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  • Originally posted by Wayne Komer View Post
    Great Chess Quotes

    July 5, 2018

    As White, he always played the Grob, 1.g4 and always won.

    Frank Szarka was the editor/publisher of Canadian Chess Chat from January 1975 to 1986. He played in the Canadian Opens - Calgary (1975), Toronto (1976) and Fredericton (1977). Comparatively little has been written about him.

    See these:

    [entry 11]

    Bill Wall has a paragraph about him and game on his website:

    Szarka, Frank J. - Editor of the Canadian Chess Chat. He was also the main organizer of the 1978 Canadian Open, held in Hamilton, Ontario. He won his class section in the 1975 World Class Championship, held in Vancouver, BC. After 5 rounds, Szarka and I were the only ones with a perfect score of 5-0. He then defeated me in round 6. He won with the score of 9.5-0.5. As White, he always played the Grob, 1.g4 and always won. He was originally from Yugoslavia and should have played in the master section.

    Wall - Szarka, World Class Ch, Vancouver, BC 1975
    (A23 English, Bremen System, Keres variation)
    1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. b3 O-O 6. Bb2 d6 7. e3 Re8 8. Nge2 Nbd7 9. O-O Rb8 10. Rc1 a6 11. Qc2 g6 12. Ne4 Nxe4 13. Bxe4 Nf6 14. Bg2 Bf5 15. d3 Rc8 16. Qd2 Qc7 17. h3 h5 18. Kh2 Nh7 19. Ng1 Qb8 20. Rc2 Rcd8 21. Bc1 d5 22. cxd5 cxd5 23. Re1? (23.Ne2) 23...h4 24. Bxd5?? (24...Kh1) e4 25. Qa5 b6 26. Bxf7+ Kxf7 27. Qxa6 hxg3+ 28. fxg3 exd3 29. Qc4+ Kf8 30. Rf2 Bd6 31. Rg2 Re4 32. Qc3 Kg8 33. Nf3 Bb4 0-1

    From Chess Obituaries by Bill Wall
    regarding Frank Szarka "he should have played in the master section". Not quite. I played Frank Szarka in the seventies and knew him from the Hamilton chess scene. He was a colourful character and I enjoyed our encounters. His openings were extremely tricky and he might have come across as master strength by Bill Wall but once he was out of the opening he played about 1900.Also he didnt care about results so much as interesting games.An interesting character from the past and the Hamilton area (Ontario).


    • Great Chess Quotes

      July 22, 2018

      A Tough Simultaneous!

      From CHESS magazine and Olimpiu G. Urcan:

      On January 20, 1979, Boris Spassky, Evgeny Vasiukov and Alexander Kochyev gave three different 30-board simultaneous exhibitions on the same day, an event organized at the prize-giving of the 1979 London Junior Congress sponsored by the Evening Standard.

      Vasiukov scored + 20 = 10, Kochyev scored + 19 = 8 - 3 and Spassky took seven hours to score + 13 = 12 - 5.

      The February 1979 issue of CHESS offered a detailed report on Spassky's exhibition:

      The former world champion said afterwards: "This was the toughest ever simultaneous. Until today I've never lost more than four games in an exhibition in my life. Many of these youngsters would be candidate masters in Russia. I wouldn't take them on again for double the money."

      Spassky drank only fresh orange juice and took periodic time-outs, a novelty in exhibition play. Three times he waved his hands to indicate 10-minute breaks, left the room and returned to sit in a chair and ponder his position against Nigel Short shown on a display board.

      The same report also gave the scores of Spassky's games against Nigel Short, Julian Hodgson and Neil Dickenson. One other game from this exhibition, a loss to 19-year-old Glenn Flear, third from left in the photograph given herewith, was printed on page 5 of the February 24 issue of the Birmingham Post, in a column by Peter Gibbs.


      30-board simul
      London, ENG
      January 20, 1979
      Spassky, Boris – Hodgson, Julian
      B16 Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen variation

      1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Ne2 e6 8.c3 Rg8 9.Ng3 Bg6 10.O-O Bd6 11.Qf3 Nd7 12.Bf4 Qc7 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.Ne4 Bxe4 15.Qxe4 O-O-O 16.Rfe1 f5 17.Qf3 Rg6 18.Bf1 Nf6 19.Rad1 Rdg8 20.c4 Ng4 21.g3 f4 22.Re4 Rf6 0-1

      Spassky, Boris – Dickenson, Neil
      C01 French Defense, Winawer, Delayed Exchange Variation

      1.d4 e6 2.e4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Ne2 Nge7 7.O-O Bf5 8.Bf4 O-O 9.a3 Bd6 10.Qd2 Bxf4 11.Nxf4 Nxd4 12.Rfe1 c6 13.Re5 Qd6 14.Rae1 Rae8 15.Bxf5 Ndxf5 16.Ncxd5 cxd5 17.Nxd5 Qd8 18.Qe2 Nd4 19.Qe4 Ne6 20.Nxe7+ Rxe7 21.f4 Nc5 0-1

      Spassky, Boris – Short, Nigel
      C19 French, Winawer, Advance, Smyslov variation

      1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.a4 Nbc6 8.Nf3 Qa5 9.Qd2 f6 10.Bb5 Bd7 11.Ba3 cxd4 12.cxd4 Qxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Na5 14.Rhb1 Ng6 15.Bb4 Bxb5 16.Bxa5 Ba6 17.Bb4 Rc8 18.Ra3 Kd7 19.Re3 Rc4 20.c3 Rc6 21.g3 Bc4 22.a5 b6 1/2-1/2

      Spassky, Boris – Flear, Glenn
      D44 QGD, Semi-Slav, anti-Meran, Alatortsev System

      1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 Nd5 10.Nxf7 Qxh4 11.Nxh8 Bb4 12.Rc1 Qe4+ 13.Be2 Nf4 14.f3 Qh7 15.O-O Bxc3 16.bxc3 Qxh8 17.Qd2 Qf8 18.g3 Nxe2+ 19.Qxe2 Na6 20.f4 Qf7 21.g4 Bb7 22.f5 O-O-O 23.fxe6 Qxe6 24.Rf6 Qd5 25.Qf3 Qxf3 26.Rxf3 c5 27.Rf4 cxd4 28.cxd4 Nb4 29.Rcf1 Nd3 30.Rf8 Bd5 0-1

      Final position in Spassky-Flear


      • Great Chess Quotes

        July 23, 2018

        Biel 2018 has started and Magnus Carlsen’'s first round opponent was David Navara (as black). It was a long, complicated game eliciting these two comments from the English Chess Forum:

        Matt Mackenzie:

        Carlsen has an ending that "looks" good but which the computer thinks will be difficult to actually convert

        David Robertson replies:

        Pfft! Computer, he kno’ nuttin'. Carlsen converted without breaking into a trot. He is ridiculously good


        • Great Chess Quotes

          August 3, 2018

          Another Tough Simultaneous!

          In an earlier posting, #467 in Great Chess Quotes, there was a description of a tough Spassky simultaneous. This one is worse!

          From Olimpiu G. Urcan:

          Wade against Pioneers

          In a chess column on page 40 of the August 1956 issue of U.S.S.R., Alexander Kotov wrote the following in regard to Robert Wade's famous 1951 simultaneous exhibition in Moscow:

          The increasing number of gifted young people coming to the fore every year is conducive to the development of chess as a sport. "But don't give simultaneous exhibitions with Young Pioneers," half in jest and half seriously Euwe warned his colleagues going to Moscow.

          That there are good grounds for such a warning was learned especially well by the British Master R. Wade when he established a peculiar "world record" in Moscow in 1951. Giving a simultaneous exhibition on 30 boards against school children at the Moscow House of the Young Pioneer, Wade lost 20, drew 10 and thus failed to win a single game. Wade, however, demonstrated true stoicism after this incident.

          "I think," said the witty Englishman, "that had any of the Young Pioneers played against 30 Wades, his result would have been no worse."


          • Great Chess Quotes

            August 6, 2018

            Drinkable Chess Prizes

            From ChessBase:

            “The fourth edition of the Wine Open took place in Hourtin, near Bordeaux. The traditional prizes in this unique event are bottle of wines delivered according to the winners' weight. 15-year-old Antoine Bournel took first place and took home 51 bottles after the weigh-in was made.”

            Evi Zickelbein at:



            The Shanghai Chess Club has a monthly prize of Whisky for Chess:

            “Every Thursday earn points to win a bottle of Single Malt, Glenfiddich 12 Years.

            Each month, the player with the highest points gets the bottle.

            Rules: Rapid chess (FIDE Rules) 3 pts for a win. 1 pt for a draw. Play 1 person maximum 3 times in one night. The bar has to stamp a card to show your points. If you lose the card, you've lost your points. New cards issued each month.”



            See also:

            Quote #274

            Last edited by Wayne Komer; Monday, 6th August, 2018, 03:15 PM.


            • Great Chess Quotes

              August 8, 2018

              What would you do?

              You are preparing a sale catalogue for a collection of chess books and you have a nice item with an unreadable (to you) signature. What would you do?

              The listing:

              34A Dombrovskis (A.): Saha Kompozicija Padomju Latvija. Riga 1961. 1st Edn. Red hardback boards, VG. 158pp., 441 problems. Possibly signed by author on endpaper. Ł12.00


              • Chess is so deep --- I simply feel lost - Vlad Kramnik


                • Great Chess Quotes

                  August 29, 2018

                  Bobby Fischer in the Olympiads and American Teams from 1960 to 1970 (incl)

                  Fischer’'s record in the Chess Olympiads

                  Bobby Fischer’'s record in Olympiads was outstanding. He scored 49 points from 65 games (+40, -7, =18) winning two team silver medals (and two fourth-place finishes) and two silver and one bronze individual medals. His career winning percentage of 75.4% is among the top 15 players of all-time, behind only Isaac Kashdan (79.7%) and James Tarjan (75.5%), among American players who have played in more than one Olympiad.

                  1960 (Leipzig) 2nd – Bobby Fischer, Lombardy, R. Byrne, Bisguier, Rossolimo, Raymond Weinstein, Kashdan (captain)
                  1962 (Varna) 4th - Fischer, Pal Benko, Evans, R. Byrne, Donald Byrne, Edmar Mednis, Eliot Hearst (captain)
                  1964 (Tel Aviv) 6th - Reshevsky, Benko, Anthony Saidy, Bisguier, D. Byrne, William Addison, Kashdan (captain)
                  1966 (Havana) 2nd - Fischer, R. Byrne, Benko, Evans, Addison, Rossolimo, D. Byrne (captain)
                  1968 (Lugano) 4th - Reshevsky, Evans, Benko, R. Byrne, Lombardy, D. Byrne (playing captain)
                  1970 (Siegen) 4th - Fischer, Reshevsky, Evans, Benko, Lombardy, Mednis, ed Edmondson (captain)

                  From: Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room Newsletter #839, August 24, 2018 (John Donaldson)



                  • From the great Tartakower: A master can sometimes play badly, a fan never.


                    • Great Chess Quotes

                      September 12, 2018

                      Garry Kasparov is playing in the Chess960 Champions Showdown at St. Louis. There are a set of five matches.

                      Several of the players were asked how it is to play in a tournament in which Garry is competing.

                      Sam Shankland: The only negative thing about playing an event featuring Kasparov is that I don’t get to play with him. When I had to choose my opponent, Kasparov was my first choice but if you don’t ask the pretty one to the prom right away, you end up with Maxime!

                      Of course, I am delighted to be playing with MVL, he is a fantastically strong opponent but I am little bit worried that I will be distracted watching Kasparov play, because he was my hero growing up.


                      • Great Chess Quotes

                        October 8, 2018

                        You do well in the Olympiad. Whom do you thank and congratulate?

                        From Wesley So’s Facebook entry:

                        Thank you Lord for giving us the Silver Medal at the 2018 Batumi Olympiad. A great blessing because I personally know I should have played better than I did. Total Congratulations to China for Gold! You guys really deserved that. And Russia for the Bronze! Congratulations also to the Polish team who just missed the podium but played really excellently. Thank you to Go2Life bottled water for keeping me energized and hydrated wherever I go. Thank you to our Fide hosts and the wonderful city of Batumi Georgia which is beautiful and hospitable. A very memorable Olympiad also because we now have a new Fide President, Arkady Dvorkovich. Hopefully great things are just ahead for the world of chess.

                        God has been so good to me. AMDG



                        Supplemental: A post from June 17:

                        I want to thank the Norwegian makers of Go2Life water for sending me to Belgium with the gift of a suitcase filled with their bottled water - just because I told them how much I liked it!!! I really do! Who knows, maybe it helped me win! At the very least I was never dehydrated.


                        • Great Chess Quotes

                          October 18, 2014

                          Why the cucumber?

                          The Banterthon is back!

                          Grandmasters Jan Gustafsson and Pepe Cuenca will play chess24 Premium members non-stop for 12 hours this Thursday, 18th October. If you’ve ever wanted to play a chess grandmaster – and especially a grandmaster wearing a wig or hat while holding a cucumber – now’s your chance! They’ll play from 8am in the morning to 8pm at night, so if the tension of the European Club Cup final round becomes too much you know where to turn.



                          • Great Chess Quotes

                            November 22, 2018

                            Grischuk, Giri and Svidler are commentating during the 10thgame of the WCC 2018

                            Alexander talks of physiological problems when you are short of time. Anish posits that you can’t drink too much, you must limit your input during a game.

                            Peter says that rationing your liquid intake and output is a widely unappreciated skill of top chess players.

                            Chess24 broadcast, November 22, 2018
                            Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 01:48 PM.


                            • Great Chess Quotes

                              November 28, 2018

                              During the third game of the tie-break of the Carlsen-Caruana World Championship Match, Svidler, Giri and Grischuk were still discussing the twelfth game where Carlsen went for a draw in a very favorable position (and then rapids tie-break). Svidler didn’t like it:

                              The decision Magnus made in Game 12 annoyed me more that it should have. If you are looking for a passionate defence of what he did in Game 12 – I even saw an article today which compared the decision he took in Game 12 to a very very specific “scandal” happening right now in Indian Women’s Cricket. There are all kinds of weird comparisons going around explaining why what he did was correct.

                     coverage of the Match, Nov. 28


                              • Great Chess Quotes

                                December 25, 2018

                                No one left out

                                Nigel Short today - A very happy #Christmas all my Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, Shintoist, Taoist, Zoroastrian, Shamanist, Pagan and atheist friends!