Saturday, April 19, 2008

London 1851

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


transformation said...

blunderprone, i must warn you, from among us members of the 'order of the RAM' as you so cleverly put it!, that in all sincerity if you can imagine this one:

the games get decidedly better as you move forward in the 59 game file, as i recall.

in the context of being aware that you already have plenty of motivation, here is even MORE motivation!:

i rated the games 0 to 5 in my xls data sheet (it has 5,200+ records, but not all of them filled in, but also has other data as i move through my collection), and latter on, there are entire patches of 5.0's: game, after game, after game.

may god bless you and your family today.

spring is roaring here in seattle, with nascent green buds everywhere the eye can see and many flowers in full bloom. warmest, dk

BlunderProne said...

DK: I am diverging a bit from the Order of the Ram. I decided to study the games of the London 1851 event because for some reason I have become infatuated with that period in classical chess. ( pre-morphy)

I never before took any interst in the historical aspects of the game until now. If you know me, when I get a notion in my head, I tend to go through the rabbit hole pretty far.

Inspired by GM-RAM, I wanted to get an understadning of the chess life in that period around the first international chess tournament by studying these games with out a net. I have discovered a wealth of information if I just look and I am finding this makes great spring time reading.

Its also a different tract for me to study. I never devoted too much time to going over games of master's past and this fits well with a new regimine for the summer. The historical aspects also keeps my interest perked ( for now) and looking at the games through the "Order of the RAM" keeps the mind struggle just enough to make a lasting impression.

I have the entire game collection of the London 1851 event. When I get through this, I'd be glas to send you my annotated games ... or I'd be willing to send you the entire collection un-annotated ( pre- RAM'd).

takchess said...

Nicely annotated ! 28 Nd5 is a very deep move which I need to come back to study.

It's a shame firebras who was doing a online study of the Kasparov my great pred got frustrated with blogging and lack of responses and quit. He did some very nice work on his analysis as well. I think his site got hijacked.

I think you may gain an appreciation for some of the lesser lights like Bird and Paulsen. Paulsen played some interesting defensive moves. One which is the Kings Gambit defense that bears his name.

transformation said...

thank you George! you are definitely coming out of your hole this spring, and sniffing the wind!

transformation said...

judging by the looks on the faces of these swarthy men (here and in previous posts), i make a wee little speculation that they must have enjoyed a wee little dram of wiskey now and then? or far more than usually back in the day? what say you?

BlunderProne said...

DK... and one mustn't forget a touch of snuff with that wee dram.

Would it hurt them to smile?

transformation said...

im not sure if the Taoist inner smile had made its way very far in the occident, back in the day, before acid, LSD, the iChing, the hippie movement, and blogger.

so if i read you right, you are suggesting that all of us in the Order of the Ram smile regularly:

"Not a fast food speed grandmaster from 'the little book', but enjoying the journey"

BlunderProne said...

The joy is in the journey. Destination is secondary.

Blue Devil Knight said...

These are great posts. Where has this great annotator historian been hiding all these years? I don't know about the order of the RAM, but like a watcher of the Knights getting inspired to do tactics but not joining the cult, this is inspiring me to get started on working through the WC collections, starting with the first real WC (Morphy). Though now you have me doubting that--it seems Anderssen had the ability to kick some butt as well, so I'll have to go through some of his games and then some Morphy-Anderssen battles in their epic war.

Seriously, though, you have been all too humble. I never had any doubt you would kick my ass from her to Worcester in chess, but you have been kicking ass lately with all this stuff. One word: e-book.

transformation said...

BDK: in intended kind regards, in the possible but unlikely event that you can use the games, i am sending you two of the versions now. viewable with cb.lite.

these games were already embedded in the different versions of the collection(s) i sent you among last year (but easily lost in the din of noise or large scale), but more explicit here, as stand alones. take a look.

very, very nice stuff. 'wont indeed make you a grandmaster yet' but very aesthetic, enjoyable, if not most instructive all the same.

take care, dk

BlunderProne said...

BDK: Thanks, I've emerged from the Order of the RAM with the vigor of Ken Burns!

DK: Brother RAM, with the forsythia in bloom, a sense of renewal has arisen.

Blue Devil Knight said...

DK--thanks, didn't get them yet but I'm curious.

transformation said...

i sent them both to bdk yahoo. pls email me, if you dont mind, if this is not the right address. of course, as you asked and ask, not to ues the eric duke thing. take care, and eager to see your reaction. this is really good stuff. regards, dk

PS sent at 3:07 and 3:08 est today, spam box perhaps?