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 (, correspondents need to include their name and full postal address.

Note: Many of our books and periodicals are included in the regular eBay auctions of the International Master Bernd Schneider.
The current auction ends on Monday, 29 May 2023.


Chess Thoughts

5 February 2023: C.N.s 11927-11935
7 February 2023: C.N. 11936
18 March 2023: C.N.s 11937-11945
7 May 2023: C.N.s 11946-11950

T.A. Krishnamachariar/Krishnamachari

A selection of feature articles:

Chess and the English Language
Chess Jottings
Réti v Alekhine, Baden-Baden, 1925

Archives (including all feature articles)


11927. Further Fischer material

John Donaldson (Berkeley, CA, USA) draws attention to a website which offers a large number of Fischer-related newspaper articles.

He also writes:

‘I recently listened to a 2022 podcast series on the Worldwide Church of God, where one episode is on Bobby Fischer. One of the people they talk with, a person who interviewed Fischer in late 1976/77, when he was disenchanted with the WWCOG, still has the tape recordings of the interview. Although they play only segments of the five hours, some parts are interesting. Unless anyone in the former Yugoslavia still has the press interviews in which Fischer discussed a possible 1978 match with Gligorić, it is likely to be the last pre-1992 interview that Fischer gave. It is Episode 1.7: ‘Finding Bobby Fischer: The Lost Tapes’.

Incidentally, late last year I had a discussion with Eugenio Torre in St Louis. He was reticent to speak about Fischer but did confirm that he played only one training game with him (a long draw in a 2 c3 Sicilian which is known).’

The Torre v Fischer game was given in C.N. 8638.

11928. Capablanca on Ståhlberg

Peter Holmgren (Stockholm) is seeking substantiation of a claim, readily found on the Internet without any source, that Capablanca described Ståhlberg as ‘el león sueco’ (‘the Swedish lion’).

11929. Castling

‘Castling is the first step towards a well-ordered life’ is a familiar remark by Tartakower, cited, for instance, in Wolfgang Heidenfeld’s entry on (sourceless) chess aphorisms on page 16 of The Encyclopedia of Chess by Harry Golombek (London, 1977).

The castling observation is one of dozens given by Tartakower on pages 551-553 of the Teplitz-Schönau, 1922 tournament book (shown below courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library):




Thus page 553 has:

‘Rochade ist der erste Schritt zum geordneten Leben.’

A number of other observations above will be familiar. Concerning ‘Die Fehler sind dazu da, um gemacht zu werden’ (customarily translated as ‘The mistakes are all there, waiting to be made’), we have now slightly amended the Tartakower entry in The Most Famous Chess Quotations, given that the Teplitz-Schönau, 1922 tournament book predated our source (Die Hypermoderne Schachpartie).

See too our feature article Castling in Chess.

11930. Lady Edith Margaret Thomas (C.N.s 5690, 9848 & 10680)

C.N. 5690 referred to a record of Sir George Thomas’s chessplaying mother, Lady Edith Margaret Thomas (née Foster), having been born circa 1853 at The Bogue, St Elizabeth, Jamaica.

Jon D’Souza-Eva (Oxford, England) reports that now the FamilySearch webpage states ‘Birth about 1846, Hanover, German Empire’ and adds that she was christened in Hanover on 25 January 1846.

Concerning Lady Thomas, see too the photograph in Chess and Women (C.N. 3281).

11931. N.T. Whitaker

Further to our recent feature article on Norman Tweed Whitaker, John Hilbert (Amherst, NY, USA) has sent us a database of over 40 games which he has traced since the publication in 2000 of his book Shady Side: The Life and Crimes of Norman Tweed Whitaker, Chessmaster.

Two specimens:

Morton Eschner – Norman Tweed Whitaker
First match-game, Philadelphia, 1910
Ruy López

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 c3 Nxe4 7 Re1 Nc5 8 Bxc6 dxc6 9 Nxe5 O-O 10 d4 Ne6 11 Nd2 c5 12 Ndf3 cxd4 13 Nxd4 Nxd4 14 cxd4 Be6 15 f4 Qd5 16 Be3 Rad8 17 Rc1 c6 18 a3 Bd6 19 Qc2 f6 20 Nf3 Rfe8 21 Qf2 Bb8 22 Rc5 Qd7 23 Rh5 Ba7 24 Qh4 g6 25 Rh6 Bd5


26 f5 Bxf3 27 fxg6 Bxd4 28 Rxh7 Bxe3+ 29 Rxe3 Qd1+ 30 Kf2 Rd2+ 31 Kg3 Rxg2+ 32 Kf4 Rg4+ 33 Qxg4 Qd4+ 34 White resigns.

Source: Philadelphia Item, 22 May 1910.

P. Driver – Norman Tweed Whitaker
Mercantile Library Chess Association Championship, Philadelphia, 1911
Queen’s Pawn Opening

1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 c5 3 e3 e6 4 c4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Nf6 6 Bd2 dxc4 7 Bxc4 a6 8 O-O b5 9 Bb3 c4 10 Bc2 Bb7 11 e4 Be7 12 Bg5 O-O 13 e5 Nd5 14 Bxe7 Qxe7 15 Ne4 Ncb4 16 Nd6 Nxc2 17 Qxc2 Bc6 18 a3 f6 19 Rfe1 fxe5 20 dxe5 Nf4 21 Ne4 Qf7 22 Re3 Qg6 23 Ne1


23...Bxe4 24 White resigns.

Sources: Philadelphia Public Ledger, 23 April 1911 (courtesy of Neil Brennen) and the Staten Islander, 17 May 1911.

11932. Vladimir Nabokov

Brian Matthews (New York, NY, USA) brings to our attention a webpage on Vladimir Nabokov and chess.

11933. Petra Leeuwerik and Victor Korchnoi

Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) authorizes us to show this photograph that he has acquired:


11934. The Staunton chessmen

From John Townsend (Wokingham, England):

‘Although the pattern of Staunton chessmen was registered officially in the name of Nathaniel Cooke in 1849, it has been questioned whether he was also the designer. He is not otherwise associated with either chess or artistic design, save to say that his daughter, Harriet Ingram Cooke, seems to have been the author of The ABC of Chess, By a Lady, first published by John Jaques in 1860.

A short article in The Spectator, 17 November 1849, page 1087, entitled “The ‘Staunton’ Chess-men”, took the unusual step of naming the designer. These were the concluding words:

“The carton-pierre chest, in which the men are deposited, and which is decorated with mediaeval arches and turrets, embossed with the insignia of the game, does just credit to Mr L.S. Williams, the artist; who has also, we believe, designed the very solid and elegant pieces.”

In fact, “Mr L.S. Williams” was incorrect, and it is clear from a reply to a correspondent, “Florence”, in the Illustrated London News of the same date (page 11) that the artist being referred to was “Mr Joseph L. Williams”:

“The very beautiful and appropriate box of Carton Pierre, in which the new Chess-men are inclosed, is by Mr Joseph L. Williams, the well-known decorative artist.”

Joseph Lionel Williams (1815-77), born in Colchester, Essex, was a wood engraver, draughtsman and watercolourist. He did much illustrative work for the Illustrated London News, as did his brother, Alfred Williams.

Great caution is required before crediting Joseph Lionel Williams with the design of the Staunton chessmen, although, in view of the article in The Spectator, it seems at least possible that he designed the men as well as the box.’

11935. Disarray at the 1939 FIDE General Assembly (C.N.s 11915, 11918 & 11925)

Our earlier items have referred to a current discussion within FIDE concerning Alexander Rueb’s tenure of the presidency, with links to FIDE Chess Congress 1939: An Investigation by Richard Forster and to his briefer account, entitled Coup or Call of Duty? Commotion at the 1939 FIDE Chess Congress.

Pages 40-42 of the February 2023 CHESS feature a further article by Dr Forster, ‘Buenos Aires 1939: The putsch that did not happen’. The three-page article is shown here with the permission of CHESS.


11936. Luc Winants

The death has just been announced of Luc Winants, aged 60.

A grandmaster with a deep knowledge of chess history, he made many contributions to C.N., with unfailing precision and good humour.

Below we reproduce two photographs (SWIFT tournament, 1986), courtesy of Yasser Seirawan (Hilversum, the Netherlands).

winants seirawan

seirawan winants

11937. Alekhine

Bernd Schneider (Solingen, Germany) recently auctioned a book which had, as its frontispiece, a photograph of Alekhine that seemed new to us. Is any information available about the picture (absent from our copy of the Dutch edition)?


11938. A complex study (C.N. 1831)

John Roycroft (London) wrote as follows in C.N. 1831 (about a position which he gave in the GBR Code):

‘No. 156 in Tattersall’s A Thousand Endgames (volume one) is attributed without date or source to Troitzky. The position: a1a3 0005.11 a6f6d3.b3c3 4/3=. The solution: 1 Nb4 Nxb4 2 Ne4 c2 3 Nc3 Nd5 (3...c1(Q)+ 4 Nb1+) 4 Ne2 Kxb3 5 Nd4+. The Russians Evgeny Umnov and Nikolai Kralin wish to trace the original source (assuming that Troitzky was the genuine composer) prior to publishing “the complete Troitzky”. We may note that No. 670 in Tattersall is also given as by Troitzky, but it is in fact by F. Lazard if we are to believe No. 979 in Sutherland and Lommer’s 1234 Modern End-Game Studies.’


White to move and draw (?)

Now, we add that the van der Heijden database shows that the study was by Carl Behting, published in 1903 in Shakhmatnoe Obozrenie and the Deutsche Schachzeitung, and that it is cooked by 3...Kxb3.

Courtesy of Sergey Voronkov and Vladislav Novikov (Moscow), below is the relevant part of page 130 of the Russian magazine (April 1903 issue):


The diagram on the left is the oldest composition by Ossip Bernstein in the van der Heijden database.

11939. Simultaneous exhibitions by Staunton and Morphy

What was the largest number of games that either Staunton or Morphy ever played simultaneously (excluding the latter’s blindfold displays)?

This surprisingly difficult question has been mentioned in, for instance, C.N.s 4492 and 11874 (see Howard Staunton) and C.N. 10423 (see Paul Morphy). Citations for numbers as low as three or four will be welcomed, to start the ball rolling.

11940. Spanish website

Luis Méndez (Gijón, Spain) draws attention to his website ‘Comentarios de Ajedrez’.

Our correspondent is the co-author of a book mentioned in C.N. 11383, The Gijón International Chess Tournaments, 1944–1965 (Jefferson, 2019).

11941. Questions about Fischer’s My 60 Memorable Games

Christopher Holmes (Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France) raises a number of points regarding Fischer’s My 60 Memorable Games, originally published in 1969 by Simon & Schuster in the United States and by Faber and Faber in the United Kingdom, followed by two Batsford editions (1995 and 2008). Quite apart from the unclear copyright position concerning those English-language editions, our correspondent wonders how a potential translator or publisher of the book in another language could set about clearing the rights, through Fischer’s estate. Is the identity of the appropriate contact person known?


Our above-mentioned feature article described the 1972 French edition by Parviz M. Abolgassemi as ‘flavourless and inaccurate’, but it is hard to imagine how a perfect new edition of Fischer’s book could be produced in any language. Which English-language version should be the basis for any translation? How, if at all, should errata be incorporated? Has anybody ever produced an exhaustive list of corrections (on the basis of what was published in 1969)? What attention, if any, should be given to the multitude of alleged analytical improvements in My 61 Memorable Games?

11942. Mikhail Tal

Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) provides this portrait of Mikhail Tal, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph archive:


11943. Elaine Saunders

Mr Urcan also offers this addition, from the Keystone archive, to our feature article The Chess Prodigy Elaine Saunders:


11944. Blanco and Lasker

C.N.s 3471 and 3475 (see Chess Cartoons and Caricatures) have shown a caricature of Emanuel Lasker by Rafael Blanco. Now, Yandy Rojas Barrios (Cárdenas, Cuba) supplies a better-quality version, from page 125 of El Fígaro, 4 March 1906:


11945. Charles Thomas Stanley

From John Townsend (Wokingham, England):

‘In the 1840s, Charles Stanley, of the Brighton Chess Club, had problems published in the Illustrated London News, and problems and a game in the Chess Player’s Chronicle. (Details can be found in my book, Historical notes on some chess players, pages 93-94). Some writers have equated him with Charles Henry Stanley, but that is clearly wrong, since references which associate the problemist Charles Stanley with the Brighton Chess Club are after Charles Henry Stanley had emigrated to the United States in 1845.

Who, then, was the problemist? There is strong evidence that he was a close friend of Hugh Alexander Kennedy, a leading light at the Brighton Chess Club. When Kennedy was married on 14 November 1849 to Mary Georgiana Ward, at St. John’s, Hampstead, one of the two witnesses who signed the marriage register was “C.T. Stanley”. I have found only one “C.T. Stanley” who this could reasonably be and that is “C.T. Stanley, Esq., Lindfield” who for a number of years appeared in the list of members printed in Sussex Archaeological Collections, for example, Sussex Archaeological Collections, Vol. II, 1849, page xvi, where, incidentally, “Captain Hugh Kennedy, Brighton” appears on the same page.

Lindfield is a Sussex village which lies about 15 miles to the north of Brighton, so it would have given Stanley reasonable access to the chess club. Peter Edmund Stanley, on page 374 of his book The House of Stanley (1998), notes, as part of his chapter on “The Stanleys of Preston”, that Charles Thomas Stanley (1806-83) lived “for a number of years” at Lindfield, and that is undoubtedly who “C.T. Stanley” was.

Charles Thomas Stanley was the youngest son of James Stanley, the vicar of Ormskirk, Lancashire, and his baptism is recorded in the Ormskirk register on 18 September 1812, noting his date of birth, six years earlier, as 28 September 1806.

He was a cousin of the Earl of Derby and used the same arms, crest and motto. His first wife was Elizabeth Rosamond, the eldest daughter of James Ward, of Surrey.

By 1881 he had moved to Charlton, near Dover, Kent, where he is to be found on the census (National Archives, RG11 1000/117). This shows that he was then receiving income from railway debentures and interest on mortgages; he was with his second wife, Catherine S. Stanley, who had been born at Steyning, Sussex, and three children, Edmund (18), Ernest (13) and Rosa (16), all born at Brompton, Middlesex. This indicates that he had lived at Brompton after Lindfield and before Dover. He had no children by his first wife.

He died at 7 Beaumont Terrace, Dover, on 23 September 1883. A death notice in the Evening Mail of 1 October 1883 (page 8) stated that he was a brother of the late Admiral Edward Stanley. The National Probate Calendar records that probate was granted to his relict, Catherine Stepney Stanley, on 30 October 1883, his personal estate amounting to £2,658 12s. 11d.’

11946. The first Spanish chess champion

Luis Méndez Castedo and Pedro Méndez Castedo (Gijón, Spain) draw our attention to a biography of Manuel Golmayo de la Torriente which they have just published. Sample pages are shown here with the co-authors’ permission:




11947. Lasker and Capablanca in their final years

Johannes Wiegand (Washington DC, USA) asks about possible contact between Lasker and Capablanca in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and the nature of their relationship towards the end of their lives, when both were living in New York.

Currently, we can quote only one account of their having met. On page 120 of the third volume (Berlin, 2022) of the Lasker trilogy Richard Forster wrote:

‘Back in bustling New York, the Laskers had an unusual guest in late summer [1940]: Capablanca turned up. He was, Martha noted, so much more likable than earlier, he was entertaining, and all former jealousy and arrogance had gone. At long last the two old champions were reconciled.’

The source of this information is a Lasker diary (see pages 114-115 of the book, which Richard Forster co-edited with Michael Negele and Raj Tischbierek).

Richard Forster has shown us the full entry by Martha Lasker concerning her husband’s meeting with Capablanca in 1940. About 260 words long, it includes this remark about the Cuban:

‘Früher als er in Havana Em die Weltmeisterwürde im Schach abgenommen hatte (unter Einwirkung der Tropenhitze auf Em) war er mir unausstehlich.’

11948. Early 1920s photograph

alekhine rubinstein

This picture was given by us in a Chess Mysteries article at on 20 November 2007 with this brief information:

The photograph above shows Alekhine at the board with Rubinstein (watched by Tartakower, Bogoljubow and Maróczy). It is taken from Tartakower’s book Die Hypermoderne Schachpartie, published in the mid-1920s, and the credit reads ‘Friedmann, Wien’. Can a better copy of the picture be found?

Now, Philip Jurgens (Ottawa, Canada) asks whether anything further has come to light. Unfortunately not, to our knowledge.

11949. An Alekhine page

Florin Dănănău (Bucharest) supplies the following, page 4 of Ilustrațiunea Română, January 1936:


11950. Tony Miles

Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph archive, Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) provides this shot of Tony Miles:


A stamp on the reverse gives the date 26 February 1976, and it is stated that the picture was taken at Heathrow Airport, as Miles arrived from Dubna.

Chess Notes Archives


Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.