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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Mikhail Chigorin
"Good Wil Hunting" (game of the day Jun-18-09)
Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship Rematch (1892)  ·  Spanish Game: Berlin Defense (C65)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-08-12  TheTamale: Count me with the others who saw the first several moves but didn't see how to finish it off. At first I thought, "This is too easy for a Tuesday." Then when I didn't get it, I swore and kicked the dog.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sevenseaman: < pedro99: Further to IMlday's post the game Bobotsov-Ivkov, 1966 when White castled on the 46th move used to be the longest known delayed castling GM game. I'm not sure if it has been surpassed since.>

No of moves before castling is a misnomer. Here

Kasparov vs Ivanchuk, 1995.

Ivanchuk castled on the last move and Kasparov resigned. How are going to surpass that?

May-08-12  solskytz: Not too hard for a mere Tuesday?

I was lured by 26. Qh6+, <Once>, but without 27. Qh4+ - there's a limit to how much one can resist the 27. Bxd4+ temptation: Such a tasty Knight, IN the center, WITH check...

Of course I got nowhere..

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: The Steintitz model, I net end in way it is too much maneoring by

Chigorin and donkey knights as so often with a dilly it faced in black

spent too long dithering in the opening although 23...nxd4 settles it

mate inch 7/6. In forget he cash up queen it hope in thinkin it abouts

my bibelot shake drat tell a nd4 rolled again rxh7 off manage in low

go down it was in would kingg8 hold? In slug it rookxh7+ alive in dead

jab vocal slow into fun creeps qh1+ ah good black stale in performance

tee lift off hunt with qxd4 as cinematic effect in glorify it.

May-08-12  doubledrooks: White initiates a mating attack with 24. Rxh7+ Kxh7 25. Qh1+ Kg7 26. Bh6+ and now:

a. 26...Kh7/8 27. Bg5+ Kg7 28. Qh6#

b. 26...Kf6 27. Qh4+

b.1 27...g5 28. Qxg5#

b.2 27...Kf5 28. Qf4#

b.3 27...Ke5 28. Qxd4+ Kf5 29. Qf4#

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: I started ok,but I played Qh6+ and went astray...
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: under crossfire
May-08-12  sfm: <IceSword: Guys how about 24.Bxd4+, Rf6 25.Qb5?!> Very clever (at least I though about that too :), and White should still win, but after the simple 25.-,Rf8 there's a longer way home, compared to the forced mate in quite few after 24.Rxh7+!
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1892

White to play (24.?) "Easy"

Black must have been expecting 24. Bxd4+ Rf6 25. Bxf6+ Qxf6, with an even game. Of course, White has much better, which I'm sure he didn't miss!

24. Rxh7+! Kxh7 25. Qh1+ Kg7

Tossing in the bishop with 25...Bh3 doesn't change the outcome.

26. Bh6+!

Better than 26. Qh6+.


Or 26...Kh8(h7) 27. Bxf8+ Bh3 28. Rxh3#.

27. Qh4+ Kd4

Alternatives are 27...g5 28. Qxg5# and 27...Kf5 28. Qf5#.

28. Qxd4+ Kf5 29. Qf4#.

Time to see how this ended; I'm betting on 24...Resigns, but my 2nd guess would be 26. Bh6+! Resigns.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheBish: I lost both my bets! (On the move that Black resigned on.) Was Chigorin hoping for 28. Qf4+??? Or 28. cxd4+??, when Steinitz would have to play 28. c4 after the illegal move was called? I know "back in the day", players used to play games out to mate, so maybe Chigorin started to do that, and changed his mind, denying Steinitz the satisfaction. Or, realizing that Steinitz wasn't going to die of a heart attack (from excitement), Chigorin decided to throw in the towel.
May-08-12  Crispy Seagull: I would have rushed it and played 26. Bxd4+, which totally sputters out.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Patriot: Material? I didn't notice since there is a completely forcing and winning sequence.

24.Rxh7+ Kxh7 25.Qh1+ Kg7 26.Bh6+

A) 26...Kh7/Kh8 27.Bxf8+ Bh3 28.Qxh3#

B) 26...Kf6 27.Qh4+

B.1) 27...Ke5 28.Qxd4+ Kf5 29.Qf4#

B.2) 27...Kf5 28.Qf4#

B.3) 27...g5 28.Qxg5#

Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Easy (I think) to see that we must start with 24 Rxh7+ Kxh7 25 Qh1+ but then what?

25...Kg7 26 Qh6+ Kf6 and he eventually gets away via e7 perhaps. It must be 26 Bh6+ Kf6 and then 27 Qh4+ keeps the king from escaping to e7. 27...Ke5 28 Qxd4+ Kf5 29 g4#

May-09-12  LoveThatJoker: Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

A famous mating combination from Steinitz, the great World Champion.

<24. Rxh7+! Kxh7 25. Qh1+ Kg7>

(25...Bh3 26. Qxh3+ and the combination continues as per the main line)

<26. Bh6+!!>

The most accurate - Mate is now thoroughly forced.


(26...Kh8/...Kh7 27. Bxf8+ Bh3 28. Qxh3#)

<27. Qh4+ Ke5>

(27...g5 28. Qxg5#; 27...Kf5 28. Qf4#)

<28. Qxd4+ Kf5 29. Qf4#>


Jun-16-12  backrank: The final combination is so spectacular that the fine preparation moves enabling the combination are frequently overlooked.

Réti annotates this game in 'Modern Ideas in Chess.'

On White's 4th move (d3), he writes:

'One sees here at once the difference between Morphy and Steinitz. The former was always anxious to press on at the earliest possible moment with d2-d4. Steinitz on the other hand does not want to break through the center, but is more concerned with building up for himself a strong position, to enable him subequently to prepare an attack on the kingside.'

On 5. c3, Réti comments:

'The position of the pawns on c3 and e4, which makes the forcing of the center by the black pieces impossible, runs with regularity through the Steinitz games whereever they are opened with e4."

And on 6. Nbd2:

'With the intention of moving the knight (by way of d2 and f1) to e3 or g3 to carry out the attack. This maneuver, so much in favor today, originates from Steinitz. As a fact we find very often in Steinitz's games these extended knight maneuvers.

With Morphy, who always brought about an open game, that kind of maneuver was impossible, as he dared not permit himself in open positions to lose so much time. Noteworthy and typical of Steinitz is the delay in castling: so that the possibility of castling on the queenside remained open to him.'

On 8. Ba4:

'In order to have this bishop ready for the attack. These are all far-reaching and preparatory maneuvers for which in open positions after d2-d4 there would be no time.'

On 8. ... Nd7:

'With the idea of making the game an open one if possible by means of ... Nc5 and ... d6-d5.'

On 11. h4:

'Now at this early stage the attack on the king's wing commences and indeed, clearly contrary to Morphy's principles, from an undeveloped position. But the essential point is that Black's counterplay against White's center does not lend itself to a successful result on account of the latter's assured position.

Equally remarkable is that the move h4 is not to be found in analogous games of Morphy, the reason being that Morphy unlike Steinitz always castled early in the game.'

On 13. ... fxg6:

'Perhaps 13. ... hxg6 was better. Steinitz would have continued with 14. Qe2 in order to avoid the exchange of queens, as one will find happens in similar positions with other players; at the same time the strong pawn structure formed by the pawns at e4 and c3 would have been maintained and Black would have gained little by the opening of the d-file, as no points of attack are to be found thereon. After the weakening of the diagonal a2-g8 through ... fxg6, Steinitz opens the diagonal completely by the exchange on d5.'

On 20. Qf1:

'Apparently a defensive move to provide against ... Nd4. In reality preparation for the decision of the contest.'

On 21. d4:

'This ultimately brings the other bishop on the right diagonal a1-h8 for the decisive mating attack.'

On 24. Rxh7+:

'After the deep and quiet preparation the end is brought about magnificently, inasmuch as the whole of the pent-up energy becomes active.'

What do we have to admire more: Steinitz's play or Réti's wonderful commentary?

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ:

My web page on this game.

Jul-24-12  JoergWalter: <backrank>

Steinitz vs Blackburne, 1876

Reti in "masters of the chessboard" considered this a worthy companion on highlighting Steinitz play in the Ruy Lopez with white.

Jul-24-12  JoergWalter: <LMAJ: 19.0-0-0!,
I can count the (good) games of chess - in the Ruy Lopez - where White got away with castling Queen-side ... ... ... on the fingers of just one hand! >

can you give the games?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Games with long castling can often be found in the line after 3....a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.Bxc6+ bxc6 6.d4 f6 7.Be3 and Nc3; how good they are is another story, however!
Jul-24-12  SimonWebbsTiger: the reason white rarely castles q-side in the Lopez is easy enough to explain: he normally castles k-side early (trivial) and that the central formation usually involves c2-c3 and d2-d4, so the king would be in too much danger.

After 6. Nbd2
<Perhaps this move shows masters have lost as well as gained in the last 60 years. We can recall few master games since 1945 in which white has castled QR in the Ruy Lopez. The one outstanding example is in the Steinitz defence Deferred: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. Bxc6 bxc6 6. d4 f6 7. Be3 Ne7 8. Nc3 Ng6 9. Qd2 Be7 10. o-o-o> "A Guide to Chess Openings" by Leonard Barden (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957.)

Long castles in the Lopez is thus very variation specific. Another example is in the Schliemann (3...f5 where the 4. Nc3 fxe4 5. Nxe4 d5 line often sees both colours castle q-side).

Barden noted that a modern master might play 6.0-0 without thinking. Here Steinitz remains flexible. The idea is castling should be done when needed not because you can!

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ:

My web page - the link is in my last post - is several years old. However, I just made a video on this game, the link can be found above.

Mar-05-13  shepi13: For all those saying that 26. Bh6+!! is the most accurate, it is not necesarily. While it is the simplest to calculate, 26. Qh6+!! Kf6 27. Qh4+ Kg7 28. Bh6+ Kh7 29. Bxf8# mates just as quickly
Mar-05-13  shepi13: SimonWebbsTiger - the plan to delay castling is too elaborate, without the rook on e1 black can counter in the center with d5 and equalize. Thus, modern grandmasters have learned to prevent counterplay, and to seize the chance for it rather than move their knights 5-6 times like chigorin did.
Mar-22-13  DubbleX: nice sac attack
Nov-24-13  pericles of athens: Wow, what a lovely ending!
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