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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Curt von Bardeleben
"The Battle of Hastings" (game of the day Feb-23-2016)
Hastings (1895), Hastings ENG, rd 10, Aug-17
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line (C54)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 8 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-25-14  waustad: I got to the sqame place as <MarkFinian> but saw a simple to win endgame and considered that enough.
Dec-05-14  Tal1949: Very strange game all around. The Von got smashed the whole game and really had no right to be such a sore loser. If you play defense like that you deserve to lose. Simple.

And if he disliked Steinitz that much he should have continued. Modern chess engines show that 25...Qxh7 is the correct move. As <MarkFinan> shows the game goes on!

Dec-05-14  Tal1949: <waustad> True. The game was +6 after move 33 (see below) and would be won by a modern GM. However in Steinitz's day there were blunders everywhere. The Von should have played on. Unfortunately we will never see what might have happened.

25...Qxh7 26. Rxc8+ Rxc8 27. Qxc8+ Qg8 28. Qh3+ Kg7 29. Qd7+ Kh6 30. Nf7+ Kg7 31. Ne5+ Kh8 32. Ng4 Qf8 33. Qxb7 d4

Jun-30-15  alphamaster: If the game is +6 after move 33 it does not need a " modern GM" to win it. In fact even a " modern GM", playing black, would have resign against any average player.
Aug-24-15  KID Slayer: One of the funniest and greatest games ever, particularly with von Bardeleben's reaction to Steinitz's followup after the game. I especially like that stubborn rook invading on the seventh rank when threatened with a back-row mate.
Oct-31-15  JGoumas: Chess looks so simple, when a World Champion moves the pieces....
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <"I like to think that this game was born of heroic circumstances. Steinitz had been toppled off his throne by Dr. Lasker. The old rivals over whome he had lorded it in Europe were at his heels, and the fresh generation, dealing shrewdly in his own tenets, had found that he wqs vulnerable. In that crisis Steinitz bravely fought two readguard actions at once, one in the traditional place. and one out ahead.

"Here the old monarch turns for a brief, casual, and glorious effacement of one of the pursuers.> -- William Ewart Napier, "Amenities and Background of Chess-play.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: No complaints here. This game is entitled to be GOTD every dozen years or so.
Feb-23-16  Razgriz: Afte 22. Rxe7+, why doesn't Black respond by taking the Rook with the Queen?

22. Rxe7+ Qxe7
23. Rxc8+ Rxc8
24. Qxc8+

and the Queen can block with Qd8, and then White can follow up with Qxb7, threatening the a7, h7 and the d6 pawn. Am I following the line wrong?

Same with 24. Rg7+, why not defend with Qxg7?

Premium Chessgames Member
  sycophante: <Razgriz> Your line starts well, but:

22. Rxe7+ Qxe7
23. Rxc8+ Rxc8
24. Qxc8+ Qd8
25. Qxd8 Kxd8
26. Nxh7 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: Rook stroll along the 7th rank
Feb-23-16  WorstPlayerEver: I guess after 25. Rh7 Qh7 Von didn't want go through the torture of: 26. Rc8 Rc8 27. Qc8 Qg8 28. Qh3 Kg7 29. Qd7 Kh6 30. Nf7 Kg7 31. Nd6 Kh8 32. Qe7 Qg7 33. Qd8 Kh7 34. Ne8 Qf8 35. Nf6 Kg7 36. Ne8 Kh7 37. Qh4 Kg8 38. Nf6 Kg7 39. Nd5

Why? Because who wants to play 9 moves with their king for no apparent reason??

Feb-23-16  The Kings Domain: One of the all-time greats. First came across this in the classic "500 Master Games of Chess" and never forgot it. Love how Steinitz was one step ahead from the start and poor Von Bardeleben never had a chance and yet despite that the game hung precariously in the balance. One for the ages.
Feb-23-16  WorstPlayerEver: By the way, it's very instructive to study how the White Q+N tackle Black's position after 31. Nd6 in my previous comment.

Notice what happens at the h4-d8 diagonal and how the Nd6 hops to e8/f6 twice to catch both the f6 and the d5 pawn.

Feb-23-16  gauer: I realize that C Morales vs W Arencibia, 1989 seems to provide an 8th move alternative.

Question for User: crafty : 10 Bg5 f6 is now Von Feilitzsch vs Raymond Le Pontois, 1930 - but Steinitz vs Von Bardeleben, 1895 (kibitz #72) has a different solution. How much worse is black, really, on his 16th and 19th move alternatives? Looks like a severe case of getting steamrolled by some sort of correspondence preparation. Thanks for the help!

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Naka's step-father wrote a book named <Best Lessons of a Chess Coach>, in which this game appears.

Well, at least, it is in some chess book or other that I've read; I think it's Sunil's book.

The game is very famous.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: This was one of the best games in a GREAT tournament. Great GOTD!
Feb-23-16  RookFile: This game is a model example of how to conduct an attack.

But it is also an object lesson for how to play defense.

Had Petrosian, for example, taken the black pieces, I don't have a doubt in the world that he would have played 16.....Kf7 rather than 16....c6. Petrosian was well known for king walks.

After the game ended in a draw, folks would have said: "Gee, that was really an interesting game. Steinitz came close to winning." Meanwhile, Petrosian wouldn't have said anything, but would have prepared for the next game.

Skill in defense tends to be underrated, but it makes all the difference in separating the champions from the also-rans.

Premium Chessgames Member
  RandomVisitor: 16...Kf7 and black has a playable game
Feb-23-16  john barleycorn: has not this great game been analysed to death?
Feb-23-16  Conrad93: <has not this great game been analysed to death?>

Yes, to the point that it has lost most of its luster.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Since black lost, I'm surprised no one have analyzed if 2... Nc6 was sound or not.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: <Conrad93: <has not this great game been analysed to death?>

Yes, to the point that it has lost most of its luster.>

I disagree: Of course Black could have done better as early as on move 7 (Nxe4 instead of d5), but nevertheless the well-calculated, deep and spectacular finish (all four white pieces en prise and Black threatening mate from move 22 on) render this game an absolute highlight of 19th-century chess!

Feb-23-16  imbo2010: I am new to this.How about 22 RE7 KE7?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: 22.Re7+ Kxe7 23.Re1+ Kd8 24.Nd6+ Ke8 25.Nc5+ looks killer.

(25...Qe7 26.Rxe7+ Kxe7 27.Nd3)

23.Re1+ Kd6 24.Qb4+ Kc7 25.Ne6+ Kb8 26.Qf4+

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