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Wilfried Paulsen vs Johannes Zukertort
Leipzig (1877), Leipzig GER, rd 8, Jul-20
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Compromised Defense Main Line (C52)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: As much as I like Paulsen, I must greatly respect Zukertort's play in this game. 19.Qxd3! followed by the fork. Very impressive queen sac, and great insight to the position from the 1st (technical) world champion contender.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: I don't like 14.Bxe7. White should not trade his active Bishop for nothing in this type of position. 14.Qa4 looks much better.

Of course 18.Bd3 was a blunder losing a piece. After 18...Nxd4 white cannot take the Knight for mate on g2 and 19.Bxg6 Ne2+ 20.Kh1 Nxc1 leaves him also in hopeless material disadvantage. In fact, Paulsen could have resigned much earlier.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Steinitz had the following to say about 14.Bxe7: <This unhappy exchange would probably lead the initiated to examine the initials of the player, who thus gives Paulsen's style a flat contradiction. The Paulsen - namely, Louis Paulsen - would have thought the matter twice over in any similar situation; and then, in nine case out of ten, he would have decided not to exchange a bishop for a knight. Wilfried Paulsen is freer from prejudice than, but not so free from error as, his more successful brother. The two bishops are indispensable for the attack in this opening.>

Regarding 18.Bd3, Steinitz had this say: <The disaster of which this unlucky move is the forerunner was not perceptible on the surface; but its being overlooked by a player of Mr. Paulsen's calibre in an important match game, is nevertheless strange.>

After 18...Nxd4!, Steinitz states: <Finely conceived, and, as will be seen, it wins a piece by force. The answer of 19.Kh1 will be found on examination unavailable, e.g. 19.Kh1 Qg4 20.h3 Qh5, and White dare not recapture the knight on account of the impending ...Qh3+.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <19.Kh1> I missed this possibility in my quick view of the game but it is insufficient defense as well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Btw, this could have been a pretty puzzle.

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