1886 World Championship Match
1886 World Chess Championship
Wilhelm Steinitz (USA) vs. Johannes Zukertort (UK)
New York / Saint Louis / New Orleans, USA
January 11 - March 29, 1886
Conditions: First to Win 10 Games becomes the
first World Champion. In the event of a 9-9 tie,
neither player is World Champion.
Result: William Steinitz becomes the 1st Official
World Chess Champion.
||10 (w/5 draws)
||5 (w/5 draws)
See the Games of the Match!
Games 1-5 were played in New York, Games 6-9 in Saint Louis, and
Games 10-20 in New Orleans.
The stakes were $2000 per side. The time limit was 30 moves in two hours,
and 15 moves an hour thereafter. Playing sessions were 8 hours a day, with
a 2 hour interval after 4 hours.
Zukertort (1842-1888) was born in Lublin, and educated in Germany, where he
studied chess under Adolph Anderssen. He was of Polish extraction,
but of course there was no Poland until 1918. By the time of this match, he had
moved to London permanently.
Steinitz had been born in Prague, lived several years in London, and
finally emigrated to the United States citizen in 1884, becoming an American
citizen and changing his name from Wilhelm to William.
This match is the first one known where the World Championship was
even claimed to be at issue. Some sources list Steinitz as World
Champion, either officially or unofficially, dating back to his
8-6 victory over Adolph Anderssen in 1866. It is unknown whether or
not Steinitz himself claimed to be World Champion at that time, though
later in life, he claimed to have been champion for 28 year (i.e.
dating back to 1866.) Since Steinitz's greatest accomplishment before
the 1866 match was a 6th place finish at London 1862, it's unlikely
that he made the claim until long after the fact.
The best evaluation of the situation was probably that given by I.A.
Horowitz: "Had Steinitz actually claimed the title at the time of his
victory over Anderssen, he would have placed himself in a position
analogous to that of John L. Sullivan [the first Heavyweight boxing
champion], who about that same time was storming into salloons and
bawling "I can lick any man in the house!" Perhaps no one would have
challenged his claim, at least not openly, but perhaps also no one
would have taken it very seriously."
In any case, according to the rules eventually agreed to for this
match, neither player was defending champion.
This match received considerable attention from the mainstream press,
which means of course that it was often written about by reporters who didn't
know the King's Indian from the Sheriff of Nottingham. Here's a sample from
The New York Times. Read this sad attempt at colour commentary, and
take a guess as to whether this guy has ever played chess before...
...Then Steinitz drew first blood by capturing the white's king's pawn
with his knight, and again calling check. The bold black knight was then
laid low by a private white soldier, who in turn was slain by a
black-mitred prelate, acting under the orders of Steinitz, who presently
brought more of his heavy artillery to bear upon this wing.
unearthed several newspaper articles reporting on the Saint Louis leg of this
first championship match. Surprisingly, it's of considerably higher quality
than the Times quote above:
"St. Louis Globe Democrat"
Wednesday, February 3, 1886, Page 5
THE CHESS MATCH
Everything is now ready for the second section of the match
between J. H. Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz, the greatest chess
players of the day. The number of games to be played here will be
at least three, and probably more. The stakes are $2,000 a side, and
the time limit is fifteen moves per hour. The umpires will be Ben
R. Foster for Steinitz and William Duncan for Zukertort. The
contest will open at Harmonie Club, Olive and Eighteenth Streets,
at 2 o'clock this afternoon. No tickets will be disposed of at the
door, and they can be secured only from the members of the
Committee on Arrangements. The New York Chess Club has made
preparations for exhibiting each move as it is telegraphed on, as
well as any interesting events of the match. The New York
Evening Telegram will have a reporter for its paper. Henry Turner,
President of the Brooklyn chess club, is in the city, and will
witness the contest.
"The first five games," says a gentleman writing from the East,
"were very unsatisfactory. Both players played badly and did
themselves no credit. The games will not bear analysis, and only
prove that earlier the players are entirely out of practice or are not
possessed of sufficient nerve to play for such high stakes, or that
they have deteriorated in their play."
Spectators will be permitted to use pocket chess boards only for
following the games, but no analysis of them is allowed and loud
conversation can not be indulged in. The Secretary of the Chess,
Checker, and Whist Club, S. M. Joseph, 103 North Broadway, will
furnish tickets on application to him. A large attendance at the
match is expected.
"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
Wednesday, February 3, 1886, Page 3
THEIR FIRST GAME STEINITZ AND ZUKERTORT,
CHESS CHAMPIONS, BEGIN THEIR ST. LOUIS SERIES
A Light Attendance at the Harmonie Club - The Ruy Lopez
Gambit Used in Opening Contest - Status of the Tourney
Quite a number of gentlemen interested in the scientific game of
chess gathered in the director's room of the Harmonie Club this
afternoon to witness the continuation of the match between J. H.
Zukertort and Wilhelm Steinitz. Amongst the strangers present
were W.H. Ripley, secretary of the Indianapolis Chess Club; Major
Henry Turner, president of the Brooklyn club; D. McAffee of the
Quincy club; Dr. E. Hoelke of Leadville, Colo.; Mr. Intrepidie of
the Manhattan club, New York; and Mr. Foster of the Baltimore
club. Arrangements had been made for the seconding of players so
that Dr. Zukertort had for his best man Mr. William Duncan, and
Steinitz, Mr. Ben R. Foster. The terms of the match are $2,000 a
side and the championship of the world, a limit of fifteen moves an
hour. The match will be continued in St. Louis until one of the
players wins three games. Five games were played in New York,
of which Dr. Zukertort won four and Steinitz one. The match will
be finished in New Orleans and will be continued until either of the
chess men shall have won ten games.
At the Hall
It was not until 1:30 that many of the chessplayers of the city
began to gather at the Harmonie club. They immediately sought the
dining room on the first floor, where six rows of eleven chairs each
had been placed for the spectators. The chairs faced the west and
the spectators followed the game from a large board with a
forty-eight inch field, elevated on an easel. Mr. Lewis Haller
manipulated the pieces on the board. The champions themselves
were to sit in the center of the reading room facing east and west
upon a platform eight feet by six, and one foot high. This platform
was placed directly in the center of the space afforded by folding
the doors which were thrown open, giving the audience a side view
of the great players who sat in such a position that they could
throw side glances out on Olive Street.
The board and pieces were loaned by Judge Chester H. Krum, the
board being of morocco with red and cream squares. The pieces
were club-size Staunton. The rules of the match required 30 moves
in the first two hours. The time was measured by a unique
arrangement of two small clocks, one for each player, hung on a
balance, like a seesaw, and so adjusted that neither would run
unless it was depressed. Each second looked after the clock of his
champion, and as soon as the play was made pressed down his
clock, and the time of the move began to be ticked off.
At 2 o'clock the distinguished players had not arrived, but the
following gentlemen were among the fifty persons present:
Wallace Delafield, Maj. Humphreys, Max Judd, Isador Judd, L.
Hellman, Judge Woerner, D.V. Haydel, Fred Cochran, Ed Martin,
A.H. Robbins, William E. Ware, W.F. Woerner, Col. Rowley,
S.M. Joseph. Mr. Steinitz had chosen the white, and Mr. Zukertort
the black men.
The two players arrived at the hall about 2:15 pm and the game
was started about fifteen minutes after. It will seem that Steinitz,
who opened first, used the well known Ruy Lopez gambit. After
sixteen moves, Steinitz was acknowledged to have a shade of an
"St. Louis Globe Democrat"
Thursday, February 4, 1886, Page 8
DR. ZUKERTORT YIELDS A GAME TO HIS OPPONENT
The Most Skillful Game of the Chess Tournament Played in St.
Louis - A Remarkable Exhibition of Science in the Royal Game
The opening of the series of be played in St. Louis between the
chess giants Dr. J. H. Zukertort and Herr Wilhelm Steinitz for the
championship of the world and $2,000 stakes was played yesterday
afternoon before an audience composed of well-known local chess
amateurs and visiting members of other chess clubs. The first part
of the game occurred in the Director's Room of the Harmonie
Club, where play was continued until 7 o'clock, when an
adjournment was made until 8:30 to the chess club's quarters on
Olive Street, it being impossible to have the Director's parlors for a
There were present among the spectators several prominent local
players as well as a number from other cities. Among these were
W.H. Ripley, Indianapolis, Ind.; C.M. Tucker, Pittsfield, Ill.;
Henry Twiner, Brooklyn Chess Club; D. Martin, Toledo; Charles
Intrepidie, Manhattan Chess Club of New York; Ernst Hoelke,
Leadville, Colorado Chess Club; Max Judd, Isidor Judd, Wallace
Delaney, A.H. Robbins, A. Judd, Col. Rowley, Albert Blair, Maj.
M.C. Humphrey, F.E. Haydel, B.G. Woodward, Prof C.M.
Woodward, Rev. Passart, B. Leobner, Dr. C.D.N. Campbell, S.M.
Joseph, A. Hellnian, Judge Warner, Grant Tilden, William E.
Ware, Lewis Haller, E.S. Rowse, and Judge Krum.
Cause of the Challenge
The match, a portion of which will be witnessed by the St. Louis
chess world, is the outgrowth of the success which Dr. Zukertort
achieved in 1883 at the great London chess tourney. Prior to that
event Herr Steinitz had borne off the honors alike at the tourneys
and single matches in which both had taken part. Herr Steinitz won
the tournament in 1872 in which Zukertort was an adversary, the
outcome of which was a private match between them in which
Herr Steinitz won seven games to Dr. Zukertort's one. In the
Vienna Congress of Chess Players in 1882, the first prize was
awarded to Steinitz, the second prize winner on that occasion being
Mason, an American player also, while Dr. Zukertort was fourth.
In the tourney of 1883, Steinitz and Zukertort each won one game
while playing together, and it was after this last meeting between
them that the desire was expressed to see them face to face in a
grand match to decide the championship. But difficulties
interposed, and over-zealous adherents prevented the
commencement of such a contest until agreeing to joint
sponsorship by chess clubs, among them the local organization. A
tempting fund was raised and everything at last satisfactorily
settled. A meeting of the principals was held in New York, at
which the agreement under which the present games are being
played was made, and a knowledge of the main features of the
contract will materially aid a thorough understanding of the game.
Terms of the Contest
The agreement provides that Mr. Wilhelm Steinitz of New York
and Dr. J.H. Zukertort of London shall play a match of chess
for the chess championship of the world and a stake of $2,000 a
side; that the said match shall be determined by either player
winning ten games, drawn games not counting; that up to a point
where either party shall have scored four won games shall be
played under the auspices of the Manhattan Chess Club of New
York, and that the second part of the match, up to the point
where either player shall have added three won games to the
score of victories made previously in New York, shall be played
under the auspices of the St. Louis Chess, Checkers, and Whist
Club, and the second part of the match shall begin within one
week after the conclusion of the first part of the match at New
York. The third and last part of the match shall be played in
New Orleans under the auspices of the Chess, Checker, and Whist
Club of that city, the last part to begin within two weeks
after the conclusion of the second part of the match at St.
Louis. Should the score of the match reach the credit of nine
games won the each, in such case the match shall be declared a
drawout. The time limit for each game shall be thirty moves
during the first two hours of each game, and fifteen moves an
hour thereafter. Three games are to be played in each week,
adjourning games to finished on the day following the
commencement of each adjourned game, which would otherwise be a
day of rest. The duration of play shall be the minimum of eight
hours on days of play, unless the game be finished in a shorter
time, with an intermission of two hours after four hours of
play. In case of real illness, proved by medical certificate,
either player may claim a rest for three playing days during
the match, either in succession or on separate occasions.
Property right in the record of all games played in the match
shall inure to each player, who shall have the right of
publishing any or all of the games during the match, and of a
collection of games after the match, and each of the players
may obtain copyright of each game, both in America or
elsewhere. Neither player shall, however, have any commercial
claims on his opponent's published games or corrections
thereof. In addition the following rules were formulated and
are being adhered to in the games.
1. Each contestant is to have an umpire to act during each of
the three divisions of the match, these umpires to be members
of the club under the auspices of which the match is played.
These umpires are to settle all disputes between the players
subject to a final decision, on appeal, by the referee.
2. The games to be played within an enclosure only accessible
to the players, the umpires, and the officers of the club
having supervision of the games.
3. Spectators are to keep entire silence during the playing of
games; but they may use pocket chess boards for the purpose of
following the games; but they must not analyze or discuss games
while in progress.
4. Neither player must leave the enclosure during the hours
appointed for play, except in case of an adjournment.
5. Either player who shall analyze a pending game by himself
over a board or with others without a board forfeits the game
6. The games shall be governed by the code of chess laws
published in the last edition of the German Handbuch of Chess,
with the exception in the case of both players repeating the
same series of moves six times in succession, in which case a
draw may be claimed.
7. Either player guilty of any act of offense or annoyance to
his adversary is liable to a fine of $10. Any action by either
which shall delay the progress of the match or injuriously
affect the financial results in any way, either as regards
expenses or receipts, renders the offender liable of a flat
rate of $50 to $100.
8. The right to publish the games and to copyright an analysis
of the games of the match is reserved to the two contestants.
Opening the Tournament
It was several minutes after 2 o'clock - the time set for the
commencement of the game - when a small man enveloped in a
heavy overcoat crossed the threshold of the club and was
introduced as "Dr. J. H. Zukertort." He was a queer-looking
little man with black hair, sandy whiskers and mustache, and
shoulders too high up to look natural. He removed his coat and,
after ordering a cup of black coffee, took a look at the chess
table and board. He seemed thoroughly satisfied with
arrangements. This was not the case however, with Herr Steinitz
who objected to the board which had been furnished by Judge
Krum on the grounds that the field bore white and red spots,
while he could see nothing but white and black. The table had
been placed upon an elevated platform and was an elegant
affair. After protracted search, the table of Max Judd was
found and substituted. This proved satisfactory and everything
was now ready for the play to begin. Both men appeared to be
exceedingly nervous as they seated themselves at the table for
the commencement of the battle. These players are not unlike in
stature but Herr Steinitz is much the heavier of the two. Dr.
C. D. N. Campbell, in the absence of Mr. Ben Foster, was
appointed to umpire Steinitz's game, while Mr. William Duncan
looked after Dr. Zukertort. Steinitz chose the white and made
the first move.
Watching the Game
From this time all interest was with the players. Dr. Zukertort
proved himself the most nervous player of the two, his
deliberations not occupying half as much time as his
opponent's. The game from the first slightly favored Steinitz.
There were moments during the play when the excitement was
noticeable in the audience. The solution of some delicate
problem, or unlooked for release from what appeared to amateurs
to be a doomed position, would cause agitated comment among the
spectators. Handbooks for keeping track of the game were
plentifully used, and in one corner of the room the well-known
chess playing family of Judds figured on the probable moves,
and speculated on the outcome of the play. To any one to whom
the intricate moves of the chess men were unknown there was
little of interest, but the chess players were getting pointers
by the score. It was pronounced the finest game of the series
so far played, and abounded in dangerous situations and
The Evening Session
The evening session of the contest was by far the most
interesting of the two and the large crowd of spectators were
highly entertained. The lead which Steinitz had from the first
increased with the progress of the game and on the sixty-first
move placed the pieces in such a condition that the little
Russian chess player was unable to extricate himself from the
difficulty. The game was declared in favor of Herr Steinitz.
Congratulations followed, and then the leading players present
began an investigation of the tries which both the champion
players have advocated and followed out. Steinitz developed his
pet theory with good results. For many years he advocated the
theory of openings, or what is known as "modern chess." He
gradually developed his game and by adroit cunning won a pawn,
holding on to it until by its aid he induced his great opponent
to resign. The close of the game, from the moment the pawn was
won, exhibited the fact that Herr Steinitz was capable of
carrying out his theory, although advocates of Morphy condemn
it and pronounce it unfeasible.
There is one thing in a mechanical way which excited great
comment and admiration, and that was the little see-saw clock
by means of which the playing time of each player is
automatically recorded. The instrument is easily described: Two
small clocks at the extremity of a silver plank are so
constructed that when one end is down - as the plank is
suspended at the center - that clock will record the time. When
a game commences both clocks are set at the same hour, minute,
and second, and when a player moves, he pushes down his end of
the see-saw clock and it ceases to run. The record of time is
made because of regulations stating that during the first two
hours at least thirty moves must be made, and fifteen every
hour thereafter. These little monitors only work while the
great players are in a brown study, trying to decipher some
intricate position. The next meeting of the giants will be on
Friday afternoon in Harmonie Hall on Olive Street at 2 o'clock.
Steinitz - Zukertort (6) 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O
Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Nxe5 7. Rxe5+ Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Bd3 (a)
Bf6 10. Re3 g6 11. b3 Re8 12. Qf3 Bg5 13. Rxe8+ Nxe8 14. Bb2 c6
15. Ne4 Be7 16. Qe3 d5 17. Qd4 (b) f6 18. Ng3 Be6 19. Re1 Ng7
20. h4 Qd7 21. h5 Bf7 22. hxg6 Bxg6 23. Qe3 Kf7 24. Qf4 Re8 25.
Re3 Ne6? (c) 26. Qg4 Nf8 27. Nf5 (d) Bc5 28. Nh6+ Kg7 29. Nf5+
Kf7 30. Nh6+ Kg7 31. Nf5+ Kf7 32. Nh6+ Kg7 33. Nf5+ Kf7 34.
Nh6+ Kg7 35. Bxg6 Qxg4 36. Nxg4 Rxe3 37. fxe3 Kxg6 38. Nxf6 (f)
Bb4 39. d3 Ne6 40. Kf2 h5 41. g4 h4 42. Nh5 Bd6 43. Kg2 c5 44.
Bf6 Ng5 45. Bxg5 Kxg5 46. Kh3 Be5 47. Nf4 d4 48. Ne6+ Kf6 49.
exd4 cxd4 50. Nc5 Kg5 51. Nxb7 Kf4 52. Na5 Bf6 53. Nc6 Ke3 54.
Nxa7 Kd2 55. Nc6 Kxc2 56. a4 Kxd3 57. Nb4+ Ke2 58. a5 Be7 59.
Nd5 (g) Kf3 60. Nxe7 d3 61. Nd5 1-0. (3:33/1:53)
(a) One of Herr Steinitz's innovations which gave a
satisfactory result. He has done much for chess in inventing
odd moves, and this is one of them. (b) White now has a fine
attacking position and the advantage. (c) This move Dr.
Zukertort considers was a most stupid one and gives white the
best of the game. (d) A critical position, consequently White
deliberated twenty minutes on this reply which, if it proved to
be unsound, would have turned the scales to black's advantage.
(e; no cross-reference) White had to make three moves in about
five minutes, which will explain why he gave so many checks.
(f) Steinitz wins a pawn, and with it the game. (g) 59.a6
giving up the knight would win, but the winner of the pawn did
not prefer to give his opponent any chance for a draw.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Thursday, February 4, 1886, Page 5
SECURED BY STEINITZ
THE SIXTH GAME IN THE CHESS TOURNAMENT
RESULTS IN ZUKERTORT'S DEFEAT
A Rattling Contest Opens the St. Louis Series
Great Interest Among Local Players
The Official Record of the Moves
Steinitz Getting Into His Old Form
The morning papers, in their report of the Steinitz-Zukertort
chess match at the Harmonie club yesterday, differ so
materially in respect to several moves that the following
record of each move, compiled from the official score taken
from Mr. S.M. Joseph, is here presented as the correct account
of this brilliant game.
As was stated in the Post-Dispatch last evening, in announcing
the first sixteen moves, the opening by Steinitz was the well
known Ruy Lopez which, though considered a very safe one, was
handled in a masterly manner by the white, who began to drive
his opponent toward the wall by the sixteenth move. The game
was played at the Harmonie club until 7 p.m. when, after
recess, an adjournment was taken on the forty-sixth move to the
rooms of the Chess, Checker, and Whist club at Eighth and Olive
Streets, owing to the previous engagement of the rooms at the
Harmonie for the evening. the games hereafter will be played
entirely at the Harmonie club. the next contest will take place
tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock and the third in the series on
Monday. The conditions of the match requirethat one of the
players shall win in St. Louis at least three games.
Steinitz has played chess the longer. Max Judd thinks Zukertort
is still a pretty sure winner. Four ladies were present at the
afternoon session at the Harmonie. Zukertort admitted that he
lost the game on the twenty-fifth move. When Zukertort gets
deeply absorbed, he puts on a pair of eye-glasses. In just an
even hour after the start, Zukertort got up and began to pace
the floor. Wallace Delafield kept order by cautioning excited
players against talking too loud. The only stimulant the
champions take is coffee which they sip from a stand at their
side. After the game last night, Zukertort was crusty and went
home, but Steinitz stayed and played whist. S.M. Joseph was the
pink of courtesy and earned the title of "daisy." He kept the
Associated Press bulletin, and kept it straight. Both men are
under 5 feet 5 inches tall and when they sat down at the high
table, the spectators said, "The table's not too big, the men
are too small." Neither champion can give Max Judd a single
piece and beat him. In fact, Max beat Zukertort several games
when the latter was here a year ago. "A boss move," said Mr.
Joseph as Steinitz played his twenty-sixth. "And another boss,"
he continued as the white checked with the knight on the
fifty-seventh. Max Judd, the local champion, would give no
running commentary. "The game's too deep. No good chess player
will express an opinion as yet," he remarked on the
thirty-seventh move. The numerous checks of Steinitz, beginning
on the twenty-first move were compelled by the fact that his
time was nearly exhausted, as the rules require thirty moves in
the first two hours. Steinitz generally keeps his hands on his
lap under the table, but Zukertort often leans his head on his
left hand. This been done so much that his right shoulder has
got a decided hump. Steinitz said yesterday that he had learned
the intricacies of the queen's gambit by recent analysis and
was now so well posted on it that if Zukertort opens his next
game with pawn to queen's fourth, he (Steinitz) will surely
beat him or make a draw. Steinitz has been attacking Zukertort
bitterly in his chess magazine the past six months, but since
they have been playing in this match they have been growing
more friendly, and Joseph says that Steinitz called his
opponent "Zukey" yesterday. The score now is Zukertort 4 games,
Steinitz 2 games. It is pretty generally believed that Steinitz
is getting back into his old form and is going to defeat the
doctor. The only previous match the two ever played together
was in London in 1878 when Steinitz won seven in a series of
St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Friday, February 5, 1886, Page 2
STEINITZ GETS IT
Zukertort Gives Him the Opening for Which
He Was Yearning
The second St. Louis game in the great chess match between
Zukertort and Steinitz began this afternoon at the Harmonie
Club. The time set for the beginning of the game was 2 o'clock,
and long before that hour about a half dozen gentlemen gathered
in the hall and looked expectedly at the big board placed
before them. In the room where the players sit, Mr. S.M.
Joseph, C.F. Wadsworth, chess editor of the Auburn Citizen,
Auburn, Ill; Max Judd, and the seconds of the players stood
around and discussed the merits of the last game and the
probability of the winning man in the game today. The seconds
remained the same as in the first game, viz.: Messrs, Duncan
and Foster, and Dr. Campbell and Isador Judd as substitutes. As
the hand of the clock approached the hour the audience began to
increase perpectibly and those gentlemen whose perspectives to
chess are well known began to stroll in by the twos and threes.
Amongst those present were Albert Blair, Rudolph Koerper, C.M.
Tucker of Pittsfield, Ill., Dr. L. Haydel, Mr. Wetherall, Fred
Gabel, I.B. Pachall, and Col. R.G. Rowley. Steinitz arrived
early and seemed confident and serene. He employed himself by
pacing up and down the players' room with his eyes fixed on the
floor and a very meditative aspect on his face. Promptly at 2
o'clock the players took their seats at the table, Zukertort
leading. The colors today were Zukertort white, Steinitz black.
The game ran as follows, Zukertort having the right to move
The opening above is the one that Steinitz declared he wanted,
and it will be remembered that he said he would "do up"
Zukertort if he resorted to it.
"St. Louis is a Steinitz town, you can bet on that," said a
chess player today. "You see, it's a matter of patriotic pride.
We want to make this country the leading one in chess. We don't
want to see Zukertort go back across the water with all the
laurels. Steinitz is going to live in this country after this,
and we ought to give him a lift." Steinitz is troubled with
insomnia and complained yesterday of being unable to woo the
drowsy god. "The last game was the best in the series so far.
It was well contested throughout," is the general verdict. A.H.
Robbins, the best problemist in the city, calls off the moves
for the official scorer. He keeps his eye on every move but
keeps mum at the same time. He always stands ready to
courteously explain the last move. The Chicago and Cincinnati
papers come to hand, had a correct score of the game and S.M.
Joseph, the official scorer, is tickled to think the Associated
Press sent the same accurate score all over the world. Some
think that Steinitz is the better analyzer but that Zukertort
carries the game along the better. Others however, deny it.
Steinitz is a good whist player but Zukertort can beat him.
When either plays, nobody reneges.
St. Louis Globe Democrat,
Saturday, February 6, 1886, Page 6
STEINITZ'S SECOND GAME
EIGHTH GAME OF CHESS TOURNEY PLAYED YESTERDAY
Dr. Zukertort Somewhat Restless and Irritable
The Strongest Game of the Match
The Russian Leads Off with the Queen's Opening
The two principals in the great chess tourney, which is at
present occupying the attention of the entire chess world,
began the second game of their series in the Director's Room of
the Harmonie Club promptly at 2 o'clock. The previous game,
which had been one of great skill and brilliancy, had the
effect of a grand advertisement and yesterday the large room
was filled with the devotees of the game and curiosity seers.
Of the contestants Steinitz was the first to appear upon the
scene of his recent victory and his full face exhibited a good
deal of determination and brightness. He has still a strong
feeling predicting his success in the great contest and many of
his staunch friends say that he will win in spite of the lead
of three games which stared him the face when he finished the
New York engagement. There is a great desire upon his part to
be the victor from other than pecuniary reasons. The growing
record of Dr. Zukertort as a great player has for some time
promised to eclipse the marvelous honors which Steinitz made
during his years of successful competition against every one
who figured at all prominently in the royal game. This
tournament will effectually establish the supremacy of one of
these players, and Steinitz is very desirous of keeping the
honors upon this side of the globe.
Zukertort Wins the Move
When the hour of the game arrived Dr. C. D. N. Campbell
adjusted the ingenious Vienna clocks and dusted off the chess
board. The two masters then took their seats upon the elevated
platform and adjusted chessmen, records, and their glasses, and
went to work. Zukertort chose the white and won the lead. The
little clock went down with a click and there was a careful
searching glance at the board, and an insignificant looking
"pawn" marched into "queen's fourth." Again the clock clicked,
and Steinitz duplicated the move. The game was now fairly
underway and what is known as "the Queen's Gambit declined."
Both players settled down to hard labor and deep study. The
little Russian rested his head upon his hand as though in
attitude of prayer but there was an intelligence in his look
and firm setting of the jaw that evinced the fact that he was
playing chess for all he was worth. In the meantime Herr
Steinitz gave vent to his nervous spirit and moved about in his
chair very much as a man would do who was playing a game with
odds greatly against him. So nervous did he become about the
fifteenth move that he ordered a cup of strong coffee and took
an extended stroll in the club lobby. There is one peculiarity
about both of these players which has received very little
attention at the hands of the press, and that is their
excessively irritable spirit. During the first game, the
Directors of the Chess, Checkers, and Whist Club suffered
considerable inconvenience as a result of this peculiarity.
This fact is a matter of comment among the chess players of the
city. Yesterday both of the contestants insisted upon the
tables being removed into another room, owing to some imaginary
cause, but when the time for the game arrived they concluded
that the old room would be more convenient.
The first ten moves of the game were randomly played but from
this point on both devoted more time to the analysis of the
contemplated move. Dr. Zukertort is much the more rapid of the
two and seems to have a line of action laid out before his
opponent sets down the piece. At the completion of the
fifteenth move odds seemed slightly to favor Steinitz, owing to
an isolated pawn, but old chessmen refused to make any
predictions on such a superficial indication. The picture of
one of these great games at any time during their progress is a
unique and interesting one. Upon a drab-colored platform, about
8 feet by 6, stands an elegantly carved rosewood table; at the
right and left of the table sit the greatest players of chess
in the world. Upon the right the short, heavy form of Wilhelm
Steinitz is bending over the board in a brown study, his sandy
beard sweeping over a chess man now and then. Across the board
is Dr. Zukertort who, unlike his antagonist, sits with his back
against the chair and contemplated at long range the
battlefield. Both players do more squirming to the square inch
that a liberated alligator would, and there is every indication
that should either of them make a false movement of his men the
world would cease to revolve.
As the limits of the game were drawn to more critical
situations both men seemed to be extremely nervous and the
spleen of the Russian was vented by means of impatient refusals
to allow his opponent to converse during the game. It was quite
evident that the situation at the close of the twenty-sixth
move, while still slightly favoring the black, was desperately
close and both players exercised the greatest care. The plays
of Zukertort were now more deliberate and he consumed almost as
much time as his rival across the board.
When the thirtieth inning was reached popular belief was firm
that white had no hope whatever. The strongholds of the black
seemed impregnable. The hour of adjournment was now very near
and Steinitz was in the midst of a deep study when Zukertort
asked if the adjournment should be made after the next move.
This led to a spirited discussion of the rules of the game and
was finally brought to a close by Zukertort's saying that he
was ready to go on with the game. It was decided however, that
after Steinitz made his play the game should be held over until
8 o'clock, as the four hours required by the regime had already
been exhausted. This met with general approval and the crowd of
chess players scattered for something more substantial. The
game is considered by competent experts to be as fine as the
one played Wednesday, and it was a subject of extended remark
that Steinitz was playing in much better form than at the games
in New York City.
When the evening session was called to order Zukertort wore a
decidedly worried look and the predictions regarding the
probable termination of the game had doubtless been breathed to
him. At 8:30 o'clock the competitors took their seats upon the
elevated platform and Zukertort, being the first to move, set
the clock in motion. His hopes were soon to be cut short for
from the beginning of the evening's work Steinitz gradually
drew in his forces about his adversary, and by the thirty-third
move the fate of the Russian was sealed.
Nearing the End
The game proceeded steadily without any hitch until the
thirty-sixth move when the white was forced to resign. The
Russian looked disappointed, but came down from his chair and
talked pleasantly with his friends. Congratulations were
offered Steinitz by the score, and it was generally talked that
the prospects for winning the tourney were good. There can be
no doubt that if he does come out victorious he will have
played the greatest games of chess ever heard of. The next
gamecomes off at the same place at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon.
During the rest of their stay here, the players will be
entertained by members of the St. Louis Chess, Checkers, and
Zukertort - Steinitz (7) 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 (a) 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3
c5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. a3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 cxd4 8. exd4 Be7 9. O-O O-O
10. Be3 Bd7 11. Qd3 Rc8 12. Rac1 Qa5 13. Ba2 Rfd8 14. Rfe1 Be8
15. Bb1 g6 16. Qe2 Bf8 (b) 17. Red1 Bg7 18. Ba2 Ne7 19. Qd2 Qa6
(c) 20. Bg5 Nf5 21. g4? Nxd4 (d) 22. Nxd4 e5 23. Nd5 Rxc1 24.
Qxc1 exd4 25. Rxd4 (e) Nxd5 26. Rxd5 Rxd5 27. Bxd5 Qe2 28. h3
h6 29. Bc4 Qf3 30. Qe3 Qd1+ 31. Kh2 Bc6 32. Be7 Be5+ (f) 33. f4
Bxf4+ 34. Qxf4 Qh1+ 35. Kg3 Qg1+ 0-1. (2:05/2:10)
(a) Better than 2...c6. (b) Aiming to win the pawn at d4. (c) A
masterly move, the inter-developments proving it to be such.
(d) Steinitz sees several moves ahead and boldly launches out.
(e) Twenty minutes were consumed on this move, which is
apparently his best reply. (f) This move was the sealed one. A
number of bystanders imagined Steinitz would make 32...Bd4 but
it was too slow. If 32...Be5+ 33.Qxe5 Qh1+ 34.Kg3 Qg1+ 35.Kh4
g5+ 36.Bxg5 hxg5+ 37.Kh5 Qxg3 and wins.
Steinitz's eyes trouble him. "What cranks the players are?"
said a spectator. Umpire Duncan was the best looking chessist
in the hall. N. F. Cleary, the Leadville attorney, thought the
men were queer-looking. Robbins and Joseph, our St. Louis
problemists, compose problems between the moves. Steinitz
remarked at the close of the game that it was the finest chess
that he has so far played. Charles F. Wadsworth, chess editor
of the Auburn Citizen, came down expressly to see the match.
Zukertort has a brother aged 35 who is in the German army and
three sisters, all married, living in Germany. W. C. McCreary
quietly enjoyed the game in a corner of the room, where sat
also Judge Krum planning how he could win for Steinitz. W. C.
Rehfer of the Jewish Free Press was on hand. His opinion of the
game at 4 o'clock was that the isolated pawn gave Zukertort
trouble. Delafield is as proud as a peacock over the results of
his efforts in waking up the chess players of the city to the
necessity of contributing toward the match. He attributes all
to the press. Mr. Judd's remarks to Zukertort's twelfth move,
that this move, more than anything else, led to the loss of the
game, was made under the impression that it would retard the
development of the queen's bishop, which it does not do.
Zukertort's best move was Bd4, attaining the same object as the
move made, and besides controlling the all-important diagonal.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Saturday, February 6, 1886, Page 8
NIP AND TUCK
Steinitz Wins Another Game
and Draws Up Near Zukertort
Another bewildering account of yesterday's chess battle was
presented by the morning papers. The record of the game
presented a confusing difference which would muddle the best
chess player. The contest was so brilliant throughout, the
attack of Steinitz so well maintained, and the extraordinary
prescience shown by Steinitz in his thirty-second move was so
remarkable, that the game is not only entitled to rank as the
best of the series, but as one qualified in every respect to
delight the hearts of chess players the world over. There can
be little question that such is the verdict of the groups of
players who gather in the leading cities of this country and
Europe this morning to discuss the game. The importance of the
contest is such that the official score in presented below in
order to let the chess players follow the different moves
without being puzzled by any mistakes.
A larger number of persons than were at the previous game
filled the rooms in the Harmonie club up to the very finish
which was shortly before 9 o'clock. Close attention was paid to
every move but no particular demonstration was made until the
thirty-second move was made by Steinitz. It happened so that
this play produced a dramatic effect. It is the rule for the
second player when the time comes for a recess to record his
move on a piece of paper and seal it up in an envelope and give
it to his opponent's second who, upon play being resumed,
announces what the move is and the piece is so placed. Last
night, although the room was filled with chess players of
ability, not one imagined what Steinitz would move after the
recess, and it never occurred to any amateur head present that
the bishop would be handled first. When this was done and the
piece was put on the king's fourth square and check was called,
the advantage so brilliantly secured was evident to all and the
greatest enthusiasm of the series was noticeable in the
audience who could scarcely repress loud expressions of
admiration. In just three move moves the white was cornered
and, as Zukertort had but one additional move, that to the
king's rook's fourth, he gracefully resigned without more ado.
At the conclusion, Zukertort tried to get Steinitz to play it
over from the twenty-eight move just for fun as Zukertort
claimed his twenty-ninth lost him the chance to draw. Steinitz
was too tired to do it, and so Zukertort demonstrated alone the
disaster produced by the twenty-ninth. The score now stands
Zukertort 4, Steinitz 3.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Monday, February 8, 1886, Page 2
THE EIGHTH CHESS GAME
Steinitz and Zukertort Renew
Their Battle at Harmonie Club Today
The beautiful character of the third day of the chess match
between Messrs. Zukertort and Steinitz had an enthusing effect
upon the players, as was evidenced by Steinitz leaving his
quarters across the street at 1:30 and taking his place at the
open window of the Harmonie club at Eighteenth and Olive
Streets and letting the warm southern wind blow through his
whiskers for the half-hour preceding the game. Zukertort was
not so prompt in getting on the field.
Promptly at 2 o'clock Steinitz led off with the white, playing
his pawn to the king's fourth and then four moves were rapidly
made and the game was just growing intricate enough to hush the
murmur in the room when Zukertort observed that his clock was
not running, and after the white had played the fifth move, a
recess of twenty minutes was taken, whilst the committee
skirmished around for another clock. When a clock was secured
the game ran on.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Tuesday, February 9, 1886, Page 8
PLAYED TO A DRAW
Steinitz and Zukertort
Agree to Declare the Eighth Game "Off"
Yesterday's game was the most unsatisfactory one yet played in
the Steinitz-Zukertort chess series. The day was beautiful, the
men started promptly at the appointed hour, and the large
audience expected to witness a brilliant contest. But just as
the moves became intricate enough to hush the murmurs in the
rooms, it was found that one of the clock would not work and
the players had to wait for half an hour. Dr. Zukertort voiced
the sentiments of the anxious spectators when he said he didn't
understand why the committee did not have two sets of clocks to
provide against accident. Both players were rendered nervous by
the interruption and interest lagged even when play was
resumed. The opening was an old chestnut well eaten up by book
worms, while nearly all the audience had been hoping that
Steinitz would make one of his own brilliant openings and
proceed to develop his system. As the plays succeeded one
another without any startling departure from the regular book
moves, disappointment began to show itself with the growing
belief that the last of the series in St. Louis was to be the
stupidest of all. So when, on the twenty-second move, Dr.
Zukertort proposed to call it a draw and Steinitz consented,
there was considerable quiet delight among the old chess
players at the prospect of another chance to see a good game.
On the seventeenth move, the white was crowded back into the
first row, making it necessary for him to effect a lively
exchange of pieces which resulted in a loss to each of a rook,
bishop, and knight. There were eleven
pieces on the board when the game was thrown up, but the local
lights were nearly unanimous in the opinion that that was the
best way out of a dull game, which would have added nothing
materially to either's reputation had he won. The conditions of
the match requiring one player to win at least three games in
this city, the contest will be continued tomorrow afternoon at
2 o'clock at the Harmonie club, Eighth and Olive Streets. It is
not unlikely that this may be won by Zukertort, which would
still further prolong the series here. The total score now is:
Zukertort 4, Steinitz 3, Drawn 1; St. Louis games - Steinitz 2,
Zukertort none, Drawn 1. It will thus be seen that the first
drawn game of the series occurred in this city.
St. Louis Globe Democrat,
Tuesday, February 9, 1886, Page 12
A DRAW GAME
NO ADVANTAGE GAINED BY EITHER OF
THE CHESS PLAYERS
Dr. Zukertort Explains Himself to the Press
and Subsequently Proposes a Cessation of Play
The Ninth Game on Wednesday
Predictions were freely circulated among the prominent chess
players present in Harmonie Hall yesterday afternoon, before
the commencement of the game, that the ultimate result in the
champion series would find Steinitz in the lead. The reasons
advanced in support of these prophecies were based upon the
brilliant chess the German has been playing here. There can be
no doubt but that in the two preceding games Zukertort has been
outgeneraled and overmatched. Both of these games were
considered from a theoretic standpoint much more masterly than
those played in the East. There the odds were greatly favoring
Zukertort as Steinitz was unwell and playing in exceedingly bad
form. Here he has struck his playing gait and is more devoted
and careful of his work. Since his arrival in this city Dr.
Zukertort has been unwell, extremely nervous, and only
obtaining sleep at long intervals. This condition of affairs
has had an apparent effect on his nervous system and his
friends claim that this is one reason he has lost ground here.
The game yesterday was the third one of the series to be played
here, and was of unusual interest from the painful knowledge
that the rules governing the match stipulated that three won
games for one player should close the series in any one place,
and for this reason if Steinitz won the game the chess world in
St. Louis would have seen their last championship game.
Zukertort the Favorite
For this cause alone there were many expressed desires,
unpatriotic but sincere, that the little Russian would take the
ganfe, in order that more of this brilliant playing might be
witnessed here. There was a troubled look upon the broad
forehead of Dr. J. H. Zukertort when he entered the hall of the
Harmonie Club in company with Max Judd and other well known
chess players. There were wrinkles everywhere noticeable and
his face was unusually pale. When he entered the room in which
the games are being played he inspected the chess board as
usual and then went out in an adjoining room for a season of
meditation and prayer. While he was out his opponent Herr
Wilhelm Steinitz arrived and everything being supposed to be
all right, seated themselves for the contest. Zukertort had the
black, Steinitz the white. The latter had the move and a pawn
went to the king's fourth. The game was known as the Ruy Lopez
and had a brisk inauguration. During the first half hour move
moves were made than during any game played before between
these champions. This was not a foretaste of what was to
follow, for after this the play was more deliberate than ever
before on the part of both. Zukertort was, however, much the
more impetuous of the two. The game had proceeded only a short
way when the discovery was made that the ingenious little
clock, which is the sole time-keeper of the movers, had ceased
to operate. A suspension of operations was at once made, and
the contrivance taken to a neighboring jeweler's shop where
half an hour was lost while it was being repaired. During this
interval the little Russian crossed over to the reporters'
table and delivered a rather lengthy but interesting
dissertation of the relation of the press to the chess player.
He never complained, he said, of anything - not even of the St.
Louis streets - with the exception of his treatment at the
hands of the American newspapers. There was one thing he had
noticed - that nearly every report that had been written
concerning him was sheer nonsense. New York papers had made him
pose in the role of a Hungarian, a Russian, and Englishman, and
a Frenchman, while in fact he was not a native of any of these
countries. He seldom spoke of these things, but meant no
The talk, which covered a period of half an hour, touched upon
general topics and exhibited the resources of his broad mind
and extended experience. There was a wide respect created for
his intellectual caliber among the hearers who were entertained
by him, by his cleverness in conversation. The time-keeping
mechanism having been repaired, was returned in haste and the
play went on. When the fifteenth move was made, chances were
about even although several prominent players thought the
prospects slightly favored the white. The study of the players
was not marked at this session by such excessive nervousness.
There was less of the restless uneasiness and squally repartee.
No special incidents marked the progress of the game until
Zukertort proposed a draw and Steinitz, owing to his faint
condition, concluded to accept it. There was a good deal of
talk among the spectators regarding the necessity of such a
termination of the game, but according to the rules governing
the game, the draw was properly authorized. This game,
then,does not change the situation in the least. Next Wednesday
at 2 o'clock another game will be played, and which will
probably be finished. The attendance was as large as at any
previous session, and there was considerable interest shown
during its continuance.
Steinitz - Zukertort (8) 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O
Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 (a) 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Qh5 f5 (b) 9. Nc3
Nxe5 10. Rxe5 g6 11. Qf3 c6 12. b3 Nf7 13. Re2 (c) d5 14. Bb2
Bf6 15. Rae1 Qd6 16. Re8 Bd7 17. Rxa8 Rxa8 18. Nd1 Ng5 19. Qe2
Re8 20. Qf1 Bxb2 21. Rxe8+ Bxe8 22. Nxb2 +-+. (1:20/1:15)
(a) Black played 6....Nxe5 in the first game. (b) If 8...g6
9.Nxg6 fxg6 10.Bxg6 hxg6 11.Qxg6, and Steinitz affirms that
White wins. (c) If 13.Bc4 d5 14.Nxd5 cxd5 15.Rxd5 and wins.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Wednesday, February 10, 1886, Page 1
DECIDING THE DRAW
ZUKERTORT AND STEINITZ MEET
FOR THE EIGHTH GAME OF THEIR SERIES
Progress of the Chess Party This Afternoon
Zukertort Opens with the Queen's Gambit
Which Steinitz Declines
Details of the Game
Mr. Steinitz, as usual, was early at the Harmonie club this
afternoon, and seemed as eager to bring the chess match as his
phlegmatic nature would allow. As he wandered through the
corridors he was interrogated by a Post-Dispatch reporter as to
his hope of success. Mr. Steinitz's round, florid face was
widened somewhat by the smile that at once followed as he said,
with but a slight foreign accent: "I am feeling ever so much
better now. My fit of nervousness and insomnia, which rendered
me an unworthy opponent in New York, has left me now and I feel
that I am myself again. Of course I cannot tell when this
trouble will attack me again, but I do know that at present I
have the strongest hopes of winning. Why, in New York I was so
unfit for playing that I wouldn't back myself. Indeed, Dr.
Zukertort's friends will tell you that he did not outplay me in
New York at all, but that my blunders were so wonderfully
erratic that an insignificant player could have defeated me.
These attacks of nervousness have been my bane before. In the
Vienna tournament I was thirteenth at the end of the first week
but pulled up and tied for first and second places."
Mr. Steinitz had read, with great anxiety, the Post-Dispatch
accounts of the London riot and said he was eager to get at the
evening paper to read the latest details, as he lived for
twenty years in London and was afraid that the outbreak was a
general communistic movement.
When the players began play at 2 o'clock promptly, there were
an even dozen spectators,
The Smallest Audience
They have yet begun before. Among those twelve were Isador
Judd, E.C. Simmons, Adolph Judd, Lewis Haller, S.M. Joseph,
J.E. Martin of Toledo, Judge Woerner, Max Judd, E. Helke of
Leadville, and Col. George Rowley. This gathering was gradually
increased as the game proceeded. Dr. C.D.N. Campbell acted as
umpire for Steinitz, and Mr. Isador Judd for Zukertort.
This, the ninth game of the series and the fourth in St. Louis,
was opened by Zukertort who chose white and opened with the
queen's gambit which Steinitz at once declined. This is the
same opening Zukertort has chosen in all the games he has
played in this series so far, and there was a little
disappointment as the local players had been expecting
something better. Both players were deliberate, and took things
less nervously than formerly. The arrangements of timing this
game were all right and the game proceeded quickly.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
STEINITZ WINS AGAIN
Thursday, February 11, 1886, Page 5
The Concluding Chess Game
in St. Louis a Very Brilliant One
The concluding game of the Steinitz-Zukertort series in St.
Louis afforded an example of the most brilliant chess and also
clearly demonstrated that the tournament is in no sense a
hippodrome. If any doubt of the genuineness of the players'
motives were engendered by the draw game of Monday it was
dispelled by the magnificent display of yesterday. Some of the
local players made the invidious remark at the beginning of the
contest yesterday that it would be another hippodrome, but when
about the twentieth move they saw the veins on Zukertort's
forehead swell out and half an hour slip by while he was
studying the move, the spectators realized that the battle was
for blood. The chess club are jubilant over the fact that the
local series closed with the best game of the tournament so
far. Indeed, S.M. Joseph, an enthusiastic Steinitz man, said:
"Yesterday's contest ought to be classed with the immortal
games." The features of yesterday's play was that neither party
made a single blunder, and that Steinitz won by outplaying his
opponent at all points. In an exchange of pieces Zukertort's
pawn was left isolated on the queen's fourth square, and this
contributed one of his points of weakness. Steinitz played with
unusual rapidity. The game was to be adjourned at 6 o'clock,
but just two minutes before that time Zukertort resigned.
The players have two weeks to spend here before going to New
Orleans and will probably occupy it in whist-playing, their
only relaxation. They were paid today $150 each, the amount
raised by the Chess, Checker, and Whist club to bring them
here. This sum the club does not begrudge, as they say their
organization has received a decided boom, a number of
applications for membership having been made. The general
opinion in the club is that Steinitz has shown himself
Zukertort's superior in the St. Louis games. Even Max Judd, the
doctor's champion, admits that. The total score now stands at
four games won for each, and one draw. This leaves one player
to win six games in New Orleans, as the conditions require ten
victories before either side can claim the stakes. the players,
on their return from the South, will probably play some
blindfolded and simultaneous games with local lights.
The game was erroneously recorded in both the morning papers,
but the following is the corrected official score.
St. Louis Globe Democrat,
STEINITZ WINS AGAIN
Thursday, February 11, 1886, Page 8
Close of the St. Louis Section
Famous Chess Tourney
Public interest in the progress of the chess games that are
being played in this city seems to be on the wane. The
attendance at the fourth contest yesterday afternoon at the
Harmonie Club room was much smaller than any of the preceding
ones. In some way the idea has gained ground that the match is
a hippodrome, and that it has been influenced. As near as can
be ascertained this idea had its inception at the game last
Monday when, for reasons unstated to the audience present, the
battle was declared a draw. This supposition is well known to
chess players to be a baseless fabrication, the draw being
legitimate in every respect and of frequent occurrence in such
contests. Drawing the issue, while a disappointment to the
large audience who had paid the price of admission, was in
every sense legitimate and proper. It seems the next thing to
impossibility that the mere pittance from spectators, or even
the innuendos of stakeholders of interested parties, could have
any influence upon two such honorable men as Herr Steinitz and
Dr. Zukertort. That the struggle is proceeding entirely upon
the merits of the contestants is, among chessmen, universally
believed. Doubtless the aspirant for honors who wins will have
played the best chess, and may be accounted the greatest master
of his time. The game yesterday began promptly on time with the
"Queen's Gambit Declined." The odds were slightly favoring
Zukertort who had the opening. This was only an implied
advantage, and before many moves had been made the chances were
more evenly divided. Owing to the desire of Herr Steinitz the
players changed places before the game began. When the black
had made his tenth move a letter was handed to him. He drew the
yellow envelope up to his face - he being near-sighted - and
rose with some agitation. In doing so he inadvertently upset
several chessmen. "J'Doube," said the German which means in
American ordinary, "I adjust." This had a nerving effect upon
Zukertort, who seemed annoyed. The progress of the entire game
was unmarked by any incident worthy of note, both men playing
chess and devoting their time to that alone. When the result
was announced the usual congratulations were offered. The games
played thus far have all been splendid ones, and this period of
the championship struggle will become famous, as the most
famous chess games played for years occurred during that time.
As will be seen by the score, Steinitz was the victor.
Zukertort - Steinitz (9) 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3
dxc4 5. e3 c5 6. Bxc4 cxd4 7. exd4 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qe2 Nbd7
10. Bb3 Nb6 11. Bf4 Nbd5 12. Bg3 Qa5 13. Rac1 Bd7 14. Ne5 Rfd8
15. Qf3 Be8 16. Bh4 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Qc7 18. Rfe1 Rac8 19. Qd3 Nd5
20. Bxe7 Qxe7 21. Bxd5 Rxd5 22. c4 Rdd8 23. Re3 Qd6 24. Rd1 f6
25. Rh3 h6 26. Ng4 Qf4 27. Ne3 Ba4 28. Rf3 Qd6 29. Rd2 Bc6 30.
Rg3 f5 31. Rg6 Be4 32. Qb3 Kf7 33. c5 Rxc5 34. Rxe6 Rc1+ 35.
Nd1 Qf4 36. Qb2 Rb1 37. Qc3 Rc8 38. Rxe4 Qxe4 0-1. (1:45/2:10)
(a) In the seventh game, Zukertort played 4.e3 and also lost
the game. (b) Evidently the capture with the queen is stronger
than that with the knight. (c) Premature; why not keep the rook
behind the pawns as a protection? (d) The position is so very
interesting: if 25...fxe5 26.Qxh7+ Kf8 27.Qh8+ Ke7 28.Qxg7+ Bf7
29.Rf3 Rf8, etc. This analysis shows that the sacrifice of the
knight was unsound. The reason why Steinitz did not take the
knight was because he had to make six moves in about fifteen
minutes and did not have the time to analyze the position. (e)
Zukertort thought he should have played 31.d5 instead of the
text move, then 31...exd5 32.cxd5 Bxc5 33.Nxd5 Qxd5 34.Qxd5+
Rxd5 and black wins, etc. (f) The black side now has a winning
position. (g) This is beautiful playing along here. (h) 35.Nf1
is the correct reply. (i) The great master winds up the game in
his happiest style.
In chess, excuses for losing are legendary, and it's a well-known
fact that no healthy player has ever lost a game. But a particularly
famous excuse given for Zukertort's two losses to Steinitz was that
in 1872 (the date of their first match, won decisively by Steinitz),
Zukertort was not yet Zukertort, whereas in 1886, Zukertort was no longer
Zukertort. It's possible that Zukertort at age 44 was past his prime, but
then Steinitz at age 50 should have been too, only more so. This excuse
has led some to question, exactly when was Zukertort Zukertort?
Zukertort himself blamed his failure on the climate, explaining that he
did fine in New York, not as well in Saint Louis, and fell apart in the
New Orleans heat. Perhaps, or maybe Steinitz was just out of practice in
the early games (which do seem to be of lower quality than the later ones).
A rematch was discussed, but never came to pass, as Zukertort died two years
later. It was an article of faith among chess writers of the day that he
had died of a broken heart as a result of losing this match (Even for his
death they had an excuse!).