Traditionally this match marked the beginning of Steinitz's reign as World Champion, an idea not generally accepted today. Any claim that Anderssen was "World Champion" would have been based on his victory at London 1851 and Morphy's retirement. While Anderssen had won a major tournament victory at London 1862, he had also lost a number of matches before this one.|
At any rate, it did mark an important step in Steinitz's unbroken match dominance that lasted until 1894. This was truly a blood-thirsty affair, with gambits breaking out all over the place, both players enjoying four game winning streaks, and not a single draw.
Original collection: Game Collection: WCC Index (Anderssen - Steinitz 1866), by User: Benzol
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1 Wilhelm Steinitz 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 8.0/14
2 Adolf Anderssen 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 6.0/14
|Jun-12-13|| ||brankat: "A blood-thirsty affair" indeed! Also, a beginning of Steinitcz's great matches run, which lasted for 28 years!|
|Sep-08-13|| ||Alpinemaster: There is a question of the legitimacy of this match as the start of Wilhelm Steintz reign as the First Official World Chess Champion...|
This match certainly was not an "Official World Championship Match", as no terms were agreed upon that utilized such terminology. However, it is obvious that global opinion during the Steintz-Zukertort World Championship Match of the 1880's was NOT that Steintz was challenger; Zukertort was the man most capable of challenging Steintz, not vice-versa. That opinion, was due in no small part to this match.
So while the Anderssen-Steintz (1866) match may not have cemented Wilhelm Steintz as World Champion, it certainly cemented him as World #1, in a day before any formal rating system could exist.
One thing that may be of note is that Steintz is a far more conservative and modern player in the Zukertort match; this however, was really the start of a new era. In the 1860's, Romantic chess play was the norm and a Youthful Steintz would not have been wise to attempt a groundbreaking style in such a high profile match, as in the event of failure to win, Steintz's career (due greatly to the crippling effect of losing future prospective match/tournament invitations) would likely have never recovered. By the 1880's, after years of global dominance and acknowledgement as World #1, plus the allowance of time to polish his pioneering strategies, Steintz was able to confidently usher the world into the Modern Era of Chess.
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