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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Mikhail Chigorin
Steinitz - Chigorin Telegraph Match (1890), Telegraphic match, rd 2
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Polerio Defense Suhle Defense (C59)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: It is a bit surprising that this awesome game was not kibitzed yet. The decisive moment was probably the 21st move where Steinitz played 21.Kf1 with idea to unpin the Knight on c3 and play after expected 21...Bf5 22.Nd5 Qc5 23.Nxb4 Qxb4 24.Qc3 Qxc3 25.Bxc3 Nb7 26.h4 with following Nh3. But he missed or underestimated excellent 21...f3! which gave black decisive initiative. Instead of 21.Kf1 white could have tried 21.Rd1 with complex and double-edged position.

24.Nd1 could not save white for 24...Qd7 25.Be4 Rae8 with decisive attack, 25.Bxe4!? Rxf2+! 26.Qxf2 Qxe4 27.Bxg7! (27.Nf3 Rf8 28.Kg2 Nf5! is hopeless) 27...Qxh1 28.Bxh6 Qe4 is better than text but also probably insufficient. In the game black got Rook and two minor pieces for Queen with continuing initiative and this advantage he turned into win very convincingly.

Nov-06-07  Tomlinsky: Thank you for the notes Honza. It is indeed a very nicely fought battle.

How about directly contesting the pin immediately with the simple 21.a3? The same move later on proved instantly fatal not that Steintz wasn't lost already.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: <Tomlinsky> The problem with 21.a3 is that black can still play 21...f3! with continuation 22.gxf3 e3! 23.fxe3 Qh4+ 24.Kf1 Bc5 with strong initiative of black.
Nov-07-07  Tomlinsky: Yes, 21.f3 does look rather nasty. I totally missed that coupled with the follow up. Thanks again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: 9. Nh3 & 13. Ng1, where the knight spends the rest of the game doing nothing.

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