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Early examples of back-rank redeployment
Compiled by Ziggurat
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Steinitz usually gets credit for introducing the concept of retiring his pieces to the back rank for strategic purposes. I have tried to look for earlier examples, often involving Paulsen.

Move 12 has a rare double backrank redeployment
T Barnes vs Paulsen, 1862
(A03) Bird's Opening, 45 moves, 0-1

17..Na8!
Anderssen vs Paulsen, 1869
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 43 moves, 0-1

Knight maneuver a5-b7-d8-f7
Anderssen vs Paulsen, 1862 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 60 moves, 0-1

Bishop is routed through e8 to h5
Steinitz vs Paulsen, 1862 
(B27) Sicilian, 52 moves, 0-1

Nb6-a7-c6
G Neumann vs Paulsen, 1864 
(C78) Ruy Lopez, 56 moves, 0-1

Anderssen vs Paulsen, 1862
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 42 moves, 1-0

6 games

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