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Mikhail Chigorin vs Wilhelm Steinitz
Steinitz - Chigorin World Championship Match (1889), Havana CUB, rd 7, Jan-31
Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Slow Variation (C52)  ·  1-0



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Given 28 times; par: 57 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-28-06  blingice: Continuation please? I know it looks very precarious for black, I just don't see the right line.
Feb-28-06  sneaky pete: Bachmann (Schachmeister Steinitz) gives 34... Bd7 35.Nf6+ Kd8 36.Ng8 Rh8 37.Rf8+ Be8 38.d7.. winning. Or 34... Bd8 35.d7+ Bxd7 36.Nd6+ Ke7 37.Rf7# (Chigorin).
Feb-28-06  blingice: The first line ends with this:

click for larger view

Which leads to black losing both bishop and rook for nothing, and white gaining a queen (probably one of the largest swings of material in one combination I have seen lately).

The second one ends with a very stylish checkmate:

click for larger view

Thanks for the combos!

Dec-05-07  PADutchImprover: 13 . . . Qxe4 would be met by 14. Rae1, setting up a dangerous discovered check on the black king (e.g. White's threat of Ng6 keeps Black's king from retreating behind pawns)

34. Ne4 Threatening Nf6+

Chigorin nicely defused Black's tenacious defence throughout the middle game.

Feb-28-08  Knight13: I bet Captain William Davies Evans would've been very happy if he could kill a pirate ship like this.
Jan-31-10  kibitzwc: (1388) Chigorin,Mikhail - Steinitz,William [C52]
World Championship 2nd Havana (7), 31.01.1889
[Fritz 12 (30s)]
C52: Evans Gambit Accepted: 5 c3 Ba5 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.0–0 Qf6 7.d4 Nge7 8.Bg5 Qd6 9.d5 Nd8 10.Qa4 Bb6 11.Na3 Qg6 12.Bxe7 Kxe7 13.Nxe5 Qf6 14.Nf3 Qxc3 15.e5 c6 16.d6+ Kf8 last book move 17.Bb3 h6 [17...Kg8 18.Rab1 Qa5 19.Qf4 ] 18.Qh4 g5 19.Qh5 [19.Qe4 Ne6 20.Bxe6 fxe6 ] 19...Qd3 20.Rad1 Qh7 21.Nc2 [21.Nd4±] 21...Kg7 [21...Ne6 22.Ncd4 Nf4=] 22.Ncd4 Qg6 23.Qg4 h5 24.Nf5+ Kf8 25.Qxg5 Qxg5 26.Nxg5 h4 27.Kh1 Rh5 [27...Ne6 28.f4 Bd8 29.Nxe6+ fxe6 30.Nd4 ] 28.f4 Ne6? [¹28...Ba5 ] 29.g4 hxg3 [29...Rh8 30.Ne7 Nd8 31.f5 ] 30.Nxg3 Rh6 31.Nxf7! Kxf7 [31...Kxf7 32.f5 Passed pawn; …31...-- 32.Nxh6 Wins material] 32.f5 Ke8 [32...Kg7 33.fxe6 dxe6 34.d7 Bxd7 35.Rxd7+ Kh8 36.Rff7 ] 33.fxe6 dxe6 34.Ne4 [34.Ne4 Bd7 35.Nf6+ Kf7 36.Ng4+ Kg7 37.Nxh6 ] 1–0
Aug-21-10  soothsayer8: Sorry Steinitz, your beloved 6...Qf6? is just bad. Allows the Queen to be kicked around, slowing down black's development and giving white plenty of tempo. Black's LS bishop and rook are still in their starting spots, your could say Steinitz basically played a rook and bishop down this whole game...
Apr-04-14  Tal1949: Agreed, that Qf6 is just horrible. The other move which set the rot was 15...c6, the queen should have moved back to a5. Later on 27...Rh5 and 28...Ne6 also made his position quite unworkable.
Nov-03-16  Brainwashed: Hey, what if White plays 20.Bc2?! This sacrifices the inactive a3 Knight and leads the black Queen away for a while.
Nov-03-16  sudoplatov: I think I could have beaten Steinitz had he given me Rook and Bishop odds as he did to Chigorin. Actually I once beat a guy about 350 points above me in USCF ratings when he got into a situation where his QR and QB were out of play.
Nov-03-16  RookFile: Steinitz did this over and over. Chigorin was a genius of open game play, and in return, Steinitz kept playing ridiculous defensive setups. It's not surprising that Chigorin had a large plus with the Evans Gambit against Steinitz.
Feb-14-23  generror: <Brainwashed:> Nice suggestion! <20.Bc2!> indeed seems to be the best continuation. Stockfish initially sees it as mistake, because the queen seems to be able to come back in time, but White can find a way to keep it away with <20...Qxa3 21.Nxg5 Qb4 22.Rad1 Qf4 23.Nh3! Qc4 24.Bd3!> (D), and now White can finally continue his attack without having to trade queens.

click for larger view

This position evaluates to about +4.5, compared with about +3.5 with the text move.

Feb-14-23  generror: Steinitz vs Chigorin is an interesting match. Steinitz' philosophy aka religion worked wonders against those old-school hot-blooded romantics who apparently didn't have the patience required to crack Steinitz' position, but against Chigorin, who seems to be able to wait, it can backfire badly, and this is what we see here.

<6...Qf6?> is amazingly ugly even for Steinitz, and Chigorin exploits it by immediately putting pressure on the queenside. Steinitz could still have equalized with <10...f6!>, but after <10...Bb6? 11.Na3! Qf6?>, he is already close to losing.

In this game, Chigorin doesn't have to wait too long because Steinitz soons does one of his infamous pawn grabs (<14...Qxc3?>, his *fifth* queen move!), and an amazing positional mistake with <15.e5 c6?>), after which he definitively is on the losing side.

<15.d6+!> would have been slightly stronger, and Chigorin could also have won much faster with <19.Nxg5!> or <20.Qc2!>. His attacks threatens to fizzle out after Steinitz finally manages to trade queens, and now a Blackburne or Zukertort would have started playing silly attacking moves. Chigorin however keeps the pressure going by starting to push the kingside pawns at just the right time, and soon threatens to win Black's bishop, at which point Steinitz resigns.

I still feel Steinitz played really weak here, so it might not be the best example of the weaknesses of Steinitz' system; but I think that despite its undeniable advances over the previous romantic school, Steinitz' system was, in a way, just as limited and one-dimensional. Chess is just too rich for one simplistic philosophy to be universally successful.

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