GM Chess Analysis #50 Steinitz vs Bardeleben – Hastings 1895 – The Magic Rook

Grandmaster analysis from one of the most amazing games of chess ever. Steintz vs von Bardeleben, 1985.

White’s 22nd move Rxe7+!! followed up with his subsequent Rook moves has coined the game, ‘The Magic Rook’ game. Rxe7!! is also one of the most famous moves ever played.

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Wilhelm Steinitz vs Curt von Bardeleben

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4
Bb4+ 7. Nc3 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. O-O Be6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Bxd5
Bxd5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Re1 f6 15. Qe2 Qd7
16. Rac1 c6 17. d5 cxd5 18. Nd4 Kf7 19. Ne6 Rhc8 20. Qg4 g6
21. Ng5+ Ke8 22. Rxe7+ Kf8 23. Rf7+ Kg8 24. Rg7+ Kh8 25. Rxh7+
{And black resigned at this point. As Steinitz demonstrated
immediately afterward, there is a mate in ten moves which can
only be averted by ruinous loss of material; analysis follows:
…Kh8 25. Rxh7+ Kg8 26. Rg7+ Kh8 27. Qh4+ Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8
29. Qh8+ Ke7 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Qg8+ Ke7 32. Qf7+ Kd8 33. Qf8+
Qe8 34. Nf7+ Kd7 35. Qd6#} 1-0

von Bardeleben is best known for being one of the worse losers in chess. After 25 Rxh7+ he simple got up and walked away, allowing his clock to count down to zero.

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  1. Rumour has it Curt is still there.. at the pub.

  2. Great analysis, nice to see games at a time where engines weren't around

  3. I have just watched the analysis of this game by Ben Finegold … But I will watch your analysis as well 😘

  4. Oh no! Where did your beautiful intro go?

  5. You were 2255 at 12 years old, Jesus Simon what a champ

  6. Isn't that called a "crazy rook"?
    (I know it as a "dolle toren" in Dutch, but neither crazy nor magic gives a lot of search engine hits actually.)

  7. Simon, you've cranked the ginge up to 11! Tone it down so we can see your eyebrows! MY EYES!

  8. John Bartholomew recently analyzed this game too! Great analysis btw

  9. I just call him O'l Bartlebean.

  10. It's funny, but the magic rook finishes his work when it takes Harry the H pawn. When Harry falls, the game is over. Steinitz shows us the ultimate truth.

  11. It’s like the Jobava London system for the first 3 moves by white apart from e4 instead of d4. What do you think Simon?

  12. Grandmaster analysis from one of the most amazing games of chess ever. Steintz vs von Bardeleben, 1985. Time goes fast as they say

  13. Thanks Ginger GM for your analysis and also for your humor 😉

  14. Harold Godwinson lost at Hastings. Apparently he had a good pawn structure but lost trying to capture his opponents knights.

  15. many online players are like Curt von Bardelebe, they let theirs clock just run out when they are loosing

  16. I love your analysis. You bring the history of chess to us showing that continuity is an important aspect in our understanding of ourselves and that this runs backwards in time.

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