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There was no "top ten" in those days. Marshall had one credible finish in international play in San Sebastian the year before, but other than that nothing to distinguish himself, while Levitsky had been playing high level tournaments for a dozen years and turned in several good results.
If the spectators were fans of Levitsky, placing side bets on him would not have been unusual at the time. Of course, it is just not possible that a husband would forget to tell his wife about the extra money he made gambling, even if she disapproved of the habit.
There is no doubt the legend of spectators spontaneously showering the board with gold pieces is untrue, but most legends have at least some grain of truth in their origins, and the exaggeration of a bet being paid off into an appreciation of the beauty of the move seems not much of a stretch.
Estragon, lets take your points ---one at a time---
Of course Estragon, there was a top ten in those days and most serious players today could name them. My top ten might differ from someone else but, in general, they would be the same---Lasker, Capablanca, Rubinstein etc.
Marshall would be in many players top ten. If you should say Levitsky is in your top ten they would say "Levitsky who?" Levitsky played most of his life in Russian tournaments---the bush leagues! He did play in a few big tournaments and was always the rabbit finishing in the bottom of the tournament and being on the wrong end of spectacular combinations. Most big tournaments had a rabbit or two---and believe pal---nobody bet on them. Marshall won several big tournaments, Cambridge Springs 1904 comes immediately to mind.
Are you telling me Carrie Fischer wouldnt have known if her husband had some extra spending money in his pocket? Of course she would have known---they were ultra close. How many masters took their wives with them to foreign chess tournaments?
There were several elite players at Breslau 1912 ---Duras, Rubinstein, Teichmann, Schlechter, Tarrasch, Speilmann, Mieses, Burn etc., etc.
Why didnt any of these players mention this in their books or writings? Was showering the board with gold pieces so common they felt it was unnecessary to mention it. Most of the masters were dirt poor and the spectators who attended the tournament that day were probably even poorer. I doubt very seriously if anyone was throwing gold pieces around but---its a free country and people can believe what they want to believe.
i take my stand with amrita1
wow!! brilliant!! thank you very much.
this is really turning out to be a very good forum
I've seen this game mentioned in books many times. It is one of the most shocking moves ever made, how could anyone even start to consider it is amazing.
...but it does make you wonder, given the same position and not seen any of this, how many of us would see 23.....Qg3!,?
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