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George Atwood vs Joseph Wilson
Casual (1798), London
Philidor Defense: Philidor Countergambit (C41)  ·  1-0



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sac: 8.Ngxe4 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-26-06  amtr: The game would of ended with 22...Qg8 23.Qxg8#
Jan-17-07  russep: pretty amazing
Jul-30-08  ravel5184: <amtr> You're kidding!
Feb-27-09  dovif: amtr

yes I think this should be a Sunday puzzle with White to play and mate in 2 moves

this is deep

Jul-26-09  just a kid: I would play 21.Bxd5+ just to show off.
Jun-13-10  khisel: Can someone explain 6. ... Nh6?

Is that just a really dumb move or is there a good reason behind it that I am missing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <khisel> My guess would be that Black wanted to stop 7.Nf7, winning the exchange. In fact, 6...Nh6 seems to be the most frequently played move in that position.

Some players would prefer to just sacrifice the exchange. Morphy once won a game with 6...Bc5, but then he was Morphy.

T W Barnes vs Morphy, 1858

Jun-16-10  khisel: <Phony Benoni> Thank you, I'm going to have to play through it again - I really thought this was just a ridiculous move.

Again, many thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  cwcarlson: 13...b5?; 13...♗g7 14.♕e4 ♗c3+ 15.bc b5=; 13...♖f8 14.O-O ♗f4 15.♕e4 ♖f5=.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The Golden treasury of Chess (1943 edition, Game 26, p. 21) specifies that this game was played on December 29, 1796. No source is given for this He information, and I don't now how far Welmuth can be trusted -- but h appears to have owned a lot of old books.
Jun-21-21  sneaky pete: There is a 19 moves version of this game here, (mis)dated 1801: G Atwood vs J Wilson, 1801

The Oxford Encyclopedia (Levy & O'Connell) give this 19 moves version with the year 179? (that's an intended question mark, not a hiccup).

Their source is Murray, Collection of European Games, from the Bodleian Oxford library. The Oxford Encyclopedia has 4 more games with the same opening line between these two opponents, taken from the same source, and dated August 4, 1798; 1798; 179? and 179? (question marks intended, meaning we don't know the year).

It seems likekly to me that all these games were played in 1798 and that Horowitz and his cronies (with their 23 moves version, not missing the mate) are simply wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sneaky pete>

<It seems likekly to me that all these games were played in 1798 and that Horowitz and his cronies (with their 23 moves version, not missing the mate) are simply wrong.>

I assume that the difference between the 19 and 23-move scores is that White announced mate, and some editors chose to publish the mate and some chose not to.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <sneaky pete> Thanks for that. Surely Murray is more reliable than Wellmuth. And it's easy enough to mistake "8" for "6"; I've done it enough times myself.

But I feel sure Welluth didn't make it up; he didn't go around willy-nilly putting full dates on games. But whatever source he had -- and he does mention a few -- is unknown.

By the way, I see no indication that the original 1943 edition was not essentially Wellmuth's work. Certainly later editions were heavily revised by Horowitz, to the point that Wellmuth's name disappeared But I see no indication of this in the 1943 edition.

Jan-08-23  generror: Amazing attacking play by White, although as every so often Stockfish thinks very different.

This is the first of at least six games between Atwood and Wilson all with the same opening up to <13.Bc4> and all won by Atwood. I'm not sure why, maybe Wilson was a firm believer in his defense and wanted to refute White's attack.

If so, I -- or rather Stockfish -- can tell him now that Philidor's own <3...f5?> is a really bad idea to begin with, and that he should probably ignore the <Nf7> fork by simply playing <6...Nf6> -- yes, he'll lose the exchange, but get a huge lead in development and total center control which more than makes up for it, for example <7.Nf7 Qe7 8.Nxh8 Bxe6 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.Bb5 Qd6 11.O-O O-O-O> (D).

click for larger view

Most importantly though, the seemingly unstoppable <8.Ngxe4?> actually turns out to be a mistake after <8...Nf5!>, which after <9.Qh5+ g6> (D) blocks the queen's way to e5 and immediately defusing White's attack and apparently gaining a small advantage.

click for larger view

Also <11.Bxh6?> is a mistake (<11.Bc4> is required), because Black can indeed nearly equalize in this line with <13...Bg7 14.Qxe4 Bxc3+ 15.bxc3 b5 16.Bb3 a5> (D, Stockfish says it's about +1.0). After <14...a5??>, however, Black is definitively lost. <15...a4?> is a forced mate in 15, but other moves only prolong the agony.

click for larger view

Despite this all, I really like this game. The white attack looks as if it should fall apart any time, but that pawn on e6 really paralyzes Black. As usual, when I criticize both players, I'm aware I'm doing it using a high tech and knowledge that simply wasn't available back then; both players would probably just blow me off the board.

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