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Today in Chess History: Oct 8

  • #1

    Oct 8, 1873: Francesco Ansidei died in Perugia, Italy.

    Oct 8, 1874: Hugo Suechting was born in Brackrade, Germany.

    Oct 8, 1908: Viacheslav Ragozin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Oct 8, 1913: David Graham Baird died in Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA.

    Oct 8, 1915: Jan Hendrik Marwitz, Dutch composer, was born in Wilderwank, Netherlands.

    Oct 8, 1929: Arthur Bisguier was born in New York, USA.

    Oct 8, 1931: Roman Toran Albero was born in Gijon, Spain.

    Oct 8, 1934: Ennio Contedini was born in Milan, Italy.

    Oct 8, 1940: Swend Hamann was born in Kopenhagen, Danmark.

    Oct 8, 1972: Hichem Hamdouchi was born in Tangier, Marocco.

    Oct 8, 1980: Octav Troianescu died in Bucarest, Romania.

    Oct 8, 1987: Susanto Megaranto was born, Indonesia.

  • #2

    Hugo Süchting (Suechting) (8 October 1874, Brackrade - 27 December 1916, Valluhn) was a German chess player.

    He won at Kiel 1893 (the 8th DSB Congress, Hauptturnier) took 13th at Leipzig 1894 (the 9th DSB-Congress, Siegbert Tarrasch won), shared 2nd with Ignatz von Popiel, behind Robert Henry Barnes, at Eisenach 1896 (the 10th DSB-Congress), and took 15th at Berlin 1897 (Rudolf Charousek won). He played also in quadrangular tournaments; took 2nd (Altona 1897), and twice shared 1st (Elmshorn 1898, Kiel 1900).

    In the 20th century, he tied for 14-15th at Hannover 1902 (the 13th DSB-Congress won by Dawid Janowski), won at Hamburg 1903, tied for 8-9th at Coburg 1904 (the 14th DSB-Congress, Curt von Bardeleben, Carl Schlechter and Rudolf Swiderski won), tied for 11-12th at Barmen 1905 (Géza Maróczy and Janowski won), tied for 5-6th at Stockholm 1906 (Ossip Bernstein and Schlechter won), tied for 18-19th at Ostend 1907 (Bernstein and Akiba Rubinstein won), tied for 13-14th at Prague 1908 (Oldřich Duras and Schlechter won), tied for 16-18th at Vienna 1908 (Duras, Maróczy and Schlechter won), tied for 6-7th at Düsseldorf 1908 (the 16th DSB-Congress, Frank Marshall won), and tied for 14-16th at Carlsbad 1911 (Richard Teichmann won).

    He won two matches against Paul Saladin Leonhardt (2.5 : 1.5) and Carl Carls (2 : 1), both at Hamburg 1911, and drew a match with Leonhardt (2 : 2) at Hamburg 1912.


  • #3

    Viacheslav Vasilyevich Ragozin (October 8, 1908March 11, 1962) was a Soviet chess Grandmaster, an International Arbiter of chess, and a World Correspondence Chess Champion. He was also a chess writer and editor.

    Born in the city of St.Petersburg, Ragozin's chess career first came to the fore with a series of excellent results in the 1930s. In the earliest of these, he defeated the respected master Ilyin-Zhenevsky in a 1930 match and was himself awarded the title of soviet master. At Moscow in 1935, he won the best game prize for his victory against Lilienthal. At the very strong Moscow tournament of 1936, he beat Flohr and Lasker and came very close to defeating Capablanca, the ever-resourceful ex-world champion scrambling to find a perpetual check at the game's frantic conclusion. There followed a victory at the Leningrad championship of 1936 and second place shared with Konstantinopolsky (behind Levenfish) at the Soviet Championship of 1937. At the 1939 Leningrad-Moscow tournament, he finished third equal, behind Flohr and Reshevsky, but ahead of Keres.

    Success continued into the 1940s with first prize at Sverdlovsk in 1942 and a repeat triumph at the Leningrad Championship of 1945. In 1946, he finished outright first at Helsinki and beat Bondarevsky in a match. His greatest achievement in over-the-board chess then followed at the Chigorin Memorial (Moscow) tournament of 1947, where he placed second, a half-point behind Botvinnik, but notably ahead of such luminaries as Smyslov, Boleslavsky and Keres.

    By the 1950s, he and most of his generation had been overtaken by the new wave of players emerging from the Soviet chess schools, but Ragozin continued his patronage of the Soviet Championship, competing a total of eleven times, from 1934-1956. Of his rare post-1950 international tournament appearances, his best result came at the 1956 Marianske-Lazne Steinitz Memorial tournament, where he finished second behind Filip, ahead of Flohr, Pachman, Stahlberg and a young Wolfgang Uhlmann.

    Throughout his life, he displayed an interest and talent for almost every aspect of the game of chess. For his over-the-board play, he became a grandmaster in 1950 and in 1951, he obtained the title of international arbiter. From 1956–1958, his main focus switched to correspondence chess, where he showed that he was also an expert analyst and theoretician by becoming the 2nd ICCF World Correspondence Chess Champion in 1959. His correspondence chess grandmaster title was awarded the same year. 

    With Ragozin's wide range of achievements, came a previously unparalleled breadth of expertise and specialised knowledge of the game; a fact that had not escaped the attention of world champion Mikhail Botvinnik. He recognised that Ragozin would make an ideal sparring partner and they played many secret training matches, as Botvinnik prepared for important world championship encounters. Ragozin's style had always been experimental and risky, particularly with regard to the sacrifice of pawns for the initiative. As Botvinnik was attempting to put together a repertoire of solid, reliable openings, it was vital that they were rigorously tested against any latent sacrificial play. Accordingly, many historians attribute Ragozin's contribution as a significant factor in Botvinnik's success.

    Ragozin and Botvinnik also teamed up to train for the 1944 Soviet championship. To more or less simulate the noise that would be present in the tournament hall, they practiced with the radio blasting at high volume. Botvinnik won the tournament, whilst Ragozin, placing 13th out of 17, blamed his defeats on the unusual quietness of his surroundings.

    His contributions to opening theory mainly concerned the development of systems by which the player of the black pieces could achieve equality in the Queen's Gambit and Nimzo Indian complexes. In each case, the moves were preparatory to the central pawn push e6-e5.

    The QGD Ragozin Defence, typically arrived at via the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4 (or by transposition) offers black active play from the start and has enjoyed a resurgence in recent times. Ladies' European Champion (2007) Tatiana Kosintseva, Gregory Serper, Varuzhan Akobian and Aleksej Aleksandrov are just four very strong players who have added the opening to their repertoire.

    For many years Viacheslav Ragozin edited the magazine publication Shakhmaty v SSSR, but he also had a career in the construction industry as a civil engineer.

    He died in Moscow while putting together a collection of his best games, which his friends completed for publication in 1964, under the title Izbrannye Partii Ragozina. It contains 74 games spanning his career.


  • #4

    David Graham Baird (3 December 1854, New York – 8 October,1913, Elizabeth, New Jersey) was an American chess master. He was the brother of John Washington Baird, who was also an American chess master. A writer in the New York Times, describing the players in the Sixth American Chess Congress (1889), portrayed Baird and his brother as follows:

    Of the Baird brothers, David G. is the better player by far. He plays with characteristic Scotch carefulness, for he is of Scotch descent. Of medium height, he is inclined to stoutness, and is of light complexion. His brother John W. is very thin, although he looks like his brother in the face. He was one of the slowest players in the tournament.

    Baird lived in New York, and played in many tournaments there. He won the Manhattan Chess Club Championship four times (1888, 1890, 1891, and 1895). He also tied for 2nd-4th in 1880, took 2nd in 1883, took 3rd in 1884, took 5th in 1885, took 10th in 1886, took 14th in 1889 (the sixth American Chess Congress, Max Weiss and Mikhail Chigorin won), took 7th in 1893 (Harry Pillsbury won), tied for 10-11th in 1894, took 5th in 1900, tied for 7-8th in 1905, and tied for 11-12th in 1911.

    D.G. Baird participated at Vienna 1898 (Kaiser-Jubiläumsturnier, Siegbert Tarrasch and Pillsbury won) and took 18th place there.


  • #5

    Arthur Bernard Bisguier (born 8 October 1929) is an American chess International Grandmaster, chess promoter, and writer. Bisguier won two U.S. Junior Championships (1948, 1949), three U.S. Open Chess Championship titles (1950, 1956, 1959), and the 1954 United States Chess Championship title. He played for the United States in five chess Olympiads. He also played in two Interzonal tournaments (1955, 1962). On March 18, 2005, the United States Chess Federation (USCF) proclaimed him "Dean of American Chess." He is believed to have played more people, of all standards, than any other grandmaster in history.

    Bisguier was born in New York City.

    He was taught chess at the age of four by his father, a mathematician. In 1944, aged 15, he was third at the Bronx Empire Chess Club. In 1946, aged 17, he came fifth in the U.S. Open at Pittsburgh, followed by seventh place in 1948. Later that year, he took the U.S. Junior Championship and was invited to the New York 1948–49 International Tournament.

    As he gained in strength, Bisguier was coached by master Alexander Kevitz.

    In 1949 he retained the U.S. Junior Championship title, and also won the Manhattan Chess Club Championship. In 1950 he won the first of his three U.S. Open titles, and also won at Southsea in England (http://www.rogerpaige.me.uk/tables21.htm).

    Army service interrupted his U.S. chess career during 1951 to 1953, but he managed to get leave to play in two European events. He played at the Helsinki Olympiad 1952, and then won the third annual Christmas tournament at Vienna 1952 with a 9-2 score. He was made an International Master in 1950 from his Southsea victory.

    After a poor performance in the U.S. Open in 1953, he entered the Philadelphia Candidates' Tournament for the U.S. Championship and came through with a first place finish and another over-2600 performance. His meteoric rise culminated with a winning score in the 1954 United States Chess Championship at New York. He also won the 2nd Pan American Chess Championship at Los Angeles 1954. In 1956 at Oklahoma City, he added the U.S. Open Chess Championship title to his U.S. Championship. Bisguier was made an International Grandmaster in 1957. He tied with Bobby Fischer for first-second places at the U.S. Open at Cleveland 1957, but Fischer was awarded the title on tiebreak (The Games of Robert J. Fischer, by Robert Wade and Kevin O'Connell, London, Batsford 1972).

    Bisguier represented the United States at five chess Olympiads. His detailed results, from olimpbase.org, follow. His totals over 82 games are (+29 =35 -18), for 56.7 per cent.

    • Helsinki 1952, board 4, 7/15 (+3 =8 -4);
    • Munich 1958, board 3, 8.5/17 (+6 =5 -6);
    • Leipzig 1960, board 4, 11.5/16 (+9 =5 -2), team silver medal;
    • Tel Aviv 1964, board 4, 11.5/18 (+8 =7 -3);
    • Skopje 1972, board 4, 8/16 (+3 =10 -3).


    Following his U.S. title in 1954, Bisguier regularly returned to compete for the national championship, but was never able to repeat his success. The late 1950s saw the sensational rise of Bobby Fischer, who swept the eight U.S. Championship tournaments which he contested. Bisguier and Fischer were tied for first place going into the last round of the 1962-63 event, and they still had to face each other. Bisguier had a promising position but made a mistake, which Fischer punished spectacularly, allowing Fischer to take the game and the title (described in My 60 Memorable Games, by Bobby Fischer, New York, 1969). Fischer scored 8/11, with Bisguier a point back in clear second place (http://www.chessmetrics.com, the Arthur Bisguier player file). Bisguier also served as a second to Fischer at several international events.

    Most of Bisguier's play after the mid-1960s was limited to U.S. events. He won National Opens in 1970 (jointly), 1974 and 1978. He won the Lone Pine tournament in 1973, tied for second place behind reigning world champion Boris Spassky in the international tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1969, and took first place in the first-ever Grand Prix in 1980. He took first place in the U.S. Senior Open in 1989, thus winning a U.S. championship at every age level of chess. He won the Senior Open again in 1997 and 1998.

    For many years, Bisguier was hired to play in towns throughout the U.S. in order to give exhibitions and popularise chess and the USCF. For about 20 years, Bisguier was the representative they sent to a state for one or two days to play at a hospital or college or a prison, all so the public could get a chance to play the grandmaster and former U.S. champion. He said, "I was delighted to do it. I was very lucky to get so much out of chess. I tried to give something back."

    Bisguier has been a regular contributor to Chess Life magazine. In 2003, he wrote a book on his best games from 1945-1960, titled The Art of Bisguier, with co-author Newton Berry (published by Third Millennium Press).

    Here is Bisguier's only win against Bobby Fischer, in their first game. Their next game was a draw, then Bobby won 13 straight (perhaps the longest unbroken winning streak between grandmasters in history). Fischer, although only 13 at the time of this game, was decidedly no pushover. He won his celebrated Game of the Century against Donald Byrne in the same tournament.

    Bisguier-Fischer, Rosenwald Memorial, New York 1956 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 O-O 6.Nf3 c5 7.Be2 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Nc2 Bd7 10.O-O Rc8 11.Be3 Na5 12.b3 a6 13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Ne8 15.Nd5 Rc6 16.Nd4 Rc8 17.Nc2 Rc6 18.Ncb4 Re6 19.Bg4 Rxe5 20.Bb6 Qc8 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.Bxa5 e6 23.Nd3 Rh5 24.N3f4 Rf5 25.Bb4 exd5 26.Bxf8 Bxa1 27.Qxa1 Kxf8 28.Qh8+ Ke7 29.Re1+ Kd8 30.Nxd5 Qc6 31.Qf8 Qd7 32.Rd1 Rf6 33.Qxe8+ 1-0


  • #6

    Hichem Hamdouchi (Arabic هشام الحمدوشی, born October 8, 1972 in Tangier) is currently the strongest Moroccan chess player and one of the leading African grandmasters.

    Hamdouchi has won the Moroccan Chess Championship eleven times, first in 1988 at 15 years old, when he was first allowed to play in important tournaments. In the same year, in the tournament of Casablanca, he was noticed for his talent and qualified for the national team of Morocco to participate in the Chess Olympiad of 1988 in Thessaloniki. At the age of 17 he managed to qualify in the African selection for the world championship for teams in Lucerne. Here he made remarkable victories over Jeroen Piket, John Fedorowicz and Ye Jiangchuan.

    In 1990 at the 29th Chess Olympiad in Novi Sad he scored 8/11, after which he took a break from chess for his studies. At the age of 20, in 1992 he played successfully in several European tournaments. In the same year he played at the 30th Chess Olympiad with a performance of 7.5/11. He won in Sitges and Ceuta in 1992, where he picked up his first grandmaster norm. In 1993 he starting studying economy at the university of Montpelier. In December 1993 he won the masters in Montpelier with 7/9, picking up his second norm. A few months later he was awarded the grandmaster title. At that time he was one of the three African grandmasters, the other two being the Tunisian players Slim Bouaziz and Slim Belkhodja.

    In 1994 he won the Masters in Casablanca and in 1995 he became Arab Chess Champion in Dubai, a performance which he would repeat in 2002 and 2004. In 1996 he won again the strong grandmaster tournament in Montpelier, where he studied business now. After finishing his studies in 1998, he settled down in Spain and won tournaments in Dos Hermanas, Bolzano and Djerba.

    He won once again in Montpellier in 2001 and in the same year became African Chess Champion before the South African Watu Kobese. In 2002 he won the open in Nice, Belfort and Coria del Rio. In January 2003 he was ranked 75th in the world with a rating of 2615.

    In the FIDE World Chess Championship 2004 in Tripoli he progressed to the third round, where he was eliminated 0.5-1.5 in favour of vice world champion Michael Adams. In 2005 he won in Castelldefels, in 2006 in Salou and in 2007 in Saint-Affrique. At the European Club Cup in October 2007, he played for the Spanish team Gros Xake Taldea.


  • #7

    Susanto Megaranto (born 8 October 1987) is an Indonesian chess Grandmaster.

    He became the youngest Indonesian GM ever at 17, beating out Utut Adianto's record by four years.

    On the July 2009 FIDE list, he has an Elo rating of 2534.



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