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.
The earliest known occurrences of 1 e4 c6 over the board have already been discussed (see, for instance, C.N. 7017), and the present item focuses on the origins of the name ‘Caro-Kann Defence’.
Max Weiss played 1...c6 four times at Nuremberg, 1883, but the tournament book made no attribution of the move to a particular player or analyst.
On pages 25-26 of the September 1888 Chess Monthly 1...c6 had the following annotation:
The game in question, played in Bradford, was between H.E. Bird and J.H. Blackburne (White) and C. von Bardeleben and M. Weiss. When the score was given on pages 411-412 of the October 1888 BCM there was this note by W.H.K. Pollock:
The same material in the BCM was included on pages 78-79 of the Bradford, 1888 tournament book.
On page 271 of the September 1889 International Chess Magazine Steinitz wrote of 1...c6: ‘The late Herr Kann of Vienna introduced this bizarre move into practice among masters.’ A similar remark concerning the same game (Gunsberg v Bauer, Breslau, 1889) appeared on page 289 of the 15 September 1889 issue of La Stratégie: ‘Ce coup est de l’invention de feu M. Kann de Vienne ...’
On page 87 of the March 1891 International Chess Magazine Steinitz made another comment on the origins of 1...c6:
The reference books are not always reliable. Page 57 of An
illustrated Dictionary of Chess by Edward R. Brace
(London, 1977) claimed that ‘the opening was named after
H. Caro of Berlin and M. Kann of Vienna, both of whom
played it in the 1890s’. Kann died in 1886. (His death was
noted in two and a half lines on page 128 of the April
1886 Deutsche Schachzeitung, with no mention of
1...c6.) The entry on the Caro-Kann Defence in The
Oxford Companion to Chess stated that the
recommendations of both Caro and Kann appeared in Brüderschaft,
in 1886, whereas in reality the games and analysis of Caro
alone were featured in that magazine, with no mention of
Pages 202-204 of Brüderschaft, 30 October 1886 had material by Caro in ‘Zur Theorie der Eröffnungen’. The first half of the article, reproduced below, discussed 1 e4 c6 and used the term ‘Caro’s Eröffnung’ in a game between von Bardeleben and Caro played in Berlin earlier that year.
The same heading for the opening appeared on page 219 of the 20 November 1886 issue of the magazine when the game Münchoff v Caro was published:
And from page 222 of the 27 November 1886 issue:
We take ‘Dr Lasker’ to be Berthold Lasker, Emanuel’s elder brother.
In 1887 and 1888 Brüderschaft published a number of games in which Caro played 1...c6 in reply to 1 e4. The heading was invariably ‘Unregelmässige Eröffnung’ (Irregular Opening):
Pages 354-355 of the 22 October 1887 issue had a further article on 1...c6 by Caro:
And from page 215 of Brüderschaft, 7 July 1888:
‘Caro-Kann’ as a joint title appeared in an article by Curt von Bardeleben on pages 193-195 of the July 1890 Deutsche Schachzeitung:
Nonetheless, even in the early years of the twentieth century the term ‘Caro-Kann’ was not always used. For instance, pages 357-358 of La Stratégie, 23 December 1905 gave a cable game between Davidson and Caro. In reply to 1 e4 Caro played 1...c6, but the game was headed ‘Défense Kann’.
What exactly can be demonstrated about Marcus Kann’s contribution to the Caro-Kann Defence?
Two more photographs of Caro:
Source: page 443 of the Barmen, 1905 tournament book
Source: page 353 of the Jubiläums-Ausgabe (1926) of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten
Chess Personalia by Jeremy Gaige states that Caro died in London on 15 December 1920. Information about his final years is sought.
When the Fédération Internationale des Echecs was founded in 1924 were there 14 signatory countries or 15?
Chess: The History of FIDE reproduced a list of 14 countries from page 201 of the August 1924 issue of La Stratégie:
In contrast, and as noted in Chess in 1924, pages 23-24 of Primera Olimpíada de Ajedrez by M.A. Lachaga (Martínez, 1973) listed 15 signatories: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.
The disrepancy has been mentioned by Alfred Maistriaux (Brussels), who asks for further information (e.g. concerning the absence of Finland from the list in La Stratégie).
We note now an official document which compounds the
confusion. On page 3 of the minutes (procès-verbal)
of the Federation’s second congress (Zurich, 22-26 July
1925) the FIDE President, Alexander Rueb, listed the
original signatories, stating that the total had been 15:
It will be remarked, however, that only 14 countries were named, with Finland among them. Great Britain was omitted, evidently by mistake. (S.J. Holloway and V.L. Wahltuch had been listed on page 1 as Great Britain’s representatives in Zurich.)
It might therefore be tempting to assume that the correct figure for the year 1924 is indeed 15 and that the omission of Finland by La Stratégie was an error. However, page 1 of the procès-verbalstated that before the 1925 Zurich Congress ended two new FIDE members declared themselves, and one of them was Finland:
‘Avant clôture du Congrès ont annoncé leur adhésion:
From our archives comes this photograph of Capablanca
with his daughter Gloria (circa 1941):
From Dominique Thimognier (Fondettes, France):
Thus the players’ names are variously given as Bartolovich, Bartolish, Bartolitsch, Bartolich, Bartolitch and Abkin, Atkin and Atkins.
The earliest version, from Deutsche Schachzeitung, mentions a source (‘St Petersb. Ztg’), but can the relevant issue of that newspaper be traced?
As regards the occasion of the game, the crosstable of a tournament played in St Petersburg, 1902 is on page 187 of volume two of Chess Tournament Crosstables by J. Gaige (Philadelphia, 1971). Abkin and Bartolich were participants, and Abkin lost their individual game. That corresponds to the Deutsche Schachzeitung version, which states that Abkin was White. It is also the only version to have a different configuration for the queen’s-side pawns.
From page 38 of Blunders and Brilliancies by Ian Mullen and Moe Moss (Oxford, 1990):
C.N. 7249 concluded with a question: ‘what exactly can be demonstrated about Marcus Kann’s contribution to the Caro-Kann Defence?’
Per Skjoldager (Fredericia, Denmark) draws attention to the note to 1...c6 on page 321 of the Carlsbad, 1907 tournament book by Marco and Schlechter:
For an English version, by Robert Sherwood, see pages 339-340 of the translation published by Caissa Editions in 2007.
Below is the Mieses v Kann game from page 235 of the Hamburg, 1885 tournament book:
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) observes that Kann’s obituary on page 81 of Österreichische Lesehalle, March 1886 made no mention of any particular contributions to chess theory:
Mr Bauzá Mercére has also forwarded a game (played in the Turnier der Wiener Schach-Gesellschaft) from pages 74-76 of the May 1881 Österreichische Lesehalle:Marcus Kann – Alexander Wittek
Vienna, 2 April 1881
1 Nc3 e5 2 g3 d5 3 e3 Be6 4 d4 exd4 5 Qxd4 Nf6 6 Bd2 Be7 7 h4 Qd7 8 Nf3 c5 9 Qf4 Bd6 10 Qg5 Nc6 11 Qxg7 Ke7 12 e4 Rag8 13 Qh6 Rg6 14 Qe3 d4 15 Qe2 dxc3 16 Bxc3 Nd4 17 Qd3
17...Bc4 18 Qd1 Bxf1 19 Kxf1 Ng4 20 Nxd4 cxd4 21 Qxd4 Qb5+ 22 Qd3 Qxd3+ 23 cxd3 Rd8 24 d4 Rf6 25 f4 Bxf4 26 gxf4 Rxf4+ 27 Ke2 Rxe4+ 28 Kf3 f5 29 Rae1 Nf6 30 Rxe4+ fxe4+ 31 Kf4 Rg8 32 Ke5 Re8 33 Rf1 Kf7+ 34 Kd6 Re6+ 35 Kc7 Re7+ 36 Kb8 Ke6 37 Rf4
37...e3 38 Kxa7 Rc7 39 Rf1 Nd5 40 Kb8 Rg7 41 Re1 Kf5 42 Ba5 Ke4 43 Bd2 Kxd4 44 Rxe3 Rg8+ 45 White resigns.
Our correspondent adds:
A group photograph from the Western Chess Association tournament, Detroit, 1933:
Source: American Chess Bulletin, September-October 1933, page 128.
From Thomas Niessen (Aachen, Germany):
Below is page 163 of the June 1873 Deutsche Schachzeitung (part of an obituary of Jaenisch written by von der Lasa):
Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England) draws attention to a passage on page 58 of Championship Chess by P.W. Sergeant (London, 1938):
(In the first paragraph the chronology is confusing, the Pasadena tournament having taken place in 1932.) As regards the comment about Kashdan, Fine and Flohr at the end of the second paragraph, we add the following from page 477 of the November 1933 BCM:
A correction appeared on page 527 of the December 1933 BCM:
More information about the interview is sought.
Around the same time, Alekhine was interviewed by Kashdan himself, on pages 9-10 of the September 1933 Chess Review (see C.N. 5631). Alekhine was asked about US masters, but no names were mentioned in his reply:
Another interview with Alekhine, by Lucien Zacharoff, was printed on page 7 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 19 May 1929. A copy has been received from John Blackstone (Las Vegas, NV, USA):
From Alekhine’s observations we highlight these:
Richard J. Hervert (Aberdeen, MD, USA) raises the subject of this game on page 128 of the first edition of The Oxford Companion to Chess by D. Hooper and K. Whyld (Oxford, 1984):
After observing that 20 Nce3 should read 20 Nce4 and that White’s 29th move was bxc3, and not Bxc3, our correspondent remarks that according to the crosstable for Lone Pine, 1980 (available in various publications, including page 23 of the August 1980 Chess Life), Quinteros defeated Gheorghiu with the white pieces in that tournament (round two).
The Argentinian’s victory (which began 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e5 4 Nc3 d6 5 e4 Be7 6 Bd3 Nbd7 7 Nge2 h5) is available in databases. So too is the above Gheorghiu v Quinteros game, which, Mr Hervert adds, Gheorghiu annotated on page 68 of Informator 29. The heading was not ‘Lone Pine, 1980’, but merely ‘USA 1980’.
Since it can hardly be doubted that Quinteros defeated Gheorghiu in the 1980 Lone Pine tournament, the main question now concerns the occasion of Gheorghiu’s (‘USA 1980’) victory over Quinteros.
With regard to the Maróczy v Korchnoi ‘spiritualist’ game, C.N. 5417 mentioned the coverage in the Icelandic daily newspaper Tíminn. We are grateful now to Baldur Fjölnisson (Reykjavik) for sending those reports:
Mr Fjölnisson comments:
Writers on Mikhail Botvinnik tend to pass over a significant article which he contributed to International Championship Chess by B. Kažić (London, 1974). Published on pages 244-250, it is entitled ‘Botvinnik on his Meetings with World Champions’ and discusses Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine and Euwe. An observation from page 248:
We should like to know whether Botvinnik’s original text is available, since the English version is sometimes defective. For example, page 247 has the following regarding AVRO, 1938:
A word such as ‘failure’ or ‘disappointment’ seems to be missing after ‘greatest’.
There is an interesting passage on pages 246-247, concerning the period after Hastings, 1934-35:
The description appears to concern the play in connection with Capablanca’s move 19 Rxa7 against Botvinnik in the Moscow, 1935 tournament, with the curious variation featuring 22 Kf1. Below is the relevant part of the tournament book (page 135), with notes by Ilya Rabinovich:
See too pages 92-93 of the English edition of the tournament book (Yorklyn, 1998). Botvinnik’s own notes appeared in the first volume of his Best Games series; for instance, on pages 181-183 of the English edition (Olomouc, 2000).
Three photographs taken during the game come to mind. The first was published opposite page 216 of Homenaje a José Raúl Capablanca (Havana, 1943) and opposite page 16 of Botwinnik lehrt Schach by H. Müller (Berlin-Frohnau, 1967):
Next, there is a shot included in the plate section of Botvinnik’s autobiography K Dostizheniyu Tseli (Moscow, 1978):
A third photograph may be viewed on-line at the RIA Novosti website.
Botvinnik’s autobiography (page 51) mentioned the game, stating that he arrived ten minutes late because he had forgotten his glasses. That passage is on page 42 of the English translation, Achieving the Aim (Oxford, 1981).
Ross Jackson (Raumati South, New Zealand) sends a photograph of Robert Wade holding the New Zealand championship trophy:
A relative of Wade’s provided the picture to our
correspondent. Wade won the New Zealand championship in
1943-44 (Wellington), 1944-45 (Auckland) and 1947-48
(Dunedin). The exact place and date of the photograph are
uncertain, although Wellington is regarded as the probable
Concerning the Abkin v Bartolich ending, Vitaliy Yurchenko (Uhta, Komi, Russian Federation) draws attention to page 153 of Шахматное обозрение, March, April and May 1902:
Mr Yurchenko comments that the same configuration of queen’s-side pawns was given on page 102 of Шахматный журнал, April 1902.
Regarding this group photograph of Moscow, 1935, is it possible to fill in any of the gaps in the caption published on page 191 of the Caissa Editions tournament book mentioned in C.N. 7263?
Concerning these two items in his possession, Ríkharður Sveinsson (Reykjavik) wonders how many signatures it is possible to identify.
From page 36 of Tom Webster’s Annual 1922 (London, 1922):
Knud Lysdal (Grindsted, Denmark) asks whether the second forename of Robert G. Wade is known for certain. He remarks that Jeremy Gaige’s Chess Personalia has Graham, whereas in a ChessBase article dated 30 November 2008 David Levy wrote:
Evidence in support of either name is sought. We note his entry on page 240 of Who’s Who in New Zealand (Wellington, 1951):
With regard to the Wade v Bennett game, on 28 July 1995 we received the following from Robert Wade:
Michael McDowell (Westcliff-on-sea, England) sends a photograph, taken by Steve Mann, of Walter Grimshaw’s gravestone in the Larpool Lane Cemetery, Whitby, England:
A note by Mr Mann:
On 27 December 1890 Grimshaw committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor. Mr McDowell has sent us the lengthy account published on page 5 of the Whitby Times, 2 January 1891.
The photograph referred to in the Whitby Times is reproduced below (the frontispiece to the January 1886 BCM):
A further photograph of Grimshaw was published opposite page 41 of the February 1891 BCM:
As regards the Grimshaw theme (reciprocal interferences between two pieces of unlike motion), Mr McDowell notes that Grimshaw’s famous problem first appeared in the Illustrated London News of 24 August 1850:
Mate in five
Our correspondent adds:
We note the following in the entry on the Grimshaw theme on pages 172-173 of the Dictionnaire des échecs by F. Le Lionnais and E. Maget (Paris, 1967):
Henry E. Kidson wrote about Grimshaw in ‘Some reminiscences of a noted problem composer’ in the Yorkshire Weekly Post, an article which was reproduced on pages 38-39 of Lasker’s Chess Magazine, November-December 1906. Grimshaw and Kidson both appear in a photograph (Redcar, 1866) given in C.N. 5614.
From page 115 of The Golden Treasury of Chess by Francis J. Wellmuth (Philadelphia, 1943):
We can add that the ‘most summary demolishment’ quote was taken from page 81 of The Chess Players’ Compendium by William Cook (Bristol, 1902). Above all, however, it should be noted that Steinitz strenuously denied having lost such a game, describing it as bogus and a fraud. See our new feature article Grimshaw v Steinitz.
Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) has compiled a webpage of team photographs taken during the 1939 Olympiad in Buenos Aires, the source being La Nación of 3 September 1939.
Our correspondent would welcome assistance with gaps in players’ full names:
Simon Spivack (London) has forwarded us his appreciation of R.G. Wade, which includes a reference to the ‘Graham or Grant?’ question and shows two pages of Wade’s passport. We are grateful to Mr Spivack for permission to reproduce those pages here:
From Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) comes this feature concerning ‘Boris Bogoliubov’ from page 9 of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 13 December 1925:
Mr Urcan has also submitted an item on page 3 of the features section of the Dallas Morning News of 27 April 1930:
Bernhard Horwitz (1807-1885) on page 65 of the November 1890 Chess Monthly
Hans Renette (Bierbeek, Belgium) has found an application by Bernhard Horwitz for support from the Royal Literary Fund. The documentation is in the Manuscripts Department of the British Library (St Pancras, London), with the reference number Loan 96 RLF 1/1904. The material consists of Horwitz’s completed application form, an explanatory letter and two letters of support.
On the application form, dated 15 October 1872, Horwitz stated that he was an ‘artist’ by profession, born in 1807 and single. His ‘means of income’ was ‘occasional Chess Contribution, Chess Lessons and Painting’. On the front of the application form the following, dated 13 November 1872, was written: ‘No literary claim.’
Below is Horwitz’s letter of application:
‘3 Francis Street
A detailed article on this hoary subject (and it is, of course, even possible to find the term ‘Horowitz bishops’) was written by Peter Gütler on pages 42-43 of the 2/1999 issue of Kaissiber.
Inscribed copies of our books are still available, and until the end of this month any reader who buys two or more items from our Signed Chess Books page will receive a complimentary copy of volume two of G.H. Diggle’s Chess Characters, also inscribed by us. If four or more items are ordered, a second gift will be the rarely seen 54-page work Fragen der Zeit: Politik, Schach und die Grenzen menschlicher Leistungsfähigkeit by Garry Kasparov (Zurich and Geneva, 1999).
As if such largesse were not enough, for five days only (i.e. until 25 September 2011) signed copies of the 2011 edition of our Capablanca book can be ordered from us for $25, instead of the standard price of $35. Only one copy per reader may be bought at this special rate.
William Hartston (Cambridge, England) sends this report from the Beachcomber column on page 8 of the Daily Express, 15 August 1935:
Mr Hartston, we note, has a new book out very shortly: The Things That Nobody Knows. Its subtitle is 501 Mysteries of Life, the Universe and Everything.
C.N. 3493 referred to the US paperback 1988 Guinness Book of World Records. Its chess coverage (pages 564-565):
Weighing about four times as much, Guinness World Records 2012 has one entry on chess (‘Most games of chess played simultaneously in one location’), with two photographs (page 154).
Elsewhere (page 265) there is an entry on ‘the first Chess Boxing World Championship’, referring to an event in 2003. At least that is relegated to a section headed ‘Sporting Madness’, alongside reports on the Winkle Spitting World Championship, the UK Mobile Throwing Championships and the Mashed Potato Wrestling Championships.
Luc Winants (Boirs, Belgium) notes that 15 countries (including Finland) were listed in an article on pages 56-59 of the Bulletin de la Fédération Belge des Echecs, December 1924. The complete article has been added to Chess: The History of FIDE.
When Mr Winants forwarded the FIDE material mentioned in the previous item he included the cover page of the December 1924 issue of the Bulletin de la Fédération Belge des Echecs:
We are intrigued by the Réti study, which is not included in the standard books and databases. It is, though, similar to a composition (‘Verbessert nach Tijdschrift 1922’) given on page 26 of Richard Réti: Sämtliche Studien (Mährisch-Ostrau, 1931), the sole difference being that the rook is on f2.
Readers are invited to ponder the study in the Belgian magazine, and a future item will revert to this topic.
Seldom is a brilliancy-prize game in a master tournament almost wholly forgotten, but Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) draws attention to this miniature on page 61 of the March 1912 American Chess Bulletin:Hersz/Gersz Rotlewi – Efim Bogoljubow
Old Indian Defence
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Nbd7 4 e3 e5 5 Bd3 g6 6 Nge2 Bg7 7 O-O O-O 8 f4 Qe7 9 f5 Nb6 10 Ng3 Bd7 11 d5 e4 12 Be2 c6 13 a4 cxd5 14 a5 Nxc4 15 Nxd5 Nxd5 16 Qxd5 Nxb2
17 f6 Bxf6 18 Rxf6 Qxf6 19 Nxe4 Qg7 20 Qxd6 Be6 21 Qe7 Qe5 22 Nf6+ Kg7
23 Ng4 Rae8 24 Qxf8+ Kxf8 25 Nxe5 Resigns.
We note that the score was given on pages 104-105 of volume five of Arcymistrzowie, mistrzowie, amatorzy ... by Tadeusz Wolsza (Warsaw, 2007). Mr Bauzá Mercére observes that the crosstable of the Warsaw, 1910 tournament, which Rotlewi won jointly with Rubinstein, is on page 178 of Akiba Rubinstein: Uncrowned King by John Donaldson and Nikolay Minev (Seattle, 1994).
Morten Hansen (Frederiksberg, Denmark) points out another chess-related comic strip, dating from the early 1970s. Its Danish title is ‘Skak’, but the story originally appeared in Spanish, the artist being Esteban Maroto. The English version, ‘Chess’, was first published in issue 41 of the magazine Eerie in 1972.
The plot is summarized by Mr Hansen as follows:
Karel Mokrý (Prostějov, Czech Republic) informs us that he investigated the Moscow, 1935 photograph in the 1980s and drew up the key given below:
Front row: Bohatirchuk, Capablanca, Menchik, Lasker, Krylenko, Flohr, Spielmann, Romanovsky
Second row: Ståhlberg, Weinstein, Riumin, Goglidze, Pirc, Rabinovich, Golz, Subarev, Levenfish
Third row: Botvinnik, Rochlin, Alatortsev, Goldberg, Lisitsin, Kan, Ginsberg, Eremeev, Ragozin, Lilienthal, Barulin, Shif.
Mr Mokrý also mentions an article which he has written on the two variations of the Russian-language tournament book and the subsequent removal of Krylenko’s name and contribution. See under ‘Moscow 1935’ in the ‘Collector’s Corner’ of our correspondent’s webpage.
Further to the item about Bernhard Horwitz’s application for support from the Royal Literary Fund, John Townsend (Wokingham, England) writes:
Hans Renette (Bierbeek, Belgium) provides details of another chess figure who made an application for support from the Royal Literary Fund: G.H.D. Gossip.
Giving his full name as George Hatfeild Dingley Gossip, he stated on his application form that he was a widower with three children. ‘Present means and sources of income: Extremely precarious derived from magazine writing, occasional, though very rare newspaper articles and literary work. No salary, annuity or pension whatsoever.’ His income over the past year had been under £65.
The file contains three letters from Gossip to the Fund, dated 3 and 14 December 1890 and 9 January 1891.
Two extracts from the first letter:
The third letter concerned his chess writings. The underlinings are Gossip’s own.
‘20 Alfred Place
The form indicates that on 14 January 1891 Gossip’s application was refused.
The above is reproduced from a photocopy of a picture in the Moscow, 1936 tournament bulletin (published by 64), 13 June 1936, as well as on page 1 of 64, 16 June 1936. Can a copy of good quality be obtained?
The same question applies to over a dozen pictures featuring Capablanca which appeared in Soviet chess magazines in the 1920s and 30s. See Photographs of Capablanca.
Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) notes an interview with Alekhine by Carlos M. Portela on page 8 of the magazine Caras y Caretas, 4 September 1926:
The accompanying photograph:
Mr Sánchez highlights some points from the article:
From a letter written by Tony Miles (3 May 1991) and included on pages 18-19 of the July 1991 CHESS:
The excised suggestion can be viewed in Cuttings.
This article by G.H. Diggle comes from page 29 of Chess Characters (Geneva, 1984), having originally appeared in the December 1977 Newsflash:
Regarding Michell, see G.H. Diggle’s article in C.N. 5061.
From page 140 of the Westminster Papers, 1 January 1873:
There would seem to be a glaring mistake/impossibility in the game-score, but how is it to be explained?
Below is Wade’s complete entry on page 240 of Who’s Who in New Zealand (Wellington, 1951):
The bibliographical references may seem surprising at
first sight, but page vii of Chess the Hard Way!
by D.A. Yanofsky (London, 1953) acknowledged Wade’s
collaboration. On page v of the eighth edition of Modern
Openings (London, 1952) the Editor, Walter Korn,
related in detail the extent of the contribution by Wade.
The opening paragraph of the chapter on chess in The Compleat Gamester by Charles Cotton (London, 1674), page 51:
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.