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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Emanuel Lasker
Steinitz - Lasker World Championship Match (1894), Montreal CAN, rd 12, May-03
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. General (D60)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Steinitz's decision to castle Queenside has made the game quite interesting for a while. Fritz 8 thinks that black is clearly better around move 20 but sees nothing factual and slow sliding forward indicates that white is okay. For example, one of Fritz's lines goes 20...Bxe2 21.Nxe2 Re8 22.Nd4 Qb6 23.Rhg1 Bf8 24.Nf5 Re6 25.Rg3 Ne4 26.Bxe4 dxe4 27.h5 Kh8 28.Rg4 Qc7 29.Rxe4 c5 30.Rf4 Qxe5 31. Rd7 Kg8 32.Qxe5 Rxe5 33.e4 Rxb3 34.Rg4 Rb6 35.Rd8 g5 36. f3 (see diagram) and it is rather black who has troubles here.

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36...hxg5 looks tempting but white seems to have enough of counter-play, for example 37.Rf2 Be5 38.Nd4 g4 39.Rff1 g3 40.h6 Rbc8 41.Rh5 Bxd4 42.exd4 Rxc3 43.Rg5+ Kh8 44.Bg6 Be6 45.Re1 R3c6 46.Rxg3 etc.

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Feb-29-08  Knight13: <Steinitz's decision to castle Queenside has made the game quite interesting for a while.> It did seem like Black's attack were going faster but Steinitz set up some good defenses.
Apr-12-09  MarbleSkull: Why didn't white play 27. e6? The g6 pawn looks quite weak to me, but if there's a smart reply I'm missing please let me know.
Jul-06-11  ughaibu: So, apparently Steinitz showed better judgement than Fritz 8 did. What do the Softies make of that?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ughaibu: So, apparently Steinitz showed better judgement than Fritz 8 did. What do the Softies make of that?>

I'm not a Softy, but I'll pretend:

1. Fritz 8 would kill Steinitz in a match.

2. Today's programs make Fritz 8 look like Neanderthal man.

3. Quite a few human GMs, including super-strong ones, would probably also balk at castling queenside. Steinitz, a provocative player, might have been right by accident.

I must say, I make some excellent points.

Jul-07-11  ughaibu: About point number 3, it would be interesting to see Steintiz's notes.


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ughaibu>

While we’re waiting for <Calli>, I checked Huebner’s book on the match ( and Shredder 13.

The engine disapproves of 14.0-0-0, dropping the evaluation from somewhere around equal to somewhere around -0.7 after churning for 15 minutes. Shredder’s main line runs: 14….b5 15.Kb1 Qb6 16.Rhg1 b4 17.Na4 Nxa4 18.Bxa4 Qa6 19.Bc2 c5 20.Qd3 Qxd3 21.Rxd3 Be6. The continuation and the evaluation both seem reasonable to me; Black has the bishop pair and a menacing pawn formation on the queenside.

Chigorin wrote that <after this move [14.0-0-0] the players begin attacks on the enemy king; the attack on the black King seems more dangerous to me.>

To this, Huebner comments, <The course of the game does not bear out this judgment; the second [Nachziehenden — Whiteshark/someone, help?] pawn storm comes first.>

After 14….a7-a5 15.h2-h4 Huebner quotes Steinitz: <Both players advance their pawns against the opponent's king after castling on opposite sides, and so endgame weaknesses are created in both camps. White could have played more strongly with the preparatory move 15.Qf4, threatening 16.e4.>

Huebner again disagrees, saying the queen is not well placed after 15.Qf4 and Black has an excellent game after 15….a4 or 15….Qb6. Best for White, Huebner thinks, is 15.Kb1, though Black is still better. Shredder agrees with Huebner.

In sum, concerning the evaluation of 14.0-0-0, I think the engines (and Huebner) are right.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <ughaibu> Looking back at <honza>'s kibitz from 2006, Shredder 13, unlike Fritz 8, doesn't see a significant Black advantage at move 20. But that's not because 14.0-0-0 was good; rather Shredder (and Huebner) think Lasker misplayed his attack, particularly with 17....b4-b3. As Huebner notes, it's similar to 23.g5-g6 in the famous game 7 (Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894) but not so strong.

Instead after 17....a5-a4 Shredder's evaluation is about -1.3. Hard to disagree that Black is much better after that move.

To be fair, both sides made mistakes; for example 16.Nc3-e2 was not the best.

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