Chess

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
DISMAYED BY the modern fad for rapidplay events, at which the great chess thinkers of our age are forced, for the benefit of impatient spectators, to speed up their cogitations to an absurd degree, I take refuge today in a game from a more leisurely era. Indeed, the game that follows was played by correspondence, beginning in 1912 and ending the following year. It amply demonstrates a level of beauty that can only be reached when men are given time to wallow in creative contemplation.

White: Dr G Fluss

Black: Aron Nimzowitsch

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.d3 d6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 Bg4 9.h3 Bh5 10.h4

A nice touch. If he had played h4 on the previous move, 9...Nh5! would have caused some confusion in the White camp.

10...g4 11.Nd2 a6 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.Bxd5

Now 13...Qd7 followed by 0-0-0 might appear natural, but 13...Qd7 14.c3 0- 0-0 15.b4 would lay the basis for a powerful White attack. Instead of this, Nimzowitsch sacrificed a pawn to seize the initiative.

13...Ne7! 14.Bxb7 Ra7 15.Bd5 f5! 16.f4

With 16.exf5 Nxf5 unappealing and the idea of Black's pawn advancing to f4 equally unappetising, this is White's best hope.

16...gxf3 17.gxf3 Nxd5 18.exd5 Rg8 19.Nf1

Now pause for a moment and think what you might play as Black in the diagram position (left). 19...e4 perhaps, to increase the pressure against the hapless pawn on f3? Not a bad move by any means, but it lets White back into the game after 20.Qd2 with the threat of Qxh6 and Qe6+. Instead, Nimzowitsch changes direction deftly.

19...Qb8!

With the white queen's bishop off on the other wing, the threat of a black-square invasion is highly potent. 20.Rb1 Rb7 21.b3 Bb4+ is most unpleasant for White.

20.d4!? Bxd4 21.c3

By returning the pawn, White hopes for time to play b3 when a check on b4 will no longer be possible.

21...Qxb2! 22.cxd4 Qc3+ 23.Kf2 Rb7

The final reinforcements arrive for Black's attack.

24.Rc1 Rb2+ 25.Kg1 Rxg3+!

Now 26.Nxg3 Qe3+27.Kf1 Qf2 is mate.

White resigned.

Comments