White Plays f3 to Attack!

White Plays f3 to Attack!

GM Julio_Becerra
Jun 2, 2010, 12:00 AM |
31 | Chess Players

Friedrich (Fritz) Saemisch was born on the 20th of September 1896 in Berlin, Germany.
A thoughtful opening theoretician, he has two major opening variations named after him, which are still played today at the highest levels! Nimzo-Indian, Samisch (E24) and King's Indian, Samisch Variation (E80), both with a distinctive characteristic: f3! The idea is to strengthen the center and in some pawn structures to play g4! We can find many games of the Nimzo-Indian and King’s Indian where White played the Saemisch variation and won marvelously by attack.
As is often the case with openings named for players, most of us probably know a lot more about the opening than we do about the man who developed it into something playable!
He was Austrian Champion in 1921. His most notable match win-- also in 1921-- was against Richard Reti (+4 =3 -1) and in his best tournament he finished 3rd at Baden-Baden 1925 behind Alexander Alekhine and Akiba Rubinstein. He also played many beautiful games though, one of them being his win against Grünfeld at Carlsbad 1929, which won the brilliancy prize there.
The Saemisch name is linked in Chess History to two historic facts. One is perhaps his most famous game: his loss to Nimzowitsch at Copenhagen 1923 in the Immortal Zugzwang Game, which was analyzed in a former article.
He also won against Capablanca at Carlsbad 1929, a game which originated plenty of anecdotes about the reasons why Capa made his most famous blunder. It is said the great Cuban lost a piece in the opening due to his wife Gloria, a beautiful brunette, from Havana, surprisingly appearing in the tournament hall while Capa was having an affair with a beautiful blonde! Later, Capablanca admitted the mistake to Mattison in the tournament book. He simply thought that he had already castled.
In later years Saemisch became a notorious time trouble addict. As a curious fact, at the age of 73 he played a tournament in memoriam of Adolf Anderssen in Germany, and another tournament in Sweden, losing all games in both events on time; a total of 28! That's probably some kind of dubious record.
In contrast to this, he could play speed chess very well, winning two blitz tournaments at the age of 61.
He was awarded the GM title in 1950 and passed away in Berlin in 1975.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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