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Albert Becker vs Siegbert Tarrasch
"Bend it Like Becker" (game of the day Oct-13-2004)
Breslau (1925), Breslau GER, rd 11, Aug-01
Semi-Slav Defense: Quiet Variation (D30)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: What a pun! Congratulations, <> for inventing a good one every day! I can't believe Tarrasch played on until he was mated.
Oct-13-04  Dudley: A rare line for white in the semi slav. I have read that this line is recommended (white puts his QN on d2 instead of c3) in a new repertoire book by Palliser. It must be ok if this guy beat Tarasch, or at least not bad.
Oct-13-04  square dance: well tarrach was at his best during the 1890's i believe, so im not sure if we can gather anything useful from this game.
Oct-13-04  iron maiden: Yeah, Tarrasch was just about finished by 1925; he was already well into his sixties, and never really recovered from his sons' deaths in WWI.
Oct-13-04  Dudley: <iron maiden> Do you find out this stuff mostly on line or have lots of books? I assume Tarrasch's sons fought for Germany. What an absolute waste of a generation of young men that war was.
Oct-13-04  Mostolesdude: Is "pun" short for punishment?. I'm just curious...
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <Mostolesdude> Lol! Sorry for my laughing, there are many non-English native speakers here. One often forgets. Pun is a synonyme for word-play. Today's pun is "Bend it Like Becker". Where are you from?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: The game was played well by both players till the 31st move of black. 31...Qg6 was a fatal oversight after which Becker could have played (instead of 33.Qb8+ Rg8 34.Qe5+) also 33.Qd8+ Rg8 34.Qd4+ with the same effect. But correct 31...Qg5 (covering e5 and d8 and not allowing white Queen to give two checks on the 8th rank and then after Rg8 on the diagonal a1-h8) seems to be sufficient defence. After 31...Qg5 white can force a draw playing 32.hxg7+ Rxg7 33.Rf8+ Rg8 34.Qd4+ Qg7 35.Rxg8+ Kxg8 36.Qd8+ etc.
Oct-13-04  Seraphina: <Dudley> One son died in May 1915 on the front. One son committed suicide, the other was run over by a tram in Munich in 1916. Tarrasch also had two daughters. .... <Mostolesdude> Pun is thought to come from puntiglio... a fine point, a little detail in a ceremony, for example. punctilious... taking care of details. No, I agree, Tarrasch was not really his "old self" here
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice and ironic ballet with queen and rook. Could it have been the Tarrasch missed the mate?
Oct-13-04  panigma: Wouldn't black have been in a better position for the endgame if he had exchanged queens on move 27?
Oct-13-04  themindset: i think tarrasch may have been short of time.
Oct-13-04  notyetagm: How many sons of Tarrasch died in WWI? What a shame, poor Tarrasch.
Oct-13-04  notyetagm: I found this on the web. The answer is all 3 of his sons died from 1914-1916: one KIA, one suicide, and one hit by a train.

<From his first marriage Tarrasch had five children, three sons and two daughters. Within a short period, 1914-1916, his three sons died.> The eldest son, Dr. phil. Fritz Tarrasch, was killed on May 14, 1915, as lieutenant in the 15th Bavarian reserve infantry regiment in the First World War. Tarrasch’s second son committed suicide, while the third son died when run over by a tram in Munich in 1916. What a strong personality Tarrasch must have had and how far his need must have been for admission and recognition by the German public, becomes clear from the defiant encouraging lines, which he wrote in the autumn 1916 in spite of these heavy personal losses: "And secondly we note that notwithstanding all the terror of the World War, this distracts us so little, that our appreciation of mental pleasures is completely normal, and that, just as for other art, we still maintain a keen interest in the art of chess. The saying ‘inter arma silent musae’ (in war Muses are silent) has no validity with us. We are even doing well!" (Der Schachwettkampf Tarrasch-Mieses im Herbst 1916. Veit und Comp., Leipzig 1916, S. 7).

Nevertheless, these great misfortunes and personal losses within a few years certainly could have been the main reason that he lost his match with Emanuel Lasker in November/December of the same year by the clear score of 5.5-0.5.

Oct-13-04  ForeverYoung: I'm surprised Tarrasch allowed Rxd6! Good foresight by Becker that his rook would be untouchable due to the mate threat on g7. It would seem that black would have had some chances after 27 ... Qxe5 but white's pawn on c5 and posting the rook on the 7th keeps black under pressure. black would have to handle the back rank mate possibility before getting too active. Tarrasch was 63 when this game was played.
Oct-13-04  Knight13: 30. hxg7+ Kxg7 31. Rg5+, forking the Queen. Or White wins a pawn with 30. hxg7+ Kg8. But whtie's aim was to checkmate Black with 30. Qd6! Good game.
Oct-13-04  iron maiden: <notyetagm> Tarrasch's misfortune wasn't over even then, of course. After the Nazi regime took over, the poor man got expelled by the country that one of his sons had died for. If I remember correctly they actually threw him out of his own chess club.
Oct-19-04  Mostolesdude: Thanks for the explanation <Seraphina>. <cu8sfan>, I speak english fine. In fact, I speak three languages.
Dec-20-08  WhiteRook48: Wow, Tarrasch lost. And in such style. Amazing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: But that was the day he ran into Albert Becker.
Sep-05-11  DarthStapler: Wait, Tarrasch called it "the World War", but I thought back then it was called "The Great War"
Jan-10-20  PJs Studio: Tarrasch was a wonderful player but I thought he made a few very poor choices at critical points in this game.
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