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Max Euwe vs Gerald Abrahams
Bournemouth (1939), Bournemouth ENG, rd 7, Aug-21
Polish Defense: General (A40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Instead of 6...d5?, perhaps 6...Nf6

If 7...dxc4 8.Qxb7 Nd7 9.Nge2 c5 10.d5

If 9...Nc2+ 10.Kf1 Nxa1 11.Qc6+ Ke7 12.Bg5+ Nf6 13.dxe6 and if 13...fxe6 14.Qxe6 mate

If 10...Nc2+ 11.Kf1 Nxa1 12.dxe6 fxe6 13.Qxa6+ Qe7 14.Nd5 Qxe6 15.Nxc7+ and 16.Nxe6, and White is winning.

If 11...Nxb5 12.Qxb5+ Qd7 13.dxe6 wins.

After 14.Qb7+ Qd7 15.Qxd7 mate.

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  FSR: Of Black's play in this game, I can only say, "euwe."
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  Jonathan Sarfati: Euwe beat Abrahams twice in under 20 moves each.
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  Phony Benoni: Most versions I have seen (such as "Chess Review", October 1939, p.209) end the game with <12.d6+>, the last two move in our score being given as part of the analysis of the final position. Any more information on which version is correct?
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  profK: I think the Dragon beat St George on this occasion !!!
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  perfidious: Black's play in this game, as well as in his other meeting with the former world champion, fairly screams of too much respect for his great opponent's opening erudition; for he was content to go in for more conventional lines in his other games at Bournemouth, though the result overall was hardly plain sailing in any case.
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  fredthebear: I have confirmed this game is in the notes to game 201 of "200 Miniature Games of Chess" by Julius du Mont, page 280. It's the last game of the book, the final chapter being titled "Unusual Openings."

Game Collection: 200 Miniature Games of Chess - Du Mont (IV)

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Nice catch on verifying the game score <fredthebear>!

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  keypusher: Personally I would put more weight on a near-contemporary chess magazine than a subsequent compilation like Du Mont's book. Tartakower & Du Mont's <500 Games of Chess> certainly has its share of errors.

On the other hand with the score rendered this way no one has to wonder why Black resigned.

Jul-15-21  sneaky pete: M?nninghoff in his 1976 Euwe biography gives the 12 move version with notes by Euwe. His source is (the weekly) De Schaakwereld (1939). Euwe questionmarks 6 ... d5 and writes after 12.d6+

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"Black resigns, for 12... cxd6 13.Bg5+ .. with 14.Qb7+ .. next leads to mate, while 12... Kf6 13.dxc7 .. is a quick win as well."

But maybe Euwe was drunk.

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  Phony Benoni: <fredthebear> <jessicafischerqueen> I am looking at a copy of Du Mont's <200 Miniature Games of Chess>. Euwe - Abrahams is indeed included in a note to game 200. Du Mont's version (translated from the Descriptive) ends: <12.d6+ Resigns. For if 12...Kf6 13.dxc7 Qxc7 14.Nd5+."

That note is somewhat better for Black than our continuation. However, 12...Resigns was probably best.

The game was played on August 21, 1939. The next day, accounts appeared in British newspapers:

<Liverpool Daily Post>, August 22, 1939, p. 12:

<"The game between Euwe and Abrahams was one of the shortest ever played in so important a contest, Abrahams having adopted what is considered an inferior defence. Euwe attacked rigorously on the queen's side and was aided by weak play on his opponent's part. At the sixth and ninth moves Abrahams seemed more anxious to trap Euwe's elusive queen than to develop his own pieces. With the loss of a bishop and with worse mishaps about to follow, Abrahams resigned on his twelfth move.">

(At least Abrahams was trying. In fact, I think he found the whole experience very trying.)

<Manchester Guardian>, August 22, 1939, p. 12:

<"There was an early sensation. Abrahams defended with P-QKt4 on his first move, which is sometimes called the Polish defence, but neglected to develop his king's knight, and when Euwe broke into the queen's side with his queen all was over, Abrahams resigning on the twelfth move.">

The game score was published the next day (August 23, 1939) in the <Birmingham Post> (p. 11) and the <Liverpool Daily Post>, p. 13). Both of these end with "12.P-Q6+, Resigns". Both also include our finish and du Mont's finish as analysis of the final position.

This seems very convincing to me. I'd like to see an early example of the longer version, but wouldn't be surprised if it didn't pop up until the database era began around the 1980s.

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  Gregor Samsa Mendel: FWIW, my copy of "Chess Openings: Theory and Practice" by I. A. Horowitz mentions this game in a footnote on p. 784 (where I first found out about this game), and gives the 12-move version.
Apr-18-22  Cibator: Ray Bott and Stanley Morrison included the game in their UK-published book "The Chess Apprentice" (1960; subsequently reissued as "More Chess For Children"). They too gave the 12-move version.

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