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Spektrowski's Blog


    • Thoughts of a 'numerical sports historian'

      I cannot call myself a true historian. Real historical research usually involves much more than a few Google searches and translations. But in sports history, there's a particular niche I took much liking in. It's 'history in numbers' - or 'goals,... | Read More

    • Dominant world champions and more

      Here's a table, based on chessgames.com metrics, of points scored by world champions and other leading grandmasters between each other. By 'leading grandmasters', I mean the following players: Everyone who played a World Championship match Everyo... | Read More

    • The most dominant world champions, preview version

      From the stats on chessgames.com, I've compiled a table of how World Champions from Lasker to Kasparov fared against the leading players of their eras. The criteria for choosing 'leading players' were simple: all the World Champions, everyone who ... | Read More

    • A historical question about Lasker

      I've wondered for quite some time now - why Emanuel Lasker was never approached to play in a USSR Chess Championship? I'm quite sure about "never approached" part, because if he was approached and refused (or at least said something to the effect ... | Read More

    • Ernst Helms - the man whom Lasker saved

      Ernst Helms (Эрнст Брунович Гельмс in Russian) was a German-Soviet artist, decorator and cartoonist. In a little-known chapter of his early life, he was literally saved by Emanuel Lasker's advice. Here's the episode, recounted b... | Read More

      • Spektrowski
      • | Dec 20, 2013
      • | 1116 views
      • | 15 comments
    • Magnus is the champion. Was 10 games really "too little"?

      I've seen some complaints about the short length of the championship match. Like, if it were longer, Anand would still have the chance to catch up. Yes, there were instances of recovering from -3 disadvantage (Steinitz, Euwe and Smyslov pulled tho... | Read More

      • Spektrowski
      • | Nov 23, 2013
      • | 2456 views
      • | 19 comments
    • Magnus is already champion? No world champion ever recovered after -2 score.

      After Magnus took a 4-2 lead over Anand, I've decided to look at the history of World Championship matches - who, if ever, managed to come back from two (or more) behind and at least equalize the score at some point? The first official World Cham... | Read More

      • Spektrowski
      • | Nov 17, 2013
      • | 2465 views
      • | 25 comments
    • Vasily Smyslov's 85th birthday interview, 2006

      Source Two weeks have passed since 85th birthday of the seventh chess world champion, Vasily Smyslov. Vasily Vasilievich holds a record for the longest world championship performance career. He came second in the tournament for the vacant title a... | Read More

    • Vasily Smyslov's 75th birthday interview, 1996

      Recorded by Yakov Damsky.   Talent in chess... I think it's the feeling of harmony. How quickly the player understands the position, how well is their intuition developed. This can be said about any profession, and in chess, it's determined by ... | Read More

    • Alekhine's Puzzles - can you solve them?

      Taking those out of Alekhine/Vilner anecdote. Puzzle #1. The game starts from following position. White can do 8 moves in a row, but only on the first 4 ranks. Then, after this preparation, they have to mate Black in four moves or earlier, reg... | Read More