Another week, another miniature chess games. This is a classic, one of my favourites, Steinitz – Rock, 1858.
You’ve likely heard of Steinitz before. He’s the first official World Champion, who combined the tactical genius of the Romantic players but while also formulating the basic rules of positional play. His ideas, especially when distilled and expressed through the great teacher Tarrasch, transformed chess from a back-room brawl into something more of a science, where a great position needs to come before a great attack.
You’ve likely never heard of Rock before. That’s because he was an amateur, the equivalent of NN … and as you can imagine, he gets slaughtered in typical champion vs amateur fashion. Let’s take a loo
As the game ends almost before it begins, I spend almost as much time discussing the Evans Gambit as I do the combination. The Evans is one of my favourite openings, and seeing Kasparov revive it in spectacular form pleased me to no end. Incredibly underestimated opening, and the resulting positions are far easier for White. Definitely worth a punt.
We see that in the game, as Black makes relatively minor errors … but because White had such a massive lead in development thanks to the gambit, those errors snowballed into a winning position by move 12, which culminated in a beautiful Queen sacrifice and King hunt.
I’ve been uploading a few random YouTube videos as well, without corresponding blog posts. Some, like game analysts for random people on chess.com, will never get a post, but others, like my series on the center, likely will. As always, tell me what you want see next and I’ll plan start planning something.