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Johannes Filippus Malta vs Henry Bird
"The Maltese Falcon" (game of the day Jan-24-2021)
DCA Congress 8th (1880), Gouda NED
Dutch Defense: General (A80)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-24-21  Honey Blend: 21. ♖d8!? might be worth considering. Grabbing the piece immediately with 21. ... fxe3 22. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8 23. ♕d8+ ♔g7 24. fxe3 puts Black in an unclear position. There's the threat of counterplay with ♖f1 and the QB and QR might be stuck at their home squares for a while, e.g. 24. ... ♗b7? 25. ♕e7+.
Jan-24-21  KevinDenelsbeck: Well, that was a hideous game by White.
Jan-24-21  Brenin: 21 Rd8 looks as if it might allow White to get away with an unlikely-looking and undeserved draw, e.g. 21 ... Ba6 22 Qxg5+ and Bxf4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Towards its end the game reminds rather the Black Harvest.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: I don't know what you mean. Do you have the right game?
Jan-24-21  offramp: I haven't seen skewers so close together since my local kebab shop burned down.
23. Bc3.

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24. bxc3 Rg8.

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Jan-24-21  morfishine: This is what happens when someone creates what they think is a clever game title then searches for a convenient game to attach it to without reference to its quality. The old cart before the horse syndrome

The members end up having to suffer through another pathetic low quality game not worthy of being GOTD

Gaffe of the day is more accurate

Jan-24-21  RandomVisitor: Dashiell Hammett teaches chess, quotes from the Maltese Falcon:

13...g4: "You're good, you're very good." “I don't mind a reasonable amount of trouble.”

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14.Bxe4 “My way of learning is to heave a wild and unpredictable monkey-wrench into the machinery.”

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20...f4 the trick from my angle is to make my play strong enough to tie you up, but not to make you mad enough to bump me off against your better judgement.

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23...Qxc3 24.bxc3

When a man's queen is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of her. She was your queen and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the chess business. Well, when one of your pieces gets killed, it's-it's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every chess-player everywhere.

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24...Rg8 "When I slap you, you'll take it and like it."

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28...e2 0-1 The stuff that dreams are made of.

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Jan-24-21  goodevans: <Brenin: 21 Rd8 looks as if it might allow White to get away with an unlikely-looking and undeserved draw...>

First, is it a draw and, if so, why? The obvious continuation that needs to be looked at is <21...fxe3 22.Rxf8+ Kxf8 23.Qd8+ Kg7 24.fxe3>. White is B down but the opening of the f-file makes it hard for black to avoid a perpetual check once white brings his R into play. I think black can avoid perpetual by giving back the B (<24...Kh6 25.Rf1 Ba6 26.Qxa8 Bxf1 27.Qf8+ Qg7>) and maybe there are better ways to avoid the draw. Even so black's certainly lost the big advantage he seemed to have earlier on.

Which brings me to my second question - where did black lose that big advantage (assuming that it wasn't just an illusion?

After 17.Nxd4 black is a piece up but has two pieces en prise.

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I like the look of <17...Nxe5>. White could claw back most of his material deficit with <18.gxh4 Qxh4> but black would still have the attack and, unlike in the game, white has no threat of drawing. At first sight it looks as though white might instead be able to do something with a discovered attack on the Q but as he's already material down and as the en prise B defends the Q this doesn't quite work, e.g. <18.Nxe6 Bxe6 19.Rxd8 Bxd8>.

Stockfish seems to prefer the game move, 17...Nxd4, to this but I believe that's a mistake that might have cost black all his previous good play. Perhaps a longer think might change its mind.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 13.c3 would have been better.
Jan-24-21  CivilDisobedience: the Maltese Falcon is a different opening, called also Weidenhagen Gibbins Gambit: 1.d4, Nf6; 2. g4, Nxg4; 3.f3, Nf6; 4. e4 ... played by Bogart
Jan-24-21  offramp: "<The Maltese Falcon>", because the opening is a Dutch and Humphrey Bogart was notorious for not passing the dutchie.
Jan-24-21  Brenin: <goodevans> After <Honey Blend>'s suggested 21 Rd8, the obvious line 21 ... fxe3 22 Rxf8+ Kxf8 23 Qd8+ Kg7 24 fxe3 Kh6 25 Rf1 Ba6 26 Qxa8 Bxf1 27 Qf8+ Qg7 28 Qxg7+ Kxg7 29 Kxf1 seems to give White the advantage with 3P vs 2P on the Q-side. Black will have difficulty dealing with a passed Q-side P and keeping White's K away from his poorly protected K-side Ps.
Jan-24-21  V Geriakov: This game doesn't even seem GOTD-worthy. White's play was simply hideous, even if given that it was played in 1880. Good 2-name pun though, although I don't get its implication.
Jan-25-21  Honey Blend: After some thought about the line 21. ♖d8 fxe3 22. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8 23. ♕d8+ ♔g7 24. fxe3 ♔h6 25. ♖f1 ♗a6

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26. ♖f6+ and the plot thickens. After 26. ... ♔g7 27. ♕xa8:

I. 27. ... ♕xf6 28. ♕xa7+ ♔g6 29. ♕xa6 ♕xb2 and it's a ♕&♙ endgame with a lot of fight left:

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II. or 27. ... ♔xf6? 28. ♕h8+ ♔f5 29. ♕xh7+ ♔f6 30. ♕h8+ ♔f5 31. ♕h6! +- and Black has to give up the ♕ to avoid mate:

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