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David Janowski vs Wilhelm Steinitz
11th DSB Kongress, Cologne (1898), Cologne GER, rd 7, Aug-08
King's Gambit: Accepted. Bishop's Gambit (C33)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Constantly on the precipice of mate.
Premium Chessgames Member
  InspiredByMorphy: By move 14 black looks terribly underdeveloped and cramped for space, yet continues to play well. 18.Nd3 Bd6 19.Ne4 looks better to me.
May-16-06  notyetagm: 29 ... ♔g7! and Black counter-attacks, threatening mate in 3 using the <Greco mate> pattern 30 ... ♕xh2+! 31 ♔xh2 ♖h8+ 31 ♖h5 ♖xh5#
Jun-21-06  DeepBlade: <notyetagm> Sharp observation! Indeed, after controlled escape squares and kingside weakness David Janowski shouldnt be so suprised by the attack.
Jun-21-06  RookFile: Speaking of Greco, it's hard to believe, but this 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 opening dates back to him.

Here are some more modern treatments of this opening:

Fischer vs Minic, 1968

Judit Polgar vs D Barua, 1993

Mar-02-07  ForeverYoung: this game is in "The Complete Chess Course" by Reinfeld. I often wondered who commanded the black pieces in this defensive masterpiece. Great work by Steinitz!
Sep-07-07  nolanryan: Unbelievable defense. It is not that defense is more difficult, technically, than attack, but it requires much endurance, and it leaves a psychological toll. I think this is a main reason why one should fight for the initiative.
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: This game reminds me of cat and mouse cartoons where the mouse is indestructible.
Dec-17-07  wouldpusher: White had some problems due to the presence of that annoying enemy KB. 19. ♘f3?! could have been avoided in favor of 19. ♗xe3 fxe3 20. ♘xg6 hxg6 21. ♕h4 ♕xc6 22. ♘e4! g5 23. ♘xg5 ♕h6 24. ♕xh6 gxh6 25. ♘e4 ♗e6 26. ♗d3

Alternatively, 24. ♗xf7! seems to be a whole lot better. Black has three options, all favorable for White: (I) 24. ... ♘xf7 25. ♘xc6 ♗xe1 26. ♘e7 ♗d2 27. ♖d1! Note in this line that Black needs to prevent Qh5+ because White will surely follow up with Rd6! (II) 24. ... ♕xg6 25. ♘xg6+ ♔h7 26. ♘xf8+ ♔h6 27. ♖d1 ♘xf7 28. ♖xd2 (III) 24. ... ♗f5 25. ♕xf5 ♖xf7 26. ♕d3 ♗xe1 27. ♘xc6 ♘xc6 28. ♖xe1

On the other hand, Black missed a faster win with 30. ... ♖h8!

Sep-29-12  Amarande: <wouldpusher> Line 1 doesn't seem quite so cut and dried ...

24 Bxf7 Nxf7 25 Nxc6 Bxe1 26 Ne7 and now 26 ... Ba5 (not Bd2?, Rd1 just gains a tempo, I'm not sure what the point of going to d2 is ...) seems much better.

If White now continues 27 Rd1 Bc7 prevents Rd6 and in general leaves him without an invasion point for the R on the d file. The best he can do now seems to be to win the Exchange, with 28 Qh5+ Nh6 29 Ng6+ Kg8 30 Nxf8 Kxf8, with the following position:

click for larger view

An interesting tableau. White has a Queen for three minor pieces and must win a Pawn obtaining a slight advantage by-the-numbers. On the other hand, his attacking prospects are now completely spent, and Black has the two Bishops (which would have been of particular importance in this case, being that Black was Steinitz, a particularly skilled handler of the Bishops).

White could try now 31 Qxg5 Bf5 32 Rd5, but Black simply has 32 ... Be6! (not 32 ... g6?? 33 Qxh6+, nor 32 ... Bxc2?? 33 Rc5, nor finally 32 ... Rd8? 33 Rxf5+ giving White a very good Q v R+B ending) and the game looks drawish. E.g. 33 Rd1 Re8 and everything looks like it's going to be okay. Or 33 Rc5? Rd8! 34 g3 (he cannot take the Rook on account of mate at d1, and if 34 h3 Rd1+ 35 Kh2 Bb6! 36 Rc3 (any other move of the Rook and it is even the Queen that loses her head) Bg1+ 37 Kh1 Bf2+ 38 Kh2 Bg3+ and White must give up the Exchange, after which R+B+N v Q is to Black's advantage) Bh3 and the attack has passed to Black. (The tempting 37 Qh5? attacking both Bishops now leads to a world of hurt: 37 ... Bb6! e.g. 38 Rc3 Bg4! 39 Qg5 Rd1+ 40 Kg2 Rg1#)

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