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This cartoon was discussed on pages 151-154 of The Knights and Kings of Chess by G.A. MacDonnell (London, 1894).
1 f4 e5 2 fxe5 d6 3 exd6 Bxd6 4 g3 Qg5 5 Nf3 Qxg3+ 6 hxg3 Bxg3 mate.
Labelled ‘N.N. v Du Mont’ and dated 1802, this game is often given unquestioningly in chess databases. (It is in the nature of most chess databases that they give unsubstantiated, dubious or inaccurate material unquestioningly. Careful corrective work would surely be a better use of anybody’s time than, for instance, involvement in those inconsequential yet pestilential ‘discussion groups’.)
But what is the truth about the above game? For now, we merely note that a similar finish appeared on page 649 of 500 Master Games of Chess by S. Tartakower and J. du Mont (London, 1952):
The Editor of Virginia Chess, Macon Shibut (Vienna, VA, USA), authorizes us to reproduce an article by John T. Campbell which was published on pages 1-2 of the magazine’s November-December 1994 issue:
Our correspondent has also provided the picture in colour:
From page 109 of The Basis of Combination in Chess by J. du Mont (London, 1938):
A similar position (with Black’s queen’s-side pawns on a6 and b5) was on page 52 of Modern Chess Tactics by L. Pachman (London, 1970).
The complete game, played in a Leipzig chess café, appears to be lost, but Gutmayer gave the conclusion (with a position lacking a white rook) on pages 263-265 of the third edition of his book Der Weg zur Meisterschaft (Berlin and Leipzig, 1919):
On pages 115-116 of his book Turnierpraxis (Berlin and Leipzig, 1922) Gutmayer also included the position, with even more errors:
As a postscript, we wonder what is known about the Gutmayer v Lasker game in the second Turnierpraxis diagram above. To begin with, which Lasker was Black?
In the United States in March 1986 the House of Representatives passed a Resolution, sponsored by Charles Pashayan, which recognized Bobby Fischer as the world chess champion. Siegfried Hornecker (Heidenheim, Germany) provides a link to the record of the Resolution.
The recent publication by Caissa Editions
of Pasadena 1932 International Chess Tournament by
Robert Sherwood, Dale Brandreth and Bruce Monson (Yorklyn,
2011) prompts us to reproduce a letter from Capablanca to
Henry MacMahon (which is referred to on page ii, and whose
full text was transcribed on pages 232-233 of our book on
The picture purportedly depicting Morphy, with an unidentified opponent, was the subject of an article by Enoch Nappen on page 25 of the June 1986 Chess Life.
Shortly after posting C.N. 7387 we saw the Lasker game on pages 259-263 of Gutmayer’s book Der Weg zur Meisterschaft (Berlin and Leipzig, 1919). Gutmayer gave the first 28 moves, with the heading ‘Gutmayer u. Genossen – Dr. Em. Lasker’. On page 70 of The Collected Games of Emanuel Lasker by K. Whyld (Nottingham, 1998) the consultants were named as Schlesinger and Thalheim, and the occasion was given as Berlin, 28 February 1896. Gutmayer’s book was not mentioned, and the source was specified as ‘Daniuszewski manuscript [Lothar Schmid]’. Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina) notes that the game-score is in a number of databases, dated 6 March 1896, and that on page 116 of Gutmayer’s Turnierpraxis (C.N. 7387) the diagram was incorrect. The latter point is also made by Peter Anderberg (Harmstorf, Germany), who adds that the complete game-score was published on pages 113-114 of the 12 April 1896 issue of Deutsches Wochenschach. It was one of three consultation games played simultaneously at the Café Kaiserhof in Berlin on 28 February that year.
We add that Gutmayer also gave the game, naming Schlesinger and Thalheim, on pages 121-122 of his book Die Grosse Offensive am Schachbrett (Innsbruck-Mühlau, 1916).
Below is another example of Gutmayer’s output, from
pages 20-21 of his book Der fertige Schach-Praktiker
In the Capablanca v Réti game (London, 1922) neither player overlooked that the Cuban’s king was in check. It was on e1, and the white rook was on c1, not a1. Black had a pawn on b5.
Nor is the Hartlaub position correct; the black rook did not move to an empty square but captured a white rook on d2. The full game (Traube v Hartlaub, Hanover, 26 November 1913) was given on pages 54-55 of Dr. Hartlaubs Glanzpartien by Friedrich Michéls (Leipzig, 1923):
From our brittle edition of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 31 October 1857 (page 344):
These sketches appeared on page 345 of the 31 October 1857 issue of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper:
There are many brief references to chess in Sergei Prokofiev Soviet Diary 1927 and Other Writings translated and edited by Oleg Prokofiev (London, 1991). See pages 30, 79, 85, 122, 127, 168, 232, 247, 272 and 306.
From page 272:
The readers’ letters section of the November 1944 Chess Review included the following:
The front cover to which he was referring:
Page 2 identified the group as comprising ‘Mrs E.S. Jackson, Jr., Mrs G. Shainswit and Mrs A.S. Pinkus, wives of three of the contestants at the Ventnor City tourney’.
Correct answers have been received from Leonard Barden (London) and Mike Salter (Sydney, Australia). Before revealing the name, we add a photograph of the mystery figure in more familiar company:
Thomas Niessen (Aachen, Germany) notes a comment about randomized chess on page 365 of Paul Rudolf von Bilguer’s Handbuch des Schachspiels (Berlin, 1843), to the effect that the advantage of openings knowledge could be neutralized by Nieveld’s method of drawing lots to determine the array, although it tended to lead to uninteresting games:
The Handbuch then gave this specimen game from page 62 of the 15 August 1842 issue of Le Palamède:
van der Hoeven – Aaron Alexandre
1 Qb2 f6 2 d3 Nh6 3 e4 Nf7 4 Bf3 c6 5 Bc3 Kg7 6 Nd2 d6 7 Ne2 Rf8 8 h4 h5 9 Rd1 Nh6 10 Nc4 b5 11 Ne3 e5 12 d4 Bc7 13 Bg2 Bd7 14 Rd3 a5 15 Ke1 b4 16 Bd2 c5 17 d5 a4 18 Nc4 a3 19 Bxh6+ Kxh6 20 Qc1+ Kg7 21 c3 Na6 22 Nd2 bxc3 23 Nxc3 Nb4 24 Re3 f5 25 f3
25...f4 and wins.
A further article is ‘The Devil and Paul Morphy – Again’ by Bradley Ewart on pages 26-27 of Chess Life, June 1986.
The above photograph of Paul Keres was published opposite page 16 of Analysen van A.V.R.O.’s wereld-schaak-tournooi by M. Euwe (Amsterdam, 1938).
From page 82 of CHESS, 14 November 1938 comes a comment written by Paul Keres to B.H. Wood shortly before the tournament began:
‘What is the smallest number of moves in which White can mate?’
An item on pages 178-179 of A Chess Omnibus noted that C.J.S. Purdy attempted to make light of Hitler in a satirical one-act play ‘Hell Hitler’ in “Among These Mates” (Sydney, 1939), a book which he published under the pseudonym Chielamangus. The dramatis personae were Shade of Napoleon, Shade of Hitler, and Satan, and the play was founded on a spoof Hitler v Napoleon game: 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 Bc5 3 Nf3 d6 4 d3 Be6 5 Bxe6 fxe6 6 Be3 Nd7 7 Bxc5 dxc5 8 Nbd2 Ne7 9 O-O O-O 10 Nc4 Ng6 11 c3 Qf6 12 Qb3 Nf4 13 Ne1 Qg5 14 Kh1 Rf6 15 Qxb7 Raf8 16 Qxc7 R8f7 17 Rg1 Qh4 18 Qc8+ Nf8 19 Ne3 Qxh2+ 20 Kxh2 Rh6+ 21 Kg3 Ne2+ 22 Kg4 Rf4+ 23 Kg5 Rh2 24 Qxf8+ Kxf8 25 Nf3 Kg8 26 Nxh2 h6+ 27 Kg6 Rf5 28 exf5 Nf4 mate.
This score was based on the famous brilliancy F. Herrmann v H. Hussong, Frankfurt, 1930 published on pages 314-315 of the October 1930 Deutsche Schachzeitung, October 1930, and, with Alekhine’s notes taken from Denken und Raten, on pages 340-342 of the December 1930 issue of Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten:
Below, from Purdy’s book, is the illustration on page 6 and the conclusion of the play on page 11:
In conclusion, we add the following from page 8 of the October 1944 Chess Review:
The two photographs featured G.S.A. Wheatcroft (1905-87), our source being Twelfth Chess Tournament of Nations by Salo Flohr (Moscow, 1957).
Wheatcroft received an extensive obituary in The Times (5 December 1987, page 10). Headed ‘Authority on taxation law’, it stated that ‘his many books on the subject are of outstanding quality and unrivalled reputation’. Chess was mentioned only in one brief paragraph of the obituary:
From page 27 of “Among These Mates” by Chielamangus (Sydney, 1939):
And from page 79:
In the line of duty we have been browsing further in the books of Franz Gutmayer. Some additional references for the record:
Gutmayer v Swiderski (position only):
Gutmayer et al. v Emanuel Lasker (position only):
1) Schulder v Boden: Black played ...Qxc3+
2) MacDonnell v Boden: Black played ...Qxf3
We wonder whether Vuković’s mistake was due to copying from Gutmayer, who frequently published the two queen sacrifices. In the list below an asterisk indicates that the games were confused:
Wanted: early sightings of the MacDonnell v Boden game in print.
The only Pillsbury game in 666 Kurzpartien by
K. Richter (Berlin-Frohnau, 1966) is dated 1900 without
any identification of the opponent or venue: 1 e4 e5 2
Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 d6 4 Nf3 a6 5 Bc4 Bg4 6 fxe5 Nxe5 7 Nxe5
Bxd1 8 Bxf7+ Ke7 9 Nd5 mate. See page 88.
As is well-known, Pillsbury’s opponent (Black) was named Fernández, but where was the game played? There are databases which give ‘Germany’ or ‘Paris’. Page 23 of L’art de faire mat by G. Renaud and V. Kahn (Monaco, 1947) had the venue as Hanover; see too pages 13-14 of the English edition, The Art of the Checkmate.
On the other hand, the information from Renaud and Kahn about the occasion and exact date (a 12-board blindfold display on 16 March 1900) corresponds to what appeared in La Stratégie, 15 May 1900, page 133, and the Wiener Schachzeitung, January 1902, page 11.
Both magazines stated that the game was played in Havana, and Pillsbury was indeed there in March 1900. From page 231 of the June 1900 BCM:
On page 134 of his book Die Geheimnisse der Kombinationskunst (Leipzig, 1914) Franz Gutmayer blundered yet again, by indicating that Pillsbury lost the game:
In reply to 1 c3 Black is said to have won with 1...Rxe4 2 Qxe4 Ng3 3 Qxd4 Ne2+ 4 Kh1 Qxh2+ 5 Kxh2 Rh8+ 6 Bh6 Rxh6+ 7 Qh4 Rxh4 mate.
Further details are unknown to us, although the position has been widely published. See, for example, page 403 of Paul Morphy Sein Leben und Schaffen by Max Lange (Leipzig, 1894) and page 431 of Paul Morphy by Géza Maróczy (Leipzig, 1909).
The four editions (1898, 1913, 1919 and 1923) of Der Weg zur Meisterschaft by Franz Gutmayer gave the position as ‘Bousserolle’ or ‘Bonserolle’ v Morphy. See also page 57 of Die Geheimnisse der Kombinationskunst (Leipzig, 1922). A blindfold win by Morphy (as White) against A. Bousserolles is known (the conclusion is on the above-mentioned page of Maróczy’s book), but on what basis did Gutmayer identify White in our diagrammed position?
Before the Gutmayer books are cleared away, we add some examples of his treatment of Capablanca’s games:
The latest addition to Chess Prodigies concerns Paul Ferret, with a game he played in Paris in 1912 at the age of ten.
Referring to the Oslo tournament of September 1936, won by Fine ahead of Flohr, Dan Scoones (Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada) asks whether a collection of the games has ever appeared.
We believe not, although all but one of the victor’s games are on pages 115-117 of Reuben Fine by Aidan Woodger (Jefferson, 2004).
Below is the report published on page 280 of the October 1936 issue of Schackvärlden:
Alain Biénabe (Bordeaux, France) has submitted this photograph of Jutta Hempel, who was born in Flensburg on 27 September 1960:
After the prodigy was first mentioned in C.N., over 25 years ago, Ludwig Steinkohl (Bad Aibling, Federal Republic of Germany) contacted her father, Hermann Hempel of Flensburg, who replied with two long letters giving details of her career. C.N. 1293 presented the following summary, in our translation from the German:
In C.N. 1293 we added:
From Rod Edwards (Victoria, BC, Canada):
Ross Jackson (Raumati South, New Zealand) points out that pages 621-624 of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, March 1888 had an article ‘Chess in America’ by Henry Sedley, with this picture of Morphy on page 621:
For the original oil painting, see page 233 of Paul Morphy The Pride and Sorrow of Chess by David Lawson (New York, 1976).
Submitting this cutting from page 7 of the Sheffield Independent, 6 November 1899, Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) asks what is known about the claimed health troubles of Emanuel Schiffers (1850-1904):
A photograph of Schiffers from opposite page 48 of the Hastings, 1895 tournament book:
Dominique Thimognier (Fondettes, France) has forwarded the Ferret game as published on page 20 of the 1-15 March 1912 issue of La Rennaissance Echiquéenne, together with the photograph inserted before page 1:
A five-star book just published is The Art of the Endgame by Jan Timman (Alkmaar, 2011). Chapter five is entitled ‘Knight Promotions’, and we became particularly interested in the pair of compositions on pages 82-83:
‘Herland, Deutsches Wochenschach, 1913. White to play and win’
1 a6 Bg1 2 a7 h2 3 a8(N) h3 4 Nb6 cxb6 5 c7 b5 6 c8(N) b4 7 Nd6 exd6 8 e7 d5 9 e8(Q) and wins.
‘F. Fritz. White to play and win’
1 h4 Ka5 2 h5 Ka4 3 h6 b4 4 h7 b5 5 h8(N) a5 6 Ng6 fxg6 7
f7 g5 8 f8(N) g4 9 Ne6 dxe6 10 d7 e5 11 d8(N) and wins.
Regarding the latter composition, Timman commented:
The main historical issue raised by Timman is whether Sigmund Herland was the first to compose such a study, in 1913, or whether the Fritz position antedated it. We offer some jottings.
The Herland study was published on page 128 of the 6 April 1913 Deutsches Wochenschach, with the solution on page 247 of the 13 July 1913 issue.
We note furthermore that the endgame database of Harold van der Heijden has the following study by Hugo Geiger of Munich from page 38 of the February 1920 Deutsche Schachzeitung:
When the solution was given on page 139 of the June 1920 issue it was remarked that the third promotion to a knight was not necessary, because 11 d8(Q) would win too:
The Geiger position was also discussed, without identification of him, in T.R. Dawson’s ‘Endings’ column on page 218 of the May 1938 BCM:
From page 262 of the June 1938 issue:
Dawson returned to the study on page 310 of the July 1938 BCM:
As regards the ‘fatal flaw’, the key point is whether the white king is on b1 or c1. The van der Heijden database has both versions, but who first proposed the improvement of placing the king on b1?
The position by L.A. Hulf which was mentioned by Dawson in the June 1938 BCM had appeared on page 299 of the 14 April 1938 CHESS, in Hulf’s ‘End Games’ column:
The solution was given on page 369 of the 14 June 1938 issue:
Matt Fullerty’s novel about Paul Morphy, The Knight of New Orleans, has been published recently, a 556-page hardback. Its introductory pages describe Emanuel Lasker as ‘World Chess Champion for 27 years (1894-1918)’ and Louis Paulsen as ‘Swedish-American’; in rapid succession there are also references to ‘Amserdam’ and ‘aritocrats’ and a misattribution to ‘Grandmaster [sic] Rudolph [sic] Spielmann’ of the book/magician/machine quote, which dates from the nineteenth century (see C.N. 4156). From an initial skim of the novel itself we noted off-puttingly frequent misspellings of French words and expressions, and the book has taken a low place in our reading pile.
Also added to the reading pile is Faulkner’s Gambit
(subtitle: Chess and Literature) by Michael Wainwright
(New York, 2011). It ‘examines the chess structures,
motifs, and imagery in William Faulkner’s only novella,
situating this critically neglected work within both a
historical and literary context’. A central thesis is
that Faulkner’s character Gavin Stevens in Knight’s
Gambit was inspired by Paul Morphy.
A letter from Richard Teasdel of Cardiff on page 342 of the August 1933 BCM:
From page 145 of A Century of British Chess by Philip W. Sergeant (London, 1934):
Has any explanation for the particular pseudonym ever been offered?
The frontispiece of British Chess by Kenneth Matthews (London, 1948):
Thomas Niessen (Aachen, Germany) provides two quotes from the Deutsche Schachzeitung. Firstly, from the November 1899 issue, page 349 (with a reference to the third occurrence of a nervous illness):
Secondly, from the September 1900 issue, page 285 (a report on Schiffers’ recovery):
Our correspondent adds that Schiffers’ obituary on pages 28-29 of the January 1905 Deutsche Schachzeitung made no mention of his illness, whereas pages 56-57 of the February 1905 BCM quoted a lengthy tribute in the St Petersburg Zeitung of 17 December 1904 which included the following:
For the German text, which was written by Hans Seyboth, see pages 464-465 of the 25 December 1904 issue of Deutsches Wochenschach.
Below is a tribute to Schiffers (with an incorrect year for his death) from pages 74-75 of the Chess Budget, 12 December 1925:
There follow two articles by the Badmaster, originally published in Newsflash and reproduced on, respectively, page 111 of Chess Characters (Geneva, 1984) and pages 26-27 of volume two of Chess Characters (Geneva, 1987).
Below is the sketch of G. Wood and B.H. Wood referred to in the second article.
In the nineteenth century, games were seldom annotated at length, but an exception occurred in 1853, in the opening number of the British Chess Review: pages 22-28 discussed a correspondence game between Amsterdam and London, with notes by Greenaway and Medley.Amsterdam – London
Correspondence, July 1851-November 1852
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Bc5 5 c3 Nf6 6 e5 d5 7 Bb5 Ne4 8 cxd4 Bb6 9 Bxc6+ bxc6 10 Nc3 f5 11 h4 O-O 12 Bf4 c5 13 Kf1 Rb8 14 Na4 cxd4 15 Nxd4 Qe8 16 b3 c5 17 Nc2 d4 18 Rc1 Ba6+ 19 Kg1 Bb5 20 Na3 Bxa4 21 bxa4 Bc7 22 f3 Nc3 23 Qc2 Bxe5 24 Re1
24...Bxf4 25 Rxe8 Rfxe8 26 Kf2 Re2+ 27 Qxe2 Nxe2 28 Kxe2 Re8+ 29 Kf2 d3 30 Rd1 d2 31 Kf1 Bg3 32 Nc2 Re1+ 33 Rxe1 dxe1(Q)+ 34 Nxe1 Bxe1 35 Kxe1 Kf7 36 White resigns.
Page 28 of the British Chess Review commented that it was ‘perhaps the most brilliant game on record, ever played by correspondence’. In contrast, when the magazine’s editor, Daniel Harrwitz, gave the game on page 133 of his Lehrbuch des Schachspiels (Berlin, 1862) there was a single two-word note – ‘nicht gut’ – to a move (9 Bxc6+) which had received no comment in the British Chess Review.
See too pages 49-51 of volume one of Correspondence Chess Matches Between Clubs 1823-1899 by Carlo Alberto Pagni (Turin, 1994) and pages 44-46 of Correspondence Chess in Britain and Ireland, 1824-1987 by Tim Harding (Jefferson, 2011).
C.N. 6919 mentioned the work of fiction Paul Morphy: Confederate Spy by Stan Vaughan (Milwaukee, 2010). Now Rick Kennedy (Columbus, OH, USA) informs us that, as related on his webpage, he has noted cases of plagiarism. For example, page 63 has the following:
Mr Kennedy found the identical passage (except for ‘plumped’ and ‘encroaches’) on page 227 of Iberia by James A. Michener.
As a small test of our own we opened the Morphy book at random and found, on page 113, whole chunks of text lifted by S. Vaughan from the website Exploring Toledo.
[Addition on 2 August 2013: the above Toledo link is not currently working.]
A poser for readers comes from Harrie Grondijs (Rijswijk, the Netherlands): in this photograph taken in Szczawno-Zdrój in 1957 who is giving the simultaneous exhibition?
The picture is owned by Ina Orbaan and comes from the collection of her brother Constant (1918-90), who was a participant in the second Przepiórka Memorial Tournament held in Szczawno-Zdrój in 1957.
The second fascicule of Les échecs modernes by Henri Delaire, publication of which was announced on pages 167-168 of the June 1915 issue of his magazine, La Stratégie, has a number of scarce photographs, although they are under 2.5cm in width. Three examples:
Harry Nelson Pillsbury
The Lasker picture is similar to a well-known shot:
Is it possible to find better copies of the photographs which were given in Les échecs modernes?
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.