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Lionel Kieseritzky vs Adolf Anderssen
London (1851), London ENG, rd 1, May-27
Sicilian Defense: 2.b3 Variation (B20)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-29-03  fred lennox: 20 Rg3 - the rook was forced to move or else...Rh6, Qg3...Nxh2+
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: But 20 Rg3 allowed (a) mate in one and(b) ...Rh6, trapping the queen.

Surely a strong contender for the worst move ever.

Apr-15-06  whatthefat: This game is described by the chess historian GH Diggle:

'In the great 1851 Tournament he [Kieseritzky] lost to Anderssen in 20 minutes by "not only playing away the only piece guarding his King from mate, but doing it in such a manner that his opponent (even if he missed the mate) could still have won his Queen instead - a sort of double-barrelled blunder" commented Staunton "that I have never seen equalled even among beginners of the game."'

The manoeuver of Qd1-h5-h3 was a little extravagant, but it's 18.Rf3? that really sinks white, locking the queen in the corner. Hence, although 20.Rg3? is a pretty shocking move for one of the world's best players to make, I think it's a little harsh to call it the worst move ever, given that white's position was already lost. His best try was probably 19.Kh1 offering to give up the exchange to 19...Nf2+. However, black has the stronger continuation 19...Rf6! and white has no satisfactory way of extricating his queen.

Oct-11-06  BonDz: even if the queen could get out, the white couldnt move because of the position.this game is too complicated for the white.nice game!
Sep-07-08  just a kid: The immortal blunder?
Dec-27-08  whiteshark: <18.Qf3 d5 19.Na4> looks viable

click for larger view

Jul-17-09  Nasgard: Despite Kieseritzky having an incredibly narcissistic personality hinging on the unbalanced (he considered himself the second coming!) He had no compunction about publishing this game in his own Chess magazine – giving this frankly terrible game a winder audience, opened him up to a barrage of criticism from the likes of Howard Staunton (who let’s face it played some rubbish himself on occasion!). He must have taken a great deal of pride in playing Anderson.

Obviously this game is nowhere near as beautiful as the more famous ‘Immortal Game’ but up until the end Kieseritzky did play a lot more sensibly! 16...Qa5 was a little over ambitious (hoping to provoke the weakening g6?) and landed him in the trouble which later wove the mating net. Obviously 20.Rg3 was just a howling blunder.

Jul-22-09  Knight13: 16. Qe1.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Notwithstanding the Immortal Game Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851 and this atrocity, Kieseritsky had a slight plus score against Anderssen. However, he fell apart whenever Anderssen played the Sicilian.
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Instead of 16.Qh5 (trying to provoke 16...g6), Kieseritzky could have tried 16.Bc4+. If 16...d5 (16...Kh8 17.Na4), then 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Bxd5+ Kh8 19.Bxa8 Qa7+ 20.Bd4 Qxa8 21.Re1 looks OK for White.

After 16.Qh5, if 16...g6?, then 17.Bc4+ d5 18.Nxd5 cxd5 19.Bxd5+ Rf7 20.Bxf7+ Kxf7 21.Qxh7+ Kf8 22.Qxg6 wins for White.

After 16.Qh5 Nf6 17.Qh3 (17.Qe2 or 17.Qf3 look better) 17...Ng4, it looks like 18.Rf3 is the losing move. White could have tried 18.Qg3 or 18.Qf3 or 18.Na4 or 18.Ne2 and be OK.

The last cheap shot is after 19...Rf6 20.Qh5. If Black plays 20...Rh6?, then 21.Qe8+ Bf8 22.Bc4+ d5 23.Nxd5 cxd5 24.Bxd5+ Be6 25.Bxd6+ Kh8 26.Qd7 and White is OK.

Oct-30-16  goser: Maybe Kieseritzky just touched the rook occasionally and had to make a move with it? The alternative 20. Re3 would be technically better but actually would not make any difference.
Jul-11-19  fkohn: It looks to me that White played his last move to be put out of his misery. I see that kind of thing occasionally in these older games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <fkohn> for a much more recent example of that:

S Williams vs The World, 2013

Apr-04-20  sudoplatov: Rather modern looking play from Anderssen. The a6, d6,e6, Pawn structure and posting the Queen on c7 (after posting on b6.)

The ...Ne8 followed by ...f5 is one of Black's plans against the Saemisch Nimzoindian.

Aug-17-20  schnarre: ...Wasn't expecting 3...a6 (was figuring d6, or e6), but the end result is telling!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <keypusher: But 20 Rg3 allowed (a) mate in one and(b) ...Rh6, trapping the queen.

Surely a strong contender for the worst move ever.>

A very strange and ineffective move to be sure, but White was lost anyway, so 20.Rg3 just made him lose faster. There have been much worse moves, e.g. where one side was winning but blundered into mate or hung a queen (e.g. Reshevsky vs Savon, 1973 and Petrosian vs Bronstein, 1956), thus turning a win into a loss. The parody magazine <Not the British Chess Magazine> decades ago featured a contest for worst move of the year. One of the nominees (maybe the winner) was a game where Black (on move) offered a draw, White properly said "play your move and I'll think about it," Black responded with a crushing queen sac Qxb2+!! forcing mate, and White, in shock, resigned rather than accepting the draw that was on offer.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Have to agree with <whatthefat> and <wwall>: while White's final move was seppuku, he was already quite lost, the culprit being 18.Rf3.

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