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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Jackson Whipps Showalter
New York (1893), New York, NY USA, rd 12, Oct-16
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Pillsbury Variation (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Exchanging pieces while not only preserving your advantage, but emphasizing it. This is one of the great arts of chess, and Pillsbury was one of the great artists.
Jul-20-03  ughaibu: I would say the most important feature in Pillsbury's strategy was the creation of bishops on opposite colours while maintaining the major pieces.
Jul-20-03  Hoozits: I'm sorry, as a chess player who admits there are many things he does not know that others most certainly do, I'd like to know the rationale behind ughaibu's comment about, "...Opposite color bishops and maintaining the major pieces..." I'm curious as to why this is advantageous for white? Thanks in advance to whoever answers my question.
Jul-20-03  ughaibu: As bishops on opposite colours bypass each other they can be a very powerful attacking weapon. That all the other minor pieces have gone increases the influence of the bishop due to it's advantageous exchangeability against the major pieces, for this reason and in order to have an effective attack for the bishop to partake in white needs to keep on the major pieces. My remark was an oversimplification as Pillsbury already had a significant spatial advantage and dynamic pawn structure from which he could create his attack but the opposite coloured bishops make things much easier for him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Bishops of opposite colors are often drawish,but also may be a large advantage to the attacking player. Just think,the defending bishop is worthless in blocking and opposing the attacker. Another example of this advantage is SPASSKY-FISCHER 1972 WC Third game.
Feb-28-04  Hanada: I find that Pillsbury has a very modern feel to many of his games. This is a player who was truly an innovator in his time; it's just too bad his career was cut short because I believe he would have eventually become world champion. Look at his record against Lasker.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Nothing says lovin' like something in the oven,but Pillsbury says it best!!

As I said previously,the middle game and ending are two different animals-HNP knows the difference and takes advantage of this.

Feb-28-04  Egghead: Pillsbury overlooked a startling move, 30.Qf6+!, according to both Fritz and Crafty. Opinions?
Feb-28-04  morphynoman2: 30. Qf6+! is really spectacular. I see 30... Qxf6 (only move?) 31. exf6 Rf7 (only move?) and white advances the pawns in the king side. Is black in zugzwang?
Feb-28-04  Orcinus: 30 Qf6+ wins.
Feb-28-04  drukenknight: Eggie: does the move win or just make things interesting? Since the metal monsters are suggesting it, I think it is only fair that they show the follow up. Or is there another link to that?

Wow what an outstanding game, anyhow. They both played w/o mistakes for a long time.

I was looking at blacks 29th, why not Qf8?

Feb-28-04  Egghead: drunkenknight: No, it doesn't win outright, from what I can see. Black has three choices:

30. ... Qg7 is mated immediately: 31.Qxg7#

30. ... Rxf6 is mate in 5, e.g., 31.exf6 Qxh2+ 32.Kxh2 h5 33.f7+ Kh7 34.f8=Q (f8=N also works) e5 35.Qg7#

But 30. ... Qxf6 is unclear. After 31.exf6 h5 32.Rg7 etc. White has a big positional edge but no winning line. Can anyone improve on this?

Feb-28-04  Egghead: Wait, I take that back. Crafty suggests a clever line, 31.exf6 d6 32.f7+ e5 33.Rxe5 Kg7 34.Rb5+ and White gets the bishop. I think 30.Qf6+ does win.
Feb-28-04  drukenknight: >>Can anyone improve on this?

What? Is crafty on strike? You've got super chess programs able to see billions of moves in a split second, think it's won but you're still looking for the line.

Step back. Take a deep breath. Really think about what you are saying....

"I think it wins..."

Let me digress. In law, they tell you not to argue in a certain way. NEVER go into court and say "Judge we feel that..." or "Judge, we think...'

NO, you never "think", you never "feel" You have to say what the law is. They will laugh you out of court if you talk that way.

NOw think about it. You say white has a big positional edge but no winning line. THen by definition black must have some compensation. So whatever edge white has, it must be offset in someway by what black has. That the whole game of chess in a nutshell.

Feb-28-04  Egghead: drunkenknight, see my second note. 30.Qf6+ wins a piece for White, but there is no forced mate. Most players would call this winning; you may disagree. It can't be proven with existing technology.
Feb-28-04  Calculoso: After 39. ... Qxe6 40. Rxe6 Kxg7 41. Re7+ Kg6 42. Rxc7 and the bishop must move dropping another pawn. 2 pawns and a bishop vs. 5 pawns and a rook is decisive enough for white.
Feb-28-04  drukenknight: They can't prove angels and fairies exist with existing technology either. I wonder if it's the same thing?
Feb-05-06  Torpeng Palikero: I've just recently came across Pillsbury and I must say that he really play chess very well.His style of play is ahead of his time.Its just a shame that he died quite early.

Now about the question 30.Qf6+. It definitely wins and not just wins a piece. 30. Qf6+ Qxf6 31.exf6 h5 32.Rg7 d6 33.Rxc7 Ba8 34.c5!! here either black takes c5 or not does not matter.

(a)34....if d5 35.Be5 d4 36.Bd6!!! now here is black's again another problem. It's a dam if you don't and dam if you do situation. If black decides on Rxf6 its lost to a very nasty pin! And if he decides otherwise there is no stopping the white pawn into queening and soon dropping black's rook and mate follows after.

(b)if 34... dxc5 35.Rg7 and again here no what ever black replies white still wins. Another is 30 Qf6+ Qxf6 31. exf6 Rf7 32.Rg7! Rf8 33. f7!!! and if black here tries to force the issue on 32... Rxg7 instead of RF8, f7 again is very devastating.

On the question 29... Qf8 instead of Rf8. This one also loosses to Qf6+. 29... Qf8 30. Qf6+ Qxf6 31. exf6 d6 32.f7 e5 33.Rxe5!! only move now is Kg7. 34 Re8!!!.

So I say Qf6+ very convincingly wins!

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Pillsbury morphing into Pillsbury before our eyes with 27 f5!!

Pity he missed 30 Qf6+, but with Lasker in the house I am sure it was pointed out!

Dec-20-12  Morphischer: Move 30.Qf6+ isn't a forced mate but it will win the Rook.

1.Qf6+ Qxf6 2.exf6 Rf7 3.Rg7

if 3.Rf8 (4.f7 leads to a win of the Rook)

if 3.Rxf7 (4.Rg6+ Rg7(or e5 Bxe5+ first) 5.Rxg7 wins the Rook)

if 3.Rxg7? (4.f7 e5 5.Bxe5 h6/h5 6.f8=Q+ Kh7 7.Qxg7#)

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