Geza Maroczy

Wed, 2013-10-16 14:43 -- IM Max Illingworth

[pgn][Event "Hastings Cand Gr-A"]
[Site "Hastings"]
[Date "1895.08.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Owen, John"]
[Black "Maroczy, Geza"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A40"]
[Annotator "Illingworth, Max"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "1895.08.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2005.11.24"]

{Today I'll be focusing on the games of one historic player: Hungarian GM
Geza Maroczy, originator of the Maroczy Bind (with White pawns on c4 and e4
and the White d-pawn exchanged for the Black c-pawn). His style was the polar
opposite to Frank Marshall - he played very defensively and correctly, and
possessed a strong ability in the more positional and technical phases of the
game. While this approach won't see your board showered with gold coins, it
proved very effective against the best attacking players of the day, though
this was offset by worse results against the world champions.} 1. Nf3 g6 2. d4
Bg7 3. e3 d6 4. Bd3 e5 5. c3 Bg4 {This pin is pointless with d4 so shored up,
and White is quite happy to have the bishop pair.} ({Black would have been
completely fine out of the opening if he'd played} 5... Qe7 {threatening ...e4,
but I want to skip to the later part of the game.}) 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 c6 8.
Na3 Nd7 9. Nc4 Qc7 10. d5 Nc5 11. Bc2 Ne7 (11... f5 {was better.}) 12. e4 cxd5
13. exd5 Nd7 14. Bb3 b5 15. Ne3 f5 16. Qe2 Rb8 17. O-O f4 18. Nc2 a5 19. Na3
Qc5 20. c4 b4 21. Nb5 O-O 22. Kh2 Qb6 23. a3 Nc5 24. Bc2 b3 25. Be4 Nf5 {Black
has full control of the position - White does not have a single pawn break and
Black's knights are towering in strength.} 26. g4 fxg3+ 27. fxg3 Nxe4 (27...
Nxg3 $1 {was completely killing. I will give just one variation:} 28. Rxf8+
Rxf8 29. Kxg3 Nxe4+ 30. Qxe4 Qf2+ 31. Kg4 h5+ 32. Kg5 Qf6# {Not bad!}) 28. Qxe4
Nxg3 29. Kxg3 Rxf1 30. Be3 Rxa1 $2 {This throws away the win.} (30... Rf4 $1 {
ends all resistance. White has to take the exchange but then his king is too
weak:} 31. Bxf4 exf4+ 32. Kg2 Bxb2 33. Rb1 Be5 {and Black should win.}) 31.
Bxb6 Rxb6 32. h4 (32. Qe3 {was better to stop the Black bishop entering the
game.}) 32... Bh6 33. Kg2 Ra2 34. Qg4 Rxb2+ 35. Kh3 Bf4 36. Qc8+ Kg7 37. Qc7+
Kh6 38. Qxb6 Rd2 $2 {Again Black's overcaution could have cost him the win.} (
38... Kh5 $1 {(threatening Rh2 mate)} 39. Qg1 Rd2 $1 {was the right move order,
when Black will decoy the White queen with ...b2-b1, or else} 40. Qg4+ Kh6 41.
Qf3 Kg7 {and either Black will play ...h5 or} 42. h5 gxh5 {will be the same
mating net:} 43. Qh1 b2 44. Nc3 e4 45. c5 Rc2 46. Nb1 dxc5 47. d6 Bxd6 {and
White is busted.}) 39. Nxd6 $2 {Now it is over.} (39. Nc3 {also loses:} Kh5 40.
Qg1 Rd3+ 41. Kg2 Rg3+ 42. Kf2 Rxg1 43. Kxg1 b2) (39. Qb7 {stops Black
completing the mating net with ...Kh5, and Black only draws after} b2 40. Nxd6
Rd3+ 41. Kg2 Rd2+ 42. Kf3 Rd3+ 43. Ke2 Rd2+ {. White should avoid} 44. Ke1 $2
Rc2 {though.}) 39... Kh5 40. Qg1 Rd3+ 41. Kg2 Rg3+ {White resigned. An
interesting finish, though not without mistakes.} 0-1[/pgn]

[pgn][Event "Kolisch Memorial 9900"]
[Site "Vienna"]
[Date "1899.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Marco, Georg"]
[Black "Maroczy, Geza"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C01"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "156"]
[EventDate "1899.12.??"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "AUT"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.11.16"]

{In this game Maroczy gave a perfect example of how to squeeze blood from a
stone. Or in simpler terms, how to outplay a weaker player from a symmetrical,
dull position.} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. O-O O-O
7. c3 c6 8. Bg5 Bg4 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 {Curiously Black has a plus score from this
position; perhaps White is already in zugzwang? OK, I am kidding, but Black
can use the extra information provided by White's extra half-move to stop the
position becoming completely dead.} 10. Qc2 Qc7 {In this position you wouldn't
think that anything but a draw can be the result. But watch what happens.} (
10... h6 {would have been my choice, to break the symmetry.}) 11. Rfe1 Rae8 12.
Bh4 Bh5 13. Bg3 Bxg3 14. hxg3 Bg6 (14... Bxf3 {creates an immediate imbalance
but I'm not sure it is a good one for Black.}) 15. Rxe8 Rxe8 16. Bxg6 hxg6 17.
Re1 {The position is still completely equal.} a6 {Loose pieces drop
Black guards his pawn. Of course a lot of other moves were okay.} 18. Qb1 Kf8
19. Rxe8+ Nxe8 20. a3 Qd8 21. Qe1 Qe7 22. Qxe7+ Kxe7 {The position is still
equal, but the trend is starting to turn in Black's favour - if you compare
the position here to the one on move 17, Black now has the more active king.
There's an old saying that one of the main differences between a Grandmaster
and an amateur is that even though the amateur can sometimes equal the GM in a
middlegame, the GM will always play the endgame better!} 23. Kf1 Nd6 24. Ke2 f6
{Black improves his position bit by bit. In such a position you can't expect
to win with a surging attack - you have to be very patient.} 25. Ne1 b5 {Black
wants to fix the White queenside pawns at some point with ...a5 and ...a4.} 26.
b4 $2 {It is only this terrible weakening that gives White problems. Had he
kept his pawn on b2, it would have been hard to see how Black made progress
(though he could try). The reason b4 is so much worse for White than ...b5 is
for Black is due to the position of the knights - Black can get a knight to c4,
e4 or a4 much faster than White can get his knights to c5 or a5.} Nb6 27. f3
Nbc4 (27... g5 {was also tempting, just gaining more space on the kingside.}) (
27... Na4 {was another way to get the knight in.}) 28. Nb1 Nf5 29. g4 Nfe3 (
29... Nfd6 {might be more accurate, leaving White with his slight weakening on
the kingside.}) 30. Kf2 $6 (30. g3 {followed by Nd3-c5 retains the balance.})
30... g5 (30... Nd1+ $1 31. Ke2 Ndb2 {is better, followed by an advance of the
kingside pawns combined perhaps with ...a5-a4 to fix the a3-pawn as a weakness.
We'll see a similar sort of position later in the game.}) 31. Ke2 g6 32. Kf2
Kd6 {Black prepares to bring his king to b6 and play ...a5. Unfortunately for
White, he fails to see the coming danger.} 33. Ke2 Kc7 34. Kf2 $2 (34. g3 f5
35. gxf5 gxf5 36. Nd3 Kb6 37. Nc5 {was the correct defence. Then} a5 38. bxa5+
Kxa5 39. Nd2 Nxd2 40. Kxe3 Nc4+ 41. Kd3 Nxa3 42. g4 {followed by Ne6-Nxg5 is
completely fine for White.}) 34... Kb6 35. Ke2 $2 a5 {Compared to the previous
note, White's pieces are all very passive and he is helpless against the
steady improvement of Black's pieces. Most of the time in an inferior endgame
with many pawns remaining, active defence trumps passivity.} 36. Kf2 a4 37. Ke2
Kc7 38. Kf2 Kd6 39. Ke2 Ke7 40. Kf2 Kf7 41. Ke2 Kg7 42. Kf2 Kh7 43. g3 Kh6 44.
Ke2 f5 {Finally this advance comes. Notice how Black waited until all his
pieces were on their best squares before pushing ahead.} 45. gxf5 gxf5 46. Kf2
Kh5 47. Ke2 f4 (47... g4 48. f4 {is a draw as Black can't infiltrate with his
king. Don't trust your engines!}) 48. gxf4 gxf4 49. Kf2 Kg5 50. Ke2 Kh4 51. Kf2
Kh3 {White is suddenly in zugzwang; if he lets Black's king get to g3 he will
lose material. So he has to break out, but it is a bit late for that.} 52. Nd3
Nc2 53. Nxf4+ Kh4 54. Nd3 N2xa3 55. Nxa3 Nxa3 {Now it is only a matter of time
before Black wins this ending.} 56. Nc1 Nb1 57. Na2 Kh3 58. Ke3 Kg3 59. f4 Kg4
60. f5 Kxf5 61. Kd3 Kf4 62. Nc1 Kf3 63. Kc2 Na3+ 64. Kd3 Kf2 65. Kd2 Nc4+ 66.
Kd1 Ke3 (66... Kf3 67. Kc2 Ke3 {was even faster.}) 67. Kc2 a3 68. Na2 Nb2 69.
Nc1 Nd3 $1 {Very tricky.} 70. Nb3 (70. Nxd3 a2 71. Kb2 Kxd3 72. Kxa2 Kxc3)
70... Ne1+ 71. Kd1 Kd3 72. Kxe1 Kxc3 73. Na1 Kxd4 {The pawn armada is far too
much for a mere knight.} 74. Nc2+ Kc3 75. Kd1 ({or} 75. Nxa3 Kb2) 75... a2 76.
Kc1 d4 77. Na1 d3 78. Nc2 c5 0-1[/pgn]

[pgn][Event "Dresden"]
[Site "Dresden"]
[Date "1936.??.??"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Maroczy, Geza"]
[Black "Helling, Karl"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "1936.??.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "GER"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]

{Now let's observe a game from later in Maroczy's career.} 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6
3. Bb5+ {This is a nice disruptive system I have used successfully.} c6 $2 {
This gambit gives Black no compensation for the pawn.} (3... Bd7 {is stronger,
when White can either play} 4. Bc4 {or retreat to e2.}) 4. dxc6 bxc6 5. Be2 {
Now Black is just down a pawn with a dodgy pawn structure. Compared to the
main line of the Two Knights White is several tempi ahead.} (5. Qf3 $1 {
pinning the c6-pawn was even better, but this move was not in Maroczy's style.
If} cxb5 6. Qxa8 Qc7 7. d3 Bb7 8. Qxa7 e5 9. Nc3 Nc6 10. Nxb5 Nxa7 11. Nxc7+
Kd7 12. Nf3 Bxf3 13. gxf3 Kxc7 14. Be3 {and White's rook and three pawns
clearly beat the two knights.}) 5... e5 6. d3 Bc5 7. Nf3 Ng4 $6 {An attack
with two pieces can't be expected to work, but Black has to try something
radical or he will gradually lose.} 8. O-O f5 9. Nc3 (9. h3 h5 {was probably
Black's idea, but ignoring the knight and going for the attack with} 10. d4 $1
exd4 11. Bc4 $1 {gives White a crushing initiative in the middle. All of Bg5,
Re1 and Qe2 are coming and the Black king is marooned in the centre by White's
last move.}) 9... Qf6 10. Qe1 {This is too protective, though White is still
winning.} (10. h3 Nxf2 11. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 12. Kxf2 {is completely winning for
White - a bishop and knight for a rook is the equivalent of being an exchange
ahead.}) 10... O-O 11. h3 h5 {With Black's rook away from the h-file this is
losing, but retreating the knight to h6 was also pretty hopeless.} 12. hxg4
hxg4 13. Ng5 g3 14. Na4 Bxf2+ 15. Rxf2 f4 16. Ne4 Qh4 17. Nxg3 fxg3 18. Rxf8+
Kxf8 19. Bf3 Nd7 (19... Qh2+ 20. Kf1 Qh1+ 21. Ke2 {leads nowhere for Black.})
20. Qe4 Qh2+ 21. Kf1 Nf6 22. Qxc6 e4 23. dxe4 Qh1+ 24. Ke2 Ba6+ 25. Qxa6 Rd8
26. Bf4 Qxa1 27. Bd6+ Kf7 28. Qc4+ Kg6 29. e5 Qg1 30. Qc5 Qc1 31. exf6 gxf6 32.
Be4+ Kh6 33. Qf5 {After all Black's attempts to hack, it is White who delivers
the mating attack.} 1-0[/pgn]

[pgn][Event "Scheveningen"]
[Site "Scheveningen"]
[Date "1923.??.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Maroczy, Geza"]
[Black "Loman, Rudolf J"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A14"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "45"]
[EventDate "1923.??.??"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]

{Curiously I wasn't able to find any games where Maroczy played the Maroczy
Bind! However, I did find a brevity that illustrates a few of the ideas
associated with hanging pawns positions.} 1. c4 {The positional struggle
arising from the English Opening suited Maroczy's style.} (1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6
3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 b6 7. Bb2 Bb7 8. e3 c5 9. Nc3 Nc6 {would
be a more modern move order to reach the same position as in the game.}) 1...
e6 2. Nc3 c5 3. Nf3 Nc6 (3... Nf6 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 {is the correct way to
play the Hedgehog setup - the queen's knight will be much more flexibly placed
on d7 (after ...d6) where it will not block in the fianchettoed bishop.}) 4. g3
b6 (4... Nf6 5. Bg2 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. d4 {would transpose to the Tarrasch
Defence.}) 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. O-O Nf6 7. b3 {True to style, Maroczy avoids an
immediate confrontation.} ({A modern GM would play} 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 {when
it is very clear why the knight is misplaced on c6 - suddenly the g2-bishop
exerts quite annoying pressure on the queenside.}) 7... Be7 8. Bb2 O-O 9. e3 d5
10. cxd5 {This is a positionally favourable exchange as it trades a wing pawn
for a centre pawn.} exd5 (10... Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Qxd5 12. d4 {also gives White a
nagging initiative as the Black queen is prone to get hit with Ne5 and other
nasties.}) 11. d4 Ne4 $6 {In general it is not a good idea to exchange pieces
when you have the weaker pawn structure as then it becomes harder to get
active piece play to offset the static weaknesses.} (11... Re8 {is more
flexible, though I still like White's game after a normal move like} 12. Rc1 {
, which prepares dxc5 and Na4 to attack the c5-pawn.}) 12. dxc5 Nxc3 13. Bxc3
bxc5 {White is better in this position because the Black hanging pawns are
vulnerable, and the White bishop on g2 ensures that Black will never get a
kingside attack to make up for it. Also White can easily switch between
attacking the two pawns to stretch Black's defences. Perhaps White can even
play Ne1-d3-f4 and Qg4 to start a kingside attack.} 14. Qd2 (14. Ne1 {is quite
interesting here.}) 14... Qd6 15. Rfd1 Rfd8 16. Qb2 {White provokes a
weakening in the Black king's pawn cover, unless Black wishes to go passive
with ...Bf8.} f6 (16... Bf8 17. Rd2 {and Rad1 makes it very tough to keep d5
defended.}) 17. Rd2 Rd7 $2 {This move is a mistake due to White's next.} (17...
Qe6 {makes sense to stop Bh3 and hence prepare to double on the d-file. Then
Black's position is worse but defensible.}) 18. Bh3 $1 Rc7 $6 (18... Rdd8 {is
an admission of failure but still best under the circumstances.}) 19. Rad1 d4 (
19... Nd8 20. Ba5 {is unplayable for Black.}) 20. exd4 Nxd4 21. Ne1 {This
preserves a big advantage, though} (21. Bxd4 $1 Bxf3 22. Bc3 {and Re1 was
perhaps even better.}) 21... Bf3 $2 {This loses quickly.} (21... Re8 22. Bxd4
cxd4 23. Rxd4 Qa6 {is just an extra pawn for White, but Black is not gone yet.}
) 22. Bxd4 Bxd1 23. Be3 {Black resigned. A clean win by the master of
positional chess. As I've stated many times before, studying the games of the
old masters is a great way to develop as a player. See you next week and enjoy
your chess!} 1-0[/pgn]