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



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-05-10  David2009: Thankyou <sethoflagos> for directing me to this game via your perceptive comment Falkbeer vs NN, 1847 (re Legal's mate). Staunton's resignation in the final position

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is a surprise. His attack is at an end and he is a pawn down with a potentially bad Bishop against a good N, but with rooks on he keeps tactical threats since Black's back rank is weak.

In 1842 games were played without clocks. One never knows the full story of early resignations. Perhaps Staunton made a finger-slip at move 32 (grasping the wrong piece, then resigning in the spirit of touch-and-move) or perhaps he simply had too much respect for his opponent to trouble him to come back and play the ending out another day.

To explore further, I set up the position with an on-line link to Crafty (Crafty playing White). Play continued
32.Rh4 d5 (what else?) 33.Bf2! dxe4 34.Rxd8 Rxd8 35.Rxe4 Ne6 36.Ra4 a5 37.h4 Rd2 38.Kg2 Kf8 39.Ra3 (threatening Rb3) Rb2 40.Kf3 Ke8 41.c4 Kd7 and we reach

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These moves are reasonable but are not necessarily the best. Now Crafty (White) offers the exchange of Rooks with 42. Rb3 to leave after 42...Rxb3 an ending which I managed to win at the second attempt. My first attempt only drew after I liquidated into a KPP vs KP ending with my King cut off, which Crafty drew by a simple resource I had not seen.

On-line link to the position at move 31 with colours reversed: You are white, drag and drop the move you want to make. Enjoy!

NOTE: the implementation of Crafty used here plays fast and well, but not to any great forward depth of ply. It is out-gunned by Fritz, for example. provide it as a free end-game training tool, in which Crafty always takes the Black pieces. Castling is not allowed, nor are en passant captures by White (you): Crafty makes them. If you need to capture en passant, you have to set up the position again with the pawn Crafty has just moved one square further back.

Dec-08-13  poorthylacine: To David2009:
I would not like to minimize the value and the strength of Crafty but in your continuation line, the little Fritz 6 (not 11!) esimates that 36... Rd2!? is more promising than 36...a5?! And that the endgame is winning for Black...

Otherwise, earlier in the game, Cochrane missed a superb opportunity to win a piece by playing 29...Qxe4+! 30.Kg1 Qg4+! 31.Kf2 Qxd1, ...

Dec-08-13  poorthylacine: "Estimates", of course.

I profit to add that in this game the defensive skill of Cochrane seems to me very nice too.

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