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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Alexander G Sellman
Baltimore (1885)  ·  French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0
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Given 44 times; par: 63 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-29-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Brilliant constriction strategy by the man who invented it. Note how he gets control of the c file and goes from there. Takes over a square at a time until Black can't move. Black helps out a bit with 18...h5.
Oct-28-05  CowardlyKnight: The way he gives his opponent the two bishops while keeping a "bad bishop" really shows his understanding of position. He was brillant.
May-27-06  samikd: I don't agree that Steinitz's Bishop was bad.
Apr-12-09  sheaf: ultimate zugzwang!!..with so many pieces on the board..
Apr-17-09  sheaf: the position after 29. Qc7, black is heading for a zugzwang...black is running out of waiting moves.. while exchanging the queen just leads to the final position..
Apr-17-11  lalla: i studied this game in Reinfeld's chess mastery by answer and question. Why not 12. b4 with aim at a5 and thus making both bishops active?
Sep-21-12  Llawdogg: Surprisingly, Sellman is all but lost after 12 ... Qb6. He had to play 12 ... b4 and then perhaps 13 ... a5 with the goal of 14 ... Ba6. Perhaps this is what lalla was trying to say.

In any case, this is one of the most instructive games of chess ever played. It could even be the game of the day sometime.

Dec-29-12  bengalcat47: <lalla> I have a copy of the book Chess Mastery by Question and Answer. One of the other games from this book (Game #14) is an impressive White win by Lilienthal and Panov vs. Blumenfeld and Kotov. I wish this game was in the database here. Sometime when I get the chance I'll convert the moves into algebraic notation and post the game score at the chessgames site.
Jun-24-13  estrick: Highlights of the game are paraphrased from Irving Chernev's commentary in "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played:"

Steinitz drives Sellman's dark square B back with 13. b4!

With 16. Be3!, Steinitz claims more of the dark squres.

19. Nc3! begins a "Knight's tour" aiming for the a5-square, from whence it will seek to eliminate Sellman's DSB.

After 25. Rc1, White has control of the c-file and will end up with his Rook on the 7th rank.

With 27. Nac6!, Steinitz intends to eliminate Sellman's dsb. If Sellman trades off his lsb instead, numerous possible cominations are made possible for White, and Black's position will instantly collapse.

With 30. Bf2!, White's dsb will finally prove that Sellman's dark squares are hopelessly weak.

After 35. Bd6, all of Black's pieces are on the back rank. He is completely tied up.

Mar-29-15  thejack: Why not 31.Ne6 ?
Mar-29-15  thejack: Im not all that impressed with Steinitz` play. 6.dc5: and 11.Nd1 seem suspicious to me, and it was only after weak play on blacks part (12.- Qb6, basically handing over the dark squares) that Whites position finally came alive. From that moment on though, Steinitz was impeccable ;)

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