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Miklos Brody vs Carl Schlechter
Paris (1900), Paris FRA, rd 14, Jun-13
King's Gambit: Accepted. Traditional Variation (C38)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: GARRI-tpstar0 (InstantChess 9/29/04): 1. e4 e5 2. f4 ef 3. Nf3 d6 4. Bc4 h6 5. 0-0 g5 6. d4 Bg7 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. Nd5 Bg4 (8 ... Nf6) 9. h3!? Bxf3 10. Rxf3 Bxd4+ 11. Kh2 Bg7 12. c3? Ne5 13. Be2 Nxf3+ 14. Bxf3 c6 15. Nb4 Ne7 16. Qd3 Ng6 17. Bh5 Ne5 18. Qc2 Qf6 19. Qb3 0-0 and Black won (0-1).
Oct-02-04  Kean: Allowing 10..Nxd5 was terrible for it erased the white sq bishop all the game. now, i dont know this line of the kings gambit but the black pawn chain was always healty, and 15.g3 was sheer blindness if not madness
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A case of double chess blindness. Schlechter, playing the Black side of a King's Gambit, outplayed Brody and was up a piece by move 17 in a clearly winning position. But Schlechter blundered on move 19, overlooking a winning (and rather obvious) Queen fork by Brody. Brody, in turn, overlooked this winning resource on move 20, and Schlechter--now safely a piece ahead--forced resignation shortly thereafter.

This game displays what can happen at the end of a long tournament in which players have to replay draws and thus work overtime. Thank goodness this practice from the early 1900's was generally abandoned.

1. e4 e5
2. f4 exf4
3. Nf3 g5
4. Bc4?!

Playable and complicated, but inferior to the more usual 4. h4 (generally leading to the Kieseritsky Gambit).

4... Bg7

True to form, Schlechter avoids the wild Muzio Gambit that can develop after 4...g4.

5. d4

Brody, in turn, does not opt for 5. h4 (the Philidor Gambit) and instead enters the murky waters of the so-called Hanstein Gambit. The merits of this line were set forth in the book by Korchnoi and Zak on the King's Gambit: "Instead of striking at Black's pawn chain by means of either 4. h4! or 5. h4, White chooses another means of doing this, namely g3. This plan leads to a more favorable position for White than in the Philidor Gambit).

Another reasonable move for White here is 5. Nc3.

5... d6

5...h6 is often recommended here (e.g., by Korchnoi and Zak), but the text (which is similar to the Fischer Defense to the King's Gambit) is solid and probably at least as good. Also possible for Black here is 5...Nc6.

6. Nc3

Rosenthal in the Tournament Book said that 6. c3 was best, but the text is also playable. 6.0-0 was another reasonable option.

6... Nc6

Black is still up a pawn and can develop his pieces while awaiting how White will justify the gambit. 6...h6 was a reasonable alternative.

7. 0-0?!

A daring move that is of questionable soundness. The thematic 7. h4 was probably best.

7... h6

Schlecther could also have reasonable played 7...Bg4 here.

8. Nd5

This is a gambit opening so Brody must attack. Either the text or 8. h3 preventing g4 were plausible options.

8... Nf6

Alternatively, Schlechter could have played 8...Nce7 or 8...Nge7.

9. c3

9. NxN+ was probably better.

9... 0-0

9...NxN was clearly better.

The position was now:

click for larger view

10. Qd3

"Weak. The correct move was 10. NxN+." (Rosenthal in the Tournament Book).

Rosenthal is surely correct that 10. NxN+ was better than the text. But best of all was 10. g3 attacking the Black pawn chair (the Korchnoi-Zak approach). The text gives Schlechter a chance he does not seize.

10... NxN

This is good enough to preserve Black's advantage, but 10...Na5 would have either eliminated the dangerous White Bishop at c4 or put it out of play (after 11. Bb5 c6 12. NxN+ QxN 13. Ba4).

11. exN?

After this inexplicable move (blocking his own Bishop's diagonal), Brody was lost. The seemingly obvious 11. BxN was essential.

11... Ne7

If Brody had hoped to gain some advantage by driving Schlechter's knight away, his plan failed miserably. At e7, the Black knight can contribute to the Black defense quite nicely.

12. h4

The thematic move for White in many variations of the King's Gambit is a means of attacking the Black pawn chain. But 12. Re1 or maybe 12. a4 were better here. The h4 idea no longer packs much punch in this position.

12... Bf5
13. Qe2 Ng6

Another possibility was the tricky 13...Re8 (14. hxg5 Re8).

14. hxg5 hxg5
15 g3?!

Brody is playing with fire Allowing Schlechter's next move leads to an immediate crisis in which White is unlikely to survive

15.. g4!

Schlechter happily accepts the challenge

The position was now:

click for larger view

Schlechter almost certainly has a won game here. He is up a pawn and rolling up the King-side. But from here, the game took a series of strange twists and turns as I will discuss in my next post on this game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Post II

Where should Brody have retreated his Knight after Schlechter's 15...g4? There really were no good choices available.

16. Nh2

16. Ne1 would probably have led to the same fate.

16... g3!

White is busted.

17. Nxf3

Desperation. This sacrifice of a piece at least gave Brody some sounterplay, but he is now down a piece with little to show for it. The game appears to be over.

17... gxN
18. Qxf3 Bh3
19. Rf2

This left:

click for larger view

With almost anything (e.g., 19...Qd7 or 19...Qd8) Schlechter could mobilize his army and bring the game to a swift and victorious conclusion. But here Schlechter had a horrific oversight:

19... f5??

Seemingly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. All of a sudden, Schlechter's clearly winning position falls to a simple Queen fork: 20. Qh5! And all of a sudden, Schlechter is lost. But...

20. Rh2??

Missing his chance. Now, once again, Brody is lost---and this time Schlechter makes no mistakes and waltzes to victory.

20... Bg4

Now Schlechter's Bishop is defended and the game is essentially over.

21. Qh1?

If Brody wanted to play on, he had to try 21. Qf2. Now his Queen is bottled up, and quickly traded off by the revived Schlechter.

21... Qe7

21...f4 was more brutal, but from this point Schlechter, perhaps recognizing his close-call, decides to keep things simple and trade down to an easy win.

22. Bd2 Qe4

22...f4 was stronger, but the text eliminates the Queens and ends any hope Brody may have had for counterplay.

The position was now:

click for larger view

23. Re1

Brody may as well have played 23. QxQ. The text only makes things worse for him, not that this made any difference to the likely outcome by this point.

23... QxQ+
24. RxQ Rae8
25. Re6

Brody--if he didn't want to resign yet--should have just traded Rooks here. Any thoughts of utilizing the resulting White passed pawn on the e-file were obviously futile.

25... RxR
26.dxR Ne7

The position was now:

click for larger view

Brody could here have safely resigned. But he struggled on for another two moves:

27. Bg5 Bf6
28. Bh6 Re8


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