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     London had a great tradition for chess tournaments. It was there that the first international tournament was held in 1851 and subsequent tournaments were held in 1862, 1866, 1883, 1899, 1922, 1927 and 1932. It was also in London that the first international team tournament was held in 1927. 
     After that chess activity declined and wasn’t until 1980 that London began hosting the Phillips and Drew King's Tournament. The Phillips & Drew Kings was a series of tournaments held in London in 1980, 1982 and 1984 and was sponsored by the stockbroker firm Phillips & Drew and the Greater London Council. 
     The 1980 event was the inaugural. The 14-player tournament featured the West's strongest players and the most promising of England's chess talent, including 14 year-old prodigy Nigel Short. You can buy a big photo of Miles playing Short HERE for only $499. 
     The stars included were the dynamic Viktor Korchnoi. Although Karpov was the World Champion, some were referring to Korchnoi as the “vice-champion of the world” because of his great successes in match play at the time. Anthony Miles was, at the time, considered the strongest English player since Staunton.
     There was the super-solid (and super-boring) Ulf Andersson, the solid ex-Soviet Dutch player Sosonko, the resourceful British player Speelman, the attacking Gheorgiu and the explosive Ljubojevic.
     Jan Timman and Gyula Sax both possessed enormous talent and it was going to be interesting to see how they fared. Both the colorful and dangerous Walter Browne and Bent Larsen were there, but they were in bad form. 
     Michael Stean, known for his attacking style, played too many draws, the strong and dangerous John Nunn was sick with a cold throughout the whole tournament and Nigel Short, who had a brilliant result a few months earlier at Hasting, was badly out of form. 
     
After 11 rounds the leaders were: 
1) Andersson 8.0 
2-3) Korchnoi and Sosonko 7.5 
4) Miles 7.0 
5-8) Speelman, Gheorghiu, Ljubojevic and Timman 6.0 

     In round 12, Andersson lost to Miles. Korchnoi, who had an overwhelming position, let Gheroghiu off with a draw. Sosonko suffered his first defeat when he lost to Speelman. Thus going into the last round Miles, Andersson and Korchnoi were all tied with 8.0. Sosonko had 7.5 and Speelman 7. 
     In the last round the large crowd of spectators expected to see a fight for first, but they and the organizers all got cheated when Andersson and Korchnoi played a GM draw that lasted all of 18 moves. Miles and Ljubojevic played an even shorter GM draw; it last only 10 moves. Poor Sosonko lost again, this round to Stean. One can forgive Nunn and Speelman for playing a 14 move draw because it gave Speelman his first GM norm. The only game of any real interest in the last round was Timman’s; he smashed Larsen in 19 moves! View game.
     Timman was very critical of the last round results saying, “They never remember who shares first place; only outright winners earn their place in history.” 

1-3) Miles, Korchnoi and Andersson 8.5 
4-5) Sosonko and Speelman 7.5 
6-8) Timman, Gheorghiu and Ljubojevic 7.0 
9) Sax 6.5 
10-12) Stean, Browne and Larsen 5.5 
13) Nunn 4.5 
14) Short 2.0 

    If you run across the book on the tournament, London 1980: Phillips and Drew Kings Chess Tournament by William Hartston and Stewart Reuben for a reasonable price don’t hesitate to pick it up. 
     One of the more exciting games happened right in round two when Romanian GM Florian Gheorghiu cut loose with some tactics that lead to his getting two minor pieces for a R only to mistakenly give back a piece for a mate that wasn’t there, only a perpetual check. 
     Generally speaking, if you have two minor pieces the essential elements are 1) coordinate your pieces against the Rook and 2) security...it is always good policy to pay particular attention to the general security of your position. 
     Remember that the Rook is adept at picking off stray Pawns, but in the absence of targets it loses a lot of its strength. By the way, this also applies to playing assorted minor pieces against a Queen. 
     The Rook usually comes into its own in the ending and its value increases relative to the other pieces so that winning with two minor pieces against a Rook is often much harder than it would be in the middlegame. See my post concerning two minor pieces vs. R+P HERE
     Florin Gheorghiu (born April 6, 1944) is a Romanian GM who lectured in French at Bucharest University; he also speaks English, Russian, German, and Spanish. He was awarded the IM title in 1963 and became Romania's first GM two years later. He was also awarded the title of World Junior Champion (on tie-break) in 1963 at Vrnjacka Banja. 
     Few could rival him in Romania in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. He won the Romanian Championship nine times (the first at age 16) and represented his country in all of the Chess Olympiads between 1962 and 1990, playing first board on ten occasions (1966–1974, 1978–1982, 1988–1990). 
     Ljubomir Ljubojevic (born November 2, 1950) is a Serbian GM who won the Yugoslav Championship in 1977 and 1982. In 1983 he was ranked third in the world, but he never succeeded in reaching the Candidates Tournament stage of the World Championship. He has defeated almost every top GM that was active during his career. 

[Event "Phillips & Drew Kings"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "1980.4.11"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ljubomir Ljubojevic"]
[Black "Florin Gheorghiu"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{B42: Sicilian: Kan Variation: 5 Bd3} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4
a6 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. O-O d6 7. c4 Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Be3 Nbd7 {This position has
appeared in many of Gheorghiu's games. White must decide on which wing he
wishes to concentrate his efforts to increase his space. In either case
black's resources are adequate, but he must play accurately...something
Gheorghiu failed to do in round 6 against Nunn!} 10. Rc1 Re8 11. a3 {An
interesting move. Normally, in this position white will just adapt a wait and
see policy before deciding which side he will play on. But with this move
Ljubojevic appears to be preparing for b2-b4 when in fact he has in mind a
totally different and new idea that does not become clear until move 16.}
11... Bf8 12. Bb1 b6 13. Qe2 Bb7 14. Rfd1 Rc8 15. Bg5 Qc7 16. Ba2 {This is the
point of 11.a3. The B on a2 looks highly artificial, but it deters black from
playing . ..d5, protects the c-Pawn and opens up the possibility of some
tactics along the diagonal.} 16... Qb8 {White can't play 17.f4 because after
17...e5 black would end up with considerable pressure on the e-Pawn.} 17. f3
d5 {The opening up of the position is highly favorable to black and white's B
on a2 proves to be of little value.} 18. Bxf6 Nxf6 19. e5 Nh5 {This hinders
white from protecting his e-Pawn with f4.} 20. g4 {Ljubojevic has overlooked
his opponent's 21st move. Even so, his position is critical and he needed to
try 20.g3.} 20... Nf4 21. Qe3 f6 {There is no satisfactory reply to this move.
If 22.exf6 Bc5 and if 22. Qxf4 fxe5 and in either case black's position is
winning.} 22. cxd5 fxe5 {The N is now firmly supported plus there is always
thew possibility of an annoying pin with ...Bc5.} 23. Nxe6 Rxe6 {Obviously the
R can't be taken because of 24.. .Bc5 pinning the Q.} 24. d6 Bxd6 25. b4 Kh8
26. Bxe6 Nxe6 27. Ne4 Rxc1 28. Rxc1 Nd4 {Black has emerged with two pieces for
the R and has a winning position, but Lujbojevic refuses to roll over and
die.} 29. f4 Be7 30. Rd1 {No point in centralizing black's Q with 30.fxe5.}
30... Qa8 31. Nf2 Bh4 32. fxe5 Nf3+ 33. Kg2 Nxe5+ 34. Kf1 Qf8 35. Rd4 h6 36.
g5 {A great move! It presents black with difficult problems. Black has good
winning chances after 36...Bxf2! The best white has would then be 37.Qxf2
Nf3!! (Allowing the trade od Qs with 37... Qxf2+ would only draw) 38.Rd3 Qf5
and black should win without any great difficulty.} 36... Qf5 {A total
miscalculation based on a planned move that isn't playable!} 37. Rxh4 Qb1+
38. Ke2 Bf3+ 39. Kd2 {The whole point of Gheorghiu's 35...Qf5 was based on his
being able to play 39...Nc4+ forking the K and Q. He just now realized that
c4 is defended by the R. As a result he had to take the perpetual.} 39...
Qb2+ 40. Ke1 Qb1+ 41. Kd2 Qb2+ 42. Ke1 1/2-1/2
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     I’d sooner live among people who don’t cheat at chess than among people who are earnest about not cheating at chess. 
     C.S. Lewis was actually talking about cards, not chess, but after reading about how GM Igors Rausis got caught cheating at a tournament in France, I think I understand what Lewis meant. 
     I don’t follow the latest chess news much, but I couldn’t help but take note of the situation involving Rausis. He has been creating quite a stir because he is in his late 50s and his rating, after having been rated in the 2500s for years, went over 2700... his play wasn’t improving, just his rating. It seems he was taking advantage the 400 point rule in the rating system and was playing lots of weak players to gain under one rating point per game and eventually boosting his rating to over 2600. Nothing new there. 
     Many years ago there was a local player who was always tantalizingly close to a Master rating, but could never quite seem to make it over 2200. His solution: he got a TD certificate from the USCF and started holding crappy little tournaments nobody but low rated players played in. Somehow he always managed to get in a game as a house player in order to prevent a bye. Naturally he beat up on the patzers and picked up a point to two. Once he got to 2202 he quit playing. We used to say he became a Master one point at a time. 
     Decades ago a prisoner in the Virginia State Penitentiary named Claude F. Bloodgood III did the same thing with the USCF system and “qualified” for the US Championship. The difference was Bloodgood supposedly wrote a letter to the USCF demonstrating how the system could be manipulated. The USCF dealt with the problem easily enough...they wiped out Bloodgood’s rating and kicked him out of the USCF. 
     Then there was the odd situation involving Jude Acers. Acers reached a USCF rating of 2399, one point shy of being a Senior Master, by playing matches against unrated players. Supposedly that’s when USCF Executive Director Ed Edmondson then froze Acer’s rating at 2399 until he played in an open tournament. I don’t know if that has been confirmed though. 
     Cheating has involved players conferring while the game was in progress or, before there were ratings, just outright buying and selling games for prizes and titles. Then there was a case of one IM sneaking off to his hotel room to get booked up…as Arthur Bisguier once suspected his opponent of doing. 
     Moving into the electronic age several players have been caught using cell phones or being signaled by accomplices. The latest cheater is Rausis who has been under suspicion for some time now...he was caught red handed using his cell phone while in the toilet. There is even a picture of him seated on the toilet (with the lid down) consulting his cell phone. He signed a confession admitting to everything. He later stated, "I simply lost my mind yesterday. I confirmed the fact of using my phone during the game by written [statement]. What could I say more? ... At least what I committed yesterday is a good lesson, not for me—I played my last game of chess already." 
     According to FIDE director general Emil Sutovsky, Rausis was suspended from the tournament and all materials will be sent to the ethical commission. Sutovsky also said Rausis was reported to French police. 
     The thing that shocked me the most was the published photo of Rausis seated on the toilet consulting his cell phone. GM Kevin Spraggett stated “Privacy issues far out weigh any ethics violations that Rausis might or might not have committed. FIDE should have recognized the difference, but they did not. If Rausis wishes, he could probably launch a criminal case against Garrett and the ‘Fair Play’ Commission.” I have to agree with GM Spraggett...cameras aimed at toilets is just wrong! 
     I don’t know about the laws in France, but in the US if you want to install a security camera in a business or even your home, installing one in a bathroom is a gray area. Public bathrooms can be a place where some pretty heinous crimes are committed, but there are some factors that must be considered: 

1. Cameras Aren’t Allowed in Areas Where People Expect Privacy.If there’s an expectation of privacy in an area, then you can’t have a camera...places like commercial bathrooms and changing rooms. What about your private home? What if you employ a nanny or a maid? Bathrooms are nearly always considered to be places where people can expect privacy and so security cameras aren’t allowed in bathrooms, only outside of them. 
2. Security Cameras Can Be Anywhere With Permission.Anyone can be filmed with their permission. In your home, if you have a security camera in the bathroom, that’s OK, but there must be a warning posted in case someone else uses it. 
3. Security Cameras Are Still Regularly Found in Bathrooms.Some business employees have reported that they’ve found security cameras in bathrooms. And nannies, maids, and even tenants occasionally report that they’ve found security cameras in bathrooms. The whole thing enters a complicated legal area, but cameras are generally considered illegal if the other party is not aware or has not consented to them and the other party has a reasonable expectation of privacy. 

    Ultimately, a security camera in a bathroom is risky and likely to be illegal, especially in public areas, even if a warning is posted. In July of last year a school in England was ordered to remove cameras it had installed in bathrooms in an attempt to curtail incidents of vandalism and bullying. 
     Cameras that also record sound may run afoul of federal wiretapping laws, with or without an otherwise legitimate reason. Years ago my boss installed a camera aimed at the receptionist and the door entering the office so he could see who was coming into the office.  That was OK, but there was a problem.  The camera was mounted over the coffee machine which was no problem in itself, but there was also a microphone on the camera and so the boss could hear what was being said at the coffee pot!  Somebody called the corporate legal department and he was instructed to unhook the microphone.  By the way, it wasn't me that called corporate.  I knew about the microphone and once or twice while at the coffee pot told fellow employees what a great boss we had.  Regardless of the reason for use, employers must let workers know that cameras are being used in the workplace. 
     Seriously, if I am playing in a chess tournament and need to use the bathroom I don’t want the tournament director, or anyone else, watching me tend to business. Maybe the best solution is to hire a bathroom attendant. 


     Here’s an early (and legitimate) Rausis game in which he defeats GM Alexander Shabalov (born September 12-1967) formerly of Latvia and now of the United States. Shabalov studied under former world champion Mikhail Tal, was awarded the IM title in 1989 and his GM title in 1991. About 1992, Shabalov emigrated to the United States with his family and eventually settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is known for courting complications and for an uncompromising, attacking style. In the mid to late 1990s his USCF rating was over 2700. Currently it’s 2575 and his play is confined to open events. 

[Event "Riga"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1989.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Alexander Shabalov"]
[Black "Igors Rausis"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{Sicilian} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7.
Bc4 {This is one of the main lines of the Accelerated Dragon. At this point
the most important black continuations are 7...0-0 and 7...Qa5. White should
not castle Q-side after 7...Qa5, unlike in the Yugoslav Attack.} 7... O-O 8.
Bb3 { Now if black plays 8...d6, white usually plays 9.f3 as in the Yugoslav
Attack. Although, Black often plays 8...a5 or 8...Qa5, after which castling
Q-side can be dangerous, and it is often a better idea for white to castle
K-side.} 8... Ng4 { Seen occasionally, in practice this has not produced
especially impressive results.} 9. Qxg4 {Less good is 9.Nxc6 as the best white
gets is equality after multiple exchanges.} 9... Nxd4 10. Qd1 {It may seem
that withdrawing the Q has resulted in a loss of time, but it's still the best
move if white hopes to retain any chances of developing an attack. If
10.O-O-O Nxb3+ 11.axb3 Qa5 12. Kb1 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Qxc3 black has won a P. White
has some attacking chances with 14.h4 that may allow him to equalize.} 10...
Nxb3 11. axb3 b6 12. Bd4 {Forcing black, one way or another, to compromise his
K's position.} 12... f6 {Here a game between Beshukov,S (2475)-Savchenko,B
(2366)/Krasnodar 2002 continued 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Qd5+ e6 15.Qxa8 Bxc3+ 16.bxc3
and white had a draw, but no more.} 13. h4 {This advance is very promising for
white and is typical Shabalov.} 13... Bb7 14. h5 d5 { In Martin Gonzalez,A
(2435)-Garcia,I/Candas 1992 black played 14...Kf7 and after 15.f5 soon to be
followed by e5 ended up facing a violent attack and losing.} 15. hxg6 hxg6
16. exd5 Bxd5 17. Qg4 {Now black should hunker down on the defense and play
17...Bf7. Instead he ventures on a risky continuation that results in
weakening his K-side.} 17... Bxg2 18. Qxg2 Qxd4 19. Qxg6 Qe5+ 20. Kf1 Qg5
{Realizing that he is positionally at a disadvantage and in some danger on the
K-side, Rausis offers to trade Qs which, of course, Shabalov is unwilling to
do.} 21. Qe4 Rad8 {White could probably survive grabbibg a couple of Ps wiith
22.Qxe7 Rfe8 23.Qxa7 Rd2, but why risk it? Shabalov has a marginal advantage
here and his best move was 22.f4 followed by placing the N on d5. Instead he
embarks on a some faulty maneuvering that allows black too much play.} 22.
Re1 Rf7 23. Re3 f5 24. Qc4 Rd4 25. Qc8+ Bf8 26. Rg1 Rg4 27. Rxg4 fxg4 28. Re4
Qc1+ 29. Kg2 Qxc2 {White should now defend f2 with 30.Re2 after which he
enjoys just a smidgen of an advantage. Instead, he suffered an hallucination
and played...} 30. Rxg4+ {This is not a total disaster; that comes next
move!} 30... Kh7 31. Qc6 {He needed to play 31.Qc4 so that he can threaten
Ra4+. After 31...Qxf2+ 32.Kh1 Qf3+ 33.Kh2 white is hanging in there.} 31...
Qxf2+ {Now if 32.Kh1 Kh8!! clears the way for ...Rh2 with mate to follow.
This would not be so strong if white's Q was sitting on c4.} 32. Kh3 Rf3+ {
Forcing white to surrender his Q.} 0-1
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Tartajubow On Chess by Tartajubow - 2d ago
Stalin's chess set
     Josef Stalin wrote: "Chess players should be in the front ranks of the fighters for the building of socialism for technical mastery and for the rapid and successful fulfillment of the five-year plan." 
     The picture of Stalin's chess set came from the article Visiting Stalin's Sochi Retreat which you can visit HERE.
     Soviet chess has a long history starting with Ivan the Terrible who, according to some accounts, died at the chess board. Peter the Great used to force his guests to play and Lenin was reputed to be an expert. Under Stalin chess became a matter of national prestige. It became a form of of propaganda to show that the Soviet system could accomplish great things. If you ever read The Soviet School of Chess by Kotov and Yudovich, you will remember it’s filled with laudatory remarks about Socialism and the wonderful traits of the Soviet man.
     The Third Moscow International Tournament was held in the summer of 1936. The foreign contingent consisted of Lasker, Capablanca, Flohr, Lilienthal and Eliskases. Of the Soviet players Levenfish represented the old guard with Botvinnik, Ragozin, Riumin and Kan representing the younger generation. 
     The tournament quickly became a race between Botvinnik and Capablanca. This was even though during the tournament Botvinnik claimed to have suffered from the heat and insomnia while Capablanca was bitten by the love bug...he had met the woman who would become his second wife. See Edward Winter's greta article on Capa and his second wife HERE.
     The tournament was a double round affair and Botvinnik lost one of his games against Capablanca (the other being a draw) and that point was Capablanca’s margin of victory. Flohr finished a distant third two and a half points back. The rest of the Soviet contingent fared rather badly. 
     Nikolai Krylenko (May 2, 1885 – July 29, 1938) was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet politician who served in a variety of posts in the Soviet legal system, rising to become People's Commissar for Justice and Prosecutor General. He was also an ardent chess promoter. 
     He was an exponent of the socialist legal theory that said political considerations, rather than guilt or innocence, should guide the application of punishment. Although a participant in the Show Trials and political repression of the late 1920s and early 1930s, Krylenko himself was ultimately arrested during the Great Purge. Following interrogation and torture by the NKVD, Krylenko confessed to extensive involvement in “wrecking” and anti-Soviet agitation. He was sentenced to death by the Military Collegium of the Soviet Supreme Court in a trial lasting 20 minutes and shot immediately afterward. 
     At the time of the Moscow tournament Krylenko wasn’t especially satisfied with Botvinnik’s play and was even less pleased with the other players. In his foreword to the tournament book, he ripped the Soviet players and insisted that the lessons to be learned were Soviet players needed to drop their conceit, study their games and learn from their numerous mistakes. 
     There is an anecdote about Moscow 1936 that was related years later by Capablanca’s widow. Stalin showed up to watch Capablanca play but hid behind a drapery. Later during the tournament Capa met Stalin and told him that the Soviet players were cheating by losing games on purpose so Botvinnik could keep up. Supposedly Stalin took it good naturedly and promised to take care of the situation; from then on the cheating stopped. Capablanca’s charges of collusion were confirmed in 1946 by Ragozin who participated in both Moscow 1935 and 1936. 
     Lasker, at the age of 67, emerged from retirement to play in this tournament because the Nazis in his native Germany had stolen his home and all his possessions leaving him and his wife destitute. He placed a very respectable sixth. 
     Lasker had always been a friend of Soviet chess, visiting the country four times and was always full of praise for Soviet chess and the Soviet state. So, after the tournament Krylenko invited him to remain in the Soviet Union and secured work for him in the Moscow Academy of Science. To make things appear legitimate Lasker did a little research, but mostly his job was to mentor young Soviet players. 
     Lasker and his wife began the process of acquiring Soviet citizenship. However, in August 1937, Martha and Emanuel Lasker decided to leave the Soviet Union and moved, via the Netherlands, to the United States, first Chicago, then to New York in October 1937. It was the following year that Krylenko got shot. In the United States Lasker tried to support himself by giving chess and bridge lectures and exhibitions. He published one more book in 1940, The Community of the Future, in which he proposed solutions for political problems, including anti-Semitism and unemployment. You can still find the book on the internet if you’re willing to pay $3,250.  
     He died of a kidney infection in New York on January 11, 1941, at the age of 72, as a charity patient at Mount Sinai Hospital and was buried at historic Beth Olom Cemetery, Queens, New York. Further reading...The Last Part of Lasker’s Legacy 
     Also, in 1936 Botvinnik tied with Capablanca at Nottingham. It was a very important victory for the Soviet Union because during the tournament, from August 19 to August 24, in the House of Unions the great show trials of 1936 were taking place. Defendants were tried and found guilty of plotting with Leon Trotsky, murdering Stalin’s personal friend Sergey Kirov and plotting to kill Stalin. They “confessed” and were shot. 
     The British press had been skeptical of the trials and an official at the Soviet embassy told Botvinnik that it was good he finished so well because they could have a reception for the players so something favorable could be written about the Soviet Union. Unfortunately for the Soviets it backfired because the British press only wanted to talk only about the trials. 
     In 1936, with advent of the new Stalin Constitution, socialism officially arrived and the culture, including music, literature, art and chess were expected to properly reflect the changes in a positive light. 

Final standings Moscow 1936
1) Capablanca 13.0 
2) Botvinnik 12.0 
3) Flohr 9.5 
4) Lilienthal 9.0 
5) Ragozin 8.5 
6) Lasker 8.0 
7-10) Levenfish, Eliskases, Kan, Riumin 7.5 

     When analyzing the Lasker-Levenfish game the following position was reached after 32.Kh1: 

     Levenfish started down the wrong path when he played 32...Ba4. The best move was 32...Bxc3! and it’s really worthwhile to set up this position and look at all the possibilities with an engine. In fact, the entire remainder of the game is worth examining with an engine in order to bring out all the latent possibilities. 

[Event "Moscow"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1936.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Emanuel Lasker"]
[Black "Grigory Levenfish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{B23: Closed Sicilian: Lines without g3} 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 e6 4. Be2 {
If 4.Bb5 the opening becomes the Grand Prix Attack and if 4.g3 it would be a
normal Closed Variation. Instead Lasker chooses a very acquiescent setup.}
4... d5 5. d3 Nge7 6. Nf3 Nd4 7. O-O Nec6 8. Qd2 {It's hard to suggest an
active plan for white who is now forced to resort to clumsy maneuvering in
order to complete his development. In the meantime though black doesn't seem
to have any weaknesses he can attack.} 8... Be7 9. Bd1 O-O 10. Qf2 a6 11. Re1
Bf6 12. Ne2 dxe4 13. Nexd4 e3 {Levenfish prefers this because after 14...cxd4
he has more space and gains a tempo by attacking the B on e3.} 14. Bxe3 cxd4
15. Bd2 Qd5 16. Qg3 {I thought that instead of his next move black might have
done better developing the B on b7, but it turns out not to be such a good
idea. If 16... b6 17.Ne5! followed by Bf3 and the undefended B on b7 and
pressure on c6 assure white of a slight advantage.} 16... Bd7 17. Ne5 Rfd8
18. c4 {Better was 18. Bf3, but in either case white has come out of the
opening in fairly good shape. } 18... dxc3 19. bxc3 Be8 20. Bc2 {This move may
look passive compared to 20.Bf3, but Lasker places it here because it takes
aim at black's K. Levenfish blunts any potential threats with his next move.}
20... g6 21. d4 Bg7 22. h4 {It's interesting that Stockfish prefers Q-side
play with moves like a4 and Rab1 whereas Lasker sees potential in a K-side
attack.} 22... Rac8 23. Be4 Qd6 24. Rad1 b5 {Black has finally gotten his
Q-side play underway. In the meantime Lasker has gotten his pieces untangled
and has prospects on the K-side. Clearly though black must have the better
prospects here...his K is well defended and white's Q-side is quite weak.}
25. h5 b4 {This P cannot be taken: 26.cxb4? Qxd4+ 27. Qe3 Nxe5 with a winning
advantage.} 26. hxg6 hxg6 {How much potential does white have for a K-side
attack on the h-file? It turns out not much and this move defending c3 leads
to black's advantage. The fact that white doesn't have much in the way of
prospects on the h-file can be seen in the line 27.Kf2 bxc3 28.Bxc3 Nxe5
29.fxe5 Bxe5! 30.dxe5 Qc5+ 31.Qe3 Qxe3+ 32.Kxe3 Rxc3+ which leaves black a
promising ending. Still, this was probably white's best chance.} 27. Re3 bxc3
28. Bxc3 Nxe5 29. fxe5 Bxe5 {Lasker probably overlooked that his R on d1 would
be undefended when he played 27.Re3.} 30. Qh4 {Levenfish's next move is
natural but it allows Lasker to equalize. The coorect line was discovered by
Stockfish: 30...Qb6! 31.Rb1 Bb5! and one way or another black wins the P on d4
but with the important difference that white's position is still under a lot
of pressure and his pieces are discombobulated.} 30... Rxc3 31. Rxc3 Bxd4+
32. Kh1 {So, black has won the d-Pawn here too, but white has strong play on
the d-file. Now, after the correct 32.. .Bxc3 things get really complicated!
After much analysis it was determine that the best line for both sides is
32...Bxc3! 33.Qxd8! Qf8!! From f8 black can likely draw because white's K is
exposed to a series of checks beginning with ...Qh6+} 32... Ba4 33. Rdd3 {Now
after 33...Bxc3 34.Bxg5 fxg6 35. Rxd6 Rxd6 26.Qxa4 and white should win
according to Stockfish, but the position was drawn in Shootouts! It turns out
that if black had played 33...Bxc3 34.Bxg6! fxg6 35.Rxd6 Rxd6 36.Qxa4 black's
R and B are able to hold their own against the Q.} 33... Bb5 34. Bxg6 fxg6
35. Rh3 Qd7 36. Rcg3 {Levenfish now makes a final blunder that costs the game.
After 36...Rf8 all white has is a perpetual after 37.Rxg6+ Kf7 38.Rf3+ Ke8
39.Rxf8+ Kxf8 40.Qf4+ Ke7 41.Qh4+ Kf8 42.Qf4+ Ke7 43.Qh4+ Kf8} 36... Bd3 37.
Rxd3 {It may not be immediately clear how white wins in this position, but
after running several minutes Stockfish discovered a mate in about 35 moves,
so white does have a clear win.} 1-0
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     As noted in the previous post, under Stalin in April of 1935, the age of legal responsibility was lowered to 12 years old which meant that children over the age of 12 could be treated like adults and exiled or executed if they were deemed to be guilty of crimes against the state.
     In the book Soviet Criminal Justice Under Stalin by Peter H. Solomon and published by Cambridge University Press, it appears that the source I used which stated children could be executed was incorrect. The book states that the source of the allegation about the death penalty was the memoir of Alexander Orlov, a high ranking official of the political police. Police apparently used it as a threat when conducting interviews. 
     In any case, the reason for lowering the age of responsibility was that many children had been orphaned, abandoned or separated from home during Stalin’s collectivization campaigns and famines of 1932 and 1934 with the resultant epidemic of homeless children. Moscow was their favorite destination and many of them managed to ride the trains to the city. The result was the police, courts and children’s homes were overwhelmed when police made regular sweeps to round up homeless kids and put them in state run institutions ostensibly for adoption. The problem was that conditions in the homes were abysmal and at least half of the kids ran away. 
     In 1932 at a huge cost the Moscow police cleared the streets of over 15,000 homeless children between the ages of 12 and 17. And in 1933 a police dragnet scooped up nearly 28,000 kids. 
     These kids were homeless, had no money and were outcasts so they often resorted to crime to the point that in 1934 papers were reporting concerns about the soaring crime rates among this group. 
     Criminal youth gangs were terrorizing local markets and the public was blaming everybody in the government, the police, the courts and educators. Most of the arrests were made for theft and Soviet authorities singled out “socially dangerous” classes...the kids who came from rural, non-collective farms or city kids whose parents either didn’t work or were not professionals. 
     One result of repeated arrests was that these youths were simply being recycled through children’s homes where, as is frequently the case, they were educating each other in the fine art of everything from grab and run thefts to murder. At the time there were legal restrictions against prosecuting youth under 17 as adults and all the police could do was deposit them at one of the youth centers. 
     This lead to a series of changes in the law in 1935 that gave the NKVD sweeping powers to deal with homeless and criminal children. The changes involving lowering the age of responsibility was the result of an edict issued by Stalin himself. The edict sent all kids to regular courts, subjected them to adult punishment and, also, established criminal responsibility for adults who enticed children into crime. 
     Reducing the age of criminal accountability from 16 to 12 essentially brought the children’s homes under control of the NKVD and they established labor camps for juvenile criminals. In fact, being homeless was considered a crime in itself. Further reading...Angel Factories
     Authorities were alarmed when they discovered that of the children in those labor camps, a little over half lived with both of their working parents and were not from the so called socially dangerous class. How to explain this? 
     Authorities linked youth crimes to anti-Soviet thinking and that had to be taken seriously. At one time the crime of “Hooliganism” involved insulting people and “rambunctious” behavior, but now it also included organized violence and assaults with weapons, murder, rape, banditry and counter-revolutionary activity.
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     One of my older books is The Russians Play Chess by Irving Chernev; it was originally published in 1947 and updated in 1963 which is the edition I have. The games (in descriptive notation) all have an introduction, comments every move or two and lots of diagrams. 
     A lot of the games are by lesser known Russian players. In choosing them Chernev examined thousands of games and selected games based on variety (26 different players), modern (meaning between 1925 and 1946) and reasonably short (the average was 30 moves per game). Additionally, Chernev selected the games because their brilliancy made them enjoyable to play over.
     When I came across the following game played by Veniamin Sozin (1896–1956) against somebody named Nekrasov at Moscow, 1931 I was impressed with Sozin’s Queen sacrifice which netted him four pieces for his Q. All of his pieces were aimed at black’s K and there was nothing black could do to defend himself.
     Chernev’s book, and all the other databases I checked, only list the game as being played in Moscow, but the wonderful site Rusbase 1913-1994 shows that it was played in one of the sections of the semi-finals of the USSR Championship: 

1-2) Sozin and Lisitsyn 6.5 
3-4) Verlinsky and Podolny 6.0 
5) Yuriv 5.0 
6) Nekrasov 4.5 
7) Kaspersky 4.0 
8) Ratner 3.0 

     I wonder if Kaspersky Anti-Vitus is named after the guy who finished 7th?! Searching for the identity of Neksarov turned up a bunch of Russians named Nekrasov, not all of them chess players. There is a Wikipedia article on Nikolay Nekrasov, a Russian poet, writer, critic and publisher, but he’s not our man. This fellow was born in 1821 and died in 1878.
     In his delightful book, For Friends & Colleagues: Volume 1: Profession - Chess Coach, Mark Dvoretsky mentions a player named Neksarov during the 1980s, who was a coach of several younger players including Ivanchuk, but there’s no way of knowing if it’s the same guy. However, I found mention of a Nikloai Nekrasov in a Chess.com article that quotes a 1929 article from the Russian chess magazine 
     A little bit more is known about Veniamin Sozin (1896–1956). He was a Russian master, author, and theoretician who is best known today for his contributions to the Sozin Attack, 6.Bc4 against the Sicilian. 
     Sozin, an accountant by profession, was an active player during the 1920s and 1930s and competed in four Soviet championships. Following the third Soviet Championship in 1924, in which he finished a creditable ninth with a score of 9.0-8.0, Sozin was awarded the title of Master of Sport. 
     He contributed many articles to the Moscow magazine Shakhmatny Vestnik and authored two books, Combinations and Traps published in 1929 and What Everyone Should Know about the Endgame which was published in 1931. 
     The Wikipedia article on Sozin says that he was unable to maintain the level of performance expected from a Master of Sport and was one of several players whose title was revoked in 1935. 
     In the Soviet Union, the Master title was conferred by the federal government and was connected to the title of Master of Sport. The first chess player to receive the title was Peter Romanovsky in 1934. Only players who featured prominently in the Soviet Chess Championship were considered for the title, and less than 100 awards were made altogether. The majority of the players were eventually FIDE IMS or GMs. 
     One suspects that given what was going on under Stalin in the Soviet Union during that era that something more than Sozin’s results were behind getting his title revoked. 
     Here’s an interesting little tidbit...In April of 1935 the age of legal responsibility was lowered to 12 years. This meant that children over the age of 12 could be treated like adults and exiled or executed if they were deemed to be guilty of crimes against the state. And, in December 1935 The Central Committee recognized the Stakhanovite movement and introduced competitions where the most productive workers could be rewarded with rich, quality flats and luxury foods. 

[Event "Moscow Semi-Final USSR Championship"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1931.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Veniamin Sozin"]
[Black "Nekrasov"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{Sicilian, Nimzovich Variation} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {The interesting Nimzovich,
or Nimzovich-Rubinstein as it is sometimes called, has similarities with
Alekhine's Defense.} 3. e5 Nd5 4. b3 {The idea of this is that if (or when)
the e-Pawn disappears then the B will be well placed on the long diagonal.
Both 4.c3 and 4.Nc3 are more popular these days.} 4... g6 5. Bb2 Bg7 6. c4
Nc7 7. Nc3 d6 {Equally good was 7...Nc6} 8. exd6 exd6 9. d4 cxd4 10. Nxd4
{Black is left with a weak isolated d-Pawn, but he has a plan to get rid of
it. However, white is clearly better: he has control of the center, his
pieces have more mobility and his Rs will soon control the center files.}
10... O-O 11. Be2 d5 { Eliminating his weak P, but things are more complicated
than that. This move is actually risky because it opens up the game to a
better developed opponent. More prudent would have been either 11...Nc6 or
11...Re8.} 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 Qxd5 14. O-O Rd8 {Threatening the N on d4
and white can't continue with 15.Nb5 because after 16.Qxd5 (Not 16.Nc7 Qg5!
and white loses a piece) 16... Rxd5 17.Nc7 Bxa1 18.Rxa1 Rc5! 19.Nxa8 and the N
is trapped on a8.} 15. Bc4 {A great move. It may look like black is OK
positionally, but tactically he is facing some serious problems. Now 15...Qc5
16.Qf3 Rf8 17.Rac1 Nc6 18.Qxf7+ nets white a R.} 15... Qe4 16. Re1 {Now black
loses after 16...Rxd4 17.Bxd4 Qg4 (Not 17...Qxd4 18.Re8+) 18.Re8+ Bf8 18.Bc5}
16... Qf4 17. Re7 {Black's next move is a blunder that allows a brilliant
finish. His best try was to defend f7 with 17. ..Rf8. In that case he has
blunted white's tactical threat, but would be left with a position that is
strategically rotten.} 17... Bxd4 18. Rxf7 Bxf2+ {No better was 18...Qxf7}
19. Kh1 Rxd1+ 20. Rxd1 {Black resigns because it's mate in 7 moves: 20...Bd4
21.Rxf4+ Kg7 22.Rf7+ Kh6 23.Rxd4 g5 24.Rd6+ Kh5 25.g4+ Kxg4 26. Be2+ Kh4
27.Rxh7mate} 1-0
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     I had begun this post on Rosselli del Turco. His featured game against Znosko-Borovsky was played in a small international tournament in Nice in 1935 and in the course of looking for information on the tournament I came across the interesting story of the winner, Brian P. Rielly.
     Reilly (December 12, 1901 - December 29, 1991) did his bio for the Irish Chess Union and you can read it HERE
     The Rosselli Del Turco family are an historic noble family from Florence, Italy. Their origins date back to 1727 and since then the family gained notable wealth and acquired significant properties. It has included some prominent painters starting in the 15th century and in the 19th century the title of Marquis was conferred on the family by the Pope. 
     Marquis Stefano Rosselli del Turco (July 27, 1877 – August 18, 1947) was an Italian player, chess writer and publisher. He won the Italian championship five times and represented Italy in the Olympiads seven times. Confining his play mostly to Italian tournaments, he participated in only a handful of international events. He was awarded the IM title posthumously in 1950. 
     Born in Florence, Rosselli del Turco received the title of National Master from the Italian Chess Federation in 1900 and was one of the strongest players of Italy between 1900 and 1930. He was one of the founders of the magazine Italia Schaccistica and wrote for the magazine between 1911 and 1943. 

Nice 1931
1) Brian P. Reilly 6.0 
2-3) Stefano Rosselli del Turco and Abraham Baratz 5.5 
4) Daniel Noteboom 5.0 
5-8) Sir George Thomas, Jacques Mieses, Eugene Znosko-Borovsky and Jakob Seitz 
9) Arpad Vajda 3.5 
10) Marcel Duchamp 1.5 

     Artist Marcel Duchamp was an avid player and a few years ago Christie’s auctioned a pipe that he presented to George Koltanowski. Christie’s has a nice article on Duchamp and chess you will not want to miss. 
     Duchamp’s chess, as far as I know, has never been taken seriously, but I did locate THIS book that examines his “activities as a chess player affected his art.”  The book also has a selection of 15 of his games selected by Jennifer Shahade. 
     Chessmetrics puts his highest rating at 2413 on its January, 1930 list. And, on the January, 1931 list Duchamp was in the world’s top 100 players with a 2412 rating. Chessgames.com has 82 of his games dating between 1922 and 1961.
 
[Event "Nice"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1931.3.13"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Stefano Rosselli del Turco"]
[Black "Eugene Znosko-Borovsky"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{Classical Dutch} 1. d4 f5 {Tarrasch rejected the Dutch as unsound in his 1931
work The Game of Chess, arguing that white should play the Staunton Gambit, 2.
e4.} 2. g3 {The modern way.} 2... Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 {The Leningrad Dutch (3...g6)
is an interesting and dynamic defense with possibilities for both sides. Some
Dutch players go so far as to say it's better than the K-Indian because black
has already made the important move f7-f5 without losing vital tempi with ...
Nf6-Ne8-f5-Nf6.} 4. Nf3 Be7 5. c4 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nc3 Nc6 {This seemingly
natural developing move does not work out well for black. He would do much
better with 8...Qe8} 8. d5 exd5 9. cxd5 Nb8 {This redeployment of the N is
very time consuming so he probably should have played 9...Ne5.} 10. Nd4 Na6
11. a3 Nc5 {Unfortunately the Ns occupation of this square is not going to
last long.} 12. Qc2 {Black can't secure the Ns position with ...a5 because
white can still drive it back with Rb1 and b2-b4.} 12... Nh5 13. Bf3 Bf6 14.
e3 {The N can't be taken because after 14...Bxd4 15.exd4 both Ns are under
attack.} 14... g6 15. b4 Na6 {This N has moved five time just to end up on
this useless square... that can't be good.} 16. Nce2 Ng7 {And this N has moved
three times to end up on this miserable square...that can't be good either!}
17. Bb2 Bd7 18. Rac1 Rc8 19. Qb3 Qe7 20. b5 Nb8 21. Rc2 Be8 22. Rfc1 Bf7 {With
23.Ne6 white could have established an overwhelming position as after
23...Bxe6 (He can't allow the N to remain on e6) 24.Bxf6! and 25.dxe6 black
simply cannot meet all of white's threats.} 23. Qa4 {Now if 23...a6 24.Qb4 and
the threat of b6 is too strong, so Znosko-Borovsky decides to let the P go
and, hopefully, find something fo the N to do.} 23... Nd7 24. Qxa7 Ra8 25.
Qxb7 Nc5 {Welcome back, but don't plan on staying long!} 26. Qc6 Rfc8 27.
Rxc5 {Alert play that brings about a quick end. } 27... dxc5 28. Nxf5 Nxf5
29. Bxf6 {Znosko-Borovsky resigned here as his position is completely
helpless. Material: White has a B+3Ps vs R. However, at first glance the
winning procedure may not be obvious, so I am appending the results of s
Shootout using Stockfish at 21 plies.} 29... Qd6 30. Bb2 Qxc6 31. bxc6 Nd6
32. Rxc5 g5 33. Be5 h5 34. Bxd6 cxd6 35. Rc3 Bg6 36. e4 Kf8 37. Bg2 Re8 38.
Nd4 Bxe4 39. Nb5 Bg6 40. Nxd6 {It soon becomes apparent that white's Ps are
too difficult to deal with.} 40... Re1+ 41. Bf1 Ke7 42. Nc4 Bf5 43. d6+ Ke6
44. f3 Ra6 45. d7 Ke7 46. Nd2 Bxd7 47. cxd7 Rd6 48. Kf2 Ra1 49. Re3+ Kxd7 50.
Ne4 Rg6 51. Bb5+ Kd8 52. a4 Re6 53. Rd3+ Kc7 54. Rd7+ Kb6 55. Rd5 Ra2+ 56.
Ke3 Rxh2 57. Rxg5 Re7 58. Kd4 Rf7 59. Nd6 Rc7 60. Rg6 Rh7 61. Nf5+ Kc7 62. f4
Rf2 63. Ke5 { and wins...} 1-0
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     “...I disapprove to the Fianchetto Opening altogether whether it take the form of the double Fianchetto or of the movement of the (g-Pawn) or the (b-Pawn) to make place for the Bishop...One may very properly play (c2-c4) upon the Queen’s Opening, But if the (e-Pawn) be the opening move, to bring the (f-Pawn) into action is more critical, as it exposes the King. For this reason I consider the King’s Gambit thoroughly wrong in principle.” 
     “The Knight’s Pawns should never be moved in the opening on account of the resultant loosening of the position...I consider the Evans Gambit so correct that I cannot warn you sufficiently against accepting it in a tourney fame. A Pawn up is no equivalent for the attack one is subjected to...I myself am inclined to appraise the correct play of the pieces above that of the Pawns...I never worry much about my unfavorable Pawn position so long as my pieces are rightly posted.” Dr. S. Tarrasch 

     Indian Defenses weren’t popular in Tarrasch’s day and they were generally frowned upon but that was because they were so poorly played. It wasn’t until the hypermoderns began playing them in the 1920s that they were given serious attention. But, even then it took until the 1940s and 1950s for the Russian players to prove their true worth. 
     In the following game Tarrasch was 64 years old...ancient for a chess player, but when he met Davidson’s Indian Defense he conducted the attack like a kid. The Dutch player Jacques Davidson (1890-1969) was considered the first Dutch chess professional and was one of the country's strongest players during the 1920s. He finished 1st at Amsterdam 1925 and finished second behind Euwe in the 1921 and 1924 Dutch Championships. 
     Here, let me mention that Tarrasch’s Best Games of Chess by Fred Reinfeld is a great book! Reinfeld was a great writer when he wanted to be and this book of Tarrasch’s games is superb and filled with masterpieces that will help the careful reader understand basic classical principles. 
     From March 7th to the 29th, 1926 a great international tournament, organized by Ossip Bernstein, was held at the Grand Hotel Panhas in the Semmering Pass south of Vienna. For the first half Nimzovich and Tartakower lead the field, but towards the finish the lead changing hands until Spielmann emerged as the winner in the best tournament of his career. 
     One interesting participant was Karl Gilg (January 20, 1901 - December 4, 1981), a German master who as one of the German minority in the newly-formed Czechoslovakia after the end of the First World War. He learned chess at the age of four. He took an active part in Czech chess, representing them in the Olympiads in 1927, 1928 and 1931. 
     Semmering 1926 was his first major international tournament. Although he finished poorly, he caused a sensation by defeating Alekhine in round three. He went on to participate in numerous international tournaments with modest success. After Czechoslovakia had been occupied by the Germans, Gilg began taking part in the German championships. 
     Gilg served in the military during World War Two and became a prisoner of War and was held in East Lothian in Scotland. In an article by Alan McGowan in Chess Scotland, Gilg was held in Amisfield Park Camp 243, Haddington, East Lothian, from October 29, 1945 to July 5, 1946. From there he was transferred to Gosford Camp 16 at Aberlady, also in East Lothian, from July 6, 1946 to September 30, 1947. After his release Gilg lived in West Germany where he was a teacher. He was awarded the IM title in 1953. 
     In case you are wondering why Gilg was held as a POW until late in 1947, two years after the war ended, it was because in the years following World War II large numbers of German civilians and captured soldiers were forced into labor by the Allied forces. In Great Britain they had more than 400,000 prisoners; many of whom had been transferred from POW camps in the US and Canada and many were used as forced labor, as a form of "reparations.”  

1) Spielmann 13.0 
2) Alekhine 12.5 
3) Vidmar 12.0 
4-5) Nimzovich and Tartakower 11.5 
6-7) Rubinstein and Tarrasch 10.0 
8) Reti 9.5 
 9) Grünfeld 9.0 
10) Janowski 8.5 
11) Treybal 8.0 
12) Vajda 7.5 
13) Yates 7.0 
14-15) Gilg and Kmoch 6.0 
16) Davidson 5.5 
17) Michel 4.5 
18) Rosselli del Turco 1.0 

[Event "Semmering"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1926.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Dr. S. Tarrasch"]
[Black "J. Davidson"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{King's Indian} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 {Surprise! White is not obligated
to play c2-c4 against the K-Indian. White intends an aggressive K-side
attack.} 3... Bg7 {The main, I hate to say better, alternatives were 3...d5,
3...d6 or even 3...c5. If 3...d5 white often plays 4.Bf4 (The Barry Attack).
As played black avoids d4 as seen in openings like the Trompowsky or Veresov
so I am calling it a K-Indian, but one where white has avoided playing
c2-c4.} 4. e4 O-O {Best is 4...d5 though also possible is 4...c6. In today's
world this would be met by 5.e5! and after 5...Ne8 white can go for the throat
with 6.h4 or 6.Bf4 or 6.Bc4 or 6.Bg5.} 5. Bg5 h6 {This thoughtless move weakens
his position especially in view of the fact that white hasn't castled. Better
was 5...d6 and ...Nbd7.} 6. Bf4 d6 7. Qd2 Kh7 8. O-O-O {White has excellent
prospects of initiating a K-side attack. Black on the other hand is nowhere
close to launching a counterattack on the Q-side.} 8... a5 {Fred Reinfeld
rightly called this an empty gesture but didn't suggest anything else. Bets
was 8... Bg4 and then ...Nc6! which keeps white's center under pressure.} 9.
Bd3 Na6 { Pointless. Much better was 9...Nc6 but white's position is already
much preferable.} 10. e5 Ng8 {Reinfeld was strangely silent on this awful
move. Black's best chance was ...Nh5 and ...Nb4 trying to simplify.} 11. h4
{White's attack has already reached the point where it is unstoppable.} 11...
Nb4 12. h5 Nxd3+ 13. Qxd3 Bf5 14. hxg6+ fxg6 15. Qe3 {White is threatening
16.Ng6+ followed by 17.f3 and 18.g4 and there's nothing black can do about
it.} 15... h5 16. Ng5+ Kh8 17. f3 Nh6 {It only appears that black has
prevented 18.g4} 18. g4 {Now if 18... hxg4 19.Nge4! Bxe4 20.fxe4 black N is
pinned and he is forced to give up the exchange with 20...Rxf4 and when the
exchanges are all over he will be the exchange down.} 18... Bxg4 19. fxg4
Nxg4 {It appears black has succeeded in erecting a barricade around his K, but
Tarrasch's next move demonstrates how flimsy black's defenses are.} 20. Rxh5+
{If 20...gxf5 21.Qe4 forces black to shed material to hold off mate.} 20...
Kg8 21. Qh3 gxh5 22. Qxh5 Nh6 {Tarrasch now figures out a way to win black's
Q...watch!} 23. Qg6 {Threatening mate on h7 so black makes an escape square
for his K.} 23... Rxf4 24. Qh7+ Kf8 25. Ne6+ Kf7 26. Nxd8+ Rxd8 {Black has a R
and B for his Q which is hardly enough, but Tarrasch is not through with the
tactics.} 27. e6+ {If 27...Ke6 28.Qxg7 and black gets mated or, if he chooses
not to got that route, his N and R on f4 are so exposed that eventually one of
them will be lost.} 27... Kf8 28. Nd5 Rf2 29. Rg1 { Black gets mated in 6
moves.} 1-0
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Tartajubow On Chess by Tartajubow - 1w ago
Berlin in the 20s - YouTube
     

     In the 1920s Berlin was a hectic place and in the center of the Weimar culture that was popular during the interwar period between Germany's defeat in World War I in 1918 and Hitler's rise to power in 1933. 
     Berlin was fertile ground for intellectuals, artists, and innovators from many fields and included a gay subculture that included nightclubs and cabarets that catered to a gay clientele, gay-themed theater and films and gay-oriented publications that were sold at kiosks. Gay prostitution flourished, too. 
     Amid that backdrop there was a chess tournament in Berlin in 1920. Writing on Chessgames.com sometime reader of this blog Graham Clayton quoted the October 1937 issue of Chess Review’s description of this tournament: The Berlin tournament of 1920, played during the post-War turmoil and financed very generously by Bernhard Kagan, probably has a higher percentage of good games than any other tournament ever played. 
     It was won by Gyula Breyer (April 30, 1893 - November 9, 1921) of Hungary. Breyer was a leading pioneer of the hypermodern school which favored controlling the center with from the flanks. He died in 1921 at the age of 28 in Bratislava. He was buried in Bratislava and after exhumation in 1987, was reburied in the Kerepesi Cemetery in Budapest. Kingpin Magazine has a four part series on Breyer by chess historian and author Jimmy Adams that is a must read. 
Part 1 
Part 2 
Part 3 
Part 4 

1) Breyer 6.5 
2-3) Bogoljubow and Tartakower 5.5 
4) Reti 5.0 
5-7) Maroczy, Miese and Tarrasch 4.5 
8-9) Saemisch and Leonhardt 3.5 
10) Spielmann 2.5 

     Enjoy the following crazy game between two of the most colorful players in the tournament. 

[Event "Berlin"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1920.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Rudolf Spielmann"]
[Black "E.D. Bogoljubow"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{C28: Vienna Game: 2...Nf6 3 Bc4 Nc6} 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 {Known for his
sometimes dubious opening experiments, Tartakower once commented of a move,
dubious, therefore playable. Of its main alternative he wrote, Playable,
therefore dubious. In his book Die Hypermoderne Schachpartie he devoted
considerable commentary to the alternative 2...f5, a move no modern master is
likely to even consider.} 3. d3 {Tartakower called this a wait and see move...
today it's about the only move you will see.} 3... Nc6 4. Nc3 {Black's main
alternatives to this move are 4...Na5 and 4...Bc5} 4... Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6
Bxc3+ {Better than 6...Qxf6 7.Nge2 when white will castle then occupy d5 with
N and slightly the better of it.} 7. bxc3 Qxf6 8. Ne2 d6 9. O-O g5 {Black
prevents f4, but it's not really necessary as 9...O-O 10.f4 Bg4 does not offer
white any great advantage.} 10. d4 {Aggressive play...white intends to create
strongpoints in the center. Now black's most solid reply is 10...Ne7, but
Gogo's next move draws high praise from Tartakower who says that black must
play aggressively if he is to thwart white's plan of f3, g3 and f4. The move
also has Stockfish's stamp of approval.} 10... h5 11. Rb1 {Other moves: 11.Qd3
as played by Stahlbeg against Saemisch at Swinemuende 1930 and 11.f3 h4 12.Qd3
Bd7 13.Rab1 as in Spielmann-Moller Copenhagen 1923.} 11... h4 {The threat is
12...h3 13.g3 Qf3} 12. Qd3 Ne7 13. Bb5+ {Spielmann is setting a trap for
himself. Better was Q-side play beginning with 13.a4.} 13... Kf8 {Tempting
white to grab a P and in the process divert his Q from the protection of f3.}
14. dxe5 {It would still have been better to advance his q-Pawm. With this
move Spielmann plunges into great complications.} 14... dxe5 15. Qd8+ Kg7 16.
Qxc7 h3 {Writing in Muncher Zeitung, Spielmann claimed his next move is risky,
but it is the only move. He gave the line 17.Rfd1 hxg2 and then 18.Rd6?? and
showed that black wins. Spielmann was not the only analyst that suggested
18.Rd6 which is a losing blunder. Instead white should play 18. Bc4!! and
black has two reasonable moves: A) 18...Rh6 19.Rb5 attacking the e-Pawn with
equal chances. B) The flashy 18...Rxh2 with a likely draw after 19.Kxh2 Bg4
20.Kxg2 Rh8 21. Kf1 Rh1+ 22.Ng1 Bh3+ 23.Ke2} 17. f4 {After this white is
lost.} 17... hxg2 { Tartakower mentioned that White might be tempted to
sacrifice a R with 18.fxe5, but I doubt it. 18...gxf1Q+ 19.Rxf1 Qb6+ isn't
too hard to spot.} 18. Rf2 gxf4 19. Bc4 {Tartakower gives black's next move a
!?! and called it both sharp and necessary because white is threatening Nxf4.
He also adds that 19...f3 20.Ng3 leads to white's advantage. The only part of
his commentary that's true is white is threatening Nxf4. His claim that
19...f3 20.Ng3 leads to white's advantage is absolutely false. How good is
blacks position after 19...f3 20. Ng3 you ask? According to Stockfish after 5
minutes analysis black has at least 10 different moves that yield an
evaluation from approx. 3.50 to 7.25 in his favor.} 19... Rxh2 {After this the
advantage rests with white...assuming he takes the R! After 20.Kxh2 f3
21.Rxf3!! Qxf3 22.Qxe5+ black is out of threats and down a P. No better would
be 20.Kxh2 Qh4+ 21.Kxg2 Bh3+ 22.Kh1 Qxf2 23.Qe5+ } 20. Nxf4 {There is no point
in giving Tartakower's analysis of 20.Kxh2 which is totally wrong. By not
taking the Rook white's position becomes quite lost.} 20... exf4 21. Rxf4 Bf5
22. Rxf5 {Black now returns the favor as Tartakower correctly pointed out.
Black ends up a piece ahead after 22... Rh1+ 23. Kxg2 Nxf5 24. Rxh1 Ne3+25.
Kg3 Rg8 26. Bxf7 Qxf7 27. Qxf7+ Kxf7+} 22... Nxf5 {After this it is a whole
new game in which both side have their chances.} 23. Qxh2 Nh4 24. Qg3+ Kh8
25. Rb5 {Threatening to win a piece with Rh5+. The alternative was 25.e5
which was equally good.} 25... Qh6 26. Qe5+ {Taking the b-Pawn with 26.Rxb7
runs into disaster after 26...Rg8} 26... Kh7 27. Qh5 Rg8 {What should white
play? A) 28.Bxf7?? Nf3+ is mate in three. B) 28.Qxf7+ Rg7 29.Rh5 offers equal
chances. C) 28.Qxh6+ Kxh6 leaves black better.} 28. Be2 {This is also
satisfactory.} 28... Rg6 {Now white can likely secure the draw with 29.Qxh6+
Rxh6 and only then 30.Rxb7} 29. Rxb7 {This loses.} 29... Qxh5 30. Bxh5 Rg3
{Now it's clear why white needed to play 29.Qxh6. It's because then black's R
would have been on h6 and this move would not be available. Black now secures
the win with delicate R maneuvers. It may look like white can do well with
31.Rxf7+ but after 31...Kh6 32.Be2 Rh3 33.Rf6+ Kg5 34.Rf5+ Kg6 white's R has
been diverted from the defense of the first rank and the g-file} 31. Rb1
{Spielmann puts up manly resistance.} 31... Rxc3 32. Rc1 Kh6 33. Be2 Kg5 34.
Kf2 Kf4 35. Bd3 Ra3 36. Ra1 f6 {White is practically in Zugzwang} 37. Be2 Rh3
38. Rd1 Rh1 39. c4 Kxe4 40. Bd3+ Kd4 41. Bf1+ Kc3 42. Rd3+ Kxc4 43. Bxg2 Rh2
{An imperfect, but fascinating struggle beween two greats.} 0-1
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     I have a copy of this book, published in 1923, which is subtitled Comprising Over One Hundred And Twenty-five Of His Best Tournament And Match Games At Chess, Together With The Annotation Of The Same.
     If you can find a copy of Marshall's Best Games of Chess (formerly titled My Fifty Years of Chess)  that was published in 1960, it is probably the better of the two books and is a much more enjoyable read.  I wish I still had my copy because I see it's selling on Amazon for $150!!  I would never, ever, pay that for it, but you never know when you might stumble on it some place for a reasonable price.
     Andy Soltis' book on Marshall got good reviews on Amazon. Call me cheap, but I would never pay $40 for a chess book either.
     In the introduction Marshall explained why he used the title “Marshall’s Swindles.” Swindle is a term of derision that some of his opponents used to describe his wins over them when “their fond preconceived notions (were) demolished over the open board.” He added that when he, a man not tied to book chess, smashed those gentlemen (as he referred to them) they claimed they got swindled. Marshall invited the reader to be the judge of whether or not victory involved chance, luck or trickery or if a move was successful because it was based on sound play. 
     The following game was played in Paris between May 17th and June 20th 1900 in a tournament which was held in conjunction with the Exposition Universelle, one of the world's most notable fairs or exhibitions up to that time.  The time limit was 30 moves in two hours, followed by 15 moves in one hour. Draws had to be replayed once. This tournament also marked Marshall’s international debut. 
     Lasker suffered only one defeat, to Marshall while Pillsbury was beaten by Lasker, Marshall and Burn. Marshall lost game to Maroczy, Showalter and Janowski. He dew with Chigorin and Schlechter. 

1) Lasker 14.5 
2) Pillsbury 12.5 
3-4) Marshall and Maroczy 12.0 
5) Burn 11.0 
6) Chigorin 10.5 
7-9) Schlechter, Marco and Mieses 10.0 
10-11) Showalter and Janowski 9.0 
12) Mason 4.5 13) Brody 4.0 
14) Rosen 3.0 
15) Mortimer 2.0 
16-17) Sterling and Didier 1.0 

     Who were the tailenders, Sterling and Didier? Manuel Marquez Sterling was actually born Carlos Manuel Agustin Marquez Sterling y Loret de Mola to Cuban parents on August 28, 1872 in Lima, Peru. 
     At the age of 16 he began a career in journalism writing for publications founded by his father. Suffering from asthma, part of his adolescence was spent in Merida, Mexico when he was sent there by his father because it was believed the climate would help with the asthma attacks. While in Mexico he met Jose Marti (1853 – 1895) a Cuban poet, essayist, journalist, translator, professor, and publisher, who is considered a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. 
     Eventually Sterling found himself in Spain and was a contributor to Steinitz’ The International Chess Magazine. The magazine, based in the United States, was established in 1885 and published until 1891. While in Spain, Sterling let it be known that he favored Cuban independence, a position that lead to his pending arrest and his hightailing it back to Cuba. 
     After his return, he served in various political capacities and in 1934, when the President of Cuba was forced to resign, Sterling accepted the presidency from six in the morning until noon when he transferred power. The same year he was appointed ambassador to the United States and died there on December 9, 1934. He wrote about 15 books on diverse topics such as politics, history and chess. 
     Marshall’s opponent in this game, M. Didier, is something of an enigma and I refer you to the discussion about him on Chessgames.com.

Didier

[Event "Paris"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1900.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "M. Didier"]
[Black "Frank Marshall"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

%Created by Caissa's Web PGN Editor
{Petrov Three Knights Game} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 {In the book
Marshall called this move, which he played to avoid the heavily analyzed Four
Knights Game, Irregular.} 4. Bc4 O-O 5. d3 {Marshall believed that white does
better to castle first.} 5... d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. Bd2 Nf4 {Nowadays black
almost always captures on c3 (with either piece). The text move is almost
never seen, but it's Stockfish's second choice behind 7...Nxc3.} 8. O-O Bg4
9. h3 Bh5 { Engines prefer eliminating the N on f4 with 10.Bxf4, but Didier
makes a move that seems to be with the intention of initiating a K-side
attack, but he doesn't follow through and it ends up being to his detriment.}
10. Kh2 Nc6 11. g4 {Marshall commented that Monsieur Didier's games in Paris
showed "remarkable attacking strength, but patience was not his virtue."
Marshall did not offer any alternative, but seems to hint that Didier's move
was not especially good. However, I let Stockfish run for a few minutes while
I went to prepare a cup of coffee and when I returned it was recommending
Didier's move with an evaluation of dead equal.} 11... Bg6 {Didier's next move
seems to be where he goes wrong. Instead 12.Re1 when neither 12...h5 13.g5!
blocking the position on the K-side nor 12...Re8 13.Bxf4 initiating exchanges
lead to anything.} 12. Ne2 Bd6 {Marshall prefers to keep as many pieces on as
possible, but 12...Bxd2 followed by 13...Qf6 would have given him even better
chances.} 13. Nxf4 exf4 14. Rh1 {Perhaps he was thinking of an attack on the
K-side. In any case, this is one of those positions that the engines evaluate
as nearly dead equal, but practically speaking is devoid of chances for one
side (white in this case) and so black is to be preferred.} 14... h5 15. Kg1
{This is no time to dawdle. Better was 15.Bc3} 15... Ne5 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17.
Qf3 Qg5 {Of course taking the b-Pawn would not be a good idea because white
invades along the file and gets a R on the 7th rank after 18.Rb1.} 18. Kf1
Rfe8 {With his next move white is overly concerned about his b-Pawn, but he
should have opted for 19.Qxb7 and if 19...hxg4 20.hxg4 Qxg4 21.Qg2! forces the
exchange of Qs with equality or else white has a decisive attack on the
h-file.} 19. c3 Rad8 {Now white must be on guard against the capture of his
d-Pawn.} 20. Rg1 c6 21. d4 Bc7 22. gxh5 Qxh5 23. Qg2 {As Marshall pointed out
the exchange of Qs was in order. Marshall kindly added that Didier loved
chess but lacked experience and exchanging Qs wasn't his style. The result is
that he pays a high price for his mistake.} 23... f3 {After this it's too late
for white to salvage anything.} 24. Qg4 Qd5 {Stunning. If 25.Bxd5 Bxd3
mate.} 25. b3 Qxc4+ {...also very nice.} 26. bxc4 Bd3# 0-1
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     Who's the greatest of them all? Who's the one we love the most? It seems it depends on who you ask! 
     One would think that in this day of engines that are stronger than any human it would be easy to figure out. But that does not seem to be the case. 
     According to a 2006 article which you can download HERE, Capablanca was the best, but they used the less strong Crafty engine. See also this article on Chessbase: Computer analysis of world champions 
     Then there is the 2017 report on Chess.com that comes to a different conclusion and says Carlsen is the man. For further reading: Chess Fans Booed This Year's World Championship, but Computers Cheered 
     So, who’s the baddest of them all. What really makes a player great? What are their characteristics? Do we really prefer the flawed master or, do we prefer perfection? 
     If one is looking for perfectly played games then games from engine championships or even the ICCF world championship finals are the ones that should be examined. But, I don’t think most of us are interested in that kind of chess. 
     We prefer lots of excitement with spills and thrills brought about by mistakes. Not gross blunders, but subtle mistakes that allow one side to deliver, as the Soviets liked to put it, a sledgehammer blow. Or, we like to see gamblers making speculative sacrifices that will require both players to walk on the razor’s edge even if Stockfish sees the refutation in the twinkling of an eye!

Speaking of chessplayers...I was looking at collections of best games and here’s the list of books, about $400 worth, I’d like to have: 

My Magic Years of Topalov 
Gata Kamsky - Chess Gamer - Vol. 1 
Learn from Michal Krasenkow 
Fabiano Caruana 
Alexander Beliavsky - Legendary Chess Careers - Part 1 and 2 
Max Euwe - Fifth World Chess Champion 
Triple Exclam!!! - the life and games of Emory Tate 
Najdorf x Najdorf 
The Soviet Championships 
Lajos Portisch
Oldrich Duras - Master of Chess Combination
Combat – My 50 Years of Chess, Sidney Bernstein 
The Life and Games of Frank Ross Anderson 
Mir Sultan Khan

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