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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Isidor Gunsberg
Steinitz - Gunsberg World Championship Match (1890), New York, NY USA, rd 5, Dec-18
Queen's Gambit Accepted: Old Variation (D20)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-17-04  Knight13: From this game, it looks like Gunsberg is much stronger than Steinitz. 4. dxe5 is not good. 7. Bb5+ is a waste. 14. e4 is also not good. I guess Steinitz wasn't playing well or not paying attention.
Mar-20-08  Whitehat1963: Gunsberg obliterates the champion behind a barrage of discovered check threats.
Dec-05-08  AnalyzeThis: With this game, he actually took the lead in the match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: A dreadful performance by Steinitz, the opening was a disaster. His last chance was to scramble for King safety with <14. a3> and hope he could hold on.
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  chancho: Gunsberg was 35,(turning 36 as the match progressed) and Steinitz was 54. Reminds me a bit of the Anand vs Topalov match.
Steinitz died at the age of 64.
Just like Bobby Fischer, who admired Steinitz btw...
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Sergeant wrote that Steinitz wished to prevent Black from playing 7....Nc6, but that simply 7.Be2 was stronger.

<Chessical: .... His last chance was to scramble for King safety with <14. a3> and hope he could hold on.>

This doesn't help, for after 14....Nc5+ 15.Ka2 Be6+ 16.Kb1 Nb3 is ugly-not that, in any case, the game continuation was vastly better.

Oct-05-13  Karpova: <Play in the Steinitz-Gunsberg chess match, which is taking place in this city under the auspices of the Manhattan Chess Club, was temporarily suspended on Wednesday at the request of the New-York player, who telegraphed from his home early that morning, stating that he was suffering from a severe cold. He did not appear to be completely recovered when play in the fifth game began at the usual hour yesterday afternoon.>

From 'New-York Daily Tribune', 1890.12.19


Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Steinitz made a mess of the opening, and never recovered. It happens, even today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Domdaniel: Steinitz made a mess of the opening....(i)t happens, even today.>

Don't I know it.

Dec-10-13  TheFocus: Once, I blundered on the 6th move in first round of a Swiss, stood up, resigned and withdrew. Got home in time for lunch and a nap before the second round began.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: A contemporary report, quoting notes by Steinitz, taken from the "Baltimore News" column written by Mr. William Henry Krause Pollock.

Black 3 - Quite in the old style as played already by Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais and Alexander McDonnell.

White 4 - The above masters invariably played here BxP instead.

White 7 - This I already played against Mikhail Chigorin in a consultation game; the object is not to allow the N to go back to c6, but it is probably better to retreat the B to e2 at once.

White 11 - e4 or f3 were the right moves at this juncture; and, in fact, the move made loses the game by letting too many of the adverse pieces in against the king.

Black 13 - A very fine move, which forces the gain of a pawn.

White 20 - This is a bad move, and Nf3 at once was undoubtedly the proper play.

Black 20 - Also a very fine move

White 21 - Forced, as Black threatened to win a piece by Ne4+, nor could the g pawn advance, as it would be lost by the same sally

Black 23 - Very fine play as White cannot advance the pawn without creating an opening for the adverse rook that would be disastrous for him, and otherwise the whole of White's attack on the K-side is completely stopped.

White 24 - Be3 was now the only defence. The next move draws White into the "mate" net.

After Black's 28th move - As will be seen, the mate is accomplished in a most ingenious manner. At this stage Gunsberg announced mate in five moves.

Belfast News-Letter - Thursday 22 January 1891, p.3.

Premium Chessgames Member
  thegoodanarchist: Steinitz played like a patzer in this game
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: ***

Apparently Steinitz was suffering from a cold which in them pre-Lemsip days at the age of 54 would have been quite debilitating. This helps explain one of the worse examples of the 'come and get me' using his King as bait ploy he was apt to use.

Often he would do this with a pawn or piece in the bank or a severe positional weakness to exploit after beating back the attack.

In this case he was a pawn down and positionally bust when Guinsberg sacced the Knight. This was one attack that was not going to be beaten back.

So disgusted with himself Steinitz said he would keep playing 1.d4 in the match till he won with it, which he did a few games later.


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