Thursday 27 June 2019

The Steinitz Principle

One of Steinitz's revolutionary ideas (for his time), was that a successful kingside attack required a solid centre as a precondition. As with most general rules this doesn't always hold, but it is a piece of advice that club players would do well to pay more attention to.
I'm guessing that this game from the first round of the GCT even in Croatia owes something to this idea, but I'm not actually sure how much. The early g5 thrust idea by Nepomniatchi has become much more common in recent top level games, although Anand then turned the tables by keeping his king in the centre, and launching his own kingisde attack instead. Fortunately for Black, White couldn't do much with the open h file, and in the end the weak central squares were occupied by Black, leading to victory.
While the classicist's of the 20th century may not have approved of play by either side, I'm sure Steinitz would have found this game quite logical from his point of view.

Anand,Viswanathan (2767) - Nepomniachtchi,Ian (2775) [C55]
Croatia GCT 2019 Zagreb CRO (1.5), 26.06.2019

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