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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs James Mason
London (1899), London ENG, rd 7, Jun-08
Dutch Defense: Queen's Knight Variation (A85)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-12-10  bengalcat47: According to the London 1899 Tournament Book the losing move here is 55...Kg8. Instead Black should played 55...gxh5; 56.gxh5, Ke8 and draws. If 57.Kb5 then ...Kb7; 58. g6+, Kf8; 59.Ke6, Kg8 and draws (but not 59...Ke8 for then 60.h6 and White wins). Endgames like this always deserve close and careful study. Even though the results should have been a draw it is always a joy to watch Pillsbury at work executing his strategy with flawless precision.
Jul-16-11  Articcircle: The move 60.Kf8 also wins...60.-g6 61.Kf7
or 60.-Kh7 61.g6 Kh8 62.h6 and wins.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Since Black appears to be completely paralyzed, instead of rushing to trade down with <37. Bxd8+>, how about playing g4 and h5 first? For example, 37. Ke2 Rd5 38. g4 Rd3 39. h5 Rd5, and only now 40. Bxd8+ Rexd8 41. Rxd8 Rxd8 42. Rxd8 Kxd8 43. h6 wins.

Does Black have a defense against this plan? Of course, he could try 37. Ke2 Rd5 38. g4 Rxa5 giving up the exchange, but I think White probably wins that too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A classic ending that Pillsbury should not have won.

Pillsbury appeared to have this game won several times, but traded down several times, ultimately to an endgame he only won because of a blunder by Mason.

After outplaying Mason in the opening and achieving what looks to me to be a strategically won game, Pillsbury--after Mason's weak 17...b8-- got cute with 18. Nxc6 instead of maintaining his bind with something simple like 18. Nf3.

Pillsbury again got Mason tied up, and got a likely winning endgame after 23. QxQ, but then moved the wrong Rook with 24. Rec1 instead of Rac1. Then, he miscalculated beginning with 37. BxN check and got a pawn ending that turns out to be an easy draw for Black, as noted by Averbakh and Maizelis in their "Pawn Endings."

I agree with beatgiant that, with Black paralyzed, Pillsbury should not have been so fast to trade down to a pawn ending, and his line does indeed appear to win.

Bravo beatgiant!!

As the game went, Mason had a clear draw until his 55...Kg8 (instead of the correct 55...gxh5). After that, Pillsbury had a clear win both as played and also with Articcircle's 60. Kf8.

Pawn endings can be tricky, and Pillsbury for once misjudged the ending...but won anyway because Mason misplayed it.

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