What Century Am I In?

What Century Am I In?

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Afternoon everyone. Although I post chess from the past, I very definitely keep up to date with what is going on in the chess world. I am not one of those who thinks that everything in the past was better, or everything today is better. Goat lists - comparing players across eras - are just stupid imho.

Chess evolves, and every great player is great within their era.. End of.

Well, with the advent of engine domination of opening preparation, that area of the game is almost into a phase of retrogressive evolution. Players today are working with the same opening problems that players were well over a century ago. No kidding, as Walter Browne used to say.

Yesterday I had great fun with the games of the Norway tournament. Two games there instantly brought to mind two games from the past which the players in Norway have quite possibly never looked at.

Let's start with this one.

Carlsen - Firouzja. Yep, you botched the ending mate!

Well, apart from the fact that if Firouzja is frightened of the ending R +f and h Pawns vs. R he should go study Smyslov , the opening was interesting to me!

I read some muppet quite recently saying that modern players would destroy Steinitz

Steinitz - Lasker 1894 title match. It fits in nicely here.

in the opening. O.K. Let's go to the very first World Championship match, back in 1886, when they knew nothing about the openings compared to today.

Steinitz - Zukertort match 1886. Loads of sources for this one - this is the engraving version.
Meanwhile the various commentators were frantically clicking the mouse buttons over the Ding Liren - Nakamura game! Database searches of online blitz games and engine analysis all over the place!! 2...c5 was one of Tarrasch's - yes the unoriginal dogmatist bloke - experiments well over a century ago. It then goes down the road of a game that I have spent many hours with.

So the game in mind - the same kind of problem albeit via a different move order. A game which teaches you a lot about Lasker.

St. Petersburg 1909 tournament book.
The game has been annotated many times, but I have done my own notes as I went along.
Amos Burn. St. Petersburg 1909 tournament book.