Originally posted by robbie carrobie
'Morphy was the first truly positional player' - Reti
Well, I'd say check out Steinitz and Tschigorin 1889.
"Technically the match was very interesting, given the characteristics of
each player. Steinitz, creator of the theory of accumulating and
exploiting small advantages in closed positions, was facing a formidable
opponent, who was an expert in playing open positions and had an
 The Steinitz Papers,
This game is one of my favorites from the match
He also wrote a theory, albeit "simple" by todays standards, was revolutionary to classical players during his time.
1. At the beginning of the game, Black and White are equal.
2. The game will stay equal with correct play on both sides.
3. You can only win by your opponent's mistake.
4. Any attack launched in an equal position will not succeed, and the
attacker will suffer.
5. You should not attack until an advantage is obtained.
6. When equal, do not seek to attack, but instead, try to secure an
7. Once you have an advantage, attack or you will lose it.
I would urge you to read this link provided below to understand more
about Wilhelm Steinitz
"...he changed to become the first strategic player in chess history.
His new idea was that victory can not be obtain just by the will of power,
creating attacks when there are no justified reasons to do so. Instead,
attack is the logical consequence of the accumulation of small
advantages obtained in the previous moves. This advantages included
better development, more space, better pawn structure, pair of bishops,
I've still yet to hear from any well learned player that Steinitz was
anything but the developer of the classical theory. I personally agree
with this, although I don't believe he was the best proponent of his
thoery. My personal opinion is that Wilhelm developed the thoery, but
Akiba Rubenstein was the theories most illustrious proponent.
And Lasker was perhaps the best teacher of the theory. Of course when
it comes to hypermodernism the fathers of this movement can become
rather arguable (Reti, Nimzo, and others). However the classical method
is pretty well thrown on the shoulders of Steinitz for its creation.