A Masterly Example of My System

Mar 31, 2013, 9:10 PM |
By Hans Kmoch
Kmoch's translation (appeared in English in 1951) in the American Magazine Chess Review

Anderssen started the sacrificial style, Morphy and Grunfeld the pure attacking style, Steinitz the positional style, Tarrasch the scientific style, Lasker the style of styles, Capablanca the mechanical style, Alekhine a style as brilliant as sunlight.  But it is a generally known fact that originality and modernism were introduced by me as my own personal inventions, and enthusiastically imitated (without being fully understood) by the whole world of chess.  For the ridiculously small sum of ten marks, the reader can confirm all this in my monumental work My System, published by B. Kagan.

Before my time chess was so naive and undistinguished!  One or two brutal opening moves, each one involving a vulgar, obvious threat, a common, banal sacrifice, a painfully elementary, bestially raw checkmate--such, more or less, was the course of chess games before my heyday set in.

Then I appeared on the scene and the chess world paid heed.  The hegemony of matter was shattered at a stroke and the era of the spiritual began.  Under my creative guidance, the chessmen, hitherto nothing but highwaymen, pirates, and butcher boys, became sensitive artists and subtle instruments of immeasurable profundity.

But why waste words!--come, soar to the dizzy heights of the following game: