Friday, December 3, 2010

Steinitz, Fathers of modern chess.

Born in Prague in 1836 to a poor Jewish family,he learned the game at 12 and developed in Vienna while attending the Polytechnic School there where he studied mathematics until chess overcame him.By 1862 he made his debut at the London International Tournament  where he finished sixth.He then remained in London,which was at the time the chess center of the world,and eked out a living as a chess proffessional. In 1886 he surprisingly defeated Anderssen in a match by 8-6 and followed that by a series of strong tournament showings capped by two fine first places at London in 1872 and Vienna in  1873.But from then until 1882 he almost completely abandoned over-the-board play for concentrated study of the game's foundations and expostulations thereupon in his chess column in "The Field". Steinitz gave credit  to Louis Paulsen for many of Paulsen's ideas he used,but he elaborated on Paulsen's work and developed an entire theory of positional play.It was not only that Steinitz possesed a very high ability to synthesize and generalize,but also that he had a marvelous command of the English language in which he set forth his ideas.
Steinitz as a person was very argumentative,and this characteristic led him into many bitter verbal battles in the pages of his chess columna and later in his "Intenational Chess Magazine".(1885-1891) which he founded when he emigrated o the United States.Many of his long-winded attacks and rebuttals of his critics make interesting reading,for Steinitz had a very real way with words.

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