Wilhelm Steinitz


May 25, 2022

Wilhelm Steinitz (May 14, 1836, Prague, Austria-Hungary - August 12, 1900, New York, USA) was an Austrian and American chess player, the first official world champion in chess (1886-1894). . At the turn of the 1860s and 1870s, already recognized as the strongest player of his time after winning the match against Adolf Andersen, Steinitz developed the theory of positional play, which replaced the dominant "romantic" combination school and greatly enriched chess. One of the founders of the positional game of chess. In 1883, Steinitz moved to the United States and received American citizenship a few years later. In 1886 he defeated Johann Zuckertort in a match, the conditions of which provided for the proclamation of the winner as world champion. Steinitz defended the title several times, including twice against one of the last representatives of the combination school, Mikhail Chigorin. In 1894, Steinitz lost the World Cup match to Emanuel Lasker, who praised Steinitz's legacy and became a consistent proponent of the positional school. Having lost the title of world champion, Steinitz did not leave chess. He continued to participate in tournaments with no less success and even tried to take revenge on Lasker in 1896/1897, but in 1900 the life of a chess professional ended tragically. In the last years of his life he often fell ill and died in poverty. Steinitz was a prolific writer, in 1873 at the height of his career he stopped playing for nine years to focus on working as a journalist in the chess department of the London sports magazine Field, and in 1885 he founded the International Chess Magazine. Chess Magazine). Steinitz published reviews of parties and program theoretical articles, his controversy with other publicists, which Steinitz conducted aggressively and unequivocally, itself became an important event in the chess world.


Childhood and adolescence

Wolf Steinitz (later named Wilhelm) was born on May 14, 1836, in the Jewish ghetto in Prague. There is confusion about Steinitz's date of birth - in a number of sources the date of birth is May 18, although the chess player even once called May 17. Wolf's parents were the tailor Josef-Salomon Steinitz (1739-1868) and Anna Steinitz (born Torsch, 1802-1867). Total in the family from both