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Today in Chess History: Jul 24

  • #1

    Jul 24, 1843: Andreas Ascharin was born in Parnu, Estonia.

    Jul 24, 1843: Thomas Wilson was born in Manchester, England.

    Jul 24, 1878: Lord Dunsany was born in London, England.

    Jul 24, 1935: Viacheslav Osnos was born, USSR.

    Jul 24, 1939: Abdul Abdurahmanovic was born in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

    Jul 24, 1958: Anthony Costen was born, England.

    Jul 24, 1965: Ludger Keitlinghaus was born, Germany.

    Jul 24, 1967: Charles Lamoureux was born, France.

    Jul 24, 1975: Nicolas Rossolimo died in New York, USA.

    Jul 24, 1986: Vugar Gashimov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan.

  • #2

    Andreas Ascharin (Andrej Ašarin) (1843, Pärnu, Estonia – 1896, Riga, Latvia) was a Baltic-Russian chess master.

    Ascharin's father was Russian, his mother was from a Baltic German family. He read law in Dorpat (now Tartu). Between 1875 and 1879, he worked in Saint Petersburg as a journalist for the St. Petersburger Zeitung and the St. Petersburger Herold. He also played in local chess tournaments. In 1876 he won ahead of Mikhail Chigorin and Emanuel Schiffers. In 1877 he lost a match to Friedrich Amelung (+3 –4 =2). In 1878/79 he took 6th (Chigorin and Simon Alapin won).

    From 1879 he lived in Riga where he worked as a teacher of German language at a gymnasium, and a translator of Russian literature into German. Among others, he published Schach-Humoresken (Riga 1894). He was a president of the Riga Chess Club.


  • #3

    Nicolas Rossolimo (February 28, 1910, Kiev - July 24, 1975, New York) was anAmerican-French-Russian-Greek chess Grandmaster. He was awarded the International Mastertitle in 1950 and the International Grandmaster title in 1953.

    Born in the Ukraine when it was part of the Russian Empire, he was a nephew of the Russian neurologist Grigory Ivanovich Rossolimo. He lived in Moscow during the mid 1920's, and moved toParis with his Russian mother in 1929. Having finished second behind José Raúl Capablanca in 1938 in a tournament in Paris, he won the French Chess Championship in 1948. Moreover he was Paris Champion eight times and drew two matches in 1948 and 1949 with Savielly Tartakower. In 1955 he won the U.S. Open Chess Championship held in Long Beach, California.

    Rossolimo played for France in the Chess Olympiads of 1950 and 1972, and for the USA in 1958, 1960 and 1966.

    In 1953 he moved to the U.S. with his wife and son to rejoin his mother and Greek father in New York. There he worked as a waiter, a taxi driver, played the accordion and worked as a singer as well as running a chess studio to support himself and his family. His chess club, named the "Rossolimo Chess Studio", was located in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. It was somewhat like a café that served food and drinks and also sold chess sets and books, but where members of the public could come and play chess with each other, and occasionally play Nick Rossolimo himself, for a fee (Rossolimo would play simultaneous chess with many of the patrons; when he did play, he would invariably win every game). He died of head injuries following an accident.

    One of Rossolimo's more enduring innovations is the variation of the Sicilian Defence which bears his name, 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5. While generally steering clear of the tactical fireworks common to the open Sicilians, the Rossolimo variation (as well as its close relative the Moscow variation) offers White some opening advantage, as well as allowing the first player to avoid the massive quantities of theory associated with the open Sicilians.

    Here is one of Rossolimo's most celebrated brilliancies:

    Rossolimo-Paul Reissman, Puerto Rico 1967 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Qb3 Nce7 11.O-O c6 12.Rfe1 O-O 13.a4 b6 14.Ne5 Bb7 15.a5 Rc8 16.Ne4 Qc7 17.a6 Ba8 18.Qh3 Nf4 19.Qg4 Ned5 20.Ra3 Ne6 21.Bxd5 cxd5 22.Nf6+ Kh8 23.Qg6!! Qc2 24.Rh3! 1-0


  • #4

    Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (24 July, 1878 – 25 October, 1957) was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work, mostly in fantasy, published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes many hundreds of published short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays.

    Born to one of the oldest titles in the Irish peerage, Dunsany lived much of his life at perhaps Ireland's longest-inhabited home, Dunsany Castle near Tara, worked with W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, was chess and pistol-shooting champion of Ireland, and travelled and hunted extensively. He died in Dublin after an attack of appendicitis.

    Edward Plunkett (Dunsany) was the first son of John William Plunkett, 17th Baron of Dunsany (1853–1899) and his wife, Ernle Elizabeth Louisa Maria Grosvenor Ernle-Erle-Drax, née Ernle Elizabeth Louisa Jessica Burton (1855–1916).

    From an historically wealthy and famous family, Dunsany was related to many other well-known Irish figures. He was a kinsman of the Catholic Saint Oliver Plunkett, the martyred Archbishop of Armagh. His mother was a cousin of Sir Richard Burton, and he inherited from her considerable height, being 6' 4". The Countess of Fingall, wife of Dunsany's cousin, the Earl of Fingall, wrote a best-selling account of the life of the aristocracy in Ireland in the late 19th century and early 20th century, called Seventy Years Young.

    Plunkett's only sibling, a younger brother, from whom he was later estranged, was the noted British naval officer, Admiral The Honourable Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax.

    Edward Plunkett grew up at the family properties, most notably (Dunstall Priory) in Shoreham, Kent and Dunsany Castle in County Meath but also family homes such as in London. His schooling was at Cheam, Eton and finally Sandhurst, which he entered in 1896.

    Lady Dunsany, Beatrice Child Villiers

    The title passed to him at his father's death at a fairly young age, in 1899, and Dunsany returned to Dunsany Castle after war duty, in 1901.

    In 1903, he met Lady Beatrice Child Villiers (1880–1970), youngest daughter of the 7th Earl of Jersey (head of the Jersey banking family), living at Osterley Park, and they were married in 1904. Their only child, Randal, was born in 1906. Beatrice was supportive, and assisted Dunsany in his writing, typing his manuscripts, selecting work for his 1950s retrospective short story collection, and overseeing his literary heritage after his death.

    The Dunsanys were socially active in both Dublin and London, and travelled between their homes in Meath, London and Kent, other than during World Wars I and II, and the Irish War of Independence. Dunsany himself circulated with the literary figures of the time, to many of whom he was first introduced by his uncle, the co-operative pioneer Horace Plunkett, who also helped to manage his estate and investments for a time. He was friendly with, for example, George William Russell, Oliver St. John Gogarty and, for a time, W. B. Yeats.

    Dunsany was a keen hunter (for many years hosting the hounds of a local hunt, as well as hunting in parts of Africa) and sportsman, and was at one time the pistol-shooting champion of Ireland.

    He enjoyed cricket, provided the local cricket ground situated near Dunsany Crossroads, and later played for and presided at Shoreham Cricket Club.

    Dunsany was a keen chess player, set chess puzzles for journals including The Times (of London), played Capablanca to a draw, and also invented Dunsany's chess, an asymmetric chess variant that is notable for not involving any fairy pieces, unlike many variants that require the player to learn unconventional piece movements. He was president of both the Irish Chess Union and the Kent County Chess Association for some years, and of Sevenoaks Chess Club for 54 years.

    Dunsany campaigned for animal rights, being known especially for his opposition to the "docking" of dogs' tails, and was president of the West Kent branch of the RSPCA in his later years.

    He was a supporter of scouting over many years, serving as President of the Sevenoaks district Boy Scouts Association. He also supported the amateur drama group, the Shoreham Players.

    Dunsany provided support for the British Legion in both Ireland and Kent, including grounds in Trim and poetry for the Irish branch's annual memorial service on a number of occasions.

    Dunsany served as a Second Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards during the Second Boer War and as a Captain in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in World War I, when he was wounded. Having been refused forward positioning in 1916, being listed as valuable as a trainer, in the latter stages of the war he spent time in the trenches, and in the very last period wrote material for the War Office. Dunsany signed-up for the local defence forces of both Ireland and the United Kingdom during World War II, and was especially active in Shoreham in Kent, the most-bombed village in the Battle of Britain.

    Dunsany as Captain, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, World War I

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