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1894 World Chess Championship
Compiled by Penguincw
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★★★ INTRO ★★★

The 1894 World Chess Championship was between 25 year old Emanuel Lasker of Germany who was the challenger and 57 year old Wilhelm Steinitz of the United States who was the defending champion.

★★★ BACKGROUND ★★★

Steinitz was going to retire from professional chess, but decided to defend his title when Lasker challenged him and offered prize money.

★★★ CONDITIONS ★★★

The winner would be the first to score 10 wins (draws not counting). The time controls were 15 moves per hour. Game 1 began on March 15th, 1894. Games 1-8 were played in New York. Games 9-11 were played in Philadelphia and the remaining games were played in Montréal. Total points are in brackets.

★★★ NOTABLE GAMES ★★★

Game 2: Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894

1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 ♘f6 4.d3 d6 5.c3 ♗d7 6.♗a4 g6 7.♘bd2 ♗g7 8.♘c4 O-O 9.♘e3 ♘e7 10.♗b3 c6 11.h4 ♕c7 12.♘g5 d5 13.f3 ♖ad8 14.g4 dxe4 15.fxe4 h6 16.♕f3 ♗e8 17.♗c2 ♘d7 18.♘h3 ♘c5 19.♘f2 b5 20.g5 h5 21.♘f5 gxf5 22.exf5 f6 23.g6 ♘xg6 24.fxg6 ♗xg6 25.♖g1 e4 26.dxe4 ♔h7 27.♖xg6

After 27.♖xg6


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In this position, Steinitz had sacrificed a knight to bust open the g-file (but won it back) and now here is sacrificing the exchange to lure the king out.

27...♔xg6 28.♕f5+ ♔f7 29.♕xh5+ ♔g8 30.♕xc5 ♕e5 31.♗e3 a6 32.a4 ♖fe8 33.axb5 axb5 34.♕xe5 ♖xe5 35.♖a6 ♖c8 36.♘g4 ♖e7 37.♗c5 ♖ee8 38.♘e3 ♗f8 39.♗d4 ♔f7 40.h5 ♗e7 41.♗b3+ ♔f8 42.♘f5 1-0

42.♘f5 1-0


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White has a knight, bishop and pawn for a rook, and the win becomes a little clearer after 42...♖a8 43.♖xc6 ♖a1+ 44.♔e2 ♖b1 45.c4 bxc4 46.♗xc4 ♖b8 47.♘xe7 ♔xe7. In this position, white now has 2 bishops and 2 pawns for a rook, and there's not much black can do.


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Game 7: Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894

1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 d6 4.d4 ♗d7 5.♘c3 ♘ge7 6.♗e3 ♘g6 7.♕d2 ♗e7 8.0-0-0 a6 9.♗e2 exd4 10.♘xd4 ♘xd4 11.♕xd4 ♗f6 12.♕d2 ♗c6 13.♘d5 0-0 14.g4 ♖e8 15.g5 ♗xd5 16.♕xd5 ♖e5 17.♕d2 ♗xg5 18.f4 ♖xe4 19.fxg5 ♕e7 20.♖df1 ♖xe3 21.♗c4 ♘h8 22.h4 c6 23.g6 d5 24.gxh7+ ♔xh7 25.♗d3+ ♔g8 26.h5 ♖e8 27.h6 g6 28.h7+ ♔g7 29.♔b1 ♕e5 30.a3 c5 31.♕f2 c4 32.♕h4 f6 33.♗f5 ♔f7 34.♖hg1

34.♖hg1


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In order to start an attack against Steinitz's king, Lasker decides to sacrifice a bishop to start it.

34...gxf5 35.♕h5+ ♔e7 36.♖g8 ♔d6 37.♖xf5 ♕e6 38.♖xe8 ♕xe8 39.♖xf6+ ♔c5 40.♕h6 ♖e7 41.♕h2 ♕d7 42.♕g1+ d4 43.♕g5+ ♕d5 44.♖f5 ♕xf5 45.♕xf5+ ♔d6 46.♕f6+ 1-0

46.♕f6+ 1-0


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The knight that hasn't been sitting there since move 21 (25 moves), finally falls. Being up a queen for rook is already sweet enough, but the h-pawn will make things better. So after moves (self) such as 46...♖e6 47.♕xh8 ♖e1+ 48.♔a2 ♖e7 49.♕f6+ ♖e6 50.h8=♕ it's game over.


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Game 13: Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894

1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 a6 4.♗xc6 dxc6 5.d4 exd4 6.♕xd4 ♕xd4 7.♘xd4 c5 8.♘e2 ♗d7 9. ♘bc3 0-0-0 10. ♗f4 ♗c6 11. 0-0 ♘f6 12.f3 ♗e7 13.♘g3 g6 14.♖fe1 ♘d7 15.♘d1 ♘b6 16.♘f1 ♖d7 17.♗e3 ♖hd8 18.b3 c4 19.♗xb6 cxb6 20.bxc4

20.bxc4


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Black has sacrificed a pawn in return for the bishop pair vs. knight pair, a damaged queenside structure, and active pieces.

20...♗b4 21.c3 ♗c5+ 22.♔h1 ♖d3 23.♖c1 a5 24.♘de3 f5 25.exf5 gxf5 26.h3 ♖g8 27.♘d5 ♗xd5 28.cxd5 ♖xd5 29.♖cd1 ♖xd1 30.♖xd1 f4 31.♔h2 ♖e8 32.a4 ♔c7 33.h4 ♔c6 34.c4 ♗b4 35.♔h3 ♖e1 36.♖xe1 ♗xe1 37.♔g4 ♔c5 38.♔xf4 ♔xc4 39.♔e4 ♗xh4 40.g3 ♗d8 41.♘e3+ ♔b4 42.♔d3 ♔xa4 43.♔c2 ♔b4 44.f4 ♔c5 45.f5 ♔d6 46.g4 b5 47.♘d1 ♔e5 48.♘c3 b4 49.♘a4 ♔d4 50.♘b2 b5 51.♔b3 ♗e7 52.g5 a4+ 53.♘xa4 bxa4+ 54.♔xa4 ♔e5 55.♔b3 ♔xf5 0-1

55...♔xf5 0-1


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White resigns. A lot has happened since move 20: With Lasker in an uncomfortable position for pretty much the whole game, black ends up re-gaining the material and even forcing white to give up their knight. In this position, white will basically have a bare king, as I can see play continuing like this: 56.g6 hxg6 57.♔c2 g5 58.♔d3 b3 59.♔c3 g4 60.♔d3 g3. Here, whichever pawn white goes after, the other one will run down and queen.


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★★★ FINAL ★★★

Game 19: Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894

Steinitz was down 9-5 and needed to either win this game or draw to continue the match.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♘f6 4.♘f3 ♗e7 5.e3 0-0 6.♗d3 c5 7.dxc5 dxc4 8.♗xc4 ♕xd1+ 9 ♔xd1 ♘c6 10.a3 ♗xc5 11.b4 ♖d8+ 12.♔e2 ♗f8 13.♗b2 ♗d7 14.♖hd1 ♖ac8 15.♗b3 ♘e7 16.♘d4 ♘g6 17.♖d2 e5 18.♘f3 ♗g4 19.♖xd8 ♖xd8 20.h3 ♗xf3+ 21.gxf3 ♗e7 22.♖c1 ♔f8 23.♘a4 b6 24.♘c3 ♗d6 25.♖d1 ♘e8 26.♘b5 ♖d7

26...♖d7


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Up to this point, Steinitz had been doing fine, but this blunder would cost him the exchange, the game and the match.

27.♗c2 ♔e7 28.♗f5 a6 29.♗xd7 ♔xd7 30.♘c3 f5 31.b5 axb5 32.♘xb5 ♔e6 33.♗c3 ♘e7 34.♘xd6 ♘xd6 35.♗b4 ♘d5 36.♖c1 ♘f7 37.♗d2 ♘d6 38.♔d3 ♔d7 39.e4 ♘f6 40.♗e3 fxe4+ 41.fxe4 b5 42.f3 ♘c4 43.♖c3 ♘e8 44.♗c1 ♘cd6 45.♖c5 ♘c7 46.♖xe5 ♘e6 47.♖h5 h6 48.♖e5 g5 49.h4 gxh4 50.♖h5 ♔c6 51.♖xh6 ♘c5+ 52.♔c2 1-0

52.♔c2 1-0


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Steinitz resigns, as he has too many problems to solve. He's already down the exchange and pawn. White has main 3 threats: The connected passed pawns, the capture of h4 and getting ready to win the pinned knight with e5. One way for white to convert the advantage is 52...♔d7 53.♗e3 ♘e6 54.♖h7+ ♔c6 55.♖h6 ♘c4 56.♔d3 ♔d7 57.f4 ♘xe3 58.♔xe3 h3 59.f5 ♘c5 60.e5 h2 61.♖xh2 ♔c6 62.f6 ♔d7 63.♖d2+ ♔e6 64.♖d6+ ♔f7 65.♖d5 ♘e6 66.♖xb5 Black is out of sufficient mating material and it's only a matter of time before the kill.


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So on May 26th, 1894, Lasker defeated Steinitz and won the match with the score of 10-5 (12-7 including draws).

★★★ MINI TABLE ★★★

Lasker 1 0 1 0 1/2 1/2 1 1 1 1 1 1/2 0 0 1 1 0 1/2 1 (10 wins, 5 losses, 4 draws) <63.2% score>

Steinitz 0 1 0 1 1/2 1/2 0 0 0 0 0 1/2 1 1 0 0 1 1/2 0 (5 wins, 10 draws, 10 losses) <36.8% score>

★★★ OTHER LINKS ★★★

See also: Steinitz - Lasker World Championship Match (1894)

Head to Head Match Up Prior to 1894: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... (never faced)

Previous World Championship: Game Collection: 1892 World Chess Championship

Next World Championship: Game Collection: 1896-1897 World Chess Championship

Game 1, Lasker leads 1-0 (1-0)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 60 moves, 1-0

Game 2, Match tied 1-1 (1-1)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 42 moves, 1-0

Game 3, Lasker leads 2-1 (2-1)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 52 moves, 1-0

Game 4, Match tied 2-2 (2-2)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 60 moves, 1-0

Game 5, Match tied 2-2 (2 1/2-2 1/2)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 6, Match tied 2-2 (3-3)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(C53) Giuoco Piano, 71 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 7, Lasker leads 3-2 (4-3)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 46 moves, 1-0

Game 8, Lasker leads 4-2 (5-3)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(C10) French, 76 moves, 0-1

Game 9, Lasker leads 5-2 (6-3)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C62) Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense, 49 moves, 1-0

Game 10, Lasker leads 6-2 (7-3)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 34 moves, 0-1

Game 11, Lasker leads 7-2 (8-3)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 38 moves, 1-0

Game 12, Lasker leads 7-2 (8 1/2-3 1/2)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 50 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 13, Lasker leads 7-3 (8 1/2-4 1/2)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 55 moves, 0-1

Game 14, Lasker leads 7-4 (8 1/2-5 1/2)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 46 moves, 1-0

Game 15, Lasker leads 8-4 (9 1/2-5 1/2)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 44 moves, 1-0

Game 16, Lasker leads 9-4 (10 1/2-5 1/2)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 54 moves, 0-1

Game 17, Lasker leads 9-5 (10 1/2-6 1/2)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 51 moves, 0-1

Game 18, Lasker leads 9-5 (11-7)
Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(D67) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, Bd3 line, 61 moves, 1/2-1/2

Game 19, Lasker wins 10-5 (12-7)
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 52 moves, 1-0

19 games

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