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.
McFarland & Company, Inc. has let itself down badly with Vera Menchik by Robert B. Tanner (Jefferson, 2016).
Far smaller than most of the company’s chess biographies, it is also far sloppier. A 15-minute skim of the General Index revealed about 30 misspellings, most of them obvious (e.g. ‘Folkstone’, ‘Jermey’ Gaige and ‘San Sebastion’). The unimpressive Bibliography includes an entry with errors in authorship, title and date:
Vera Menchik by Robert B. Tanner has been consigned to the bottom of our reading pile.
On successive days, by chance, monographs on Vera Menchik have been received, today’s arrival being Královna šachu Věra Menčíková by Jan Kalendovský (Prague, 2016).
Karel Mokrý’s excellent on-line chess shop has information about the book.
A remark by C.J.S. Purdy on the subject of chess and psychology:
Source: an article entitled ‘Psychology in Chess’ in Chess World, November 1957, pages 230-232.
White to move and mate in two
John Hilbert (Amherst, NY, USA) supplies another victory by Curt over Bixby, from page 136 of the Chess Weekly, 26 September 1908:
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 h4 g4 5 Ng5 h6 6 Nxf7 Kxf7 7 d4 d5 8 Bxf4 dxe4 9 Bc4+ Kg7 10 Be5+ Nf6 11 Nc3 Bb4 12 O-O Nbd7 13 Qxg4+ Kh7
14 Qxe4+ Nxe4 15 Rf7+ Kg6 16 Rg7+ Kh5 17 Bf7+ Kxh4 18 g3+ Nxg3 19 Bxg3+ Kh3 20 Be6 mate.
The Chess Weekly gave no information about the venue or date.
We also have on file from Dr Hilbert three more games between the same players, from the Pittsburg Dispatch, 23 December 1901, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 12 July 1903, page 8, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 27 November 1904, page 12.
Our correspondent adds biographical notes on both players:
Finally, Dr Hilbert has provided, from page 6 of the Brooklyn Standard-Union, 18 June 1902, a particularly entertaining game (occasion not specified) in which Bixby (White) was defeated by C.S. Howell. Black gave the odds of his f-pawn.
1 e4 c5 2 Qh5+ g6 3 Qxc5 Nc6 4 f4 e5 5 Qf2 Nf6 6 Nc3 b6 7 Bc4 Bc5 8 Qh4 Qe7 9 d3 exf4 10 Bxf4 d5 11 Bb5 Bd7 12 Bg5 O-O 13 Nxd5
13...Nxd5 14 Bxe7 Bxe7 15 Qg3 Nf4 16 O-O-O Nd4 17 Bc4+ Kg7 18 Kb1 b5 19 Bb3 a5 20 c3 Nxb3 21 axb3 a4 22 b4 a3 23 Qe3 Be6 24 Rd2 a2+ 25 Ka1 Nd5 26 Qd4+ Bf6 27 e5 Bg5 28 Nf3
28...Be3 29 Qh4 Rxf3 30 gxf3 Bxd2 31 Qf2 Be3 32 Qe2 Bf4 33 Qe4 Ne3 34 Rc1 Rf8 35 Qb7+ Rf7 36 Qxb5 Bb3 37 Qc5 Nd5 38 Re1 Bd2 39 e6 Rxf3 40 e7 Bxe1 41 e8(Q)
41...Bxc3 42 Qg1 Bf6 43 Qd7+ Kh6 44 Qc8 Ne3 45 Qcc1 Bg5 46 h4 Bf4 47 Qh1 Rf2
48 h5 Nc2+ 49 Qxc2 Rxc2 50 hxg6+ Kxg6 51 Qe4+ Kg5 52 Qe7+ Kg4 53 Qg7+ Kf3 54 Qb7+ Kf2 55 Qa7+ Kf1 56 White resigns.
C.N. 2101 (see page 315 of Kings, Commoners and Knaves and Chess Grandmasters) referred to a report on page 28 of the January 1914 Deutsche Schachzeitung that Capablanca had drawn a game against Prince Gedroiz, aged ten, in a simultaneous display in St Petersburg in 1913:
A news report on page 9 of the New York Tribune, 8 January 1914:
As ever, it is painfully difficult to obtain access to Russian sources of the time.
A few chessy words were reproduced from the Cheltenham Examiner on page 207 of the Chess Amateur, April 1908:
White to move and mate in two
One of our feature articles on the Laws of Chess mentioned that the ‘International Chess Code’ was published, inter alia, on pages 207-224 of Chess for Fun & Chess for Blood by Edward Lasker (Philadelphia, 1942). An extract from the provisions on castling (pages 212-213):
The position in C.N. 10194 was presented by Jack Straley Battell on page 33 of the February 1955 Chess Review:
Where did the problem originate?
From John Hilbert (Amherst, NY, USA) comes this report on page 5 of the Reno Evening Gazette, 20 February 1918:
In private e-mail messages, correspondents sometimes mention to us – and it is an increasing trend – their decision to discontinue subscribing to certain chess magazines. Such withdrawal of ‘support’ is often understandable, and we take this opportunity to ask readers to make no assumptions as to which periodicals we still see regularly.
One publication which, at least for now, we continue to acquire is the Quarterly for Chess History edited by Vlastimil Fiala. After a hiatus of nearly five years, issue 17, thicker than ever (634 pages), has just been published.
Indiscriminatingly elephantine, the Quarterly begins with a 90-page article on two years (1907-08) in the early career of F.D. Yates. The first line of the first paragraph misspells the name of the magazine itself, and the lack of a competent proof-reader and proper English-language reviser (problems left unresolved ever since the first issue was published, in 1999) is once again on show:
Another example is a paragraph about Morphy on page 323:
In the second line, ‘the least’ should presumably read ‘the most’, but there is still this to digest:
Linguistic infelicities aside, such claims about the treatment of newly-discovered Morphy games bear no relation to reality.
Pages 524-525 unwisely give, from an 1867 newspaper, a supposed Rousseau v Conti game (see, however, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Chess). In the Quarterly, even the title is mangled:
Pages 548-551 offer seven simultaneous games played by
Samuel Rosenthal in Paris in 1874. Our selection of the
best three, taken from La Stratégie, appeared in
an article on pages 86-92 of the 7/1999 New in Chess
(see A Forgotten Showman).
The Quarterly misprints the source as ‘La
Strategia’ in all seven game-scores.
A final example is the feature ‘Capablanca in Portland, April 1916’ on pages 408-413, which begins, ‘The following unknown games were played by Capablanca in Portland ...’ Four games are presented, but three of them have already been given in C.N.s 9366, 9371 and 9372. The remaining game appears as follows on pages 411-412 of the Quarterly:
Dominique Thimognier (Fondettes, France) has sent us an article on page 163 of the November-December 1950 issue of L’Echiquier de Paris:
There are some evident factual errors but also a number of tantalizing points, such as the reference in the penultimate paragraph to newspaper photographs of the young Prince Alexis Gedroiz in play against Capablanca, Znosko-Borovsky, Lasker and others.
Mr Thimognier also refers back to the ‘cynical’, sourceless annotation attributed to Tartakower, ‘Here Black overlooks that he has the right to resign’ (C.N.s 10171 and 10182).
Our correspondent draws a parallel with a remark given in C.N. 202 (see page 233 of Chess Explorations). That item pointed out that page 27 of the Australasian Chess Review, 30 January 1936 quoted a comment by Tartakower concerning Alekhine’s move 30...Kh8 in the 12th match-game against Euwe in 1935:
Position after 30 Rxc1
We add that a similar annotation was attributed to Tartakower on page 127 of CHESS, 14 December 1935:
Tartakower covered the world championship match for De Telegraaf, and below is his note on page 9 of the 30 October 1935 edition of the Dutch newspaper:
Although the Australasian Chess Review and CHESS both had the adjective ‘excellent’, the usual meaning of ‘geschikte’ is ‘suitable’, and a more literal translation of Tartakower’s remark ‘Hier mist zwart een geschikte gelegenheid om op te geven’ would therefore be ‘Here Black missed a suitable opportunity to resign’. That, though, is far less quotable than ‘Here Black missed excellent resigning chances’. It is difficult to judge how much humour and/or irony Tartakower’s note in Dutch was intended to convey.
From page 5C of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 24 May 1931:
Pages 37 and 121 of Schachgesellschaft Zürich 1809 bis 2009 by Richard Forster (Zurich, 2009) report that the chess column of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung began in 1893 and, except for a break from 1900 to 1908, has continued to appear ever since. Do readers know of any other chess column, whether or not in German, with a longer run?
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) has forwarded a game between Sournin and Adair from page 12 of the Washington Evening Star, 27 December 1902:
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nf6 5 Bg5 Nbd7 6 Nf3 Be7 7 Nxf6+ Nxf6 8 Bd3 a6 9 O-O Nd5 10 Bd2 b6 11 c4 Nf6 12 Bc3 Bb7 13 Ne5 c5 14 Qa4+ Nd7 15 dxc5 b5 16 cxb5 Nxe5 17 Bxe5 Qd5
18 c6 axb5 19 cxb7 bxa4 20 bxa8(Q)+ Qxa8 21 Bxg7 Rg8 22 Bb5+ Kd8 23 Rfd1+ Kc8 24 Rac1+ Kb8 25 Be5+ Ka7 26 Rd7+ Kb6 27 Bc6 Qf8 28 Bd4+ Ka5 29 Ra7+ Kb4 30 Rxa4 mate.
Page 290 of The Fireside Book of Chess by I. Chernev and F. Reinfeld (New York, 1949):
Gerard Killoran (Ilkley, England) notes a 1921 photograph of Norman Whitaker’s offices in Washington, DC.:
This small version is reproduced with the permission of the Shorpy website. The large version shows many occurrences of Whitaker’s name.
A rare old estimate of the number of chessplayers in the United States was made by C.S. Howell in an article entitled ‘The Ingratitude of the Chess Public’ on pages 25-26 of the American Chess World, February 1902:
On page 34 of the same issue an editorial note referred to ‘C.S. Howell’s eloquent arraignment, which, by the way, seems to err by underestimate, as we believe that there are at least ten thousand chessplayers in the United States’.
There was no indication as to how either estimate had been made.
Source: Los Angeles Times, 29 December 1950, part 2, page 1.
Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England) provides this sample from Короли и королевы шахмат by V.D. Baturinsky and A. Muratbekov (Frunze, 1983):
From page 4 (Section Six) of the Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 30 January 1916:
Copyright on Chess Games refers to the demands of the organizers of the London, 1899 tournament. An additional cutting (page 157):
As shown in our feature article on William Winter, there have been contradictory claims as to whether he was born in 1898 or 1899. Now, however, John Townsend (Wokingham, England) writes:
The centre pages:
Concerning The Knight Challenge:
Source: Chess Amateur, July 1912, page 673.
Some gleanings from the article ‘Luck in Chess, the Clock, the Bad Bishop’ by C.J.S. Purdy on pages 189-190 of Chess World, September 1957:
Another remark by Purdy about the term ‘swindle’, from page 22 of Chess World, January 1957, was quoted in C.N. 9749.
C.N. 10159 showed a picture of Koltanowski drawn by Henry Grob and published on page 1 of the 4 December 1936 issue of Schach-Kurier.
Richard Forster (Zurich) notes that it is one of five portraits of chess figures in Henry Grob: der Zeichner und Maler by Henry Grob (Zurich, 1965). The pages in the booklet were unnumbered, and the works were arranged chronologically.
Below is the information about the booklet given on the final page of Die Eröffnungen in der Schachpartie by Henry Grob (Zurich, 1966):
Harry Golombek was in characteristic form in his Times column, Review section, page 9, 6 May 1972:
The work referred to by Golombek was undertaken in the early 1950s. On pages 278-279 of the October 1952 BCM he wrote:
The text was finally passed by FIDE’s Congress in Schaffhausen the following year. Source: page 273 of the British Chess Federation’s Year Book 1953-1954 (Leeds, 1953). Pages 273-293 gave the full text.
Further to C.N. 10198, below is an extract from the section regarding castling, on page 277:
Page 279 stated that ‘a move is completed ...’
On the subject of Harry Golombek and FIDE meetings, we recall the concluding paragraph of his report on the FIDE Congress in Sofia (September 1961) on pages 48-51 of the British Chess Federation’s Year Book 1961-1962 (Warrington, 1961):
A brief Internet search shows an entity which produces
noodles. The Bulgarian
products include this one:
Wanted: nominations concerning lengthy matches devoid of draws.
The best-known case may be Steinitz’s defeat of Anderssen (+8 –6 =0) in London in 1866. Twenty years later, also in London, there was a tied contest between Bird and Burn in which all 18 games were decisive. Detailed coverage can be found in the McFarland monographs on the two players, by Hans Renette and Richard Forster respectively. This chart is on page 200 of the latter work:
From page 96 of Wonders and Curiosities of Chess by Irving Chernev (New York, 1974):
This was number 63 in Alekhine’s second volume of Best Games. The final clock times given on page 55 of Bogoljubow’s book on the match were White: 2 hours 41 minutes; Black: 58 minutes.
A photograph of R.C. Griffith, the co-founder of Modern Chess Openings, was given in C.N. 5608. Below is another one, from page 5 of the Chess Amateur, October 1912:
From pages 41 and 217 of Combination as a Fine Art by Werner Golz and Paul Keres (London, 1976):
In the original German edition, Schönheit der Kombination (East Berlin, 1972), the position and solution were on pages 47 and 224.
C.N. 2111 (see pages 281-283 of Kings, Commoners and Knaves) pointed out that in reality Pérez lost the game and that the position in the Golz/Keres book did not arise. The full score was given from the tournament book:
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 g3 a6 7 Bg2 Bd7 8 O-O Nc6 9 Be3 Be7 10 Qe2 Qc7 11 Rad1 Na5 12 h3 Rc8 (The tournament book had the misprint ‘Rg8’.) 13 f4 Nc4 14 Bc1 b5 15 g4 b4 16 Nb1 h6 17 b3 Nb6 18 g5 hxg5 19 fxg5 Nh5 20 Qf3 f6 21 Qg4 Qc5 22 gxf6 Nxf6 23 Qg6+ Kd8 24 Be3 Qh5 25 Nxe6+ Bxe6 26 Bxb6+ Kd7 27 Qg3 Bxh3 28 e5 Bxg2 29 Qxg2 Rxc2 30 e6+ Kxe6 31 Rde1+ Kf7 32 Rxe7+ Kxe7 33 Qxg7+ Ke6
34 Qxf6+ Kd7 35 Qg7+ Kc6 36 Qc7+ Kd5 37 Qb7+ Rc6 38 Rc1 and White resigned.
The combination in the Golz/Keres book could have arisen if White had played 34 Rxf6+ instead of 34 Qxf6+.
C.N. 2111 mentioned that Keres wrote accurately about the actual version of the game-score in the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, 28 June 1961 (although a white pawn on c2 was missing in the first diagram):
We add now that an Italian translation of Keres’ analysis was published on pages 178-179 of the September 1961 Schweizerische Schachzeitung:
Page 225 of the December 1961 issue published a letter from a reader, Werner Schaer of Regensdorf, with an analytical correction:
In the above position, Schaer faulted Keres’ move 10 Qd2+ on the grounds that, for instance, after 10...Ke4 11 Rf4+ Ke5 12 Qd4+ Ke6 13 Rf6+ ...
... Black has 13...Kd7, and White cannot win.
Footnote: on pages 178-179 of The Joys of Chess (Alkmaar, 2011) Christian Hesse naturally gave no credit when he repackaged C.N. 2111 under his own name.
From Luc Winants (Boirs, Belgium):
The coverage of the display on pages 50-51 of the March 1924 American Chess Bulletin was based on material published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on 8 March 1924, page 12 (report) and 13 March 1924, page 14 (games against Steiner, Perkins, Schleifer, Tholfsen, Cohen and Kevitz). The 8 March 1924 report:
In the Bulletin ‘S. Steimer’ became ‘S. Steiner’, but in view of the reference to the Rice-Progressive Chess Club it should be noted that in 1924 H. Steiner was a member of that Club (see, for instance, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 31 December 1924, page A3). Material in the newspaper is easily checked via the link given in C.N. 8688 (see Chess History Research On-Line).
The best-known games in the 7 March 1924 exhibition were Capablanca’s win against Erling Tholfsen (given in The Unknown Capablanca by Hooper and Brandreth, though misdated 1923) and his short loss (with 1 b4) to Alexander Kevitz (published in Chernev’s 1000 Best Short Games of Chess).
These pages have been provided by Jan Kalendovský (Brno, Czech Republic):
Further to the references to Reshevsky in Chess and Ghostwriting, is anything known about the provenance of Reshevsky Teaches Chess (New York, 1973/74)?
A mundane, impersonal treatise for beginners, it ends by flitting through some of the old usuals:
Our copies of the hardback and paperback editions were inscribed by Reshevsky. The latter volume:
From an article about Walter Browne by Mark Saylor on pages 10-12 of the January 1978 Chess Life & Review:
Wijnand Engelkes (Zeist, the Netherlands) draws attention to a webpage featuring medieval chess pieces.
Wanted: details regarding a game (‘Liverpool, 1934’) in which Mieses was White and there was an unusual stalemate finish:
Source: Finales de ajedrez, volume one, by Ramón Rey Ardid (Saragossa, 1944), page 116.
Mark Taimanov’s memoirs Вспоминая самых-самых ... (St Petersburg, 2003) have yet to be translated into English, but in 2010 a new Russian edition appeared which is one of the most beautiful autobiographical chess works:
C.N. 7680 quoted an early reference to Taimanov (though as ‘16-year-old Mark Makov’) on page 89 of the September-October 1943 American Chess Bulletin. The full page:
Taimanov was also mentioned in an article on page 379 of the December 1943 Chess Review:
From page 127 of Chess to Enjoy by A. Soltis (New York, 1978):
Whatever details about the players and occasion are lacking, perhaps of necessity, did Soltis take the position from a reliable source? The reader is not told even that.
His comment ‘will force White to upgivvet’ is
doubly wrong: the Swedish word is not upgivvet but
uppgivet and, in any case, ‘will force White to ge
upp’ is needed.
The same misspelling upgivvet was on page 57:
Larry Evans blindly availed himself of that material, though without mention of Soltis, in his syndicated column in, for instance, the Reno Evening Gazette, 3 March 1979, page 17. Even the idea of ‘disgust’ in connection with the German term aufgegeben was repeated:
For the full (uncorrected, of course) column, see page 45 of Evans’ book The Chess Beat (Oxford, 1982).
A further set (the penultimate) of portraits forwarded by Michael McDowell (Westcliff-on-sea, England) features Joseph William Abbott, Mrs William James Baird and Percy Francis Blake:
From page 142 of The Bright Side of Chess by Irving Chernev (Philadelphia, 1948):
C.S. Howell’s notes are referred to in our feature article Réti v Alekhine, Baden-Baden, 1925, and below is his full introduction (with the familiar Mah Jong remark), from page 94 of the May-June 1925 American Chess Bulletin:
In this photograph from our collection, readers may recognize two figures, but we have no information about the occasion:
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.