Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Steinitz - Chigorin Telegraph Match

Mikhail Chigorin2/2(+2 -0 =0)[games]
Wilhelm Steinitz0/2(+0 -2 =0)[games] Chess Event Description
Steinitz - Chigorin Telegraph Match (1890)

Mikhail Chigorin and Wilhelm Steinitz conducted a telegraph match from October 23, 1890 - April 28, 1891. Steinitz made his moves in New York City, while Chigorin was in St. Petersburg.⁽Ļ⁻≤⁾ It was a famous, and widely covered match where Steinitz and Chigorin played two games from pre-agreed starting positions,⁽≥⁾ presumably to settle assertions made by Steinitz in his recent book, Modern Chess Instructor,⁽⁴⁾ that were contested by Chigorin. The two had played many Evans Gambit games in their Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship Match (1889), where Steinitz's innovation of 6...Qf6 was put to the test. This time, the additional moves 7.d4 Nh6 were stipulated, to match the position on page 164 of Steinitz's book.

Evans Gambit: Chigorin - Steinitz

(White to move)

click for larger view

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.O-O Qf6 7.d4 Nh6

* * * * *

The other opening involved the Two Knights defense, and in this case Steinitz was White, and his innovation of 9.Nh3 was the move in question. Robert James Fischer was to resurrect this variation in Fischer vs Bisguier, 1963.

Two Knights Defense: Steinitz - Chigorin

(Black to move)

click for larger view

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Be2 h6 9.Nh3

(Note the games were played simultaneously, with Chigorin having first move in both games, though having different colors in each.)

* * * * *

Each player had 48 hours to make their moves, and were allowed to consult with one other player. Steinitz utilized Isidor Gunsberg, and Chigorin teamed up with Andrey A Markov. Steinitz also reports that six one-day delays were allowed, that time saved was carried over, and that fines of $5/day were applied, with a player exceeding their time for over 10 days losing the match. The stakes were $750 a side. Celso Golmayo Zupide, from Cuba, served as referee. Albert von Rothschild served as stakeholder. Two umpires were also used, Professor Isaac Leopold Rice in New York, and Herr Peter Alexandrovich Saburov in St. Petersburg.

The first moves were cabled by Chigorin on Thursday night, October 23, 1890. The moves were cabled by Reuter's (London) and Associated Press (New York) to newspapers throughout the world. Steinitz himself, recently hired as chess columnist for the New York Daily Tribune, covered the games in detail, sometimes overly optimistically.⁽⁵⁾ As it turns out, the cable match was suspended midway through in order for Steinitz to play his collaborator Gunsberg in a match for the world championship: Steinitz - Gunsberg World Championship Match (1890).

The match was widely billed as matching the Old School Romantic style of Chigorin against the positional Modern School style of Steinitz. At the beginning of the match, Steinitz summed it up himself to a reporter: I am guided by the position judgment in the main, and generally do not proceed with the examination of details until after my opponent has actually made his move. You see, I am an old master of the young school and Chigorin is a young master of the old school. If I donít commit an error, I fancy I shall win both games because I have a pawn to the good in either and according to the principles I laid down, I must win.⁽≥⁾

1 2 Chigorin 1 1 2 Steinitz 0 0 0

Steinitz did not win. Instead he resigned both games on April 28, 1891.


(1) New York Tribune 1890.10.26 -
(2) New York Tribune 1891.04.29 -
(3) Chess Life, June 2010, Jon R Edwards - History -
(4) The Modern Chess Instructor, by Steinitz (1889) -
(5) 64 Great Chess Games, by Timothy David Harding (Chess Mail Ltd 2002), p. 24.

Original collection: Game Collection: Steinitz--Chigorin Telegraph Match (1890-1891) by User: zanzibar.

 page 1 of 1; 2 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Chigorin vs Steinitz 1-0381890Steinitz - Chigorin Telegraph MatchC52 Evans Gambit
2. Steinitz vs Chigorin 0-1381890Steinitz - Chigorin Telegraph MatchC59 Two Knights
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
There is no kibitzing for this page, yet.
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, is totally anonymous, and 100% free—plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, profane, raunchy, or disgusting language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate or nonsense posts.
  3. No malicious personal attacks, including cyber stalking, systematic antagonism, or gratuitous name-calling of any member Iincludinfgall Admin and Owners or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. If you think someone is an idiot, then provide evidence that their reasoning is invalid and/or idiotic, instead of just calling them an idiot. It's a subtle but important distinction, even in political discussions.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No malicious posting of or linking to personal, private, and/or negative information (aka "doxing" or "doxxing") about any member, (including all Admin and Owners) or any of their family, friends, associates, or business interests. This includes all media: text, images, video, audio, or otherwise. Such actions will result in severe sanctions for any violators.
  6. NO TROLLING. Admin and Owners know it when they see it, and sanctions for any trolls will be significant.
  7. Any off-topic posts which distract from the primary topic of discussion are subject to removal.
  8. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by Moderators is expressly prohibited.
  9. The use of "sock puppet" accounts in an attempt to undermine any side of a debate—or to create a false impression of consensus or support—is prohibited.
  10. All decisions with respect to deleting posts, and any subsequent discipline, are final, and occur at the sole discretion of the Moderators, Admin, and Owners.
  11. Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a Moderator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific tournament and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors. All Moderator actions taken are at the sole discretion of the Admin and Owners—who will strive to act fairly and consistently at all times.
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2019, Chessgames Services LLC