Pillsbury - Tarrasch 

  Harry Nelson Pillsbury (2675) - Siegbert G. Tarrasch (2650)   
  The  'Hastings'  Great International Chess Congress  
  (Hastings Sea-side Resort)  
  Hastings,  England;  1895  

[A.J. Goldsby I]

Perhaps one of the greatest games of all time. (This game has appeared dozens, - if not hundreds! - of times in books and magazines. It has popped up several times in reader's surveys when the readers are asked to give some of the greatest games of all time.) The great Pillsbury himself considered this game to be one of the best he ever played. 

It was at this tournament (his first major, which he won!) that Harry N. Pillsbury played some of the best chess of his entire career. 

Maybe even one of the very best games of the whole of the nineteenth century. 

"One of the great historical games, and one which stimulated wide-spread interest in the Q.G.D., by demonstrating that White can obtain very fine attacking chances."  
- GM Savielly G. Tartakower and J. Du Mont(From the book, "500 Master Games of Chess.") 

A book/pamphlet (on the Q.G.D.) I purchased in Great Britain while I was in the military, analyzes this game in some depth. The Soviet author states that this 1 game is perhaps one of THE SINGLE, MOST IMPORTANT games in all of chess opening theory!! He claims this one game may have inspired several generations of new Masters to take up and play the Queen's Gambit!! (And I agree with him.) 


  (I also found many books have a more-or-less conflicting view on this game. Additionally,  MANY!!  incorrect variations have been printed on this game.  
  Some are so stupid, I don't even bother to point them out. But when a usually reliable author makes a completely bad recommendation, well ......). 

Other than BOLD or HIGHLIGHTED words, I tried to faithfully reproduce this document ... exactly as it 
exists in my ChessBase files. I have indicated where a diagram might be needed,  {Diagram?}; 
or where an actual diagram exists. 


Hopefully, this is EASILY the best and deepest analysis of this game you will see anywhere. 
I have spent nearly a month now on this game, annotating the game, building the web page, and 
going back to use a computer to meticulously check all the variations. 


Click  HERE  to see the explanation of the symbols that I commonly use.  

1. d4 d52. c4
The standard move, here. 

     [ 2.Nf3!? ]. 

Black attempts to maintain a strong point on d5, and keep a presence in the center. 

     [ The move, 2...dxc4!?;  is also perfectly playable and leads to 
        a completely different opening. (Q.G.A.) ]. 

3. Nc3 Nf6;  
We now have reached the classic  "Queen's Gambit Declined,"  a venerable opening that is close to being 300 years old!! 

4. Bg5!?, (Probably - '!')   
This is of course completely good and acceptable. In fact it is the # 1 move choice at the Master Level. (Today.) 

This move has been played by virtually every World Champion since Lasker. It was a huge favorite of Capablanca. Fischer played it in his match against Spassky. (By transposition.).  

In more modern times, both Kasparov and Kramnik have used it repeatedly. 

In modern chess opening theory, this move is even called,  "The Pillsbury Attack."   (In obvious deference to the man who first discovered the real power of this pin.). 

In a real, common-sense approach to chess, this is the ultimate logical move. 

(Modern theory realizes Black only weakens his King-side by trying to break the pin too early.).  

Therefore, the only sensible development of this Bishop, which does not imprison the KB behind the Pawn Chain; is the move Bg5! 


In his notes - in the official tournament book -  Isidor Gunsberg  (who once played a match for the chess World Championship! vs. Steinitz});   makes the following comment  "No good results from this early sortie of the Bishop. The attack, or perhaps better speaking, (the) would-be attack, differs from similar play in the French Defense in that White cannot place a pawn on e5. Generally speaking, both the first AND the second player in this opening require their Queen's Bishop  ON THE QUEEN-SIDE!!"  
 (My emphasis.).  

Needless to say ... time (AND Opening Theory!) ... marches on. We know that Gunsberg was completely wrong. But we should NOT hold this against Mr. Gunsberg. This was the prevailing line of thought at the time. Both the two great and respected teachers of that time, Tarrasch and Steinitz; both felt the same way. (And even Zukertort, the leading exponent of that time ... - of the Queen's Gambit - held the same opinion.).  

FM Ken Smith notes that Bg5 was widely regarded as an eccentricity ... or even a mistake by most Masters. (!!!) But - largely through the efforts of just one man, (Pillsbury) - that today we know that 4.Bg5 is both very playable and also very good. FM Smith also notes that Pillsbury played MANY brilliant games with this line. 

"The American chooses a (then) novel plan involving B-KN5." (Bg5) - GM Andy Soltis. (MY emphasis.) 
(From the very excellent book,  "The Great Chess Tournaments & Their Stories.Copyright, 1975; Chilton books.) 

     [ Also playable is: 4.Nf3,  which is completely acceptable and playable. ].  

5. Nf3 Nbd76. Rc1!?(Maybe - '!') 
Played to restrain ...c5;  by Black during the early opening phase. 

     [ 6.e3!? ].  

Black castles and gets his King to safety ... this is, of course, never a bad idea! 

     [ Another way for Black to play is: 6...c6; 7.e3 0-0; 8.Bd3 dxc4
b5;   ( Also interesting is: 9...Nd5!? ).   10.Bd3 a6; 11.0-0 c5
       with good play for both parties. 

       (This represents a more modern treatment of this opening.)  ].  

7. e3 b6!?; (Hmmm.)  
      A HYPER-MODERN Opening???   

A very early version of the "T.M.B. System,"  over 60 years before the Russian players began playing it? 

Perhaps, perhaps not. 

It has been obvious to many players that the Queen-Bishop is a problem piece in this opening, perhaps this is just an attempt to solve that difficulty, by the easiest and the most expeditious method possible.

The only real draw-back to this approach is that White can fix the Pawn on d5, thus greatly reducing the effectiveness of Black's QB. 

Tartakower and Du Mont state that this was:    ... "the fashion at the time." 


     [ Black should NOT play: 7...c5?!; 8.cxd5 exd5; 9.dxc5, "+/" 

       A current continuation would be: 7...c6; 8.Bd3 dxc4; 9.Bxc4 Nd5!?
Qxe7; 11.0-0 Nxc3; 12.Rxc3! e5!; 13.Qc2, "+/=" etc.
        According to a book I bought on the "Queen's Gambit Declined," 
        - published in 1998 - this is the best line for both sides. ]. 


8. cxd5!,  
The most precise ... and the correct method of dealing with this system. 

It is amazing to me that Pillsbury has managed to divine this technique such a long time ago. 

"A good move which fixes a pawn on d5 and in turn blocks the a8-h1 diagonal for Black's QB."  - FM Ken Smith

(FM Ken Smith also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

     [ The continuation: 8.Bd3!? dxc4!; 9.Bxc4 Bb7; 10.0-0 h6!; "=" 
        gives Black just what he is playing for. ].  

8...exd59. Bd3, (Maybe - '!')  
According to FM Ken Smith, the Bishop assumes the classic attacking stance on the b1-h7 diagonal in this position. 

     [ 9.Bb5!? ]. 

9...Bb710. 0-0 c5; (Maybe - '!') 
This puts pressure on the center and is a classical Q-side expansion in the Queen's Gambit Declined. 

     [ 10...Re8 ].  

  11. Re1!?, (Hmmm.) (Maybe - '!') 
 This is a very natural and normal development of the Rook. 

White might have considered trying to give Black the "hanging pawns," and then playing against them. (Hanging pawns are when Black would have pawns at c5 and d5; BUT NO PAWNS on the adjoining {e-file or b-file}, files.


Gunsberg here gives a very long commentary on why White messed up by not fianchettoing his QB ... but since it is mostly incorrect ... 
I won't trifle with it here. (It is interesting to see how much opening theory has changed in the last 100 years!) 


FM Smith calls Re1, ... "an inaccuracy."  But I don't buy it, not one bit!!

 (SEVERAL strong computer programs here chose either Bf4 or Re1!) 


     [ Another method for White is: 11.dxc5 bxc5; 12.Bf4, "+/=" etc. 
       White has a very small advantage.  

       Or White can play: 11.Qe2 Ne4; 12.Bf4! Nxc3!?;  Interesting.  <I think this 
       is also book.>   (12...f5!?;  or 12...Re8!?, "=").  13.bxc3 c4; 14.Bf5!? g6;  
, Probably best. 

        ( White could also try: 15.Bb1!? b5; 16.e4!? (Probably better is: 16.Nd2!  
           with the idea of Bg3, followed by Rooks to the central files; and then f3-e4.)   
         16...dxe4; 17.Bxe4 Bxe4; 18.Qxe4 Nf6; Gaining a tempo. 19.Qc6!?,  
          ( 19.Rfe1!? ).  19...Qd5!; 20.Qxd5 Nxd5; 21.Bd2 Rfc8!?; "~" (Maybe - "=/+")  
         "and Black's preponderance on the Queen-side becomes actual."  
           - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont
          ( Probably better is: 21...Rfe8!; "=/+" )   

       15...Qxd7; 16.Ne5 Qe6; 17.Bh6,   "to White's advantage."  
       - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont  But after the continuation:  
; 18.Qf3 f619.Ng4 Rad8!;  followed by the move ...Bc8. ("=/+") 
       But now BLACK is CLEARLY better!; (At least just a little.) 

       They (Tartakower and Du Mont) (also) highly recommend: 11.Ne5!?
       and they claim a large advantage for White,  but after the line: 11...Nxe5
Ne4; 13.Bf4 Nxc3; 14.Rxc3 Qd7!; 15.Qh5 g6;  
Rfe8; "=/+" Black  is clearly just a little better in this position. ].  


11...c4!?; (This might be risky.) 
{But several annotators do award this move an exclam!} 
Black wishes to cramp White and push him back. 

(But it has the double drawback of taking pressure off the center and magnifying the explosive energy of the e3-e4 pawn break. And to top it off, Black's QB is now slightly bad.).  

But I do not approve of the method that Black uses here.  (But of course I have the luxury ... AND the benefit! ... of over 150 years of accumulated chess opening theory.). 

Using that knowledge in a correlational fashion, I can tell you that when Black tries an early ...c5-c4; it is nearly always unsuccessful. 

This move does create a dynamic imbalance, however; and one that Gunsberg recognizes. 


   [Black will now have a Q-side majority and a space advantage; (on the 
    left-hand side of the board); and a great deal of play on that side of 
    the board. 

    Black must now play very energetically to insure that White's coming 
    pawn break in the center (e3-e4) does not blow Black right off the board!]. 


"Black resolutely follows his plan." - FM Ken Smith

      [ I feel a better plan would have been the continuation: 11...Ne4; 12.Bf4!,  
         (12.Bxe7!? Qxe7; 13.Qc2; "~").   12...Ndf6! "<=>" {counter-play} 
        etc. (with a nearly equal game.)  (Or Black could instead play: 12...Nxc3!?
          13.bxc3 c4; 14.Bf5!? g615.Bb1 b5; 16.e4!? dxe4; 17.Bxe4 Bxe4
          18.Rxe4 Nf6; "="  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. )   ].  


12. Bb1!?, (Maybe - '!')   
A perfectly natural retreat ... and probably even the best move.  

White now has a slight advantage. 

     [ White could also have tried: 12.Bf5!?, "+/="  hoping to provoke 
       White into weakening his K-side. ].  

Black prepares to build on his space advantage and advance his Queen-side majority. 

     [ 12...Re8!? ].  

13. Ne5, (Almost - '!') 
Almost in a stereotypical fashion, Pillsbury buries a Knight into his out-post square on e5. (He practically patented this idea!) 

I have studied nearly all of the games Pillsbury played. He loved this Knight maneuver and played it nearly every chance he got. He almost never lost when he was able to play one of his favorite moves. (Ne5!) 

The move Ne5 is almost always a prelude to a King-side attack. (Something else Pillsbury was famous for.) 

  According to GM R. Fine, this is the innovation which put the Queen's Gambit on the map!  

 GM Ruben Fine DOES award this move an exclamation point.  

'!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

     [ 13.Bf4!? ].  

13...b5; (Maybe - '!')  
Black continues with his plan. 

     [ Black should not play: 13...Nxe5?; 14.dxe5 Ne8; Is this forced?
       (Maybe, maybe not.)

       Some of Black's alternatives are: 
        a.)   14...Nd7!?; A nice try, but ... 15.Bxe7!, The best. 
               (I did a lot of analysis in this position, to verify this.) 
                [White could also try: 15.Bf4 Nc5; 16.Qd2 b5; 17.Red1!, "+/-" 
                  The move, Rd1 is easily the best. White is clearly a lot better in 
                  this position.   (Or 17.Rcd1!?, "+/=" {Diagram?}    
                    ... "would be very awkward for Black. His needs must allow his   
                    opponent to erect an imposing structure in the centre."    
                    - GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.)  ]  
               15...Qxe7; 16.Nxd5!, "+/="  White is clearly a little better. 

        b.)   Or 14...Ne4?!; 15.Bxe7 Nxc3?;  Actually a mistake. 
                (Better is: 15...Qxe7; 16.Nxd5, "White is clearly better," or "+/"). 
               16.Bxh7+!, ("+/-") ... wins for White.  
                - GM Savielly Tartakower and J. Du Mont.)

       (Returning to our main analysis line.) 
       15.Bxe7 Qxe7; 16.Nxd5, "+/" ... 
"White is clearly better here."  - Isidor Gunsberg. ].  


14. f4!?, (Maybe - '!') 
Pillsbury re-enforces his Knight on e5. This too was a favorite procedure of Pillsbury's. 

(A modern book I have on the Queen's Gambit even calls f4 ... in a highly similar position ... "The Pillsbury Attack." !!!).  

Several annotators - including Fine and Soltis - give this move an exclamation point here. 

     [ A different idea is:  14.Bf4!?, "+/="  with the idea of (maybe) f3-f4, 
       to increase White's spatial edge in the center. ].  

"Black wishes to defend the King's field, without having recourse to such weakening  moves as ... P-KN3, (...g6); or ...P-KR3; (...h6)."  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

     [ 14...h6!?; "~" ].  

15. Qf3 Nf8; (Maybe - '!')  
This is always a useful square to have a Knight on. Larsen once reflected that with a Knight on f8, his King was immune from any possible mating attacks. 

     [ 15...b4!? ].  

16. Ne2!?, (Hmmm.) (Maybe an exclam?) 
An interesting maneuver, White begins to transfer his pieces to the King-side. 

 (GM Ruben Fine DOES award this move a full exclamation point.)  
 (Kasparov however criticizes {'?!'} this move.) 

 16. Ne2! - GM R. Fine. 

     [ 16.a3!? Ne4; 17.Nxe4, Probably the best.  [The same line, by transposition 
        is reached after: 17.Bxe7 Rxe7; 18.Nxe4 dxe4; 19.Qg3, "=" {Diagram?}  
        The position is approximately level, or equal.  ( NOT 19.Bxe4??  
          "(a fatal capture)" 19...Bxe4; 20.Qxe4 f6; "-/+"  ... "winning a piece."   
          - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.   17...dxe4 ; 18.Bxe7 Rxe7 ;  
        (18...Qxe7?; 19.Bxe4, "+/-"  19.Qg3, "=" {Diagram?} 
        The position is dead level. ].  


16...Ne417. Bxe7 Rxe718. Bxe4!,  
Amazingly, White surrenders his precious light-squared KB. 

(FM Ken Smith also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

   [ 18.Qh5!? ].  

18...dxe419. Qg3!, (Nice.) 
Simple and brutal, yet elegant too. Pillsbury begins lining up all of his pieces at Tarrasch's King. 

(GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

     [ Interesting is: 19.Qh5!?; "=" but a careful analysis will reveal it is clearly 
       not as effective as the text move.   19.Qh3!? f6; 20.Ng4 Qa5!, "=/+" 
       Black is just a little better here. So Pillsbury's move was best! 
       (Not as accurate is: 20...Bc8!?; "=" - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.)  ].  


First let me say that ...f6; is the first choice of many computer programs. 

Secondly, this move was greatly criticized by many of the pundits ... including Gunsberg. (Who felt that Black had to play ...Bc8; first.) 

Third I will note that the Knight on e5 must be ejected, if Black is to achieve a reasonable position. 

The last thing I wish to note is that Pillsbury's attacking idea here of attacking with the 2 Knights, and the way and the type of attack that he achieves in this game is very novel, ..... PRIOR TO THIS GAME, I DO NOT THINK I HAD EVER SEEN AN ATTACK EXACTLY LIKE THIS ONE!!! 

Another thing to note is that Tarrasch, one of the greatest chess players who ever lived; felt this position was fine for him. (That he was in no danger.) 

     [ Several  well-known  authors have flatly stated that 19...Bc8; was 
       MUCH superior to the move, 19...f6. But they are all on acid, if you 
       ask me! I.E.: 19...Bc8??; 20.Nc6, "+/-"  and like White wins at least 
       an exchange! Ugh! Yuck! Phooey! (See the book on Pillsbury by 
       J. Pope for one example of this stupidity.) ].  


20. Ng4,  (Box.)  
This is the only good square for the Knight. White also now threatens both Nxf6+ and Nh6+. (If Black misses the threat now, in this position.) 

     [ 20.Nxc4? bxc4; 21.Rxc4 Bd5, "/+" (Maybe "-/+");  
       Black is very likely winning here. ]. 

20...Kh8!?; {Forced?} 
Black avoids the threats, and hides his King in the corner. 

     [ Black cannot allow: 20...a5??; 21.Nxf6+ Kh8; 22.Ng4, "+/" (Maybe "+/-")
       Or 20...Re8??; 21.Nh6+ Kh8; 22.Nf7+ Kg8; 23.Nxd8, "+/-" 
       Or 20...f5?; 21.Nh6+! (21.Ne5!?, "= "  21...Kh8;  
       22.Nxf5, "+/"
{Diagram?} - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. ].  


21. f5!, (Space.) 
White cramps Black's King-side and lays the foundations of his later very virulent K-side attack. 

"Again ... we are apt to miss the originality of Pillsbury's moves. But in 1895 only a select handful of great Masters grasped the correct principles of positional play."  - GM Ruben Fine

 (GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

     [ 21.Red1 ].  

21...Qd7!?; {Diagram?} (Maybe - '!?') 
Black slowly attempts to organize his forces. 

     [ 21...Qa5!? ].  

22. Rf1!, (King-side.) 
Simple and effective.

 (GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.).  

 << "Taking back," or so to speak, his 11th move. >>  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. (Just plain silly and inane to me.) 

[ Coles also likes this move, and he gives it  TWO  exclams, but I think that is going overboard just a bit! ] 

     [ Tarrasch said that the move, 22.a3!?, was really quite superior to 
        the text. (I don't buy it.);  Or White could try:  22.Qf4!?  ].  

22...Rd8!?; (Centralization.) 
Black tries to organize his forces, perhaps in anticipation of the brewing storm on the King-side. 

Several authors have criticized this move, and recommended ...Rae8; instead of ...Rd8. 

But when I first got  Junior 6.0,  I let it run for several hours in this position. It picked ...  22...Rd8, and awarded Black a very small advantage!! 

'?!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

    [ Maybe  better is: 22...Rae8!?,  "="  - FM Ken Smith
      (and GM S. Tartakower.) ].  

23. Rf4 Qd6;  
This is a pin of sorts, Black may be hoping to play ...g5. 

     [ 23...Rc8!? ].  

24. Qh4 Rde8; (Prophylaxis?) 
Black over-protects his KP, long before Nimzovich made this concept popular. 

25. Nc3!?, (Almost - '!') 
White subtly re-arranges his pieces, in preparation of the K-side offensive to come. 

This move is the first choice of the computer program, "Chess Master 7000." 
(I just happened to be playing over this game when I first purchased this program several years ago. I was curious to see how many of Pillsbury's moves the program would find.) 

GM Salo Flohr did a series of articles for a Soviet magazine, (together with some of the more famous players like Botvinnik); which covered many of the classic games of chess. 

 GM S. Flohr gave this move an exclamation point. 

Oddly enough, GM Ruben Fine gives this move a question mark, ('?'); yet his analysis is completely unconvincing. (Perhaps flawed?) 


     [ 25.Nf2!?; - GM R. Fine. Now Black could play the very simple move:  
       25...Qb4!?, "=/+"  with the slightly better game for Black. (Maybe - "/+") 

       Black could also play: 25...Bd5!?26.Nc3; "="  The position is about level. 
       {GM R. Fine gives g4 here, but his analysis contains an error.} 

       ( Fine gives: 26.g4!? h6?!; (Maybe - '?') This is a terrible move! ...Qb4;  is  
         obviously better. 27.Qg3 b4!?; 28.h4!? Nh7!?; 29.Nh3 Rc8?!;  when  
         White has a big initiative, according to Fine. 30.Rff1!, "+/=" {Analysis  
         Diagram?} Repeated analysis of this position - checked with several  
         different computer programs - show White has a slight advantage. 
         BUT! ... Black can GREATLY improve his play in this line!! )   ].  


25...Bd5; (Hmm. Maybe - '!?') 
A very hyper-modern looking type of blockading maneuver! 

     [ 25...b4!? ]. 

26. Nf2!, (Nice!)  
White moves his Knight out of the way ... to begin his Pawn avalanche on the King-side. 

     [ Also very good for White was: 26.a3!?, "+/=" The 1st player is just 
       a little better here. ]. 

26...Qc6(Maybe - '!')  
"Protecting his KP, as well as enabling his QKtNP to advance without fear of Kt-QR4 and P-Q5, etc." - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

(Several annotators have given this move an exclam here.) 

   '!' - GM Garry Kasparov.  

27. Rf1!,  
Extensive computer analysis of this game has shown the beauty and logic of each one of the great Master's moves here. 

"Methodically massing his forces against Black's King-side."  - FM Ken Smith

"Admirable play."  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

 (Several annotators give this move an exclam here.) 

     [ 27.Qg4!? ].  

The most natural move here. 

This is also the critical position of the game.  

"Now the position affords an object lesson as to the effect of White's early (premature) 4.B-N5. The attack on the Kingside, which this move was intended to promote, has apparently been met. Therefore Black begins to on the Queenside, where White's Pawns are insufficiently supported."  - GM Isidor Gunsberg

I think the translation of this would be that Gunsberg feels that Black is better here, and that White's K-side offensive has come to a complete standstill. This is rather puzzling, as he was pretty critical of some of 
Black's earlier moves! 

I spent DAYS on this position. I even played several computer-versus-computer games from this position, (with varying results). I feel the position is very finely balanced, with White having an obvious King-side initiative and Black having tons of play on the Queenside. The only real question now is: "Who gets there first?" (Which attack is faster?)

     [ 27...Nd7!? ].  

28. Ne2, {Box.} 
Once again, the only really good square for the horsey. 

     [ 28.Ncd1? c3; "-/+"



This is the position with Black on the move.

(GM) Richard Reti  says here: 
"We are all familiar with the film dramas, in which the hero or the heroine is in imminent danger of death, (during the picture). While at the same time, but in another quarter; rescue plans are under way. The audience follows all the action and counter-action in breathless suspense ... but to all appearances, the rescuers will arrive on the scene too late. Only at the very last moment, when all hope has been abandoned, is the tragic end averted. A similarly exciting drama is offered in the following game (Hastings, 1895)."


Black attacks White's Q-side. 

(His attack certainly LOOKS like it came first!!) 

GM R. Reti - in his unbelievable book, "Masters Of The ChessBoard," - says this ... "appears to be decisive for Black." 

"A false alarm." - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.  

   '?' - GM Garry Kasparov.  (This seems overly harsh to me.)

     [ 28...c3!? ].  

29. Ng4!!;  
"Quite right. It was useless in trying to defend the compromised Queenside. White was, therefore, justified in abandoning it ... and making up his mind to either do or die on the Kingside."  - GM Isidor Gunsberg

"Threatening a Knight sacrifice on KB6, forcing Black to retract."  - GM R. Reti.

(GM R. Fine also awards this move one exclamation point.)

I once gave this position to an  IM  just after he had played in the U.S. Championship back in the 1970's. (I had told him this was a game of mine. He did NOT recognize the game.) He thought for several minutes, and said, "White should give up, his Q-side is indefensible." 

   '!' - GM Garry Kasparov.   

     [ 29.Nc1!? Qc2; "=/+"  Or 29.Kh1!? ].  

29...Nd7; {Box.} 
This is forced, to defend the f6-square. 

(Apparently Tarrasch thought for nearly 25 minutes here.) 

     [ A big mistake is: 29...Qxa2?; 30.Nxf6! gxf6?!;   (30...c3!?; 31.Nc1!, "+/-"
       31.Qxf6+ Kg8; 32.Rg4+, ("+/-") when White has a winning attack. ]. 

30. R4f2!, (Vacating.)  
A nice move, clearing the f4-square for the White Knight. 

"A fine resource." - FM Ken Smith

(FM Ken Smith also awards this move an exclamation point.).

(GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

'!' - I. Gunsberg.   '!' - J.N. Pope    '!' - GM Garry Kasparov.

     [ 30.a3!? Qb3!; 31.axb4 Qxb2; 32.R4f2 Qxb4; 33.Nf4 Bf7; "=/+" ]. 

Very nice, Black gives a thought to King safety before snatching any pawns on the Q-side. 

Gunsberg ... too, commends this move. 
(He stated that now was not the time for Black to capture this distant pawn ... far, far away from the theatre of conflict.).  

(Both GM A. Soltis and FM Ken Smith give this move an exclam.) 

 [Close to a dozen different annotators have awarded Black's play with an exclamation point here!] 


     [ It looks very reasonable to capture on a2, but it may lose by force. 
       Gunsberg gives the following variation, (just the main line); as proof: 
; 31.Nf4 Bf7; 32.Ng6+!, (Maybe - '!!') {An analysis Diagram?} 
       This is probably best. 

        (Also interesting was: 32.d5!?, {A.J. Goldsby I}  32...Ne5; 33.Nxf6! gxf6
         34.Qxf6+ Kg8; 35.Ne6!, "+/-" (Maybe "+/-") ... "and White wins."  
          - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.)  

       32...Bxg6; 33.fxg6 h6;  ... "with an adequate defence." 
       - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. {ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!} 
       (And yuk, yuk!} Are they serious??!!? 

        ( Or 33...Nf8!?; 34.Nxf6!! gxf6; 35.Rxf6! Kg8; 36.Rf7!, ("+/-")  
          with a winning attack for White. - GM Richard Reti. ) 

       Now, White has a fairly simple win with the straight-forward: 
       34.Nxh6! gxh6; 35.Qxh6+ Kg8; 36.Rf5!?, (Probably - '!') 
       White simply threatens Rh5, followed by Qh8#. 

        ( White could also try: 36.h4!?  Or 36.Rf4!?, - Reti. )   

       36...Rg7!?; 37.Rh5 Kf8; 38.Qh8+ Rg8; 39.Rxf6+! Ke7[]; {Box.} 
       This is forced here. 

        ( Not 39...Nxf6?? ; 40.Qxf6# ). 

       40.Qh7+! Kd8; {Box.} This is forced also. 

        ( Not 40...Kxf6??; 41.Qf7# ).  

       41.Rd5! Qa4; 42.b3!?, (Maybe - '!')  A very nice move, and it seems to 
       win for White. (But apparently he missed something better.) 

         ( Apparently Gunsberg missed: 42.Rxa6!! Qd1+; 43.Kf2 Qd2+;  Seemingly  
           the best move.  ( 43...Rgf8+; 44.Kg3 Re7; 45.g7 Rf3+; 46.Kh4! Qe1+;    
, ("+/-")  Poor Black has run out of checks! )   44.Kg3 Qxe3+;   
           45.Kg4 Qe2+; 46.Kh3 Qe3+; 47.g3 Rh8; "Hey! I just won your Queen!"   
           (says Black.) 48.Rxd7+ Kc8; 49.Ra8#, "And got mated!" (says White.) )  

       42...cxb3; 43.Rf7, "+/"  {Diagram?} (Maybe "+/-") when ... 
       "White should win." - GM Isidor Gunsberg. ].  


31. Nc1!?, (Maybe - '!') 
Like a magician who has pulled a rabbit out of a hat, Pillsbury's Q-side buttons - which before looked as if it were doomed to fall, like so many ripe apples ... - are now defended! (At least for the time being.) 

"And thus Pillsbury has had time to escape the worst. (Q-B7 is now prevented.) But will it help in the long run?" - GM R. Reti

     [ Maybe risky is: 31.Nf4!? Bf7!; "~"  (Maybe - "=/+" ) ]. 

31...c3!?;   (Maybe - '!') 
Black - perhaps correctly - tries to continue his play ... and his breakthrough on the Queenside. 

     [ 31...Rb8!? ].  

32. b3, (Box.)  
This move is virtually forced. 

     [ White should not play: 32.bxc3? bxc3; "-/+"  which only open lines 
        on the Q-side ... something Black wants and White should avoid! ].  

32...Qc6;  (Maybe - '!')
Just so you know ... I tested this position on about 15 different commercial chess programs. (With a little help from a few friends and a few of my Internet Students.) 

 Just about every program considers Black at least a little better here!! 

"Black now threatens P-QR4-R5XP; PXP, R-R1-R6. This would totally annihilate White's Q-side. What is White to do?"  -  GM R. Reti

     [ 32...Qa3!?, "~" ]. 

33. h3!,   (Maybe - '!!')   
White continues his, "Creepy - crawly; slow-motion"  attack on the King-side. {A.J.G.} 

"In a most astute manner, he prepares a fresh assault."  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

"Pillsbury has calculated - with a mathematical precision - the time he has at his disposal, and he prepares his action with the greatest possible calm." 
  - GM R. Reti

    '!' - GM Garry Kasparov.   

     [ 33.Rc2!? ].  

"Playing steadily for a decision on the extreme Queen's wing." - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

     [ 33...Kh8!? ]. 

34. Nh2!,  
What?!!? It looks as if White is going backwards! What is he up to? 

"To anyone re-playing this game ... and seeing that the Black menace on the Q-side is so close, this seems tormentingly slow." - GM R. Reti

     [ 34.Kh1!?; or 34.Re2!? ].  

34...a4; (Maybe - '!') 
Black - logically and relentlessly - continues his play on the Q-side. 

     [ 34...Ra8!? ].  

35. g4,  (ahhh.) 
Now we know what White was up to. He wanted to open some lines on the King-side. 

  I must resist the temptation to give every one of Pillsbury's moves an exclam here.  
(However Kasparov does award this move an exclam!)    

"Both players proceed consistently with the same strategy here ... " 
 - GM Isidor Gunsberg

"Playing to open the King's - Knight file." - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

   '!' - GM Garry Kasparov.   

     [ 35.Qf4!? ]. 

Black very vigorously pursues his plan of Q-side play ... as he has consistently done almost throughout the entire game. 

  '?!' - GM Garry Kasparov.  

   [ Maybe better is: 35...h6!?; "~"  - GM Salo Flohr; 
     and GM Savielly G. Tartakower. ].

36. axb3 Ra8; (Almost - '!') 
Black has an open file on the Queen-side, he now logically proceeds to occupy it.  
(Fritz 7.0 also chooses ..Ra8; here.) 

"It might have been worth while for Black to stay his Queenside operations for a moment in order to play 36...h6; which, though  NOT  without dangers, would have gained some time by compelling White to play 37.Qg3, and 38.h4, (to continue his attack)." - GM Isidor Gunsberg. (My emphasis.) 

I would also be amiss now if I did not point out that Tarrasch thought he was winning in this position ... and that ALL the computers show Black having a very large advantage! ("Plus under a line," or "/+") 

Once again ... Fine hands out a question mark and just says that ...h6; "maintains the advantage." (Wrong!) 

     [ 36...h6!?; (Maybe - '?!') The computers don't like this move very much 
        at all. 37.Qg3!? Nf8!?;   (37...Ra8!; "/+").   38.h4 Nh7!?; "=/+" 
        {Maybe unclear?} - GM Ruben Fine. (& very spotty analysis.) ].  


The next series of moves all seem very forced. 
37. g5!,   
White busts Black up on the King-side, storming the fort. 

"From here to the end, Pillsbury's play is perfection itself." - GM R. Fine

 (GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

     [ 37.Kh1!?, Interesting. Or 37.Rc2?!, '?' (Too passive.) ].  

37...Ra3; (Maybe - '!?')  

"Dictated by ambition. Caution demands a different course."  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

     [ 37...fxg5; 38.Qxg5 Qf6!?;  "=/+"  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. 
       (White will regain a very strong attack with Qg3 and Ng4. - A.J.G.) ].  

38. Ng4 Bxb3!?;  (Hmmm.)  
A straight-forward capture ... and this is {perhaps} completely incorrect.   

(Most persons - like Gunsberg - who have annotated this game ... make no comment here at all!) 

(In reality, this may be the losing move now!) 

"Black's advantage on the Queen's side is very great, but now White has the lead. Better at once is (the move) 38 ....K-R1. (38...Kh8)."  
 - GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

"One would think now that White is lost, and that the attempted rescue will come too late. But at the very last moment comes the catastrophe which destroys the already triumphant Black." - GM R. Reti
  (And one of the most beautiful pieces of prose here I have ever quoted in a chess game! {A.J.G.} 

  '?' - GM Garry Kasparov. 
This is definitely overlay harsh, many of the greatest masters in the world were present at this tournament and watched this game. Most completely approved of this capture ... and thought Tarrasch was winning here. 


     [ Very unattractive, but probably very forced was: 38...fxg5; {Diagram?} 
       This may be nearly forced! ('!' - GM Garry Kasparov.) 
       39.Qxg5 Nf6; {Box?} This also might be forced. 
(39...Bxb3??; 40.Qxe7, "+/-")    40.Rg2, "--->" {Diagram.} White still 
       has a very powerful attack in this position. (Several hours of computer 
       aided analysis will reveal White has a very strong attack ... but this still 
       has to be MUCH better than what happened in the game!)

       {I found this independently, but according to Kasparov's book this was 
         all the analysis of the great Russian Master, Mikhail Tchigorin.  
         He now recommends ...Kg8!}; 


       Black could try:  38...Rxb3!?; - FM Ken Smith.  39.Nxb3 Bxb3
, "+/=" 
White is clearly better, and his attack continues. 


       Or Black could also try: 38...Kh8!?; "=/+" {Diagram? Unclear?}  
        - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. (White still has a strong attack.) ].  


39. Rg2!,  
"Now White uses the g-file to open up a very brilliant attack."  - FM Ken Smith.

(FM Ken Smith also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

(GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.)

'!' - I. Gunsberg.   '!' - J.N. Pope.   '!' - GM Garry Kasparov.   

"White threatens not only PXP, but also Knight-takes-Pawn, with check." - GM R. Reti

     [ 39.gxf6!? ]. 

This is 100% forced now, ... at least according to all the computer program's analysis of this particular position. 

     [ 39...fxg5?!; 40.Qxg5 Kf8!?; 41.f6, "+/-" etc. (White has a winning attack.) 
       - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. ].  

40. gxf6 gxf6!?; (Maybe - '?!')   
Black feels he must prevent the White Knight from returning to the e5-square. 

   '?!' - GM Garry Kasparov.   

     [ Maybe better was: 40...Nxf6!?; 41.Ne5, "+/=" White is clearly much 
       better here. {A.J.G.} ].  

41. Nxb3!,  
White removes (from the chess-board) a very dangerous piece for Black ... 
the light-squared Bishop! This piece could have caused White serious problems. This move also incapacitates the Black Rook ... that is left on the b3-square. 

... "White played 41. Nxb3, in the furtherance of the beautiful idea which he will presently develop," - GM Isidor Gunsberg.

GM S. Gligoric also praises this move. 
(I have a book, {it is not in English} by Gligoric. He annotates several hundred classic and important games. He also gives this move an exclam.) 

'!' - I. Gunsberg.   '!' - J.N. Pope.  

     [ 41.Ne2!? ].  

41...Rxb342. Nh6!,  
White threatens a simple mate in just one move, but you also have to be able to see the follow up.

 (GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

     [ 42.Qh5!? ].  

Black defends against the mate. 

"The only move." - GM R. Reti

    [ 42...Qc8?; 43.Qg4, "+/-"  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. ]. 

43. Rxg7!, (Exchanging a defender.) 
Sometimes the simple moves are the best ones. 

(GM R. Fine also awards this move an exclamation point.) 

     [ 43.Qh5? Rxg2+; ("/+");  Or 43.Rff2!? ].  

"White's attack is giving out, whilst Black has ponderous threats on the Queen's-side." 
 - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. (An attempt at humor?) 

"White's attack  SEEMS  to be at an end..."  -  GM R. Reti.  (My emphasis.)


Now comes one of the most surprising moves in all the annals of tournament chess. Bear in mind, - at the time this game was played - H.N. Pillsbury was a completely unknown player, while GM Tarrasch was a VERY recognized pedagogue ... who had won like five international tournaments - IN A ROW!!!! 
  44. Qg3+!!, (WOW!!!) (Maybe - '!!!')    
A magnificent move that was probably foreseen several moves in advance by Pillsbury. (His last main pause to think was many moves ago, he reflected over 7 minutes on his 41st move.).  

  '!' - GM Garry Kasparov. 

"A fantastic move." - GM Andy Soltis.  

"A really spectacular stroke which Black must have overlooked!"  - FM Ken Smith

"One of the most brilliant plays of the 19th Century." - GM Ruben Fine

  GM Salo Flohr also awards this move two exclams. 
 (As does GM Ruben Fine! ... and also GM Andrew Soltis.)  

"A beautiful surprise." - GM Savielly G. Tartakower and J. Du Mont


"Played with desperate ingenuity, and producing a combination so far out of the common run, which forces the game (for White) in a few moves. The more we think over the position, especially in connection with White's preparatory move of 41. Nxb3; and the waiting move which White is bound to make on his next move ... The greater our admiration will be." - GM Isidor Gunsberg(From the book on the tournament.)

(Dozens of annotators have given this move at least one exclam.). 


 After nearly 15 years of analysis, I am convinced that Qg3 is vastly superior to Qg4. It is actually beneficial to have the extra open lines that result from allowing Black to capture the White KBP!! (I had originally thought - as a lower-rated player ... that Qg4 was superior to the text.)  


     [  Not  44.Rf4!? c2; "-/+"  White could also win with: 44.Qg4+! Kxh6
46.Rg1 Qf7; 47.Qh4+ Qh5; 48.Qf4+ Qg5
; 50.Qd6+ Kh551.Qxd7, "+/-"  {Diagram?};  this is,  
       of course, the same idea as the actual game continuation. ].  


44...Kxh6; {Box?} 
This is (unfortunately!) forced for Black. 

     [ 44...Kf8?; 45.Qg8+ Ke7; 46.Qxb3, "+/-" ].  

45. Kh1!    (Probably - '!!')  
A brilliant move that is a rather surprising quiet move. It is also a truly amazing follow-up to his stunning 44th move. 

White now threatens Black with Rg1 and Qh4 mate. 

(FM Ken Smith also awards this move an exclamation point.)

"The enchanting key. Black is completely helpless against the threatened R-KN1."  - GM Ruben Fine

  Apparently Grand-Master Fine was VERY taken with this move. So much so that he awards this move ...   
(3!)  exclamation points!! 

 '!!!' - GM Ruben Fine.    
'!' - I. Gunsberg.   '!' - J.N. Pope.   "!' - GM Garry Kasparov.  

"A waiting move, but with the kernel of White's combination." 
  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

 "An exceptionally subtle move."  - GM Andy Soltis
(He was actually only an IM then.) (From the book ... "The Great Chess Tournaments, and Their Stories.").  

   '!!' - GM Andy Soltis.  

     [ White avoids the tempting Rf4: 45.Rf4!? Rb1+; 46.Kh2 Rb2+
Rb1+; 48.Kh2 Rb2+; ("=") with a draw by repetition. ].  

This is forced, according to Tartakower and DuMont

     [ A very witty, little line is: 45...c2; 46.Rg1 c1Q; 47.Qh4#, {Diagram.} 
        - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. ].  

46. Rg1 Qxf547. Qh4+ Qh5

48. Qf4+ Qg5; {Ouch!} 
No choice here, this is the only playable (legal) move for Black. 

49. Rxg5 fxg5;  
Black has more than enough material for the Queen ... a Rook, a Knight,  ... AND  TWO   far advanced passed pawns

BUT! Watch what happens ...

50. Qd6+; (Bang!) 
Without this fork ... WITH CHECK! - White could not win.  

"Setting at naught any of Black's hopes of turning his advanced Queen's Bishop-Pawn to account."  
 - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

     [ For example: 50.Qf7!? c2; "=" ].   

Practically forced ... otherwise White will capture with check. 

     [ Or Black could play: 50...Kg7?!; 51.Qxd7+ Kf6; 52.Qd6+ Kg7
Kf8; 54.Qf5+ Ke7; 55.Qxg5+ Kd6; 56.Qc5+ Ke6
Kf5; 58.Qxb3, "+/-" ].  

51. Qxd7,  
... "and wins." (- GM R. Reti.) 

     [ 51.Qe7!? ]. 

Is this a blunder? 

Or did Black commit hari-kari ... to end the suffering? 

"Vainly hoping for a miracle," ...  - S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont

     [ White still wins after: 51...Rb1+; 52.Kg2 Rb2+; 53.Kg3 Kg6
(53...c2??; 54.Qxh7#)   54.Qe6+ Kg7; 55.d5! h5 (55...c2??
Kf8; 57.Qxb2, "+/-"   56.Qe7+ Kg6; 57.Qxe4+ Kf7
        58.d6, "+/-"


52. Qxh7#,  (Check-Mate.)  1-0 
An extremely brilliant, wonderful and magnificent game. 

"A truly splendid battle." - GM Ruben Fine
(He remarks in his notes that this game is one of the finest of it's time!).  

"A truly magnificent game, endowed with eternal youth." 
- GM Savielly G. Tartakower and James Du-Mont

GM Richard Reti  says this is a very brilliant game and ... 
"one of the most splendid games that the American Master ever played." 

A writer (I think it was Marco) for a newspaper in New York in 1895, called this game: "Perhaps one of the greatest attacking games ever played." !!!! 
(He goes on to comment that it is not even clear where Black went wrong!).  

Perhaps Pillsbury's finest game? [I think GM A. Soltis {and, of course, FM Ken Smith} award this game something like 10 exclams and one double exclam.].  

Maybe this game also belongs in the fabulous list of: 
  "The Ten Greatest Games of The Nineteenth (19th) Century."   
  (I certainly think it does!).  

Copyright, A.J. Goldsby I; 2002. 


BIBLIOGRAPHY:  This game has been an almost constant project of mine, ... over the course of the last 10 years ... and my notes reflect that. 

I have found this game in well over 30 (!!) books in my library ... (It is in many opening books, problem books, many of the books on classic games; several books on tactics, ... and I have around 4-10 books 
- all, or at least in part - on the great H.N. Pillsbury himself. Unfortunately, just about ALL of the books on Pillsbury ... and the ones listed below,  are OUT OF PRINT!!!)  

 Listed below - in the order used - are the books that were the most helpful to me. 
# 1.)  "Hastings, The Great International Chess Tournament." (Congress) 
           The official Book of the Tournament, by all the players
            (And H.F. Cheshire {Editor} and A. Fox.) 
            The above book is VERY rare ... and no longer available anywhere. 
            (There are only a few copies of the original book left in the whole world.)
           ("Hastings 1895 : The Centennial Edition"
              by Sid Pickard  (Editor)  {Reprint.}   (Notes here by I. Gunsberg.) 
            {Gunsberg's notes are considered good, however I took exception to 
              them. He seemed overly critical of H.N. Pillsbury's play.}  
# 2.)  "Pillsbury, The Extra-ordinary,"  by GM A. Soltis & FM K. Smith
           (I think this book is out of print ... I could not find it at the Amazon site.)
# 3.)  "Pillsbury's Chess Career,"  by P. W. Sergeant, and W. H. Watts.
# 4.)  "The World's Great Chess Games," by GM Ruben Fine
           (Assisted by GM L. Evans?) 
# 5.)  "Harry Nelson Pillsbury," (his life & games) by Jaques N. Pope
           (I think this book is out of print ... I could not find it at the Amazon site.)
# 6.)  "500 Master Games of Chess,"  by GM S. TartakowerJ. DuMont
           (Unfortunately their analysis of this game is 3rd rate. Many mistakes.) 
# 7.)  "The Great Chess Tournaments and Their (complete) Stories," 
           by  GM Andrew Soltis. (Soltis does a fair job on this game.) 
# 8.)  "Masters of The ChessBoard," by GM Richard Reti
           (Reti's analysis of this game is up-and-away the best!!!).  
# 9.)   << G.K. on "My Great Predecessors," (Part I). >>
                By  GM Garry Kasparov
                A much-heralded book, but it offers little in new analysis. 
                (Especially as concerns most older games of chess.)  

Click  HERE  to go to the # 1 on-line bookseller, "Amazon-dot-com," ...  where many of these books are available. 

Click  HERE  to go to the website of  the well-known bookseller, "Barnes And Noble." 


My thanks also to 2 very loyal students in Cleveland, Ohio. They spent many hours pouring through 'John G. White' collection for me. My thanks also to the teacher (who specifically requested NOT to be named); who works at the school, The University of Pittsburgh. He also gathers research material for me. And my thanks to the fellow in Washington who will send me scanned copies of material on microfilm at my request. (He has been invaluable when I wanted to know what old newspapers said about certain games.)

1 - 0

Siegbert Tarrasch  - (1862 - 1934)  was one of the greatest chess players who ever lived. ("He was one the four best players in the world, for over 20 years." - The Oxford Chess Encyclopedia.) He won several (5) international tournaments in a row. (Breslau, 1889 to Leizpig, 1894.) During his lifetime, he won dozens of 
tournaments and matches. During the period 1892-1894, Anne Sunnucks says he was playing better than anyone else in the whole world. He drew a match with the great Russian, Mikhail Tchigorin when he was probably at the height of his chess-playing abilities. He was scheduled to play a match for the World's 
Championship with Lasker in 1903, but he fell and injured himself in a skating accident. When Lasker refused to postpone the match, it was cancelled. Tarrasch belongs to a very small group of players,  (The others are: Pillsbury, RubinsteinFine, Flohr, Keres, and Korchnoi.); who were easily World Championship strength, but a match failed to materialize at the proper time. 

Thus the great Tarrasch was denied a real shot at the title. 

In Ostend, 1907; the organizers created a quadruple round-robin tournament which Tarrasch won. This tournament was supposedly for, "The Tournament World's Championship." But Lasker scoffed at Tarrasch's claims. (No one else really recognized them either.) In 1908, Lasker played Tarrasch, but Lasker won a decisive victory. There were many factors for this, poor Tarrasch was recovering from a long illness; but it is highly possible Emmanuel Lasker was simply the stronger player at this point. (Lasker was also one of the greatest players who ever lived. Lasker may also deserve the title as all-time best tournament player.) 

I consider Fred Reinfeld's book of Tarrasch's games to be one of the best collections of ANY player, and also one of the best books for the aspiring student to learn from. 


S. Tarrasch was also one of the greatest chess teachers who ever lived. His writings were vast - for the period. (Newspapers, magazines and books.) His book,  "Die Moderne Schachpartie," (a collection of 300 carefully annotated games); is still one of the finest chess books ever printed. His book, "The Game Of Chess," has been translated into MANY languages, and continues to sell, even in the year; 2002. Tarrasch was called, for his ability to inspire whole generations of chess players,  "PRAECEPTOR  GERMANIAE." (This title could be best interpreted into English as, "The Greatest Chess Teacher,  ...   and the Grand-father of chess in the country of Germany.")


Harry N. Pillsbury - (1872 - 1906) was one of the best players the America's ever produced. According to, "The Oxford Companion To Chess," he was easily one of the three or four best players in the World from the period, 1895 to 1903. 

He made a reputation in the U.S. by playing strong chess. He also gave tremendous displays where he often played chess, checkers, ... and a hand of whist, (a card game);  all SIMULTANEOUSLY!!! ... and ALL BLINDFOLD!!!!!  Additionally, the (supposed) automaton, "AJEEB,"  gained the reputation of being nearly invincible. This was because Pillsbury was one of its principle operators.  (During that period of time.) 

While fairly well-known in the U.S., he was an absolute nobody in European chess. The story of his journey to Hastings, 1895; and his subsequent win, is one of the greatest "DARK-Horse" stories in all of sport!  PERIOD!!!  It was also a very dramatic tournament, with Pillsbury winning by a half a point, ... edging out his competitors in the vary last round. 

Pillsbury went on to win several more very strong tournaments and more than a few matches. But he had already contracted the illness that would lead to his very premature death. 

Pillsbury was also a very creative player. Most of his ideas in the opening, (like  4. B-KN5, in the QGD); were too far ahead if their time to be understood. 

Pillsbury is one of the greatest success stories in all of chess ... and also one of the greatest tragedies in all of chess. He never realized his true potential.  

Click  HERE  to see an article on Pillsbury written by GM D. Naroditsky.  (This GM calls Pillsbury - "The architect of modern chess." !)  

 Game first posted on my web site, March 28th, 2002.  
  (Final version posted April 06th, 2002.  Last updated: Friday, October 30, 2015 .)  


  (This is one of the most carefully crafted games I have ever attempted.)  


I just (The end of August, 2003.) got the book, 
"Garry Kasparov On MY GREAT (chess) PREDECESSORS."  Part One. (I)
This game is analyzed in that book, (game # 38, page # 126)

This game is only a  slightly  shortened version of the game as it exists in my database.
(I have shortened it for publication. The main thing I took out was a short over-view of the 
Queen's Gambit Declined," - - - a brief tour of current opening theory, if you will.  Even this 
shortened version took around 30-50 hours of work to prepare the  ChessBase  document and 
ready it for publication  ...  on my web page.
  I worked on the HTML document for  OVER  2 weeks, trying to get it ready!!  
This represents one of the finest and most carefully analyzed and researched games I have ever done!)
If you would like a copy of the full, deeply annotated version
 of this game to study, please contact me.

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(If you liked this game, you will enjoy the many games that are available on this page.)

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  Copyright (c) LM A.J. Goldsby I.  A.J. Goldsby,  1996 - 2015. 
  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2016.  All rights reserved.