23 February 2012

1890 Chigorin - Gunsberg

British Chess Magazine (BCM) to the rescue. Three years ago, in Chigorin Wrapup, I wrote

I had planned to wrap up this series on Chigorin with a summary of the 1890 Chigorin - Gunsberg match, using the same format I developed for 1893 Tarrasch - Chigorin (Anatomy). I ran into a snag when I realized that, although I have copies of the game scores, I have no record of the sequence in which they were played (and no way of knowing if my game scores are complete or accurate). There appears to be nothing on the web except for the final result of the match. The summary will have to wait until I have access to contemporary sources.

It turns out that all of the game scores were published by BCM in 1890. From the February 1890 issue:-

Mr. Gunsberg's friends (and he has many) are naturally very jubilant over the turn of the tide in his match with Tschigorin [Chigorin]. It looked all up with him at the commencement, and the great Russian expert seemed to be having it all his own way. Mr. Gunsberg's friends are already discounting his victory, and then -- ? Then they say he will challenge Steinitz. In that case I think I may say that a match between the two would come off, for I don't think that any great bother would take place over preliminary arrangements.

From the March 1890 issue:-

The great contest of ten games up between Messrs. Tchigorin [Chigorin] and Gunsberg, came to an end on February 19th. After various fluctuations in the state of the score, it reached on that day the total of nine won games each, and five drawn, a result which has rarely been attained in any match of first class importance. After such a neck and neck struggle, the winning of one more game would have had so little effect in determining the relative position of the two masters, that the committee, very wisely we think, resolved that the decisive game should not be played.

And, yes, one of my game scores was in error. It had the players switched as White and Black. Next step: 1890 Chigorin - Gunsberg (Anatomy).

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