Collective Nouns - Fischer v Spassky

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  • #31
    Peter's wit was endless. In response to chess players playing famous players in simuls Peter liked to say, yes Ive played Fischer, and Szabo, and Yanofsky and Bronstein. In simuls -no, mano a mano and beaten them all! What? Of course he meant Robert Fischer the American expert, Ken Szabo - Toronto B player (I think), Harry Yanofsky, and there was a C player I think named Bronstein.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Peter McKillop View Post

      Chesswise, 1967 was a big chess year for me. In the spring, I 'discovered' that Wendell Holmes Book Store, on Richmond near Oxford, carried high quality chess books. In fact, at that time, they only carried Dover chess books and I'm sure you remember, Hans, what a great selection of chess titles Dover had. I still have all of those Dover books. Then in the fall of '67, a friend mentioned that the central YMCA had a large (for London) chess club where teenagers as well as adults were welcome. And that's when I met Ted Durrant. Ted was one of the good guys in my opinion. In those days, if I remember correctly, Ted was on the verge of breaking into expert strength. I was probably about 1200. But there was no chess snobbery there. Ted was always friendly and helpful, ready to look at a game with me or play some skittles. Lost track of Ted. Did you know him, Hans?
      1967 was my starting year too. It was Canada's centennial and my grade 5 teacher Mrs. Humphreys wanted to do a special class project to celebrate. She chose to teach us chess - yes the whole class, we all learned. I was terrible. I had a perfect score - a dozen losses! and it was 5 years until I played again.

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      • #33
        One day in 1975 Bob Edwards mentioned that he was going to the Cleveland library (specifically to see the John White collection) and did I want to come along? Did I? I had already heard about it and it was known as the best chess collection in the world! Bob said three things: We will head out real early, you need ID and you better prepare. Prepare? I was a rambunctious teenager - prepare? - its all chess - I will love everything. 6 in the morning we left and Bob did the 300 miles in 3 and a half hours and that included the border crossing. Bob had an old police cruiser (thanks to Ernie Rentz and Bob going with to auctions) and that car could move. You think that would have given me time to ask Bob 1001 questions but I was only half awake or napping the whole way. At one point on the 401 I glanced over and Bob was doing 90 and behind us a police cruiser was approaching rapidly but no lights. Bob didnt flinch - steady speed. The cruiser pulls up alongside and the cop looks over. Bob salutes. The cop nodded and then immediately slowed down, jumped the grass median and headed the other way. I asked Bob what that was all about - I thought you were going to get a ticket. Bob grinned and said You just give them what they want to see. The border was easy. I showed my birth certifcate - customs asked where are you going - Cleveland library to look at chess books. The guy wouldnt look at us - just shook his head, rolled his eyes and waved us through. We got to the library, Bob disappeared and I went browsing. After several aisles and pulling out various boxes I got tired. I had looked through old copies of a Steinitz magazine, looked at several old German magazines, and dittos of Morphys chess columns. I realized what Bob had meant about coming prepared. I finally found a book of Marshalls games and spent happy hours entertained by Marshalls swindles on my pocket set. Bob had a productive day. He came back loaded down with photocopies. He was happy on the drive back as he had successfully found some real chess gems. (rare games)
        Last edited by Hans Jung; Saturday, 23rd July, 2022, 05:08 PM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post
          One day in 1975 Bob Edwards ....
          It sounds like Bob was a real character. I wish I'd gotten to know him better. In the1980s my big three chess dreams were: play in the World Open, play in the New York Open, and see the White collection in person. Never made it to any of them. In 1994 had trouble getting a U.S. border guard to believe that I was going to Buffalo to play in a tournament. Fortunately I had the latest issue of Chess Life with me! :)
          "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." - Aesop
          "Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato
          "If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination." - Thomas De Quincey

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          • #35
            Bob Edwards did alot of research and put alot of work into his magazine International Chess News (if memory serves me right) and his chess books. They were very ambitious projects but resulted in only 3 or 4 issues of the magazine and 3 books, two of which were on the Scandinavian Defence which he claimed was the best resource of the modern master. It was due to his notes that I started to play the Scandinavian. His research and magazine did attract attention. One day at the club an older, studious gentleman with large black framed glasses kept coming in and out of Bob's side room (which we nicknamed the study) with stacks of paper which he kept shifting into different piles. Bob came over with a grin, all excited, and said in a low voice Do you know who that is. I thought for a while and said Irving Chernev? That deflated Bob's bubble and he said how did you know? I said - well it isnt Fred Reinfeld so it was next best guess. Lucky guess!
            Our group of speed players (which included Dave Kashijkian aka Mr Wit) kept saying I used to play Irving Chernev's recommendations but then I bought a real chess book or I used to play Chernev's recommendations but then I got a job. I wasnt happy about that because secretly I liked Chernev's books.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post
              One day in 1975 Bob Edwards mentioned that he was going to the Cleveland library (specifically to see the John White collection) and did I want to come along? Did I? I had already heard about it and it was known as the best chess collection in the world! Bob said three things: We will head out real early, you need ID and you better prepare. Prepare? I was a rambunctious teenager - prepare? - its all chess - I will love everything. 6 in the morning we left and Bob did the 300 miles in 3 and a half hours and that included the border crossing. Bob had an old police cruiser (thanks to Ernie Rentz and Bob going with to auctions) and that car could move. You think that would have given me time to ask Bob 1001 questions but I was only half awake or napping the whole way. At one point on the 401 I glanced over and Bob was doing 90 and behind us a police cruiser was approaching rapidly but no lights. Bob didnt flinch - steady speed. The cruiser pulls up alongside and the cop looks over. Bob salutes. The cop nodded and then immediately slowed down, jumped the grass median and headed the other way. I asked Bob what that was all about - I thought you were going to get a ticket. Bob grinned and said You just give them what they want to see. The border was easy. I showed my birth certifcate - customs asked where are you going - Cleveland library to look at chess books. The guy wouldnt look at us - just shook his head, rolled his eyes and waved us through. We got to the library, Bob disappeared and I went browsing. After several aisles and pulling out various boxes I got tired. I had looked through old copies of a Steinitz magazine, looked at several old German magazines, and dittos of Morphys chess columns. I realized what Bob had meant about coming prepared. I finally found a book of Marshalls games and spent happy hours entertained by Marshalls swindles on my pocket set. Bob had a productive day. He came back loaded down with photocopies. He was happy on the drive back as he had successfully found some real chess gems. (rare games)
              If someone is into chess history in any way, they should bucket list the John White at Cleveland. And as much as you can see while you're there, what's even more mind-blowing is the sheer volume of stuff that's out of view. Really, the legacy of this collection can be beyond comprehension at times, it's hard to get my head around just how many items he researched and bought.

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              • #37
                Re: John Fortin: I had a tremendous game with him at the 1990 Ontario Team Championship, a real battle in the French, which I eventually managed to win. I think I have the game somewhere. John was a real gem to analyze with in the post-mortem. I won Best Alternate prize there, but always cursed the game I lost when a piece up. My choke caused the Kingston team's top board, GMC / FM Martin Kreuzer, to risk winning an equal position against IM Deen Hergott, to try to make up for my 'salted away win which got away', and he lost that. He was quite upset. Martin and I stayed friends, though! I'd long wondered what happened to John; so Papua New Guinea it was! Thanks!

                And the book by Bob Edwards in the Scandinavian is pretty good; there wasn't much published on that opening at the time he did it. So it was useful for me, with the obscure references and games; one could tell he had really dug deep to produce it.

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                • #38
                  The club (Edwards club on Richmond) was a great place for us younger members (mostly teenagers) such as myself, Jay Zendrowski, Kelly Riley, Dave Kashijkian, Arthur Wong, Ray and Wesley Ebisuzaki, Dave Jackson, Ikuya Nagai, and a large group of university students (amongst others). We would have long speed sessions and mini tournaments with lots of kibitzing. With the tension of speed and winning and losing we engaged in witticisms and verbal provocation and trashtalk. All of us contributed in our own way and I earned the moniker Junglemouth both referring to my name and my heightened abilities to trashtalk. One day we were hard at it and I was slapped across the head by a pair of womens gloves. A club member had brought his date to show her the club. They were all dressed up to go out on the town and he was incensed at me for my foul language in front of his lady friend. She was also thoroughly disgusted with me. This was my introduction to Steve Bartlett and his later wife Donna. After apologising and applying my charm we became within weeks fast friends. The next time I saw Steve at the club he brought along Hyssam Elsakka. I had never met anyone like him before. Hyssam was a picture in contrasts. He usually wore a stained (could say dirty) T - shirt, off colour shorts, and European sandals, was gregarious, provocative, witty (never at a lack of words) was always up to something, and loved speed chess. After our lengthy club speed chess session he invited us back to his apartment where we happily played speed chess all night long fuelled by endless beer and a pot of Middle Eastern stew which was continuously simmering on the stove (all supplied by Hyssam). This for a 16 year old with no money was irresistible.
                  Last edited by Hans Jung; Wednesday, 27th July, 2022, 03:20 PM.

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                  • #39
                    In my previous thread I mentioned Jay Zendrowski. Jay writes crime fiction now, an ongoing series of novels featuring the London, Ontario scene.He puts the occasional chess scene in and one of his characters is Dave Mctavish. Its good writing and Ive enjoyed them. Jay plays online regularly and still maintains a masters rating. In return for putting in a plug for him I hope he will add me as a character. It would be nice to be immortalized.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Hans Jung View Post
                      In my previous thread I mentioned Jay Zendrowski. Jay writes crime fiction now, an ongoing series of novels featuring the London, Ontario scene.He puts the occasional chess scene in and one of his characters is Dave Mctavish. Its good writing and Ive enjoyed them. Jay plays online regularly and still maintains a masters rating. In return for putting in a plug for him I hope he will add me as a character. It would be nice to be immortalized.
                      You were playing a game blindfolded when your opponent didn't reply to your move Rc8. Was he planning a deep mate threat? But there wasn't anything there. So you told him that it was his move but he didn't respond. You turned around and were startled to see him slouched over with blood on his shirt. He was murdered right behind you but you saw nothing.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Erik Malmsten View Post

                        You were playing a game blindfolded when your opponent didn't reply to your move Rc8. Was he planning a deep mate threat? But there wasn't anything there. So you told him that it was his move but he didn't respond. You turned around and were startled to see him slouched over with blood on his shirt. He was murdered right behind you but you saw nothing.
                        Whose blood was it?

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                        • #42
                          Erik you missed your calling. You could have been a chess crime writer.

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                          • #43
                            I met Herman Posma at the German - Canadian club in London (Cove Road) in 1975. Herman would tell me stories of his days in The Dutch East Indies where his family had a plantation (Sumatra I think) and the invasion and occupation of the Japanese and later the revolution and losing his home and coming to Canada. He was a landlord for many Western students in the 50's, 60's, and 70"s and was Sreve Bartletts landlord in the late 60's. Herman was bitten by the chess bug at age 70! After about 10 more years he separated from his wife (who told him he should settle down, enjoy home life, and give up that silly game - the last was enough for him) and moved to Toronto (and got an apartment) to play tournament chess! The last talk I had with him was at the Estonian Club with their famous Paul Keres Actives in 97 or 98. Herman told me he was still improving, had gained at least 300 rating points since he had started and planned to gain a 100 more. This was at age 92!! Anyone else remember Herman Posma?

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                            • #44
                              Herman and I used to hang out a good deal, Hans, after he moved to The Esplanade close to the St. Lawrence Market. We'd play chess, go for lunch and generally have chili, while all along the walks to and from, he'd put his hand on the side of his head while happily sighing something to the effect of" My, oh, my. Such pretty legs! I wish I was younger!" as we passed the young ladies walking or sitting on benches.

                              Such a great man. He even brought me a pocket set that he picked up while at the abandoned 1st K-K match. I still have it.
                              Last edited by Sam Sharpe; Tuesday, 2nd August, 2022, 02:47 PM.
                              I have nothing important to say.

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                              • #45
                                Thanks for that Sam. Herman had a lot of passion and enthusiasm and I expect that is what kept him going so late in life.

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