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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Samuel Tinsley
London (1899), London ENG, rd 22, Jun-28
French Defense: Advance Variation. Paulsen Attack (C02)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: Whoops missed something___22 Re2!. I played the advanced Variation 3.e5 for 20 yearsm and I believe that 5...f6 is the best for Black.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Tinsley for once played the opening decently, but then played a faulty combination on his 16th move that lost the game immediately.

Unlike profK, I am not fond of 5...f6 in the Advance Variation of the French Defense (the more normal 5...Qb6 or 5...Bd7 or even 5...Nge7 all seem much better), but 5...f6 is certainly playable and had nothing to do with Tinsley's defeat here. In fact, when Steinitz played 6. exf6 (instead of the far superior 6. Bd3) Tinsley got the better of the opening and maintained his advantage through his 15th move.

The Tournament Book criticizes Tinsley's 14...Nb4 as a loss of time, but the move looks fine to me. True, the Knight can be chased away by White with 16. a3, but White also loses time in having to move his Bishop and also loosens his Queen-side pawn structure. All in all, I like the move.

Tinsley's 16...Bxh2+, however was simply a blunder. He apparently thought he would obtain a good attack for the piece with 19...Nc2 20. BxN RxB, but overlooked Steinitz' 20. Re2!! winning immediately. In fact, and as the Tournament Book notes, Steinitz could have won even without this resource (e.g., 20. Rf1, though not as decisive as 20. Re2!!, would have refuted Tinsley's combination).

Tinsley's desperate 20...Nxe3 was crushed by Steinitz' 21. Qd3. In fairness, however, the game was past redemption after 20. Re2.

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