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.
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) has forwarded two photographs which he took during the New York Open tournament in 1987:
Michael Rhode, Boris Spassky, Joel Benjamin
John Fedorowicz, Lajos Portisch
Thomas Binder (Berlin) informs us that the family of Erhard Adeler has provided his years of birth and death: 1901 and 1976.
From page 61 of Introduction to Chess by Christopher Nicole (London, 1973):
From our archive collection, photographs of the late Victor Gavrikov have been presented in C.N. 9590 and in Chess Jottings. A further picture (Biel, 1991) is added now:
More and more archive film on chess is coming to light, including particularly interesting footage from the Candidates’ tournament, Bled in 1959.
In other circumstances, however, many writers make insufficient use of question marks. When the facts about, for example, a player’s identity, a date or a venue are open to doubt, the reader needs to be informed accordingly, and a question mark helpfully signals caution. Nonetheless, some writers prefer to plump, perhaps at random, for one of the options, thereby presenting as a certainty a matter on which the evidence is mixed. A question mark added in, for instance, a game heading, to indicate that the factual details are not clear-cut, is a sign of strength, not weakness.
There are many game-scores (e.g. Lasker v Thomas, London, 1912 and Réti v Alekhine, Baden-Baden, 1925) where the exact moves played are open to doubt, as well as games, such as Adams v Torre, New Orleans, 1920, which may not even have occurred over the board. It may seem obvious that a chess writer should differentiate between what is known for sure and what is obscure, but readers are often denied that basic service.
Pace the plumpers, the final score of a match may also be dubious, and as an example we take a contest in Havana between Jean Taubenhaus and Andrés Clemente Vázquez. Anyone consulting Hundert Jahre Schachzweikämpfe by P. Feenstra Kuiper (Amsterdam, 1967) will be told, on pages 97 and 98, that in 1895 Taubenhaus won +5 –1 =4. The spelling ‘Vasquez, Dr Andreas C.’ on page 98 does not inspire confidence, and the reader seeking corroboration of the score may well turn to page 161 of Chess Results, 1747-1900 by G. Di Felice (Jefferson, 2004):
With not a question mark in sight, can it therefore be assumed that the information is correct? Not at all. Firstly, the match was played in 1894-95. That ‘detail’ apart, we give below four earlier reports on the result of the match, all different from each other:
The next step is to try to assemble the full set of game-scores, however many there were, and in that exercise databases are of no help.
Through old-fashioned methods we have so far traced the following:
A future C.N. item will give all the available game-scores, together with any additional information that can be traced with readers’ help.
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Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.