When contacting us by e-mail, correspondents are asked to include their name and full postal address and, when providing information, to quote exact book and magazine sources. The word ‘chess’ needs to appear in the subject-line or in the message itself. There is also a form available for submitting games.
From Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore):
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) submits this game:
C. Berry – P. Layzell
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 e3 c5 5 Nf3 Nc6 6 cxd5 exd5 7 a3 c4 8 Be2 a6 9 O-O Bd6 10 b3 b5 11 b4 Bd7 12 Nd2 O-O 13 f4 Qe7 14 Nf3 Rae8 15 Ne5 Bc7 16 g4 Qd6 17 Qc2 g6 18 h4 Re6 19 Rf2 Ne8 20 g5 f6 21 Ng4 fxg5 22 hxg5 Ne7 23 Bd2 Nf5 24 Rh2
24...Nxe3 25 Bxe3 Rxe3 26 Nxe3 Qxf4 27 Nf1 Qxd4+ 28 Kh1 Bf5 29 Qd2 Be4+ 30 Nxe4 Qxe4+ 31 Rg2 Rf2 32 Ne3 Qh4+ 33 Kg1 Bh2+ 34 Kh1 Bg3+ 35 Kg1 Rxg2+ 36 Kxg2 Qh2+ 37 Kf3 Qf2+ 38 Kg4
38...Nf6+ 39 gxf6 h5+ 40 Kg5 Bh4+ 41 Kxg6 Qxf6+ 42 Kxh5 Qg5 mate.
From page 3 of the Morning Post, 12 July 1897:
Our correspondent mentions that the game had also been annotated on page 10 of the London Evening Standard, 22 June 1897.
C.N. 10515 gave some ‘once’ quotes from Chess Words of Wisdom by Mike Henebry (Victorville, 2010), and one more will suffice for now, from page 371:
Why mention Chernev when Fine’s famous remark is easily found on page 111 of his book The World’s Great Chess Games (New York, 1951 and London, 1952)?
Fine had originally published his words on page 288 of Chess Review, October 1943:
It will be noted that Fine consistently wrote ‘What others could not discover’, and not ‘see’, which was Chernev’s small misquotation in Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings, Combinations The Heart of Chess and The Golden Dozen. Chernev put ‘discover’ in Wonders and Curiosities of Chess. The respective page numbers in these four Chernev books are 60, 227, 279 and 55.
When Cyrus Lakdawala gave the Fine sentence, sourcelessly, on page 7 of his book on Capablanca (C.N. 7742), the verb was ‘find’.
Finally, there is the individual who took Fine’s words and presented them as his own:
Source: page 37 of The Batsford Chess Encyclopedia by Nathan Divinsky (London, 1990).
Andrey Terekhov (Singapore) forwards a news item on page 4 of the 48/1936 issue of 64:
This report on a Kiev-Moscow schoolchildren’s match mentions Smyslov as a composer of chess studies published not only nationally but also abroad. Our correspondent asks whether 64 was correct and, if so, where Smyslov’s compositions were published outside the Soviet Union in or before 1936.
In connection with a photograph of Alekhine in Hollywood, C.N. 5922 referred to the actor John Gilbert (1899-1936). Information about his possible interest in chess is sought.
His daughter Leatrice Gilbert Fountain wrote a biography of him, Dark Star (London, 1985), and on page 253 she recalled that on Christmas Eve 1935, when she was 11, the many gifts (‘wonderful impractical things’) which John Gilbert gave her included an ivory chess set.
From the title page of volume one of our set of Shakhmatnoe tvorchestvo Botvinnika (Moscow, 1965, 1966 and 1968):
We take the recipient of Botvinnik’s regards and thanks to be the psychiatrist Andrei Vladimirovich Snezhnevsky (1904-87).
Gerard Killoran (Ilkley, England) notes that Blumberg appeared in a group photograph on page 10 of the New-York Daily Tribune, 22 December 1907:
As regards Blumberg’s forename, we add this entry on page 81 of Columbia University Alumni Register 1754-1931 (New York, 1932):
‘Blumberg, Henry A.B. 1907, A.M. 1908.’
It was followed by a symbol indicating ‘address unknown (recorded address out of date)’.
Columbia University records at the Hathi Trust Digital Library include the following:
C.N.s 3680, 3681, 3689 and 9904 (see Chess and Postage Stamps)
showed Austrian stamps featuring Alekhine, Capablanca,
Fischer, Kasparov, Rubinstein and Mieses.
We have a few others, including portraits of Steinitz,
Lasker and Smyslov:
From page 143 of Combinations The Heart of Chess by Irving Chernev (New York, 1960):
Chernev included Georg Marco’s observation in a number of books, having featured it as the ‘thought for the month’ on the inside front cover of the November 1954 Chess Review.
No source was ever offered, but below is Marco’s presentation of Janowsky v Lasker, Paris, 1900 on pages 149-150 of the July 1900 Wiener Schachzeitung:
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O d6 6 d4 b5 7 dxe5 dxe5 8 Bb3 Qxd1 9 Rxd1 Bd6 10 Bg5 Be6 11 Nc3 O-O 12 Bxf6 gxf6 13 Nd5 f5 14 exf5 Bxf5 15 Nf6+ Kg7 16 Nh5+ Kh6 17 Ng3 Ne7 18 Re1 f6 19 Nxf5+ Nxf5 20 Be6 Ne7 21 a4 Kg7 22 g3 Rab8 23 axb5 axb5 24 Bh3 Ra8 25 Bg2 Rxa1 26 Rxa1 f5 27 Ra5 Rb8 28 Bf1 c6 29 Ra7 Kf6 30 Bh3 Rd8 31 Ra6 Bc5 32 c3 e4 33 b4 exf3 34 bxc5 Rd1+ 35 Bf1 Ke5 36 c4 bxc4 37 Ra4 c3 38 Rc4 Nd5. According to pages 60-62 of Samuel Rosenthal’s Paris, 1900 tournament book, a few additional moves were played: 39 h4 h5 40 g4 fxg4 41 Kh2 Rxf1 42 White resigns.
Around the same time, Miron James Hazeltine also referred to hypnosis in connection with Lasker and the Paris tournament, on page 398 of the New York Clipper, 30 June 1900:
See too Chess and Hypnosis.
From Sean Robinson (Tacoma, WA, USA):
In the United Kingdom The Chess Tutor: Elements of Combinations was published in 1976 by Barrie & Jenkins, London. It received very little attention.
Also in 1976, the same publisher brought out The Chess Tutor: Opening Moves by Pierre R. Schwob and George F. Kane. Opposite the title page, Walter Korn was named as the General Editor of the ‘Chess Tutor series’ (two volumes).
In the United States, both books were published by Mason/Charter, New York, and were advertised on page 335 of the June 1976 Chess Life & Review:
Joseph Brennan (Orlando, FL, USA) reports that biographical information on Henry Blumberg is available at the Geni.com website. The entry states that he was born in Žagarė, Lithuania on 13 May 1886 and died in Columbus, OH, USA on 28 June 1950.
Peter Anderberg (Harmstorf, Germany) writes:
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Be3 Nf6 6 Bd3 d5 7 Nc3 Bb4 8 O-O Bxc3 9 bxc3 dxe4 10 Bb5 Bd7 11 Nb3 O-O 12 Bg5 Be8 13 Qe2 Qd5 14 Be3 Ne5
15 c4 Bxb5 16 cxb5 Qc4 17 Qxc4 Nxc4 18 Bc5 Rfd8 19 Rfe1 Rd5 20 a4 Nd2 21 Nxd2 Rxd2 22 Rac1 Nd5 23 c4 Nf6 24 a5 Nd7 25 Bb4 Rd4 26 Red1 e5 27 Bc3 Rd3 28 Kf1 f6 29 Bb4 Rc8 30 Ke2 Rxd1 31 Rxd1 Nf8 32 Bxf8 Rxf8 33 Rd7 Rf7 34 Rxf7 Kxf7 35 c5 Ke7 36 c6 b6 37 axb6 axb6 38 Ke3 f5 Drawn.
From page iv of World’s Championship Matches, 1921 and 1927 (New York, 1977), in Irving Chernev’s 11-page Introduction to that Dover edition:
For the Pollock ‘aphorism’ (in the Hastings, 1895 tournament book), see our feature article on him. The source of Marco’s observation (Wiener Schachzeitung, 1900) was specified in C.N. 10546. The comment about P-K4 was discussed on page 297 of Chess Facts and Fables and in C.N. 9329. The water/poison remark was by Mieses (Berliner Tageblatt and the San Sebastián, 1911 tournament book), as shown in C.N.s 3160 and 3161 (see Chess: the Need for Sources).
That leaves Tarrasch’s remark, ‘Lasker may lose a game sometimes, but never his head’. It was on page 137 of Tarrasch’s book on St Petersburg, 1914:
It appeared in connection with Lasker’s move 24 Rc5 in his victory over Alekhine in the first round of the final section. Alekhine has just played 23...Nf5-e3:
John Townsend (Wokingham, England) writes:
The death of John Rather in 2013 has received little attention. He was a highly respected chess editor, bibliophile and bookseller. His contributions to C.N. included information, based on his position as a Chess Review staff writer, about the ghosting of material published in Reshevsky’s name.
How soon, if at all, will readers of this 458-page hardback realize that it is a translation of Jimmy Adams’ work on Zukertort (Yorklyn, 1989 and Alkmaar, 2014)?
Just received: Gyula Breyer. The Chess Revolutionary by Jimmy Adams (Alkmaar, 2017). The title page of this 876-page hardback, an important work but a mixed blessing, adds: ‘In collaboration with Iván Bottlik. With translations from the Hungarian by Peter Szabó.’
A number of points will be highlighted in due course in Chess: the Need for Sources.
On page 873 of Gyula Breyer Jimmy Adams writes that he started the book over 30 years ago.
From page 350 of Grandmaster Insides by Maxim Dlugy (Ghent, 2017):
A particularly elegant recent book is Serafino Dubois by Fabrizio Zavatarelli (Brescia, 2017) – a limited edition of 99 numbered copies published by Messagerie Scacchistiche.
In his Introduction (page 5), the author assesses the standing of Dubois in Italian chess:
Readers who enjoy a deciphering task may care to examine this letter from our collection:
The letter demonstrates that at least some of the countless factual mistakes in Capablanca’s Hundred Best Games of Chess by Harry Golombek (London, 1947) were quickly recognized. As shown in our feature article, the book has nonetheless been reprinted many times, by various publishers, without corrections being incorporated.
John Donaldson (Berkeley, CA, USA) has forwarded this photograph:
Credit: the World Chess Hall of Fame in St Louis, which received the photograph as a donation from Isaac Kashdan’s son Richard.
From the Falkirk Herald, 11 May 1932:
The paragraph was repeated elsewhere (e.g. on page 8 of the Linlithgowshire Gazette, 13 May 1932), also with ‘bodyguard’ in the singular. Can the original item in Pearson’s Weekly be traced?
Information is requested about this assertion on page 247 of Chess Words of Wisdom by Mike Henebry (Victorville, 2010):
We have three editions (not the first, published in 2010) of Shakhmatny pamyatnik Fischeru by V.A. Leonov. Issued in Nizhny Novgorod and dated, respectively, 2011, 2016 and 2017, they are small-format, 62-page booklets.
An oddity is that the impressum page states that the print-run for the 2011 edition was 25 copies, and that only five copies of the two later editions were published.
Another photograph of H.N. Pillsbury’s wife is on page 147 of issue 38 of Womanhood, 1902. It is in the recent two-volume reprint of the Womanhood columns (of Rhoda A. Bowles) by Publishing House Moravian Chess, but is a clear version available from the original magazine?
One of the many reasons why a book should give precise sources is that they enable readers to check information independently. That process is often very difficult with Gyula Breyer. The Chess Revolutionary by Jimmy Adams (Alkmaar, 2017), as some examples will show.
From pages 142-143:
The square brackets are from Adams’ book (as is the absence of italicization of ‘Marshall’). The passage is readily found in the Soltis book, whose index has only two references to Breyer, on page 199:
A point of detail is that the words ‘who played clever
openings and’ are not attributed to Marshall, but the
main point is that the reader is no further forward
because, as usual, Soltis is silent as to the exact
provenance and context of the alleged Marshall quote.
His output cannot be regarded as reliable, and the
Breyer book demeans itself by using it.
Page 332 offers a typical example of how game annotations are sourced by Jimmy Adams:
These bald references are of little help. To mention only the first one, Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten did not begin publication until the decade after the Breyer v Tarrasch game was played. The onus is thus placed on the reader to research the matter, i.e. to track down Tartakower’s notes on pages 98-100 of the April 1922 issue.
Earlier, pages 13-15 of the Breyer book had the heading ‘Gyula Breyer is dead, but his spirit continues to be more alive than ever! by Dr Savielly Tartakower’. The source of that piece specified on page 15 is simply ‘Taken from Kagan’s Neueste Schachnachrichten and Die Hypermoderne Schachpartie’ with no indication as to which bits came from which publication.
Pages 384-385 quote extracts from three Times columns by Harry Golombek (1975, 1977 and 1978), but only the years are specified. Full citations (exact dates and page numbers) were given in C.N. 5215, and the Breyer book thus takes a retrograde step by denying the reader complete information. (In one of the Golombek quotes, on page 385, ‘Tal’ has become ‘Szucs’, a typographical fault throughout the book.)
Citation of material from C.N., where there is any, is erratic and inconsistent. For instance, a small piece of information about Breyer’s address is credited on page 351 to ‘chesshistory.com’ (with a mention too of our own source), but that is an exception. The concluding pages acknowledge our website twice: there is a generous description on pages 872-873, and on page 876 ‘chesshistory.com’ is the only website mentioned in the ‘Quoted sources’ section. Such references are appreciated, but they do not steer readers to the exact location of specific information.
Sometimes, out of the blue, a more rigorous approach to sources is adopted by the book, and particularly when exact dates are given for Breyer’s own articles – a highlight of the book – from Hungarian publications.
Pages 694-696 deal with this matter, superficially, making no mention of Breyer and the Last Throes.
There is, though, a full page quoting Larry Evans (source specified: ‘From New Ideas in Chess’). Anyone who turns to Evans’ final edition of that book (Las Vegas, 2011) will find, on pages 25-29, a substantially different text, and it is therefore necessary to go back to the original edition (New York, 1958). The text quoted by Adams is on pages 12-15, but much of it has been silently excised from the Breyer book.
On the substantive issue of the alleged ‘last throes’ comment, Evans had merely a ‘once’ version in New Ideas in Chess:
That is quoted without comment by Adams, who had nonetheless written on the previous page:
As noted in our above-mentioned feature article, Evans did not stand by his 1958 text, later coming up with a different account of the remark, with Breyer expunged and replaced by Réti. C.N. 6264 quoted from page 26 of the 1974 book Evans on Chess:
A book on Breyer which pays attention to the output of Larry Evans, quoting him as if he were a credible authority, is asking for trouble. Incidentally, from the Breyer index (page 866) it is not immediately clear that Evans is mentioned in the book at all, since the reference to him on page 696 is among a list of page numbers (not all accurate) concerning the Evans Gambit.
Pages 795-797 have a feature headed as follows:
No date for the New York Times article is given by Adams, but there is a source at the bottom of page 797. A link, perhaps, to the on-line version of Alekhine’s article at the New York Times website? No. A link, perhaps, to Alekhine on Carlsbad, 1929, which has the full text, and the exact source (New York Times, 1 August 1929, pages 21 and 23)? No. A reference, perhaps, to C.N. 1274, which, over 30 years ago, gave Alekhine’s full text (also with the complete source)? No.
Instead, astoundingly, the Adams book has this at the end of Alekhine’s article:
What are readers supposed to do with that? If they start wading through the 17 volumes of the Quarterly they will eventually find Alekhine’s article, on pages 161-163 of the 7/2001 issue, but it has the usual plethora of Olomouc typos (‘Maw Euwe’, ‘Capablanca, who reared [feared] that theory’, ‘The bent for crating [creating]’, etc.). Such evident mistranscriptions have been corrected in the Adams book, but why even consider using the Quarterly for Chess History in the first place? A small example of what will inevitably go wrong concerns a comment made by Alekhine after he referred to Breyer and Réti. According to the Quarterly, Alekhine wrote:
Trying to make sense of that, the Breyer book (page 796) has opted for:
It would have been prudent to ignore the Quarterly
and check what Alekhine actually wrote, i.e.:
The article preceding Alekhine’s in the Breyer book (pages 793-795) provides another example of what may generously be called semi-sourcing, with this heading:
That is all: the bare name Shakhmaty.
Jimmy Adams’ approach to sources was referred to in the final paragraph of C.N. 8788 with regard to his monograph on Zukertort. C.N. 10555 noted that he began work on the Breyer book over 30 years ago. A few weeks’ extra effort, at the pre-typesetting stage, could easily have ensured the proper sourcing so obviously needed in a book with such rich historical content.
It is a mercy that few chess authors have written prose like R.E. Fauber’s. From page 181 of his book Impact of Genius (Seattle, 1992):
An inscription by Al Horowitz in one of our copies of his book How to Win in the Middle Game of Chess (New York, 1955):
From pages 45-46:
On page 202 of the July 1953 Chess Review Horowitz had given the same material, also mistitled ‘The Immortal Game’.
The latest arrival is Singapore Chess. A History, 1945-1990 by Shashi Jayakumar and Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore, 2017):
The book is available in hardback and paperback editions.
A paperback edition of The Rookie by Stephen Moss has been published recently. A full page of quotes from reviews of last year’s first edition has been added, but there is no correction of the obvious mistake pointed out in C.N. 10134: page 90 still describes Edward Lasker as ‘a five-times US champion’.
Regarding claims about Capablanca’s sporting prowess, we note that comparisons with Bill Tilden and Bill Johnston were made by Willard H. Mutchler in his chess column on page 9 of the Society section of the Washington Post, 10 August 1924:
The letter in C.N. 10557 (see part one and part two) lay in a copy of Capablanca’s Hundred Best Games of Chess (London, 1947) inscribed by Harry Golombek to Bruce Hayden. The inscription was shown in C.N. 4478.
Although the closing signature in the letter to Hayden is as difficult to read as much of the text, we can confirm – as Leonard Barden (London) has noted – that the writer was James Gilchrist (1894-1963), who co-authored with David Hooper the Weltgeschichte des Schachs volume on Capablanca (Hamburg, 1963).
Gilchrist’s address, 149 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1, was in a letter on page 223 of the August 1952 BCM:
That letter about a 1930s Cuban magazine was mentioned in C.N. 1314 (see pages 193-194 of Chess Explorations) in connection with an earlier BCM report (November 1933, page 463):
We have never found a copy of the 1930s publication Jaque Mate.
B.H. Wood wrote about the Capablanca research of Gilchrist and Hooper in the Illustrated London News, 23 December 1961, page 1122. The final paragraph was an oddity:
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Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.