Early Bernstein. Four Chess Battles (And Never Believe The Notes!)

Early Bernstein. Four Chess Battles (And Never Believe The Notes!)


A few weeks ago the subject of early games of Spielmann came up. One neglected battle - I love chess battles - came to mind. So I went and dug it out in this rather nice book.

Whilst I was there I picked out another two early games, plus one other that came to mind, to share with you. Such books were not cheap, and I would always get full value by going over every word, move and annotation  Back in the day, notes to games were normally put together quite quickly, and often the analysis contains errors. Often the annotator would see less than the players did during the game.

Of course these days it's possible to sit with an engine running and annotate a game in minutes, but the world was different when everything was done 'by hand'. Sadly, in the modern world analysis is something of a lost skill.

Tartakower is one of the great annotators - one of my absolute favourites - but it is still possible to find mistakes. Engine checking my own analysis of one of these games produced a resource that it would be close to impossible for someone like me to come up with.

The moral is - never trust old game notes, and never trust mine either.

So, lets get to the games. the one that got me here was played in a club tournament. Clubs were the training ground of players a century ago, and here we have two future Grandmasters - I presume both in Berlin studying - playing in a local event. How they would have looked a the time.

Wiener Schachzeitung. 1907. pg 10.
Wiener Schachzeitung 1914. pg 81

This next game is one I have spent a lot of time with - so many ideas and so much fighting chess.

A rare picture of Chigorin - sadly I didn't record the source, but note that is is possibly from 1882!?

La Russie Illustree. Feb 11th, 1928, with Zsnosno Borowski and Alekhine.

Two games against this man :-

Janowski at St. Petersburg 1914.

Janowski was a strange player in many ways! He could play solid retrained chess, but he was also, by nature a gambler. Two games in his gambling mode.

Wiener Schachzeitung. 1914. pg. 4.

And finally some utter insanity - only a draw!!

Wiener Shachzeitung 1926. pg. 106.
La Russie Illustree Feb 11th. 1928.

That's all you get today! I hope you enjoyed the games. Take care everyone.