Wednesday, February 26

Teichmann-Spielmann match, Game 4: Teichmann scores again, leads 3-1; Spielmann endgame error turns likely win into loss

Richard Teichmann scored another victory over Rudolf Spielmann in the fourth game of their match at Leipzig and now leads the contest by the score of 3-1 with two games yet to be played. The latest encounter proved a tragedy for Spielmann, who through one ill-considered move undid hours of careful work and saw a likely endgame win converted into a painful loss. The Austrian Master must now take both of the remaining games from his formidable opponent in order to make an even score in the series, a difficult task indeed in view of the general course of play to date.

Spielmann, having the move, again chose to open with the King's pawn, varying from the Scotch Opening of second game with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3. Teichmann replied with 3...Bb4, the Three Knights' Game, and a most interesting struggle of heterogeneous forces ensued, as by the 14th move both of Black's Bishops had been exchanged for White's Knights. Queens were traded five moves later, leading to an endgame that seemed rather in favor of the first player. The tension increased when Teichmann at his 26th turn played his Knight into the heart of the enemy position with 26...Nd3, and for the next several moves the battle centered around White's efforts to capture, and Black's to protect, the adventurous steed. Spielmann, who conducted this phase of the contest with great mastery, seemed at the 34th move at last ready to reap the rewards of his fine play, but then to his regret chose the erroneous 34.Bxc4? in place of 34.Bxb6!, which latter move appears to win. Teichmann's reply 34...Nxb2! won the exchange, Spielmann having overlooked until too late that the tempting rejoinder 35.Rxd7+ could be answered by 35...Nxd7!, leaving White's Rook and Bishop both under attack by the Black Knight. In the subsequent play the Black Rooks invaded White's camp and, by combining pawn captures with mating threats, Teichmann ultimately forced his opponent's resignation at the 50th move. We present the game score below, with brief notes at the critical moment.

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