1895 - Part II
William Henry Krause Pollock was one of the lesser known participants in Hastings 1895 - or maybe his shining light was just hard to see among such gleaming stars. Unlike many of the players, Pollock was a complete amateur whose real profession was medicine. He was born in Cheltenham, England in 1859 and earned his licentiate from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland in 1882. He moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1889, but returned to England in 1895. He developed consumption, probably tuberculosis, and, after a brief residence in Montreal, Canada in 1896, returned again to England where he died on October 5 of that year at age 37. His main chess accomplishments were to win the Irish Championship two years in succession (1885 and 1886), the second time with a perfect score of 8/8, even against such players as Amos Burn and Joesph Blackburne.
In Hastings 1895, Pollock came in towards the bottom - 19th out of 22, winning 6, losing 10 and drawing 4 for a score of 8/18. But his wins included games against 4th place Tarrasch and 5th place Steinitz.
Pollocks win against Steinitz is particularly interesting. Pillsubury, who lightly annotated the games for the tournament book, called the ending, "Rather an amusing finish to a very interesting game." I doubt that Steinitz, who was more accustomed to being the Amuser rather than the Amusée, was very much amused.
Pollock also annotated the game (for BCM).
For instructional purposes, I'll post the game, combining both Pillsbury's and Pollock's notes.
Notes by Pollock
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3
‘A favourite opening with Mr Steinitz in this tournament, in which he has beautifully demonstrated the efficiency of some new ideas contained in the last section of the Modern Chess Instructor.’
4…Qe7 ‘Strangely enough, this valid old defence of the days of the Berlin ‘Pleiades’ has escaped all notice in the work referred to. A little story comes in here: Previous to the championship match between Steinitz and Lasker, at the request of the latter I played the defence to the Giuoco in a few off-hand games with him at the Manhattan Chess Club. I adopted this old defence without success, although Lasker admitted it was new to him. But I told him that Steinitz would play it against him and beat him if he did not play the attack differently. (It is no easy matter to reply correctly to Lasker’s bad moves.) Lasker good humouredly suggested that we submit the theoretical question to Showalter. However, he did not adopt this attack against Steinitz. The points of the defence are well shown in the present game.’
5 d4 Bb6 6 a4 a5 7 O-O d6 8 d5 ‘This is, as usual, a questionable advance.’
8…Nd8 9 Bd3 Nf6 ‘White’s ninth move was in order to prevent …f5. Without doubt Black should now have played for the advance by 9…g6.’
10 Na3 c6 11 Nc4 Bc7 12 Ne3 Nh5 ‘If 12…cxd5 13 Bb5+, followed by 14 Nxd5. Nor can Black well castle, on account of 13 Nh4, threatening to establish a knight at f5.’
13 g3 g6 14 b4 ‘Intending no doubt 15 dxc6 bxc6 16 b5, when it would be difficult to prevent the posting of the white knight at d5.’
14…f5 ‘It is necessary for Black to attack, but the situation is a critical one.’
15 Ng2 ‘15 dxc6 might have been tried as an alternative to prevent 15…f4, for if then 15…f4 16 cxb7, followed by Bb5+ and Nd5.’
15…cxd5 16 exd5 ‘Preferable certainly seems 16 Bb5+ and if 16…Bd7 17 exf5, with the threat of Nxe5 or Bg5 presently.’
16…Nf7 ‘In order to keep the queen’s bishop out.’
17 Re1 O-O ‘Black has now an excellent position.’
18 Nd4 Qf6 19 Nb5 Bb6 20 bxa5 Bxa5 21 Be2 Ng7 22 Bd2 Bd7 23 Rf1 Rac8 24 c4 Bb6 25 Be3 Bxe3 26 fxe3 Ng5 ‘Of course an attack by …g5 might be on the cards, but Black prefers the safer plan of …Ne4 and …Nc5, thus first securing the queen’s side.’
27 Nc3 ‘Bad, as yielding the opponent a splendid opportunity for a king’s side assault.’
27…f4 28 Qc2 ‘If 28 gxf4 exf4, attacking the knight.’
28…f3 29 Nh4 ‘If the bishop moves, 29…Nh3+, followed by 30…fxg2+.’
29…Nf5 30 Rxf3 ‘If 30 Nxf5 Bxf5 31 Bd3 f2+, etc.’
30…Nxf3+ 31 Nxf3 Nxe3 32 Qb1 Nxc4 33 Ne4 Qd8 34 Qxb7 Na5 35 Qb4 Bg4 36 Rf1 Bh3 37 Re1 Rb8 38 Qxd6 Qxd6 39 Nxd6 Rb2 40 Bd1 Rg2+ 41 Kh1 Rf2 42 Ne4 R2xf3 43 Bxf3 Rxf3 44 d6 Rf1+ 45 Rxf1 Bxf1 46 Kg1 Bd3 ‘Not 46…Bh3 on account of 47 g4.’
47 Nf6+ Kf7 48 Nxh7 Ke6 49 Kf2 Kxd6 50 Ke3 Bc2 51 h4 Nc4+ 52 Ke2 Kd5 53 g4 Kd4 ‘The ending is a good one for the ‘gallery’; either the king or pawn must advance with immediate effect.’
54 Nf8 Bd3+ 55 Ke1 Ke3 56 h5 gxh5 ‘Unnecessary; Black has a mate in four moves here.’
57 gxh5 Be2 58 Nd7 Na3 59 White resigns