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Louis Paulsen vs Wilhelm Steinitz
"The Steinitz Variation" (game of the day May-09-2016)
Baden-Baden (1870), Baden-Baden GER, rd 16, Aug-02
Three Knights Opening: Steinitz Defense (C46)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-12-03  caseyclyde: Obviously Paulsen ran out of time here. It may seem like a cheap way to win but if you cause problems for your opponent and he has to then spend his time solving them, then more power to you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: richard reti in his celebrated book masters of the chessboard-one of the great chess reads of all time-analyses the final position where black did indeed win on time. reti is anxious to show that white is lost-the version i have is in english descriptive-he writes if 38 R-B1 then B-R6 wins a pawn. i have always found this a bit odd. first of all it doesnt win a pawn instantly and secondly it may allow counterchances against b7 after 38 bxd5. this set me thinking-perhaps reti originally wrote-in german-if 38rf1 then bxa3 wins a pawn. in both cases a black bishop ends up on a R6 square according to the old descriptive system and it may be the translator -doubtless a weak player-thought bxa3 might have been a blunder whereas bh3 looks sound and sensible.

if so this is a fascinating misprint in a classic book possibly introduced by the translator himself. can any one verify this mystery-does anyone have access to the original german version of the book? i wd love to know!!

May-09-10  backrank: <ray_keene> You're right indeed. I have the original German version, and there Réti writes (in German), 'if 38. Rf1, so Black can win a pawn by Bxa3, thus at the same time further improving his position'.
Mar-25-11  ForeverYoung: Steinitz does an outstanding job of outplaying his opponent. I rather suspect that this is not the only game which Paulson lost on time!
Aug-08-15  RookFile: A lot of chess left to be played in the final position. If somebody like Lasker were to take white' position, we would probably see that black's win, if any, would not be easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  sfm: Paulsen was known to be a slow player, able to spend hours on his moves, and "sitting his opponents to death" in the words of Dane Jens Enevoldsen. So, the chess clock was probably not his best friend. Today we could in no way imagine top-level chess being possible without clocks. The next great invention was the add-time-pr-move invention, that took the disgraceful elements away of winning on time in trivially drawn or lost positions.
Aug-08-15  zanzibar: Indeed, <sfm> - during my recent researches I've seen several examples of Paulsen's slow play causing distress to his opponents.

I don't think it was a nefarious attempt to win on Paulsen's part, but rather, just an example of his cautious style of play - when allowed.

Baden-Baden (1870) was an important tournament historically for several reasons. The adoption of clocks, and the enforcement of their usage, being no small part of its significance.

May-09-16  AlicesKnight: Some pre-clock players were notorious indeed - MacDonnell (vs. La Bourdonnais) was reported to have taken "an hour and a half, and even more, on a single move" at times (Reinfeld, quoting Walker, 1834).
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Steinitz runs Paulsen outta time.
May-09-16  Moszkowski012273: 16...Qc6 and white looks horrible.
May-09-16  RandomVisitor: At the final position:

click for larger view


<-1.39/41 38.Rb1 Rc8 39.Qe1> Bf7 40.Qg1 Bc5 41.Qxd4 Bxd4 42.Ne2 Bb6 43.Nc3 Rxf3 44.Nxd5 Bd4 45.Ne7 Rf8 46.Bxf7 R8xf7 47.Rg8+ Kc7 48.Nd5+ Kd7 49.Rc1 Rf1 50.Kb1 Rxc1+ 51.Kxc1 Rf1+ 52.Kd2 Rf2+ 53.Ke1 Rxb2 54.Nf6+ Kc6 55.Nxh5 Bf2+ 56.Kd1 Bxh4 57.Rg6+ Kd5 58.Rg4 Bd8 59.a4 Be7 60.Rg7 Bh4 61.Rd7+ Kc6 62.Rg7 Kc5 63.Kc1 Rh2 64.Rg4 Kd5 65.Kd1 b5 66.Ng7 Be7 67.Ne8 Bd8 68.Re4

May-10-16  RandomVisitor: Final look, at the final position:

click for larger view


<-1.50/44 38.Rb1 Rc8 39.Qe1> Bf7 40.Qg1 Bc5 41.Qg5 Rxf3 42.Ne2 Qe3 43.Nc3 Bd4 44.Qxe3 Bxe3 45.Nxd5 Bd4 46.Ne7 Rf8 47.Bxf7 R8xf7 48.Rg8+ Kc7 49.Nd5+ Kd7 50.Rc1 Rf1 51.Kb1 Rxc1+ 52.Kxc1 Rf1+ 53.Kd2 Rf2+ 54.Ke1 Rxb2 55.Nf6+ Kc6 56.Rc8+ Kb5 57.Rc4 Rh2 58.Nxh5 Rxh4 59.Ng7 Rh3 60.Ke2 Rh2+ 61.Kd1 Ka5 62.Ne6 b5 63.Rc6 Bb6 64.Nc7 Bxc7 65.Rxc7 Ka4 66.Rc6 a5 67.Rc5 Ra2 68.Rxe5 Rxa3 69.Kc2

May-10-16  thegadfly: 6...Qd7 steinitz had a penchant for beautiful ugly chess:)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <RandomVisitor> In case of human player after 38.Rb1 I would be expecting rather 38...Rxf3, which seems to be just fine.

<thegadfly: 6...Qd7 steinitz had a penchant for beautiful ugly chess:)> Maybe, and he was definitely biased towards putting his pieces into the pin. Of course, 6...Nf6 is playable alternative but there is nothing wrong with 6...Qd7.

May-11-16  thegadfly: <honza cervenka> I agree that there is nothing wrong with 6...Qd7, and I like that Steinitz always seems to find these sort of "ugly" good moves. He was so original.
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