Chigorin's Miniature

by Milica Knezevic on January 19, 2022

The Chess Game: V. Knorre vs. M.I. Chigorin, St. Petersburg 1874

Knorre vs. Chigorin
  • Primarily for all of you who are getting aquainted with chess terminology let's explain what a miniature is in chess:  short games — generally 25 moves or fewer. A person on the losing end usually has made at least one critical error that has quickly led to a hopeless position.
  • What a match to behold.  Let's stary by noticing the first part of this game: Italian Game, Italian Variation.
  • Now chose either Knorre's or Chigorin's side and really think about the moves that could be made in this match.
  • Challenge yourself with the help of some chess greats! 

Who Was Victor Knorre

  • Viktor Karlovich Knorre Russian: Виктор Карлович Кнорре(4 October 1840 – 25 August 1919) was a Russian astronomer of German ethnic origin. 
  • Knorre was also known as a strong chess player, playing among others against Adolf Anderssen, Gustav Neumann and Johannes Zukertort.

  • He took part in several chess tournaments during the 1860s.

  • In the Two Knights Defense the Knorre variation (ECO code C59) is named after him. It follows the main line of the Two Knights defense for the first ten moves, and is characterized by the moves 10. Ne5 Bd6 11. d4 Qc7 12. Bd2.

  •  The Knorre variation of the Open defense in the Ruy Lopez, characterized by the move 6. Nc3, is also named after Knorre.

Who Was Mikhail Chigorin

  • Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin (also Tchigorin; Russian: Михаи́л Ива́нович Чиго́рин; 12 November 1850 – 25 January 1908) was a Russian chess player.
  • He played two World Championship matches against Wilhelm Steinitz, losing both times.
  • The last great player of the Romantic chess style.
  • He also served as a major source of inspiration for the "Soviet chess school", which dominated the chess world in the middle and latter parts of the 20th century.
  • His first international tournament was Berlin 1881, where he was equal third (+10−5=1) with Szymon Winawer, behind Johannes Zukertort and Joseph Henry Blackburne. This event included 17 master competitors.

  • Chigorin was born in Gatchina but moved to nearby Saint Petersburg some time later. His father worked in the Okhtensk gunpowder works. Chigorin's parents died young and Chigorin entered the Gatchinsk Orphans' Institute at the age of 10.
  • He became serious about chess uncommonly late in life; his schoolteacher taught him the moves at the age of 16, but he did not take to the game until around 1874, having first finished his studies before commencing a career as a government officer.
  • Once smitten with the game, he terminated his employment and started life as a chess professional. In 1876, he started a chess magazine, Chess Sheet, which he edited until 1881 (only 250 subscribers in all of Russia).

Chigorin's Style

  • Chigorin's playing style featured a well-honed tactical ability and an imaginative approach to the opening. Indeed, he went on to add to the development of the concept through the work he carried out with closed variations of the Ruy Lopez. He also pioneered some variations of the Slav Defence. A large bearded man, Chigorin was described as 'decidedly handsome'.


  • Frank Marshall once commented on the highly agitated state that would possess Chigorin when faced with difficult positions. Aside from the usual frantic foot-tapping and crossing of legs, he would occasionally become "a bundle of nerves", at which point his temperament could turn "quite fierce"
Mikhail Chigorin

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1 comment
by Howell on May 24, 2022

When did white got blundered??? I dont understand. But this is actually good good to know coz you dont know that these will repeat to me on my games


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