18 January 2009

1893 Tarrasch - Chigorin (Anatomy)

Pity the amateur chess writer. When delving into the art of the world's best players, it's often difficult to explain a single move, where a verbal description proves insufficient and can require the analysis of myriad variations streaming toward infinity.

As for a complete game, itself the sum total of many moves, charting the twists and turns, the tactics and strategies, the ideas and their refutations, risks trying the patience of the most faithful reader. What to say of a complete match, the sum total of many games, played (though not always) sequentially over many weeks or even months?

Today, to analyze a single move or follow a single game, we have a tool which was not available to the writers of the pre-computer age. We can step through the moves of a game, both played and unplayed, with the help of chess playing software. This is often a mixed blessing, especially when complex positions and moves are reduced by the software to a single number, like +0.33, leading us astray from the essence and the understanding of the unique position on the board.

Confronted with the problem of outlining the Tarrasch - Chigorin match, St. Petersburg 1893, I developed the following schema. For each game, it shows the players, the opening, the result plus running total, and a brief description of the action [MGP1 is Kasparov's Predecessors I]. Time will tell if it helps to understand the match.

1: T-C, C80, 29, 1-0, +1, blundered with 21...f5
2: C-T, C00, 43, 1-0, =0, blundered with 36...Rf8
3: T-C, C66, 62, 0-1, -1, outplayed in middle game
4: C-T, C00, 62, 0-1, =0, long struggle
5: T-C, C77, 26, 1-0, +1, blundered with 10...Ne7
6: C-T, C00, 59, 0-1, +2, long struggle
7: T-C, C77, 42, 0-1, +1, blundered with 41.Rc1 in a difficult position
8: C-T, C00, 34, 1-0, =0, misplayed in late opening [MGP1 no.27]
9: T-C, C67, 63, 1-0, +1, long struggle, misplayed with 28...Rf6 & 43...Ra2 [MGP1 no.28, 'C82']
10: C-T, C00, 31, 1/2, +1, drawn with Black somewhat better
11: T-C, C77, 53, 1-0, +2, blundered with 52...Bc7 in a won game [MGP1 no.29, fragment]
12: C-T, C00, 51, 1/2, +2, long struggle, drawn with Black somewhat better
13: T-C, C77, 32, 1/2, +2, drawn in an equal endgame, R+B vs. R+N
14: C-T, C00, 77, 0-1, +3, outplayed in middle game
15: T-C, C77, 45, 0-1, +2, blundered with 43.Qa4
16: C-T, C34, 27, 1/2, +2, drawn in an equal game
17: T-C, C77, 46, 1-0, +3, outplayed under attack in middle game
18: C-T, C00, 62, 1-0, +2, long struggle; blundered with 54...Rc1, overlooking draw [MGP1 no.30]
19: T-C, C77, 42, 0-1, +1, outplayed in middle game
20: C-T, C00, 66, 1-0, =0, long struggle; outplayed in endgame
21: T-C, D00, 31, 1-0, +1, outplayed in middle game
22: C-T, C00, 58, 1-0, =0, long struggle; outplayed in endgame


While I was studying the games of the match, I noticed the following position. What would you play and why?

1893 St.Petersburg (match; game 3)
Tarrasch, Siegbert

Chigorin, Mikhail
(After 34.Rf1-e1)
[FEN "4rrbk/2pq2bp/p2p2p1/1p3n2/3PN3/1PPQ1N1P/P1B1R1PK/4R3 b - - 0 34"]

To see what Chigorin played (or to step through the complete game) see...

Siegbert Tarrasch vs Mikhail Chigorin, Petersburg (Match) 1893

...on Chessgames.com.


Later: In the match table I added the move count to the data shown for each game.

1 comment:

Mot Juste said...

Good stuff! Do you analize games with software?