White C. Kottnauer Black Sir. Geo. Thomas

Notes by Sir George Thomas


1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Nf3 c6 7.Qc2 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Nxe4 dxe4 10.Qxe4 Qb4 11.Nd2 Qxb2 12.Qb1 Qxb1

The game has faithfully followed Winter-Thomas and Reshevsky-Tylor, Nottingham,1936, but in both these games Black now played 12...Qc3

13.Rxb1 Ke7

Better than castling, I think.  White cannot now play his knight to d6 without weakening other points by c5.


I expected White to fianchetto this bishop and keep his king in the centre - possibly a better line than the text.  Also to be considered was 14.f4


A useful move, which will either clear c5 for Black's or leave White with an attackable d-pawn.

15.O-O Rd8 16.Nb3 exd4 17.exd4 Nb6 18.Rfe1 Kf8 19.Rbd1 Be6 20.Na5 Rd7 21.c5

This leaves White with a definitely inferior pawn position. 21.Rd2, was preferable.

21...Nd5 22.Bc4

Not 22.Rb1 Nc3 23.Rxb7 Rxb7 24.Nxb7 Rb8 25.Ba6 Bc8


Preparatory to ...b6.

23.Rb1 b6 24.Bxd5 Bxd5 25.Nb3

Better, though not really comfortable was 25.cxb6 axb6 26.Rxb6 g6 27.Nb3 Rxa2 and White's d-pawn is weaker than Black's c-pawn.

25...Rd7 26.h3 b5 27.Rbd1 a5 28.Rd2 Bxb3

28...a4 is indecisive against 29.Na1 b4 (otherwise a3, followed by Nc2-b4) 30.Rb2 Rb8 31.Nc2 etc.

29.axb3 a4 30.bxa4 Rxa4 31.d5

Finely played and much the best chance for a draw.

31...Rxd5 32.Rxd5 cxd5 33.Re5 Rc4 34.Rxd5 Ke7 35.Kf1 b4 36.Ke2 b3 37.Rd2

Best.  If 37.Rd3 b2 38.Rb3 Rc2 39.Ke3 and wins.

37...Rxc5 38.Rb2 Rb5 39.Kd3 Kd6 40.Kc4 Rg5

To make an opening for Black's king after the exchange of rooks.

41.g3 Rc5 42.Kxb3 Rb5 43.Kc2 Rxb2 44.Kxb2 Kd5 45.Kc2 Ke4 46.Kd2 Kf3 47.Ke1 g5 48.Kf1 h5 49.Kg1 f6

The necessary tempo for securing the opposition after the exchange of pawns.

50.Kf1 f5 51.h4

If 51.Kg1 h4 52.gxh4 gxh4 53.Kf1 f4 54.Kg1 Ke2 55.Kg2 etc.

51...gxh4 52.gxh4 Kg4 53.Kg2 Kxh4 54.Kf3

White: Kottnauer; Black: Thomas
London, 1947


Shocking! 54...Kh3 wins easily :- 55.Kf4 Kg2 56.Kxf5 h4 57.f4 h3 58.Kg6 h2 59.f5 h1=Q 60.f6 Qa1 61.Kf7 Kf3 62.Ke7 Qa5 63.Ke6 Kf4 64.f7 Qd8 etc.

55.Kg3 f4 56.Kh3

Of course White does not oblige by 56.Kf3 Kf5 and wins.


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