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Famous Chess Fakes!

Famous Chess Fakes!

May 12, 2011, 4:14 PM 2

Today I decided to look at some games which were published in books and journals, and gained immense fame. The catch is these games were forgeries. The names of the players were real but the games were never actually played. They were simple concoctions of the imagination and although wonderful are a complete lie.


The first forgery is the famous Alekhine's five-queen game. Although Alekhine had the audacity to publish this game in his book “My Best Games of Chess 1908-1923” . The game is actually just a product of a study of the French Grigoriev variation. The famed opponent is none other than chess composer Nikalai Grigoriev, it is possible that he contributed to its creation with Alekhine. For many years it was thought that this game was authentic. Alekhined later claimed that the game was not played against Grigoriev but against an anonymous player in Moscow in 1915. This published game has the distinction of having the most queens on the board than any other professional game in history.


The next game we will look at features a very unique and bizarre combination by black on move 30. Computers can't find this combination and I'm surprised that anybody would conceive of it. Antoni Wojciechowski was a polish player and many time champion of his hometown of Poznan, Poland. He is not really well known but he played on board 8 of the Munich Olympiad in 1936. He was no slouch, he has some notable victories such as wins against Spielmann, Najdorf and Przepiorka and a draw against Rubinstein. The combination featured in this game is actually from a study in a position composed 2 years earlier known as the 'Ortueta-Sanz' position. It is said that this combination inspired Tigran Petrosyan at age 10 to further pursue the game of chess! The game is most likely a fake attempt to duplicate the position found in the endgame study.



The last game is a very recent fake where the now famous and proclaimed Ukranian genious Andrew Slyusarchuk claims to beat world champion chess engine Rybka 4 in a two-game BLINDFOLD match! The proffesor is a chess amateur and neurosurgeon by profession. His claim to fame is having memorized 30 million digits of Pi . He also claimed that in preparation for this match he read 3,000 books on the subject of chess before he embarked on this feat. The real kicker here is that the Ukranian media not only believes him but issued multiple televised reports and tv-documentaries covering the event. Full coverage of this epic battle was documented in chessbase news! http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7183

I must be clear that I obviously believe its a fake, although it has not been outright proven otherwise. The game was actually arbitered and recorded on video. You can find footage at chessbase. Vassily Ivanchuk offered to play Slyusarchuk, but the Ukranian professor declined claiming it would be like child's play. Chessbase offered a challenge against Fritz in their own office, giving Slyusarchuk a full piece advantage! So far the professor hasn't showed up...


As usual, I would like to present the chess trap of the day. This trap is extremely well known and over the board so far no-one has fallen into it. If you don't happen to know this trap I suggest you at least look at so you are aware that it exists. The advantage of setting this trap is that unlike setting other traps it does nothing to harm your position!


Lastly, I would like to conclude this long blog post with an over the board game I played against a medical doctor named Mital Lalit. I like this game because I feel like I gained an overwhelming advantage in the opening, only to lose it with a terrible blunder. I feel like I played the opening beautifully, only to completely ruin my hard work later in the game. Enjoy and please post any thoughts or comments you might have!



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