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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Johannes Zukertort
Steinitz - Zukertort World Championship Match (1886), New Orleans, LA USA, rd 20, Mar-29
Vienna Game: Vienna Gambit. Steinitz Gambit (C25)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-12-03  ksadler: A nice miniature win for Steinitz to clinch the match in the first World Chess Championship. I play this line in blitz (1. e4 e5 2. ♘c3 3. f4) Is is playable? (I realize that 2. .. Nf6 3. f4 d5 is Vienna Gambit (C29)) I am hoping for 2. .. ♘c6 3. f4 exf4 4. ♘f3 g5 4. ♗c4 g4 etc. giving me a Muzio gambit with an extra piece developed and allowing my a1-rook to get into play quicker. Any thoughts?
Nov-07-03  rochade18: This line is playable, of course! If you don't play at GM level, you can be invincible using any strange opening if you have studied it. "Unsound" moves are weak against good computers but maybe good against humans
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: Zukertort overcommits himself to a K-side attack and leaves his K vulnerable in the centre. <12...Nf5 and Bd7> are too ambitious, and his pieces crowd around rather than work together. So, on move 14 if he had attempted to castle Q-side he would have lost his Q to Ne5.

<15...Ngh6?> shows Zukertort's lack of form, and desperate situation at this stage of the match. Steinitz's exchange sacrifice whilst effective was hardly a hidden feature of the position.

This was the last game of the match, and the third successive loss by Zukertort. After the first 10 games the score was tied, but Steinitz then won five games to Zukertort's one.

Sep-15-04  uzeromay: ksadler, while I'm not sure sacrificing your king's knight, a la Muzio, is the best idea it is thought that Vienna Game transpositions to King's Gambits are pretty good for white.
Jul-09-05  Knight13: 17. Rxh6!! GREAT MOVE!
Sep-11-06  FHBradley: What a sad end to the career of a truly great player. Which brings me to my question. A few years ago there were news going around about a forthcoming biography of Zukertort (translation from a Polish original). Has anything come out of that?
Sep-22-06  Tenderfoot: 15...Ngh6 was quite a mistake, but Zuckertort probably should have cut his losses and not accepted the sacrifice.
Sep-25-06  Achilles87: what does everyone think about
...5 Nd4+
6 Qxd4 f3+
7 Nxf3 Bg4+

doesn't look too bad for black

Sep-25-06  kellmano: I think none of the black moves are check and he throws away a knight for nothing.
Sep-26-06  Achilles87: eh, I got my numbers wrong
6 Ke2 Nd4+
7 Qxd4 f3+
8 Nxf3 Bg4+
Mar-07-07  Themofro: Why didn't Zukertort castle queenside?
Jun-10-07  mrinventory: Why did Zukertort play <12... Nf5> and let Steinitz's knight out?
Jun-10-07  RookFile: Steinitz's 12. Bd3 was a good move. It sets up the threat: Rh4! winning the knight on d4. He couldn't immediately play 12. Rh4 because ...Nxc2 is good for black.

In reply to 12. Bd3, Zukertort needed to play something like the ugly 12....Kf8.

Jun-27-08  Pjalle: what a strange game.
Jul-27-08  JimmyVermeer: The best ending to this game that I could find seems to be:

19 Nxg4 Rg8 20 Nfe5 Bf5 21 Bxf5 Rg7 22 Qc3 c5 23 Rf1 Ke8 24 Nc6 Rc8 25 Bxc8 Rf7 26 Rxf7 Kxf7 27 Be6+ Ke8 28 Qh8+ Bf8 29 Nf6# although there could be better endings - I haven't checked them all out.

In answer to Achilles87, the suggested line looks very bad for Black. The 8th move isn't actually check; it's just a pin. 6 Ke2 Nxd4+? 7 Qxd4 f3+? 8 Nxf3 Bg4? 9 Kd2! Qh6+ 10 Ke1 Qh5 11 Bb5+ Kd8 12 Ne5, etc. giving White a clear advantage.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Zukertort> was exhausted in this game and visibly ill at the board. The game only took about 30 minutes to play.

--Landsberger p.166

Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: This game was the debut of the "Steinitz Gambit" in the Vienna game.

He had been eager to try out the idea, but didn't want to use the novelty until "the games had reached such a stage that my backers could not lose anything."

--Landsberger p.180

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Nice quotes, <jfq>. Steinitz's match strategy has been echoed in future WC matches, e.g. small improvements in repeated opening, and then wham, a closed Ruy Lopez. Opponent is weak, then bam, another unexpected opening, the Vienna Gambit.
Oct-24-10  talisman: <jess> thanks jess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <jessicafischerqueen: This game was the debut of the "Steinitz Gambit" in the Vienna game.> No, it was not. Steinitz had played it many times before this game. The debut (at least on top level) of this gambit was probably his game against Gustav Neumann, Dundee 1867, and Steinitz used it regularly since Baden 1870.
Jun-11-11  Everyone: <Achilles87: what does everyone think about ...6 Ke2 Nd4+ 7 Qxd4 f3+ 8 Nxf3 Bg4>

After <9.Ne4/9.Kd2/9.Be3> Black's position is a complete mess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: Zuk just lost the record for fastest loss in a world chess championship match
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: THE CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP. (Through Reuter's Agency.) NEW ORLEANS, March 29. The Chess Match between Dr. Zukertort and Mr. Steinitz for the championship of the world and <$4,000> was concluded to-day. Mr. Steinitz secured the twentieth game, and thus won the match, this being the tenth game placed to his credit.

London Standard - Tuesday 30 March 1886

The prize would be worth approximately <$101,000> in 2012 dollars (based on the Consumer Price Index increases between 1886 and 2012).

May-21-18  rcs784: "Zuk just lost the record for fastest loss in a world championship match"

What's really funny too about this game and the 17-move Anand-Gelfand 2012 that broke this record is that both Zukertort and Gelfand lost these games by blundering their queens!

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