London 1883 and Johannes Zukertort

London 1883 and Johannes Zukertort

GM Julio_Becerra
Sep 9, 2009, 12:00 AM |
37 | Amazing Games

The London 1883 chess tournament was one of the most important competitions of the nineteenth century where most of the leading player competed. It was won convincingly by Johannes Zukertort (22/26) ahead of Wilhelm Steinitz (19/26) by three points! One week before the end Zukertort had already ensured himself the first place!

The tournament was also notable for the first use of the double-headed chess clock! manufactured by T.B. Wilson of Manchester.

The winner of London 1883 was a remarkable man! Johannes Zukertort (1842-1888), born in Riga and educated in Germany, was the all-time Renaissance man of chess. Zukertort filled his relatively short life with a wide range of other achievements as a soldier, physician, musician, linguist, journalist and political activist! A linguist, he spoke eleven languages fluently! and had a working knowledge of Arabic, Turkish, and Sanskrit. A fine pianist, he had studied with the renowned Ignar Moscheles, the composer, conductor, and teacher of Mendelssohn.

As a chess player, he learned the game late- at the age of eighteen- and then took lesson with Anderssen. His career went up fast. In 1871 he beat Anderssen in a match and amazed everybody with his blindfold exhibitions of up to sixteen boards, winning 12, drawing 3 and losing only one. The London 1883 chess tournament led to the first World Chess Championship 1886 between Steinitz-Zukertort! The 1886 World Chess Championship match lasted from 11 January to 29 March 1886. After building up a 4-1 lead Zukertort wilted, lost 4 of the last 5 games and lost the match by 12½-7½.

 After this defeat, Zukertort's health suffered and he was a greatly weakened player for the remaining two years of his life. Zukertort died 20 June, 1888, in London from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Let’s see today Zukertort’s immortal game against Blackburne from this tournament. This is a really gem!

The conclusion of the game, I give to you as a puzzle:

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