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James Mason – Isidor A Gunsberg, Nuremberg 1883

Queen's Pawn Game
Initial position
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Annotations based on those in The Principles of Chess in Theory and Practice by James Mason.
1. d4 e6 2. Bf4 d5 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bd3 Bd6 5. Bg3 c5 6. c3
Not generally commendable, as it gives an early point of attack for the adverse Queen side forces.
6. ... c4 7. Bc2 b5? 8. Nf3
8. a4 would break up Black's advanced Pawns, or compel a further advance. But this happens of itself.
8. ... a5 9. Nbd2 b4
The second player should have Castled before pressing for more advantage in this direction. And 12. ... bxc3 might have been deferred, or held in terrorem, as it were
10. Ba4+ Kf8 11. Ne5 Bxe5 12. Bxe5 bxc3? 13. bxc3 Qe7 14. O-O Nbd7 15. Bg3 h6
15. ... Qa3 was another move here. But Black was no doubt desirous of freeing himself somewhat as regards the position of his King.
16. e4
If Black took this Pawn (which was perhaps his best move), then the Bishop would go to c6, with a good game for White.
16. ... Nb6 17. e5 Ne8 18. Bc2 g6? 19. a4! Bd7 20. f4 Ng7 21. Nf3 Kg8 22. Bh4 Qe8
Black is now wholly on the defensive. His 18th move shows itself to be very bad indeed.
23. Bf6 Kh7 24. Nh4 Rg8 25. Rf3 Nh5? 26. f5! exf5 27. Nxf5 Nc8
Of course, if 27. ... gxf5; 28. Rxf5! and White must win. If 27. ... Nxf6, then 28. Nd6, and 29. Rxf6, with advantage. The net effect of 26. f5 is to clear the line for the Rook.
28. Ne3 Nxf6 29. Rxf6 Be6 30. Rb1 Ne7 31. Rxe6! fxe6 32. Ng4 Kg7 33. Qf3
White could recover the exchange by 33. Nf6, but there would be little in the attack then remaining. In the circumstances the Knight with the attack is of more worth than a Rook.
33. ... Rf8 34. Nf6 Qc6 35. h4 Ra7 36. Rf1 Qc8
37. Nh5+ was threatened. Black defends well and but for the slip a little further on, might possibly have escaped his difficulties. White's next move intends 38. Bxg6.
37. Qg4 Nf5 38. Rf3! Raf7
This is the slip—and it is a fatal one. He cannot take the Queen next move on account of 40. Rg3#. This is a curious instance of obstruction and “pin” occurring in an important game.
39. Qxg6+! Kh8 40. Bxf5 1-0


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