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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Geza Maroczy
London (1899), London ENG, rd 10, Jun-12
Dutch Defense: Rubinstein Variation (A84)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-06-14  dernier thylacine: My silicon friends say that 53.h6! instead of 53.Ra3? offered to Steinitz a last possibility to win by force a splendid but difficult endgame. A pity Steinitz, old and sickly, had no more the neccessary force to see and manage it...

Sad last tournament for the great champion!

Oct-07-14  dernier thylacine: SORRY: it seems I was wrong; after a deeper analysis, it's like Steinitz could not force the win after 53.h6, for example 53...Rd7 54.Kh5 Rb7 55.Ra6+ Kf7! and it looks unclear (but not 55...Kf5?? 56.Rg6! and Black would be lost).
Premium Chessgames Member
  KEG: Steinitz outplays Maroczy but then--perhaps as a result of age and fatigue--was unable to score and win and had to settle for a draw after a long and what must have been a frustrating game.

Maroczy had an inferior but playable game until his ill-judged 12...g5 (12...Nh5 or 12...Ng6 were much better). He followed this up with a series of awful moves (13...d6 instead of 13...Nh5), (15...exd5 instead of 15...e5), (16...fxe5 instead of 16...b5), and (18...h6 instead of 18...Qd7 or 18...b5). After that, Maroczy was busted.

Steinitz could have notched up the pressure with 21. Bb2, but his 21. Nxg5 won at least a pawn and was approximately an equally effective way to win.

But then Steinitz got sloppy. His 24. Qxd6 most certainly didn't blow the win, but 24. Qh5 was stronger, and Steinitz probably overlooked Maroczy's combination beginning with 25...Ne3 and thought (mistakenly) he was going into an ending up two pawns.

But the game was still a clear win for Steinitz until he played 28. RxN in the following position:

click for larger view

With 28. Rg1, Steinitz would have maintained his stranglehold on the position. But after 28. RxN RxB, it is doubtful whether the win was still there.

Marozcy, however, after defending heroically for about 15 moves, got sloppy with 35...Rg8+ (instead of the simple 35...RxR), 36...Rgg4 (instead of 36...Rf8+), and then 40...Bc8 (instead of 40...Kf8), and Steinitz had a chance to win with his two passed pawns on the King's side. But he needed to keep Maroczy's King at bay with 41. h4. In playing 41. e6, Steinitz may have overlooked Maroczy's clever 41...b5.

Maroczy should probably been able to draw from there, but he again got sloppy with 43...Ke7 (instead of 43...Rg6+) and 44...Kf6 (instead of 44...Rh8). But once Maroczy was able to trade off the minor pieces and swap his b-pawn for Steinitz' passed e-pawn, the win was almost certainly gone.

Steinitz' last gasp chance was 53. h6 (instead of 53. Ra3), but with Steinitz having just two Rook pawns left, and as already shown on this site, a winning plan for Steinitz, even with best play, was probably not there.

During the final 15 moves, Steinitz set amateurish traps. For example, with his 59. Re4, Steinitz may have been hoping that Maroczy would lose his mind and play 59...Rxa5 after which 60. Re6+ wins. Not surprisingly, Maroczy didn't fall for any of these childish traps, and the game soon petered out to a draw.

Not a great performance by either side. Maroczy demonstrated--if such demonstration were truly needed--that he could fight hard even in a lost cause. But watching the once-great Steinitz flounder after getting a clearly won game is painful.

Jun-24-19  Straclonoor: <After that, Maroczy was busted.

Steinitz could have notched up the pressure with 21. Bb2,> Yes, sure.
I wanna add some more analysis

Analysis by Stockfish 150519 64 POPCNT:

1. +- (6.93): 20.h4 Nxh4 21.e5 Nxd5 22.Bxd6 Qe8 23.e6 Rg7 24.Be5 Re7 25.Bb5 Qd8 26.Nc6 Bxc6 27.Bxc6 Nf4 28.Bxf4 Qxd2 29.Bxd2 Rd8 30.Bd7 Rdxd7 31.exd7 Rxd7 32.Rad1 Rd3 33.Bb4 Rxd1 34.Rxd1 Nf5 35.Kf2 a5 36.Bc3 g4 37.Rd7 Kf8 38.Rd5 Ne7 39.Rh5 a4 40.Rxh6 Kf7 41.Rf6+ Ke8 42.Rd6 Kf7 43.g3

2. +- (6.55): 20.Nf5 Rd8 21.h4 Nh7 22.Rac1 Nf4 23.Bb5 Rxf5 24.exf5 Qg7 25.Bb2 Nf6 26.Bxf6 Qxf6 27.Rc7 Bc8 28.hxg5 hxg5 29.g3 Nh5 30.Qe3 Ng7 31.g4 a6 32.Bd3 Bd7 33.Qxb6 Bb5 34.Bxb5 axb5 35.Qe3 Ra8 36.Rfc1 Re8 37.Rc8 Kf7

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