Exercises in Style: From Wilhelm Steinitz to Magnus Carlsen (3/4)

by Johannes Fischer
8/3/2017 – Tigran Petrosian had a unique style. But do you recognize his games if you just see the moves? Have a try! Part 1 and 2 of the "Exercises in Style" presented games by Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Aljechin, Euwe, Botvinnik, Smyslov and Tal, now follow games by Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer and Karpov. Do you know which World Champion played which game?

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The first undisputed World Champion in the history of chess was Wilhelm Steinitz, while the 16th and current World Champion is Magnus Carlsen. In this article and in the days to come ChessBase presents 16 games by the World Champions — one per World Champion. Without giving any information when, where and against whom these games were played, can you find out which World Champion played which game by just looking at the moves?

To simplify the task, the 16 World Champions were divided into four groups. In the first group were Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, José Rául Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine, the second group consists of Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vassily Smyslov and Mihail Tal. The third group, presented here, includes Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov.

The games were chosen with a random generator. But only tournament and matchgames were taken into account and only wins. Games between two World Champions were also ignored.

Game 1

 
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Game 2

 
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Game 3

 
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Game 4

 
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If you want to you can explain your choice the in comments. It is, of course, easy to find out who played which game if you search for the games in the ChessBase Megabase. But this would spoil the fun, so if you do, please keep it to yourself! Moreover, we'll reveal who played which game soon. And part four of the "Exercises in Style" series will follow soon.

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".