Monday 5 July 2021

'The' model Queen's Gambit

 The credit for the development of the Queen's Gambit as a serious opening is usually (and rightly) given to Harry Pillsbury (at the 1895 Hastings Tournament). As late as the mid 19th century is was regarded as somewhat offbeat, and only merited 13 pages in 'The Chess-Players Handbook" by Staunton (of which 6 pages were example games). By contrast the King's Gambit ran to 105 pages in the same book, which shows the level of interest analysts had at the time. 

Nonetheless, in the period between 1847 and 1895 it did get used occasionally, most memorably in the following game between Steinitz and Anderssen. What is strange about this game (which has quite a modern look about it), is that it took another 2 decades to catch one, despite the comprehensive nature of Steinitz's win. A few other masters did (including Blackburne!) but I can only find 37 games that used this variation (D55) between 1873 and 1894.

Steinitz,William - Anderssen,Adolf [D55]
Wien International-01 Vienna (1), 11.08.1873

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