Anderssen’s Timeless Classic

by Milica Knezevic on January 17, 2022

The Chess Game: A. Anderssen - L. Kieseritzky, 1851 London

A. Anderssen - L. Kieseritzky, 1851 London
  • The Immortal Game was a chess game played by Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky on 21 June 1851 in London, during a break of the first international tournament.
  • The bold sacrifices Anderssen made have made it one of the most famous chess games of all time. Anderssen gave up both rooks and a bishop, then his queen, checkmating his opponent with his three remaining minor pieces.
  • In 1996, Bill Hartston called the game an achievement "perhaps unparalleled in chess literature".
  • The Immortal Game was an informal one, played during a break in a formal tournament in London.
  • In this game, Anderssen won despite sacrificing a bishop (on move 11), both rooks (starting on move 18), and the queen (on move 22) to produce checkmate against Kieseritzky, who lost only three pawns. Anderssen later demonstrated the same kind of approach in a game called the Evergreen Game.
  • This game is acclaimed as an exemplar of the 19th-century romantic style of chess, where rapid development and attack were considered the most effective way to win, many gambits and countergambits were offered (and not accepting them would be considered slightly ungentlemanly), and material was often held in contempt.

Who Was Adolf Anderssen?

  • Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen (July 6, 1818 – March 13, 1879)[1] was a German chess master.
  • He won the great international tournaments of 1851 and 1862, but lost matches to Paul Morphy in 1858, and to Wilhelm Steinitz in 1866.
  • Accordingly, he is generally regarded as having been the world's leading chess player from 1851 to 1858, and leading active player from 1862 to 1866, although the title of World Chess Champion did not yet exist.

  • Anderssen became the most successful tournament player in Europe, winning over half the events he entered, including the very strong Baden-Baden 1870 chess tournament.
  • He achieved most of these successes when he was over the age of 50.
  • Anderssen is famous today for his brilliant sacrificial attacking play, particularly in the "Immortal Game" (1851) and the "Evergreen Game" (1852).

Who Was Lionel Kieseritzky?

  • Lionel Adalbert Bagration Felix Kieseritzky was a Baltic German chess master and theoretician, famous for his contributions to chess theory, as well for a game he lost against Adolf Anderssen, which because of its brilliance was named "The Immortal Game".
  • Kieseritzky is the namesake of several openings and opening variations, such as the Kieseritzky Gambit, Kieseritzky attack, and the Boden–Kieseritzky Gambit.

  • Kieseritzky was born in Dorpat (now Tartu), Livonia, Russian Empire into a Baltic German family. From 1825 to 1829 he studied at the University of Dorpat, and then worked as a mathematics teacher, like Anderssen.
  • He lives in Paris and became a chess professional, giving lessons or playing games for five francs an hour, and editing a chess magazine.
Lionel Kieseritzky

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1 comment
by Benneth Shaw on May 24, 2022

Classic mate, this was used in puzzles over and over again… I admit it is not that easy even how many time ive recognize this pattern. Sometime we forget


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