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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

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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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]


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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:

39...e4!!

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).

Dec-31-19
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.


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


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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
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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
39...?
from Weeks 1-5 by takchess

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