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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
London (1883), London ENG, rd 25, Jun-15
French Defense: Steinitz Attack (C00)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: Steinitz's 28.Qe5? was a serious error. After this move, the position was approximately equal.

While admitting 28.Qe5? was a mistake, Steinitz was of the opinion his position could have easily been won by 28.Bxd5, stating, <Bad play, and nearly throwing away the victory, which was easy enough after 28.Bxd5 Nc2 29.Qe5 Nxa1 30.Rxa1...>.

28.Bxd5 was White's best move, but Steinitz's recommendation of 28...Nc2? was incorrect. After 28.Bxd5 Be2! (1.12) (24 ply) 29.Bf3 Bxf3 30.Rxf3 Nxf3 31.Nxf3 Nf5 32.Rc1 Rfe8 33.Ng5 Nd4 34.Rxc4 Rxe6 35.Nxe6 Rxe6, Fritz shows how difficult it is to prove a win for White. In the position after 35...Rxe6,

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White despite his material advantage, has only one move that maintains his advantage (.89) (23 ply) 36.Qf1 Qd5. White has winning chances in this endgame, but it is anything but easy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: After 28.Qe5?, Black can play (.00 (21 ply) 28...Bxf3 29.Nxf3 Qxe5 30.Nxe5 Rxe6 31.Rae1 Ra6 32.Nd7 Rd8 33.Nxc5 Rxa2, or (.00) (21 ply) 28...Nxf3 29.gxf3 Bxe6 30.Rae1 Nf5 31.Nxe6 Rf6 32.Nxg7 Kxg7 33.Rg1+ Kh7 34.Qxf6 Qxf3+, with an equal position in either variation.

The game followed the second variation until Black's 30th move. Here Blackburne played 30...Rfe8, a move which is also good enough for a draw. Steinitz gave 30...Rfe8 a (?) mark and said it was missing the proper line of defense, recommending instead 30...Nf7 31.Nxf7+ Qxf7, with drawing chances for Black.

Fritz indicated White has a slight edge after 30...Nf7 31.Nxf7+ Qxf7 32.Qd6 Rfe8 33.Qxc5. Instead, Fritz recommended 30...Nf5 31.Nxe6 Rf6 32.Nxg7 Kxg7 33.Rg1+ Kh7 34.Qxf6 Qxf3+, with an equal position.

After 30...Rfe8 31.Nxe6, Blackburne then made a fatal error by playing 31...Qxe5??. After 32.Rxe5 Rxe6 33.Rxd5, he had no real possibility of surviving the endgame.

Instead, Blackburne should have played 31...Nf5!, and if 32.Nxg7 Nxg7, the position is approximately equal: (.13) (22 ply) 33.Qxh5+ Nxh5 34.Rxe7 Rxe7 35.Rg1 Re2, or (.00) (22 ply) 33.Qxe7 Rxe7 34.Rxe7 Qf5 35.Rg1 Nh5.

Jul-10-16  garland: Gotta love these old school openings
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