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Samuel Tinsley vs Jackson Whipps Showalter
London (1899), London ENG, rd 29, Jul-09
Van Geet (Dunst) Opening: General (A00)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: A truly awful game.

As keypusher has noted, Tinsley seemed to specialize in horrible openings in the London 1899 tournament. In this game, he outdid himself.

Tinsley's 1. Nc3 opening could have led to some interesting play, but not the way Tinsley handled it. Tinsley moved his Queen's Knight five times in the first twelve moves, ultimately bringing it back to c3. Look at the position after Tinsley's third move:

click for larger view

And here was the position after his 10th move (10. a3):

click for larger view

Having spent five moves with his Queen's Knight to bring it to c3 on move 12, Tinsley then decided to "develop" his King's Knight. He spent five of his six moves from move 14 to move 19 bringing his King's Knight from g1 to a2.

Having spent ten moves "developing" his Knights, here was the position after Tinsely's 19. Nca2:

click for larger view

Small wonder that Tinsely finished at the bottom of the standings (other than Teichmann who dropped out after 4 rounds). As for Teichmann's opening play, suffice it to say that he repeatedly missed chances to exploit Tinsley's horrible opening play. For example, his 5... Bg4 was waste of time (5...0-0 was much better), his 13...Rh6 was pointless (he could simply have castled or perhaps played 13...Nf5). Showalter's 15...g5 was also misguided (15...dxc4 would have given him much the better game), and his 16...Nh5 was bad.

When he missed 25...g4 and instead played 25...Bf5, Showalter had forfeited any advantage.

But Showalter needed have worried. Tinsley soon committed chess suicide, giving up any real prospects on the King's side while allowing Showalter to march his h-pawn down the board on the other wing.

As the Tournament Book correctly notes, Tinsley should have played 34. bxc6. His 34. b6 was terrible, and after Showalter missed 34...Ra8 (or 34...Qb7) and woodenly played 34...axb6, Tinsely--instead of the seemingly obvious 35. cxb6--tried to get cute with 35. Na4. Now Showalter was able to pile up his heavy pieces on the Queen's side with 35...Qa7 and 36...Rc7.

Tinsely's king should have run for the hills with 37. Kc2. Instead, he permanently messed up his position with 37. Rc3 and, after Showalter's 37...Qa5, walked his King into a pin with 38. Kc2 (one move too late to avoid catastrophe---the only possible chance at this stage was 38. Rd3).

Showalter could now have tried the neat 38...Nc1, but he chose the probably even more effective 38...Rcf7. Now, after 39. Ra1, Showalter wrapped up the game with the pretty 39...QxR followed by 40...Rf2.

At the end, Showalter's h-pawn marched to its Queening square as Tinsley decided how to develop the Bishop he had posted on a1!

All in all, a pathetic effort by Tinsley who lost to the less than inspiring play of Showalter.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Those knight positions are hilarious. The Kentucky Lion feasting on roadkill.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: <tamar> An apt description!
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