Chess Notes by Edward Winter

Chess Notes

Edward Winter


C.N. 11763 (15 March 2020) announced: ‘Owing to other commitments, it will be necessary for us to curtail the posting of new C.N. items as from the end of March 2020. Thereafter, additions to the main C.N. page and to feature articles will be possible only occasionally.’

If contacting us by e-mail (ewinter@sunrise.ch), correspondents need to include their name and full postal address.



chess

Our latest feature article is on William Hartston.


10 January 2021: C.N.s 11844-11845
23 January 2021: C.N.s 11846-11850
9 February 2021: C.N.s 11851-11854
17 February 2021: C.N.s 11855-11856
28 February 2021: C.N.s 11857-11860
30 March 2021: C.N.s 11861-11862
10 April 2021: C.N. 11863
chess

Fred Reinfeld

A selection of feature articles:

Fred Reinfeld 1910-64
‘All Rook Endgames are Drawn’
Castling in Chess
Isidor Gunsberg
En passant (Chess)
Chess: Stalemate by Self-Blockade
A Purported Picture of Hitler and Lenin Playing Chess
A Chess Washout
François-André Danican Philidor

Archives (including all feature articles)

Factfinder


11844. Warren Goldman

As reproduced on page 360 of Kings, Commoners and Knaves, C.N. 2077 gave an appreciative welcome to Carl Schlechter! Life and Times of the Austrian Chess Wizard by Warren Goldman (Yorklyn, 1994), a 537-page hardback published posthumously.

Although our correspondence with Goldman chiefly concerned his Schlechter manuscript, already largely completed by 1984, an exception was his letter of 23 May 1990. After reporting that five days previously he had retired from civilian employment with the US Army (Europe) recreation program, he offered a few chess reminiscences:

goldman

A Christmas card (1991) stated that he expected the Schlechter book to be published the following year, and below is an extract from his final letter to us, dated 6 March 1992:

goldman

On 5 January 1993 Hildegard Goldman wrote to us:

‘... my dear husband passed away last 26 June after suffering a light stroke, followed, while in the head clinic of the University of Heidelberg, by complications and heart failure after days in the intensive care unit of the clinic. My only solace is that he did not suffer ...’

Regarding Warren Goldman’s work as an opening theoretician, see issue 15 of Kaissiber, which carried a photograph of him on the front cover.



11845. Euwe and Capablanca

A letter from Max Euwe dated 27 May 1974:

euwe

The second question concerned his likely action had he defeated Alekhine in 1937. See too page 324 of our monograph on Capablanca.



11846. Prokofiev

prokofiev

Above is the front of the dust-jacket of S. Prokofiev Autobiography Articles Reminiscences (Moscow, 1959). From pages 101-102, regarding the Moscow, 1936 tournament:

prokofiev

prokofiev

The original, on page 4 of Izvestia, 30 May 1936:

prokofiev

Concerning the first part of the article, an English translation by Kenneth Neat is on pages 80-81 of our book on Capablanca.

From opposite page 104 of the above-mentioned Prokofiev anthology:

prokofiev



11847. ‘Suicide on the Chessboard’ (C.N.s 9987 & 10019)

chernev

From page 193 of Chernev’s Wonders and Curiosities of Chess, as shown in C.N. 9987

Hajo Markus (Walsrode, Germany) notes that a good source for the game Bialas v Hecht, Bad Pyrmont, 1963 is the tournament bulletin:

bialas hecht



11848. Chess problems on the radio

An addition to Chess and Radio has been submitted by Michael McDowell (Westcliff-on-sea, England), from page 2 of The Problemist, January 1959:

radio times

We add the related features in the Radio Times:

radio times

7 November 1958, page 34 (concerning a broadcast on 11 November 1958)

radio times

12 December 1958, page 30 (concerning a broadcast on 16 December 1958)



11849. The Queen’s Retreat

Browsing on the Radio Times website, we have noted the billing for a 45-minute radio play, The Queen’s Retreat by Tanika Gupta, broadcast on BBC Radio Four on 1 June 1999.



11850. Nazi chess

Yandy Rojas Barrios (Cárdenas, Cuba) sends two photographs in the 26 December 1937 edition of Carteles:

nazi chess

nazi chess



11851. Barry v Pillsbury (C.N.s 4582 & 6979)

The conclusion of Barry v Pillsbury, Boston, 1899 (White to move):

dia

White announced mate in 13

In 1989 Richard Lappin (Jamaica Plain, MD, USA) sent us the following, from the archives of the Boylston Chess Club (Boston):

barry
                  pillsbury
barry
                  pillsbury

We note that this document was referred to on page 30 of the March-April 1978 issue of Chess Horizons.



11852. A win by Hugh Myers with 1 e4 c5 2 a4

On 15 September 2002 Hugh Myers (Davenport, IA, USA) sent us his win against Jason Juette in Iowa City earlier that month:

myers juette

1 e4 c5 2 a4 Nc6 3 d3 d6 4 g3 g6 5 Bg2 Bg7 6 f4 e6 7 Nh3 Nge7 8 c3 O-O 9 Nf2 Rb8 10 h4 f5 11 h5 Kf7 12 hxg6+ hxg6 13 Nd2 Rh8 14 Nh3 Bf6 15 Nf3 Qg8 16 a5 b5 17 axb6 axb6 18 Nfg5+ Bxg5 19 Nxg5+ Kg7

dia

20 Kf2 Bd7 21 Bh3 Rb7 22 Be3 Ra7 23 Rxa7 Nxa7 24 d4 Qd8 25 dxc5 dxc5 26 Qd6 Nac6 27 Rd1 Bc8 28 e5 Qxd6 29 Rxd6.

Overleaf, Hugh Myers, who was aged 72 at the time, commented to us that the game ‘... shows again that I can do well with the early moves a2-a4, h2-h4, Nh3-Nf2-Nh3, and then simultaneously working on the a and h-files – but finishing him on the d-file’.



11853. Capablanca v E.S. Tinsley

From The Chess Tinsleys:

As mentioned on page 99 of our book on Capablanca, E.S. Tinsley drew with the Cuban in a simultaneous display at the Gambit Chess Rooms, London on 18 September 1919 (BCM, October 1919, page 342). The report below appeared in The Times, 19 September 1919, page 8:

capablanca tinsley

The game was misdated ‘1918’ in three editions of Capablanca’s games compiled by Rogelio Caparrós (Yorklyn, 1991, Barcelona, 1993 and Dallas, 1994). The score was also given on pages 245-247 of Capablanca in the United Kingdom (1911-1920) by V. Fiala (Olomouc, 2006), from The Times Weekly Edition, 10 October 1919.

Below we now show that column by E.S. Tinsley (page iv):

capablanca tinsley

The column has been forwarded to us by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA), courtesy of the New York Public Library (General Research Division).

In the Fiala book there were, of course, a few mistranscriptions of the Times Weekly Edition annotations. Moreover, Tinsley gave White’s second move as Nc3, and not Nf3.

1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 Bb5 d6 5 d4 exd4 6 Nxd4 Bd7 7 O-O Be7 8 Nde2 O-O 9 Ng3 Ne5 10 Bxd7 Qxd7 11 f4 Ng6 12 b3 Rad8 13 Bb2 c6 14 Qd4 Rfe8 15 Nf5 Bf8 16 Rad1 Nxe4

dia

17 Nh6+ gxh6 18 Nxe4 Rxe4 19 Qxe4 Qe6 20 Qd3 f5 21 c4 Bg7 22 Bxg7 Kxg7 23 Rfe1 Qf6 24 g3 h5 25 Re3 Rd7 26 Rde1 d5 27 Re6 Qf7 28 Qd4+ Kh6 29 c5 Qg7 30 Qxg7+ Rxg7 31 Rd6 Rf7 32 Kf2 Kg7 33 Ree6 h4 34 Ke3 hxg3 35 hxg3 a6 36 Kd4 Nf8 37 Re8 Ng6 38 Red8 Nf8 39 Rb8 Re7 40 Kd3 Nd7 41 Rd8 Nxc5+ 42 Kd4 Ne6+ 43 Rxe6 Rxe6 44 Rd7+ Kg6 45 Rxb7 h6 46 b4 Kh5 47 Rg7 Rg6 48 Rxg6 Kxg6 49 Ke5 h5 50 a3 Kf7 51 Kxf5 Ke7 52 Ke5 Kf7 53 a4 Ke7 54 a5 Kf7 55 f5 Ke7 56 Kf4 Kf6 57 g4

dia

57...hxg4 58 Kxg4 d4 59 Kf4 d3 60 Ke3 d2 61 Kxd2 Kxf5 62 Kd3 Ke5 63 Kc4 Kd6 64 Kd4 Kd7 65 Kc5 Kc7 66 Kd4 Kd6 67 Kc4 Kd7 Drawn.

Concerning the position in the second diagram, in a letter to us dated 3 June 1991 G.H. Diggle (then aged 88) diffidently suggested that Tinsley had missed a win by not playing 57...h4. That is confirmed by a computer check, which also indicates that Capablanca erred with 56 Kf4 (instead of 56 f5+, which draws).



11854. Edge, Morphy and Staunton

The quartet of feature articles Edge, Morphy and Staunton, A Debate on Staunton, Morphy and Edge, Supplement to ‘A Debate on Staunton, Morphy and Edge’ and Edge Letters to Fiske has expanded so much that certain sections have inevitably become amorphous.

Is it nonetheless possible at this stage to draw further conclusions in some of the discussion strands, such as F.M. Edge’s dependability as a chronicler?



11855. John Townsend on F.M. Edge

edge

Frederick M. Edge (C.N. 9133)

From John Townsend (Wokingham, England):

‘The question posed in C.N. 11854 referred specifically to Edge’s dependability “as a chronicler”, but perhaps it will help to consider his dependability as a person, especially considering that in recent years our knowledge of Edge’s life and character has advanced so markedly. Thanks for that are mainly due to Chess Notes and the “quartet” of feature articles mentioned in C.N. 11854. As a result, we have access today to much information which was not known to twentieth-century historians, such as Lawson and Sergeant, and this has particular bearing on his dependability.

In what follows, “Feature Article 1” means Edge, Morphy and Staunton, and “Feature Article 2” means Edge Letters to Fiske.

Overall, the picture of Edge which has emerged in recent years is an unfavourable one, which casts serious doubts over his trustworthiness and honesty.

Edge was born into a respectable family in 1830 in Westminster, the son of a manufacturing businessman, and attended a boarding school on Jersey, before concluding his education at King’s College London; however, he left after one year, having been frequently absent from lessons and examinations. (Feature Article 1.)

The diaries of Thomas Butler Gunn, which were reported to Chess Notes by Harrie Grondijs, contain surprising revelations and new insights into Edge’s lifestyle and character (Feature Article 1). However, there is no indication that the diaries contain other than a faithful record; the writer shows no malice towards Edge, and, if anything, something of an affection for “little Edge” comes across.

The diary entry of 22 March 1858 recalls that as a young man Edge “squandered money, went to races, betted ...” (Feature Article 1). Exactly how early he fell into debt is not clear, but his habit of borrowing money and not paying it back became a familiar complaint by his associates on either side of the Atlantic, both in the 1850s in New York, and in the 1860s in England.

He “ran off” to Paris, and was subsequently a journalist in New York by 1855, where he “gambled away all his money” (Feature Article 1). The diary entry of 11 April 1856 mentions that he went through a period in New York of being “desperately hard up” and sleeping rough, including in timber yards. (Feature Article 1.)

In 1857 he “married a little Alsatian prostitute” (in the words of the diary), who had previously lived with him as his “mistress”.

At sundry times, he lived a Bohemian lifestyle and eked out a scrounging existence (Feature Article 1). A diary entry for 22 March 1858 notes that Edge had returned to England owing money to Haney and had even “borrowed from the boy who waits at Haney’s tavern without repaying him!” (Feature Article 1.)

If it is true, as was reported in a diary entry of 11 May 1859, that Edge abused his position as a journalist to threaten police officers unless they appointed his own choice of officer, then he must have been fortunate not to face criminal charges (Feature Article 1). He allegedly threatened to be “down upon” the officers in case of refusal. As it was, his only punishment was that he lost his job.

The amount of trust the diarist Gunn felt in Edge is amusingly, but tellingly, illustrated by a diary entry (volume 21, page 194: 23 January 1863) describing a visit by Edge to his room after he had gone to bed. When Edge turned the conversation to his money difficulties, Gunn recalls how he reacted:

“I took the hint by jumping out of bed and securing my purse ...”

Edge’s scrounging extended to finding a bed to sleep in. Volume 21, pages 193-196 (23 January 1863) refers to Edge moving about the house to find someone else’s bed to share, in some cases without the knowledge of the bed’s principal occupier. Edge’s nocturnal wandering was objected to by other residents. His reason was that his own landlady had inconveniently asked for the rent.

It is difficult to see how such a person could have been taken seriously in Victorian England; Gunn’s portrayal of him sometimes resembles that of a music-hall character. Yet it appears that Edge was capable of being credible in face-to-face situations, thanks to his personality. He even obtained an interview in 1860 with the Foreign Secretary, Lord John Russell (Feature Article 1). Gunn suggested (volume 9, page 107: 22 March 1858) that his impudence may have assisted him on such occasions:

“He did well as a reporter on the Herald, for his matchless impudence – which never looked like impudence in Edge – stood him in good stead. He would have walked up to the President with ‘Now I want you to tell me all about &c &c.’”

In London in 1865, Edge spent a short time in the debtors’ prison in Whitecross Street (Feature Article 1). In 1867, he had a job with the Reform Society in Manchester; it ended in a libel case in which Edge sued the society’s honorary secretary of the northern department, evidently for implying that he had attempted to divert money intended for the society to his own pocket (Feature Article 1). In reality, it seemed impossible to recognize a libel in the words of which he complained. He cleared his name after a settlement was suggested by the judge, but it came out during evidence that Edge “had been borrowing money from first one person and then another” and that he had acquired a bad reputation for it. (Feature Article 1.) That was consistent with the complaints which his associates had made about him in New York.

The various episodes described above strongly suggest that Edge was not a person to be trusted, and was also capable of being dishonest and corrupt. One can easily imagine that his lack of trustworthiness could have adversely affected the negotiations for the proposed Staunton-Morphy match, and there is, clearly, scope for that to have happened. Yet it is very difficult to point to concrete examples, and it is often not clear for which actions Edge was responsible, as opposed to Morphy.

For the match to come off, successful negotiations were needed which had to be based on satisfactory relations between the two sides. Staunton was not obliged to play, and he may have felt that he was making a personal sacrifice in trying to find the time for it. It was important, therefore, for Morphy to retain his goodwill if he wanted a match. In the event, relations deteriorated, and Staunton has taken the bulk of the blame for that, and for the failure of the match. However, several historians in the past have noted Edge’s anti-Staunton bias, and one wonders to what extent it was a deliberate policy. Was he “down upon” Staunton in the same way as he threatened to be “down upon” the police officers? His hostile attitude, to give just one example, is illustrated in a letter dated 6 August 1858 (page 2), in which he referred to Staunton as “the ‘Chess Pariah’ of the London world” (Feature Article 2). Staunton had no shortage of enemies, and also many supporters, but use of the word “Pariah” seems excessive. The bias appears pronounced in Edge’s book on Morphy.

Lawson was, surely, mistaken when he asserted, on page 109 of The Pride and Sorrow of Chess, that “Morphy was a self-willed person” who “made his own decisions” and that “Edge always played a subordinate role in Morphy’s affairs”. Examples are available which show, on the contrary, that Edge played a controlling and influential part in Morphy’s affairs, and that he was of a scheming mentality. Edge it was who insisted on the Anderssen match, despite opposition from Morphy and his family; Edge who engineered Morphy’s “jeremiad” to Lord Lyttelton, whereas Morphy would have taken no action; and who claimed to have taken letters from Morphy’s pocket, and so on. Lawson appears to have underestimated this aspect of Edge.

On page 101 of A Century of British Chess, P.W. Sergeant remarked that he did not consider Edge a liar, while Lawson (page 109 of The Pride and Sorrow of Chess) merely supported that view. However, there is no indication that either of them enquired into Edge’s background before making that judgement. Did the mere fact of his association with Morphy give him respectability in their eyes? Sergeant did, at least, acknowledge Edge’s anti-Staunton bias.’



11856. Letters (1986) from the FIDE General Secretary

Below are the key parts of a letter to us dated 1 January 1986 from the General Secretary of FIDE, Dr Lim Kok-Ann:

fide lim kok-ann

fide limkok-ann

fide limkok-ann

fide limkok-ann

fide limkok-ann

We also reproduce here another letter from Lim Kok-Ann, dated 13 January 1986:

fide limkok-ann

fide limkok-ann



11857. Tuesday

A comment of ours in Instant Fischer (‘Kasparov has trouble not contradicting himself over what he said last Tuesday’) was quoted by Olimpiu G. Urcan on Twitter on 23 February 2021, accompanied by a clip from the 1937 Laurel and Hardy film Way Out West in which, replying to ‘What did he die of?’, Stan Laurel said, ‘I think he died of a Tuesday ...’ A question of language arises: why, in such cases, is Tuesday the most effective day to mention?

We have put the matter to Stephen Fry, who replies:

‘No question that Tuesday is the funniest day. Always has been. Though Douglas Adams came up with that line “This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays” which shows Thursday comes in a good second. Monday wouldn’t work because there’s a reason why “I don’t like Mondays” as Bob Geldof sang. Wednesday is just too much of a mouthful to zing. Friday is too associated with payday and the end of the week, and the other two days are reserved for weekend properties. So perhaps it’s more a process of elimination … I wonder if any continental languages have equivalents. Is Mittwoch as funny as Dienstag?

Tuesday doesn’t follow the “hard C” rule (see the film The Sunshine Boys for a wonderful scene involving hard Cs).

Noël Coward often pondered why some place names are funny, and even claimed that in America funny place names are only funny because the word itself is inherently amusing – “Schenectady” “Kalamazoo” “Albuquerque” – whereas the British find certain places funny for less obvious reasons: “Neasden” and “Purley” might elicit a laugh, whereas “Hendon” and “Portsmouth” for example wouldn’t. Hugh [Laurie] and I got much mileage out of Uttoxeter, mileage that Exeter or Huddersfield would never have offered …’



11858. Capablanca and Shipley in Philadelphia

On Tuesday, 21 February 1922 Capablanca sent Walter Penn Shipley this letter, of which we have a copy:

capablanca shipley

Capablanca’s visit to Philadelphia was discussed on pages 403-404 of Walter Penn Shipley Philadelphia’s Friend of Chess by John S. Hilbert (Jefferson, 2003), and Dr Hilbert has forwarded Shipley’s column in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 12 March 1922, page 6:

capablanca shipley

The consultation game is familiar from its appearance on page 82 of The Unknown Capablanca by David Hooper and Dale Brandreth (London, 1975).



11859. The denazification of Bogoljubow

From Bernd-Peter Lange (Berlin):

‘After the Second World War, all German members of the National Socialist Party were required by the Allies to fill in a questionnaire (Meldebogen) for political examination. Bogoljubow’s was written in his own hand in September 1948 in the French zone of occupation where he was resident. It gives a great deal of information about, in particular, the years 1940-44, when he was in the service of Hans Frank, the Governor General of German-occupied Poland. He was employed firstly as a translator and interpreter (Ukrainian and Russian) in the Propaganda Department and then, for a longer period, as a chess instructor in German military hospitals in the Generalgouvernement and for chess-related tasks such as the design and distribution of a new chess set.

The denazification questionnaire gives precise details of his times of employment, payment received, dates of his party membership, and his political justification for having joined the Nazi Party.

A discussion of these texts – together with passages (some hitherto forgotten) related to Bogoljubow and chess matters in the vast service-diary of Hans Frank – has been prepared for the 1/2021 edition of the German-language magazine KARL, under the title “Bogoljubow im Generalgouvernement”. Later in 2021 there will be an expanded version in English, discussing Bogoljubow’s career from 1933 onwards.’

Our correspondent has forwarded us a PDF file which includes the questionnaire completed by Bogoljubow.

bogoljubow



11860. The Immortal Game

John Townsend (Wokingham, England) writes:

‘A “Certificate of Arrival” at the port of Folkestone shows that Kieseritzky arrived there on 24 May 1851 (source: National Archives, HO 2/212, certificate no. 1067), this being a document which, with many others similar, is viewable on-line at Ancestry.com.

Under the heading “Name and country” is entered: “Mr Lionel Kieseritzki [sic] Russia”. The country from which he had last arrived was France and he had a passport from the French government. The certificate bears a good specimen of his signature: “L. Kieseritzky”.

As a result of Fabrizio Zavatarelli’s discovery in Baltische Schachblätter (reported in C.N. 11357), the Chess Notes feature article on the Immortal Game subsequently considered two dates, 25 and 26 May, as days when the celebrated game may have been contested. The fact that Kieseritzky did not arrive at Folkestone until 24 May now seems to detract somewhat from the argument for 25 May, as he would have needed to travel from Folkestone to London, settle into his hotel, meet Anderssen, etc., and there would have been less time to do these things if he had played the Immortal Game on 25 May (a Sunday). Conversely, the case for 26 May may be considered enhanced.

Another “Certificate of Arrival”, this time at the port of London, is dated 1 August 1851, and is signed “Lionel Kieseritzky” (National Archives, HO 2/223, certificate no. 5808).

No certificate of arrival in England prior to the 1851 tournament has so far been found for Anderssen.’



11861. Double chess (C.N.s 5619 & 10446)

From our archives:

maroczy capablanca

maroczy capablanca

The article’s exact original appearance in the Evening Standard newspaper is not currently to hand.

On the subject of Capablanca’s proposals for different forms of chess, Richard Forster (Winterthur, Switzerland) has found the following on page 3 of the Moscow Daily News, 23 April 1935 (‘Translated from Komsomolskaya Pravda’):

capablanca



11862. Manuel Márquez Sterling (C.N. 5908)

Yandy Rojas Barrios (Cárdenas, Cuba) has forwarded this picture of Manuel Márquez Sterling from page 364 of El Fígaro, 18 June 1909:

marquez sterling



11863. The 1978 world championship match

korchnoi

On pages 54-56 of the 23 December 1978 issue of L’Express Victor Korchnoi gave an interview to Arrabal and Alain de Pananster concerning, primarily, his recent world title match against Karpov in Baguio City. The heading was ‘Kortchnoï: Un espion m’a fait perdre’, but the alleged spy was left unnamed (Korchnoi: ‘Je sais qui a été acheté, mais je ne veux pas le dire’). The lack of rigour throughout the questions and answers is such that we show here, in passing, just one brief exchange, from page 55 (where the above photograph also appeared):

‘L’Express: Y a-t-il une relation entre les échecs et le mysticisme? Autrefois, Steinitz prétendait jouer contre Dieu ...

V. Kortchnoï: Le recours à un être suprême est compréhensible. Karpov est athée. Un domaine lui échappe.’

An English translation of relatively brief extracts from the interview was published on pages 97-98 of CHESS, January 1979, under the title ‘Korchnoi Speaks Out’. It was reproduced, with much valuable additional material, in the 2013 article by Justin Horton ‘What Jean Stean had seen’.

Raymond Keene was specifically mentioned only once in L’Express, with his surname misspelt. As regards the English-language version of the interview, below is his communication of 23 February 1979 to the FIDE General Secretary, Ineke Bakker:

korchnoi keene

korchnoi keene

korchnoi keene

korchnoi keene

The only living person whom we would trust for a truthful first-hand account of what happened in Baguio City is Michael Stean.



Chess Notes Archives

Factfinder

Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.