Carl Schlechter, Some Games Chosen Just Because I Like Them. Part Two.

Carl Schlechter, Some Games Chosen Just Because I Like Them. Part Two.


O.K. This small two part series is now going to be a three part one!

I decided that there were some games that I did not want to leave out, and some material sent to me by the indomitable @RoaringPawn means that I am still having to edit down to limit myself to three posts that are not intimidatingly large for the casual reader.

I will start with two games given by Reti in his books. The first one has Reti's notes from this book.

That is the cheap version that I have - there are loads of versions about, so it would be easy to get hold of one cheap. Go buy one!!! It is a book of joy. Written by someone who comes across as being clearly a deep chess thinker, an artist, and good human being.

He is some of what he says there about Schlechter.

''The majority of people imagine a chess master as being a townsman who passes his life in an atmosphere of smoke and play in cafes and clubs: a neurasthenic individual, whose nerves and brains are continually working at tension: a one-sided person who has given up his whole soul to chess.

Schlechter was the exact antithesis of that conception. He held himself aloof from club and cafe, so far as his vocation permitted. He lived for preference in the country, where he filled in his leisure with art and science.

All his heart and soul went out to nature, and it is just that reflex of his love of nature that lends to his games their particular charm. His games stand out through their breadth of scheme - just as in the forest the trunks of trees and their branches stretch themselves out on all sides wherever there are open spaces. Thus did Schlechter develop his forces; forcibly and, like Nature as it were, objectless.

No hidden places and traps were there,, but only sound development. With him was no undue haste and no pinning himself down to one idea, but one harmonious evolution.

And indeed combinations by Schlechter are not artificially - reared roses which amaze everyone with their beauty and which, to the true nature lover, soon savour of excess; nay, they are rather humble and hidden forest flowers that have to be looked for and the love of which increases with their gathering.

Thus one loses one's self in Schechter's games in which are reflected, side by side with the immensity and simplicity of nature, the airiness of Viennese art and music.

By the time we shall have grown weary of the blatant combinations of the old masters and the over subtle positional plans of the new ones, we shall still delight in immersing ourselves in Schlechter's games, in which, side by side with the greatness and simplicity of nature, the grace and airiness of Viennese music are often reflected.''

WOW!! Such writing humbles us all.

The second is given in a book that set me on the path to ending up writing stuff like this, Reti's 'Masters of The Chessboard.' Notes 'S.' are mine, the others are from that book. 

The next one is my favorite Schlechter game - indeed I had started writing the notes to the game for my series on that topic. Those who have read those articles will have a good idea of what kind of game to expect!! I love games that make me work hard to understand them, and this one is a really tough one to understand. Running my previous notes and analysis by the engine forced a re-write on my part!!
It is from one of my favourite tournaments - the insane event at Barmen in 1905. In 'Modern Ideas', Reti notes the sudden change in the way that chess was played at the top level from around 1906 onwards. What I call 'The Barmen Generation'. I have recently found - in Wiener Schachzeitung - some nice photographs which emanated from that event, so I will throw them in here, as you will never find them with an internet image search.


And Vidmar.

And three more - just because I like them!! I hope you enjoy the games, and look in on part 3 - more good stuff to come!

First a dramatic miniature.

Carlsbad 1907 - Maroczy seated on the right of the centre table, with Schlechter opposite him.

And finally, one against this man, Heinrich Wolf, shown in another Wiener Schachzeitung picture.