4971! More than a century ago it’s still 100% theory!

This game is between none other than Frank Marshall and Amos Burn. Both lived to about the same age, but they are 30 years apart in this contest. Marshall is of course in fine form in 1907. Burn during his hayday was referred to as one of the 6th best defenders in the world by Nimzovitch. Burn’s defensive strength must have been a tool of his youth. This puzzle is a useful and instructive way to stop white’s, “h” and “g” file antics that result from sacs on h5!  If you play the Pirc, Modern, Kings Indian, Trompowski, or London, this is a must know position!

4971-1

1.¥d3xh7+! It should be noted that this move is forced!! Every move other than the bishop capture is losing for white! The other instructive thing to notice is I characterized this move as a capture, not a sac!? 1…¢g8xh7?? [1…¢g8-f8!³ White has 3 good and normal choices after this move. All of them still leave black with the initiative and a small advantage. They are also pick and play worthy. Today this position is known to be good for black. That is a lot easier said than done. I find it to be unclear in over the board play. 2.£d1–e2 (2.c2-c3 ¤d7-f6 3.¥h7-d3 e7-e5 4.¥f4-g5 ¥c8-g4 5.d4xe5 d6xe5 6.¤d2-e4 ¦e8-e6 7.£d1–e2³

4971-3

 2.¤d2-e4 e7-e5 3.¥f4-g5 f7-f6 4.¥g5-h4 d6-d5 5.¤e4-c3 c7-c6 6.£d1–e2 e5xd4 7.¤f3xd4 ¤d7-e5 8.0–0–0 £d8-b6³

4971-4

 2…¤d7-f6 3.¥h7-d3 ¤f6-d5 4.¥f4-g3 ¥c8-g4 5.0–0–0 c7-c6³]

4971-2

2.¤f3-g5+ ¢h7-g6 3.¤d2-f3 e7-e5 4.¤f3-h4+ ¢g6-f6? Don’t get me wrong, from here it’s a long and arduous haul by giving up the queen, but the alternative is mate in 8.

4971-5

[4…¢g6-h6 5.¤g5xf7+ (5.£d1–d3 £d8xg5 6.¥f4xg5+ ¢h6xg5 7.£d3-f5+ ¢g5-h6 8.£f5xf7 ¤d7-f8 9.£f7xe8 e5xd4 10.e3xd4 a7-a5 11.0–0–0+-) 5…¢h6-h7 6.¤f7xd8 ¦e8xd8 7.d4xe5 ¤d7-f8 8.£d1xh5+ ¢h7-g8 9.e5xd6 c7xd6 10.0–0–0 ¥c8-e6+-] 5.¤g5-h7+ ¢f6-e7 6.¤h4-f5+ ¢e7-e6 7.¤f5xg7+ ¢e6-e7 8.¤g7-f5+ ¢e7-e6 9.d4-d5+ ¢e6xf5 10.£d1xh5+ ¢f5-e4 11.0–0–0 1–0  If you are playing a fianchetto variation of anything, you must be prepared for the people that try to peel that position open and attack.  Know when they are justified and when they are not!!

 

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