Friday 25 August 2017

The Duke of Brunswick wins one

For chess players the Duke of Brunswick is 'that guy who lost to Morphy' in the famous Opera Box game. And like most non-professional players who are famous for losing, that seems to be the extent of his chess notability. But he did play more than 1 game of chess, and while flicking through an old chess book "Chess Brilliants by I.O. Howard Taylor (1869)" I came across a game he actually won. He did have some help as it was played in consultation with German master Daniel Harrwitz against a similarly ennobled team, Viscount Casablanca and Herr Kaulla.
Apart from the novelty of the result, the game (or at least its publication) had a couple of interesting features. Firstly, the opening was reasonably modern (QGD), and Black tried to generate some queenside counterplay. Secondly, on move 30, the book does not show which promotion piece was chosen, and in fact has Blacks reply as "Q takes P" even though the pawn has reached the last rank. This of course would be a breach of the current Laws of Chess.
By this stage White has a huge advantage, and the main interest is seeing how the game finished, with the Black team eventually resigning down material (although White missed a forced mate starting with 35.Rxg7!!)

Harrwitz/Duke of Brunswick - Viscount Casablanca/Kaulla [D35]
Consultation, 1858

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