Great chess quotes

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  • Great Chess Quotes

    March 4, 2020

    How many chess players does it take to change a lightbulb?

    The World Champion enters a dark room. He sends for his team of seconds to fix the problem and wanders off to find food.

    The World Champion’s team of elite GMs enters the dark room. They squabble for two weeks, before deciding if darkness is good enough for the Champion, it’s good enough for them.

    An IM enters the room. He’s confident he can change the bulb but he can’t quite reach.

    An expert enters the room. He’s spent a lot of money on lightbulbs but he’s never learned how to use them. He offers one to the GMs, who shrug and politely decline, stating they “prefer to discover their own lightbulbs”.

    An amateur enters the room. It’s the middle of the day so he opens the curtains.

    Tweet of Mr. Dodgy


    • Once there is the slightest suggestion of combinational possibilities on the board, look for unusual moves. Apart from making your play creative and interesting, it will help you get better results.
      Alexander Kotov. I first read this a long time ago and then I couldnt find the quote for the longest time. Then it resurfaced for me and I knew that I may have forgotten the exact words and the source but I have applied the principle in my most interesting games; and thats what really matters.


      • Great Chess Quotes

        March 21, 2020

        Player Replicas

        The world is in a Covid-19 pandemic. The term of the day is “social distancing” – keeping yourself at least 1.5 metres from anybody else.

        World Chess has come up with an idea which I initially thought was a joke but turns out to be real. It is just another idea that they have had that is, I believe, bad marketing.

        HOW DO YOU KEEP THE WORLD’S CHESS ELITE SAFE while they are taking part in the most important tournament in their careers in a country where all sports events are put on hold amid the coronavirus scare? You keep them isolated as much as possible.

        WORLD CHESS, a media company and an official partner of FIDE, the chess governing body, developed an innovative way to supplement the event’s coverage without putting the players at risk: Ken and Barbie-like models of the players are prepared and will be available for photography and filming while the players can be safe during the event.

        5-inch players’ replicas, wearing suits as ties as per FIDE regulations, sitting at the chess tables, can be photographed shaking opponents hands, while the real players will avoid doing that based on the recent health advisory.

        “Unlike in boxing or tennis, in chess players have not been historically docile to pose for photos, especially after losing an important game,” explains Ilya MEREZNON, World Chess CEO, “Now, with the coronavirus and stress, they will probably avoid appearing in public. Having organized numerous tournaments and aware of this, World Chess will supplement the event’s coverage with photos of 5-inch replicas of the players, so the media and organizers can have more assets for the event’s coverage”

        Images will be available for all media and chess fans alike to use with Creative Commons license.

        The images are set to supplement the official coverage. FIDE’s official photographers and accredited media provide official images, which are available from the FIDE press office.


        • Great Chess Quotes

          March 21, 2020

          Chess and Snooker

          From the English Chess Forum

          Daniel Gormally - I was thinking yesterday how Caruana was unlucky in a way, that it wasn't the situation like it is in other sports, where you get a world championship every year (like in snooker or darts.)

          I think in some years he's looked as good or even superior to Carlsen overall. So I think in that scenario he would have won a couple of world titles by now, players like Ding and Aronian would have possibly won one, and Magnus himself would probably be on about 5 or 6. I think he's unlucky as if he doesn't qualify this time around (and I don't think he will) it'll become tougher and tougher as players like Alireza will begin to break through.

          Jonathan Rogers - Apples and oranges, though, isn't it (chess and snooker, I mean). By my reckoning - and I confess I did look up the list, having lost track about 15 years ago - there have been 21 world snooker champions since the event was played at the Crucible in 1977, compared with the sixteen generally recognised world chess champions since 1886. Essentially in snooker, they are not wedded to the idea that the winner must be probably or arguably the best player in the world. In chess, I think we are. So when chess tried it the snooker way between 1999-2004, Khalifman and Khazimdzhanov were two of the four winners, that was that.

          (There are of course several other important differences between chess and snooker, including the presence of sponsors and TV to pay to see them all having a go each year, not to mention that in seventeen days they can have LONGER than usual matches and finish the whole thing).


          • Great Chess Quotes

            March 28, 2020

            When You Could Smoke at the Board

            Raymond Keene

            As to smoking, the Olympic standard was set by the Dutch Grandmaster Jan Hein Donner, who seemed to exist on a diet of black coffee (of which 90 per cent was heaped up white sugar) and hand rolled, chain smoked cigarettes. A new biography of the man described as the greatest Dutch contrarian of the 20th century, has just appeared, published by New in Chess.

            At the 1973 match between England and the Netherlands, played in Manchester Town Hall, I drew my game on top board against the former Dutch World Champion (1935-1937) Dr Max Euwe. After we had finished discussing our game, I wandered over to watch the game on board two between Donner, a formidable player who had numbered both Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer among his victims, pitted against ten-times British champion, Dr Jonathan Penrose.

            The contrast with modern chess could not have been more marked. At that time, smoking was permitted during play, and to accommodate the ash, outsize circular Bakelite ashtrays were placed on each table. Donner constantly refilled his sugar-fuelled black coffees, and backed up this stimulant with cigarette after cigarette, lighting each new one with the stub of the old and thereby building up a vast pile of half burnt cigarettes in the ashtray.

            Eventually, the pile of ash increased to mountainous dimensions, it began to emit smoke itself, then burst into flames and caused the giant ashtray to crack into two. There was now, literally, fire on board! The two players seemed transfixed, horrified, and unable to react in this crisis.

            Realising that urgent action was mandatory, during this temporary mental paralysis of the two combatants, I, with what I considered to be admirable presence of mind, seized Donner’s coffee cup and hurled the contents onto the flaming heap of ash, thus extinguishing the flames. Given the very high sugar content of the liquid, however, my prompt action had the effect of converting the conflagration into a thick, black, sticky, hot, steaming pyroclastic flow, trickling slowly across the table, but at least no longer threatening to consume Manchester Town Hall in flames.

            As if emerging from a trance, Donner and Penrose looked up at each other, spontaneously, agreed the game drawn, fled from the scene and left me to explain to the janitor what had happened , before he set about cleaning up the liquefied mini-volcanic residue still smouldering on their chess table.


            Other chess mishaps:



            • Great Chess Quotes

              April 4, 2020

              Famous chess players not talking about chess

              Anish Giri in a recent interview:

              The football coach Leonid Slutsky, who worked in the Netherlands, spoke about the law-abiding nature of your citizens. By way of an example he gave the situation with speed limits on roads, which the Dutch never break.

              I can explain what that’s connected to - it’s not about mentality. In the Netherlands it’s very hard to pass your driving test. I only managed with difficulty. I spent a huge amount of hours, time and nerves in order to get my driving licence. It’s all very strict. When you get it the rules are so deeply embedded in you that you follow them. So here it’s more connected to the system of getting that right, while there are hooligans everywhere.


              Surya Shekhar Ganguly in an NIC interview:

              Which three people would you like to invite for dinner?

              Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Professor Calculus.

              In the Just Checking column on page 106 of New In Chess 2020#2


              • Great Chess Quotes

                April 9, 2020

                A Sports Story with Everything

                By Arun

                Despite power failure, GM Narayanan powers on

                Kochi: Chess Grandmaster SL Narayanan is in a rush to arrange an inverter. He’s hoping to borrow one as it is tough to buy anything non-essential during the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the Covid-29 pandemic.

                The Kerala player almost lost a quarterfinal tie with Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli and missed out on a potential final pairing with world champion Magnus Carlsen in the popular Banter Blitz Cup online tournament in, due to power failure Monday night.

                The tie was scheduled at 10pm and Narayan had logged in from his home at Thiruvananthapuram. He was cruising at 3.5-1.5 when the first setback occurred. Again, while leading 6.5-4.5, power failure played spoil-sport for a second time. The nature of the online tournament (3 minutes per player) is such that you forfeit if you lose connectivity while the game is on.

                “Both the games were crucial and losing them due to connection problems nearly ruined the entire tie. Luckily power was back and I could win the last two games,” said Narayan after the exhaustive event.

                At the end of it all, Narayan secured a 8.5-6.5 win in the 26-round tie.

                Narayanan is the only Indian remaining in the knockout competition that started last September with 128 prominent players worldwide. World’s best Carlsen and the sensational Ali Reza Firouzja are two others left in the hunt.

                Ideally, the popular Kerala GM would be t ravelling the world to play regular tournaments but with all events cancelled, he started to gibe online chess some serious thought.

                “We need to live stream the games as well and my mobile internet and some usual services are not fast enough in our locality,” said Narayanan. His father Sunilduth says they are reliant on a cable-linked connection.

                Narayanan is hoping to resolve the nagging non-chess problem when he faces Firouzja in the semifinal in a few days’ time. (April 10). The formidable blitz player had crushed German Georg Meier 8.5-2.5 to advance while Carlsen will be playing Sanan Sjugirov in the other last-four clash (Carlsen won 9 games to 0).



                • Great Chess Quotes

                  May 6, 2020

                  From an FIDE article entitled Andor Lilienthal: 99 years of prowess


                  In 1976, at the request of his mother, Andor returned to Budapest and lived there since. Almost all chess kings of the XX century visited his apartment in the Hungarian capital, but Bobby Fischer was the only one who lived there for a month. It happened when he was hiding from the US authorities after the 1992 match with Spassky in Yugoslavia. “He could eat half a pot of Olga’s borsch and loved caviar,” – recalled Andor in one of the interviews. They were friends. The flighty American genius approved only three chess players who could carry his coffin at the funeral: Andor Lilienthal, Lajos Portisch, and Boris Spassky.


                  • Originally posted by Wayne Komer View Post
                    Great Chess Quotes

                    May 6, 2020

                    From an FIDE article entitled Andor Lilienthal: 99 years of prowess


                    In 1976, at the request of his mother, Andor returned to Budapest and lived there since. Almost all chess kings of the XX century visited his apartment in the Hungarian capital, but Bobby Fischer was the only one who lived there for a month. It happened when he was hiding from the US authorities after the 1992 match with Spassky in Yugoslavia. “He could eat half a pot of Olga’s borsch and loved caviar,” – recalled Andor in one of the interviews. They were friends. The flighty American genius approved only three chess players who could carry his coffin at the funeral: Andor Lilienthal, Lajos Portisch, and Boris Spassky.
                    Thats something I didnt know and says alot. re carrying Fischer's coffin: Lilienthal, Portisch and Spassky.


                    • Great Chess Quotes

                      May 20, 2020

                      Nigel Short:

                      Covid-19 has taught me a few lessons. One of them is that I do not need to travel abroad every 4 weeks to stay sane.



                      • You do not have to play well, just help your opponent play badly. - Genrikh Chepukaitis - one of my favorite characters of Russian chess


                        • Great Chess Quotes

                          June 12, 2020



                          Occupations of Chess Players

                          By Emmanuel Basi

                          Here are some occupations of some chess masters and well-known chess players.

                          Accountants and chess masters include Johann Allgaier (1763-1823), Henry Bird (1830-1908), Samuel Reshevsky (1911-1992), and Frederick Yates (1834-1932). Bird also wrote a book entitled An Analysis of Railways in the United Kingdom. Reshevsky graduated from the University of Chicago in 1934 with a degree in accounting and was an accountant for a Manhattan engineering and construction firm.

                          Chess players who knew how to fly airplanes include Ed Edmundson (1920-1982), Max Euwe (1901-1981), Harry Golombek (1911-1995), Carol Jarecki (1935- ), and Woman GM Natalia Pogonina (1985- ). Edmondson was an air Force Lieutenant Colonel and a navigator on tanker aircraft.

                          Pascal Charbonneau won the Canadian championship twice. He is an analyst at Alpine Associates working on Wall Street.

                          Samuel Boden (1826-1882) was an art critic and amateur landscape painter. He was also the chess editor of the Field from 1858 until 1873. He started as a railway clerk.

                          Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was a renowned artist and one of the founders of Dadaism, surrealism, and cubism.

                          Dr. Nathan Divinksy (1925- 2012) served as assistant dean of science at the University of British Columbia. His wife was the 19th Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell. Divinksy received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and became a mathematics teacher. He is now an alderman on the Vancouver, BC city council.

                          Gosta Stoltz (1904-1963) was an automobile mechanic as well as Swedish chess grandmaster.

                          Sir George Thomas (1881-1972) was a professional badminton and tennis player (he once played at Wimbledon). He won the British chess championship twice and the All-England Badminton championship 7 times. In 1911, he played in the semi-finals of the men’s tennis double at Wimbledon.

                          Max Harmonist (1864-1907) was a ballet dancer for the Royal Ballet in Berlin, performing at the Imperial Opera House.

                          Bankers and chess masters include Bill Addison (1933-2008), Ossip Bernstein (1882-1962), Ignatz Kolisch (1837-1889), Ken Rogoff (1953- ), and Max Weiss (1857-1927). Addison gave up chess (he was an International Master) to work at the Bank of America in San Francisco. Addison was also considered one of the best Go players in the U.S.

                          Bernstein was a financial lawyer and earned a doctorate in Law at Heidelberg in 1906. Kolisch started out as a private secretary of the Russian Prince Urusov, then moved to Vienna and met Albert Rothschild, who got him involved in banking. Kolisch became a millionaire from banking and later became a chess patron. Rogoff served as an economist at the International Monetary Fund and was on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He is currently a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Weiss was a banker for the Rothschild bank in Vienna. He also studied mathematics and physics in Vienna and later taught those subjects.

                          Luke McShane is a GM and bond trader in London’s financial sector.

                          Larry Evans (1932-2010) was considered the best blackjack player of any Grandmaster. He was also a journalist. He wrote over 50 chess books.

                          Boxers include Arnold Denker (1914-2005) and Max Euwe (1901-1981). Denker was a Golden Gloves boxing quarterfinalist in New York and won three Golden Gloves bouts by knockouts in the welterweight division. He was also a promising young baseball player who later got a job at a meat-packing company. Euwe was an amateur boxer and won the amateur heavyweight boxing championship of Europe.

                          Arthur Dake (1910-2000) was director of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). He started out as a merchant seaman. He then sold insurance and telephone directories.

                          Amos Burn (1848-1925) was a cotton broker and sugar broker from Liverpool. He was a chess journalist and from 1913 until his death, Burn edited the chess column of The Field.

                          Viacheslav Ragozin (1908-1962) was a civil engineer and had a career in the construction industry.

                          Arnold Denker (1914-2005) was a businessman in the meat packing industry and became a millionaire.

                          Edmar Mednis (1937-2002) was a chemical engineer, then a stock broker.

                          Weaver Adams (1901-1963) was a chicken farmer.

                          British civil servants and chess masters include Oldrich Duras (1882-1957), Wilhelm Hanstein (1811-1850), Stuart Milner-Barry (1906-1995), and Edward Sergeant (1881-1961).

                          Members of the clergy include Bill Lombardy (1937- ), George MacDonnell (1830-1899), Ruy Lopez (1540-1580), John Owen (1827-1901), Domenico Ponziani (1719-1796), Charles Ranken (1828-1905), Arthur Skipworth (1830-1898), and William Wayte (1829-1898).

                          Lombardy is a former Roman Catholic priest. Ruy Lopez was a Spanish priest and later bishop in Segura. Owen was an English vicar. Ponziani was a law professor and priest who became a canon in the Modena Cathedral, then Vicar General. Ranken was a Church of England clergyman. He and Lord Randolph Churchill (Winston Churchill’s father) founded the Oxford University Chess Club. Wayte was a Church of England clergyman.

                          In his earlier years, Arthur Bisguier (1929- ) was a computer programmer at IBM and gave that up to become a professional chess player.

                          Cryptographers included C.H.O’D Alexander (1909-1974), Reuben Fine (1914-1993), Harry Golombek (1911-1995), James Aitken (1908-1983), and Stuart Milner-Barry (1906-1995).

                          Vincenzo Castaldi (1916-1970) was a dentist in Florence, Italy. He was an Italian International Master.

                          George Koltanowski (1903-2000) was a diamond cutter.
                          Diplomats include Jose Capablanca (Cuba), Max Judd (consul-general in Vienna), James Mortimer, and Tassilo von Lasa (Prussia).

                          Louis Paulsen (1833-1891) established a distillery and was a tobacco farmer.

                          Elijah Williams (1809-1854) worked as a druggist.

                          Economists and chess masters include Igor Bondarevsky (1913-1979), Ivan Farago, Gyozo Forintos, Aivars Gipslis, Yair Kraidman, and Ken Rogoff (chief economist at the World Bank).

                          Electrical engineers and masters include Mikhail Botvinnik and Vladimir Liberzon. John Watson has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. I have degrees in physics and electrical engineering and am a systems engineer.
                          GM Eero Book (1910-1990) of Finland was an engineer.
                          Former world women’s chess champion Elisaveta Bykova (1913-1989) was an engineer in a large Moscow printing house.

                          Donald Byrne (1930-1976) was an associate professor of English at Penn State.

                          Grigory Levenfish (1889-1961) was an engineer in the glass industry. He had a degree in chemical engineering.

                          Julio Granda-Zuniga (1967- ) is a farmer in Peru. He is a Peruvian GM.

                          Alexey Troitsky (1866-1942) was a forester in Siberia.

                          IM Alfred Brinckmann (1891-1967) of Germany was a functionary.

                          Bukhuti Gurgenidze (1933-2008) was a geologist. He was a GM from Soviet Georgia.

                          Victor Palciuskas (1941- ) is a former world correspondence chess champion. He was a professor of geophysics.

                          Vladimir Alatortsev (1909-1987) was a Soviet GM and hydraulics engineer.

                          Insurance salesmen include Al Horowitz, Isaac Kashdan, Miguel Najdorf, and William Napier (vice-president of Scranton Life Insurance).

                          Journalists and chess masters include Manuel Aaron, Lajos Asztalos, Robert Byrne (1928-2013), Emil Diemer, Isaac Kashdan, Lubomir Kavalek, George Koltanowski, Mario Monticelli, Andy Soltis, and Boris Spassky.

                          (to be continued)


                          • Great Chess Quotes

                            June 12, 2020

                            Occupations of Chess Players (continued)

                            Louis-Charles Mahe de La Bourdonnais (1795-1840) was a land speculator (and not a very good one at that).

                            Richard Teichmann (1868-1925) was a language teacher.
                            Lajos Asztalos (1889-1956) was a languages teacher.

                            Lawyers and chess masters include Gerald Abrahams, Alexander Alekhine, Rosendo Balinas (1941-1998), Curt von Bardeleben, Ossip Bernstein, Miroslav Filip, Johann Hjartarson, Paul Lipke, Paul Morphy (never practiced), Bill Martz (never practiced and became a car salesman instead), Meindert Niemeijer, Fredrik Olafsson, Julius Perlis, Harold Phillips, Domenico Ponziani, Folke Rogard, Alexander Rueb, James Sherwin (Executive VP of GAF Corporation and director at Hunter Douglas), Saviely Tartakower, Karel Treybal (judge), Mijo Udovcic, Michale Wilder (partner at McDermott Will & Emery), and Daniel Yanofsky (mayor of a suburb of Winnipeg).

                            James Tarjan (1952- ) gave up chess to become a librarian.

                            Paul Keres (1916-1975) was once a professor of mathematics in Tallinn, Estonia.

                            Mathematicians and chess players include C.H.O’D Alexander, Adolf Anderssen, Magdy Assem, George Atwood, Christoph Bandelow, John Beasley, Otto Blathy, Hans Boumeester, Nathan Divinsky, Noam Elkies, Arpad Elo, Max Euwe, Ed Formanek, William Hartston, Paul Keres, Martin Kreuzer, Emanuel Lasker, Anatoly Lein, Lev Loshinksi, Vladimir Makogonov, Geza Maroczy, Vania Mascioni, J. Mauldon, Jonathan Mestel, Walter Morris, John Nunn, Nick Patterson, Miodrag Petkovic, Ken Regan, Hans-Peter Rehm, Ken Rogoff, and Duncan Suttles.

                            Mechanical engineers and chess masters include Alexander Kotov and Edward Lasker.

                            Medical doctors and chess masters include Jana Bellin, Fedor Bogatirchuk (also professor of radiological anatomy), Karl Burger, Ricardo Calvo, Yona Kosashvili, Ariel Mengarini (psychiatrist), Joseph Platz, Helmut Pfleger, Christine Rosenfeld, Anthony Saidy (specializing in tuberculosis), Siegbert Tarrasch, and Johannes Zukertort.

                            Milan Vukcevich (1937-2003) was a professor of metallurgy and Chief Engineer at General Electric. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

                            Lev Aronin (1920-1983) was a Soviet IM and a meteorologist.

                            Some served in the military. C.H. O’D Alexander was a British Colonel and code breaker. Tartakower was a Lieutenant in the French Underground during World War II. Johann Allgaier was a quartermaster in the Austrian army. Jose Araiza was the Mexican Champion from 1924 to 1949 and was a Lt. Colonel in the Mexican army. Paul Rudolf von Bilguer was an Army Lieutenant. John Cochrane was a lieutenant in the British navy. Alexander Deschapelles lost his right arm fighting the Prussians. Oldrich Duras served in the Austrio-Hungarian army during World War I. Svetozar Gligoric was considered one of Yugoslavia’s best war heroes during World War II. Klaus Junge was a German Lieutenant and was shot and killed during World War II. Grigory Koshnitsky was an anti-tank gunner during World War II. George Mackenzie served as Captain in the Northern Army in the American Civil War. Gavriil Veresov was a Captain in the Russian Army. Eugene Znosko-Borovsky was wounded in the Russo-Japanese war and World War I.

                            Musicians and chess masters include Armand Blackmar (music professor and music publisher), Hans Johner (director of the Zurich Philharmonic Orchestra), Philidor, Mark Taimanov (concert pianist), Eileen Tranmer, and Eugene Znosko-Borovsky (music critic).

                            Jean Dufresne (1829-1893) was a newspaper editor in Berlin.

                            Painters include Samuel Boden, Marcel Duchamp, Henry Grob, Bernhard Horwitz.

                            Irving Chernev (1900-1981) was employed in the paper industry.

                            Robert Huebner (1948- ) worked as a papyrologist (an expert on Egyptian hieroglyphics)

                            Miguel Najdorf (1910-1997) was a porcelain importer.
                            Josef Klinger (1946- ) gave up chess to become a professional poker player. Ken Smith (1930-1999) was a professional poker player. Walter Browne (1949- ) is a professional poker player and has won over $300,000 in poker (see picture).

                            Reuben Fine (1914-1993), during World War II, was a translator. He gave up chess to become a psychoanalyst.
                            Nikolai Krogius (1930- ) was a sports psychologist. He is a Russian GM.

                            Henry Atkins (1872-1955), who won the British championship 9 times, was a British schoolmaster. He was a math teacher, and was then appointed principal at Huddersfield College.

                            Howard Staunton (1810-1874) was a Shakespeare scholar.

                            Seamen included Arthur Dake and William Evans (ship captain).

                            For a time, Grandmaster Simen Agdestein (1967- ) was also a professional soccer player. He now teaches soccer and chess at a sports gymnasium in Norway. He won seven Norwegian chess championships.

                            GM Duncan Suttles of Canada is a software developer and president of Magnetar Games.

                            IM Mario Bertok (1929-2008) of Croatia was a sports journalist.

                            Emil Schallopp (1843-1919) was a stenographer. He was a German player and author.

                            Ilya Gurevich (1972- ) became a stock exchange options trader. Ron Henley (1956- ) became a member of the American stock exchange. Larry Kaufman (1947- ) became a successful stock broker and trader. GM David Norwood became a trader at Bankers Trust, but quit after a few months. He then found a job at Duncan Lawrie, a British private bank. In 2008, at the age of 40, he retired as a multi-millionaire.

                            John Roycroft (1929- ) was a systems engineer for IBM for 26 years.

                            Taxi drivers include Victor Frias, Nicolas Rossolimo, and Tim Taylor.

                            International Master Frank Anderson (1928-1980) graduated with a physics and mathematics degree from the University of Toronto and ran a tax consulting business.

                            Teachers and chess masters include Adolf Anderssen (math), Gedeon Barcza (math), Ludwig Bledow (math), Donald Byrne (English), Robert Byrne (philosophy), Arpad Elo (physics and astronomy), Max Euwe (math), Paul Keres (math), Lionel Kieseritzky (math), Danny Kopec (computer science), Geza Maroczy (math), Stuart Rachels (philosophy), Ken Regan (computer science), Ken Rogoff (economics), and Anthony Santasiere.

                            Vladimir Antoshin (1929-1994) was a technical designer and may have worked for the KGB.

                            Vlastimil Hort (1944- ) worked for a general-interest magazine as a translator.

                            Walter Korn (1908-1997) directed the U.N. Relief and Rehabilitation Administration after World War II, helping relocate concentration camp survivors.

                            Sir Philip Milner-Barry became Under-Secretary of the Treasury in England.

                            Geza Maroczy (1870-1951) was a waterworks engineer.

                            Fred Reinfeld (1910-1964) was a prolific writer. He wrote over 100 books.


                            • Great Chess Quotes

                              June 17, 2020

                              The Invention of the Swiss System

                              By Andre Schulz


                              The inventor of the Swiss System was Dr. Julius Müller, a teacher by profession. The official birth date of the still popular and successful system is June 15, 1895, its birthplace is Zurich.

                              The Swiss system is a format for sporting events, which is used in tournaments with a large number of participants. In contrast to the knockout system, defeated players are not eliminated but stay in the tournament.

                              In Swiss tournaments players with the same number of points are paired against each other. Thus, in the course of the tournament the successful players play against each other – though no more than once – to fight for tournament victory.

                              Players should be paired against players with the same number of points but the colour with which they play should also alternate. That is, a player who had White in the first round should have Black in the second round and White again in round three. However, these two principles often clash and that is the reason why almost all tournaments are played with an odd numbers of rounds. Of course, now some players will have one more game with White, while others have one more game with Black. But this is easier to tolerate than having two more games with Black which can easily happen in tournaments with an even number of rounds. Nevertheless, there are traditional tournaments with an even number of rounds, e.g. the Open in Gibraltar.

                              But who invented or first tried this popular pairing system? As you probably guessed and as the name indicates, the Swiss invented it. Or, to be more precise, one Swiss did – Dr. Julius Müller, and therefore the system could also be called Müller-System. Most sources give June 15, 1895, as the birthday of the Swiss system, which is almost exactly 125 years ago.

                              At the end of the 19th century chess became more and more popular and more and more players wanted to take part in tournaments. The Swiss system was used to give all players the opportunity to play in tournaments and to give these tournaments a fixed schedule. The Swiss system is so clever and has been so successful that it is still used today and has become the standard for all amateur tournaments with many participants.

                              Dr. Julius Müller (1857-1917) was a teacher in Brugg, a community that is about 20 km away from Zurich. However, in their history of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich, which was founded in 1809 and is the world's oldest still existing chess club, Richard Forster and Christian Rohrer claim that Julius Müller already used his new pairing system – at least in a "beta version" – at the 1. Schweizerische Schachturnier, the First Swiss Chess Tournament, that was played on June 1 and 2, 1889. This seems quite plausible as 74 players took part in that tournament. But apparently Julius Müller improved his system over the years and today the 5. Schweizerische Schachturnier, the Fifth Swiss Tournament, is considered to be the birthplace of the Swiss system.

                              Incidentally, the Fifth Swiss Tournament was won by Max Pestalozzi, the organiser of the event and a distant relative of the well-known pedagogue Heinrich Pestalozzi. Place two went to Artur Poplawski from Poland.

                              125 years later the Swiss System, which was invented by chess players, is still extremely popular and is regularly used in other sports, often in slightly modified form.


                              • Great Chess Quotes

                                June 23, 2020

                                What’s In A Name?

                                A few days ago, I was wondering if Firouzja, Maghsoodloo and Ivanchuk were playing chess somewhere and found they were all in an online tournament, Chartres Blitz Men Master 2020, so I posted games:


                                The title is more properly C’Chartres….

                                Well, it must have been the oddity of the name, because never has a posting on ChessTalk had so few views initially.

                                If Carlsen or Fischer had been in the title, it would have taken off like a rocket.

                                I couldn’t think of a heading that would get a worse reception. But a day later on the English Chess Forum I saw one that might be worse:

                                7th International Clergy Polish Correspondence Chess Championship



                                Later: Oh dear! As of today, there have been 480 views and 7 replies to that. So, C'Chartres Blitz Men Master 2020 with just 40 views holds the record.