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 la Bourdonnais - MacDonnell  (# 3.)


 This is a simple, plain-old text-score page ...  so if you want to follow this  game - you will definitely need a chess set.  (First posted, August; 2002.) 


Click  HERE   if you would like to see this game - very  briefly annotated - 
  in a java-script re-play format. 


Louis Charles de LaBourdonnais (2725)
  -  Alexander MacDonnell (2650)
 [D20]
 Match,  ENG. vs. FRA.
 Westminster Chess Club 
London, England (Game  # 50), 1834


Dozens of players, writers, chess historians, etc - have all heaped praise on this game. 
(And many annotators have commented on this game ... and most have gotten it dead wrong!   
 I have seen dozens of comments on this game over the years. I have included several - with  
 my analysis to correct their mistakes - to give you an idea of what I am talking about here.)   

This is also a game that is  NOT  as well-known as it deserves to be.  
(Some better known games are  Anderssen's  "Immortal Game," and his "Ever-Green Partie."  
 Also some of  Morphy's  games are very well-known.  This game is as good as any of those  
 historic clashes.)

   GM Ruben Fine  -  in his excellent (and now classic) book  - 
   "The World's Great Chess Games"

     calls this the  FIRST (!)  great  ('IMMORTAL')  game of chess!!!! 

Black sacrifices pieces in a manner that would do honor to  M. Tal
One of the deepest and most original sacrifices ever actually made on a chessboard. An incredible concept that pre-dates all others. 

(REMEMBER: This contest pre-dates A. Anderssen's famous 
 "Immortal Game"  with  L. Kieseritsky  by almost 20 years!!!).  

This is easily Alexander MacDonnell's greatest game  .............  
 quite simply  ...  the best game he ever played.  

***

(The comments in brackets ...    <blah-blah-blah>  ... are from my briefly annotated 
  version of this game.) 

***

 These two players played a series of (mini) matches ...   
  ... over an extended period of time. 
(84 or 85 games in total.)  

 There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about the correct number of this game. 
 (When it occurred between these two players in their series.)   
 (Indeed, it seems every book gives it a different numbering.)  

The book,  "The Complete Chess Addict,"  by  Mike Fox  and Richard James;  call this the Fiftieth Match Game.  (Game # 50.) 

The book, "The Oxford Companion To Chess,"  by  David Hooper   and  Kenneth Whyld... 
 ... ... ...  also calls this the 50th Match game. 

One book - from the  McKay chess library  - "An Encyclopedia of Chess,"  (several different authors); calls this the 15th game of the 3rd match of this epic series. (Another book says this is the 4th game of the Fourth Match. Their accounting is meticulous, they may be right.) 
 (And both may be correct, it could be game # 50 {overall} ... as well as # 4 of the 4th match!) 

The book,  "The Batsford Chess Encyclopedia," ...  by  Nathan Divinsky;  gives this game, but does not give the (correct) game number. (Anne Sunnucks  also gives this game as well, but does not  bother to provide the game number.) 

The authoritative, and extremely meticulously researched book,  
"The Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games,"
  ...  by  IM David Levy  &  Kevin O'Connell;  
 (Volume #1, Games: 1485 - 1866); gives ALL the games of this match. They list it as game # 50, ... 
 so that is good enough for me!! 


1.d4 d52.c4 dxc4;   
Black gives up his strong point (d5) in the center, but gains good piece play. 

Thus far, we have a fairly normal Queen's Gambit. 
  (Q.G.A. = "Queen's Gambit Accepted.") 

     [  The continuation: 2...e6; 3.Nc3 Nf6; 4.Bg5 Nbd7{Diag?} 
         leads to a standard Q.G.D. 
         (Q.G.D. = A  "Queen's Gambit Declined.")  ].  

3.e4!?,    
This was heavily criticized by several writers, (Fine - for one, Lowenthal for another); and was labeled as inaccurate ... or even bad. 

***

"Questionable." -  J. Jakob Lowenthal.  
 (An American newspaper.)

"A beginner's move,"  wrote the well-known Irishman, ... 
  -  James Mason.  (A 19th-Century player and writer.) 

"A move which is today considered grossly inferior. The principles 
 of center play were but half understood at that time."  
  - GM Ruben Fine.  ("The World's Great Chess Games.") 

"Too abrupt an advance."  
 - GM Savielly Tartakower  &  James Du Mont
  ("500 Master Games of Chess.") 

***

Yet by the late 1980's and the early 1990's - this reached the pinnacle of GM fashion, and was being heavily played by the world's best GM's!!! 

(In my original ChessBase edition of this game, I included a survey  of over 100 games of this line .... if for no other reason than to prove how wrong GM Ruben Fine was.) 

 

     [ The (main) "book" line - which is probably close to 100 years 
        old - is the following continuation:  3.Nf3 Nf64.e3 e65.Bxc4
        5...c5;
 6.0-0 a67.Qe2This is the modern main line, according  
         to  MCO-14.  

          (Probably the move 7.dxc5!?,  is only good   for equality.)    

        7...Nc6According to theory, this is the most modern continuation. 

         ( The older line - played at the GM level for over 50 years - is:
            7...b5!?; 8.Bb3 Bb7; 9.Rd1 Nbd7; 10.Nc3 Bd6!?;  "~"  {D?}    
            with a roughly balanced position, where White holds an  
            initiative. (I studied this line intensively as a youth, in my  
            teens. But only from the Black point of view - in those days  
            I only  played 1.P-K4!)    

        8.Nc3 b59.Bb3 Bb710.Rd1 Qc711.d5 exd5;  
        12.e4! d4
13.Nd5 Qd8;
  14.Bf4 Rc8; "~"  ("=/+")  {Diag?}  
        The end of the column.  
        15.a4!?,  "+/="  (initiative)  ... "with a big advantage."  [to White]   
        (According to  GM Nick de Firmian  in "Modern Chess 
        Openings.").  He credits this analysis to  Neishtadt,  and goes on 
        to analyze a line where White reaches a winning endgame. 
         (Beginning with 15...c4!?)   But this analysis is VERY complex, 
        and also it is not clear if it is all forced.  Black could also play 
        15...Na5!?;  "~"  {Diagram?}  as well as the line MCO gives. 

        I call it,  (this particular position, after 15. a4);  an extremely complex 
        position, with chances for both sides.   - LM A.J. Goldsby I
        [ See MCO-14; page # 445, column # 6, and also note # (t.). ]  ].  

 

3...e5!;   
This is considered the best line {today} by modern opening books! 
(But ... again - it was heavily criticized in the past by players  {and writers!}  from Paulsen to Steinitz to Reinfeld.) 

"The correct reply." 
- GM  (& Dr.)  Savielly Tartakower  &  James du Mont.  

   '!' - GM Ruben Fine.   '!' - GM Andy Soltis. 

     [  The other 'book' line here is: 3...Nf6!?; "~" {Diagram?}  
         with a fair game for Black. 

         Another line here is:  3...e64.Bxc4 Nf65.Nc3 a6;  
         6.Nf3 b5
;
  7.Bd3 c58.e5,  "+/="   {Diagram?}  
         White is certainly better here.  (White eventually won.) 

         J. Gromek - I. Boleslavky;  Krynica, 1956]

 

4.d5!?,   
White relieves the pressure from the center. 

(MCO-14 does not even consider this move at all. But its not bad.) 

*******

     [  The best line - according to a book by GM Gufeld - is the 
         continuation:  4.Nf3 exd4!?5.Bxc4 Bb4+6.Nbd2 Nc6!?;  
         7.0-0, ("comp")  {Diagram?}  with a fairly complicated position. 
         (Its not clear who is better here. Note that White has had to ... 
          'gambit' a pawn in this particular line.) 

         Probably the most famous example of this line is the game: 
         GM G. Kasparov - GM R. Huebner;  World Cup Competition, 
         /Skelleftea/SWE/1989.  (Look this game up in any on-line db.) 
          ( Maybe better is: 7.a3!? )  

         Now a very complicated line ... from this position ... is: 
         7...Nf68.e5!? Nd59.Nb3;  {Diagram?}  
         Is this the best move here? 

         (  The book: "Nunn's Chess Openings,"  gives the line: 
             9.a3!? Be7; 10.Qb3 Na5; 11.Qa4+ c6; "~"  {Diagram?}  
             The end of the line/row.  12.Ba2 b513.Qxd4 Be6; 
             14.Ne4 h6; "~"  {Diagram?}  Nunn labels this as "unclear." 
             I think White is clearly (and at least); a little better. ("+/=") 
              (White's position is visually very impressive - even at a 
               first {and somewhat casual} glance.) 
             [ See NCO; page # 380, line/row # 7, and note # 42. ]  ) 

         9...Nb610.Bb5!?,  {Diagram?}  
         Right after this was first played, an issue of the Informant labeled 
         it as "best" and even awarded this move an exclam. 
         (Today it is not the only move at this juncture.) 

***

          ( The 'book' (main line) continuation here is:  10.Bg5!? Be7;  {D?} 
            This is probably best.  (The end of the column in  "Modern 
            Chess
Openings.")   11.Bxe7 Qxe7!;  {Diagram?}  
            Considered best by several sources.  

               (An alternative line is: 11...Nxe7!?; 12.Bd3 Ng6!?; 13.Nfxd4,   
                13...Nf4!?; 14.Bb5+ c6; 15.Qf3!, "+/=" (best)  {Diagram?}    
                White is just a little better here.  
                (Black's pieces seem to be misplaced.)  
                GM L. Ftacnik  -  GM C. Hansen;  Yerevan Olympiad, 1996.)   

            12.Bb5 Bd713.Bxc6 Bxc614.Nfxd4 Bd515.Qg4 0-0!;  "~" 
            {Diagram?}  The position is not at all clear. 
            GM I. Sokolov - GM R. Huebner;  Haifa, (ISR); 1989.  

            "This position is equal, since 16.Qxg7+, Kxg7;  17.Nf5+, Kh8; 
              18.Nxe7, Bxb3;  19.axb3, Rfe8;  wins back the pawn."  
               - GM Nick de Firmian  in  MCO 
            [ See MCO-14; page # 452, column # 19, and also note # (e.). ].  

            Now  16.Rfe1!, "+/=" {Diagram?}  This position MUST be slightly 
            better for White.  - LM A.J. Goldsby I.  
            (This is confirmed by checking this position against 
              ChessMaster 8000   and  Nimzo 8.0

            (The continuation:   
             16.f4!? Bxb3!?;  17.Nf5 Qc5+;  18.Kh1 g6;  19.axb3!?,  "+/="     
             also seems to give White a fairly small edge.)   )  

***

         Now a favorite game of mine is:  10...Qd5!;  {Diagram?}  
         Both the Informant and MCO award this move an exclam. 
          ( Not 10...0-0?!; 11.Bxc6 bxc6; 12.Nbxd4, "+/" {D?}  - MCO. (14) ) 
         11.Nfxd4 Bd7;  ('!')  {Diagram?}   To me, this seems like the  
         most logical move in this position.  {A.J.G.}  

          ( 11...0-0!?;  12.Nxc6 Qxb5;  13.Nxb4!? Qxb4; "="  {Diagram?}  
             This is equal, according to MCO.   
             GM L. Portisch - GM R. Huebner;  Tillburg, 1988.  
             [ See MCO-14; page # 452, column # 19, and note # (d.). ]  )  

         (We now return to an analysis of one of my favorite games.)   
         12.Nxc6 Qxb5!?;  {Diagram?}  It appears that Black is trying 
         to avoid the doubled pawns.   (Worse is: 12...bxc6; 13.Bd3, "+/=")   
         13.Nbd4!? Qc514.Nxb4 Qxb415.e6!?,  {Diagram?}  
         This looks attractive, but it eventually fizzles. 

           ( Maybe White should play the move:  >=  15.a3!, "+/="  {D?}  
             when it seems he retains some (a very small) advantage. )    

         15...Bxe616.Nxe6 fxe617.Qh5+ g618.Qe5 0-0-0; 
         19.Qxe6+!?,  {Diagram}  This regains material equality,  
         but allows Black to equalize. 

           (Could White try: 19.Bf4!?, "--->"  in an attempt to use the c-file? ).    

         19...Kb820.b3!? Rhe821.Qh3 Qe7;  {Diagram?}  
         GM Huzman  says this position is completely level.  ("=")  
         Interested parties can consult ChessBase's "Big Base" to 
         see if they have the deeply annotated version of this game.  
         22.Be3 Nd523.Rae1 Nxe324.Rxe3 Qf7;  "="  {Diagram?}  
         Draw agreed, 1/2-1/2  
         GM Ljubo Ljubojevic - GM Pedrag Nikolic
        
Amsterdam/NED/[A.J.G.]/1999  (24)  
         (An extremely interesting draw!)  

           (Click  HERE  to see a modern GM game in this line.)  

****

        A less attractive line for White is the following variation: 
        4.dxe5!?,  {Diagram?}  Several books brand this as doubtful  
        or inferior.  ('?!')   4...Qxd1+5.Kxd1 Nc66.f4 Bg4+;  
        7.Nf3 0-0-0+; ("=/+")  {Diagram?}  with a good game for Black.  ].  

*******

4...f5!?;   
Some sources branded this as [slightly] inferior, yet Nimzovich would have enjoyed this attack at the base of White's Pawn chain. 

This is not the main line today, yet is not at all bad. 

     [  The modern 'book' line is: 4...Nf6!5.Nc3 c6; "~" etc. ("=/+") 
         Black has a good game here. 

         A draw (in nearly 50 moves) was the result between 2 legends 
         of the game, in the encounter: 
         GM Ratmir Kholmov - GM Alexander Kotov;  
         USSR Championship. Moscow/RUS/1948. 

         Kholmov  is well-known in chess and pioneered many systems 
         where Black uses an early fianchetto of his KB vs. KP openings. 
         Kotov  once won an Interzonal, and also authored the great book: 
         "Think Like A Grand-Master.

        The wild complications that arise from:  4...b5!?5.a4, "~"  {D?} 
         are very, very unclear.  ].  

5.Nc3 Nf66.Bxc4 Bc5;   
"Black's position is freer."   -  GM R. Fine

While this might seem true, having advanced his f-pawn also gives the second player some potential weaknesses. 

     [  Black could also play:  6...Bd6!?; "~"  {Diagram?}  but 
         Dr. Savielly Tartakower
  and  James du Mont  
         call this way of playing  ...  "less ambitious." 

***

        A line that was quoted by one source, runs as follows: 
        6...fxe47.Qe2!?,   A seemingly natural move. 
         ( Black could also try: 7.Nxe4 Nxe4; 8.Qh5+ g6; 9.Qxe5+ Qe7;  
           10.Qxh8 Qb4+;  which seems to clearly favor Black.  
           ("/+" or "-/+")  - Howard Staunton 
           Interesting was:  7.Bg5!? Bf5;  8.Nge2 Qd7; 9.Ng3, "+/=" {D?}   
            -  J. Jacob Lowenthal. )   
        7...Bf5;  {Diagram?}  A normal developing move.  8.f3 exf3; 
        9.Qxe5+ Qe710.Nxf3; "~"  {Diagram?}  - Saint Amant. (!)  ].  

 

7.Nf3,   
A straight-forward developing move.  

     [  White could also try:  7.exf5, "~"  as well as other moves here.  ].  

7...Qe7;  
Black makes a fairly logical developing move, ... (He gets a nice, sensible, centralized Queen.); adopting a sort of "wait-and-see" attitude. 

According to several programs, White is just a shade better here. 
(Probably - "+/=")

White now falls for a simple tactic. 
8.Bg5?!
,  (bad)  {Diagram?}  
This is a mistake - and walks into a common trap. 

  '?' - GM R. Fine.   

  << A mistake. White misses the idea of a capture on f2 by the 
Bishop, and then a check on c5 by the Black Queen. (The Queen 
on the c5-square also attacks {FORKS} the White Bishop on c4!!) >> 

     [  Obviously much better was: >= 8.Qc2, "+/=" {D?}  
         when White is clearly just a little better. 

        Interesting is:  8.Qa4+!?, "~"  with a playable game.  ].   

8...Bxf2+!;   
An alert tactical shot. 

     [ 8...h6!?, "~" ].  

9.Kf1!?,   
This is forced, according to several writers. 

But I think it is inaccurate. ('?!') - {A.J.G.} 

Perhaps the great La Bourdonnais - sensing he has made an error - decided to avoid exchanges and keep the game as complicated as humanly possible?  

     [  White may have been happier with: >=  9.Kxf2! Qc5+10.Ke1, 
        10...Qxc4, "~" (Or "=/+") {Diagram?}  when the size of Black's 
        advantage is not as large as in the actual game.  (Nxe5, Qa6) 
        Lowenthal  recommended Kxf2, but for the wrong reasons. 
        (His analysis was full of holes.)  ].  

9...Bb6;  "=/+"  ('!')   
The most accurate. (Maybe worthy of an exclam?) 

Black is clearly just a little better now. 

     [  Less accurate is: 9...Bc5!?10.Qa4+, "~"  which allows counterplay.  ].  

White now has great difficulty getting his King's Rook developed and into the game on an effective square. 
10.Qe2 f4!
;  (space & lines)  
Black clears the diagonal for his Queen's Bishop. 

     [  Black could also play: 10...a6!?;   or even  10...fxe4!?;  {Diag?} 
        with a fair game for Black in either case.  ].  

11.Rd1!?;   
A perfectly reasonable looking move, especially considering the situation that White currently finds himself in. 

Yet  GM R. Fine  says that this is: "Preparing to lose." (!) 

My analysis reveals that Black gets an advantage - no matter what move White plays here. 

     [ 11.Bb5+!? ].   

11...Bg4!?;  (Maybe - '!')   
A pin - properly used - is a very powerful weapon.  

     [ 11...Nbd7!? ].  

12.d6!?;   
"A serious effort to contest the initiative."  - Tartakower & du Mont

     [ 12.h3!? ].  

12...cxd613.Nd5!?,   
This move - virulently condemned by so many - is actually not a bad move. In fact it looks to be a good move. I remember testing this game on several different computers in the year 1999 or 2000. Just about all the programs picked the move ... you guessed it! ... 13. Nd5. 

  << Condemned by virtually all the annotators, yet this move looks very reasonable to me.  
        And it is the first choice of nearly all the strong chess programs.  >> 

     [ 13.Bxf6!? ].   

"In this situation Black has the choice of suffering the attack, or of 
  beating back every attempt to attack him by giving up his Queen. 
  His judgment inclines him towards the latter alternative and, 
  being a brave man, he follows it. He probably saw several menaces 
  such as 13...Qd8; 14. Nxf4, exf4; 15. e5,  or 13...Qf8;  14. Bb5+, and 
  Black is prevented from castling. On the other hand, he weighed the 
  chances after 13...Nxd5.  For his Queen, he gets two pieces, two 
  valuable pawns and an outpost position for his Knight at e3. So he 
  made his decision. He did not make a combination, for he could not 
  have calculated the maze of variations ... for it was too involved. He 
  judged, and valued, and then acted."
  -  Emanuel Lasker

 (I don't fully agree with Lasker here. Black made a tremendous combo, 
  and Black's conduct for the rest of the game PROVES he calculated 
  this combination extremely well.) 

13...Nxd5!!(Maybe - '!!!/!!!!')   {Diagram?} 
"The move White had overlooked."  - GM Ruben Fine

One of the deepest and most brilliant sacrifices ever made ... and just darn pretty. 

Tal would have been proud to play such a move. 

For this sacrifice, Black will obtain 2 pieces - and a ton of play - for the Queen. 

The great Master - (former)  World Champion  Emmanuel Lasker - looks at this game in some depth in his book: "A Manual of Chess." 

I have tested this game literally dozens of times over the years against chess programs (and D.M.P.'s) since 1980 ... almost NO program has ever picked this fantastic move at this point.   

"Most unexpectedly, Black decides on a rare combination - giving  up two pieces for the Queen, with fine prospects."  - GM Savielly Tartakower & James du Mont. 

     [  Most programs pick the move: 13...Qd8; "=/+" in this position. ].  

14.Bxe7;   
 This move - although it was heartily condemned by a few - is now  
  White's only real, practical chance to win the game.  

(Computer analysis pretty much bears this out.  In fact after Bxe7,  most computers consider the position to be clearly better for White! 6/2000).

     [  Perhaps:  14.Bb5+!?,  {D?}   is playable? 

        No good for White is:  14.Bxd5?! Qc7!; "/+"  {Dm?}  
        Black is clearly better.  ].  

14...Ne3+15.Ke1,  
Most writers, or at least those who bother to comment; thought this was forced here. 

     [  >= 15.Qxe3, "+/="  - Saint Amant.  15...Bxe316.Bxd6 Nc6; 
        17.Bb5 0-0-018.Bxc6 bxc6;  "/+"  Black is clearly better.   - A.J.G. ].  

15...Kxe7!;   
"Black has two pieces and a powerful attack for the Queen." 
"Subsequent analysis has never been able to demonstrate a really adequate defense."  - GM Ruben Fine.   

     [ 15...Ba5+!? ].  

<< Black - over the next few moves - will continuously spurn material gain, in preference for  
      continuing to increase the pressure. >> 

16.Qd3,   
Maybe the only try here. 

      [ >= 16.Rc1!, "+/="   - GM S. Gligoric.  
        (I have never checked his very deep analysis - with the computer - 
        for any possible errors.) 

        Suffice it to say that after the simple and obvious move: 
        16...Nc6; ("comp")  ("=/+")  Black has good play. ].  

16...Rd8!;  
To me, this is much superior to the immediate capture of the Rook on d1.   -  LM A.J. Goldsby I 

     [  The authors, Tartakower and Du Mont calls the move:  16...Nxd1!?;  ("=/+" ?)  
         
... somewhat greedy and penurious. ('?!')  ].  

17.Rd2,    
This may be forced, although Anderssen did not like it. 

      [  >=  17.Bd5 Nc6; 18.Bxc6, "+/=" - A. Anderssen
         (I guess he is claiming White is easily a little better here.) 
          ( Maybe 18.Rd2!? )    But now Black wins in the following line ... 
         which took many days to work through and verify. 
         18...bxc619.Rc1 Nxg2+20.Kf1 Ne3+21.Ke2 Rac8;  
         22.h3 Bh523.Rhg1 g624.b3 d525.Rg5 Kf626.h4 Bxf3+;  
         27.Kxf3 Nf528.Ke2 Nxh429.Rg4 g530.exd5 cxd5; 
         31.Rxc8 Rxc832.Qxd5 f3+33.Ke1 f2+34.Kd2 Rd8;  "-/+" 
          Black is clearly winning here. 

        Analysis by ...  - LIFE-Master  A.J. Goldsby I.  ]

17...Nc6!;   
"Scorning the bait." - Tartakower & du Mont. 

     [ 17...a6!?; or 17...Ba5!? ].  

18.b3!?,   
White is trying to secure all of his pieces and also lock down some key squares. But this does not really work well here. 

"18.a3! was better." - GM Ruben Fine. 

     [   >= 18.a3! Rac8!; "=/+"  {Diagram?} 
        According to GM R. Fine, Black retains a bind. 
        (And maybe Black is clearly better here.) 

        This is verified by dozens of other sources ... 
        AND intensive computer analysis! {A.J.G.} 

        Maybe White should try to play: 18.Rf1!? 
        and give some of the material back. 
       
(This is similar to Gligoric's idea.)  ].  

18...Ba519.a3!?,   
White prepares b4, to block out the Black B on a5. 

     [ 19.Kf2!? - A. Anderssen. ].  

19...Rac8!;   
Black -   BEFORE  Morphy!    - has effectively mobilized ... all  of his forces!  

A VERY modern concept,  ...  and  VERY, VERY RARE  for that era!! 

<<  Black is not tempted by the booty on d2 or g2.  Instead, ...  >>  
      (From an article I wrote years ago.) 

20.Rg1,   
White struggles to free himself. (GM Ruben Fine.) 

     [  Other moves fare no better:  20.Kf2 Bxd2; "/+"  {Diag?}  
         Black should eventually win - without too many problems. 

         Much worse is:  20.b4?! Nxb4!; "/+" ("-/+") ? 
        
and once again, Black is very much better.  ].  

20...b5!!;   
A move of unparalleled depth and brilliancy ... especially for that time. 

Black sacrifices a pawn to further open the position. 

"This well-prepared sacrifice gains an important tempo." 
  - GM Savielly Tartakower  &  James Du Mont 

      [  Black could also play: 20...Bxf3!?; 21.gxf3 Nd4; "-/+"  with some advantage. ].  

White sees no choice (now) but to accept the offer on the b5-square. 
21.Bxb5
,   
Is this forced? 

     [  Maybe a little better was:  >= 21.Bd5 Bxf3; 22.gxf3[],  {Dg?} 
        This is forced. 
          ( Much worse is: 22.Bxc6? Rxc6; 23.b4 Bh5;  24.Qxb5 Rc1+;    
          25.Kf2 Ng4+; 26.Ke2 Rxg1; ("-/+")  and Black wins. )    
        22...Bxd2+!?
This is probably best.  
          (The move: 22...Nd4!?; "=/+"  is fairly interesting.)    
        23.Kxd2 Nd4
; "/+" 
with play similar to the actual game.  ].   

21...Bxf3!;   
Easily the best move here - Black had several other playable alternatives.  

     [ 21...Bxd2+!? ].  

22.gxf3 Nd4!;   
Black's pieces have invaded White's position with near decisive effect.  - LM A.J. Goldsby I 

(Note how Black ignores the material win by taking the Rook on d2, and also correctly passes on ...Rc1+.) 

23.Bc4!?,   
"He at least closes the open QB file, but meanwhile Black's cavalry has overrun the position."  
  - Tartakower & du Mont 

     [  Worse is:  23.Rxg7+? Kf624.Kf2 Bxd2!;  {Dg?}  
         Black is winning ("-/+") easily from this position. ]

23...Nxf3+24.Kf2 Nxd2; ("-/+")   
According to modern computer analysis, Black already has a won game. (Black has a Rook, two Knights, and two Pawns for his Queen. He also still has an amazing amount of piece activity.)

"The purely 'positional sacrifice' of the Queen has paid enormous dividends, but White still has something to say."   -  GM S. Tartakower and J. du Mont 

***

The next series of moves seem all to be forced. (Moves # 25 through White's 29th move all seem best/forced. This is verified by YEARS of computer-assisted analysis! 
 ---> This is in direct contradiction to what dozens of the pundits have written.) 
25.Rxg7+ Kf626.Rf7+ Kg627.Rb7!?,   
This appears to be the only good move for White here. 

     [  Much worse is:  27.Rxa7? Bb628.Rb7 Nexc4+; ("-/+") {D?} 
         winning for Black.  ].  

27...Ndxc428.bxc4 Rxc4;   
 ... "and Black won."  - Emmanuel Lasker

29.Qb1,   
"It is curious how the (Black) Knight (on e3) keeps the White Queen immobile."  - GM Ruben Fine

Note White now threatens Qg1+. 

"After endless difficulties, the Queen has at last obtained some degree of freedom." - Tartakower & du Mont 

     [  29.h4!?;  or  29.Qb3!?  ].  

29...Bb6; ('!')   
A pretty rejoinder.  (-Tartakower and du Mont) 

     [ 29...h5!? ].  

30.Kf3,   
White flees from the awesome power of the potential discovered check. (Not a bad idea ... if you think about it!)  

     [  30.Qg1+!? Ng4+; etc. ].  

30...Rc3;   
"The same motif." - Tartakower & du Mont. (Black threatens another discovered check, winning the game.)

31.Qa2!?,   
White has little here. 

     [  If White plays:  31.Ke2 Rc2+; 32.Kf3 Ng233.Kg4 Rc3; "-/+" 
          ... "with a mating net."  - Tartakower & du Mont. ].   

31...Nc4+!;   
This is not just a check, Black also stops the threatened Qf7+ by White. 

32.Kg4,  (Hmmm.)   
Some writers criticized this move as risky, the computer seems to think it is best(!!!)  

     [  About the same is: = 32.Ke2!? f3+;  ("-/+")  when Black is also winning.  ].  

Black's next move is very subtle ... and also VERY ahead of its time. 
32...Rg8!;  (nice)   
A very sly move by Black, ... threatening a cute,  --->  - and winning - discovered check.  
(Black's play is thematic here.) 

"Threatening  33...h5+;  34.Kh4, Bd8;  etc., which forces the adversary to throw more ballast overboard."  
  - GM S. Tartakower & J. du Mont

     [  Also good was: 32...Rc2!?; "-/+"  which is also very good for Black.  ].  

33.Rxb6;   
This seems forced. (Fine says it is the only moved.) 

     [  Definitely not: 33.Re7 h5+34.Kh4 Bd8; "-/+"  and Black mates shortly.  ].  

33...axb634.Kh4 Kf6!35.Qe2 Rg636.Qh5 Ne3;   
White has no chance. So ... White Resigns, 0-1
(White cannot satisfactorily meet the threat of ...Ng2+)

A very beautiful game. Surely one that was FAR ahead of its time. 

***

    This game EASILY belongs in my list of: ... 
   "The Ten Most Beautiful Games of The (whole) Nineteenth Century."   

***

"An incredible game of outstanding merit," say the authors of the book: 
"500 Master Games of Chess." (Dr. Savielly Tartakower  &  James Du Mont.).  

"The Batsford Chess Encyclopedia(2nd Edition), calls this game: 
"A game that is one of previously unmatched brilliancy ... and depth of conception." 

One writer, who was working for the magazine, "Chess Review," called this game:  
"One of the very best of its time." (A ...  "nearly forgotten jewel,"  says editor Al Horowitz.) 

David Hooper  and  Kenneth Whyld,  in the book: 
"The Oxford Companion to Chess,"  wrote that the games between MacDonnell and La Bourdonnais were generally regarded as the best of their time. They went on to note that they were some of the first games to be widely published in both England, Europe, and America; and greatly increased and stimulated the interest in the game of chess. 

   I christen this chess game,  "The 1st Great Jewel of England."   

***

BIBLIOGRAPHY:  
I literally cannot count the number of times I have seen this game in print. But the following were the chief sources I consulted in annotating this game: 

# 1.)  "The World's Great Chess Games,"  by  GM Ruben Fine
           (Copyright 1951, and 1976.) 
# 2.)  "Modern Chess OpeningsFourteenth  (14th)  Edition."  
           By  GM Nick de Firmian  &  Walter Korn.  (Copyright, 1999.) 
# 3.)  "500 Master Games of Chess,"  by  Dr. Savielly Tartakower 
          
and  James du Mont.  (Copyright 1952, & 1975.)  
# 4.)  "Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games,"  (Volume # 1.)
           All the recorded chess games: From 1485 to 1866.  
           By  IM David Levy  and  Kevin O'Connell.  (Copyright 1981.) 

  0 - 1 


Symbols  (Similar to 'Informant') 

"="  The position is equal, (level) or play is relatively balanced. Both sides have approximately equal chances. 

"+/="  ("=/+")  White  (Black)  is a little better here. 
"+/"  ("/+")  White  (Black)  is much better in the given position. 
"+/-"  ("-/+")  White  (Black)  now has a won game - or a decisive 
                      material advantage in the position being examined. 
"~"  The position is unclear.  (Unbalanced.) 
        (Murky. But play is close to being balanced, or equal chances.) 
"~"  The side who played the last move has "compensation" 
        for any material sacrificed. 
"/\"  The player who made the last move has the initiative. 
        (This does not necessarily mean an attack, but more the 
          ability to dominate or dictate the course of play.) 
"--->"  The player who made the last move has a powerful attack. 
"cp" or ("<=>")  -  The last player to move has good counterplay here.  
"[]" or "box"  (Or "T") This signifies that this move is probably forced. (The only move.) 
"TN"  - A theoretical novelty or a move that is new to opening theory. 
  >/=  The continuation that follows this symbol is better than or superior 
           to what was actually played in the game or the given continuation. 
           (When you see this sign in parenthesis, (>/=); it means that the indicated 
            line or variation MIGHT be an improvement, but I cannot be 100% sure.) 
  </=  The continuation that follows this symbol is worse than or inferior 
           to what was actually played in the game  or the given continuation. 
           (When you see this sign in parenthesis, (</=); it means that the indicated 
            line or variation MIGHT be less than best, but I cannot be 100% sure.) 

***********************************************************

'!'  - a very good or exceptional move. 
'!!'  - an extremely good move, of great or rare brilliance. 
         (Not to be used lightly or often!)   
'?'   - a bad move or a mistake. 
'??'  - a very bad move  ... or a blunder/gross oversight. 
'!?'  -  A very interesting move.  (I also use this to show that there 
           might be a very wide range of move choices at this point
.)
           (Some authors use this to mean some risk is involved.) 
'?!'  -  A very (extremely) risky move. (Or) A move of highly  doubtful    
          value
.  (Or) A move that is very much inferior to some of the 
          alternatives. (Less than best.) 

Most books use many more symbols than this, but these are the most common-place ones.   

Another page ... similar to this one ... with more explanations.  This page also explains the symbols that I more commonly use. 


This is not the original copy of this game I had in my database - that document would have been too lengthy and cumbersome to publish as a web page.   

       Instead, this is a  special edition  of that game  ... 

that  I developed specifically for my web site.  It actually turned out to be a little more lengthy than I originally intended, but surely these games deserve a second look.  (This one perhaps much more than others!!) 

***

Instead of a very detailed bibliography, I will simply tell you I had many,  many sources for annotating this game.  (Books, magazines, database, analysis, etc.) 


Click  here  to go to, (or go back to); the page on, 
"Annotated Games, #2."
 

Click  here  to go to, (or return to); my page on ... 
"The Best Chess Matches of All Time." 

Click  here  to go to my  "Site Map." 

Click  here  to go to my  "Home Page." 
  (
Or click the "back" button on your web browser.

***

   (Page last updated: Saturday;  December 23rd, 2006.)  Page last edited/automatically updated on: 04/14/2014


   Copyright (c) LM A.J. Goldsby I 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 1985 - 2013. 

   Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2014.  All rights reserved.