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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Mikhail Chigorin
Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship Rematch (1892), Havana CUB, rd 16, Feb-07
Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation (C77)  ·  1-0



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Given 11 times; par: 63 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-26-06  Victoria Silverwolf: You might be interested to know that this game served as a pattern for a 1964 novel by John Brunner entitled "The Squares of the City." According to the author's afterward, each of the major characters in the novel is represented by one of the pieces, and they way they interact reflects the moves in the game. When a piece is captured, that character is killed or imprisoned, and so on. Besides this interest to chess fans, it's a good novel about politics set in a fictional South American city.
Feb-26-06  Chess Classics: Did resignation stand for anything?


Feb-27-06  Victoria Silverwolf: Hello, CC.

No, the resignation does not appear in the novel, because the novelist deliberately omits the last few moves. The narrator is the character represented by the White King's Knight, which is captured on move 35 -- the author has the character realize he is being manipulated in this way, so the plot deviates from the game. (I guess the author didn't want to kill off his hero.)

Feb-28-08  Knight13: 33...a4 34. Bxa4 is LOL.
Feb-28-08  InspiredByMorphy: <Knight13> What do you mean? If 34. ...Rxa4 35.Rd8+ Rxd8 36.Rxd8+ Ne8 37.b7 and black will lose a rook after 37. ...Rb4 38.b8(Q) Rxb8 39.Rxb8 If your laughing at blacks mistake don't.
Feb-29-08  Knight13: <InspiredByMorphy> Yeah I was laughing at Black's mistake. I guess I shouldn't since I might've played the same move.
Dec-17-08  Ulhumbrus: 30 c5 opens the a2-g8 diagonal for White's King's bishop and transforms the move Ng6 into a potential checkmate.
Jan-17-11  Llawdogg: I agree, 30 c5! is a great clearance sacrifice. It creates a dangerous passed b pawn and all the white pieces spring to life. The white bishop becomes a monster and the rooks double on the d file. Wow!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Brunner must have been a reasonably good player to see that this game had the sort of tactics - and strategy - which could be reflected in the plot of a novel. Many games would be much less suitable.
Oct-24-15  offramp: <Domdaniel: Brunner must have been a reasonably good player to see that this game had the sort of tactics - and strategy - which could be reflected in the plot of a novel. Many games would be much less suitable.>

Oh yeah?! I reckon he wrote the book first then played through 2,000,000 games to find one that fitted it.

Mar-03-18  NBZ: I just finished reading the book. I think the game was carefully chosen: it needed to be one with a closed opening and relatively few captures early on, followed by a flurry of exchanges, to mimic the development of the political story. I also think Brunner tried to be rather faithful to the chess motif: all the piece captures are there in the novel, but so are the simple developing moves. For example the bishop coming to g4 attacks f3, and in the novel the main character (who is the knight on f3) is threatened by the character representing the bishop on g4. He may have been rather too faithful to the chess game, because the novel suffers as a result. There are too many characters introduced (because of the need to have 32 pieces). Because some pieces are developed very late in the game (think of the rooks), some characters come into play very late in the novel, at a point when the reader just wants to get on with the main plot. Still, it was quite fun after finishing the book to go over the game and compare it with how the plot unfolded.
Oct-22-18  kliberummundi: Does anyone know any source with this game commented for me a leisure chess player to understand better the game? I'd like to understand this game better to read the novel "The squares of the city". Thanks heaps in advance.
Oct-29-21  Tacotopia: <kliberummundi> See pg. 219 of Craig Pritchett's "Steinitz: Move by Move" published in 2015.
Nov-28-22  Cibator: Harry Golombek included it in his "The Game Of Chess" as a sample of the mature Steinitz's play. My Penguin edition dating from 1961 (not the most recent) has it starting on p210.

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