Kindred’s Special: A Policy of Stubborness

“This Steinitz is remarkable.  Sit down and I will show you a game that I have played over many times. He was a pure genius and possessed  a most stubborn nature.”

So I sat down and helped reset the original position at the start of play and he announced the opening play from a French Defense variation.

1.e4  e6  2.d4  d5  3.Nc3  Nf6  4.e5  Nfd7 5.f4

Excellent idea of Steinitz here as normal for that time was 5.Nce2 inorder to meet …c5 with c3.

5…c5  6.dxc5  Bxc5  7.Nf3  a6  8.Bd3  Nc6  9.Qe2  Nb4  10.Bd2  b5  11.Nd1  Nxd3+  12.cxd3  Qb6.

Here I suggested 12…b4  to gain space on the Qwing. His response was to follow the game play.  I admit I was pleased with myself for suggesting it because now Steinitz hit him with…

13.b4  Be7  14.a3  f5.

“A terrible pawn move because it leaves the e-pawn backward and any defense of it requires the use of a piece.  And this also limits the white square Bishop maneuvering range.”

15.Rac1  Bb7  16.Be3!

“The right idea and demonstrates soon the stubborn nature of Steinitz which I find remarkable in many of his games. This positional move shows the resourcefulness of Steinitz who seizes control of the black squares.  It demonstrates your own theory about square count as well.”

16…Qd8  17.Nd4  Nf8  18.O-O  h5.

Again, I mentioned that this move looks wrong here because the black squares have holes on the g-file. He went his merry way with…

19.Nc3  Kf7  20.Nb1!  g6  21.Nd2  Nd7  22.Nd2b3  Rac8  23.Na5!

“Can you believe this Knight tour? This is why I had to show it to you because Steinitz stubbornly executes his positional edge.” There was no disagreement, no sir!

23…Ba8  24.Rxc8  Qxc8  25.Rc1  Qb8  26.Qc2  Bd8

“Look at your square count idea. It is a great game for you to illustrate this.  Anyway, proof is in the pudding. Steinitz drums up this fantastic positional edge and now turns it into a winning endgame.”

27.Nac6!!

“Enticing the reply 27…Bxc6  28.Qxc6  Nf8  29.Nxe6 30.Qd7+ is out of the question because the attack is decisive. Lets put the pieces back in the position to move 27.”

27….Qb7  28.Nxd8+  Rxd8  29.Qc7  Qb8  30.Bf2!

“This beautiful retreat of the Bishop is key to Steinitz strategy as he prepares to pressure the black square diagonal attack the defending Rook.”

30…Qb6!  31.Nf3!  Qxc7  32.Rxc7

“What a position! None of Black’s pieces can move except for the King. Black has to play the King to e8 to defend the Knight against  the threat of 33.Bh4.”

32….Ke8  33.Ng5  Nf8  34.Bc5  Nd7  35.Bd6!

I commented here that Black is in Zugzwang.

“Yes, he resigned here. Lets go over the possible finish.”

All very well and good I noted but had to leave.

With this he took out his tape recorder and said I could use it  if I wanted and return it to him at the next meeting.

I decided to present it in this article for my column as it is a change from the usual.  Excuse me for not offering up some analysis beyond that from the recording but it is time you start thinking on your own dear reader!

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