Best Player ever ?
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MIR SULTAN KHAN
(born 1905, died Apr-25-1966) Pakistan
Mir Sultan Khan was born in 1905 in Mittha in the Punjab, India. His prowess at the Indian variety of chess brought him to the notice of Colonel Nawab Sir Umar Hayat Khan who taught him the European game.
After winning the All-India Championship in 1928 (+8, =1, -0) he went to England and quickly came to the notice of English masters William Winter and Frederick D Yates who helped him overcome his lack of theoretical knowledge. He was British Champion in 1929, 1932 and 1933.
He played on three British Empire Olympiad teams in 1930, 1931 and 1933 and participated in some international events. He was 2nd at Liege 1930, 3rd at Hastings 1930-31 and 3rd= at London 1932. In matches he beat Savielly Tartakower (+4, =5, -3) in 1931 and lost to Salomon Flohr (+1, =3, -2) in 1932.
He returned to India with Sir Umar in December 1933 and played very little serious chess again. He passed away in Sargodha, Pakistan in 1966.
Here are some quotes of people about him:
- ‘An unlettered, illiterate genius.’ H. Schonberg, Grandmasters of Chess (1973 edition), page 213.
- ‘[he] was completely illiterate and could therefore not benefit from books on the game.’ A. Sunnucks, The Encyclopaedia of Chess (1976 edition), page 469.
- ‘an illiterate peasant.’ E.R. Brace, An illustrated Dictionary of Chess, page 275.
- ‘completely illiterate.’ F. Wilson, A Picture History of Chess, page 98.
- ‘… his complete inability to read any European textbook on the game.’ R.N. Coles, Mir Sultan Khan (1977 edition), page 7.
We are going to see his famous game against the Chess Machine known as Jose Raul Capablanca. He gave his Queen for 2 Rooks and then defended briliantly. Check for yourself.