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Friday, January 31, 2014

Chess Buttheads

      “Most chess players are absolute buttheads. For too many people, chess is an antisocial game. Therefore, chess players are usually old bachelors, lonely and unhappy people. But there are many cool players, too. I am constantly trying to escape from this stereotype. To be honest, sometimes I feel ashamed to say that I am a chess player..." Borislav Ivanov.
      Former US CC Champion Edward Duliba refused to play chess on the internet because he felt you meet the most rude and crude players of the chess world there.
      Human beings tend to be competitive and sometimes chessplayers even more so. After all, chess is a competition and, like other forms of competition, showboating, a condescending attitude, trash-talking and bullying are not unusual. Rude unsportsmanlike conduct isn’t unusual. This seems especially true on sites where players are anonymous and they are free to act like people who write on toilet walls.
     J.C. Hallman in his book The Chess Artist explored the world of chess as an outsider and a non-chessplayer.  He concluded a lot of us have obsessions, quirks and display antisocial behavior.
     Good sportsmanship is about playing by the rules, discipline, respect, and self control. A good sport has fun because he enjoys playing the game more than the final outcome.
Buttheads display the following behavior:
1-They are all around poor sports. They like to insult people.
2-They make abusive remarks or use foul language.
3-They like to spout their religious or political views.
4-They like to tell you "Good game" but only after you fell into a one mover or hung your Queen and resigned.  Genuine compliments are unknown to them.  When they win they like to gloat and rub it in.
6-When they are losing they never resign. They would rather disconnect or run the clock down.  In correspondence play they take as long as possibe to move. 
7-They never show any respect for their opponent.
8-They do not respect the rules.
9-They do not play fair.

Hastings 1895

     Nearly every chessplayer has heard of Hastings, 1895 and knows that it was won by the unknown Harry N. Pillsbury, but few know much more than that about it.
     It was in this small seacoast town that the first modern tournament was held. Hastings 1895 maintains its reputation because of the participants and its significance as a milestone in chess history.
     The tournament was a round robin held from August 5 to September 2, 1895 and was the strongest tournament in history up until that time. All of the top players of the generation competed. Pillsbury, a young American unknown in Europe, was the surprise winner with 16½ out of 21 points – ahead of Chigorin and Word Champion Emmanuel Lasker.
     Many factors made this event made it memorable: It was the strong assembly of players ever up until that time. It was the first clash between the new World Champion, Lasker, and the old, Steinitz, since their title match. Pitted against each other were the disciples of Morphy (Chigorin, Blackburne, Mieses, Bird), the Modern School (Steinitz, Lasker, Tarrasch, Schlechter) and the eclectic group that were somewhere between (Pillsbury and Janowsky). The tournament would possibly determine potential candidates for challengers to Lasker. Theoretical ideas that were to rule chess for decades to come would be on display and finally, it generated sheer excitement. Four names were prominent: Lasker, Steinitz, Tarrasch and Chigorin. The question was how would they fare against each other?
     Lasker was 26 years old and even though he was world champion, he had never played in such a strong tournament. As it turned out, even after the tournament many lesser players disparaged Lasker’s ability. Even the tournament boo had little to say and no praise for him! 
     Steinitz was also an unknown quantity. Did he lose he title because of old age or had he been temporarily out of form? Steinitz was described as “peculiar and striking: fine and large head with prominent forehead, grey hair and ruddy beard, rather portly, suffering from a slight lameness which naturally increases with years; he now walks with a stick. He is said to be a good swimmer, he has at any rate plenty of buoyancy of nature and can be entertaining and affable...His style of play is firm and tenacious, aiming at accurate positioning and steady crushing rather than brilliant attacks or rapid finished...on the other hand he has a way of treating openings with all sorts of eccentricities.”
     Tarrasch, 33, was a known quantity. He won had won first prize at four major tournaments since 1889 and had drawn a match with Chigorin two years previously. In fact, Tarrasch was generally considered the man to beat. Impressive in appearance and popular with fans, he was described in the tournament book as “a neat, well-dressed, sprightly gentleman of very engaging manners and always with a fresh flower in his buttonhole.”
     Chigorin, 44, was at the top of his game. Oddly, his reputation rested mostly on four matches he had failed to win. He has lost twice to Steinitz in world championship matches and had drawn matches with Tarrasch and Gunsburg. He was the public’s choice at Hastings because of his dashing style, preferring the Evans Gambit whenever he got the chance. The tournament book said of him, “His style of play is quite of the old school, brilliantly attacking and ever towards the King, perhaps described by the simple word beautiful...In difficult positions Chigorin gets very excited and at times seems quite fierce, sitting at the board with his black hair brushed back, splendid black eyes, and flushed face looking as if he could see right through the table...”
     In addition to these outstanding players Schlechter had just turned 21, Blackburne at 52 had a career of 33 years behind him and was to compete another 20 years, the young and fastidious in taste and manner Janowsky. Frank Marshall once described him as “somewhat of a dandy.” There was also the veteran Henry Bird, the burly, broad-shouldered Georg Marco, the reticent but good humored Amos Burn with his normally dry style of play, the lively but erratic Albin and the unpredictable Walbrodt. Gunsburg was past his prime but Teichmann was an upcoming star.
     There was von Bardeleben who was to obtain immortality by disappearing in his game with Wilhelm Steinitz when he just walked out of the tournament room instead of resigning. Von Bardeleben always wore a black suit of dubious vintage. According to Edward Lasker apparently he could never spare enough money to buy a new suit even though at fairly regular intervals he received comparatively large sums – from one to several thousand marks – through the simple expedient of marrying, and shortly after, divorcing, some lady who craved the distinction of his noble name and was willing to pay for it. Unfortunately, when he received his reward, it was usually far exceeded by the amount of the debts he had accumulated. Rumor had it that the number of the ladies involved in these brief marital interludes had grown so alarmingly that they could easily have made up a Sultan’s harem. He committed suicide by jumping out of a window in 1924. (According to one obituary, however, he fell out by accident. His life and death were the basis for that of the main character in the novel The Defense by Vladimir Nabokov, which was made into the movie The Luzhin Defense. The rest of the entries were considered outsiders and did not generate much interest.
     The result of the tournament: 1. Harry Nelson Pillsbury, 16.5 2. Mikhail Chigorin, 16.0 3. Emmanuel Lasker, 15.5 4. Siegbert Tarrasch, 14.0 5. Wilhelm Steinitz, 13.0 6. Emanuel Schiffers, 12.0 7. Curt von Bardeleben, 11.5 8. Richard Teichmann, 11.5 9. Carl Schlechter, 11.0 10. Joseph Henry Blackburne, 10.5 11. Carl Walbrodt, 10.0 12. Amos Burn, 9.5 13. David Janowski, 9.5 14. James Mason, 9.5 15. Henry Bird, 9.0 16. Isidor Gunsberg, 9.0 17. Adolf Albin, 8.5 18. Georg Marco, 8.5 19. William Pollock, 8.0 20. Jacques Mieses, 7.5 21. Samuel Tinsley, 7.5 22. Beniamino Vergani, 3.0

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Middle Game in Chess by Znosko-Borovsky

      This was on of the first books I ever had and remember it quite fondly. Z-B breaks chess down into three elements: Space, Tine and Force. Since his day other authors have done the same thing, Evans and Sierawan, for example, but I still like Znosko-Borovsky’s book the best. Of course there is more to chess than just these three elements, but for the average player it’s a good starting point.
     The book itself is in Descriptive Notation and I think Z-B assumes too much understanding on the part of his readers. Like many other authors he writes things like, "And White is clearly better and wins". The best way around this is to examine the example with an engine. The thing is though, many times this method reveals incorrect analysis or missed tactical chances. But that’s not unusual in books written in the pre-computer days.
     Here are Znosko-Borovsky’s comments on Threats from his analysis of a Tarrasch-Janowski game fragment:

“Nearly all maneuvers which we undertake to achieve out aims are in the nature of threats and these threats at times may in themselves represent an object for which we strive. A threat is…the surest means of maintaining, if not increasing, any advantage we may have…there are direct threats by which the enemy is attacked once and then the distant or deferred threats, the effect of which become manifest only after a series of moves…the immediate threat harasses the enemy and may deprive him of all freedom of action; the second…is less obvious and therefore more difficult to fathom. It requires time to evolve an adequate defense and it may be said that in general it is the more decisive and in any case the more dangerous of the two.”

     In the following example Z-B examines the position after 26…Qe7 and observes:

“In this example we see a whole series of threats which arise in turn without any respite. Black manages to defend himself against each single threat, direct and immediate, but succumbs in the end to the most distant one. This is a perfect illustration of the best possible exploitation of the distant threat; an uninterrupted chain of direct threats which allows the adversary no leisure to provide against the danger which lurks in the background. The time will come when two threats will occur: a direct threat and the distant threat which has now become immediate. It’s possible to parry one of the two but not both.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Boredom and Chess

     I haven’t felt much like playing chess lately. I thought it might be because of winter’s bitterly cold grip here in the Midwest and I was getting cabin fever, but by definition, that’s not the case.
     Cabin fever is a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period.  Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability (Do not have that symptom) and the restlessness a person may feel in these situations. Also, when experiencing cabin fever, a person may tend to sleep (Have that symptom!), have distrust of anyone they are with (Definitely do not have that one) and an urge to go outside even in the snow and dark (Absolutely no urge to do that!). The phrase is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone. That doesn’t apply; I could play chess.
     Then I read IM Yochanan Afek’s comment, “What can you do? Sometimes chess is just not interesting.” A-ha! That’s it! Sometimes is the key. The past several days have been one of those times.

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Third Non-chess Post-Facebook

     I’m not a big fan of Facebook. Several years ago my wife set me up with an account. I don’t post on it, but read it occasionally. I managed to connect with a couple of old friends from my days in the military and occasionally see something of interest, but beyond that it’s not very important to me. But some people seem to live on it and I do wonder about some of the stuff I’ve seen people post.
     I know everybody thinks their kids are cute, but I don’t want to see pictures of them every time I sign on. And who wants to see a picture of what you cooked for dinner? The first impression I had of the last picture I saw of somebody’s dinner was that their dog puked on the floor.

Selfies: I blocked one young man who posted selfies nearly every day. I don’t want to see his ugly face staring at me every time I sign on to Facebook.
Religion: I don’t think I have to constantly post stuff on Facebook to prove what a “spiritual” Christian I am.
Vacations: I’m OK with people posting a few pictures after they get back, but is it wise to plaster the fact that you’re vacationing down South and won’t be back until next week all over the Internet?
Singing: I have a lot of Facebook friends who think they can sing; they can’t.
Politics: Another friend is constantly posting anti-gun control, anti-Obama and anti-everything else. I can read the Huffington Post, the National Association for Gun Rights, etc, etc, too; I’m not a big fan of political cartoons either.
Personal Problems: A friend recently posted a complaint because, like Rodney Dangerfield, they “don’t get no respect.” Get over it and move on! A while back one guy was having a "Facebook fight" with his kids. Naturally there were a whole lot of people who took sides.
Spam. One person posted a whole gaggle of stuff all in a row: a (funny?) Youtube video, an obituary, a basketball video, kids (relatives) dancing, how to separate an egg, a video of some criminal on Youtube, somebody complaining about politics in Detroit, somebody dirty dancing, two videos of Michelle Obama, a man singing, a Tyler Perry video, a video of police miscreants, a request for donations for somebody’s funeral, a video of a commercial, a Paula Deen recipe for peanut butter cookies, another video about violence in Detroit (this person, by the way, does NOT live in Detroit), a video about some kid whose mom only had one eye, a recipe for something that looks like dog puke, a video of some idiot with a Halloween wig and teeth acting stupid, a video of a guy trying to lift weights, an inspirational saying for women, a pineapple pound cake recipe, a TD Jakes video, the trailer of a new movie, a picture of a woman’s panties hanging on an electric line, a video about how to treat people, a chicken recipe…I can’t go on.

100 Years Ago

Major Tournaments:

Mannheim 1914- the 19th DSB Congress, comprising several tournaments, began on 20 July 1914 in Mannheim, Germany. On 1 August Germany declared war on Russia, and on France (August 3), Britain joining in the next day. The congress was stopped on 1 August 1914. Alekhine was leading the Meisterturnier, with nine wins, one draw and one loss, when World War I broke out. German organizers of the tournament decided that the players should be "indemnified" according to their score, but not paid the total prize money. After the declaration of war, eleven "Russian" players (Alekhine, Bogoljubov, Bogatyrchuk, Flamberg, Koppelman, Maljutin, Rabinovich, Romanovsky, Saburov, Selezniev, Weinstein) were interned in Rastatt, Germany. On September 14, 17, and 29, 1914, four of them (Alekhine, Bogatyrchuk, Saburov, and Koppelman) were freed and allowed to return home via Switzerland. A fifth player, Romanovsky was freed and went back to Petrograd in 1915, and a sixth one, Flamberg was allowed to return to Warsaw in 1916.

The ‘final’ standings were: 1-Alekhine 2-Vidmar 3-Spielmann 4-6-Breyer, Marshall and Reti 7-Janowsky 8-9-Bogoljubow and Tarrasch 10-11-Duras and John 12-Tartakower 13-14-Fahrni and Post 15-16-Carls and Kruger

Saint Petersburg International Tournament -This tournament celebrated the 10th anniversary of the St. Petersburg Chess Society. Russian organizers intended to invite the present top twenty chess players, with world champion Lasker and challenger Capablanca, but strong Austro-Hungarian masters could not accept due to tensions of Russia with Austria-Hungary in the year 1914. Finally, eleven top players from Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States, Cuba, and Russian Empire were accepted. The preliminary was won by Capabanca followed by Lasker and Tarrasch, Alekhine and Marshall, Bernstein and Rubinstein, Nimzovich, Blackburne, Janowsky.

The standings of the finals were Lasker followed by Capablanca, Alekhine, Tarrasch, Marshall. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, who had partially funded the tournament, awarded the Grandmaster title to the five finalists.

Other Major Tournaments:

8th All-Russian Masters' Tournament, won by Alexander Alekhine and Aaron Nimzowitsch, followed by Alexander Flamberg, Moishe Lowtzky, Grigory Levenfish
New York (Manhattan CC), won by Abraham Kupchik
St. Petersburg (Hexagonal), won by Peter Romanovsky and Sergey von Freymann.
Kiev (Quadrangular), won by Alexander Evensohn ahead of Efim Bogoljubow and Fedor Bogatyrchuk.
Cracow won by Flamberg ahead of Józef Dominik,
Berlin (Quadrangular), won by Erich Cohn and Spielmann.
Vienna (Quadrangular), won by Siegfried Reginald Wolf and Ernst Grünfeld.
Geneve won by Alexander Ilyin-Genevsky.
Paris (Quadrangular), won by Marshall and Alekhine
Chester (British Chess Championship), won by Frederick Yates and Joseph Henry Blackburne. Yates won the playoff on forfeit
Baden-Baden won by Flamberg, followed by Bogoljubow, Ilya Rabinovich
Triberg won by Bogoljubow, followed by Rabinovich, Peter Romanovsky
Vienna won by Grünfeld ahead of Kalikst Morawski,
Vienna (the 6th Trebitsch Memorial), won by Schlechter ahead of Arthur Kaufmann

Major Matches:
Richard Réti defeated Walter John 2 : 1 (+1 –0 =2), Breslau.
Paul Leonhardt drew with Hans Fahrni 1 : 1 (+1 –1 =0), Munich.
Paul Leonhardt won against J. Szekely 2.5 : 1.5 (+2 –1 =1), Munich.
Frederick Yates defeated George Thomas 3 : 1 (+2 –0 =2), London.
Richard Teichmann won against Frank Marshall 1.5 : 0.5 (+1 –0 =1), Berlin.
Richard Teichmann beat Rudolf Spielmann 5 : 1 (+5 –1 =0), Leipzig.

8 January - Herman Pilnik in Stuttgart, Germany. Argentine GM.
21 February - Arnold Denker in New York City.
6 March - Theo van Scheltinga in Amsterdam.
8 March - Oleg Neikirch in Tbilisi, Georgia.
7 October - Alexander Tsvetkov in Topolovgrad, Bulgaria.
11 October - Reuben Fine in New York City.
20 October - Mona May Karff in Bessarabia. Women's US Champion.
26 October - Adriaan de Groot in Santpoort, the Netherlands.
16 December - Sonja Graf in Munich, Germany. Women's US Champion.
26 December - Albert Simonson in New York City.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What’s an Average Player?

      I stopped by the coffee shop the other day and there was a young fellow sitting there with a chess set waiting for a game. When I approached him he informed me he played online and was “just an average” player. After a couple of games it became apparent that he was not average based on my understanding of average. He was far below average. As it turned out, I was wrong. 
     According to the USCF’s rating distribution chart the average rating of their 65,000+ members is 1068. I always thought 1600 was “average.” I guess that’s because when I started it was considered average because 1200 was as low as the ratings went. So, if my first ever USCF rating was 1667 and it made me an average player, does that mean that by today’s standards my initial rating would have been 1100?
     Here’s a game played against an 1800-rated opponent that helped me get that initial 1667 rating. I was curious to see how it might compare to a game by an 1100 player of today. My dogged determination to advance the b-Pawn got me into trouble because I wasn’t looking for tactical chances at every move. Neither was Black, but when he finally did notice the winning tactic he failed to follow up correctly. Apparently even in those days we had issues with spotting tactics!
     Because I haven’t played OTB in decades I’m not sure how this game compares to those played by class players of today because, really, I don’t know how good (bad) an 1100 plays.


Sicilian - Wing Gambit

     For some reason I keep experimenting with this gambit in online games and must admit that while my results have been acceptable it’s not been because of the opening so much as having been able to take advantage of my opponent’s later mistakes.
     The opening begins with 1.e4 c5 2.b4. If memory serves, Alekhine and Keres used to play it occasionally, but delayed it by playing 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 followed by 3.b4 which seems to me is the better way.
     After Black captures 2...cxb4, the usual continuation is 3.a3 bxa3 (3...d5! is more recently considered superior) and now the main line is 4.Nxa3, though 4.Bxa3 and 4.d4 are also seen. White gets quick development and a central advantage, but it is not generally considered one of White's better choices against the Sicilian and it is virtually never seen at the professional level.
     After Black's 2...cxb4, another popular third move alternative for White is 3.d4. It is also possible to prepare the gambit by playing 2.a3 followed by 3.b4. One thing to remember if you play this gambit is that the b-Pawn is lost…there is no chance of getting it back. The short version is than if you play the Wing Gambit, you have lost time, material and positional advantage which is why it’s rarely played at the master level.
     If Black accepts the Pawn then White has a lot of possible ways to continue: a3, d4, c4 or even c3. Because there’s not a lot of theory on the opening and few Black players will know much, if anything, about it, expect games to go every direction! There are some books on this gambit, but I wouldn’t bother buying them because of this reason.
     In the following game I played a novelty on move 5. It was a mouse slip and I ended up with a miserable position. At first I thought I would just follow it up with d4 getting a big center. I did eventually get in d4...at move 46. As it was, the game was pretty messy and looking it over with Houdini 2, Stockfish 4 and Komodo 5 showed it to be not so well played by either of us, but it’s worth looking at because of all the tactics, both seen and unseen.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Saul Yarmak, 1953 U.S. Junior Champion

         In August 1953, Saul N. Yarmak (born Dec 18, 1933) won the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Kansas City. John Penquite and Martin Harrow tied for 2nd-3rd place. At the time Yarmak was listed as being from Passaic, New Jersey. The following year, 1954, Yarmak, by then a U.S. Army private, tied for 3rd-4th in the US Junior Championship.
     Yarmak played in the 2nd Pan-Am tournament held in Los Angeles in 1954. The event was won by Arthur Bisguier 11.5 – 2.5 ahead of Larry Evans (2nd) and Herman Steiner & Rossolimo (3rd-4th). Bisguier wrote in The Art of Bisguier, Vol. 1, that when he met Yarmak in round 13 they had an immediate personality clash. Bisguier thought Yarmak showed him no respect as reigning U.S. Champion or to other strong masters in the tournament. Bisguier thought he was a “egomaniac braggart who liked to criticize other players.” As a result, Bisguier offer Yarmak a side bet at 20 to 1 with draw odds that he (Bisguier) would win. Bisguier, playing Black, made good on his bet and won in 27 moves.
     In the 1957 California Open, which was the largest up until that time with 109 entries, had a three way tie for first: James Schmitt of San Francisco, Larry Evans of New York City and Yarmak, by then of Los Angeles. Schmitt was awarded the title on tiebreaks.

     On the early rating lists Yarmak was a rated master with a predilection for hypermodern play, but he apparently was one of those promising young players who all but abandoned chess to pursue a business career. He was an economics major from Los Angeles City College. Today he is financial manager at BXI in Las Vegas, Nevada and in the past served as an assistant treasurer for a title company.
     Yarmak returned to play in an occasional tournament from time to time, his last being in 2011. His current USCF rating is 1913.
     His opponent in this game was Robert Brieger.  Brieger passed away on April 26, 2012, at the age of 86 in Houston, Texas. He was born in 1925 and lived most of his life in Houston.
     Brieger had a B.S. in Mathematics from University of Houston in 1946 and obtained a teaching certificate in 1951. A chess player from the age of 17, he eventually achieved a master rating. 
     He was the author of many chess books and composed many endgame problems, played correspondence chess, was Houston City Champion and the recipient of many trophies from State and Southwest Open tournaments.
     Brieger taught math for brief periods in Houston and worked two years for Convair Aeronautics in San Diego, CA. He loved classical music, played clarinet in high school and university orchestras, later enjoyed attending concerts and opera. Also later in life he enjoyed all types of ballroom dancing. He loved classic movies and collected his favorites, especially winners of awards in Cannes and Venice, as well as Hollywood.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

IM Larry Remlinger

     Remlinger (b. 1942), current Elo 2304 (his high rating was 2410 in the early 1990s) was awarded his IM title in 1991.
     Bobby Fischer was not the top talent at the 1955 U.S. Junior Championship held in Lincoln, Nebraska; it was 13-year-old Larry Remlinger of Long Beach, California.  

     Remlinger was considered a brilliant prospect and, like many young players of today, was strongly supported by his parents. He played regularly at the Long Beach Chess Club and in 1955 was actually stronger than Fischer.
     IM James T. Sherwin, in a column titled Masters of the Future, wrote concerning Remlinger, “Most New York players…determine the strength of (non-New York players) by examining their records against the New York masters." That was how Larry Remlinger's play came to be respected in New York. 
     Karl Burger (1933-2000 - a medical doctor and a former chess teacher to Bobby Fischer at the Manhattan Chess Club was an International Master with two GM norms) played in the 1953 Kansas City Junior (won by Saul Yarmak) and returned to New York City to report that Remlinger was going to be U.S. Champion in within a few years.
     Remlinger learned to play chess from an uncle when he was ten and a year later joined the Lincoln Park Chess and Checker Club. The club secretary and a local master, Lionel Joyner, both recognized his talent and helped him study. The members of the club and local merchants contributed to send Larry and his parents to the 1955 Kansas City tournament where he was coached by Herman Steiner.
     In the 1954 U.S. Junior Remlinger had finished second behind Ross Siemms of Canada  and ahead of such strong players as Charles Kalme, Martin Harrow, Robert Gross, Shelby Lyman and Robert Cross. 
     Like Kalme, Remlinger soon gave up chess in order to make a living. He played only occasionally until 1990 when he decided to dedicate himself totally to chess in a quest to gain the International Master title. He achieved his goal at the age of 52.
     By profession Remlinger is a licensed as a marriage and family therapist working with individuals and couples and focusing on relationship issues. He was also a vocational rehabilitation counselor working with people injured on the job - helping them redefine their careers and adjust to their disabilities and career changes. Besides chess, his interests are the history of ideas, classic literature, table tennis and holistic health.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Alekhine vs. Junge, Prague 1942

I have posted about Klaus Junge before HERE. The following fascinating game between Alekhine and Junge was played at Prague, 1942 and has been analyzed by such greats as Alekhine, Fine, Pachman and Dvoretsky & Yusupov.

The final standings were:
1-2. Alekhine 8.5
1-2. Junge 8.5
3. Foltys 7
4-5. Opocensky 6.5
4-5. Zita 6.5
6. Kottnauer 6
7. Rejfir 5.5
8-10. Hromadka 4
8-10. Podgorny 4
8-10. Thelen 4
11. Saemisch 3
12. Prokop 2.5

This was the first big event that GM Ludek Pachman ever witnessed and of Junge, Pachman wrote, that he was “a tall, slender youth with sincere eyes who, at the age of nineteen, had already attained a higher level of play than many present-day grandmasters, was a modest and likeable person…My brother was still in a concentration camp after three years, and I had already been subjected to an interrogation by the Gestapo. For more than four hours, I watched the slender youth, the feelings of a chess player attracting me to him. At the same time I knew he was the symbol of something I could never like. Such feelings were shared by the great majority of the spectators, feelings that expressed themselves in a rather naive form of pan-Slavism. For us, Alekhine was neither the world champion nor an emigre. Nor was he a person enjoying the protection of the rulers of this part of the world. He was first and foremost a Slav and therefore one of us." Edward Winter has published a photo (entry #3534) of the participants on his website HERE.