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An unresolved matter raised in C.N. 5293 concerns the playing strength of Marshal Tito.
That item had two photographs of Tito at the chessboard, and the following shows him with members of the US team during the 1950 Olympiad in Dubrovnik:
This photograph, from Jacqueline Piatigorsky’s archives, has been sent to us by John Donaldson (Berkeley, CA, USA), who adds:
Wijnand Engelkes (Zeist, the Netherlands) reports that the Hotel Figi in his home town has a webpage showing signatures of famous guests and that the top left-hand corner includes the names G. Piatigorsky, M. Euwe and A. Alekhine.
Our correspondent notes that the hotel was the venue for the nineteenth game in the 1935 world championship match, and below we give the score from page 322 of the December 1935 Tijdschrift van den Koninklijken Nederlandschen Schaakbond:
A search in Google Books, or on the Internet more generally, throws up all kinds of claims as to when Alekhine became French. For example, from page 234 of the New Encyclopaedia Britannica (various editions) and the Universalium website:
On the other hand, the introduction to a Keres v Alekhine game in the various editions of L’art de faire mat by Georges Renaud and Victor Kahn – both of whom knew Alekhine well – stated ‘naturalisé français en 1929’.
The year 1925 is often seen too, but an editorial note on page 22 of the January 1962 Europe Echecs (C.N. 8025) gave a specific date in 1927, commenting that the world title match in Buenos Aires began as a contest between a Russian and a Cuban and was won by a Frenchman:
Can official documentation be found regarding Alekhine’s naturalization?
James Pelletier (Costa Mesa, CA, USA) refers to game 13 in the 1843 match in Paris between Saint-Amant and Staunton, which is commonly given in databases as follows:
1 d4 e6 2 c4 d5 3 e3 Nf6 4 Nc3 c5 5 Nf3 Nc6 6 a3 Be7 7 Bd3 O-O 8 O-O b6 9 b3 Bb7 10 cxd5 exd5 11 Bb2 cxd4 12 exd4 Bd6 13 Re1
13...a6 14 Rc1 Rc8 15 Rc2 Rc7 16 Rce2 Qc8 17 h3 Nd8 18 Qd2 b5 19 b4 Ne6 20 Bf5 Ne4 21 Nxe4 dxe4 22 d5 exf3 23 Rxe6 Qd8 24 Bf6 gxf6 25 Rxd6 Kg7 26 Rxd8 Rxd8 27 Be4 fxg2 28 Qf4 Rc4 29 Qg4+ Kf8 30 Qh5 Ke7 31 d6+ Kxd6 32 Bxb7 Kc7 33 Bxa6 Rc3 34 Qxb5 Resigns.
However, on pages 65-67 of the Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1844 (volume five) and on pages 350-351 of Staunton’s book The Chess-Player’s Companion (London, 1849) the score was given as 13...h6 14 Rc1 Rc8 15 Rc2 Rc7 16 Rce2 Qc8 17 h3 Nd8 18 Qd2 a6. That would allow Saint-Amant to play Nb5 on or before move 18, and Mr Pelletier therefore wonders whether the actual move-order was 13...a6 and 18...h6.
We recall that the matter was discussed in the BCM after publication of Championship Chess by P.W. Sergeant (London, 1938). Below is page 205 of the May 1938 BCM:
A response to Golombek’s review from G.H. Diggle was published on page 405 of the September 1938 BCM:
We reproduce below the score as given on pages 23-24 of the January 1844 issue of Le Palamède:
In short, there is every reason to believe that the game-score in Le Palamède is correct. If ...h6 had occurred at some point and ...b5 had not been played, Saint-Amant would have had 33 Qxf7+ instead of 33 Bxa6, since the rook on c4 would be en prise.
Our copy of Frankfurt Chess Classic 2000 by A. Jussupow, H. Fietz and H. Metz (Bad Soden, 2000) was inscribed by players at the 2001 Corus tournament. From the top: Kasparov, Anand, Ivanchuk, Timman, Lékó, Shirov, Adams, Topalov, Tiviakov, Piket and van Wely. Acknowledgement for assistance with identification: Rudy Bloemhard (Apeldoorn, the Netherlands).
On other pages the book was also signed by Gulko and Seirawan.
John Townsend (Wokingham, England) points out the website Welsh Newspapers Online and offers, by way of example, a brief item which he found on page 2 of the Aberystwyth Observer, 4 February 1888:
For further details of the case, see Chess in the Courts.
Dominique Thimognier (Fondettes, France) writes that a CD-ROM on ‘Naturalisations en France entre 1900 et 1950’ records that Alekhine was naturalized on 5 November 1927, the same day as his wife (née Fabritsky, born in Odessa on 19 March 1884). The decrees were numbered 11670-27 and 11676-27 respectively.
We are also grateful to Stéphane Krebs (Cafquefou, France) for providing the same information, from the genealogie.com website.
From the website mentioned in the previous item Mr Krebs also notes the following entries:
Two correspondents in Paris, Christophe Bouton and Denis Teyssou, inform us that they have created a webpage concerning notebooks written by Alekhine towards the end of his life.
Future C.N. items will revert to a number of matters, but for now we invite readers to peruse the material presented so far. It is not to be missed.
With regard to the alleged illiteracy of Sultan Khan, George L. Gretton (Edinburgh) suggests that the sketch reproduced in our feature article from the Berne, 1932 tournament book appears to have the master’s signature, using the Latin alphabet:
Our correspondent asks whether any other sketches in the tournament book were signed by their subjects.
The book has two further sketches, of Bernstein and Alekhine (C.N. 5054):
This photograph of Ossip Bernstein was the frontispiece to the monograph on him by Savielly Tartakower, Moderne Schachstrategie (Breslau, 1930):
Three victories by Nicolai Gedalia (1857-80) have been found by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA):
Nicolai Gedalia – John Washington Baird
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Bc5 5 c3 Nf6 6 cxd4 Bb4+ 7 Bd2 Bxd2+ 8 Nbxd2 d5 9 exd5 Nxd5 10 Qb3 Nce7 11 O-O O-O 12 Rfe1 Nb6 13 Re2 Nxc4 14 Qxc4 Be6 15 Qb4 b6 16 Rae1 Nd5 17 Qa4 Nf4 18 Re4 Ng6 19 Ne5 Nxe5 20 Rxe5 Qd6 21 Ne4 Qd8 22 Ng5 Bd7 23 Qc2 g6 24 Qb3 Qf6 25 Qd5 Rad8 26 Ne4 Qc6 27 Qb3 Qa4 28 Qe3 f5 29 Nc3 Qc6
30 Re7 f4 31 Qe5 Qf6 32 Qd5+ Rf7 33 Qb3 Kg7 34 Nd5 Qf5 35 Nxc7 f3 36 Qxf7+ Qxf7 37 Rxf7+ Kxf7 38 d5 Bf5 39 Rd1 Rd7 40 d6 ‘and after several moves Black resigned’.
Source: Newark Sunday Call, 13 April 1879.
Nicolai Gedalia – Eugene Delmar
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d5 3 exd5 e4 4 Ne5 Qxd5 5 Nc4 Bc5 6 Nc3 Qf5 7 Qe2 Nf6 8 d3 Bb4 9 Bd2 Bxc3 10 Bxc3 Be6 11 Ne3 Qg6 12 dxe4 Nxe4 13 Qb5+ Nd7 14 Qxb7 O-O 15 Qc6 Nxc3 16 Qxc3 f5 17 O-O-O f4 18 Nc4 a5 19 f3 Nf6 20 Ne5 Qe8 21 Bc4 Kh8 22 Rhe1 Bxc4 23 Qxc4 Qh5 24 Qxf4 Nd5 25 Qd2 Nb4 26 a3 Qf5 27 axb4 axb4 28 b3 Ra2 29 Kb1 Ra3 30 Qd3 Qf6
31 Qd8 Qf5 32 Qxf8+ Qxf8 33 Rd8 Kg8 34 Rxf8+ Kxf8 35 Kb2 Ra6 36 Re4 c5 37 Nd7+ Kf7 38 Nxc5 ‘and wins’.
Source: Turf, Field and Farm, 26 November 1880, page 348.
The third game was headed:
William M. de Visser – Nicolai Gedalia
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O b5 6 Bb3 Bd6 7 d4 exd4 8 e5 Bxe5 9 Nxe5 Nxe5 10 Re1 d6 11 f4
11...Ng4 12 fxe5 Qh4 13 h3 Qf2+ 14 Kh1 Bb7 15 Rg1 h5 16 Bd2 Qg3 ‘and wins’.
Source: Turf, Field and Farm, 26 November 1880, page 348.
To the report on Gedalia’s death (page 12 of the New York Times, 14 November 1880) which was quoted in C.N. 3630 Mr Bauzá Mercére adds the following from page 331 of Turf, Field and Farm, 19 November 1880:
A further photograph from Jacqueline Piatigorsky’s archives has been passed on by John Donaldson (Berkeley, CA, USA):
The three masters (from left to right: Reshevsky, Dake and Steiner) tied for third place. Positive identification of the fourth man will be appreciated.
Rudy Bloemhard (Apeldoorn, the Netherlands) owns a postcard (Berne, 1932) with the same signature of Sultan Khan:
A further game, submitted by John Hilbert (Amherst, NY, USA):
Nicolai Gedalia – ‘Mr P.’
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 d4 d6 5 O-O Bg4 6 c3 Be7 7 h3 Bxf3 8 Qxf3 h6 9 d5 Na5 10 Bd3 b6 11 b4 Nb7 12 Bb5+ Nd7 13 Bc6 Rb8 14 Qg4 g6 15 f4 h5 16 Qf3 a5 17 f5 g5 18 f6 Bf8 19 Bxg5 axb4 20 cxb4 Qc8 21 Qf5 Ra8
22 Qe6+ Kd8 23 Qxf7 Ra3
24 Qe8+ Kxe8 25 f7 mate.
Source: St Louis Globe-Democrat, 28 November 1880, which stated that the game had been played ‘a few weeks ago’.
As an addition to What
is a Chess Combination?, Ola Winfridsson (São Paulo,
Brazil) suggests that a particularly apt and lucid
explanation of what constitutes a combination is on pages
12-16 of volume one of Complete Chess Strategy by
L. Pachman (London, 1975), where two well-known positions
Důras v Barász, Breslau, 1912 (before 35 Rxd6)
Nimzowitsch v Rubinstein,
Dresden, 1926 (before 18 Nh1)
Our correspondent remarks that Pachman makes a distinction between ‘manoeuvre’ and ‘forcing manoeuvre’ (the latter forces certain replies by the opponent), and that the book states on pages 15-16:
From page 173 of All Things Considered by Bernard Levin (London, 1988) comes another (‘once’) example of how tinkering with chess can make an ‘intellectual’ writer seem anything but:
A remark which we jotted down at the time from Clive James’ television column in The Observer, 9 July 1978, page 23:
It is a while since additions were made to the Chess Corn Corner, but the following by Roger J. Wright may be noted from page 48 of the (hors série) Christmas 1893 issue of the BCM:
Such material is likely to have generated few chuckles
even during Christmas 1893, but it prompts a question
about the Stonewall Opening: when did that term first
appear in chess literature? Suggestions from readers will
An early occurrence was on page 340 of the October 1882 BCM, where C.E. Ranken was annotating the game Ware v Weiss, Vienna, 1882. After 1 d4 d5 2 f4 he wrote:
From Bob Jones (Exmouth, England):
Below is A.C. White’s inscription in our copy of a volume in his Christmas series, An English Bohemian: A Tribute to B.G. Laws by J. Keeble (Stroud, 1933):
From Robert John McCrary (Columbia, SC, USA):
Thomas Höpfl (Halle, Germany) notes a report on page 3 of the 31 August 1866 edition of Die Debatte und Wiener Lloyd (left-hand column):
The newspaper added that Steinitz went to London under his own steam.
The fake photograph of Alekhine and Capablanca continues to be disseminated unquestioningly. It was on prominent display at the 2013 Alekhine Memorial Tournament and is on page 250 of Alekhine’s My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937 (Milford, 2013).
Denis Teyssou (Paris) points out that the registration record of Alekhine’s last marriage (26 March 1934) is available on line at the website of the Conseil général des Alpes-Maritimes (page 4):
Mr Teyssou notes that Grace Wishaar’s year of birth was given as 1886, rather than 1876. See page 254 of Chess Facts and Fables and C.N. 7565.
An article by G.H. Diggle in the May 1985 Newsflash and reprinted on page 21 of volume two of Chess Characters (Geneva, 1987):
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) writes:
The game began 1 d4 f5 2 f4 (tournament book, pages 331-333).
Also from Turf, Field and Farm (13 February 1880, page 107) Mr Bauzá Mercére passes on this miniature won by George Hammond:
(Remove White’s queen’s rook) 1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 Bc4 Bg7 5 c3 Nc6 6 Qb3 Qe7 7 O-O Na5 8 Qb5 Nxc4 9 Qxc4 d6 10 d4 Bd7 11 Qxc7 Bc6 12 Qa5 g4 13 Ne1 Bxe4 14 Nd2 Bxg2 15 Nxg2 f3 16 Re1 Be5 17 dxe5 fxg2 18 Ne4 dxe5 19 Bg5 Qe6 20 Nf6+ Kf8 21 Rxe5 Qb6+ 22 Qxb6 axb6
Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) notes an early mention of Alekhine’s future wife, including a reference to her chess, on page 6 of the San Francisco Call, 13 October 1904:
Further material has been added to our Copying feature article.
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.