A Century of Chess

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A Century of Chess: Teplitz-Schönau 1922

A Century of Chess: Teplitz-Schönau 1922

kahns
| 6 days ago

A real horse race, with five players in contention for first place right up until the last round. Tartakower was the pace-setter with four straight wins to start the tournament. Spielmann took over at the halfway point and never fully relinquish...

A Century of Chess: London 1922

A Century of Chess: London 1922

kahns
| 12 days ago

Capablanca at his most machine-like, the feeling of playing against a computer that won’t make a mistake. His closest call came in the game against Vidmar, a classic of sportsmanship. He had a completely won position at the adjournment. He...

A Century of Chess: Bad Pistyan 1922

A Century of Chess: Bad Pistyan 1922

kahns
| 19 days ago

This was effectively a memorial tournament for Gyula Breyer, who had died the previous year. Just before his death he’d suggested reviving the Bad Pistyan tournaments, which had been a feature of the pre-war chess landscape. Bad Pistyan wa...

A Century of Chess: The Hague 1921

A Century of Chess: The Hague 1921

kahns
| 26 days ago

A thrilling race between Alekhine and Rubinstein with the atmosphere of a semi-final — a struggle to determine the most likely challenger to Capablanca. Rubinstein had been Lasker’s heir presumptive since 1908 or 1909. He’d been ...

A Century of Chess: Budapest 1921

A Century of Chess: Budapest 1921

kahns
| Jan 22, 2024

Our last glimpse of Alexander Alekhine has been on the evening of his round 12 game with Milan Vidmar at Mannheim 1914, with Alekhine leading the tournament by a point. With the outbreak of war, he quickly reached Russia and then for some time dis...

A Century of Chess: Bogoljubow Matches 1920-21

A Century of Chess: Bogoljubow Matches 1920-21

kahns
| Jan 8, 2024

Is there any elite player in chess history as overlooked as Efim Bogoljubow? Bogoljubow quietly emerged in the mid-1910s as an elite player, playing at Mannheim and then sort of captaining the Triberg internees, had a breakthrough in 1920 when h...

A Century of Chess: Capablanca-Lasker 1921

A Century of Chess: Capablanca-Lasker 1921

kahns
| Jan 2, 2024

Capablanca and Lasker first crossed paths in the mid-1900s when Lasker was living in New York and Capablanca kept drifting away from his New Jersey high school to play chess in the city. Capablanca remembered coming across "a short, middle-aged ma...

A Century of Chess: Berlin 1920

A Century of Chess: Berlin 1920

kahns
| Dec 13, 2023

Another of the high-class post-war tournaments, the first held in defeated Germany (organized by the indefatigable Bernhard Kagan who somehow kept world-level chess going during the war years). The tournament was almost exactly evenly split betwee...

A Century of Chess: Gothenburg 1920

A Century of Chess: Gothenburg 1920

kahns
| Dec 8, 2023

The first major tournament since before the war and, even more important than that, the breakthrough for hypermodernism. As Jimmy Adams writes, "It is difficult to overestimate the significance of this contest."  It's worth quoting in full ...

A Century of Chess: Amsterdam 1920

A Century of Chess: Amsterdam 1920

kahns
| Dec 1, 2023

The first international tournament of the decade and a nice introduction to three players — two newbies and one returnee. Richard Réti won the tournament, which was his warm-up for his really startling win at Gothenburg later in the...

A Century of Chess: Emanuel Lasker (from 1910-1919)

A Century of Chess: Emanuel Lasker (from 1910-1919)

kahns
| Nov 22, 2023

Lasker’s career can be thought of in three distinct stages. In the 1890s, he was the usurper — vaulting ahead of other rivals to win his match with Steinitz and never completely convincing the chess world that he was the rightful world...

A Century of Chess: The Book!

A Century of Chess: The Book!

kahns
| Nov 10, 2023

I’m thrilled to share that my blog A Century of Chess (1900-1909) will be released as a print book by FM Carsten Hansen, with the games annotated by GM Cyrus Lakdawala. This material first found (and continues to find) its home on Chess.com....

A Century of Chess: Akiba Rubinstein (from 1910-1919)

A Century of Chess: Akiba Rubinstein (from 1910-1919)

kahns
| Oct 11, 2023

Rubinstein broke into the chess elite with his third-place finish at Ostend 1906. He won his first international tournament at Ostend-B 1907, followed shortly by Karlsbad. In 1909, he gave notice that he really was a cut above the rest of the ches...

A Century of Chess: Milan Vidmar (from 1910-1919)

A Century of Chess: Milan Vidmar (from 1910-1919)

kahns
| Oct 3, 2023

In Bill James’ Historical Baseball Abstract — which is one of the leading inspirations for this series — James, as part of his entry on the itinerant third baseman Darrell Evans, has a long essay on what makes somebody underrated...

A Century of Chess: Carl Schlechter (from 1910-1918)

A Century of Chess: Carl Schlechter (from 1910-1918)

kahns
| Sep 25, 2023

Carl Schlechter started the 1910s as a beloved member of the chess community. In the 1890s, he had been the ‘Viennese drawing master,’ famous for his aversion to winning. By the 1900s, he had shed that persona enough to finish at the t...

A Century of Chess: Richard Teichmann (1910-19)

A Century of Chess: Richard Teichmann (1910-19)

kahns
| Sep 19, 2023

Richard Teichmann was a kind of running joke in the chess world as ‘Richard the Fifth’ — for his eight (!) fifth place finishes over the course of his career. Fifth place wasn’t just a numerical accident. Teichmann, who was...

A Century of Chess: Alexander Alekhine (from 1910-19)

A Century of Chess: Alexander Alekhine (from 1910-19)

kahns
| Sep 14, 2023

Alexander Alekhine was born in Moscow in 1892 to an aristocratic family. His talent was obvious from an early age. He had the benefit of learning from his brother Alexei, a strong player; avidly played correspondence chess; and had Fyodor Duz-Khot...

A Century of Chess: Siegbert Tarrasch (from 1910-19)

A Century of Chess: Siegbert Tarrasch (from 1910-19)

kahns
| Sep 4, 2023

Siegbert Tarrasch started the 1910s with something very close to an idyllic, maximally secure existence. He had five children, a successful medical practice in Munich, and for a hobby was one of the three or four best chess players in the world. ...

A Century of Chess: Frank Marshall (from 1910-19)

A Century of Chess: Frank Marshall (from 1910-19)

kahns
| Aug 24, 2023

Frank Marshall started the 1910s with a bracingly clear sense of what his ceiling as a player was. In match play against the super-elite players of his era — Lasker, Tarrasch, Rubinstein, Capablanca — he had a combined score of +4-27=3...

A Century of Chess: Aron Nimzowitsch (from 1910-19)

A Century of Chess: Aron Nimzowitsch (from 1910-19)

kahns
| Aug 16, 2023

Aron Nimzowitsch was born in 1886. in Riga. His father was a strong amateur player and he rose quickly to a high level. At Ostend-B 1907, he was the kid, 20 years old and needing other players to vouch for him to gain admittance to the casino wher...

A Century of Chess: Ossip Bernstein (from 1910-1919)

A Century of Chess: Ossip Bernstein (from 1910-1919)

kahns
| Aug 8, 2023

It’s the most famous, most iconic chess story ever. In the midst of the Russian Civil War, a group of prisoners are brought before a firing squad. The captain of the squad recognizes the name of one of the prisoners and asks if he is a famou...

A Century of Chess: Oldrich Duras (from 1910-1919)

A Century of Chess: Oldrich Duras (from 1910-1919)

kahns
| Jul 25, 2023

Out of everybody of the classical era, Duras is my favorite player. I really didn’t know much about him before I started the series - he’s sort of receded from chess history - but, more than any player I can think of before Tal, he had...

A Century of Chess: Erich Cohn from 1910-1918

A Century of Chess: Erich Cohn from 1910-1918

kahns
| Jul 17, 2023

In Chess Secrets I Learned From The Masters, Edward Lasker writes: "Erich Cohn was a highly gifted young man, of a family too poor to send him to the University. However, he had found a patron who offered to pay his way through college to enable...

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