Chess Books....and Hitler

Chess Books....and Hitler

The Planet Greenpawn

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Chess Books....and Hitler

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Folkstone is an English coastal town in the county of Kent
I do not have a picture of Folkstone. Here is Winston Williams....
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...holding up the Folkstone Chess Club’s ‘Pickles’ Trophy.

(Pickles was the name of the dog who found the stolen World
Cup in 1966. Folkstone Chess Club named a trophy after him.)

In 1933 a Chess Olympiad was held there consisting of 15 teams.
There was meant to be 18 four man teams taking part but Estonia
Spain and Argentina had to withdrew all citing various reasons,

The event was won by America ahead of Czechoslovakia and Sweden.

America leading by 2½ pts in the last round played 2nd placed Czechoslovakia.
The Czechs, led by Salomon Flohr quickly went 2-0 up and the USA were not
looking too good on the other boards either. Fine drew with Josef Rejfir so it
was down to the game between Frank Marshall - Carrel Treybal. A win would
give the Czechs the match 3½ - ½ and they would be the Olympiad Champions.

Frank Marshall - Carrel Treybal, Folkstone Olympiad 1933.

That is the background done. The players that interest us are from Latvia and Iceland.

Before we go any further I’d better show the game.

W. Hazenfuss (Latvia)- T. Sigurdsson (Iceland), Folkestone Olympiad 1933

Well did the spot the two errors. (I gave the ;OOPS!’ hint.)

Time passed and on the evening of the 30th June 1934 Hitler seized total power
with the ‘Night of the Long Knives.’. they could hold an Olympiad in 1936.

I’ll digress slightly here. Do you remember this hoax from a few years back.
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Total baloney, this hoax was actually believed by quite a few people.

I added to the merriment with some more old fashioned forgotten masterpieces.
Custer v Sitting Bull
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Nelson v Napoleon
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By the way I recently saw a picture on Edward Winter’s site of Alekhine and Hitler.
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Edward WInter's Site
This eagerly awaited Olympiad although boycotted by some other countries,
USA, England and Scotland etc attracted 21 teams and was won by Hungary.

Much has been of the fact that some strong players failed to play in this event
by taking the moral high ground. Alekhine, Bogoljubov, Tartakower, Flohr....
But these players were also at Nottingham 1936 The events ran side by side.

Where was I.....Oh Yes....Why was this Olympiad eagerly awaited?

Because of the fame the Combe - Hazenfuss, at the Folkstone Olympiad attracted!

Has anybody on Red Hot Pawn fallen for this lose of a piece in 4 moves?
Of course they have. 9 players have lost a piece in the exact same position.

One player. DZiv has lost a piece in the exact same way twice.
DZiv - GalaxyShield RHP 2007 and DZiv - uncblue RHP 2008.

So around the world went the Combe - Hazenfuss game and some bright
columnists added this was not Hazenfuss’ s only short win at the Olympiad
and to fill up column inches gave the Hazenfuss - Sigurdsson game as well.

Everyone (well not quite everyone - see later) spotted the improvement
for Black and went to Munich in 1936 hoping to get Black v Hazenfuss
and play the 9... Qh4+ move on him and catch him with his pants down.

In round 10 Latvia were drawn against Finland and up to the board as
Black stepped the wide-eyed and wonderfully prepared Eino Heilimo

Hazenfuss played 1. e4 Heilimo replied with 1...e5 Hazenfuss played 2, Nc3.

By all accounts all the other players stopped their clocks and crowded around the board.

Radio programmes all over the world were interrupted to say that Hazenfuss
had played the Vienna and that Eino Heilimo was now thinking of his reply.

Hazenfuss - Eino Heilimo, Munich Olympiad 1936

I said everyone spotted the improvement for White adding ‘not quite everyone.’

In 1952 Tartakower and Du Mont published their ‘500 Master Games of Chess.’
In the notes to game No. 212 it mentions the Hazenfuss - Sigurdsson game but the
move 9.Nc3 is given without saying it probably losses. it just says ‘and White wins.’
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There is also some slap-dash analysis on another suggested line in the this game.
(being King of the slap-dash analysis I spot such things very quickly. It’s a gift.)

“...who ever did the analysis.” B. H. Wood whilst reviewing this book in 1952
dipped his pen into acid and wrote a scathing critique basically saying there
was no need for such a book as all the games had appeared in print elsewhere,
also the proof reading should have been tackled in a more accurate manner.

I’ll defend the book by saying it’s excellent and having all these famous games
under one roof saves one from hunting though other books looking for a game.

As for mistakes or evaluation errors. All part of the fun of chess study.
You do not sit there skipping through the moves and nodding your head.
You look, you question, you are wary, alert and study with apprehension.

Staying with the Vienna, whilst researching (I do that sometimes) this error
to see if it had been corrected or infact repeated elsewhere. I happened upon
a piece of faulty analysis corrected by Gary Lane in his book on this opening.
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Gary credits the discovery to Stuart Barnett. (who might come from Folkstone.)
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Stuart with the ‘Lady Hamilton-Warrick’ trophy. (I think it’s for darts.)

The culprit is in this book The Complete Vienna’ by Tseitlin & Glazkov.

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People who live in glass house should not throw (Folk) stones.

Every chess hack has a few of those on his C.V. (I know I have ) especially before
computers could seriously be trusted. The book was written in 1995 about the time
everyone was getting their hands on Fritz 3. which was being run Windows 3.1 in
DOS mode or, if you could afford a copy, Windows ’95. Ah....The good old days.

You used to go through all analysis checking it for human blunders and missed
wins or checkmates like the one above. I’m of the opinion that these days people
no longer check analysis because they assume it has been run though a box and
an important method of learning and the art of looking for blunders has been lost.

So if you really want to get better at chess then get your hands on a really
bad book full of tactical errors. I’ll write one, I could do it without trying.

The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 174468
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22 Jun 24
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06 Jul 10