Hastings Chess 1895: Spot Steinitz’s Magic Move

What's Steinitz's 22nd Move as White?

Can you find the magic move that the first world chess champion Wilhelm Steinitz played in the position on the left. This game was played at the Hastings Chess Tournament in 1895. William Steinitz, became the first official world chess champion in 1886, defeating Johann Zukertort in a match played in the United States. But he was considered the world’s best chess player from 1866, when he defeated Adolf Anderssen, to 1894, when he lost to Emanuel Lasker. The game was awarded the top brilliancy prize and the award citation stated “the whole of the play was extremely artistic and beautiful, as well as brilliant.” Steinitz considered it the best game of his chess career.




Steinitz Wilhelm (CZE) – Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER)

Result: 1-0
Site: Hastings (England)
Date: 1895

[…] 1.e4 e5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.¥c4 ¥c5 4.c3 ¤f6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 ¥b4+ 7.¤c3 d5 8.exd5 ¤xd5 9.O-O ¥e6Better is9…¥xc3 10.bxc3 O-O) 10.¥g5 ¥e7 (10…£d7 11.¥xd5 ¥xd5 12.¦e1+±) 11.¥xd5 ¥xd5 12.¤xd5 £xd5 13.¥xe7 ¤xe7 14.¦e1 f6 (14…¢f8!?) 15.£e2 £d7 16.¦ac1 c6?

Better is16…¢f7 17.¤e5+! fxe5 18.dxe5 £e6 19.£f3+ ¢g6 20.¦xc7 With initiative± Bondarevsky)

17.d5! cxd5 (17…¢f7 18.dxc6 ¤xc6 19.¦cd1±) 18.¤d4 ¢f7 19.¤e6 ¦hc8

(19…¤c6 20.¤c5 £c8 21.£b5 ¦b8 (21…¤d8 22.¤d7ќ) 22.¤a6 ¦a8 23.£xd5+ ¢g6 24.¤c5 ¦d8 25.£e4+ f5 26.£h4ќ)

20.£g4! g6 21.¤g5+! ¢e8 22.¦xe7+!! ¢f8!

(22…¢xe7 23.¦e1+ ¢d8 (23…¢d6 24.£b4+ ¢c7 25.¤e6+ ¢b8 26.£f4+ќ) 24.¤e6+ ¢e7 25.¤c5+ќ)

23.¦f7+! ¢g8 24.¦g7+! ¢h8 (24…¢f8 25.¤xh7+ќ) 25.¦xh7+ ¢g8 26.¦g7+ ¢h8 27.£h4+! ¢xg7 28.£h7+ ¢f8 29.£h8+ ¢e7 30.£g7+ ¢e8 31.£g8+ ¢e7 32.£f7+ ¢d8 33.£f8+ £e8 34.¤f7+ ¢d7 35.£d6#

2 Responses to “Hastings Chess 1895: Spot Steinitz’s Magic Move”

  • claire says:

    Nice rook attack and funny continuation

  • Sebastian Wolff, Washington says:

    I want to point out something story goes that only 25 Rxh7+ was played and Bardeleben didn’t resign. He stared at 25 Rxh7+, glanced at Steinitz, and without a word got up from his chair and left the room. He didn’t come back. Tournament officials searched and found Bardeleben pacing angrily. He refues to return so Steinitz had to wait for Bardeleben’s time to run out before he could claim the win. Not only claim it – he demonstrated the final ten-move mate and the crowd cheered.

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