Letter #16 - 2007
Zukertort and Steinitz
Date: 5/25/2007 9:22:17 PM MST
From: S. Retana
There is a history I heard a long time ago that Steinitz and Zukertort were in a reunion party and someone proposed a toast to the world Chess champion and both players stood up.
Do you know anything about this incident?
In 1949, Fred Reinfeld and Irving Chernev published a book called "The Fireside Book of Chess."
Among some interesting facts in the book (page 104), the authors mention the story that Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort were at a dinner where a toast was proposed to the
world Chess champion. Both players stood up in response.
The incident occurred during the final banquet, held at the St George Chess Club, of the London 1883 tournament, held from April 26 to June 23.
The tournament was won by Zukertort (22/26). Steinitz took 2nd place (19/26). Steinitz lost one game and won one game against Zukertort.
What actually happened was that a toast was made to the best player in the world. Zukertort was already standing and the crippled Steinitz tried to stand, but remained seated.
It wouldn't be until the year 1886 that the first official world championship match was held. It was won by Steinitz, defeating Zukertort by 12½ - 7.½.
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