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A Literary Steinitz Gambit

Author : Wilhelm Steinitz
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Wilhelm (later William) Steinitz (1836-1900) was an Austrian-American chess player and the first undisputed world chess champion from 1886 to 1894; some contemporaries and later writers described him as world champion since 1866, when he won a match against Adolf Anderssen. Steinitz lost his title to Emanuel Lasker in 1894 and also lost a re-match in 1897. Although Steinitz became world number one by winning in the all-out attacking style that was common in the 1860s, he unveiled in 1873 a new positional style of play and demonstrated that it was superior to the old style. His new style was controversial and some even branded it as cowardly, but many of Steinitz s games showed that it could also provide a platform for attacks as ferocious as those of the old school. Steinitz was also a prolific writer on chess, and defended his new ideas vigorously. The debate was so bitter and sometimes abusive that it became known as the Ink War . But by the early 1890s Steinitz approach was widely accepted and the next generation of top players acknowledged their debt to him.

The Literary Digest

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The Illustrated London News

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