My Favorite Game Of. Number 24. Geza Maroczy.

My Favorite Game Of. Number 24. Geza Maroczy.


Morning Guys.

Three days into lockdown and I am bored already!! So, looking at the 'Articles' folder on my computer came up with a game I had started on for this series. Knowing that there are a couple of endgame lovers out there who read my stuff, I decided to put some notes to it and post it.

Geza Maroczy. At least one of the retrospective ratings sites has him ranked as number one in the World for a time, but he rarely gets mentioned as one of the greats. The reason for that is simple enough - he rarely won against the World Champions - although he beat up many of the challengers.

He was at his peak post-Steinitz, pre-Capablanca and Alekhine, and while Lasker was inactive.

As you would expect from a World number one, he was strong in all areas, but it was in the endgame that he really shone - which is fine by me! In fact I first started studying his games after reading a comment in the tournament book of San Remo 1930 which said 'This game shows Maroczy as an old master of endgame play.

In Queen and Pawn endgames - which are both quite rare and extremely difficult to play - he was legendary. A famous example is this one ( one of a number of heavy piece endgames where he beat Marshall btw.)

Rather like Carlsen, he would use his endgame skills to grind down the lesser lights. The following was a must win last round game which enabled him to tie for first place. I have been through the whole 90 plus moves a number of times.

 LOTS of great Maroczy images out there. One from Europe Echecs, via Twitter.

My favorite Maroczy game was a win against Marco. Yep - I really must stop posting his losses!!

The year after it was played, Maroczy beat him in another classic endgame - one which may have had some influence on the famous Lasker - Rubinstein game 14 years later.

Chalupetsky - interesting story for another time!

I first really studied the game when I got my hands on this book.

It has a curious note at move 21 that I couldn't translate properly. Later, in the internet age, I got to the bottom of it. The relevant page from Wiener Schachzeitung - edited by Marco himself, of course.

Luckily I was saved some typing here - has a link to the following, from the extraordinary archive of newspaper columns at ( Nice to see that I am not the only one who digs through them for interesting tidbits!! )

Minneapolis Journal 1900. 02. 10

So. The game itself. I learned a lot from it personally. The last over the board event that I won - back when I had hair - was a quickplay tournament. Being - as usual - out of practice, I simply hung a piece in the first round. Coming in to the last round I was half a point behind the leader, and had to play him with Black. He went for the draw by exchanges, and we ended up with an endgame similar to the one in the game, which I managed to win. Study endgames guys!!

Going over this game you feel a bit like some sadistic medieval torturer watching someone on the rack, as you tighten it one notch at a time  for hours.
Quick addition, re. retrospective ratings. Edochess has Maroczy as number 2 in the World in 1905, behind Lasker, who was inactive, with no rated games for that year. has Maroczy as number one. Hope that is of interest!!

 Quick addition!! Incredibly, there is a 'part two' to the whole story of the draw offer in the marco game.

Just found this, about a game from the Monte Carlo 1904 event.To cut a long story short, in the game Marco - Marshall, the players agreed a draw on move 19. However, Hoffer, on behalf of the tournament commitee, reminded the players that draws were not allowed before 32 moves had been played. ( The time control seems to have been 16 moves per hour )
He did, however, say that if they played another 13 moves then the draw agreement would stand.

So they played on. Marshall blundered on move 30 and at the 32nd move had a lost position.!!

However, Marco agreed to call it a draw, saying that if he had gone for the win, the tournament committee could have annuled the game and ordered it to be replayed!