First, since my games lately really lack any imagination and the fact that I've been sucking wind, I decided to continue posting about games I am studying from the London 1851 event. This post details the GM-RAM game 3 but I will diverge from that book from here ( with the exception of Game 4 )
Howard Staunton faught controversary from a rival London club as he went out of his way to organize the first international chess event to take place around the same time of the 1851 world exhibition. Despite the boycott from the London Club, he was still able to raise 500 british pounds to fund the event and invite the region's top players. Local representation aside from Staunton included Henry Buckle, Marmaduke Wyvill, Elijah Williams, Captain Hugh Alexander Kennedy, Samuel Newham, and Henry Bird.
The only American was Lowenthal, who was actually a Hungarian chess master who fled to America following the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. Paul Morphy was only 14 at the time and wasn't traveling out of New Orleans for another 7 years.
Adolf Anderssen was the clear winner of the sixteen player event. He was hesitant to play at first because as a proffessor, he didn't feel he could afford the travel expenses. Howard Staunton assured him that he would pay for his expenses out of his own pocket if he didn't win any prize. Anderssen had not played in any tournament of this kind prior to the event. He was considered the unofficial first world chess champion as a result of this event.
The game below is my feeble attempt at annotating the second game against Howard Staunton in the elimination style event ( no round robins or swiss systems like today). Despite all the work, disputes, negotiations, and organization of such a monumental event, Howard made it to round 3 only to be elimnated by Anderssen. Howard's dissapointing fourth place finish was thought to be a result of the fact that he had to perform a double duty as a participant as well as a promoter.
In the game below, there was not a major material imbalance like the Game in my last post. Rather, move 28, Anderssen found a very subtle yet powerful move that took advantage of Howard's disconnected pieces.
(64) Adolf Anderssen - Howard Staunton [C00]04, London 04, London, 1851
1.e4 e6 2.d4 The "French defence" is named after a match played by correspondence between the cities of London and Paris in 1834 (although earlier examples of games with the opening do exist). 2...g6 Staunton attempts a flank approach to controlling the center.
3.Bd3 Bg7 4.Be3 Anderssen's games tend to favor positioning the Bishops on e3 and d3 when he can. 4...c5 5.c3 cxd4 6.cxd4 Oddly enough, 7 years later, In 1858, Paul Morphy defeats Adolf Anderssen with this same move order as white. Anderssen tried an improvement with Nc6 instead of Howard's Qb6. : Morphy,P - Anderssen,A [C00] Paris m2 , 20.12.1858 1.e4 e6 2.d4 g6 3.Bd3 Bg7 4.Be3 c5 5.c3 cxd4 6.cxd4 Nc6 7.Ne2 Nge7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nbc3 d5 10.e5 f6 11.f4 fxe5 12.fxe5 a6 13.Qd2 Nb4 14.Bg5 Nxd3 15.Qxd3 Bd7 16.Qh3 Qe8 17.Ng3 Rc8 18.Rxf8+ Qxf8 19.Rf1 Qe8 20.Qh4 Nf5 21.Nxf5 gxf5 22.Rf3 Bb5 23.Rg3 Rc7 24.Bf6 f4 25.Qxf4 Qf8 26.Nxb5 axb5 27.Qh6 Kh8 28.Rxg7 Rxg7 29.Kf2 Kg8 30.Qxg7+ Qxg7 31.Bxg7 Kxg7 32.g4 b4 33.h4 b5 34.Ke3 b3 35.a3 1-0
6...Qb6 Staunton attempts to exploit 2 weaknesses with this move : d4 and b2 7.Ne2 Anderssen PLaces the knight on e2 to defend the d4 pawn but also for flexibility to support the queen side or to go to g3. 7...Qxb2 8.Nbc3 Qb6 9.Rc1 Anderssen's lead in development seems to compensate the loss in material.
9...Na6 Staunton sees the Nb5 to c7 threat and compensates. [9...Nc6 10.d5!] 10.Nb5 Bf8 I fail to see the importance of this move by Staunton for other than setting up d6. This takes the pressure off of d4. It is a defensive maneuver. Staunton was a strong positional player in his heyday. Often making subtle moves. Problem with this position is that Anderssen is a sharp tactician known for sacrificing pieces to blow open the position. [10...d5 11.e5 with Nd6 to follow] 11.0-0 d6 Why not 11... d5? [11...d5 12.e5] 12.d5 Qa5 What are some alternatives for Staunton's queen? [12...Qd8 Looks even worse]
13.Bd4 Nice forcing move. Causes black to lock up the center adn imprison that bishop. 13...e5 [13...f6 This just weakens the position even more. 14.dxe6 Bxe6] 14.Bc3 Qd8 Anderssen leaves Staunton very little options. 15.f4 f6 16.fxe5 fxe5 17.Qa4 Anderssen focuses on the weakness of the d6 square to over-extend the defenders. 17...Bd7 18.Bb4 Nh6 Staunton has to lose maneuver his knight to f7 to support the weak d6. 19.Kh1 prevents any inbetween move like Qb6+
19...Nf7 20.Qa3 Can you feel the pressure? I feel the pressure on d6! 20...Nc5 21.Nxd6+ Bxd6 22.Bxc5 Bxc5 23.Qxc5 not only did this exchange gain a pawn, but Anderssen now OWNS the c-file and Staunton cannot castle.
23...Qe7 24.Qc7 Nd6 Staunton tries to regain control of the c-file 25.Qa5 h5 This is just not strong enough to thwart off Anderssen's attack. Rc8 looked more promising or even Qd8. 26.Rc7 Rf8 Sure, there is the potential of a back rank mate on f1 against Anderssen and this sets up some threats but the set up is too time consuming allowing White to follow through with the plan. 27.Rfc1 a6 prepares to move the rook
28.Nd4! This is just brilliant. Black can't take it becuase his game would just crumble. 28...Rc8 [28...exd4 29.e5 Nf5 30.e6 with two strong passed pawns ] 29.Ne6 Rxc7 30.Rxc7 Rf7 31.Qb6 Rf6 32.h3 Alleviates any back rank threats 32...g5 33.Qb2 e5 is just sitting there.
33...Nb5 34.Bxb5 axb5 35.Qxe5 h4 Black needs something a little stronger. Perhaps Rf1+ 36.Rxb7 Rf1+ 37.Kh2 Qf6 mate in 7 forced 38.Rb8+ Ke7 [38...Kf7 39.Rf8+ Ke7 (39...Kg6 40.Rxf6+ Rxf6 41.Qxg5+ Kf7 42.Qg7+ Ke8 43.Qg8+ Ke7 44.Qd8+ Kf7 45.Qxd7+ Kg6 46.Qg7+ Kh5 47.Qg5#) 40.d6#] 39.d6+ Kf7 40.Rf8+ Kg6 41.Rxf6+ Rxf6 42.Qxg5+ Kf7 43.Qg7+ Kxe6 44.Qe7# 1-0