The Best Celebrity Chessplayer. Part Two.

The Best Celebrity Chessplayer. Part Two.

22 | Tactics

According to some Russian chess books, the famous writer Leo Tolstoy played around 600 recorded games.  I was able to locate only a half dozen of them. Based on them I can conclude that the famous Russian writer had a very sharp attacking style.  He loved to play gambits, like in the next game.



Unfortunately, some of the games (like the following one for example) don't allow me to give him a rating higher than USCF 1600
The great Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev was a very strong player. He played a number of Grandmasters and even beat Capablanca (though it was just a simul game).  In the Soviet Union they even published a chess book where one chapter was devoted to the games of Sergei Prokofiev.  The next game makes a very strong impression:
And again we have a strange case where it looks like a modern Grandmaster learns something from an old game played by a celebrity.  Look at the next game:
Another case of a weird similarity like this one we could see in the first part of this article (  )
It almost feels like we witness a chess version of the hit show "Dancing with the Stars".
Based on the games I analyzed, it is easy to give Sergei Prokofiev a chess rating of at least USCF 2100.
And now it is time to announce the winner of our little contest (a drum roll, please!) The best chess player of all the celebrities is Marcel Duchamp. It shouldn't really come as a surprise, since it is a well known fact that at some point in his career he even left his art and studied chess full time. He played many strong chess players and proved himself a tough nut to crack, like in the next game against a famous Grandmaster.
In the following game Marcel Duchamp beat the famous Master George Koltanowski with a neat combination.
These games clearly show that Marcel Duchamp played at Master's strength and his rating should be around USCF 2300.
I hope you, my dear readers, enjoyed this little historic research. But I also hope, that it gave you encouragement to study chess, since as you could see, even non-professional chess players were able to reach a very decent level.
Good luck to all of you!
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