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Wilhelm Steinitz's Best Games
Compiled by KingG

The best games of Steinitz's career.

Place the contents of the chess box in a hat, shake them up vigorously, pour them on the board from a height of two feet - and you get the style of Steinitz. – Henry Bird

I am fully and entirely concentrated on the board. I never even consider my opponent's personality. So far as I am concerned, my opponent might as well be an abstraction or an automaton. – Wilhelm Steinitz

I may be an old lion, but I can still bite someone's hand off if he puts it in my mouth. – Wilhelm Steinitz

I play my king all over the board. I make him fight! – Wilhelm Steinitz

I have never in my life played the French Defense, which is the dullest of all openings. – Wilhelm Steinitz

He always sought completely original lines and didn't mind getting into cramped quarters if he thought that his position was essentially sound. – Bobby Fischer (on Steinitz)

This little man has taught us all to play chess. – Adolf Schwarz (speaking of Steinitz)

A win by an unsound combination, however showy, fills me with artistic horror. – Wilhelm Steinitz

I shall accord to myself the honor of inscribing myself as an applicant for the American citizenship which according to law I can obtain only after five years residence in this country. And I shall yield to no one of my future countrymen in patriotism. I consider America now my real home. – Wilhelm Steinitz (in 1886)

Fame, I have already. Now I need the money. – Wilhelm Steinitz

No great player blundered oftener than I done. I was champion of the world for twenty-eight years because I was twenty years ahead of my time. I played on certain principles, which neither Zukertort nor anyone else of his time understood. The players of today, such as Lasker, Tarrasch, Pillsbury, Schlechter and others have adopted my principles, and as is only natural, they have improved upon what I began, and that is the whole secret of the matter. – Wilhelm Steinitz

He had the reputation of being a brilliant but unsteady and untried combinational player, eminently suitable for the classification 'romantic'. – Harry Golombek (on Steinitz as a young player)

I would rather die in America than live in England. I would rather lose a match in America than win one in England. I have come to the conclusion that I neither mean to die soon or to lose the match! – Wilhelm Steinitz

He completely changed the game as it was played by Blackburne, Anderssen, Morphy and the other romantic heroes, and most likely he was the foundation upon which all modern chess has been built, but that did not prevent him from being the most unpopular chess player who ever lived. He had a grudge against the world, and the world returned it. – Harold Schonberg (on Steinitz)

He is the so-called father of the modern school of chess; before him, the King was considered a weak piece and players set out to attack the King directly. Steinitz claimed that the King was well able to take care of itself, and ought not to be attacked until one had some other positional advantage. He understood more about the use of squares than Morphy and contributed a great deal more to chess theory. – Bobby Fischer

The greatest development after age 21 was shown by Steinitz, who increased his rating by more than a full class interval. Steinitz was the deep student and fierce competitor to the end of his career. – Arpad Elo

Wilhelm Steinitz was the first man to appreciate the inherent logic behind the game of chess. – William Hartston

In my opinion the match with Steinitz does not have the great importance that they themselves attribute to it. For Steinitz has grown old, and the old Steinitz is no longer the Steinitz of old. – Siegbert Tarrasch (on the Lasker - Steinitz world championship match of 1894)

If Steinitz continually took pains to discover combinations, the success or failure of his diligent search could not be explained by him as due to chance. Hence, he concluded that some characteristic, a quality of the given position, must exist that would indicate the success or the failure of the search before it was actually undertaken. – Emanuel Lasker

This was undoubtably a chess genius, one of the greatest who has ever lived. And, which I respect in him most, he rated chess highly as an art. The struggle with him forced me to endure both minutes of intense pleasure , and periods of despondency. - Mikhail Chigorin

I am not a chess historian - I myself am a piece of chess history, which no one can avoid. I will not write about myself, but I am sure that someone will write... - William Steinitz

Chess is not for the faint-hearted; it absorbs a person entirely. To get to the bottom of this game, he has to give himself up into slavery. Chess is difficult, it demands work, serious reflection and zealous research. Only honest, impartial criticism leads to the goal. Unfortunately many regard the critic as an enemy, instead of seeing in him a guide to the thruth... - William Steinitz

Steinitz was a thinker worthy of a seat in the halls of a university. A player, as the world believed he was, he was not; his studious temperament made that impossible; and thus he was conquered by a player and in the end little valued by the world, he died. - Emanuel Lasker

It was Steinitz who was the first to establish the basic principles of general chess strategy. He was a pioneer and one of the most profound researchers into the thruth of the game, which was hidden from his contemporaries. - Jose Raul Capablanca

That which Steinitz gave to the theoretical aspect of the game when he was at his best is very remote to all out home-bred chess philosophers, but with his views on Morphy, whom he tries to discredit completely, it is of course impossible to agree. - Alexander Alekhine

Steinitz's book knowledge didn't compare with Morphy's, and - where Morphy was usually content to play a book line in the opening - Steinitz was always looking for some completely original line. He understood more about the use of squares than did Morphy, and contributed a great deal more to chess theory. - Robert Fischer

The significance of Steinitz's teaching is that he showed that in principle chess has a strictly-defined, logical nature. - Tigran Petrosian

His teaching became a turning point in chess history: it was from Steinitz that the era of modern chess began. The contribution of the first world champion to its development is comparable with the great scientific discoveries of the 19th century. - Garry Kasparov

Believing religiously in the defensive properties of his cramped, but unweakened positions, Steinitz considered it his duty to refute gambits and he would often deliberately provoke an attack against his king. - Garry Kasparov

He developed complete strategic trends in the opening and the middlegame, based on his theory of accumulating small advantages. A classic example of such an innovation is his 'Steinitz Variation' in the French Defence. - Garry Kasparov

Steinitz was the first to realise that chess, despite being a complicated game, obeys some common principles. Up to his time chess players understood only individual themes. - Vladimir Kramnik

Steinitz was strong in practice. He had deep thoughts and imaginative ideas. For instance, he stated that the king was a strong piece, able to defend itself. This idea is really imaginative and even true in some cases but it is not a part of the classical basis of the game. - Vladimir Kramnik

K Hamppe vs Steinitz, 1859 
(C29) Vienna Gambit, 23 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs A Sellman, 1885 
(C11) French, 35 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs Meitner, 1860 
(C55) Two Knights Defense, 26 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs Lang, 1860 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 23 moves, 1-0

Reiner vs Steinitz, 1860 
(C44) King's Pawn Game, 18 moves, 0-1

K Hamppe vs Steinitz, 1860 
(C27) Vienna Game, 31 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Lang, 1860 
(C37) King's Gambit Accepted, 19 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs A Mongredien, 1862 
(B01) Scandinavian, 29 moves, 1-0

Dubois vs Steinitz, 1862 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 37 moves, 0-1

Blackburne vs Steinitz, 1863 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 40 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs A Mongredien, 1862 
(B06) Robatsch, 22 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs Rock, 1863 
(000) Chess variants, 18 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs Blackburne, 1862 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 57 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs P Duffy, 1865 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 26 moves, 1-0

Anderssen vs Steinitz, 1866 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 43 moves, 0-1

Anderssen vs Steinitz, 1866 
(C51) Evans Gambit, 44 moves, 0-1

M Hewitt vs Steinitz, 1866 
(C23) Bishop's Opening, 26 moves, 0-1

Bird vs Steinitz, 1866 
(A02) Bird's Opening, 18 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Paulsen, 1870 
(C25) Vienna, 36 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs Zukertort, 1872 
(C37) King's Gambit Accepted, 45 moves, 1-0

S Rosenthal vs Steinitz, 1873 
(C46) Three Knights, 38 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Anderssen, 1873 
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 26 moves, 1-0

H C Plunkett vs Steinitz, 1875 
(C57) Two Knights, 41 moves, 1-0

Blackburne vs Steinitz, 1876 
(C45) Scotch Game, 51 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Blackburne, 1876 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 34 moves, 1-0

Blackburne vs Steinitz, 1876 
(C45) Scotch Game, 66 moves, 0-1

Blackburne vs Steinitz, 1876 
(C45) Scotch Game, 67 moves, 0-1

Anderssen vs Steinitz, 1873 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 45 moves, 0-1

Englisch vs Steinitz, 1883 
(C60) Ruy Lopez, 43 moves, 0-1

Zukertort vs Steinitz, 1886 
(D44) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 38 moves, 0-1

Zukertort vs Steinitz, 1886 
(D10) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 46 moves, 0-1

Zukertort vs Steinitz, 1886  
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1892 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 28 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1892 
(C34) King's Gambit Accepted, 32 moves, 0-1

Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 51 moves, 0-1

Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 55 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Lasker, 1894 
(C65) Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense, 42 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs Von Bardeleben, 1895 
(C54) Giuoco Piano, 25 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1895  
(C52) Evans Gambit, 45 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Lasker, 1896 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1-0

Lasker vs Steinitz, 1896 
(C71) Ruy Lopez, 30 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs G Marco, 1896 
(D31) Queen's Gambit Declined, 33 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1889 
(C52) Evans Gambit, 36 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs C Golmayo, 1888 
(C11) French, 19 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs M Weiss, 1882  
(C00) French Defense, 36 moves, 1-0

Paulsen vs Steinitz, 1870 
(C46) Three Knights, 37 moves, 0-1

Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1892 
(A04) Reti Opening, 39 moves, 1-0

Steinitz vs G Neumann, 1870 
(C29) Vienna Gambit, 23 moves, 1-0

48 games

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