Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Johannes Zukertort vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Steinitz - Zukertort World Championship Match (1886), New York, NY USA, rd 5, Jan-20
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0



Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 41 times; par: 53 [what's this?]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 40 more Zukertort/Steinitz games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Games that have been used in game collections will have a section at the bottom which shows collections which include it. For more information, see "What are Game Collections?" on our Help Page.

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


Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Steinitz plays a difficult opening, later unwittingly copied by Capablanca (Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1924); <4...Bf5?> and is under pressure after <5.cxd5!> and 8.Ne5!.

If <15...fxe5?> 16.Bxh7+! wins outright; 15...Bd7? also loses to <16.Nxd5!!> exd5 17.Qxd5+ Kh8 18.e6 Bc8 19.Qh5 g6 20.Bxg6 Qe7 21.d5 Ne5 22.Bb4

If <16...fxe5?> 17.Bxh7+ Kh8 18.Bg6 Rxf1+ 19.Rxf1 Nf6 20.Qd1 winning

Steinitz later indicated that <24...Bc4> should have made a draw possible, and that 2<5...Bxe2!> was also superior.

Zukertort only took 57 minutes over this game, just under a third of Steinitz's useage. Perhaps is he had taken longer, Steinitz wpould not have been able to claw back between approximately move 16 and 24?

Steinitz himself recommended: <18.g4> which seems effective: 18...Qb6 19.gxf5 exf5 20.Nf4 Nc7 21.Bc3 with distinct pressure.

<31...Rc8> 32.Qh4 Rg8 33.Rg4 Nh5 34.Qxe7! fxg4 35.Qxf7 Ng7 36.Ng6+ hxg6 37.Qxg6 Nf5 38.Qh5+ Kg7 39.Rxg4+ Kf8 40.Bb4+ Ne7 41.Rf4+ Kg7 42.Qh7 mate

Sep-22-06  aragorn69: This was Steinitz's fourth loss in a row. Here too defeat was mostly caused by blunders and imprecise moves rather than by any Zukertort domination. Amazing how Steinitz managed to put all that aside (probably valueing positively the fact that he had so far played better than his opponent on the whole, despite the 4-1 score) and come back to a 10-5 triumph! A great illustration (by an Austrian immigrant) to the typically American "never give up" / "it ain't over 'til it's over" attitudes.
Sep-22-06  slomarko: well he was outplayed in this game.
Nov-28-06  reynolds: I don't agree with aragorn69.. This game was completely dominated by Zukertort, and he must be given credit for that. Zukertort really seems to be underappreciated.
Nov-28-06  aragorn69: <<Steinitz later indicated that <24...Bc4> should have made a draw possible, and that <25...Bxe2!> was also superior.>> Well, you don't appear to agree with Steinitz either! ;-)
Feb-26-08  Knight13: <and that <25...Bxe2!> was also superior> That's because that knight became dominant later and the bishop sucked so of course trading it would be really good. And I agree that <...Bxe2!> is better.
Aug-20-08  just a kid: Sure Steinitz blundered a little,but Zukertort did take full advantage and dominated.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: 32. Rxg7 1-0

click for larger view

Black loses a piece to a knight fork.

32. ... Rxg7. 33. Rxg7 Kxg7 34. Nxe6+ Kg8 35. Nxc7.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: This Slav resembled a French after awhile.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Here is a video history of this Match:

Wilhelm Steinitz: Chess Champion-Part four

Sep-07-12  nirvanapirate: Ne7 and black blows up, interference with his own rooks.

Perhaps 30... Nb6? as a last resort

Jan-07-15  Zonszein: Zukertot was a great player. Probably really inferior to Steinitz in the psychological side. He was winning 4-1! at this point.
Jan-07-15  SChesshevsky: These Steinitz matches are fascinating. What's interesting is that here Steinitz was around 50 years old and Zuck around 42 years old.

In the youtube video it showed they played Mon, Weds, Fri, a 2-6pm session and then a 8-12pm session.

I'm wondering if they had time controls then. If not is there any info on how long these games lasted?

Sitting at the board from 2 to 6 and then say 8 to 11 on the same game, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the blunders were caused by players nodding off!

May-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: <SChesshevsky> The first 30 moves in two hours and after that 15 moves in each subsequent hour is what I know, if this helps a bit.

I also must praise Mr. Steinitz for making a comeback and beating Mr. Zukertort after Zukertort had enjoyed a convincing 4-1 lead. Such feat exemplifies true fighting spirit!

Sep-01-17  theVchip: It seems remarkable Steinitz not only came back from 4-1 down, but did so in dominating fashion, going +9-1=5 the rest of the way. In both men's minds is perhaps not only this current 4-1 event, but Zukertort's dominant win in London 1883, where he won 22/26 a full 3 pts ahead of Steinitz.

Though I have always wondered in a long match like this if Zukertort's health was also somewhat a factor. He would die two years after this match, at age 45, due to cerebral hemorrhage.

Full credit to Steinitz regardless -- an astonishing comeback on his part.

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.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

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?]
Zukertort, Johann Hermann (1842-1888)
from 1st Class Masters by PMKnight
Game #5
from 1st World Championship Match by ruylopez900
1 Steinitz-Zukertort 5
from World Championship Matches by Tobias
"World Championship Matches"
by iccsumant
Zukertort - Steinitz, 1886 Game 5
from FGetulio's How World Champions Win I by fgetulio
Z now leads 4-1,is there an upset coming?
from World championship games A-Z by kevin86
Match Steinitz!
by amadeus
from SmyslovTheSlayer's Chess Tactics of the Day by SmyslovTheSlayer
Game 73
from Manual of Chess (Lasker) by Qindarka
Game 5, Zukertort leads 4-1 (4-1)
from 1886 World Chess Championship by Penguincw
The vigilant Nf4 _and th the protector in g7 DESTINY
from Challengers Zukertort & Gunsberg by Imohthep
The QGD/Slav/Semi-Slav
by Zhbugnoimt
Game collection: QGD
by kafkafan
Steinitz vs Zukertort WCM 1886
by ilcca
The Hardest Wins
by crwynn
Game 5, Zukertort leads 4-1 (4-1)
from 1886 World Chess Championship by driley754522002
Game 5, Zukertort leads 4-1 (4-1)
from 1886 World Chess Championship by driley754522002
Game collection: QGD
by nakul1964
by mneuwirth

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