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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Emanuel Lasker
Nuremberg (1896), Nuremberg GER, rd 3, Jul-22
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System (C07)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-20-05  aw1988: Soltis excellently explains that Steinitz misunderstood the material relationship, compulsing him to start the suicidal plan of Qxb7.
Jun-20-05  who: compelling
Jun-20-05  aw1988: Not with five pieces aimed at the kingisde, but this is old chess.
Aug-06-05  aw1988: Er, right, compelling. My language skills are going down the tube.
Aug-06-05  paladin at large: not to worry <aw1988>, you have no trouble catching my blunders.

Speaking of misunderstanding material relationships, Capablanca made an interesting observation on Steinitz's development as a chess player, to the effect that, somewhere between Steinitz's phase where he had a grasp (perhaps too dogmatic) of positional and developmental principles, and a later phase where he seemed drawn to quirkiness - that he must have had in between these two phases, the right balance of positional rigor and inventiveness to animate his chess. I am not aware that Capablanca commented that he had identified any such period, or set of games, however.

Aug-06-05  aw1988: <paladin at large> My corrections of your blunders are most likely worse.

RE Capablanca's comment on Steinitz. Does Steinitz-Paulsen Baden Baden 1870 (1-0, 36 moves, 5. Ke2) count?

Aug-07-05  paladin at large: <aw1988> Thanks - (Steinitz-Paulsen), very possibly. Capablanca would have liked a game where the king gets out early into a heady breeze - to the extent the calculation is correct. Another aspect of that fascinating game is the early sacrifice of the exchange. I am struck by how often the great masters see the power of bishop over rook in the middle game, even from the early middle game on.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: 25.Qc7!? would have been somewhat better. If 25...Ng4, then 26.f3 with idea 26...Nxh2 27.Kf2 d4 28.Re1 dxe3+ 29.Rxe3 Rxe3 30.Kxe3 Rc4 31.Qe5 and black pieces are out of the play. That gives good chances to white to save the game. Unfortunately for white, black can play also 25.Qc7 Ng4 26.f3 Nxe3 27.g4 Nxg4! (27...Qg6 28.Rd2 is unclear) 28.fxg4 Rxg4+! 29.Kh1 (29.Nxg4 Qxg4+ and Re2 ) 29...Re2 30.Re1 Rxh2+ 31.Qxh2 Rh4 etc.
Nov-23-07  Everett: <Honza> Another potential shot at salvaging the game for white would be

25.Qc7 Ng4 26.Qd7!? when black has f6, Nxh2 or Rxe3.

26...f6 27.Qxd5+ Kh8 28.Bd4 Rxh2 29.g3 and white may hold, though it still looks grim.

26...Rxe3 27.fxe3!? Rxh2 is bad for black for the f-file is now open for white.

26...Nxh2 27.Qxd8+ Kh7 28.f3! and black is lost.

26...Rxh2 27.Qxd8+ Kh7 28.g3 and black has perpetual after ...Rh1+ Which seems the only way for black. I may be missing something.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: I love the description in Tartakower and du Mont's anthology:

<In this game we witness a contest between the Amazons. Once the mobilization is complete the two Queens take the field. But what different aims they pursue! The black Queen leads her troops in a victorious expedition while her rival goes in for distant conquests (pawn at QKt7) which in the end prove to be of no value.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <everett> In the 26. Qd7 line, Tartakower and du Mont give 26...Rxh2 27. Qxe8+ Kh7 28. g3 Rxf2 29. Bxf2 Qh2+ 30. Kf1 Qxf2#. If 28. Kf1, then 28... Rh1+ 29. Ke2 Nf6+ 30. f3 Rxd1 31. Qe5 looks unclear to me. But 28...Nf6 threatening ...Nxe8 and ...Rh1+ seems to win.

<Honza> Thanks for your really pretty analysis.

Jul-02-09  Knight13: 26. Bd4 seems to work, too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Knight13: 26. Bd4 seems to work, too.>

26....Rh1+ 27. Kf2 Qh4+ 28. g3 Qh2#. The problem with 26. Bd4 is that it gives the white king no shield on the e-file.

Nov-13-09  Ratul: I am new here. Don't you think 23 Qxb7 was the first crucial mistake? Lasker's queen was already on the h file by then. His rook was ready to move in as well after the bishop takes the h pawn. Steinitz should have perhaps played h3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: keypusher: <Ratul> Welcome! Yes, in fact according to Honza Cervenka's nice analysis from 12/23/05 White is lost after 23. Qxb7. So I agree, h3 would have been better, either on move 22 or move 23.

In the tournament book Tarrasch writes that <on 23. h3 the attack with the g-pawn would be very dangerous> but surely this would be much better than what happens in the game.

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