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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Curt von Bardeleben
"The Battle of Hastings" (game of the day Feb-23-2016)
Hastings (1895), Hastings ENG, rd 10, Aug-17
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line (C54)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-23-16  Conrad93: <has not this great game been analysed to death?>

Yes, to the point that it has lost most of its luster.

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  WannaBe: Since black lost, I'm surprised no one have analyzed if 2... Nc6 was sound or not.
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  Bubo bubo: <Conrad93: <has not this great game been analysed to death?>

Yes, to the point that it has lost most of its luster.>

I disagree: Of course Black could have done better as early as on move 7 (Nxe4 instead of d5), but nevertheless the well-calculated, deep and spectacular finish (all four white pieces en prise and Black threatening mate from move 22 on) render this game an absolute highlight of 19th-century chess!

Feb-23-16  imbo2010: I am new to this.How about 22 RE7 KE7?
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  chancho: 22.Re7+ Kxe7 23.Re1+ Kd8 24.Nd6+ Ke8 25.Nc5+ looks killer.

(25...Qe7 26.Rxe7+ Kxe7 27.Nd3)

23.Re1+ Kd6 24.Qb4+ Kc7 25.Ne6+ Kb8 26.Qf4+

Feb-23-16  Dr. J: <imbo2010> After 22...Kxe7 the critical line is 23 Re1+ Kd6 24 Qb4+ Kc7 25 Rc1+ Kb8 26 Qf4+ Rc7 27 Ne6 winning. There are a number of interesting-but-not-very-complicated side-variations that you should check out.
Feb-23-16  psmith: <RandomVisitor> as pointed out by Tarrasch in the tournament book.
Feb-27-16  kmet vlado: <sycophante> 26.Nxh7 Ke7 and knight is lost. Must move, for example 26.Ne6 or other. 1-0
Jul-09-16  AlicesKnight: 25.Rh7.... "At this point von Bardeleben is reported to have made no comment but to have put on his hat and quietly walked home...." (Abrahams). I love dignity.
Nov-07-16  mirkojorgovic: 24... Qxg7 ?? was not good, because this opened attack on squer c8, with check: 25.R:C8+,R:c8 26.Q:c8+,Qf8 27.Q:F8+,K:f8 and white can sacrifice again: 28.N:h7+!,Kg7!?,29.N:F6,K:f6 30.Kf1 and white can bloke d-line pawn,then can easy prepare 3:1(2:1 is inaf) pawn's attack kingside,with 2:2 equal position queenside.
Nov-08-16  mirkojorgovic: After 24...Qg7?? more attractive is 25.Qe6+!,25...Kf8 26.R:c8+,R:c8 27.Q:c8+,Ke7 28.Qc7+ Kf8 29.Qd8#(28...Ke8 29.Q:g7 fg5 30.Q:h7 , 1:0 )Some better is 25...Kh8!? 26.R:c8+,R:c8 27.Q:c8+,Qg8 28.Q:g8+,K:g8 29.Ne6 and white can easy realised advantage of piece vs isolated pawn.
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  MissScarlett: As others have pointed out, Winter ( does a fair job showing that Bardeleben's disappearing act wasn't the egregious transgression of later legend. Yet, it was amusing to read the following from the <Falkirk Herald>'s notice after Bardeleben's death (February 13th 1924, p.3):

<Mr Woollard notes in the "Yorks. O. Budget" that Bardeleben was almost as notorious a drawing master as Schlechter, and he introduced a method of resigning a lost game by the simple device of walking silently and without explanation from the board and allowing his time to run, which added a new verb "to bardeleben* to the vocabulary of his chess contemporaries.>

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  Stonehenge: Steinitz on announcing mates:

Ow, announcing mate is only showing off and bluff. I've only done it once in my life and that's because my opponent treated me unfairly. I had played a neatly beautiful Giuoco Piano in Hastings against Von Bardeleben. A correct rook sacrifice gave me a winning game. Von Bardeleben saw that he had to lose and preferred the loss of the game due to time overrun to an honorable one. After the break he stayed away and let me wait. Finally his time had passed. I called one of the members of the committee to claim the win, which was immediately granted and told him that I has a mate in nine or queen loss for Von Bardeleben in store. All of the public, the masters included, flowed to me and burst, after I had shown them the solution, into loud applause.

In one of the games with Tchigorin in 1892 I could announce a mate in seven and didn't do it out of respect for my opponent. After all, it is as if I want to say: "Look! I have seen that mate and you did not!"

Tijdschrift van den Nederlandschen Schaakbond, nr. 5-6, 01-05-1896

Nov-06-18  thegoodanarchist: Before the match, Steinitz is purported to have quipped:

"It will be Curt and it will be Curt!"

Apr-23-19  Chessmusings: Entire game with deep analysis here:
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Newcastle Courant, November 30th 1895, p.2:

<The "New Orleans Tlmes-Democrat" gives a complete translation, by Mr H Ernst of an article by Dr Tarrasch in the Frankfort "General Anzeiger,' in which the eminent German expert criticises the performances of all the competitors (including himself) in the recent Hastings tournament. In the course of his remarks on Bardeleben, Dr Tarrasch says :- To our regret, we have to say that Herr von Bardeleben provoked the indignation of all participants in the tourney by the singular way in which he used to surrender lost games. As soon as he became conscious of having a losing position, he followed the advice given in a well-known humouristic chess oouplet -

Whenever your game is bad and sore, Then sneak out and return no more.

He simply vanished and left it to the committee to declare the game lost by time-limit. Thereby Herr von Bardeleben has at least acquired the merit of adding one more to the many analogies between chess and war - the flight before the enemy.>

Nov-20-19  HarryP: Surely this is the most beautiful win ever for White in the Giuoco Piano.
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  MissScarlett: <Curtus Interruptus>
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  maxi: What confuses me is, was it Curt or not to walk out?
Jul-26-20  GilGandel: MissScarlett: <Curtus Interruptus>

*golf clap*

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  Zenchess: Black rage quits 100 years before Internet Chess became a thing.
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  GrahamClayton: How does Steinitz press home the advantage after 14... Kd7 15. Ne5+ Kd6?
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  perfidious: <Graham>, in your line, 15.Re5 looks stronger; the black lady is then short of squares and 16.Qb3 will gain more time, to activise the rook on a1.
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  Messiah: Fine!
Dec-31-22  generror: I do pity those people saying this game (or any other) has been "analyzed to death". I mean, sure, in a way, they have. I can let my Stockfish run and fill a whole book with variations and annotations. But this ignores two things that makes chess the best thing on Earth, maybe even better than sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

First, we're humans and luckily we are not "perfect" as those mathematical machines in a mathematical game. As we're not mathematical machines, chess is an intellectual contest of two human beings, influenced by their unique life experiences. Indeed, it's this psychological aspect that is one thing I do love this game for (and I think this is what Lasker may have understood better than anyone else).

Second, what this mechanistic view of chess also ignores is the aesthetic aspect. And I'll join the choir of those saying that this final combination is one of the most beautiful ones in the history of the game. It's just so reckless and brutal at the same time; that rook mercilessly follows the king, taunting him to be taken, but that's just never possible because White always has another check. And all of this with Black being only one move away from mating White.

And that's why I do totally get that von Bardeleben (whose nervous system has been described as not the most robust by his contemporaries) was so unnerved by that brutal combination that he just couldn't take whole room bursting into applause and just went off. ("I hope Bardeleben has not betaken himself to the sea.", as Blackburne remarked who played next to this board.) As Winter said, most of what is said about his reaction are just fabrications (by Soltis and Kasparov, to name but two).

Again, if this game and the stories and myths surrounding it do not fascinate you, I do think you're missing what makes chess such a wonderful thing.

Oh and happy new year, everyone :)

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