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Johannes Georg Heftye vs Jacques Mieses
"Heftye Bag" (game of the day Apr-06-2011)
Exhibition (1902), Christiania NOR, Sep-11
Italian Game: Giuoco Pianissimo. Italian Four Knights Variation (C50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Apr-06-11  Garech: <psmith> I'm using the same engine! Apparently white can play 14.Bxh6 e.g.:

...gxh6 15.Rg1 Kh7 16.Rxg2 Bxg2 17.Qxg2 Rg8 18.Qh3:

click for larger view

and white has a sizeable advantage but the position is still tricky. Black has a knight and rook against the queen and the pawn structure is symmetrical. The g file now looks good for the black rooks an it's not completely clear how white will continue - black is pretty solid. He can aim to advance the centre pawns with c3 and d4, play Rf1 and f4 etc. In any case there is probably good play for both sides - but it's hard not to favour white with the queen. The pawn advances should create some weaknesses to attack and most exchanges will favour white for the endgame, in my opinion.


Apr-06-11  janatoli2: Mieses was a very strong master for that time and his opponent an amateur. I think that Mieses wanted to play in a showtime style. Against a strong master he would never have sacrificed his queen like that I believe. Most likely it was just a casual game... (Or has anybody more information about that?)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black sacs the queen for a minor piece attack vs the enemy king. When the rook enters the fray,it is time for white to make terms.
Apr-06-11  janatoli2: I just took a closer look. Seems like things are much more complicated and the queen sac is really interesting. 14.Bxh6 is not good I think because of Nxf3+ 15.Kc3 (forced) Bd4+ and Bc5. 14.Qf1 looks more solid but I do not see an advantage after 14. ... Nxf3+ 15.Kc1 Nxg5 16.Qxg2 Bf3 followd by 17... Bxh1 and 18.... Bxf2. 15.Kc3 looks dangerous after Bd4+ and b5. Trying to give back the queen with advantage does not work that easily, either: 12.Kf1 Nxg2 13.Nxd4 Bxd1 approx. equal.

Seems like it is not so easy to show that white is doing better after the queen sacrifice ...

Apr-06-11  ThatsTriflin: Heftye, Heftye, sick sac!
Apr-06-11  psmith: <Garech> <janatoli2>

After 12. Bg5 Nxg2+ 13. Kd2 h6!? 14. Bxh6 Black should play Nxf3+ as <janatoli2> notes, but 15. Kc3 is not forced. Instead we can have 15. Kc1 gxh6 16. Rg1 Bxf2 17. Rxg2 Be3+ 18. Kb1 Nd2+ 19. Qxd2 Bxd2 20. h3 Bf4 with advantage to Black.

Further in <janatoli2>'s line 15. Kc3 Bd4+ 16. Kb3 Bc5 things aren't all that clear... if 17. Kc3 does Black have better than a draw (17...Bd4+) for example? Not to mention the complications after 17. Qf1.

Still this is all pretty unclear and in need of further analysis

Apr-06-11  theodor: 13.h3 - very unclear!
Apr-06-11  lzromeu: <psmith: <Garech> Fritz 5.32 suggests in your line 12. Bg5 Nxg2+ 13. Kd2 h6!? This surprising move seems to give Black chances. But I can't carry out a full analysis now.>

12.0-0 = 12Ooops!

Apr-06-11  David2009: Fascinating game. Let's join it at move 13 (White to play):

click for larger view

Feed this into Crafty End Game Trainer: can I win as White? Link:

It's past my bed time, I'll find out tomorrow...but at the moment it's not looking good- best I can do is to bail out into an ending a Pawn down. Change the task - can I draw the game?

Open the free Internet link and try your luck. You are white, drag and drop the move you want to make.

Apr-06-11  WhiteRook48: wow, 12 0-0 was just bad
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: The queen sac with 10...Nxd5 11.Bxd8 Nf4 reminds me of J Augustin vs Nunn, 1977
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: The lines after 12.Bg5 are quite interesting, but has anyone run 12.Be7 by the silicon monsters?
Apr-07-11  janatoli2: I agree to <WhiteRook48> that 12. 0-0 loses the game. 15.a4 looks bad but there was no serious defence possible, e.g. 12.Kh1 (idea is Rg1) Bg2+ and 13... d5 similar to the game or 12.Bd5 (to prevent d5) c6. Also 13.h3 as stated by <theodor> does not change much. The extra square h2 for the white king is not helpful, e.g. 13... Bxf3 14.gxf3 d5 15.Bxd5 Rd6 16.Re1 Rg6+, 17.Kh2 Rh6 18.Rh1 Rxh3+ 19.Kg1 Nde2+ wins. Indeed 12.Bg5 and 12.Be7 need to analyzed in more detail but it is already clear that black is not better in the best lines for white. The queen sac did not refute whites weak opening (tame Giuoco Pianissimo, Bc1-e3-g5, Bf1-c4-b5-c4). Moreover, white could have played 10.Bxf6 to destroy blacks kingside and then maybe prepare to castle longside - no queen sac here. Hence maybe also Mieses did not play so convincingly despite the fantastic 10. ...Nxd5 of course (even if he move is not as strong as it looks like). Finally the pseudo sac 4. ... Nxe4! (idea 5.Nxe4 d5) is well known to be good for black - already in 1902 I believe.
May-03-11  sevenseaman: One good thing leads to another. I came here via the POTD.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <janatoli2: Finally the pseudo sac 4 ... Nxe4! (idea 5.Nxe4 d5) is well known to be good for black - already in 1902 I believe.>

Here's the earliest example I've seen, along with a better-known game:

Chigorin vs Rosenkranz, 1900, and Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1916.

White has two further options in 5.0-0, which transposes to the Urusov Gambit after 5....Nxc3 6.dxc3, or the weaker 5.Bxf7+.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <perfidious> It's much older, of course.

I wouldn't be surprised if 4...Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ was considered good for White during much of the 19th century.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phony Benoni: <perfidious> It's much older, of course.
I wouldn't be surprised if 4...Nxe4 5.Bxf7+ was considered good for White during much of the 19th century.>

Not only then, believe it or not.

In 1986, after a tourney in Cambridge, Mass, I played a three-way blitz match one evening with Miles Ardaman and the Colombian IM Jorge Gonzalez.

All my games with Gonzalez featured the Saemisch KID when I was White, and all the games where I played Black began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nxe4 5.Bxf7+.

In two tournament encounters, I had one more with 5.Bxf7+ against the New York expert Joe Felber, and another with Boston master Bill Lukowiak in 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Bd3 dxe4 7.Bxe4 Bd6. What's ironic is that no class players went into this line against me, so far as I remember.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <perfidous> Jorge Gonzalez! Hadn't thought of him for a long time. I didn't move in the same exalted circles as you, so I never met or played him. But I do remember him leading the 1986 US Open at the halfway point with a 6-0 score, ahead of a slew of GMs including Boris Spassky.

Alas, as they say, "Winning at the US Open is a crime, punishable by horrible pairings." In round 7, Spassky did this to his Saemisch KID:

Spassky vs J Gonzalez, 1986

and Jorge sank out of sight, eventually ending out of the money.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phony Benoni> A typically rustic treatment of the opening from Gonzalez.

See also: J A Gonzalez Rodriguez for more possible games; given the Latin matronymic to confuse things for we poor Anglos, bet there are some other games in the DB misattributed to others.

May-04-11  janatoli2: Maybe 5.Bxf7+ was considered (by whom?) as good in the first half of the 19th century. However after Steinitz, the value of a strong pawn center and the bishop pair was well known to the strong masters. Indeed, the game Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1916 is by far more remarkable because this one was played later on and it was a game of a WC match!! Tarrasch himself normally was known to go for active pieces (instead of e.g. double pawns), but I suspect we will never find out what drove him there...
May-04-11  janatoli2: Again, Bxf7+ is simply a really bad move. White wants to expose/attack the opponents king but an important piece to do so - the bishop on c4 - is gone. Black can play d5 etc. No matter who plays it nowadays, Bxf7+ is a bad move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <janatoli2> The Tarrasch game was played in a match, but Lasker's title was not at stake. That match was won by Lasker +5 =1.
May-04-11  janatoli2: <perfidious> ... still! Would you play bad on purpose in such a situation? But I remember that Tarrasch said that he has to punish himself for a bad tournament (I forgot which one). Maybe during this game he was already punishing himself ...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <janatoli2> I wouldn't let Black play 4....Nxe4 in the first place.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: The game was actually played in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway on September 11, 1902 at the Kristiania Chess Society during an exhibition by Mieses, who was on tour in Scandinavia. The game can be found in the October 1902 issue of Tidskrift for Schack, p. 217.
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