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Happened Today in the Chess World - May 14, 2024


Wilhelm Steinitz (Prague 14/05/1836-New York 12/08/1900)

Today, we remember the former world champion Wilhelm Steinitz, born in Prague, Czech Republic, on May 14th (some sources report May 18th) in 1836.
Steinitz learned the game at twelve and honed his skills in the cafés of Vienna, becoming known as the "Austrian Morphy."
He won matches against Anderssen, Bird, Zukertort, and Blackburne before embarking on the first official world championship against Zukertort, winning by the wide score of 12.5 to 7.5.
Steinitz defended the title twice against Chigorin and once against Gunsberg before relinquishing it to Emanuel Lasker in 1894 and failing to regain it in 1897.
Steinitz's contribution to the development of chess thinking is extraordinary, "comparable to the great scientific discoveries of the 19th century," as Garry Kasparov has stated.
Today's combination is the fitting conclusion to a splendid game, taken from the second world match against Chigorin.

Wilhelm Steinitz-Mikhail Chigorin, L’Avana (World Championship  m/4) 1892
White to move


23. Rxd4! Nxd4? (Black fell for it. Now it's mate in 7. To prolong the game, black should have played 23... Rf7 24. Bd5 Qa6 +-)
24. Rxh7+! Kxh7 25. Qh1+ Kg7 26. Bh6+ Kf6 27. Qh4+ Ke5 28. Qxd4+
(Here black resigned) Kf5 29. Qf4# 1-0

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