Hastings 1895

batgirl
batgirl
Aug 16, 2008, 8:33 PM |
21


     The tournament at Hastings in 1895 was arguably one of the most important tournaments in chess history.   There has been a lot written about it and the games produced there.    My attention was drawn back to Hastings  though  some  comments  made by  chess.com  member blunderprone who is examining Hastings in great detail both at his blog at
here at chess.com and at blogspot.

     I decided to go to the source, the tournament book by Horace F. Cheshire, and reproduce, in a series of postings, some of the information found therein that is difficult to find elsewhere.

     The very first item on the agenda is a rather surprising (to me) summary of the results of the openings used during the tournament.

 Here one sees a mix of the old and the new with a strong leaning towards the new -  but still with only six Sicilians!   The Queen pawn openings were by far the most popular, something one would never have seen just 20 years earlier (for example, www.chessgames.com lists only 129 QGD games prior to 1875).   Perhaps this is indicative of the momentum of theory that propelled the chess world during Steinitz' reign.  But also interesting is that of the 9 Evans Gambits played, Black won 7 outright;  of the 5 KGDs, White won only 1;  White didn't win even 1 of the 3 Bishop Gambits and only won 1 out of the 7 Two-Knights Defense games.   Besides the Queen pawn openings, the Ruy Lopez and Steinitz's pet, the French, were the White players' best bets.