Random Posts

Play Live Blitz


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Hungarian Defense

Sir George Thomas - Southea 1949
     In his writing C.J.S. Purdy gave four rules that will help average players avoid opening pitfalls: 

1- Move nothing beyond the fourth (or 5th rank as black) until all pieces are developed unless it is a capture or attacks something. 
2- Avoid h2/h6 or a3/a6 unless it attacks a piece 
3- Castle as early as possible, but first make sure your opponent can't sacrifice a B on h2 (or h7).
 4- As black play Bf8-e7. 

     As Purdy observed, these rules won't enable you to play like a master, but they will avoid almost all opening traps. He added that if your judgment tells you to break one of the rules, then break it. 
     He also pointed out that the above rules preclude one from playing the Ruy Lopez, but he advised against playing the Ruy anyway because it's a complex opening that requires too much study.
     This brings us to the Hungarian Defense, a quiet response against the popular Guioco Piano which is often seen by white in amateur games. Besides being very solid and easy to play, it has almost no critical variations.
     The variation takes its name from a correspondence game between Paris and Pest, Hungary played from 1842–1845, but was first analyzed by Cozio in the 18th century. It has been played on occasion by some GMs, including Reshevsky, Hort, and former world champions Petrosian, Karpov and Smyslov.
     With the move 3...Be7, Black avoids the complexities of the Giuoco Piano, the Evans Gambit and the Two Knights Defense, but at the same time gives white an advantage in space and freer development, so Black must be prepared to defend a cramped position. 
     White's best response is 4.d4, seeking advantage in the center. Other moves pose less problems for Black; they are: 4.c3 Nf6 (Steinitz) and 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.d4 Bg4.  After 4.d4, Black continues either 4...exd4 or 4...d6. 
     All that said, Harding and Botterill, in their 1977 book on the Italian Game conclude that, "The Hungarian Defense can only be played for a draw. White should have an edge in most lines". 
Tartakower - Southsea 1949
     In the following game Thomas shows some of the latent possibilities in the Hungarian Defense.  It was played at Southsea 1949 which was won by Rossolimo ahead of Pachman and Tartakower. I have a small book on the tournament written by Harry Golombek that I purchased from the CCLA many, many years ago. 
Rossolimo at Southsea 1949
     The 1949 Southsea tournament was the first 10-day Southsea Swiss tournament that was the forerunner of a number of tournaments that were held in the 1950s and 60s. The event was repeated at Easter time until 1952 and the series was known as Agnes Stevenson Memorial tournament. It attracted many players of international repute: Bogoljubov, Tartakower, Yanofsky, Rossolimo, Bisguier and Pachman and helped start the career of Jonathan Penrose, ten times British Chess Champion. 
Golombek preparing the tournament book

     Sir George Thomas is well known, but R.C. Woodthorpe, a British amateur, is almost unknown.  His name shows up in many British tournaments of the 30s, 40s and 50s. 
     I am not sure they are the same person, but in the 1930s there was a British mystery writer named R.C. Woodthorpe. As a mystery writer, Ralph Carter Woodthorpe (1886-?) was the author of eight detective novels published between 1932 and 1940. Two of these featured Nicholas Slade as the leading character.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Prince Dadian - Real Player, Fake Games

     The chess world has occasionally been victimized with tales of fake and doctored games, fake tournaments and even fake Grandmaster titles, but probably none of those are more enigmatic than the games played by the Prince. 
     Andrey Davidovich Dadian-Mingrelsky (1850-1910), known as Prince Diadian to the chess world, was a Georgian nobleman, chess player, sponsor and organizer. An article appearing in an 1808 issue of the American Chess Magazine made the claim that “some of the most ingenious endings that have ever occurred in over the board play have been evolved by him and his success in matches with strong amateurs and in tournaments in clubs have placed him among the leading amateurs of Europe.” 
     Dadian was a member of a Mingrelian (Western Georgia) princely family of Svan descent. The Savans are an ethnic subgroup of Georgians living mostly in a region in northwest Georgia. They speak the Svan language and are mostly bilingual in Georgian. 
     Dadian was born in Zugdidi in West Georgia and graduated from Heidelberg University Faculty of Law in 1873. Later, he served in the Russian army. 
     He learned to play chess from his parents who spent summers in Paris. At the age of 14 in 1864 he met Thomas Wilson Barnes while vacationing in Homberg, Germany, a small town in the northern part of Hesse, a state in central Germany. 
     Barnes befriended Dadian and they played many games against each other which left Barnes impressed with Dadian's play and he predicted a great future for him. In 1867 Dadian met Ignatz Kolisch who had just won the Paris tournament. The two supposedly played some offhand games with Dadian winning a few. 
     Due to his position, Dadiani participated in very few tournaments. He is said to have won an amateur tournament Homberg in 1864. In 1873 he completed his studies at Heidelberg where he showed great brilliance, mastering six languages. 
     After graduation Dadian again took up chess and is supposed to have successfully played against several French amateurs. In 1874, he began his career as an officer in the Russian Hussars of the Guard and it was claimed that he met and vanquished many of the best amateur players in St. Petersburg. 
     Supposedly Dadian also had considerable talent as a blindfold player even though he was opposed to that sort of play because it was a “tax upon the brain.” He occasionally played three or four blindfold games simultaneously while reciting the moves of several master games. 
     A lot of his games were published in La Strategie and by William Steinitz in his International Chess Magazine and the British Chess Magazine dedicated its June–July 1892 issue to Dadian. 
     Many of the games were brilliant and after his death some people accused him composing many of them. Though nothing has ever been proven, most modern historians regard his games with skepticism. 
     It's been noted that he only published his most stunning victories, though the same can be said of most players. Although none of these claims have even been substantiated, it is known that he paid Steinitz and Preti for publishing his games and he was later accused by the Russian player Fedor Duz-Chotimirski of sending in his own wins while ignoring his opponents wins. Nothing new or unusual there! In fact, it's the exception when a player publishes his losses. 
     In 1903, Emmanuel Schiffers published a book of Prince Dadian's end-games titled Fins de Partie de S.A.S. le Prince Dadian de Mingrelie. In 1972, Ygraet A. Dadiani (Play A. Dadiani) was published in Georgia. 
     These are just highlights of Dadian's career and more complete details concerning this cryptic character can be read in the excellent 7-part article on him by Batgirl HERE. Particularly interesting is his influence which lead to the exclusion of Chigorin from the Monte Carlo tournament of 1903. Batgirl's article also includes many of Dadian's games.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Memory Doctor

     In 1887, Mark Twain discovered Professor Loisette, a memory doctor, who made a living peddling a system of memory techniques bearing his name. Inductees into the Loisette System were sworn to secrecy and charged the modern equivalent of five hundred dollars to learn the “natural laws of memory” which the doctor claimed to have discovered.
     Twain enrolled in a several-week-long course and at first was deeply impressed, even going so far as to publish a testimonial in favor of the System. He was soon to regret this; a year later a book was published titled Loisette Exposed. The author, G.S. Fellows, debunked the system. 
     In a lawsuit the contract was rendered null and void because it was obtained under false pretenses as to what the system was. Dr. Loisette invented not only his academic degree but also his name, Alphonse Loisette. He was really Marcus Dwight Larrowe and had no qualifications to speak of. His entire system had been either plagiarized from other sources or oversold as to its effectiveness.
     Eventually, Twain discovered a system that worked for him. As he wrote, “It was now that the idea of pictures occurred to me; then my troubles passed away…The lecture vanished out of my head more than twenty years ago, but I could rewrite it from the pictures – for they remain.” 
     In 1880 he shared his system of mental “hieroglyphics” with his friend William Dean Howells. After Twain’s death, Howells revealed the method which Twain used to memorize his speeches. 
     Appearing in the 1896 Australian Chess Annual under the heading The Materials Of War was a blurb about chess books which could be obtained from the branches of Geo. Robertson and Co. and added, “Furthermore, to such as are subject to a want of mind concentration, it may not be out of place to mention that the Loisette system claims for itself the power of strengthening mind concentrations-no small boon to chess players.” Guess news of the fraud had not yet reached the publisher. 
     Mnemonic is another word for memory tool. Mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall: a very simple example is the "30 days hath September" rhyme for remembering the number of days in each calendar month. By the way, there's an easier way of remembering how many days are in a month: 

     Loisette's book is still available on Amazon and the System is explained thus: It is the will directing the activity of the intellect into some particular channel and keeping it there. It is the opposite of mind-wandering. What is thinking? It consists in finding relations between the objects of thought with an immediate awareness of those relations. 
     What is the Loisette System? Just a work on mnemonics. Is there a technique that will help chess players remember? Chessbase has a series of articles on the subject: 

Memory Techniques: An Introduction 
Memory Techniques: Memory Palace, from Roman times to today 
Memory Techniques: Creating a Memory Palace, Dos and Don'ts 
Memory Techniques: the Peg system (part one) 
Memory Techniques: the Peg system (part two)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pal Benko

     Back in July, Benko (born in 1928) celebrated his 90th birthday. From the end of the 1950s to the middle of the 1970s, he was one of the world's best players. 
     I never cottoned to Benko's boring positional style with what seemed like endless maneuvering that often lead to the endgame and if you were watching him play it was tedious because it took him forever to make a move.  Same for William Lombardy. That was Benko's biggest weakness...his constant time trouble.  At least he always followed his own advice when he wrote, “Under no circumstances should you play fast if you have a winning position. Forget the clock, use all your time and make good moves.” 
     He was born in Amiens, France where his father was an engineer who fancied himself an artist and loved to travel which is how Benko ended up spending most of this youth in Budapest. As a kid he loved sports and learned to play chess at the age of ten. He enjoyed his youth in Budapest, but that all came to an end in 1940 when war, with all its deprivations, came and people had to stand in line for hours for bread. At the same time the allied forces were repeatedly bombing Budapest. 
     By the end of 1944, the Russians occupied Hungary and things got even worse. Benko, who had just turned 16, was drafted into the Hungarian army, but rather that go to the front, he deserted. 
     He was eventually captured by the Russian army, which forced him to be a laborer. He managed escape and return home only to find that his father and brother had been sent to Russia as slave laborers and his mother had died, leaving Benko to take care of his little sister. 
Hungarian laborers

     During the war he had been studying and had turned into a strong player. Strong enough that he qualified for the Hungarian Championship in 1946. Things were still so bad in Hungary that food was offered as a prize because inflation was so bad that food was more valuable than currency. 
     In 1948, at the age of 20, he played his first international tournament in Budapest and shortly afterwards won the Hungarian Championship. In 1952,during a tournament in East Berlin, he tried to defect to the American embassy in West Berlin, but was captured, interrogated, tortured and without trial sent to a concentration camp for a year and a half. Starving, he lost 20 pounds and watched others around him die. When Stalin died Hungarian President Nagy gave amnesty to most prisoners, including Benko. In My Life, Games and Compositions he wrote, "Prison camp really makes you appreciate things that you might have been oblivious to before!" 
    Benko appreciated his freedom and determined to enjoy life, travel, beautiful women and play chess. Away from the board Benko was a ladies man. In his youth, Bobby Fischer exclaimed he wanted to emulate Benko in that area, but apparently he was never able to pull it off. Finally, in 1968 at the age of 40, Benko married his Hungarian girlfriend Gizella and began spending a lot of time in his native Hungary. 
     After his release from prison Benko adapted, but he had to be very careful. He had made up his mind to escape and chess was going to be the means. He had to become even better in order to get invitations for tournaments abroad so he devoted his efforts at improving. 
      In 1957, following the World Student Team Championship in Reykjav√≠k, he walked into the American embassy and asked for and was granted asylum. He arrived in the United States at the end of 1957. He didn't speak a word of English and had only a few dollars. 
     He ended up in Cleveland, Ohio, but didn't stay long. He had hoped to find employment as a professional at a chess club like they had in Europe, but no Cleveland club was interested in paying for a professional on staff, so Benko moved on to greener pastures. 
     In the U.S. he earned the title “King of the Opens.”  He finished in first place or tied for first in eight U.S. Open Championships: 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1975. He also won the 1964 Canadian Open. Starting in 1962, he represented the U.S. on six Olympic teams. 
     Benko was a successful open player, playing almost every weekend in open tournaments all over the US. The prizes gave him a good income but he had to adapt his style to fit those tournaments: in open tournaments, you always had to play for a win and that's when he developed the Benko Gambit which brought him great success. 

    Besides being known for popularizing the Benko Gambit and a composer of endgame studies and problems, he is also remembered for giving up his spot in the Interzonal tournament in Palma de Mallorca 1970 to Fischer. Was Benko paid to give up his place in the 1970 Interzonal so that Fischer could play?
     According to Edmonds and Eidinow in Bobby Fischer Goes to War, Benko received $2,000 from the USCF for his withdrawal. In his 2010 book Chess Duels Yasser Seirawan disputed that claiming Benko yielded his place to Fischer because he thought Fischer had a real chance at becoming World Champion.  And, if Fischer was successful in advancing then Benko would have a chance at being his second. 
     Benko said he went to Palma de Mallorca in 1970 despite having agreed to yield his spot to Fischer just in case Fischer changed his mind and didn't show up. Fellow qualifiers Samuel Reshevsky and William Addison were each paid $2,000 for their participation in the Interzonal and the USCF Executive Director Ed Edmondson offered Benko the same. Benko declined, but agreed to stay and serve as a second to Reshevsky and Addison and received his regular fee of $2,000 for his services. Fischer got more than $2,000, but how much more isn't known. 
     Benko noted that he explained his actions to Fischer who never even so much as said, “Thanks” although Fischer did add Benko to his team at Reykjavik for his match against Spassky.   However, Benko had already committed himself to play in a tournament in Las Palmas and said he would only be willing to cancel if he would be serving in Reykjavik as Fischer's second. Fischer would not commit, so Benko went to Las Palmas instead. 
     Benko's career peaked in 1958 when he qualified for the Interzonal in Belgrade; that's where he became friends with Fischer. Benko, an IM at the time, qualified for the Candidates Tournament 1959 and was awarded the GM title. A letter from Fischer to Benko
     According to Chessmetrics 1958 was Benko's highest ever rating, 2687 (number 17 on the list), which put him in company with Najdorf, Reshevsky and Larsen. His best performance ratings were 2724 at the Stockholm Interzonal, 1962 (2724), Portoroz Interzonal, 1958 (2717) and the Curacao Candidates, 1961 (2713). 
     At Curacao, Benko played white 14 times and 11 times he opened with 1.g3, hence it became known as the Benko Opening. As he got older Benko abandoned tournament chess and served as a columnist for Chess Life where he concentrated on problems and endings. 
     In the following game played in round 3 at Curacao 1962, Benko used the same opening move (1.g3) that he used to defeat Fischer in round 1 and Tal opted for the same setup which allowed white to exert strong pressure on black's position. In the end, Tal gets swindled in time pressure.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Little Known Najdorf Classic

     Miguel Najdorf (April 15, 1910 – July 4, 1997) was a leading world player in the 1940s and 1950s. His best successes were achieved from 1939 to 1947 when he ranked among the world's top players. 
     According to Chessmetrics, he was ranked second in the world from mid 1947 to mid 1949 and he was assigned a high rating of 2797 in 1948. There's little doubt that he should have been invited to participate in the 1948 World Championship tournament that consisted of Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Reshevsky an Euwe, but he wasn't. In a 1947 interview Najdorf stated, “I believe that I am inferior to none of the players who are to participate in the next world championship...None of these have a better record than I. I have played much less than they have, admittedly, but I am satisfied with my results.” 
     A flamboyant player with a sparkling style, Najdorf won 52 international tournaments, the Argentine championship eight times and repeatedly headed the Argentine national team. As far as I know there's only one book in English on Najdorf's best games and that is Najdorf X Najdorf by his daughter Liliana and translated from Spanish by Taylor Kingston. One caveat by Jeremy Siman is that Najdorf loved telling stories but was not always careful with the facts. 
     According to Arnold Denker, Najdorf “had a knack for mowing down the bottom half of mixed tournaments and this facility earned him a reputation as a risk taking tactician rather than a positional player." Denker claimed that assessment was flatly wrong, pointing out that he won deep positional victories over Botvinnik, Spassky and many others. Denker observed that Najdorf played for “easy simplicity” that resulted from the skilled application of strategic principles.
     One such masterpiece is a lesser known Najdorf brilliancy over Paul Keres in the first Piatigorsky Cup in 1963. In that tournament Keres and Petrosian tied for first and Najdorf and Olafsson were a point behind. They were followed by Reshevsky, Gligoric and then sharing the last two places were Benko and Panno. 
     Aside from the following loss to Najdorf, Keres lost both of his games against Reshevsky. Najdorf lost two games, to Olafsson and Benko. In this game which was highly praised by none other than Bobby Fischer, Najdorf's own comments on his play are quite revealing. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hollywood vs. Hawaii

Mary Astor
     On a Sunday way back on July 19, 1936 a six-hour long radio match, now long forgotten, was played between the Hollywood Chess Club and the Hawaiian Army Chess Club. 
     The Hollywood players met at the home of a LA Police detective, Lt. Donald Praper, who was also a ham radio operator. The Army team met at Schofield Barracks. 
     If you remember, Pearl Harbor was not the only installation that was bombed on December 7, 1941; other military targets were attacked, too. Just a short drive north of the harbor, was the Wheeler airfield. Wheeler was the largest fighter base on Oahu at the time with nearly 150 fighter planes that needed to disabled before the bombing of Pearl Harbor’s ships. The attack killed 36 people and wounded 74 others. The attackers then flew over Schofield Barracks, damaging buildings, wounding many and killing a few others. But those events were five years in the future. Schofield Barracks was also to be the principal setting for the novel From Here to Eternity by James Jones. 

     In Hollywood, a few years earlier Warner Bros. had acquired access to First National's affiliated chain of theaters, but they continued to operate as separate entities. In July 1936, the big news was the stockholders of First National Pictures, Inc. voted to dissolve the corporation and distribute its assets among the stockholders to take advantage of the tax laws. 
     Also in Hollywood, the Motion Picture Directors Association was dissolved when members of the helped create the Screen Directors Guild, an official craft union. 
     The real news out of Hollywood though was actress Mary Astor's trial and juicy sex scandal. Mary Astor (born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke; May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987) is best remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon in 1941. 
     She began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s. When the talkies arrived her career hit a bump because her voice was considered too masculine, but within a year she was back in the movies. But in 1936 her career was nearly destroyed due to a sex scandal. 
     At the age of 17 in 1923, she was canoodling with actor John Barrymore and when they broke up she married an actor named Ken Hawks who was soon killed while filming a World War I dogfight from a biplane. That left Mary a widow at 23. 
     She soon succumbed to the bedside manner of Dr. Franklyn Thorpe who appreciated her for her income which allowed him to set up his gynecological practice. They were married in 1931 and two years later she wanted out, but an attorney warned her that a custody trial over her daughter could ruin her career.
     At the suggestion of a friend she took a vacation in New York and that's where she met George S. Kaufman, a married and very successful playwright on Broadway. They had an affair and she described him as absolutely sensational in the sack. 
     After her fling with Kaufman she decided to divorce Thorpe anyway, but when he refused, she and her four-year-old daughter moved out. He wasn't surprised and was prepared. He had found her diary and read that his sexual performance was lame, she didn't like his social climbing and found it offensive and she didn't appreciate his reckless extravagance with her money. She had also ridiculed him for growing a mustache identical to Clark Gable’s. 
     In the diary he also read about her affair with Kaufman and used it to his advantage. In 1935 Thorpe won an uncontested divorce, but Mary was worried that he might move away and take her daughter, so in 1936 she decided to challenge the custody agreement. 
     In July 1936 Thorpe began leaking snippets from the diary and he even fabricated some entries. He said Mary’s confessions included a racy scorecard that listed all the men she had bedded along with numerical ratings. Needless to say, panic arose in Hollywood. What if one of the stars had gotten a poor score?!
     Thorpe planned to use the diary to prove she was an unfit mother. He threatened to put her graded scorecard into evidence and had already shown a page of it to the press. 
     Although written in brown ink, the tabloids called it “the Purple Diary.” News headlines of the day screamed MARY ASTOR SOBS ON STAND, ASTOR’S SENSATIONS SCARE FILM MOGULS and ASTOR DIARY ECSTASY-G. S. KAUFMAN TRYST BARED. 
     The diary was never formally offered as evidence during the trial, but Thorpe and his lawyers constantly referred to it. Astor admitted that the diary existed and that she had documented her affair with Kaufman, but maintained that many of the parts that had been referred to were forgeries that were written following the theft of the diary from her desk. 
     A settlement was reached on August 13 and daughter Marylyn was awarded to her mother during the school months and to her father for vacation periods and weekends. The child’s teachers, governesses, and nurses would be selected by mutual consent and the costs shared. 
     The diary was deemed inadmissible as a mutilated document and the trial judge ordered it sealed and impounded. In 1952, by court order, Astor's diary was removed from the bank vault where it had been sequestered for 16 years and destroyed. 
     Astor also authored five novels. Her autobiography was a bestseller, as was her later book, A Life on Film, which was about her career.  Read her NY Times obituary for more dirt.
     On to the match. In Hollywood Detective Praper transmitted the moves in Morse code which were received in Hawaii by an Army radio operator. This represented the first time a Pacific match was played by wireless. 
     Connections were established at 7:30 pm California time (5:00 pm in Hawaii) and lasted until 1:30 am (California time). The match was only two boards with each board having two players in consultation. Arrangements were made by the North American Correspondence Chess League which was headquartered in Beverly Hills and was umpired by Herman Steiner with Albert C. Simonson serving as referee. 
     Hollywood played white on board one and was represent by Dr. Griffith and MacMahon; their opponents were Sgt. Huth and Maconel. It was a hard fought affair that began as a Ruy Lopez Steinitz Defense. Black quickly won a P, but lost if back. On move 19 white went astray and eventually lost. 
     Board two had the Army's Sarella and Roberts facing Hollywood's Johnson (president of the club) and Chern (club secretary). Army opened with an Evans Gambit and lost quickly in only 19 moves. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Berne 1932

     In 1932 the major news stories in the U.S. were unemployment reaching 24 percent with many people living in cars and shanty towns. Hooverville's, so-called, were named after President Hoover. These were shanty towns that appeared around the country built by homeless people using wood from crates, cardboard, scraps of metal, or whatever materials were available to them.
     43,000 marchers, including 17,000 World War I veterans marched on Washington DC and set up campgrounds demanding early payments of cash bonuses to help survive the Great Depression. Lovable old General Douglas MacArthur's Army advanced with bayonets and sabers drawn under a shower of bricks and rocks and in less than four hours cleared out the Bonus Army's campground using tear gas then burned down the camp grounds. The veterans had been promised bonuses, but they were not to be distributed until 1945. Congress was able to successfully award the Bonus Army their early cash bonuses in 1936. 
A shanty town in New York's Central Park

     As governments usually do, they figured out ways to increase income. The Revenue Act raised United States tax rates across the board, with the rate on top incomes rising from 25 percent to 63 percent and the first federal gasoline tax applied at a rate of 1 cent per gallon. In an effort to stay afloat the Government and businesses implemented wage cuts up to 30 percent for those lucky enough to be employed. They also cut working hours for those employed hoping to provide more jobs for those who weren't. 
     The US government also forced hundreds of thousands of Mexicans out of the country during the recession years. Gangster Al Capone was convicted for income tax evasion, so he had a bad year, too. 
     Not everybody was suffering financially though; some celebrities, athletes, thieves and bottom feeders did quite well. 
* Baseball star Babe Ruth raked in $80,000 a year which is over $1.4 million in today's dollars. 
* Bank robber John Dillinger stole more than $3 million in today’s dollars 
* Film star James Cagney was a top money earner in Hollywood. Other Hollywood stars managed to do quite well: Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Bing Crosby, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Boris Karloff, Clarke Gable and Edward G. Robinson.
* Charles Darrow created the game Monopoly game and became the world’s first millionaire game-designer. 
* Oil man J. Paul Getty was busy snatching up depressed oil stocks with his inheritance and created a new petroleum empire. 
* Singing cowboy and movie star Gene Autry was making millions 
* Joe Kennedy Sr., the patriarch of the Kennedy family, made lots of money in various ways: stock speculation, real-estate, liquor and movies. 

     Towards the end of the year in November voters overwhelmingly kicked President Herbert Hoover out of office in favor of Franklin D. Roosevelt. 
     In 1932 the major tournaments were: Hastings-won by Salo Flohr Pasadena-won by Alekhine Mexico City-Alekhine and Kashdan shared first Bad Sliac-Salo Flohr and Milan Vidmar shared first.
     According to Chessmetrics the strongest tournament for the years 1932 and 1933 was Bern, 1932. This tournament included five of the top ten players in the world. The next-strongest tournaments were London, 1932 and Bad Sliac, 1932. 
     The Berne tournament also served as the Swiss Championship as ten Swiss players competed for the country's 36th Championship. The time limit was 40 moves in two and a half hours and for the second session, 25 moves in one and a half hours. There were no rest days or extra days for adjourned games. 
     World Champion Alexander Alekhine captured first, but lost a game to Bogoljubow in Round 10. The other favorites also met expectations and were joined by the almost inactive 49-year-old Dr. Ossip Bernstein. Of the Swiss players, the Johner brothers tied with 7 points and Hans Johner was awarded the Swiss championship based on Sonneborn-Berger tiebreaks. In addition to the main prizes, the players received 30 Swiss francs for each won game. 

1) Alekhine 12.05 
2) Euwe and Flohr 11.5 
4) Sultan Khan 11.0 
5-6) Bogoljubow and Bernstein 10.0 
7-8) Hans Johner and Paul Johner 7.0 
9-12) Henneberger, Naegeli, Rivier and Grob 6.0 
13) Colin 5.5 
14) Voellmy 4.5 
15) Gygli 3.5 
16) Staehelin 2.0 

     In the movie The Theory Of Everything Stephen Hawking is seen reading a chess book titled Chess: Advanced Chess Strategy. The book is fictional, but in the scene at Cambridge, the position shown is after Black's 28th move occurred in the game Alekhine and Sultan Khan at Berne. The game was published in Alekhine's My Best Games of Chess 1924-1937
Paul Johner

     There were a lot of brilliant games played in Berne, but the following is probably best described as “cute” when Alekhine defeated Dr. Adolf Staehelin (1901-1965) in a miniature. Staehelin was born in Basel, was Swiss champion in 1927 and passed away in Zurich in 1965. 
Hans Johner

     This is one of those typical Alekhine games where he gains the advantage almost effortlessly and concludes with a bang. It's an example of Spielmann's statement that he could see combinations as well as Alekhine, but lacked the ability to get the positions with the ease that Alekhine did.