22 March 2013

Lesson of the Week

Wiliiam Steinitz became the first official World Champion in 1886 when he defeated Johann Zukertort in a match for that title. But after defeating Adolf Anderssen in a match in 1866, many began to refer to him as the World Champion.

Steinitz played in the reckless attacking style of his contemporaries until his play went through an observable change in the Vienna tournament of 1873, in which he tied for first with Joseph Henry Blackburne. Steinitz explained the principles of his new manner of play in his chess columns for The Field, and later for the International Chess Magazine, and in books, such as The Modern Chess Instructor (1889). He called his new ideas the Modern School, but sometimes it is called the Steinitz School today. Rather than a direct attack on the king from the beginning of the game, he advocated slowly building up an advantage and then striking at the optimum moment for attack.

This week's key position comes from a game in which Steinitz sacrificed a knight to gain two connected passed pawns on the queenside. It is from a game played in the Vienna 1873 tournament.

Steinitz,William -- Fleissig,Maximilian [C11]
Vienna Vienna (2), 29.07.1873

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Nce2 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Nf3 Be7 9.Ng3 Nf8 10.Bd3 Bd7 11.Bc2 0–0–0 12.dxc5 Bxc5 13.Qe2 a5 14.a3 Qa7 15.Rb1 a4 16.Nh5 g6 17.Nf6 h6 18.Nxd7 Kxd7 19.Qb5 Ra8 20.Bxa4 Qxa4 21.Qxb7+ Ke8 22.b3 Qa6 23.Qxa6 Rxa6 24.a4 Ba7 25.Bd2 Nd7 26.Ke2 Ke7 27.Ra1 Na5 28.Rhb1 Rb8 29.b4 Nc4 30.a5 Rb7 31.Kd3 Nb8 32.Bc1 Kd7 33.Nd2 Nxd2 34.Bxd2 Kc6 35.c4 dxc4+ 36.Kxc4 Rb5 37.Rb3 Nd7 38.Rd3 Bb8

White to move 

39.Rxd7 Rxb4+ 40.Bxb4 Kxd7 41.Kb5 Ra8 42.a6 Ba7 43.Rd1+ Ke8 44.Kc6 Be3 45.Ra1 Kd8 46.Ba5+ Kc8 47.Bb6 Bxf4 48.Rd1 Bg5 49.a7 f5 50.Rd7 1–0

Beginning Tactics 18 (sample)

The final beginning tactics worksheet for 2012-2013 proved difficult. In each position, White's best move constitutes the correct answer.

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