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

by Johannes Fischer
8/23/2017 – Modern top players are "universal players". They know and play a large variety of openings, they master brilliant attacks, difficult defenses and patient positional play equally well. However, the chess of Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen is still quite different. Can you recognize the style of these four World Champions?

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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 previous articles ChessBase presents and presented 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 included Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov. Now, to conclude, follow Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen in the fourth group.

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. Can you find out which World Champion played which game?

Game 1


Game 2


Game 3


Game 4


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. Have fun!

See also


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".


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