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Adolf Anderssen vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Anderssen - Steinitz (1866), London ENG, rd 13, Aug-08
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-08-09  Fanacas: Keypusher, No pre steinitz players always just simply wantet to attack something (most of the time the king) to search for combinations, Steintiz on the other hadn also createt weakness at his opponets camp tried his best to make sure he would have none and trought those weakness he destroyed hsi opponents.
May-08-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Fanacas: Keypusher, No pre steinitz players always just simply wantet to attack something (most of the time the king) to search for combinations...>

You've been deceived by the pabulum that passes for history in most chess books. If you were trying to describe Gary Kasparov's style of playing chess, would you rely exclusively on blitz games or games from simultaneous exhibitions? Of course not. You'd look at his serious matches and tournaments.

But when authors write about so-called romantic 19th century chess, they typically concentrate on casual games, like Anderssen's Evergreen and Immortal games or Morphy's opera game. If you look at pre-Steinitz serious games, though, people play much closer to the vest. Here are a couple of more or less random examples.

Game Collection: WCC Index [Staunton-Horwitz 1846]

Game Collection: WCC Index [Staunton-Saint Amant 1843]

Of course players like Anderssen and particularly Morphy were more aggressive than players like Staunton and Horwitz. Steinitz also had a much better grasp of strategy than his predecessors. But it's simply not true that pre-Steinitz players "just wanted to attack something (most of the time the king) to search for combinations." A lot of distinguished authors have written something to that effect. But they are wrong.

May-08-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Anderssen played according pre-Steinitzian principles. Always trying to attack something; in this game the a-pawn.>

Doesn't this turn the very notion of romantic chess on its head? After all, another name for "attacking the a-pawn" is "pawn-hunting". But the romantic is supposed to be giving his own pawns away, not grabbing his opponents.

Another point -- the Black's a-pawn is isolated, hence, in Steinitzian terms, a weakness. Isn't it the epitome of positionally correct chess to attack weaknesses?

In this game, we see Anderssen doggedly attacking a positional weakness, while Steinitz throws himself into a speculative attack on the king. The conclusion is obvious. Anderssen is the modern, positional player, and Steinitz a romantic throwback.

May-09-09  Fanacas: Yes but anderssen did nog create postitional weakness, steinitz did, Lasker gives great examples of it in his manual of chess.
May-10-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Fanacas: Yes but anderssen did nog create postitional weakness, steinitz did...>

Oh yes, Anderssen did. what is Black's positional weakness in this game? The a-pawn. How was it created? Bxc6+. Who made that move? Anderssen.

May-10-09  Fanacas: Its not that good it makes blacks cneter stronger creates a open line and gives away the bischop pair. There is nothing great postitional about the move. Its becous anderssen thought that knights where stronger then bishops.(again said by Lasker in his manual)
May-10-09  Fanacas: And lasker said that pre steinitz chess players sometime accidentily, stumble on a postitional plan but they did not understand what they did for example zukertort against one of his games against steinitz.
May-11-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Fanacas: And lasker said that pre steinitz chess players sometime accidentily, stumble on a postitional plan but they did not understand what they did for example zukertort against one of his games against steinitz.>

Well, as you probably guessed my posts about Steinitz and Anderssen in this thread are tongue in cheek. But if you look at Zukertort's games from the London 1883 tournament I think you'll agree Zukertort was a first-class strategic planner.

Game Collection: Zukertort in London

May-12-09  Fanacas: No zukertort is a combanative(tactical) geneius no postitinol (stratigic ) player. I wil search a quote from lasker about it wil post it later this day.
Jul-07-09  just a kid: White's decisive error was probably on the 24th move or the 25th move.
Aug-19-09  birthtimes: 14. Rb2 f5 15. Qe2 f4 16. Bd2 Nf6 17. Nh4 Kh7 18. Rfb1 Rf7 19. a4 a6 20. a5 would have been a more effective means by White of utilizing the open b-file, while still maintaining strong defense on the kingside.
Mar-27-10  Russian Grandmasters: At the time this game was played- in 1866- <Steinitz> ALSO played according to "pre-Steinitzian" principles.

Look at all 12 games played in this Match as a whole- It's difficult to distinguish between either player based on an historically recognizable "style."

Open games were routinely sought, and contested by both players, as a matter of course. Plenty of Evans Gambits, Kings Gambits in this Match.

Steinitz's shift to a more "positional style" comes later, along with the notorious "Ink War" between rival Chess Journals on this issue.

Here is a brief, but very good, biography of <Steinitz> by our own <Bill Wall>: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVal...

Mar-27-10  Russian Grandmasters: This is an excellent point by <keypusher>:

<it's simply not true that pre-Steinitz players "just wanted to attack something (most of the time the king) to search for combinations." A lot of distinguished authors have written something to that effect. But they are wrong.>

I agree- look closely at the Morphy-Harrwitz Match and the Morphy-Anderssen Match and both are filled with examples of long, hard fought struggles based on sound, and "modern" positional principles.

When Anderssen was asked why he didn't whip out his patented combinative wizardry against Morphy, he simply replied:

"He wouldn't let me."

The great players of this era, including Anderssen and Steinitz in this Match here in 1866, did seek open positions as a matter of course, but they also excelled at a more "positional style" and were both able and willing to grind out a win when necessary.

Mar-27-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: More on this topic from Steinitz himself:

From his "International Chess Magazine"

November 1886, page 335:

<‘We all may learn from Morphy and Anderssen how to conduct a king’s-side attack, and perhaps I myself may not have learnt enough. But if you want to learn how to avoid such an attack, how to keep the balance of position on the whole board, or how to expose the king apparently and invite a complicated attack which cannot be sustained in the long run, you must go to the modern school for information.’ >

Mar-28-10  Boomie: ->

Paul Morphy beat Adolf Anderssen 12 to 3, with 2 draws

Wilhelm Steinitz beat an older but maybe wiser Adolf Anderssen 12 to 11

I think that Steinitz's description of priciples was his attempt to answer one question: How did Morphy do it?

The notion that Morphy and Anderssen didn't play defense is poppycock...whatever that means. As Anderssen said, he couldn't attack Morphy because Morphy wouldn't let him. That is Morphy defended against any promising attacks.

Also neither Morphy nor Anderssen embarked on unsound attacks. They simply took advantage of their opponents' mistakes. If their opponents played solidly, they would continue to develop. Morphy was better than anyone before Lasker at developing efficiently.

The question "How did Morphy do it?" took about 60 years to answer. By the time of Lasker and Capablanca, they were fairly certain of that answer. However very few were able to reproduce that strength over the board.

Mar-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Tim> In the actual 1866 Match, Steinitz beat Anderssen 8-6 in a Match where Draws were not allowed.

It was also the first Match in history with formal "chess clocks" (made out of sand!).

During the Match, Steinitz spurted to a 4-1 lead- then Anderssen roared back to win 4 in a row to lead by one.

they went in to the final two games tied 6-6.

First to 8 was the rule in this one.

Re: Anderssen-Morphy v. Steinitz-Morphy:

Both matches featured strong defence and positional play- both featured some long grind outs- and both featured plenty of Romantic fireworks and some bona fide miniatures where somebody got GUTTED.

May-24-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: IM Bill Hartston annotated this in his "Kings of Chess." After 6...g6, he writes

<Rather than develop mechanically with Be7 and 0-0, Steinitz is already planning for the middle game. Ultimately he plans to asault the centre with a Philidorian pawn phalanx by advancing the pawn from f7 to f5. If White then takes the pawn on f5, Black wants to recapture with his g-pawn. This strategic thinking dictates the development scheme with g6 and Bg7.>

May-24-10  FHBradley: <The notion that Morphy and Anderssen didn't play defense is poppycock...whatever that means. As Anderssen said, he couldn't attack Morphy because Morphy wouldn't let him. That is Morphy defended against any promising attacks> I think it's called prophylaxis, rather than defence.
Nov-16-11  King Death: P.W. Sergeant wrote on this game in 1939: " Dr. (Emanuel) Lasker says that in the present match the germs of Steinitz's play are already discernible: the transformation of small advantages that disappear into small advantages that endure, and their accumulation.

Anderssen's play in this game, however, is of a kind that facilitates the accumulation of advantages by an adversary."

Jan-30-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Knight13: White's pretty doomed on the Kingside after move 15. I would've tried a central break around there along the lines of Ne2-c3-d4. What Anderssen chose leads to a steel wall.
Sep-13-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Naniwazu: <Reverser: Really nice game by steinitz. But there's a move that seems quite mysterious to me it's 20. .. Ra7. Is it an answer to a tactic threat i don't see or is it a strategic move like planning to double the rook at some point(which didn't happen)?>

<aulero: 20...Ra7 is simply a useful and prophylactic move, involving both tactic and strategic issues. It protects the 7th rank, but especially it frees the black's queen from the defense of rook in a8 (attacked by the white's queen in d5).>

Black's threat is fxe4 followed by Bxh3..if then gxh3 Qxh3 then the a8-rook won't be attacked by White's Queen on d5.

May-02-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <FHBradley: ... I think it's called prophylaxis...>

Johnny-bags LOL.

Mar-10-16  litmus: <Fanacas: And lasker said that pre steinitz chess players sometime accidentily, stumble on a postitional plan but they did not understand what they did for example zukertort against one of his games against steinitz>

It is weird to call Zukertort a "pre-steinitz" player. He was younger than Steinitz. In fact, Steinitz took him on as a pupil and was proud of his achievements. The two played over a thousand games and several matches and also co-edited a chess magazine. I think Zukertort knew more about Steinitzian ideas than anybody else.

Mar-10-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: < litmus: ... In fact, Steinitz took him on as a pupil and was proud of his achievements. The two played over a thousand games and several matches and also co-edited a chess magazine.>

I am certain that "Steinitz" should be replaced by "Anderssen" in your sentence.

Mar-11-16  litmus: <john barleycorn: I am certain that "Steinitz" should be replaced by "Anderssen" in your sentence.>

Ooops. Right.

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