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John Finan Barry vs Harry Nelson Pillsbury
"Gonna Party Like it's 1899" (game of the day Dec-31-2013)
Exhibition game (1899) (exhibition), Boston, MA USA, Nov-27
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0



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sac: 32.Rxg7+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-07-12  crawfb5: Pope's book on Pillsbury has Black resigning after 40. Bc3. In the <Brooklyn Daily Eagle> for 12/7/1899 (http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary....), it says that White announced a mate in thirteen starting with 32. Rxg7+, so it seems Pillsbury resigned at some point after White's 32nd move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Somebody should correct the date of this game. To keep misrepresenting this game as being played in 1889 instead of 1899 actually diminishes Barry's accomplishment.
Dec-05-12  Nosnibor: <RookFile><jnpope>Pillsbury`s Chess Career by Sergeant and Watts states that the game was played in 1889 which was just one year after Pillsbury learned the moves.I feel that this publication caused the date to be shown inaccurately in the database.
Dec-05-12  TheFocus: <jnpope: Somebody should correct the date of this game. To keep misrepresenting this game as being played in 1889 instead of 1899 actually diminishes Barry's accomplishment.>

I changed the header above and sent in a correction slip.

Dec-05-12  master of defence: How white wins the game after 33...Kf6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: master of defence: How white wins the game after 33...Kf6?

34.Qh4+ Kg6 35.Qg3+ Bg4 (35....Kf6 37.Qg7#) 36.Qxg4+ Kf6 37.Qe6# looks right.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <TheFocus> Thanks! This is one of those little annoying historical things that keeps turning up like a bad penny (the other major one being the spurious Morphy-Deacon games).
Dec-05-12  TheFocus: <jnpope> One of my personal goals is to input more of Pillsbury's games here in the database. Only about half of his games appear here, and, as you know, more are being discovered year by year.

I will be inputting his tournaments and matches into my Game Collections as soon as I can (I've already started on some).

I have Volumes of 1-16 of <Quarterly for Chess History> and there quite a few new and unknown games there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: I have a few hundred new games myself... stuff I've found, stuff that Hilbert and others have found and sent along to me... I probably should do something with those at some point.
Dec-05-12  Shams: In <keypusher>'s line the try 35...Kh5 is met by 36.Rg7 forcing mate.
Dec-05-12  TheFocus: <jnpope> <Mrs. Alekhine> pointed this out to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: Very cool.
Sep-14-13  jerseybob: Nice to see the stultifying Berlin Defense mangled in this fashion! Kasparov in his 2000 World Chp. Match with Kramnik futiley butted his head against the wall in game after game by playing the "normal" lines against the Berlin. This might've been a nice change of pace. I've seen Barry's sideline employed in a few games and it always comes through.
Dec-31-13  Phony Benoni: Looks like we have a definite date for the game: <November 27>. Besides the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle" of December 7, 1899 mentioned above.

I have also found the game published in the "New York Sun" for December 3, 1899:

And the "Evening Star" (Washington DC) for December 9, 1899:

It's the Star which offers the most details, giving the Novewmber 27th date. Also, it says that when Barry announced and demonstrated the mate-in-thirteen after <31...h6>, Pillsbury resigned.

All three sources print the first 31 moves in one block of text and the announced mate separately, which may imply that the "Star" was correct in stating that the moves were merely demonstrated, not actually played. It's not that complicated a combination, so there would have been no questions.

Also, all three sources indicate a move order error in our score: Black's 14th and 15th moves should be reversed.

Dec-31-13  morfishine: Barry bury Harry
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: beriberi, or harikari?
Dec-31-13  solskytz: When Barry buried Harry
Dec-31-13  kevin86: No dough for Pillsbury :(
Dec-31-13  thegoodanarchist: <kevin86: No dough for Pillsbury :(>

Love it! But we needed a party-themed GOTD, what with the New Year and all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Nineteen zero zero

Partie's over, oops, out of time,

Tonight Pill's Barry gonna party

Like its 1899...

Dec-31-13  PJs Studio: Is 16...Bd7 an improvement? I understand that Pillsbury may have intentionally allowed 17.Nc6 but...I'd go out on a limb and say it didn't work out.
Dec-31-13  RookFile: Well, I'm glad we've got the date right. Now it's time to correct the game score, Pillsbury didn't play this out to a hopeless mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: It seems to be that J. F. Barry was a careful reader of Tarrasch's <Dreihundert Schachpartien>. There dr. Tarrasch recommended and also several times used with success Nc3, though in slightly different position after 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Be7 6. d5 Nd6 7. Nc3 (see Opening Explorer). But the analogy is quite clear and in this particular position Nc3 can be even better than in the above mentioned line. White was practically won already after the opening (17.Nc6 was unnecessary despite of material gain as it eased black's game for a while. 17.h3 Nh6 18.Be3 with clear advantage deserved attention instead of it.) and his win was well deserved. Very nice game.
Jul-11-18  TheFocus: Barry announced a mate in 13 after Pillsbury played 31...h6.
Mar-18-22  Z free or die: Phony found the most informative source, and it should be attached to the PGN (and the score corrected show Pillsbury's resignation properly).

But a couple of interesting notes from the sources are worth noting -

1) The game was played for a purse (Evening Star)

2) Barry sent the score in to the BDE, writing:

"I haven't analyzed the games, as I could tell too much that might be treason"

Funny, dat.

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