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Today in Chess History: Jul 22

  • #1

    Jul 22, 1817: Theodor Herlin, French composer, was born in Lille, France.

    Jul 22, 1872: Richard Griffith was born in London, England.

    Jul 22, 1883: Joseph Plachutta, Slovenian problemist died.

    Jul 22, 1896: Luigi Paletto died in Pino Torinese, Italy.

    Jul,22, 1897: Elliott Laucks was born in York, Pennsylvania, USA.

    Jul 22, 1930: Nikolai Krogius was born in Saratov, USSR.

    Jul 22, 1933: Adolf George Olland died in Gravenhage, Nederlands.

    Jul 22, 1935: Yakov Vladimirov, Russian composer, was born in Moskva, USSR.

    Jul 22, 1940: Alexandra van der Mije was born, Romania.

    Jul 22, 1970: Gaetano Del Pezzo died in Napses, Italy.

    Jul 22, 1975: Pawel Jaracz was born in Kozuchow, Poland.

  • #2

    Richard Clewin Griffith (22 July 1872, London – 11 December 1955, Hendon, London) was a British chess player, author and editor. He was educated at Charterhouse School.

    He won the British Chess Championship in 1912 at Richmond, at his only appearance in the event. Also in 1912, he was the original co-author with John Herbert White of the famous chess book, Modern Chess Openings, which has gone into many editions up to the present day.

    He was the editor of the British Chess Magazine, 1920–1937 and again for some months in 1940.

    During World War II Griffith was the honorary treasurer of the British Chess Federation, and a member of its council and executive.

    By profession, he was a metallurgist for an assaying company.


  • #3

    Joseph Plachutta, also Josef Plachutta or Josip Plahuta (* 13 May 1827 in Zadar, Austrian Empire, today's Croatia, † 22 July 1883) was a Slovene descent chess problemist and chess player, known for his famous problem with Plachutta theme.

  • #4

    Nikolai Krogius (sometimes spelled Nikolay) (born Saratov, July 22, 1930) is a Russian Chess Grandmaster, psychologist, chess coach, chess administrator, and author. He won several tournament titles at Sochi and in eastern European events, and appeared in seven Soviet finals from 1958-1971. His peak was in 1967 when he ranked 18th in the world for a time. He earned his doctorate in psychology, and specialized in sports psychology. He coached World Champion Boris Spassky for several years, also served as President of the Soviet Chess Federation, and co-authored five chess books. He was the co-winner of the 1993 World Senior Championship.

    Nikolai V. Krogius scored 4.5/15 for a tied 13th-14th place at Leningrad 1946 in the Soviet Junior Championship; the winner was Tigran Petrosian. Krogius made his first creditable result in Master company at Leningrad 1949, tallying 8/17 for a tied 12th-15th in a very good field; this was a Soviet Championship semi-final, and he did not advance to the final. He also missed advancing from the Soviet semi-final at Leningrad 1951, although complete results from this are unavailable. He competed in three Russian Championships: at Yaroslavl 1951, in his home town of Saratov in 1953, and at Rostov-on-Don in 1954, but complete results of these events are also unavailable.

    Krogius was selected for the Soviet team for Oslo 1954, the World Student Olympiad, where he scored 7.5/9 (+7 =1 -1) on board three, and won team silver. At Leningrad 1955-56, a Soviet semi-final, Krogius scored 9/18 for a tied 11th-14th place in an excellent field. He was gradually working his way up through the deep Soviet chess hierarchy. In the Soviet semi-final at Tbilisi 1956, he scored 11/19 for seventh place, and missed advancing to the final by half a point.

    Krogius qualified for his first Soviet final by scoring 11.5/19, for a tied 5th-7th place, in the semi-final at Leningrad 1957. The final was at Riga 1958, URS-ch25, and he debuted strongly with 9.5/18 and a tied 9th-11th place; the winner was Mikhail Tal. Although he did not as yet earn an international title for this, it showed that he was of at least International Master standard by this time, because of the immense strength of the Soviet finals. He made his first appearances for the USSR in team matches against Bulgaria (Sofia 1957) and Yugoslavia (Zagreb 1958), scoring 50 percent in both. At Tbilisi for URS-ch26, he scored just 6.5/19 for 18th place; the winner was Petrosian. He improved at Leningrad for URS-ch27, scoring 10/19 for a tied 9th-10th place, as Viktor Korchnoi won.

    Krogius earned his first international opportunity for Varna 1960, where he tied for 1st-2nd with Nikola Padevsky on 8/12. At Yerevan for URS-ch30, he scored 8.5/19 for 11th place, as Korchnoi won again. He scored 6.5/11 for a tied 3rd-4th place at Sochi 1963, as Lev Polugaevsky won. Krogius earned his International Master title in 1963.

    Krogius scored his most impressive triumph with clear first at the Chigorin Memorial in Sochi 1964 on 11/15. This earned him the Grandmaster title later that year. At Kiev 1964-65 for URS-ch32, he scored 10.5/19 for a tied 8th-9th place; Korchnoi won again. Krogius was fifth at Sochi 1965 with 8.5/15; the winners were Boris Spassky and Wolfgang Unzicker. He was selected for the USSR team for Hamburg 1965, the European Team Championships, where he played on board nine, scored 4.5/8 (+2 =5 -1), won the gold medal on his board, and was part of the gold-medal winning team. He was 4th at Budapest 1965 with 10/15, as Lev Polugaevsky, Laszlo Szabo, and Mark Taimanov shared first place.

    In URS-ch34 at Tbilisi 1966, Krogius scored 11/20 for 8th place, as Leonid Stein won. A sure sign of favour in high circles was his first trip to Western Europe for an individual tournament, Le Havre 1966, which celebrated the 900th anniversary of the voyage which led to the Norman Conquest of England. Since the Soviet Chess Federation controlled all foreign invitations, opportunities outside the Soviet bloc were highly sought, and many players with better results, such as Ratmir Kholmov, never received one during their prime years. Krogius performed well with a shared 2nd-3rd place on 7/11; the winner was Bent Larsen.

    Krogius scored 10/15 at Sochi 1966 for a shared 3rd-4th place, as Korchnoi won. He made one of his top career results with a shared 1st-5th place at Sochi 1967 on 10/15; the other co-winners were Boris Spassky, Alexander Zaitsev, Leonid Shamkovich, and Vladimir Simagin. At Sarajevo 1967, Krogius scored 9.5/15 for a shared 3rd-4th place; the winners were Anatoly Lein and Dragoljub Ciric.

    Krogius scored his career peak rating around this time. Chessmetrics.com ranks him at 2686 in September 1967, good for #18 in the world, and he ranked 17th in the world from January to March 1968. Sochi 1964 was a 2703 performance, as was Sochi 1966. Krogius shared 2nd-3rd places at Polanica Zdroj 1969 with 9.5/15; Laszlo Barczay won. Krogius won at Varna 1969.

    Krogius earned his doctorate in psychology, and specialized in sports psychology. He served as part of Boris Spassky's team for his second world title match against Tigran Petrosian at Moscow 1969, where Spassky won a tight struggle. Krogius was again selected to assist Spassky against Bobby Fischer at Reykjavík 1972, in the Match of the Century, won by Fischer.

    Krogius himself was still keeping up an active and successful tournament schedule during these years. He tied 2nd-5th places at Hastings 1969-70 with 5/9, behind winner Lajos Portisch. He placed 2nd in the Russian Championship at Kuibyshev 1970, behind winner Anatoly Karpov. At Leningrad for URS-ch39, his last Soviet final, he scored 10.5/21 for a tied 10th-11th place, as Vladimir Savon won. Krogius placed tied 3rd-4th at Sochi 1973 with 9/15 as Mikhail Tal won. Overall, he tallied 67/135 in his seven Soviet finals, from 1958 to 1971, for just under 50 percent, and had six solid appearances out of seven, with only 1959 being much below standard.

    Krogius scaled back his tournament play by the mid-1970s, playing only in occasional lower-level events. He began important contributions as a chess author, eventually writing or co-writing five chess books. He moved into chess administration as well. He was the captain of the USSR team for the USSR vs. Rest of the World match at London 1984. He served as President of the USSR Chess Federation, and was the head of delegation for Anatoly Karpov's team for the 1990 title match against Garry Kasparov at New York and Lyon, where Kasparov won narrowly.

    Krogius returned to high-class tournament play at the Senior level in the 1990s. In the 1991 World Senior Championship at Bad Woerishofen, he scored 8/11 to tie for 3rd-6th places. He tied for the title at the World Senior Championship at Bad Wildbad 1993, with 8.5/11, along with Lein, Taimanov, Bukhuti Gurgenidze, and Boris Arkhangelsky. Krogius stayed fairly active in tournament play until 1998, mostly at the Senior level.

    There is a file of 741 of his games at mychess.com; chessbase.com has 692 of his games, while chessgames.com has 248 of his games. Many of these games would be duplicated between sites.

    Krogius was somewhat of a late bloomer by Soviet standards, although this was not that uncommon for players who lived through the Second World War during their formative chess years; other examples are Efim Geller and Semyon Furman, both of whom eventually became formidable players by their late 20s. Krogius had several failed attempts at reaching the Soviet final, and did not make his first one until age 27. His graduate studies were the priority until he finished his doctorate. However, when he did get opportunities at high level, he usually made the most of them, and scored several notable tournament victories in high-standard events during his peak years in the 1960s. He was a middle-range player at the perilous Soviet finals level. Krogius is a very interesting and unusual figure in chess history, since he chose the career of a professional sports psychologist, concentrating on chess, and may have been the first to follow this precise path. In his role as coach, he was undoubtedly an important part of Boris Spassky's team for the world title matches of 1969 and 1972, and maintained a successful tournament program himself during this period. His own playing style was often highly tactical in nature, and he defeated many acknowledged masters of tactical play. By his mid-40s, Krogius appeared less frequently in major events, and moved on to writing and chess administration, also with notable success. He returned to the board after age 60, with some impressive results in Senior events.


  • #5

    Adolf Georg Olland (13 April 186722 July 1933) was the leading Dutch chess master in the time before Max Euwe. Born in Utrecht, he was a medical doctor.

    Olland took 3rd at Amsterdam 1887 (Dirk van Foreest won); shared 1st at Amsterdam 1889 (Hauptturnier); took 2nd, behind Rudolf Loman, at Utrecht 1891; took 5th at Groningen 1893 (Loman won); took 2nd, behind Loman, at Rotterdam 1894; shared 1st at Arnheim 1895; took 2nd at Amsterdam 1899 behind Henry Ernest Atkins; took 2nd, behind Rudolf Swiderski, at Munich 1900 (12th DSB–Congress, Hauptturnier).

    Olland won at Haarlem 1901; took 8th at Hannover 1902 (13th DSB–Congress, Dawid Janowski won); took 19th at Carlsbad 1907 (Akiba Rubinstein won). He shared 1st with Abraham Speijer at Leiden 1909 (1st NED-ch); took 4th at Stockholm 1912 (8th Nordic-ch, Alexander Alekhine won); took 3rd at Scheveningen 1913 (Alekhine won).

    He tied for 7-8th at Hastings 1919 (Victory Congress, José Raúl Capablanca won); tied for 14-15th at Göteborg (B tournament, Paul Johner won); took 3rd at Utrecht 1920 (Quadrangular, Géza Maróczy won); tied for 3rd-4th at Nijmegen 1921 (5th NED-ch, Max Euwe won); took 18th at Scheveningen 1923 (Paul Johner and Rudolf Spielmann won); took 3rd at Utrecht 1927 (Quadrangular, Euwe won); took 7th at Amsterdam 1929 (8th NED-ch, Euwe won); took 8th at The Hague–Leiden 1933 (9th NED-ch, Euwe won).

    Olland was very active in match play, competing in 29 matches, all except one in his home town Utrecht. He defeated most Dutch players except Euwe who beat him twice, but lost to foreign masters such as Géza Maróczy, Richard Réti, and Edgar Colle. Olland died of a heart attack playing in the 1933 Dutch Championship at The Hague.


  • #6

    Gaetano Del Pezzo (7 june 1892 - 22 July 1970 ) The title of Master reaching quarter behind Rosselli, Seitz and Marotti in the tourney in Naples of 1927. In the national tourney Roselli in 1930 in Florence he reached 4°-5°  with Hellmann. He reached eleventh in  the Italian championship (Rome 1939) and 6-9 in the C.I. (Florence, 1948). President of Italian Chess Federation in 1949-50.


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