Chess Notes

Edward Winter

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.

1 December 2014: C.N.s 8948-8950
2 December 2014: C.N.s 8951-8956
3 December 2014: C.N. 8957
5 December 2014: C.N.s 8958-8959
6 December 2014: C.N. 8960
7 December 2014: C.N.s 8961-8962
8 December 2014: C.N.s 8963-8965
9 December 2014: C.N.s 8966-8969
10 December 2014: C.N.s 8970-8971
11 December 2014: C.N.s 8972-8973
12 December 2014: C.N.s 8974-8975
15 December 2014: C.N. 8976
16 December 2014: C.N. 8977
17 December 2014: C.N.s 8978-8979
18 December 2014: C.N.s 8980-8984

János Flesch

A selection of feature articles:

A Chess Gamelet
Chess and Baseball
Alekhine and Alcohol
Reflections on Garry Kasparov
Convict, Vagabond and Chessplayer
Chess: the 50-move Rule
The Budapest Defence

Archives (including all feature articles)

8948. Capablanca photograph

A forgotten photograph from page 511 of the Graphic, 30 April 1921:


8949. Capablanca v Fonaroff

Concerning the 1918 game Capablanca v Fonaroff, yet another version of Black’s name can be added: Fornaroff. It appears on pages 167 and 211 of Vademecum de ajedrez by Julio Ganzo (Madrid, 1972).

8950. Alekhine and brandy (C.N. 8947)

C.N. 8947 asked who wrote the following about Alekhine:

‘After his blindfold displays he would drink brandy in ordinary tumblerfuls.’

Suggestions included Arnold Denker and Harold C. Schonberg, but the most popular answer, in view of possible Internet searches, was Thomas Olsen.

From page 188 of The Great Chess Masters and Their Games by Fred Reinfeld (New York, 1952), in the chapter on Alekhine:


The previous year Reinfeld had included the following on pages 197-198 of The Treasury of Chess Lore (New York, 1951):



The next step is to verify that the quote is indeed in the magazine CHESS. Below is the relevant part of the May 1946 edition (pages 169-172):





However, if Thomas Olsen were the evident answer to our poser, C.N. 8947 would not have described the question as ‘exceptionally difficult’.

Page 198 of the June 1946 CHESS stated:


In the May number of CHESS owing to a technical mistake the above title was omitted from the top of page 171. Mr Thomas Olsen’s article “Alekhine ... The Man and the Master” finishes with page 170, and the notes which follow are not from his pen.’

Consequently, Reinfeld’s later attributions to Olsen are incorrect, as is the reference in C.N. 7209 to ‘a three-page feature “Alekhine ... The Man and the Master” by Thomas Olsen’.

It is now tempting to assume that the writer of the remaining Alekhine material in the May 1946 CHESS was the magazine’s editor, B.H. Wood, but that is not so. Page 44 of the 12 November 1955 CHESS carried a review of Reinfeld’s The Treasury of Chess Lore which included this correction:

‘There are several quotations from CHESS; one of these (page 197), probably through our not making the authorship clear ourselves, is ascribed to Thomas Olsen instead of B. Reilly.’

How much unsigned material Brian Reilly wrote for CHESS naturally cannot be known, but in the mid-1940s he was indeed working for the magazine, as he informed W.H. Cozens on page 360 of the September 1981 BCM.

8951. Thomas Olsen (C.N.s 7209 & 8950)

Biographical information on Thomas Olsen is still being sought. As mentioned in C.N. 824 (see Chess and Sleep), he wrote an article entitled ‘Capablanca – and Some Others’ in CHESS, 14 November 1938 (pages 85-87). The heading described him as ‘Chess leader-writer for the News Chronicle’. A few extracts:

– ‘A strange mixture, this Capablanca. Hot in temper and sincerity, icy-cold in the struggle of the chess-board and business affairs. Dapper, careful in choice of shirts and ties. Hair, in early days, combed back carefully in a great bush above his forehead. Now, thinner, it is still brushed as carefully into place.

Chess? Self-complacent, satisfied, haughty – the now out-of-print My Chess Career is one of the most self-revelatory books ever penned by an unwitting author. Every line is so full of the most naive references to his own capabilities that one almost squirms as one reads.’

– ‘Paradoxical as it may sound, the greatest thing in the chess champion’s life was his loss of the title. This made him more human. Probably much of Capablanca’s self-esteem was psychologically due to the frustrations he suffered in his efforts to get a match with Lasker. Once that was granted and he had won, he could rest himself. The trouble was that he now relaxed too much, too confident in his powers. He came to the New York tournament of 1924 in bad chess shape.’

– ‘After the loss of his title, Capablanca’s popularity undoubtedly increased. He is a different man today from the man of My Chess Career. It is doubtful if he would ever consent to that book’s reappearance in first edition form. In England he is very popular indeed – perhaps the most popular of all the masters, except Tartakower.

Alekhine, on the other hand, is wrongly considered by some chessplayers austere and aloof. As a personal acquaintance of the world champion I can only say this is a totally incorrect idea. He is a most approachable and friendly man and his wife a very charming lady. One well-known young English player of the highest class told me how, after he had lost to Dr Alekhine, the Doctor in a modest way offered to play the game over again with him privately and went into extended analysis and discussion.’

The remainder of the article concerned the future of the world championship, including Olsen’s belief that it was necessary to ‘put the world championship title into the hands of the International Federation’.

8952. Chess columns

From an article ‘Our Penmen and Pressmen’ by ‘N.R.W.’ on pages 4-6 of the January 1867 issue of the Chess Player’s Magazine:

‘If chess be worth half the love and time that have been lavished upon it, it surely deserves not merely study in the matter of its science but intelligence and zeal in the setting forth of everything that belongs to it besides. A chess column in a weekly paper ought not to be a lumber corner where a budget is opened at haphazard, and the contents are loosely scattered about. It should be the neatest and most inviting division of all.’

8953. Reshevsky’s determination

‘Perhaps no other chess master has ever approached Sammy Reshevsky when it comes to determination. He’s the hardest fighter of them all. Any position is grist to his mill. He is at his best when he gets the assignment to make something out of nothing. To him “dull” positions don’t exist. If he thinks about it long enough, he’s sure to find an angle. Once he gets that far, he has a won game before his opponent quite knows what it’s all about.

Because Reshevsky can almost hear the grass grow, he can spot microscopic advantages. They’re enough for him to work on. Slowly, slowly, and with the greatest patience in the world, he builds up the advantage, strengthens his position, gets his striking forces into action, and hits hard. No-one is his superior in the art of applying slow torture on the chessboard.’

Source: page 49 of How to Play Chess Like a Champion by Fred Reinfeld (New York, 1956).

From one of our copies of The Art of Positional Play by Samuel Reshevsky (New York, 1976):


8954. 1 e4 (C.N. 7852)

C.N. 7852 quoted from page 8 of Curious Chess Facts by Irving Chernev (New York, 1937):

‘Ern[e]st Grünfeld, probably the greatest living authority on the openings, played 1 P-K4 only once in his whole tournament career (against Capablanca, Carlsbad, 1929). When asked why he avoided 1 P-K4 he replied, “I never make a mistake in the opening”.’

The source of the alleged Grünfeld remark was requested, and we can now add an older citation (with the words ‘by accident’), although not from a primary source:

‘His serious outlook on the game is illustrated by his naive reply to the query of another chess master, as to whether he ever, by accident, had played P-K4 on the first move, “I never make a mistake in the opening”.’

Source: page 51 of Modern Master-Play by F.D. Yates and W. Winter (London, 1929).


8955. Queen’s knight’s pawn (C.N.s 5827, 5865, 6021, 6669, 6829 & 8289)

From page 7 of Modern Master-Play by F.D. Yates and W. Winter (London, 1929):

‘A story is told of a chess enthusiast of the middle of the last century who willed his son £1,000 per annum on condition that he never took the QKtP ...’

8956. Who?


8957. Rich As A King


One of the many disagreeable conclusions to be drawn from Rich As A King by Susan Polgar and Douglas Goldstein (New York, 2015) is that Susan Polgar is interested in the great players of the past solely as name-dropping fodder. Hackneyed stories and quotes are crowbarred in (without any source, naturally) to explain, so the dust-jacket promises, ‘the specific tactics that you can apply right now to turn your bank, brokerage, and retirement accounts into a grandmaster portfolio’.

Even when a quote is sound, the financial counsel tagged on may be shallow and inapposite. From page 103:


On page 229 a quote attributed to Lasker’s impoverished predecessor somehow prompts further platitudinous advice:


The chess content is of the Pandolfini ‘once’ type. From page 209:


More ‘once’ stuff is on page 22:


Humility advocated in a book by Susan Polgar? That is rich.

8958. Scientist/monk/beast of prey (C.N.s 6587, 6596 & 8138)

From page 185 of Rich As A King by Susan Polgar and Douglas Goldstein (C.N. 8957):


The alleged Alekhine quote has been discussed in C.N.s 6587, 6596 and 8138, and below is a chronological compilation of the occurrences already noted, together with a few additional ones:

  • ‘Botvinnik is in the greatest tradition of world champions, with Morphy, Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine. Playing him, one gets a strong sense of someone dedicated to the game – a mixture of monk and scientist.’

Page 611 of The Listener, 16 August 1958 (article by C.H.O’D. Alexander).

  • ‘Alekhine himself lost his title as a drunk but regained it when he followed his own advice to live like an ascetic monk.’

Page 29 of CHESS, September 1988 (article by Nigel Davies).

  • ‘Alekhine was once quoted as saying that the successful tournament player must combine the chief characteristics of a research scientist, an ascetic monk and a beast of prey.’

Page 8 of Blunders and Brilliancies by Ian Mullen and Moe Moss (Oxford, 1990).

  • ‘“During a chess competition a chess master should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk.” – Alexander Alekhine.’

Page 11 of Essential Chess Quotations by John C. Knudsen (Falls Church, 1998).

  • ‘“During a chess competition a chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk.” Alexander Alekhine.’

Page 88 of Treasure Chess by Bruce Pandolfini (New York, 2007).

  • ‘Alexander Alekhine was once quoted as saying, in summing up the situation, that the successful tournament player “must combine the chief characteristics of a research scientist, an ascetic monk and a beast of prey”.’

Page 139 of Counterplay by Robert Desjarlais (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2011). An endnote on page 233 merely mentioned as the source the 1990 Mullen/Moss book.

  • ‘Of course chess and chess problems are quite different. The former has been called a sport, an art form, a beautiful mistress, something for which life is not long enough, and a game in which one must envisage oneself as a cross between an ascetic monk and a beast of prey.’

Page 26 of Vladimir Nabokov A Literary Life by David Rampton (Basingstoke, 2012).

  • ‘Temper your thinking in both areas with the words of the fourth World Chess Champion, Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946): “During a chess tournament, a master must envisage himself as a cross between an ascetic monk and a beast of prey.”’

Page 185 of Rich As A King by Susan Polgar and Douglas Goldstein (New York, 2015).

In short, with regard to Alekhine there has been no primary source, or recognition that, without one, any version of the quote is pointless and unusable.

8959. 3...Bb4 not even mentioned

On the pitifully poor Rich As A King we conclude by showing one full sample page which speaks for itself:

polgar goldstein

8960. British newspaper reports of the 1920s and 30s

Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) has found the cuttings presented below:

  • R. Réti (1923):


Bath Chronicle, 10 February 1923, page 1.

  • G. Maróczy (1924):

Dundee Courier, 11 December 1924, page 3.
  • R. Réti (1927):

From the Burnley Express of 23 April 1927 (page 3), 30 April 1927 (page 11) and 4 May 1927 (page 5) come reports of a 21-board simultaneous display, including three games which Mr Urcan has transcribed (diffidently in view of the newspaper’s imperfect use of the descriptive notation):

John Robinson – Richard Réti
Burnley, 26 April 1927
Four Knights

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bc4 Bb4 5 d3 d5 6 exd5 Nxd5 7 Bxd5 Qxd5 8 Bd2 Bxc3 9 Bxc3 O-O 10 O-O Bg4 11 Re1 Rfd8 12 Qe2 f6 13 Qe4 Qxe4 14 Rxe4 Bxf3 15 gxf3 Kf7 16 Rg4 h5 17 Rg2 Nd4 18 Bxd4 Rxd4 19 Kf1 Rad8 20 Rd1 c5 21 Ke2 b5 22 Rh1 Rh4 23 Rg3 Rdd4 24 c3 Rdf4 25 a3 c4 26 dxc4 bxc4 27 b4 Rf5 28 h3 Rhf4 29 h4 e4 30 Rhh3 exf3+ 31 Rxf3 Rxf3 32 Rxf3 Rxf3 33 Kxf3 g5 34 hxg5 fxg5 35 Kg3 Kf6 36 Kf3 Ke6 37 Ke4 Kf6 38 Kf3 Ke5 39 Kg3 Kf6 40 f3 Ke6 41 f4 h4+ 42 Kg4 h3 43 Kxh3 gxf4 44 Kg2 Ke5 45 Kf3 Kf5 46 a4 Ke5 47 a5 Resigns.

Richard Réti – A.A. Bellingham
Burnley, 26 April 1927
King’s Gambit Accepted

1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Qf3 Qh4+ 4 g3 Qf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Nd5 Qd8 7 gxf4 Nf6 8 Nxf6+ Qxf6 9 c3 h5 10 d4 d6 11 f5 Qh4+ 12 Kd1 g5 13 Bd3 Bh6 14 Qg3 Bd7 15 Qxh4 gxh4 16 Bxh6 Rxh6 17 Nf3 O-O-O 18 Rg1 Ne7 19 Ke2 Ng8 20 Rg7 Rf8 21 Rag1 Nf6 22 h3 Rhh8 23 Nxh4 Ne8 24 R7g3 Nf6 25 c4 Re8 26 Ke3 c6 27 Kf4 b6 28 d5 c5 29 Nf3 h4 30 Rg7 Nh5+ 31 Ke3 Nxg7 32 Rxg7 Bxf5 33 Rxf7 Bxe4 34 Rf4 Drawn.

Walter Cole – Richard Réti
Burnley, 26 April 1927
Queen’s Indian Defence

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Nbd2 b6 4 e3 Bb7 5 Be2 c5 6 c3 cxd4 7 cxd4 Be7 8 O-O O-O 9 b3 d5 10 Bb2 Nbd7 11 Bd3 Rc8 12 Rc1 Bd6 13 Qe2 Qe7 14 Ne5 Ba3 15 Nb1 Bxb2 16 Qxb2 Nxe5 17 dxe5 Nd7 18 Nd2 f6 19 exf6 gxf6 20 f4 Rf7 21 Nf3 Nc5 22 Bb1 Kh8 23 b4 Ne4 24 Rxc8+ Bxc8 25 Bxe4 dxe4 26 Nd4 Rg7 27 Nc6 Qf7 28 Qd4 Qg6 29 Rf2 Rd7 30 Qa1 Rd3 31 Qe1 Qh5 32 Rd2 Qb5 33 Rc2 Ba6 34 Nd4 Qa4 35 Rc1 Qd7 36 Qh4 Qd8 37 Qf2 Bc4 38 h3 b5 Drawn.

  • F.J. Marshall and Sir George Thomas (1927):
marshall thomas

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 11 October 1927, page 1.

  • E. Znosko-Borovsky (1932):


Dundee Courier, 16 November 1932, page 8.

  • E. Eliskases (1933):

Dundee Courier, 15 November 1933, page 8.

  • S. Graf (1935):

Northampton Mercury, 5 April 1935, page 7.

  • E. Znosko-Borovsky (1936):



Western Morning News and Daily Gazette, 20 November 1936, page 7.

  • G. Koltanowski (1937):


Western Morning News and Daily Gazette, 26 November 1937, page 8.

  • Sir George Thomas (1938):

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 20 January 1938, page 1.

8961. Wildhagen books

Erik Osbun (El Centro, CA, USA) asks why two of the four planned volumes on Soviet chess in Wildhagen’s Weltgeschichte des Schachs series (Hamburg) were never published.

We note that many of the projected tomes did not materialize, including volume one [sic] of an intended two-book set on Yugoslav chess. Below is a chronological list of the works that were published:

  • 11: Lasker by L. Rellstab (1958)
  • 23: Botwinnik by M. Botwinnik (1959)
  • 18: Euwe by M. Euwe (1959)
  • 21: Keres by P. Keres (1960)
  • 33: Sowjetisches Schach I (1917-35) by A. Kotow and S. Flohr (1960)
  • 9: Tschigorin by L. Abramow (1960)
  • 25: Tal by M. Tal (1961)
  • 24: Unzicker by W. Unzicker (1962)
  • 14: Capablanca by J. Gilchrist and D. Hooper (1963)
  • 26: Petrosjan by T. Petrosjan (1963)
  • 36: Sowjetisches Schach IV (1953-60) by P. Keres (1963)
  • 41: Das Interzonenturnier Amsterdam 1964 (two volumes) by S. Flohr and M. Euwe (1965)
  • 38: Jugoslawisches Schach II by P. Trifunović (1965)
  • 6: Morphy-Paulsen by L. Rellstab (1967)
  • 4: Anderssen I by G. Pollak (1968)
  • 7: Steinitz by D. Hooper (1968)
  • 27: Spassky by A.S. Liwschitz (1972).

We have two slightly different editions of the Spassky volume, and the penultimate page of one of them gives further information about the publisher’s output, actual and intended:


Apart from, of course, the planned book on the 1969 world championship match, the same list had been in the 1968 volumes on Anderssen and Steinitz. The publisher, Eduard Wildhagen, died in 1977.

8962. The ‘big red book’



Little is known about A.S. Liwschitz (Livshits), although his 1972 volume on Spassky was, for a time, the most famous chess book in the world. Below, for instance, is part of an article on page 25 of the New York Times, 1 April 1972:



The photograph below comes from page 185 of Bobby Fischers väg till VM by Jens Enevoldsen (Stockholm, 1972):


8963. Correspondence chess trick (C.N. 8942)

The request at the end of C.N. 8942 has been answered by the Cleveland Public Library, which has provided the following from page 22 of the February 1961 Ohio Chess Bulletin (Editor: David G. Wolford):


We now note an earlier report of the trick. On page 130 of the June 1941 CHESS a reader, J. Jackson of Caldbeck, wrote:

‘... in a recent match between Eire and Ulster, one of the Papists, at a highish board, opened with 1 P-Q4; his opponent replied: “1...P-KKt3; 2 Any, B-Kt2” and resigned on receipt of the laconic answer: “2 B-R6 ... 3 BxB”.’

In the electronic age a parallel may be drawn with ‘pre-moving’. See, for example, chapters four and five of Bullet Chess One Minute to Mate by H. Nakamura and B. Harper (Milford, 2009).

8964. Alekhine on Euwe

It is difficult to know what to make of Alekhine’s remark in brackets at the end of a letter published on page 161 of the August 1941 CHESS:

alekhine euwe

8965. Who?

A very well-known master:


8966. Who? (C.N. 8965)

From a second picture it is even possible to deduce the exact date on which both photographs were taken:


8967. A.G. Laing (C.N.s 8728, 8762 & 8877)

Below is another game from the score-books of A.G. Laing. It was played shortly before Mieses’s 77th birthday:

laing mieses

A.G. Laing – Jacques Mieses
London, 21 February 1942
Centre Counter-Game

1 e4 Nc6 2 Nf3 d5 3 exd5 Qxd5 4 Nc3 Qa5 5 d4 Bg4 6 Be2 O-O-O 7 Be3 Bxf3 8 Bxf3 Nxd4 9 Bxd4 e5 10 Bxb7+ Kxb7 11 Qf3+ Kb8


12 b4 Bxb4 13 O-O Rxd4 14 Rab1 Kc8 15 Qf5+ Kd8 16 Ne2 Ne7 17 Qxf7 Rd7 18 c3 Qa6 19 Qf3 Bc5 20 Ng3 Nc8 21 Ne4 Bb6 22 Rfd1 Qxa2 23 Rxd7+ Kxd7 24 Rd1+ Nd6 25 Qg4+ Kc6 26 Qxg7 Qe2 27 White resigns.

8968. Paul Morphy and Queen Victoria


This photograph comes from page 40 of Chessworld, January-February 1964, in an article on Morphy by David Lawson. One of two similar shots, it was also given (‘Paul Morphy and a lady’) on page 333 of Lawson’s 1976 biography of Morphy. Page 109 showed the same setting in a photograph of Morphy and Löwenthal (‘London, 1858’).

Even so, page 94 of Arte y Ajedrez by Gabriel Mario Gómez (Buenos Aires, 2014) bizarrely asserts that the photograph was taken in the gardens of Buckingham Palace and that Morphy’s opponent was Queen Victoria:


Chess and British Royalty notes a discussion of Morphy and Queen Victoria on pages 200-201 of Lawson’s book, which included this passage:


Can a reader provide the full text of that newspaper report?

8969. Gómez

As mentioned in C.N. 2765 (see Chess Jottings), an earlier book by Gabriel Mario Gómez, Historia del ajedrez (Buenos Aires, 1998), had this on page 160:

euwe alekhine

8970. Domination (C.N.s 7209 & 8950)

C.N.s 7209 and 8950 showed the earliest known appearance of a famous remark ascribed to Alekhine, ‘I dominate them all’ (page 171 of the May 1946 CHESS):


This second-hand version related to unnamed third parties is often reduced to a general boast by Alekhine, as in this ‘once’ version on page 251 of The Golden Dozen by Irving Chernev (Oxford, 1976):

‘Alekhine played chess as if his life depended on it. He had to win, win, win, and live up to what he once said, “I dominate them all!”’

The phrase was used to advertise Al Horowitz’s New York Times column on page 233 of the April 1972 Chess Life & Review:


Another occurrence is on the back cover of the Dover edition of Fred Reinfeld’s collection 100 Instructive Games of Alekhine (New York, 1959):


The quote also stood alone in the heading (page 168) of the Alekhine chapter in Reinfeld’s The Great Chess Masters and Their Games (New York, 1952):


Reinfeld amplified on page 189:


8971. ‘Chess has been a minor factor in my life’

As reported in C.N. 95 (see pages 375-376 of Kings, Commoners and Knaves) Alekhine stated in an interview, ‘Chess has been a minor factor in my life’. The full item to which C.N. 95 referred (Chess Review, January 1945, page 13) is shown here:


However, a footnote on page xiii of A. Alekhine Agony of a Chess Genius by Pablo Morán (Jefferson, 1989) stated that the interview came from the Gijón daily newspaper El Comercio of 22 July 1944 and was conducted by Juan Fernández Rúa (and not, as indicated in the first paragraph of the Chess Review article, by Ricardo Guinart Cavallé in El Mundo Deportivo).

Can the original Spanish-language interview be found?

8972. 2 Bg5

C.N. 5261 (see The Trompowsky Opening) mentioned that pages 43-44 of Octávio Trompowsky’s 1941 book Partidas de Xadrez have a game which he played by telegraph in 1925 against José Montalbán (White). After 1 d4 d5 2 Bg5 Trompowsky wrote:

‘Uma fantasia interessante que Tartakower batizou de “Vôo no Azul” e que tem pelo menos o mérito de sair dos livros. Tarrasch disse algures que êste Bispo procurava pregar a sombra do Cavalo!’ [‘An interesting fantasy, which Tartakower christened a “Flight into the Blue” and which at least has the merit of leaving the books. Tarrasch said somewhere that this bishop was trying to pin the knight’s shadow!’]

Do readers have information about such a remark by Tarrasch, or by others? We can offer only a vague citation for the phrase on pages 234-236 of The Year-Book of Chess 1915 and 1916 by W.H. Watts and A.W. Foster (London, 1917). The game between R.H.V. Scott and T. Germann was played in 1915, in the 1915-16 City of London Chess Club Championship, and the notes were by Amos Burn in The Field.




1 d4 d5 2 Bg5 f6 3 Bh4 Nh6 4 e3 Be6 5 Bd3 Nf7 6 Nd2 Nd6 7 Bg3 Bf7 8 Ngf3 Nc6 9 c3 e6 10 Qc2 Be7 11 O-O-O Qd7 12 Nb3 b6 13 Rhe1 a5 14 e4 Nxe4 15 Bxe4 dxe4 16 Qxe4 O-O 17 Qg4 Qd5 18 Kb1 f5 19 Qf4 a4 20 Nc1 a3 21 b3 Bd6 22 Ne5 Ne7 23 Ncd3 Qa5 24 Qc1 Nd5 25 b4 Qa4 26 Nxf7 Kxf7 27 Rd2 f4 28 Bh4 Rac8 29 Rde2 Rfe8 30 Qc2 c5 31 Qxa4 Nxc3+ 32 Kc2 Nxa4 33 Kb3 c4+ 34 Kxa4 cxd3 35 Rd2 Rc4 36 Rb1 Ra8+ 37 Kb5 Rxd4 38 f3 Rc8 39 Rb3 Rcc4 40 Bf2 Rxb4+ 41 Kc6 Rbc4+ 42 Kxb6 Rc2 43 Bxd4 Rxd2 44 Kc6 Be7 45 Be5 Rxa2 46 Rxd3 Bf6 47 Kd6 Rxg2 48 Bxf6 Kxf6 49 Rxa3 Rd2+ 50 Kc5 Rxh2 51 Kd4 Re2 52 Ra1 Re3 53 Rh1 Rxf3 54 Ke4 Rf2 55 Rxh7 e5 56 Rh5 g6 57 Rh8 Re2+ 58 Kf3 Re3+ 59 Kf2 Kf5 60 Rf8+ Kg4 61 Rf6 g5 62 Rg6 Kf5 63 Rg8 g4 64 Rf8+ Ke4 65 Rg8 g3+ 66 White resigns.

The Trompowsky Opening article notes that 2 Bg5 was frequently played by José Montalbán, and we add now that he even used it against Alekhine. The score below is taken from pages 59-60 of Ajedrez uruguayo (1880-1980) by Héctor Silva Nazzari (Montevideo, 2013):

José Montalbán – Alexander Alekhine
Montevideo, 27 October 1926
Trompowsky Opening

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 3 d5 Qb6 4 Bxf6 gxf6 5 Qc1


5...Bh6 6 e3 d6 7 c4 Bf5 8 Nc3 Nd7 9 f4 e5 10 g3 exf4 11 gxf4 O-O-O 12 Qd2 Qb4 13 Nb5 Qxd2+ 14 Kxd2 Nb6 15 Bd3 Bxd3 16 Kxd3 Rhg8 17 Ne2 a6 18 Nbc3 Rg6 19 Rhg1 Kd7 20 Ng3 Rdg8 21 Nce2 Nc8 22 Nf5 Bf8 23 Rg3 Ne7 24 Ke4 Nxf5 25 Kxf5 Ke7 26 Rag1 Rh8 27 Rh3 Bh6 28 Ng3 b5 29 Rc1 Kd7 30 b4 cxb4 31 cxb5 axb5 32 Ne4 Ra8 33 Rc6 Rxa2 34 Nxf6+ Kd8 35 Rxd6+ Kc8 36 Ne4 Bf8 37 Rxg6 fxg6+ 38 Ke6


38...b3 39 Nc3 b2 40 d6 b4 41 Nb1 Ra1 42 e4 Bxd6 43 Rb3 Rxb1 44 e5 Kd8 45 h4 Ke8 46 h5 gxh5 47 White resigns.


Page 57 provides information on that first visit of Alekhine’s to Uruguay: +84 –7 =9 in four simultaneous displays, 11½ points out of 12 in six two-board sessions with clocks, a lecture and a blindfold display (score unknown). The circumstances of the game against Montalbán are not specified.

8973. Lasker in Montevideo

Another game from Ajedrez uruguayo (1880-1980), pages 46-47:

Emanuel Lasker – Alfredo Anaya
Simultaneous exhibition, Montevideo, 27 July 1910
Queen’s Gambit Declined

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 Be7 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Qc2 O-O 7 Nf3 c6 8 Bd3 dxc4 9 Bxc4 Nd5 10 Bxe7 Qxe7 11 e4 N5b6 12 Bd3 e5 13 O-O exd4 14 Nxd4 Ne5 15 Rad1 Nxd3 16 Rxd3 c5 17 Nf3 Be6 18 Re1 Rfe8 19 h3 Rad8 20 Rde3 h6 21 a3 Nc4 22 R3e2 Qd7 23 Rd1 Qc6 24 Ne1 Rxd1 25 Qxd1 Qd7 26 Qxd7 Bxd7 27 f3 Bc6 28 Kf2 Rd8 29 Rc2 Rd2+ 30 Rxd2 Nxd2


31 Nd3 Nc4 32 Nd1 b6 33 Ne3 Nxe3 34 Kxe3 f6 35 h4 g6 36 g4 Kf7 37 g5 hxg5 38 hxg5 Bb5 39 gxf6 Kxf6 40 Nf2 Bd7 41 f4 a6 42 Nd3 Be6 43 b4 cxb4 44 Nxb4 a5 45 Nd5+ Bxd5 46 exd5 Ke7 47 a4 Kd6 48 Kd4 b5 49 axb5 a4 50 b6 a3 51 Kc3 Kxd5 52 b7 Resigns.

8974. Who? (C.N.s 8965 & 8966)


The chess master in C.N. 8974 is Florin Gheorghiu. In the second photograph (C.N. 8975), which includes Nona Gaprindashvili, the position on the demonstration board can be identified as coming from Keres v Hindle, Hastings, 1964-65. The tournament report on page 37 of the February 1965 BCM indicates regarding that fifth round, played on 1 January 1965, that Gheorghiu’s opponent was Norman Littlewood.

The photographs come from a feature on pages 30-31 of the Illustrated London News, 9 January 1965 which has been supplied by Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore):


Larger version


Larger version

8975. Ströbeck, Taimanov v Ólafsson, and the Gambit Chess Rooms

Mr Urcan has also forwarded page 231 of the Illustrated London News, 12 August 1905:


Larger version

The photograph below (Mark Taimanov in play against Friðrik Ólafsson, Hastings, 28 December 1955) is from page 31 of the Illustrated London News, 7 January 1956:

taimanov olafsson

Finally, our correspondent has provided a report about the Gambit Chess Rooms, London on pages 23-25 of Picture Post, 12 January 1946:




8976. ‘One of the finest combinations ever played’

‘One of the finest combinations ever played’, commented Fred Reinfeld on page 137 of Creative Chess (New York, 1959), a book reissued after his death as Chess Secrets Revealed:



No particulars about the players or occasion were mentioned, and page 143 of The Fireside Book of Chess by I. Chernev and F. Reinfeld (New York, 1949) had merely described the conclusion as ‘a brilliant combination from a game played in 1935’.

The finish has been widely quoted in chess literature as from Andreiev/Andreyev/Andreev v Dolookhanow/Dolookhanov/Dolukhanov/Dolukanov, Leningrad, 1935. It was given on pages 72-73 of The Middle Game in Chess by E. Znosko-Borovsky (London, 1938), and the translator of that book, J. du Mont, showed it on page 6 of The Basis of Combination in Chess (London, 1938). Neither work offered analysis, and we have never traced the full game (including information on what happened after 6...Nxd1+) or details about the players and occasion.

On the analytical front, the position was touched upon on pages 238-239 of Chess Life & Review, April 1972 (‘Larry Evans on Chess’), where a California reader, Robert Coble, suggested that 2 Ba6 destroyed the combination. In response, Evans put forward 1...Rxh2 2 Ba6 Rxh1 3 Qb3+ (if 3 Rxh1 Qc5) 3...Qb4. He then added, ‘The best defense is 1...KRxB 2 RxR QxP 3 K-N1! (instead of the obliging PxQ) and it’s still a game’, but, as shown above, Reinfeld had pointed out that Black wins with 3...Nc3+ 4 bxc3 Ka8. So had the Chernev/Reinfeld book.

There is a deep analytical discussion of the combination on pages 196-198 of John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book (London, 1999) and pages 318-320 of the enlarged edition (London, 2009). Remarkably, Nunn found that 1...Rxh2 was not even the best move, and that great complexities remained after 6...Nxd1+. On the book’s 1-5 scale of difficulty, he placed the position in the toughest category, for reasons that we leave readers to discover for themselves.


8977. A familiar old position

From page 41 of The Middle Game in Chess by E. Znosko-Borovsky (London, 1938):


The same diagram and information were on page 47 of The Basis of Combination in Chess by J. du Mont (London, 1938). Do readers know of earlier appearances of this game, including details about the players, occasion and full score?

The present item examines how the position has been handled by the uncaring. For example, on page 13 of The Times Winning Moves (London, 1991) Raymond Keene omitted the white bishop on b5 and had Travin as Black:


Travin was also given as Black on pages 280-281 of Encyclopedia of Chess Wisdom by Eric Schiller (New York, 1999):



The phrase ‘from a game played in the Soviet Union sometime before World War II’ is not a hallmark of scholarship. The faulty diagram (with the rook on b4 instead of b2) and the ‘Malteses [sic] Cross’ heading were mentioned in A Sorry Case. Note too how a move by Black ‘forced Black’s resignation’.

Another sighting of Travin as Black is on page 20 of Chess Techniques by A.R.B. Thomas (London, 1975), but there was a particular reason:


Thomas set out his strange practice in the Introduction (page ix):

‘One feature of the book needs explanation. The diagrams are given from White’s point of view and White is remarkably successful. This is due to the fact that the colours have been reversed, together with the players’ names, whenever Black has won. In all such cases the number of the diagram is in bold type.’

So far, nothing has been found which disproves the basic historical information about the game from Znosko-Borovsky and du Mont in 1938. For reasons unknown, on page 15 of Chess Life, October 2009 A. Soltis stated that the position had arisen between Lev Travin and Ilya Zek in Leningrad in 1938 [sic].

He then put forward an analytical correction: after 1...Qd1 2 Rxb2 Qxd8 3 Rf2 ‘Black can’t win’.

A more diligent writer than A. Soltis would have avoided giving any impression that the drawing line was his own discovery. For instance, Black’s inability to win after 3 Rf2 had been mentioned by Jude Acers on page 60 of the May 1983 Chess Life, in the ‘Larry Evans on Chess’ column (an item which began with an incorrect title for Znosko-Borovsky’s book):


A more diligent writer than L. Evans (whose reference to uncritical copying suggests a stark lack of self-awareness) would have mentioned that the information from Acers was nothing new. Thirty years previously Evans himself had been corrected on the identical point, i.e. for overlooking the draw on pages 37 and 40 of a book which he co-authored with Tom Wiswell, Championship Chess and Checkers for All (New York, 1953). The correction was made by Norman T. Whitaker on page 192 of CHESS, July 1953:


Loath to provide sources or admit uncertainty, copy-and-bungle writers baldly present their version of the ‘facts’ as ironclad, never informing the reader that something else can be found somewhere else. Since 1953, it seems, only confusion has been added to the ‘Travin v Zeck’ matter.

8978. B.H. Wood

Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) has forwarded a number of photographs from the Illustrated London News, and they will be shown here in occasional batches. Below are three portraits of the magazine’s long-standing chess columnist, B.H. Wood (1909-89):


Illustrated London News, 26 December 1953, page 1081


Illustrated London News, 25 December 1954, page 1175


Illustrated London News, 10 December 1955, page 1028.

The beginning of an advertisement on a cover page of B.H. Wood’s magazine, CHESS, November 1974:


8979. Chess in the London Evening Standard

In C.N. 6712 (see too Chess Records) Leonard Barden informed us that his daily (Monday-Friday) chess column in the London Evening Standard began in early June 1956 and that (apart from one week in May 2009 when it appeared on-line only) it continued in the newspaper until 30 July 2010. Since then, it has been published exclusively on-line. That C.N. item asked whether there had ever been, in any journalistic field, such a run for a daily column by a single individual; no competing claims were received.

Now, however, we learn that although Leonard Barden had hoped to continue until at least June 2016, completing a 60-year run, the newspaper intends to terminate the column at the end of December 2014.

8980. Lasker and photographs

What is the basis for a statement about Emanuel Lasker on page 57 of Chess is Chess by Aleksandar Matanović (Belgrade, 1990)?

‘Poor Lasker prepared for his tournaments by studying the photographs of his future opponents. Having nothing else at hand, he scrutinized their facial features and tried to penetrate into their psyches.’

8981. Chernev’s forename

Gerard Killoran (Ilkley, England) notes that a century ago reports in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle referred to Isidore, not Irving, Chernev. One of several instances is on page 38 of the 15 October 1916 edition:


We see that page 3 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 12 March 1913 had ‘Isidor Chernev’.

8982. Caricatures in the Graphic (London, 1922)

Mr Killoran also provides a set of caricatures on page 261 of the Graphic, 19 August 1922:

london 1922

8983. Capablanca v S. Bernstein, Brooklyn, 1928

A third contribution from our correspondent concerns Capablanca’s draw against Sidney Bernstein in a simultaneous exhibition and shows that when writing to us about the game in 1987 (see A Great Chess Figure) Bernstein forgot not only certain details but also the fact that he had annotated the game on page 6A of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 27 December 1928. Mr Killoran provides the cutting:

capablanca bernstein

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e5 3 dxe5 Ng4 4 e4 h5 5 Be2 Nxe5 6 f4 Ng4 7 g3 Bb4+ 8 Nc3 Qe7 9 Qc2 Nc6 10 Nf3 h4 11 gxh4 Rxh4 12 Bd2 Rh3 13 O-O-O Bxc3 14 Qxc3 Nf2 15 Qxg7 Nxh1 16 Rxh1 Qf8 17 Qg2 Rh8 18 Rg1 d6 19 Bc3 f6 20 Qg6+ Qf7 21 Bxf6 Qxg6 22 Rxg6 Kf7 23 f5 Rg8 24 Ng5+ Kf8 25 h4 Ne5 26 Bxe5 Rxg6 27 fxg6 dxe5 28 h5 Kg7 29 Nf7 Kf6 30 Nh6 Be6 31 Bg4 Bxg4 32 Nxg4+ Kg7 33 Nxe5 Rh8 34 Kc2 Rxh5 35 Nd3 Rh2+ 36 Kc3 Kxg6 37 a4 Drawn.

White’s 34th move was recorded as 34 Kc2, and not 34 Kd2 (as given by Rogelio Caparrós’s books on Capablanca and, subsequently, in databases).

8984. Ströbeck (C.N. 8975)

Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England) owns this photograph:



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