Anderssen - Kieseritzsky

Adolph Anderssen (2675) - Lionel Kieseritzky (2600) 


 "The Immortal Game" 

London, Great Britain,   1851 

    [A.J. Goldsby I]    

 (The ratings are rough approximations of 1999 - 2000 standards.) 

 Anderssen's IMMORTAL GAME!!!! 

Chernev writes: 
<<  Franklin K. Young said, "All authorities agree that this partie is the most brilliant game of which there is any record." So terrific was the impression 
      made on the critics by the 'ideenriche' (of) Anderssen's lavish sacrificial display in this game, that they gave it a name which it has borne proudly 
      ever since. This, dear reader, is:  "The Immortal Game!" >> 

     [ See the book, {The} "1000 Best Short Games of Chess,"  by the late, great Irving Chernev. Game # 945, pg.'s # 517-518. ]. 

<< Universally known as, "The Immortal Game," this magnificent example of Anderssen's combinative powers is still without peer in the annals of chess. >> 

(----->  The very respected book, "500 Master Games of Chess," by GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.


----->   "Every amateur should know this game." - Wilhelm Steinitz. 

----->   "Every amateur should know this game ... AND admire it!"  - Siegbert Tarrasch. 

----->   "Its a great game. Every amateur should know this game ... but also criticize it!" - Richard Reti. 
             (He was more right about this game then most of his contemporaries.) 


One of the most famous games of the 19th century. After it was played, people were required to swear out affidavits that it was genuine, some people feeling that later generations would NOT believe this was a real game of chess without sufficient proof! Many chess editors promised their readers that this was a game so brilliant that it would never be surpassed in concept or scope!!! 

Needless to say, time marches on. 

GM Robert Huebner was one of the very first of the modern GM's to examine - IN DETAIL - many of the older games. He is to be commended for this, as when he started no other GM was doing this or sharing his thoughts with the general public. All the more impressive is that when he began doing this many 
years ago, computers were not strong enough to aid such analysis, so he had to do it the old-fashioned way. I imagine this took many hours, perhaps hundreds 
of hours for one game!! 

GM Huebner's criticism of this game is well-known. He has even referred to it as, "A piece of garbage." 

To me this is ridiculous. Although I realize that this game DOES contain many errors - and that he has found literally dozens of improvements - it does not give him  (him = GM Huebner)  the license to trash such a historically important game. 

I have tried to show more restraint, and annotate this game in a reasonable fashion. Although I readily acknowledge that this game does contain inaccuracies, I also wish to emphasize this game was played nearly 150 years ago and should be judged more in that context. 

I have consulted dozens of books, magazines, etc; in annotating this game. Anywhere this information was valuable/beneficial, or added something new, I have reproduced it here.

1. e4 e52. f4 exf4;  
A King's Gambit Accepted. 

3. Bc4 Qh4+!?;  
This check is no longer considered viable by opening theory. 

                         [The book line is: 3...Nf6; 4.Nc3 c6; 5.d4 Bb4; etc. ].

4. Kf1 b5!?
;  (Maybe - '?!')  {Diagram?} 
Huebner greatly criticizes this move. ('?') 

Not the best move. Maybe the only positive aspect to this move is that it gets the White Bishop off the dangerous a2-g8 diagonal. 

This gambit is called,  "The Bryan (counter) Gambit."  (Kasparov was once 'forced' to play this line and lost with it!) 
(See the book, [The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games,{by GM's John Nunn, John Emms & FM Graham Burgess} for the full story.) Thomas Jefferson Bryan was a player who was active in London and Paris chess clubs, in the mid-nineteenth century. This counter-Gambit line was all the rage at the time this game was played. (A 'Book' line! Over 150 years ago!) 

5. Bxb5 Nf6
Development can't be bad. 

                         [ Also playable is 5...c6!?; ]

6. Nf3{Diagram?} 
The most logical, gaining a tempo on the Black Queen. 

                         [ Most of Kieseritzsky's experiences with this line were pleasant, i.e.: 
                           The game - 6.Nc3?! Ng4; ("=/+") 7.Nh3 Nc6?!; (?) 8.Nd5 ('?') 8...Nd4?!; ('?') 
                           (Necessary was: 8...Bd6[])  9.Nxc7+ Kd8; 10.Nxa8 (White has a won game.) 
11.d3 f6; 12.Bc4 d5!; 13.Bxd5 Bd6!?;  
                            (Better was: 13...fxg2+!; which is more unclear than the game.)  14.Qe1?,  
                            {Better was: 14.e5!, ("+/") (Maybe "+/-")}  The course of this has been VERY 
                             uneven thus far. But now comes a combination of rare beauty. 
                             14...fxg2+; 15.Kxg2 Qxh3+!!16.Kxh3 Ne3+; 17.Kh4 Nf3+
Bg4#;  was a nice win for Kieseritzsky.

(See the diagram directly below.) 

 White is mated, from the game Schulten - Kieseritzsky;  Paris, 1844.

White is Mated,  0 - 1.   Schulten - Kieseritzsky; Paris, 1844. ]

This is a seemingly reasonable move, but comes under severe criticism by Huebner.

                         [ 6...Qh5!; {Unclear?} - GM Huebner. ]  

7. d3!?
Not the most aggressive move. But Anderssen did have a specific plan in mind. 

(GM Huebner awards the move a question mark, but this is ridiculous.) 

                         [ 7.Nc3!, ("+/=") - GM R. Huebner. ]  

; (Maybe - '?!')  
Protecting the pawn on f4, but ignoring his development. R. Huebner - '(?)' 

                          [ 7...Bc5!?; {Unclear?} ]  

8. Nh4!?, (Maybe - '?!/?')  {Diagram?} 
Again, not the best move, but a very aggressive one-typical of Anderssen. White seeks to anchor his Knight on f5. 


Practically every author has given White's eighth move a different appellation. 

GM R. Huebner - '?' (See ChessBase) 

IM David Levy - '!'  (See the book, "The Oxford Encyclopedia Of Chess Games," Game # "1851 - *AK-9" page # 176.)

In the book, [The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games," GM John Emms writes:  "As one would expect,  'The Immortal Game'  has been subjected to much analysis and debate from masters of the past and present. The sum of the analysis alone would probably be enough to fill up an entire book. One of the most recent annotators is the German GM Robert Huebner, who reviewed the game in his own critical way for 'ChessBase Magazine.' From move seven to move eleven inclusive, Huebner awarded seven question marks!" 

                         [ Probably best is: 8.Rg1!, ("+/=") - GM Robert Huebner. 8...Qb6!?; ('?!')  
                            (8...g5! ; - A.J.G.)  9.Nc3 c610.Bc4 Qc511.Qe2 Ba612.Bxa6 Nxa6
Qa514.Ne5 g615.Nc4 Qc7!?16.e5, ("+/-") 
                              Variation by - GM R. Huebner.] 

                               Or White could play: 8.Kf2!, (Maybe - '!?') 
                               ( The very respected book, "500 Master Games of Chess," 
                                  by GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.) ] 


Again criticized by Huebner. ('?' - Huebner.) (Several other sources give this move an exclam!) 

FM's Pickard and Burnett also award this move an exclam!
See the book: "The Chess Games Of Adolph Anderssen, Master Of Attack,by FM's Ron Burnett and Sid Pickard.

I will note only two things: (about the move, 8...Qg5) 
A.) The move is very logical; 
B.) It is the first choice of most of the stronger computer programs. 

                         [ Huebner recommends: 8...g6!; ("=") instead. ] 

9. Nf5 c6!?
;  (Maybe - '?!')  (?) - GM R. Huebner.  
This is bad. 

Black wastes further time trying to kick the Bishop. 

                         [ Maybe best is: 9...g6!; ("=/+") ]

10. g4!?
, (Very interesting.) (Maybe - '!')  
White plays to kick the Knight on h5. 

In its entirety, it is a tremendous conception. (Very deep.) 

Huebner roundly criticizes this move. He awards this move a question mark. ('?') (I consider this idiotic.) 

FM's Pickard and Burnett also give the move, 10 .g4, a question mark. 
See the book: "The Chess Games Of Adolph Anderssen, Master Of Attack,by FM's Ron Burnett and Sid Pickard.

GM Ruben Fine, in his book; "The World's Great Chess Games," awards this move an exclam!   


                         [ The following analysis is by GM Robert Huebner:  10.Ba4!, - R. Huebner, 
(10...d5!?; 11.g4 dxe4; 12.dxe4 Ba6+; 13.Kg2 Nf6; 14.Qf3, "+/=") 
Nxg3+; 12.hxg3 Qxg3; 13.Nc3 Bc5; 14.Qe1
(14.d4? Ba6+; 14.Qf3? Qxf3+; 15.gxf3 g5; 16.Rh5 Be7; "=")  
14...Qxe1+ ; (14...Qg4?! 15.Rh4, ("+/") This should really be "+/-". )
15.Kxe1 g5; 16.Rh5 Be7; 17.g3! fxg3; 18.Bxg5 Rg8; 19.Bxe7 g2; 20.Kf2, ("+/") 

 A variation from GM Huebner's analysis that ends with 20. Kf2.

                         Maybe "+/-". A very complicated and difficult variation. This is derived from the ChessBase analysis   
                         by Huebner of this game. ]    



10...Nf6!?; {Diagram?} 
Seemingly forced. 

But if Black were on the lookout, he would find 10...g6! 

Once again Huebner greatly criticizes this move, and awards it a question mark. This is 'over-kill' and inane. 

FM's Pickard & Burnett award this move the '?!' appellation.
See the book: "The Chess Games Of Adolph Anderssen, Master Of Attack,by FM's Ron Burnett and Sid Pickard.   


                           [ 10...g6!; - R. Huebner. ]    


11. Rg1!,  (Maybe - '!!') {Diagram?} 
Gee, I was expecting a question mark. 

{ '!!' - IM David Levy  (See the book, "The Oxford Encyclopedia Of Chess Games," Game # "1851 - *AK-9" page # 176.) } 

Seriously, this is an outstanding move, and Huebner is even gracious enough to award the move an exclam. The move is not at all obvious, and even the stronger computers in the year 2001 do not immediately find this move. 

GM Ruben Fine, in his book; "The World's Great Chess Games," [also] awards this move an exclam.  

IM David Levy awards the move a double exclamation point. (Move order 10. Rg1!! and 11. g4!)    


                         [ If 11. Ba4?!, then 11...g6; ("-/+") ]    


11...cxb5!?('?!' - Maybe risky!?)  
This might be a little dangerous. 

(But it wins a piece! And if White does not mate or win back a ton of material, Black will be winning!!) 

Huebner points out Black may have done better to play 11...h5! (After awarding this move - yet another - a question mark.)  ('?')

FM's Pickard and Burnett give this move a question mark. ('?') 
See the book: "The Chess Games Of Adolph Anderssen, Master Of Attack,by FM's Ron Burnett and Sid Pickard.  

12. h4! Qg613. h5! Qg5;  {Diagram?} 


                         [ Not 13...Nxh5?; 14.gxh5 Qf6; 15.Nc3 Bb7; 16.Bxf4 g6; 17.Nxb5!, ("+/-") 
                            Variation by GM R. Huebner.  Or 13...Qh6??; 14.g5, ("+/-") ]   


14.Qf3,  (Maybe - '!')   
Easily the most accurate. (Sharp.) 

Chernev writes: "Threatening to win the Queen by 15. BxP/f4, as well 
as 15. P-K5, (P/e4-e5) attacking the Rook (on a8) with his Queen while 
his King Pawn bites at the Knight." 


                         [ 14.Nd2?!, ("-/+") ]   


This ugly loss of time is pretty much forced. By now it should be obvious 
that Black's Queen is nearly immolated. 

Chernev writes:  <<  "One cannot always be happy," says Nimzovich. >>    


                         [ 14...Nxg4!?; {Unclear?} - GM Max Euwe. ]    


15. Bxf4 Qf6;   
Not much choice for Black here, this looks forced. This will also lead to more loss of time for Black.    


                         [ 15...Qd8; ('?!') - R. Reti. 16.Nc3 a6!?(16...Ba6!?)   
Bb7!?(17...Nc6;)  18.Nd5 Bxd5; 19.exd5 Bxd6?(19...f6[])   
20.Nxd6+ Ke7; 21. Nxf7, ("+/-") ]   


16. Nc3 Bc5;  (Maybe '!?')  
Black threatens to win (major) material.

This move is sharp, but it is not clear what it is best.    


                         [ 16...Bb7!?; 17.Nxb5!?; {Unclear?} ("=")  (17.Qg3 , ('!') - IM D. Levy)  
{Unclear?} ]   


17. Nd5!?(Probably - '!' , maybe even - '!!')  {Diagram?} 
Very sharp, with many tactical threats. 

A very brilliant, sharp and daring move by White. White is also preparing to sacrifice massive amounts of material. 


The debate rages over this move also. (White's 17th move.)

17. Nd5, '!' - Irving Chernev. 

17. Nd5, '!' - IM David Levy. 

Many writers, including Chernev, give this move an exclamation mark. 

(Huebner gives out another question mark!)  ('?') 

The move is a brilliant idea. Anderssen is probably already considering giving away BOTH Rooks ... 
  an idea that was probably UNIQUE and ORIGINAL at the time!!    


                         [ Actually the best move is: 17.d4!,  (Hitting the Bishop on c5, with a gain of time!)
                            with the idea of 18.Nd5!, ("+/-") - GM R. Huebner. ].


White appears to be in trouble. 

(Virtually everything is hanging!!) 

18. Bd6!(Maybe - '!!')    
A brilliant, unique and original conception. 


[ '!!(?)' - Nunn,  '?' - Huebner! ]  ['!' - IM D. Levy;  '!!' - GM R. Fine.] 

(Many Masters gave this move  {18. Bd6}  a double-exclamation point.) 

Hermann, (a chess column editor) in a (formerly) West German magazine called this move, "Ultra, ultra-brilliant." 

Chernev writes:  <<  "Ganz grossartig gespielt,"  says Gottschall.  >> 

GM Ruben Fine,  in his book; "The World's Great Chess Games," awards this move a double-exclam. ('!!')    


                           [ 18.d4!?, ("+/=") (Probably - '!') - GM R. Huebner. 
                              White could also play: 18.Be3!?, or 18.Re1!?,  all of the three 
                               preceding moves may lead to a win for White. ]   



18...Bxg1!?;  {Diagram?} 
Black grabs a Rook. 

To be honest, most chess players would do the same.

(Maybe - '?!';  '?' - Nunn;  '?' - FM's Pickard and Burnett.) 

Hard to say what to do here. Which Rook should I take first? 

It is not certain which Rook Black took first. 

Many different books give  DIFFERENT MOVE ORDERS!!!  (For this game.)  Which one is correct?

(I go with the move order given by Chernev in the book, {The} "1000 Best Short Games Of Chess." Chernev was known to be a stickler for accuracy!) 

(The Chernev move order also ELIMINATES the Nunn/Emms/Burgess defense of ...Qb2.) 

This is also the move order adopted by FM's S. Pickard and R. Burnett in their book, "The Chess Games Of Adolph Anderssen, Master Of Attack." 

This is also the move order given by GM Ruben Fine, in his book; "The World's Great Chess Games." 


                         [ Another move order for this game is commonly given as:    
                           18...Qxa1+!; 19.Ke2 Bxg1; ('?') (Not the best here.) 
                            The Mammoth book points out the 'save,'  19...Qb2!

(Chernev gives the variation: 19...Qxg120.Nxg7+ Kd821.Bc7#,)

(See the diagram directly below.)

  A very cute little mate (#1.) given by Chernev.

                                        (Better now is the defense: 19...Qb2!; and Black is probably better.) 

                           20.e5 Na6 ; 21.Nxg7+ Kd8 ; 22.Qf6+ Nxf6 ; 23.Be7#;

                           This is the move order given in The Mammoth Book.  (!!) 
                            [ See The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games,"    
                              {by GM's John Nunn, John Emms & FM Graham Burgess} ]

                             (To add to the confusion, this is also the move order given by the very 
                              respected book, "500 Master Games of Chess," by GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.) 

                           This move order is also given by IM D. Levy.    
                           (See the book, "The Oxford Encyclopedia Of Chess Games," Game # "1851 - *AK-9" page # 176.)

Chernev also gives the following variation: 
; 19.Nxd6+ Kd8; 20.Nxf7+ Ke8; 21.Nd6+ Kd8; 22.Qf8#,

(A cute mate. See the diagram directly below.)

   A very cute little mate (# 2.) given by Chernev.

                           A cute little mate, the kind Chernev was fond of pointing out.]   




(We now return to the actual game.) 
19. e5!
(Probably - '!!)  {Diagram?} 
Sealing off the Black Queen from the defence of g7. (Of course, in playing this move White must be prepared to lose MASSIVE amounts of material!!) 


(GM John Emms gives this move {19. e5} a double exclam.)  ('!!') 

Everyone, from Huebner to Nunn to Levy to Chernev give this move an exclamation point. (At least one exclam.) 

Chernev writes: << "Have another Rook!" >> 

GM Ruben Fine,  in his book;  "The World's Great Chess Games,  awards this move (19. e5!!!);   a triple - exclam!     


                         [ 19.Re1!? ]   




What else can Black do? (Black is lost at this point, I think.)

                          [ Black could have also played: 
                            Var. # 1.)  19...f6; 20.Nxg7+ Kf7; 21.Nxf6 Bb7;  
                            (Or 21...Kxg7; 22.Ne8+ Kh6; 23.Qf4# )   22.Nd5+ Kxg7; 23.Bf8#

                            Var. # 2.)  19...Bb7; 20.Nxg7+ Kd8; 21.Qxf7 Qxa1+22.Ke2 Nh6
dxe6; 24.Qc7+ Ke8; 25.Nf6#

                            Var. # 3.)  19...Ba620.Nc7+(20.Re1!?)  20...Kd821.Nxa6 Qxa1+;     
                                              22.Ke2 Qc3; - Falkbeer. (Interesting, but it will eventually fail.)

                                                      {Or 22...Bb6 ; - Tchigorin. 23.Qxa8 Qc3; 24.Qxb8+ Qc8; 25.Qxc8+ Kxc8
                                                         26.Bf8 h6!?;  (26...Kb7!?)  27.Nd6+ Kd8; 28.Nxf7+ Ke8; 29.Nxh8 Kxf8    
                                                          30.Kf3, ("+/-")  

                                                          Or 23...Qxa2; - Nunn. 23.Bc7+ Ke8; 24.Nb4 Nc6!?; 25.Nxa2 Bc5;    
                                                          26.Qd5 Bf8(Or 26...g6!?)      27.Qxb5, ("+/-")    

                           23.Bc7+ Qxc7; 24.Nxc7 Kxc7; 25.Qxa8 Nc6; 26.Nd6 Nxe5; 27.Ne8+ Kb6
Ka5; 29.Qxe5, ("+/-") ]    


20. Ke2 Na6!?; ('!')  {Diagram?} 
I thought this was best, but several sources ... (including Huebner) question it. 

('?!' - FM's Pickard & Burnett.) ('?' - IM D. Levy)  


                         [ Probably best here is: 20...Ba6!? ('!') - from the very respected book, 
                           "500 Master Games of Chess,"
by GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont. 
                             ... and quoted by IM D. Levy,  ... and FM's Pickard & Burnett.  
                             Or  Black could play 20...f6!? (But Nxg7+ yields a strong attack.) ]   


21. Nxg7+ Kd822. Qf6+!,  (Maybe - '!!') 
A brilliant move, giving up the Queen for Mate! 


GM John Emms  [In the Mammoth Book]  awards this move ...  a  double exclam.  
(See the book, [The Mammoth Book Of]  "The World's Greatest Chess Games,by GM's John Nunn, John Emms & FM Graham Burgess. ) 

GM Ruben Fine, in his book; "The World's Great Chess Games," awards this move a  double - exclam. 

Chernev gives it only a single exclam. 

"22. Qf6+!" - IM D. Levy. 


22...Nxf623. Be7#!  1 - 0   (See the diagram directly below.) 

  The final position worthy of a diagram.


Chernev writes: "White has given up a Queen, two Rooks, and a Bishop for one single, miserable Pawn; (and mate, the cynic might point out.)." 

  One of the most outstanding chess games of the 19th century!  

A very beautiful game that was also highly original. (At the time it was played ....... it was original, perhaps unique. I could find no other examples of a two-rook sacrifice that were well-known and that pre-date this game.) Also this game has appeared in dozens of books and countless chess magazines and chess newspaper columns over the years. 

I personally remember being like 10 years old and we were talking at the Pensacola Chess Club one night. Some one brought up the subject. I thought I knew a lot about the game but I had never even heard of "The Immortal Game of Chess," and I was curious to find out what it was. The next week an older member bought in a copy of Fine's book and we went over the game. I was very excited about the game. To be honest, I did not understand it but it appealed to me very much. 

(To me, it matters little about all the improvements that have been found. 
My experience, annotating literally hundreds of the 'older Master games' - has revealed many similar improvements. 
It would be counter-logical if nearly 200 years of praxis and all the benefits of modern technology did not yield substantial improvements!!

Fox and James consider this one of "Sixty Best" chess games. (The the book, "The Complete Chess Addict.")  

There is a minor dispute as to the move order here. Some claim the rook on a1 was taken first, with check; others state ...Bxg1 occurred first. 

Personally, I believe Kieseritzsky took the White Rook on g1 first. (This fits the way they played chess in the 1800's. Also, this is the move order given by the majority of books that examine or annotate this game.) And several sources have reported he (Kieseritzsky) liked to CAPTURE (first!) or make checks, announcing, "Check!" in a very loud voice. 

1 - 0 

Bibliography -
(These were the books or sources that provided the most 
information and analysis ... for this game.)

  1. ChessBase Analysis, by GM Robert Huebner
    (Anyone who is interested in analysis will be fascinated by this game. I printed this analysis out 
    once, and it ran more than 30 pages with diagrams!) 

  2. The book, {The} "1000 Best Short Games of Chess," by the late, great Irving Chernev
    Game # 945, pg.'s # 517-518. ]. (Brief analysis.) 

  3. The book, "500 Master Games of Chess,"  by GM S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont.
    Game # 227, pages 291 - 293.) (Good analysis.) 

  4. The book, [The Mammoth Book Of] "The World's Greatest Chess Games," 
    by GM John Nunn, GM John Emms & FM Graham Burgess. 
    Game # 2, pages # 14-19.) (Their analysis is also very thorough.) 

  5. The book, "The Oxford Encyclopedia Of  Chess Games," by IM David Levy.
    Game # "1851 - *AK-9" page # 176.)  (Brief analysis) 

  6. The book: "The Chess Games Of Adolph Anderssen,  Master Of Attack,
    many games annotated by the old Masters. Edited by FM's Ron Burnett and Sid Pickard.
    (Game # 340, pages # 147 - 149.) (Very good and thorough analysis.) 

  7. The book, "The World's Great Chess Games,by GM Ruben Fine.
    Section on A. Anderssen, Pages 14 - 19.)  (Good analysis.)

by Bill Wall

Strongest player in the world between 1859 and 1866. When he died, his obituary was 19 pages long. In 1851 A. Anderssen was recognized as the strongest chess player in the world. That same year A. Anderson was recognized as the strongest checker player in the world. In 1877 a group of German chess fans organized a tournament to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Anderssen's learning the chess moves. This is the only tournament in chess history organized to commemorate a competitor. He tied for second, behind Paulsen. - FROM  'La Mecca.'


A. Anderssen, 1818 - 1879
(A short Biography)

 Adolph  Karl Earnst  Anderssen   was born July 6th, 1818 in a small, sleepy village outside of  (then)  Breslau, Germany.  (Today it is Wroclaw, Poland a predominantly Jewish community.)  Showed the moves of the game at a fairly young age, (probably by his Father); his genius was not fully evident at first. His first teachers were Liebrecht and K.F. Schmidt, ("Chess Riddles").

His family members were all well educated, so it is not surprising that he wound up as a teacher of Mathematics. (He also taught the German Language at  Breslau's Frederichs Gymnasium, where he worked almost his entire life. The records indicate he was a kind and patient man, but capable of great clarity of thought.) And even though he was generally thorough in his studies, he also loved to visit Leipzig and Berlin on holidays, where he would immerse himself completely in chess. But he was also disciplined; he would not take a long break (from his studies - or his teaching duties), to play chess until he was almost 30 years old.

A little known fact about Anderssen is that he gained first fame as a composer of chess problems, publishing the book, Aufgaben fur Schachspieler in 1842. 
This book was full of short and lively little problems.

He played dozens of friendly, off-hand games with players all over Germany and earned a reputation as an up and coming player while still in his teens. He also played many games, and even had correspondence with Bilguier, who later (1843?) wrote of the first scientific chess book, the landmark and epic publication, 'The Handbuch.' (Still a great reference, even today!)

While he won many fine games and gained an excellent reputation as a player, it was generally thought he was not yet a player of the first rank. 

[Or so wrote the committee members of London, 1851. (The FIRST real, international chess tournament!) His only notable achievement up to that point had been winning a University event and a drawn match with Harritz in 1848.]  

But they were all wrong, because in London, 1851; he swept all before him - including the 'supposedly' superior H. Staunton by the score of 4 to 1. He also 
decisively defeated Kieseritzsky, Szen, and Wyvill in a series of knockout matches. Thus some sources recognize Anderssen as the first (unofficial) World Chess Champion. He was 33 at this time.

Anne Sunnucks says he is generally regarded as the world's best player from the early to mid-1850's until 1866.

Because he was a teacher, he went long periods with little or no chess contact, especially with really good players. This often meant that when he returned to 
play he was rusty, he had to, "play himself back into form." ("Throughout his career, Anderssen was handicapped by both his age and by the lack of time for preparation." - Anne Sunnucks.)

I personally feel Anderssen was one of the greatest "pure" tactical chess geniuses who ever lived. (Tal was another.) 

His games (The 'Immortal Game' vs. Kieseritzsky and the 'Evergreen Game' vs. Dufresne); are things of beauty of a grand design. They show a depth and scope that I feel games of an earlier period simply did not contain. 

Anderssen later lost matches to Morphy and Steinitz, but remained a very capable and dangerous player. (He had favorable LIFETIME scores against nearly everyone except for Morphy.) He convincingly won London, 1862; and Baden-Baden, 1870. (Baden-Baden, 1870; may have been one of the, 'Ten Strongest and Best Tournaments' of the 19th Century!)  He also came equal second with Zukertort, (Paulsen won); at Leipzig, 1877. This despite the fact he was  considered past his prime, and near the end of his playing days. (He died two years later, - March 13th, 1879. His death is thought to be caused by a heart ailment, perhaps brought on by a childhood fever.)

In 1865, for a lifetime of teaching, AND his chess achievements, Breslau University conferred an honorary doctorate on Anderssen.

Anderssen's impact on modern chess cannot be underestimated. He helped push the frontiers of the time and left his very indelible impression on our fair 
past-time. A close study of his games will help any player improve, especially if he is looking to sharpen his tactics!!

- LM A.J. Goldsby I



Opponent    Place     Year;    W   L   D
D. Harrwitz - Breslau, 1848;     +6   -5  =0
J. Lowenthal - London, 1851;   +5   -1  =0
D. Harrwitz - Paris, 1858;         +3   -1  =3
P. Morphy - Paris, 1858;       +2   -7  =2
B. Suhle - Breslau, 1859;          +27 -13 =8
Hirschfeld - Berlin, 1860;          +14 -10 =5
I. Kolisch - Paris, 1860;            +5  -5   =1
I. Kolisch - London, 1861;        +4  -3   =2
L. Paulsen - London, 1862;       +3  -3   =2
W. Steinitz - London, 1866;   +6  -8   =0
J.H. Zukertort - Berlin, 1868;     +8  -3   =1
J.H. Zukertort - Berlin, 1871;     +2  -5   =0
L. Paulsen - Leipzig, 1876;        +4  -5   =0
L. Paulsen - Leipzig, 1877;        +3  -5   =0
Total games: 190                      +92 -74 =24




Year    Place                          Standing; Points
1851 - London,                            1st         15
1851 - London (London Club)       1st         8.5
1857 - Manchester,                        3rd         1
1862 - London,                             4th         11
1868 - Aachen,                              2nd         4
1869 - Hamburg,                            1st          5
1869 - Barmen,                              1st          5
1870 - Baden - Baden,                 1st        13
1871 - Krefeld,                               2nd        5
1871 - Leipzig,                               1st        5.5
1872 - Altona,                                1-2 (tie)  4
1873 - Wien,                                  3rd,       19    
1876 - Leipzig, (Germany)              1st        5.5
1877 - Leipzig,                               2nd       8.5
1878 - Paris,                                  6th        12.5
1878 - Frankfurt Main,                    3rd        6
(Anderssen won or tied for first eight times.)

Bibliography: (For the bio) 

# 1.) "The Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess." (Many.) 
# 2.) "The Encyclopedia of Chess," by Anne Sunnucks.
# 3.) "The Batsford Chess Encyclopedia," by Nathan Divinsky.
# 4.) "The Oxford Companion To Chess," by D. Hooper, and K. Whyld.
# 5.) "The Chess Games of A. Anderssen," by R. Burnett. (S.Pickard, ed.)
# 6.) "The Great Chess Tournaments and Their Stories," by IM Andy Soltis.
# 7.)   The Book of Chess Records, by J. Gaige.


I hope to have a short biography of  L. Kieseritzsky, and to present it later. 

This game is a slightly shortened version of the game as it exists in my database.
(I have shortened it a little for publication.)
If you would like a copy of that game to study, please contact me. 

   [Page last (majorly) updated:  January 07, 2003. Last edit on: Friday, February 28, 2014 06:30 PM .]  

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