinstein System (A46)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-01-13  diagonalley: an amazing cavalry charge... (it would have had to have been to undo Nimzo!)
Dec-01-13  gofer: White has 5 pieces attacking the black king's position. Black has 2 defending pieces. Given that imbalance I would probably make it even more favourable, by playing Rxa3. But what is the best attack to follow? Nh5 seems simplest!

<24 Rxa3 Bxa3>
<25 Nh5 Be7>
<26 Nxg7 ...>

Now this is all complete guess work, so its probably time to see whether I am on the right track...


Didn't see that coming!

Dec-01-13  morfishine: At first, I thought 24.Rxa3 Bxa3 followed by <25.Nf6+> was the winning line; for example, after 25...Kh8 26.Qh5 Re7 27.Bxh7 gxf6 28.Qh6 Qd8 29.Nh5 and White wins; but then I realized Black need not fear capturing the Knight with 25...gxf6, so back to the drawing board.

I was certain of 24.Rxa3 Bxa3 (24...Qb2 almost works, but not quite) and just needed the correct follow up, which came quickly: 25.Nh5

But I didn't consider an immediate sacrifice at g7 as played in the game:

24.Rxa3 Bxa3 25.Nh5 Ng6 26.Bh6 gxh6 27.Nxh6+ Kf8 28.Nf6 Rd8 29.Nxh7+


Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Woah! I was looking at some sort of Greek sacrifice with 24.Bxh7, but the exchange sac still makes sense because the knight's gonna want to come to f6.
Dec-01-13  mistreaver: Sunday.White to play. 24. Insane?
Wow. So many combinations. White has to win with the attack on the king, and therefore or he will face retribution on the other wing. There are many candidates: 24 Bxh7, Rxa3, Nf6+, Nh6+
I think some can be easily eliminated:
A) 24 Bxh7+ Nxh7
25 Nf6+ Nxf6 brings white nothing
B) 24 Nh6+ gxh6
25 Qg4 Ng6 is i think not the most accurate move order: C) 24 Nf6+ Bxf6
25 exf6 and i think nothing again
D) 24 Rxa3
This idea appealed to me immediatelly. White gets rid of the useless rook, eliminates the dangerous black knight and attack on his LSB, and removes the guard of the black's kingside
24... Bxa3
25 Nf6+(I think this could be the point)
25... gxf6
26 gxf6
and blacks kingside is cut off and i think he is close to lost D2)
25... Kh8
26 Nxh7 and with
27 Qh5 coming it will get very hot for the black king. Time to check and see.
Ok,i got the part of it. 25 Nf6+ also wins, only after 25... gxf6 white should play 26 Nh5
Dec-01-13  MrSpock: <Ed Caruthers> I thought the same as you. The modern way could be: 10. ... f6 11. exf6 Nxf6 but White has an edge because of the hanging pawn on e6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: I love the way the last move avenges the rook on a3 -- 16 moves later.
Dec-01-13  Sokrates: To you who may not be familiar with Jens Enevoldsen this:

Before Larsen appeared on the arena, JE was one of the strongest players in Denmark. He knew Nimzowitsch very well, since N. lived in Copenhagen and visited the same chess club. JE had a brother, Harald, who also was a good player. JE lived a very turbulent life connected with chess, resulting in a huge memoir book, "30 years at the chess board", where this game - and the atmosphere around it - was comprehensively described.

But in general JE was a great chess authour, for instance completing two books called (in translation) "The World's Best Chess". In a very personal style he described chess right from the beginning till around the end of WW2. Lot's of annotated games and packed with entertaining stories about the great masters, many of whom he had met himself. JE was far from being objective - he certainly had his favourites and coloured views, but he sported some well-doing criticism on myths in chess. And above all, it was and is great fun to read his books.

He was considered being an edgy person, a bit of a bully occasionally, but he could write as entertaining as any of the best I have written. I am reading Donner's "The King" these days and he brings Enevoldsen's writings to my mind.

The game showed here was, of course, JE's stellar moment in chess. Please understand that Nimzowitsch in those times was considered an untouchable god in Danish context and beating him so brilliantly was not only an unbelievable accomplishment chess-wise - it was also a great psychological victory.

Dec-01-13  Patriot: Material is even. It looks like white should have some kind of attack here with so many pieces around the black king.

Too many candidates to think about: Rxa3, Nf6+, Nh6+, Bxh7+

The one the seems half-way decent is 24.Rxa3, in order to distract the bishop from guarding f6. But I've looked at this in so many ways and I don't see anything winning. There are just too many variations than I can calculate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: The material is identical.

Black threatens 24... Nxc2.

White has five pieces aiming at the black castle. This suggests 24.Rxa3, to remove the threat and to divert a defender, 24... Bxa3 (24... Qb2 25.Bxc2+ wins a pawn) 25.Nf6+ with the idea 25... gxf6 26.exf6 Ng6 27.Qh5 Bf8 28.Bh6 Rb8 29.Bxf8 Kxf8 30.Qxh7 Ke8 31.Bxg6 and 31... is not possible due to 32.Qe7#.

That's all I can do today.

Dec-01-13  RandomVisitor: After 15.Nd6!? Bxd6 16.exd6:

click for larger view

Rybka 4.1 x64:

[+0.26] d=21 16...f6 17.Rae1 b4 18.Qe3 b3 19.Bb1 Qd7 20.g4 e5 21.Bf5 Qxd6 22.dxe5 fxe5 23.Nxe5 Nxe5 24.Bxe5 Qe7 25.Qg3 Qf7

[+0.30] d=21 16...a4 17.Rfe1 f6 18.g4 Ng6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.g5 e5 21.dxe5 fxe5 22.Nxe5 Nxe5 23.Qe3 Qxd6 24.Bxe5 Qe6 25.Qd4 Qg4+ 26.Qxg4 Bxg4 27.Kg2 Bf5 28.Kg3

Dec-01-13  BOSTER: <Sokrates To you who may not be familiar> Thanks for great piece of inf.
Dec-01-13  parisattack: Thanks much for that information <Sokrates>!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: This is extremely complicated.

I looked at 24 ...Qb2?! seeing 25 Bh6! with a couple of general followup threads.

click for larger view

White puts two pieces en prise but threatens 26 Bxh7+.

If 25...Qxa3, then 26 Qe3, below, threatens Nh5, seeing Bxg7.

click for larger view

if 25...Kh8, then 26 Bxg7+, assuming 26...Kxg7 27 Ra7, below.

click for larger view

Dec-01-13  Doniez: I got the first move for white and black but my continuation was 25.Nf6 to open the g- file for a Queen + Knight attack. Of course, I was wrong ... But to me the first move is enough for a Sunday puzzle :-)
Dec-01-13  Ed Frank: Nope. Missed this one.

Not that I mind: the execution is simply stunning: brutality of the highest order.

Dec-01-13  solskytz: <Rookfile> Even though in many cases a ...c4 move does relinquish pressure on the center, in this particular case I tend to disagree.

In this game Nimzowitsch plays ...c4 as part of his plan to "switch the base", and instead of having d4 as the base of the white pawn chain, he makes c3 it.

He then progresses to attack and cramp white on the Q-side. White seeks - and finds! - his chances on the K-side, and so it goes...

I'm sure that ...c4, seen in this light, isn't really to blame.

Dec-01-13  RookFile: No, it is, because all that stuff is too time consuming. You don't fiddle while your kingside burns down - the queenside action needs to come a lot faster.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: These two players became friends and are buried side by side at Assistensens KirkegĂ„rd in Copenhagen,Denmark.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: I agree that Black's queenside play was too slow. I suggest <13...f5> as an improvement. On 13...f5 14. exf6 Bxf6, threatening central action with 15...e5. White replies 15. Re1 or maybe 15. Ba4. White gets more control of central squares, but I don't see any immediate concrete advantage from that.
Dec-02-13  solskytz: <Rookfile> Maybe I share a weakness here with Nimzowitsch.

I often 'don't get it' that the K-side is burning until it's well too late.

To me, as I look at the position even now, black seems well entrenched in the K-side all the way until the moment when white plays 25. Nh5, when suddenly the sacrifices are in the air.

That said, maybe the earlier suggestion here, ...f5, could have come at some point between moves 13 and 25 (actually 13 and 23). It is still my opinion, that seeking counterplay on the Q-side was the way to go, and that ...c4, in itself, couldn't be blamed.

In many games, black patiently defends against an onslaught on his K-side, leaving mid-way his Q-side play, and when the attack is finally survived, his Q-side position proves decisive. It's often a question of delicate timing, when to play a defensive move and when to push further the Q-side play.

There is no question that Nimzowitsch failed in his judgment here - but the error couldn't have been 13...c4, which is the move which actually sets off his Q-side play (rather than "neutralizing" it).

That's my opinion. I still welcome corrections of a more specific nature - but I think that up until the time when black goes ...Na3 (where he certainly didn't take into account the exchange sacrifice), his game is still perfectly defensible (I like especially his rook on a7).

Dec-02-13  solskytz: On second thought, by the time move 23 comes, 23...f5 is already a bit too late, and would leave the K-side open after white will take twice on f6 (or once, if ...gxf6 immediately).

The moment to play that could have been latest, move 21, instead of ...Qb6.

Black was indeed a bit too optimistic and carefree on the Q-side. This is of course easy to say in hindsight... but the idea to play on the Q-side is still probably correct.

Jun-17-16  scholes: great game
Nov-29-18  alfamikewhiskey: Trite on my part, but yes: Great game
Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: Dec-02-13 <moronovich: These two players became friends and are buried side by side at Assistensens KirkegĂ„rd in Copenhagen, Denmark.>

* Photo:

* Photo:

* Edward Winter's inclusion: Scroll about 1/3 down; see picture of bespectacled man w/cigar (No, it is not Ralphie/Peter Billingsley).

It is often rewarding to be personable w/our competitors who hold the same interest.

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