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Rudolf Spielmann vs Siegbert Tarrasch
18th DSB Kongress (1912), Breslau GER, rd 15, Jul-31
Scotch Game: Classical Variation (C45)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 30...Re8 is answered by 31.Rxe8+. (the Queen is overloaded.) 30...Be6 and again White can capture a piece with impunity.
Nov-19-06  jegbjerg: Yes, a nice game by Spielmann.

However, I don't understand the point of 16...Qd8, allowing 17.Nxh7!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 17.Qh4 would have won even easier. I thought that idea of 16...Qd8 was to prevent this but it doesn't work.
Nov-20-06  jegbjerg: Yes, thanks Honza. I see it now. After 17.Qh4 h6 (forced) 18.Bxh6! is winning, as a nasty discovered check follows. For example: 18...gxf6 19.Bxf8+ Kg8 20.Bh6, and white is up the exchange and a pawn, with an attack and a better pawn structure.
Oct-01-09  dzechiel: White to move (13?). Material even. "Medium."

OK, the only direct threat against black I can spot is

13 Bg5

But, since this attacks the queen, it should be good enough for now.

At first glance it appears that black has several ways to deal with this threat, but each has it's own problems.

13...f6 14 Nxe6

Picking up a piece and forking queen and rook.

13...Qc8 14 Ne7+ Kh8 15 Nxc8

Winning the queen.

13...Qe8, or

is met by

14 Nf6+ gxf6 15 Bxf6 Ne7 16 Qg5+ Ng6 17 Qh7 and 18 Qg7#

This leaves


Well, after a long look, I think the line goes...

14 Nxc6

On the queen.

14...bxc6 15 Ne7+ Kh8 16 Bf6

The threat is 17 Bxg7+ Kxg7 18 Qg5+ Kh8 19 Qf6#. There's no really good way to stop this, as after

16...gxf6 17 Qh6

followed by 18 Qxf6#.

I think this is it. Time to check.


OK, does my line work as well?

Oct-01-09  Xiaohaha: Bg5 followed by Nf6+ seems like a clear win. If f6 then the bishop hangs.
Oct-01-09  dzechiel: Hmm..., it looks like 16...Rg8 will allow black to escape. Nuts.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: The powerful deflection 13. Bg5! prepares the sham sacrifice 14. Nf6+!, which demolishes the Black King's pawn cover, exploits the weakened castled position and solves today's Thursday puzzle.
Oct-01-09  dzechiel: But this still wins an exchange for white, so this line might be about as good. I'll let those with engines make the pronouncement.
Oct-01-09  Manic: <dzechiel>

Black can play after 17.Qh6 Rg8 and now:

i) 18.Nxg8 Qxg8 and black looks like he might survive.

ii) 18.Qxf6+ Rg7 19.Rd3 Qf8 followed by 20...Re8 and maybe black can hold on.

So it does not look as clear as the game continuation.

Oct-01-09  RandomVisitor: 16.Qe2! wins faster.
Oct-01-09  VincentL: I think the first move here is 13. Bg5

Black must either block the d8-h4 diagonal, or move the Q off that diagonal.

13..... f6 14. Nxe6 forking Q and R. 14. Qe8 Nxf8 15. fxg5 and black will end up materially by at least the exchange and a pawn.

13..... Ne7 cannot be played because of 14. Nxe7+ and of course black cannot play QxN

13.... Qd7/Qe8. Now white can play 14. Nf6+ gxf6 (forced) 15. Bxf6 and black is defenceless against Qh6 and Qg7 mate

13....Qb8/Qc8. 14 Nf6+. If gxf6 this transposes into the line above. If 14. ....Kh8 15. Bh6 should win

Oct-01-09  VincentL: Ah. No!

My last line is embarrassingly incorrect.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: 17.♕h4! (instead of 17.♘xh7 as played) h6 18.♗xh6 ♗xf2 19.♗xg7+ ♔xg7 20.♕g5+ ♔h8 21.♕h6#
Oct-01-09  Athamas: White has a knight to black's bishop. There is a lot of central tension. Initially I studied the knight movements, probably a minute or two before I moved on. There are certainly some uncertain positions that arise from knight moves, but nothing seems to give white a strong advantage without black making a bad move. Pawns seem rather passive other than the e-pawn at the moment, so I dismissed that as well. However, the bishop is nicely placed in front of a queen - ready to attack. 13. Bg5

A very aggressive place to put the bishop once you notice black can't play f6 because of Nxe6. So where to move the queen? I don't think Qc8 is very good after Nxc6 - black can't avoid a loss of a knight or queen for knight. However, Qd7 and Qe8 both allow a very barbaric Nf6+ fork that leaves black without his queen or king. I really wanted to dismiss Qb8 but it seems as if it is the only safe square.


Black's queen and rook are now near-useless in defense of his majesty, so it would seem now is the time for an assault. I will not lie and say it's easy to spot a good way to continue the attack. I can see forking the rook and queen, but not a decisive mate or larger material advantage. I am uncertain if this attack is correct, but we will see.

14. Nf6+ Kh8

Black still cannot accept the knight in light of simply Bxf6 and unstoppable mate after Qg5# or Qh6/Qg7#

15. Qf4

This is where I'm largely uncertain if I found the best defense.

15...Bxd4 16. Rxd4 Nxd4 17. Qh4

And black cannot stop mate from this position. However, Nxd4 cannot be the best

16...Ne5 17. Qh4 h6 18. Bxh6 Ng6 19. Qh5

I think this must be the best response... or at least I hope

19...gxf6 20. Bg5+

20...Kg7 21. Qh6+ Kg8 22. Bxf6 ?? 23. Qg7#

20...Kg8 21. Bxf6

Now the queen is dropped or mated.

Oct-01-09  Athamas: <13...Qc8 14 Ne7+ Kh8 15 Nxc8>

You forgot Nxc6 first as Ne7+ is met by Nxe7

Although I'm curious if my line works? I just skipped Nxc6 altogether and forgot to post my analysis of Qd8 but that was played in the game and people have already stated the effects.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: 12...Be6 was a blunder as it made 13...f6 impossible. I like 12...Re8, putting some more pressure on the center.
Oct-01-09  newzild: I got the general idea, and the first three moves, but with a different move order: 13.Bg5 Qb8 (otherwise there are some nasty tricks possible involving forks) 14.Nxb6 bc 15.Nf6+. I analysed to a win after, but not after black declines the sac (as in the game).
Oct-01-09  OrangeBishop: I got as far as 14. Nf6+ Kh8. At this point I thought I would try picking up the exchange with 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Nd7. I guess this isn't ambitious enough? The idea that the mating attack can continue even though Black avoided gxf6 was too deep for me. It looks like Eggman showed that Spielmann missed a much stronger continuation than Nxh7.

So a question for the experts. Does my line lead to a winning (if much less convincing) position, or is there a mistake somewhere? Thanks in advance.

Oct-01-09  lost in space: Hmm, I don't have the full solution, but a part:

13. Bg5 Qb8
(13...f6? Nxe6; 13...Qc8?? Ne7+; 13... Qd7? 14. Nf6+ gxf6 15. Bxf6 and mate to follow)

14. Nf6+ Kh8 15. Nxc6 bxc6 15. Qe2. I was not able to find the mate but I am sure white will win.

Oct-01-09  Summerfruit: Material is even.


a) 13...f6 14.Nxe6 forking

b) 13...Qd7/Qe8 14.Nf6+ gxf6 15.Bxf6

The threat 16.Qh6 (or possibly 16.Qg5+) mating can't be parried, e.g.

15...Nd7 16.Qh6 Nf5 17.exf5 and mate next move

c) 13...Qc8 14.Nxc6 threatening 15.Ne7+ forking

d) 13...Qb8 14.Nf6+

The knight is again immune from capture similarly to b).

14...Kh8 15.Nxe6 fxe6 (15...gxf6 16.Bxf6+) 16.Nd7 forking

Oct-01-09  gofer: Candidates: Nxc6, Nxe6 and Bg5 all attacking the queen and Nf6+

I think I prefer Bg5...

13 Bg5

Option 1
13 ... f6
14 Nxe6 Qb8/Qc8/Qe8/Qd7 15 Nxf8 winning

Option 2
13 ... Qb8/Qc8/Qe8/Qd7
14 Nf6+ ...

14 ... gxf6
15 Bxf6 with the Qh6 mating soon

14 ... Kh8
15 Qf4 with the Qh4 mating soon

Time to check...

Oct-01-09  eaglewing: <RandomVisitor: 16.Qe2! wins faster.> Why should it be faster than 16. Qf4 followed by Qh4? Qe2 should ofcourse win but needs more care against a defense like 16. ... g6. What kind of defense do you think about against Qf4(+Qh4), which lasts longer than against Qe2 (+Qh5 if possible or what followup do you have in mind?).
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: White has a knight and a bishop for the bishop pair. Black should consider simplifying the game with exchanges to alleviate some pressure on his position. Since the black castle is not properly defended because most pieces are on the queen side, in particular, the dark square bishop, and White's knights are close enough to the black king, one would be interested in forcing some weakening of the black castle to accelerate the attack. Therefore, 13.Bg5:

A) 13... Qe8 14.Nf6+ gxf6 15.Bxf6 (threatening 16.Qg5#) Ne5(7) 16.Qh6 + -.

B) 13... Qd7 14.Nf6+ gxf6 15.Bxf6 Rf(b,c,d)8 16.Qh6 + -.

C) 13... Qc8 14.Nxc6 + -, wins a piece because of the royal fork.

D) 13... Qb8 14.Nxc6 bxc6 (14... Bxd5 15.Ne7+ Kh8 16.e(N)xd5 + - [N])

D.1) 15.Ne7+ Kh8 16.Nxc6 doesn't look very ambitious.

D.2) 15.Bf6 (threatening 16.Qg5 g6 17.Qh6) h6 (15... gxf6 16.Nxf6+ Kg7 (16... Kh8 17.Qh6 + -) 17.Qg5+ Kh8 18.Qh6 + -) 16.Ne7+ Kh7 (16... Kh8 17.Qxh6#) and White's attack seems to stall.

D.3) 15.Nf6+ Kh8 (15... gxf6 16.Bxf6 Rc8 17.Qh6 + -) 16.Qf4 (threatening 17.Qh4 h6 18.Bxh6)

D.3.a) 16... Rg8 17.Nxg8 + - [R vs B]. Or 17.Qh4 gxf6 (17... h6 18.Bxh6 gxf6 19.Bf8#) 18.Bxf6+ Rg7 19.Qh6 Qf8 20.Rd3 Bxf2 21.Rf1 Bc4 22.Rxf2 Bxd3 23.cxd3 + -.

D.3.b) 16... g6 17.Qh4 h5 18.Nxh5 Bxf2 (18... gxh5 19.Qxh5+ and mate soon) 19.Qxf2 gxh5 20.Qf6+ Kg8 (20... Kh7 21.Qh6+ Kg8 22.Bf6 + -) 21.Bh6 + -.

D.3.c) 16... Qd8 17.Qh4 h6 (17... Bxf2 18.Qxf2 + -; 17... gxf6 18.Bxf6+ Qxf6 19.Qxf6+ + -) 18.Bxh6 gxf6 (18... gxh6 19.Qxh6#; 18... Qxf6 19.Bg5+ + -; 18... Bxf2 19.Bxg7+ Kxg7 20.Qg5+ Kh8 21.Qh6#) 19.Bg5+ Kg7 20.Qh6+ Kg8 21.Bxf6 + -.

E) 13... f6 14.Nxe6 Qe8 15.Nxf8 fxg5 16.Nxh7 Kxh7 17.f3 + - [R+P vs B].

Oct-01-09  Eisenheim: I missed this, I considered and rejected Bg5 and Nf6 as advancing the position, but thought there was something more explosive I was searching for.
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