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Emmanuel Schiffers vs Mikhail Chigorin
"The Damiano Effect" (game of the day Jun-22-2017)
St Petersburg m (1897), St Petersburg RUE, rd 13
King Pawn Game: Damiano Defense. Damiano Gambit Chigorin Gambit (C20)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-05-09  sileps: I found the forced mating combination after around 10 minutes with my board. It's an absolutely priceless combination, it's a pity it wasn't played. This is one of the best examples of how a puzzle-state of mind can outplay the best. I'm 100% positive that chigorin is a much better player than I am, but because he was unaware that there existed a mating combination he didn't bother to look for an alternative to his actual move!
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: 14.Ne4 looks like a mistake. 14.Bf4 seems to be the way.
Aug-28-09  melianis: Bet Chigorin didn't like this game.
Aug-28-09  zanza: What a odd game!
Aug-28-09  melianis: The question might be: "what sort of vodka was served?"
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Here is the complete game:

[Event "St Petersburg m"]
[Date "1897.??.??"]
[Round "13"]
[White "Schiffers, Emanuel Stepanovich"]
[Black "Chigorin, Mikhail"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C40"]
[EventType "match"]
[EventRounds "14"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 f6 3. Nxe5 Qe7 4. Nf3 d5 5. d3 dxe4 6. dxe4 Qxe4+ 7. Be2 Nc6 8. O-O Bd7 9. Nc3 Qg6 10. Ne5 Nxe5 11. Bh5 O-O-O 12. Bxg6 hxg6 13. Qe2 Bd6 14. Ne4 Nf3+ 15. gxf3 Bxh2+ 16. Kg2 Bh3+ 17. Kh1 Be5 18. Kg1 Bh2+ 19. Kh1 Be5 20. Qe1 Bg4+ 21. Kg1 Bxf3 22. Ng3 Ne7 23. Qe3 Bc6 24. Qxa7 b6 25. Be3 Nf5 26. f4 Nxg3 27. fxe5 Rh1+ 28. Kf2 Rh2+ 29. Kxg3 Rdh8 30. Qa6+ Kb8 31. Bxb6 Rg2+ 32. Kf4 Rh4+ 33. Ke3 Rh3+ 34. Kf4 Rh4+ 1/2-1/2

So from <13...Bb5> onwards the game is wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: ... and it's the game where Chigorin! twice missed to mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheTamale: Is this game for real?
Sep-28-09  OBIT: It would have been too cool if that's how it really went, but this is the actual game:

Schiffers vs Chigorin, 1897

Mar-05-10  estebansponton: yeahhhh..... what kind of vodka....?
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: It's funny: all black wins with the Damiano in the database are in the 3.Nxe5 line, which many books call the main line.... After all, playing moves like 3.d4 or 3.Bc4 is safer :D
Sep-11-11  Tigranny: What a silly idea to accept a draw.
Sep-11-11  Petrosianic: Yeah, but think what a good idea it was to offer one.
Oct-26-11  Llawdogg: Wow! What might have been!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Infohunter: <whiteshark: ... and it's the game where Chigorin! twice missed to mate.>

To wit: After 24. Qxa7 Black had a forced mate in six with 24...Rh1+ 25. Nxh1 Bh2+ 26. Kxh2 Rh8+ 27. Bh6 Rxh6+ 28. Kg3 Nf5+ 29. Kf4 (or 29. Kg4) Rh4#. In response to the text move 24...b6 White played 25. Be3 and allowed the very same mate--which Black missed again!

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: A truly bizarre game! Chigorin loses his Queen after 10 moves, misses 2 forced checkmates, and then Schiffers agrees to a draw in a winning position, eg 35. ♔e3 ♖h3+ 36. ♔d4 ♖d2+ 37. ♕d3 fxe5+ 38. ♔xe5 ♖dxd3 39. ♗xc7+ ♔xc7 40. cxd3

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Garech: Insanity!


Mar-01-13  JimNorCal: Terrific entertainment starting at 10. Ne5!
Nov-29-14  Knight13: Nobody ever said it was good, but the Damiano Defense is actually playable for Black. Chigorin enjoyed finding exceptions and trying out new things, e.g. the Chigorin Defense. If anything, Schiffers should be the one deserving of more criticism here, not Chigorin, for not winning the game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <Knight13: Nobody ever said it was good, but the Damiano Defense is actually playable for Black....>

The most diamantesque chess player is Sam Sloan, a player that I really like. His record would be better if he did not play the Damiano all the time as black. He knew both Fischer and Whitaker.

Check out his incredible match with "Bill" William Brock.

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <patzer2: The move 22...Rxh1+! is a decoy tactic Chigorin failed to play for a mate-in-six, as pointed out by <Honza Cervenka>.

The combination with 22...Rxh1!+ is listed as the solution to number 1170 in Chess Informant's 1980 "Encyclopedia of Chess Middlegames," and is categoriezed there as a decoy (spelled "dicoying" in this multi-language reference book).

Black's first two moves are decoys in the combination <22...Rxh1+! 23. Nxh1 Bh2+! 24. Kxh2 Rh8+ 25. Kg3 Nf5+ 26. Kg4 Rh4#>.

P.S. Black also missed this same mate by not playing 23...Rxh1+!>

23...Rh1+?? 24. Nxh1 Bh2+ 25. Kxh2 Rh8+ 26. Kg3 Nf5+ 27. Kxf3.

The mating combination beginning with ....Rh1+ works only after 23...Bc6 24. Qxa7??

Maybe the score of the game has changed since those earlier comments were posted?

Jun-22-17  Eusebius: <al wazir>
Thank you for this. I was also confused about this post. 24...Rh1+ is the right move (and not 23...Rh1+)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <al wazir> Yes, I guess that there was added a repetition of moves after 17.Kh1 Be5 18.Kg1 (18...Bh2+ 19.Kh1 Be5 20.Kg1) which is sometimes omitted in sources mentioning this game. In current gamescore the missed mating combo starts in moves 24 or 25 of black.

Btw, even without 24.Qxa7(?) allowing mate in six moves white seems to be in big troubles in the position after 23...Bc6. For example, 24.Qe2 Nf5 25.Ne4 Nd4 or 24.Qa3 Nf5 25.Re1 Bxg3 26.fxg3 Nd4 is quite overwhelming, and white is probably lost despite of his huge material advantage. Instead of 26...Nxg3 it was better to play 26...Bxb2 27.Rad1 Nxe3 28.Rxd8+ Rxd8 29.Ne2 (white cannot play 29.Re1 or 29.Rb1 for 29...Bd4 with decisive threats) 29...Nxf1 with R+2B+2P for Q+N.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: The game score must be incorrect since after 22...Rxh1+ 23. Nxh1 Bh2+ 24. Kxh2 The studied move <24...Rh8+> is not possible since the Black Knight is on <g8>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Morf.

I think they have the move number wrong, the combo starts here with Chigorin to play his 24th move.

click for larger view

Very easily missed OTB. You are a Queen missing and have to sac a Rook and Bishop and foresee a very uncommon mid-board mating pattern.

click for larger view

Chigorin had a chance to play it again on move 25. If it he had played it then the game would be up there with the 'Immortal' and 'Evergreen'.

I would like not to have to been the one who pointed out the missed win to Chigorin. It must have been soul shattering, akin to Da Vinci deciding to paint out the smile in the Mona Lisa.

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