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Wilhelm Steinitz vs NN
ch Vienna Chess Club (1861), Vienna CH
King's Gambit: Declined. Keene Defense (C30)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-08-04  ughaibu: Hanada: I would agree with you. My view is that the upshot of the realisation that "one need only play better than the opponent" is that both Lasker and Tal were concerned in their strategic planning to inject sufficient difficulty into the game that there'd be plenty of scope within which to play better than the opponent. This attitude is not necessarily at odds with choosing the best move but more a defining point of style.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: I must disagree. Both Lasker and Tal said more than once that they DID play second-level moves, or at least not the best ones to strike the pshycology! For example, Lasker win against Marshall easily... But Tarrasch refuted nearly every victory! Lasker knew he can risk and stay alive against Marshall with moves that wouldn't be good vs. Tarrasch. Also, Tal said that he prefers a lost game with tactics to a won one without them!
Feb-08-04  ughaibu: Tal's comment doesn't suggest he aimed to give himself a lost game. You'll have to give examples for Marshall and Tarrasch, one of the most convincing cases for a Lasker psychological move is in the second game of his world championship match with Tarrasch.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: I didn't say Tal aimed for a lost game, but he would play an inferior position for tactical opportunities
Feb-08-04  ughaibu: Can you cite your sources? I find it difficult to believe that either of them would say that they would ever choose an inferior continuation unless they already stood at a significant disadvantage.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: Yes, "Soviet Chess school" by Kotov and Yudovich
Feb-08-04  ughaibu: My copy's in the UK, I'll need the page numbers (and chapters in case it's a different edition) to get photocopies.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: I"ll try and seek the book.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: (Just remind me)
Feb-08-04  ughaibu: Okay. As I recall it's a pretty silly book, short sections on each player about how they extended Tchigorin's approach in dealing with creative problems etc, more or less the same for everyone. The example games and positions for the more obscure players was the most interesting feature. I dont remember any remarks about choosing inferior lines applied to Tal, there may have been something about Lasker in the introduction but I dont remember anything non-conjectural.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: Well, I disgree about this book, but we won't argue. And I have some more books (Soviet mostly) that say that about Tal. AND - I have his games...
Feb-08-04  ughaibu: Examples from his "life and games" would be interesting.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: I don't the book you mention said directly he chose bad moves... But his games do:)

BTW, There is even the term Lasker excuse - doing an inferior move for pshycological reasons.

Feb-08-04  ughaibu: This is what you wrote above "Both Lasker and Tal said more than once that they DID play second-level moves, or at least not the best ones to strike the pshycology!", if the players themselves didn't say this and it was only said by commentators, that's a quite different matter. I can only think of two examples that appear to be directly psychologically motivated from Lasker's games and none from Tal's games. I'll put up the Lasker games.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: In fact, Lasker said that, I just don't remmeber where I read that..
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: And of course Alekhin said a few times that a certain move was chosen for psyco-reasons only.
Feb-08-04  Bitzovich: To bring the discussion to something concrete? could ughaibu or Catfriend give an example of a game where a second-level move is made for psychological reasons? I understand the flow of thought, but an instance would clearify for me. Thanx
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: That's what <ughaibu> makes now! And in the 1960 match Tal made some such moves.
Feb-08-04  ughaibu: Bitzovich: I'd like to see examples too, because I dont believe either player would play to the detriment of their position for "psychological" or stylistic reasons. Catfriend: Please put up the examples from the 1960 match.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: Tal vs Botvinnik, 1960
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Catfriend> I think you are on to something, but the similarity between Lasker and Tal was that they were able to see plans for attack and defense in almost any position. They were not as reliant on theory as book players have to be. Part of Lasker's elasticity of outlook was to be able to play variations others considered too difficult or cramped, such as the Berlin Defense to the Ruy. Lasker would never say he chose inferior moves, just that his opponent considered them inferior, and that was all the more reason to play them.
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: Lasker said that the move that works and is effective is a good,correct move. So if everybody considers something wrong,than as you said Lakser would play it and win... Thus, the move is suddenly correct!
Feb-08-04  Catfriend: We"ll continue it later... I go to sleep, good♘ everybody!
Apr-14-09  Chicago Chess Man: 31 Qxb7 is just being mean. Why not Qxg8+ and just end things?
Apr-14-09  sneaky pete: 31.Qxb7 .. forces mate in a few moves, e.g. 31... Qxd5+ 32.Qxd5 Rf8 33.Qg8+ Rxg8 34.Nf7#.

This game wasn't played in London but in Vienna, maybe the only surviving game from the annual club tournament won by Steinitz with + 30 -1 (no draws, Steinitz was no sissy). Bachmann names his victim "L.",so this may have been Herr Lang.

"Seine damalige Spielweise stand freilich zu der von ihm später begründeten Methode noch im vollsten Gegensatze; sie entsprach ganz dem Feuereifer, mit dem sich der angehende Schachjünger auf das Spiel zu werfen pflegt und der sich in kühnen Angriffswendungen und gewagten Opferkombinationen äußert."

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