(1) Mieses,J. - Prins,L [B24]
Second Birmingham Tm , 1939
[MJDonnelly]



1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3
The Closed Sicilian, which Mieses over his long career, played in the majority of games when facing the Sicilian Defence. Later this method of meeting this opening became a favourite of World Champions Smyslov, Spassky and also Karpov.

5...Nf6
[5...d6 is also often played by Black when an early example of this line, Mieses-Fick, Scheveningen Dutch-Foreigners 1923, went 6.Be3 Nf6 7.h3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nd4 9.Nce2 and White can eject the knight from the centre with c3.]

6.Nge2
A positioning of the knight, as opposed to f3 or h3, also favoured much later by English GMs such as King, Adams, Short and McShane.

6...0-0 7.Nd5
[7.0-0 is more usual keeping options open of where the queen's bishop will be played to, and also if f4 will ensue.]

7...Nxd5
This is perfectly fine for Black although more modern games have gone with the equally valid [7...e6 8.Nxf6+ Bxf6 9.0-0 d6 10.c3 for instance as in Markus-Uifelean, LSS B1-2010-P-013 e-mail 2010.]

8.exd5 Nd4 9.c3 Nf5 10.h4
Not bad but not in reality as threatening as it looks. Black reacts correctly with central activity when faced with a wing-attack.

10...e5
[Whether to play 10...h5 here, or not, is a frequent dilema for the player facing an h-pawn charge. Often the weakening of the g5 square is compensated by greater control of g4 thus limiting further attacking play by White. However, in this position White may play in a similar manner to the Yugoslav Attack in the Dragon and go 11.g4 hxg4 12.h5 d6 13.hxg6 fxg6 14.Nf4 with good play for the pawn.]

11.h5 d6 12.Bd2 b5 13.Qc2 a5 14.Rh2?!
Probably with the idea of castling queen's-side then doubling rooks on the h-file, but the move is slow and somewhat unnatural. Black's next, although appearing to slightly weaken the kings-side eliminates the idea.

14...g5 15.f4 exf4 16.gxf4 g4
Good play keeping the g-file closed for some moves so limiting White's attacking options. Years later this idea became a common and strong defensive plan in the Sicilian Dragon.

17.Be4
Probably attempting to clear the g-file so a piece may attack the g4 pawn but [17.0-0-0 seems more straightforward with the idea of Rg1 but it may be noted Black has Nh6 available to hold everything. He may also consider Nh4-f3 at some point if White king's-side aggression peters out.]

17...Ne7 18.h6 Bh8 19.c4?
This move can't be right since it opens the diagonal for the bishop right into the heart of White's future castled position even thought it is residing in a back-water on h8. [19.f5 was a better option when the Rh2 gets a bit of activity from h5. For example 19...Bxf5 20.Bxf5 Nxf5 21.Rh5 and White may recovered the pawn after 21...Ne7 22.Rg5+ (22.0-0-0 allows Black to consolidate with 22...Qd7 ) 22...Ng6 23.Rxg4 although Black still has a good game after say 23...Re8 ]

19...b4 20.f5 Bxf5 21.Bxf5 Nxf5 22.0-0-0
White appears to have some chances of attack here but in reality he has been emphatically outplayed. Black's precise play has prevented another Mieses brilliancy, of which there had been many in the past, from this sometimes dangerous attacking player. The comments in the magazine "Chess", prior to giving the bare score of this game, state Mieses was " evidently tired from playing at Hastings", a tournament which was held just prior to the Birmingham event. This is no great surprise since he was in his mid-70s! He nevertheless finished equal 5th out of 10 players in the Birmingham event above several reasonably strong players. Mieses, a German Jew who had removed himself from Nazi Germany to England arriving virtually penniless did, however, still benfit quite substantially from playing in this event. The legendary player was presented with a testimonial cheque for Q70 at the end of the event which had been raised by H.G.T.Matchett. In today's money this is around Q4500!

22...Nd4!
Now White is lost.

23.Rg1
This queen offer is largely pure bluff. [23.Nxd4 had to be tried even though Black can fully consolidate the extra pawn with 23...Bxd4 24.Rf1 f5 and then proceed to attack White's king with a4 and b3 or a3, or choose instead to slowly advance the f- and g-pawns.; 23.Qa4 is of little use as the queen just ends up off-side after 23...Qf6 24.Nxd4 Qxd4 25.Be1 f5-+ ]

23...f5
A very sensibe reply retaining a winning position without any risk at all. Black did not need to consider the slightly obscure lines that occur after the queen is accepted: [23...Nxc2 24.Rxg4+ Bg7 For example, 25.Kxc2 (25.hxg7 Re8 26.Kxc2 a4 and Black's attack soon prevails.; 25.Rxg7+ Kh8 26.Kxc2 Qd7 27.Nf4 (or 27.Rhg2 Rg8 and White has no real attack.) 27...Qa4+ 28.Kb1 Qd1+ 29.Bc1 Rae8 30.Nh5 Qxd3+ 31.Rc2 Re2 32.Nf6 and Black mates first with 32...Qxc2+ ) 25...Qf6 26.hxg7 Rfe8 27.Nf4 a4 28.Nh5 b3+ 29.Kb1 Qf1+ 30.Bc1 bxa2+ 31.Kxa2 when Black obtains a winning attack with 31...a3 (of course not the blunder 31...Qxc1 32.Nf6# ) After 32.bxa3 a possible line is 32...Reb8 33.Rf4 Rxa3+ with mate in a few moves.]

24.Qd1 Qf6
The rest of the game is pretty much down to technigue. White has no real counter-chances and can only await Black increasing his grip on the game in preparation for a decisive attack.

25.Nxd4 Qxd4 26.Bg5
[26.Rh5 attempting to inconvenience Black with Rg5+, of course, fails to 26...Qxb2# ]

26...Rae8 27.Rf1 a4 28.Rf4 Qe3+ 29.Rd2
[29.Kb1 is without hope as the Black pawns creep forward after 29...Qe1 30.Rf1 Qxd1+ 31.Rxd1 g3 32.Rg2 f4 ]

29...Bf6 30.Bxf6
[30.Rxg4 is easily dealt with by 30...Bxg5 ]

30...Qxf4 31.Bg7 Rf7 32.Qxa4 Rfe7 33.Kc2 g3 34.Bf6 Qxd2+
A neat way to finish the game.

35.Kxd2 Re2+ 36.Kc1 g2 0-1