Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Immortal Plagiarised Game

Yesterday, I wrote posts about games that completely copied other games. Now while I've gone into games without much fighting spirit and been happy to take a draw early, I've never arranged to copy out a whole game (maybe when I was a kid I used the odd trap like the Fried Liver, but without my opponent's pre-knowledge) so I find it strange when players do. To me it is obviously cheating, as it suggests prior arrangement of the game by the 2 players. For Christ's sake, if 2 players want to draw, it isn't out of the realms of possibility to play some pretty boring moves that involve exchanges and avoid complications. But just regurgitating a whole game???

Of course, if you are going to copy out a drawn game, then there is no better game to follow than Hamppe-Meitner Vienna 1870, also known as The Immortal Draw. The players whose game I showed yesterday were not the first players to follow in the footsteps of the Immortals. This is a much copied game.

The first full copy of the game (the first 8 moves were played in the game Popsilova-Hausner Brno 1969) that I find in my database is the game Ullrich-Birke Wuerttemburg Ch 1986, although these 2 players "improved" the play by adding 2 extra moves of the 3 fold repetition. In all there are close to 30 repeats of the game in the database, with Banikas-Nikolaidis happening twice!

Possibly the best game was Zampaglione-Zampaglione Amantea 2010 where the game ended in 0-1 after white "fell into" the main trap at the end of this game.

If you haven't seen the game, then it truly is remarkable.

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5 3.Na4

Black now plays the amazing 3..Bxf2+ sacrificing a piece to bring the white king into the open. There followed 4.Kxf2 Qh4+ 5.Ke3 Qf4+ 6.Kd3 d5 7.Kc3 Qxe4 8.Kb3 Na6 9.a3 [Apparently 9.d4 was better, but I'm not getting into that here]

So has the white king breathing space? 9..Qxa4+!! Whoa, white's king gets pulled further up the board. 10.Kxa4 Nc5+ stopping white's king heading back to b3 and a2 11.Kb4

Surely now black will move away the knight, and white's king can retreat? 11..a5+!! 12.Kxc5 [11.Kc3 loses to 11..d4+ when the white king is forced up the board anyway] 12..Ne7!

This is a great position. White's king is trapped, with the threat of Bd7 and b6#. Meanwhile white's pieces try to come to the defence of their king. 13.Bb5+ Kd8

With the threat of 14..b6# looming over his head, white plays the only move. 14.Bc6!! b6+ 15.Kb5 Nxc6 16.Kxc6

Now black tries one last time for mate. 16..Bb7+!! 17.Kb5 [17.Kxb7? Kd7 18.Qg4+ Kd6 when Rhb8# can't be stopped.

This was the final position of the Zampaglione game] 17..Ba6+ 18.Kc6 and the game was agreed a draw as a repetition is unavoidable. An amazing game, one worthy of study, but certainly not of repetition.

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