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From Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore):
Hoaxers exploit ignorance, haste, laziness and wishful thinking, which makes the chess world a natural target.
In his review of Fischer’s My 60 Memorable Games on pages 370-371 of the December 1969 BCM W.H. Cozens mentioned as one of the ‘many surprises’:
The brilliancy had appeared on pages 64-67 of the future world champion’s 97-page volume Bobby Fischer’s Games of Chess (New York, 1959 and London, 1960):
From the Introduction, on page xiv
Fischer’s statement on page xiv above that the tournament was ‘held during October and November’ is at variance with other sources, including Jack Spence’s book (Omaha, 1958) on the second and third Rosenwald tournaments. Spence recorded that play in the third event ran from 7 to 24 October 1956. Byrne v Fischer occurred in the eighth round, on 17 October (pages 73-75), and that date appears on two versions of the score-sheet in Fischer’s hand. See, for instance, page 63 of My Seven Chess Prodigies by John W. Collins (New York, 1974) and page 170 of A Picture History of Chess by Fred Wilson (New York, 1981).
As regards Lessing J. Rosenwald (1891-1979), below is a photograph from page 44 of the February 1955 Chess Review:
Page 107 of the April 1955 Chess Review had a small picture of Donald Byrne:
Page 53 of the John W. Collins book mentioned in the previous item reported that one of Fischer’s favourite volumes was Sam Loyd and His Chess Problems by Alain C. White (Leeds, 1913). Below is a feature on pages 456-457:
A run of the Mirror of American Sports chess column can be viewed on-line, in two parts, courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library, and the cuttings concerning Loyd’s ‘Little Footsteps’ problem are shown below with the Library’s permission.
2 January 1886
20 February 1886
In a tournament a well-known player won a game against H.E. Atkins, who complimented him on his youthful verve. The player replied:
Who was the player and where did his game against Atkins take place?
Many people are unaccountably fond of predicting who will win chess matches and tournaments, but a rarer, darker form of prophecy concerns how a player’s life will end. The example that we have in mind is by Joseph Platz (1905-81): his prediction that Bobby Fischer ‘would end his life by suicide or die in an insane asylum’.
In a simultaneous display in 1964 Fischer was defeated by Platz, who annotated the game on pages 4-5 of the Spring 1964 issue of the Connecticut Chess Light. Annoyed that his greatest chess hero, Emanuel Lasker, was omitted from Fischer’s list of the ten greatest masters in an article in the January-February 1964 issue of Chessworld, Platz wrote:
After quoting views on Lasker by Réti, Helms, Alekhine (inaccurately, as pointed out in C.N. 138), Fine, Capablanca, Reinfeld and Einstein, Platz concluded:
When Platz’s article was reprinted on pages 4-5 of the Connecticut Chess Newsletter, Winter 1978-79, the sentence ‘And what qualifies him to write chess history and rank players?’ was omitted. Moreover, Platz added an afterword:
From page 5 of the Connecticut Chess Newsletter, Winter 1978-79
The full article in the Connecticut Chess Newsletter was reproduced on pages 44-45 of Chess Horizons, April-May 1979. It was also given on pages 135-137 of Chess Memoirs by Joseph Platz (Coraopolis, 1979), but ‘he would end his life by suicide or die in an insane asylum’ was replaced by ‘he would die like Paul Morphy’.
Concerning Platz’s claim (page 5 of the Connecticut Chess Newsletter, Winter 1978-79) ‘At that time I predicted ...’, the wording could be taken to refer to either 1964 or 1972. As shown above, Platz’s article in the 1964 Connecticut Chess Light made no predictions of any kind, but merely asked rhetorically whether Fischer would, like Lasker, stay at the top for 50 years.
On page 410 of the July 1972 Chess Life & Review Platz was one of a stream of pundits who dispensed opinions on the Reykjavik match. Predicting a final score of 12½-8½, he commented:
Can further relevant remarks by Platz about Fischer be found?
Acknowledgement: the two Connecticut chess publications have kindly been provided by the Cleveland Public Library.
Vitaliy Yurchenko (Uhta, Komi, Russian Federation) sends this photograph showing Mark Taimanov (seated on the right) from page 256 of the June 1938 issue of Шахматы в СССР:
From Michael Clapham (Ipswich, England):
The photograph on the dust-jacket of the original US edition of My 60 Memorable Games also accompanied a review by Fischer of M. Yudovich’s monograph on the King’s Indian Defence (‘229 pages of nothing’) in the 2/1969 Chess Digest Magazine (pages 33-34):
The conclusion on page 34:
The speaker of these imaginary words was Amos Burn (born on 31 December 1848) after his game against H.E. Atkins in the Craigside tournament in Llandudno on 1 January 1901. (Page 543 of Richard Forster’s monograph on Burn notes that the game-score has not been found.)
There was a small anagrammatic clue with ‘I am so’, and the item was our adaptation of a puzzle (concerning Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, and with no chess connection) on page 47 of Murder at the Chessboard edited by ‘P.T. Houdunitz’ (New York, 2001).
Chess has only a few mentions in the book, whose title is derived from a simple detective story by Stan Smith on pages 116-119 concerning a game of monochromatic chess.
Another of the puzzles interspersed among the short stories has this unhelpful textless solution at the end of the book (page 239):
A remark by Clive James on page 20 of his Introduction to From the Land of Shadows (London, 1982):
Such sentiments could readily be expanded to include today’s communication means, where wasting the reader’s time is an infrequent concern.
Source: CHESS, Easter 1970, page 225.
Is any information available on Alan Tabelin’s planned book on Sir George Thomas, mentioned in the final paragraph?
Hans Renette (Bierbeek, Belgium) notes in holdings of the Jack O’Keefe Project an article by Pillsbury in the Philadelphia Inquirer of 3 September 1905 which discussed Teichmann’s eyesight in connection with the game Teichmann v Leonhardt, Ostend, 16 June 1905.
We add that the column appeared on page 2 of the Comic Section of the Inquirer:
Frits Fritschy (Leiden, the Netherlands) comments that A. Soltis’ attempt (copied by L. Evans) to give the Dutch term relating to resignation was also faulty, since geef het op is the imperative form. Standard Dutch usage is either the past participle opgegeven or Wit geeft het op/Zwart geeft het op.
We add that elsewhere on page 57 of the Soltis book referred to in C.N. 10233 German tenses were muddled: ‘... and Spielmann got a chance to “aufgegeben”.’
From Jan Kalendovský (Brno, Czech Republic) comes this photograph published on page 27 of Atpūta, 8 December 1939:
In a letter on page 441 of CHESS, 20 August 1955 P.N. Wallis of Quorn referred to ‘dull and unenterprising chess which is prevalent in this country’, adding:
On page 454 of the 30 September 1955 issue, R.W. Ives of Leeds responded:
Writing from Belfast, A.S. Russell commented in CHESS, 15 October 1955:
A contribution from C.J.S. Purdy of Sydney was published on page 93 of the 10 December 1955 issue:
W. Heidenfeld of Johannesburg replied on pages 153-154 of
CHESS, 11 February 1956:
Concerning Heidenfeld’s eventual book, Grosse Remispartien (Düsseldorf, 1968), see C.N. 7049. Two paragraphs from the Introduction to the English edition, Draw! (London, 1982), are quoted in Chess Jottings.
The references above to James Mason’s proposal in 1895 concern the extensive correspondence (also involving E.N. Frankenstein and W. Sonneborn) published in the BCM that year and in 1896. However, Mason had made his proposal in a letter (London, 10 December 1892) on pages 40-43 of the January 1893 BCM. On page 42 he wrote:
The final diagram in the presentation of the Immortal Game between Anderssen and Kieseritzky on page 297 of the October 1959 Chess Review:
The literal implication that the adage ‘three pieces are a mate’ pre-dated 1851 can be discarded, but who first made the observation?
On page 28 of The Seven Deadly Chess Sins (London, 2000) J. Rowson described ‘three pieces is a mate’ as ‘Tartakower’s claim’. On page 606 of Chess Life & Review, November 1970 A. Soltis wrote, ‘... as Tartakower said, “three pieces are a mate”.’
Introducing a correspondence game between Krozel and Thompson on page 224 of the July 1955 Chess Review John W. Collins wrote: ‘A short game which further demonstrates that three pieces are a mate.’ An editorial footnote on page 369 of the December 1964 issue stated: ‘As the late Henry Eckstrom would have said: “Three pieces are a mate”.’
Readers are invited to provide information about H.E. Eckstrom, who was mentioned in the previous item.
His name appeared several times in My Seven Chess Prodigies by John W. Collins (New York, 1974), and page 40 recorded that Eckstrom’s was one of the few funerals attended by Fischer:
Eckstrom’s final appearance in the postal ratings published in Chess Review was in 1964. Page 163 of the June 1959 issue referred to him as ‘Henry E. Eckstrom of Brooklyn’, and the following year (January 1960, page 3) the magazine quoted a remark by ‘that wily kibitzer Harry Eckstrom.’
C.N. 7354 asked whether it was possible to show a higher-resolution copy of a photograph found by a correspondent on page 221 of The Sketch, 21 August 1895. It can now be provided:
John Townsend (Wokingham, England) writes:
From John Donaldson (Berkeley, CA, USA):
This interview with C. von Bardeleben on page 129 of The Sketch, 14 August 1895 was published three days before his loss to Steinitz in the Hastings tournament:
How an anecdotarian may milk an ‘episode’:
The writer was Walter Korn, on page 18 of Chess Review, January 1959. J. du Mont’s forename was Julius, not James. Variants on later writers’ spelling of his surname were shown in C.N. 8827, but we recall no book of du Mont’s which had ‘Dumont’ on the title page. There was, though, ‘Du Mont’ in The Basis of Combination in Chess (London, 1938):
The dust-jacket had the correct spelling du Mont, e.g. in the praise from Tartakower quoted in C.N. 4441:
A book inscribed by du Mont was shown in C.N. 5397, and another one in our collection is 200 Miniature Games of Chess (London, 1941):
In that copy is a letter written by du Mont on 5 February 1942:
Thomas Niessen (Aachen, Germany) notes Kurt Richter’s treatment of the Pérez v Najdorf position on pages 312-313 of the 20/1961 issue of Schach (the second October issue):
The solution was given on page 327 of issue 21/1961 of the German magazine (the first November issue):
Our correspondent mentions that the texts are almost identical to what appeared on pages 47 and 224 of Schönheit der Kombination (East Berlin, 1972). In the diagram caption both sources had the spelling ‘Terremolinos’.
An addition to Chess and Bridge from The Sketch, 3 February 1932, page 195:
When FIDE Golden book 1924-2002 by Willy Iclicki was discussed in C.N. 3157 (see pages 117-118 of Chess Facts and Fables and Chess Awards) we made frequent use of ‘sic’ in view of the many typos: ‘H.E. Francis [sic] Chiluba, President of the Repulic [sic] of Zambia’; ‘Ernesto Che Guevarra [sic]. Post Humous [sic] Award, Cuba’; ‘Commender [sic] of the Legion of Grandmasters’; ‘Grand Commender [sic] of the Legion of Grandmasters’; ‘H.E. Aslan Abashidze, Chairman Supreme Council of Adjarian Rupublic [sic] of Georgia’; ‘Lenox [sic] Lewis, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, England’; ‘Pierre Sisman [sic], President of Disney Consumer Product [sic] S.A., France’.
An updated edition of the Golden book (covering 1924 to 2016) has just been produced by Mr Iclicki. On pages 22-23 all the above errors remain.
The sole good news is that no new names have been added
to any of the lists of ‘Special Awardees’, the categories
being ‘Grand Commender of the Legion of Grandmasters’,
‘Commender of the Legion of Grandmasters’, ‘Grand Knight
of FIDE’, ‘Knight of FIDE’ and ‘Most Esteemed Friends of
Ross Jackson (Raumati South, New Zealand) reports that he recently acquired a number of photographs from a Hungarian dealer:
On the first photograph (a postcard signed by Breyer) we have indicated Breyer and Réti. A full caption appeared in volume three of Magyar Sakktörténet by G. Barcza and A. Földeák and in Kis Magyar Sakktörténet by I. Bottlik (published in 1989 and 2004 respectively). Assistance with identifying individuals in the final two pictures will be appreciated. In the last one, Breyer appears to be standing third from the left, Maróczy being seated in the centre.
Another example of the dictum (C.N. 9452) ‘Copying usually goes hand-in-hand with incompetence’ comes from a new Czech edition of Alekhine’s book about his road to the world championship, Na cestě k nejvyšším šachovým cílům, published by Galerie Dolmen (‘Antonín Čížek, 2016’). Images of ours have been used without permission, whereas page 248 has the fake Alekhine-Capablanca photograph.
A fragment to which reference will be made in the 29...Bxh2 section of the feature article Spassky v Fischer, Reykjavik, 1972 concerns the position after 27...Bb5-c4 in the 30th match-game (also described as the fifth exhibition game) between Alekhine and Euwe, Rotterdam, 16 December 1937:
Alekhine now played 28 Bxh7. Below is the remainder of the game as annotated by Euwe on pages 200-201 of Alekhine’s match book:
The annotations by Alekhine on page 104 of his book ¡Legado! (Madrid, 1946):
Finally, Alekhine’s remarks about the five exhibition games, from page 183 of his match book:
From page 136 of The World’s a Chessboard by Reuben Fine (Philadelphia, 1948):
Next, a line from a column by Robert Byrne in the New York Times, 8 October 2000:
On page 171 of Impact of Genius (Seattle, 1992) R.E. Fauber indicated that Spielmann’s article was written in 1926.
Many writers have referred to the article without any sign of having read it, and the date of its appearance is not altogether straightforward. If, as sources state, it was published in the July-September 1924 issue Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten, how could Réti have mentioned it at the start of an article on pages 317-320 of the December 1923 Wiener Schachzeitung?
The answer is that the publication schedule of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten was even more erratic than usual, and the July-September 1924 issue comprised games and articles from 1923. Spielmann’s ‘Vom Krankenlager des Königsgambits’ appeared on pages 21-36. The first page and the conclusion are shown below, and it will be seen that the article was dated 1 October 1923.
Under the title ‘New Light on the “Falkbeer”’, P.W. Sergeant discussed Spielmann’s ‘From the Sickbed of the King’s Gambit’ article on pages 433-434 of the December 1923 BCM. The magazine had two follow-up articles (January 1924, pages 1-2, and February 1924, page 59).
The theme was also taken up in a spoof article ‘Spielmann 46 Jahre alt!!’ on pages 35-37 of the February 1929 Wiener Schachzeitung:
A related matter is the term, ostensibly coined by Tartakower, ‘The Last Knight of the King’s Gambit’ to describe Spielmann. As shown below, the nickname appeared in J. du Mont’s obituary of Spielmann on page 10 of the January 1943 BCM, but how far back can it be traced?
The heading in the King’s Gambit section on page 212 of Tartakower’s Die hypermoderne Schachpartie (Vienna, 1924) had ‘Spielmann ist Ehrenritter des Königsgambitordens’ (‘Spielmann is an honorary knight of the King’s Gambit Order’):
The introduction to a game on page 296 of book one of 500 Master Games of Chess by Tartakower and du Mont (London, 1952) referred to ‘the Knight of the King’s Gambit’:
The word ‘last’ is absent.
This leads to the question of whether it is really a coincidence that Réti wrote similarly, but with the word ‘last’, in the section on Spielmann on page 236 of Die Meister des Schachbretts (Mährisch-Ostrau, 1930):
In the English edition, Masters of the Chess Board (London, 1933), the translation (page 127) was:
Regarding ‘The Last Knight of the King’s Gambit’, two tentative conclusions thus seem possible: either Tartakower used that full term in a text which has yet to be traced or the description resulted from a mistake (by du Mont or by an earlier writer) which combined remarks on Spielmann by Tartakower and Réti.
In any case, ‘The Last Knight’ became attached to Spielmann’s name. It was, for example, the title of a chapter about him on pages 60-64 of Strövtåg i schackvärlden by G. Ståhlberg (Skara, 1965):
As is well known, in the late 1920s Spielmann began opening with 1 d4 far more often than previously. From page 85 of Chess Strategy and Tactics by F. Reinfeld and I. Chernev (New York, 1933):
The game was Réti’s victory in 31 moves at Trenčianske Teplice, 1928.
In conclusion, though, the following may be noted from page 80 of Modern Master-Play by F.D. Yates and W. Winter (London, 1929), in the section on Spielmann:
Anyone who searches on the Internet for that exact wording (attributed to Richard Réti) will find innumerable occurrences, but what Réti wrote was the opposite – ‘excludes’ and not ‘includes’:
Page 104 of Modern Ideas in Chess (London, 1923):
The German original on page 56 of Réti’s book, Die neuen Ideen im Schachspiel (Vienna, 1922):
When will it be realized that checking sources is indispensable?
A ‘Royal Walkabout’ game submitted by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA):
Eldorous Lyons Dayton – A.G. Pearsall
1 e4 e5 2 d4 exd4 3 c3 dxc3 4 Nxc3 Bc5 5 Bc4 d6 6 Qb3 Nc6 7 Bxf7+ Kf8 8 Bxg8 Rxg8 9 Nd5 Nd4 10 Qd3 Bd7 11 b4 Ba4 12 bxc5 Nc2+ 13 Kf1 Nxa1 14 Qf3+ Ke8 15 Qh5+ Kd7 16 Qf5+ Kc6 17 Nb4+ Kb5
18 c6+ Kxb4 19 Bd2+ Ka3 20 Qa5 b5 21 Qb4+ Kxa2 22 Bc1 Qf6 23 Ne2 Nb3 24 f4 Nxc1 25 Nxc1+ Ka1 26 Qa3+ Kb1 27 Qa2+ Kxc1
28 Ke2+ Resigns.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 February 1950, page 22. Isaac Ash’s column stated that the game was ‘played in a recent mail contest’.
An example of Eldorous Dayton’s chess writing is taken from page 193 of CHESS, 14 February 1938:
Facts about the exhibition by Lasker (Marshall Chess Club, New York, 9 January 1938) were reported on page 16 of the January-February 1938 American Chess Bulletin:
Is it possible to find a better copy of the photograph,
with a full caption?
A tournament held in Nice earlier that year was won by Reilly, and a group photograph, which also included Duchamp, Mieses, Noteboom and Znosko-Borovsky, was published on page 201 of the May 1931 BCM. A clearer copy is on page 117 of the March 1981 issue.
From the ‘Problem Pages’ column by P.H. Williams on page 11 of the Chess Amateur, October 1919:
The poster for the film may be viewed on-line.
From Hans Renette (Bierbeek, Belgium):
Albany Evening News, 24 May 1889, page 8
Albany Evening News, 25 May 1889, page 8
Albany Evening News, 25 May 1889, page 8.
White can play 17 Qf3.
We offer a solution to the long-standing mystery of how the ‘Pittsburg(h) Trap/Variation’ obtained its name(s).
Modern Chess Openings by R.C. Griffith and J.H. White (London, 1913), page 92. (See too many other editions.)
Dictionnaire des échecs by F. Le Lionnais and E. Maget (Paris, 1967), page 301
The matter was often referred to by Irving Chernev, e.g. on the inside front cover of the October 1951 issue of Chess Review:
Chernev had written similarly in his ‘Winning Traps’ column on page 19 of the October 1944 Chess Review:
See too pages 52-53 of Chess in an Hour by F.J. Marshall and I. Chernev (New York, 1968), where Chernev wrote in his additions:
In a note to Capablanca v Teichmann, Berlin, 1913 on page 57 of Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings (Oxford, 1978) Chernev wrote: ‘the Pittsburgh Trap is subtle, effective and painless – the victim scarcely realizing he is in it until it is too late.’ Without mentioning any names, Chernev gave a similar line on page 221 of Winning Chess Traps (New York, 1946): ‘Black has fallen into one of the most subtle and beautiful traps ever seen on a chessboard’.
Pre-Chernev books which noted the line, without any reference to Pillsbury or Pittsburg(h), included the works on traps by E.A. Greig and E.A. Znosko-Borovsky.
For further background information on Pillsbury’s games
against Lee and Newman, as well as references to
‘Pillsbury’s Mate’, see C.N. 5772. It will be noted that
in the 1951 Chess Review article shown above
Chernev was wrong to state that Pillsbury v Newman was
played ‘about a month before’ Pillsbury v Lee. It was
played the following year. The London, 1899 tournament
book (pages 157-158) missed the possibility of 16 Qf3 in
Pillsbury v Lee.
The game against Newman was published on page 299 of La Stratégie, 15 October 1900, with 17 Qf3 mentioned in a note:
Six years later the move 17 Qf3 was given in annotations to the game Schlechter v Przepiórka, Nuremberg, 1906, on pages 235-236 of the August 1906 Deutsche Schachzeitung (of which Schlechter was the co-editor):
Annotating the game on pages 333-334 of La Stratégie, 19 November 1906, Janowsky referred to Schlechter’s annotations and stated, regarding 17 Qf3:
When the Schlechter v Przepiórka game was published on page 188 of The Year-Book of Chess, 1907 by E.A. Michell (London, 1907) use was made of Janowsky’s annotations:
Thus the term written by Schlechter (‘Pillsburys berühmte Variante’) which was quoted by Janowsky (‘la célèbre variante de Pillsbury’) became, in the Year-Book, ‘the celebrated Pittsburg variation’.
Janowsky’s notes had also been mentioned on page 185 of the Year-Book (in connection with Marshall v Spielmann, Nuremberg, 1906); the Schlechter v Sjöberg game was on pages 47-48.
The Pillsbury/Pittsburg mix-up was repeated when Salwe v Marco, Ostend, 1907 was published on pages 174-177 of Michell’s The Year-Book of Chess, 1908 (London, 1908). The introductory note:
A third occurrence of ‘Pittsburg Variation’ (this time, ‘the entire Janowsky variation of the Pittsburg Variation’) came in a report on Scarborough, 1909 on page 142 of The Year-Book of Chess, 1910 (London, 1910), also edited by E.A. Michell:
Following the confusion between Pillsbury and Pittsburg, confusion between Pittsburg and Pittsburgh was inevitable, and both spellings became common. For example, the 1918 BCM volume had ‘Pittsburg variation’ (January, page 21) and ‘Pittsburgh variation’ (August, page 240). Use of a place name was not queried, and ‘The Pittsburg variation’ even appeared (referring to 8 Bb5) when Pillsbury v Newman was published on page 204 of Pillsbury’s Chess Career by P.W. Sergeant and W.H. Watts (London, 1923).
C.N. 6360 showed two images from My Way with Polio by Owen Dixson (London, 1963). Below, from opposite page 30, is the third one:
From one of our inscribed copies of the book:
Max Julius Meyer
Lilian Edith Strong (née Baird)
That concludes the extensive set of portraits by Frederick Orrett kindly supplied by Michael McDowell (Westcliff-on-sea, England).
White to move
Page 173 of The Bright Side of Chess by Irving Chernev (Philadelphia, 1948):
Chernev was certainly a leading popularizer of endgame compositions, and particularly with his 1943 book Chessboard Magic!
Chess Review, January 1944, inside front cover
In the Preface (pages ix-x) Chernev related Emanuel Lasker’s enthusiasm for studies:
A few of the compositions in Chessboard Magic! were faulty, such as this one:
In the ‘Ask the Masters’ feature on page 284 of the May 1979 Chess Life & Review a reader, James Joyce of Missouri, wrote:
Pal Benko responded:
We add that the unsoundness of this study by Evgeny Nikolaevich Somov-Nasimovich (1910-42) had already been demonstrated (with Na8 on move two) by G. Karoly of Melbourne on page 70 of Chess World, 1 March 1950:
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.