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Rudolf Spielmann vs Hector Shoosmith
Ostend-B (1907), Ostend BEL, rd 27, Jun-21
Italian Game: Classical. Center Holding Variation (C53)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-25-10  Xeroxx: very good play.
Aug-25-10  YouRang: The position at black's 39th move would be a good candidate for a daily puzzle (maybe Friday level?) [diagram]

click for larger view

It appears that black is facing a losing pawn race. Black has one passed pawn (the d-pawn), and as the game shows, it loses it's race with white's h-pawn.

However, black missed a clever drawing resource: Push the more advanced pawn:


At first glance, it doesn't appear to have much future when it comes up against white's f2 pawn, but the bishop diagonal makes the difference. It continues:

40.h6 e3! [diagram]

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Now white has no time to push the h-pawn (41.h7?? e2! and black is winning). White can't capture the pawn either (41.fxe3?? Bxe3+ winning the h-pawn and again black is winning). White needs to play:

41.Kf1 exf2! 42.h7 Nb3! 43.h8=Q Nd2+ 44.Ke2 f1=Q+ 43.Kxd2, and it's looking like a draw (at least a draw can be easily forced by black).

Premium Chessgames Member
  kenilworthian: YouRang: that is a super analysis of the ending. It seems that, after a little repetition with his Rook, Spielmann conceived of his plan to win the pawn race and executed it -- likely under time pressure. I'm not at all surprised that he (or his opponent) overlooked that amazing saving line.

Takchess seems to have taken up your suggestion of making this a puzzle in his Weeks 1-5 collection.

May-12-20  J. Adoube: Yes, very nice. Stockfish rates it even after 37.Rg8.
May-12-20  syracrophy: I went through <YouRang>'s ingenious defensive resource 39...e4! and at first glance I attempted 40.♔f1 (to reply to 40...e3 with 41.f4 but ...f5! works as fine as in the main line) but after 40...f5! Black is suddenly back on the race by freeing the diagonal.

click for larger view

Now, after 41...exf2 Stockfish proposed 42.♖b7 (instead of 42.h7):

click for larger view

But leads to a drawn endgame after 42...♗d4 43.♖b4 ♗c3 44.h7 f5 45.♖b8 ♘c4 46.♔xf2 d5 47.h8=♕ ♗xh8 48.♖xh8.

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Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
November, p. 224 [Game 230 / 1250]
from American Chess Bulletin 1907 by Phony Benoni
Italian, Classical. Center Holding Var (C53) 1-0 Remove the Def
from g-pawn/file action-reaction Fredthebear's ECO C by fredthebear
Black to move: 39...? (My rating: Fri) [39...e4!]
from Daily Puzzle Candidates by YouRang
Italian, Classical. Center Holding Var (C53) 1-0 Remove the Def
from Promotions/Attempts, Some Better Than Others by fredthebear
from Weeks 1-5 by takchess

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