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Gyula Breyer vs Johannes Esser
"Esser's Mess" (game of the day Sep-07-2018)
Budapest (1917), Budapest AUH, Jul-??
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0



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Given 12 times; par: 61 [what's this?]

Annotations by Richard Reti.      [2 more games annotated by Reti]

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find similar games 1 more Breyer/J Esser game
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The ...Bh4+ clearance move that could have come up in the game is a familiar theme, yet one easily missed. I can recall an incident where Fischer either missed it in analysis or pointed out that somebody else missed it, but the exact details escape me. Surely somebody can fill us in.

In the meantime, a trivial example from my own praxis:

click for larger view

Moody - Weber, Kalamazoo, 1979. Simply 1.Qh6+ recovers the rook with a better game, but I couldn't see how Black could survive after <1.e5>. The answer, of course, was <1...Bh3!>.

There is a similar kind of idea in the From Gambit. After <1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5 5.d4 g4 6.Ng5 f5 7.e4 h6 8.e5 Be7 9 Nh3 gxh3 10.Qh5+ Kf8 11.Bc4 Rh7 12.Qg6>

click for larger view

Black's key defensive idea is <12...Bb4+! 13.c3 Rg7 14.Bxh6 Qh4+!> and 15...Qxh6.

Jul-08-16  posoo: thank you benones
Jul-08-16  parisattack: <RookFile: I realize that computers are showing lots of improvements for both sides in this game....>

Yes, indeed. Using an engine it almost looks like a blunder-fest. "Beautiful theory, ugly fact stuff." But it is a remarkable game and the concepts from Breyer are amazing. I first saw the game in Cole's Dynamic Chess and it made quite an impression on me.

This one of Breyer's is also awesome - Euwe vs Breyer, 1921

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The only games which aren't "chock full of inaccuracies" are those which are so boring that we haven't bothered examining them to find the inaccuracies.
Jul-08-16  morfishine: <Phony Benoni: The only games which aren't "chock full of inaccuracies" are those which are so boring that we haven't bothered examining them to find the inaccuracies> I think this statement is inaccurate due to your use of the word 'only'



Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Let the perfectionist play postal. — Yasser Seirawan
Jul-08-16  ajile: <Bartacus: 8...c5 has been given as the best move, leading to equal play.>

Completely logical since White has transposed into a Stonewall structure with 6.f4. Note that moving the Black c pawn twice is not that big of a concern since White has closed the center.

The normal way to attack either the Black or White side of a Stonewall is to advance the c pawn to the 4th rank. The attack on the opponents d pawn creates useful counterplay and if cxd is allowed the dissolving of the center usually reveals weaknesses in the Stonewall setup.

I like 6.f4 though since now Black must find the strategic way out which is moving his c pawn twice.

Feb-17-18  Retireborn: I seem to recall that a source for this game other than Reti's book was found; does anybody know anything about the game, tournament, month, round no etc?
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I didn't know this was in a Reti book, but Edochess has Breyer and Esser meeting in both a tournament and a short match in 1917:

It seems Esser was living in Budapest for some time during the war, but I don't if that was by accident or design.

Feb-17-18  Retireborn: Many thanks again, <MissS>. I believe this game is from the match, but would like to know more. I assumed Reti's annotations were from one of his books, but I'm probably wrong about that.

Perhaps I'll splash out on Jimmy Adams' book.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Are you aware the GM Istvan Bilek had an article, <Breyer's Brilliancy>, in the August 1987 <BCM>? Nothing in particular is said about the circumstances of the game, but there's an editorial footnote: <Ken Whyld has checked contemporary German sources and established that 18.Qh5+ Kg8 18.Bxg6 was the actual move order. Hence Reti seems the source of the error when transcribing the game.>

So apparently there's an issue, at least, between the German and English versions of Reti's book (I'm not well versed in the classics), but for our purposes, the game was published in contemporary sources. The only problem is finding some non-idle German-speaker to track one down for you. Good luck with that!

Feb-17-18  Telemus: <Retireborn: I believe this game is from the match> Why? In fact, it comes from a tournament. And it was published in several chess magazines in those days. Here you find it reprinted from "Deutsches Wochenschach": (incomplete game-score).

The game J Esser vs Breyer, 1916 can be found here: (1916 seems to be wrong).

Feb-17-18  Retireborn: <MissS> Thanks again. No, never seen Bilek's article, my source for the game was some fireside anthology book, edited by Edwards(?) as I recall. I did later see a more complete and correct version of the game, which I associate with Hans Ree, although my memory has not retained any details.

<Telemus> Many thanks to you too. I think my original source must have referred to it as part of the match. So if I understand your link correctly it's from the 5-payer Budapest tournament held in July 1917? That's already most of what I wanted to know.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Reti's text is online:

Interesting that already by August 1918 (<Deutsches Wochenschach>) this game is being presented as a truncated masterpiece.

Feb-18-18  Telemus: <Retireborn: So if I understand your link correctly it's from the 5-payer Budapest tournament held in July 1917?> Yes, both games are from this event.
Feb-25-18  Telemus: Chapter 17 "An immortal game" of Jimmy Adams' book on Breyer deals with this game on 20 pages. First, the game is presented with the combined comments of Reti (from Modern Ideas in Chess), Földeak (Magyar Sakkélet), Coles (Dynamic Chess) and Breyer (Bécsi Magyar Ujság).

Then it follows an analysis by Ervin Haág (Magyar Sakkélet). Next is an article of Mark Dvoretsky (64), and finally there is an article by István Bilek (Magyar Sakktörténet).

Feb-25-18  Retireborn: <Telemus> Thanks for that. Do any of these writers mention the round number of the game, by any chance?
Feb-26-18  Telemus: <Retireborn> Chapter 16 "Creative competition in Budapest" presents Breyer's other games from the tournament. It begins with the following sentence:

"A further small double round tournament in Budapest, starting on 29 May 1917 but with games being played rather randomly over the summer, ended: [...]"

Then 6 games are presented, 5 with exact dates, no round numbers (Breyer won his first game against Barács by default). The games are presented in this order: Sterk(W), Barácz (W), Havasi(B), Havasi(W), Esser (W) and Sterk(B). Probably not enough to compute round numbers.

This game is dated July 1917 in chapter 17.

Feb-26-18  Retireborn: <Telemus> Many thanks! I won't worry about round numbers then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Caught in a breyer patch!
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Ah, the days romantic gambit chess. Back in the days when a Paul Morphy could take on all comers, then later draw a warm bath and put on some silk nylons.
Sep-07-18  cormier: <<<<<<Stockfish 8 (minimum 30s/ply)> 5... Bd6?> 5...dxc4 6.Bxc4 b5 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.Ne4 Nbd7 9.Nxf6+ = 0.00 (28 ply)> 6. f4?> 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.e4 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.Bxe4 Nf6 10.Bc2 + / = +0.78 (19 ply)> 6... O-O = -0.40 (32 ply) after 6...c5 7.Nf3 O-O 8.O-O dxc4 9.Bxc4 a6 10.e4 cxd4>
Sep-07-18  cormier:

click for larger view

Analysis by Houdini 4
6...c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Nf3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Qxd1+ 10.Nxd1 0-0 11.Nf2 Nc6 12.Bd2 b6 13.a3 a5 14.Nd3 Be7 15.0-0 Rd8 16.Rac1 Bb7 17.Rfd1 Ne4 18.Bb5 Rac8 19.Nf2 Na7 20.Rxc8 Rxc8 = (-0.06) Depth: 24 dpa

Mar-16-19  drdos7: As was pointed out by many on this board 14.Kf1 does not win because 14...Qe8! holds the position

click for larger view

However, Stockfish says that 14.Bd2! wins

here is the analysis after thinking for 68 hours:


64/115 68:32:31 6,448,922,912k 26,135k +3.65 1.Bc1-d2 Qd8-e8

2.Nc3-e4 Nb8-d7 3.Ne4-g3 f7-f5 4.g5xf6/ep Rf8xf6 5.e5xf6 Be7xf6 6.Qd1-

e2 Qe8-f7 7.Ng3-e4 Nd7-f8 8.Ne4xf6+ Qf7xf6 9.Qe2-e5 a7-a5 10.Bb1-c2 b5

-b4 11.Rh1-h3 Ra8-a7 12.O-O-O Ra7-h7 13.Rh3xh7 Nf8xh7 14.Qe5-b8 Qf6-f8

15.Kc1-b1 c4-c3 16.Bd2-c1 c3xb2 17.Kb1xb2 Nh7-f6 18.Bc2xg6 Bc8-d7

19.Qb8-a7 Qf8-d8 20.g2-g4 Bd7-e8 21.Bg6xe8 Nf6xe8 22.Rd1-h1 Ne8-g7

23.Kb2-a1 Nd5-c3 24.f4-f5 Nc3-b5 25.Qa7-b7 e6xf5 26.Qb7xc6 Nb5-c3

27.g4xf5 Qd8-d5 28.Qc6xd5+ Nc3xd5 29.Rh1-f1 Kg8-f7 30.Bc1-g5 a5-a4

31.Ka1-b2 Ng7-e8 32.Rf1-c1 Ne8-d6 33.Rc1-c5 Nd5-c3 34.Rc5-c7+ Kf7-e8

35.Rc7-e7+ Ke8-f8 36.f5-f6 Nd6-f5 37.Re7-a7 a4-a3+ 38.Kb2-b3 Nf5xd4+

39.Kb3-c4 Nd4-f5 40.Kc4xb4 Nc3xa2+ 41.Kb4xa3 Na2-c3 42.Ka3-b2

Mar-27-19  srinterdimensional9: Why didn't Breyer just sacrifice the bishop on g6 instead of Kf1(move 14)? That seems completely winning to me!
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