Gioco Piano

Scheve - Teichmann  0-1
Berlin 1907
Annotated by Irving Chernev in his Book, "Logical Chess Move by Move"
Analysis of Game and Annotations by Fritz, and Bob Meyers
Chernev's comments in black: ours in red


1 P-K4 !!     P-K4  !!
2 N-KB3 !!  N-QB3 !!
3 B-B4 !       B-B4 !

4 P-B3        



4  . . .           Q-K2 ! ??



















5  0-0          P-Q3 ! !

6  P-Q4       B-N3 ! !

7  P-QR4 ? ?



7 . . .            P-QR3 ! !


8  P-QR5 ? ?


8  . . .            B-R2

9  P-KR3 ? ?                  





"This is an excellent opening move."  A pawn in the center, and opening paths
for queen and bishop at the same time.  It's pretty widely held that the first 3
moves are the best for both sides --- the old Gioco Piano "the quiet game"

This move is double sided.  One negative is that if black watches what he's
doing, it will block white's queen knight from going where it should.  On the
positive, it bolsters the center, and it opens an aggressive path for the queen.

"Very good!"  Black develops, while parrying the threat of 5 P-Q4, PXP,
6 PXP (?  0-0!), QXP ch, winning a pawn for white.  

However, we think 4 . . . Q-K2 stinks! And it probably loses the game!
 



(Analysis in 3rd column)

See 3rd column: white's 5th and 6th moves should have been reversed.

Taking the queen pawn would merely aid white, as in the 3rd column notes.

Now, it's white who is wasting time, setting what he (and Chernev) thinks
is a clever little trap:  8 a5 . . .  nxa5 (not bxa5, 9 d5!), 9 Rxa5 . . . Bxa5,
10 Qa4+.  But Chernev apparently overlooked 10 . . . b5!

Dealing with threats is the one thing that takes priority over development.  
White's threat is to trap Black's bishop with his pawns.

Still wasting time.  He should develop/attack with P-Q5.  And see note on
7  P-QR4.   Black would have gained the advantage by 8 . . . NXRP.

Not bad, but not quite as good, either.

Probably the losing move.  Sargent commented in his "Morphy's Games
of Chess:"  "In nothing was Morphy more fortunate than in the
frequency with which his opponents played P-KR3."  The remainder of
the game is a good illlustration.  The move wastes time, and more,
perhaps fatally weakens the king's position.


Black's 4th move has:
*  placed the queen on the dangerous king file (the white rook usually occupy the
    king file, and will threaten many possibilities of a winning pin on the queen).

*  early developed the queen instead of developing necessary minor pieces and
    bolstering the center.

Fritz analyzes the damage white now could have done:

5  P-Q4!        PXP      Fritz is unimpressed by Chernev's comment!

6  O-O !!       PXP ?   It is imperative for black to be developing.  Instead,  he
                helps the enemy develop his knight, one of his deadliest foes in the next
                few moves.  Although 7  P-Q5 would be nasty, driving black's knight
                back home.  Chernev apparently overlooked 6 O-O!  Of course, the
                queen dare not take the king pawn, now!  R-K1 would then win it.

7  NXP !  Developing and obtaining devastating control of the center.  Black's
                queen will also be threatened by this knight, as well as by the rook
.
7  . . .             P-Q3    A bit too late.  Let's see: black has wasted three moves,
                 two of them actually benefitting white.  In an opening, that's enough to
                 be fatal.

8  N-Q5 ! The devastating punishment for Black's queen being on K2!  Now                          black is securely tied up for most of the rest of the game that will    
                 follow.

                 His queen bishop is locked up and his queen has only one bad square                    to go to.  The queen must go to Q2, and stay there.



8     ...     Q-Q2
White has a promising pawn sac here, with 9 b4.  If he simply develops quietly,
with Qd2 or Qc3, about the only move black has is the sorry KN-K2.  (Na5 is no good; Qc3 pretty much wins in that case).  He can't develop it to KB3, where it belongs, because then NXN will shatter his k side pawns with his king stuck in the center, or castled into his now weakened fortress with the entire white army soon to be bearing down on it.  Fritz scores this position as a  little less than a pawn plus, for white, but seems to win it for white in every variation ultimately.  I've searched sequels from this position for hours and think there might be some way to squirm through to a draw for black; but I don't see what it is, yet.