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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Siegbert Tarrasch
Vienna (1898), Vienna AUH, rd 2, Jul-28
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio de Janeiro Variation (C67)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-06-03  Kenkaku: Nicely handled by Pillsbury, bringing about a quick finish after the blunder 39...c6, though black seemed done for in any case for quite some time now. Trying to pinpoint where black went wrong, I think it may have been as early as 25...Bg8. Better seems to be 25...Re8.
Oct-06-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 39...c6 - White threatens 40.Rc2 winning the pawn. So its not a mistake, just a lost position.

Earlier, I think Tarrasch plays a5 at the wrong move. If he played 21...a5!, the unprotected knight at a4 and the loose pawn at a2 poses problems for Pillsbury. Unfortunately, he plays 28...a5? and after 29.a4!, he is trouble.

Oct-06-03  aulero: 21...a5 is in my opinion a losing move, White can play 22.♖h4 and now:

22...h6 23.♕xh6+ gxh6 24.♖xh6#
22...♗f5 23.♖gh3! and Black has no defense.

Oct-06-03  Shadout Mapes: what if 22.Rh4 g5?
Oct-06-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: 22...Bf5 23.Rgh3!! is great. I missed it completely. Pillsbury probably counted on it and Tarrasch must have been scared by it. Still, it looks like Black has a defense with 23...g5! with a draw by perpetual check after 24.Qxh7+
Oct-06-03  aulero: I suppose you mean 22...♗f5 23.♖gh3 g5. Yes it is very strong move, you are right.
Oct-06-03  aulero: I see no more than the perpetual check. 23.♕xh7+ ♗xh7 24.♖xh7+ ♔g8 25.♖h8+ ♔g7 26.♖8h7+ ♔g8! (not 26...♔g6 27.g4!).
Oct-06-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: <aulero> Thanks for pointing out the Rgh3 variation! It adds a lot to understanding what the players were thinking during the game. Tarrasch's 21...f3 was surely directed at this possibility. He is protecting h7 with Bg8 and g6 or g5 if needed.
Oct-06-03  Kenkaku: White may be threatening 40. Rc2, but isn't losing the pawn better than losing the piece which will have to be sacrificed for white's b pawn? As I said though, the game was already over anyway, black had no suitable defense.
Dec-31-08  LIFE Master AJ: This game has a very modern feel to it. Tarrasch makes no single move that one could point to and claim is the obvious losing move, Pillsbury just slowly outplays Tarrasch. Nice - I like it a lot.
Dec-31-08  LIFE Master AJ: It is instructive to see how Pillsbury fixes the Black Q-side and then systematically attacks it.
Dec-14-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  zydeco: 13....c5 is book. Pillsbury does a nice job showing up the weakness of 13....d5. The whole maneuver with 14....Bb4, Ba5, Bb6 looks pointless. Is 14.....f6 completely crazy?
Jun-22-13  estrick: On 22. Nc5, Pillsbury gets in the "Pillsbury bind," -a paralyzing knight outpost on that square, which in this case was thought to have been decisive.
Jun-23-13  RookFile: Karpov or anybody else would be pleased with Pillsbury's play in this game.
Oct-11-16  Mr. Blonde: A positional masterpiece. This game has a very modern feel to it. Pillsbury, la Petrosian!
Oct-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Mr. Blonde: A positional masterpiece. This game has a very modern feel to it. Pillsbury, la Petrosian!>

Are modern players in the habit of playing into simple losing binds, as Tarrasch did here?

From a Carlsen interview:

<You can learn a lot from old games because they are instructive. In modern games its harder to play these kind of instructive games because people realise what you are going to do and so its not really a case of you follow a plan and then win. In the old days often you could see games even at the highest level when people lay out a good plan and they win.>

See here for a positional improvement for Black.

Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1908

Oct-11-16  Mr. Blonde: keypusher, I meant modern from Pillsbury's perspective: moves like 14. Na4, 26. f3 or 38. Rd2 show a really fine positional judgement: don't get into a rush, but slowly build up and increase, by improving your position, your advantage. I can see some of the strategic themes that Nimzowitsch pointed out 30 years later in some of Pillsbury's games, but with a really high precision and logic to it that I don't find another S. XIX player showing such an understanding of these strategical concepts (very rough at that time) out there. It's just my opinion. I apologize if my english is not good enough; it's not my mother language. I post this very interesting article about Pillsbury from a GM: https://ajedrez.chess.com/article/v...
Oct-11-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <MrBlonde>

<I apologize if my english is not good enough; it's not my mother language.>

On the contrary, thank you for taking the trouble to communicate in a second language. Your English is very good.

Apr-12-20  jerseybob: Love the way Pillsbury keeps his eye on the ball, namely c5, and doesn't let black escape the bind like Porges did against Lasker in a similar position, by answering d5 with exd6?

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