Studying Old Games (Part 7)

Moving further back in time here’s a really ancient Ruy Lopez with Wilhelm Steinitz playing Black. Steinitz is generally regarded as being the founder of modern positional play as he codified many positional ideas and techniques that had previously been less formally stated and existed only as rules of thumb of the best players. This clarification enabled Steinitz to stand head and shoulders above his contemporaries and he was World Chess Champion for some 28 years.

In this game Steinitz provides us with a model example of how to use the bishop pair by taking space and depriving his opponent’s minor pieces of useful squares (for example 19…c5). When his pieces are clearly stronger than Black’s he is able to exchange off into a much simpler endgame:

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in Southport in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days he teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 14 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game.