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Howard Staunton vs John Cochrane
London m2 (1842)
Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit (C44)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-04-05  fred lennox: A remarkable queen exchange. At first the exchange looks to black's favor since it seems his pieces are better placed. Yet the king can no longer castle and more important, i think, takes him away from the real field of action, the kingside. Important too is without the queen and queen's bishop the e4 pawn is safe, and d5 is safe too.
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  beatgiant: 18...g5? is positional self-mutilation, leaving himself with too many weaknesses (backward f-pawn and d-pawn). To me, simply 18...d5 looks at least equal for Black.
Sep-10-05  euripides: An interesting game. It's not easy to foresee at move 18 that Black will be forced into passivity by the white attack, as happens in the game, and that his own g-file attack will come to nothing. It's only at 30...Rg7 that White's superiority becomes obvious. I wonder if there is any hope in 29...Rg3+ 30 Ke2 Rh3 e.g. 31 Rh5 Bg3 or 31 Rf5 Rh2+. Even later, is 43...Kc8 hopeless for Black ?
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  beatgiant: <euripides>
<I wonder if there is any hope in 29...Rg3+ 30 Ke2 Rh3> White would probably reply 31. Nf5 and the d-pawn falls: 29...Rg3+ 30. Ke2 Rh3 31. Nf5 Rh2+ 32. Kf3 Be1 33. Rxd6+ Kc7 34. Rd1 Bd2 35. e5, etc.
Sep-10-05  euripides: <beat> yes, I hadn't realised how constrained the bishop is here. But Black can try <29...Rg3+ 30. Ke2 Rh3 31. Nf5 Rh2+ 32. Kf3> Kc7 !? e.g. 33. Rxd6 Rxb2 34. Rxa6 Be1 or 33. Kg4 Be1. It looks artificial and White is better but Black may have drawing chances.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
On the suggested 29...Rg3+ 30. Ke2 Rh3 31. Nf5 Rh2+ 32. Kf3 Kc7, White probably replies 33. Nxd6 Rxb2 34. Nxf7 and the two connected passed pawns, well supported by White's pieces, look very hard to stop.
Sep-11-05  euripides: <beat> This does look better for White, but Black still has some resources. Black gets his own pawns but has trouble coordinating his pieces. For instance <29...Rg3+ 30. Ke2 Rh3 31. Nf5 Rh2+ 32. Kf3 Kc7 33. Nxd6 Rxb2 34. Nxf7> Be7 35. e5 (if 35. Ke3 then ...c4 or if 35. Rd3 then ...c4 36. Re3 Bc5) Rc2 36. f5 Rxc3+ 36. Ke2 Rc2+ (c4 loses to 37. f6 Bf8 38. e6 and there seems to be no way of using the rook to help with stopping the white pawns so after 39.e7 Bxe7 40.fxe7 White will queen) and White may well have a win but I can't see an absolutely clear line e.g. 37. Rd2 Rxd2+ 38. Kxd2 Kd7 and Black may be able to sacrifice his bishp for the two king-side pawns and exchange the a pawns off; or White can advance his king and allow the Black rook to get behind the pawns, again aiming at a bishop sacrifice.

Having said all this, Black does afer all reactivate his rook later in the game, only to allow it to be immolated by 38 Nd1, so perhaps 30...Rg7 is not as terminal a concession as it looks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
<Black may be able to sacrifice his bishp for the two king-side pawns and exchange the a pawns off> White has further advanced pawns and more active pieces, so it's hard for me to imagine Black can accomplish that.

An example is 29...Rg3+ 30. Ke2 Rh3 31. Nf5 Rh2+ 32. Kf3 Kc7 33. Nxd6 Rxb2 34. Nxf7 Be7 <35. Ne5> (chasing the bishop) 35...Bd6 36. Nd3 Rc2 37. e5 Bf8 38. f5 Rxc3 39. Kg4 Rc2 40. Nf4 Rxa2 41. Ne6+ Kc6 42. Rd1, etc. and it looks to me like Black will soon have to give up both the bishop and the rook to stop White's pawns.

<perhaps 30...Rg7 is not as terminal a concession as it looks.> Interesting comment; if I have time I'll discuss it in a later post.

Sep-13-05  euripides: <beat> yes I'm inclined to think I'm defending a lost cause with 29...Rg3. I've tried to construct lines where Black sacrifices rook and bsihop but gets two wining pawns on c3 and b3, but I'm not sure it's possible because it's actually quite tricky for Black even to manage the double sacrifice. In which case you're probably right that 18...g5 is inferior. I must be playing too much blitz because it looks quite good to me .....

Your 18...d5 looks fine for Black. It looks as if Staunton was hoping to leave Black with a bad bishop from the opening but this was too otptimistic so Bxf6 is dubious.

Still wondering about 43...Kc8. 44 Rf7 looks like zugzwang but Black has 44...c4 or possibly 44.Rc1.

Also, in the game, even 45...Bxe3 looks possible e.g.46 Kxe3 Rc2 47 Rf7 Rxb2 48 Rxf6 c4 (preparing Rc2; if 48...Kd7 then 49 Rf7+ Kd8 50 Rb7 or 48...Rc2 49 Kd3!) 49 Rf7 Rc2 and after the inevitable Rxc3 I don't see how White stops the lateral rook checks without allowing the the rook behind the f pawn, when if the king supports the pawn a rook sacrifice for Black may work and if the king moves to the queen-side Black can tie the White rook to the f pawn. Perhaps 47 b4 !?

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
<even 45...Bxe3 looks possible> That's much better than Black's actual move. However, your suggested 46. Kxe3 Rc2 47. Rf7 Rxb2 48. Rxf6 c4 allows <49. e5> and again White's ahead in the race: 49...Rc2 50. Rxd6+ Kc5 51. f6 Rxc3+ 52. Ke4 Rc1 53. f7 Re1+ 54. Kf5 Rf1+ 55. Kg6 etc.
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  Mateo: In the Euripide's variation 29...Rg3+ 30. Ke2 Rh3 31. Nf5 Rh2+ 32. Kf3> Kc7 !? e.g. 33. Rxd6 Rxb2 34. Rxa6 Be1 white could play 35. a4+! and if 35...bxa4 (or 35...Bxc3 35.axb5 Rxb5 36. Ra7+) 36.Rxa4 Bxc3 37.Ra7+ Rb7 38.Rxb7+ Kxb7 39.Nd6+ taking the f7 pawn on the next move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
45...Bxe3 looks right and is almost forced (on 45...Kb6, at least 46. Nd5+ Ka6 47. Rd6 etc.)

Your line can be improved: 45...Bxe3 46. Kxe3 Rc2 47. Rf7 Rxb2 48. Rxf6 <Rb3> so that 49. Kd2 Rb2+ 50. Kd3 c4+ looks similar to the line you posted, while 49. Kd2 Rb2+ 50. Kc1 Re2 etc. looks too passive to win.

So White would try 45...Bxe3 46. Kxe3 Rc2 47. Rf7 Rxb2 48. Rxf6 Rb3 49. e5 Kd5 50. e6, but Black has good counterplay after 50...Rxc3+ 51. Kf4 Rc4+ 52. Kg5 Re4, etc. and I doubt White can win.

I think this means either White's dominant-looking position around move 30 is not enough to force a win, or White missed better chances somewhere.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <euripides>
<Still wondering about 43...Kc8> I think 43...Kc6 was proper. After 43...Kc8, White can at least go after the b-pawn with 44. Ra7.

After that, the best I found for Black is 43...Kc8 44. Ra7 Bc1 45. Ra5 b4 46. cxb4 Bxb2 47. bxc5 Be5 48. cxd6 Kd7 49. Rd5 Bxd6, when White probably has some slight winning chances with the extra pawn and more maneuverable minor piece.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <White missed better chances somewhere.> Perhaps one such chance was <31. Rh5> aiming to penetrate via the back rank, for example 31. Rh5 Kd7 32. Rh8 Bd8 33. Nf5 Rg1 34. Rf8 Rf1+ 35. Kg3 Re1 36. Rxf7+ Ke6 37. Ra7, etc. looks like a strong initiative with the passed f-pawn.
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