St. Louis Globe Democrat/A Draw Game

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Dr. Zukertort Explains Himself to the Press

and Subsequently Proposes a Cessation of Play

The Ninth Game on Wednesday

Predictions were freely circulated among the prominent chess players present in Harmonie Hall yesterday afternoon, before the commencement of the game, that the ultimate result in the champion series would find Steinitz in the lead. The reasons advanced in support of these prophecies were based upon the brilliant chess the German has been playing here. There can be no doubt but that in the two preceding games Zukertort has been outgeneraled and overmatched. Both of these games were considered from a theoretic standpoint much more masterly than those played in the East. There the odds were greatly favoring Zukertort as Steinitz was unwell and playing in exceedingly bad form. Here he has struck his playing gait and is more devoted and careful of his work. Since his arrival in this city Dr. Zukertort has been unwell, extremely nervous, and only obtaining sleep at long intervals. This condition of affairs has had an apparent effect on his nervous system and his friends claim that this is one reason he has lost ground here. The game yesterday was the third one of the series to be played here, and was of unusual interest from the painful knowledge that the rules governing the match stipulated that three won games for one player should close the series in any one place, and for this reason if Steinitz won the game the chess world in St. Louis would have seen their last championship game.

Zukertort the Favorite

For this cause alone there were many expressed desires, unpatriotic but sincere, that the little Russian would take the ganfe, in order that more of this brilliant playing might be witnessed here. There was a troubled look upon the broad forehead of Dr. J. H. Zukertort when he entered the hall of the Harmonie Club in company with Max Judd and other well known chess players. There were wrinkles everywhere noticeable and his face was unusually pale. When he entered the room in which the games are being played he inspected the chess board as usual and then went out in an adjoining room for a season of meditation and prayer. While he was out his opponent Herr Wilhelm Steinitz arrived and everything being supposed to be all right, seated themselves for the contest. Zukertort had the black, Steinitz the white. The latter had the move and a pawn went to the king's fourth. The game was known as the Ruy Lopez and had a brisk inauguration. During the first half hour move moves were made than during any game played before between these champions. This was not a foretaste of what was to follow, for after this the play was more deliberate than ever before on the part of both. Zukertort was, however, much the more impetuous of the two. The game had proceeded only a short way when the discovery was made that the ingenious little clock, which is the sole time-keeper of the movers, had ceased to operate. A suspension of operations was at once made, and the contrivance taken to a neighboring jeweler's shop where half an hour was lost while it was being repaired. During this interval the little Russian crossed over to the reporters' table and delivered a rather lengthy but interesting dissertation of the relation of the press to the chess player.

He never complained, he said, of anything - not even of the St. Louis streets - with the exception of his treatment at the hands of the American newspapers. There was one thing he had noticed - that nearly every report that had been written concerning him was sheer nonsense. New York papers had made him pose in the role of a Hungarian, a Russian, and Englishman, and a Frenchman, while in fact he was not a native of any of these countries. He seldom spoke of these things, but meant no offense.

Play Resumed

The talk, which covered a period of half an hour, touched upon general topics and exhibited the resources of his broad mind and extended experience. There was a wide respect created for his intellectual caliber among the hearers who were entertained by him, by his cleverness in conversation. The time-keeping mechanism having been repaired, was returned in haste and the play went on. When the fifteenth move was made, chances were about even although several prominent players thought the prospects slightly favored the white. The study of the players was not marked at this session by such excessive nervousness. There was less of the restless uneasiness and squally repartee. No special incidents marked the progress of the game until Zukertort proposed a draw and Steinitz, owing to his faint condition, concluded to accept it. There was a good deal of talk among the spectators regarding the necessity of such a termination of the game, but according to the rules governing the game, the draw was properly authorized. This game, then,does not change the situation in the least. Next Wednesday at 2 o'clock another game will be played, and which will probably be finished. The attendance was as large as at any previous session, and there was considerable interest shown during its continuance.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).