30 September 2009

1985 Montpellier Candidates Reserve

Before the 1985 Montpellier Candidates Tournament, a three-man match tournament was held in London to establish a reserve player. This event was brought to my attention long ago by A.O., a correspondent from the Ukraine, but I just now got around to adding the crosstable and PGN scores to the appropriate page.

Thanks, A.O.! I haven't forgotten your other tips, either...

23 September 2009

A Grainy Day Photo

Can you identify the World Championship match?

Hint: 'Extreme Chess' by C.J.S.Purdy (p.100).

16 September 2009


Chessninja.com reported it in July: Kasparov, Obama, Karpov; Chessbase.com picked up on it in August: Karpov - Kasparov: Grudge Match in Valencia; now that we're in September, the next match between the two greatest rivals in chess history starts in a few days.

I was planning to put together a summary of K-K's openings from the five World Championship matches, but then discovered that I'd already done one (in 1999!): The Great Rivalries, Kasparov - Karpov. As for their overall record: Chessgames.com informs that in the 190 games they have played together (CG.com's number, not confirmed), Garry Kasparov beat Anatoli Karpov 31 to 23, with 136 draws. • But wait, there's more to come: Kasparov Karpov Paris 2009!

09 September 2009

The Alekhine - Flohr Match

I found the accompanying photo in the 1956 FIDE Review, p.7. It was used to illustrate an essay titled 'On the World Championship' by Botvinnik, although there was no mention in the essay of a possible Alekhine - Flohr match.

Flohr was nominated to be FIDE's choice as challenger to Alekhine at the FIDE Congress, Stockholm, August 1937. Since Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia in September 1938, dashing Flohr's hopes for a match, the photo must have been taken between those two events. The AVRO tournament, ostensibly to identify a challenger to Alekhine, was held in November 1938.

[The image is a scan of a photocopy. The crosshatch pattern was already visible on the photocopy. I doubt it was in the original document.]


Later: It occurred to me that another relevant milestone was the Alekhine - Euwe match, played October to December 1937. Alekhine was only in a position to sign for another title match after winning the Euwe match. Of course, FIDE might have extracted his signature before beating Euwe, although I don't see how they could have forced it.

In case anyone is wondering, that's Alekhine to the left of the table, signing the document. Flohr is to the right of the table. I believe that FIDE President Alexander Rueb is sitting between them. The fellow standing second from the left appears to be Marcel Berman, FIDE delegate from France. I'm assuming he was already active in FIDE at that time (I don't know for sure) and that the other standing figures were also FIDE officials.


Later: From Kasparov's Predecessors I on Alekhine (p.447):-

In May 1938 [Alekhine and Flohr] signed an agreement about a match in Prague, which was due to take place in the autumn of 1939 in various towns of Czechoslavakia. The prize fund was guaranteed by the well known footwear factory Tomas Bata. But in late September 1938 all the plans were disrupted by the notorious 'Munich agreement' allowing Hitler's Germany to seize from Czechoslavakia part of its territory, and also soon to occupy the entire country.

Wikipedia says: Munich Agreement.

02 September 2009

1927-39 Women's Title Tournaments

I added a new page on 1927-39 Title Tournaments to my index on the World Chess Championship for Women. The new page is made of clippings from B.M. Kazic's 'International Championship Chess', an excellent reference for pre-1972 FIDE events.