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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Who Were Westphal, Nisch and Woog?

     An Internet search for these German masters won't turn up much. According to Edo Historical Ratings Fritz Woog's first rating was 2247 in 1920 and his last rating was 2130 in 1929...all based on a scant 83 games. In group 4 of the 1920 German Championship he finished second behind Carl Ahues with a score of +4 -1 =2, his one loss being to Ahues. 
     Chessgames.com has but one game of Woog's, against Leonhard Westphal, which is given below. The only information on Westphal is that he was born August 16, 1895 and died at the age of 61 on March 6, 1957. 
     What caught my attention was a game Woog lost to a player known only as Nisch that was played in Leipzig, 1934. Euwe gave a fragment of the game in Strategy and Tactics in Chess. You can take a look at the brilliant finish HERE
     I was unable to locate any information on Nisch nor could I locate the full score of the game Euwe quoted. But, I did uncover the below entertaining Woog vs. Wesphal game. It's an instructive example of short range planning plus it features a Classic Bishop Sacrifice that does not lead to an immediate forced win. Also, Woog's methodical buildup of his attack is instructive to witness.

Fritz Woog - Leonhard Westphal

Result: 1-0

Site: Berlin Open

Date: 1920

Open Ruy Lopez

[...] 1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 a6 4.♗a4 ♘f6 5.O-O ♘xe4 White will argue that black loosens his position with this active defense while black hopes to deprive white of a central P. Black's K will be temporarily vulnerable but can reach to safety while white is busy regaining his P. 6.d4 Other moves are not worth considering.
6.♘xe5 A rare sideline that gives black a slight edge after 6...♘xe5 7.♕e2 ♕h4 8.d3 b5 9.♗b3 ♗b7 10.dxe4 ♗d6
10...♕xe4 would be bad because after 11.♕xe4 ♗xe4 12.♖e1 d5 13.f3 c5 14.fxe4 c4 15.exd5 white is better.
11.f3 ♘d3 12.g3 ♘xc1 13.♖xc1 ♕g5 and black stands well.
6...b5 7.♗b3 d5 8.dxe5 ♗e6 At this point white has tried 7 different moves with varying degrees of success, but the text is by far the most often seen. 9.c3 ♗e7 10.♗e3 Here, too, white has a wide choice, but besides the move played 10.Nbd2 is also often played. 10...O-O 11.♘bd2 ♘c5 12.♗c2 ♗g4 Tempting, but it leads to trouble. (12...♘d7 13.♘d4 ♘dxe5 14.♘xe6 fxe6 is about equal.) 13.h3
13.♕b1 g6 14.h3 ♗e6 15.♖e1 ♕d7 16.♘f1 a5 17.♘g3 a4 18.♕c1 ♖fd8 19.♗xc5 ♗xc5 20.♘h5 with a sizeable advantage. Bologan,V (2585)-Prasad,D (2405)/Linares 1999. Black is forced to take the N, but after 20...gxh5 21.♕h6 ♗f5 22.♗xf5 ♕xf5 23.♕xc6 ♗b6 24.e6 he is lost.
13.♗xh7+ is too early. After 13...♔xh7 14.h3 ♗e6 white has no way to continue the attack.
13...♗e6 was somewhat better. 14.♗xh7+ loses as here, too, white has no followup. 14...♔xh7 15.♘d4 ♘xd4 16.cxd4 ♘e4
14.♗xh7+ Now this is in order. 14...♔xh7
14...♔h8 is correct. Then after 15.g4 ♗xg4 16.hxg4 ♔xh7 17.♗xc5 ♗xc5 Now by playing 18.Kg2 and occupying the h-file with his R white could have gotten a very promising game. Miletic, D-Ursic,M (2078)/Nova Gorica 2002
15.♘g5+ In the classic B sacrifice it is essential for white to be able to play this move. 15...♗xg5 16.♕xh5+ Unlike the previous variations, white is now able to get this move in with effect. 16...♗h6
16...♔g8 also allows white a promising position after 17.♗xg5 ♕d7 18.f4 ♕f5 19.♘f3 ♘e4 20.♘h4 ♕h7 21.♕g4 ♔h8 22.♖ae1 ♖ae8 23.♘f5
17.♗xc5 ♖e8 18.f4 g6 19.♕f3 ♕d7 20.♖ad1 ♘d8 21.♘b3 The N is headed for the outpost on d4. Note that this type of "plan" is on two moves and there is no particular target, but it is the type of short plan that is often seen in master practice. If you can't think of anything to do, find a poorly positioned piece and think of a way to improve its position. 21...c6 22.♘d4 ♘b7 23.♘b3 This retreat is less effective than simply playing 23.Bb6. From d4 the N could think about going on a further journey of c2, e3 and g4 from where it eyes f6. 23...a5 24.♗d4 ♕f5 It's hard to suggest a really viable plan for black, but this move simply loses time as white plays g4 with a gain of time. 25.g4 ♕c8 26.♘c5 While this doesn't really harm white's position, an immediate attack with 26.f5 would have been more forceful.
26.f5 ♖g8 27.fxg6+ fxg6 28.♕g3 ♖f8 29.♕h4 g5 30.♕g3 Black's K is badly exposed and white has threats of moves like e6 and Rf6.
26...♘xc5 hoping to exchange some attackers would not be of much help. 27.♗xc5 ♗f8 28.♗xf8 ♖xf8 29.f5 with a strong attack.
27.♕g3 Once again, the advance of the f-Pawn packed more punch. 27...♗g7 28.f5 g5 29.h4 gxh4 30.♕xh4+ The rest is a mopping up. 30...♔g8
30...♗h6 31.g5 ♖h8 32.e6 ♔g8 33.gxh6 ♔h7 34.♔h1 ♘xe6 35.fxe6 ♕g8 36.♘d7 ♕g6 37.♘f6+ ♕xf6 38.♕xf6 ♖ag8 39.♕xf7+ ♔xh6 40.♗e3+ ♖g5 41.♖f6#
31.f6 ♗h8
31...♖e7 32.fxg7 ♕xg4+ 33.♕xg4 f6 34.exf6 ♖e5 35.♗xe5 ♘f7 36.♖d3 a4 37.♖h3 ♘h6 38.♖xh6 ♖a7 39.♖h8+ ♔f7 40.g8=♕#
32.♖d3 ♖xe5 33.♗xe5 ♗g7 34.♖h3 ♕f5 35.♖xf5 a4 36.fxg7 f6 37.♕h7+ ♔f7 38.g8=♕#
32...♕xf5 33.gxf5 ♘e6 34.♖d3 ♗g7 35.♖h3 ♘f8 36.fxg7 f6 37.♕h8+ ♔f7 38.g8=♗+ ♔e7 39.♕xf6#
33.♘xe6 fxe6 (33...♗xf6 34.♖g5+!34...♗xg5 35.♕xg5+ ♔h7 36.♕g7#) 34.f7+ Black resigned. Forceful play by Woog. (34.f7+ ♔f8 35.♗c5+ ♔g7 36.♕f6+ ♔h7 37.♖h5#) (34.♖g5+ ♔f7 35.♕h7+ ♗g7 36.♕xg7#)
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