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Isidor Gunsberg vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Steinitz - Gunsberg World Championship Match (1891), New York, NY USA, rd 16, Jan-15
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Slow Variation (C52)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-06-04  percyblakeney: Gunsberg reduced to 4-5 with this win in the World Championship match. Steinitz on 20. Nh4: "Gunsberg touched the square at h4 with his knight, and then retracted the move, and after taking some time to consider and shaking his head as if he had made a mistake, finally adopted the move. Thereupon I took the pawn, and on seeing my opponent’s reply, 21.Ne4, resigned. Then I taxed my opponent on the manner in which he had made his twentieth move, which was calculated to mislead, and I reminded him that in his match with Chigorin he had in a similar case brought a charge against the Russian master. Gunsberg apologized, and gave his word of honor that he had not done it wilfully."
Sep-12-06  EmperorAtahualpa: <Gunsberg apologized, and gave his word of honor that he had not done it wilfully.>

No need to apologize for this, I think. Being more clever than your opponent is what it is about in this game, right?

Sep-12-06  LuckyBlunder: Being more clever on the board. I think that although it's Steinitz duty to keep the mind in the game, this kind of actions, if done willfully, show little "honor" or "game ethics" or whatever we may call them.

However, there is many people that use any resource they have when competing, but I think that there is a line that is better not to be crossed, if actions like that were allowed we might end kicking the oponent under the table ;) (well, that actually has been seen in some children tournaments :P )

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Taking Gunsberg at his word, the question arises, what was he thinking about? After 20 Nh4 all other moves besides 20...Qh7 trap the queen,

eg. if 20...Qh3 21 Bf1 Qg4 22 Re4 Qh5 23 Be2 and there is nothing Black can do after a few more moves.

So Gunsberg must have been reasoning that Steinitz' only move after 20 Nh4 was 20...Qh7 and the headshaking might have come about as he looked for a clear win after the Steinitzian retreats into the following position:

21 Qc4 0-0 22 Bd3 Qh8

click for larger view

Sep-27-07  RookFile: Gunsberg sounds like he was a pretty cagey fellow.
Feb-28-08  Knight13: This is what you get for messing around with a queen and a knight that won't do ANYTHING. Gunsberg's chess sense failed him completely.
Dec-05-08  AnalyzeThis: Actually, Gunsberg won the game.
Mar-04-10  kibitzwc: (1461) Gunsberg,Isidor - Steinitz,William [C52]
World Championship 3rd New York (16), 15.01.1891
[Fritz 12 (5m)]
C52: Evans Gambit Accepted: 5 c3 Ba5 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.0–0 Qf6 7.d4 h6 8.Qa4 Bb6 9.Bb5 Nge7 10.Ba3 exd4 11.e5 Qg6 12.cxd4 Nd5 13.Re1 Nf4 14.g3 Qg4 15.Nbd2 Nh3+ d4 seems the pivot of the position 16.Kg2 Ng5 last book move 17.Bb2 [17.d5 Qxa4 18.Bxa4 Nd4±] 17...Ne7 [17...a6 18.Be2 Ne6 19.Qa3 Nf4+ 20.Kh1 Nxe2 21.Rxe2=] 18.Be2 Ne6 [18...0–0!? 19.Nxg5 Qxg5=] 19.Kh1± Qf5 20.Nh4 Qxf2?? [¹20...Qh7 21.Qc4 g5±] 21.Ne4 [21.Ne4 Bxd4 22.Nxf2 Bxb2 23.Rab1 Bxe5 24.Nf3 ] 1–0
Sep-02-10  soothsayer8: Clever trap by Gunsberg!
Sep-02-10  Autoreparaturwerkbau: 22.Bf1 is next, I suppose?
Jun-03-13  Conrad93: <22.Bf1 is next, I suppose?<

It doesn't matter where the bishop goes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  luzhin: Yes, it does: 22.Bd1?? Qxe1+!
May-25-17  BarakSaltz: I want literature indicating that black's 18th move was Black's decisive blunder. That White is winning thereafter is amazing. Some commentators indicated erroneously that Black draws with 20. ... Qh7.
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