Sunday, February 11, 2007


The grandmasters of bygone days knew a few things about chess and it is good to study the classic games that they produced. The diagrammed position, which comes about after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.e4 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Nf6 11.Bc2, was first seen in the game Pillsbury-Winawer, Budapest 1896 and according to the Big Database has since occurred several hundred times in tournament and match play. White has achieved a massive plus score due mainly to poor defence by Black but it must be conceded that matters are already difficult for the second player because of the latent pressure on his kingside.

Here are some classic examples:

H. Pillsbury – S. Winawer, Budapest 1896
11...h6 12.Be3 Re8 13.Qd3 Qc7 14.c5 Bf8 15.Ne5 Bxc5 16.Bxh6 Bxd4 17.Qxd4 gxh6 18.Qf4 Nd5 19.Qxh6 f6 20.f4 Re7 21.Ng6 1-0

J.R. Capablanca – C. Jaffe, New York 1910
11...h6 12.b3 b6 13.Bb2 Bb7 14.Qd3 g6 15.Rae1 Nh5 16.Bc1 Kg7 17.Rxe6 Nf6 18.Ne5 c5 19.Bxh6+ Kxh6 20.Nxf7+ 1-0

J.R. Capablanca – R.H. Scott, Hastings 1919
11...b6 12.Qd3 h6 13.b3 Qe7 14.Bb2 Rd8 15.Rad1 Bb7 16.Rfe1 Rac8 17.Nh4 Bb8 18.g3 Kf8 19.Qf3 Kg8 20.Nf5 Qc7 21.Nxh6+ Kf8 22.d5 cxd5 23.Bxf6 gxf6 24.Qxf6 Ke8 25.Rxe6+ fxe6 26.Qxe6+ Kf8 27.Qf6+ 1-0

E. Geller – A. Papapavlou, Amsterdam Olympiad 1954
11...c5 12.Bg5 cxd4 13.Qxd4 Be7 14.Qh4 h6 15.Bxh6 gxh6 16.Qxh6 Qa5 17.Ng5 e5 18.Bh7+ Kh8 19.Be4+ Kg8 20.Rae1 Bg4 21.Re3 Rad8 22.Rg3 Rd4 23.Ne6 1-0

In the penultimate round of the 1990 British Columbia championship I was paired with the local master Harold Brown. At the time we had nicknamed him The Secretary of Defence after his namesake who had served in the Carter Administration. When the Pillsbury-Winawer position appeared on the board I knew The Secretary's assignment was going to be a difficult one.

D. Scoones – H. Brown, Victoria 1990
11...h6 12.b3 b6 13.Bb2 Bb7 14.Qd3 Re8 15.Rfe1 Qc7 16.Ne5 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Rad8 18.Qg3 Nh7 19.Bc1 Kh8 20.Re4 f5 21.exf6 Qxg3 22.hxg3 Nxf6 23.Re2 c5 24.Bb2 Kg8 25.Bg6 Re7 26.Rae1 Rd6 27.Be5 Rc6 28.Rd2 Rd7 29.Red1 Bc8 30.Rxd7 Nxd7 31.Be4! Nxe5 32.Rd8+ Kf7 33.Bxc6 1-0

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Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
National master (Canada) since 1984. B.C. Champion 1977 and 1984. Runner-up 1991 and 2002. B.C. Open Champion 1972 and 1982. B.C. U/14 Champion 1964-65-66. Mikhail Botvinnik once wrote that publishing your analytical work forces you to be accurate because it exposes you to criticism. Hence this blog.