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Johannes Zukertort vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Steinitz - Zukertort World Championship Match (1886), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Jan-15
Slav Defense: General (D10)  ·  1-0



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Given 29 times; par: 75 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-17-04  rochade18: All white pawns on black squares and all black pawns on white squares after move 34! There's somebody collecting games with such motives.
Apr-23-04  morphyvsfischer: That's Benjamin Lau, I believe. And if you look at the position after Black's 43rd move, all the white men on the Qside are on black squares and vice versa for the black men.
Apr-24-04  Benjamin Lau: morphyvsfischer + rochad18: thanks for all the tip! :)
Dec-30-04  fred lennox: Good game though i believe Steinitz blew a win. Instead of 28...hxg4 he could of...Ba5 29.gxh5...Bxc3 30.bxc3...Rab8 31.hxg6...fxg6 (or h6...Kh7) 32.Qd1...Qf5 threatening Rb2 then Rxf2...Kxf2 Rb2+...Kg3 Qg6+...Kh3...Rg2 then Qg3# or threatening 33...Rxc3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <fred lennox> I believe that you mean:

<<38...Ba5>> 39.gxh5 Bxc3 40.bxc3 Rab8 41.hxg6 fxg6 42.Qd1 Qf5; but after <43.Ra2!> White appears to be holding on.

Dec-30-04  Ron: Interesting posts by fred lennox and chessical.
It seems that there is merit to fred lennox's suggested move 38...Ba5. Here is a possible line: 39. gxh5 Bxc3 40. h6+ Kh7 41.bxc3 Ra8-b8 42.Ra1-a2 (chessical's idea for White) but 42. ....Bd3-b1 43.Ra1 Rb3-b2 44.Qc1 Bd3 45. Rh2 Rb2-c2 46.Qc1-g1 Qd5-a5 47. Ra-c1 Qxc3 48.Rxc2 Qxc2 49. Kh3 Rb5 50. Ng4 Rh5 51. Kg3 Rxh2 52.Nxh2 c3 It seems that Fred Lennox's suggested move is stronger than the move as actaully played by our great predecessor Steinitz
Jul-19-05  OJC: 25. h4? is the mistake that should have cost the game for Zukertort. The pawn cannot be defended and the king position is vulnerable.

38. ... hxg4 probably isn't best but Black shouldn't stand too bad after something simple like 39. ... Be7. Yet inexplicably Steinitz removes his Bishop from the key diagonal and allows Zukertort the pretty 40. Rh7! (if 40. ... Kxh7 then Steinitz loses Queen for Rook or Bishop and Queen for Rook and either Knight or Bishop).

Steinitz had a blunder-prone start to the match. Perhaps suffering from a lapse of his sunstroke?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Steinitz blows an absolutely crushing position and loses. It must have been very hard to come back from such a loss, but he managed.
Feb-26-08  Knight13: <keypusher: Steinitz blows an absolutely crushing position and loses. It must have been very hard to come back from such a loss, but he managed.> I agree. It was positionally 0-1. Too bad Zukertort managed to sneak through.
Aug-09-08  just a kid: I just didn't believe steinitz lost this game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: 47. Rxf6 1-0

click for larger view

It's mate in 8. There are several ways for black to die from here. Here's one ...

47 ... Rxf6 48. Qh4 Bf1+ 49. Kg1 Bh3 50. Rxh3 Kf8 51. Qxf6+ Ke8 52. Rh8# 1-0

click for larger view

Mar-18-09  WhiteRook48: 47...Rxf6... figured 48 Qh4 would win
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: This game is very aesthetically pleasing. The piece and pawn positions are unique and beautiful. I also can't believe Steinitz lost this game.
Jul-04-10  ughaibu: How about 39....f5? If white plays 40.Ne5, then 40....g5 looks fun, eg 41.fg5 f4 etc, otherwise 41....g4
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: Here is a video history of this Match

Wilhelm Steinitz: Chess Champion-Part four

Aug-05-10  soothsayer8: Wow, what a counterattack, great last move by Zukertort, I didn't immediately see the winning combo.
Jun-01-11  hudgreen: at

click for larger view

Steinitz is winning, but it is equal at

click for larger view

Jul-22-14  Murphinsky: After 19.Ba4 can black try ...Rc8 instead of c4 immediately? The threat, of course, is cxd, winning. The tactical idea I have is that Qxa5 is met with Ra8, which seems to win the bishop on a4. The only resource in such a line I see is something like Qxb6 Qxb6 Bxd7 where I think I still like black because as in the game, white's pieces lack harmony
Jul-22-14  Murphinsky: Also, I am not such a huge fan of 21...Bd6. The idea seems to be better executed via 21...h5, threatening h4 and Ne4, and the importance of the move order is that 22.h4 Bd6! and now f3 is not available because the knight will hang and black seems to have a cleaner version of the desired pressure than seen in the game
Nov-22-14  Ke2: this is a high quality game knowing these guys. steinitz's weak 38th and 39th (better is 38... h4 and 39... Be7) allow the brilliant shot rh7+. typical of zukertort, who always stirred up combinations to get him out of trouble
Dec-23-14  Smite: Got to give the Zuke credit for hanging in there, it looked like he should have resigned before the Steinitz blunder.
May-10-15  A.T PhoneHome: Despite reading your comments, especially regarding the later weak moves by Steinitz (helpful and informative, cheers!), to me it just appears to be pure witchcraft to find your way around to win with that mass of pawns and pieces in the centre.

Maybe that's just me or it is the fact that chess feels really joyful, even magical at times! Must be the latter one. :P

Jan-09-17  muthukumar001: Five pawns moves in a row (opening) won!?
Jan-22-17  Albanius: Ke2 says "better is 38... h4 and 39... Be7" but 38 ..h4 is met by 39 g5! Be7 40 Rxh4 followed by Ng4 and bringing in the QR and Q. Unless B has some magic way to break through, W is clearly better and may well be winning. By the time B queues up the Q on b7 behind the two rooks to take on b2, he would likely be mated.

B can try 40..Qd8 but
41 Rah1 Rab8
42 Kg3 and
43 Qh2 keeps control of b2, and prevents ..Qh8. W can follow with Rh7+ and Qh6, while ..Bf8 allows Rh8.

Likewise after 40 ..Rh8 41 Rxh8 Kxh8 42 Rh1+ Kg7 W can play similarly Ng4, Kg3, Qh2
For example 43 Ng4 Rg8 44 Kg3 Rh8 45 Rh8+ Kh8 46 Qh2+ Kg7 47 Qh6+ Kg8 48 Nf6+ Bf6 49 gf6 and Qg7#

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