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Henry Bird vs Wilhelm Steinitz
"Bird Feed" (game of the day Dec-14-2012)
London m (1866), 16, rd 16, Sep-??
Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Center Attack Basque Gambit (C84)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-12-04
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: A last triumph of romanticism for Mr Bird? His grand sacrificial attack seems to grind to a halt after <17...Qd3>!
Jun-15-06  OJC: < Chessical > Indeed! Had he found that saving move he might not have had to endure Bird's assessment in years to come that Morphy could have given Steinitz pawn and move odds.
Sep-27-07  RookFile: Chessical is quite right that Steinitz, could have won the game with 17.... Qd3. If he doesn't find that, even 17....Qxg5 would be better than what he did - at least black would have 2 bishops and a pawn against white's queen. Instead, he just gets butchered.
Apr-02-08  Knight13: The Bxh7+ sac!! And Chessical is right. This kind of sacrifice doesn't work if Black can cover the h7 square. That means 14. e6 just throws a way a pawn, though if the sacrifice does work then it would've been a "!" move.
Aug-27-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Bird control that really works!

Every night before we go to bed we spend an hour with our kids. :D

Dec-14-12  rilkefan: I didn't look at the result playing over the game, and up until Bxh7 I thought Black was crushing white. I take it Steinitz was as surprised by the sac as I was and just lost his head.
Dec-14-12  morfishine: It was this style that caused spectators to flock to Bird's table.

In this game, while Bird's play on both wings was sound, his final attack doesn't add up, which is odd since he was a professional accountant.

Dec-14-12  Abdel Irada: <In this game, while Bird's play on both wings was sound, his final attack doesn't add up, which is odd since he was a professional accountant.>

It may help us understand accountants' thinking to realize that, in double-entry bookkeeping, <Assets = Liabilities + Owner's Equity>.

In other words, debt is an asset. This would explain both unsound sacrifices here and unsound economic policy in government and industry.

Dec-14-12  Abdel Irada: Move 17 was obviously critical, and it looks as though Steinitz had a number of better defenses. It even appears that 17. ...Qf6 might have saved him. (This would be in the absence of the still stronger 17. ...Qd3.)
Dec-14-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Abdel Irada: Move 17 was obviously critical, and it looks as though Steinitz had a number of better defenses. It even appears that 17. ...Qf6 might have saved him. (This would be in the absence of the still stronger 17. ...Qd3.)>

I am afraid that 17...Qf6 doesn't solve the problem with threatening 18.Qh7#.:-)

Dec-14-12  Abdel Irada: <Honza Cervenka>: Oops. My fault. I was looking at the position *after* ...Re8. :-S
Dec-14-12  Elian: Maybe 14. Rd1 might have worked, attacking the pawn of "d7" and also "e6" with the same subject as in the game.
Dec-14-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Abdel Irada: <Honza Cervenka>: Oops. My fault. I was looking at the position *after* ...Re8. :-S>

I have thought it. It happened to me a few times before too.:-)

Dec-14-12  morfishine: <Advel Irada> On your comment <In other words, debt is an asset. This would explain both unsound sacrifices here and unsound economic policy in government and industry> As well as the Global Financiers, who view debt as an asset, since they are the one's holding the debt and benefiting off the burden the debt imposes on the borrowers
Dec-14-12  Garech: Really incredible that Steinitz missed 17...Qd3! White's play is completely refuted after this single simple move.

-Garech

Dec-14-12  YoungEd: I guess this game supports the old adage "fortune favors the bold." People have commented that it's odd for Steinitz to have missed 17...♕d3, but isn't it odd that Bird apparently missed it too?
Dec-14-12  Abdel Irada: <People have commented that it's odd for Steinitz to have missed 17...d3, but isn't it odd that Bird apparently missed it too?>

I'm not so sure of that. ...Qd3 is not a typical defense against the attack on h7, while ...Re8 is. I think both players simply suffered a brief failure of imagination and played by convergent rather than divergent thinking.

I wonder if games like this impelled Steinitz to become the great defender of late-nineteenth-century repute. The man who was later to say "The premature attack is doomed to failure" must surely have learnt better how to refute them by that time.

Dec-14-12  morfishine: Steinitz must've caused quite a flap when he laid an egg with 17...Re8, allowing Bird to stick another feather in his cap.

Nothing to really cackle about: Steinitz wasn't at the beak of his powers

Dec-14-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: The queen goes by knight fork next move.
Dec-14-12  Castleinthesky: Kudos to <Chessical>. It is not the brilliance of the attack, but the failure to find the neutralizing counter that cost Black the game.
Dec-14-12  theodor: 15...;Kh8 16.Qh5;g6 17.Bxg6;Kg7 then what?
Dec-14-12  filocha: I didn't get it right. If 17... Qd3; 18.Rd1 Qf5 19.g4 and black is lost. Or am i missing something?
Dec-14-12  nilba: <flocha>, black can go with 18. ♕g6, instead of ♕f5
May-17-14
Premium Chessgames Member
  naresb: Essence of Ruy Lopez, capture that e5 position. 17... Qf3 could be better.

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