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David Bronstein vs L Morgulis
? (1940)
Bishop's Opening: Vienna Hybrid. Spielmann Attack (C26)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-04-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: 34....Rbxf7 35.Qxf7 Rxf7 36.Nxf7+ and 37. Nxe5
Aug-17-04  checkpat: 35 Nxf7 Rxf736Rd8+ mates shortly
Aug-21-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marius: 35. Nxf7 Rbxf7 36.Rd8+ Nf8 and if 37.Bxf7? Qe1 #
May-13-05  soberknight: Black made a number of mistakes here. I wonder if he should have taken out an attacking piece with 19...Nxb3 and simply played a pawn down from there. Soltis once wrote, "One of the reasons chess players lose short games is in order to avoid losing long ones."
Oct-19-05  Averageguy: You can't really blame black, has it's hard to see the later combination. I think blacks main mistake was that his pieces didn't get into the game enough, like the Rb8 and the Ne8. Bronstein was only 16 when he played this game.
Nov-24-09  Bent75: Is it OKAY to collect also my own game
in MY Game Collections;When(if)I can
find them ??
Dec-21-09  LeBronstein: The talent of Morgulis was cut short two years after this game. He died of heart disease at a very young age in 1942.
Jul-15-11  rustyj: Why after 18. Bxh6 does Black play ...Ne8?

Why doesn't Morgulis respond with ...gxh6? It seems dangerous for black at first but it seems to make for better chances further into the game.

Jul-15-11  Shams: <rustyj> White's 18.Bxh6 just nips a clean pawn, after which Black is down material and, all things being equal, he opts to keep as many pieces on as he can, hence 18...Ne8. Also, after 18...gxh6 19.Qxf6 we have this which is just awful for Black:


click for larger view

The h-pawn is fatally weak and white's knight will romp after Ne2-g3.

Jul-15-11  rustyj: Thanks kindly Shams. Fritz shows Black ignoring a gxh6 attack and going for 18..Bxd3

The Queen and Knight go after White's King, but eventually the King ends up back on F8 and it just gets difficult for White to checkmate.

[Event "Kiev-tm USSR/YUG"]
[Site "Kiev-tm USSR/YUG"]
[Date "1940.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "David Bronstein"]
[Black "L Morgulis"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C27"]
[Annotator "Johnson,Rusty"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "1940.??.??"]

18. Bxh6 Ne8

(18... Bxd3 24 19. Bxg7
7 Kxg7 18 20. Qg5+ 6 Kh7 1 21. Rxd3 5 Nxd3 0 22. Qxf6 1 Nc5 1 23. Ng3 1 Rg8 5 24. Qh4+ 0 Kg6 2 25. f4 3 Kg7 1 26. Nf5+ 1 Kf8 1 27. exd5 5)

Jul-03-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Instead of 20...cxd5, perhaps best is 20...Nxb2 21.Rd2 a4

Instead of 31.Bd3+ and several more moves for White, White could have played the better 31.Bf5+ Kg8 32.Ne4, threatening 33.Nxf6+ and mate or winning the Black queen. Black can't play 32...Nxe4 because of 33.Qh7 mate.

Jul-03-14  Everett: <memberwwall: Instead of 20...cxd5, perhaps best is 20...Nxb2 21.Rd2 a4>

Why not 21.Ng3 in that line? If Black is going to waste time taking the b-pawn, it is possible that Bronstein would have naturally brought pieces into the attack against the king, sacrificing the exchange along the way. How exactly is Black going to deal with two bishops, queen and knight in the attack? If there is a defense it must be treacherous.

Jul-04-14  Everett: <rustyj> <(18... Bxd3 24 19. Bxg7 7 Kxg7 18 20. Qg5+ 6 Kh7 1 21. Rxd3 5 Nxd3 0 22. Qxf6 1 Nc5 1 23. Ng3 1 Rg8 5 24. Qh4+ 0 Kg6 2 25. f4 3 Kg7 1 26. Nf5+ 1 Kf8 1 27. exd5 5)>

Mate or not, this is a clear loss for Black. Further 25.Bc2 may even improve, though I'm not sure.

Jul-04-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: 20.exd5 Nxb2 may not work after 21.Ng3, but Black can try 21...Nxd1 (other ideas may be 21...Bxf1 22.Rxf1 Nd6 or 21...a4, or 21...cxd5) 22.Rxd1 cxd5 23.Nf5 g6 24.Bxd5+ Rf7 as a defense.

Maybe the problem was with 17...Nc5, needing the knight to stay close by the king and defend the position. Instead of 17...Nc5, perhaps 17...b5 18.Bxh6 a4 19.Bc2 b4 and a queenside attack.

Jul-05-14  Everett: <memberwwall: 20.exd5 Nxb2 may not work after 21.Ng3, but Black can try 21...Nxd1 (other ideas may be 21...Bxf1 22.Rxf1 Nd6 or 21...a4, or 21...cxd5) 22.Rxd1 cxd5 23.Nf5 g6 24.Bxd5+ Rf7 as a defense.>

Thanks for the back and forth!

Isn't the pawn still on f7 in the above line?

And you are right that Black has a lot of interesting tries in this position, and perhaps because of this he could not manage to hit upon the right order of moves.

In any case, after <20..Nxb2 21.Ng3> Black's problem is Nf5-Ne7 along with the LSB on either diagonal. The DSB is also good for White and at least one rook is going to wreak havoc on the f-file or d-file. I prefer your choice of blocking Nf5 with <21..g6> yet this runs into <22.d6> with long-term pressure, especially on the dark squares around the Black K. It is good to note that White can also grab an exchange of his own with Bh6.

Another curious line is <20..Nxb2 21.Ng3 Nxd1 22.Rxd1 Nd6> to again keep control of the f5 square, yet it runs into a second exchange sac after <23.dxc6 Qxc6 24.Rxd6> and Black's defense resembles a sieve.

These are just a few possibilities. You are likely right that Black would do better to improve earlier.

Jul-06-14  Sularus: GotD: Valar Morgulis
Jul-07-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: <Sularus>

Darn, I hoped that I was the first to submit that pun.

Jul-08-15  tonsillolith: <Black made a number of mistakes here. I wonder if he should have taken out an attacking piece with 19...Nxb3 and simply played a pawn down from there. Soltis once wrote, "One of the reasons chess players lose short games is in order to avoid losing long ones.">

That's a great quote. It also explains why many variations (e.g. in a given mating sequence) go unmentioned. Sometimes a mate can obviously be parried by giving up a queen or lots of material, but implicitly the defender would rather just get mated than go on playing with a huge material deficit.

Sep-11-16  drollere: bronstein's intention after 24. Ne4 Bxf1 was 25. Ng5 as in the game, but he expected to play against 25. ... Kg7 26. Qh7+ Kf6 27. Ne4+ Ke5 28. g3 fxg3 29. Qh4.

one wonders how much the "fleeing regent" was a reflection of bronstein's pride in the combination or youthful enthusiasm.

i confess i was perplexed by the opening -- the late entrance of the KN especially. bronstein: "we both liked to play an innovative style of chess."

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