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The Mammoth Book of

The World’s Greatest

Chess Games

Graham Burgess
John Nunn
John Emms

Foreword by Vishy Anand

Constable & Robinson Ltd
3 The Lanchesters
162 Fulham Palace Road
London W6 9ER
First edition published in the UK in 1998 by Robinson
This revised and updated edition published by Robinson,
an imprint of Constable & Robinson Ltd, 2010
Copyright © Graham Burgess, John Nunn and John Emms 1998, 2004, 2010
Edited by Graham Burgess and typeset by John Nunn for Gambit Publications Ltd
The right of Graham Burgess, John Nunn and John Emms to be identified
as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance
with the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988.
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that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold,
hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover
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including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication
Data is available from the British Library
UK ISBN 978-1-84901-368-0
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

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Foreword by Vishy Anand 6
Introduction 7
Symbols 8

Players (White first) and Event Votes Ann. Page

1 McDonnell – Labourdonnais, Match (16), London 1834 10 B 9
2 Anderssen – Kieseritzky, London 1851 13 E 14
3 Anderssen – Dufresne, Berlin 1852 10 B 19
4 Zukertort – Blackburne, London 1883 9 E 25
5 Steinitz – Chigorin, World Ch. (4), Havana 1892 11 E 30
6 Steinitz – von Bardeleben, Hastings 1895 13 B 36
7 Pillsbury – Em.Lasker, St Petersburg 1895/6 10 E 41
8 Steinitz – Em.Lasker, St Petersburg 1895/6 9 E 47
9 Pillsbury – Em.Lasker, Nuremberg 1896 10 B 52
10 Em.Lasker – Napier, Cambridge Springs 1904 9 N 57
11 Rotlewi – Rubinstein, Lodz 1907/8 13 N 63
12 Rubinstein – Em.Lasker, St Petersburg 1909 9 E 68
13 O. Bernstein – Capablanca, Moscow 1914 9 E 73
14 Nimzowitsch – Tarrasch, St Petersburg 1914 13 N 79
15 Capablanca – Marshall, New York 1918 11 N 85
16 E.Adams – C.Torre, New Orleans 1920 9 B 91
17 Em.Lasker – Capablanca, World Ch. (10), Havana 1921 9 B 96
18 Maróczy – Tartakower, Teplitz-Schönau 1922 10 N 104
19 Sämisch – Nimzowitsch, Copenhagen 1923 12 E 111
20 Grünfeld – Alekhine, Karlsbad 1923 9 N 116
21 Capablanca – Tartakower, New York 1924 10 B 122
22 Réti – Bogoljubow, New York 1924 13 N 127
23 Réti – Alekhine, Baden-Baden 1925 14 N 133
24 Rubinstein – Alekhine, Semmering 1926 9 N 139
25 P. Johner – Nimzowitsch, Dresden 1926 9 E 143
26 Capablanca – Spielmann, New York 1927 9 N 149
27 Alekhine – Maróczy, Bled 1931 9 E 153
28 Rauzer – Botvinnik, USSR Ch., Leningrad 1933 9 B 158
29 Botvinnik – Capablanca, AVRO, Rotterdam 1938 15 B 164
30 Euwe – Keres, Match (9), Rotterdam 1939/40 9 N 170
31 Geller – Euwe, Candidates, Zurich 1953 9 B 176
32 Euwe – Najdorf, Candidates, Zurich 1953 9 B 180
33 Averbakh – Kotov, Candidates, Zurich 1953 13 N 187
34 Keres – Smyslov, Candidates, Zurich 1953 9 B 193
35 Botvinnik – Smyslov, World Ch. (14), Moscow 1954 10 B 199
36 Keres – Szabo, USSR – Hungary, Budapest 1955 9 N 204
37 Bronstein – Keres, Interzonal, Gothenburg 1955 9 B 208
4 Contents

38 D.Byrne – Fischer, Rosenwald, New York 1956 13 E 213

39 Tal – Koblencs, Training game, Riga 1957 9 B 217
40 Polugaevsky – Nezhmetdinov, RSFSR Ch., Sochi 1958 11 E 224
41 Tal – Fischer, Candidates, Zagreb 1959 9 B 230
42 Spassky – Bronstein, USSR Ch., Leningrad 1960 11 B 235
43 Botvinnik – Tal, World Ch. (6), Moscow 1960 10 B 240
44 Krogius – Stein, Russia – Ukraine, Kiev 1960 9 N 246
45 Fischer – Tal, Leipzig Olympiad 1960 9 B 254
46 Rubezov – Borisenko, USSR Corr. Ch. 1960–3 10 B 258
47 Gufeld – Kavalek, Student Ol., Marianske Lazne 1962 12 E 264
48 Tal – Hecht, Varna Ol. 1962 11 B 269
49 Korchnoi – Tal, USSR Ch., Erevan 1962 9 E 275
50 R.Byrne – Fischer, USA Ch., New York 1963/4 12 E 281
51 Smyslov – Tal, USSR Team Ch., Moscow 1964 10 E 287
52 Kholmov – Bronstein, USSR Ch., Kiev 1964/5 9 N 293
53 Geller – Smyslov, Candidates (5), Moscow 1965 9 B 298
54 Tal – Larsen, Candidates (10), Bled 1965 10 B 302
55 Estrin – Berliner, 5th Corr. World Ch. 1965–8 10 B 309
56 Petrosian – Spassky, World Ch. (10), Moscow 1966 11 B 316
57 Botvinnik – Portisch, Monte Carlo 1968 14 N 322
58 Polugaevsky – Tal, USSR Ch., Moscow 1969 11 B 326
59 Larsen – Spassky, USSR vs R.o.W., Belgrade 1970 11 E 331
60 Fischer – Panno, Buenos Aires 1970 9 E 335
61 Fischer – Larsen, Candidates (1), Denver 1971 9 B 339
62 Fischer – Petrosian, Candidates (7), Buenos Aires 1971 12 B 344
63 Velimirovi‡ – Ljubojevi‡, Yugoslav Ch., Umag 1972 9 N 350
64 Fischer – Spassky, World Ch. (6), Reykjavik 1972 14 B 356
65 Spassky – Tal, Tallinn 1973 9 B 362
66 Bagirov – Gufeld, Kirovabad 1973 12 B 367
67 Karpov – Korchnoi, Candidates (2), Moscow 1974 11 B 373
68 Mini‡ – Planinc, Rovinj/Zagreb 1975 9 B 380
69 Ljubojevi‡ – Andersson, Wijk aan Zee 1976 9 N 384
70 Reshevsky – Vaganian, Skopje 1976 10 E 391
71 Lputian – Kasparov, Tbilisi 1976 9 B 395
72 Karpov – Dorfman, USSR Ch., Moscow 1976 10 B 402
73 Timman – Karpov, Montreal 1979 9 B 408
74 Polugaevsky – E.Torre, Moscow 1981 13 B 412
75 Kopylov – S.Koroliov, USSR Corr. Ch. 1981–3 12 N 417
76 Kasparov – Portisch, Nikši‡ 1983 13 E 422
77 Karpov – Kasparov, World Ch. (9), Moscow 1984/5 11 B 427
78 Beliavsky – Nunn, Wijk aan Zee 1985 12 N 434
79 Karpov – Kasparov, World Ch. (16), Moscow 1985 15 B 440
80 Kasparov – Karpov, World Ch. (16), Leningrad 1986 14 B 447
81 Miles – Beliavsky, Tilburg 1986 9 E 456
82 Tal – Hjartarson, Reykjavik 1987 11 N 460
83 Piket – Kasparov, Tilburg 1989 10 B 465
Contents 5

84 Smirin – Beliavsky, USSR Ch., Odessa 1989 12 E 471

85 Ivanchuk – Yusupov, Candidates (9), Brussels 1991 14 B 475
86 Short – Timman, Tilburg 1991 10 E 481
87 Fischer – Spassky, Match (1), Sveti Stefan 1992 10 B 487
88 Gelfand – Anand, Linares 1993 11 B 493
89 Kamsky – Shirov, World Team Ch., Lucerne 1993 11 B 499
90 Karpov – Topalov, Linares 1994 12 E 505
91 Shirov – J.Polgar, Buenos Aires 1994 10 B 510
92 Cifuentes – Zviagintsev, Wijk aan Zee 1995 10 N 515
93 Kasparov – Anand, PCA World Ch. (10), New York 1995 13 E 520
94 Topalov – Kramnik, Belgrade 1995 12 B 526
95 Ivanchuk – Shirov, Wijk aan Zee 1996 11 B 532
96 Deep Blue – Kasparov, Match (1), Philadelphia 1996 10 B 536
97 Ivanchuk – Kramnik, Dos Hermanas 1996 10 N 540
98 Topalov – Kramnik, Dortmund 1996 9 B 544
99 Anand – Karpov, Las Palmas 1996 9 N 548
100 Anand – Lautier, Biel 1997 10 N 553
101 Atalik – Sax, Szeged 1997 13 N 557
102 Gelfand – Shirov, Polanica Zdroj 1998 13 B 561
103 Veingold – Fridman, Zonal tournament, Tallinn 1998 11 B 567
104 Nunn – Nataf, French Team Ch. 1998/9 12 N 571
105 Kasparov – Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 1999 15 B 577
106 Topalov – Anand, Linares 1999 11 B 583
107 Topalov – Ivanchuk, Linares 1999 9 N 590
108 Svidler – Adams, Neum 2000 10 B 594
109 I.Sokolov – Dreev, Dos Hermanas 2001 12 B 599
110 Gelfand – Kantsler, Israel 2001 9 B 604
111 Kramnik – Anand, Dortmund 2001 10 B 610
112 Sutovsky – Smirin, Israeli Ch., Tel Aviv 2002 12 N 615
113 J.Polgar – Berkes, Budapest 2003 9 N 621
114 Anand – Bologan, Dortmund 2003 10 B 626
115 Kasimdzhanov – Kasparov, Linares 2005 9 B 634
116 Topalov – Anand, Sofia 2005 10 B 641
117 Anand – Adams, FIDE World Ch., San Luis 2005 12 N 647
118 Topalov – Aronian, Wijk aan Zee 2006 14 N 652
119 Anand – Carlsen, Morelia/Linares 2007 12 B 658
120 Sandipan – Tiviakov, Ottawa 2007 11 B 663
121 Topalov – Kramnik, Wijk aan Zee 2008 11 B 669
122 Ivanchuk – Kariakin, Amber Rapid, Nice 2008 10 N 675
123 Kramnik – Anand, World Ch. (3), Bonn 2008 14 B 681
124 Carlsen – Kramnik, London 2009 11 B 687
125 Anand – Topalov, World Ch. (4), Sofia 2010 13 B 694

Index of Players 701

Index of Openings 703
About the Authors 704
Foreword by Vishy Anand

In virtually every sport, there is a debate about who was the greatest of all time,
and which was the best contest. Comparisons made over long periods of time are
far from simple; comparing the tennis players of the past with those of today
must take into account advances such as carbon-fibre rackets and scientifically
designed training programs. A further difficulty is that for events pre-dating tele-
vision, one often has to rely on written descriptions rather than video records.
Chess is in a uniquely fortunate position in this respect; chess notation means
that the great games of the past can be played over just as easily as those played
last week.
This book aims to present the 125 greatest games of all time. Obviously not
everyone will agree with the choice, but there is no doubt that these are all out-
standing games. There are many old favourites, but also some less well-known
encounters which will be new to most readers. Readers will meet not only the fa-
miliar names of world champions, but those of less familiar masters and grand-
masters, correspondence players, etc.
At the moment, one decade into a new millennium, chess is looking to the fu-
ture. The Internet is having an increasing impact for both disseminating chess in-
formation and providing a playing forum. The game will undoubtedly change in
the years to come, but it will only be another evolutionary step in the long and
rich heritage of chess. This book contains selected highlights from over 160
years of chess history; we can all learn from the experience of the past, and any-
one who studies these games cannot fail to gain a greater understanding of chess.
As for the questions posed at the start of the foreword, was Mikhail Tal, who
has more games in this book than any other player, really the most brilliant of all
time? Were Botvinnik – Capablanca, AVRO tournament, Rotterdam 1938, Kar-
pov – Kasparov, World Championship match (game 16), Moscow 1985, and Kas-
parov – Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 1999 really the greatest games in chess history?
After playing over the 125 masterpieces in this book, you may form your own
opinion; whether you agree or disagree, these games can hardly fail to give pleas-
ure, instruction and entertainment.

Vishy Anand

The aim of this book is simple: to Thus the greatest possible score for
present the 125 greatest chess games a game was 15 votes. In the end just
of all time, with annotations that en- three games achieved this theoretical
able chess enthusiasts to derive the maximum.
maximum enjoyment and instruction This enabled us to select our 125
from them. games, which were then allocated be-
The first problem we faced was tween the three annotators, 67 to Gra-
the selection of the games: how could ham Burgess (who coordinated the
we choose just 125 from the treasure- whole project), 33 to John Nunn, and
house of chess history? Clearly the 25 to John Emms.
games should be great battles, featur- The annotator and the total number
ing deep and inventive play. We de- of votes for each game are indicated in
cided that the prime consideration had the contents list.
to be the quality of the play, not just of
the winner, but also of the loser. We re- Our primary aims in annotating
jected games where the loser offered each game were to provide an accurate
little resistance, and those where the set of notes, and to highlight the main
winner jeopardized victory by aiming instructive points. In some cases pre-
for false brilliance. As one of the book’s existing notes, especially those by the
objectives is to help the reader gain a players, proved a valuable source of
deeper understanding of all aspects of ideas, but we repeatedly found major
chess, we favoured games illustrating deficiencies in previous annotations.
important concepts. The selection cri- The most common problem was “an-
teria were therefore as follows: notation by result”, i.e. the annotator
• Quality and brilliance of play by praises everything the winner did, and
both contestants criticizes all the loser’s decisions. Few
• Instructive value games between strong opponents are
• Historical significance really so one-sided. Another common
Using these criteria, we selected a failing was the sheep-like tendency of
shortlist of 270 games; then each annotators to copy earlier notes. Thus,
author voted on the games, rating each if a game was poorly annotated in the
on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: tournament book, or in the winner’s
5 one of the greatest 25 games ever “best games” collection, then subse-
played quent annotations were blighted. Of
4 in the top 60 course, it would be unfair (and danger-
3 in the top 125 ous!) for us to be too critical of other
2 the game is not in the top 125 annotators, especially considering that
1 the game is unsuitable for inclusion they were without computerized assis-
in the book tance, but in many cases there was
8 Introduction

clearly a definite lack of independent the reader is referred to the earlier ma-
thought. terial) and a summary of the game.
In this book we have aimed to pres- The game and its detailed notes follow,
ent the truth about these games, warts with a final review of the game’s most
and all. In some cases readers might instructive points. These games repre-
feel that the games have lost some of sent the pinnacle of human creativity
their brilliance as a result, but we do on the chessboard (in one case, silicon
not agree. On the contrary, it shows ‘creativity’!) and there is a great deal
that many games which were hitherto to be learnt from them. You may find
regarded as rather one-sided were in it convenient to use two chessboards –
fact massive struggles between almost one to keep track of the position in the
evenly-matched players; only an 11th-- main game, and another to play over
hour slip at the height of the battle fi- the variations. Alternatively, and pref-
nally tipped the balance in the winner’s erably, play over the moves using a
favour. These new annotations often suitable computer program (for exam-
reveal new and instructive points in ple ChessBase). Keeping a program
the games – so please don’t skip a such as Fritz running in the background
game just because you have seen it be- will reveal analytical points we had no
fore. We were assisted in our work by space to include in the book.
a variety of computer software, most
notably ChessBase, together with the We hope you enjoy reading this
Fritz, Junior, Rybka and Robbolito book as much as we enjoyed writing
analysis modules. In this 2010 edition, it. If there are any terms in this book
Games 113–125 are completely new, that you don’t understand, please refer
while there are also some significant to the extensive glossary in The Mam-
revisions to the analysis and informa- moth Book of Chess.
tion from the earlier editions.
Graham Burgess
Each game starts with biographical John Nunn
information about the players (where John Emms
a player has already been introduced, June 2010

+ check !? interesting move
++ double check ?! dubious move
# checkmate ? bad move
x captures ?? blunder
0-0 castles kingside 1-0 the game ends in a win for
0-0-0 castles queenside White
!! brilliant move Ó-Ó the game ends in a draw
! good move 0-1 the game ends in a win for
Game 1
Alexander McDonnell – Louis
Charles de Labourdonnais
4th match, 16th game, London 1834
Sicilian Defence, Löwenthal Variation

The Players
Alexander McDonnell (1798–1835) was born in Belfast and established himself
as the best player in England in the 1830s. Indeed, his superiority was such that
he even played at odds when facing the best of the English players blindfold.
Though his talent was undoubted, he had little experience facing opposition of
his own level, and this showed when he faced Labourdonnais in their series of

Louis Charles Mahé de Labourdonnais (1797–1840) was born on the French is-
land of La Réunion, where his father had been governor. After settling in France,
then the world’s leading chess nation, he learned the game while in his late teens,
and progressed rapidly; from 1820 up until his death he was regarded as the lead-
ing player. He was clearly a man who loved to play chess; even during his matches,
he would play off-hand games for small stakes between the match games.

The Game
After some lacklustre opening play from McDonnell, Labourdonnais sets up a
powerful mobile pawn centre, very much in the style of Philidor, the greatest
French player prior to Labourdonnais. He plays extremely energetically to sup-
port and advance the pawns, and when McDonnell threatens to make inroads
around and behind the pawns, he comes up with a fine exchange sacrifice. The
tactics all work, and Black’s pawns continue their advance towards the goal. The
final position, once seen, is never forgotten: three passed pawns on the seventh
rank overpowering a hapless queen and rook.

1 e4 c5 ambitious 4th move, i.e. the weaken-

2 Ìf3 Ìc6 ing of the d5-square. 5 Ìb5 has been
3 d4 cxd4 the normal move ever since.
4 Ìxd4 e5 5 ... bxc6
5 Ìxc6?! 6 Íc4 Ìf6
This somewhat cooperative ex- 7 Íg5 Íe7
change strengthens Black’s control of 8 Ëe2?!
the centre without giving White any By delaying development and ex-
compensating advantages. Moreover, posing his queen to possible attack
it nullifies the main defect of Black’s along the a6–f1 diagonal, White only
10 Game 1: Alexander McDonnell – Louis Charles de Labourdonnais

encourages Black to advance in the use his a-pawn to cause White to make
centre. The fact that the queen exerts concessions in the centre.
pressure on e5 is unlikely to be rele- 12 exd5 cxd5
vant before White has, at the least, got 13 Îd1 d4
his king safely castled. He should in- 14 c4
stead try 8 Ìc3 or 8 Íxf6 followed by McDonnell decides to play ac-
9 Ìc3. tively, hoping that his own passed c-
8 ... d5 pawn will prove as strong as Black’s
9 Íxf6 d-pawn. However, this hope may be
9 exd5 cxd5 (9...Ìxd5 is also pos- unrealistic. Black’s d-pawn is already
sible, when Black has good piece- well advanced, and ably supported by
play) 10 Íb5+ Íd7 11 Ìc3 (after 11 its neighbour, the e5-pawn. Moreover,
Íxd7+ Ìxd7 12 Íxe7 Ëxe7 Black Black’s pieces are better mobilized
can comfortably maintain his pawn- and have more scope. If a modern
centre) 11...d4 12 Íxf6 Íxf6 13 Ìd5 grandmaster were to end up in this po-
doesn’t work for White after 13...Ëa5+ sition as White, then he would not try
14 b4 (14 c3 Íxb5 15 Ëxb5+ Ëxb5 to start a race, but rather develop the
16 Ìc7+ Êd7 17 Ìxb5 Îab8 and b2 queen’s knight, and aim to restrain and
caves in) 14...Íxb5 15 bxa5 Íxe2 16 blockade the d-pawn, most likely
Ìc7+? (after normal moves, White’s chipping away at it with c3 at some
shattered queenside pawns will give point. However, this game was played
him a dreadful ending) 16...Êd7 17 almost a century before Nimzowitsch
Ìxa8 Ía6 and the knight is trapped. systematized the concept of “restrain,
9 ... Íxf6 blockade, destroy” (though the third
10 Íb3 0-0 part would be hoping for too much in
11 0-0 this instance), and, besides, in the
early nineteenth century it was more
XABCDEFGHY standard for players to try to solve po-
8r+lw-tk+( sitional problems by lashing out ag-
gressively. More prudent options
7z-+-+pzp’ include 14 c3 and 14 Ìd2.
6-+p+-v-+& 14 ... Ëb6
15 Íc2 Íb7
5+-+pz-+-% Certainly not 15...Ëxb2??, which
4-+-+P+-+$ loses the queen to 16 Íxh7+.
3+L+-+-+-# 16 Ìd2 Îae8!
Labourdonnais correctly perceives
2PZP+QZPZ" that his rooks belong on the e- and f-
1TN+-+RM-! files, despite the fact that this leaves
his rooks poorly placed to act on the
xabcdefghy queenside. The d-pawn is of course his
11 ... a5 main asset, but to create real threats
Now Black threatens both 12...a4 Black will need to push his e-pawn,
and 12...Ía6. Thus Black manages to and this in turn may need the support
4th match, 16th game, London 1834 11

of the f-pawn. If White could some- 22 Ía4 Ëc8 23 Íxe8 Ëxe8 24 Ìd6
how set up a firm blockade on e4, then Íxd6 25 cxd6.
he would have good chances, so this 22 Ía4 Ëh6
square may be regarded as the focus of
the battle. XABCDEFGHY
16...Ëxb2 strays off-course and dis- 8-+-+rt-m(
sipates Black’s advantage after either
17 Íxh7+ Êxh7 18 Îab1 or 17 Ëd3 7+l+-v-zp’
e4 (17...g6 18 Îab1 forces 18...e4 any- 6-+-+-+-w&
way) 18 Ìxe4 Íxe4 19 Ëxe4 g6.
8-+-+rtk+( 3+-+-+P+-#
7+l+-+pzp’ 2PZ-+-+PZ"
6-w-+-v-+& 1+-TR+-M-!
5z-+-z-+-% xabcdefghy
4-+Pz-+-+$ 23 Íxe8
3+-+-+-+-# After 23 Ìd6, Black must play ex-
tremely precisely to keep his advan-
2PZLSQZPZ" tage: 23...Íxd6 24 Íxe8 Íc7 25 c6
1T-+R+-M-! (25 Ëb3 e4 26 g3 should be answered
by 26...Ía6, with excellent play for
xabcdefghy Black, since 26...Îxe8 27 Ëxb7 Ëe3+
17 Ìe4 Íd8 28 Êh1 Ëxf3+ 29 Êg1 may yield no
Black’s threat of ...f5 forces White more than a draw) 25...e4 and now:
to act quickly if he is not to be overrun. 1) 26 cxb7? Ëxh2+ 27 Êf1 exf3
18 c5 Ëc6 28 gxf3 Ëh3+ 29 Êe2 Îxe8+ 30 Êd3
19 f3 Íe7 Ëxf3+ 31 Êc2 Ëxb7 is good for Black.
Preventing 20 Ìd6, which White’s 2) 26 h3?? Ëe3+ 27 Êf1 (27 Êh1
last move had made possible. Ëf4) 27...Íh2 and Black wins.
20 Îac1 f5 3) 26 g3 Ëe3+ 27 Êh1 Ëxf3+ 28
Black immediately begins the deci- Êg1 Íxg3 (28...Íc8 is met by 29
sive advance. Note that he spends no Îf1) and here:
time on prophylaxis against White’s 3a) 29 hxg3 Ëxg3+ 30 Êf1 (30
queenside play, confident that his Êh1 Îf6) 30...d3 31 Ëc5 (31 cxb7
pawn-storm will sweep everything e3) 31...Îxe8 32 Ëg1 Ëf3+ 33 Ëf2
from its path. Ëxf2+ 34 Êxf2 e3+ and ...Ía6 wins
21 Ëc4+ Êh8! for Black.
21...Ëd5 would be annoyingly met 3b) 29 Îf1 Ëe3+ 30 Êg2 and now
by 22 Ëb5, threatening Íb3. Black wins by sacrificing yet more
21...Îf7? loses an exchange under material and using his swathe of
far worse conditions than in the game: pawns:
12 Game 1: Alexander McDonnell – Louis Charles de Labourdonnais

XABCDEFGHY White dare not let the c8-bishop

8-+-+Lt-m( out, e.g. 27 Íf7 (trying to block off
the rook instead) 27...Íg4 28 c7? (28
7+l+-+-zp’ Îf1 d3 29 Îcf2 d2 is hopeless for
6-+P+-+-+& White in any case) 28...fxg2+ 29 Îxg2
Íxd1 30 c8Ë Ëe1+ 31 Îg1 Íf3#.
5z-+-+p+-% 27 ... f2
3+-+-w-v-# XABCDEFGHY
2PZ-+-+KZ" 8-+l+-t-m(
1+-T-+R+-! 7+-+Lv-zp’
xabcdefghy 6-+P+-+-+&
3b1) 30...Íe5 is not fast enough:
31 Ëc5 (not 31 cxb7? Ëh6) 31...Ëd2+ 4-+Qz-+-+$
32 Îf2 Ëg5+ 33 Êh1 Íd6 34 Ëxd6!
(34 Ëc2 d3 allows Black to consoli-
date) 34...Ëxc1+ 35 Êg2 Ëg5+ 36 2PZR+-zPZ"
Êh1! Îxe8 (not 36...Ëf6?? 37 Ëxf6 1+-+R+-+K!
gxf6 38 cxb7 Îxe8 39 Îc2) 37 cxb7
gives Black no more than a draw.
3b2) 30...Ëd2+! 31 Êxg3 f4+ 32 Black is threatening both 28...d3
Êh3 f3 and mate cannot be prevented, and 28...Ëe1+ 29 Ëf1 Ëxd1.
e.g. 33 Îg1 Ëh6+ 34 Êg3 Ëf4+ 35 28 Îf1
Êf2 (35 Êh3 Îf6) 35...Ëxh2+ 36 Êf1 Not 28 Ëf1? Ía6.
e3 followed by ...e2+; or 33 Ëc2 Ëh6+ 28 ... d3
34 Êg3 Ëg5+ 35 Êf2 (35 Êh3 Îf4) 29 Îc3 Íxd7
35...Ëe3+ 36 Êg3 f2+ 37 Êg4 Ëf3+ 30 cxd7
38 Êh4 Îf4+ 39 Êg5 Ëg4#.
23 ... fxe4 XABCDEFGHY
24 c6 exf3?
24...Ëe3+ 25 Êh1 exf3 is the cor-
rect move-order. 7+-+Pv-zp’
25 Îc2 6-+-+-+-+&
White is mated after 25 cxb7??
Ëe3+ 26 Êh1 fxg2+ or 25 gxf3?? 5z-+-z-+-%
Ëe3+ 26 Êh1 Ëxf3+ 27 Êg1 Îf5. 4-+Q+-+-+$
25 ... Ëe3+?! 3+-Tpw-+-#
25...Íc8 26 Íd7 is unclear.
26 Êh1? 2PZ-+-zPZ"
After 26 Îf2 Black has nothing. 1+-+-+R+K!
26 ... Íc8
27 Íd7 xabcdefghy
4th match, 16th game, London 1834 13

Not 30 Îxd3? Íe6 (30...Ëe2 31 XABCDEFGHY

Îc3) 31 Ëc2 Ëc5. 8-+-v-+rm(
30 ... e4
The threat is now ...Ëe1, and there 7+-+P+-zp’
isn’t much White can do about it. 6-+-+-+-+&
31 Ëc8 Íd8
XABCDEFGHY 4-+-+-+-+$
8-+Qv-t-m( 3+-W-+-+-#
7+-+P+-zp’ 2PZ-zpzPZ"
6-+-+-+-+& 1+-+R+-+K!
5z-+-+-+-% xabcdefghy
3+-Tpw-+-# Lessons from this game:
1) A large mobile pawn centre is a
2PZ-+-zPZ" major strategic asset.
1+-+-+R+K! 2) Don’t be afraid to sacrifice to
press forward to your main strategic
xabcdefghy goal (e.g. the advance of a pawn-cen-
32 Ëc4 tre, as in this game). An advantageous
32 Ëc6 Ëe1 is no different, and 32 position does not win itself against a
Îcc1 is met by 32...Ëf4. resourceful opponent, and at some
32 ... Ëe1! point it may become necessary to “get
33 Îc1 d2 your hands dirty” and analyse precise
34 Ëc5 Îg8 tactical variations.
35 Îd1 e3 3) When pawns are far-advanced,
36 Ëc3 close to promotion, always be on the
Now for a truly magical finish... lookout for tactical tricks involving
36 ... Ëxd1 promotion. The final position of this
37 Îxd1 e2 game should provide all the necessary
0-1 inspiration – make a mental note of it!
Game 2
The “Immortal Game”
Adolf Anderssen – Lionel Kieseritzky
London 1851
King’s Gambit

The Players
Adolf Anderssen (1818–79) was undoubtedly one of the strongest players of his
era and indeed he was crowned unofficial World Champion after handsomely
winning the great London Tournament of 1851, which had the distinction of be-
ing the first international chess tournament ever held. A teacher of mathematics
by profession, Anderssen began to take chess much more seriously after his Lon-
don triumph. He kept his status as the world’s strongest player until 1858, before
losing convincingly in a match to the brilliant young American, Paul Morphy.
Morphy’s sudden retirement from the game, however, meant that Anderssen
could once more take up the mantle as the leading player. Despite his numerous
work commitments, he stayed active on the chess front, playing matches against
many of his nearest rivals. In 1870 he won the strongest ever tournament at that
time, in Baden-Baden, ahead of players such as Steinitz and Blackburne. An-
derssen was certainly a chess player at heart. At London in 1851, he was asked
why he had not gone to see the Great Exhibition. “I came to London to play
chess” was his curt reply.

Lionel Kieseritzky (1806–53) was born in Tartu, in what is now Estonia, but set-
tled in France in 1839. He became a frequent visitor to the Café de la Régènce in
Paris, where he gave chess lessons for five francs an hour, or played offhand
games for the same fee. His main strength was his ability to win by giving great
odds to weaker players. Kieseritzky was also an openings theoretician, who in-
vented a line in the King’s Gambit which is still considered a main variation to-
day. However, despite his other achievements, he is still best remembered for the
part he played in this game.

The Game
Dubbed the “Immortal Game” by the Austrian player Ernst Falkbeer, this is a
game typical of the “romantic era” of chess, in which sacrifices were offered in
plenty and most were duly accepted. Anderssen’s love of combinations and his
contempt for material are plain to see here. After some imaginative opening play,
the game explodes into life when Anderssen plays a brilliant (and sound) piece
sacrifice. Spurning more mundane winning lines, Anderssen raises the game
onto another plane by a double rook offer, followed by a dazzling queen sacri-
fice, finishing with a checkmate using all three of his remaining minor pieces. In
London 1851 15

the final analysis it could be claimed that it’s not all entirely sound, but this is
merely a case of brilliance over precision.

1 e4 e5 Theatre in London were treated to

2 f4 exf4 some exhibition matches between the
3 Íc4 Ëh4+ two players. Kasparov won the rapid-
It seems quite natural to force play games by the convincing margin
White to move his king, but the draw- of 4-0. Short, however, got some sweet
back of this check is that Black will be revenge in the theme games, where
forced to waste time moving his queen the openings were chosen by the or-
again when it is attacked. Modern ganizers. After two draws the pro-
players prefer 3...Ìf6 or 3...d5. ceedings were “spiced up” when
4 Êf1 b5?! Kasparov was forced to defend with
the Bryan. Clearly disgusted with this
XABCDEFGHY choice, Kasparov could only last fif-
8rsl+kvnt( teen moves before resigning in a to-
tally lost position, and storming off
7z-zp+pzp’ stage to vent his feelings to the
6-+-+-+-+& powers-that-be. Still, Kasparov
couldn’t complain too much. Batsford
5+p+-+-+-% Chess Openings 2, written by Garry
4-+L+Pz-w$ Kasparov and Raymond Keene, only
3+-+-+-+-# gives White a slight plus in this line!
5 Íxb5 Ìf6
2PZPZ-+PZ" 6 Ìf3
1TNVQ+KSR! Kieseritzky’s more pleasant experi-
ence with this line continued 6 Ìc3
xabcdefghy Ìg4 7 Ìh3 Ìc6 8 Ìd5 Ìd4 9 Ìxc7+
This counter-gambit was named af- Êd8 10 Ìxa8 f3 11 d3 f6 12 Íc4 d5
ter the American amateur player Tho- 13 Íxd5 Íd6? 14 Ëe1? fxg2+ 15
mas Jefferson Bryan, who was active Êxg2 Ëxh3+!! 16 Êxh3 Ìe3+ 17
in the chess circles around Paris and Êh4 Ìf3+ 18 Êh5 Íg4# (0-1)
London in the middle of the nine- Schulten-Kieseritzky, Paris 1844.
teenth century. Kieseritzky also took a On this occasion the boot was
shine to it, especially after his pretty firmly on the other foot!
win over Schulten (see below). How- 6 ... Ëh6
ever, it has always been considered, to 7 d3
put it mildly, somewhat dubious. That The more active 7 Ìc3 is probably
said, it has been utilized by none other better. Now 7...g5 8 d4 Íb7 9 h4 Îg8
than Garry Kasparov, although the cir- 10 Êg1 gxh4 11 Îxh4 Ëg6 12 Ëe2
cumstances were hardly normal. After Ìxe4 13 Îxf4 f5 14 Ìh4 Ëg3 15
comfortably defeating Nigel Short for Ìxe4 1-0 was the start and the end of
the PCA World Chess Championship the infamous Short-Kasparov game.
in 1993, the audiences at the Savoy 7 ... Ìh5
16 Game 2: Adolf Anderssen – Lionel Kieseritzky

Protecting the f4-pawn and threat- 11 ... cxb5

ening ...Ìg3+, but it has to be said that 12 h4! Ëg6
Black’s play is a little one-dimen- 13 h5
sional. Once this idea is dealt with
Black soon finds himself on the re- XABCDEFGHY
treat. 8rsl+kv-t(
8 Ìh4
As one would expect, the Immortal 7z-+p+pzp’
Game has been subjected to much 6-+-+-sq+&
analysis and debate from masters of
the past and present. The sum of the
analysis alone would probably be 4-+-+PzP+$
enough to fill up an entire book. One
of the most recent annotators is the
German GM Robert Hübner, who re- 2PZP+-+-+"
viewed the game in his own critical 1TNVQ+KT-!
way for ChessBase Magazine. From
move seven to eleven inclusive, Hüb-
ner awarded seven question marks! 13 ... Ëg5
Here, instead of 8 Ìh4, he recom- Black is forced to bite the bullet.
mends 8 Îg1, intending g4. He fol- Returning the sacrificed piece with
lows this up with 8...Ëb6 9 Ìc3 c6 10 13...Ìxh5? doesn’t relieve the pres-
Íc4 Ëc5 11 Ëe2 Ía6 12 Íxa6 Ìxa6 sure. Hübner then gives 14 gxh5 Ëf6
13 d4 Ëa5 14 Ìe5 g6 15 Ìc4 Ëc7 16 15 Ìc3 Íb7 16 Íxf4 g6 17 Ìxb5
e5, with a winning position for White. with a winning position for White.
This all looks very correct, but then 14 Ëf3 Ìg8
again Anderssen – Kieseritzky has al- This abject retreat leaves Black’s
ways been noted for its brilliancy development in an almost comical state.
rather than its accuracy. In The Development of Chess Style
8 ... Ëg5 Euwe suggested the counter-sacrifice
9 Ìf5 c6 14...Ìxg4, although it has to be said
Here or on the next move Black that 15 Îxg4 Ëxh5 16 Íxf4 doesn’t
should probably try to dislodge the look too appetising for Black either.
f5-knight with ...g6. Hübner gives Hübner continues with 16...d5 17 Ìc3
9...g6 10 h4 Ëf6! 11 Ìc3 c6 12 Ía4 Íxf5 18 exf5, when White is clearly
Ìa6 13 d4 Ìg3+ 14 Ìxg3 fxg3+ 15 better.
Ëf3 Ëxd4, which looks about equal. 15 Íxf4 Ëf6
10 g4 Ìf6 Once more Black chooses the most
11 Îg1! aggressive option. Much more sober is
An imaginative piece sacrifice. The the full retreat with 15...Ëd8, al-
idea is to gain masses of time driving though White’s development advan-
the black queen around the board. tage should still be decisive after 16
This will give White an enormous lead Ìc3. Instead Kieseritzky insists on
in development. plunging further into the fire.
London 1851 17

XABCDEFGHY the actual strength of the move. With

8rsl+kvnt( 18 Íd6 White says to Black “Take my
rooks!”. Given that Black can actually
7z-+p+pzp’ spoil the fun by choosing a resourceful
6-+-+-w-+& option at move 19, it should be
pointed out that objectively stronger
5+p+-+N+P% moves do exist for White here. Hüb-
4-+-+PVP+$ ner gives three possible wins:
3+-+P+Q+-# 1) 18 d4 Ëxa1+ (or 18...Íf8 19
Ìc7+ Êd8 20 Îe1) 19 Êg2 Ëb2 20
2PZP+-+-+" dxc5 Ìa6 21 Ìd6+ Êf8 22 Íe5
1TN+-+KT-! Ëxc2+ 23 Êh3 f6 24 Ìxf6 and the
white attack breaks through.
xabcdefghy 2) 18 Íe3 and now:
16 Ìc3 Íc5 2a) 18...Ëxa1+ 19 Êg2 Ëb2 20
17 Ìd5 Íxc5 Ëxc2+ 21 Êh3 Ëxc5 22 Îc1
The game is already nearing its cli- d6 23 Îxc5 Íxf5 24 Ëxf5 dxc5 25
max, as White initiates the grand con- Ëc8#.
cept of sacrificing both rooks. In the 2b) 18...d6 19 Íd4! Íxd4 (White
cold light of day 17 d4 should also be also wins if Black gives up his queen,
seriously considered. White wins after e.g. 19...Ëxd4 20 Ìxd4 Íxd4 21
both the mundane 17...Íxd4 18 Ìd5 Ìc7+ Êd8 22 c3) 20 Ìxd6+ Êd8 21
and the slightly more exciting 17...Íe7 Ìxf7+ Êe8 22 Ìd6+ Êd8 23 Ëf8+
18 Íd6! Íxd6 19 g5!. Êd7 24 Ëf7+ Êxd6 25 Ëc7+ Êe6 26
17 ... Ëxb2 Ìf4+ Êf6 27 g5#.
3) 18 Îe1 and now:
XABCDEFGHY 3a) 18...Ìa6 19 Íd6 Íb7 (or
8rsl+k+nt( 19...Íxg1 20 e5 Êd8 21 Ìxg7 Íb7
22 Ëxf7 Ìe7 23 Ìe6+! dxe6 24 Íc7+
7z-+p+pzp’ Êd7 25 Ëxe7+ Êc8 26 Ëxe6#) 20
6-+-+-+-+& Íxc5 Ìxc5 21 Ìd6+ Êd8 22 Ìxf7+.
3b) 18...Íb7 19 d4 and once again
5+pvN+N+P% White’s attack is too strong.
4-+-+PVP+$ So the assessment after 17...Ëxb2
3+-+P+Q+-# is that White has many ways to win.
The one chosen seeks the most bril-
2PwP+-+-+" liant finish.
1T-+-+KT-! 18 ... Ëxa1+
19 Êe2 Íxg1?
xabcdefghy By this stage I imagine Kieseritzky
18 Íd6!!(?) was too much in mid-flow not to cap-
And here is the immortal sacrifice. ture the second rook. It would cer-
The two exclamation marks are for in- tainly have been less sporting to play
genuity, while the question mark is for the strong move 19...Ëb2!, after which
18 Game 2: Adolf Anderssen – Lionel Kieseritzky

the outcome of the game remains far Kieseritzky’s defence was in a sense
from certain. far superior, as it ensured the game’s
20 e5!! immortality.
20 ... Ìa6(!)
8rsl+k+nt( XABCDEFGHY
7z-+p+pzp’ 8r+l+k+nt(
6-+-V-+-+& 7z-+p+pzp’
5+p+NZN+P% 6n+-V-+-+&
4-+-+-+P+$ 5+p+NZN+P%
3+-+P+Q+-# 4-+-+-+P+$
2P+P+K+-+" 3+-+P+Q+-#
1w-+-+-v-! 2P+P+K+-+"
xabcdefghy 1w-+-+-v-!
Blocking off the black queen and
threatening 21 Ìxg7+ Êd8 22 Íc7#. 21 Ìxg7+ Êd8
Black has many defensive tries but 22 Ëf6+!!
none really do the trick: The final glory in a game of many
1) 20...f6 21 Ìxg7+ Êf7 22 Ìxf6 glories.
Íb7 (or 22...Êxg7 23 Ìe8+ Êh6 24 22 ... Ìxf6
Ëf4#) 23 Ìd5+ Êxg7 24 Ëf8#. 23 Íe7# (1-0)
2) 20...Íb7 21 Ìxg7+ Êd8 22
Ëxf7 Ìh6 23 Ìe6+ mates. Lessons from this game:
3) 20...Ía6 (the grimmest defence) 1) It goes without saying that Black
21 Ìc7+ Êd8 22 Ìxa6 and now: was punished in this game for his lack
3a) 22...Ëc3 (Falkbeer) 23 Íc7+ of respect for development. He had
Ëxc7 24 Ìxc7 Êxc7 25 Ëxa8 Ìc6 26 fun with his queen, but this was short-
Ìd6 Ìxe5 27 Ìe8+ Êb6 28 Ëb8+ lived.
and 29 Ëxe5. 2) In the so-called romantic era of
3b) 22...Íb6 (Chigorin) 23 Ëxa8 chess, defensive technique was not
Ëc3 24 Ëxb8+ Ëc8 25 Ëxc8+ Êxc8 very well developed, and sacrifices
26 Íf8 h6 27 Ìd6+ Êd8 28 Ìxf7+ tended to be readily accepted. Hence,
Êe8 29 Ìxh8 Êxf8 30 Êf3 and Anderssen’s 18 Íd6 was a good prac-
White rather mundanely wins the end- tical bet, but such a move could prove
game. unwise against a modern grandmaster.
3c) 22...Ëxa2 23 Íc7+ Êe8 24 3) The Bryan Counter-Gambit is a
Ìb4 Ìc6 (what else?) 25 Ìxa2 Íc5 very dodgy opening. Just ask Garry
26 Ëd5 Íf8 27 Ëxb5 and White wins. Kasparov!
Game 3
The “Evergreen Game”
Adolf Anderssen – Jean Dufresne
Berlin 1852
Evans Gambit

The Players
Adolf Anderssen (1818–79) was one of the greatest players of the nineteenth
century. See Game 2 for more information.

Jean Dufresne (1829–93) was born in Berlin. When a hearing defect forced him
to give up his career as a journalist, he devoted himself to chess and chess writ-
ing. Although not one of the leading players of his time, he was strong enough to
score some successes against masters, and his writings proved influential: his
Kleines Lehrbuch des Schachspiels was a popular beginners’ guide, from which
several generations of Germans learned their chess. Nowadays, outside Germany
at least, he is mostly remembered as Anderssen’s opponent in the Evergreen

The Game
Like the “Immortal Game”, this encounter did not take place under tournament
conditions, but was a friendly game, just for the pleasure of playing chess. It has
certainly given a great deal of pleasure to generations of enthusiasts ever since,
and to this day articles appear now and then in chess magazines with some new
nuance in the analysis of Anderssen’s great combination.
The game starts with a sharp Evans Gambit – one of the most popular openings
of the day. Dufresne chooses a somewhat offbeat sideline, losing a little time to
frustrate the smooth development of White’s position. Anderssen achieves a
powerfully centralized position, and while Black tries to generate play on the
flanks, White wrenches attention back to Black’s king, stranded in the centre,
with a stunning (though, it must be said, unnecessary) knight sacrifice. Dufresne,
though, has considerable counterplay against the white king, making for a thrill-
ing finale. When he misses his best chance to stay in the game, Anderssen
pounces with a dazzling queen sacrifice to force an extremely attractive check-

1 e4 e5 5...Íe7 is the preference of many

2 Ìf3 Ìc6 modern players, on the rare occasions
3 Íc4 Íc5 when the Evans is played, but is by no
4 b4 Íxb4 means clearly better. One line runs 6
5 c3 Ía5 d4 Ìa5 7 Ìxe5 (7 Íe2!? exd4 8
20 Game 3: Adolf Anderssen – Jean Dufresne

Ëxd4 was Kasparov’s choice in a chances exist here, they are on Black’s
game he won against Anand at the Tal side.
memorial tournament, Riga 1995, but 7 0-0 d3?!
shouldn’t lead to anything better than 7...dxc3?!, known as the Compro-
unclear play) 7...Ìxc4 8 Ìxc4 d5 re- mised Defence, gives White a massive
turning the pawn to bring about a rela- attack after 8 Ëb3 Ëf6 9 e5 Ëg6 10
tively quiet position. Ìxc3 (10 Ía3 is less convincing, and,
6 d4 interestingly, was played in a later
game between the same players, but
XABCDEFGHY with colours reversed: 10...Ìge7 11
8r+lwk+nt( Îe1 0-0 12 Ìxc3 Íxc3 13 Ëxc3 d5
14 exd6 cxd6 15 Íd3 Ëh6 16 Îe4
7zpzp+pzp’ Íf5 17 Îh4 Ëg6 18 Îd1 Íxd3 19
6-+n+-+-+& Îxd3 Ìf5 20 Îh3 Îfe8 21 Ìh4 Ìxh4
22 Îhg3 Ëf6 0-1 Dufresne – Anders-
5v-+-z-+-% sen, Berlin 1855).
4-+LZP+-+$ 7...Íb6 8 cxd4 d6 brings about the
3+-Z-+N+-# so-called “Normal Position” of the
Evans, presumably because it can be
2P+-+-ZPZ" reached via many natural move-orders.
1TNVQM-+R! It offers White fair compensation and
attacking chances, due to his fine cen-
xabcdefghy tre and good development.
6 ... exd4 8 Ëb3!?
6...d6 is the modern preference: Naturally, White plays for the at-
1) 7 Ëb3 Ëd7! is known as the tack, immediately targeting the weak
Conservative Defence, and is a tough f7-pawn, rather than wasting time
nut to crack – analysts have been try- capturing the d3-pawn, but 8 Îe1!?
ing for a long time, without denting it may well be a better way to pursue this
much. A recent try is 8 dxe5 Íb6 9 aim, e.g. 8...Ìf6 9 e5; 8...Ìge7 9
Ìbd2 Ìa5 10 Ëc2 Ìxc4 11 Ìxc4 d5 Ìg5!; 8...d6 9 Ëb3 Ëd7 (9...Ëe7 10
12 Íg5, with attacking chances. e5 dxe5 11 Ía3) 10 e5; or 8...Íb6 9
2) After 7 0-0, 7...Íb6 has been the e5, when it is difficult for Black to de-
preferred move ever since its strength velop and avoid coming under a heavy
was realized by Emanuel Lasker. It is a kingside attack.
tough defensive move, preparing to re- 8 ... Ëf6
turn the pawn to secure a good posi- 9 e5 Ëg6
tion, rather than riskily clinging to the Instead, 9...Ìxe5?? 10 Îe1 d6 11
material. The key idea is 8 dxe5 dxe5 9 Ëb5+ costs Black a piece.
Ëxd8+ (9 Ëb3 Ëf6 10 Íg5 Ëg6 11 In case you are thinking that
Íd5 Ìa5 has been discovered by Black’s play looks very old-fashioned,
Murray Chandler to lead to satisfactory consider that this position has been
simplifications for Black) 9...Ìxd8 10 taken on, with success, as Black by
Ìxe5 Ìf6 and in so far as winning Grandmaster Beliavsky (whom we
Berlin 1852 21

meet in Games 78, 81 and 84), though counter-threats, to start a tactical

his opponent did not play Anderssen’s shoot-out from a strategically inferior
next move. Still, Beliavsky prepares position is a policy doomed to failure.
his openings extremely thoroughly, so However, such logic was foreign to
it is reasonable to assume that after 10 ordinary masters in the 1850s – it was
Îe1 he has an improvement for Black some decades yet before the writings
that he considers viable. of Steinitz (see Game 5) put the case
10 Îe1! Ìge7 for the methodical approach to chess.
10...Íb6 intending 11...Ìa5 may That said, lashing out with a move
cause White more inconvenience. such as this is not always bad – some-
times specific tactics will justify out-
XABCDEFGHY rageous, “illogical” moves.
8r+l+k+-t( 11...a6 would prepare the b-pawn’s
advance, and give Black more realistic
7zpzpspzp’ hope.
6-+n+-+q+& 12 Ëxb5 Îb8
13 Ëa4 Íb6
5v-+-Z-+-% 13...0-0? would now lose a piece in
4-+L+-+-+$ view of 14 Íxe7 overloading the c6-
3+QZp+N+-# knight.
14 Ìbd2
xabcdefghy 8-tl+k+-t(
11 Ía3 b5?! 7z-zpspzp’
This is the first truly “nineteenth- 6-vn+-+q+&
century” move of the game, and is
reminiscent of Kieseritzky’s 4...b5 in
the Immortal Game. Rather than try to 4Q+L+-+-+$
defend carefully, and to return the pawn,
if necessary, in due course to deaden
White’s initiative, Black lashes out 2P+-S-ZPZ"
with a counter-sacrifice of a pawn. To a 1T-+-T-M-!
modern player, the logic is hard to see.
Black’s only consolation for White’s
lead in development is his extra pawn Anderssen brings his last minor
(the one of d3 cannot survive in the piece into play and will now aim his
long term), and healthy, unweakened pieces at Black’s king, wherever it
pawn-structure. These advantages are tries to hide.
thrown away on a whim, Black hoping 14 ... Íb7
for some sort of counterattack on the Black has carried out the idea be-
b-file and a8–h1 diagonal. While it is hind his ...b5 pawn sacrifice. 14...0-0
true that Black does secure some has been suggested, but if that is the
22 Game 3: Adolf Anderssen – Jean Dufresne

best move, then why not just castle on but Black must be careful, for exam-
move 11? ple:
15 Ìe4 3a) 18...Îbd8 19 Ëxe7 Îxd2 (not
19...Íxf2+? 20 Êxf2 Îxd2+ 21 Ìxd2
XABCDEFGHY Ëxg2+ 22 Êe3) 20 e6! Íxf2+ 21
8-t-+k+-t( Êh1 Íc5? 22 Ëxf7+! Îxf7 23 exf7+
wins for White.
7zlzpspzp’ 3b) 18...Ìf5 19 e6 Îbd8 20 exf7+
6-vn+-+q+& Êh8 21 Îe8 Îdxe8 22 fxe8Ë Ëxe8
(22...Îxe8?? 23 Íf7) 23 Ëxe8 Îxe8
5+-+-Z-+-% and Black must put his faith in the
4Q+L+N+-+$ bishop-pair to save this ending.
3V-Zp+N+-# 16 Íxd3
17 Ìf6+!?
2P+-+-ZPZ" 17 Ìd6+!? is another interesting
1T-+-T-M-! (pseudo-)sacrifice, but the best con-
tinuation is 17 Ìg3! Ëh6 18 Íc1
xabcdefghy Ëe6 19 Íc4, winning material in sim-
15 ... Ëf5? ple fashion. This is rather an artistic
This lands Black in trouble, so it is blemish on the game, but we can cer-
worth looking at the alternatives: tainly forgive Anderssen for wishing
1) 15...0-0? 16 Íxd3 threatens 17 to win in spectacular fashion.
Ìf6+, as in the game, and moreover 17 ... gxf6
17 Ìeg5 is an idea after the queen 18 exf6 Îg8
moves, while 16...Ëh5 loses to 17 Ìg3 Black’s attempt to defend will be
Ëh6 18 Íc1 Ëe6 19 Íxh7+!. based on threats to the white king.
2) 15...Ìd4? is a thematic attempt
to use the pressure on the long diagonal XABCDEFGHY
to bring about some exchanges. How-
ever, after 16 cxd4 Íxe4, White has
the nice square-clearing idea 17 e6! 7zlzpsp+p’
(17 Íxf7+!? is also good) 17...fxe6 6-vn+-Z-+&
(17...Íxf3? 18 Ëxd7+ mates; 17...0-0
18 Îxe4 Ëxe4 19 Íxe7) 18 Íxd3!
Íxd3 19 Ìe5, when Black’s position 4Q+-+-+-+$
3) 15...d2 16 Ìexd2 0-0 was Lask-
er’s suggestion, but then material is 2P+-+-ZPZ"
level and White has all the chances. 1T-+-T-M-!
For instance a correspondence game
with Tim Harding as White ended 17
Ìe4 Îfe8 18 Îad1 Îbd8?? (18...Ìa5) 19 Îad1
19 Ìeg5 1-0. Instead 17 Íxe7 Ìxe7 This move was criticized by Lasker,
18 Ëxd7 looks horribly materialistic, who suggested 19 Íe4!? Ëh3 20 g3
Berlin 1852 23

Îxg3+ 21 hxg3 Ëxg3+ 22 Êh1 Íxf2. works) 22 Êf1 Ëxf3 looks most
Then 23 Íxe7 (not 23 Îe2? Ìd4!) unconvincing for White:
23...Ëh3+ 24 Ìh2 keeps some advan- 2a1) 23 Îxe7+ Ìxe7 24 Ëxd7+
tage after 24...Ëh4?! 25 Îe2 Ìd4 26 Êxd7 25 Íf5++ (25 Íe2+ Êe6 26
Íxb7 Ìxe2 27 Ëxh4 Íxh4, but Íxf3 Íxf3 leaves Black a piece up)
24...Íxe1 25 Îxe1 Ëh4 only gives 25...Êe8 26 Íd7+ Êf8 27 Íxe7+ is
White the better of a drawish ending. no longer mate, because Black has the
g8-square at his disposal.
XABCDEFGHY 2a2) 23 c5 Ëh3+ 24 Êg1 (24 Êe2
8-t-+k+r+( blocks the e-file, and allows 24...Ía5,
with devastating threats) 24...Ìe5 and
7zlzpsp+p’ it is Black who is attacking.
6-vn+-Z-+& 2b) The key line is 20 Îe4 Îxe4
(20...Îxg2+ 21 Êxg2 Ëg6+ 22 Êf1
5+-+-+-+q% Ëxf6 23 Îde1) 21 Ëxe4 and although
4Q+-+-+-+$ White’s threats aren’t too devastating
3V-ZL+N+-# here (to regain the piece, with an extra
pawn or so, possibly starting with 22
2P+-+-ZPZ" Îe1), it is difficult for Black to find a
1+-+RT-M-! decent move – indeed most moves
worsen his position:
xabcdefghy 2b1) 21...Ía5? 22 Íxe7 Íxc3 23
19 ... Ëxf3? Ía3+ Ìe5 24 Îb1 d5 25 Ëa4+ wins.
Now White wins. Plenty of alterna- 2b2) 21...Ëg6? 22 Ëh4 Ìf5 23 Ëf4
tives have been analysed in great depth, and White wins back the piece with a
and at least two look sufficient to hold substantial advantage.
the balance: 2b3) 21...d6 22 Îe1 and now
1) 19...Îxg2+? 20 Êxg2 Ìe5 is a 22...Ëa5? 23 Ëxh7 Ëxa3 24 Íf5!
dangerous counterattacking try, but cuts off the king’s escape, while after
White strikes first, in similar fashion 22...Ìe5?! 23 Íb5+! c6 (23...Êf8 24
to the game continuation: 21 Ëxd7+!! fxe7+ Êg7 25 Ëxb7 and the e-pawn
Ìxd7 (21...Êxd7 22 Íg6+) 22 Îxe7+ queens) 24 Íxd6 cxb5 25 Ëxe5 Ëxe5
Êd8 (22...Êf8 23 Îe5+) 23 Îxd7+! 26 Îxe5 White will regain the sacri-
Êc8 (23...Êxd7 24 Íf5++ Êe8 ficed material with a lot of interest.
{24...Êc6 25 Íd7#} 25 Íd7+ Êd8 However, after 22...Ëg6! White can
26 Íe7#) 24 Îd8+! Êxd8 25 Íf5+ do no more than regain his material
Êe8 26 Íd7+ Êd8 27 Íe7#. with a slightly better endgame: 23
2) 19...Îg4?! has over the years Ëxc6+ Íxc6 24 Îxe7+ Êf8 25 Íxg6
been subjected to much debate: hxg6 26 Ìe5! Íe8.
2a) 20 c4? has been recommended, 3) 19...Íd4! has the idea of block-
but this artificial move is inadequate: ing the d-file. After 20 cxd4 Ëxf3,
20...Îxg2+ (20...Îf4? 21 Íg6!) 21 Black’s counterplay is good enough
Êxg2 (21 Êh1 Îxf2) 21...Ëg4+ (not for a draw. 21 Íe4 Îxg2+ 22 Êh1
21...Ìe5??, when 22 Ëxd7+ still Îxh2++ 23 Êxh2 Ëxf2+ should lead
24 Game 3: Adolf Anderssen – Jean Dufresne

to perpetual check, though there are Íe7+ Êe8 27 cxd4 wins (Nunn). He
some fireworks still possible; e.g., 24 gives the sample line 27...Ía5 28 g3
Êh3?! Íc8! 25 Íg2 Ëf4! and White c6 29 Ëc2 Îg6 30 Íg2! Íxg2 31
is in some danger. Êxg2 Îc8 32 Ëe4.
4) 19...Ëh3! is also sufficient to 2) 23 Íe2+ Ìd4 24 Íxf3 Íxf3 25
draw: 20 Íf1 Ëf5 21 Íd3 Ëh3, etc. g3! Îg5 (25...Íxd1 26 Ëxd1 “with a
(not 21...Ëxf6?! 22 Íe4). boring but winning endgame” – Kas-
20 Îxe7+! parov) 26 cxd4 Îa5 27 Íe7+ Êc8 28
Ëc2 Íxd1 29 Ëxd1 is another line
XABCDEFGHY cited by Nunn – Black is in trouble
since the f7-pawn cannot be held, and
8-t-+k+r+( then White’s own far-advanced f-pawn
7zlzpTp+p’ will be unstoppable.
6-vn+-Z-+& 21 Ëxd7+!! Êxd7
22 Íf5++ Êe8
5+-+-+-+-% 22...Êc6 23 Íd7#.
4Q+-+-+-+$ 23 Íd7+ Êf8
23...Êd8 24 Íxe7#.
3V-ZL+q+-# 24 Íxe7# (1-0)
1+-+R+-M-! Lessons from this game:
1) Play in the centre has more ef-
xabcdefghy fect than play on the wings – everyone
20 ... Ìxe7? knows this of course, but it is all too
Now Black is mated by force. In- easily forgotten in the heat of battle.
stead 20...Êf8? loses simply after 21 2) Always analyse variations with
Îe3+, picking up Black’s queen, but double checks extremely carefully –
20...Êd8 21 Îxd7+! Êc8 (21...Êe8? however improbable they may look.
22 Îe7+ Êd8 23 Íe2+; 21...Êxd7? 22 3) Before playing a spectacular
Íf5++ Êe8 23 Íd7+ Êd8 24 Íxc6+ combination, check to see whether
mates) 22 Îd8+!! Êxd8 (22...Îxd8? there is a simpler, safer way to win
23 gxf3 wins on material; 22...Ìxd8? cleanly. Unless of course you want to
23 Ëd7+!! Êxd7 24 Íf5++ forces play a brilliancy that is still being
mate: 24...Êc6 25 Íd7# or 24...Êe8 talked about a century and a half later,
25 Íd7#) needs careful analysis: in which case play the sacrifice and
1) 23 Íf5+ Ëxd1+ 24 Ëxd1+ keep your fingers crossed! (And don’t
Ìd4 25 Íh3! (25 g3 Îg5 26 Íh3 Íf3 blame me if you follow that advice
is less clear – Kasparov) 25...Íd5 26 and go on to lose.)
Game 4
Johann Zukertort – Joseph Blackburne
London 1883
English Opening

The Players
Johann Zukertort (1842–88) was a Polish-born player, who for many years was
considered second only to Wilhelm Steinitz in the chess world. In 1861 he en-
rolled in the faculty of medicine at Breslau University. Rather than attending lec-
tures, however, Zukertort spent most of his waking hours playing chess,
including many friendly games against Anderssen, and he was finally struck
from the university register due to non-attendance. Zukertort gradually built up
his reputation as a chess player, and this was enhanced when a match of off-hand
games ended in a 5–2 victory over Anderssen in 1871. He arrived in London in
1872, and spent the rest of his life there as a professional player. Many successes
in tournaments and match-play followed, including first place at the 1883 Lon-
don Tournament, ahead of all the world’s best, including Steinitz. His triumphs
were rewarded with a battle against Steinitz in New Orleans in 1886, which has
been recognized as the first official World Championship match. Steinitz won by
the score of +10 =5 ø5.

Joseph Blackburne (1841–1924) was for many years the leading English chess
player, as well as being one of the world’s best. Inspired by Paul Morphy’s brief
but explosive accomplishments in Europe, the eighteen-year-old from Manches-
ter decided to learn the game. He proved to be an excellent student. After spend-
ing much of the 1860s developing his game, he made his breakthrough by
winning the British Championship in 1868, and following this he became a full-
time professional player. Blackburne’s excellent results were helped by his bril-
liant combinative powers, his ability to create awesome kingside attacks, plus his
knack of producing swindles from seemingly lost positions. The tournament
book of Vienna 1873 called him “der schwarze Tod” (The Black Death), a nick-
name that has stuck ever since.

The Game
A deceptively quiet opening and a strategic middlegame give us no warning of
the fireworks that eventually decide this battle. Blackburne starts off well, but
then makes a minor slip, which Zukertort immediately exploits. The rest of the
game is played to perfection by the Polish player, who builds up impressively on
the kingside. When the position finally opens up, Blackburne appears to be fight-
ing back strongly, but Zukertort’s concept turns out to have hidden depth, and he
wins by a spectacular combination. Look out in particular for White’s sensa-
tional 28th move.
26 Game 4: Johann Zukertort – Joseph Blackburne

1 c4 e6 his rooks and keeps his options open

2 e3 on which advance to make, but for-
Zukertort plays the early part of the gets one vital factor, the generaliza-
game in a very innocuous way indeed, tion that “in open positions bishops
allowing Black to reach a comfortable are better than knights”. For this rea-
position with no effort at all. Later on son Black should take one move out to
Richard Réti (see Game 22) was to de- preserve his d6-bishop. Only after
velop a more potent, “hypermodern” 9...a6! can Black safely continue with
method of development against 1...e6, such moves as ...Ëe7, ...Îad8, ...dxc4
involving a fianchetto of the king’s and ...e5 (or ...c5). Needless to say,
bishop. At this particular moment, Zukertort is quick to seize his chance.
however, the theory of flank openings 10 Ìb5! Ìe4
had not really developed at all. 11 Ìxd6 cxd6
2 ... Ìf6 12 Ìd2 Ìdf6
3 Ìf3 b6 13 f3 Ìxd2
4 Íe2 Íb7 14 Ëxd2
5 0-0 d5
7 Ìc3
8 b3
9 Íb2 7zl+-wpzp’
XABCDEFGHY 5+-+p+-+-%
8r+-w-tk+( 4-+PZ-+-+$
7zlzn+pzp’ 3+P+-ZP+-#
6-z-vps-+& 2PV-WL+PZ"
5+-+p+-+-% 1T-+-+RM-!
4-+PZ-+-+$ xabcdefghy
3+PS-ZN+-# At the moment the position remains
2PV-+LZPZ" reasonably closed, but without being
1T-+Q+RM-! really blocked up. In effect it has the
potential to become open and it is this
xabcdefghy situation which the bishops are wait-
9 ... Ëe7?! ing for. With his next move Black-
After some effective opening play, burne allows just one open file, but in
Black now starts to drift. There are two doing so he accepts a lifeless position.
basic pawn breaks for Black in this po- The advance 14...e5 is more enterpris-
sition, namely ...c7-c5 and ...e6-e5. ing, and ensures more counterplay,
Both advances will lead to pawn ex- e.g.:
changes and thus an opening of the po- 1) 15 cxd5 e4! (aiming to block
sition. With 9...Ëe7 Black connects the position: 15...Ìxd5 16 e4 Ìf4 17
London 1883 27

Íc4! is clearly better for White) 16 This is not to say that giving up the
Íc4 Íxd5 and Black has good control only open file is a business that should
over the central light squares, whereas be taken lightly. Here, however, White
White’s bishops haven’t yet found correctly assesses that Black’s occu-
their scope. pation of the c-file is not so important,
2) 15 dxe5! dxe5 16 Îfd1 (or 16 especially as all the possible infiltra-
cxd5 Ìxd5 17 e4 Ìf4 and Black is tion squares (i.e. c1-c5) are covered
very active) 16...Îfd8 17 Ëe1 and more than adequately by White’s
White’s bishop-pair is enough for a pieces and pawns.
small edge. As a further point it should be men-
14 ... dxc4 tioned that this is definitely a case of
15 Íxc4 d5 the “right rook”. The other rook is ex-
16 Íd3 Îfc8 cellently placed on f1, where it will
17 Îae1! support the eventual advance of the f-
8r+r+-+k+( 18 e4 Îac8
19 e5 Ìe8
7zl+-wpzp’ 20 f4 g6
6-z-+ps-+& 21 Îe3
5+-+p+-+-% XABCDEFGHY
4-+-Z-+-+$ 8-+r+n+k+(
3+P+LZP+-# 7zlt-wp+p’
2PV-W-+PZ" 6-z-+p+p+&
1+-+-TRM-! 5+-+pZ-+-%
xabcdefghy 4-+-Z-Z-+$
It is deep moves like this which of- 3+P+LT-+-#
ten separate good players from great
players. Many players would have 2PV-W-+PZ"
been very tempted to oppose the only 1+-+-+RM-!
open file with 17 Îac1, but this would
have been an incorrect plan, leading
only to a mass exchange of the major We now begin to see for sure that
pieces on the c-file. It’s true that White Black’s counterplay along the c-file is
could still advance in the centre later proving to be more apparent than real.
on, but with fewer pieces on the board, Meanwhile, White’s attack on the
Black’s defensive task would be kingside builds up at his leisure be-
greatly eased. As we shall see later on, hind the impressive pawn-centre. The
the presence of white rooks is an im- next stage of the plan will involve
portant factor in the success of the at- forcing the f4-f5 breakthrough with
tack. moves such as g2-g4. Rather than
28 Game 4: Johann Zukertort – Joseph Blackburne

waiting to be squashed without a con- 23 f5 Ìe4

test, with his next move Blackburne 23...gxf5 24 Íxf5 is even worse,
understandably tries to fight back. How- e.g. 24...Ìe4 25 Íxe4 dxe4 26 Îg3+
ever, by doing so he stumbles into a Êh8 27 d5+ e5 28 d6.
long forced line, ending in a brilliant 24 Íxe4 dxe4
win for White. 25 fxg6
21 ... f5
XABCDEFGHY 8-+r+-+k+(
8-+r+n+k+( 7zlt-w-+p’
7zlt-w-+p’ 6-z-+p+P+&
6-z-+p+p+& 5+-+-+-+-%
5+-+pZp+-% 4-+-Zp+-+$
4-+-Z-Z-+$ 3+P+-T-+-#
3+P+LT-+-# 2PV-W-+PZ"
2PV-W-+PZ" 1+-+-+RM-!
1+-+-+RM-! xabcdefghy
xabcdefghy 25 ... Îc2
Despite the fact that this loses, it Black bases all of his hopes on this
can hardly be criticized, especially as move, which does seem to give him a
the alternatives are hardly enticing; lot more counterplay than he perhaps
e.g., 21...Ìg7 22 g4 Ëh4 23 Ëg2 (23 deserves. In any case, the alternative
Îg3?! Ía6! is less clear) and White 25...hxg6 loses swiftly to 26 Îg3,
methodically prepares the f5 advance. when Black’s creaking kingside can-
22 exf6 Ìxf6 not stand up to the intense pressure,
XABCDEFGHY 1) 26...Ëe8 27 Ëh6 Îh7 28 Îxg6+
Êh8 29 d5+ e5 30 Íxe5+! Ëxe5 31
8-+r+-+k+( Ëf8+! Îxf8 32 Îxf8#.
7zlt-w-+p’ 2) 26...Êh7 27 d5 e5 (or 27...Íxd5
6-z-+psp+& 28 Îh3+ Êg8 29 Îh8#) 28 d6 Îd7 29
Îh3+ Êg8 30 dxe7 Îxd2 31 Íxe5
5+-+p+-+-% and Îh8#.
4-+-Z-Z-+$ 3) 26...Ëh7 27 Îf6 Îg7 28 Îh3
3+P+LT-+-# wins the queen.
4) 26...Ëg7 27 d5 e5 28 Ëg5 Îe8
2PV-W-+PZ" 29 Îf6 and again White wins.
1+-+-+RM-! 26 gxh7+ Êh8
The only move. Both 26...Êxh7 27
xabcdefghy Îh3+ Êg8 28 Ëh6 and 26...Ëxh7 27
London 1883 29

Îg3+ Êh8 28 d5+ e5 29 Íxe5+ are and White mates as in variation “1”.
winning for White. 4) 28...Î2c7 defends against the
27 d5+ e5 flash moves, but after the prosaic 29
Suddenly it seems as if Black has Ëxe4 Black can still resign.
dealt with the threats and White is left 28 ... Î8c5
facing the loss of a piece. 28 d6 looks 29 Îf8+! Êxh7
good, but Black can fight on after After 29...Ëxf8 30 Íxe5+ Êxh7
28...Ëg5!. Zukertort, however, has a 31 Ëxe4+ Êh6 32 Îh3+ White mates
dazzling queen sacrifice up his sleeve. in the usual way.
28 Ëb4!! 30 Ëxe4+ Êg7

8-+r+-+-m( 8-+-+-T-+(
7zl+-w-+P’ 7zl+-w-m-’
6-z-+-+-+& 6-z-+-+-+&
5+-+Pz-+-% 5+-tPz-+-%
4-W-+p+-+$ 4-+-+Q+-+$
3+P+-T-+-# 3+P+-T-+-#
2PVr+-+PZ" 2PVr+-+PZ"
1+-+-+RM-! 1+-+-+-M-!
xabcdefghy xabcdefghy
An extraordinary idea against which 31 Íxe5+ Êxf8
there is no defence. Accepting the of- 32 Íg7+ Êg8
fer with 28...Ëxb4 leads to a forced 32...Ëxg7 33 Ëe8# is mate.
mate in seven after 29 Íxe5+ Êxh7 33 Ëxe7 1-0
30 Îh3+ Êg6 (or 30...Êg8 31 Îh8#)
31 Îg3+ Êh6 (other moves lead to Lessons from this game:
quicker mates, e.g. 31...Êh7 32 Îf7+ 1) Look out for sneaky knight
Êh6 33 Íf4+ Êh5 34 Îh7# or moves. It’s very easy to overlook an-
31...Êh5 32 Îf5+) 32 Îf6+ Êh5 33 noying ones like Zukertort’s 10 Ìb5,
Îf5+ Êh6 34 Íf4+ Êh7 35 Îh5#. which secured the advantage of the
Other moves do no good either: two bishops.
1) 28...Ëe8 29 Îf8+! Ëxf8 30 2) Open files should be studied
Íxe5+ Êxh7 31 Ëxe4+ Êh6 32 Îh3+ carefully. Sometimes they are the
Êg5 33 Îg3+ Êh5 34 Ëg6+ Êh4 35 most important feature of the position.
Îg4#. In this game, however, the open c-file
2) 28...Î8c7 29 Íxe5+ Ëxe5 30 was virtually irrelevant.
Ëf8+ Êxh7 31 Îh3+ Êg6 32 Ëh6#. 3) A queen sacrifice, based on a
3) 28...Îe8 29 Îf8+! Ëxf8 30 forced checkmate in seven moves, is a
Íxe5+ Êxh7 31 Ëxe4+ Êh6 32 Îh3+ pleasing way to end the game!
Game 5
Wilhelm Steinitz – Mikhail Chigorin
World Championship match (game 4),
Havana 1892
Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence

The Players
Wilhelm Steinitz (1836–1900) was the first official World Champion, a title he
received after defeating Zukertort in New Orleans in 1886. Despite actually be-
ing one year older than Paul Morphy, Steinitz really belonged to the next genera-
tion of chess players. By the time Steinitz was beginning to dedicate himself
seriously to the game, in 1862, Morphy’s chess career was already finished. Af-
ter a few years living in Vienna, Steinitz came to England, and it was there that he
developed his positional style, which contrasted with Anderssen’s wholly com-
binative play.
Steinitz’s importance was not just as a player of the game. He was also a pro-
found thinker and teacher and became the most prolific chess writer of the nine-
teenth century. Unlike Philidor, who also advocated a positional approach to
chess, Steinitz was able to persuade the world of its absolute importance. He was
undoubtedly helped in this respect by his excellent results using his deep con-
cepts of positional play.

Mikhail Chigorin (1850–1908) was one of the world’s leading players towards
the end of the nineteenth century. He twice challenged Steinitz for the world
championship, in 1889 and 1892, but lost on both occasions, although the second
match (+8 =5 –10) was close. Like many of his contemporaries, he was an excep-
tional tactician and he was also renowned for his imaginative approach to the
opening, which is shown in his surprising invention against the Queen’s Gambit
(1 d4 d5 2 c4 Ìc6). At Vienna in 1903, where everyone was forced to play the
King’s Gambit Accepted, Chigorin won with ease, ahead of Pillsbury, Maróczy
and Marshall. He also did much to develop chess activity in Russia, forming a
chess club in St Petersburg and lecturing in many other cities.

The Game
After some peaceful opening play, Steinitz totally bewilders his distinguished
opponent with some high-class manoeuvring. Not realizing the danger, Chigorin
procrastinates over the right plan and is punished when Steinitz suddenly lashes
out on the kingside with his h-pawn. Facing a sudden change in tempo, Chigorin
is unable to cope and he finally falls prey to an irresistible attack on his king.
Steinitz finishes with quite a flourish as an exquisite rook sacrifice rounds off
some extremely subtle play.
World Championship match (game 4), Havana 1892 31

1 e4 e5 plan is a little bit too elaborate to give

2 Ìf3 Ìc6 hope of a real advantage.
3 Íb5 Ìf6
This is the old way of playing 8r+lwk+-t(
against the Berlin. The modern method
involves offering the e-pawn with 4 7zpz-+pvp’
0-0. Although Black normally cap- 6-+nz-sp+&
tures with 4...Ìxe4, this is not done
with the intention of keeping the extra
pawn. After 5 d4 Black tends to enter 4-+-+P+-+$
the endgame arising after 5...Ìd6 6
Íxc6 dxc6 7 dxe5 Ìf5 8 Ëxd8+
Êxd8, or to play the developing move 2PZ-+-ZPZ"
5...Íe7. The greedy 5...exd4 allows 1T-VQMN+R!
White to set up a powerful pin on the
e-file with 6 Îe1. Then 6...d5 7 Ìxd4
gives White an advantage, as both 8 7 ... 0-0
Ìxc6 and 8 f3 are threatened. 8 Ía4
White withdraws the bishop in or-
XABCDEFGHY der to preserve it for later on. In game
8r+lwkv-t( 2 of their match Steinitz had chosen
instead 8 Ìe3 and Chigorin correctly
7zpzp+pzp’ countered in the centre immediately
6-+n+-s-+& with 8...d5.
4-+-+P+-+$ 8r+lw-tk+(
3+-+P+N+-# 7zpz-+pvp’
2PZP+-ZPZ" 6-+nz-sp+&
1TNVQM-+R! 5+-+-z-+-%
xabcdefghy 4L+-+P+-+$
4 ...
5 c3
6 Ìbd2 Íg7 2PZ-+-ZPZ"
7 Ìf1!? 1T-VQMN+R!
By delaying castling White is able
to execute the classic Lopez knight ma-
noeuvre. This knight can now emerge 8 ... Ìd7
at either g3 or, on this occasion, e3 The following manoeuvre with this
where it has a substantial influence knight proves rather time-consuming,
over the centre. That said, Steinitz’s without being especially constructive.
32 Game 5: Wilhelm Steinitz – Mikhail Chigorin

Perhaps Chigorin was lulled into a should create instant pressure on the
false sense of security by White’s ap- black kingside. In particular the rook
parently slow opening play. Euwe rec- on h1 will enter the game under fa-
ommended queenside expansion with vourable circumstances.
8...a6 9 Ìe3 b5 10 Íb3 Ìa5 11 Íc2 Steinitz’s idea of h2-h4 has not
c5, which would virtually be taken for been lost on future generations. Just
granted today. After 11...c5 Black’s over a hundred years later the current
position possesses a certain amount of World Champion used a very similar
coordination, which is missing in the idea, with an equally favourable re-
game continuation. Later on in their sult.
match Chigorin also improved on
8...Ìd7 in another way, with an im- XABCDEFGHY
mediate lunge in the centre. The 14th
game continued 8...d5!? 9 Ëe2 Ëd6
10 Íc2 b6 11 Ìg3 Ía6 12 0-0 dxe4 7+lz-+pvp’
13 Ìxe4 Ìxe4 14 Ëxe4 Íb7 and 6-+nzn+p+&
Black had fully equalized.
9 Ìe3 Ìc5
10 Íc2 Ìe6 4-Z-+P+-+$
11 h4! 3+LZPSN+-#
8r+lw-tk+( 1+-VQT-M-!
7zpz-+pvp’ xabcdefghy
6-+nzn+p+& Kasparov – Short
PCA World Championship
5+-+-z-+-% match (game 7), London 1993
3+-ZPSN+-# Here Kasparov had already castled,
but the wing attack still carried a nasty
2PZL+-ZP+" sting. After 19 h4! Íc8 20 h5! Êh8 21
1T-VQM-+R! Ìd5 g5 22 Ìe3 Ìf4 23 g3 Ìxh5 24
Ìf5 Íxf5 25 exf5 Ëd7 26 Íxg5 h6
xabcdefghy 27 Ìh4 Ìf6 28 Íxf6 Íxf6 29 Ëh5
Probably the most important move Êh7 30 Ìg2 Ìe7 31 Ìe3 Ìg8 32 d4
of the entire game. Steinitz certainly exd4 33 cxd4 Íxd4 34 Ìg4 Êg7 35
enjoyed attacking in such a fashion. In Ìxh6! Íf6 36 Íxf7! Black was forced
some ways this offensive looks risky, to resign.
because White has yet to complete his
development, but his prophylactic (Back now to Steinitz – Chigorin.)
measures in the centre have made it 11 ... Ìe7
difficult for Black to obtain counter- Finally Black hits on the correct
play. This means that White can and plan, to aim for the ...d6-d5 advance.
World Championship match (game 4), Havana 1892 33

Other moves are in danger of being ei- f-file, but in reality all that Black has
ther too slow or too panicky: done is to weaken his king position.
1) 11...h6 (too slow) 12 h5 g5 and The threats down the h-file remain,
now White should immediately oc- while White will now also be able to
cupy the outpost with 13 Ìf5 and fol- find particular joy along the a2–g8 di-
low up with 14 d4, securing a definite agonal, which has suddenly become
advantage. quite vulnerable.
2) 11...f5!? (too panicky) 12 exf5! After 13...hxg6 White should proba-
(but not 12 h5 f4 13 Ìd5 g5 14 h6 Íf6 bly continue with 14 Ëe2, intending
15 Íb3 Êh8, when Black has not only Íd2 and 0-0-0. Notice that 14...Ìf4
survived, but has taken over the opera- would not be too much of a worry.
tion on the kingside) 12...gxf5 13 d4! White could simply retreat with 15
exd4 14 Ìxf5 dxc3 15 Ìxg7 cxb2 16 Ëf1, before kicking the knight back
Íxb2 Ìxg7 17 Ìg5 and White has a with g3.
very strong attack. 14 exd5!
3) Perhaps Black’s best alternative White normally doesn’t release the
to 11...Ìe7 is 11...h5, which makes it tension in the centre like this without
harder for White to expand on the good reason, but here he is absolutely
kingside. Of course White can con- justified in his decision. The Lopez
tinue with 12 g4, but 12...hxg4 13 bishop will now find a nice home on
Ìxg4 Ìf4 14 Ìg5 d5 gives Black the b3-square.
definite counterplay. 14 ... Ìxd5
12 h5 d5 15 Ìxd5 Ëxd5
16 Íb3 Ëc6
8r+lw-tk+( XABCDEFGHY
7zpz-spvp’ 8r+l+-tk+(
6-+-+n+p+& 7zpz-+-vp’
5+-+pz-+P% 6-+q+n+p+&
4-+-+P+-+$ 5+-+-z-+-%
3+-ZPSN+-# 4-+-+-+-+$
2PZL+-ZP+" 3+LZP+N+-#
1T-VQM-+R! 2PZ-+QZP+"
xabcdefghy 1T-V-M-+R!
13 hxg6 fxg6?
This was an occasion where Black
should have definitely adhered to the 17 ... Íd7
“capture towards the centre” princi- Other moves have been suggested,
ple. Perhaps Chigorin was seeking but in all probability Black’s position
counterplay along the now half-open is beyond repair already. 17...Êh8
34 Game 5: Wilhelm Steinitz – Mikhail Chigorin

removes the black king from the pin, 20 Ëf1, which becomes obvious very
but after 18 Íh6! the weaknesses in soon.
the black camp are becoming more 20 ... a5
and more apparent. In particular, the Passive defence with 20...Îf5, in-
e5-pawn is basically a sitting duck. tending ...Ìf8, doesn’t help Black.
17...a5, trying to chase the bishop off White should simply increase the pres-
the diagonal with ...a4 is another try, sure on the h-file with 21 Îh4, when
although once more White can keep 21...Ìf8 can be answered with 22
the advantage by either direct means Ìg5!. Instead of 20...Îf5, we should
with 18 Ìg5 Ëxg2 19 Îxh7, or in a consider two knight moves for Black.
more positional way with 18 a4 Ëb6 1) 20...Ìd4? 21 Îxh7+! (another
19 Ëc2 and 20 Íe3, as suggested by point of 20 Ëf1) 21...Êxh7 22 Ëh1+
Neishtadt. Íh6 23 Ëxh6#.
18 Íe3 2) 20...Ìf4 and now either 21 Ìg5
After obtaining positional domina- h6 22 Ìf7+ Êh7 23 d4! Ëxg2 24
tion, now is the right time to complete Ëxg2 Ìxg2 25 Ìxh6 (Ravinsky) or
development. 18 Ìxe5? Ëxg2 would 21 d4! exd4 22 Îxd4 looks very strong
spoil all the earlier work. for White.
18 ... Êh8 21 d4!
19 0-0-0 Îae8
XABCDEFGHY 8-+-+rt-m(
8-+-+rt-m( 7+pzl+-vp’
7zpzl+-vp’ 6-+q+n+p+&
6-+q+n+p+& 5z-+-z-+-%
5+-+-z-+-% 4-+-Z-+-+$
4-+-+-+-+$ 3+LZ-VN+-#
3+LZPVN+-# 2PZ-+-ZP+"
2PZ-+-ZP+" 1+-MR+Q+R!
1+-MR+Q+R! xabcdefghy
21 ... exd4
xabcdefghy 22 Ìxd4 Íxd4
“More attacking than defensive” – Unfortunately Black must part with
Steinitz. This subtle queen retreat, his defensive bishop, leaving him woe-
which has many different purposes, is fully weak on both the dark squares
a move of star quality. Firstly White and the light squares! 22...Ìxd4 al-
removes the queen from the e-file, thus lows White to mate after 23 Îxh7+!
eliminating many of Black’s tactical Êxh7 24 Ëh1+. Euwe also gives the
tricks involving ...Ìf4 and ...Ìd4. depressing variations 22...Ëa6 23 Íc4
There is also a much deeper aspect to Ëa8 24 Ìf3 and 22...Ëe4 23 Íc2
World Championship match (game 4), Havana 1892 35

Ëg4 24 f3 Ëg3 25 Ìf5! gxf5 26 Îxd7 27 Ëh4+ Êe5

as positionally winning for White. 28 Ëxd4+
23 Îxd4!
XABCDEFGHY 8-+-+rt-+(
8-+-+rt-m( 7+pzl+-+-’
7+pzl+-+p’ 6-+q+-+pV&
6-+q+n+p+& 5z-+-m-+-%
5z-+-+-+-% 4-+-W-+-+$
4-+-T-+-+$ 3+LZ-+-+-#
3+LZ-V-+-# 2PZ-+-ZP+"
2PZ-+-ZP+" 1+-M-+-+-!
1+-M-+Q+R! xabcdefghy
xabcdefghy 1-0
23 ... Ìxd4? After 28...Êf5 White can choose
Overlooking White’s next brilliant between 29 g4# and 29 Ëf4#.
idea. Euwe gives 23...b5 24 Ëd3! as
winning for White, when 24...Ìc5 Lessons from this game:
runs into the usual rook sacrifice: 25 1) Don’t dither with your plan!
Îxh7+! Êxh7 26 Îh4+ Êg7 27 Ëd4+ Here Black wanders around aimlessly
Ëf6 28 Íh6+ Êh7 29 Íxf8+ Ëxh4 for too long before deciding to carry
30 Ëg7#. Black’s final chance to pro- out the logical ...d5 advance, some-
long the agony lies in 23...Îe7, hoping thing which could have been achieved
for 24 Ëd3? Ìc5, when White is as early as move eight. Be direct!
forced to give up one of his bishops for 2) Look out for the unexpected.
that lowly knight. Instead White should Sometimes pedestrian developing
swing his rook across the fourth rank moves can be replaced by a sudden
to increase the pressure on h7. idea which causes your opponent im-
24 Îxh7+! mediate problems. Steinitz’s 11 h4 is
Revealing to his startled opponent an example of such an effective idea.
the real point of 20 Ëf1. The black 3) A move which looks to have
king will find itself checkmated in merely one purpose, but in fact con-
mid-board. tains some heavily concealed threats,
24 ... Êxh7 often produces the desired result. Here
25 Ëh1+ Êg7 Steinitz’s very deep 20 Ëf1 was too
26 Íh6+ Êf6 much for Chigorin.
Game 6
Wilhelm Steinitz – Curt von Bardeleben
Hastings 1895
Giuoco Piano

The Players
Wilhelm Steinitz (1836–1900) was the first player to be recognized as World
Champion, a title he held from 1886 to 1894, and one of the key figures in the de-
velopment of chess. See Game 5 for more information.

Curt von Bardeleben (1861–1924) was born in Berlin. He studied law but never
practised, finding the lure of the chessboard too strong to resist. He was undoubt-
edly an extremely talented player, capable of first-class results, but his tempera-
ment was unsuited to the hurly-burly of tough competitive play, with its
inevitable setbacks. His standard of play would fall substantially after a disap-
pointing loss, and he would sometimes withdraw from an event altogether.

The Game
For both players this was a turning point in the tournament. Steinitz had begun
poorly, but starting with this game rallied to a respectable fifth place, whereas for
von Bardeleben, who had the tremendous score of 7Ó/9 up to that point, it
marked the start of a collapse. Steinitz plays a rather simple opening, common
nowadays only at club level for its trappiness, but rare at top level because it
brings matters to a premature crisis. However, von Bardeleben avoids the main
lines, and lands in a position where structurally he is doing well, but his king is
stranded in the centre. After a trade of inaccuracies, Steinitz plays an excellent
pawn sacrifice to bring his knight into the attack. The finish is highly dramatic. It
appears that Steinitz has over-reached, as Black finds a cunning defence based on
White’s back rank. However, this illusion is washed away by a staggering series
of rook offers. This opens up a route for the white queen to come into the attack
and bring about a beautiful mating finish.

1 e4 e5 4 c3
2 Ìf3 Ìc6 Instead 4 d3, or 5 d3 on the next
3 Íc4 Íc5 move, would bring about the Giuoco
This move characterizes the Giuoco Pianissimo. This is actually the mod-
Piano. The name means “Quiet Game”, ern preference, with White keeping
and seems rather inappropriate given open many plans, including queenside
the stormy events to come. However, expansion with b4, play in the centre,
when it received its name, the standard and kingside activity, often involving
opening was the King’s Gambit, and the manoeuvre Ìbd2-f1-g3. Note that
in comparison it is relatively “quiet”. 4 d3 followed by Ìc3 is a deadly dull
Hastings 1895 37

system that tends to be seen a lot in 9 0-0 Íe6

schools’ chess. It is too late for Black to grab the
4 ... Ìf6 pawn:
This healthy developing move forces 1) 9...Ìxc3 10 bxc3 Íxc3? 11
White either to slow the pace with 5 d3 Ëb3! Íxa1 12 Íxf7+ Êf8 13 Ía3+
or else to open the centre before he is Ìe7 14 Íh5 g6 15 Ìg5 Ëe8 16 Îe1
fully ready to do so. and White wins.
5 d4 exd4 2) 9...Íxc3 10 bxc3 Ìxc3 11 Ëb3
6 cxd4 gives White a huge attack without him
White has set up an “ideal” pawn- having had to sacrifice.
centre, but he is unable to maintain it. 10 Íg5
Another logical attempt to achieve Now White has the initiative in a
central dominance, 6 e5, is met by the position with level material.
thematic central thrust 6...d5!, assur- 10 ... Íe7
ing Black his full share of the play. After 10...Ëd7?! 11 Íxd5 Íxd5
Anyone who defends symmetrical 12 Îe1+, the undesirable 12...Êf8 is
king’s pawn openings absolutely must forced since 12...Íe7? loses on the
know this idea. spot to 13 Ìe5!.
6 ... Íb4+ 11 Íxd5 Íxd5
This is the problem. If White had 12 Ìxd5
had time to castle before playing d4, 12 Íxe7?! Ìxe7 13 Îe1 is less ef-
then his pawns would have been able fective, since after 13...0-0 14 Îxe7
to steam-roller through in the centre, Íxf3! 15 Ëe1 Íc6 16 Ëe5 Îe8 Black
scattering Black’s minor pieces in all survives the pressure.
directions before them. 12 ... Ëxd5
7 Ìc3 13 Íxe7 Ìxe7
Instead 7 Íd2 Íxd2+ 8 Ìbxd2 d5! 14 Îe1
breaks up White’s pawn-centre, and
gives Black a completely acceptable XABCDEFGHY
position. 8r+-+k+-t(
7 ... d5?!
Now, however, this move causes 7zpz-spzp’
White rather less inconvenience. The 6-+-+-+-+&
key difference from the line in the pre-
vious note is that White retains his
dark-squared bishop, and this greatly 4-+-Z-+-+$
enhances his attacking prospects in
the open position that now arises. The-
ory regards 7...Ìxe4 as best, when 2PZ-+-ZPZ"
White is struggling for equality in the 1T-+QT-M-!
notorious and thoroughly analysed
complications after 8 0-0 Íxc3 9 d5
Íf6 10 Îe1 Ìe7 11 Îxe4 d6. 14 ... f6
8 exd5 Ìxd5 15 Ëe2
38 Game 6: Wilhelm Steinitz – Curt von Bardeleben

This move seems very natural and Not the sharpest. White has a
strong, but White had an excellent al- number of more forceful possibilities:
ternative in 15 Ëa4+!: 1) 16 d5 is Romanovsky’s sugges-
1) 15...c6? 16 Ëa3 gives Black no tion, but 16...Êf7 17 Îad1 (this is an
decent way to defend his knight, since improved version of the next note)
16...Ëd7 allows 17 Îxe7+ Ëxe7 18 17...Îad8 (17...Ìxd5? 18 Ìg5+ fxg5
Îe1. 19 Ëf3+) 18 Ëe6+ Êf8 might sur-
2) 15...Êf7 16 Ìe5+! fxe5 (de- vive for Black.
clining the sacrifice by 16...Êg8 17 2) 16 Ëe4!? c6 17 Îe2 Êf7 18
Ìg4 Ìg6 18 Ìe3 Ëf7 19 Ìf5 gives Îae1 keeps some pressure.
White a very strong position) 17 Îxe5 3) 16 Îad1! (Zaitsev) looks very
Ëd6 (17...b5 18 Ëa3; 17...Ëc6 18 strong. After 16...c6? 17 d5 White sim-
Ëb3+ Êf8 19 Îae1 Îe8 20 Îe6 Ëd7 ply powers through, while 16...Êf7 17
21 Î1e4 and the deadly threat of Îf4+ Ëc4+ Ìd5? (bad, but otherwise how
decides the game in White’s favour) is Black to develop his pieces?) 18
18 Ëc4+ Êf8 19 Îae1 Ìg8 (19...Îe8 Ìe5+ fxe5 19 dxe5 wins nicely.
20 Î1e3 g6 21 Îe6 wins) 20 Îd5 and 16 ... c6?!
then: Black underestimates the forth-
2a) 20...b5!? 21 Ëb3 Ëf6 22 Ëb4+ coming square-vacating pawn sacri-
wins: 22...Êf7 23 Ëxb5 Ìe7 (23...Ìh6 fice.
24 Îd7+ Êg6 25 Îde7) 24 Îxe7+ 16...Êf7 has been regarded as a
Ëxe7 25 Îd7; or 22...Ìe7 23 Îxe7 major improvement. White has a vari-
Ëxe7 24 Îf5+ Êe8 25 Ëxb5+ Ëd7 ety of attempts, but none that gives a
26 Îe5+ Êd8 27 Îd5. serious advantage:
2b) 20...Ëc6 21 Ëb4+ Êf7 22 1) 17 Ëxe7+ Ëxe7 18 Îxe7+
Îc5 Ëd6 23 Ëc4+ Êf8 24 Îxc7 Ìh6 Êxe7 19 Îxc7+ Êd6 20 Îxg7 Îhc8
25 Îc8+ wins. followed by ...Îc7 is good for Black,
15 ... Ëd7 whose king is very active (Réti).
2) 17 Ìe5+ fxe5 18 dxe5 is Colin
XABCDEFGHY Crouch’s suggestion in his book reana-
8r+-+k+-t( lysing the games from the Hastings
tournament of 1895. White has enough
7zpzqs-zp’ for the piece after 18...Ëe6 19 Ëf3+
6-+-+-z-+& (19 Îxc7?! Îhd8) 19...Êg6 20 Îxc7,
but probably no more than that.
5+-+-+-+-% 3) 17 Ìg5+ (Gufeld and Stetsko)
4-+-Z-+-+$ 17...fxg5 18 Ëf3+ Ìf5 19 g4 will re-
3+-+-+N+-# gain the material and provides some
chance of White keeping an edge, but
2PZ-+QZPZ" with his king also now exposed, it
1T-+-T-M-! will be nothing serious, e.g. 19...c6 20
Îe5 g6 21 gxf5, 19...Îae8 20 Îe5 or
xabcdefghy 19...Îhd8 20 Îe5 Êg8 21 Îxf5.
16 Îac1 17 d5!
Hastings 1895 39

XABCDEFGHY on the spot, while 19...Ìc6 20 Ìc5

8r+-+k+-t( Ëc8 21 Ëh5+! is also devastating.
20 Ëg4
7zp+qs-zp’ Now the threat is to enter on g7.
6-+p+-z-+& 20 ... g6
21 Ìg5+
5+-+P+-+-% The discovered attack on the black
4-+-+-+-+$ queen forces the reply.
3+-+-+N+-# 21 ...
22 Îxe7+!

xabcdefghy 8r+r+k+-+(
This excellent pawn sacrifice sud- 7zp+qT-+p’
denly enlivens the struggle. 6-+-+-zp+&
17 ... cxd5
18 Ìd4
XABCDEFGHY 3+-+-+-+-#
8r+-+k+-t( 2PZ-+-ZPZ"
7zp+qs-zp’ 1+-T-+-M-!
6-+-+-z-+& xabcdefghy
5+-+p+-+-% Starting one of the most famous
4-+-S-+-+$ sacrificial sequences in chess history.
3+-+-+-+-# The rook cannot be taken, but Black
has a cunning defensive idea.
2PZ-+QZPZ" 22 ... Êf8
1+-T-T-M-! Black suffers a disaster if he touches
the rook: 22...Ëxe7 23 Îxc8+ Îxc8
xabcdefghy 24 Ëxc8+ leaves White a piece up,
It is well worth a pawn to get such a while 22...Êxe7 gives White a pleas-
wonderful square for the knight. ant choice of winning lines:
18 ... Êf7 1) 23 Ëb4+ Êe8 (23...Ëd6 24
19 Ìe6 Ëxb7+ Ëd7 25 Îe1+ Êd6 26 Ìf7+)
White threatens 20 Îc7 Ëd6 21 24 Îe1+ Êd8 25 Ìe6+ safely wins
Ëg4 g6 22 Ëf4! Ëxf4 23 Ìxf4 fol- the queen since White has two pieces
lowed by 24 Ìxd5, winning the pinned covering e1.
knight on e7. 2) 23 Îe1+ Êd6 24 Ëb4+ Êc7
19 ... Îhc8 (24...Îc5 25 Îe6+) 25 Ìe6+ Êb8 26
Instead after 19...Îac8 20 Ëg4 g6 Ëf4+ wins in view of 26...Îc7 27
21 Ìg5+ Êe8 22 Îxc8+ White wins Ìxc7 Ëxc7 28 Îe8#.
40 Game 6: Wilhelm Steinitz – Curt von Bardeleben

After Black’s choice in the game, After this devastating loss he even
22...Êf8, the black queen cannot be wanted to withdraw from the tourna-
taken due to mate on the back rank. ment. Ironically, this game is now vir-
Meanwhile all four of White’s pieces tually the only thing he is remembered
are under attack. Something dramatic for – perhaps the idea of gaining im-
is now needed. mortality as a loser is what upset him
23 Îf7+! so much.
23 Îxc8+? Îxc8 24 Îf7+ Êg8 25 The key variation is 25...Êg8 26
Îg7+ Êh8 26 Îxh7+ Êg8 27 Îg7+? Îg7+ Êh8 27 Ëh4+ Êxg7 28 Ëh7+
Êh8 is only a draw, since if White Êf8 29 Ëh8+ Êe7 30 Ëg7+ Êe8
goes in for 28 Ëh4+? Êxg7 29 Ëh7+ (30...Êd8 allows White to save a cou-
Êf8 30 Ëh8+ Êe7 31 Ëg7+ Êd8 32 ple of moves by 31 Ëf8+) 31 Ëg8+
Ëf8+ Êc7 the king escapes. Êe7 32 Ëf7+ Êd8 33 Ëf8+ Ëe8 34
23 ... Êg8 Ìf7+ Êd7 35 Ëd6#.
24 Îg7+!
XABCDEFGHY 8r+r+q+-+(
8r+r+-+k+( 7zp+k+N+-’
7zp+q+-Tp’ 6-+-W-zp+&
6-+-+-zp+& 5+-+p+-+-%
5+-+p+-S-% 4-+-+-+-+$
4-+-+-+Q+$ 3+-+-+-+-#
3+-+-+-+-# 2PZ-+-ZPZ"
2PZ-+-ZPZ" 1+-T-+-M-!
1+-T-+-M-! xabcdefghy
Aiming to decoy the black king so Lessons from this game:
that the queen falls with check. 1) If the opponent allows you to
24 ... Êh8 win a centre pawn, take it unless there
24...Êf8 is no better: 25 Ìxh7+ is a very good reason not to.
Êxg7 26 Ëxd7+. 2) It can be well worth sacrificing a
25 Îxh7+! 1-0 pawn to gain a superb square for a
This “1-0” needs some explanation. piece, particularly if it is near the en-
von Bardeleben now saw the spectacu- emy king.
lar finish that awaited him, and elected 3) Try not to be too upset by a loss.
to “resign” by simply leaving the tour- Setbacks are inevitable, and it is most
nament hall and not coming back. useful (though not necessarily very
Obviously, this is rather poor sports- easy) to view each as a learning expe-
manship. rience.
Game 7
Harry Nelson Pillsbury – Emanuel Lasker
St Petersburg 1895/6
Queen’s Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch Defence

The Players
Harry Nelson Pillsbury (1872–1906) shot to fame when he won his first major
tournament. No one had ever done this before and only Capablanca later
achieved a success of a similar magnitude in his international debut. Although
considered merely an outside bet for the first Hastings International in 1895,
Pillsbury produced some magnificent chess, scoring fifteen wins, three draws
and only three losses. He came first, ahead of Steinitz, Chigorin, Tarrasch and the
reigning World Champion Lasker. This result catapulted Pillsbury to the top of
the chess world, and his exceptional form continued in the first half of the St Pe-
tersburg Tournament, a round-robin tournament with Lasker, Steinitz and
Chigorin (six games against each). After nine rounds Pillsbury was a clear leader
with 6Ó points. However, Pillsbury’s play mysteriously collapsed in the second
half, when he could muster only 1Ó points, leaving him in third place behind
Lasker and Steinitz. Pillsbury also caught syphilis at St Petersburg, which
plagued him through the rest of his career and led to his premature death.

Emanuel Lasker (1868–1941) is one of the most famous chess players of all time.
As a youngster Lasker showed incredible talent at both chess and mathematics
and he fulfilled his potential in both fields. Lasker defeated Steinitz to become
World Champion in 1894, a title he was to hold for twenty-seven years, which is
still a record. Despite his victory over Steinitz, the chess world remained unim-
pressed, chiefly as the former World Champion was 32 years older than Lasker
and his health was declining. Lasker, however, was still improving. In 1896 he
proved his worth without doubt by winning four successive major events, includ-
ing the St Petersburg tournament. Lasker continued to have excellent results, be-
fore beating Steinitz in a return match in 1896/7. During his chess career he still
found time to pursue his mathematical studies, and in 1900 he was awarded his
doctorate at Erlangen University. In chess Lasker was an exceptional tactician,
but more than anything he was an immensely resourceful fighter. On countless
occasions he was able to turn inferior positions to his advantage and his defen-
sive qualities were without equal.

The Game
Lasker gets away with some provocative opening play to reach a very comfort-
able position with the black pieces. Undaunted, Pillsbury continues to plough
ahead with a crude attack, but is rocked on his heels by a clever rook sacrifice
from Lasker. Fighting hard, Pillsbury offloads some material to set up a defence,
42 Game 7: Harry Nelson Pillsbury – Emanuel Lasker

but at the vital moment, he misses the best line and allows Lasker to sacrifice
again. This time there is no defence.

1 d4 d5 Ìe5 11 Ìxe5 fxe5 12 Ëxc4 Ëb6 13

2 c4 e6 Íe2 Ëxb2 14 0-0 Îc8 15 Ëd3 Îc7 16
3 Ìc3 Ìf6 Ìe4 Black’s weaknesses were obvi-
4 Ìf3 c5 ous. Note that 7...Ìxd4 8 Íxd8 Ìc2+
5 Íg5 9 Êd2 Ìxa1 10 Íh4 favours White,
A popular move at the time, but this who will pick up the trapped knight in
has now been replaced by the more di- the corner.
rect 5 cxd5, when after 5...Ìxd5 6 e4 7 ... Íe7
Ìxc3 7 bxc3 cxd4 8 cxd4 Íb4+ 9 8 0-0-0 Ëa5
Íd2 Íxd2+ 10 Ëxd2 0-0 Black has 9 e3 Íd7
to play accurately against White’s 10 Êb1 h6
impressive-looking centre (see Game 11 cxd5 exd5
58, Polugaevsky – Tal). 12 Ìd4 0-0
5 ... cxd4
XABCDEFGHY 8r+-+-tk+(
8rslwkv-t( 7zp+lvpz-’
7zp+-+pzp’ 6-+n+-s-z&
6-+-+ps-+& 5w-+p+-V-%
5+-+p+-V-% 4-+-S-+-W$
4-+PW-+-+$ 3+-S-Z-+-#
3+-S-+N+-# 2PZ-+-ZPZ"
2PZ-+PZPZ" 1+K+R+L+R!
1T-+-ML+R! xabcdefghy
13 Íxf6
xabcdefghy It looks tempting to go “all-in” with
6 ... Ìc6 13 Íxh6. Indeed, after 13...gxh6 14
Lasker liked this move, although Ëxh6 Ìg4 15 Ëf4 White has some
6...Íe7 is probably more accurate, menacing threats. However, Black
e.g. 7 cxd5 exd5 8 e4 Ìc6 9 Íb5 0-0 doesn’t have to capture the bishop im-
10 Íxc6 bxc6 with an equal position. mediately. Instead he can keep a cool
7 Ëh4 head with 13...Ìe4!, when 14 Ìxc6
In the later game Pillsbury – Lasker, Ìxc3+ 15 Êc2 Íxh4 16 Ìxa5 Ìxd1
Cambridge Springs 1904, the Ameri- wins for Black, as does 14 Ëf4 Ìxc3+
can improved on his opening play 15 bxc3 gxh6 16 Ëxh6 Ìxd4 17 Îxd4
with the subtle 7 Íxf6!, and after Íf5+.
7...gxf6 8 Ëh4 dxc4 9 Îd1 Íd7 10 e3 13 ... Íxf6
St Petersburg 1895/6 43

14 Ëh5 Ìxd4 22...Îxe8 23 fxe8Ë+ Êxe8 is clearly

15 exd4 Íe6 hopeless for White.
16 f4 18 ... Îa3!!
The attempt to profit from the pin
on the fifth rank with 16 Ìe4 fails af- XABCDEFGHY
ter 16...Íxd4! 17 Îxd4 Ëe1+ 18 Ëd1 8-+-+-tk+(
Ëxd1+ 19 Îxd1 dxe4 and Black has
merely won a pawn. With 16 f4 White 7zp+-+pz-’
intends to launch an attack on the 6-+-+Pv-z&
kingside. Meanwhile Black has his
own ambitions on the other wing.
Who will get in first? 4-+-Z-+-+$
16 ...
17 f5
Îac8 3t-+-+-+-#
8-+r+-tk+( xabcdefghy
7zp+-+pz-’ Moving the rook from one attacked
6-+-+lv-z& square to another creates quite an im-
pact. Lasker must have had this in
5w-+p+P+Q% mind when playing 16...Îac8. White
4-+-Z-+-+$ will have to capture the rook, as other-
3+-S-+-+-# wise the decisive ...Îxa2 will follow.
It’s just a question of when to take the
2PZ-+-+PZ" rook.
1+K+R+L+R! 19 exf7+?
A mistake in a difficult position. It
xabcdefghy would have been more sensible to
17 ... Îxc3! keep the e-file closed.
This move is the start of some real 1) However, the apparently disrup-
cut-and-thrust, where neither side is tive 19 e7? actually fails to do the trick
willing to go on the defensive. Of after 19...Îe8 20 bxa3 Ëb6+ 21 Êc2
course 17...Íd7 is possible, but that’s (21 Êa1 Íxd4+ 22 Îxd4 Ëxd4+ 23
another, less exciting story. Êb1 Îxe7 wins for Black, as White
18 fxe6! has no useful square to develop his
Grabbing the rook leads to a catas- bishop, e.g. 24 Íb5 Ëe4+ 25 Êa1 a6!)
trophe on the queenside for White. Af- 21...Îc8+! 22 Êd2 Íxd4 and there is
ter 18 bxc3 Îc8! 19 fxe6 Ëxc3 White no defence:
cannot defend against the many mat- 1a) 23 Íd3 Ëb2+ 24 Íc2 Ëxc2+
ing threats, e.g. 20 Íe2 Ëb4+ 21 Êa1 25 Êe1 Ëf2#.
Îc1+!! 22 Îxc1 Íxd4+ and mate next 1b) 23 Êe2 Ëe6+ 24 Êf3 Ëe3+
move. The desperate 20 Ëe2 Íxd4 21 25 Êg4 g6! 26 Ëxd5 h5+ 27 Êh4
exf7+ Êf8 22 Ëe8+ avoids mate, but Íf6+ 28 Ëg5 Íxg5#.
44 Game 7: Harry Nelson Pillsbury – Emanuel Lasker

Instead of 19 exf7+ or 19 e7, White An excellent defensive resource.

can also make the most obvious move, The white bishop can be captured with
that is grabbing the rook: check, but at least the black queen is
2) 19 bxa3 Ëb6+ and now: lured off the attack of the d-pawn. In
2a) 20 Êc2?! and then: any case king moves lead to a swift de-
2a1) 20...Ëc6+ 21 Êb1 (not 21 feat:
Êb2? Îc8!, nor 21 Êd3? Íg5! 22 1) 21 Êa1 Íxd4+ 22 Îxd4 Ëxd4+
Êe2 Ëxe6+ 23 Êf3 Ëe3+ 24 Êg4 23 Êb1 Ëe4+ 24 Êa1 (Black wins
f5#) 21...Ëb6+ is perpetual check. quickly after 24 Êc1 Îc7+ or 24 Êb2
2a2) 20...Îc8+ is a sharp winning Îf2+) 24...Ëe1+ 25 Êb2 Îf2+ 26
attempt; for example 21 Êd2 Ëxd4+ Êb3 Ëb1+ 27 Êa4 (27 Êc3 Ëb2+ 28
(after 21...Íxd4?! 22 Ëxf7+ Êh8 23 Êd3 Ëd2# is mate) 27...Îf4+ 28 Êa5
Êe2 the attack flounders) 22 Êe1 (not Ëb6#.
22 Íd3? Îc2+! 23 Êxc2 Ëb2#) 2) 21 Êc2 Îc7+ 22 Êd2 Ëxd4+
22...Ëe3+ (22...Ëc3+ 23 Îd2 fxe6 23 Íd3 (23 Êe2 also leads to mate af-
gives Black compensation, but White ter 23...Îe7+ 24 Êf3 Ëe3+ 25 Êg4
is certainly still in the game) 23 Íe2 Îe4+ 26 Êf5 Îf4+ 27 Êg6 Ëe8#)
(23 Ëe2? Íc3+ 24 Îd2 Íxd2+ 25 23...Îc2+! 24 Êxc2 Ëb2#.
Êd1 Îc1#) 23...fxe6 followed by 21 ... Ëxb5+
...Íc3+ gives Black a large advantage. 22 Êa1 Îc7?
2b) 20 Íb5! is the best defensive There is no rest for White. Now the
try, giving back some of White’s extra threat is 23...Îc1+! 24 Îxc1 Íxd4+
material to bring his forces into play. and mate follows. Even so, it appears
After 20...Ëxb5+ 21 Êa1 fxe6 22 that 22...Ëc4! would have given White
Ëg4 Black can’t focus so squarely on no chance to erect a defensive wall.
his attack as he could in the game. The only way to protect the vital d4-
19 ... Îxf7 pawn would be with 23 Ëg4, but then
20 bxa3 Ëb6+ 23...Îe7, intending to continue ...Îe4,
leaves White with no defence.
8-+-+-+k+( XABCDEFGHY
7zp+-+rz-’ 8-+-+-+k+(
6-w-+-v-z& 7zpt-+-z-’
5+-+p+-+Q% 6-+-+-v-z&
4-+-Z-+-+$ 5+q+p+-+Q%
3Z-+-+-+-# 4-+-Z-+-+$
2P+-+-+PZ" 3Z-+-+-+-#
1+K+R+L+R! 2P+-+-+PZ"
xabcdefghy 1M-+R+-+R!
21 Íb5 xabcdefghy
St Petersburg 1895/6 45

23 Îd2 Îc4 3d) 24...Ëc6 is probably the best

Another vital moment has arisen. choice. This does allow White to ex-
Black threatens both 24...Íxd4+ and change queens with 25 Ëe8+, but after
24...Îxd4, with the added idea of dou- 25...Êh7! (forcing White to exchange
bling the major pieces on the c-file. improves Black’s pawn structure) 26
White has to decide between active Ëxc6 bxc6 27 Êb1 Íxd4 28 Îc2 Íc3
and passive defence, and it is by no Black still has good compensation for
means an easy choice. the exchange.
24 Îhd1 24 ... Îc3?
Or: This prepares an imaginative sacri-
1) 24 Îb1 Ëc6 25 Ëd1 loses to fice on a3. Nevertheless, it was objec-
25...Îxd4 26 Îxd4 Ëc3+ 27 Îb2 tively better to carry out the intended
Íxd4, when White is trapped in a le- doubling on the c-file. After 24...Ëc6!
thal pin. Black threatens the deadly 25...Îc1+
2) 24 Ëg4 also doesn’t work after and forces White to relinquish his ma-
24...Ëc6, e.g. 25 Êb2 Ëb6+ 26 Êa1 terial advantage with interest:
Îxd4 27 Ëc8+ Êf7 28 Ëd7+ Êg6 29 1) 25 Êb2 Ëb6+ 26 Êa1 Îxd4 27
Ëe8+ Êh7 or 25 Êb1 Íg5 26 Îdd1 Îxd4 Íxd4+ 28 Îxd4 Ëxd4+ 29 Êb1
Ëb6+ 27 Êa1 Íe3!. Ëg1+ and the g2-pawn drops with
3) However, the active 24 Îe1! check.
looks like a good move. Suddenly 2) 25 Êb1 is a better try, planning
White has threats of his own, includ- to meet 25...Ëb6+? with 26 Îb2.
ing Îe8+ and the simplifying Ëe8+. However, Black has the very strong re-
Indeed, there seems to be no decisive ply 25...Íg5!. Now, moving the d2-
continuation for Black, e.g.: rook allows 26...Îc1+, so White must
3a) 24...Íxd4+? allows a decisive give up the exchange. However, after
counterattack after 25 Îxd4! Îxd4 26 26 Ëe2 Íxd2 27 Ëxd2 Ëd6! Black
Îe8+ Êh7 27 Ëf5+ g6 28 Ëf7#. immediately wins another pawn. To-
3b) 24...Îxd4 is no better. White gether with White’s shaky king posi-
wins with 25 Îe8+ Êh7 26 Ëf5+ g6 tion, this promises Black a winning
27 Ëxf6, threatening mate on h8. advantage.
3c) Black could also try the quiet 25 Ëf5
24...Êf8, preventing Ëe8 and Îe8 White has a good alternative in 25
ideas, but this is too slow to have any Îe1!?, which is a particularly difficult
real chance of working. It should be move to see, as the rook had deliber-
remembered, after all, that Black is the ately bypassed this option on the
exchange down. White can simply previous move. Nevertheless, the fact
play 25 Îf2, pinning the bishop and that the black rook is no longer attack-
creating the opportunity of a counter- ing d4 makes Îe1 an even stronger op-
sacrifice of the exchange on f6. For ex- tion now than on move 24. Let’s
ample 25...Îxd4? 26 Îxf6+! gxf6 27 examine the variations:
Ëxh6+ Êf7 28 Ëh7+ Êf8 29 Ëe7+ 1) 25...Ëc4? 26 Êb2! Îxa3 (or
Êg8 30 Ëd8+ Êg7 31 Îe7+ and now 26...Íxd4 27 Îe8+ Êh7 28 Ëf5+ g6
it’s Black’s king on the run. 29 Ëf7+ Íg7 30 Ëg8#) 27 Îe8+
46 Game 7: Harry Nelson Pillsbury – Emanuel Lasker

Êh7 28 Ëf5+ g6 29 Îe7+!! Íxe7 30 28 Êxa3

Ëf7+ Êh8 31 Ëe8+ Êg7 32 Ëxe7+ Declining the sacrifice doesn’t help,
Êg8 33 Ëxa3 and White wins. for example 28 Êb1 Íxd4 29 Îxd4
2) 25...Îxa3? 26 Îe8+ Êh7 27 Ëxa2+ 30 Êc1 Îc3#, or 28 Êa1
Ëf5+ g6 28 Ëe6! h5 29 Îe7+! Íxe7 Íxd4+ 29 Êb1 Ëb4+ 30 Êc1 Îc3+
30 Ëxe7+ Êh6 31 Ëxa3 and again 31 Îc2 Îxc2+ 32 Êxc2 Ëc3+ 33 Êb1
White prevails. Ëb2#.
3) As on the previous move, 28 ... Ëc3+
25...Ëc6 is best. After 26 Ëe8+ Êh7
27 Ëxc6 bxc6 28 Êb1 Îxa3 29 Îe6 XABCDEFGHY
Îc3 30 Îc2 Îd3 31 Îcxc6 Îd2 32 8-+-+-+-+(
Îc2 Îd1+ 33 Êb2 Íxd4+ 34 Êb3
White has an edge, although a draw is 7zp+-+-zk’
the most likely outcome. 6-+-+Qv-z&
25 ... Ëc4
8-+-+-+k+( 3M-w-+-+-#
7zp+-+-z-’ 2P+-T-+PZ"
6-+-+-v-z& 1+-+R+-+-!
5+-+p+Q+-% xabcdefghy
4-+qZ-+-+$ 0-1
3Z-t-+-+-# After 29 Êa4 b5+! 30 Êxb5 Ëc4+
31 Êa5 Íd8+ 32 Ëb6 Black has the
2P+-T-+PZ" pleasant choice between 32...axb6#
1M-+R+-+-! and 32...Íxb6#.
xabcdefghy Lessons from this game:
26 Êb2? 1) Study your own games! Despite
White makes a fatal error. He seems being on the wrong end of a brilliancy
to have everything covered, but Black’s here, Pillsbury didn’t just erase the
next move, the third offer of a rook in game from his memory. He looked
the game, shatters this illusion. long and hard for an improvement and
26 Êb1! renders Black’s play in- was ready to unleash 7 Íxf6! next
sufficient – one square makes all the time around.
difference! After 26...Îxa3 27 Îc1, 2) Often attack is the best form of
26...Ëc6 27 Îe1 or 26...Ëb5+ 27 Îb2 defence. Instead of passive resistance,
Ëc6 28 Îb3, White consolidates. the more active 24 Îe1 or 25 Îe1
26 ... Îxa3!! would have saved White.
27 Ëe6+ Êh7 3) Sacrificing two rooks, followed
27...Êh8 28 Ëe8+ Êh7 29 Êxa3 by driving the king up the board to
Ëc3+ 30 Êa4 a6! also wins. checkmate, is a pleasing way to win!
Game 8
Wilhelm Steinitz – Emanuel Lasker
St Petersburg 1895/6
Queen’s Gambit Declined

The Players
We have already met both Steinitz and Lasker in earlier games (see Game 5 for
more information on Steinitz and Game 7 for more about Lasker). By the time of
this particular meeting between the two giants of the chess world, Steinitz had al-
ready lost the title of World Champion to Lasker, who was now proving his worth
by a convincing demonstration at this tournament, which he won by a big margin
ahead of Steinitz, Pillsbury and Chigorin. In his six games against Steinitz in the
St Petersburg event, Lasker scored three wins, two draws and one loss, which is
shown here.

The Game
Steinitz introduces a new concept in a well-worn opening, which presents Lasker
with some early difficulties. Lasker reacts badly to the new circumstances and
leaves the opening with clear disadvantage. Steinitz then plays the rest of the
game in an accurate and imaginative fashion, never once letting Lasker use his
renowned fighting abilities. Faced with problem after problem, the new World
Champion finally breaks and Steinitz’s relentless attack reaps the reward his in-
genious play deserves.
4 ... Íe7
1 d4 d5 These days 4 Íf4 is very uncom-
2 c4 e6 mon, since it has been shown that the
3 Ìc3 Ìf6 active 4...c5 offers Black a problem-
4 Íf4 free position. If White is intent on
playing Íf4 lines, he tends first to
XABCDEFGHY play 4 Ìf3 and only after 4...Íe7 does
8rslwkv-t( he commit the bishop to f4. In fact, in
7zpz-+pzp’ another encounter between these two
later on in the same event, Lasker
6-+-+ps-+& showed that he had learned from this
5+-+p+-+-% encounter. The third Steinitz – Lasker
game went 4...c5 5 e3 Ìc6 6 Ìf3 a6 7
4-+PZ-V-+$ dxc5 Íxc5 8 cxd5 Ìxd5 9 Ìxd5 exd5
3+-S-+-+-# 10 Íd3 Íb4+ 11 Êe2 with equality.
5 e3 0-0
2PZ-+PZPZ" 6 c5!?
1T-+QMLSR! This move, which introduces an
xabcdefghy extremely adventurous scheme by
48 Game 8: Wilhelm Steinitz – Emanuel Lasker

White, was quite a surprise at the time. retreat-square on a2 available for the
A bind is established on the queenside light-squared bishop, which is des-
and Black has to play actively or else tined to do good work on the enticing
run the risk of being squashed and suf- a2–g8 diagonal.
focated to death. 10 ... Íf6
6 ... Ìe4? Black can actually trap the f4-bishop
Predictably, Lasker seeks activity, here with 10...g5 11 Íg3 f4, but fol-
but this proves to be the wrong way to lowing 12 Ëxe4 fxg3 13 hxg3 Îf7 14
find counterplay. In particular Black’s d5! White has more than enough com-
central pawn-structure becomes com- pensation for the piece.
promised, and the e4-pawn becomes a 11 0-0-0
liability. What are Black’s other op-
tions in this position? Handbuch gives XABCDEFGHY
6...b6 7 b4 a5 8 a3 as better for White, 8r+lw-tk+(
but more recent games have shown
this to be the way forward. One very 7zpz-+-zp’
important theoretical battle was Lerner 6-+n+pv-+&
– Geller, USSR Championship, Riga
1985, which continued 8...axb4 9 axb4
Îxa1 10 Ëxa1 Ìc6 11 Ëa4 bxc5!! 12 4-+LZpV-+$
Ëxc6 cxd4 with a dangerous initiative
for the sacrificed piece.
7 Ìxe4 dxe4 2-ZQ+-ZPZ"
8 Ëc2 f5 1+-MR+-SR!
9 Íc4 Ìc6
XABCDEFGHY An excellent decision. Black’s coun-
8r+lw-tk+( terplay revolves around the advance
...e5. Putting the rook on d1 further
7zpz-v-zp’ dissuades Black from this lunge. With
6-+n+p+-+& 11 0-0-0 Steinitz changes direction,
preparing the move f3, which will pose
5+-Z-+p+-% Black some problems in the centre.
4-+LZpV-+$ White can also hope to initiate a king-
3+-+-Z-+-# side attack.
11 ... Êh8
2PZQ+-ZPZ" This move breaks the pin of the e6-
1T-+-M-SR! pawn, making it easier for Black to re-
alize his goal of ...e5. In fact, Black al-
xabcdefghy ready has to be careful in this position.
10 a3 11...b6? runs into 12 d5!, which leads
This quiet move is a useful prophy- to a complete disaster. 11...Ìe7, in-
lactic device, preventing ...Ìc6-b4-d5 tending ...Ìd5, has been suggested as
ideas from Black, and also making a an alternative defence. Then White
St Petersburg 1895/6 49

can still keep the initiative in the cen- suspicious positions just by compli-
tre and on the kingside with 12 g4!, cating matters. Unfortunately on this
e.g. 12...g5 13 Íg3 Êh8 14 h4! and particular day he met Steinitz in an ir-
the attack is gathering momentum by repressible mood.
the move. 14 Ëxe4!!
12 f3 Ëe7! This brilliant piece sacrifice kills
Not surprisingly Lasker begins to Black’s attempt at snatching the ini-
fight hard in what can only be de- tiative. Lasker was once more hoping
scribed as a miserable position. The that White would grab the offered
obliging 12...exf3 13 Ìxf3 leaves pawn. After 14 Íxf4 e5 15 dxe5 Ìxe5
Black with absolutely no prospects, both 16 Íxe5 Íxe5 17 f4 Íf6 18
while White could slowly prepare to Íd5 Íf5 19 Íxb7? Îab8 and 16
open lines on the kingside with the Ëxe4 Íf5! 17 Ëxf5 Ìxc4 leave Black
eventual g2-g4. firmly on the offensive. After 14 Ëxe4
13 Íg3! White gains only two pawns for the
Very clever play from White. What piece. On the other hand, Black is re-
could be more natural than grabbing a duced to a grim defensive job, which
pawn with 13 fxe4? Well, this was ex- would not have suited Lasker at all.
actly what the World Champion was 14 ... fxg3
hoping for. Following 13...e5! 14 dxe5 15 hxg3 g6
Ìxe5 Black suddenly takes over the By relinquishing a third pawn Las-
initiative. Note that 15 exf5? Íxf5! ker hopes to use the semi-open g-file
makes matters worse for White, as after for defence. If instead 15...g5 White
16 Ëxf5 Ìxc4 Black’s swift counter- tightens his grip over the e5-square
attack has reached menacing propor- with 16 f4!, after which it is extremely
tions. difficult to see what Black can do to
13 ... f4!? prevent White’s steamroller of an at-
tack. 16...gxf4 17 gxf4 Íd7 18 Ìf3
XABCDEFGHY looks totally grim, so Black should try
8r+l+-t-m( to block the game up with 16...g4.
Nevertheless, following 17 Ìe2 the
7zpz-w-zp’ analysis is overwhelmingly in White’s
6-+n+pv-+& favour, e.g.:
1) 17...Îf7 18 Ëc2 b6 19 e4 Íg7
5+-Z-+-+-% 20 e5 h6 21 Ëg6 Ëe8 (or 21...bxc5 22
4-+LZpz-+$ d5 Ìd8 23 dxe6 Ìxe6 24 f5 Ëg5+ 25
3Z-+-ZPV-# Ëxg5 Ìxg5 26 f6 Íf8 27 Ìf4 Êg8
28 e6!) 22 Íd3 is a variation given by
2-ZQ+-+PZ" none other than Garry Kasparov, who
1+-MR+-SR! annotated the game for ChessBase
Magazine. Following 22...Ëg8 White
xabcdefghy wins neatly with 23 Îxh6+ Íxh6 24
Once more a typical move from Ëxh6+ Îh7 25 Íxh7 Ëxh7 26 Ëf8+
Lasker, who won many games from Ëg8 27 Îh1#.
50 Game 8: Wilhelm Steinitz – Emanuel Lasker

2) 17...Íd7 18 Îh6! Îf7 19 Îdh1 is risky in view of White’s attack after

Îg8 20 Ëd3 and the threat of e5 is de- 20 Ìf3.
cisive, e.g. 20...Ìa5 21 Ía2 Îgg7 22 After 17...Îf7? the game is over as
e4 Ëe8 23 b4! Íb5 24 Ëc2 Ía4 25 a contest. Black’s defences become
Ëb2 Ìc6 26 e5 Íd8 27 b5 Ìb8 28 uncoordinated and White’s attack is
Ìc3, winning the bishop on a4. allowed to power through.
16 Ëxg6 Íd7 18 g4 Îg7
Black can snatch one of the three After 18...Îg8 White simply re-
pawns back with 16...Îg8 17 Ëe4 plies 19 Ëh5!, followed by g5.
Îxg3, but this only allows White to After the text-move, 19 Ëh5 allows
bring the knight into the attack with Black to defend with ...Íe8-g6, but
tempo after 18 Ìe2 Îg7 19 Ìf4. It is White has an alternative square.
clear that Black cannot afford such 19 Ëh6! Îxg4
greed. 20 Íd3 Îg7
17 f4 Or 20...Îh4 21 Îxh4 Íxh4 22 Ìf3
Íf2 23 Îh1 Íxe3+ 24 Êb1 and h7
XABCDEFGHY collapses.
8r+-+-t-m( 21 Ìf3 Ëf7

7zpzlw-+p’ XABCDEFGHY
6-+n+pvQ+& 8r+-+-+-m(
5+-Z-+-+-% 7zpzl+qtp’
4-+LZ-Z-+$ 6-+n+pv-W&
3Z-+-Z-Z-# 5+-Z-+-+-%
2-Z-+-+P+" 4-+-Z-Z-+$
1+-MR+-SR! 3Z-+LZN+-#
xabcdefghy 2-Z-+-+P+"
17 ... Îf7? 1+-MR+-+R!
Lasker finally cracks under the
strain of having to defend a miserable
position for a long time. 17...Îg8! of- 22 g4!
fers more hope, although it has to be The rest of the game must have been
said that White retains a significant very pleasurable for Steinitz. White’s
initiative after 18 Ëe4, e.g. 18...Îxg3 attack virtually plays itself. A collapse
19 Ìe2 Îg7 20 Îh6 followed by on h7 is simply unavoidable.
Îdh1. It is also worth mentioning that 22 ... Îag8
after 17...Îg8 White can play 18 23 g5 Íd8
Îxh7+, which leads to a draw by per- 24 Îh2! Îg6
petual check following 18...Ëxh7 19 25 Ëh5! Î6g7
Ëxf6+ Ëg7 20 Ëh4+. Black can avoid 26 Îdh1! Ëxh5
the draw with 19...Îg7, although this 27 Îxh5 Îf8
St Petersburg 1895/6 51

28 Îxh7+ Îxh7 Lessons from this game:

The loss of the d7-bishop cannot be 1) Always be careful to study care-
avoided by 28...Êg8, as White replies fully the consequences before allow-
29 Îxg7+ Êxg7 30 Îh7+ and 31 ing your pawn-structure to change.
Îxd7. Black could already resign. Lasker hoped that he would gain
29 Îxh7+ Êg8 enough activity to counterbalance his
30 Îxd7 Îf7 compromised structure after 6...Ìe4,
31 Íc4! but was proved wrong by Steinitz’s
imaginative play.
XABCDEFGHY 2) If your opponent shocks you in
8-+-v-+k+( the opening (as in this case with 6 c5),
don’t panic into moving quickly. Take
7zpzR+r+-’ a deep breath and try to weigh up the
6-+n+p+-+& novel idea in objective fashion. In
most cases you’ll find that the new
5+-Z-+-Z-% move is not any better than its prede-
4-+LZ-Z-+$ cessors and that its main strength is in-
3Z-+-ZN+-# deed its surprise value.
3) It is often worth giving up mate-
2-Z-+-+-+" rial to kill off any chances of counter-
1+-M-+-+-! play. This is shown with great effect
by Steinitz’s 13 Íg3! and 14 Ëxe4!.
xabcdefghy With absolutely no attacking chances
1-0 to relieve the purely defensive task at
After 31...Îxd7 32 Íxe6+ Îf7 33 hand, even great fighters such as Las-
g6 White will be four pawns up. ker are going to make mistakes.