Play Like A World (Former) World Champion Tournament Attracts 18 Players

Posted: 15/10/2013 by Ian in Club News

We kicked off the “Play Like A (Former) World Champion Tournament”  tonight with 18 players.

Zukertort_SteinitzGame 1 was drawn from Zukertort vs Steinitz 1886 New York / St. Louis / New Orleans. The Polish-Jewish master Johannes Zukertort gained worldwide recognition when he won the international tournament in Paris, 1878. In 1883, he won the international tournament in London, defeating nearly every leading player in the world. Steinitz, who placed second, trailed Zukertort by three full points. After such a commanding performance, Zukertort was considered by many to be the unofficial World Champion. In 1886 these two great chess minds sat down to play what is now regarded by most chess historians as the first official World Chess Championship. The conditions were that the first player to achieve 10 wins (draws not counting) would be crowned champion. (This method, “first to 10 wins”, was to become the center of a controversy almost a hundred years later, when Fischer and FIDE came to an impasse over the World Championship format.). Steinitz suffered a series of defeats at the beginning of the match, but soon overcame his deficit. In the 20th game, Steinitz played a combination right out of the opening which netted Zukertort’s queen, forcing him to resign, ending the match with a score of 10 to 5.

The first 8 moves were played out on the board, then it was up to the players to go it alone from there. The game score (with notes by Bobby Fischer) is here>

Johannes Zukertort vs Wilhelm Steinitz Steinitz-Zukertort World Championship Match (1886) • Queen’s Gambit Declined: Modern Variation (D53) • 0-1
1. d4.d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. c5 White plays a mistake already; he should just play e3, naturally.–Fischer 6… b6 7. b4 bxc5 8. dxc5 a5 9. a3 Now he plays this fantastic move; it’s the winning move. — Fischer 9… d4 He can’t take with the knight, because of axb4.–Fischer 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Na4 e5 This kingside weakness is nothing; the center is easily winning.–Fischer 12. b5 Be6 13. g3 c6 14. bxc6 Nxc6 15. Bg2 Rb8 Threatening Bb3.–Fischer 16. Qc1 d3 17. e3 e4 18. Nd2 f5 19. O-O Re8 A very modern move; a quiet positional move. The rook is doing nothing now, but later…–Fischer 20. f3 To break up the center, it’s his only chance.–Fischer 20… Nd4 21. exd4 Qxd4 22. Kh1 e3 23. Nc3 Bf6 24. Ndb1 d2 25. Qc2 Bb3 26. Qxf5 d1=Q 27. Nxd1 Bxd1 28. Nc3 e2 29. Raxd1 Qxc3

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