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Samuel Rosenthal vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Vienna (1873), Vienna AUH, rd 5, Aug-04
Three Knights Opening: Steinitz Defense (C46)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-07-02
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Main advantage of bishop pair against bishop and knight in semi-open game is that it allows pretty safe advance of pawns to restrict opponent's knight since the bishops combine to prevent invasion along the resulting weaknesses. The same technique does not in general work in the case of single bishop vs. knight because single bishop cannot defend adequately weak points resulting from pawn advances. Steinitz demonstrated that in this game perfectly - see 16...c5; 20...f6; 21...h5. He also restricted effectiveness of opponent's single bishop by forming a pawn chain - see also 16...c5 and 17...b6. You can see that white's bishop and knight are even completely blocked in the position after the 22nd move of black. Rosenthal tried to liberate his pieces by 23.f5 but it led to the loss of pawn in five moves.
Nov-01-04  Gowe: When Steinitz moved 16.c5! then white are tecnicly lost, because it's an open position and his knight lose the best point of support because it is in a central square. You can also see 20.F6! with a block to the knight puting it out of the game.
Oct-23-07  Zxookazoid7: This was the first game Steinitz shows how to make your bishops stronger than the opponents Knight. As you can see Steinitz takes away all the Knights Support Points
Aug-20-08  myschkin: . . .

<How to Analyze>

"The following game has been annotated by several authors, including Chernev in The Most Instructive Games Ever Played and Tartakower in his 500 Games of Chess. Some of their notes have been incorporated."

http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/...

(by Scott Massey)

Jun-25-11  Leadbelly: @Honza Cervenka

Good post.

Jan-04-12  gezafan: A positional crush!
Aug-10-12  maelith: Is it amusing that the start of Steiniz 25 straight wins in professional chess is also the start of modern bishop pair use..
Aug-26-12  Tigranny: Awesome use of the bishops by Steinitz.
Jul-12-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Instead of 33.Qg3, which may be the losing move, perhaps White can hold with 33.Qxa7 (prevents ...Qxa2). Now if 33...Rxf2 34.Rxf2 Qxc1 35.Rf1 Qe3+ 36.Kh1 and White may draw. White threatens Qxb6 and the position is starting to look equal.
Aug-16-13  ciastekx: @wwall: <Instead of 33.Qg3, which may be the losing move, perhaps White can hold with 33.Qxa7 (prevents ...Qxa2)>. If 33.♕xa7? then 33...♖xf2 34.♖xf2 ♕xc1+ . Rosenthal had to reduce the load on the f1 rook by protecting the knight at f2 with another piece, that is why he moved 33.♕g3.
Aug-16-13  ciastekx: @wwall: <ciastekx: @wwall: <Instead of 33.Qg3, which may be the losing move, perhaps White can hold with 33.Qxa7 (prevents ...Qxa2)>. If 33.♕xa7? then 33...♖xf2 34.♖xf2 ♕xc1+ . Rosenthal had to reduce the load on the f1 rook by protecting the knight at f2 with another piece, that is why he moved 33.♕g3>

Sent too early. I see that you are basically giving the same variation, but evaluating the position differently. I do not think Rosenthal's rook would be a match for two bishops, and the pawns would need time to become dangerous. Does White have that time? Personally, I prefer Black here.

May-26-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  sycophante: Never been a GOTD yet? Such a famous game... I propose "Early Synod"
Jul-02-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawnpro: just bringing the game back if you miss it
Jul-02-18  sudoplatov: Lest we think Rosenthal was a pushover; Steinitz Tied with Rosenthal 3-3-3.

EDO Ratings 1873

Steinitz 2780 #1
Rosenthal 2571 #8

Jul-02-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <maelith> <25 straight games won> yea, well, of course the best player was not playing any more, so Steinitz lucked out.
Aug-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Where do we start?

<" Awesome use of the bishops by Steinitz.">

It is an awful example of the two Bishops and it by far the worst game in that otherwise excellent book 'The Most Instructive Games Ever Played'

(Chernev misses out some moves leaving the poor reader in this position.


click for larger view

Saying White resigned EH? Now I get it but back in the day I was puzzled and wanted to see the 100% win.)

Look again at the diagram The g7 Bishop makes one move, then blocks itself with a pawn on f6.

Chernev probably included it based on a Reti fawning gush claiming this game:

<"This is perhaps the oldest game in which we find the practical application of the theory created by Steinitz to demonstrate the advantage of the combined bishops" (Reti in Masters of the Chessboard)>

That's a load of codswallop!

Off the top of my head. Run through Staunton vs Saint Amant, 1843 tpstar regarding the two Bishops: "this game is a textbook example of their superiority."

Saint Amant plays a wee trick resulting RBB V RR. Now we know this usually favours the 2B's But at that time there were so few examples, both players was pioneering.

My point being from all the perfect examples of the Bishop Pair dominating a game up to 1965 when MIGEP was written, Chernev chose this one. It is a terrible choice. (good game but it's a not a 2B's game.)

The give away that Chernev followed Reti is that Reti too ends the game after Black played 33...Qxa2 adding 'And Black won.'

< Never been a GOTD yet? Such a famous game... I propose "Early Synod">

It's pun less and un GOTD'd - let us leave it that way.

Aug-14-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sally Simpson>

<It is an awful example of the two Bishops and it by far the worst game in that otherwise excellent book 'The Most Instructive Games Ever Played'>

<Off the top of my head. Run through Staunton vs Saint Amant, 1843 tpstar regarding the two Bishops: "this game is a textbook example of their superiority."

Saint Amant plays a wee trick resulting RBB V RR. Now we know this usually favours the 2B's But at that time there were so few examples, both players was pioneering.>

Truly amazing that you managed to come up with a much worse example than Rosenthal-Steinitz, Sally. Maybe you need to stop consulting the top of your head.

Chernev was trying to illustrate the superiority of two bishops v. bishop and knight. There was no need to illustrate the superiority of two bishops v. rook, not in 1843 and certainly not when Chernev was writing. So in addition to being a wretched game (after a cover-your-eyes opening, Black commits a losing blunder on move 16), Staunton vs Saint Amant, 1843 was useless to Chernev.

There <are> better examples of two bishops v. bishop and knight. But it's not nearly as bad a choice as you make out. See Honza's comment from 16 years ago:

<Main advantage of bishop pair against bishop and knight in semi-open game is that it allows pretty safe advance of pawns to restrict opponent's knight since the bishops combine to prevent invasion along the resulting weaknesses. The same technique does not in general work in the case of single bishop vs. knight because single bishop cannot defend adequately weak points resulting from pawn advances. Steinitz demonstrated that in this game perfectly - see 16...c5; 20...f6; 21...h5. He also restricted effectiveness of opponent's single bishop by forming a pawn chain - see also 16...c5 and 17...b6.>

Aug-15-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

The Staunton game must have made an impression as it was the one pre-Steinitz game I recalled right away.

I could not recall the exact position or the move order. But both Bishops out dancing a Rook kind of stuck...


click for larger view

...which is what, to me anyway, an Instructive Game is all about...making an impression, something sticks.

The sticking point in this game on this page was the poor choice which was my main point. ( I do not know why you re-posted Honza's post, I am not disagreeing with him - just the choice of this game.)

"Chernev was trying to illustrate the superiority of two bishops v. bishop and knight."

I think this game is a poor example, the main tactical theme was the Q & R battery on the 7th. Add in the fact the last moves are missing from both books showing how Rosenthal drops a piece to a pin v an unprotected Queen and you are left with an untidy shoddy game which to me, again in the eye of the beholder, shows very little about as you say: 'superiority of two bishops v. bishop and knight.'

Chernev lifted it straight from Reti in a moment of laziness even down to missing out the last few moves.

O Wuelfing vs M Lange, 1862 played 11 years before this game. A wonderful position showing just what 2 B's v B&N can do.


click for larger view

In a minor piece ending you cannot pin that e2 Knight with a Bishop and cover the two pin breaking squares. e1 and f2 with Knight. It has to be another Bishop. (it's a pattern worth storing.)

The real joy here is Black can merrily march his King up to f3 to just win the pinned Knight.

White cannot play Be1, Black will chop the minor pieces and pick up the e-pawn.

So White defends the e-pawn with Bf4 and is reduced to pawns moves. They run out. White will have to go Bh2-g1-f2 to break the pin. By then the e5 pawn falls, Black then chops all the minor pieces and wins - which is what happened.

Aug-15-18  WorstPlayerEver: Rosenthal simply blundered; 24. Ne4=
Aug-20-18
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Sally S.> After I called you on Staunton-St. Amant you came up with a much better example. I take full credit. :-) But you know, Chernev probably had no idea that Wuelfing-Lange existed. Life was hard for the old authors.

<I do not know why you re-posted Honza's post, I am not disagreeing with him>

Of course you are. You think this is a terrible example of 2B v. B+N. Honza thinks it's a good one.

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