The Bigamy Trial

A spectacular finish from the 1973 Buffalo Open.

Buffalo Open, 1973.

White: J. Tisdall
Black: Dr. E. W. Marchand.

Caro-Kann Defense.

1. e4 c6; 2. d4 d5; 3. e5.

This was a favorite line of Edward Lasker.

3...Bf5; 4. c4.

This modern line is considered sharpest.


More usual is 4...e6 first, but Marchand follows the Petrosian rule of minimizing his opponent's options.

5. B:c4 e6; 6. Ne2 Nd7; 7. Ng3?

7. Nc3 would have prevented the following exchanges.

7...B:b1; 8. R:b1 Bb4+!

Black picks the shortest route to equality.

9. Bd2 Qe7?!

This blocks the King's Knight. 9...Bd2 would have been more consistent.

10. O-O B:d2; 11. Q:d2 Rd8.

Threatening 12...N:e5.

12. Qc3 Nh6.

The Knight will get into play anyway.

13. f4 Nb6; 14. Bb3 O-O; 15. Rbd1 Nd5; 16. Qf3 Qh4; 17. h3.

On g4 the Knight would have attacked e3 as well as h2.

17...Nf5; 18. N:f5 ef; 19. a3.

Prophylaxis is all White has left.

19...Rd7; 20. Rd3 Rfd8; 21. Kh2.

To free the f1R from guard duty.

21...Qh6; 22. g3.

Now the Rook can move, but White's K-side pawns will be targets.

22...Nc7; 23. Rfd1 Nd5; 24. Kg2.

Would you like a draw?

24...Qg6; 25. Kh2 h5.

I'd rather play it out.

26. R1d2 Qh6; 27. Rf2 Nc7; 28. Rfd2 Ne6.

With this move Black declines the draw for good!

29. d5 Nc5; 30. Rd4 h4; 31. dc!!

A surprising offer of a Rook. But on 31...R:d4; 32. R:d4 R:d4, White plays 33. c7 and the pawn cannot be stopped from queening!

31...R:d4; 32. R:d4 hg+.

Apparently hoping for 33. Q:g3? R:d4; 34. c7 Qc6.

33. Kg2?

White's enthusiasm betrays him. After 33. Kg1 his Rook would have been immune. Now Black wins by a tempo!

33...R:d4!! 34. c7 Rd2+; 35. Kg1 Q:h3; 36. c8=Q+ Kh7.

White's two Queens are not enough.

37. Q:c5.

The only answer to the threat of 37...Qh2+ and 38...Rf2+.

37...Qh2+; 38. Kf1 g2+; 39. Ke1.

Now 39... g1=Q+ is answered by 40. Q:g1 Q:g1+; 41. K:d2 when White remains a piece ahead.


After this there is no defense. It would have been the same after 37. Qh1 Rh2; 38. Qf3 R:b2.

40. Qe3 g1=Q+; 0:1.

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Col. G. L. Sicherman [ HOME | MAIL ]