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Mikhail Chigorin vs Wilhelm Steinitz
"Much to his Chigorin" (game of the day Jun-06-11)
Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship Rematch (1892)  ·  King's Gambit: Accepted. Schallop Defense (C34)  ·  0-1
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-03-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  notyetagm: Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1892

32 ?


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32 Bd6-b4???????? <left behind: h2>


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32 ... Re2xh2+ 0-1 <pig mate>


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Chigorin's 32 Bd6-b4?? must be the <GREATEST BLUNDER OF ALL-TIME>. I can never decide how many ?'s to give this ridiculous move.

Jan-03-10  zanshin: Not much I can add to comments on this game - definitely not the best by these two masters.
Mar-13-10  kibitzwc: (1513) Chigorin,Mikhail - Steinitz,William [C34]
World Championship 4th Havana (23), 28.02.1892
[Fritz 12 (5m)]
C34: King's Gambit Accepted: 3 Nf3: 3...Nf6 and 3...d6 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e5 Nh5 5.Be2 g6 6.d4 Bg7 7.00 d6 8.Nc3 00 9.Ne1 dxe5 10.Bxh5 gxh5 11.dxe5 Qxd1 12.Nxd1 Nc6 13.Bxf4 Bf5 14.Ne3 Be4 last book move 15.Nf3 Rfe8 Increasing the pressure on the isolated pawn on e5 16.Ng5 [16.Rad1 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Bxe5] 16...Bg6 17.Nd5 Bxe5 [17...Bxc2 18.Nxc7 Nxe5 19.Rae1 ; 17...Nxe5 18.Nxc7 h6 19.Nh3] 18.Nxc7 Bxc7 19.Bxc7 Rac8 20.Bg3 Nd4 21.c3 Ne2+ 22.Kf2 h4?? [22...Nxg3 23.hxg3 Re5] 23.Bd6 Nd4? [23...Bh5 24.Nf3 Re6] 24.cxd4 Rc2+ 25.Kg1 Ree2 26.Rae1 Rxg2+ 27.Kh1 Kg7 [27...Rxg5?? 28.Re8+ Kg7 29.Bf8+ Kg8 30.Bh6#] 28.Re8 f5 [28...f6 29.Re7+ Kg8 ] 29.Ne6+ [29.Re7+ Kg8 30.Ne6 ] 29...Kf6 30.Re7 [30.Be5+ Kf7 31.Nc7 Rge2 ] 30...Rge2? [30...Rxh2+ 31.Bxh2 Kxe7] 31.d5 Rcd2 [31...Rxh2+ 32.Bxh2 Kxe7 ] 32.Bb4?? [32.Rxb7 Bh5 33.Rb3 (33.Rxa7?? Bf3+ 34.Kg1 Rg2+ 35.Kh1 Rxh2+ 36.Kg1 Rdg2#; 33.Rxh7?? Bf3+ 34.Kg1 Rg2+ 35.Kh1 Rxh2+ 36.Kg1 Rdg2#) 33...Rxe6 34.dxe6 Rxd6 35.Re1 ] 32...Rxh2+ [32...Rxh2+ 33.Kg1 Rdg2#] 01
Dec-27-10  Zkid: If it really was a touch and move error, then 32. Bf4 Kxe7 33. Bxd2 Rxd2, although worse for white, is a lot more understandable than blundering mate in two, even if Chigorin lost the resulting endgame. I find it hard to believe Chigorin would play Bb4 if he had to move the bishop.

I'd say it's just an enormous oversight, which is rare in top-level chess but does happen, even today e.g the famous Deep Fritz-Kramnik blunder.

Jan-17-11  Llawdogg: I was just innocently looking for some high level King's Gambit games from the golden age of chess when I stumbled onto this one. It looked promising at first. Then it looked very curious. Thanks to all the kibitzers for confirming that this was indeed a case of self pwnage. It kind of gives hope to us novices.
Jan-17-11  Llawdogg: I read that Chigorin drank brandy during the match, while Steinitz drank champagne. Maybe champagne does less harm than brandy. Or maybe Chigorin drank more than Steinitz did. We may never know.
Apr-04-11  Tigranny: Could 32.Bb4?? be the greatest blunder of all time in the history of chess? I have it #1 in my game collection in the top 10 greatest blunders. I thought it would be #1 because it cost Chigorin the entire match.
Apr-04-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <32. Bb4??> Hard to top for significance at this level of play.

Short vs Krasenkow, 2004 stands out because we were watching it here as a live event, but suddenly the Rook was gone and then 0-1 in a flash.

Game Collection: Anonymous Blunderers Club

Game Collection: Outrageous Blunders

Jun-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: For those of you who don't know the story: this game was from the 2nd Steinitz - Chigorin world championship match. With 10 wins required to win the match, Steinitz led by 9-8.

However, by this point:


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Chigorin was a piece up and well on his way to tying the match and sending it into overtime when he found <32.Bb4??>. Call me overly emotional, but I think it's worth two question marks.

Jun-06-11  Funicular: 32 Rxb7 seals the deal. After 32... Bf7, I actually found theres forced checkmate after the exchange sac Rxf7! Kxf7 Rxf5+ and eventually its checkmte with the king on g8 or d7.

And there are not many replies to the trheat 33. Nf4, threatening to exchange a piece and leading to a won endgame by white thanks to d pawn and black cannot mate white king

Jun-06-11  KingV93: At first glance I thought it was a stupid way to play the Kings Gambit, though I am loathe to criticize the analysis on this site let alone the play of the demi-gods who sit at the feet of Caissa ...

I liked 30.Be5+ much better and at first Fritz wholeheartedly agrees...but after deeper thinking gives an advantage of less than a pawn.

32.Bb4 should get ??? Yikes, talk about losing the thread!

Jun-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Yup, definitely one of the top blunders in chess history. 33...Ne7? (33...Nc5!) in Kasparov vs Karpov, 1987 was nowhere near as egregious a blunder, and Karpov still had drawing chances, but it was also pretty significant.
Jun-06-11  Llawdogg: Chigorin was drunk.
Jun-06-11  Ferro: Wilhelm Steinitz! is best than
Mikhail Chigorin
Jun-06-11  Gogia: So, 32.Rxb7 is winning for white??
Jun-06-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: As to my post a few days ago:Chigorin's last move deserves two question marks. The penalty is immediate mate in two.
Jun-06-11  rossvassilev: 32.Bb4?? That's just plain dumb. All Chigorin had to play was 32.Nf4 and he would've had the game pretty much won.
Jun-06-11  Don Quijote: Why did they chose this for the Game of The day?

shouldn't be in the "Blunder of the day"? (or blunder of the year?)

Jun-06-11  newzild: <rossvassilev: 32.Bb4?? That's just plain dumb. All Chigorin had to play was 32.Nf4 and he would've had the game pretty much won.>

32. Nf4 loses a piece to 32...Rxe7

Jun-06-11  WhiteRook48: 32 Nf4 is still better than what was played
Jun-07-11  newzild: <WhiteRook48: 32 Nf4 is still better than what was played>

Yes, any move except for 32. Re1 would have been better than the move played. However, the suggested 32. Nf4 is not much better, and White would not have "had the game pretty much won".

Nov-24-13  pericles of athens: That is a real howler of a blunder, poor Chigorin! We're all human.
Apr-15-14  pattydee: I can't find a clear and convincing winning 32nd move for White. 32.Rb7: Rd6: and White wins the piece back, but maybe Whites a2+b2 pawns will play a role.

Steinitz was a master at using his King as an attacking piece and Chigorin's "attacking pieces" are all tied up.

Apr-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: <pattydee: I can't find a clear and convincing winning 32nd move for White. 32.Rb7: Rd6: and White wins the piece back, but maybe Whites a2+b2 pawns will play a role.>

32.Rxb7 Rxd5 33.Nf4

Apr-15-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <pattydee: I can't find a clear and convincing winning 32nd move for White. 32.Rb7: Rd6: and White wins the piece back, but maybe Whites a2+b2 pawns will play a role.>

This line loses to 33.Nf4.

The only try after 32.Rxb7 appears to be 32....Bh5, but 33.Rb3 defends.

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