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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Simon Winawer
Paris (1867), Paris FRA, Jun-27
French Defense: Winawer. Delayed Exchange Variation (C01)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 1) If 15...gxf6 then 16.Qh5 Ng5 (16...Rh7 17.Qg4) 17.Nxf7 Nxf7 18.Rbe1+ Kd7 19.Qxf7+ Kc8 20.Rxf6 with threat 21.Bf8 and 22.Re8, for example 20...Qd7 21.Bf8 Qxf7 22.Rxf7 Kd8 23.Bg7 Rg8 24.Bf6+ Kc8 25.Ree7 and white wins.

2) If 16...Rh7 then 17.Qf4 c6 (17...Nxc3 18.Rbe1 Ne4 19.Nxg6 etc.) 18.Nxg6 etc.

Apr-15-04  morphyvsfischer: This is the first French Winawer.
Apr-15-04  Kenkaku: <morphyvsfischer> Actually no, it isn't. Three games were played in this 3...Bb4 4. exd5 line in 1861, though as to which was played first (or if a game exists outside this database that precedes them) I do not know. It is, however, the first French, Winawer to be played by Winawer himself (again, unless pertinent games are absent from this database).
Oct-12-06  Plato: The Winawer variation was actually introduced by Ignatz Von Kolisch in his marathon match with Louis Paulsen in 1861; he used it in the 21st and 27th games. It seems to have succeeded in frustrating Paulsen, who responded timidly and had to settle for quick draws both times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: 17. Qxg6 must have come as an unpleasant surprise to Winawer.
Jul-28-17  cwcarlson: 'Relatively best was 16...♖g8, although even then White, by continuing 17.♖be1 would dominate the board.' - Tartakover. Relatively best after 16...♖g8 is 17.♕e6+ fe 18.f7#.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: My first impression of this game was that Steinitz makes Winawer look like a real fish. I don't know much about chess history but it occurred to me that that probably isn't a fair judgment because Steinitz was sort of the Fischer or Kasparov of his day , and they made lots of great players look bad. Then I looked at Steinitz's bio which confirms the idea: <This period of Steinitz’s career was closely examined by Chessmetrics exponent and advocate, Jeff Sonas, who wrote an article in 2005 in which he found that Steinitz was further ahead of his contemporaries in the 1870s than Robert James Fischer was in his peak period (1970–1972)>, although since Steinitz was very gifted as a Talmudic scholar and mathematician, I think he much more serious claims to being a "universal genius" .

Jessica Fischer's entertaining youtube documentary (, also cited in the bio page, shows that Steinitz had serious rivals at first, including Blackburne and to a lesser extent Winawer.

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