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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Watch Robert Wade Get Squashed Like A Grape

    1951 was a big year in chess. FIDE created the International Arbiter title, the International Braille Chess Association was founded, the first USSR correspondence championship was won by Alexander Konstantinopolsky.
     Another noteworthy event took place on January 17, 1951.  Seven year old Bobby Fischer played a game against Dr. Max Pavey in a simultaneous exhibition. Within 15 minutes Fischer blundered his Q and burst into tears. 
    Geza Maroczy, one of the original FIDE GMs, died in Budapest at age 81. The top rated US players were: Reshevsky, Dake, Denker, Evans, Fine, Horowitz, Pavey, Bisguer, D. Byrne, R. Byrne, Kashdan, Kevitz, Kramer, Seidman, Shainswit, Steiner, Pinkus, Adams, Hesse, and DiCamillio.
     Among notable tournaments in 1951 was the Staunton Centenary Tournament held in Cheltenham, England from May 28 to June 20 to commemorate the one hundred years that had passed since the London 1851 chess tournament, a landmark event in Staunton's life.
     This wasn't the first Staunton Memorial tournament. One had been held in 1946 in Groningen, The Netherlands and there Mikhail Botvinnik finished first half a point ahead of Max Euwe. Later there were to be others. 
     The first modern series was played in 2003 at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, London, England to mark its 175th birthday; subsequent editions were also held there. Simpson's-in-the-Strand is a restaurant which Staunton regularly visited in the 19th century only in those days it was a coffee house known as "The Divan" or "Simpson's Divan". In 1851, it was the venue of the famous "Immortal Game", played between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzy.
    The first three tournaments in the series were double round-robins of four, then six players in the third event (British players only). The fourth to sixth editions saw an expansion to twelve participants, contesting a single round robin.
    The 2006 Staunton Memorial was the strongest invitation tournament to be held in London since 1986. In 2009, the seventh and last was split into two parts: a double round "Scheveningen" format team match between England and The Netherlands (England won 26.5 - 23.5), and a round robin consisting of ten players, which was won by Jan Timman. Viktor Korchnoi who beat Timman in their individual game, finished third.
     Funding for the tournament ceased in 2009 and in 2010 the “event” consisted of a celebratory dinner and an exhibition game held to raise funds for Anatoly Karpov's FIDE Presidential campaign.
     The following game from the 1951 event isn't especially well played by Wade and would hardly be worth playing over if it weren't for his nasty little trap at the end. But, Alexander evaded it and Wade was squashed like a grape.

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