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Ilya Shumov vs Carl Jaenisch
"Blunder Bust" (game of the day Jul-10-2006)
St Petersburg m (1851), St. Petersburg RUE
Sicilian Defense: Morphy Gambit (B21)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-10-06  sixfeetunder: 19...Qc2 was actually the only move to prevent mate.
Jul-10-06  Dres1: What a garbage game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: This game could be Exhibit "A" for the proposition that there is no such thing as a position that wins itself. As long as the opponent has actual or potential mating material (e.g., a single pawn) on the board, there is always the potential for coming up with a colossal blunder (or series of blunders) that turns a winning position into a lost position.
Jul-10-06  sixfeetunder: <Peligroso Patzer> There are positions that win by themselves . For example: WKc8, Rd8; BKa8, Rc7, Pa7 White to move

WKg6, Ph6; BKg8, Rf5 and f8, Bh8 White to move

WKg6, Pg6; BKh8, Rf5, Bg8 White to move.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Too see how chess technique has advanced since 1851, check out: R F Combe vs W Hasenfuss, 1933 The advance in chess technique is that White resigns when he loses the piece.
Jul-10-06  kevin86: Why is 4 ♘xe5 classified as a sac and not a blunder?

White tried to give all his pieces away-but black topped him:he gave his game away!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <kevin86> It's the Koltanowski Principle: If I win, it was a sac; if I lose, it was a blunder.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: I stand corrected by the three intriguing and very clever problem-like cases cited by <sixfeetunder>:

< sixfeetunder: <Peligroso Patzer> There are positions that win by themselves . For example: WKc8, Rd8; BKa8, Rc7, Pa7 White to move WKg6, Ph6; BKg8, Rf5 and f8, Bh8 White to move
WKg6 [sic; should read WKh6], Pg6; BKh8, Rf5, Bg8 White to move. >

To have stated my intended homily more accurately, I should have written something like: “The practical player should never assume that his position, no matter how strong, will win itself …”.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: To take a quick look at the game itself and where Jaenisch went wrong, his first error seems to be 15. ... Ne3? (a very tempting move that threatens mate and forces further gain of material, but that neglects development -- It is worth noting that at the time this game was played, Morphy, the first great champion of rapid development of ALL the pieces, was about 14 years old, and he and his ideas had not yet attained national and international prominence.) It was only after the further blunder, 17. ... Qe2?? [in lieu of advancing either the d- or the e-pawn] allowing 18. Nf6+, that Black's position became losing.
Jul-10-06  JustAFish: I recommend that one not resign when playing against <me>. I played a game this weekend in a tourney where I was a bishop and a pawn up and managed to blunder it away to a draw. I simple defenisve move was all I needed. Ugh.
Nov-09-07  patzer2: <dick brain> and <Al wazir> offer the best analysis of this game in the two pages Ive reviewed.

The easiest way in my opinion for Black to have maintained the winning advantage was to play <dick brain>'s recommended 10. Qh5, when Black has the win after the exchange of Queens or following 10...Qh5 11. Be2 Qh6 .

Black also should have considered 14...Qc6 15. Rf3 d6 as a way of defending the Kingside and holding the winning position.

After 17...Qe2?? Black was lost. Instead, he wins with the best play line <17...e2 18. Nf6+ gxf6 19. Qxc2 exf1=R+ 20. Kxf1 > recommended by <Al wazir>.

Jul-20-10  MaczynskiPratten: Jaenisch was no slouch (see his bio), so this is a great fightback by Shumov after his initial lemon. Having lost a knight, he sacs a bishop, then the exchange, to be a rook and bishop down by move 17! But he keeps the initiative and manages to force mate before Black can get his Q side pieces into play. A classic swindle - the key rule is to keep active.Playing it through quickly, Jaenisch's early moves seemed reasonable - of course in hindsight one can see that 10..Qh5 and similar are necessary, but he probably just relaxed and assumed the position was easily winning - as I probably would.
Jun-09-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: Are they drunk
Dec-30-11  Tigranny: One of the weirdest games I've ever seen...
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Truly an amazing comeback, especially given that Black's play was pretty plausible.
Apr-01-12  BlackSheep: This is hilarious stuff blunder after blunder until someone gets KO'd , proper car crash chess .
Aug-18-12  vinidivici: lololol what is this
Feb-06-13  The Last Straw: <16...♕c2 was the only move to prevent mate.> Not true. 16...♕h5 also does this task, but there is no significant difference after 17.♕xh5 ♖d8.
Feb-20-13  master of defence: <al vazir: ...After 17...e2 18. Nf6+ gxf6 19. Qxc2 exf1=R+ 20. Kxf1, white is lost.> Position after al vazir's line:

click for larger view

How do black continue to keep his winning advantage? I believe that white can draw here.

Jun-09-16  zanzibar: What's the source for this game? In particular, why is it labeled as a match game?

Wiki's first mention of a match between these two is in 1854.

And the source I have for the game, Staunton, doesn't describe it as a match-game.

Jun-10-16  Retireborn: <z> The match label might come from Chessbase; in Big 2002 this is one of three Shumov-Jaenisch games labelled as St Petersburg m 1851. As there are only 3 games and Shumov is White in all of them they might well be a series of one-off games played that year.
Jun-10-16  zanzibar: <RB> I agree, and noticed the same color pattern for the Shumov//Jaenisch games here on <CG>.

FWIW- Staunton refers to Shumov as Schumoff in ILN 1851.

Dec-28-21  probabilitytheorist: 19. Qc2 is not a blunder, for it was the only move to defend mate. The blunder was 17. Qe2?, allowing 18. Nf6+! leading to a win for White.

Also, 4. Nxe5 is probably a sac, but it is not sound.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: A great game to skip though.

The opening move order was how Morphy played v the Sicilian hoping to tempt 3...e5 (going for the trap that happened in this game) then Morphy would play Bc4 and c3.

In a Blitz game as White I avoided the trap but fell for it a few moves later.

instead of 3..e5 Black played 3...Nf6

click for larger view

4.e5 Ng4

click for larger view

I quickly played 5.h3? only to realise when I saw 5...Nxe5 That I had walked into the Qa5+ trap which I hoped my opponent was going to go for.

I could not move for about 30 seconds because I was laughing so much. What a clown. I lost.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: <Why is 4 ♘xe5 classified as a sac and not a blunder?> I presume it's because the game list noted that the player who went on to win had given up material at that point.

"The trouble with computers, of course, is that they're very sophisticated idiots." -- The Fourth Doctor, <Robot>

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