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Rosenthal - Zukertort Match

Johannes Zukertort12.5/19(+7 -1 =11)[games]
Samuel Rosenthal6.5/19(+1 -7 =11)[games] Chess Event Description
Rosenthal - Zukertort (1880)

This match was played from 3rd May to 25th June, 1880. The match had its origin in Paris (1878), where Zukertort won and Rosenthal shared 7th place. According to Zukertort, Rosenthal challenged him already on the day of the distribution of the prizes. In the middle of 1879, Zukertort got another challenge by Rosenthal as well as a letter from a third party, informing him that Rosenthal had stated in the Régence, that Zukertort had won the Paris tournament by a fluke.

Serious negotiations begun early in 1880 and resulted in the following conditions:

a) The match will be played at the St. George's Chess Club, and the winner is who first scores seven wins. b) The stakes are £ 100 on each side. c) The play takes place three times a week, and either player has the right to abstain from play twice during two months. d) Should during the match, the temperature rise over 77°F (25°C) for three consecutive days or five days during the same week, Mr Rosenthal has the right to adjourn the match until next autumn. e) The right of publishing the match games in France belongs to Rosenthal, in England to Zukertort. f) The time limit is two hours for the first 30 Moves, and one hour for every following 15 moves. g) After six repetitions the opponent may claim a draw (but beginning with the fourth repetition, moves do not count for the time limit).

The number of wins to decide the match was 7, as in Steinitz - Blackburne (1876), but the stakes were two times as much. The slow playing rate (c) and the temperature condition (d) were introduced at the request of Rosenthal, who probably feared exhaustion. The copyright condition (e) was introduced by Zukertort. William Alexander Lindsay acted as umpire for Rosenthal, and William Wayte for Zukertort. The umpires selected Wilhelm Steinitz as referee.

St. George's Chess Club, London, 3 May - 25 June, 1880

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Zukertort ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 0 ˝ 1 1 1 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 12.5 Rosenthal ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ 1 ˝ 0 0 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 6.5

Rosenthal kept the match close until Game 11, when he was only 1 win behind, but broke down afterwards. Zukertort published the games with extensive comments.


a) Chess Monthly, 1879-1880, vol. 1, pp. 168, 199, 231, 260-261, 294-314, 330-343, and vol. 2, pp. 6-19.
b) 1880 Rosenthal-Zukertort, London Match, researched by Nick Pope at

Original collection: Game Collection: Rosenthal-Zukertort 1880 London Match by User: optimal play.

 page 1 of 1; 19 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal ½-½121880Rosenthal - ZukertortC49 Four Knights
2. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort ½-½371880Rosenthal - ZukertortC44 King's Pawn Game
3. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal 1-0301880Rosenthal - ZukertortC49 Four Knights
4. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort  ½-½341880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
5. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal  ½-½241880Rosenthal - ZukertortC67 Ruy Lopez
6. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort  ½-½631880Rosenthal - ZukertortC67 Ruy Lopez
7. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal ½-½261880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
8. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort 0-1601880Rosenthal - ZukertortC67 Ruy Lopez
9. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal ½-½571880Rosenthal - ZukertortA00 Uncommon Opening
10. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort 1-0481880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
11. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal  ½-½161880Rosenthal - ZukertortD04 Queen's Pawn Game
12. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort 0-1471880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
13. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal 1-0481880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
14. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort 0-1371880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
15. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal 1-0591880Rosenthal - ZukertortD02 Queen's Pawn Game
16. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort ½-½491880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
17. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal  ½-½241880Rosenthal - ZukertortA20 English
18. S Rosenthal vs Zukertort  ½-½391880Rosenthal - ZukertortC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
19. Zukertort vs S Rosenthal 1-0371880Rosenthal - ZukertortA28 English
 page 1 of 1; 19 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Should during the match, the temperature rise over 77°F (25°C) for three consecutive days or five days during the same week, Mr Rosenthal has the right to adjourn the match until next autumn.>

Paging Bent Larsen !

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