The Classical Dutch – A Brilliancy ! !

by National Life Master Loal Davis

The_dutch_windmill_by_Torsten_HufskyThe Dutch Windmill          by          Torsten Hufsky


helmsHermann Helms


Once upon a time (New York 1915) Stephen Smith was slain by the Swashbuckling Hermann Helms in an historic encounter that is/was really one for the books.  Helms played the Black side of a Dutch in the following:

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 b6

(4… Bb4 {is probably stronger and can be reached by a transposition from the Nimzo-Indian Defense.})

5. e3 Bb7 6. Bd3 Bd6

{This certainly is a good-looking developing move, but again} (6… Bb4 { keeps a firm grip on the light squares in the center – plus the possibility of inflicting a structural wound in White’s Pawns.})

7. a3 a5

{This was most likely played to slow White down from the idea of playing b4 and c5 – pushing the dark Bishop off of it’s diagonal pointing towards the future home of White’s King.}

8. O-O O-O 9. Qc2 Nc6 10. e4

{Reasonable looking, but a slight slip nevertheless.}

fxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe4 Nxd4


13. Bxh7+

{So – White chips away at black’s King by capturing an ‘h’ Pawn – Black won a central Pawn; generally valued greater – as long as Black can keep the grips on his less-than-perfect King position.} ({Black’s idea is} 13. Nxd4 Bxh2+ 14. Kxh2 Qh4+ 15. Kg1 Bxe4)

13… Kh8 14. Nxd4 Qh4 15. g3



{Black is better} ({but he misses} 15… Bxg3 16. fxg3 Qxd4+ 17. Rf2 Rxf2 18. Qxf2 Qd1+ 19. Qf1 Qxf1+ 20. Kxf1 Kxh7)

16. Bd3 Rf3

{Into the hole.}

17. Be3 Qe5

{Weaker than} (17… Rxe3 18. fxe3 Qxe3+ 19. Rf2 Bc5) ({But} 17… Qg4 {appears best of all as the Queen settles in on h3 earlier than in the game – and as you’ll see the Be2 move by White after this is not really a threat.})

18. Rae1 Raf8 19. Bxb6

{Greed that blows up in his face.} ({Better is} 19. Bf4 {although Black is still on top.})

19… Qh5

{Questionable.} ({The better} 19… Qg5 20. Be4 Bxe4 21. Rxe4 cxb6 22. Rh4+ Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf7 24. Rd4 Qe5 {although lengthy – and maybe a bit scary – would put Black into a winning game. In this line White’s Rook on h4 would mean much more with Black’s Queen on h5.})

20. Be3


 {A major slip.} ({It appears} 20. Be4 Bxe4 21. Rxe4 Qf5 {should be played.})

20… Qh3

{Good – but not as direct as} (20… Bxg3 21. fxg3 Rxg3+ {and related lines is Mate all over the place; take a look.})

21. Be4 R8f5 22. Bxf5

board4Black (Helms) To Play

 {But what is Black to play now?} ({As you can see taking the Rook on f3 was not so good} 22. Bxf3 Bxf3 {as it is simply replace by a Bishop and it’s Lights Out for White.}) ({Also} 22. Bxb7 Rh5 {is Curtains.   Again – What does Black do?})


22… Qg2+

{Wow ! ! ! & Ouch ! !}

23. Kxg2 Rxg3#

{Despite the slips – this is beautiful game.}



Click on the Diagram below to step through the Annotated Game (Notes Above).

Smith, Stephen vs. Helms, Hermann,  New York,  1915.??.??,  Round ?


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