Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ignatz Kolisch, Vienna Game

Ignatz Kolisch was a Baron of the Austrian Empire.  He was ranked number  one chess player in the world between July 1867 and November 1868.  He later became involved in banking and abandoned chess in favor of the stock market.

Paris, 1859
Vienna Game

1. e4, e5
2. Bc4, Nf6
3. Nc3, c6

Most players prefer 3....Nc6. Combative players may choose 3...Nxe4, which goes 4. Nxe4 d5.

4. d3, b5

Black's last move turned out well, but 4....d5 is stronger.

5. Bb3, a5
6. a4, b4
7. Na2? ....

White voluntarily exiled his Knight to a useless square, where it is stranded for the rest of the game.

7. .... d5
8. exd5, cxd5
9. Nf3, Nc6
10. Qe2, Bg4
11. 0-0, Bc5

If 11...e4, then 12. dxe4 dxe4, 13. Qb5....and the Knight becomes unpinned. At this point, if 13....exf3, then 14. Qxc6 Bd7, 15. Qxf3... and Black loses much material.

12. Bg5, h6
13. h3, h5?!

What does Black have in mind? He could have won the exchange outright by 13....Bxf3, 14. Bxf6 Bxe2, 15. Bxd8 Bxf1.

14. hxg4, hxg4

Now we see the reason for Black's 13th move. The open h-file paves the way for an attack.

15. Nxe5, Nd4
16. Qe1 ....

White waits. He is a piece ahead and threatens 17. Nc6+ winning Black's Queen.

16. .... Ne4!!

A magnificent blockade. If the Knight is taken e.g. 17. dxe4 then17.....Qxg5 and White's attack fizzles.

17. Bxd8, Ng3!!

Now we see the reason behind the Queen sacrifice. Black threatens mate at h1. The attacking Knight cannot be captured because of 18....Ne2 mate.

18. Ng6+, N4e2+
19. Qxe2, Nxe2 mate.

A superb masterpiece. The game reflects Kolisch's dazzling style.

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