Saturday, April 12, 2008

Anderssen versus Staunton ( GM-RAM game 2)

Since I too am a believer of the GM-RAM as well as thankful to DK
for sending me the PGNs of the games as well as inspiring me to go beyond the endgame exercises, I have been looking over these golden nuggets. I espeically was inspired by takchess's and Likesforest's comments here about the first game of Mayet vs Anderssen.

The major lesson I get from this is that Staunton's inattention to developement allowed Anderssen to steam roll a king side attack. Staunton's attenpt at counter-attacking was little too late.

I decided to post my feeble attempt at annotating this wonderful game from the GM-RAM collection:

(60) Adolf Anderssen - Howard Staunton
[B40]1, London 1851

1.e4 c5
In 1813, the English master Jacob Henry Sarratt christened the opening "the Sicilian Defence," referring to an old Italian manuscript that used the phrase, "il giocho siciliano." The reason I mention Sarrat is because there is one game in Chess Base that is a queen's pawn game that starts out 1.d4 d5 2. Bf4 just like teh London. He sets up an attack on that got his name called the Sarrat Attack. But I digress, back to the game. Anderssen and Staunton both were early proponents of the sicilian which helped promote the popularity of this defence.
2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 The Smith-Morra wouldn't come to popularity for another 100 years. For now Anderssen went for an early developmental tempo.

3...e6 Staunton realized that development was crucial over holding on to the pawn. Nc6 doesn't hold on to the pawn. White can't play 4. Bb5, black has Qa5+. White is better off exchanging in the center: [3...Nc6 4.Nxd4 Nxd4 5.Qxd4 Despite the Queen in the center, with Black's queen knight gone, White has a comfortable lead in development. Black has to move pawns to activate both bishops. White is ready to roll.]

4.Nxd4 Bc5 (f2 is a common target in these classic games. 5.Nc3 a6 This addresses the momentum White has on b5. However is it too passive? [5...Ne7 6.Bf4 Nbc6 7.Ndb5 e5 I think this line equalizes] 6.Be3 Ba7 Staunton sees that the bishop hangs on c5 and could potentially drop a central pawn. [6...Nf6 7.Nxe6 dxe6 (7...fxe6 8.Bxc5 with e5 to follow.) 8.Bxc5] 7.Bd3 Black is falling further behind in development. 7...Ne7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qh5 With his development complete, Anderssen begins a king side attack. Modern advice suggests that being ahead in development warrents initiating an attack.

9...Ng6 Staunton continues to waste tempo moving pieces more than once. But Anderssen is not giving him too many options. [9...d6 10.e5 g6 11.Qg5 dxe5 (11...Nbc6 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.exd6) 12.Qxe5 Nbc6 13.Nxc6 Nxc6 In either line, the exchanges still reveals a lack in development and defences on the king side and the double bishops pointed at h7 and h6 give white the advantage.]

10.e5 Qc7 This may not be exact, d5 might actually be better as it allows the bishop to develop. 11.Rae1 b5 12.f4 This setup for white is the precursor to Lasker's attack which shows up about 50 years after this. The bishops on b1-h7 and c1-h6 diagonals along with the potential of a rook luft increase the potential for a bishop sacrifice to open up the pawns on the kingside. Lasker moved the dark sqared bishop's to teh a1-h8 diagonal with lethal results. Staunton was playing for a flank attack to counter the King side but he doesn't have enough momentum. 12...Bb7 13.Ne4 Heading to g5 would be lethal for Staunton.

13...Bxe4 14.Bxe4 Nc6 15.Nxc6 dxc6 the queen is rather useless on c7 now. 16.g4 Rad8 17.Kh1 breaking the potential for any inbetween checks and allowing more freedom for the bishop on e3 17...c5 Staunton really needed to reinforce the king side and plug some holes on the b1-h7 diagonal 18.Rf3 Qa5 Wasting more time on the wrong side of teh board. 19.Ref1 Qa4 20.Bd3 Qxa2 21.Rh3 h6 22.g5 Bowling with pawns. 22...Rxd3 Anderssen's light squared bishop was a stalwart in this position. Staunton is left for desparate action. 23.cxd3 Qd5+ Staunton's only hope is to neutralize the kingside attack with counter play on the queen side. IF only he could exchange down to minor pieces against a pawn majority on that side of the board. 24.Rff3 This limits Staunton's initiative. 24...Ne7 25.gxh6 g6 [25...gxh6 26.Rhg3+ Ng6 27.Qxh6] 26.h7+ Kh8 27.Qg5 Nf5 28.Qf6+ Ng7 29.f5 Opens the diagonal for the bishop 29...Qb3 Staunton, in a moment of desparation, attempts to look for a perpetual check. 30.Bh6 Qd1+ 31.Kg2 Qe2+ 32.Rf2 1-0

To placate the lazy:

I welcome all feedback and corrections. I hope you all enjoy this game.


transformation said...

i wryly note that i sincerely hope that it is not too contriversial to simply say, 'thank you for mentioning me' but even that is sure to disturb SOME people.
:) warmly, dk

BlunderProne said...

I think for those of us who like the GM-RAM, we should be indoctrinated into " The Order of the RAM".


liquideggproduct said...

lolz that n00b stantons opening sux. y is he famus i could pwn his dead azz lol.

BlunderProne said...

LEP/MAscot: Let me skoolz you:

Staunton at the time was 41 years old and a little past his prime. He didn't take seriously until he was 26 years old. 7 years later his greatest acheivement was beating France's best master, Pierre Saint-Amant in 1843. London became the hot spot of chess. The Cafe De La regence ( where Philidor and other previous prominent chess players came to show off) was now become second to London's burgeoning chess scene.

By 1851, Staunton had done a lot to promote the chess scene in London by writing chess columns and books. He took it upon himself to organize this historic event. Perhaps too much effort on organizing this took the energy away from preparation against the up and coming Anderssen.

Though this event turned out to be his swan song so to speak, his legacy and significance is still felt today with the standardization of the formal tournament set and London's importance of the world chess scene in the middle of teh 19th century.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for providing this--it is some good Sunday afternoon reading. It is fun having good players like you and likeforests providing a guide through some of these games.

Now, who will do number 3? :)

likesforests said...

Awesome! I'll look at and comment on this as soon as I've had a chance to annotate the game myself (it wouldn't be in the spirit of GM-RAM to look at your annotations first). :)

BlunderProne said...

A Little more history about this event in London 1851 ( I love Wiki)

This was considered the first international tournament of its kind. Anderssen was the German representative who got an invite, bit because of his modest livelihood as a college professor/chess enthusiast, he almost declined the invitational because he could afford. Howard Staunton, organizor and chess "professional" offered to pay for Adolf's way if he didn't win the event.

Now, you consipiracy theorists are probably already think that Howard threw this elimination match so he wouldn't have to pay. But on the contrary, Howard was the favorite. It came with great dissapointment that after being eliminated in the third round with the two losses ( best of 3) against this young ( 2o-something) upcoming chess wizard named Adolf Anderssen, he fought for 3rd place in teh 4th round only to finish in 4th place.

He challenged Anderssen to a 21 game match to prove his chess strength. Anderssen didn't decline but said he needed to go back to work for a little while. Howard's "grudge" match never took place, Anderssen's chess prowess rose until the young American named Paul Morphy came to town in 1858. ( more on that later)

takchess said...

I was studying this game last week awaiting LF annotations . Glad to see you jumping in on this.

I have found that games I play often remind me of an older game giving me some direction.

What struck me in this game was blacks inability to counterattack through the center and white walk up the king side. Sweet. I looked for this game in other collections but not in Reti, Tartakover, Kasparov books.

Nice job.

keypusher said...

Here is a comment from Gerard Welling, who often plays the variation of the Sicilian that Staunton employed here:

After the initial moves I prefer the active 5.Nc3 Qb6!? for example 1) 6.Na4 Qa5+ 7.c3 Bxd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 ( two bishops but Na4 is clumsy ) 2) 6.Be3 Nc6 and the pawn sacrifice 7.Ndb5 Bxe3 leads to an unclear position but control of e5 should help black. I remember a matchgame Harstston-Basman, England 1974 as a good example how black should play. Staunton was a bit passive, 6..Qc7 was suggested in contemporary sources and Staunton was very critical on his play in this particular game in general.

takchess said...

Do you think it was important for Anderssen to move his king when he did? Would his attack work with an extra tempo in hand?

I don't know the answer to this but am curious.

Anderssen played some beautiful chess. I think that Gm-Ram has the games that Reti analysed of his in the Master of the Chessboard. Two of them are Falkbeers against Rosannes. The analysis of this games started me playing the Kings Gambit.

Shane Pillay said...

Does it work? The whole memorise them all and you get to 2500 thing? Has anyone done like 15 at least and well noticed anything? Of course like with a computer and stuff, There were probably some errors on both side seeing this is from a different time.