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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Captain's Perwago's Last Game

     The Russo-Japanese War (8 February 1904 – 5 September 1905) was the first great war of the 20th century. It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and the Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were Southern Manchuria, specifically the area around the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden; and the seas around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.
     Russia suffered numerous defeats at the hands of Japan and remained engaged in the war due in part to the will of the tsar, Nicholas II. After faring poorly early in the war, Nicholas II, convinced that Russia would ultimately obtain victory, chose to remain engaged in the war; at first, to await the outcomes of certain naval battles, and later on, upon realizing imminent defeat, to preserve the dignity of Russia. The war concluded with the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by U.S President Theodore Roosevelt.
     This game was played by two Russian soldiers in Manchuria on the eve of the Battle of Sha-ho. Captain P.N. Perwago, the winner, was a strong amateur who took a prize in the international Rice Gambit Tournament of the "Monde Illustre."
    Before the outbreak of the war he was in garrison at Piatigorsk in the Caucasus. In the fall of 1904 he had volunteered for service in Manchuria where he commanded a battalion of infantry in the Army Corps.
     Captain Perwago was killed in the assault on Putiloff Hill (see page 393 of link HERE for more on this battle) and his comrade-in-arm, Lieutentant Denn was seriously wounded. The loser sent the game to Simon Alapin with the attached note: "The furious attack of the Captain during the battle was equal to the present brilliant encounter."
     A word about Black's 3...Bb4: It had me snickering until I saw who has played it, besides Alapin, in the past: Herman Steiner, Mark Taimanov, Velimirovic (see my post dated February 16th), Johnny Hector (many times), Paul Motwani, Miguel Illescas Cordoba, and the strong Cuban-American master Blas Lugo. My database also had one game with this move played last year by some guy named Magnus Carlsen.  An interesting move; I can't wait to try it out!

1 comment:

  1. If 12. g3, Black has a choice of 3 different mating moves at various speeds ...

    1. 26 [M9] 12.... Qe6 13.g4 Qe5 14.Qxc7 Qxc7 15.Kg2 Qf4 16.Rg1 Qxg4+ 17.Kf1 Qxg1+ 18.Ke2 Qe1+ 19.Kxf3 Qxe4+ 20.Kg3 Qg4#
    2. 26 [M10] 12.... Qd7 13.g4 Qd6 14.Kg2 Bxg4 15.Qxc7 Qxc7 16.Rh1 Nh4+ 17.Kg1 Bh3 18.f3 Qf4 19.Nc2 Nxf3+ 20.Kf2 Ng1+ 21.Kxg1 Qf1#
    3. 26 [M11] 12.... Qh6 13.h4 Qe6 14.Kg2 Qxe4 15.Qxd5 Nxh4+ 16.Kg1 Nf3+ 17.Kh1 Qxd5 18.g4 Bxg4 19.Kg2 Ne1+ 20.Kg3 Qf3+ 21.Kh4 Ng2+ 22.Kg5 f6#

    Great game, I just suddenly remembered it from The Golden Treasury of Chess for some reason today, googled around, found a PDF then came here. White is really lost after 9. Nxe5.