Chess Notes by Edward Winter

Chess Notes

Edward Winter

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2 November 2018: C.N. 11082
4 November 2018: C.N.s 11083-11084
5 November 2018: C.N.s 11085-11087
7 November 2018: C.N.s 11088-11089
10 November 2018: C.N.s 11090-11093
12 November 2018: C.N.s 11094-11097
13 November 2018: C.N. 11098
14 November 2018: C.N. 11099-11101

Berthold Englisch

A selection of feature articles:

Chess Books and Magazines For Sale
Chess: the 50-move Rule

Archives (including all feature articles)


11082. Calvi (C.N.s 1827 & 1836)

As reported in C.N.s 1827 and 1836, our collection includes five hardbound volumes of Ignazio Calvi’s Cours d’échecs, which was published in Le Palamède in the mid-1840s. The text, entirely handwritten (though not in Calvi’s hand, Adriano Chicco noted in C.N. 1836), amounts to 788 pages.


This is one of a large variety of items listed in our latest feature article, Chess Books and Magazines For Sale.

books magazines

11083. Fischer and the FBI

The FBI Vault contains a 1966-67 file on Fischer’s passport requests for travel to Cuba.

11084. American chess masters

Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) draws attention to a cartoon feature on pages 26-27 of the November-December 2018 Playboy: ‘American Chess Masters’ written by Brin-Jonathan Butler and illustrated by Nathan Gelgud.


The left-hand section on Morphy refers to ‘a spooky child prodigy’ who later ‘traveled across Europe and toured royal courts ...’ Then comes this ‘Fun’:


The treatment of Steinitz does not even attain the ‘according to legend’ and ‘reports abound that’ level:


11085. Fischer film


Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England) has been watching the film by Friðrik Guðmundsson Me & Bobby Fischer, which is available on DVD:

‘It has over an hour of Fischer talking, in 2005, about such matters as his aborted match with Karpov, his time in prison, his views on Jews, and pre-arranged games.’

11086. P.N. Izmailov


This photograph of Piotr Nikolaevich Izmailov (1906-37) comes from page 10 of the 1/1929 issue of Shakhmatny Listok and has been supplied by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA).

A detailed biographical article by Sergei Grodzensky, published on pages 24-26 of 64, December 1990, related Izmailov’s arrest in 1936, execution in 1937 and rehabilitation in 1957:


The 64 article has been forwarded by Vitaliy Yurchenko (Uhta, Russian Federation), who adds that there is further information about Izmailov on pages 28-44 of a book on Siberian chess: Сибирь шахматная by R. Kur, V. Neishtadt and K. Sukharev (Novosibirsk, 1995).

11087. William Winter and Lilliput

Eric Fisher (Hull, England) reports that he has three articles by William Winter in Lilliput (November 1949, June 1950 and November 1950) and asks whether there are any others. He has provided pages from the June 1950 and November 1950 issues.

11088. Chess shirts

chess shirts

D.J. Morgan, the ‘expert Chess Shirt researcher’ mentioned in the caption, wrote on page 268:

‘F.M. Edge (a most untrustworthy writer where Staunton was concerned) states in his Morphy book that Staunton was so rabid about chess that he wore shirts with representations of the chess pieces on the breasts and tails.’

Edge’s exact words, on pages 151-152 of the New York edition of his book and page 133 of the London edition:

‘Staunton’s literary avocations now permit him but an hour or two weekly for chess, although formerly he lived in the London Divan, as Harrwitz in the Régence, and was so rabid about Caïssa that he actually wore shirts with kings, rooks, pawns, etc. printed over the bosoms and tails.’

‘It is just possible that he did’, added G.H.Diggle in D.J. Morgan’s column, pointing out these passages:

chess shirts

Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1847, page 68

chess shirts

Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1847, page 140

From page 254 of XIV. Schach-Olympiade Leipzig 1960, published by Sportverlag Berlin:

chess shirts

11089. Chess metaphors

Under the title ‘Journalistic Chess’ page 157 of the February 1922 Chess Amateur commented:

‘Judging by the continual references to chess, especially to chess strategy, in the daily papers, the average journalist is much fonder of using chess metaphors and images than he is acquainted with their real meaning.

In our contemporary, the Daily Mail, on 19 November, two contributors availed themselves of chess analogies with more success than is normal, though at least one “howler” was necessary evidently.

Mr H.G. Wells, in his remarkable papers on the Washington Conference, writes:

h g wells

Mr A.E. Manning Foster in his usual Saturday article on bridge, in a book review, under the heading “Strategy at Auction Bridge”, writes:


The reader will be amused in spotting the obvious blunder in these quotations, excepting which, however, the allusions are unusually accurate.’

We have incorporated the relevant passages from the Daily Mail (on, respectively, pages 8 and 6 of the 19 November 1921 edition). The paragraph beginning ‘Auction bridge’ was omitted by the Chess Amateur.

11090. Adolf Anderssen

Pages 39 and 183 of the new book Neumann, Hirschfeld and Suhle by Hans Renette and Fabrizio Zavatarelli (C.N. 11090) have two rare portraits of Anderssen, from, respectively, an 1872 issue of the Illustrirte Zeitung and the Lothar Schmid Collection. The former picture is shown here courtesy of the co-authors:


11091. A Canadian chess film

C.N. 464 (see Chess Jottings) welcomed the film Jouer sa vie by Gilles Carle and Camille Coudari. It can be viewed on-line under its English title, The Great Chess Movie.

11092. Buenos Aires Olympiad, 1939

From Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA):


Source: Crítica, 2 September 1939, page 11.

11093. Chess shirts (C.N. 11088)

Gerard Killoran (Ilkley, England) sends a cutting from page 15 of the Illustrated London News, 20 February 1847:

chess shirts

11094. Lasker v Tarrasch, 1908

Page 3 of The World Chess Championship: 1951 Botvinnik v Bronstein by William Winter and R.G. Wade (London, 1951):


Given that Lasker defeated Tarrasch +8 –3 =5, this account seems generous to Tarrasch. As regards the quality of play, James Mortimer expressed a different view on page 8 of the Daily Mail, 15 September 1908:


11095. Lasker v Capablanca, 1921

Why is it so hard to find photographs of the 1921 world championship match in Havana? There was no Cuban chess magazine at the time, and we have yet to locate pictures in the host country’s mainstream press.

11096. Fischer caricature (C.N.s 8721, 8724 & 8778)


This caricature is often attributed to Fischer himself, but in C.N. 8724 a correspondent reported that the website of Marina Petric showed it as one of many by her late father, Berislav Petric. The link given in C.N. 8724 is no longer valid, and her new webpage does not currently include the Fischer drawing.

11097. Computer pairings

This cutting from page 1 of Chess Life, 5 September 1958 has been forwarded by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA):

computer pairings

Which was the first open tournament where all the pairings were made by a computer?

11098. The Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian Defence


Position after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5

Some initial historical jottings are offered on the Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian Defence, played in the 2018 world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana.

What cannot be given for now is a comprehensive explanation as to when Rossolimo’s name was attached to – or, indeed, detached from – the opening. Databases have relevant Rossolimo games from the late 1940s onwards, and the reference to ‘around 1940’ in The Oxford Companion to Chess by D. Hooper and K. Whyld (1984 and 1992 editions) has yet to be substantiated:


1984 edition, page 286


1992 edition, page 345

Annotating Rossolimo v Romanenko, Salzburg, 1948 on pages 647-648 of the October 1975 Chess Life & Review, Pal Benko wrote after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5:

‘Rossolimo usually avoided normal Sicilian patterns, and the text was one of his favorites. Nimzowitsch played this against Gilg in 1927, but it was Rossolimo who, through his frequent use of it, made this system an effective and fully respectable weapon. For a time, it was known as “the Rossolimo Variation” and is today commonly seen with colors reversed in the English Opening’ [as in the game Barry v Rossolimo, World Open, New York, 1975 which Benko annotated on page 648].

Page 181 of the Dictionnaire des échecs by F. Le Lionnais and E. Maget (Paris, 1967 and 1974) called 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 ‘L’attaque hispano-sicilienne’, and had the following on page 340:


C.N. 1230 drew attention to the obvious inaccuracy of this text on page 1 of The Anti-Sicilian: 3 Bb5(+) by Y. Razuvayez and A. Matsukevitch (London, 1984):


Although the Companion also mentioned Winawer v Steinitz, Paris, 1867, that game began 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 Nc3 Nc6 4 Bb5, as shown on pages 182-183 of the tournament book.

When were the moves 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 first played? The earliest game that we have found is on pages 327-328 of the Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1845 (volume six), a win by Elijah Williams against John Withers, played (according to page 325) ‘very recently at Bristol’:

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nd4 4 Nxd4 cxd4 5 O-O e5 6 d3 Qb6 7 Bc4 d6 8 f4 Be6 9 Bxe6 fxe6 10 fxe5 O-O-O 11 Rf7 dxe5 12 Bg5 Nf6 13 Nd2 h6 14 Nc4 Qb5 15 Bxf6 gxf6 16 Qg4 f5 17 exf5 h5 18 Qg6 Rh6 19 Rxf8 Rxg6 20 Nd6+ Kd7 21 Rxd8+ Kxd8 22 Nxb5 and wins.


Source: XIV. Schach-Olympiade Leipzig 1960, page 192.

11099. The graves of Capablanca and Alekhine

Cătălin Duminecioiu (Bucharest) reports that he has photographed the graves of Capablanca (November 2014) and Alekhine (summer 2016):



11100. Fischer caricature (C.N.s 8721, 8724, 8778 & 11096)

Marina Petric (Austin, TX, USA) informs us that her father, Berislav Petric, drew a set of chess caricatures in Belgrade and asked the players concerned, including Fischer, to sign them. She has provided the two pictures below:

fisher petric


Berislav Petric

At our request, Marina Petric has added that her father was born in Sarajevo on 3 May 1929. After graduating in architecture, he emigrated to Brazil in 1964, and died in Rio de Janeiro on 8 May 1998.

11101. Miss Cotton

From Rod Edwards (Victoria, BC, Canada):

‘In C.N. 6627 you gave the results of the Ladies’ tournament at San Remo, 1911, with “Miss Selma Cotton (London)” coming second. There was a Helene Cotton (or Charlotte Helene Cotton-Meirchin) who was active for many years in England and was at Meran, 1924 (C.N. 4838). Page 147 of the April 1911 BCM gave the name of the woman at San Remo, 1911 only as “Miss Cotton (London)”. I am wondering where the name “Selma” is to be found, and whether it may have been Helene Cotton who played at San Remo, 1911 after all.’

The name ‘Selma Cotton’ appeared in connection with San Remo, 1911 in the Deutsches Wochenschach (5 March 1911, page 86 and 26 March 1911, page 119) and, as shown below, on page 109 of La Stratégie, March 1911:


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