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Cecil Valentine De Vere vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Informal Game (1864), London, England
Italian Game: Classical Variation. Albin Gambit (C53)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-02-08  Peter Wells: Not sure if anyone can hear me, this is my first post. I don't understand why Steinitz felt it was safe to take the night at g5 with 14 ... Bxg5. Isn't that triggering the very trap De Vere set? I see:

15. Qxf8+ Kd7 (forced)
16. Qxd8+ Rxd8
17. Bxg5

and white is up a clear rook with his bishop at g5 threatening the black rook on d8. And if instead of 16. ... Rxd8 it was 16 ... Kxd8 (one of these two moves is forced), then 17. Bxg5+ and white is still up that rook. From here on out, I just don't see any huge attack or positional win for Black that compensates.

I'm only a B player at best, and out of practice. But not only did Steinitz accept he trap, De Vere didn't go ahead with it, instead backing off with a simple exchange and went on to lose.

What am I missing? Thanks.


Jan-02-08  drmariogodrob: On move 11, even, there is really no reason for white not to play 11. Qxc4. Speaking from the perspective of someone who has thrown away many games because I saw ghosts, I wouldn't be surprised if M. De Vere simply couldn't believe that he had beaten Steinitz, and so didn't believe it.
Jan-02-08  MichAdams: Not the great British GM, Peter Wells?

<I'm only a B player at best...>

Probably not.

Premium Chessgames Member
  The Long Diagonal: Peter Wells <And if instead of 16. ... Rxd8 it was 16 ... Kxd8 (one of these two moves is forced), then 17. Bxg5+ and white is still up that rook.>

What you missed was 16. ... Bxd8 after which white has won the exchange but black has one pawn more, better development and bishop pair. I guess I'd prefer being black here.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Peter Wells> Welcome to the site. =)

After 15. Qxf8+ Kd7 16. Qxd8+ Black has 16 ... Bxd8 saving the piece, leaving White up the exchange for a Pawn, yet this line would be a huge improvement over the game continuation.

It is unclear how seriously to take this "Informal Game" as 11. Qxc4 gives White a piece for two Pawns and even better chances than 11. Qxg7.

See you around. =)

Jan-02-08  Peter Wells: Ack! You're right! The bishop takes. I did miss it.

I know of Peter Wells, the British IM. Nope, not him! I managed a USCF in the 1600s for a while, but as you can see, I'm no master of analysis.

I've actually been going through almost every single game since the database starts up through the year 1900. It's quite the journey! I read your comments, I already know most of you, it feels like. :)



Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: It's not even clear, apparently, whether this was played in 1864 or '65.
Premium Chessgames Member
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