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Harry Nelson Pillsbury vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Vienna (1898), Vienna AUH, rd 25, Jul-06
Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense. Nimzowitsch Attack (C62)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: The Spanish game:Steinitz defence didn't hold up. =)

Maybe 23...Nxf4 was better?

Jun-26-06  SneechLatke: 23...Nxf4?? 24.Bxg7+ Kg8 (24...Bxg7 25.Qxg7#) 25.Nf6#
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <SneechLatke> Um... correct, quite right, the incorrect move must have occurred before move 23. =)
Jun-26-06  LPeristy: I'd say 17...Qa5 was incorrect. What black planned to accomplish with that move is far beyond me. Perhaps 17...Be7 instead.
Jun-27-06  RookFile: Good old Steinitz, getting slapped around in another open position, while figuring out the best way to retreat most of his pieces to the first rank.
Jun-27-06  offramp: Steinitz was 62 when this was played. He had a pretty good score against Pillsbury before 1898 - something like 6-1. I think Pillsbury admired Steinitz too much. Napier had been Steinitz's pupil, and Napier was Pillsbury's father-in-law.
Jun-27-06  RookFile: Interesting fact about Napier...

however, according to chessgames:

Harry Nelson Pillsbury beat Wilhelm Steinitz 6 to 5, with 3 draws

Jun-27-06  percyblakeney: Steinitz went +4 -0 =2 against recent Hastings winner in S:t Petersburg 1895-96, which is quite good. Pillsbury did win their last decisive games, but by then Steinitz was far from healthy...
Jun-28-06  offramp: <RookFile: Interesting fact about Napier...

however, according to chessgames:

Harry Nelson Pillsbury beat Wilhelm Steinitz 6 to 5, with 3 draws>

That's why I wrote, "...before 1898".

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pawn and Two: <offramp: Napier was Pillbury's father-in-law> Napier was not Pillsbury's father-in-law. However, Napier did marry Pillbury's niece. Information from the book, "Napier - The Forgotten Chessmaster" by John Hilbert. Also, note that Pillsbury was born in 1872 and Napier in 1881.

<percyblakeney: Pillsbury did win their last decisive games, but by then Steinitz was far from healthy>

At London, 1899, Steinitz did not play well and for the first time in his career he did not finish among the leaders and did not receive a prize. He played poorly against several players, including Pillsbury. It seems most likely that Steinitz was not well during this tournament.

Pillsbury also suffered from illness during his playing career. His ill health was caused by syphilis, which caused his death at age 33, and affected his results from St. Perersburg 1895/96 on until the end of his short playing career.

At Vienna 1898, Steinitz actually played very well. Of course, he was past his peak, but there was no evidence of his being not well. He finished a strong 4th, a full 2 points ahead of the 5th place finisher Schlechter, and 3 1/2 points ahead the the 6th and 7th place finishers Burn and Chigorin.

Steinitz played his last game in the Vienna tournament on July 25th. On August 2nd, 1898, the 11th German Chess Association Congress began at Cologne. At Cologne, Steinitz finished a clear 5th in a field of 16, 1/2 point ahead of Schlechter and Showalter. Burn won this tournament, 1 point ahead of Charousek, Chigorin & Cohn and 2 points ahead of Steinitz. Burn considered his win over Steinitz at Cologne, 1898, to be the best tournament game he ever played.

7 players played at both Vienna and Cologne 1898. Here are their combined scores for these tournaments.

Janowski & Steinitz - 34 points
Burn - 32.5 points
Chigorin & Schlechter - 31.5 points
Schiffers & Showalter - 25 points

Steinitz's 24.5 total at Vienna almost matched Schiffers's and Showalter's total for both tournaments. Certainly, Steinitz played very well in both of these tournaments.

Jun-28-06  offramp: <Pawn and Two> That's a fantastic post. Thank you very much.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: This plan with development of Bishop on b2 is quite efficient against Steinitz Defense. Steinitz himself as black here did very little for its neutralization and the pressure against g7 along a1-h8 diagonal decided the game. 23...Ne5 could have been a little bit better than 23...a5 but probably the critical point for improvement lays somewhere around moves 16 and 17.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Surprisingly, Steintz could have not just held on, but obtained a real advantage after 24....fxg6 instead of 24....hxg6 (as the tournament book pointed out). Pillsbury said after 24....fxg6 he would have continued 25. Nf4 axb4 26. Rb1, but as Steinitz showed, 26....bxa3 27. Bxg7+ Bxg7 28. Rxb5 cxb5 would have been an advantageous queen sacrifice for Black.

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