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Abraham Kupchik vs Norman Tweed Whitaker
American National (1913), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Jan-22
Center Game: Berger Variation (C22)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-25-10  YoungEd: 10. ...h6 looks at first like a beginner's mistake. But it's a lot trappier than it seems! White sees a bit further, though, so I guess 10. ...h6 was a master's mistake.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: It's amusing to see how the b-pawn and f-pawn sneak past the opposing pawns to become central passers. Perhaps Black should have played 17...Qxe6 and suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous Knight forks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There's an interesting precursor to this game which I've just come across and is not in the database:

[Event "Progressive CC Championship"]
[Site "New York, NY USA"]
[Date "1912.??.??"]
[EventDate "1912.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Oscar Chqjes"]
[Black "Abrqhqm Kuupchik"]
[ECO "C22"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[Source "Philadelphia Inquirer, January 19, 1913"]

1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 Nf6 5.Bd2 b6 6.Nc3 Bc5 7.Qg3 d6 8.0-0-0 0-0 9.Bg5 Kh8 10.Nf3 Bd7 11.Qh4 Re8 12.Bc4 Kg8 13.Nd5 Rxe4 14.Nxf6+ gxf6 15.Qxe4 fxg5 16.Rd5 h6 17.Rxc5 bxc5 18.Qg6+ Kh8 19.Qxh6+ Kg8 20.Nxg5 Ne5 21.Bxf7+ 1-0

The same idea of 5...b6 in order to play 6...Bc5 and gain a tempo on the queen. It seems futile to lose a tempo in an attempt to gain one elsewhere. But the idea had worked out well in Capablanca vs F H Chase, 1909, so maybe the youngsters thought it worth a try. However, after these two games the idea does not reappear in our database for nearly a century, so I guess everyone learned a lesson.

The timing of the games is interesting. I haven't yet found and exact date for Chajes - Kupchik, but it was published in the "Philadelphia Inquirer" on January 19, 1913, which is three days before this game was played. Perhaps Whiteaker had seen the game and prepared an improvement, but I don't thinkhe could have anticipated Kupchi playing the Center Game.

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