Chess Notes by Edward Winter

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.

1 February 2019: C.N. 11207
3 February 2019: C.N.s 11208-11211
4 February 2019: C.N.s 11212-11213
5 February 2019: C.N. 11214
6 February 2019: C.N.s 11215-11216
7 February 2019: C.N.s 11217-11218
10 February 2019: C.N.s 11219-11220
13 February 2019: C.N.s 11221-11222
14 February 2019: C.N.s 11223-11225
15 February 2019: C.N. 11226
16 February 2019: C.N.s 11227-11229

Olaf Barda

A selection of feature articles:

Napoleon Bonaparte and Chess
The Facts about Larry Evans
War Crimes

Archives (including all feature articles)


11207. Double bishop sacrifice (C.N. 2673)

Firstly, the full text of C.N. 2673 is reproduced, from 2002:

When was the first known instance of the double bishop sacrifice? Not Lasker v Bauer, Amsterdam, 1889, but a game played five years earlier:

Amos Burn – John Owen
Liverpool, 7 February 1884
Irregular Opening

1 Nf3 e6 2 d4 b6 3 e3 Bb7 4 b3 Nf6 5 Bb2 d5 6 Nbd2 Bd6 7 Bd3 O-O 8 c4 Nbd7 9 Rc1 Qe7 10 O-O Ne4 11 Qc2 f5 12 Ne5 Nxd2 13 Qxd2 Rad8 14 Nxd7 Rxd7 15 Qc2 dxc4 16 bxc4


16…Bxh2+ 17 Kxh2 Qh4+ 18 Kg1 Bxg2 19 f3 Bxf1 20 Bxf1 Rf6 21 Bg2 Rh6 22 d5 exd5 23 Qxf5 Qe7 24 Bd4 c5 25 Be5 dxc4 26 Rxc4 Qd8 27 Rg4 Rf7 28 Qc2 Rh5 29 f4 Kf8 30 Bf1 Rd7 31 Qc3 g6 32 Bf6 Qc8 33 Bg5 Rg7 34 Rg2 Qd7 35 Bc4 b5 36 Qf6+ Ke8 37 Qe5+ Kf8 38 Qb8+ Qe8 39 Qd6+ Re7 40 Qf6+ Resigns.

Source: notebooks of the Liverpool Chess Club.

This important discovery was made by Richard Forster, who published the game in an article on Burn on pages 12-13 of the July 2001 CHESS.

Specifying sources is not only an act of fairness to earlier writers but also a way of ensuring that relevant background information is known. In this instance, the source ‘notebooks of the Liverpool Chess Club’ diminishes the possibility that Lasker was aware of the Burn v Owen game before he played the double bishop sacrifice against J.H. Bauer (Amsterdam, 1889).

See too pages 185-186 of Amos Burn A Chess Biography by Richard Forster (Jefferson, 2004). On the theme of the double bishop sacrifice, a footnote on page 185 had a late addition:

‘However, in the BCM, December 2003, page 666, O. Hindle draws attention to an even earlier specimen by Cecil De Vere from The Field, 14 September 1867.’

Detailed coverage of the double bishop sacrifice on the basis of Lasker v Bauer is on pages 368-376 of Emanuel Lasker edited by R. Forster, M. Negele and R. Tischbierek (Berlin, 2018).

Below (with scans kindly provided by the Cleveland Public Library) are two short, little-known games with the same motif. The first comes from pages 167-168 of the South African Chess Magazine, July 1935:



1 d4 f5 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 Bb4 5 Bd2 O-O 6 e3 b6 7 a3 Bd6 8 Be2 Bb7 9 O-O Kh8 10 Qb3 Nc6 11 Rac1 Na5 12 Qc2 Ne4 13 Nb5 Nxd2 14 Nxd2


14...Bxh2+ 15 Kxh2 Qh4+ 16 Kg1 Bxg2 17 f4 Qg3 18 Rf3 Bxf3 19 White resigns.

This game between David Yeller and Edward F. Schrader in the 12th South African Championship, Johannesburg, 1935 is on page 146 of A History of Chess in South Africa by Leonard R. Reitstein (Kenilworth, 2003). Both players are in a group photograph on page 144.

The moves 18 Rf3 Bxf3 were omitted when the game was published on page 310 of the Australasian Chess Review, 14 November 1935:


There was a follow-up item about the double bishop sacrifice on page 340 of the 7 December 1935 issue of the Australasian Chess Review:

macnaught crakanthorp

1 d4 f5 2 c4 Nf6 3 b3 e6 4 Bb2 b6 5 Nf3 Bb7 6 e3 Bd6 7 Bd3 O-O 8 O-O Ng4 9 Nbd2 Nxh2 10 Nxh2


10...Bxh2+ 11 Kxh2 Qh4+ 12 Kg1 Bxg2 13 Kxg2 and ‘Black mates in six’ [sic].

That blindfold game between G. MacNaught and S. Crakanthorp was published again on page 219 of the 13 August 1936 edition of the Australasian Chess Review. The fact that the black king’s bishop was not sacrificed was still left unmentioned, and the handling of the conclusion (‘Black announced mate in four’) was still imprecise.

macnaught crakanthorp

Can the game-score be found in a 1908 publication?

11208. Rude book reviews

Further to the discussion of this topic on pages 390-391 of A Chess Omnibus and in C.N.s 7575 and 9376, below is one of several barbs by Ed Edmondson when reviewing R.G. Wade’s Soviet Chess (London, 1968) on page 108 of Chess Life, March 1969:

‘Not recommended if your budget for chess books is at all limited. It’s one man’s opinion, but I consider this volume to be only for those who can truly afford to satisfy their own curiosity about its dullness or to acquire a collection of chess books regardless of quality.’

Another man’s opinion was on pages 58-59 of the February 1969 BCM, where one of the greatest of all chess book reviewers, W.H. Cozens, expressed some criticism of Soviet Chess but also praised it highly, concluding:

‘It would be hard to suggest how any serious student of chess could find a better use for two guineas.’


A brief notice of another book by Wade comes to mind, from the inside front cover of CHESS, mid-January 1964:


11209. ‘Known on the Continent as ...’ (C.N. 10173)

C.N. 10173 quoted six unsubstantiated assertions that ‘the little Steinitz’ was H.E. Atkins’ nickname ‘on the Continent’. A seventh instance is in an article about Atkins by Harry Golombek on page 70 of Chess Treasury of the Air by Terence Tiller (Harmondsworth, 1966).

11210. Bent Larsen and 1 b3 (C.N. 10828)

‘I do not especially recommend this opening.’

So wrote Bent Larsen about 1 b3 on page 138 of Chess Life, April 1969, in an article which has an early appearance of the name ‘Baby Orang-Utan’:


11211. Double bishop sacrifice (C.N.s 2673 & 11207)

The game (remove Black’s knight at g8) between an amateur and Cecil De Vere, London, 1867 which was mentioned in C.N. 11207: 1 e4 d5 2 exd5 e6 3 dxe6 Bxe6 4 Nf3 Bd6 5 Be2 Nc6 6 Bb5 Bd7 7 O-O O-O 8 Bxc6 Bxc6 9 d3 Re8 10 c3 Re6 11 Nd4


11...Bxh2+ 12 Kxh2 Qh4+ 13 Kg1 Bxg2 14 Kxg2 Rg6+ 15 Kf3 Re8 16 Rg1 Rf6+ and mates in three moves.

As noted in C.N. 11207, the game was found by Owen Hindle in The Field, 14 September 1867 and given on page 666 of the December 2003 BCM (in the Quotes and Queries column conducted by Chris Ravilious).  It was discovered after publication of the monograph on De Vere, “The English Morphy?” by Owen Hindle and Bob Jones (Exmouth, 2001).

Fabrizio Zavatarelli (Milan, Italy) points out a passage on page 16 of Why Lasker Matters by Andrew Soltis (London, 2005), in the game Lasker v Bauer, Amsterdam, 1889:

lasker bauer

C.N. 11207 commented: ‘Specifying sources is not only an act of fairness to earlier writers but also a way of ensuring that relevant background information is known.’ Soltis did not name the researchers who found the 1867 and 1884 games (Owen Hindle and Richard Forster respectively) or, indeed, the author of Lasker’s Combination (Victor Charushin). The assertion by Soltis that the Burn v Owen game was ‘little known until mentioned in the British Chess Magazine in 2003’ is incorrect (see C.N. 11207).


In the above position Lasker, against Bauer, played 15 Bxh7+, and Steinitz wrote on page 268 of the September 1889 International Chess Magazine:

‘The beginning of a most profound and elegant combination.’

Page 354 of the September 1889 BCM had Lasker as the loser:

lasker bauer

11212. Norman Tweed Whitaker (C.N. 11184)

John Hilbert (Amherst, NY, USA) writes:

‘After Whitaker’s death at 85 by stroke on 20 May 1975 at Cobb Memorial Hospital, Phenix City, Alabama, his friend and executor James E. Gates struggled to reconcile the late chessplayer’s finances. Ultimately, Whitaker’s assets did not quite satisfy his debts, and so he died a pauper. His death was largely ignored by the world, including the chess world, with one notable exception. The August 1975 Chess Life & Review obituary, written by Gates, as mentioned in C.N. 11184, avoided discussion of Whitaker’s life outside the game, and for good reason. His convictions for interstate auto theft (1924), conspiracy to defraud, along with Gaston B. Means, related to their hoax to swindle the owner of the Hope Diamond during the uproar of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping (1932), another auto theft (1932), sending narcotics through the mail (1944) and child molestation (1950) led to his spending time in Leavenworth and Alcatraz, along with a dreary host of lesser-known prisons and jails.

His papers, as I relate in detail in Shady Side: The Life and Crimes of Norman Tweed Whitaker, Chess Master (Yorklyn, 2000), reveal his near-obsessive focus on a variety of other cons, ranging from ignoring parking tickets and failing to return hundreds of library books, to skipping out on debts, cheating friends and fiancées, and attempting extortion. Some of his actions were ludicrous, some quite petty, but many of them were disturbingly disclosing of an intelligent, amoral mind which, by almost any definition, uncovers a psychopath. Although he lost his law license after his first conviction, he never lost his gusto for suing, or threatening to sue, anyone and everyone on the flimsiest contortions of facts, including the USCF. His International Master’s title, awarded by FIDE in 1965, was as much a testimony to his years of pestering the officials involved as it was to his long-gone chess strength.

And yet especially during the roughly 20 years between 1910 and 1930, when not in prison, Whitaker excelled at playing chess. What he might have accomplished in the game, had he spent his time studying and playing it, instead of hatching one failed criminal plan and contentious lawsuit after another, can never be known. To borrow a few lines written regarding his one-time co-conspirator, Gaston B. Means, but that might equally apply to Whitaker, “Few men attain so much fame and so little success in so many kinds of crime, and at the same time acquire reputation of a sort in fields unrelated to their strict criminal activity.” (Quoted from the Christian Century in the Philadelphia Daily News, 28 September 1963, page 14.)’

11213. Whitaker in Chess Life & Review

A lengthy autobiographical article by N.T. Whitaker was published on pages 502-504 of the December 1969 Chess Life & Review.



The chess accomplishments related included this curiosity (about which more information is sought):

‘In Hamburg, in May 1960, I drew a hard-fought six-game match with Grandmaster F. Sämisch, for stakes. We each won a game, with four draws. He is tough, as expected of a veteran master; he once defeated the dreaded Capablanca.’

Whitaker also showed ‘the only problem I ever composed’:


Mate in three.

Page 26 of the January 1970 issue gave the solution.

The extraordinarily convoluted preparation of Whitaker’s article for publication in Chess Life & Review is related on pages 281-285 of John Hilbert’s biography.


11214. Chess in Hastings


Larger version

This photograph has been provided by Tim Jones (Liverpool, England), from the memorabilia of his grandfather Richard Jones, who is second from the left in the front row. It seems that the player seated by the black pieces is F.W. Womersley.

A further photograph (in which Richard Jones is again second from the left in the front row, the occasion being a Sussex v Surrey match in 1886) is on our correspondent’s website. He also possesses the London, 1883 tournament book with this inscription: ‘Won by Richard Jones in the Even Tournament of the Hastings and St Leonards Chess Club, Autumn 1884, together with the captaincy of the club for 1885.’


Chess Player’s Chronicle, 17 December 1884, page 259

Two of the game-scores in Richard Jones’ hand:

Richard Jones – Frederick William Womersley
Handicap tournament, Hastings, 6 March 1885
Giuoco Piano

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 Nc3 Nf6 5 O-O O-O 6 d3 d6 7 h3 Be6 8 Bb3 Bxb3 9 axb3 h6 10 Ne2 Nh7 11 Ng3 Ne7 12 Nh4 d5 13 exd5 Qxd5 14 Ne4 f5 15 Nxc5 Qxc5 16 Be3 Qc6 17 f4 e4 18 dxe4 fxe4 19 Bd4 Nf5 20 Nxf5 Rxf5 21 Qg4 Rf7 22 c3 a6 23 f5 Raf8 24 Rae1 Qd5 25 Qg6 c5 26 Be3 Rf6 27 Qg4 b6 28 Rd1 Qf7 29 Qxe4 Rxf5 30 Rxf5 Qxf5 31 Qb7 Qc2 32 Rd7 Qg6 33 Qxa6 Qb1+ 34 Kh2 Qxb2 35 Qc4+ Kh8 36 Rb7 Rf6 37 Bf4 Ng5 38 Bxg5 hxg5 39 Rb8+ Kh7 40 Qe4+ Rg6 41 Rxb6 Resigns.

Frederick William Womersley – Richard Jones
Club tournament, Hastings, 16 October 1885
Ruy López

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 O-O Bc5 7 Bg5 h6 8 Bh4 g5 9 Bg3 Nh5 10 Bxc6 dxc6 11 Be5 f6 12 Bxd4 Bd6 13 e5 Be7 14 exf6 Nxf6 15 Qd3 Rg8 16 Re1 Nd5 17 Qh7 Kf8 18 Qxh6+ Ke8 19 Nxg5 Bf5 20 Bc5 b6 21 Bxe7 Nxe7 22 Nc3 Qd2 23 Qxc6+ Qd7 24 Qxa8+ Qd8 25 Qc6+ Resigns.



Dr Richard Jones was born in Gwter Fawr (later name: Brynaman/Brynamman), on 16 July 1859 and died in the same Welsh village on, as far as is known, 25 January 1940.

11215. ‘The greatest annotator who ever lived’

‘It is my considered opinion that Paul Keres is the greatest annotator who ever lived.’

Burt Hochberg, a much underrated writer, made that comment in a laudatory review of the final volume of the Keres trilogy Grandmaster of Chess on pages 236-237 of the June 1969 Chess Life. (The production standards of the US publisher, Arco, were, however, criticized.)

After possible competing claims in favour of Alekhine, Botvinnik and Fischer had been noted briefly (with mention too of Bronstein), Hochberg wrote:

‘Keres is profound, analytically sound, most readable and instructive. He omits nothing, save the most obvious and trivial. But perhaps the feature that sets him above all the others is his sense of form. A game of chess, in common with some other forms of art, has a beginning, a middle and an end, one phrase preparing the next, every move part of a planned organic whole. In his notes, Keres imparts to the game a sense of direction, a feeling of anticipation and the sure knowledge that nothing has been left to chance, that everything has been taken into account. At frequent intervals, Keres reminds us of each player’s earlier strategic goals, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each position and setting forth the plans of each player for the next stage of the game. He also shares with the reader his own thoughts during the game. One frequently encounters the phrase, “During the game, I intended ...”.’

Keres was a columnist in Chess Life and Chess Life & Review, and in 1991 Hochberg brought out an excellent anthology, Power Chess.



The chess belles lettres book by Hochberg referred to in the back-cover blurb was The 64-Square Looking Glass (New York, 1993).


11216. G.W. Medley

From Hans Renette (Bierbeek, Belgium):

‘Very recently, Nigel and Caroline Webb (who contributed some photographs from their family archive for my books on Bird, Neumann and Paulsen) published a biography of George Webb Medley and his wife, entitled Mr Sugar Face and his Moll (Legini Press). It contains a fairly extensive chapter on chess.’


11217. Spielmann on Masters of the Chess Board

Wanted: further information about Rudolf Spielmann’s assessment of Masters of the Chess Board by Richard Réti.

The first of two pages of testimonials in Richard Réti: Sämtliche Studien (Mährisch-Ostrau, 1931), from the same publisher as Die Meister des Schachbretts (Mährisch-Ostrau, 1930):


Below is the penultimate (unnumbered) page of Chess Strategy and Tactics by Fred Reinfeld and Irving Chernev (New York, 1933):


11218. L. Lindheimer

C.N.s 11201 and 11202 mentioned L. Lindheimer, further to his remark, ‘Littlewood plays the best bad chess I have ever seen’.

John Townsend (Wokingham, England) writes:

‘Leopold Franz Lindheimer was born on 20 November 1902 in Berne, Switzerland according to the National Archives on-line catalogue entry for document HO 396/55/256. The text has not been examined. It belongs to a class of records concerned with internment during the Second World War.

A naturalization certificate was issued on 27 April 1946, specifying that he was from Germany and resident at that time in Banstead, Surrey, his wife being named as Anita Gerda Helene. (Source: National Archives catalogue description of HO 334/162/18010.)

The indexing of his marriage in the June quarter of 1936 (Kensington, 1a, 385) by the General Register Office states that his spouse was Anita G.H. Brasch or Anita G.H. Seldis.

At the time of the “National Registration: 1939 Register” (National Archives, RG 101/361), he was living at 71 Dorchester Court, Lambeth, described as a hair and wool merchant, and carrying out Air Raid Precautions duties as a stretcher-bearer, while his wife was an ambulance driver. His date of birth was again given as 20 November 1902; his wifes was 12 February 1910.

The National Probate Calendar shows that he died on 31 August 1962 at the Hospital Clínico, Barcelona, his residence at the time being Old Point, Woodlands Road, Virginia Water, Surrey. Probate was granted on 16 November to his widow, his effects amounting to £22,202 5s.’

The sole game by Lindheimer that we have seen in databases is his victory over W.W. Aves in the Bognor Regis Club Championship, 1961. Under the heading ‘Double-Sacrifice at KB6’, Raaphy Persitz annotated it in depth on pages 146-149 of the May 1962 BCM, and the score is given below with, as a guide, his punctuation:

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Nf6 5 O-O? d6? 6 d4 exd4 7 cxd4 Bb6 8 Nc3 Bg4 9 Be3 h6? 10 Be2? O-O 11 h3 Bh5 12 d5 Bxe3? 13 fxe3? Ne7! 14 Nh4 Bxe2(?) 15 Qxe2 Qd7?? 16 Rxf6! gxf6 17 Qh5 Kg7 18 Rf1 Rh8


19 e5! dxe5 20 Rxf6! Kxf6 21 Ne4+ Kg7 22 Qxe5+ f6 23 Nxf6! Nc6 24 Nh5+ Kg8 25 Qg3+! Kf8 26 Ng6+ Kf7 27 Nxh8+(!) Rxh8(?) 28 Qg7+ Ke8 29 Nf6+ Resigns.

In his introduction, Persitz wrote that the game featured a ‘disrupting-sacrifice’ (move 16), a ‘clearing-sacrifice’ (move 19) and a ‘denuding-sacrifice’ (move 20). His note to 20 Rxf6 drew a comparison with the position at move 17 in the Capablanca v Steiner living chess game.

11219. Buenos Aires, 1927

Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) has forwarded some photographs which he took on 30 January 2019 at the Club Argentino de Ajedrez, Paraguay 1858, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, 1120, Argentina. In the shot below, the Club’s display of the board and pieces used for the 1927 world championship match is intended to show the final position in the decisive 34th match-game, after 82 Re7:

alekhine capablanca

Mr Bauzá Mercére notes that the black rook is on h2, and not h1 as in the game.

We add page 4 of the Argentine newspaper Crítica, 29 November 1927:

alekhine capablanca

Larger version

alekhine capablanca

11220. Pilnik v Ólafsson

A heading on page 157 of CHESS, 11 February 1956:


Persitz annotated the game (Pilnik v Ólafsson, Reykjavik, 1955) on pages 158-160. (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 d4 d5 6 Bd3 Be7 7 O-O O-O 8 Re1 Nd6 9 Nc3 c6 10 Bf4 Bg4 11 h3 Bh5 12 Bh2 f5 13 Ne2 g5 14 Ng3 Bg6 15 Ne5 Nd7 16 Nxg6 hxg6 17 Qe2 Rf7 18 Nf1 Ne4 19 f3 Nd6 20 c3 Nf8 21 Qc2 Ne8 22 Re2 Bd6 23 g3 Ng7 24 Rae1 Qf6 25 Kg2 Nge6 26 Bg1 Rd8 27 Rd1 Rh7 28 c4 g4 29 fxg4 Bxg3 30 Nxg3 Rxh3 31 gxf5 Nf4+ 32 Kf3 Qh4 33 Bf2 Nh7 34 Rg1 Ng5+ 35 Ke3 Re8+ 36 Kd2 Nf3+ 37 Kc3 Nxe2+ 38 Nxe2 Qxf2 39 Rxg6+ Kh8 40 Qc1 Re3 41 Nf4 Re1 42 White resigns.)

See too pages 29-33 of Við skákborðið í aldarfjórðung by Friðrik Ólafsson (Reykjavik, 1976). Page 29 has a photograph of the players at the board.


11221. Capablanca’s influence on Benko


Pal Benko, front cover, Chess Review, October 1961

On page 157 of Winning with Chess Psychology by Pal Benko and Burt Hochberg (New York, 1991) Benko wrote:

‘About a year after Lasker’s death, Capablanca died, and a book appeared in Hungary containing 300 of his games, many of them annotated by grandmasters. Although Lasker remained my idol, Capablanca’s games taught me technique and enabled me, at age 17, to become a master.’

On page 4 of Pal Benko My Life, Games and Compositions by P. Benko and J. Silman (Los Angeles, 2003) Benko recalled:

‘I avidly studied a book of Capablanca’s 350 best games (this was my first chess book and the Cuban quickly became my chess hero).’

The book was by Ferenc Chalupetzky and László Tóth (Kecskemét, 1943). It had 319 numbered games and some fragments.


11222. Fischer v Benko, and simultaneous displays

From page 288 of My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer (New York, 1969), in game 46:


In a report on a simultaneous exhibition by Fischer in Toronto on 27 February 1964, Wayne D. Komer noted on page 223 of CHESS, April 1964 that Fischer first gave a 45-minute talk on that game against Benko (1963-64 US Championship):

‘He drew a large chuckle from the crowd when he said that after studying the board [in the diagrammed position] he decided not to play 13 QxKP and then sacrifice the queen for the bishop after 13...N-N5 (14 QxBch KxQ 15 PxN) because he thought this game would then detract from his (brilliant) victory over Robert Byrne in round three when it came time for the judges to award the brilliancy prize.’

The full article has been reproduced in A Legend On the Road by John Donaldson (Seattle, 1994 and Milford, 2005). See pages 20-21 and 34 respectively.

On page 307 of the mid-June 1964 CHESS Wayne D. Komer gave additional information on the Toronto exhibition, including the following:

‘The director of play requested that no-one should ask to “pass” during the simul. This is invariably stated before the games begin, at all the displays that I have attended, and the players generally adhere to the request. One player did ask to pass, but Bobby agreed immediately and went on to play the next board with total unconcern.’

The topic of ‘passing’ had been raised on page 185 of CHESS, 29 February 1964, when the Editor, B.H. Wood, reported on an exhibition of his in West Kirby. That prompted some reminiscences (see C.N. 4958) about Kostić and Alekhine from H.H. Watts on page 232 of the April 1964 issue:



CHESS reverted to the subject the following decade, and C.N. 9531 quoted Wolfgang Heidenfeld on page 257 of CHESS, June 1973, in a letter headed ‘Rabbits and Nonsense’:

‘Your correspondence about simultaneous display etiquette is becoming boring, especially as most of the views represented are those of rabbits who do not even know the rules.’

One complaint, by Phillip G. Clinker, had been about Karpov, on page 229 of the May 1973 issue:


11223. Lugano, 1968

‘The Lugano Olympiad was the greatest manifestation of international chess the world has yet seen.’

That was the first sentence of Harry Golombek’s column in The Times, 16 November 1968, page 23.


On page 334 of the December 1968 BCM Golombek reported that the conditions were not perfect:

‘Whenever spectators became numerous the air supply was not really adequate and the noise that echoed round the hall, admittedly mostly made by the players themselves when they had finished their games, proved very difficult to control. In this respect I formulated one axiom and made one observation that may be of use to students of social behaviour. The axiom is the weaker the player the bigger the noise, and to those who say “What about Najdorf?” my reply is that Najdorf is not what he was either as player or creator of noise. The observation, which was borne in on me repeatedly, is that by far the greatest decibels of noise are produced by heavily moustached gentlemen from South America. Possibly the scientific reason for this is the greater force necessary to make themselves heard through the hair.’


The 28-page programme had a message from the FIDE President, Folke Rogard:

lugano rogard

11224. Oskam v Reyss (C.N. 11206)

Alan Smith (Stockport, England) mentions that he gave Oskam v Reyss, Rotterdam, 1931 on pages 620-621 of the October 2016 BCM, his source being page 2 of Het Vaderland, 28 December 1931.

11225. Réti on Morphy

From page 11 of Masters of the Chess Board by Richard Réti (London, 1933):

‘His contemporaries reproached Morphy with a certain dryness, a criticism which has been levelled against every world’s champion before and after him.’

The original text, on page 29 of Die Meister des Schachbretts (Mährisch-Ostrau, 1930):

‘Von seinen Zeitgenossen wurde Morphy, gleich allen anderen Weltmeistern vor und nach ihm, Trockenheit vorgeworfen.’

Wanted: examples of Morphy being accused of dryness by his contemporaries.

11226. The Termination

15 February 1985 was ‘a day of shame in the history of chess’, according to page 2 of Child of Change by Garry Kasparov with Donald Trelford (London, 1987), and today, exactly 34 years after the Termination of the first Karpov v Kasparov world championship match, we have received The Longest Game by Jan Timman (Alkmaar, 2019).


It is welcome that Timman’s account of the Termination on pages 70-77 highlights the unreliability of various claims presented to the public in 1985-87.

As regards the 1986 world title match, on page 144 there is no mincing of words by Timman about A Unique Chess Writer:

‘Karpov did not have a clear delegation leader, but he did have a press attaché: the Yugoslav Dmitri Bjelica. That was a strange choice, as Bjelica was known as a gutter journalist who wrote books that were full of printing errors and plagiarisms.’

11227. Translations

Some remarks by H.J.R. Murray on the subject of Pre-Chess Chess Quotes:

‘If we were to accept the statements of translators we should believe that Adam and Eve, Solomon, the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, the inhabitants of America before the time of Columbus, all played chess. When a translator finds a game mentioned in the text he is translating, he naturally replaces its name by the name of a game which is familiar to his readers and which enjoys a like reputation. The serious historian has to go behind the translation to the original texts.’

Source: a letter from H.J.R. Murray headed ‘Chess in Ireland’ on pages 503-504 of the December 1933 BCM.

11228. Réti on Capablanca

From page 153 of Masters of the Chess Board by Richard Réti (London, 1933), in the chapter on Capablanca:

‘In a sense, chess is his mother tongue.’

On the Internet we have seen no occurrences of the exact original German text, as published on page 279 of Die Meister des Schachbretts (Mährisch-Ostrau, 1930):

‘Das Schach ist ihm gewissermaßen Muttersprache.’

C.N. 5557 made an analogous comment about Nimzowitsch’s dictum ‘First restrain, next blockade, lastly destroy’ (‘Zuerst hemmen, dann blockieren und schließlich vernichten’).

11229. Paranoia

Pages 25-26 of the Magazine Section of the Sunday Times, 26 November 1961 had an article entitled ‘The Mind of the Russians’ by Lord Taylor, introduced as follows:

‘For generations the Russians have been the great enigma: the Revolution has shrouded their personality still more. Lord Taylor, psychiatrist and politician, here uses the techniques of modern scientific analysis to disentangle their complex make-up.’

Page 26 had this text:


Nowadays, one could expect immediate reports that ‘furious’ readers ‘took to Twitter’ to ‘shut down’ Lord Taylor, but CHESS held back for nearly nine months:


After another long wait, CHESS readers were allowed to chime in, on pages 137-138 of the February 1963 issue. One sentence from the heading:

‘Many letters received, if printed, would have landed us in the law courts.’

The tardy publication of the original feature in CHESS and the heading’s reference to ‘the Sunday Times some weeks ago’ have resulted in Lord Taylor’s article being dated 1962, rather than 1961, by a number of writers. See, for instance, page 43 of Soviet Chess by D.J. Richards (Oxford, 1965).

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