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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Curt von Bardeleben
"The Battle of Hastings" (game of the day Sep-28-04)
Hastings (1895)  ·  Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line (C54)  ·  1-0
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <JoergWalter> That was Soltis's version, who of course wasn't there. Winter's article has several diverging accounts.

One thing they got right was Steinitz claiming that "God almighty couldn't give me pawn and move", rather than claiming he could give God such odds, as so many other writers do incorrectly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Marmot> Yes, Winter's research seems to demonstrate conclusively that (a) 25.Rxh7+ was played, after which Von Bardeleben left the hall, and (b) Von Bardeleben's "offence" was not thought scandalous at the time (and if anyone had a nose for scandal, it was the Victorians).

His walk-out was, he claimed, a protest against the cheers and applause which had followed victories in earlier rounds. Note that Von Bardeleben was leading the tournament before this game, so that at least part of his problem was the applause that he himself had received for his wins. The organizers agreed, and took steps to enforce silence.

Nor does Steinitz appear to have been annoyed. He waited 50 minutes, claimed a win on time, and demonstrated a mating line to the crowd.

It is true that Von B's protest was also motivated by a dislike of Steinitz, and a desire to avoid giving him the 'satisfaction' of resignation.

I imagine he was in a state of turmoil and distress -- think of Ivanchuk kicking the wall not so long ago. But the 'scandal' of chess folklore is a myth.

Winter's description is apt:
<The author of that apparent exercise in imagination, simultaneously fertile and sterile, is A. Soltis (The Great Chess Tournaments and Their Stories, pages 67-68).>

Nov-11-11  JoergWalter: <Domdaniel>
v. Bardeleben was from a wealthy family. he was also known to be arrogant and "stylish" - he had a courier to get his butter from a particular deli in Berlin. And his surrender to Steinitz was allegedly delivered by his messenger boy.

BTW, the girl is annotating chess games only as second job - she is more into the field of navigation systems. "in 100 m turn right"

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Joerg> Navigation systems, eh? I've heard of them. I could say something about easing back on the joystick - technical talk, I believe, among navigators - but I won't.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: In the end, the jokes, puns, flames and counterflames will fade away. The irruptions by idiots and miscellaneous extrusions of ego will weather into the landscape.

The game remains an astonishing work of art. Not just one of the finest combinations on record, with a beautiful aesthetic power, but one of the great human statements of defiance in the face of time and fate. I rank it with anything by Leonardo or Goethe or Shakespeare: the King Lear of chess games, the Gioconda of the Giuoco.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Ohio> I recently figured that what CG needed was some kind of sandpit or virtual play area -- a well-shielded romper room where those so inclined could thump each other with inflatable hammers ...

Aha, each *other*. To some of these aggressive types, the enemy is the Other. So what we need is an Other Containment Facility ... an OCF, in fact.

Then I remembered we already had one. Not that I'd suggest anyone should use your place for fighting with inflatable hammers.

Premium Chessgames Member
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Curly, Larry and Moe were among my childhood heroes. And more mature than certain 'internet people' ...

How do you find such appropriate pics?

Nov-29-11  IRONCASTLEVINAY: all the whites pieces are under attack
Dec-17-11  Penguincw: The final position, I think.

click for larger view

Mar-01-12  shepi13: Why do people keep saying that c6 was a bad move in earlier pages. It prevents Qxe7 Qxe7, Rxe7, Kxe7, Rxc7+, K moves, Rxb7, when white has two pawns for the exchange and should win more. I think it is only bad because of d5, which he couldn't have predicted.
Premium Chessgames Member
  shakespeare: from move 16 on it went downhill - Kf7 going out of the pin with an almost equal position but c6 gives white the opportunity to open lines for his rooks - bad positional mistake
Mar-14-13  IndigoViolet: Does anyone know what the time control at this event was?
Mar-14-13  thomastonk: <IndigoViolet: time control> I quote from the tournament book: "Thirty moves for the first two hours, and fifteen moves per hour afterwards."
Mar-14-13  FISCHERboy: <shepi13: Why do people keep saying that c6 was a bad move in earlier pages.>

It makes sense (Qxe7 Qxe7, Rxe7, Kxe7, Rxc7+, K moves, Rxb7 plus winning two pawns.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: My (updated) web page for this game:

My new "You-Tube" video for this game:

Aug-13-13  JoergWalter: <LIE Master AJ: My (updated) web page for this game> <15. Qe2!?, (Maybe - '!')
Is this the most aggressive here?
Kasparov questions this ... but his analysis is based on old analysis that was done by Igor Zaitzev. (But I have punched holes in that work.) [ Interesting is: 15.Qa4+!?, " " - Soviet Master, Igor Zaitzev. ]. >

<Nov-02-11 JoergWalter: Geller found the correct continuation 16.Ne5 to Zaitsev's 15.Qa4+ on the train Moscow to Murmansk 11-24-1983. Mainline: 15.Qa4+! Kf7 16.Ne5+! fxe5 17.Rxe5 Qd6 18.Qc4+! Kf8 19.Rae1 Ng8 20.Rd5 Qc6 21.Qb4! etc. (see also the Mammoth Book of The World's Greatest Chess Game >


<... But Nunn is also a hypocrite... >

So much for the "update" which happened according to your website <Game first posted on my web site, March 28th, 2002. (Last updated August 25th, 2003.)>

Aug-13-13  MarkFinan: This is so clever and smart especially the last few moves with the rook, and all the different lines to look at with whites rook being on c1, but how does 14.Re1 deserve an exclam when its the most natural looking move to anybody rated 1200+?? I wouldn't contemplate any other move.
Aug-21-13  JoergWalter: From the tournament book:

<This day sees Steinitz at his best. His game v. Bardeleben is a gem of the first water (afterwards awarded first prize for sound brilliancy), and the final picture is a chef-d'auvre of an old master.

Notes by Dr. Tarrasch.
[7. Nc3]' This move is mentioned by Greco, and Steinitz has again recommended it in his ' Modern Chess Instructor' ; this variation was also played by him against Schlechter in this Tournament.
[7....d5]' Schlechter here played Kt x K P, which is the correct move, following it up : 8. Castles, B x Kt ; 9. P x B, P to Q 4 ; 10. B to R 3 (Steinitz's ne *r move, on which the whole variation depends), B to K 3 ; II. B to Kt 5, Kt to Q 3, with an equal game.
[9....Be6]3 If Kt (or B) X Kt ; 10. P x Kt, B x P, White gets a dangerous attack by 1 1. B x P, ch, K x B ; 12. Q to Kt 3, ch, &c. [10.Re1]* The point of all the exchanges, as by this move White obtains command of the board, prevents Black from Castling, and initiates a most powerful attack on the King.
[16....f6]^ It would have been preferable to play the K to B 2, as White had then nothing better than 17. Q >
- Kt, ch, Q x Q ; 18. R x Q, ch, K X R ; 19. R X P, ch, followed by R x Q Kt P, and Black has still a prospect of a draw.
[17.d5]" A nice sacrifice of a Pawn, making way for the Knight to powerfully strengthen the attack.
[22.Rxe7+]' Here begins a grand combination. (See diagram.) [22....Kf8]* The position is most interesting, all the White Pieces being en prise. If K X R, then follows 23. R to K sq, ch, K to Q 3 ; 24. Q to Q Kt 4, ch, K to B 2 ; 25. Kt to K 6, ch, K to Kt sq ; 26. Q to K B 4, ch, and wins.
[25.Rxh7+]" The checks by the Rook are delightful, as Black cannot take with King or he loses his Queen with a check, nor can he take with Queen or he is mated.
[10 For now if K to Kt sq, Mr. Steinitz (at the time) demonstrated the following brilliant and remarkable mate in ten moves : 26 R to Kt 7, ch K to R sq (or if
K to B sq ; 27. Kt to R 7,
ch, &c.)
27 Q to R 4, ch K X R
28 Q to R 7, ch K to B sq
29 Q to R 8, ch K to K 2
30 Q to Kt 7, ch K to K sq
31 Q to Kt 8, ch K to K 2
32 Q to B 7, ch K to Q sq
33 Q to B 8, ch Q to K sq
34 Kt to B 7, ch K to Q 2
35 Q to Q 6, mate.]>
(the moves 7, 9,14, 16, 17, 22 and 25 in [...] were inserted by me)

The complete tournament book can be downloaded here:

Dec-16-13  MarkFinan: If there's a forced mate in 10 at the position black resigned, my engine can't find it! Got to a depth of 36plys and gives white +13.20. Strange.
Dec-21-13  maverickx: it says the mate can only be averted by ruinous loss of material; analysis follows: ...Kh8 25. Rxh7+ Kg8 26. Rg7+ Kh8 27. Qh4+ Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Qg8+ Ke7 32. Qf7+ Kd8 33. Qf8+ Qe8 34. Nf7+ Kd7 35. Qd6#
Jan-13-14  CblP: I'm a bit newbie in chess, but why not 22.. Ke7 or Qe7? Don't see the reason after several minutes of deep thinking... What's the trick?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <CblP>

22....Kxe7 23.Re1+ Kd6 24.Qb4+ Kc7 25.Ne6+ Kb8 26.Qf4+ (from JoergWalter's post)

22....Qxe7 23.Rxc8+.

May-21-14  NeoIndian: I am sorry if this has been asked before, but is there a forced Mate after 25...Qxh7? I mean, after such a dazzling display, it must be a little disappointing to have to explain in a dry voice: "...and now I win the king and knight endgame. In another twenty or so moves." :P
Aug-07-14  MarkFinan: <NeoIndian: I am sorry if this has been asked before, but is there a forced Mate after 25...Qxh7?>

According to the kibitzing here, yes. According to Stockfish. No! I don't understand it and I've said it before. Okay, QxR RxR RxR QxR and Qg8 and you have this...

click for larger view

And Stockfish still can't find the forced mate!? #Puzzled

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