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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Joseph Henry Blackburne
Vienna (1873), Vienna AUH, rd 2, Aug-29
Anderssen Opening: General (A00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 24...Nd4 was a serious mistake but after 24...Bf6 25.Nxf6+ exf6 26.Qxf6 Bxe4 27.Bxe4 Qxe4 28.Re1 white is clearly better too.
Mar-12-06  offramp: It is unusual to see Steinitz opening with 1.a3. Blackburne gives up a pawn with 3...c5 but then seems to have second thoughts and instead of making a real gambit out of it he rushes out with his queen to get the pawn back.

By the time his queen gets back home with 10...Qd8 white has a large lead in development.

click for larger view

Steinitz gains a lot of space and Blackburne play becomes more and more surreal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Morning: Actually, both players conducted the opening poorly. Steinitz can't play 1.a3 and then expect to continue 2.d4 and 3.e4 as if he still has the White pieces--the whole point of the Anderssen is that White plays Black with a surprisingly useful a2-a3.

If we apply the ideas of the variation 1.e4,d6; 2.d4,Nf6; 3.Nc3,g6; 4.f4,Bg7; 5.Nf3,0-0; 6.Be2,c5; 7.dxd5,Qa5 to this game, we can see where Black burned himself (no pun intended). He played well with 3...c5! and 4...Qc7!, but he should have played ...Nf6 at move 6, 8, 9 or 11.

6...Nf6 (or 6...d6; 7.Be3,Qc7; 8.Nbc3,Nf6) allows an easy retreat to c7 for the Black Queen and reserves the possibility of playing ...Nbd7. The QB can deploy to b7 after ...a6 and ...b5.

May-19-06  offramp: Blackburne's Long Goodbye.
May-19-06  madlydeeply: I think Steinitz' a3 is his way of scoffing at Blackburn's pet Owen's defense (g6, Bg7). Blackburn was stubburn enough to go through with it anyway...I can see two furious balding beard-shaggy men furiously puffing away at their pipe and cigar with the forehaeads sweating and wheezing and angry crazy fierce squinty eyes in a true Sumo style staredown...

probably wasn't exactly like that...

May-19-06  ganstaman: Owen's defense is b6 and Bb7, while g6 and Bg7 is the Modern/Robatsch/50 other names. But the description, I'm pretty sure that's accurate enough.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Steinitz gains a lot of space and Blackburne play becomes more and more surreal.> Good summary!
Aug-08-08  jimx: "Madlydeeply: I can see two furious balding beard-shaggy men furiously puffing away at their pipe and cigar with the forehaeads sweating and wheezing and angry crazy fierce squinty eyes in a true Sumo style staredown...

probably wasn't exactly like that..."

I think it might have been very similar to that actually. These two men had a long standing feud and they were still probably treating each other with contempt in 1873. Here's an interesting read about it -

(it's probably been quoted in other Steinitz/Blackburne games, my apologies if so)

Dec-18-09  ariel el luchador: año 1873 las negras trrataron de jugar en forma hipermoderna pero les salió mal ,una partida olvidable
Aug-23-10  fetonzio: haha a3 to finish off a monster tournament
Sep-03-12  ariel el luchador: No entiendo porque jugó tan mal el desempate Blackburne , estoy seguro que si a alguien que no conozca las partidas les ponen estas partidas y las 2 que jugó en la primera ronda todos dirían que las 2 últimas partidas son de un queso jugando contra Steinitz.
Dec-02-12  pureredwhiteblu: I was playing the Endless Chess Quiz on and read this: "Joseph Blackburne was nicknamed 'The Black Death', given to him by a comment in the tournament book of Vienna 1873. He was known for his temper. After losing to Steinitz in a match, he threw him out of a window. Luckily for Steinitz that they were on the first floor"

- I can only assume that it was due to this game.

Mar-01-16  zanzibar: <Am nächsten Morgen hatte Steinitz den ersten Zug. Er zog, wohl mit Vorbedacht jeder buchgeläufigen Eröffnung ausweichend, 1. a2-a3 worauf Blackburne g7-g6 erwiederte. Blackburne spielte die Eröffnung schlecht; er verlor unnütz Zeit und war nach etwa 10 Zügen um so viel weniger und schlechter entwickelt als sein Gegner, dass sich der Ausgang der Partie voraussehen liess. Steinitz dagegen manövrirte ausgezeichnet. Wie in der ersten Partie so wusste er auch in dieser die gegnerische Rochade durch einen Läuferzug zu hemmen; er überstürzte den Angriff nicht, sondern sicherte sich erst selbst nach allen Seiten, ehe er den directen Sturm auf das schwache feindliche Centrum eröffnete, welche nur kurzen Widerstand zu leisten vermochte. Noch vor Schluss der ersten Sitzung um halb zwei Uhr Mittags, capitulierte der britische Meister, und Steinitz, der damit den Match und den Kaiserpreis gewonnen, reichte dem besiegten Gegner die Freundeshand. Als der Ruf „Aufgegeben“ hinausscholl in den zweiten Saal, da stürmte die volle Menge begeistert herein und die gedrungene Gestalt unseres Steinitz hatte nicht Hände genug, um alle die zu drücken, die glückwünschend sich ihm entgegenstreckten. –>
Mar-01-16  zanzibar: Google version:

<The next morning, Steinitz had the first train. He pulled, with well Forethought each book familiar opening evasive, 1 a2-a3 whereupon Blackburne g7-g6 replied. Blackburne played the opening badly; he lost useless and time was around 10 trains so much less and less favorably than his opponent that the foresee outcome of the game left. Steinitz hand maneuvered excellent. As in the first game as he did in this The defenders castling to inhibit by a bishop move; he not rushed to attack, but secured only by itself all sides, before the weak enemy to direct storm Centrum opened, was able to afford which only brief resistance. Before closing the first meeting at half past one o'clock in the afternoon, capitulierte the British champion, and Steinitz, the order to match won and the Kaiser Price, handed the defeated enemy the Friendly hand. When the call "Abandoned" also echoed in the second Hall since stormed the full amount in excited and squat Shape our Steinitz had not hands enough to all the Press the congratulating itself held out to him. -
- tb p40-41

Worth publishing just for the line... <Steinitz had not hands enough>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  fredthebear: White's bishops on the 6th rank play a handy role in this one.

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