Vladas Mikenas. Just Some Great Chess.

Vladas Mikenas. Just Some Great Chess.


Last time round the chaos and fun that is the comments section includes the fact that my friend @Fischer_man   likes the games of Mikenas, and he is no bad judge!! Mikenas played exciting chess!

In many ways, I would class him as a 'chess gambler'.

So I dug out the relevant book,

sorted out some nice games against serious opposition, and put some notes to them. No Bio or background today - just some chess, and a few nice nice pictures. Anyone who wants to add to the biography side of things, feel free to do so.

Let's start with the 'fun game' that I like to include. This one was played in a serious tournament.

A picture to link that game with the next one. Podebrady 1936.

The Key to the players.

Sitting: Salo Flohr, Alexander Alekhine, Vera Mencikova,(sic.) 
Paulin Frydman, Lajos Steiner, Kurt Richter, Sir G. A. Thomas.

Standing: Vasja Pirc, Jiri Pelikan, Karel Skalicka, Karel Treybal, Jan Foltys,
Erich Eliskases, Gideon Stahlberg, Emil Zinner, Vladimir Petrov, Karel Opocensky.

This game is quite well known - the finish is standard puzzle fare.

Let's rewind a bit to one of the games that made Mikenas' reputation - against one of my favourites.

Vidmar seems to have come prepared, but not well enough!!

What shall we throw in next? How about another win against Salo Flohr. Quite a remarkable game - note the Knight which sits on f6 for 10 moves or so - and typical Mikenas gambling! 

Strangely, as far as I can make out, Flohr seems to have resigned in a playable position, due to bad adjournment analysis. BUT I may be wrong on that!

Another bit of Mikenas mayhem - against a World Title challenger - seen here with Alekhine and Lasker, in a picture that started a debate on Chesshistory.com!

That game and the picture links nicely to the first of two puzzles from games against Alekhine that I decided to throw in. Have some fun trying to find what Mikenas missed against the great man.

It's a tough puzzle! There are a number of stories around about that game,, including one where Alekhine told his opponent, at the time, that he had just missed a win! No idea if the stories are true.
The next game is a theoretically important one played during the 1940 USSR Championships, from which we have a picture of Mikenas.

Petrov, Smyslov, Keres, Yakov Rokhlin, and Mikenas. Griffin on twitter.

I think I am right in saying that Mikenas had a plus score against Tal! He certainly beat him twice, and not when Tal was young and inexperienced.

A nice picture from one of Mikenas' wins.

!962. USSR Championships.

I chose his other win, played after Tal won the Candidates Tournament that took him to the World title, I think.

Mikenas beats Tal at his own game.

And to finish, the second Alekhine game puzzle. It is a game from the famous 1939 Olympiad. A quick picture of Alekhine at the board in the 1935 version - during a game against Mikenas.

Warsaw. 1935. Griffin on Twitter.

A picture of Mikenas from the book follows.

I hope you enjoyed the journey into the wonderful world of Vladas Mikenas at the chessboard.

Take care everyone.