Saturday, December 13, 2008

Steinitz - von Bardeleben, Hastings 1895


Steinitz was past his best in 1895, but as he himself put it, “I may be an old lion, but I can still bite someone’s hand off if he puts it in my mouth.” The choleric von Bardeleben left the room after move 25 and permitted his time to expire, whereupon Steinitz demonstrated to the onlookers a brilliant 10-move mating combination.

Steinitz - von Bardeleben
Hastings 1895

C54 GIUOCO PIANO


1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 d5

A rare alternative to 7. ... Nxe4 8. 0-0, when Black may choose between 8. ... Nxc3 9. bxc3 d5 (9. ... Bxc3 10. Qbb3 has been known to favor White ince the time of Greco), and the speculative Moeller Attack, 8. ... Bxc3 9. d5, which remains unresolved after a century of analysis.

8. exd5 Nxd5 9. 0-0 Be6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Bxd5 Bxd5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Bxe7 Nxe7

Black still hopes to connect his Rooks by castling, but he will be unable to shake off the pressure on the central files. A slightly better try was 13. ... Kxe7 14. Re1+ Kf8.

14. Re1 f6 15. Qe2 Qd7 16. Rac1 c6

Allowing a powerful pawn sacrifice. Better was 16. ... Kf7; if 17. Qxe7+ Qxe7 18. Rxe7+ Kxe7 19. Rxc7+, the outcome remains uncertain, though White surely has enough pawns for the Exchange.

17. d5!

A fine move -- the d5 square, which Black has been using for his pieces, will be occupied by a Black pawn, the d4 square made accessible to White, and the c-file opened.

17. ... cxd5 18. Nd4 Kf7 19. Ne6 Rhc8 20. Qg4 g6 21. Ng5+ Ke8

(Diagram)

22. Rxe7+!


Of course the Rook cannot be captured by the Queen (22. ... Qxe7 23. Rxc8+), and 22. ... Kxe7 leads to 23. Re1+ Kd6 24. Qb4+ Kc7 25. Ne6+ Kb8 26. Qf4+. But after Black’s next move, every White piece is en prise, and mate is threatened on c1 ...

22. ... Kf8 23. Rf7+ Kg8 24. Rg7+ Kh8

No better is 24. ... Kf8 25. Nxh7+.

25. Rxh7+ 1-0

For as Steinitz immediately demonstrated, White wins after 25. ... Kg8 with 26. Rg7+ Kh8 27. Qh4+ Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Qg8+ Ke7 32. Qf7+ Kd8 33. Qf8+ Qe8 34. Nf7+ Kd7 35. Qd6 mate.

2 comments:

Fernanda said...

what is the continuation after 19 ....knight c6 ?

20 knight c5 - dame c8
21 knight x b7 - dame x b7
22 dame e6+ - king g6
23 rook x c6 - rook e8 !

????

John Hillery said...

After 19. ... Nc6 20. Nc5 Qc8 21. Qb5 Rb8 (or 21. ... Nd8 22. Nd7 Nc6 23. Qxd5+ Kg6 24. g4) 22. Na6 Ra8 (22. ... bxa6 23. Qxd5+ followed by 24. Rxc6) 23. 23. Qxd5+ Kg6 24. Nc5 Rd8 25. Qe4+ f5 25. Qh4, material is even and White has a continuing attack against the exposed Black King.