When going around your 2nd hand shops looking for bargain chess
books always check out, if they have one, the foreign books section
Within you may discover, as I recently did, a wee piece of 1960 treasure.
A copy of ‘Combinations and Traps in the Opening.’ by Boris Vainstein.
Some of you may not have heard of Boris Vainstein, but others will.
Bronstein’s Classic. ’Chess Struggle and Practice’ was mostly written
by Vainstein. Bronstein admits he only added in the ‘technical parts.’
The ‘technical parts’ were Bronstein’s ideas and comments. It was
Vainstein who did the actual writing and putting the book together.
Back then in the mid 1950’s Boris Vainstein was a Soviet non-person. His
name could not appear anywhere. It seems by 1960 he was back in favour.
Vainstein waves to his great friend Bronstein from the pages
by including a game Bronstein played in a simultaneous display .
D. Bronstein - NN ,USSR simultaneous display Sochi, 1950
‘Combinations and Traps in the Opening.’ is really a beginners primer
containing all the old classics mixed with a nice collection of cartoons.
This one shows a King being hunted across a chess board avoiding traps.
Vainstein also makes the occasional interesting suggestion.
Here, when looking at variations of the Two Knights Defence.
He reckons the Steinitz move 9.Nh3 is possibly worth a try also
adding it’s the kind of move a dogmatic Dr. Tarrasch would hate..
1899 was the last time 9.Nh3 appeared on the board in a master game.
Then three years after the 1960 book was published a certain American
player called Bobby Fischer who read everything Russian he could lay
his hands on played 9.Nh3 against Bisguier at Poughkeepsie in 1963.
Fischer won. It’s game No 45 in ‘My 60 Memorable Games.’
(It is also the famous game where Fischer fell asleep at the board
and Bisguier made the worse move of his life. He woke Bobby up!)
I was also surprised (and dismayed) to see ‘my move’ , ‘my bust’ to
Blackburne’s Shilling Trap recommended as a try worth considering.
I played it in 1982 a few times and thought I was being original.
Here is Vainstein’s line suggested 20 years before I thought of it.
I’ll translate the page with an RHP game.
aukermdr - Pauline Calf RHP 2015
Top of the class if you know your chess history trivia and get both of these correct.
E. Steiner - E. Colle, Budapest 1926
White to play. What happened next?
S. Reshevsky - A. Denker USA Championship 1942
White to play. What happened next
Here are the answers to the two questions above.
E. Steiner - E. Colle, Budapest 1926 (White to play)
White played 17.Bg5 but in the act of withdrawing his hand from placing the
Bishop on g5 his elbow caught the White King and knocked it to the floor.
Steiner picked it up but by mistake placed it on g1 instead of h1. The game continued.
The Reshevsky - Denker game is even more incredible and when I first
heard about this years ago I simply refused to believe it. It must be a joke.
The clue is the clock above the board. Sammy Reshevsky ran out of time.
The tournament controller, L. Walter Stephens, was looking at the back of
the clock so he picked it up, turned it around and looking at it saw that the
left hand clock (Sammy’s clock) had indeed ran out of time so he declared
the player sitting on his left, (which was Arnold Denker) had lost on time.
Beldam followed. The controller simply refused to reverse his decision.
Sammy made a quick exit saying it was nothing to do with him as he
was not the tournament controller. This win enabled Sammy to tie for
first place with Isaac Kashdan and Sammy Reshevsky won the play off
What joys of sheer delight do we have this time.
By coincidence I was looking at this study by Reti a few days ago.
White to play and win.
‘The Black Bishop cannot dance at two weddings at the same time.’
We follow that with an RHP game where pawns outrun a Bishop.
chris thorne - heinih RHP 2017
Staying on the same theme we continue. Sometimes it best not to play the obvious move.
Luck - golddog2 RHP 2017
Now some good chess culminating in moving the King to the wrong square.
joeboy69 - ChFoMa RHP 2013
To make sure you have it I’ll show the win White missed.
The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 173039