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Karl Hamppe vs Philipp Meitner
"The Immortal Draw" (game of the day Jun-07-2015)
Vienna (1872), Vienna AUH
Vienna Game: Hamppe-Meitner Variation (C25)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 12 OF 12 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-13-17  Straclonoor: <rwbean: How about some other people run some tournaments after these two positions: 11. ♔b5 ♘e7 12.c4 d4 13.♔xc5 a5 14.♕a4+ (a) 14... ♔d8 15. ♕xa5 Rxa5+ 16. ♔b4 ♘c6+ 17. ♔b3 ... I'm interested to know how well programs understand "fortress" draws> Below is the line. Final position of the line don't look like fortress Stockfish 110217 64 BMI2 1.30 (depth 40) 11.Kb5 Ne7 12.c4 d4 13.Kxc5 a5 14.Qa4+ Kd8 15.Qxa5 Rxa5+ 16.Kb4 Nc6+ 17.Kb3 b5 18.d3 bxc4+ 19.dxc4 Ra6 20.Bd2 e4 21.Ka2 Ne5 22.Re1 Bb7 23.c5 Ra8 24.Bf4 Ng6
Mar-04-17  rwbean: I put it through Stockfish as well again with at least 8 hours per move ... got

14 ... ♔d8 after 49 ply
17... b5 after 48 ply
18. d3 after 48 ply
18... bxc4+ after 49 ply
19. dxc4 is forced
19... e4 after 47 ply (although it does like 19... ♖a8 too) 20. ♗d2 after 46 ply
20... ♖a6 after 46 ply
21. c5 after 47 ply
21... ♗e6+ after 49 ply
22. ♗c4 after 52 ply

evaluation is +1.55 to +1.65

11. ♔b5 ♘e7 12.c4 d4 13.♔xc5 a5 14.♕a4+ ♔d8 15. ♕xa5 Rxa5+ 16. ♔b4 ♘c6+ 17. ♔b3 b5 18. d3 bxc4+ 19. dxc4 e4 20. ♗d2 ♖a6
21. c5 ♗e6+ 22. ♗c4

and the PV is

22... ♔c8 23. ♗xe6+ fxe6 24. ♖e1 e3 25. ♗xe3 fxe3 26. ♖xe3

White is a pawn up and has a passed a pawn versus Black's passed e pawn, and has two pawn islands versus Black's three. There doesn't seem to be a way for White to set up a fortress. White is just clearly better.

Oct-15-17  Lambda: My Stockfish likes 9. d4 exd4 10. Bxa6 bxa6 11. a3 and it thinks white is about +2! Taking the pawn on g2 apparently doesn't help.

click for larger view

Feb-08-18  kishore4u: What is this??
Feb-08-18  ughaibu: <What is this??>

A question mark.

Feb-09-18  zborris8: zing!
Feb-09-18  Howard: Larry Evans ran at least 3-4 questions about this game in his CL&R column back from about 1975-77, as I recall.

In fact...I just came across one of those questions last night when perusing some back issues.

Jun-03-18  The Kings Domain: :-) Fun game.
Aug-18-19  Chesgambit: some masters play this varition
Aug-16-20  rwbean: ... 11. ♔b5 ♘e7 12.c4 d4 13.♔xc5 a5 14.♕a4+ ♔d8 15. ♕xa5 Rxa5+ 16. ♔b4 ♘c6+ 17. ♔b3 ...

just had another look with Stockfish NNUE latest version.

17 ... e4 at 41 ply, +2.24

also 9. d4 is +3.85, 8. d4 is +2.97, and so on

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <dippel>
This is very strange! Three almost identical Vienna games - this one Hamppe vs Meitner played in Vienna 1872 and this one: A Nilsson vs J Eriksson, 1991 played in Helsingborg, Sweden 1991, and the same variation Tim Jaksland vs S S Larsen, 1991 played in Lyngby, Denmark 1991. All of them ended in a draw, but it seems as if the competitors in Helsingborg and Lyngby have learned the immortal draw by heart! What’s going on? Can anyone explain?

Another example of the "Immortal Draw" being played out in another tournament - Frauenfelder v Gschwend, Swiss Boy Championship, 1956, although this time it was the Black king that wandered up the board.

Both Frauenfelder and Gschwend had lost badly the previous day and therefore decided to make an amusing and spectacular draw.

Dec-07-20  sudoplatov: I looked at this on an analysis site (I think Stockfish). At moves 8 and 9, the site thinks White gets a 2-Pawn advantage with d4 and that Black gets a bit of an advantage with ...d4. Seems like both sides thought that the square d4 had a Bouncing Betty underneath.
Premium Chessgames Member
  NM JRousselle: From what I understand this game has been debunked. It's a fake.
Dec-22-20  RandomVisitor: A modern look at the draw-busting 11.Kb5:

click for larger view


<66/101 3:34:09 +2.30 11.Kb5 Ne7 12.c4 d4 13.Kxc5 a5 14.Qa4+ Kd8 15.Qxa5 Rxa5+ 16.Kb4 Nc6+ 17.Kb3 b5 18.d3 bxc4+ 19.dxc4 e4 20.Bd2 Ra6> 21.Ne2 Re8 22.Rd1 Bd7 23.Ka2 Kc8 24.Nc1 Bg4 25.Be2 Be6 26.b3 d3 27.Bf1 Ne5 28.Kb2 Rb6 29.Kc3 Rc6 30.Bf4 Nxc4 31.bxc4 Rxc4+

Dec-22-20  RandomVisitor: 5.g3 is a drawing line that is not as exciting:

click for larger view


<73/21 3:43:39 0.00 5...Qxe4 6.Qe1 Qxh1 7.Qxe5+ Kf8 8.Qxc7 Qxh2+ 9.Bg2 Nc6 10.Qd6+ Nce7 11.d3 Qh5 12.Bd2 Nf6 13.Re1 Ng4+> 14.Kf1 Nh2+ 15.Kf2

Dec-23-20  RandomVisitor: The computer would prefer 5.g3 to 5.Ke3:

After 5.Ke3 the machine would deviate from the game with 7.Qe1 because it finds a problem of some kind with the move actually played, 7.Kc3:

click for larger view


62/80 8:07:04 -0.26 5...Qf4+ 6.Kd3 d5 <7.Qe1> Nf6 8.c4 dxc4+ 9.Kc2 Qxe4+ 10.Qxe4 Nxe4 11.Bxc4 Nf2 12.d3 Nc6 13.Ne2 Nxh1 14.Be3 Bg4 15.Nac3 0-0-0 16.Rxh1 Nb4+

What is wrong with 7.Kc3, as played? It seems 7...d4 is better for black:

click for larger view


62/76 6:02:06 -1.31 7...d4+ 8.Kb3 Qxe4 9.Qf3 Qg6 10.c4 Ne7 11.Qg3 Qf6 12.Nf3 e4 13.Ng5 Bf5 14.d3 e3 15.Ne4 Bxe4 16.dxe4 Ng6 17.Bxe3 dxe3 18.Qxe3 Nd7

Mar-04-22  VerySeriousExpert: Here is a very interesting publication on this game. Its title is ' Was The Immortal Draw (1872) Inspired By The Jerome Gambit Win (1863)?? '. Its URL is .
Aug-06-22  rwbean: I do revisit occasionally ... I see I visited in 2015, 2017, 2020 ... the latest Stockfish gives (after 12. Kb5! ... 14... Kd8 ... etc) ... 17 ... e4 (+2.94, 47 ply, 6 minutes) but there is no point in spending much time on this at all, because 9. d4! is absolutely crushing. Enjoy!

50 [+5.44] 9.d4 Qg6 10.Nf3 Qd6 11.Bxa6 Qxa6 12.Nxe5 Nf6 13.Qd3 Qe6 14.a3 Ne4 15.Re1 O-O 16.Ka2 f6 17.Nf3 a5 18.Nc5 Qf7 19.b3 Nd6 20.Bf4 Bf5 21.Qd1 g5 22.Bxd6 cxd6 23.Nd3 Rfc8 24.Rc1 b5 25.Qd2 h6 26.Kb2 Qb7 27.h4 b4 28.a4 Rc3 29.hxg5 fxg5 30.Re3 Kg7 31.Nfe1 Qb6 32.Nf2 Rxe3 (1110.28)

Jan-27-23  rwbean: Don't know why the eval was so high, a bit further ...

56 [+3.39] 9.d4 Rb8 10.Nf3 Qg4 11.Bb5+ c6 12.Bxa6 bxa6+ 13.Ka3 e4 14.h3 Qe6 15.Nc5 Qe7 16.Re1 Nf6 17.b3 Nd7 18.Kb2 Nxc5 19.dxc5 Qxc5 20.Be3 Qe7 21.Ng1 O-O 22.Qd2 Rd8 23.Qc3 a5 24.Bc5 Qc7 25.a4 Ba6 26.Ne2 Bxe2 27.Rxe2 Rbc8 28.Rf1 f6 29.g4 Qe5 30.Qxe5 fxe5 31.Bxa7 c5 32.Bb6 Rd6 33.Bxa5 c4 34.Bd2 Rf6 35.Rxf6 gxf6 36.bxc4 (11582.28)

in the var 11.Kb5 Ne7 12.c4 d4 13.Kxc5 a5 14.Qa4+ Kd8 15.Qxa5 Rxa5+ 16.Kb4 Nc6+ 17.Kb3 ...

still a choice between 17... b5 and 17... e4, but there's no fortress.

Feb-08-23  generror: <<GrahamClayton>: This is very strange! Three almost identical Vienna games - this one Hamppe vs Meitner played in Vienna 1872 and this one: A Nilsson vs J Eriksson, 1991 played in Helsingborg, Sweden 1991, and the same variation Tim Jaksland vs S S Larsen, 1991 played in Lyngby, Denmark 1991. All of them ended in a draw, but it seems as if the competitors in Helsingborg and Lyngby have learned the immortal draw by heart! What’s going on? Can anyone explain?>

Wikipedia says -- and it makes total sense to me -- that the game is often replayed for a prearranged draw. A cool way to get by those stupid "Sofia rules" :)

Feb-08-23  generror: So, the famous Immortal Draw. Is it really Immortal? Or is it just a case of 19th century romancitismitis? This page already has many analyses so I don't think I'll find anything new, but anyway, here is my analysis, and at least to me, I think I now understand this crazy game. In a nutshell, it is deeply flowed in the first half, but the second half is pretty much perfectly played.

First to the opening. <2...Bc5?!> (the Anderssen Defense) seems already dubious, it seems to be better to just normally develop your knights first; and <3.Na5?!> (the variation named after this game) also seems to be over-aggressive; Stockfish gives White the usual +0.3 opening advantage here after, say, <3...Qe7>.

The fun begins of course with that mind-boggling <3...Bxf2!?>. That also seems to be Stockfish's choice, because, if anything, this move seems to give Black an ever-so-slight advantage. But Stockfish would also play the even more mind-boggling <5.g3!?>. This results in a game that is just as wild and unclear than this one, and where accurate play also seems to leadsto nothing more than perpetual check. It may be that, given a few more hours, Stockfish would find that <5.g3> is actually slightly worse than <5.Ke3>; I'll have it crunch that position for while and post any news, but in any case, I wouldn't recommend it to play live because both players have to play with extreme accuracy not to lose because of some tactical shenanigan.

The first clear mistake to occur in this game is <7...Qxe4?>. <7...d4+ 8.Kb3 Qxe4> seems to be slightly advantageous for Black, while after the text move, <8.d4!> would have prevented further attack on the white king, resulting in a definite white advantage, for example after <8...Nc6 9.Nf3 exd4+ 10.Nxd4 Nf6 11.Bg5> (D).

click for larger view

Also in the next two moves, both Black and White should have pushed their pawn to d4: Black is only slightly better after <8...d4> (D), but while <9.a3?> looks totally sensible, <9.d4!> would have been winning: <9...exd4 10.a3!> and now the king is completely safe, and on any other move, <10.Nf3> to solidfy and then <a3> and in any way, White has a solid safe and solid position and is up in material and development.

click for larger view

Feb-08-23  generror: <9.a3?> gets its "?" because it allows that crazy queen sacrifice <9...Qxa4!?>. I initially thought that was just more of this over-aggressive romantic crap, and I'm really not sure at all that it was played by Black to ensure at least a draw (which it actually doesn't), but it definitively manages to lure the king deep into black territory.

However, after <10.Kxa4 Nc5+>, White had a cunning way to escape both mate and perpetual by playing the equally crazy <11.Kb5!>. This looks suicidal (<...b6> seems deadly, and it is if White isn't extremely precise), but it actually is the only way for White to keep his advantage. The line goes <11...Ne7 12.c4! (12.Kxc5? a5!=) d4 13.Kxc5 a5 14.Qa4+ Kd8 15.Qxa5!!> (D) -- yes indeed, White could have gotten out of this mess by sacrificing its queen! -- because after <15...Rxa5+ 16.Kb4 Nc6+ 17.Kb3>, the king gets away and White is simply up a piece.

click for larger view

After <11.Kb4? a5!>, however, it's either perpetual check or a quick mate. The next moves are pretty much forced -- anything else would lose immediately for either side. It's truly crazy and wild: <12...Ne7!> threatens mate in 2 by <13...b6+ 14.Kb5 Bd7#>, and now the only way for White not to lose is <13.Bb5+!>, taking away the king's last free square; but after <13...Kd8>, <14 Bc6!> again is the only move that prevents a quick mate via <...b6> solely by freeing that b5-square again. And if <14...bxc6?>, <15.c4!> (D) prevents <...Rb8> and <...Rb5#>, and the king turns out to be completely safe even though it has nowhere to go because Black is just unable to give check :D -- this is one of most absurd positions ever!

click for larger view

Feb-08-23  generror: <15...Bxc6> is also forced because after <15...Ba7?? 16.Ka4 Bxc6 17.Kb3> the king gets away, and <16.Kxc6> (D) because everything else leads to a quick mate after <16...Nd4>. (This position makes me understand why people think this is a fake, and while I haven't yet researched it, I never got the feeling it was fake; it's just the logical result of that unsound romantic opening.)

click for larger view

Now <16...Bb7+!> again is forced; <16...Be6??> loses after <17.Nf3>, and the knight will be just in time to prevent Black delivering a check and mate after <...Kc8>, <...Rd8> and <...Rd6+>. White however must not take because <17.Kxb7?? Kd7> is mate in 3, so <17.Kb5> is again forced, and we now finally can have a nice stiff drink to calm our nerves after <17...Ba6+> forces the draw.

Oh boy! While the game of course is immediately bizarre and amazing, I initially thought it was also quite stupid and just flawed result of overly aggressive 19th-century romantic blundering. And that's totally what it is up to the 9th move. And I'm still not sure if <9...Qxa4!?> was played with the idea it would get at least a draw, and even so, it turns out that it doesn't: White can give back the queen and remains up a piece -- yes indeed, that bishop from <3...Bxf2?!>.

On the other hand, the sequence of moves from <11...a5!> on are completely accurate and absolutely masterful by both players. So yeah, despite the unsound first half, this one turns out to definitively deserve its classic status.

Mar-01-23  VerySeriousExpert: Here is else one rare example of a beautiful game with a perpetual check by Bishop (Bukayev Yury V. - Golshev Valery P., 2023): !
May-08-23  Mathematicar: History at its making.
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