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.
Wanted: information about this composition, ascribed to Napoleon on page 11 of the St Louis Daily Globe-Democrat, 29 October 1887:
The (simple) solution was published on page 11 of the 19 November 1887 edition.
From page 128 of the Reuters book mentioned in C.N. 11451, Frontlines: Snapshots of History (Harlow, 2001):
On page 130 Anthony Grey reported that his pet Ming Ming was ‘hanged on a rope from the balcony’ and that ‘then they stabbed the cat’s lifeless body with a pair of scissors and daubed her blood on the bed-sheets in my newly improvised “prison-cell” ...’
With the permission of the Anthony Grey Archive at the University of East Anglia, the original of his photograph is reproduced below:
This picture has been submitted by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA), and the player will be discussed in the next C.N. item:
The player shown in the previous C.N. item is – as noted by Michael Alderson (Derby, England) – Anatoly Ufimtsev. The photograph was published on page 9 of Shakhmaty na Spartakiade, 11 August 1967.
Ufimtsev was mentioned in C.N. 8385, and below is an early instance of his name being associated with (i.e. coming immediately after) that of Pirc:
The relevant passage, on pages 70-71, of the 1954 Kotov/Yudovich book mentioned by Korn:
We add the broadly similar English version, from pages 81-82 of The Soviet School of Chess (Moscow, 1958 and New York, 1961):
A comment by Wolfgang Heidenfeld in a review of Lehrbuch der Schachtheorie by A. Suetin (East Berlin, 1973) on pages 511-512 of the December 1973 BCM:
Among the examples given by Heidenfeld:
His concluding paragraph:
Unusually, the review was followed by a note by the BCM Editor (Brian Reilly):
Michael Lorenz (Vienna) has found in the Wienbibliothek (shelfmark I.N. 53934) a letter dated 28 June 1875 from Falkbeer to the writer Friedrich Schlögl. It states that owing to the latter’s absence on travel, Falkbeer had been unsuccessful in contacting him.
Our correspondent has provided this transcript:
In a blitz game on 6 September 2019 Magnus Carlsen played 3...g5 in the Ruy López, and Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) asks whether we can offer a few historical jottings on the move.
It is commonly known as Brentano’s Defence, in view of a series of articles in the Wiener Schachzeitung by Franz Brentano under the title ‘Neue Vertheidigung der spanischen Partie’: April-May 1900, pages 97-104; February 1901, pages 38-45; January 1903, pages 7-14. Those articles can be viewed online, via the link to the magazine given in C.N. 7728.
Analytical responses were published by E. Schallopp (Der Schachfreund, May 1900, pages 21-23) and by J. Berger (Deutsche Schachzeitung, June 1900, pages 165-168).
Annotating the game H.A. Foxwell v W.S. Branch (‘Played recently in the Cup Tourney of the Cheltenham Club’) on page 76 of the February 1901 BCM, C.E. Ranken wrote of 3...g5:
The most prominent early game beginning 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g5 occurred in a short match between Teichmann and Schlechter in Vienna. From page 44 of the February 1904 Deutsche Schachzeitung:
Below is a note about 3...g5 on page 429 of the Handbuch des Schachspiels (Berlin and Leipzig, 1922):
There was discussion of the opening in the BCM in 1922, April (pages 126-128) and May (pages 183-184), in an article on the Ruy López by W.J. Allnutt. His final paragraph:
In a letter on pages 226-227 of the June 1922 issue, C.S. Howell (Madrid) wrote unfavourably about the opening, as did Thomas Kelly (Cheetham) on pages 227-228. Writing from Rio de Janeiro on pages 347-348 of the September 1922 BCM, W.J. Allnutt set out his disagreement with Howell’s comments.
Page 152 of CHESS, March 1949 had an article by H.G. (not ‘S.G.’) Schenk entitled ‘The Brentano Defence in the Ruy López (3...P-KKt4) put to the test’. The opening paragraph:
The two game-scores given were E.G. Sergeant v H.G. Schenk, Hastings, 30 December 1948, and D.M. Horne v H.G. Schenk, Hastings, 5 January 1949. The article ended with this remark:
In a letter on page 193 of the May 1949 CHESS W.J. Lush (Plumstead) asked for clarification about the exact purpose of 3...g5, and Schenk replied on page 217 of the July/August/September 1949 issue:
This photograph of General Mohammed Naguib of Egypt (1901-84) was published on page 85 of CHESS, February 1953.
Inevitably, it was referred to in the March 1953 issue (page 110).
It is tempting to propose, as additions to Unusual Chess Words, such neologisms as boardista, boardite and boardomaniac – and there may be better ones – to describe those individuals who rush to point out any picture featuring a wrongly-placed chessboard yet never express concern about obvious blunders in chess writing.
David DeLucia (Darien, CT, USA) informs us that Dale Brandreth died on 9 September 2019.
Dr Brandreth’s reputation as a chess writer, historian, bibliophile, publisher and book-dealer was exceptionally high, and we had countless personal occasions to appreciate his knowledge, judgement, friendliness and integrity.
From page 529 of the Illustrated London News, 30 May 1857:
This remark by Staunton was quoted in C.N. 91 (see page 233 of Chess Explorations). The final sentence is particularly relevant, mutatis mutandis, in the Internet era.
The 2020 edition of Guinness World Records, just published, has four chess entries:
This addition to Chess and British Royalty comes from page 52 of the New York Sun, 10 June 1939:
Acknowledgement: Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA). The text later appeared on page 64 of the American Chess Bulletin, May-June 1939.
Avital Pilpel (Haifa, Israel) writes:
Black to move
This position was discussed briefly by Staunton when he published a consultation game against Löwenthal in the Illustrated London News column referred to in C.N. 11473 (30 May 1857, page 529):
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 c3 d5 4 Qa4 Qd6 5 exd5 Qxd5 6 Bc4 Qd6 7 O-O Bd7 8 Qb3 Nh6 9 Na3 Qf6 10 Bd5 Na5 11 Qc2 Bxa3 12 bxa3 Qd6 13 Re1 f6 14 Bb3 Bc6 15 Nd4 Nxb3 16 Qxb3 Bd5 17 Nb5 Bxb3 18 Nxd6+ cxd6 19 axb3 Nf5 20 d4 Rc8 21 dxe5 dxe5 22 f4 O-O 23 fxe5 Rxc3 24 exf6 Rc2 25 fxg7 Rf7 26 Re4 Rxg7 27 g3 h5 28 Rf4.
Regarding early appearances of the term grandmaster, John Townsend (Wokingham, England) notes ‘ce grand maître’ with reference to Philidor on page 5 of the Philadelphia, 1821 edition of Analyse du jeu des échecs:
Commenting that ‘grand maître’ is a less distinctive term than ‘grandmaster’, since the French adjective may be translated as either ‘grand’ or ‘great’, our correspondent adds that volume 1 of Le Palamède (Paris, 1836) had the following on pages 318-319:
Wanted: information about any chess books which have been pulped.
C.N. 8045 referred to an article ‘Close to the Grandmasters’ on pages 142-143 of the April 1968 Chess Life which comprised a translation of interviews by Yuri Zarubin with Tal, Gheorghiu, Euwe, Pachman and Najdorf. Two extracts:
Michael Kühl (Berlin) provides the original article, from page 5 of Izvestia, 29 November 1967:
This feature about chess in Leukerbad appeared in CHESS, though giving a precise source is not straightforward. The page was erroneously numbered 399 instead of 11. All of the issue’s pages were headed 30 September 1963, but the magazine cover stated October 1963, while the masthead on page 1 gave 7 October 1963 as the date of issue.
A Vienna University webpage on Franz Brentano is pointed out by Michael Lorenz (Vienna).
Michael Lorenz also reports that in August 2019 he tidied the gravestone of Adolf Zinkl in the Zentralfriedhof Wien and took this photograph:
Our correspondent furthermore provides the fourth paragraph of the will of Zinkl’s widow, Rosina (1865-1945), written on 29 August 1944:
The request that the headstone be replaced with one made of black marble or black granite, to be bought by her nephew Senatsrat Dr Ferdinand Raith from his share of the inheritance, was not complied with, for unknown reasons.
Gerd Entrup (Herne, Germany) notes that Euwe’s (famous) loss to Kotov was not in 1953, as reported in the interview, but in 1946, in the Groningen tournament.
White to move
Leaving his queen en prise, White threatened mate with 26 Rd7. The possible rejoinder 26...Nxg5 has received much attention, but the present item focuses on the issue of due attribution of analysis rather than the analysis itself.
The position arose in Morphy’s well-known victory over T. Lichtenhein in the 1857 New York tournament. Working backwards, we begin with page 48 of the 1994 book Magic Morphy by C. Abravanel and P. Clère, which attributed the critical line, beginning 26...Nxg5 27 Rxg5 Qf6, to P.W. Sergeant:
Another example comes from pages 8-9 of the 1922 edition of Half-Hours with Morphy by E.E. Cunnington:
From page 47 of Sergeant’s 1916 monograph on Morphy:
However, when that line was given by Reinfeld on page 13 of the January 1955 Chess Review it was credited to Maróczy:
See also pages 59-60 of the 1974 Reinfeld/Soltis book Morphy Chess Masterpieces, which stated that 26 Rd7 (‘!’) ‘loses against inspired defense’ but that Lichtenhein missed ‘the beautiful defense pointed out by Maróczy, the great Hungarian player and analyst’.
Below is Maróczy’s note in his 1909/1925 book on Morphy (pages 35-36 and 23 respectively):
From page 49 of the third edition (1894) of Paul Morphy. Sein Leben und Schaffen by Max Lange:
The game was discussed on pages 132 and 135 of Steinitz’s 1889 book The Modern Chess Instructor, with these notes regarding 26 Rd7 and 26...Qg7:
The reference to Löwenthal concerns pages 335-336 of his 1860 monograph on Morphy:
Two earlier publications of the game:
New York, 1857 tournament book (1859), page 225
Chess Monthly, February 1858, page 50
See too page 45 of the 1995 work Tízezer Lépés Morphyval by C. Gerencsér. The latest detailed analysis of the game appears to be in Morphy move by move by Z. Franco (2016). The note after 26...Qg7 (‘?’) on page 89 is 16 lines long but mentions no prior annotators. That hardly seems right, but the game illustrates the difficulty of deciding how moves, lines and ideas can best be credited to analytical predecessors. The matter was addressed by Sergeant in the Preface to his Morphy games collection (page v):
Which is the most recent chess event in which a player was, or could have been, fined for non-compliance with the rules?
In the nineteenth century such provisions were commonplace, and below are extracts from the conditions for a proposed match between Harrwitz and Löwenthal, on page 249 of the British Chess Review, 1853:
Zdeněk Závodný (Brno, Czech Republic) sends pages 17-18 of the 156/1925 edition of Die Bühne:
Position after 10 Bc1-g5
This position occurred in Bronstein v Botvinnik, second match-game, Moscow, 1951, and below are the defending world champion’s annotations on pages 268-269 of volume two of his work Shakhmatnoe tvorchestvo Botvinnika (Moscow, 1966):
Botvinnik mentioned (with the moves misnumbered) that 10...Qc7 at once would evidently be to White’s advantage after 11 Bxe7 Re8 12 d5.
We note Botvinnik’s remarks as a preamble to placing on record a correspondence game (J.E. Littlewood v C.L. Tadiello) with that line which was published on page 263 of the mid-April 1964 issue of CHESS:
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 e4 Nxc3 6 bxc3 c5 7 Bc4 Bg7 8 Ne2 O-O 9 O-O Nd7 10 Bg5 Qc7 11 Bxe7 Re8 12 d5 Qe5 13 d6 Qxe4 14 Bd5 Qg4 15 h3 Qh5
16 Bxf7+ Resigns.
Yuri Kireev and Mikhail Sokolov (Moscow) send this cartoon from the Moscow tournament bulletin, 64, 29 May 1936, page 4:
All the photographs in the book:
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.