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C.N. 6347 gave a photograph of the actor Peter Falk (Columbo) with Yasser Seirawan at Pasadena, 1983. Below is the second picture from the same source (the front cover of Chess Life, December 1983):
Victor Korchnoi and Peter Falk
That issue of the magazine (page 33) had a further photograph, whose caption stated that the actor was ‘a frequent spectator in Pasadena’:
Page 71 of the February 1973 Chess Life & Review had a shot of Falk with an unidentified player at the Eighth American Open, Santa Monica, 1972:
Paul Timson (Whalley, England) notes that a victory by Kim Harris was published on page 344 of A History of Lancashire Chess by M.J. Conroy (Heywood, 2009):J.M. Cook (Glyn Grammar School) – Kim L. Harris (Bolton School)
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c5 4 cxd5 cxd4 5 Qxd4 Nc6 6 Qd1 exd5 7 Qxd5 Bd7 8 Nf3 Nf6 9 Qd1 Bc5 10 e3 Qe7 11 Be2 g5 12 a3 g4 13 Nd4 O-O-O 14 O-O Qe5 15 Re1 Bd6 16 g3 h5 17 Bb5 h4 18 Nxc6 Bxc6 19 Bxc6 bxc6 20 Qa4 hxg3 21 Qxc6+ Kb8 22 fxg3
22...Rxh2 23 Qb5+ Qxb5 24 Nxb5 Bxg3 25 Rf1 Ne4 26 Nc3 Nf2 27 White resigns.
Our correspondent adds that the game’s first publication may well have been in that book. The score was provided by Mike O’Hara, who also attended Bolton School.
Thomas Niessen (Aachen, Germany) writes:
‘In C.N. 5607 I asked why the line 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 Ne7 7 Qg4 cxd4 8 Qxg7 Rg8 9 Qxh7 Qc7 10 Kd1 is often attributed to Euwe (and Gligorić).
In C.N. 6316 a citation hints at the early issues of Euwe’s Schach-Archiv, and eventually I found that in the July 1952 number he suggested 10 Kd1, with an exclamation mark. He also gave some lines of play, from which Paoli took a number of moves, claiming that they had been played (see C.N. 6316).
However, I have now found that in the 7/8 1954 issue of Schach-Archiv Euwe withdrew his suggestion and noted that 10 Kd1 is “practically refuted” by the game Paoli v Schmid, Venice, 1953.
It can therefore be concluded that both the above line and the similar line discussed in C.N. 5613 were suggested by Euwe, and that only the latter has any connection with Gligorić.’
The above position (Black to move) comes from page 31 of Middlegame: The Defense Triumphs ‘by Soviet Master Kotkov’ (Dallas, 1973).
Before we turn to the game itself, a few remarks are offered about the booklet, which was published by Chess Digest. No original Russian edition was mentioned, and the lack of a forename, or even an initial, for the author may suggest just a routine Chess Digest error and that the author was Alexander Kotov. In fact, the booklet is an English translation (although we use both of those words loosely) of Zashchita torzhestvuet by Yury Mikhailovich Kotkov, published in Moscow in 1971.
The translator was named by Chess Digest as Roy DeVault. On account of another of his Chess Digest offerings he was pummelled by Kenneth Neat on page 42 of the November 1976 CHESS, and we quote the introductory paragraphs of that critique:
‘Middlegame Laboratory by Suetin has been translated from the Russian by a certain Roy DeVault.
A comparison of the translation with the original text makes it clear that Mr DeVault’s knowledge of Russian is virtually nil. He appears to guess at the meaning of a particular sentence, and, if this does not prove feasible, to ignore it altogether. Large sections of important material are simply omitted, and what is included is invariably inaccurate, frequently totally incorrect, and at times pure gibberish.’
In the Kotkov booklet, even well-known names go wrong. On
page 3 the first proper name in the book, Форгач, comes
out as ‘Forgall’, instead of Forgács. Pages 44-45 feature
Capablanca’s loss at Moscow, 1925 to ‘Ilian-Janevsky’.
(The next two pages have a game headed ‘Holmaio-Alekine’;
White was Golmayo.)
Returning now to ‘Tibenhaus-Halpern, Varschava, 1887’, we deal firstly with the location. The ‘Varschava’ in Middlegame: The Defense Triumphs was also given on page 17 as the place where a Rubinstein v Tartakower game occurred. In both cases Warsaw was meant.
From page 22 of the Russian original of the Kotkov work:
White was not ‘Tibenhaus’, as believed by Mr DeVault, but Taubenhaus. The position comes from a well-known game of his, although many discrepancies exist concerning the occasion and, especially, the identity of Black. Taubenhaus himself published the game on page 150 of his book Traité du jeu des échecs (Paris, 1910):
As noted in C.N. 2212 (see Chess Jottings), it was a wayward volume. No date or venue was supplied for the game, and Taubenhaus stated that his opponent was ‘Halperin’ (or ‘Holperin’ in the index, on page 222). Other authors (and database-compilers) also seem happy enough as long as ‘H.’ is the first letter of the surname. Moreover, it is occasionally stated, for unexplained reasons, that the game was played in Germany.
So what is the truth? We have traced publication of the game back to page 405 of Brüderschaft, 3 December 1887:
The Taubenhaus v Heilpern match was reported on page 408 of the same issue:
Regarding Jakub Heilpern, see page 137 of Schachgesellschaft
Zürich 1809 bis 2009 by Richard Forster (Zurich,
2009). Further information (including a photograph of
Heilpern) is available on pages 31-32 of volume two of Arcymistrzowie,
mistrzowie, amatorzy ... by Tadeusz Wolsza (Warsaw,
1996), and pages 129-135 of volume four (Warsaw, 2003)
have a detailed account of Taubenhaus’s career. Page 286
of A Chess Omnibus presents a photograph of
Taubenhaus, and our feature
article on Nardus reproduces a painting of him.
Taubenhaus dedicated his Traité du jeu des échecs to
With regard to Vladimir Nabokov’s novel The Luzhin Defense Georges Bertola (Bussigny, Switzerland) asks whether Nabokov had any personal contact with Curt von Bardeleben, who, a few years before the novel’s publication, had committed suicide in a similar way to Aleksandr Luzhin. Our correspondent comments that Nabokov lived in Berlin in the early 1920s and began work on The Luzhin Defense in 1924, the year of von Bardeleben’s death. He also forwards this quote from page 1492 of volume one of Œuvres romanesques complètes Nabokov (Paris, 1999):
‘Dans l’avant-propos de L’exploit, Nabokov fait allusion à un autre joueur d’échecs, Bardeleben, “mort dans des circonstances analogues à celles de son personnage Loujine”. Ce joueur fut champion d’Allemagne et se suicida en 1924 se jetant d’une fenêtre.’
Documentation from readers on any direct connection between Nabokov and von Bardeleben will be much appreciated.
A paragraph from our article Chess in 1924 may be recalled here:
‘On 31 January Curt von Bardeleben, desperately impoverished, committed suicide by throwing himself out of the second-floor window of his residence in Berlin. Nowadays he is seldom mentioned except for his loss to Steinitz at Hastings, 1895, a game which Napier nominated as the finest ever played, and it is all but forgotten that in the same event von Bardeleben defeated the then world champion, Lasker. His many brief matches included wins and draws against masters of the standing of Blackburne, Teichmann, Spielmann and Leonhardt, but today it is almost as if they had never been played.’
Below is the first part of von Bardeleben’s obituary on pages 21-22 of the January 1924 Wiener Schachzeitung, relating the circumstances of his death:
The illustration above is the best-known shot of von Bardeleben, being based on a photograph published opposite page 306 of the Hastings, 1895 tournament book. An earlier picture, from page 97 of the December 1888 Chess Monthly, was given in C.N. 5049. The only latter-day portrait of von Bardeleben that we recall was reproduced from the Sonderheft 2 of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten, 1924 in an article by Peter Anderberg on Fritz Sämisch (Kaissiber, April-June 2010, page 55). It is reproduced below courtesy of Mr Anderberg and the Editor of Kaissiber, Stefan Bücker:
Curt von Bardeleben
Regarding The Luzhin Defense, a notable review by C.J.S. Purdy was published on pages 30-32 of Chess World, February 1965. Purdy did not mention von Bardeleben but considered it likely that ‘the story of Rubinstein gave Nabokov part of the idea’.
C.N. 6820 asked where and when the move 4...Qd4 (providing a haven for the black king at d6) was first pointed out.
Dennis Leong (Chicago, IL, USA) writes:
‘I first saw the move mentioned in Mark Dvoretsky’s “Masterskaya” column in the 18/1981 issue of the magazine 64, pages 12-13. In that column, Dvoretsky does not credit V. Nikonov with the discovery of 4...Qd4.’
Regarding the grave of Richard Réti in the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna, we have received the following from Michael Lorenz (Vienna):
‘It is not Réti’s body that is buried there, but the urn containing his ashes. The urn was buried in Vienna on 30 June 1929. Owing to the cause of his death, Réti’s body had to be cremated in Prague.
The source for this information is the card catalogue of Jewish graves in the archive of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (IKG) in Vienna. The basic information (i.e. the location of the grave and the date of Réti’s burial) can also be accessed at the Abfrage Friedhofs-Datenbank webpage.’
John Donaldson (Berkeley, CA, USA) and Charles Sullivan (Davis, CA, USA) inform us that the player with Peter Falk who was left unidentified by Chess Life & Review is Dennis Waterman. Our correspondents note that he is now a well-known poker player, and Mr Donaldson adds:
‘Waterman gave Peter Falk lessons in the early 1970s. He played in the first Lone Pine tournaments but gave up chess in the early 1980s.’
Those Who Play Chess by Donald L. Boone (Lexington, 2010) is to be avoided, being notable only for its references to such players as Bernsteirn, Bimester, Blackburn, Cars, Ciociltea, Cromeling, Dagga, Dnkelblum, Funderer, Golombec, Korchnol, Kotinauer, Migie Majdorf and Speimann.
James Lanning (Fort Wayne, IN, USA) asks whether any games are extant from the Rice Gambit match in 1908 between Lasker and Schlechter. He also mentions a discrepancy over the venue of the contest. Was it Prague, as commonly specified, or Schlachtensee, as stated on page 152 of Twenty Years of the Rice Gambit (New York, 1916)?
We begin by giving the relevant passage from that book (pages 152 and 153):
The reference to Schlachtensee was evidently based on a misreading of Lasker’s despatches ‘My Journey and Some Reflections’ on pages 97-98 of Lasker’s Chess Magazine, September (not August) 1908. It was from Schlachtensee that he wrote on 3 and 6 July, but he specifically stated that the match took place in Prague. Page 98 is reproduced here:
Below is the position in question, after 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 Bb5 Kd8 13 Bxd7 Bxd7 14 Rxe5 Qxh4 15 Rxh5 Qxh5 16 Bxf4 Re8:
A brief item on the match was published on page 192 of the September 1908 American Chess Bulletin:
‘Dr Lasker and Carl Schlechter were pitted against each other in a ten days’ sitting to test the Rice Gambit at Prague. No report of the affair has been forthcoming except a letter from Dr Lasker in which he said that the Jasnogrodsky defense to the gambit was resorted to by Schlechter. After dismissing one line of attack as unsatisfactory, the world’s champion fared better with the variation wherein the queen’s knight is developed via R3. Of this the champion says, “Schlechter could make no headway against it except in the last game”. About the only deduction that can be drawn from this remark is that the last analysis showed that particular line of play to be inadequate.’
A further note on page 207 of the October 1908 issue mentioned subsequent analysis by Janowsky (which had appeared in an article ‘Etude sur le gambit Rice’ on pages 247-249 of La Stratégie, August 1908).
The outcome of the match was reported on page 292 of the September 1908 Deutsche Schachzeitung:
The German magazine’s statement that Schlechter won +3 –0
=2 can, at a pinch, be reconciled with Lasker’s account.
The match was not mentioned at all in The Rice Gambit
by E. Lasker (New York, 1910), and we are aware of no
game-scores from the contest.
A note by Reuben Fine on page 818 of the December 1975 Chess Life & Review is quoted without comment:
‘It would please me if you mentioned that I direct a low-cost mental health clinic, known as the Center for Creative Living, located at 9 East 89th Street, New York, NY 10028, (212) 369-3330, which has a special section for the therapy of the creative individual. Any chessplayer in need of help will receive my personal attention.’
Jason Childress (Cambridge, MA, USA) asks about the 11th match-game between Zukertort and Steinitz, 1886 and, in particular, whether no ‘threefold repetition rule’ was in effect.
This position arose after Black’s 20th move, and play continued 21 Qh5+ Kf8 22 Qh8+ Kf7 23 Qh5+ Kf8 24 Qh8+ Kf7 25 Qh5+ Kf8 26 Qh8+ Kf7 27 Qh5+ Kf8 28 Qh8+ Kf7 29 Qh5+ Kf8 30 Qh8+ Kf7 31 Qh5+. Only now did Steinitz deviate, with 31...Ke7. White resigned in under a dozen moves.
The match rules appeared on pages 136-137 of the January 1886 Chess Monthly, and point 13 stated:
‘The games of the match shall be governed by the code of laws published in the last edition of the German Handbuch, with this exception, that, if both players repeat the same series of moves six times in succession, then either party may claim a draw.’
For the full text see World Chess Championship Rules.
On page 205 of the March 1886 Chess Monthly (co-edited by Hoffer and Zukertort) this note was appended to 21...Kf8:
‘Five full repetitions: gaining 10(!) moves. Keeping the letter but not the spirit of the law.’
Steinitz’s International Chess Magazine (May 1886, pages 121-122) gave this explanation:
‘[Zukertort] initiated a series of checks with the object of drawing by perpetual check. A repetition of moves was then resorted to by both parties, with different objects, although neither of them was absolutely confined to the tactics which he adopted. The same series of two moves were, however, made on each side by a sort of tacit agreement; for Zukertort, according to the rules, was entitled after six repetitions to claim a draw, which was all he could play for with a piece behind, while Steinitz, though he had some time to spare, wished to get over the 30th move in order that he should not be harassed by the time-limit in his deliberations for the purpose of working out a combination whereby he could secure winning the game without any danger. It was an extremely difficult task, as will be seen from the game and the appended analysis. But in reply to Zukertort’s sixth repetition of checks, Steinitz altered his course in a manner which, in a few moves, enabled him to slip out of all danger with his king, and to remain with a piece ahead.’
Jan Kalendovský (Brno, Czech Republic) has sent us from the archives of the city of Pilsen (Plzeň) an application by the association of Czech chessplayers of the West Bohemian sector for an exception to be made to the general ban on meetings, so that Alekhine could give a 35-board simultaneous exhibition on 1 February 1943:
The application was accepted, the display took place, and two games are given on page 697 of the Skinner/Verhoeven book on Alekhine.
Three entries from the Dictionary of Modern Chess by Byrne J. Horton (New York, 1959):
C.N. 530 (see page 144 of Chess Explorations) commented briefly on ‘hippophobia’ and ‘midsummer madness’. As regards the latter term, we add here that the exact wording in The Field, as quoted on page 333 of the October 1873 Chess Player’s Chronicle, of the note to 20...g5 in Blackburne v Steinitz, Vienna, 1873 was:
‘If this is not midsummer madness, it is something very like it.’
Concerning ‘featherbed soldiers’, the only citation we
can offer is an article on Purssell’s chess resort in the
May 1891 BCM (page 236):
‘One popular character at Purssell’s is Mr Manley, a good old Purssellite, who is best known by his “rat” openings (P to Kt3 and B to Kt2). He takes much care of, or rather sets much store by, his bishops. One of his peculiarities is to give audible expression to his feelings at the sight featherbed soldiers, i.e. pieces undeveloped.’
The full article was reproduced on pages 118-126 of The Treasury of Chess Lore by F. Reinfeld (New York, 1951).
A further quote about Manley’s attitude to development is on page 389 of A Chess Omnibus, taken from an article by O.C. Müller on page 439 of the October 1932 BCM:
‘Another chess amateur at [Purssell’s] was a Mr Manley, proprietor of several public-houses in the City and the West End. He generally patronized Pollock and Mason; and becoming acquainted with me also, he asked me one day whether it was right to develop the pieces in the opening of the game! I hesitated to make a reply, but remarked at last that Pollock and Mason, when they said so, must be right, whereupon Mr Manley retorted: “You are wrong, and I will tell you why. As soon as I develop the pieces, Pollock and Mason take them off”.’
Ryan Paulis (Amsterdam) informs us that much Euwe-related footage is now available on-line, including an unmissable item which features Capablanca speaking.
[Addition on 11 March 2012: Since the above link no longer works, we provide the general link to the website. For a direct link to the Capablanca interview, see C.N. 7550.]
David DeLucia (Darien, CT, USA) asks for information about two group pictures in his collection.
Readers’ assistance will be particularly appreciated with the first, indistinct, shot:
The second photograph is of excellent quality:
We identify the event as Rogaska Slatina, 1929. Alfred Brinckmann’s tournament book has a different picture, with the figures named:
So fine is Mr DeLucia’s photograph that it is possible to produce a good-quality detail of, for instance, Rubinstein:
Jerry Spinrad (Nashville, TN, USA ) reports that the Vezin v Stanley game in C.N. 6827 had been published on page 450 of the 16 November 1844 issue of The Spirit of The Times. However, the concluding moves were given as 20 c3 Re8+ 21 Kf2 Qxf4 22 Qxg4 Rh2+ 23 Kf1 Re1+ 24 Kxe1 Qc1 mate. The rook sacrifice is, of course, redundant.
Our correspondent also provides another specimen from the
match, presented on page 483 of The Spirit of the
Times, 7 December 1844 as ‘one of the best contested
games we have seen’:
Our attempt to resolve the various notational errors leads to this game-score:Charles Vezin – Charles Henry Stanley
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Qe7 5 O-O d6 6 d4 Bb6 7 h3 h6 8 d5 Nd8 9 Be3 Nf6 10 Nh2 O-O 11 Qe2 Nh7 12 Bd3 f5 13 Bxb6 axb6 14 exf5 Bxf5 15 Bxf5 Rxf5 16 c4 Nf6 17 Nc3 Nh5 18 g3 Nf7 19 h4 Nh8 20 Qe3 Rf6 21 Ne4 Rg6 22 Kh1 Nf6 23 Nxf6+ Qxf6 24 b4 h5 25 a4 Nf7 26 Nf3 Nh6 27 Ng5 Ng4 28 Qe2 Rf8 29 Kg2
29...Rxg5 30 hxg5 Qxg5 31 Ra3 h4 32 Rf3 Rxf3 33 Qxf3 h3+ 34 Kh1 Qg6 35 Qe2 e4 36 f3 exf3 37 Qxf3 Ne5 38 Qf8+ Kh7 39 Qf5 Qxf5 40 Rxf5 Nxc4 41 Rf7 c6 42 dxc6 bxc6 43 Rc7 c5 44 bxc5 dxc5 45 Kh2 Nb2 46 a5 bxa5 47 Rxc5 a4 48 Ra5 Kh6 49 Kxh3 Kh7 50 Kg4
50...Nc4 51 Rxa4 Ne5+ 52 Kg5 Nf7+ 53 Kh5 Nh8 54 Ra1 Ng6 55 Rf1 Nh8 56 Rf8 Ng6 57 Re8 Nh8 58 g4 Ng6 59 Kg5 Nh8 60 Kf5 Nf7 61 Re6 Nh6+ 62 Kf4 Nf7 63 g5 g6 64 Rf6 Kg7 Drawn.
Reference books (e.g. Gaige’s Chess Personalia, based on information in Chess World) state that Frank Crowl was born in Melbourne in 1902, but our correspondent confirms the correction quoted in our article: he was born in England (and lived there until in his mid or late teens).
White to move
This position arose at the end of Janowsky v Capablanca, New York, 1916. White played 46 Rxe6+, and on page 217 of The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played (New York, 1965) Irving Chernev wrote:
‘A spite check. Janowsky must realize there isn’t one chance in a million that Capablanca will move 46...K-R4, and allow himself to be mated.’
Chernev wrote similarly on page 96 of his book on Capablanca’s endings.
Naturally the Cuban played 46...Kh7, whereupon Janowsky resigned. Even so, the following appeared at the bottom of page 39 of Bobby Fischer and his Predecessors in the World Chess Championship by Max Euwe (London, 1976):
The mistake was left uncorrected in the US edition, Bobby Fischer – The Greatest? (New York, 1979). The Dutch version of the book, Fischer en zijn voorgangers (Baarn, 1975), was also wrong. From page 72:
Strangely, the imprint page indicates that the English edition came first and was translated into Dutch by Euwe:
In fact, Bobby Fischer and his Predecessors in the World Chess Championship was dated 1976, not 1975, and did not appear until summer 1977 (BCM, July 1977, page 314). On page vi of the book Euwe wrote:
‘I am very grateful to Mr Steve Wygle of Columbus, Ohio, for his careful reading of the entire manuscript, for his checking of the accuracy of the scores of the games, and for his valuable suggestions on the organization of the material. I wish to thank my friend and collaborator, Dr Walter Meiden, of the Ohio State University, for his suggestions on presentation and style.’
Are more details available about the exact genesis of Euwe’s ‘predecessors’ work?
Concerning the more general issue of authorship of Euwe’s books, in C.N. 1529 Lodewijk Prins (Heemstede, the Netherlands) informed us:
‘Several expert assistants worked for Euwe over the years, among them Hans Kmoch (1934-1947, Meet the Masters, openings, columns, etc.), C.B. van den Berg (1947-1971, Chess Archives, Amsterdam, 1950, etc.) and Bouwmeester-Langeweg (Chess Archives). I was one of them (the Noteboom memorial book in 1932, Hoe neef Jan een goed schaker wordt in 1938 [sic], etc.).
Before the War, none of us was mentioned, but after 1945 I chose to act as incidental co-author or to contribute to his publications under my own name (the Capablanca memorial book and Amsterdam, 1950; for the Capablanca book I did most of the work, including literary and analytical research). Others followed in my track (Mühring, Kramer, van der Sterren), and the latter two are even now active in preparing revised editions.
The ghost-writing in question was an open secret and, of course, Euwe was behind the concepts and bore full responsibility for the final result.’
From our archives a photograph of Euwe and his wife, with, handwritten overleaf, ‘Gröbming, 1.6.1979’:
A paragraph about Euwe by Walter Meiden on page 21 of the April 1982 Chess Life:
‘He was modest and unassuming; he tried to look at things from an unbiased point of view. He insisted on including in The Road to Chess Mastery, which had only master vs amateur games, one that he had lost to Capablanca – Game 7. “I played like an amateur in that game”, he said, and he showed in his marvelously clear way just how Capablanca won.’
The game was played at London, 1922.
A new book well deserving of an English translation is François André Danican Philidor La culture échiquéenne en France et en Angleterre au XVIIIe siècle by Sergio Boffa (Olomouc, 2010).
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) wonders whether the actual sequence was 9 Bd3 and 12 Be3 (rather than 9 Be3 and 12 Bd3, which allows the e-pawn to be taken). He adds:
‘The final position is, of course, won by White, but requires knowledge of the concept of diagonal opposition (White has only to play Rxf7 at the appropriate time, with his king at e4 and without losing the g5 pawn).’
Gerd Entrup (Herne, Germany) reports that he has checked with the Nalimov tablebases that the game is won for White as from 51 Rxa4.
Confirming this, Karsten Müller (Hamburg) adds:
‘One sample line at the end (after 64...Kg7) ...
... is 65 Ra6 Nd8 66 Ke4 Nf7 67 Ra7 Kg8 68 Rxf7 Kxf7 69 Kd5, and White wins as he has the diagonal opposition.
By the way, I think that 33...h3+ is a mistake, as the pawn is used as a shield by White’s king. After 33...hxg3 34 Qxg3 Qf5 Black has almost enough compensation for the exchange.’
Position after 33 Qxf3
On page 394 of the December 1947 BCM R.N. Coles discussed an odds match, played a century previously, in which Staunton was defeated by Edward Lowe (or Löwe):
‘A pamphlet on the match appeared, making out that Staunton was most disconcerted by his defeat. The author was one “T. Beeby”, a typical pseudonym of the time for somebody whose initials were T.B.B., but whom I have been unable to identify.’
In a letter published on pages 66-67 of the February 1948 BCM G.H. Diggle wrote:
‘I have J.W. Rimington Wilson’s old copy of the pamphlet to which Mr Coles refers in this month’s number. “The Late Celebrated Chess Match between Mr Howard Staunton and Mr Lowe” (published by Charles Gilpin, 5 Bishopsgate Without – price one shilling) was not, as Mr Coles surmises, a pseudonymous effort. The author, Thomas Beeby of Dyers Hall College, Dowgate Hill, was one of the most irate men who ever embarked even on the sea of chess controversy; but though certainly a “vessel of wrath”, he flew his own colours. Nor can his pamphlet (though blistered with italics from head to foot) be called (as Mr Goulding Brown justly calls a later attack on Staunton by F. Edge) “a contemptible publication”. Beeby’s style is robust but not pettifogging. His complaint against Staunton was that he had been “agreeably excited” by reading the announcement of the match in the January number of the Chess Player’s Chronicle, that he had purchased the February number in anticipation of “a continuation of the agreeable excitement”, but found that the last two games of the match had been left out ...’
J.W. Rimington Wilson’s copy of the pamphlet, referred to above, is now in our collection, and is referred to in Attacks on Howard Staunton. Although ‘An Account of the Late Chess Match Between Mr Howard Staunton and Mr Lowe’ appeared on the title page, the front cover had ‘An Account of the Late Celebrated Chess Match Between Mr Howard Staunton, (Editor of the Chess Player’s Chronicle), and Mr Lowe; with Notes Critical and Explanatory, (By an eminent Chess Player) by Thomas Beeby’.
See also Diggle’s account of the controversy in C.N. 5861. We should like further information about Beeby.
Regarding Edge’s book on Morphy, the description ‘contemptible publication’ originated with Staunton and was endorsed by Goulding Brown. Exact sources for the two occurrences are given in Edge, Morphy and Staunton.
At a simultaneous display in Portland on 10 June 1921 the prodigy Samuel Reshevsky (then aged nine) had an opponent who was little more than half his age. Page 143 of the July-August 1921 issue of the American Chess Bulletin reported that one of Reshevsky’s wins was against ‘Master Edward Myer (five years old)’.
Mike Crowl (Dunedin, New Zealand) adds the information given on his father’s birth certificate: Frank Arthur Crowl was born on 24 August 1902 in the registration district of St Pancras, and the sub-district of Kentish Town.
We are also grateful to our correspondent for permission
to reproduce this photograph:
Frank Arthur Crowl
Our feature article Professor Isaac Rice and the Rice Gambit sceptically quoted the following paragraph from pages 190-191 of The Middle Game in Chess by Reuben Fine (New York, 1952):
‘The story of the Rice Gambit is rather amusing. It begins: 1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 h4 g4 5 Ne5 Nf6 6 Bc4 d5 7 exd5 Bd6. Professor Rice, a New York amateur, had this position once and inadvertently left his knight en prise; then later he won the game. He was so impressed with his success that he immediately interested a number of the prominent masters in the move, which was easy enough to do because he had a lot of money. For several years the gambit was subjected to extensive analysis by the leading American masters.’
We now note a passage on page 67 of Riga Match and Correspondence Games (New York, 1916), which had a supplement on the Rice Gambit and various stories about its possible origins:
‘There is another version of this highly interesting episode, which, in years to come, was destined to command the attention of the entire world of chess. It is furnished by Die Moskauer Zeitung. According to that authority, the Rice Gambit, like many another great invention or discovery, was established by a mere chance. Professor Rice, so this yarn goes, was playing at a chess club one day when he inadvertently left his knight en prise. As it was not a game for life or death, he asked to recall the move, but his adversary insisted upon his pound of flesh. He got it, and the game proceeded with the white knight on the discard pile. And so the Rice Gambit was ushered in. This version, however, must be regarded in the light of a little Märchen ...’
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Bc4 Ne7 4 Nc3 d6 5 d4 g5 6 h4 Ng6 7 h5 Ne7 8 g3 fxg3 9 Bxg5 Rg8 10 Nd5 Resigns.
This game, said to have been won by ‘Cunon’ against ‘de Flaguet’ in Barcelona in 1905, can be seen in omnivorous databases, but we have yet to find it in a reliable outlet.
In any case, those moves, and more, had occurred in a game played in Paris half a century earlier. It was published on page 54 of the Chess Player’s Magazine, February 1865:
The additional moves (10...Nxd5 11 Bxd8 Ne3 12 Bxf7+ Kxd8 13 Qe2 g2 14 Rh2 Rg3 15 Qf2 Nf1 16 Rxg2) led to an unusual position:
However, the game was won by Kolisch, who was White. A correction was printed on page 128 of the April 1865 issue of the Chess Player’s Magazine:
On the subject of Steinitz and the ‘modern school’, Gene Gnandt (Houston, TX, USA) points out an article (‘Rules and Rudiments of the Royal Game, Chess’) by Emanuel Lasker on page 13 of The Times (Richmond, VA), 24 February 1901. The conclusion discussed Steinitz:
‘The English language speaks only of a strong attack, of a premature attack, and of a counter-attack. But it created a combination of words that is hardly translatable into other languages, namely “position judgment”. This apparently slight circumstance is not without importance. It was indeed by a man who lived the greater part of his life in England that the philosophy or theory of chess received a complete change. And probably the ideas of this man were guided by the national instincts of the English race. His name was William Steinitz, chess champion of the world for 28 years.
The old theory of chess knew only the few terms alluded to above, some of which are only partially tenable. Steinitz improved the whole theory by modifying the area of attack, replacing it to a large extent by that of “position”, and by creating the conception of the “weak points”. The essence of his theory may be given in a few principles:
1. In the initial position the “balance of position” is complete.
2. Do not attack when you have not tangible advantage in position.
3. Attack the “weak points”.
It would be interesting to enter into a fuller discussion of Steinitz’s theory, but space would fail us, wherefore we must leave this to another opportunity.
Steinitz was undoubtedly right in his general views on chess, except in one particular, where he went to extremes. It is remarkable, almost incomprehensible, that he did not admit the necessity for quick development. He carried these wrong views into practice, and that was the reason of the defeats he suffered during the seven or eight last years of his life. It was not alone the loss of elasticity and energy entailed by age which caused him to lose his high position, but the springing up of a newer school of chessplayers, who appreciated Steinitz’s theory, but combined it with what was good in the old theory.
Nowadays, by a few of the very first “masters”, the theory of chess above alluded to is applied, and their games are published in books and newspapers and are widely known. There are hundreds of thousands of chessplayers distributed all over the globe, in South Africa as well as in north Africa, in New Zealand, in Iceland, in India, at the court of the King of Siam and the Shah of Persia. Wherefore comes this universal fascination? It is because the game of chess is essentially just, and because this justice reveals itself often in a remarkably beautiful and surprising manner. There may exist another reason for this. It is perhaps connected with the well-known fact that all who love chess are also fond of music.’
David DeLucia (Darien, CT, USA) has been able to send us a better-quality copy of the first group picture:
We offer a book prize for the best attempt by a reader to identify all the figures, within the next week.
Who coined the well-known remark, especially prevalent in the United States, ‘A knight on the rim is dim’ (or ‘grim’)?
The ‘dim’ version of the sentence appeared, in quotation marks, on page 17 of the January 1963 Chess Review and on page 175 of the magazine’s June 1964 issue. In both cases the writer was Al Horowitz.
In C.N. 2370 we suggested an addition:
‘A knight in the corner is forlorner.’
Russell Miller (Vancouver, WA, USA) sends a number of reports from The Oregonian about Reshevsky’s visit to Portland. This illustration was on page 4 of the 3 June 1921 issue:
C.N. 6871 noted the American Chess Bulletin’s statement that one of Reshevsky’s opponents in a simultaneous display on 10 June 1921 was five-year-old Edward Myer. However, page 15 of the 8 June 1921 issue of The Oregonian related:
‘One match will be between the visitor and Robert Myers, son of the ex-postmaster, Frank S. Myers, who is the same age as the boy marvel, and says he is going to give his opponent the tussle of his life on this occasion.’
‘Robert Myers’ was also the name in the newspaper’s report on the display (11 June 1921 edition, page 6). The account was reproduced on page 83 of the 8/2002 Quarterly for Chess History, a publication whose coverage of the prodigy’s tours sprawled across three consecutive issues, with a total of nearly 260 pages.
From pages 85-86 of Schachjahrbuch 1922 by Ludwig Bachmann (Ansbach, 1924):Springe – Woehl
1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 Nc3 Qa5 4 d4 Nf6 5 Bc4 Bg4 6 Nf3 c6 7 Bd2 Nbd7 8 Nd5 Qd8 9 Nxf6+ gxf6
10 Ng5 Ne5 11 dxe5 Bxd1 12 Bxf7+ Kd7 13 Rxd1 Kc8 14 Be6+ Kb8 15 exf6 Qc7 16 g3 exf6 17 Bf4 Qxf4 18 gxf4 fxg5 19 Rd8+ Kc7 20 Rxa8 Bb4+ 21 c3 Rxa8 22 cxb4 gxf4 23 Kd2 Rd8+ 24 Kc2 Re8 25 Bc4 b5 26 Bd3 Resigns.
We are struck by how often photographs of the pre-game handshake show both players avoiding eye contact. An example, taken at random, comes from the plate section of International Championship Chess by B. Kažić (London, 1974):
John Blackstone (Las Vegas, NV, USA) brings to our attention an article by an eminent writer on page 24 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 28 March 1924:
‘One Word after Another
By Nunnally Johnson
A Tournament of Chess Masters Is Very Much Like a Six-Day Bicycle Race Without Bicycles.
Hand to hand, at such close grips that their fierce, hot breaths intermingle furiously, 11 giants are battling for world supremacy up at the Alamac Hotel in Manhattan.
They are chessplayers, the finest in the world, and probably the slowest, and their battle of the century is more sedately known as the International Chess Masters’ Tournament. Capablanca, Ed Lasker, F.J. Marshall, Bogoljubow – here are names to conjure with wherever the lure of chess has blown its hardy call. And if you would know what they look like, they look like chessplayers.
For thrill, for life and excitement, for – what is that charming French word which goes in here – verve? – yes, for verve, for all of those things, the only other athletic contest comparable to chess as the masters play it would be a six-day bicycle race. Perhaps, to be more accurate, it would be best to say, a 12-day bicycle race.
Chess fiends all over New York look forward to this grappling of the giants. Today, perhaps at the very moment you read this, they are crowding the long room of the second floor of the Alamac, being shushed by the attendants to preserve silence. It is quiet, so quiet, so very quiet indeed that the heavy rumble of furious thinking can be heard distinctly. If only it were a little rowdier one might fancy that it was a funeral.
The contestants, the men of all nations who have fought their way to the very top of the heap, sit, two-by-two, at tables along one wall. Two stop-clocks look down with them at the board. Cigarette butts, coffee cups, water glasses, the debris of all-night parties, are at their elbows. There is a steady buzz of “sh-sh-sh-sh” whenever the slightest sound rises.
Here in the middle is Capablanca, the Cuban wizard, whose fast under-hand move has revolutionized chess. Opposite him is Bogoljubow, the Ukrainian wizard, whose fast over-hand move has revolutionized chess. This between them is the star spectacle.
Bogoljubow is not a spectacular player. But he is known among chessplayers as the heady man, cool in the pinches and possessed of a wicked shift. He was drafted by the National League of Ukrainia after he had subdued the fast semi-pro Ukrainian All-Star Ukulele Players Chess Team during its spring training trip last year, setting them down, one, two, three. He made good from the start in big company and was soon bought by the Ukrainian Ugenots, the fastest chess combination in south-west Europe – or is it Asia?
They tell a very funny story about Bogoljubow when he came up to the Ugenots, a green Ukrainian country boy. He lost his first game through an odd and, as some say, dirty trick. In the beginning he lost the toss for goal and was forced to defend the Ukrainian east goal, known all over Europe as one of the sunniest fields in the world. And in addition to playing throughout the game with the fierce Ukrainian sun shining in his eyes, he erroneously played the game with his opponent’s men, the judges having deliberately failed to tell him which were his and which his opponent’s.
That Bogoljubow – or, as his friends familiarly call him, Bogoljubow – should now be in this contest and facing the great Capablanca is evidence of his sturdy constitution, unbreakable spirit and well-muscled back and shoulders. He was the kind of boy that was Bound to Make Good.
Moves do not occur to him as quickly as they do to Capablanca. The Cuban wizard sits down, thinks concisely for no more than half an hour, and presto! the trick is done. It is dazzling, his speed, and again and again yesterday the crowd was brought to its feet in outbursts of spontaneous sighing, which is the only form of cheering permitted.
Capablanca is the flashy player, the kind of man that has the crowd with him always, while good old Bogoljubow thinks and thinks and thinks. Time passes. More time passes. But Bogoljubow is thinking. He holds his head in his hands. He eyes them all, queens and those other little doodads on the board, individually and collectively. He writhes. He bits his nails. He twists in mental torment.
And Capablanca, the speed demon of the Hesperides, or thereabouts, paces nonchalantly up and down the runway, exercising, keeping his muscles fit, testing his chess expansion. He deigns only now and then to glance at his tortured opponent.
But Bogoljubow is thinking. The old Ukrainian noodle is hard at it. It was not for nothing that he was known in Ukrainia as the fiercest hand-to-hand thinker in European chess. His arm may give out some day, but still the old bean will be there, working steadily and efficiently.
And at last, as chance would have it, the solution came to him. He moved a gadget. With a smothered curse Capablanca sits down again suddenly, pauses a few hours, and then quickly, surely, promptly, he moves another gadget. It is all over so quickly that one scarcely has time to say Jack Robinson 12,000 times.
On and on it goes like that, from 2.30 [sic] to 6 p.m. each afternoon and again at night, beginning at 8 o’clock.
Down the line are other celebrities – Ed Lasker, from Chicago, using the famous Chicaco sidewind before moving; Janowsky, from France, a cunning player with a deceptive straight-arm movement; old Dr Lasker of Germany, the veteran of 10,000 battles; the fierce Dr Tartakower from Austria, brooding madly over everything; the handsome Mr Alekhine of Russia, with a wing collar; Yates of England –
And among the spectators yesterday afternoon was “Ivory Luther” Hooks, the international indoor craps champion, which he won on the fields of Eton last year when he played under the colors of the Brooklyn Mah Jong and Clam Bake Association.
“I hope you do not ask me what I think of this game”, Mr Hooks said to a reporter, “but if you do I shall not tell you.”
This was all that could be got from him.’
A correspondence game given in some databases as played in 1955 is Edgar v Lott: 1 d4 f5 2 e4 fxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 e6 5 Bxf6 Qxf6 6 Nxe4 Qg6 7 Bd3 Qxg2
8 Qh5+ g6 9 Qe5 Qxh1 10 Qxh8 Qxg1+ 11 Kd2 Qxa1 12 Nf6+ Ke7 13 Nd5+ exd5 14 Qxh7+ Kd6 15 Qxg6+ Ke7 16 Qg5+ Kf7 17 Bg6+ Kg8 18 Qf6 Bb4+ 19 c3 Resigns. (Sometimes the moves 19...Qxb2+ 20 Kd1 Qa1+ 21 Ke2 Qb2+ 22 Kf3 Qxc3+ 23 Kg2 are added.)
Obviously the date 1955 is incorrect, given that the score was published on pages 60-61 of Relax with Chess by Fred Reinfeld (New York, 1948). Reinfeld, who described it as ‘a great game’ and put forward the moves from 19...Qxb2+ to 23 Kg2 in his final note, gave the date as 1915.
We have found the game on page 166 of the July-August
1916 American Chess Bulletin:
Maurice Carter (Fairborn, OH, USA) asks about the location of Carl Schlechter’s remains. His question arises from C.N. 1084, which is reproduced below:
Ludwig Steinkohl (Bad Aibling, Federal Republic of Germany) informs us of a letter he has received from Mr Egon Spitzenberger of Vienna, the Chairman of the Committee for Correspondence Chess of the Austrian Chess Federation, indicating that both Schlechter and his mother were buried in Catholic graveyards (the latter at Perchtoldsdorf, a suburb of Vienna, in the late 1930s).
The reference by Steinkohl to the late 1930s in connection with Schlechter’s mother was corrected in C.N. 1152 when Warren Goldman pointed out this report on page 76 of the March 1925 Wiener Schachzeitung:
Goldman added that the 1925 death-date was confirmed by church papers about the Schlechter family which were in his possession.
As Mr Carter remarks, the master’s death and burial were subsequently discussed on pages 45-47 of Carl Schlechter! Life and Times of the Austrian Chess Wizard by Warren Goldman (Yorklyn, 1994). It was noted, for instance, that writers such as Schonberg and Horowitz were ‘apparently blissfully unaware that Schlechter died in Budapest’ (as opposed to Vienna). In this connection, see the first item in Chess and Untimely Death Notices.
Schlechter was buried in Budapest, and a footnote on page 47 of Goldman’s book reads:
‘A last word concerning Schlechter’s final resting place: during a 1984 visit to Budapest, Herbert Huber of Vienna learned that the “honor grave” of 1918 no longer exists – the burial site in the Rakoskeressturer Cemetery having been closed by the Hungarian authorities some years ago. Whether Schlechter’s remains were moved to another location is unknown to the author.’
The discussion concerning Schlechter originated in C.N. 1055, where we noted the deletion of his name as a Jew in some versions of the anti-Semitic articles attributed to Alekhine. For further information on Schlechter’s religion (Catholicism), see Chess and Jews.
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