World Chess Championship Rules

Edward Winter



steinitz

W. Steinitz


Steinitz v Zukertort (New York, Saint Louis and New Orleans, 11 January-29 March 1886)

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Source: Chess Monthly, January 1886, pages 136-137.

Regarding the 9-9 clause, below is the text of C.N. 3324 (see pages 134-135 of Chess Facts and Fables).


From page 65 of part one of Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors (London, 2003), concerning the 1886 world championship match (ten games up) between Steinitz and Zukertort:

‘There was an important nuance: with a score of 9-9 the match would be considered to have ended in a draw, since the players did not want the outcome of such an important duel to rest on the result of one game. Such a rule was to apply later in a number of unlimited matches for the world championship, and it became a stumbling-block in the years when Fischer was champion (as will be described in a later volume).’

It is indeed true that Steinitz and Zukertort’s contract (29 December 1885) stipulated:

‘The Score at Nine Games. Should the score stand at nine (9) games won to each of the players, then the match shall be declared drawn.’

Source: Chess Monthly, January 1886, pages 136-137.

However, on page 118 of the May 1886 International Chess Magazine Steinitz reported that this provision had been amended before the final series of games began in New Orleans on 26 February 1886:

‘Two of the conditions of the match [one of them omitted here, being a minor matter concerning playing hours] were altered by mutual consent of the players, who had agreed, in the first place, to reduce the score, which rendered the match a draw, to eight all, instead of nine all, as previously stipulated. There can be no doubt that both the principals acted bona fide and chiefly in the interest of their backers in agreeing to such a modification of the original terms of the match, for their main reason in adopting the alteration was to exclude all element of chance as much as possible and to avoid risking the issues at stake on the result of two games. But, on consideration and in order not to establish a questionable precedent, we feel bound to say that the opinions of some critics, who, without in the least impugning the motives of the two principals, have expressed doubts on the legality of such proceeding, now appear to us reasonable. For it is justly contended that the two players had no right to alter any of the main conditions of the match without consulting their backers, who had deposited their stakes after the chief terms had apparently been finally settled …’



Steinitz v Chigorin (Havana, 20 January-4 February 1889)

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Source: International Chess Magazine, December 1888, pages 355-356.



Steinitz v Gunsberg (New York, 9 December 1890-22 January 1891)

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Source: International Chess Magazine, November 1890, pages 325-328.



Steinitz v Chigorin (Havana, 2 January-28 February 1892)

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Source: International Chess Magazine, July 1891, pages 200-201.



Steinitz v Lasker (New York, Philadelphia and Montreal, 15 March-26 May 1894)

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Source: BCM, April 1894, pages 162-163. A signed original (ten pages) of the above-mentioned agreement is owned by David DeLucia, who reproduced the first two pages in the books discussed in C.N.s 3164 and 5323.



Lasker v Steinitz (Moscow, 7 November 1896-14 January 1897)

Page 425 of the November 1896 BCM stated that the return match between Lasker and Steinitz would take place ‘under the same conditions as those of the first match, with the exception of the stake’. On page 468 of the December 1896 issue a summary of the match rules was provided: ‘it will be decided by ten won games, draws not being counted. The time-limit is 15 moves an hour. A purse of £200 will be presented by the Moscow Club to the winner, and £100 to the loser.’



Latest update: 26 June 2010.

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