Anderssen - Dufresne 


 Adolph Anderssen (2700) - Jean Dufresne (2525) 

 "The Evergreen Game" 

Berlin (0.223) Club Game,   1852 

  [A.J. Goldsby I] 


Chernev writes: 
<<  Steinitz, in a poetic mood, called this game, "The Blossom in Anderssen's wreath of laurel," and named it, "The EVERGREEN Partie." Gotschall said that 
the winning combination was one of the most wonderful of Anderssen's conceptions - such as only a genius could have discovered, while Zukertort was of the opinion that the game was: "even finer than the celebrated game between Anderssen and Kieseritszky." (The 'Immortal Game.')  >> 

[See the book, {The} "1000 Best Short Games of Chess,
by the great, late Irving Chernev.  Game # 991, pg.'s # 549-550.]. 

I will only say that I studied this game as a very young person, and it had a tremendously profound impact on me. I remember thinking that few people could conceive of and carry through such an attack. Now through more experienced eyes, the game does not appear as complicated, but none-the-less beautiful. Maybe one of the prettiest games of chess played in the 19th century. Another remarkable thing about this game is that authors cannot resist it. Virtually every writer ever worth his salt has taken a stab at annotating this game, from 19th century writers to the present day. (Horowitz, Chernev, Reinfeld; GM's: Soltis, Kavalek, Gufeld, Portisch, Pachman, Hubner, Nunn; and an untold number of  Soviet/Russian Masters  over the years.)  I have also seen this game annotated in great length by several Masters. W. German GM Robert Hubner's analysis runs some 20 pages or more. A Spanish book I saw many years ago analyzed this game and may have run 50 pages or more. (They also researched and annotated all the games with similar attacks, openings, and mating ideas.) A pamphlet I used to have (published during the 70's) had an analysis of this game that ran 5-10 pages. I could go on, but by now I trust you get the point. This game has also appeared perhaps hundreds of times in [Newspaper] columns over the years. And it has appeared in many books on tactics and dozens of problem books. So perhaps we could [ALSO!] afford this game the honor of being in the list of, 
 "The Ten Most Famous Games of All-Time."

 (And maybe the honor of  THE  most annotated game of all time!!??!! !?) 

See my video ... on the YT channel, on this great game!!!  

See this game, on the CG web-site.  

1. e4 e52. Nf3 Nc63. Bc4 Bc5;  The Italian Game.

4. b4!?, The Evans Gambit.
(A very common opening at the time this game was played.) 

  [ White could have also played:  4.c3!?;  or 4.Nc3!?;  or 4.d3!? ].

5. c3 Ba56. d4 exd47. 0-0 d3!?;   Interesting. 
(But maybe not the most accurate?) 

GM John Nunn, In the book: [The Mammoth Book Of] 
"The World's Greatest Chess Games,"
 {By GM's J. Nunn, J Emms, 
& FM G. Burgess.};  awards this move a dubious mark, but I think that is 
too severe - especially considering this game was played over 150 years ago! 

  [ Better was: 7...d6!; ]. 

8. Qb3!
,  This strikes me as the most energetic, although GM Hubner 
questions it and GM J. Nunn awards it an "!?" and recommends 
instead 8. Re1. 

  [ White could have tried here: 8.Re1!?; or 8.Qxd3; or 8.Bg5!? ]. 

;  This move is forced.

   [ 8...Qe7?; 9.Ba3 d6!?; 10.e5 Nh6; 11.exd6 cxd6; 12.Re1, ("+/-") ].

9. e5!
,   I like this move the best of all the options available to White. 
Black obviously cannot take; and White gains space and time, and 
greatly restricts the dark-squares near the Black King. 

  [ 9.Bg5!? Qg6; 10.Nbd2 d6; 11.Bxd3, {See the diagram just below.} 

  {Analysis position.}  FM's Pickard and Burnett say,  "White has compensation for the material."

White has compensation for his material and a definite initiative. - 
Senior Master & FM Sid Pickard.  

(See the book, "The Chess Games of Adolph Anderssen, Master of Attack," 
by FM S. Pickard & FM Ron Burnett.) ].  

;  The best. 

  [ Chernev points out the line: 9...Nxe5?; 10.Re1 d6; 11.Qb5+ c6
     12.Qxa5, ("+/")
(Maybe - "+/-") ]. 

10. Re1! Nge7!?;   Seemingly the most logical. 

  [ Black could have also tried 10...Nh6!?; ('?!'), but I do not recommend it. 
    According to GM John Nunn, better was: 10...Bb6!? ; ('!') & 11...Na5; 
    instead was better. - GM Nunn. ].  

11. Ba3!,  The sharpest and probably best. 

   [ 11.Re3!? ]. 

11...b5!?(Dubious, says GM Nunn and FM Burgess.) 
(Coles gives it an exclam!) 

This is very sharp and slightly risky, it is not clear why Black felt he should 
play this way. (Maybe it was a 'Book' line?) Black very obviously wanted to 
return some of the material (with a gain of time) and develop his Q-side. 
(This is typical of the way they played chess during the 19th century.)
(And this is actually not a bad idea, but simply does not work out well because 
of Anderssen's accurate play.) 

  [ 11...0-0!?; ]. 

12. Qxb5 Rb813.Qa4 Bb6[];  Looks forced. Chernev notes that trying to 
castle to safety leads to 14. BxN/e7, winning a piece. 

  [ 13...0-0??; 14.Bxe7 Nxe7; 15.Qxa5, ("+/-") ].  

14. Nbd2 Bb715.Ne4!,  I am pretty sure this is the best move. 

  [ White could have also tried: 15.Rad1!? ]. 

15...Qf5?!;  (Maybe - '?')   The authors of the Mammoth Book roundly 
condemn this move. (The move does lose a lot of time.) But it is natural 
for Black to want to use his most powerful piece. 

  [ Black could have tried: 15...Nd4!?; - Zukertort.  
    Or 15...d2!?; - Emanuel Lasker. 
    16.Nexd2 0-0; - FM's Pickard and Burnett.  
; 16.Bxd3, ("+/") ]. 

16. Bxd3 Qh5;  {Diagram?} 
Chernev writes: "Running away from the threat 17.Kt-Q6ch, 
(N-d6+) winning the [Black] Queen."

17. Nf6+!!
,  The first move to receive an award from Chernev, and he 
only gives it one exclam. A profoundly deep and beautiful move, but based 
on the relatively simple idea of opening lines to the Black King.  .....  But to 
calculate this line to a forced win is beyond the ken of even the average Master! 

Burgess does not like this move, and only awards it an, '!?' 

  [ The computer's first choice is: 17.Ng3!?, (Possibly- '!') ("+/") (Maybe "+/-") 
     when White is clearly better. (FM Burgess also prefers 17. Ng3.) 
; 18.Bc1! Qe619.Bc4 Nd5; 20. Ng5, ("+/-") - FM Sid Pickard. 
     I cannot help but remark that while MAYBE 17. Ng3 might be a slightly 
     better move .... no one would remember this game today had he played 
     that way!!! ].  

18. exf6 Rg8;  Now Black has mating threats of his own. 
(QxN/f3 followed by QxP/g2 mate.) 

Chernev writes: 
<<  Now comes what [Emanuel] Lasker, (Who knows a good move when 
he sees one!); says is: "one of the most profound moves on record." 

19. Rad1!!
,   (Maybe - '!!!')   {Diagram?} 
Easily an extremely deep move. And not at all obvious.

Chernev gives this move one exclamation point only, but this is far too stingy. 

  [ White could have played: 19.Qf4!?; which is not all that clear. 
     I would have been tempted to sacrifice on e7 and pin again, but this 
     is soundly defeated, i.e.:  19.Rxe7+ Nxe720.Re1 Rxg2+!!; ("-/+")

    19.Be4, {Unclear? See the diagram directly below.} 

  {Analysis position.}  Examining some of White's 19th-move alternatives.

     - GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. ]. 

;  I believe GM Portisch gave this move 2 question marks, but 
that is far too harsh. Nunn and Burgess also give this move a question mark. 

I will only say that Black may have thought ...Qxf3 was winning. It certainly looks strong! In their book, ("The Chess Games of Adolph Anderssen,  Master of Attack," by FM Sid Pickard and FM Ron Burnett.);  the authors spend several pages looking at the position after 19. Rad1!! If you like analysis of complicated positions (as I do), you will love this book. (Much of this analysis I recognize as probably originating with GM. R Hubner.) 

  [ Black should have played: 19...Rg4!; 20.Re4! ("+/=") {See the diagram below.} 

  {Analysis position.}   Black's move 19...Qxf3; was not the best.  This position shows he could have defended better.

    If you are interested in the analysis of all the different variations, I encourage 
    you to purchase:  
    [The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games.
    (By Nunn Emms, & Burgess.)
Their analysis of this position (& others) 
     takes up almost 1-and-a-half pages. ]

20. Rxe7+! Nxe7!?
; {'?!'}  (This move looks forced.) 
I think GM Hubner gave this move a question mark, (as did Burgess), but that is 
far too harsh. (Black is lost no matter what he does!) 

[ 20...Kf8?; 21.Re3+ , wins the Black Queen. {Better is: 21.Rxd7+! , ("+/-")};  

According to many sources, the ONLY good move for Black was: 20...Kd8
Now White wins with a VERY pretty series of moves; I.e.: 21.Rxd7+! Kc8
 (Or 21...Kxd7?!; 22.Bf5+ Ke8; 23.Bd7+ Kd8; 24.Bxc6+, and mates.) 
22.Rd8+!! Kxd8(Not 22...Rxd8?; 23.gxf3, ("+/-") Also bad is: 22...Nxd8?
Kxd7; 24.Bf5+, and mates. )
  23.Be2+!?,  (Maybe - '!') Wins the 
Black Queen, but its not at all clear that White is winning here.  (Also winning was: 
; 24.Qxd1+ Nd4; 25.Bh3!
(If 25.g3?! Rg5; 26.Bh3 Bf3; {Unclear?}) 
25...Bd5; 26.Be7+ Ke8; 27.cxd4, ("+/-") - GM J. Nunn.
  23...Nd4; 24.Bxf3 Bxf3;
25.g3! Rg5;   {Or 25...Bxd1; 26.Qxd1, ("+/") (Maybe - "+/-") "with a boring but 
winning endgame." - GM Garry Kasparov. (!!)}
  26.cxd4 Ra5; 27.Be7+ Kc8
Bxd1; 29.Qxd1, ("+/") 

  {Analysis position.}  Burgess & Nunn consider this position winning for White.

(Probably - "+/-").  .....  "is another line cited by Nunn. Black is in trouble, since 
the f7-pawn cannot be held, and then White's own far-advanced, f-Pawn will be unstoppable." - FM G. Burgess. (From the Mammoth Book.) The above 
EXTREMELY complicated variation is typical for the Mammoth Book! ]. 

21. Qxd7+!
(Maybe - '!!')   This move is now virtually forced, but it is still 
beautiful nonetheless. (Burgess and Nunn give it TWO exclamation points!) 

GM (and former World Champion Candidate) Ruben Fine also awards this move 
two exclamation points. (See the book, "The World's Great Chess Games." 
[Dover] (c) 1951, page # 18.)  

   I. Chernev writes: "And if this is not a million-dollar move, what is?"    

  [ This game is not a cakewalk, White could still lose it. 
    The following variation is proof. 
    21. Be4?!
(?)  21...Qxf2+22. Kh1 Qxg2+23. Bxg2 Bxg2#. ]. 

21...Kxd722. Bf5+ Ke8; {Diagram?} 
Its mate no matter what Black does. 

  [ Chernev writes:  "If 22...Kc6;  then 23.Bd7#, mate." ].  

23. Bd7+ Kf8; {Diagram?} 
This looks forced. (It does not matter anymore, as Black is lost.) 

  [ 23...Kd8; 24.Bxe7# ].  

24. Bxe7#1 - 0 

 "An extremely attractive checkmate."  - GM J. Nunn and FM Graham Burgess.  

The authors of the book, "The Complete Chess Addict,"  (by Mike Fox and Richard James); call this game, 'A real Masterpiece,' and include it in their list 
of the 60 best chess games of all-time. (It is also listed as being one of the 25 best ever by Irving Chernev. See the book, "The Chess Companion."

Pachman, in his land-mark book on tactics, calls this, "One of the greatest chess combinations on record." (Especially of the 19th Century.) 

Coles refers to this as one of the all-time great chess combinations. 

"A combination second to none in the literature of the game." GM S.Tartakower & J. Du Mont.  
(See the book, "500 Master Games of Chess."   [Dover] (c) 1952, pub. 1975. Game # 29, page # 35.) 

GM Hubner thinks that this is, ... "one of the more interesting games of the 19th century." (Typical Hubner super-restraint!)

I consider this one of the best games of the 19th century. Considering when this game was played, this combination is wonderful, beautiful, marvelous and original. (It is also one of the deepest combinations ever played!!)  

 1 - 0 

Bibliography -
(These were the books or sources that provided the most information and analysis.)

  1. ChessBase Analysis, by GM Robert Huebner
    (Anyone who is interested in analysis will be fascinated by this game. I printed this analysis out recently, and it ran many, many pages with diagrams!) 

  2. The book, {The} "1000 Best Short Games of Chess," by the late, great Irving Chernev. Game # 991, pg.'s # 549-551. ]. (Brief analysis.) 

  3. The book, "500 Master Games of Chess,"  by GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. (Game # 29, page # 35) (Good analysis.) 

  4. The book, [The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games," by GM John Nunn, GM John Emms & FM Graham Burgess. 
    Game # 3, pages # 19 - 24.) (Their analysis is also very thorough.) 

  5. The book, "The Oxford Encyclopedia Of  Chess Games," by IM David Levy. Game # "1852 - *AD-1" page # 185.)  (Brief, but nice analysis) 

  6. The book: "The Chess Games Of Adolph Anderssen,  Master Of Attack,many games annotated by the old Masters. Edited by FM's Ron Burnett and Sid Pickard.
    (Game # 352, pages # 152 - 156.) (Very good and thorough analysis.) 

  7. The book, "The World's Great Chess Games,by GM Ruben Fine. (Section on A. Anderssen, Pages 14 - 19.)  (Good analysis.)

 Click  HERE  to read a short bio of  Adolf Anderssen


 Game first posted on the Internet in 1998.  Page last updated on: Sunday;  October 06, 2002. 

This game is a slightly shortened version of the game as it exists in my database.
(I have shortened it a little for publication.)
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