Winner's POV Chapter 23: Paris 1878

Winner's POV Chapter 23: Paris 1878

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In Winner's POV, we take a look at tournaments from the 19th century and see the games that allowed the top player to prevail. Some tournaments will be known and famous, others will be more obscure - in a time period where competition is scarce, I believe there is some value in digging for hidden gems in the form of smaller, less known events.

Chapter 23: Paris 1878

Paris had not held an international tournament since 1867, and for good reason: their loss in the Frnaco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 had lasting effects on the country. The most notable event following the war was the Paris Commune, in which the French National Guard took over the city of Paris and installed a revolutionary government. While the revolt would be suppressed later in the year, it was very clear that France was in volatile condition, and needed some time to recover from their losses.

It wasn't until 1878 that France hosted their next "Exposition Universelle," or World Fair. As with previous World Fairs, it showcased many of the advancements the world had made, except for Germany of course. The most notable invention on display, I'm sure many would agree, was Alexander Graham Bell's telephone; other feats of technology included Thomas Edison's megaphone and phonograph (a prototype record player), Augustin Mouchot's solar-powered engine, and Pavel Yablochkov's arc lamp which served as the main street lighting in the Exhibition. It was a very impressive display overall, and it marked a triumphant return for France as a dominant world power.

You know what else there was? A chess tournament, of course.

Format and Prizes

Twelve players took part in this event, featuring many international masters along with the usual share of local players of varying skill levels. It was a double round robin, but unlike their previous event, draws counted for half a point as usual. The time control was 15 moves per hour.

The prizes are summarized in my favourite Westminster Papers:

The franc has a very volatile history due to France experiencing two centuries of inflation, so I'm not going to try and value this in today's money. However, note that the top prize at Paris 1867 was 500 francs and a Sèvres vase, so the prize fund increased drastically. That's the important detail to focus on, I reckon.


The strength of this tournament is incredibly high. Using the 1877 Edo lists, the field is topped by Johannes Zukertort (2nd behind Steinitz), Joseph Henry Blackburne (4th), Szymon Winawer (5th), Adolf Anderssen (6th), George Henry Mackenzie (8th), and Samuel Rosenthal (9th). If we include Henry Bird, James Mason and Berthold English, then we have 9 of the world's top 20 players competing, which has only been rivalled by Baden Baden 1870 (8/10 players there were top 20, whereas 9/12 are here). 

The Winner: Johannes Zukertort

Zukertort has been considered one of the strongest (if not the strongest) active players in the years following Steinitz's absence, though he's yet to have a tournament victory to support this. Thus far, we've seen him come 3rd at London 1872 (behind Steinitz and Blackburne), 2nd at London 1876 (behind Blackburne), and 3rd at Leipzig 1877 (behind Paulsen, and after losing the playoff game to Anderssen). However, in the month following the Leipzig event, he played and won the West German Chess Congress held in Cologne (3.5/5). His strength continues to grow, and today we'll be following Zukertort as we look at the Paris 1878 tournament from the Winner's POV.

Round 1: vs. Berthold Englisch

It's interesting that Englisch's only recorded games up to this point were in these two tournaments, so I still have absolutely no way to make any comments on his strength without looking into his later years. Somewhat amusingly, the next games he plays after this event are also at the next tournament in which he's featured, so it'll be a while. Let's just look at the games.

Englisch started this game by declining the Evans Gambit, but he righted his wrongs by accepting the second gambit pawn Zukertort offered with 6. d4. The dynamics of the game were nothing like a conventional Evans, as Zukertort opted to push forward his remaining pawns and argue that his space advantage gave him compensation for the pawn. He was technically correct, though any advantage evaded him for quite some time.

The action really started on move 24, when Zukertort sacrificed a second pawn to get the attack rolling. This decision was objectively losing, but with the way Zukertort continued playing, you almost believed him. He sacrificed an exchange, then a full piece, and Englisch finally faltered with 35... Qg7. The resulting exchanges gave Zukertort two passed pawns of his own, and the endgame was anyone's to win.

In this tricky Rook endgame, Englisch once again made a mistake that should've cost him the game. However, Zukertort was one tempo too slow, and his combination only allowed for liquidation. I could see this being his immortal game if it had worked, but unfortunately for Zukertort, a half point is all he gets.

The debate between Morphy's Defense and the Berlin was raging on throughout this tournament, and Zukertort presently decided upon the latter. His novelty on move 6 wasn't a good one, though Englisch didn't apply too much pressure, so the resulting position heading into the middlegame was pretty balanced.

Really, this game was quite dull. Englisch applied some pressure and forced Zukertort to be somewhat accurate, but Zukertort found enough activity to be comfortable. The players traded down into a Rook endgame and made a perpetual check with very little drama. Hopefully now you can see the reputation Englisch was starting to garner as a... "solid" player, let's say.

Round 2: vs. George Henry Mackenzie

This tournament was the introduction of American players into international competition, making it the first major intercontinental chess event. America's best received a warm welcome to Paris by Rosenthal, against whom Mackenzie only scored 0.5/2. Is Mackenzie all that strong, or has he only been the subject 3 times due to his weak opposition? We shall see.

The Double Spanish was the battleground for this game, which Zukertort did not play well. After some minor piece trades, his Bishop was left staring into a doubled pawn, which he took a very long time to remedy. Although Zukertort was able to deal with his doubled pawn, it gave Mackenzie the opportunity to keep the Bishop passive, which he did by applying pressure to the e-pawn. It was a very hard position for Zukertort to play, which probably explains why he started getting more aggressive.

We've seen Zukertort play some rather aggressive chess, and he tried to do so again here. However, Mackenzie had seen it all through, and after Zukertort won the pawn on f4, Mackenzie won the other two Kingside pawns. With an extra passed pawn to his name, and two connected passers to boot, Mackenzie was very careful in evading Zukertort's traps and converted the full point.

This game allowed Zukertort to demonstrate how to defend against the Mackenzie Variation of the Spanish, which we've seen claim many victims. The defense was quite nice, as Zukertort's 12th move invited exchanges that resulted in a very early endgame. Although it was technically better for Mackenzie, Zukertort took advantage of one slow move to cause more liquidation and reach an easily drawn endgame.

While the game itself has little drama, I find it interesting that Zukertort's two best moves were the same move - 12... d5 and 22... d5 both cleaned up his position nicely.

Is this the worst start to a Winner's POV we've ever had? It has to be.

Round 3: vs. Henry Bird

When you're in need of a win, Bird is among the better opponents you could encounter; it's not necessarily because he's a bad player, but his openings and general style always allow for an interesting game, which players of the Romantic era push to its fullest potential.

Case in point, both players made interesting moves right out of the gate, with Bird fianchettoing on the Queenside in the French while Zukertort played his Knight to h3 so he could strengthen his center with the f-pawn. It's a strange opening overall, but I will claim that Zukertort ultimately won it with his space advantage in the center.

The highlight of the game is definitely the trap that Zukertort set on move 20, making Bird think that he had a tactic, when in reality Zukertort calculated a little further. At the end of the skirmish, Zukertort was up a Rook, and he finally won his first game of the tournament.

Bird introduced his own Bird's Attack, an opening that Howard Staunton interestingly faced twice in the 1840s, but Bird was the first to properly write about it in his 1878 book. He believe that the opening gives an attack that isn't very potent, but quite enduring; in this game, Zukertort's attack was much more potent, and it really wasn't much of a game at all.

Round 4: vs. James Mason

When discussing the 4th American Chess Congress, the Westminster Papers expressed their enthusiasm for James Mason to cross swords with the finest masters of Europe. So far at this event, he's gone 1.5/6, though that's not too unfortunate given his opponents have been Winawer, Blackburne and Rosenthal. Following up with Zukertort makes for an incredibly stressful start to a tournament, I'm sure anyone would agree.

This French was much more normal than the previous, with the interesting quirk that the position on move 11 was almost completely symmetrical, with Zukertort having an extra h2-h3 tempo thrown in. It was a useful tempo, as Mason had two pieces on the Kingside that could hit g4, and it restricted his options. After Zukertort broke the central pawn structure, it was clear that he was going to be applying the pressure.

As it tends to be, the positional nuances aren't super important, because Zukertort went for a Kingside attack instead. His 29th move is the thumbnail for this chapter, and after seeing the resulting continuation, I hope you'll agree that it's worthy.

The return game was one of those Four Knights Tarrasch-ish QGDs that was very popular a few decades prior. This game started very smoothly for Mason, who found nice trades and was able to cement two pawns in the center. In the face of this, Zukertort was forced to castle Queenside in order to limit the pawn potential, though this ultimately cost him one of his pawns.

Zukertort's trickery was on full display in this game, as he took advantage of one unnecessary move from Mason (27. Bg1) to explode onto the scene, winning both central pawns while creating trades. Mason misjudged the position as they simplified, and the players traded into a Rook endgame that was technically winning for Black.

Zukertort's endgame skills were never his best, and as the moves went on, he slowly lost all of his advantage. He allowed an unfavourable pawn trade that left him with only one Queenside pawn, and his attempts to create threats against the Kingside pawns were easily swatted away. Mason gave him one more opportunity on move 50, but after Zukertort missed it, the game turned into a tablebase draw that was easy to defend, and Zukertort was relegated to his 4th draw in 8 games.

At this point, I think it's a good idea to look at the standings, because the next few rounds will require me to present things differently.

Two players remain undefeated after the first 8 games, with Winawer off to a perfect 8/8 start. A 3-point gap is an incredibly large one, but given how many games will be decisive, it's not insurmountable.

Round 5: vs. Henry Gifford

The Netherland Chess Federation started holding national tournaments in 1873, and Gifford was the original champion: he tied for 1st in 1873 before winning the tiebreak, tied for 1st again in 1874 but losing the tiebreak, and finally he won outright in 1875. His start at this tournament isn't quite as strong, but he's evidently a very accomplished player, so he's not one for Zukertort to take lightly.

The Queen's Gambit was accepted in this game, and this game shows why that's not wise unless you're willing to fight. Zukertort got a very strong center, and Gifford's moves were very slow in response. The Dutchman's fate was pretty much sealed with 14... g6, as Zukertort's dark-square Bishop was a menace on the weak dark squares. The game was a total stomp.

The moves of the second game do not exist, but the game is known to be won by Zukertort.

As is tradition, let's look at someone else's game, Winawer being the best candidate. In this round he faced off against Englisch, using the same line in the Three Knights that he beat Louis Paulsen with last year. Englisch played a good deviation from that game on move 9, and held a comfortable advantage. After winning a pawn, he took a timid, yet cautious, approach to simplifying, and slowly ground out his undefeated opponent. Winawer was human after all.

Round 6: vs. Karl Pitschel

When we last saw Pitschel at the Vienna 1873 tournament, he quickly lost both games to Steinitz, and only won a single match overall. He's not off to the best start here, either, but perhaps his fortunes can turn around?

In this Sicilian, Pitschel avoided getting into the same bad position that Anderssen did in his 1857 tournament game against Johann Löwenthal (see here), however he faltered on the very next move and still had the inferior position. Zukertort allowed his Queenside pawns to be doubled, but he left his Queen on a square that won the h-pawn, and then shortly after he coordinated an attack on the f-pawn. It was looking to be a rather straightforward win.

As the game dwindled down into an endgame, despite Zukertort having two extra pawns, he wasn't necessarily winning. Pitschel's e-pawn raced up the board, and would actually have helped draw the game with correct play. But once he went after Zukertort's a-pawn (that was untouched and still on a2), Zukertort pushed his connected Kingside pawns up the board in a technically winning endgame. Perhaps Zukertort should have read up on his Dvoretsky before the event, eh?

Frustratingly, the score for the second game is also unavailable. It was also won by Zukertort.

Let's check in on Winawer again. In this round he faced Mackenzie, and this game in particular was the same as the Mackenzie - Zukertort game we just covered. Winawer deviated from Zukertort on the 12th move, and it did not end up being the right decision. Mackenzie immediately was allowed to go on the attack, and his 19th move was the start of a combination that Winawer couldn't refute. The momentum had apparently ended.

I normally wouldn't show the scores again so soon, but look at this amusing crosstable:

How often is it so perfectly aligned so that the top half only played the bottom half? Anyway, Zukertort clearly benefitted from this segment, cutting the gap to just half a point. With only the top half left to face, there's plenty of drama to be had in the second half, so let's get to it.

Round 7: vs. Joseph Henry Blackburne

The two strongest active players in England attempted to set up a match in 1877, no doubt eager to settle the discussion on which one was better. However, after only 2 games (each player winning one) it was found that Blackburne's backers couldn't provide the full stakes for the match, and it was called off. Thus, the rivalry continues, and may be tested here.

Blackburne came with the usual aggressive intentions in this game, sacrificing a pawn in the opening for quick development and Kingside pressure. However, the threats were pretty easily parried by Zukertort, who really forced Blackburne to prove that something existed. The Black Death was up to the challenge, pushing his g-pawn forward and opening the g-file for attacks - the problem is that he wasn't the only one who could attack on it.

Zukertort's counterattack put a lot of pressure on Blackburne, who gradually adopted a symmetrical position, except he had an isolated pawn. While Blackburne searched in vain to find something, the pressure was applied to the pawn, and once it was won, more tactics presented themselves that forced resignation. Just like in 1876, Zukertort wins on the Black side, defending an attack that never really existed.

The next game these two played is honestly one of my favourites of the entire tournament. While the Romantic era is famous for swashbuckling attacks and powerful combinations, it's actually really refreshing to see an endgame grind. That's what happened in this game: after the opening, Zukertort went for an attack that was immediately shut down by Blackburne, and the players traded down into an endgame where Blackburne had an extra pawn but his doubled f-pawns mitigated his advantage.

This game, in my opinion, doesn't really get interesting until move 24. Zukertort had a chance to offer a threefold repetition that Blackburne is best off taking; instead he took the pawn on b7, and the resulting sequence gave Blackburne a passed a-pawn. This pawn was especially useful after Zukertort went for a sequence that temporarily won him a pawn, because the end result was Blackburne having two passed pawns on both sides of the board. We know that Knights have trouble defending such endgames, and Zukertort knew that as well, as he immediately sacrificed his Knight for both pawns.

The Rook and Knight vs. Rook endgame is one of the hardest to win, and interestingly, the Rook side having pawns makes it easier. Blackburne expertly demonstrated why, using one of the pawns as a shield from Rook checks from behind. Although Zukertort was holding the draw for quite some time, he made a mistake on move 60 that took his Rook out of the game and allowed Blackburne an unstoppable mating net. I loved looking through this game, and I hope that my (and Potter's) notes do it justice.

Round 8: vs. Samuel Rosenthal

Both of these players were born in the Polish Kingdom, though they both left in the mid 1860s for different reasons - Rosenthal in 1864 due to the January Uprising, and Zukertort in 1866 due to his father's Christian Protestant mission being considered "illegal and heretical." That's the only thing that connects these two at present, as they only played in two tournaments together, with this being the first.

The 5. Nc3 Spanish was debated again in this game, though the manner in which it was conducted was quite unique, as Rosenthal quickly pushed h3 and g4 with his King castled Kingside. The plan did have some merit, as Zukertort ended up castling Queenside where his position was already somewhat weak. The problem is that, due to his self-inflicted weaknesses, Rosenthal had to be especially careful to not allow a counterattack.

Now, we know very well how good Zukertort is at creating problems for a pressing opponent. As Rosenthal tried to take advantage of Zukertort's Queen and King being on the same diagonal, Zukertort destroyed the White Kingside. The latter turned out to be much faster, since Rosenthal was able to set up the skewer he wanted, but Zukertort already had his Rooks doubled on the h-file, and they ultimately gave checkmate before Rosenthal could even claim his prize.

The reverse game featured the same first 5 moves, with Zukertort showing support for the line that trades twice on e5. Now, I don't want to give much of a preamble for this game, because I really don't think it's all that good. Rosenthal had a solid position, but his Bishop indecision gave Zukertort the time to apply lots of pressure. As for Zukertort, he missed a couple of tactical shots that could've ended the game much quicker. As I don't really want to look at Zukertort's endgame technique in too much detail unless absolutely necessary, most of this game is uncommented, and I'll let you fill in whatever gaps you'd like.

Round 10: vs. Szymon Winawer

Winawer seems to play leagues stronger than usual when he plays in Paris; recall his tournament debut at Paris 1867 (see here) where he finished 2nd ahead of names like Steinitz and Gustav Neumann. At this point in the event, he still held a half point lead above Zukertort, so there is an incalculable amount of pressure for this match in particular.

Winawer knew that he couldn't afford to play it safe in this match, so his plan was very aggressive very early on. He sacrificed a pawn on move 13, and unlike Blackburne's from a few rounds ago, this one was very potent. The doubled pawns were backwards, and they impeded the development of Zukertort's Queen's Bishop. This is always a problem, especially once Winawer castled Queenside, since Zukertort was unable to connect his Rooks for a big portion of the middlegame.

Zukertort, never one to be afraid, tried to execute an attack of his own, but he lacked the firepower to give more than one innocent check. When he tried to reinforce the assault, Winawer proved to be faster, creating a breakthrough that won the Black Queen. Although Zukertort's remaining pieces were well placed and made very serious threats, Winawer deflected them all, winning the most crucial game of the tournament so far.

This is the first game where I think you can really feel the pressure getting to the players, because I don't know why Zukertort would go for the King's Gambit otherwise. A draw would be the same thing as a loss in terms of winning the tournament, I suppose. Anyway, Zukertort got what he wanted after Winawer played 9... c6, as the d6 square was a natural target, especially after Zukertort's 14. e5. In order to not get positionally squeezed, Winawer chose to temporarily expose his own king in the form of a Kingside pawn storm, inviting complete chaos.

Things got bad for Winawer after his 23rd move, which dropped a pawn and left his Knight on a really bad square. There wasn't much to be done to tactically save his position, so Zukertort just needed a little patience as he slowly found favourable tactics. When the dust settled, he had two pawns and an exchange, far more than enough material to convert the game and make the contest interesting again.

With the score split, let's see what these two have to do in order to finish out this tournament:

A 1.5 point lead separates Zukertort from his closest competitors, so it's really a two-horse race. Zukertort has to get through Anderssen and Clerc, while Winawer has to face Rosenthal and Blackburne. It'll be a dramatic finish to the event no matter what.

Round 10: vs. Adolf Anderssen

This would be Anderssen's last major tournament appearance, as his health would drastically decline over the next two years, and he would pass away in 1879. He gave much to the chess world over his long career, including being Zukertort's mentor before he moved to England. Let's see how he faired at the tail end of his last event.

The Anderssen Variation of the Spanish was tested again by the German master, who kept things lively with 9. g4. Although Anderssen doubtlessly wanted an attack, it wasn't super clear how he was going to get it. The center was locked up, and Zukertort's doubled c-pawns meant that the center wasn't going to open up, and he had the ability to attack on the Queenside. What was Anderssen trying to do?

We got the answer to that starting with 20. d4, with Anderssen occupying up the center, and Zukertort must have been nervous because he traded away his strong Bishop on g7. It was a sharp middlegame, with the position around move 30 containing many threats and only-move defenses that Zukertort correctly identified. When he planted his Knight on e3, it was clear that Anderssen would likely not be able to achieve his usual attacking brilliancy.

Once the Queens came off the board, it was an endgame that Zukertort would very possibly win due to his strong Queenside pawns. Anderssen needed to either trade off the Knight or set up an active defense, and as he chose neither, his defense became harder. Zukertort's King found the safest square on the board, and without any counterplay, Anderssen gradually saw his position decay, resigning once his Bishop was lost.

Zukertort was somewhat of a pioneer in the Sicilian line chosen for this game, as his 6. Be2 was his introduction to competition. In this particular game, it was a move that allowed 10. Bh5+ and was eventually sacrificed on that square, leading to a nasty attack after Anderssen put his Queen on the wrong square. His King was tucked in on g8, not at all safe and blocking in his own Rook, mitigating the material gain.

Unfortunately for Zukertort, he missed the only refutation to Anderssen's 19th move, and after 20... Qxf2+, it was clear that a draw was the only possible result. Zukertort correctly administered the perpetual check, failing to win the game but certainly making the old master sweat.

Round 11: vs. Albert Clerc

Rather than talk about this guy (because I know nothing about him), let's take a look at the tournament situation. Winawer also scored 2-0 over Rosenthal in the previous round, and here he must face Blackburne. With a 1-point lead, the pair played these two games:

This means that, if Zukertort wins both of his games, he can tie Winawer for first. Let's see exactly how the last round played out.

A g3 Sicilian was the battleground for this game, with Zukertort showing much better knowledge of the opening than his opponent. He equalized rather quickly, getting in the important 13... d5 to ensure that the opening was at least equal. Clerc made 5 moves with his King's Knight in the first 17 moves of the game, and his 18th move dropped a pawn on the Queenside. With an extra pawn and his opponent having a bad pawn structure, it looked like a smooth path to victory was laid out.

In the process of winning a second pawn, Zukertort thrust forward the pawns in front of his King. The plan wasn't bad in itself, but it did give Clerc a very obvious plan of counterattack. As the major pieces placed themselves on the open e-file and the h-pawn raced up the board, Zukertort looked rather uncomfortable trying to defend. His allowing of the minor pieces to be traded let Clerc put a pawn on h6, and suddenly Zukertort had to be careful to not get checkmated.

Nerves and exhaustion were very clearly present in Zukertort's play, as he lost his pawn advantage and the Kingside pawns of Clerc got closer and closer. At one point he was even lost, but Clerc failed to find the winning move. The endgame itself is incredibly back and forth, but thankfully for Zukertort, the final mistake was Clerc's. There's no way for me to properly summarize all that went down in this monster of a game, so I encourage you to look it over yourself, it's incredibly wild.

Clerc adopted a line of the French that Blackburne had been playing heavily all tournament; perhaps his specific inspiration was the draw he obtained against Winawer the day before. Once again Clerc was very indecisive about where to put his Knight, ultimately choosing to lock down the Queenside in order to avoid repercussions. The problem with this is that Zukertort was encouraged to attack the Kingside, which shouldn't be something you invite with such open arms.

This game is honestly the kind of stomp we expect to see from Zukertort. He set his Bishop up for a Greek Gift, and he gave it to Clerc only two moves later, winning a Rook at the end of the sequence. When it mattered most, Zukertort pulled it off, and now we have a playoff to look at.


The tiebreak format for this event is another 2-game match, and we actually have two tiebreaks in this event, for first and fourth prizes. As far as the latter, Mackenzie defeated Bird 2-0, marking a successful start to his international career. The former is obviously of great interest to us, so let's take a look.

Tiebreak: vs. Szymon Winawer

One tournament that came to mind when looking at this was the 2022 U.S. Girl's Junior Chess Championship. At that event, WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki started with a perfect 6/6 but ultimately lost the tiebreak playoff. The similarities between the two events are eerily surprising, as you'll see.

This move continued a discussion these two had at Leipzig 1877 with the colours reversed. While Zukertort initially found an improvement on move 8, he allowed a similar sequence a few moves later, but this one was worse for him. His Rook was forced onto the a2 square to protect his weak pawn, and his Kingside pawns were doubled as he tried to escape a pin. The position was full of venom, with Winawer setting a very dangerous trap with 20... Nh3 that Zukertort avoided, but the attack was still very strong.

It looked like the game might end on move 25, as the players nearly repeated 3 times, though Winawer correctly deviated and played on. He decided to trade into an endgame where Zukertort's pawns were leagues weaker, which was a very safe decision that ensured he wouldn't lose. After a few pawn trades Winawer sacrificed his d-pawn, probably intending to win both of the Kingside pawns. He did accomplish this following a Rook trade, but Zukertort was enabled to give a perpetual check, drawing a very difficult game.

Winawer debuted his Winawer Attack in this game, which lead to another very aggressive game from him. Zukertort had no choice but to defend the Kingside from Winawer's threats, which weren't very intimidating, but they were forcing. Like against Mackenzie, Zukertort thrust forth with d7-d5, and the result was mass exchanges that left a relatively even endgame.

Since Zukertort had doubled c-pawns, the position was technically better for Winawer, but not in any material way. Both players' Rooks started mopping up pawns, and both players ultimately ended up with two pawns, a Rook, and a minor piece. After this material balance was reached, it took almost 60 moves for the game to end, with neither player wanting to draw too early. And yet, a draw it was.

With the first match being drawn, a second match needed to be played to determine the winner. This was also the case at the aforementioned U.S. tournament; the rapid playoff was split, and a blitz tiebreak was needed to ultimately determine a winner (which in this case was FM Jennifer Yu). Another 2-game match is on the table, winner takes all.

The players repeated the opening from the first game, with Winawer deviating on move 8. He decided to go for the same idea as the first game, doubling the pawns along with sticking a Bishop on d4. Zukertort had a better response in this particular position, as his 13. f4 sacrificed the b2 pawn for better central control and a pawn structure that favoured a Kingside attack. The game was prepared for chaos, and with both players running on fumes, it's anyone's guess who would come out on top.

As Winawer had opened up Zukertort's g-file, it was used for a Queen-Rook battery, which stared aggressively at the g-pawn. This weakness would never go away, especially after Winawer played f7-f5. Zukertort's Queen on the h-file made the g-pawn permanently weak, which is something that Winawer never correctly dealt with. He recaptured with the wrong Rook on move 35, and a move later he gave up the g-pawn which opened the King position and allowed Zukertort to notch another attacking win under his belt. Advantage: Zukertort.

The players repeated openings once more, with the first 15 moves being the same as their second game. Winawer found an improvement to his 16th, which is a good thing, because Zukertort reported that he had prepared a strong reply for it. While his initial novelty was good, Winawer failed to play as aggressively afterwards, and soon Zukertort's central pawns were advancing up the board. Winawer had to play a couple of very ugly moves that the computer yells at, but the "best" moves lead to a dry equality.

Winawer's risky play paid off when Zukertort sacrificed a piece but played the wrong follow-up. However, he needed to find a very specific move to capitalize, but not only did he not find it, he found one that loses. He put his Knight on a square where it got pinned, and with Zukertort netting two pawns in his sequence, the Knight really did not want to be pinned. But pinned it was, and though Winawer was able to save the Knight, his Queen was not so lucky.

At last, the event ends in favour of Zukertort. For now, Winawer is relegated to 2nd place in his 2nd appearance at Paris, and more importantly remains out of contention as a subject of Winner's POV. Zukertort, on the other hand, very likely holds the title of "World's Strongest Active Player," as Steinitz had still not made any serious competition appearances. Some were even saying that Zukertort had surpassed Steinitz, but there isn't any way to confirm this; at least, not yet. I'll save you the suspense and tell you now that they won't be facing off for a few more chapters, so for now, we set our sights on less monumental achievements (because I'm too tired to do this again so soon...)

Thanks for reading, we won't have a tournament of this magnitude for another few years, so I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed researching/writing about it. Cheers