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A widely-published blindfold game won by F. Sämisch against N.N.:
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 Bd2 cxd4 6 Nb5 Bc5 7 b4 Bb6 8 Qg4 Kf8 9 Nf3 Nc6 10 Qf4 f6 11 exf6 Qxf6 12 Nc7 Bxc7 13 Qxc7 h6 14 b5 d3
15 Bxd3 Qxa1+ 16 Ke2 Qf6 17 bxc6 Qe7 18 Bb4 Qxb4 19 Qd8+ Kf7 20 Ne5 mate.
Wanted regarding this game-score: the oldest possible citations from magazines and columns of the time. But when was ‘the time’? ‘Aachen, 1943’ was the heading when the game was published on pages 174-175 of The Joys of Chess by Fred Reinfeld (New York, 1961), but other books tend to give the date as 1934. See, for instance, pages 363-364 of Irving Chernev’s Best Short Games collection, which introduced the game as follows:
Alekhine made the remark on page 19 of Auf dem Wege zur Weltmeisterschaft (Berlin and Leipzig, 1932):
The French version, from page 270 of Deux cents parties d’échecs (Rouen, 1936):
From page 193 of the Westminster Papers, 1 January 1879:
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bc5 5 Be3 Qf6 6 c3 Nge7 7 Bc4 Qg6 8 O-O d5 9 Nxc6 dxc4 10 Qd8 mate.
A curious, if unspectacular, specimen of what P.H. Clarke termed a ‘mini-miniature’ on page 118 of 100 Soviet Chess Miniatures (London, 1963).
Kevin Thurlow (Redhill, England) draws attention to the entry for R.P. Michell in the register of burials in Kingston-upon-Thames, noting that the image available via that page states that Michell died on 19 May 1938, whereas other sources (such as page 314 of the July 1938 BCM) have 20 May. Moreover, Michell’s second forename is specified in the burial register as ‘Pryce’ and not ‘Price’. (The latter spelling is sometimes seen in chess outlets, though not, we believe, in reliable ones.)
C.N. 5061 gave two photographs of Michell, and below is another one, published on page 314 of the July 1938 BCMand as the frontispiece to the April 1926 issue:
C.N.s 1334, 1490, 1503, 1542 and 1627 gave information about Prince Dadian of Mingrelia, and here we reproduce the last of those items, a contribution in 1988 from the late John van Manen (Modbury Heights, Australia) concerning the Prince’s family background:
Below is a photograph of the chessplaying Prince from page 109 of the September 1898 American Chess Magazine:
Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore) points out some Russian photographs (pre-First World War) at a webpage of the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow.
From John Townsend (Wokingham, England) comes this passage by Hood on page 547 of the book Hood’s Own (London, 1839):
Our correspondent comments:
Page 88 of Najdorf x Najdorf by Liliana Najdorf (Buenos Aires, 1999) has a set of claims purportedly made by M. Najdorf about his over-the-board encounters:
Can corroboration of any authoritative kind be found for, in particular, the assertion that Najdorf played against Churchill in a simultaneous display?
Peter Anderberg (Harmstorf, Germany), Hans-Georg Kleinhenz (Munich, Germany) and Alan McGowan (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) note that the game was published on page 304 of Deutsche Schachblätter, 1 October 1934:
The display, which took place in Aachen on 28 May, was mentioned on page 190 of the 15 June 1934 issue, with the information that Sämisch won all ten blindfold games within five hours:
Mr Kleinhenz adds:
Furthermore, Mr Anderberg notes that the game-score was published in Chemnitzer Wochenschach, 10 June 1934:
C.N. 5448 sought citations for the axiom, often ascribed to Capablanca, that good players are always lucky.
We have found nothing published during the Cuban’s lifetime but can offer the following:
That was written by Reuben Fine on page 88 of the April 1942 Chess Review, when introducing a game between Seidman and Reshevsky. See too page 4 of Fine’s book Chess Marches On! (New York, 1945).
On the other hand, Fine wrote on page 131 of The World’s a Chessboard (Philadelphia, 1948):
Fine’s book The World’s Great Chess Games (New York, 1951) had this on page 235:
Three games received from Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA):Sigismund Hamel – Adolf Anderssen
1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 exf5 Nf6 4 g4 d5 5 Bb3 h5 6 g5 Ne4 7 d3 Nc5 8 Qe2 Nc6 9 Nf3 Nxb3 10 axb3 Bb4+ 11 c3 Bd6 12 Nh4 b6 13 f4 Kd7 14 d4 Re8 15 fxe5 Nxe5 16 O-O Ng4 17 Qg2 Bxh2+ 18 Kh1
18...Kc6 19 Na3 Kb7 20 Bd2 Bd7 21 Nc2 Re4 22 Rae1 Qg8 23 Rxe4 dxe4 24 c4 Re8 25 Ne3 Nxe3 26 Bxe3 Bd6 27 Bf4 Bb4 28 Be5 Bc6 29 d5 Rxe5 30 dxc6+ Kb8 31 Ng6 Re8 32 f6 Qf7 33 Nf4 e3 34 Ne2 gxf6 35 Rxf6 Qe7 36 Qd5 a5 37 Rf7 Qe6 38 Qxe6 Rxe6 39 Rf6 Rxf6 40 gxf6 Kc8 41 Kg2 Kd8 42 Nf4 Ke8 43 Kf3 h4 44 Kxe3 Kf7 45 Nd5 Bd6 46 Kf2 h3 47 Kg1 Ke6 48 Kh1
48...b5 49 Kg1 a4 50 Nc3 Be5 51 bxa4 Bxc3 52 cxb5 Bb4 53 Kh2 Kxf6 54 Kxh3 Ke6 55 Kg4 Kd6 56 Kf4 Kc5 57 Ke4 Ba5 58 Kd3 Kb4 59 Kd4 Bb6+ 60 White resigns.
Source: Illustrated London News, 10 October 1874, page 355.Sigismund Hamel – Adolf Anderssen
1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 f5 3 exf5 Nf6 4 g4 d5 5 Bb3 Bc5 6 d3 h5 7 Be3 Bxe3 8 fxe3 Nxg4 9 Qe2 Bxf5 10 Nf3 e4 11 dxe4 Bxe4 12 Nbd2 Nc6 13 O-O-O Qe7 14 Nxe4 dxe4 15 Nd4 Nxd4 16 Rxd4
16...Rf8 17 Qb5+ c6 18 Qxh5+ Resigns.
Source: Illustrated London News, 14 November 1874, page 475.Adolf Anderssen – Sigismund Hamel
Breslau, August 1874
Queen’s Fianchetto Defence
1 e4 b6 2 Nf3 Bb7 3 Nc3 e6 4 d4 Bb4 5 Bd3 Nf6 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bxf6 Qxf6 8 O-O Bxc3 9 bxc3 d6 10 Nd2 O-O 11 f4 Qe7 12 f5 exf5 13 Rxf5 Nd7 14 Qe2 Nf6 15 Raf1 Nh7 16 Qh5 Bc8
17 e5 Bxf5 18 Rxf5 Qe6 19 Rf3 Ng5 20 Rg3 f5 21 h4 Qf7 22 Bc4 d5 23 Qxf7+ Nxf7 24 Bxd5 Rad8 25 Bb3 c5 26 e6 cxd4 27 exf7+ Kh7 28 cxd4 Rxd4 29 Nf3 Rg4 30 Rxg4 fxg4 31 Ne5 Rd8 32 Nd7 Resigns.
Source: Illustrated London News, 16 December 1874, page 619.
Which was the first move by the white king – Kf2, Kd1 or O-O-O?
The correspondence miniature A.M. Warren v I. Selman (Budapest Defence) was discussed in C.N.s 905 and 933 (see page 50 of Chess Explorations). Below is the game’s appearance on page 71 of Fernschach, September 1931:
From page 213 of the Westminster Papers, 1 March 1876:
The caricature was mentioned by ‘A Looker-on’ in the 15 March 1876 issue of the Chess Player’s Chronicle, page 53:
Courtesy of Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) and John Hilbert (Amherst, NY, USA), the other three informal games played by Mackenzie against Judd during his visit to St Louis are added:Max Judd – George Henry Mackenzie
St Louis, 28 November 1878
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 f5 3 d4 fxe4 4 Nxe5 Nf6 5 Nc3 d5 6 Bg5 Be6 7 f3 exf3 8 Qxf3 Be7 9 Bxf6 Bxf6 10 Qh5+ g6 11 Qe2 Qe7 12 O-O-O Nc6 13 g3 Bxe5 14 dxe5 O-O-O 15 Bg2 Qg5+ 16 Rd2 Rhe8 17 Qb5 Nxe5 18 b3 c6 19 Qc5 b6 20 Qa3 Kb7 21 Rhd1 Bg4 22 Rf1 Rd7 23 Rf4 Bf5 24 Ra4 a5 25 Rad4 Ng4 26 Kb2 Ne3 27 Qa4 Nxg2 28 Rxg2 Re1 29 Rgd2 Be6 30 Rf4 Qe5 31 Rfd4
31...c5 32 Qxd7+ Bxd7 33 Rxd5 Qf6 34 Rxd7+ Kc6
35 Rc7+ Kxc7 36 White resigns.
Source: Cincinnati Commercial, 18 December 1878.George Henry Mackenzie – Max Judd
St Louis, 28 November 1878
1 e4 e5 2 Nc3 Bc5 3 f4 d6 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Bc4 O-O 6 d3 c6 7 Bb3 a5 8 Qe2 b5 9 a4 b4 10 Nd1 Nbd7 11 f5 d5 12 Bg5 dxe4 13 dxe4 Qb6 14 Bxf6 Ba6 15 Bc4 Bxc4 16 Qxc4 Nxf6 17 b3 Rad8 18 Qe2 Bd4 19 Rb1 Rd7 20 Nd2 Rfd8 21 Nc4 Qc5 22 g4 Bg1 23 Qg2 Bd4 24 Qf3 Bg1 25 Qg2 Bd4 26 h4 Ne8 27 Rh3 Nd6 28 Nxd6 Rxd6 29 Rd3 Bc3+ 30 Nxc3 Rxd3 31 cxd3 Qxc3+ 32 Qd2 Rxd3 33 Qxc3 Rxc3
34 Kd2 Kf8 35 g5 Ke7 36 h5 Rh3 37 g6 hxg6 38 hxg6 fxg6 39 fxg6 Rg3 40 Rc1 Kd6 41 Rh1 Rxg6 42 Rh8 Kc5 43 Ra8 Kd4 44 Rxa5 Rg2+ 45 Ke1 c5 46 Rb5 Rb2 47 Rb7 Rxb3 48 Rxg7 Ra3 49 Rd7+ Kxe4. ‘The game was prolonged many moves, and finally won by Black.’
Sources: St Louis Globe-Democrat, 30 November 1878 and (with annotations by Steinitz) The Field, 18 January 1879.
The third game, the brevity given in C.N. 7684, was played on 29 November and appeared in the St Louis Globe-Democrat,1 December 1878.
The final game:George Henry Mackenzie – Max Judd
St Louis, 29 November 1878
Evans Gambit Declined
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 b4 Bb6 5 b5 Nce7 6 Nxe5 Nh6 7 d4 d6 8 Bxh6 dxe5 9 Bxg7 Qxd4 10 Qxd4 Bxd4 11 Bxh8 Bxa1
12 c3 Ng6 13 Bf6 a6 14 b6 cxb6 15 Kd2 b5 16 Bd5 b4 17 cxb4 Bd4 18 Rc1 Bb6 19 Na3 Nf4 20 Bxe5 Nxd5 21 exd5 Bxf2 22 Nc4 Bd7 23 Rf1 f6 24 Bxf6 Ba7 25 Nd6+ Kf8 26 Be5+ Kg8 27 Rf7 Ba4 28 Rg7+ Kf8 29 Rxh7 Rd8 30 Rh8+ Ke7 31 Nf5+ Kd7 32 Rh7+ Ke8 33 Ng7+ Resigns.
Sources: St Louis Globe-Democrat, 1 December 1878, reprinted in Turf, Field and Farm, 6 December 1878. It was also annotated in the Cincinnati Commercial, 18 December 1878.
A number of websites continue to ascribe to Spielmann, rather than Mieses, the familiar ‘water and poison’ remark concerning Lasker, so it is worth recalling that C.N. 3161 (see pages 246-247 of Chess Facts and Fables) gave three quotes:
1) From an article by Mieses in the Berliner Tageblatt which was reproduced on page 16 of his San Sebastián, 1911 tournament book:
2) The translation on pages xix-xx of the French edition of the book:
3) An English version by J. du Mont on page 13 of H. Golombek’s book Capablanca’s Hundred Best Games of Chess (London, 1947):
Chess Facts and Fables explained the misattribution to Spielmann by reproducing page 107 of Irving Chernev’s The Bright Side of Chess (Philadelphia, 1948):
In C.N. 3160 (see also C.N. 4156) we commented:
C.N.s 3741, 4209 and 6714 provide examples of how the lay-out of that chapter of Chernev’s book caused other quotes to be misascribed (to Capablanca and Napier).
Steven B. Dowd (Birmingham, AL, USA) has submitted the correct answer (White played Kd1). The problem is by Adriano Chicco, and we took it from page 17 of a work he co-authored with Giorgio Porreca, Dizionario enciclopedico degli scacchi (Milan, 1971). Before giving the full solution from that source, however, we wonder whether any reader has to hand the 1946 issue of The Chess Problem (Editor: R. McClure) in which, according to the Dizionario, the composition first appeared.
In a feature in the Daily Telegraph of 22 June 2012 entitled ‘Clive James: 30 classic quotes’ the penultimate entry is:
The remark is frequently cited on websites but not, from our reading, with any source specified. We therefore point out that it was the first sentence of an article about snooker, ‘The Sound of the Crucible’ on pages 285-288 of James’ book Snakecharmers in Texas (London, 1988 and 1989). The article was reproduced from page 8 of The Observer of 6 May 1984, although the newspaper did not include the first four sentences.
Clive James’ remarks on chess have been mentioned in C.N.s 16, 4117 and 5315, and here we add a further one, from his television review column on pages 26-27 of The Listener, 6 July 1972:
Another inscribed item in our collection:
Alex Gorbounov (Cary, NC, USA) draws attention to the short story by Alexander Kazantsev Тринадцатый подвиг Геракла (‘The Thirteenth Labour of Hercules’) and asks whether it has ever been translated into other languages.
From page 17 of the Dizionario enciclopedico degli
scacchi by A. Chicco and G. Porreca (Milan, 1971):
Alain Biénabe (Bordeaux, France) has kindly provided the following:
And from the 15 January 1947 issue:
Memory Feats of Chess Masters refers to the complex list of words which Pillsbury is said to have learned, as related, for instance, in this ‘once’ version on pages 106-107 of The Fireside Book of Chess by I. Chernev and F. Reinfeld (New York, 1949):
It has yet to be established when the list first appeared in print. As regards the individual words, Paul McKeown (Hayes, England) mentions an article dated 2002, ‘Piet Potgelter, Where Are You?’
That website is referred to on page 56 of Blindfold Chess by Eliot Hearst and John Knott (Jefferson, 2009), which indicates that the memory experiment was conducted by Dr Threlkeld-Edwards and Professor Merriman of Lehigh University before Pillsbury began a blindfold exhibition in Philadelphia. The book remarks too:
We add that another ‘once’ version of the Pillsbury episode was supplied by Frank Rhoden on page 66 of the February 1971 Chess Life & Review:
After listing the words, Rhoden concluded:
If a reader has access to the Illinois Medical Journal we should like to see exactly what its October 1914 issue contained.
Eduardo Bauzá Mercére (New York, NY, USA) has found an article by Hermann Helms on page 2 of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 9 June 1921 which includes the following:
The game-score given by Helms:José Raúl Capablanca – H. Burde
1 d4 e6 2 c4 f5 3 Nc3 c6 4 Nf3 Bb4 5 Bg5 Qa5 6 Qc2 Nf6 7 Bxf6 gxf6 8 e3 d6 9 a3 Bxc3+ 10 bxc3 Nd7 11 Be2 Nf8 12 O-O Ng6
13 Ne1 Bd7 14 Bh5 Ke7 15 f4 Rhg8 16 Nd3 Rg7 17 c5 Qc7 18 c4 d5 19 cxd5 exd5 20 Rab1 Re8 21 Rb3 Kf8 22 Qf2 Bc8
23 Ne1 b6 24 Nf3 Re4 25 Bxg6 hxg6 26 cxb6 axb6 27 Rfb1 b5 28 Rc1 Qd7 29 Rbc3 Bb7 30 Nd2 Re8 31 Nb3 Qc7 32 Nc5 Ba8 33 Na6 Qd6 34 Nb4 Rc7 35 Qf3 Re4 36 Rc5 Ree7 37 R1c3 Kf7 38 Qf2 Ke6 39 Qc2 Kf7 40 Nxd5 Resigns.
From page 29 of Famous Chess Players by Peter Morris Lerner (Minneapolis, 1973):
Despite also appearing on page 5, the year ‘1921’ is obviously wrong since Capablanca in the photograph is much younger. Moreover, the picture (uncropped) had been published on page 13 of Bohemia, 20 January 1918. The caption in the Cuban publication offered no date but stated that the simultaneous exhibition had been in Berlin.
An article by G.H. Diggle published in the March 1980 Newsflash and reprinted on page 55 of Chess Characters (Geneva, 1984):
Wanted: authoritative information on records for tandem (leap-frog) chess.
In 1986 (C.N. 1107) Dragoslav Andrić (Belgrade) informed us that he held, with Borislav Milić, the world record:
Following J. Löwenthal’s death, page 69 of the Westminster Papers of 1 August 1876 referred to autobiographical information provided by the master to Men of the Time. Below we reproduce his full entry on page 665 of the ninth edition of that book, which was by Thompson Cooper and was published in London in 1875:
The entry for Morphy on page 740:
This letter was written when Crown was aged 13:
Source: BCM, March 1943, page 56.
Wanted: information about the photograph below, which is owned by Jan Koppenaal (Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands):
Richard Reich (Fitchburg, WI, USA) has supplied the requested article, ‘Mental States in Famous Chess Players’ by Louis Miller, published on pages 414-418 of the Illinois Medical Journal, October 1914.
It will be noted that the article, which has a number of obvious factual errors, mentions Pillsbury’s memorization of words on page 415, but without any list.
Leonard Barden (London) recently raised with us the
subject of Vera Menchik’s death, asking, in particular,
whether references could be found to her burial or
cremation. We are grateful to Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore)
for making a search which revealed this record in the Andrews
On the basis of the above information Mr Barden then informed us:
From Jerry Spinrad (Nashville, TN, USA) comes this item on page 13 of the Newark Sunday Call, 22 September 1895:
Jerry Spinrad has also found the following report on
page 3 of the Littleton Independent of 14
It is not possible to present a larger version here, but, loupe à l’appui, it will be seen that the memory display is said to have taken place ‘recently’ at the Northampton Club in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Our correspondent adds that the following day the same account appeared on page 3 of another Colorado newspaper, the Eagle County Times.
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.