Understanding before Moving 124: Chess history in a nutshell (6)

by ChessBase
5/9/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 124th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell". | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Adolf Anderssen

In the previous episode we talked about Howard Staunton. The chess world has to thank him for organising the first major international tournament of all time in London in 1851. It was a knockout tournament played without a clock. The winner was Adolf Anderssen (1818 - 1879), who was able to bend most of the games to his will with his beautiful attacking play.

Apart from being a strong and successful player Anderssen also played an important role in the development and invention of chess problems. He was a true gambit player, not afraid to make a sacrifice here and there. His main aim was to harass, hunt or smoke out the enemy king.

This was indeed the beginning of the so-called Romantic period, characterised by often dubious sacrifices.  In those days it was considered dishonourable to refuse a sacrifice. Today we know that a combination can sometimes be refuted by accepting the first offering and refusing another.

Fortunately this was not the case in 1851. It allowed Anderssen to play his immortal game against Kieseritzky and the evergreen against Dufresne. However, we will only show a small part of these in this video, as they are all too familiar. I prefer to show another great game by Anderssen in which he forces mate with an impressive king's march.

But as a follow-up of the Anderssen - Kieseritzky game I want to you show a game between Liu Wenhze and Jan Hein Donner. At the 1978 Olympiad in Buenos Aires, the Dutch grandmaster was horribly kicked off the board in twenty moves, culminating in a queen sacrifice by his opponent (see diagram below).

After resigning, Donner uttered the historic words: "I think I have now become the Kieseritzky of the twentieth century!"

Can you calculate the variations that justify 16.Qxg6!!+?

Master Class Vol. 12: Viswanathan Anand

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors how to successfully organise your games strategically, and how to keep your opponent permanently under pressure.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.