Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Wilhelm Steinitz vs Henry Bird
"Cuckoo Bird" (game of the day Mar-20-2014)
London m (1866), London ENG, rd 9, Sep-??
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation (C10)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 195 times; par: 16 [what's this?]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 32 more Steinitz/Bird games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Olga is our default viewer, but we offer other choices as well. You can use a different viewer by selecting it from the pulldown menu below and pressing the "Set" button.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.


Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-16-10  nvrennvren: "I can See that Steinitz, Morphy and Anderssen all had simular style of Play."

they are completely different.

steinitz father of closed game(pawn structure)

morphy father of piece developement (positional)

anderssen is one of the most famous players of romantism era. good at sacrifice attack.

so,Steinitz >Morphy >Anderssen . but they are people from different time.

Sep-16-10  anandrulez: Bird was thoroughly outclassed here .
Nov-30-10  slowtyper77: "Morphy's chess carrer lasted from 1848 to 1869, on the other hand, Steinitz"s 1859 to 1899. 1859 to 1869;they have this long period are common. so why didn't the 2 greatest ever meet over the board?"

morphy probably was not playing top level chess after steinitz really began to play, especially because morphy did not see chess as a profession. Morphy was probably playing 8 simultaneous blindfolded games at odds (or something to that end) while steinitz was playing world class players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Here is a game where Black's Queen is trapped after only 8 moves:

Frazer vs Taubenhaus, 1888

May-14-11  theodor: ''Like a Bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Like a worm on a hook....''

May-31-11  devanshking: The game should have been longer than it actually started.But, Bird wouldn't have much play except formality.Still, I would have recommended black to keep on playing until mate.And, Steinitz might error and give Bird a chance of survival. People will say to me White was a very excellent player and couldn't have made any error but he is a human and humans can commit mistakes anytime.
Jun-11-11  squaresquat: The shortest game I know between two titled players with forgotten names: 1.d4,nf6;2.c4,e5;,ng4;4.h3,ne31-0
Jul-20-11  PawnOfProblems: <m<a<t<t<z<a<p<>>>>>>>> You should know. Use the advanced search and pick "Number of moves is no more than" and type in a number!!! Didn't you know before??? >:|
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Black already losing their queen cannot afford to lose another piece. And it looks like they will or the king.
Feb-04-12  ajax333221: did this game actually happened?

I am disappointed

Feb-05-12  thomastonk: <ajax333221: did this game actually happened?> Yes, it was part of match.

But why you are disappointed: it was Bird who lost. He was an amateur player who had a longer break from chess, and when the match was stopped (because of Bird's urgent business reasons) he was only slightly behind his strong opponent (+5, -7, =5).

Mar-22-12  SAM WOLFE: It might be possible for Black to survive after 4...Nf6 5.Nxf6+,Qxf6, and maybe even to have a reasonably playable game, but I think 4...Be7 followed by 5...Nf6 would have spared him a lot of problems. Black's key error was in failing to defend f6 properly before he put a knight onto it;protecting f6 with the Q was a bad idea.
May-28-12  LoveThatJoker: Guess-the-Move Final Score:

Steinitz vs Bird, 1866.
Your score: 15 (par = 17)


Jul-09-12  The Last Straw: I think 8...Qg4 gets a question mark.
Mar-21-13  ACEchess: True. 6...h6 was required to prevent 7.♗g5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  PawnSac: <The Last Straw: I think 8...Qg4 gets a question mark.>

Lets put it this way..
After Qg4 the queen is lost. Qa5+ instead gave black a little more squirming room, but the error came on move 6. Black had to play either Qd8 or h6

May-11-13  Mendrys: My guess is that when he decided on 8...Qg4 Bird had expected or considered 10. Rg2 Qxh3 instead of the text. In this case he may be doing fine, at least according to Houdini but I would not be feeling the least bit comfortable being up 2 pawns in this position:

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: Bird got creamed! Really a terrible game for him
Premium Chessgames Member
  Zhbugnoimt: Nice how he got his queen trapped so early on
Sep-27-13  tuskerking: miniature or mikniestature :D
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: There's a famous quote from Bird that goes something like this: "Place the contents of the chessboard into your hat, shake thoroughly, drop them onto the chessboard from a height of two feet--and you have the style of Steinitz."

Much the same could be said for the mind of Bird. Some days, he could produce games of great artistry and power. Other days, he goes into the weird and wonderful byways nobody else dares to explore. He may come out on his shield rather than carrying it, but but it's always fascinating.

And some days he just plays like a total beginner.

i would be willing to believe he played 11...Nxd4 deliberately to set up the cute finish. There seems little other reason to prolong the game for even a single move.

And just to highlight the Enigma that is Bird, he won the next two games of the match: Bird vs Steinitz, 1866 and Steinitz vs Bird, 1866. Go figure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Although I have never had any respect for 3...dxe4 in the French, objectively the first truly bad move was 4...Nf6?; 5.Nxf6!,Qxf6; 6.Nf3, and the results in the CG database support my contention.
Mar-20-14  morfishine: One of the great mysteries of the universe, right up there with Easter Island, Stonehenge and the Pyramids, is how such poor chess games like this get selected for "Game of The Day"


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I think the clue here is the date. This was played in 1866 when the French defence was barely 32 years old. It was first played seriously in 1834 in a correspondence game between Paris and London - hence the name.

When this game was played in 1866, Players of the black pieces were still experimenting with ways to meet each of the main white moves after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5.

We also need to remember that Akiba Rubinstein who did much to popularise and develop the 4. Nxe4 line (aka the Rubinstein variation) wasn't born until 1882 and didn't learn how to play chess until 1898.

In other words, this game is Racquel Welch in a deer skin bikini in One Million Years BC, it's a Ford Model T, it's Harold Lauder or Charlie Chaplin. It's one of Thomas Edison's less successful light bulb prototypes.

It's a little bit of 'istory. Of course, today we can scoff about black not knowing that that the Rubinstein doesn't really sit well with early queen moves by black, but that would be a bit like criticising Star Trek for not predicting the internet.

Mar-20-14  Castleinthesky: Very nice miniature-"A Bird On A Wire"?
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 6)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
naseramayre's favorite games
by naseramayre
First game to have a non-admin user post a kibitz (unofficial)
from Chessgames Games by Penguincw
Steinitz Miniature - 12 moves
from Chess Miniatures, Collection I by hought67
crecs' favorite games
by crecs
French Rubinstein Var (C10) 1-0 Q gets snarred pawn grabbing
from Fight or Flight: Let's Test Their Metal by fredthebear
Game collection: 3
by ph2ca
Games for chess class
by taffy76
97xd_French Disasters -Teh Dark Side of Chess
by whiteshark
woodenbishop's favorite games #4
by woodenbishop
Steinitz vs Bird Short Game
from Kedar's Favorite Games by Kedar
ahmed883's favorite games
by ahmed883
French Rubinstein Var (C10) 1-0 Q snare; N pin to mating square
from French Rush by fredthebear
Trapped Queen
from Accidents in the opening by sahirnow
by zentovic
by DukeTricolor16
French Rubinstein Var (C10) 1-0 Q gets snarred pawn grabbing
from Basic Foodfight Recipe Catered by Fredthebear by Jersey Joe

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC