Romantic chess was the style of chess prevalent from the late 15th century until the 1880s. Chess games of this period emphasized more on quick, tactical maneuvers rather than long-term strategic planning. The Romantic era of play was followed by the Scientific, Hypermodern, and New Dynamism eras. Games during this era generally consisted of 1.e4 openings such as the King’s Gambit and Giuoco Piano. Queen side pawn openings were not popular and seldom played. The Romantic era is generally considered to have ended with the 1873 Vienna tournament where Wilhelm Steinitz popularized positional play and the closed game. This domination ushered in a new age of chess known as the “Modern”, or Classical school, which would last until the 1930s when hypermodernism began to become popular.
The Romantic era is generally considered to have begun with Alexander McDonnell and Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais, the two dominant chess players in the 1830s. The 1840s was dominated by Howard Staunton, and other leading players of the era included Adolf Anderssen, Daniel Harrwitz, Henry Bird, Louis Paulsen, and Paul Morphy.
Despite the Romantic era’s reputation for dashing tactical play and combinations, positional play and closed games were not at all unknown during this time; they featured prominently in the London tournament of 1851, widely considered the first true chess tournament. Paul Morphy often complained about “dull chess” and criticized the Sicilian Defense and queen pawn openings for leading to this sort of game. Morphy included a stipulation in his matches that at least half the games had to begin with a 1.e4 e5 opening.
During the 1930s, Nazi Germany co-opted chess as a political tool and to that end circulated propaganda alleging that the age of Romantic chess, dominated by dashing Aryan players such as Morphy and Anderssen, had been derailed by “cowardly, stingy” positional chess exemplified by Jewish players like Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, and others.
The Romantic era in the arts (notably classical music and poetry) was roughly analogous to the chess world. Existing as time contemporaries with each other, the arts were focused on emotional expression more than technical mastery. This would come to an end towards the end of the 19th century as evolution in the arts (Impressionist music and Symbolist poetry) aligned closely time-wise with Steinitz’ emergence as the new stylistic force in the chess world. Some notable chess masters have argued that chess is an art form in addition to a science.
The Romantic era in the arts (mainly classical music and poetry) was more or less analogous to that of the Romantic school in the chess world. The arts were more focused on emotional expressions than on technical control. This period will come to an end with the end of the 19th century with artistic development (Impressionist music and symbolic poetry), a development that was parallel to the period when Steinitz brought about a change in the world of chess. A number of well-known chess players even claimed that the chess game was an art of its own in addition to being scientific.
Romantic and positional play game
The romantic school preceded the discovery of the positional game, initiated by Philidor and deepened by Wilhelm Steinitz. This latter form of the game had its greatest representatives in the xx th century with Akiba Rubinstein and José Raúl Capablanca. While Max Euwe characterized the style of the latter two as “technical and routine”, he described Adolf Anderssen’s game as “entirely geared towards attack and counterattack” and qualified as Paul’s. Morphy of “combinatorial for strategic purposes”. Theimmortal part,the ever-young partand thepart of the operaare characteristic in this respect of the romantic style of play.
If Morphy is known today for his combinations, his games were the first to successfully introduce the fundamentals of positional play: rapid development, control of the center and open lines.
The concept of school chess
It may be noted that if this romantic school term is advanced by Michel Roos and Anthony Saidy, it is not taken up by François Le Lionnais and Ernst Maget in their Chess Dictionary, nor by David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld in The Oxford companion to chess. In his What do I know? on the chess, Jéröme Maufras adopts an original plan and instead speaks of “Anglo-Saxon domination of the middle of the XIX th 1914″, paralleling the way the world (second industrial revolution) with the evolution of the planet of chess, after”A xviii th century French-English” (triangular trade, first industrial revolution), who himself succeeded “Mediterranean revival”. In fact, the romantic chess school (the German Adolf Anderssen and the American Paul Morphy) can be compared with the irruption of the countries of the second industrial revolution – from the 1850s in the Anglo-Saxon world – on the international scene.
Strictly speaking, Emanuel Lasker did not create a school, because if it is for example relatively easy to play ” Tarrasch ” (looking space gains in particular), it is very difficult to play “to the Lasker ” (by systematically seeking the most disturbing blow – psychologically speaking in particular – for the opponent). On the other hand, it is generally considered that Wilhelm Steinitz founded the Viennese chess school. The most famous school is, of course, the so-called Soviet school.
The Italian School or School of Modena, also known as the Romantic School of Chess was an eighteenth-century chess school based on the works of Ponziani, Lolli and Del Rio who lived in Modena, Italy.
The Romantic School began in 1820 with Evans and Adolf Anderssen. Which ended in 1866, when Wilhelm Steinitz defeated Anderssen in a match, boosting the Modern School.
The school of thought advocated the development of pieces without worrying about elements of strategy such as center control and pedestrian structure. This aggressive game of quick direct attacks on the opposing king prevailed until around 1840. Another characteristic of Italian thought was the opposition of the ideas of the Philidor School.
Source from Wikipedia