Friday, February 6, 2009

Pillsbury - Marco, Paris 1900

Harry Nelson Pillsbury’s career is less well known than it ought to be. His lifetime score against Lasker was +4=4-4, and his failure to secure a match before his premature death in 1906 was a great loss to the game. Here he scores another fine victory with the Queen’s Gambit, as Marco thinks to improve on Tarrasch’s play at Hastings.

I hope it doesn't look like I'm being too hard on poor Georg Marco. He was a strong player and a fine writer, who had the misfortune to lose a number of memorable games to the world's best.

Pillsbury - Marco
Paris, 1900


1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 0-0 6. Nf3 b6 7. Bd3 Bb7 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Ne5 Nbd7 10. f4 c5 11. 0-0 c4

A faulty strategy, though this was not yet obvious in 1900. Pillsbury was instrumental in demonstarting that White’s attack is just too strong.

12. Bc2 a6 13. Qf3

Threatening 15. Nxd7 Qxd7 16. Bf5 and 17. Bxf6.

13. ... b5 14. Qh3 g6 15. f5 b4 16. fxg6 hxg6


Not 16. ... bxc3? 17. Bxf6 Nxf6 18. Rxf6 fxg6 119. Bxg6 hxg6 20. Rxg6 mate.

17. Qh4 bxc3 18. Nxd7 Qxd7 19. Rxf6 a5 20. Raf1 Ra6 21. Bxg6 fxg6 22. Rxf8+, Black resigns

For Black will soon be mated after 22. ... Bxf8 23. Rxf8+ Kxf8 24. Qh8+ Kf7 25. Qh7+ Kf8 26. Qxd7.

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