When contacting us by e-mail, correspondents are asked to include their name and full postal address and, when providing information, to quote exact book and magazine sources. The word ‘chess’ needs to appear in the subject-line or in the message itself.
Books about Leading Modern Chessplayers now includes 15 volumes on Magnus Carlsen, as well as an entry for Sergey Karjakin which is currently a blank space.
C.N. 5113 remarked concerning Isidor Gunsberg: ‘He is the only world championship challenger on whom no book has been written.’
Gunsberg may also be the only person to write a premature obituary of a player against whom he contested a world title match. Below is a sequence of items in the Pall Mall Gazette, of which Gunsberg was the chess editor:
12 February 1897, page 9
22 February 1897, page 9
24 February 1897, page 9
26 February 1897, page 10
8 March 1897, page 10
15 March 1897, page 9
5 April 1897, page 10.
Brian Karen (Levittown, NY, USA) asks for further information about Fischer’s view of Capablanca’s Hundred Best Games of Chess by Harry Golombek (London, 1947).
C.N. 1928 (see our feature article on the book) alluded to Golombek’s remarks on pages 13-14 of The Games of Robert J. Fischer by Robert G. Wade and Kevin J. O’Connell (London, 1972). Below are his exact words:
C.N. 7987 quoted from pages 54-55 of My Seven Chess Prodigies by John W. Collins (New York, 1974):
Golombek also referred to the radio interview in his column (‘Fighting play of Bobby Fischer’) on page 11 of the Times, Weekend Features, 7 January 1967. After listing some of the American’s recent results, Golombek wrote:
We have consulted Leonard Barden (London), but it is not possible to say whether the recording and/or transcript of his exchanges with Fischer have survived. At present, we can only quote from Mr Barden’s ‘Chess forum’ column in the Listener, 15 October 1964, page 607:
In an enthusiastic review of The Unknown Capablanca by David Hooper and Dale Brandreth (London, 1975) Golombek wrote on page 10 of the Times (Saturday Review), 24 May 1975:
He made a further comment (in the third person) about his 1947 volume on page 354 of The Encyclopedia of Chess (London, 1977):
Information is requested concerning the above picture of H.N. Pillsbury, published on page 240 of the 1977 edition of Golombek’s The Encyclopedia of Chess. On page 360 it was credited to Lothar Schmid. (See too C.N. 7877.)
From page 196 of Chess An Annotated Bibliography 1969-1988 by Andy Lusis (London, 1991):
It is curious that Reshevsky had his name on the title page of three books on the Spassky v Fischer contest. The least familiar of them is Samuel Reshevsky’s In-Depth Analysis of the Fischer/Spassky Chess Match, and, contrary to the information (gleaned from Books in Print) in Lusis’ entry, it too was dated 1972. The title and imprint pages:
(The orange front cover had ‘Prepared exclusively for The New York Times and Bantam Books by Samuel Reshevsky’.)
The content is very similar – and often identical – to that of the well-known 128-page book published in New York and Edinburgh. Reshevsky’s Foreword is substantially different, and, for instance, page 3 of the Quadrangle Books, Inc. volume had the following:
The final paragraph nonetheless stated:
How much of this was penned by Reshevsky is impossible to know, for the reasons set out in Chess and Ghostwriting.
In a letter dated 23 July 1988 we asked Reshevsky about published suggestions that books of his had been ghostwritten, and he replied by postcard on 29 July 1988:
From Harry Golombek’s column in the Times (Saturday Review), 29 October 1977, page 11, in a discussion of My Fifty Years of Chess by F.J. Marshall (New York, 1942):
Golombek’s further remarks about Marshall in that column were quoted in C.N. 5215.
On page 29 of Chess World, February 1960 C.J.S. Purdy wrote:
And from page 73 of the May 1960 issue:
On page 57 of the April 1960 Chess World Purdy criticized Harry Golombek, under the heading ‘Extraordinary Prediction’:
It is unclear to us which particular text or texts by Golombek prompted Purdy’s remarks. Our reading of the game-by-game reports by Golombek from Moscow in the BCM and the Times is that he was even-handed and not remotely a ‘Botvinnik fanatic’.
Chess Review, May 1960, page 136
Black to move
In this position from the sixth match-game between Botvinnik and Tal (Moscow, 26 March 1960) Purdy wrote regarding 21...Nf4:
Source: Chess World, March 1960, page 47.
An observation by Purdy on page 43 of the March 1960 Chess World:
The present sequence of Purdy items ends with a paragraph by him about Réti’s Masters of the Chess Board, on page 20 of Chess World, January 1960:
Following information received from Miquel Artigas (Sabadell, Spain), we have acquired Chamo-me ... Garry Kasparov (Lisbon, 2011), as well as the translations into Spanish and Catalan, Me llamo ... Garri Kasparov (Badalona, 2013) and Em dic ... Garri Kasparov (Badalona, 2013).
Intended for children aged nine and over, the 64-page book was written by Manuel Margarido and illustrated by Manuel Alves. It is part of an extensive series of imaginary autobiographies:
The principal sources for the Kasparov text are loose talk from the Internet (including, on pages 15-16, ‘it is calculated that more than 600 million people throughout the world play chess’) and his own books, which are sometimes no less loose. The section on ‘My books’ refers to the atrocious (our word, and not Margarido’s or Kasparov’s) Child of Change and to the first volume of My Great Predecessors. The latter book, abysmal in terms of history and scholarship, is described on page 47 as merely containing ‘some errors, later corrected’. Would that they had been.
Kasparov’s political/agitatorial activities are covered too, as shown by pages 54-55:
The front and back covers have Kasparov affirming that he was the best chessplayer of all time, whereas the book’s text puts slightly more cautious words in his mouth. From page 44:
Many respectable authorities have called Kasparov the greatest player in the game’s history, but how close has he himself ever come to making such a claim?
From page 2 of the Morning Post, 6 April 1886:
(Remove White’s king’s knight.) 1 e4 b6 2 d4 Bb7 3 Bd3 c5 4 c3 e6 5 O-O Nc6 6 d5 Ne5 7 Bc2 g5 8 f4 gxf4 9 Bxf4 Ng6 10 dxe6 fxe6 11 Bg3 Bg7 12 Nd2 Nf6 13 e5 Nd5 14 Nc4 Qc7 15 Nd6+ Kd8 16 c4 Ne3 17 Qh5 Qc6 18 Be4 Qa4 19 b3 Qb4 20 Be1 Qa3 21 Qg5+ Ne7
22 Qxe7+ Kxe7 23 Bh4+ Bf6 24 Rxf6 Kd8 25 Rf8+ Kc7 26 Nb5 mate.
The newspaper’s notes were reproduced on pages 463-464 of the Chess Player’s Chronicle, 7 April 1886, and a news report on page 457 of the same issue of the magazine stated:
An addition to The 1936 Munich Chess Olympiad is this photograph on page 60 of Deutsche Schachblätter, 1 April 1940:
An autobiographical note by Maróczy was on page 69 of the 1 May 1940 issue:
Page 284 of our book on Capablanca gave his comments on the game which he drew as Black against M. Czerniak in the 1939 International Team Tournament in Buenos Aires, and C.N. 4143 had further information and a photograph.
The moves: 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nd2 d5 [As shown below, in 1943 Czerniak gave 1 d4 d5 2 Nd2 Nf6.] 3 e3 Bg4 4 f3 Bf5 5 c4 c6 6 Qb3 Qc7 7 Ne2 e6 8 Nc3 Bg6 9 e4 dxe4 10 fxe4 e5 11 dxe5 Ng4 12 Be2 Nxe5 13 O-O Nbd7 14 Nd1 Rd8 15 Qh3 Nf6 16 Ne3 Bb4 17 Nf3 Nxe4 18 Nh4 O-O 19 Nef5 Bc5+ 20 Be3 Bxe3+ 21 Qxe3 Nd2 22 Rf4 Rfe8 23 Qc3 f6 24 Rd1 Bxf5 25 Nxf5 Ng6 26 Rd4 Rxd4 27 Qxd4 Rxe2 28 Rxd2 Rxd2 29 Qxd2 h6 30 h3 b6 31 b4 Ne5 32 c5 bxc5 33 bxc5 Qb7 34 Qd8+ Kh7 35 Ne7 Qb1+ 36 Kh2 Qxa2 37 Qc8 Nf3+ 38 Kg3 Nd4 39 Qe8 Ne2+ 40 Kf3 Ng1+ 41 Kg3 [Ne2+ 42 Kf3] Drawn.
Czerniak annotated the game on pages 234-236 of El Ajedrez Americano, September 1943:
A follow-up analytical article was contributed by V. Fernández Coria on pages 340-341 of the December 1943 issue of the Argentinian magazine:
Czerniak also discussed the conclusion in his book El final. Below is what appeared (with a misprinted date) on page 229 of the third edition (Buenos Aires, 1959):
C.N. 2032 (see page 274 of Kings, Commoners and Knaves and Chess Anecdotes) discussed the old story about Capablanca and Znosko-Borovsky writing, or talking about writing, books on each other’s play.
From page 54 of the February 1927 Wiener Schachzeitung:
That was in a spoof issue (4/1927), comprising jokes and parodies. See C.N. 6452 for another example, concerning Alekhine.
Michel Benoit (Champs-sur-Marne, France) has forwarded this postcard (Réti v Nimzowitsch, Marienbad, 1925):
Our correspondent notes the unidentified writer’s reference to ‘Tartakower’ in the top line. For purposes of comparison, below is a better version of the Marienbad, 1925 group photograph on page 8 of the 7 June 1925 Wiener Bilder which was in C.N. 5119, with information added in C.N. 5125:
The tournament book included the above two photographs, as well as these:
Photographs inscribed by one master to another are scarce. Below is the frontispiece of an 1891 book by Andrés Clemente Vázquez:
The photograph was reproduced on page 309 of Joseph Henry Blackburne. A Chess Biography by Tim Harding (Jefferson, 2015), but with the inscription chopped off.
Vázquez’s book shows the difficulties facing writers and bibliographers who seek precision. Surprisingly often, there is a disparity between a volume’s title on a) the front cover or dust-jacket and b) the title page. In such cases, we consider it preferable to use the latter, but the two may be entirely different:
A writer who opts for the front-cover version, the easier solution in this instance, needs to bear in mind that the word contemporáneo takes an acute accent. So, usually, does the name Vázquez, e.g. in other books by him. (Authors, publishers and websites reveal much about themselves by their attention or indifference to accents.)
An oddity is the frequency with which the spelling ‘Vásquez’ or ‘Vasquez’ is seen. For example, ‘Vasquez’ occurs twice in the last paragraph of chapter one of Capablanca’s My Chess Career (London, 1920). ‘Vásquez’ was favoured by Jeremy Gaige, as shown by the entry in his unpublished 1994 edition of Chess Personalia:
However, the above-mentioned material on pages 23 and 256 of Ajedrez en Cuba by Carlos A. Palacio (Havana, 1960) had ‘Vázquez’:
C.N. 7036 gave a picture of Vázquez, and another illustration is shown below:
Finally, from page 35 of his 1891 book:
Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) has found an interview with Lasker on page 3 of the South Wales Daily News, 15 November 1895:
From Achim Engelhart (Illerkirchberg, Germany):
C.N.s 9844 and 9847 both had ‘Sir Thomas’, a common ‘Sir plus surname’ error referred to in Chaos in a Miniature.
‘Sir George A. Thomas’, ‘Sir Thomas’, ‘Sir George Thomas’ and ‘Sir G. Thomas’ all appeared on page 35 of the February 1935 Chess Review:
The autobiographical note was given in C.N. 7088. Another item about Sir George comes from page 133 of the May 1920 BCM:
From page 99 of the April 1920 BCM:
Further information about Lady Thomas was provided in C.N. 5690. Her husband died in 1918, and the National Portrait Gallery, London has a fine photograph of their son.
This photograph comes from page 49 of Famous Chess Players by Peter Morris Lerner (Minneapolis, 1973):
The caption on the previous page stated that the picture was taking during a 20-board simultaneous display in London in 1931. According to page 24 of the Daily Mirror, 7 February 1931, which also printed the photograph, the exhibition took place on 6 February.
Two other photographs from the same newspaper are reproduced below. Can good-quality copies be found?
Daily Mirror, 24 August 1931, page 20
Daily Mirror, 17 April 1935, page 17.
Harvard Library’s HOLLIS+ collection has photographs of A. Rubinstein in Tel Aviv in 1931, during a simultaneous exhibition (one of his opponents being Hayim Nahman Bialik) and a game of living chess.
The site also has hundreds of shots taken during the 1964 Olympiad in Tel Aviv.
Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) points out that the conclusion of the Czerniak v Capablanca game was on page 223 of the first edition of Czerniak’s El final (Buenos Aires, 1941), with the correct date (1939) and a few minor textual differences.
Adam Ponting (Petersham, Australia) notes a ChessBase article dated 5 April 2005 in which one of the questions posed to Kasparov by Mig Greengard and Dylan Loeb McClain, ‘Where would you rank yourself all-time?’, was answered as follows:
From page 178 of Yearbook of Chess Wisdom by Peter Zhdanov (Niepołomice, 2015):
Regarding the second photograph referred to in C.N. 9850, Avital Pilpel (Haifa, Israel) draws attention to two pages on his Jewish Chess History website. They offer information about (1) the venue of the game of living chess between A. Rubinstein and M. Marmosh (the Ha’Poel football ground in Tel Aviv, on 9 May 1931) and (2) Emanuel (Emanueli) Luftglas, who designed the costumes.
See too the ‘Rubinstein in Palestine’ section on pages 368-371 of volume two of The Life & Games of Akiva Rubinstein by John Donaldson and Nikolay Minev (Milford, 2011).
An article entitled ‘Analytical Excursions’ by J.H. Zukertort on pages 4-6 of the City of London Chess Magazine, February 1874 examined the Giuoco Piano. After 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Nf6 Zukertort wrote:
The dust-jacket of Fischer/Spassky: The New York Times Report on the Chess Match of the Century by Richard Roberts, with Harold C. Schonberg, Al Horowitz and Samuel Reshevsky (New York, 1972) had this note on Richard Roberts:
The front cover of The Collier Quick and Easy Guide to Chess (New York, 1962) included the following:
Which are the ‘several books on chess’ edited by him?
Chess literature is awash with claims that Tartakower ‘once’ wrote that nobody ever won a game by resigning, but never once have we found proof.
The matter was raised by Daniel King (London) in C.N. 2356 and discussed in C.N. 3374 (see page 345 of A Chess Omnibus and page 337 of Chess Facts and Fables). The latter item quoted the following from page 121 of Tartakower’s Die Hypermoderne Schachpartie (Vienna, 1924), in a note to Black’s 33rd move in Maróczy v Chajes, Carlsbad, 1923:
We commented in C.N. 3374:
From page 35 of Chess Quotations from the Masters by Henry Hunvald (Mount Vernon, 1972):
The observation was in an unsigned article, ‘The Chess Championship’, on page 17 of the Times, 19 October 1937. The paragraph in question:
The full article, written after six games had been played in the Euwe v Alekhine world title match, was reproduced on page 247 of the November 1937 Chess Review with this comment by Fred Reinfeld:
At the end of the page Reinfeld added:
Wanted: early references to pawn offers being the best or hardest type of chess sacrifice.
An example (‘Pawn sacrifices are the finest sacrifices after all’) comes from A. Becker’s notes to Réti v Tartakower, Hastings, 31 December 1926, on pages 2-4 of the January 1927 Wiener Schachzeitung. 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 d4 d5 3 c4 e6 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bxf6 Bxf6 7 e3 O-O 8 Qb3 dxc4 9 Bxc4 c5 10 dxc5 Nd7 11 Ne4 Nxc5 12 Nxf6+ Qxf6 13 Qc2 b6 14 O-O Bb7 15 Nd4 Rac8 16 Qe2 e5:
Tartakower annotated the full score in the first volume of his Best Games collection and commented that 17...b5 was ‘one more illustration of the paradox of a chess author that “the principal finesses in chess conflicts are furnished by pawn moves”.’ He concluded, ‘This is one of my best games’.
From page 56 of the February 1927 BCM:
Noting a game headed ‘Mr Wallace (Sydney) – Mr Forsyth (Dunedin)’ on page 10 of the Dunedin Evening Star, 10 March 1906, Alan Smith (Stockport, England) seeks information about the occasion and asks whether the players were Albert Edward Noble Wallace and David Forsyth.
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f5 3 d4 fxe4 4 Nxe5 Nf6 5 Be2 d6 6 Ng4 Be7 7 Bf4 O-O 8 Bg3 Nc6 9 Nc3 d5 10 Nb5 Ne8 11 c4 a6 12 cxd5 Bb4+ 13 Nc3 Qxd5 14 Ne3 Qxd4 15 Qb3+ Kh8 16 Rd1 Bxc3+ 17 bxc3 Qf6 18 Nd5 Qf7 19 Qb1 Nd6 20 Nxc7 Nf5 21 O-O Ra7 22 Qxe4 Qxa2 23 Bd3 Qf7 24 Bd6 Nce7 25 g4
25...Qg6 26 Bc5 b6 27 Bxe7 Nxe7 28 Qxg6 Nxg6 29 Bxg6 Rxc7 30 Bf5 Bxf5 31 gxf5 Rxc3 32 Rd6 Rb3 33 Rfd1 Kg8 34 Rd7 Rxf5 35 Rd8+ Rf8 ‘and Black wins’.
Gerd Entrup (Herne, Germany) notes the conclusion of Botvinnik v Taimanov, USSR Championship, Moscow, 1952:
45 Bxh7 g6 46 Bg8 Rd5 47 h5 Rg5+ 48 Kf4 Rxh5 49 Ke4 Rf5 50 f4 Kd6 51 White resigns.
Leonard Barden (London) suggests that the writer of the article discussed in C.N. 9858 may have been Dermot Morrah (1896-1974).
We note that Morrah’s obituary on page 16 of the Times, 1 October 1974 referred not only to his long career with the newspaper as a journalist and leader writer but also to his interest in chess at university.
In the 1920 varsity match mentioned in C.N. 9807 Morrah, a student at New College, Oxford, played on fourth board, losing to C.M. Precious of St John’s, Cambridge. He contributed information about chess in Oxford on page 39 of the February 1920 BCM.
Future C.N. items will dip into some of Dermot Morrah’s chess writings (mainly book reviews), and we begin with a correction to Capablanca’s A Primer of Chess which he offered on page 206 of the Times Literary Supplement, 28 March 1935:
The relevant passages were on pages 8 and 9 of the London, 1935 edition of A Primer of Chess:
The same wording appeared in the first US edition (New York, 1935), but we also have an edition which the American publisher, Harcourt, Brace and Company, brought out in the 1940s, with ‘A wartime book’ on the imprint page. Concerning the bishop, on page 9 ‘it commands just as many squares as the Rook’ was changed to ‘it commands just one square less than the Rook’. That amended wording is also in the various paperback editions of A Primer of Chess published in the United States in the latter part of the twentieth century. Page 5 of the algebraic version produced by Cadogan Chess, London in 1995 had ‘it commands one square less than the rook’.
Zukertort was sometimes called the chess champion of the world, as in this brief news report on page 6 of the Chicago Tribune, 29 December 1883:
That same day, the title of world champion was also used in an extensive interview with Zukertort. From page 8 of the St Louis Daily Globe-Democrat, 29 December 1883:
An observation by Zukertort after 26 Ne6 in the simultaneous game Steinitz v Maas, London, 5 November 1873:
26 Ne6 Qe8 27 Bxc1 Rf7 28 g4 Qa4 29 g5 c2 30 gxf6 cxb1(Q) 31 Nh6+ Kh8 32 Nxf7+ ‘and mates next move’.
Source: City of London Chess Magazine, May 1874, pages 97-98.
When the game Steinitz v von Bardeleben, Hastings, 1895 was shown in a ‘Chess Movies’ article on page 336 of the November 1949 Chess Review, the following comment referred to 19 Ne6:
For the same attribution, see I.A. Horowitz’s books How to Win in the Chess Openings (New York, 1951), page 44, and How to Win at Chess (New York, 1968), page 50, but where did Steinitz make the comment?
From page 212 of the first volume of Kasparov’s Predecessors series, before 16 Ne6 in Lasker v Capablanca, St Petersburg, 1914:
Exclamation marks do not enliven clichés.
An obsolete comment on the Berlin Defence was provided by W.N. Potter in his notes to a Lord v Bird game on pages 144-146 of the City of London Chess Magazine, July 1874. After 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 he wrote:
Another item relevant to this topic is C.N. 9400 (Tartakower on Najdorf v Cortlever, Buenos Aires, 1939).
An addition from Dominique Thimognier (Fondettes, France) is the conclusion of Cukierman v Tartakower, Paris, 1939, annotated by the latter on pages 102-103 of La Stratégie, July 1939:
Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England) reports that his copy of Capablanca’s A Primer of Chess (London, 1935) has this errata sheet attached to page 1:
Our copy of the book has a much shorter list:
Even in the pre-Internet age, some people required only a few words or lines to give themselves away in terms of unfairness and/or inaccuracy. From page 10 of The Collier Quick and Easy Guide to Chess by Richard Roberts (New York, 1962):
That is the full ‘potted biography’ of Staunton. On the same page the entry on Capablanca began:
A careful writer would have avoided ‘and uncle’, ‘23’, ‘cajoled’ and the airy assertion about women.
From page 67 of the American Chess Review, November 1886:
There would be little point seeking the ‘original’ quotation in the Quebec Chronicle because the remark, by H.A. Kennedy, had been published decades earlier, on page 305 of the Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1848:
In an article entitled ‘Hazlitt and Chess’ on pages 372-373 of the Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1855 Kennedy referred back to his observation:
Both texts were in Kennedy’s book Waifs and Strays (London, 1862), on pages 89 and 118 respectively.
Two additions concerning the queen’s rook’s pawn are given below, the first being from page 55 of The Book of Chess by George H. Selkirk (London, 1868):
Tarrasch gave an example on pages 202-203 of Das Schachspiel (Berlin, 1931):
The position was on pages 144-145 of the English edition, The Game of Chess (London, 1935).
The series of portraits by Frederick Orrett (C.N.s 9722, 9725, 9751 and 9811) received from Michael McDowell (Westcliff-on-sea, England) continues with two nameless ones:
Mr McDowell suggests that the masters depicted are Důras and Schlechter.
C.N. 8073 noted that the fake photograph of Alekhine and Capablanca was on page 250 of Alekhine’s My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937 (Russell Enterprises, Inc., Milford, 2013). It had already appeared on page 167 of the same publisher’s José Raúl Capablanca by I. and V. Linder (Milford, 2010), and it has now turned up again on page 159 of the same publisher’s Alexander Alekhine by I. and V. Linder (Milford, 2016):
Our feature article on the picture mentions that it was used too on page 164 of the Linders’ Das Schachgenie Aljechin (Berlin, 1992). It is also in the Russian editions of their Alekhine monograph (Moscow, 1992, page 159, and Moscow, 2006, page 171). Furthermore, it was in their Russian books on Capablanca (Moscow, 2005, page 128, and Moscow, 2011, page 155).
From Elements of Positional Evaluation by Dan Heisman (Coraopolis, 1990), pages 21-22:
From Elements of Positional Evaluation by Dan Heisman (Milford, 2010), page 28:
In each case Heisman provided a sort of source: respectively, ‘Chernev, The Bright Side of Chess, p. 111’ and ‘Chess, Jan. 8, 1955, p. 17’. Both those references were mentioned in C.N. 3514, but they lead nowhere. The latter was merely a sourceless answer to a Christmas quiz.
An addition from page 27 of How Not to Play Chess by E. Znosko-Borovsky (London, 1931):
Page 78 of the 15 February 1885 issue of the Brooklyn Chess Chronicle had a game ‘played last month in Toronto between Mr Phillips, of that city, and Mr Ascher, of Montreal’:
1 e4 e5 2 f4 Bc5 3 Nf3 d6 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 d3 O-O 6 Nc3 Ng4 7 Rf1 Nxh2 8 Rh1 Ng4 9 Qe2 Bf2+ 10 Kf1 Bb6 11 Ng5 h6 12 f5 Nf6 13 Qf3 Nc6 14 Qh3 Na5
15 Nxf7 Rxf7 16 Bxh6 Nxc4 17 Bxg7 Rxg7 18 Qh8+ Kf7 19 Qxd8 Ne3+ 20 Ke2 Rxg2+ 21 Kf3
21...Bxf5 22 Qxf6+ Kxf6 23 Nd5+ Nxd5 24 Kxg2 Ne3+ 25 Kf3 Bg4+ 26 Kg3 Rg8 27 c3 Be2+ 28 Kf2 Rg2+ 29 Ke1 ‘and Black mates in four moves’.
From page 45 of The Adventure of Chess by Edward
Lasker (New York, 1950), in a paragraph concerning the
Although Lasker used the word ‘recently’, the following is on page 239 of the Australasian Chess Review, 10 September 1936:
Even so, corroboration is always welcome.
Source: page 290 of The Fireside Book of Chess by I. Chernev and F. Reinfeld (New York, 1949).
From page 41 of the March 1938 Schweizerische Schachzeitung:
The game (1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nd7 5 Nf3 Ngf6 6 Bg5 Be7 7 Bxf6 gxf6 8 Ng3 c6 9 Be2 Qb6 10 Qd2 c5 11 O-O-O Rg8 12 Rhe1 Nf8 13 Ne4 cxd4 14 Nxd4 f5 15 Nxf5 exf5 16 Nf6+ Qxf6 17 Qd8+ Bxd8 18 Bb5 mate) had been played not ‘last month’ but nearly two years previously. It was published on page 188 of the 15 June 1936 issue of Deutsche Schachblätter:
The game was in the ‘Chess Caviar’ column on page 6 of Chess Review, November 1948 and on pages 275-276 of Chernev’s 1000 Best Short Games of Chess (New York, 1955). In each case it was correctly headed ‘Berlin, 1936’.
Source: Brentano’s Chess Monthly, December 1881, page 380.
That observation by a correspondent, W.D. Rubinstein, was published in C.N. 1121 (March-April 1986). It concerned a review of The Oxford Companion to Chess by D. Hooper and K. Whyld (Oxford, 1984) on page 33 of the December 1985 Chess Life. The reviewer, Larry Parr, devoted well over half his space to complaining that the Companion was pro-Soviet, and in C.N. 1079 we quoted a small sample, such as this:
In C.N. 1143 Ed Tassinari (Scarsdale, NY, USA) commented:
Also in C.N. 1143 we quoted from a Symposium on ‘The Karpov Era’ on pages 26-34 of the March 1986 Chess Life. For example, although Arnold Denker observed regarding Karpov, ‘even his severest critics never questioned his right to reign’, four pages later Charles Pashayan wrote:
And here is Lev Alburt:
He called Kasparov ‘the new FIDE world champion’.
The issue of Chess Life (December 1985) which contained the Companion review also published, on page 9, a letter from Lev Alburt with the following:
Alburt then mentioned ...
Another letter in Chess Life in 1985 (on page 6 of the May issue) was from Reuben Fine. Whilst criticizing the historical circumstances, he at least acknowledged that Karpov had become world champion in 1975 and had retained the title since then. Fine opined that ‘for the USSR chess is only a footnote to politics’ and he proposed that ‘the US Chess Federation should undertake bold and constructive action’:
Despite such contributions to Chess Life, there has been almost universal acceptance that Kasparov became the chess champion of the world in November 1985 when he defeated Karpov in their second match. Seven years later, however, further attempts were made to shunt Kasparov aside, when Fischer played his second match against Spassky. In Instant Fischer, which examined six volumes on that 1992 match, we commented:
It is, though, necessary to bear in mind, and seek further information on, Kasparov’s ‘co-champion’ remark to Fischer, quoted in our above-mentioned feature article from page 282 of No Regrets by Yasser Seirawan and George Stefanovic (Seattle, 1992).
Anybody wishing to argue that Fischer was still the world champion in 1992 should, logically, also assert that he remained so until his death in 2008. That would make him the longest-reigning chess champion in history and would mean that Kramnik, for instance, never held the title at all. In reality, any chronicle which gives Fischer’s dates of tenure as other than ‘1972-75’ is, at best, eccentric.
Everything, of course, goes back to FIDE’s decision to remove the title from Fischer in 1975. Who has written the most detailed, accurate and equitable account?
In one of the best-known novels by Agatha Christie, Ten Little Niggers (London, 1939) – later retitled And Then There Were None and Ten Little Indians – the marooned characters are slow to realize that the name ‘U.N. Owen’ signifies ‘Unknown’.
From page 54 of Hastings 1922/3 Margate 1923 Liverpool 1923 by A.J. Gillam (Nottingham, 1999), in the ‘Other Sections’ part concerning Liverpool:
As so often, Gillam mysteriously omitted to specify the source of the game, and he gave no sign of realizing that the name ‘N.O. Bodey’ was a whimsical pseudonym.
Ten players participated in the Liverpool tournament, and the pseudonym was in quotation marks on page 165 of the May 1923 BCM:
The quotation marks were retained by Jeremy Gaige on page 592 of volume four of Chess Tournament Crosstables (Philadelphia, 1974), which duly gave a reference to the above BCM table. Neither the quotation marks nor the source reference appeared on page 56 of Chess Results, 1921-1930 by Gino Di Felice (Jefferson, 2006).
Of the contemporary newspaper reports that we have seen, none revealed the identity of ‘N.O. Bodey’. The Scotsman of 2 April 1923, page 9, reported that the Major Tournament included ‘a Liverpool amateur who prefers to remain anonymous’. Page 6 of the Daily Telegraph, 6 April 1923 referred to ‘the gentleman who prefers to play under the euphonious pseudonym of N.O. Bodey’.
Page 55 of the Gillam booklet also had a sourceless snippet (moves 22-25) from the game between G. Abrahams and J. Jackson, but the full score of that first-round game can be shown here, from page 8 of the Scotsman, 3 April 1923 and page 9 of the same day’s edition of the Western Daily Press:
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 c3 d5 4 Be2 dxe4 5 Qa4+ Bd7 6 Qxe4 Nc6 7 d4 h6 8 Be3 Qb6 9 Qc2 Rc8 10 Na3 cxd4 11 Nc4 Qc7 12 Nxd4 Na5 13 Nxa5 Qxa5 14 O-O Nf6 15 Rfe1 Bd6 16 h3 b5 17 Qd3 b4 18 c4 Ke7
19 c5 Bb8 20 Bf3 Qc7 21 g3 Rhd8
22 c6 Bxc6 23 Nxc6+ Qxc6 24 Qxd8+ Kxd8 25 Bxc6 Rxc6 26 Rac1 Kd7 27 Red1+ Nd5 28 Rc5 a6 29 Kf1 Bd6 30 Rxc6 Nxe3+ 31 fxe3 Kxc6 32 Kf2 a5 33 b3 Kc7 34 e4 Be5 35 g4 Kc8 36 Ke2 Kc7 37 Kd3 Kb7 38 Kc4 Kc8 39 Kb5 Bc7 40 Kc6 f5 41 gxf5 exf5 42 exf5 Bd8 43 Re1 Kb8 44 Re8 Kc8 45 Rh8 Resigns.
Later in the tournament, the 15-year-old Gerald Abrahams was defeated by W.H. Watts in a game which, though absent from the Gillam booklet, was published on page 234 of the Chess Amateur, May 1923, with notes from the Daily Telegraph. Below is what appeared in the newspaper on page 6 of its 6 April 1923 edition:
1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 e6 3 d3 Nc6 4 g3 Be7 5 Nf3 d5 6 exd5 exd5 7 d4 Nf6 8 dxc5 Bxc5 9 Bg2 O-O 10 O-O Bg4 11 Bg5 d4 12 Ne2 h6 13 Bf4 Re8 14 a3 g5 15 Bc1 Ne5 16 Nxe5 Rxe5 17 Re1 Qe7 18 Kf1 Re8 19 f3 Bd7 20 f4
20...Rxe2 21 Rxe2 Bb5 22 Bf3 g4 23 Ke1
23...gxf3 24 Rxe7 Rxe7+ 25 Kf2 d3+ 26 Be3 Bxe3+ 27 Ke1 d2+ 28 Qxd2 Bxd2+ 29 Kxd2 f2 30 White resigns.
The game had also been published on page 4 of the Yorkshire Post, 5 April 1923, which wrote of Abrahams: ‘He defends a losing game with extraordinary resource.’
As regards the Premier Tournament in Liverpool, won by Mieses ahead of Maróczy, Sir George Thomas and Yates, we add a further score which is absent from the Gillam booklet, the second-round game between A. Louis and F.D. Yates played on the morning of 2 April 1923:
1 c4 Nf6 2 d4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f4 O-O 6 Nf3 Nc6 7 d5 Nb8 8 Bd3 e5 9 fxe5 dxe5 10 Bg5 h6 11 Be3 Qe7 12 O-O Ng4 13 Qe2 Nxe3 14 Qxe3 Nd7 15 Rae1 a6 16 b3 Nf6 17 Kh1 Bd7 18 Nh4 Ng4 19 Qg3 Bf6 20 Nf3 h5 21 h3
21...h4 22 d6 cxd6 23 Nd5 hxg3 24 Nxe7+
24... Kg7 25 Nxg6 Nf2+ 26 Kg1 fxg6 27 Re3 Rac8 28 Be2 Bd8 29 Nxe5 dxe5 30 Rxg3 Bb6 31 Kh2 Nxe4 32 Rd1 Bc6 33 White resigns.
Source: Western Daily Press, 4 April 1923, page 3.
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.