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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Jackson Whipps Showalter
Nuremberg (1896), Nuremberg GER, rd 15, Aug-05
Semi-Slav Defense: Accelerated Move Order (D31)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: "29. Ra3 was bad because of 29...Nxc5 30 dxc5 Qxc5 then next ...Rxb7 and Qxa3" Tarrasch in the tournament book

Showalter seems to have seen Pillsbury's attacks and prepared traps against them, but Pillsbury foresaw those too!

Feb-07-09  GlassCow: 18. Nxd7? seems horrible to me, exchanging dominant knight for sickly bishop. Showalter's position was already so bad that it didn't much matter, however.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <GlassCow: 18. Nxd7? seems horrible to me, exchanging dominant knight for sickly bishop.>

Seemed odd to me too, but...

Tarrasch gives 18 Nxd7 an exclam, and explains after 18...Nxd7

"Now the position has finally clarified: Black has a backward pawn on an open file, with more passive play overall, added to now having Knight versus Bishop for a definite disadvantage."

Feb-07-09  blacksburg: Fischer vs Petrosian, 1971

this game has a similar counter-intuitive minor piece exchange. in both cases, the exchange is based on concrete calculations - the bishop is "bad", but it's defending invasion squares for the white rooks (b7).

in both cases, white is subtly converting the advantage of the superior minor piece into the advantage of the more active rooks. very instructive.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Fischer and Pillsbury shared that similar trait of absolute ruthlessness pursuing a calculable advantage.

Keeping the knight on would be good also, but once the bishop dropped back to e8, the knight would be largely immobile.

The ability to know when to exchange advantages has to be one of the clearest indicators of chess class.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: I tend to think that Harry P was worried that the bishop was headed to an annoying spot at h5. He apparently has no time to snatch the e pawn. For instance 18.Re1 Be8 19.Bb1 Nd7! and if 20.Nd3 then Bh5. The Q can't take. My vote is that 18. Nxd7! is more calculation than deep insight.
May-08-17  mandor: Really nice philosophical thoughts, about the paradogical: 18.Nxd7
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: paradogical is a fitting (Intended?) portmanteau word for Pillsbury. "paradogical" = paradoxical and logical
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