Chess Myths-DEBUNKED!

GM JMB2010
Nov 9, 2012, 1:31 PM |

There are so many myths in the chess world. Here are just 9. If you have some, post them!

Myth #1-After Marshall's famous Qg3!!! against Levitsky at Breslau 1912, the board was showered with gold coins.

Truth-This may have originated from spectators tossing in their wagers (they lost bets on the game).

Myth #2-World Champion Alexander Alekhine died by choking on a piece of meat.

Truth-The official reports say that although this did happen, the main cause of death was simply a heart attack.

Myth #3-Jose Capablanca has the most consecutive games without a single loss.

Truth-People usually think this because he went 8 years without a single loss, but he only played around 65 games in that time frame. The record holder is Mikhail Tal of all people, with around 95 games.

Myth #4-Morphy never played Staunton.

Truth-The notation of 2 exhibition games between them have survived.

Myth #5-Geller was a brilliant positional player.

Truth-I have seen this in a couple of places, but it is clear he leaned towards attacking play.

Myth #6-In a 1925 simul where a 14 year old Botvinnik defeated Capablanca, Capa praised Botvinnik's play and proclaimed him a future world champ.

Truth-Botvinnik himself said that Capa angrily swept the pieces away and moved to the next board.

Myth #7-Botvinnik retired in 1963, when FIDE didn't grant him the right to a return match.

Truth-He played, for example, in Palma 1967 and Monte Carlo 1968, scoring impressive results.

Myth #8-Tal's game rapidly declined around the late 70s.

Truth-He won the top class tournament Montreal 1979 with Karpov and the Riga Interzonal that year!

Myth #9-Zurich 1953 was among the strongest tournaments of all time.

Truth-The lineup is simply not as strong as some lesser known tournaments. David Bronstein's book on it is what made it famous, as it is certainly one of the greatest chess books of all time.

Hope you enjoy!