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.
C.N. 8118 mentioned the rarity of blindfold games played by Tartakower. Below is a specimen (from a five-board display) published on page 138 of Schachjahrbuch für 1909 by Ludwig Bachmann (Ansbach, 1909):
Savielly Tartakower – Häusler
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c5 4 cxd5 exd5 5 e4 dxe4 6 d5 Bf5 7 g4 Bg6 8 Bf4 Bd6 9 Qa4+ Kf8 10 Bxd6+ Qxd6 11 O-O-O Qf4+ 12 Rd2 Nf6 13 h4 h5 14 Nh3 Qxg4 15 Rg1 Qd7 16 Qc4 Na6
17 Rxg6 fxg6 18 Ng5 Re8 19 Bh3 Ng4 20 Ne6+ Kg8 21 Qxe4 Qf7 22 f3 Nf6 23 Qc4 Nc7 24 Ng5 Re1+ 25 Kc2 b5 26 Nxf7 (The Schachjahrbuch does not mention the possibility of 26 Qxc5.) 26...bxc4 27 Nxh8 Kxh8 28 d6 Na6 29 a3 Re8 30 d7 Rd8 31 Ne4 Nxe4 32 fxe4 Kg8 33 e5 Kf8 34 e6 Nc7 35 Rf2+ Ke7 36 Rf7+ Kd6 37 e7 Rxd7 38 e8(Q) Nxe8 39 Rxd7+ Ke5 40 Re7+ Resigns.
Isaac Leopold Rice and Richard Teichmann – Erich
Cohn and Oscar Tenner
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 h4 g4 5 Ne5 Nf6 6 Bc4 d5 7 exd5 Bd6 8 O-O Bxe5 9 Re1 Qe7 10 c3 Nh5 11 d4 Nd7 12 Qxg4 Ndf6
13 Qxc8+ Rxc8 14 Rxe5 Ng4 15 Rxe7+ Kxe7 16 Na3 f5 17 Bd2 Kf6 18 Nc2 Rce8 19 Rf1 Ng3 20 Rf3 Re7 21 d6 Ne2+ 22 Kf1 Nh2+ 23 Kf2 Ng4+ Drawn.
Source: Deutsches Wochenschach, 9 October 1910, page 369. Page 350 of the 25 September 1910 issue reported that the players contested three games beginning with 13 Qxc8+ (two draws and one win for Black).
As shown in Professor Isaac Rice and the Rice Gambit, in the diagrammed position Capablanca played 13 Qe2 in a 1913 consultation game which he lost.
C.N. 5019 quoted from an article by H. Kmoch and F. Reinfeld on page 55 of the February 1950 Chess Review:
We mentioned that the tournament in question had not been identified.
Now, Alan McGowan (Waterloo, Canada) draws attention to pages 168-169 of Schachwart, September 1928:
The magazine states that for the rapid transit tournament in Berlin two preliminary groups were formed: non-smokers (Nimzowitsch being the victor, ahead of List) and smokers (Sämisch finished ahead of Ahues). In the play-off games, the smokers were victorious: Sämisch defeated Nimzowitsch, and Ahues won against List.
Information is sometimes added direct to feature articles. Today, for instance, we have made additions to:
As listed on the Archives page, there are now nearly 340 feature articles.
Our article A Pawn Ending Mystery refers to page 279 of The Joys of Chess by Fred Reinfeld (New York, 1961), where a chapter entitled ‘Boners of the Masters’ discussed an alleged mistake by Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals.
By way of introduction, on pages 277-278 Reinfeld wrote:
He then wrote about ‘a simple ending in which Lasker goes sadly wrong’:
In passing, mention may be made of the notational error 11 B-R3 in the final line.
As with the Capablanca position, matters are far more complicated than Reinfeld indicated. Firstly, we have found no edition of the Manual of Chess in which Lasker gave the position shown by Reinfeld. There was, however, a very similar position (no black pawn on b5):
Lasker’s Manual of Chess (New York, 1927), page 258
Lasker’s Manual of Chess (London, 1932), page 232, as well as the edition revised by Reinfeld (Philadelphia, 1947)
It will be noted that the text varies: the original 1927
edition’s ungrammatical wording ‘any one of his Pawns’ was
amended to ‘either of his Pawns’ in the 1932 edition.
Analytically, however, what Lasker wrote was correct.
The Manual was a translation/adaptation of Lehrbuch des Schachspiels, first published in Berlin in 1926 and with, it seems, a total of eight editions by 1928. We do not have them all, but the following sample pages show that a position with three black pawns did appear. Subsequently, the b5 pawn was removed, and the text was amended (with a mention of 3...d2+ in case Black had three pawns):
Three pawns: page 199 of Lehrbuch des Schachspiels, third edition (Berlin, 1926)
Two pawns: page 203 of Lehrbuch des Schachspiels, sixth edition
(‘sechste durchgesehene und vermehrte Auflage’) (Berlin, 1928)
The three-pawn position was discussed by Walter Korn in Chess Review, May 1965, page 143:
It will be appreciated if a reader can provide the items in Caissa (1950) and L’Echiquier de Paris (1951), as well as any other information about A. Fanderl (described by Reinfeld in The Joys of Chess as ‘a humble amateur otherwise unknown to fame’).
Below is an extract (pages 507-509) from Nouveau traité complet d’échecs. La fin de partie by André Chéron (Lille, 1952):
Finally, we add, courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library, the article by Lars Hanssen in Norsk Schakblad which was mentioned by Chéron in the footnote on page 507:
Loose ends currently remain, and it cannot be said when Lasker realized that he was mistaken about the position with three black pawns. As shown above, a correction had already been made (in the New York, 1927 edition of the Manual) before Hanssen wrote about the position in the Norwegian magazine.
Regarding the Caro-Kann Defence, Thomas Niessen (Aachen, Germany) draws attention to an article by A. Csánk, ‘Die Vertheidigung 1...c7-c6 als Entgegnung auf 1 e2-e4’, in the Wiener Schachzeitung, 1 September 1887 (pages 49-52) and 1 October 1887 (pages 73-75).
Our correspondent comments:
A general provision concerning repetition of position or moves was published on pages 106-107 of Le Palamède, March 1846 (the fifth in a list of possible ways of drawing):
Page 107 contained a brief elucidation of the fifth point:
Source: Chess Player’s Magazine, 1 August 1867, page 229.
Luc Winants (Boirs, Belgium) has supplied the requested article in L’Echiquier de Paris, published on pages 42-43 of the March-April 1951 issue. It will be noted that the Lasker and Capablanca endings were both given, and that the remainder of the article contained sharp criticism of Reuben Fine’s Basic Chess Endings.
This photograph was published in L’Echiquier, 23 March 1933, with the following information on page 64:
Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) has found the game below (from a 32-board simultaneous display) on page 4 of Section Two of the Sunday Oregonian, 13 May 1917:
José Raúl Capablanca – Frank Sternberg
1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bc4 d6 4 d3 Nc6 5 f4 Bg4 6 Nf3 Nd4 7 O-O Nxf3+ 8 gxf3 Be6 9 Kh1 Qd7 10 f5 Bxc4 11 dxc4 O-O-O 12 b4 Qc6 13 Qd3 g6 14 Bg5 Be7 15 Bxf6 Bxf6 16 Nd5 Bh4 17 f6 Qd7 18 b5 Qe6 19 a4 Bxf6 20 a5 Bg5 21 b6 axb6 22 axb6 c6
23 c5 Kd7 24 Ra7 Rb8 25 Nc7 Qe7 26 Rd1 Rhd8 27 cxd6 Qf6 28 Na6 Ke8 29 Nxb8 Rxb8 30 d7+ Kf8 31 Rda1 Kg7 32 Ra8 Qd8 33 Rxb8 Qxb8 34 c4 c5 35 Qd5 Be7 36 Ra7 Resigns.
Alan McGowan (Waterloo, Canada) has forwarded the brief article by A. Fanderl which was published on page 133 of the 1 May 1950 issue of Fritz Barkhuis’s periodical Caïssa:
Our correspondent has found no other references to Fanderl, whose ‘discovery’, in any case, was not new.
Leonhardt’s name is seldom associated with blindfold chess, but a specimen of his play (in a six-board display) can be given from pages 42-43 of Schachjahrbuch für 1910. II. Teil by L. Bachmann (Ansbach, 1911):
Paul Saladin Leonhardt – Oskar Andresen
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 c5 4 exd5 exd5 5 Nf3 Be6 6 Be2 h6 7 O-O Nf6 8 Be3 c4 9 Ne5 Nc6 10 f4 Ne7 11 g4 g6 12 Rf2 a6 13 Qf1 Rg8 14 Kh1 b5 15 f5 gxf5 16 gxf5 Bc8 17 Qh3 Qc7 18 Bh5 Ng6
19 fxg6 fxg6 20 Qf3 Nxh5 21 Nxd5 Qb7 22 Nc7+ Qxc7 23 Qxa8 Qb7+ 24 Qxb7 Bxb7+ 25 Kg1 Bd5 26 Raf1 g5 27 Rf5 Be4 28 Rf7 Nf4 29 Bxf4 gxf4+ 30 Kf2 Rg2+ 31 Ke1 Rxc2 32 Rxf8+ Kxf8 33 Rxf4+ Kg8 34 Rxe4 Resigns.
From page 7 of Learn Chess Fast! by S. Reshevsky and F. Reinfeld (London, 1952):
Concerning the reference to ‘some 60 centuries’, we have seen other editions of the book (originally published in the United States in 1947) which have ‘some 13 centuries’:
Readers’ help is requested to determine the chronology of that textual change in the various editions published on both sides of the Atlantic.
Below is Reshevsky’s inscription in our copy of a New York edition, published by David McKay Company, Inc. (‘Sixth Printing January 1958’):
Another curiosity, on pages 25-26, is the presentation of the knight’s move in the captions to diagrams 50-53:
Have many other instructional works explained the knight’s move in this way, i.e. by reference to squares inaccessible to the queen?
A case that will be added to Gaffes by Chess Publishers and Authors is Opening Tactics for Club Players by ‘Sergio’ Samarian (London, 1980). That was the misspelling of the author’s forename on the title page and imprint page, whereas the dust-jacket was correct:
Wanted: information about the French text which Elaine Pritchard translated.
Below, from our collection, is an inscription by Samarian in one of his other works, Să învățăm metodic șahul (Bucharest, 1965):
Sergiu Samarian (1923-91) was a prominent Romanian figure but had no entry in the country’s standard chess encyclopaedia, Şah de la A la Z by Constantin Ştefaniu (Bucharest, 1984). Has the omission ever been explained (e.g. on the grounds of Samarian’s emigration to West Germany)?
In a report on the 11th Capablanca Memorial Tournament in Camagüey on page 196 of the April 1974 CHESS David Levy stated that Guillermo García ...
‘... had the satisfaction ... of beating three grand masters and he left no doubt that he will be Cuba’s first GM.’
That occasioned a reaction on page 79 of the December 1974 CHESS:
The prediction about Guillermo García proved wrong (he became a grandmaster in 1976, the year after Silvino García), but the matter came back to mind when we saw page 9 of the 8/2013 New in Chess. A reader, John DiLucci of Irving, TX, USA, condemned the statement (‘so ridiculous that it is beyond comprehension’) from page 36 of the 6/2013 issue that ‘in 1975 Cuba’s first grandmaster Silvino García dedicated his title to Che’. Mr DiLucci wondered whether the author of the offending article on Che Guevara (Adam Feinstein) and the New in Chess editorial staff could be ‘so uneducated ’ as to be unaware of Capablanca.
The letter was deemed easy to rebut and, therefore, printworthy, and in the 8/2013 New in Chess about 40 lines were made available for the ‘discussion’, which included the editorial response that Capablanca was never ‘officially’ a grandmaster, given that he died some years before FIDE introduced the title (a perfectly defensible argument).
In fact, though, Mr DiLucci had merely been reacting to a pull-out quote in the 6/2013 issue, and neither he nor the editorial staff apparently realized that on the previous page of Adam Feinstein’s article (i.e. page 35) Capablanca was specifically mentioned:
Below are the last two names on a list of challengers on page 279 of Keene On Chess by Raymond Keene (New York, 1999):
The respective dates should obviously be 1993 and 1995.
Mr Keene, though, stuck to his guns. From page 280 of his Complete Book of Beginning Chess (New York, 2003):
From page xvii of Paul Morphy The Pride and Sorrow of Chess by David Lawson (New York, 1976):
Reviewing the book on pages 33-34 of the January 1978 BCM David Hooper wrote:
The importance of development was often stressed before Morphy came to prominence. For example:
Source: Le Palamède, April 1846, page 145.
Which was the first occurrence in chess literature of a clear exhortation to develop pieces in the opening?
From a postcard which David Hooper sent us on 23 August 1975:
C.N.s 644 and 5036 quoted some comments to us about Reinfeld from Irving Chernev, in a letter dated 19 January 1977:
The remarks were also given on page 265 of Chess Explorations, where we added:
In C.N. 793 a correspondent in Australia, Bob Meadley, submitted a letter dated 14 January 1965 which Fred Reinfeld’s widow, Beatrice, wrote to C.J.S. Purdy, the Editor of Chess World:
The back of the dust-jacket of How To Get More Out Of Chess by Fred Reinfeld (New York, 1957).
The front cover of Caïssa, 1 May 1950 has been forwarded by Alan McGowan (Waterloo, Canada):
The magazine gave no explanation (concerning the context, for instance, or the rotation of the chessboard), but Mr McGowan notes that, as mentioned on page 129 of the issue, the Candidates’ tournament in Budapest was in progress. One of the games between Bronstein and Kotov was drawn in 15 moves.
A book of cartoons is Chess for Laughs by Joel Rothman (London, 2007). The front and back covers:
There has also been a comic-strip chess magazine, The Incredible Adventures of Chessman:
We believe that there were only these two issues, published in 1975 and 1982. The text of both was by John Watson, with the artwork credited to Chris Hendrickson (1975) and Svein G. Myreng (1982).
From Robert John McCrary (Columbia, SC, USA):
The photograph below comes from page 56 of the March 1927 American Chess Bulletin:
There could hardly be a more difficult identification exercise, even with the aid of the report on pages 57-58:
John Blackstone (Las Vegas, NV, USA) has submitted a full-page article about Samuel Reshevsky in the New York Tribune, 21 November 1920 (page 5). Can a clearer copy be found?
Pages 215-232 of Curse of Kirsan by Sarah Hurst (Milford, 2002) have an interview with Raymond Keene. From page 220:
Readers with access to the 1971 BCM will find (September issue, pages 312-320) that W. Ritson Morry wrote very differently. Firstly, most of his criticisms about short draws concerned the players in general. For example, from page 312:
Moreover, what Mr Keene told Sarah Hurst about his game against Holt bears little relation to what Ritson Morry actually wrote in the BCM (page 314):
Pursuing his mendacious vendetta against Ritson Morry, Mr Keene misled readers of chessgames.com (as so often), in a posting dated 23 September 2006:
It is true that Ritson Morry’s tournament reports did not praise Mr Keene, but that can hardly justify the way the latter banged on about the matter on page 7 of Petrosian vs the Elite (London, 2006):
Any reader who consults Ritson Morry’s report (BCM,
November 1973, pages 463-467) will find the following:
Our reference to Chess for Laughs by Joel Rothman in C.N. 8438 prompts Avital Pilpel (Haifa, Israel) to point out that Amazon.com has two private booksellers offering second-hand copies, at $4,215.00 and $8,787.22 (plus, in each case, $3.99 for shipping).
A number of interesting photographs, including one featuring Magnus Smith, can be viewed at the Libraries and Archives Canada website.
To complement C.N.s 5906 and 5937, we give below the full article, from page 26 of the 15 June 1964 edition of the New York Times:
Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England) mentions that the first US edition of the Reshevsky/Reinfeld book Learn Chess Fast! (published by David McKay Company, Philadelphia in 1947) had the ‘60 centuries’ version with regard to the history of chess.
When preparing C.N. 8431 we were unable to trace an edition of the book which, according to Douglas A. Betts’ bibliography (page 116), was issued by Pitman in 1948. Our UK edition was published by Hollis and Carter, London in 1952.
Mr Clapham comments:
Below is the title page of one of our copies of the first (1942) edition of The Immortal Games of Capablanca by Fred Reinfeld, with a ‘Distributed by Pitman’ sticker:
The article below by G.H. Diggle was published in the December 1983 Newsflash and on pages 106-107 of Chess Characters (Geneva, 1984):
Charles Milton Ling (Vienna) asks whether a reliable source is available in support of his recollection that the phrase ‘Genug des Stumpfsinns, Remis!’ (‘Enough tedium, draw!’) has been attributed to Richard Teichmann, who wished to attend a wrestling event rather than play chess.
We can offer a passage about Teichmann from page 58 of Ein Rundflug durch die Schachwelt by Rudolf Spielmann (Berlin and Leipzig, 1929):
Is it possible to find a match-game between Teichmann and Sämisch which fits this account (i.e. after about 15 moves Sämisch had an apparent advantage, but Teichmann suddenly broken off the game as a draw since he wished to watch wrestling at the circus)?
Page 43 of the February 1922 Deutsche Schachzeitung reported that a brief match between the two masters had taken place in Berlin. Teichmann won with one victory and three draws.
The death of Mikhail Kalashnikov on 23 December 2013 prompts us to ask when the opening 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e5 5 Nb5 d6 first bore his name, and why.
We timidly open the bidding by noting that on page 25 of the April 1991 CHESS, in an article by Ian Rogers, a game between Solomon and Gausel in the 1990 Olympiad in Novi Sad was headed ‘Sicilian Kalashnikov’.
Page 479 of the October 1991 BCM mentioned a monograph by Jeremy Silman, The Neo-Sveshnikov, and commented:
Neil McDonald’s 1995 book on the opening has nothing of direct relevance to the origins of the name ‘Kalashnikov’.
Concerning the celebrated Nimzowitsch v Alapin miniature, Randall K. Julian (Zionsville, IN, USA) observes that there are databases which give the opening as a Sicilian Defence, and not a French Defence: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nc3 d5 4 exd5 Nxd5 5 d4 e6 6 Nxd5 Qxd5 7 Be3 cxd4 8 Nxd4 a6 9 Be2 Qxg2 10 Bf3 Qg6 11 Qd2 e5 12 O-O-O exd4 13 Bxd4 Nc6 14 Bf6 Qxf6 15 Rhe1+ Be7 16 Bxc6+ Kf8 17 Qd8+ Bxd8 18 Re8 mate.
What are the origins of this version of the game-score?
From Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina):
We should like to trace particularly early occurrences of the French advice, expressed in either the imperative (Sortez) or the infinitive (Sortir).
A comment by John Nunn in his introduction to Vaganian v Sokolov, Bled/Rogaška Slatina, 1991 on page 29 of Sokolov’s Best Games by Ivan Sokolov (London, 1997):
There may be a number of books with such a diagram. One that we have found is Chess A New Introduction by John Love (London, 1967). From page 63:
As noted in A Publishing Scandal, in 1980 Love’s book was re-issued by Coles Publishing Company Limited, Toronto under the title Teach yourself Chess without his permission or even knowledge.
From page 313 of the 1843 Chess Player’s Chronicle:
See too page 198 of the 1868 Chess World. As previously noted, the entire field of chess proverbs is murky.
Joose Norri (Helsinki) points out the first note by John van der Wiel in his game, as Black, against Nigel Short at the 1988 Olympiad in Thessaloniki:
Source: New in Chess, 1/1989, page 35.
The Center for Jewish History shows on-line a number of sketches
of leading masters by Emery Gondor. They are dated 1922.
A search for ‘Lasker’ also yields some interesting illustrations, including a fine version of the photograph of Edward Lasker and Emanuel Lasker at the board (given in the Dover reprint of the New York, 1924 tournament book, although not in the original edition).
Hassan Roger Sadeghi (Lausanne, Switzerland) has found two webpages which provide information about H.N. Pillsbury’s wife, née Mary Ellen Bush:
We can add that the 1920 US census does not list Mary Shearf’s husband but states that the couple had a daughter, Ruth, born around 1912 in Pennsylvania. She appeared in the 1930 census under the name Ruth Chaffett (‘widowed’), and a 1/1½-year-old daughter, Alberta Chaffett, was also mentioned.
Our chess prodigies article focuses on players and problemists predating the Second World War, but Steven B. Dowd (Birmingham, AL, USA) notes the particularly interesting case of Milan Vukcevich, who was born in 1937, learned to play chess at five and entered his first tournament at ten.
Mr Dowd informs us that the first problem by Vukcevich that he has found is a helpmate in two (i.e. Black moves first, and White mates on his second move) in the 2/1949 Šahovski vjesnik:
Another explanation to be added to The Knight Challenge:
Source: Page 11 of the original (Aylesbury, 1976) edition of Discovering Chess by R.C. Bell (‘R.C. Bell MB FRCS’).
From the book’s glossary (pages 4-9):
The first of the three diagrams in the ‘End games’ section:
Has there ever been a more elementary ‘analytical error’ in a chess book?
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.