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Francis Joseph Lee vs Harry Nelson Pillsbury
London (1899), London ENG, rd 21, Jun-27
Vienna Game: Mieses Variation (C26)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: In the 1898 Vienna tournament, Tarrasch (the ultimate winner) nearly lost to tail-ender Trenchard using 7. Ne2 and 9. h3 in the 3. g3 line of the Vienna Game. Tarrasch was lucky to escape with a draw after playing this dreadful opening.

For reasons I cannot fathom,Lee decided to play Tarrasch's awful line against Pillsbury. I agree with the (London 1899) Tournament Book that Lee's 10. Kh2 was a (very slight) improvement on Tarrasch's 10. Kh1, but did he really think he could survive in this type of lousy position against Pillbury?

If Lee thought he had found an improvement, it lasted only one move, since his 11. f3 gave him a lost game (11. BxB wasn't great, but gave him a fighting chance).

Fortunately for Lee, Pillsbury took his eye off the ball for a moment with his inferior 11...Bb3 and 12...Qe7, but after Lee's subsequent weak play (e.g., 13. a4 instead of 13. c4) and after his thoughtless recapture 19. RxB (19. QxB was clearly better), Pillsbury wiped Lee off the board in very short order.

Whatever slim chance Lee may have had were extinguished when his poor 21. Ne2 was met by Pillsbury's pretty 21...f4 and his worse than useless 26. a5 was demolished by 26...Re2.

After Lee's 29. h4, Pillsbury had a forced mate, including the lovely 30...RxB+.

A very nice win by Pillsbury against very weak opposition.

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