Zukertort - Steinitz, 1886: Game 1

May 28, 2009, 8:49 AM |

The year was 1886. Three years previous, Johannes Zukertort had shown the world his commanding power over the chessboard, crushing all opposition in the 1883 London International. He was already considered the unofficial world champion by many of the chess community. In the 1883 tournament, Wilhelm Steinitz had finished second- however, he was three full points behind Zukertort! This didn't seem to diminish his confidence as he sat down to begin the worlds first ever championship match- let's see how he got on.

So, in perhaps a shock result, Steinitz claims the first point of the match. Perhaps the format should be pointed out- first to ten wins, draws do not count. This was not an uncommon format in the late-19th and early-20th century, when theory was not yet developed and draws were fairly uncommon. Tune in next week for round 2- will Steinitz continue to beat the odds and defeat Zukertort again, or will Johannes get his revenge?