Grandmasters and Cryptographers

Grandmasters and Cryptographers

Hikaru Junction

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To begin the blog, I’d like to note two interesting coincidences. First of all, while reviewing one of Anish Giri’s games, I remembered greenpawn’s four-name grandmasters: Reti, Giri, Euwe, and Fine. What results did they have when they played each other?

Well, Reti, Giri, and Fine, in this respective triangle, never played. The only players which played against each other were Reti against Euwe, and Euwe against Fine. Each of these matches finished, excluding draws, 2-2.

If we take the names of the three grandmasters which never played, Reti, Giri, and Fine, and we anagram them, we can jumble up these letters to get several possibilities, including the following: If tieing, I err.

Unfortunately, Giri didn’t have any games against any of the others. However, if we take some of the games the others played against each other, they did each have errors (a surprising amount) in games which looked drawish. For example, take the following:

Reuben Fine–Max Euwe Zandevoort 1936

Here is another drawn position (or, at least, I believe it to be drawn most of the time.)

Max Euwe–Richard Reti Rotterdam 1921

So what pair of mistakes was made moves after this position? We’ll dive into the same fragment–this time looking at what really happened.

Max Euwe–Richard Reti Rotterdam 1921

And now, I have to mention an article I found online, in American Chess Magazine, volume 1, number 2, dated 1897. It has several puzzles, each about chess players with four-letter names, and it had to be included.

I will now include one more game which showcases unfortunate mishaps from balanced positions. This are between Milner-Barry and Golombek, two of the players which I somehow ommitted in my initial series of posts about Bletchley Park back when I began this blog. They were each useful to the British endeavour in World War II, and along with that brilliant chess players. I was reminded of this fact when I recently had the opportunity to visit Bletchley (which I recommend,) and will seek to remedy that mistake slightly here.

In this game, Milner-Barry, out of the opening, develops a strong attack from nothing. I find it instructive, as Golombek’s moves do not appear initially poor.

Philip Stuart Milner-Barry–Harry Golombek Hastings 1939

Both competed alongside C. H. O’D. Alexander in the Chess Olympiad in September 1939, as war began to break out. They were quickly recruited for the Bletchley Park endeavour, with Milner-Barry recruiting Alexander shortly after. Golombek worked in the Hut which solved the German Naval Enigma, Hut 8, with Alexander.

Harry Golombek

Milner-Barry made a breakthrough in Hut 6, as he knew German, discovering ‘cribs’–repeated phrases which the German Army and Air Force Enigma operators used in their messages. The Hut could then use these commonly-used phrases to decrypt the settings used by the operators.

Philip Stuart Milner-Barry

Discussion thread: Thread 169482
Next post Wednesday the 27th.

Thanks for reading,

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Hikaru Junction
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30 Jun 19
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