Adolf Anderssen: More Slicing And Dicing!
This is what Adolf Anderssen may have looked like as a chef.

Adolf Anderssen: More Slicing And Dicing!

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The 1860s were very good for Adolf Anderssen, who was still at his peak. He won several important tournaments and was also successful in most of his matches. However, new players were appearing, such as Ignatz von Kolisch, Steinitz, and Zukertort. Although Anderssen was viewed as the best player in the world again (Morphy had retired from chess) those other guys were getting better and better.

Adolf Anderssen

Adolf Anderssen via Wikipedia.

Anderssen played two matches with Kolisch, with the first one (in 1860) drawn (5 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw), and the other (in 1861) barely won by Anderssen (4 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws).

A casual match in 1862 against Steinitz was won by Anderssen (2 wins, 1 loss), and they played another (official) match in 1866 which was won by Steinitz, with 6 wins and 8 losses. Both players beat each other to the pulp by the time the match ended.

Johannes Zukertort, who was rising fast, lost to Anderssen in 1868 (8 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw). However, Zukertort won a revenge match in 1871 (just 2 wins for Anderssen, 5 losses, no draws). At this point it was clear that youth (Steinitz and Zukertort—Kolisch was out of the picture since he quit serious chess after he won a very strong tournament in Paris 1867) mixed with an older Anderssen, made the future clear (as is the case in all sports).

Okay, perhaps it wasn’t clear! When all the young guys were ready to take over, Anderssen kept winning tournaments in the 1860s and even in the 1870s!


  • London International (1851) - 1st
  • London Chess Club Tournament (1851) - 1st
  • London International (1862) - 1st
  • Aachen (1868) - tied for 1st & 2nd with Max Lange
  • Hamburg (1869) - tied for 1st & 2nd with Paulsen
  • Barmen (1869) - 1st
  • Baden-Baden (1870) - 1st ahead of Steinitiz (Anderssen won both games against Steinitz), Neumann, Blackburn, Paulsen, etc.

After this, age started to weaken him. His two best results in major tournaments were:

  • Vienna International (1873) - 3rd
  • Leipzig (1877) - Paulsen was 1st, Anderssen equal 2nd and 3rd with Zukertort

His final tournament, Paris International (1878), had him in 6th place. He died of a heart attack in 1879 at the age of 60.


In the 1800s, matches were common. Anderssen played many. The ones that stand out (in his prime years and no casual games) were:

  • Win over Ernst Falkbeer (1851): 4 wins, 1 loss, 0 draws.
  • Win over Johann Lowenthal (1851): 5 wins, 2 losses, 0 draws.
  • Win over Johann Lowenthal (1851): 5 wins, 4 losses, 0 draws.
  • Win over Daniel Harrwitz (1858): 3 wins, 1 loss, 2 draws.
  • Defeated by Paul Morphy (1858): 2 wins, 7 losses, 2 draws.
  • Win over Jean Dufresne (1859): 4 wins, 0 losses, 0 draws.
  • Tied with Ignatz von Kolisch (1860): 4 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw.
  • Win over Ignatz von Kolisch (1861): 4 wins, 3 losses, 2 draws.
  • Tied with Louis Paulsen (1862): 3 wins for both, two draws.
  • Defeated by Wilhelm Steinitz (1866): 6 wins, 8 losses, no draws.
  • Win over Johannes Zukertort (1868): 8 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw.












In the strong tournament Baden-Baden 1870, everyone played two games against everyone else. Anderssen was losing in both games against Steinitz (who came in second, half a point behind first place Anderssen), but somehow Anderssen turned the tables and won both! Here’s Anderssen (after Steinitz botched it) ripping his opponent limb by limb!

It’s funny that Steinitz was a crazed attacker in his youth, but he had trouble with Adolf Anderssen, who was an even better attacker. As years went by and chess was changing, Anderssen made changes too. Steinitz became a positional player, and Anderssen couldn’t deal with that. During Anderssen’s final years, he too embraced positional ideas, though he was always looking to cut off his opponent’s head with a tactic.

The following game is a good way to end this article. Anderssen played a splendid positional game mixed with all sorts of little tactics. They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Anderssen, the king of tactics, was trying hard to make those changes. I wonder how good he could have become if he continued honing his positional skills. Unfortunately, ill-health dragged him down and, at the age of 60, he was gone.

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