Chess Notes by Edward Winter

Chess Notes

Edward Winter

The curtailment of Chess Notes, with effect from the end of March 2020, was announced in C.N. 11763.

If contacting us by e-mail, correspondents need to include their name and full postal address.

8 April 2020: C.N.s 11799-11800
16 April 2020: C.N. 11801
24 April 2020: C.N.s 11802-11805
3 May 2020: C.N.s 11806-11810
10 May 2020: C.N.s 11811-11813
21 May 2020: C.N. 11814

Géza Maróczy

A selection of feature articles:

Chess and the Code-Breakers
The Gibaud v Lazard Gamelet
A Unique Chess Writer
The Chess Tinsleys
Chess and Alcohol
Chess Cunning, Gamesmanship and Skulduggery
Chess and the House of Commons
A Catastrophic Encyclopedia
Chess and Shakespeare
Gaffes by Chess Publishers and Authors

Archives (including all feature articles)


11799. A scarce monograph on Nigel Short


Nigel Short (Athens) informs us:

‘This poor-quality image is the only one that I have. It appears that the book was a games collection, Nigel Short by R.A. Ziatdinov (Tashkent, 1993), and that most of the copies were destroyed in a flood, although about 100 were sent to Turkey.’

We shall be glad to hear from any reader who has the volume.

Addition on 9 April 2020:

Reporting that he has a signed copy of the Ziatdinov book, Rudy Bloemhard (Apeldoorn, the Netherlands) has sent us a selection of images, including the following:



Mr Bloemhard adds:

‘There is no reference to a publisher or an ISBN number. The book, published in 1993, is 96 pages long and contains about 350 unannotated games.’

11800. Magazine references

Readers may appreciate the opportunity to follow up on some of the references in Chess Articles in Periodical Literature by Horace E. McFarland (St Louis, 1928):





11801. Letters from Frank Skoff

A paragraph from our feature article Edge, Morphy and Staunton:

The Staunton-Morphy-Edge debate in Chess Notes continued until the magazine closed down in December 1989, and summarizing here the multiplicity of points discussed would be an impossible task. The contributions – often of outstanding quality – did not always make for easy reading, but there can be little doubt of the material’s importance for all future writers on the nineteenth-century trio. For ease of reference, the numbers of the C.N. items in the debate are: 840, 943, 957, 1012, 1031, 1124, 1149, 1172, 1228, 1269, 1270, 1358, 1416, 1417, 1439, 1440, 1480, 1499, 1569, 1570, 1633, 1642, 1643, 1669, 1700, 1722, 1757, 1758, 1818 and 1932. Moreover, Skoff submitted a 16-page letter dated 17 November 1989 which arrived too late to be included in the final issue of the magazine; copies were made available upon request to interested readers.

Frank Skoff fully accepted that procedure.

Now, we give his 16-page letter as a PDF file, together with a one-page follow-up letter which he wrote on 20 November 1989 after seeing a preview of a comment by us in C.N. 1932.

Not all the C.N. items listed above are on-line, which means that parts of Frank Skoff’s letters will be unclear. However, there is no lack of clarity in his overall stance: strong criticism of certain British chess writers for inaccuracy and bias over the Edge-Morphy-Staunton controversy, with Kenneth Whyld singled out for excoriation.

11802. The Duke of Wellington

From John Townsend (Wokingham, England):

‘In an article entitled “Celebrated Chess-Players”, reproduced from the Chess Record, page 30 of the January 1880 American Chess Journal had the following:

“The Duke of Wellington was a chessplayer of more than the moderate skill of his great rival, Napoleon.”

Howard Staunton had replied to a correspondent as follows in the Illustrated London News, 29 March 1845, page 208:


The Iron Duke had been a subscriber to William Greenwood Walker’s A selection of games of chess, actually played in London, by the late Alexander McDonnell ... (London, 1836), his name being listed as such on page 279.’

Can anything be added regarding the Duke of Wellington’s chess activities?’

11803. The Club Capablanca, Havana

Below are two photographs of the Club Capablanca (calle Infanta 54, Havana) taken by Bernardo Alonso García, the copyright owner, and sent to us in 1994 by Armando Alonso Lorenzo (Prov. Ciego de Avila, Cuba):



11804. H.J.R. Murray’s books

We have a copy of a 19-page typescript by H.J.R. Murray dated 1940, ‘My Chess Books, etc.’:


11805. A projected book on the Polgar sisters

A two-page letter to us from Rogelio Caparrós (Elizabeth, NJ, USA) dated 2 January 1992 was chiefly about his planned book on Alekhine but included one paragraph on another project:

‘I have already finished a collection of 432 games of the Polgar sisters, with a diagram per game. Some diagrams have been inserted at the crucial points, replacing to a certain point an annotation.’

He gave a sample page of the intended work, which was entitled Las Maravillosas hermanitas Polgar:


11806. 1 Nf3 d5 2 b4 f6

On the subject of chess punctuation, three exclamation marks at move two were awarded by Reuben Fine on page 58 of Chess Marches On! (New York, 1945):

santasiere levy

When Fine’s annotations had appeared on pages 8-10 of the January 1942 Chess Review, 2...f6 received only two exclamation marks.

The date ‘1942’ is an error. Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) notes this report on page 17 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 15 December 1941:

santasiere levy

Fine was also incorrect to state that nobody seemed to have thought of 2...f6 before Levy played it in that game. Databases have a loss by Santasiere to Harry Fajans, which, Mr Bauzá Mercére points out, was annotated by Santasiere on page 14 of the January-February 1941 American Chess Bulletin:

santasiere fajans

Our correspondent adds that a report on the tournament, the Marshall Chess Club Championship, on page 21 of the New York Times, 13 January 1941 recorded that the Santasiere v Fajans game had been adjourned. He refers too to page 195 of the October 1942 Chess Review, where Edward Lasker annotated a win over Santasiere with 2...f6 in the New York State Championship in Cazenovia, August 1942. The first note mentioned Fine’s January 1942 article.

11807. Capablanca’s US education (C.N. 6378)

An advertisement on page 16 of the South Orange Record, 22 April 1903:

capablanca woodycliff

11808. Drawings of Capablanca and Alekhine

Page 3 of Crítica, 17 September 1927:

capablanca alekhine

Larger version

11809. The Duke of Wellington (C.N. 11802)

Jerry Spinrad (Nashville, TN, USA) forwards this cutting from page 2 of Bell’s Life in London, 19 March 1837:


11810. Staunton Street

Mr Spinrad also sends, on the topic of Street Names with Chess Connections, a lengthy report on page 5 of Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspaper, 21 December 1856 which suggested, ten lines from the bottom of the second column, that a London street be named after Howard Staunton.

London does indeed have a Staunton Street, but since when?

11811. Vienna, 1922 poster

C.N. 6369 mentioned that many chess-related images are available at the website of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna.

Further to C.N. 11725, which referred to Hans Kmoch’s brother Ladislaus, James Bell Cooper (Vienna) notes that the Library has a poster by L. Kmoch on the Vienna, 1922 tournament:

vienna 1922

11812. Rafael Blanco (C.N.s 3471 & 3475)

It will be appreciated if a reader can provide a good-quality version of an article by Bernardo G. Barros about the chessplayer and artist Rafael Blanco on pages 445-446 of the Cuban magazine El Fígaro, 1911. We have only a faint photostat:




11813. Capablanca film (C.N.s 1484, 3986 & 4303)

The carelessly-produced video-cassette case:



Below is a photograph reproduced from a full-page article about the film on page 9 of the Cuban newspaper Juventud Rebelde, 6 March 1988:


11814. Emanuel Lasker

Just received: volume two of Emanuel Lasker edited by Richard Forster, Michael Negele and Raj Tischbierek (Berlin, 2020):


The publisher’s webpage presents an extract from this superb volume, as well as ordering details; the book will also be obtainable from McFarland & Company, Inc. Information about volume one (2018) and the 2009 German-language tome is given in our feature article.

From the private archive of Christian Wohlfarth (Berlin) we reproduce with the Editors’ permission a photograph of Lasker playing Go which is on page 164 of volume two:

lasker dueball

The caption states that Lasker’s opponent was Felix Dueball, at whose residence the picture was taken on 7 March 1930. His eldest son Fritz is standing, and the man seated in the centre is Kurt Rosenwald.

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Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.