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Adolf Anderssen vs Howard Staunton
London (1851), London ENG, rd 3, Jun-??
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen-Basman Defense (B40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-01-08  Knight13: 6...a7 is not the strange move, the strange move is 4...Bc5, which is not a good one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: 4...Bc5 is common enough, and has been played several times by's own Gerard Welling.

<gejewe> if you see this, it would be interesting to have your comments on this opening and where Black goes wrong. I would guess that Black's position is hopeless by move 16.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I am copying this from Mr. Welling's page.

<Gejewe: <keypusher> After the initial moves I prefer the active 5.Nc3 Qb6!? for example 1) 6.Na4 Qa5+ 7.c3 Bxd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 ( two bishops but Na4 is clumsy ) 2) 6.Be3 Nc6 and the pawn sacrifice 7.Ndb5 Bxe3 leads to an unclear position but control of e5 should help black. I remember a matchgame Harstston-Basman, England 1974 as a good example how black should play. Staunton was a bit passive, 6..Qc7 was suggested in contemporary sources and Staunton was very critical on his play in this particular game in general.>

I think this is the Hartston-Basman game he refers to:

Hartston vs M Basman, 1973

Premium Chessgames Member

This game is annotated here.

Jun-20-09  heuristic: mo' better moves :

11...d5 12.Nf3 Nc6 13.Bxa7 Rxa7 14.a3

12.Nf3 Nc6 13.Bx7 Rxa7 14.Ne4 Qd8

16.Kh1 b4 17.a3 bxa3 18.bxa3 Rab8

16...Bxe3+ 17.Rxe6 Qb6 18.Qh3 Rad8 19.Bd3

19...Qb4 20.Bb7 Qc4 21.Rg1 Rd7 22.Bc6

22...Qd5+ 23.Rff3 Ne7 24.gxh6 g6 25.Qg5

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <heuristic> <11...d5 12.Nf3 Nc6 13.Bxa7 Rxa7 14.a3>

How about 11...d5 12. exd6 Qxd6 13. Qf3? Or, after 12. Nf3 Nc6 13. Bxa7 Rxa7, instead of 14. a3, 14. Ng5 h6 15. Nxf7 Nxf4 16. Rxf4 Rxf7 17. Ref1 Nxe5 18. Rxf7 Nxf7 19. Qg6?

Aug-31-10  dzhafner: why not 8... d6?

if 9 Qg4 ... 0-0
and if 10 Bh6?? ... Ng6 (the hanging bishop, knight, and threat of e5 seem difficult to meet) 11 Bg5 ... Qb6 (11 Be3 .. e5)

Black should be able to get in 9 ...Nf6 and possibly continue with ...e5, ...Nd4 à la Adams vs Hydra, 2005 as jaymthetactician pointed out.

May-04-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Anderssen vs Staunton, 1851.
Your score: 63 (par = 56)


Nov-27-14  Knight13: The way Black developed his pieces... There's a lesson to be learned.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ziryab: 13...Nc6 leads to an interesting training position. What is White's best reply?
Dec-18-14  Knight13: <Ziryab: 13...Nc6 leads to an interesting training position. What is White's best reply?> 14. Ng5: ... h6 15. Nxf7, etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: If I were to travel to the 19th century (pre-Steinitz) and face a strong player (ex. Anderseen), in response to 1.e4, I'd probably play 1...c5 or something to try to get them offtrack. Unfortunately, this game proves otherwise...

Dec-18-14  Knight13: <Penguincw> Keep in mind that they didn't know how to "properly" play Black's side of Sicilian in pre-Steinitz times, either....
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Penguincw> The Sicilian was probably more in vogue in 1851 (to Morphy's disgust) than it would be for 90 years after. Anderssen was particularly good with it, I think.

Steinitz vs Anderssen, 1866

Apr-10-15  rwbean: 15. c3 is +1.00 (Stockfish 6, 36 ply).

18. f5 is +2.67 (Stockfish 6, 37 ply). PV is like 18. f5 ♕xe5 19. ♗g2 ♕xb2 20. Bg5 ♖d7 21. fxg6 hxg6 22. ♕h4. This means 17... c5 was a serious error - better 17 ... ♗xe3.

Then it seems the final error is 19... ♕a4 instead of 19... ♕b4.

28. ♕f6+ is mate in 10.

Aug-15-15  saturn2: <Knight13 the strange move is 4...Bc5, which is not a good one.> Bc5 is more common after black has already played a6 and white has already played Nc3. The reason seems as follows: White could play 5.Nb3 and develope the other knight via d2 to c4 later on and whites e4-e5 is looming. Black can prevent this by d6 but then the d file gets opened and after Qd1xQd8 the castling is spoiled.

Actually e5 happened also in the game but white could have exploited the move ..4 Bc4 even better

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: In the tournament book at the end of this game Staunton states:

"Let the reader compare this game, which would be discreditable to two third-rate players of a coffee-house, with any of the match game in which Black has taken part heretofore, and say how far the result of this mere mockery of Chess is a proof of the absolute powers of two men who are called proficients."

I've copied it word for word. I think he is saying in his own sweet way that Black [Staunton] played an awful game of chess.

(adding to the confusion this note actually appears in the middle of the next game but it's marker '*' refers the reader back to the last move of the previous game. - this game.)

page 111 here:

Jun-08-16  zanzibar: <Sally> yes, I was just about to add the same passage that you have done.

But, I think Staunton is also putting a knock on Anderssen as well as himself, when he uses phraseology like:

<discreditable to two third-rate players of a coffee-house ... mockery ... of two men who are called proficients.>

in reference to the game, and not just Black's play.

Of course parsing his writing is laborious in this matter. Still, I've read in more than one place the opinion that Staunton was rather unfair and unkind to Anderssen in the London (1851) TB.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <But, I think Staunton is also putting a knock on Anderssen as well as himself, when he uses phraseology like: <discreditable to two third-rate players of a coffee-house ... mockery ... of two men who are called proficients.>

in reference to the game, and not just Black's play.>

<zanzibar> Of course that is what Staunton is doing.

I've had the London 1851 tournament book for a long time. Staunton's evaluation heuristic is simple: If he wins, it's a good, probably even great game. If he loses, it's a terrible game.

If you beat Staunton (Anderssen, Elijah Williams) you're a bad player and a bad person. If you lose to Staunton (Horwitz, Jaenisch) you're a fine master and a prince among men.

Jun-09-16  zanzibar: <keypusher> Some more comments by Staunton:

Biographer Bistro (kibitz #14371)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The <TB> score ends with <32.Rf2>. Does any source give the extra moves?
Feb-25-19  sneaky pete: <MS> Schachzeitung February 1852, page 44. I noticed before that Staunton clipped a lot of games, not only some played by Williams. Anderssen was one of the editors of Schachzeitung.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Games 4 and 5 of this match carry definite dates: June 23rd and 25th, respectively, but I'm a little distrustful without specific sources. Does the <SZ>'s coverage provide any useful information regarding the tournament schedule in general (excluding the first round, that is)?
Feb-26-19  sneaky pete: Schachzeitung has no dates or anything useful about the schedule at all. The tournament reports in the May/June and the July issues are a translation of (most of) what Staunton wrote as Introduction in the tournament book.
Apr-22-22  rwbean: SF15 - 19. f5 ♕xe5 19. ♗g2 ♕xb2 20. ♗g5 ♖d7 21. ♗e4 ♕c3 22. fxg6 fxg6 23. ♖xf8+ ♔xf8 24. ♕h4 ♔g8 25. ♕f2 c4 26. ♕e2 ♕e5 27. ♗h4 ... +6.34 (54 ply) ... e6 pawn is very weak, Black falls apart.
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