# Von Popiel - Marco, Monte Carlo 1902, how to win as black?

In the game: Von Popiel - Marco, Monte Carlo 1902: why would Black win with Bg1?

Ultimate Blunder

Puzzle

The white player is about to lose the Queen. Does that alone immediately constitute as a loss in that level of Chess play?

The white player is about to lose the Queen. Does that alone immediately constitute as a loss in that level of Chess play?

Well, no. The problem with White position is that he lacks any real counterplay. He has weaknesses he can not defend in the long run, especially pawn at `a2`, and his piece coordination is not good enough to defend against the might of the queen.

Below illustrative lines prove that:

``````[Title "Von Popiel - Marco, Monte Carlo 1902"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "7k/1b1r2p1/p6p/1p2qN2/3bP3/3Q4/P5PP/1B1R3K b - - 0 1"]

1...Bg1 2.Kxg1 Rxd3 3.Bxd3 (3.Rxd3 Bxe4 4.Re3 Qa1 5.Re1 (5.Rxe4 Qxb1+ 6.Kf2 (6.Re1?? Qxe1#) 6...Qxe4-+) 5...Bxf5! 6.Re8+ Kh7-+) 3...Bxe4 4.Bxe4 (4.Re1?? Qc5+ 5.Ne3 (5.Re3 Bxf5!-+) 5...Bxd3-+) 4...Qxe4 5.Ng3 Qc2 6.Rd8+ Kh7 7.h3 (7.a3 Qc5+ 8.Kh1 Qc1+) 7...Qxa2-+
``````

Black will simply take the `a2` pawn and win by marching his extra 2 queenside pawns, and there is nothing White can do to stop it. Meanwhile, Queen easily defends any mating attack Rook + Knight conjure up by simply going to the `a1-h8` diagonal with the move like `...Qb2` or `...Qc3`...

Yes - loss of the queen for insufficient compensation at most levels of chess will result in the resignation of the player who has lost the queen. The difficulty lies in judging what amounts to sufficient compensation, but given the queen is such an important piece more often than not it is fairly obvious.

Bg1 wins for Black, because if White takes the Black rook with his Queen, the Black Queen captures at h2 checkmate. If White takes the Black Bishop, it ends up being a a trade of the White Queen for a Black Bishop and a Black Rook, because Black's bishop move uncovers an attack on the white queen. Queen is traditionally scored as 9 points and the rook 5 while the bishop is three. Therefore Black is one point to the good in position he thought he had lost. Typically a one point advantage is not sufficient to FORCE victory, but because it is so late in the game and the Black Queen has great mobility and threatens mate on the back rank if the white rook leaves...my quick analysis is that this is a win for Black as he will likely pick off the white bishop or the white rook in a few moves.