A New Book On Winawer. A Quick Look
Winawer, Steinitz, Blackburne. Nuremberg 1896.

A New Book On Winawer. A Quick Look

| 19

Good afternoon Everyone! A real treat today, so stick with it - everything here is wonderful ( for which I take zero credit)

I have had my head in a book again! This one-

My long standing readers will know that I really like Winawer. Ilan at Elk and Ruby has kindly given me permission to use some of the material from the book so that I can have a chat about it.

( A note to all those who think that if something is on the internet it is O.K. to just steal it, without any source credit. The material used here is subject to the copyright of the publishers and author. I know that won't stop you, but the material was offered to me solely for this blog. Go do your own work for a change instead of just hitting Google. Thanks.)

 So what do you get in the book? Well, it's a translation of this one-

Translated by Alexei Zakharov. Great work mate!

The book is in two parts. Firstly you get the 'chess biography', by Tomasz Lissowski, which is why I bought it. For those of you who don't know the name, Lissowski is the premier expert on Polish chess history ( A BIG subject!)

I just love his work - the man is incredible. You get the meat, potatoes, veggies, gravy and treacle sponge to follow. Winawer was from a large and amazing family.

Page 10 of the book.

copyright Lissowski and publishers

There are a lot of names there which can be researched on their own - considerable - merits.
Lissowski gives some biography on them as well as Szymon, intertwined with the chess material. To show the kind of work he does I have chosen pages 126 - 130. The article is a nice find, and, as you will see, Lissowski has researched the names and places.

Then he works out that the 'Cafe de la Bourse' was in fact Cafe Lourse in the Saxon Garden, Warsaw. You get pictures - 

Saxon Palace, Square and Garden. 1910. Copyright Lissowski and publishers

Page 132.

Cafe Lourse. Drawing by J. Konopaki, 1886. as above.

And some chess. A game played in the Cafe Lourse between the author of the article and Winawer.

And that is just one of the side stories! Told you the man is amazing!wink

One game that caught my eye is from pages 92-94. I had never seen it before, and it is not in the old version of Harding's megacorr database. The source quoted has pictures of most of the Warsaw players - a rare document -  but I have used enough of his material already. However, I will include the Winawer image as it can be found elsewhere.

1881_Szymon-Winawer Tygodnik Powszechny

The game as covered by Lissowski.

As I bonus - best do some work myself here - I will give pictures of the two main Moscow players - early pioneers of Moscow chess. von Schmidt was much travelled, and a one time opponent of Paulsen.


and Solovtsov - from memory first president of 'The Moscow Chess Club', but I stand to be corrected on that.

And the B.C.M. material.

The second part of the book is 'Selected Games' by Grigory Bogdanovich, who says 'if you study his games in more depth, you get to understand that they deserve far more popularity in the chess community than they have enjoyed up to now'.

As someone who actually has studied his games in depth, I agree with the sentiment! He doesn't give a 'best games' type selection, or the modern 'all known games' type of work. Instead he divides up the games selected on the basis of various aspects of Winawer's style and practice.

Often diagrams are used rather than full game scores. I have mixed views!!

My own approach to exploring the chess of different players is to look in depth at complete games which I find particularly characteristic of them, and chart the games through their different stages -trying to illustrate how the player in question approached the various problems which arise.  

Bogdanovic's approach is more simplistic, but has the big advantage that the material is much easier to browse through, and a lot more games/positions can be included in the space available. One downside is that the timeline in a player's development gets lost - players normally play differently at different stages of their careers, and in relation to the chess of that specific time.

Well, for a book of this type, about a player whose games are not so well known to the reader when he buys the book, Bogdanovich's approach is the best one, I think. In particular the space saving element keeps the cost of the book down, and so encourages more people to buy it and to learn about the subject matter, which must be a good thing in many ways.

From my earlier blog on Winawer - see there for details!

One example from pgs. 290-291 'Opening Play'.

To close, a gem of a picture from page 301 of the book. 'Warsaw Association of Chess Players, December 1911. Far left - Szymon Winawer napping in his chair' ( the figure front right is easily identifiable as Flamberg. Simaginfan.)

copyright Elk and Ruby Publishers.

Well, that's 'All' you get! Can I once again express my thanks to Ilan at Elk and Ruby, and suggest that you might like to pay for the book, rather than wait until someone pirates it and robs the authors by giving you the chance to get their many hours of work without paying a penny for it!

Cheers everyone.