Unknown Chess Players Who Won A Prize
Can you play as well as these "unknown" chess players?

Unknown Chess Players Who Won A Prize

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Everyone wants to win a brilliancy prize, but few get to experience it. In this article, I’ve found several “unknown players” who actually were able to grasp that dream.

Can you solve these positions?

If you do, you won't get a brilliancy prize, but you will feel pretty good as you howl in joy to the heavens.

chess trophy


Harry Rombach: Born 1899 (Ukraine), died 1981 (Canada). A skilled teacher, journalist and composer of problems and studies, he was born in Ukraine but lived most of his life in Canada. He also spent some years in the United States, where he developed his chess and wrote a column of studies in the magazine Canadian Chess Chat. He also played three times in the Canadian championship (1920, 1922, and 1924).

Moncur: His names are JW Moncur, B.M. Moncur, B. Moncur, and just plain Moncur. I could only find one club game (Toronto vs. Hamilton; his name here was JW Moncur and, as usual, he lost). I also found five tournaments that he played in Canada, one in 1924 (he came in 12th, winning three games and losing 11), another in 1926 (he came in 11th, winning two and losing 10), another in 1927 (he came in 14th, winning one game and losing 10), another in 1929 (he came in 11th, winning one game and losing nine), and yet another in 1931 when he completely vanishes (he came in 13th, winning two and losing 10).


Mieczyslaw Chwojnik: I’ve seen his birth year as 1901, 1902 and 1903 (Belarus), died in 1962 (Israel). He was a chess master and mathematician, and he won the Cracow championships in 1919, 1925, and 1926. During World War II, he moved to the Soviet Union, and after the war he moved back to Poland. In 1949 he emigrated to Israel. He also changed his name to Menachem Oren. He won the Israeli championship in 1951, and did well for Israel in the Chess Olympiads.

P. Windysz: I wasn’t able to find anything about this gentleman. Not his birth or death dates. Not any other games. Apparently his only claim to fame was his loss to Chwojnik. So who is Windysz? Where is he?...Where is he? Perhaps this link will help us.


Luis Argentino Palau: An Argentine chess master, he was born 1896 and died in 1971. He played in three Chess Olympiads (1924, 1927, and 1928), had some success in various tournaments, and he drew a game against Richard Reti in 1924. He was given the international master title in 1965.

Jan Te Kolste: Born in 1874 in the Netherlands (Utrecht), died in 1936 (The Hague). A Dutch master who played against many legends (Rubinstein, Euwe, Alekhine, Gruenfeld, Saemisch, Tartakower, Bogoljubow, Marshall, Nimzowitsch, etc), he was usually beaten down against those guys. However, he did have some wonderful moments: He drew Tarrasch, Reti, and Gyula Breyer, and beat players like Leonhardt, Edward Lasker, Yates, etc.


Spencer Crakanthorp: Born 1885 (Australia), died 1936. He was the Australian chess champion in 1923-24, 1925-26, and 1926 and 1927. I was surprised that Spencer was the father-in-law of Cecil Purdy (Cecil was a chess writer, an international master, and the world correspondence chess champion).

William Samuel Viner: Born 1881 (Australia), died 1933. He was a chess master, was the West Australian champion four times (1900, 1901, 1903 and 1905), won the Australian championship four times, and won the New Zealand chess championship in 1907. He was a great tactician and some called him the Australian Morphy.


Sandor Boros: Born 1907 (Hungary), died 1943 (only 35 years old!). A strong player (he beat Szabo, drew Lilienthal, drew S.R.Wolf, beat Balogh, drew Steiner, etc.), he also created chess studies; mostly two moves, with his favorite theme being a pin. You might think that they would be easy, but in truth, they are quite difficult. If you want to see some of his longer studies, here’s the link.

Erno Gereben: Born 1907 (Hungary), died 1988. He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and emigrated to Switzerland in 1956. He played in four Olympiads. He represented Hungry in 1954, and played for Switzerland in 1970, 1972 and 1974.


Arvids Taube: Born 1906 (Latvia), died 1992. He represented Latvia in two Olympiads (The Hague and Hamburg). He eventually changed his name to Arvids Talavs (why, I don’t know) and moved to Germany, then Australia, and finally Canada.

Heinrich von Hennig: Born 1883, died 1947. Some of his opponents were Saemisch (draw), Brinckmann (draw and a win), Rellstab (draw), Carl Ahues (draw), Jean Taubenhaus (win), Kurt Richter (draw), Ernst Gruenfeld (draw).

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