chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Wilhelm Steinitz vs Alexander G Sellman
Baltimore (1885), rd 1, Feb-09
French Defense: Classical. Steinitz Variation (C11)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 53 times; par: 60 [what's this?]

Annotations by Stockfish (Computer).      [21728 more games annotated by Stockfish]

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 7 more Steinitz/Sellman games
PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: Some games have photographs. These are denoted in the game list with the icon.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

THIS IS A COMPUTER ANNOTATED SCORE.   [CLICK HERE] FOR ORIGINAL.

Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-29-03
Premium Chessgames Member
  Calli: Brilliant constriction strategy by the man who invented it. Note how he gets control of the c file and goes from there. Takes over a square at a time until Black can't move. Black helps out a bit with 18...h5.
Oct-28-05  CowardlyKnight: The way he gives his opponent the two bishops while keeping a "bad bishop" really shows his understanding of position. He was brillant.
May-27-06  samikd: I don't agree that Steinitz's Bishop was bad.
Apr-12-09  sheaf: ultimate zugzwang!!..with so many pieces on the board..
Apr-17-09  sheaf: the position after 29. Qc7, black is heading for a zugzwang...black is running out of waiting moves.. while exchanging the queen just leads to the final position..
Apr-17-11  lalla: i studied this game in Reinfeld's chess mastery by answer and question. Why not 12. b4 with aim at a5 and thus making both bishops active?
Sep-21-12  Llawdogg: Surprisingly, Sellman is all but lost after 12 ... Qb6. He had to play 12 ... b4 and then perhaps 13 ... a5 with the goal of 14 ... Ba6. Perhaps this is what lalla was trying to say.

In any case, this is one of the most instructive games of chess ever played. It could even be the game of the day sometime.

Dec-29-12  bengalcat47: <lalla> I have a copy of the book Chess Mastery by Question and Answer. One of the other games from this book (Game #14) is an impressive White win by Lilienthal and Panov vs. Blumenfeld and Kotov. I wish this game was in the database here. Sometime when I get the chance I'll convert the moves into algebraic notation and post the game score at the chessgames site.
Jun-24-13  estrick: Highlights of the game are paraphrased from Irving Chernev's commentary in "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played:"

Steinitz drives Sellman's dark square B back with 13. b4!

With 16. Be3!, Steinitz claims more of the dark squres.

19. Nc3! begins a "Knight's tour" aiming for the a5-square, from whence it will seek to eliminate Sellman's DSB.

After 25. Rc1, White has control of the c-file and will end up with his Rook on the 7th rank.

With 27. Nac6!, Steinitz intends to eliminate Sellman's dsb. If Sellman trades off his lsb instead, numerous possible cominations are made possible for White, and Black's position will instantly collapse.

With 30. Bf2!, White's dsb will finally prove that Sellman's dark squares are hopelessly weak.

After 35. Bd6, all of Black's pieces are on the back rank. He is completely tied up.

Mar-29-15  thejack: Why not 31.Ne6 ?
Mar-29-15  thejack: Im not all that impressed with Steinitz` play. 6.dc5: and 11.Nd1 seem suspicious to me, and it was only after weak play on blacks part (12.- Qb6, basically handing over the dark squares) that Whites position finally came alive. From that moment on though, Steinitz was impeccable ;)
Feb-01-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <thejack: Why not 31.Ne6 ?>

Why not 31.Bh4? No reason. But Steinitz's move is also completely winning.

Feb-01-19  Otoy: In the style of Boa constrictor.
Jun-30-19
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ziryab: 5.f4 was a novelty when played in this game. Of course, it is the main line now.

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.

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 Chessgames.com, 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?]
Dark Squares again !
from Color Complexes by samikd
Game 39
from Instructive Games (Chernev) by Parmenides1963
Game 16
from Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (1A) by nakul1964
Game 16
from Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (1A) by StoppedClock
Game 68
from Manual of Chess (Lasker) by isfsam
French Classical. Steinitz Var (C11) 1-0 Constriction strategy
from To V or not to V?! by fredthebear
Game 166 in The Fireside Book of Chess by Chernev & Reinfeld
from French C11s Clipped Fredthebear by fredthebear
62 Most Instructive Games
by TexTeky
Strength and Weakness on Files and Diagonals SWFD pg 27
from Secrets of Positional Chess- Drazen Marovic by Del ToRo
April, p. 88 [Game 72 / 368]
from Chess Review 1935 by Phony Benoni
Strength and Weakness on Files and Diagonals SWFD pg 27
from Secrets of Positional Chess- Drazen Marovic by Atsa
The Singular Strategy of Steinitz
from The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played by SirIvanhoe
Goofus v. Gallant
by keypusher
Game 16
from Garry Kasparov's On My Great Predecessors (1A) by nakul1964
the singular strategy of steinitz
from the most instructive games of chess ever played by biohaz
Steinitz's immortal Zugzwang
from vaskolon's favorite games by vaskolon
Steinitz's immortal Zugzwang//(C11) French, 35 moves, 1-0
from vaskolon's PAUL MORPHY'S GAMES by vaskolon
Steinitz knight outpost in the French
from Instructive Games by blohmoremoney
Game 16
from On My Great Predecessors 1 (Kasparov) by isfsam

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 2001-2020, Chessgames Services LLC