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Adolf Anderssen vs Johannes Zukertort
"The Zukes of Hazard" (game of the day Jul-18-2009)
8th WSB Congress, Barmen (1869), Barmen GER, Aug-08
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Paulsen Variation (C51)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-07-09  psmith: <Peligroso Patzer> Could you share some of the silicon-assisted analysis showing that Black is fine after 25...Qc6?

My own short silicon-assisted analysis is showing White as doing well after 25...Qc6 26. Rcg1 Qxf6 27. Ng5.

Sep-07-09  Boomie: <psmith: <Peligroso Patzer>>

Black is toast after 24...Qxd5?

24...c4 seems to be the right move.

24...c4 25. Bxc4 Rc8 26. Bd3 Rxc1+ 27. Qxc1 Kh8=

click for larger view

Sep-08-09  psmith: <Boomie>

How does Black continue after 24...c4 25. Be4?

Sep-08-09  Boomie: <psmith: <Boomie>

How does Black continue after 24...c4 25. Be4?>

Be4 is much better. White avoids the trade of rooks after Bxc4 to keep the attack going. In fact, I'm finding white winning advantages after Be4. But the lines are long and it's slow going.

So far it's fair to say that black's problems started move 24.

Nice intuition on Be4.

Sep-13-09  Boomie: <Oops: So far it's fair to say that black's problems started move 24.>

Should read <started before move 24>.

Nov-22-09  Dravus: Adolf's beer, brewed in the Rockies, beats Zukertort's pastry.
Apr-06-10  Atking: <nimh> could you check also 21.g5? I'm under the impression White could give his queen after. 21...NxNf3 22.gxf NxQ (22...Qxf6 23.BxQ NxQ 24.Rxg7+ Kh8 25.Rf7+ Kg8 26.Nh6#) 23.Rxg7+ Kg8 24.f7(Rg8 mate is strong) Even if we suppose the exchange of Bc8 for Nf5 - with now a white pawn on f5, White attack looks terrible.

Perfect or not, nevertheless a great game of the XIX century.

Aug-13-10  Grantchamp: Qxh7!!
Jun-12-11  JoergWalter: < nimh: Rybka 2.4 mp, AMD X2 2.01GHz, 10 min per move, threshold 0.33. Anderssen 2 mistakes:
15.Kh1 -0.56 (15.Nf4 -0.19)>

Can you provide details to rybka's recommended 15.Nf4 instead of Kh1? 15.Kh1 is required - any other move will turn the attack over to black according to Zukertort. Thanks.

May-04-12  JoeHatter: HI everybody, I just started trying to analyze some old games to sharpened my rusty skill, and came across this one.... I feel that I can see why everything is played the way it is, until moves 12-15?

particularly moves 13. Ne2 & 15. Kh1... I can't see what purpose either is looking to accomplish? It there meaning behind these, or are they just a "I have superior position/development, so I'm just going to pass some time here" sort of thing?

Premium Chessgames Member
  penarol: <JoeHatter> Looking how the game follows after those moves, one can see that 15.Kh1 was part of the winning procedure, occupying the g column with the rook, etc. And the Ne2-g3-f5 also played a key role.
Jul-02-13  morfishine: While Anderssen is one of my favorite players, Zukertort made way too many sub-par moves
Nov-01-13  Isilimela: @nimh. Thanks. It's interesting to see what the 'silicon monsters' have to say about these old masterpieces!
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: Did White announce mate?
Apr-20-14  john barleycorn: after move 28....Qd6:

<Anderssen kündigte hier "ohne Erbarmen" Matt in fünf Zügen an.>

Chess trivia I would say.

Apr-20-14  john barleycorn: This is how Paulsen played his defense

Anderssen vs Paulsen, 1862

And here we see Steinitz missing 15....f6 in the Paulsen defense

Anderssen vs Steinitz, 1866

Jul-06-15  sfm: Cute that Zukertort resigns after 28.-,Qd6. They will both have seen the end in seconds.
Jul-06-15  RookFile: Just a good old boys... never meaning no harm....
May-06-16  andrea volponi: 24...c4!!-Axc4 Cxc4-Txc4=
Nov-23-16  andrea volponi: 24...c4-25g6!!
Aug-06-17  KingG: I wonder if Anderssen picked up the idea of attacking with Kh1, Rg1, and g4 from Morphy's game with Paulsen, which was played 12 years earlier: Paulsen vs Morphy, 1857
Feb-01-23  andrea volponi: 22...kh8!-nxg7 kxg7-g5 f5-qb2 f4-rgg1 nc6-dxc6 qxd3-qxe5+ kg8-nh4 qd4-qxb8 qxf2-qe5 qxh4-qd5+ kg7-qe5+ =.
Feb-08-23  generror: This was yet another fun and fascinating game to analyze!

First it was nice to see that by now, the top players actually played really decent openings. It's amazing how much progress top-level chess had made in the generation since the La Bourdonnais - McDonnell match, which wasn't really that hot, but at least fueled international communication and the beginnings of chess theory as we know it. Stockfish doesn't really like the Evans Gambit nor <10.Bb2>, but up to the 15th move, both players played really well.

Stockfish also doesn't like how Anderssen prepares his kingside attack -- but the thing is that he actually *prepares* it --, but even after Zukertort's equally well-prepared <17...b5>, it's still just -1, i.e. the Evans-gambited pawn, and after the somewhat premature <18...b4?> and <19...Bb6?!> (D), the positions are again equal. Personally, I thought that especially the latter move is a significant mistake -- the bishop and the a5-knight are effectively out of play, and as the game will show, they will remain this way until the bitter end and be the main reason for Zukertort's quick loss.

click for larger view

With the well-timed <20.g4!> (Stockfish would have played it even a move earlier), Anderssen finally starts his kingside attack, but it's only after <23...Bxf5?> that Stockfish begins to show a significant advantage for White. Instead it would have been absolutely essential to play <23...c4!> here to get those queenside pieces back into the game and generate some counterplay. Same goes for his next two moves, which further reduce the evaluation by a couple of pawns each -- each time, Stockfish and I agree that <...c4> would have been best.

<25...c4!> (D) is especially interesting, because White now has one and only one way to keep his advantage: <26.Bxc4! Qxd2 27.Bxf7+ Kxf7 28. Nxd2 Kxf6 29.Rf3>. Every other move leads to equality or an advantage for black. (It's nearly a swindle, although I agree that the winning move is pretty much forced.)

click for larger view

But as it is, Zukertort doesn't have any kind of counterplay, so Anderssen can peacefully build up his attack, and after <26...Kh8??>, Stockfish says it's +16 -- in other words, mate is only a question of time (and not blundering horribly). Zukertort seems to hope that he can use the enemy g-pawn as a shield -- it's one of my favourite tactics and often works wonderfully (I can literally hear my opponents scream in impotent rage XD), but I have already learned that it doesn't work not when the enemy g-pawn is on the 7th rank (and even less if half your army is chilling on the opposite wing).

And so it's over pretty quick; after <28...Qd6>, Anderssen announced a really nice mate in 5 which goes <29.Qxh7+! Kxh7 30.f6+! Kg7 31.Bh7+! Kxh7 32.Rh3+ Kg7 33.Rh8#>.

I found it very instructive to see that Zukertort's defeat essentially hinged on one single pawn push that would have mobilized his pieces which he kept not playing. I'm slowly beginning to think that piece mobility is the top strategic priority, as pretty much every other strategic guideline can be reduced to it. If I could ever be motivated to write another crappy chess engine (it's not that hard actually), I'll experiment with one that uses piece mobility as the only evaluation criterium (maybe with a little pawn structure evaluation on top), I'm pretty sure it will be quite decent.

But it was also interesting to see that even good old Anderssen had, by the late 1860s, changed his attacking style. He still was good at it (that mating combination isn't the most amazing, but you still have to find it OTB), but he now obviously took care in grounding his attack in a solid position. Seems that Steinitz wasn't the only one, although he may have been the only one to be religious about it :)

Feb-10-23  andrea volponi: 2 4...c4! -Be4! c3 -Qe2 Rd7! -gxf6 Qxf6 -Ng5 Nb7 -Nxh7! Kxh7 -Qh5+ Kg8 -Rg6 Bd8 -Rxf6 Bxf6 -Bc2 Nd6 = .
Feb-15-23  generror: <andrea> You're right, if White offers you a knight with <29.Nxh7??>, Black can indeed equalize with <24...c4> :)

It's significantly harder though if White plays, say, <29.d6>, or <25.g6>. At least my Stockfish 14 NNUE evaluates these positions to a stable +3 at depth 30.

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