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

(If you register a free account you won't see all these ads!)
Wilhelm Steinitz vs Henry Edward Bird
"Cuckoo Bird" (game of the day Mar-20-2014)
London m (1866), London ENG, rd 9, Sep-??
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation (C10)  ·  1-0


Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 177 times; par: 16 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 31 more Steinitz/Bird games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: You should register a free account to activate some of's coolest and most powerful features.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: Bird got creamed! Really a terrible game for him
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: Nice how he got his queen trapped so early on
Sep-27-13  tuskerking: miniature or mikniestature :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There's a famous quote from Bird that goes something like this: "Place the contents of the chessboard into your hat, shake thoroughly, drop them onto the chessboard from a height of two feet--and you have the style of Steinitz."

Much the same could be said for the mind of Bird. Some days, he could produce games of great artistry and power. Other days, he goes into the weird and wonderful byways nobody else dares to explore. He may come out on his shield rather than carrying it, but but it's always fascinating.

And some days he just plays like a total beginner.

i would be willing to believe he played 11...Nxd4 deliberately to set up the cute finish. There seems little other reason to prolong the game for even a single move.

And just to highlight the Enigma that is Bird, he won the next two games of the match: Bird vs Steinitz, 1866 and Steinitz vs Bird, 1866. Go figure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Although I have never had any respect for 3...dxe4 in the French, objectively the first truly bad move was 4...Nf6?; 5.Nxf6!,Qxf6; 6.Nf3, and the results in the CG database support my contention.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: One of the great mysteries of the universe, right up there with Easter Island, Stonehenge and the Pyramids, is how such poor chess games like this get selected for "Game of The Day"


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I think the clue here is the date. This was played in 1866 when the French defence was barely 32 years old. It was first played seriously in 1834 in a correspondence game between Paris and London - hence the name.

When this game was played in 1866, Players of the black pieces were still experimenting with ways to meet each of the main white moves after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5.

We also need to remember that Akiba Rubinstein who did much to popularise and develop the 4. Nxe4 line (aka the Rubinstein variation) wasn't born until 1882 and didn't learn how to play chess until 1898.

In other words, this game is Racquel Welch in a deer skin bikini in One Million Years BC, it's a Ford Model T, it's Harold Lauder or Charlie Chaplin. It's one of Thomas Edison's less successful light bulb prototypes.

It's a little bit of 'istory. Of course, today we can scoff about black not knowing that that the Rubinstein doesn't really sit well with early queen moves by black, but that would be a bit like criticising Star Trek for not predicting the internet.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Castleinthesky: Very nice miniature-"A Bird On A Wire"?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Bird-brained opening.
Mar-20-14  ndg2: Lol, I had exactly the same position after 6.Nf3 last Sunday. I played 6..h6 though to prevent the bishop move to g5.

Still very bad position for black, I was lucky to get a draw.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <ndg2> I used to find that the Rubinstein French was easier (and safer) to play as black if you play 4...Nd7 before 5...Ngf6.
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: One that flew away from the "Cuckoo's Nest".
Mar-20-14  ndg2: < <once><ndg2> I used to find that the Rubinstein French was easier (and safer) to play as black if you play 4...Nd7 before 5...Ngf6.> Certainly true. I somehow forgot theory and feared 5.Ng5 after 4...Nd7, which is of course nonsense.
Mar-20-14  Sho: Once again, correct: Racquel Welch...deer-skin bikini.
Mar-20-14  celtrusco: It was a bad day to play chess for someone, who was a very strong player. In somehow, this kind of games makes me feel a bit better in front of my mistakes. And I say me:-"I'm not the only one".
Mar-20-14  Gottschalk: Bad game. Bird blundered here!
Steinitz was a great tactician and bequeathed magnificent games. Is incedible how some people might choose this as one of his best
Jun-17-14  unrankedandmisfiled: Why does Black not simply block the White bishop check with his pawn, his own white-square bishop, or take the white-square bishop with his remaining Knight?
Aug-06-14  greed and death: <unrankedandmisfiled: Why does Black not simply block the White bishop check with his pawn, his own white-square bishop, or take the white-square bishop with his remaining Knight?> After 12... Nc6, 13. Qd8#

After 12... Bd7, 13. Bxd7+ Kxd7 14. Qxd4+ Bd6 (not Ke8? 15. Rd1 Bd6 16. Qxg7 or 14... Kc8?? 15. Qd8#) white can force a trade of bishops black has two rooks agains a rook, a queen, and a knight.

After 12... c6 (black's best move) 13. Qxd4 f6 (preventing Qd8#) 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qxf6 Bb4+ 16. c3 Rf8 blacks position is still lost, although it will take longer for white to win.

Oct-23-16  KIDHarish2003: nice game
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: What the flock was Bird thinking?????


Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: Bird, like his avian counterpart, was just a big sack of @#$%.
Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Actually, I have to back off from being so harsh about this game; there's a very real amusing quality about this game: just watching Bird lose his Queen and then fall into a hopeless position from a murderous yet simple shot

I had to chuckle


Nov-01-17  chessrookstwo: bird was greed thinking on this game.
Nov-02-17  sudoplatov: I would say that 5...Qf6 is primarily at fault. The Burn variation among others relies on ...gf6 (though the Burn variation gains a tempo here.)
Jul-20-18  romancitog: Priceless!
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 5)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, 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, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
French Rubinstein Var (C10) 1-0 Q gets snarred pawn grabbing
from French Rubinstein, Fort Knox and Stuff by fredthebear
Wilhelm Steinitz
by Marius Dzvinka
from opening blunders by had2x
Queen trapped in a few moves!
from Miniatures by titoramia
vinodmenonk's favorite games
by vinodmenonk
French Rubinstein Var (C10) 1-0 Q gets snarred pawn grabbing
from Father Rubin Burned Fort Knocks?! by fredthebear
King John 5's favorite games Part 2
by King John 5
by zentovic
Steinitz' Stellar Steps
by Pawn N Hand
Earliest Trapped Queen: Black's in 10 moves
from Bizzare Chess Records by Arbitrarily0
Match Steinitz!
by amadeus
Awesome {B} Cross
from Steinitz vs Bird by Pianoplayer
akapovsky's favorite games
by akapovsky
Games under 20 moves
First game to have a non-admin user post a kibitz (unofficial)
from Chessgames Games by Penguincw
roguabara's favorite games
by roguabara
97xd_French Disasters -Teh Dark Side of Chess
by whiteshark
Rubinstein. Trapped. 12e
from French by PinkLedDoor

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 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC