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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Siegbert Tarrasch
"A Bitter Pill to Swallow" (game of the day Dec-28-2016)
Hastings (1895), Hastings ENG, rd 2, Aug-06
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Pillsbury Variation (D63)  ·  1-0



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Given 48 times; par: 76 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Dec-24-15  Amarande: Hardcore dogmatism seemed to be a thing around this time. Tarrasch was famous for it also (how much time did he spend trying to insist 4 Ng5 in the Two Knights was a duffer's move?), and it also wasn't just a chess thing (Henry Jones aka "Cavendish" was famous for it in his Whist treatise, even where irregular play is successful he cautions with "the result, however, is no criterion").
Dec-24-15  RookFile: Gunsberg is not a big fan of 4. Bg5. The funny thing is nobody talks about black's ....Bb7. What exactly was that bishop good for there? Yes, I know about the Tartakower variation, but even in those ...b6 lines black's best option can sometimes be to play ....Be6. My view is the time spent moving the bishop about, finally to get rid of it for a knight, gave white time for his kingside attack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sally> Gunsberg's funniest annotations that I've seen are to Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894, the last game of the 1894 championship. It disgusted Gunsberg from beginning to end. I'll post them some day.

<RookFile> some discussion of the pluses and minuses of the bishop on b7 at Tartakower vs W Winter, 1932 and posts gathered there. Of course no one can deny that the strategy often doesn't work out too well...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: I believe at the time this game came as a huge sensation, isn't it? Tarrasch was winning and then he played some weak moves but the way Pilssbury played from move 36 until the end was simply astonishing. 44.Qg3+!! followed by the quiet 45.Kh1! was just brilliant.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: THe kind of game that makes any pun look good.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: If it is Hastings it must be Christmas.

But this game was played on 6th August.

It was round 2, the first meeting of Pillsbury and Tarrasch. When history ended for them the score was 5-5 with 2 draws.

For Tarrasch losing this game was a puzzler. He thought he was stronger than Lasker, who had recently beaten old Steinitz. Lasker did not play at Hastings, so Tarrasch would have had strong aspirations to first place. Yet here he lost to a total parvenu.

Dec-28-16  Straclonoor: <Offramp ...Lasker did not play at Hastings> Really? Who take third place in this tournament (Hastings-1895)?
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Straclonoor: <Offramp ...Lasker did not play at Hastings> Really? Who take third place in this tournament (Hastings-1895)?>

Doh! I am a big Lasker fan, as well.

I knew that he didn't win a few of the tournaments he took part in while he was World Champion. I also knew Pillsbury won this one and I had a blind spot: "If Lasker didn't win it he wasn't in it".

Slightly disconcerting (for me).

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black has two advanced pawns, but loses anyway.
Dec-28-16  antonioaguilar: Chernev's 1st or Second game in the Queen's Pawn chapter?
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: What struck me was that by move 38 almost every black piece is on the wrong side of the board and almost every white piece is on the right side of the board. I can't believe Pillsbury really cared about the d4 pawn, it seems more likely he was just trying to lure Tarrasch away from defending his king so that he could pounce, as he eventually did (proving that a Pounce of invention is worth a careless pounding or something like that)
Dec-28-16  cunctatorg: An epic siege and in fact an epic war on the chessboard!!

It captures the imagination with envy and awe!!...

Dec-28-16  morfishine: Another "game title" that pollutes an otherwise great game, which is worthy of GOTD status, but not deserving of such an illogical, irrelevant, off-base, completely non-sensical label title

How long will this garbage continue?


Dec-29-16  Howard: Regarding Antonioaguilar's inquiry, this game was not in Chernev's LCMBM---I assume that's the book he's alluding to.
Jan-29-17  andrea volponi: 30...Dxa2!?- Cf4 Da5! =
Sep-04-17  Nerwal: Going over the game, first impression was that not playing 36... h6 was already asking for trouble (and trouble duly arised). It's not easy to understand why Tarrasch allowed g5 and went for queenside play immediately as including h6 really seems to slow down the attack.

For the same purpose of course computers want to play there some unfathomable junk like 36... g5!? 37. fxg6 hxg6 38. ♖xf6!? ♘xf6 39. ♖xf6 ♖h7!! (39... ♖e6 40 g5 ∞) 40. ♕f2 ♖f7!! -+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  HarryP: According to Reuben Fine in "The World's Great Chess Games" (1951), Irving Chernev thought this was the second greatest game ever played.
Dec-10-18  Howard: And what was THE greatest game, according to Chernev ?

Hint: it made the top 5 in Soltis' book of the greatest games of the 20th century.

Dec-10-18  Olavi: Bogoljubov - Alekhine.
Dec-10-18  Howard: You're getting close---but what year ?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HarryP: Bogoljubov-Alekhine, Hastings 1922
Premium Chessgames Member
  HarryP: Fine gave 45.K-h1 three exclamation marks.
Feb-17-19  cunctatorg: What an immortal piece or art, what a masterpiece!!!

By the way compare H. N. Pillsbury's results vs. Frank Marshall and vs. Carl Schlechter and then compare their results vs. Emmanuel Lasker!... Compare also Pillsbury's results against Em. Lasker!!

To be honest Dr. Tarrasch had a fine score against Harry Nelson, there was a tie!... But Pillsbury was seriously ill (and most probably, often not in good mood) after, say, 1899...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The Alekhine - Capablanca match 1927 contained a long string of colorless QGDs, all duly published by Hermann Helms in the "American Chess Bulletin". In the December issue, after nine of these games, Helms finished off the year by printing this game. I's almost as if he was saying, "Hey! Joe! Al! <This> is how you play a Queen's Gambit!"
Sep-02-19  RookFile: It's funny, if black plays 29....Rf7 he appears to be much better and then may go on to win. If it had played out this way folks might have been saying that Tarrasch showed the truth about the queen's gambit and Pillsbury's amateur attack was doomed to fail.
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