Fun Facts About the Steinitz – Zukertort Match

Something that I think I will be doing going forward is providing some historical overviews of the matches for the game of the day feature.

Since the first two of this match have already been published, let’s kick that off here, then I can add this stuff to the posts with the games going forward.

Prior to Steinitz – Zukertort 1886 the title of “World Champion” had been completely unofficial.

Wilhelm Steinitz had long been considered the strongest player of his day, having defeated his top rival Adolf Anderssen 20 years prior +8-6=0.  However, it wasn’t until this match with Zukertort that talk of an official world championship began.

Three years prior, in the London 1883 tournament, which had been a 14 player double round robin, Zukertort had finished at the top of the table with +18 (22/26) compared to Steinitz’s +12 (19/26).

With the death of Paul Morphy in 1884 there was no longer anyone who could reasonably claim the title of the strongest player (and keep in mind that Morphy’s last serious game had been much earlier in 1859) the path was clear to hold a match between the two.

The terms of the match were the same as Bobby Fischer would propose 89 years later – first player to ten wins, draws not counting.

The time control was to be 30 moves in two hours, then 15 moves per hour thereafter.

Although Steinitz would not become a US Citizen until 1888, he insisted on playing this match under the flag of the USA as he had been living in New York for a few years by then.

In 1888 he officially became a US citizen and changed his name to William.

The championship itself saw three different cities, with the first five games coming in New York, the next four in Saint Louis, and the concluding games in New Orleans.

Here is the table from Wikipedia showing the match results.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Puzzle for September 2, 2018

The solution appears at the bottom!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

The solution to today’s puzzle is:

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5. Rxe6+ fxe6 6. Bg6+ Kf8 7. Qd6+ Kg8 8. Qxe6+ Kf8 9. Be7# 1-0

Daily Puzzles Update

So far I haven’t gained a single email subscriber since I added the daily puzzle feature.

I’m hoping that changes.  My daily traffic has stayed the same as well.

It was a lot of work adding those puzzles to the blog, so I’m hoping that one of these two things changes and I either start seeing an increase in email subscribers or an increase in daily traffic to the site.

Either would be a great indicator that this is worth the few hours it took!

Time will tell!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

A Blitz Game Inspired by Neal Bruce

For those who aren’t aware of Neal, he’s a guy who’s pretty active on Twitter and Facebook and takes his chess improvement quite seriously.

I don’t know him at all other than some online interactions, but he’s been posting a lot of tactics puzzles and some tactics from his blitz games recently.

This game which I just played seems like exactly the kind of thing he’s been looking at lately.

This one’s for you Neal…

I was quite proud of the fact that I instantly saw that …b5 was a mistake that could be easily capitalized on.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter.  Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter.  Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

53rd Northeastern Open

I am playing in this tournament this weekend.

When I first started playing again in 2011 this was the first tournament I played in.  I went 5-0 to win the Reserve Section.

So this tournament has always been a special one to me as a result.

Yesterday I won my first game, lost my second, and then took a bye in round three as I am making the 75 mile trip back and forth to save a few bucks.

I’ll post the games over the next few days as I get a chance to go over them.

One thing is for sure though…I’m changing my repertoire as White against the Slav.

I played Edgar Talayko at the SWCC in a game a couple of weeks ago and I played the Exchange Slav.  I’ve been sick of this though.  So yesterday I played Susie Ulrich and I played 4…e3.

But I’m going back to a more main line approach.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

The Generosity of Hikaru Nakamura

The Second Annual Sevan Muradian Memorial is fast approaching thanks to the hard work and dedication of Glenn Panner and Daniel Parmet, among others.

The best part about this tournament is that any profits go to Sevan’s widow and daughters.

A couple of weeks ago I had the idea that it would be cool to hold a silent auction to help raise some additional funds.  I figured that between Daniel, Glenn, and myself we know enough chess world people to be able to get a few things signed.  Sadly this idea came too late in order to really maximize it, but I figured anything would help.

So I reached out to Hikaru and asked if he’d sign a couple of boards for the auction.  I know that Hikaru had a lot of respect for Sevan, and so I wasn’t surprised when he quickly and enthusiastically offered to do so.

Since he was going to be playing in St. Louis for the Champions Showdown (which is currently taking place as I write this) the plan was for me to send the boards to him there.

Yesterday he messaged me to say that the boards arrived.  And that’s when it happened…

He asked if there was a fund for Sevan.  I said that there was a gofundme for his daughters immediately after Sevan died, but that had been closed for some time, but that the profits from this tournament would be donated to the family.

“OK, I’ll match what you raise.”

It’s not often that I find myself having a hard time finding something to say, but this was one of those times.

When all is said and done, Hikaru will be personally matching funds raised, up to $3,000 for this event.

So if you haven’t registered to play yet, please do so.  You’ll have a four time US Champion who’s been a top ten GM for years backing you up.

What an amazing act of generosity.  I’m proud to call Hikaru a friend.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

 

The Theme of the Next Five Days

Starting tomorrow I will play seven games over a five day period.  First, tomorrow I will have my regular Thursday night game.  Then, this weekend, I will play in the WI State Championship for the first time ever.

I’ve decided to use a technique that I have read about many times, which is the concept of focusing on one thing for a tournament and making that the central theme of the event.

My plan is to focus on targets.  I know that this is a weakness of mine.  I can recall GM Grivas telling me after beating me in a clock simul that the issue was that he had targets whereas I did not.

So each time I sit down at the board I am going to remind myself to look for targets, both for myself and for my opponent, on pretty much every move.

When I find a target for myself I am going to work out how to best isolate and attack it.  When I find a target for my opponent I am going to work out how to best defend it.

The idea with this singular focus tournament is that if you get to the point where you have begun to engage in whatever behavior you are looking to, then you are one step closer to becoming a stronger player.

I’ve been too focused on rating.  I need to let go of the rating aspect of things and just focus on my playing strength.  If I work on my strength then the rating will come.  I just have to trust in my abilities and have some faith in myself.

The truth is that my training has been going well lately.  I have been getting in some solid study time every day, and that should hopefully start paying off at some point.

So now I’m going to start working on my issues one by one.  Tournament by tournament.

I expect this approach to pay dividends in the very near term.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

MVL – So 1-0 To Start Sinquefield

The Sinquefield Cup kicked off today, and there were three winners right out of the gate with Aronian defeating Nepomniatchtchi, Karjakin taking advantage of a Svidler implosion, and the game I’m talking about here, which saw Wesley lose to MVL.

The game was the 6.a4 Italian, which seems to be surging in popularity these days.

In fact, at the Olympiad in 2016 Wesley won a very nice game in this same opening against Nepo.  That game went like this:

Perhaps fearing Maxime’s prep, Wesley chose to play 8…h6 instead of 8…Ba7.

Then, on his 40th move Wesley missed 40…Kf6 and instead put his king on d8 which saw the Frenchman quickly bring home the full point.

Hopefully the number of wins in this round sets the tone for the rest of the event.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

Aesthetic Final Position

In studying some lines of the Breyer variation of the Ruy Lopez I came across this game played earlier this year.

Here is the final position which is quite beautiful:

While Black can stop the pawn with 42…Bc7 White will then convert with 43.d6+ Bxd6 44.Nxd6 and there’s no way to stop White from queening.

These are the kinds of positions that keep me fascinated with the game of chess.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott