Evergreen Game

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The Evergreen Game is a famous chess game played in Berlin in 1852 between Adolf Anderssen and Jean Dufresne.

Adolf Anderssen was one of the strongest players of his time, and was considered by many to be the world champion after winning the London 1851 tournament. Jean Dufresne, a popular author of chess books, was considered a master of lesser but still considerable skill.[1] This was an informal game, like the Immortal Game.

Wilhelm Steinitz later described the game as the "evergreen in Anderssen's laurel wreath", thus giving this game its name. The German word Immergrün (Evergreen), used by Steinitz, refers to a specific evergreen plant, called Periwinkle (Vinca) in English. The symbolic meaning is expressed in the French translation, the "Forever Young Game" (La Toujours Jeune).


The game[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
a5 black bishop
c4 white bishop
e4 white pawn
c3 white pawn
d3 black pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
f1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 7...d3

White: Anderssen   Black: Dufresne   Opening: Evans Gambit (ECO C52)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4

The Evans Gambit, a popular opening in the 19th century and still seen occasionally today. White gives up material to gain an advantage in development.

4... Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 exd4 7. 0-0 d3 (see diagram)

This is not considered the best response, although it was popular at the time. Alternatives include 7...Nge7 (most popular today), 7...dxc3, and 7...d6.

8. Qb3

Immediately attacking the f7-pawn. FIDE Master Graham Burgess suggests 8.Re1 instead (Burgess, Nunn & Emms 2004:20).

8... Qf6 9. e5 Qg6

White's e5-pawn cannot be taken; if 9...Nxe5, then 10.Re1 d6 11.Qa4+, forking the king and bishop to win a piece.
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
e8 black king
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
c6 black knight
g6 black queen
a5 black bishop
e5 white pawn
c4 white bishop
b3 white queen
c3 white pawn
d3 black pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
e1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 10.Re1!

10. Re1! (see diagram) Nge7 11. Ba3 b5?!

Rather than defending his own position, Black offers a counter-sacrifice to activate his a8-rook with tempo. Burgess suggests 11...a6 instead, to allow the b-pawn to advance later with tempo (Burgess, Nunn & Emms 2004:21).

12. Qxb5 Rb8 13. Qa4 Bb6

Black cannot castle here because 14. Bxe7 would win a piece, as the knight on c6 cannot simultaneously protect the knight on e7 and the bishop on a5.

14. Nbd2 Bb7? 15. Ne4 Qf5?

Black does better with 15...d2! 16.Nexd2 0-0 according to Lasker, with a clear advantage for White (Harding & Botterill 1977:45).

16. Bxd3 Qh5 17. Nf6+!?

A dramatic sacrifice, although Burgess notes that 17.Ng3 Qh6 18.Bc1 Qe6 19.Bc4 wins material in a simpler way (Burgess, Nunn & Emms 2004:21–22). Or 18.Nf5 and White has a clear edge (Harding & Botterill 1977:45). The Chessmaster computer program annotation says "this [sacrifice] is not without danger, as Black now obtains an open g-file for counterplay."
a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b8 black rook
e8 black king
g8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black bishop
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
e7 black knight
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
b6 black bishop
c6 black knight
f6 white pawn
a4 white queen
a3 white bishop
c3 white pawn
d3 white bishop
f3 black queen
a2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
d1 white rook
e1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position after 19...Qxf3?

17... gxf6 18. exf6 Rg8 19. Rad1!

This move sets a deep trap, which Black falls into. Lasker and others have suggested that 19.Be4 was objectively stronger; however, after the forcing line 19...Qh3! 20.g3 Rxg3+ 21.hxg3 Qxg3+ 22. Kh1 Bxf2 23. Bxe7! Qh3+! 24. Nh2 Bxe1 25. Rxe1 Qh4! 26. Qd1! Nxe7 27. Bxb7 Qxf6 it is unclear whether White is winning.[2]

19... Qxf3? (see diagram)

White cannot play 20.gxf3 since the g2-pawn is pinned by the rook on g8. Black now threatens to take either on f2 or g2, both major threats to the white king, but Anderssen has a shattering resource available. A better choice for Black was 19...Rg4! (Lipke, 1898), and if 20.c4 then 20...Bd4 (Zaitsev, 64, 1976).[3]

20. Rxe7+! Nxe7

20...Kd8 holds out longer, but White should win after 21.Rxd7+ Kc8 22.Rd8+ Kxd8 [22...Rxd8 23.gxf3] 23.Bf5+ Qxd1+ (Rubinstein, 1921).[3] Another way is 23.Be2+.[2]

21. Qxd7+!! Kxd7 22. Bf5+

Double checks like 22.Bf5+ are powerful because they force the king to move. Here it is decisive.

22... Ke8

22...Kc6 loses to 23.Bd7#

23. Bd7+ Kf8

If 23...Kd8, then either 24.Bxe7 or 24.fxe7 are mate.

24. Bxe7# 1–0

Savielly Tartakower commented, "A combination second to none in the literature of the game." (Tartakower & du Mont 1975:35).

a b c d e f g h
8
Chessboard480.svg
b8 black rook
f8 black king
g8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black bishop
c7 black pawn
d7 white bishop
e7 white bishop
f7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
b6 black bishop
f6 white pawn
c3 white pawn
f3 black queen
a2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
d1 white rook
g1 white king
8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Final position after 24.Bxe7#

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fadul, Jose A. Lessons in Chess, Lessons in Life. Lulu Press. 2008. page 59.
  2. ^ a b Kasparov, Garry. "Garry Kasparov's Great Predecessors: Follow-up #1". Chessbase. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Hooper, David; Whyld, Kenneth (1987). "Evergreen Game". The Oxford Companion to Chess. Oxford University Press. p. 108. ISBN 0-19-281986-0. 

Bibliography

External links[edit]