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.


USA, 1886 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Score
Steinitz 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 10 (w/5 draws)
Zukertort 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 (w/5 draws)
Result: William Steinitz becomes the 1st Official World Chess Champion.

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 years (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.

  • Chesscafe.com has 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 advantage.

    "St. Louis Globe Democrat"
    Thursday, February 4, 1886, Page 8

    STEINITZ WINS
    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 later hour.

    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 thus analyzed.

    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 ingenious escapes.

    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
    Notes

    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.

    Notes

    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 eight games.

    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 first.

    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.

    Checks

    "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.

    Active Opening
    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.

    Almost Hopeless
    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 Whist Club.

    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.

    Chess Items
    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 offense.

    Play Resumed

    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,
    Thursday, February 11, 1886, Page 5

    STEINITZ WINS AGAIN
    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,
    Thursday, February 11, 1886, Page 8

    STEINITZ WINS AGAIN
    Close of the St. Louis Section
    of the
    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!).

  • Match Breakdown
     #    White - Black          Locale       Date        ECO  Result
     1    Zukertort - Steinitz   New York     01-11-1886  D11  0-1 
     2    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New York     01-13-1886  C47  0-1 
     3    Zukertort - Steinitz   New York     01-15-1886  D10  1-0 
     4    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New York     01-18-1886  C67  0-1 
     5    Zukertort - Steinitz   New York     01-20-1886  D10  1-0 
     6    Steinitz  - Zukertort  Saint Louis  02-03-1886  C67  1-0 
     7    Zukertort - Steinitz   Saint Louis  02-05-1886  D40  0-1 
     8    Steinitz  - Zukertort  Saint Louis  02-08-1886  C67  -
     9    Zukertort - Steinitz   Saint Louis  02-10-1886  D26  0-1 
    10    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New Orleans  02-26-1886  C67  -
    11    Zukertort - Steinitz   New Orleans  03-01-1886  C49  0-1 
    12    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New Orleans  03-03-1886  C67  1-0 
    13    Zukertort - Steinitz   New Orleans  03-05-1886  D26  1-0 
    14    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New Orleans  03-12-1886  C67  -
    15    Zukertort - Steinitz   New Orleans  03-15-1886  D50  -
    16    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New Orleans  03-17-1886  C65  1-0 
    17    Zukertort - Steinitz   New Orleans  03-19-1886  D60  -
    18    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New Orleans  03-22-1886  C65  1-0 
    19    Zukertort - Steinitz   New Orleans  03-24-1886  D53  0-1 
    20    Steinitz  - Zukertort  New Orleans  03-29-1886  C25  1-0
    


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