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I read somewhere that Tarrasch once grabbed the queen's bishop instead of the knight (as an illegal move) then he was forced to move his king as penalty...got mated with the next move...(Lasker mentioned it if I remember correctly)
Just a bit more on the development of blitz...
E. Winter noted that the "BCM" in March 1897 stated:What may not unfittingly be called “lightning chess” has been introduced at the Sydenham and Forrest Hills Club. Tournaments are organised on the principle of rapid play, 30 seconds per move being allowed, and half-an-hour for the entire game. Much interest is being evoked by this novel mode of play.
and the "Chess Omnibus" in Feb. 1898, quoted the "BCM" of some unspecified date:Continuous tournaments, and rapid games of one minute per move, have been lately in great favour in America. They have not yet caught on much in Europe, and we hope the latter kind never will do so, for though they may be very amusing, and may promote a quick sight of the board, they are more of the nature of skittles than of solid and thoughtful chess, and we should think would be a very poor preparation for contests of any real importance.
I found a few references to lighning chess (not what we consider lightning, and barely what we consider blitz):"BCM" Oct. 1898. . . Mr. L. Hoffer, who was also present, was frequently to be seen playing skittles in his naive and lightning style."The Hastings Tournament Book" 1895Bird and Janowski enliven us with a little lightning chess.
It seems toward the late 1890s that faster chess was becoming popular, possibly with timers or clocks, but faster, meaning 30 - 60 secs./move - most games played at that speed would barely fall into present day blitz time, if at all.
I never heard that. I did hear how Tarrasch won a game vs Alapin who touched his Bishop, although his Knight was under attack. But he had misread the board and didn't even realize his Knight was under attack until after he touched his Bishop, so he lost the Knight and resigned. Morphy once moved the wrong piece - he reversed the move order he had planned in a totally won game against Harrwitz and had to settle for a draw.
"Chess: The Complete Self-Tutor" by Edward Lasker
page 21: "While playing the Scandinavian Defence Tarrasch intended to play the routine move 3 Nc3, but by mistake he placed his queen's bishop on c3, instead of the knight. His opponent demanded that he move his king, and Tarrasch was forced to play 3 Ke2, whereupon he was checkmated with ...Qe4#."
London 1883 was the first tournament to use the double-faced mechanical tumbling clock invented by Thomas Bright Wilson - A Fattorini model is shown above. It was a pair of clocks that sat on a see-saw type platform. When one clock was pushed down the other's pendulum was activated. It looks pretty expensive and delicate. I'm not sure it could stand up to blitz play. I'm not even sure of how precise they might have been - blitz measures in seconds, not minutes and, according to the 1899 BCM, they were still having trouble making the passing of a hour sufficiently noticable to the players at that time. In the London tournament time wasn't enforced by winning on time but by fines for exceeding the time limit. Even much, much later, players were hesitant to demand a win due to time alone.
This clock is the earliest one I could find that resembles ones that were used throughout the 20th century. The use of clocks was a reluctant innovation, though universally agreed to be a necessity. I haven't been able to uncover much yet on the development of blitz, though it surely was dependant on timers. Rapid transit, even in the 1940s employed stop watches and was timed by so many seconds per move (unlike so many moves in a given time). Skittles was probably the closest thing to blitz until sometime in the 20th century and skittles wasn't regulated by timers, or at least I've never seen mention of time relative to skittles.
That sea saw type clock was used for blitz chess in sherlock holmes 2
"Chess: The Complete Self-Tutor" by Edward Lasker
Thanks. That's pretty interesting. Does that mean Tarrasch was on both sides of a touch-rule inspired early resignation?
From "The Fireside Book of Chess" by Chernev and Reinfeld, 1949 about a game played at the German Chess Kongress in Breslau 1889:At this point, Tarrasch played 5 P-K3. Alapin hardly looked at the board, as he expected 5 P-K4, the customary move at the time. Almost automatically he touched his King Bishop, as he intended to answer 5 P-K4 with 5... B-K2. Imagine his horror when he saw that his King Knight was attacked, and he could not move it! He had touched his Bishop, and regardless of the consequences, he had to move his Bishop!
Alapin resigned on his move.
Films, if that's what Shelock Holmes 2 is, are usually noted more for their exaggeration than for their historical accuracy. I guess the fictional Sherlock Holmes would be from the right age to use a tumbling clock, but I don't know if the film was correct in its depictiion of using one for blitz... but it's an interesting observation nonetheless.
Everyone, even such giants, are human and capable of blunders. It's somehow comforting to see it demonstrated.
i totally agree!
Batgirl do you know if any of those Fattorini clocks are still in existence by any chance?
All I know is that I've seen photos of at least 2 different Fattorini tumbler clocks. I imagine they're relatively scarce and valuable, but I don't really know much about that sort of thing. Fattorini & Sons was a fascinating company (I say "was," but it still exists in spirit under the name Thomas Fattorini. There had been two 19th century companies - Thom. Fattorini and Fattorini & Sons - that merged 18 years ago.). They were jewelers, watch and clock makers, silversmiths, trophy and medal designers and creators. Antonio Fattorini, the founder of Fattorini & Sons, was an athlete and very active in both Rugby and chess belonging to the Manningham Rugby Club, the Bradford City Football Club and the Yorkshire County Chess Club, holding the position of secretary.
I don't have any hope of ever being as good as one of the mentioned players. But I do find comfort in it indeed :D.
A blitz game (I don't know the time control) in which almost WC, Bronstein, plays amazing chess and future WC, Spassky resigns on move 17.
Very nice combination.
Did "blitz" as we know it exist in 1892?
Not at all. The specialty chess clocks were too expensive to submit to the sort of abuse we routinely subject clocks to in modern blitz. The early "lightning" games were played to a certain time per move, usually 10-30 seconds, marked by a bell. When the bell rang, the player on move had to move instantly or lose.
"Skittles" could refer to any sort of casual game, though.
"The early "lightning" games were played to a certain time per move, usually 10-30 seconds"
The only seemingly known recorded evidence of what was then referred to as "ligntning," puts the time at 30 sec. per move with 30 mins. for the entire game and as "rapid" chess at 60 sec. per move. The first just barely qualifies as blitz and the second, not at all. I agree that the clocks would never be used for that, but, though they seemed to have been quite expensive, mainly because they were too delicate. Even if they weren't damaged, the accuracy of the pedulum mechanism would possibly be compromised. I think 10 sec./move came sometime in the 20th century. The earilest mention of 10 sec./move that I could find through a search was a mention of a game between Charles Curt v Hermann Helms in Brooklyn, 1909 [supplied by E. Winter] with no mention of how the time was monitored or controlled. That time control was very popular from the 1930s.
Very interestingly, Winter also suppled a 1918 game found by Neil Brennen in the Phila. "Inquirer" where Capablanca lost to Kupchik at the time control of "five seconds for the first ten moves and ten seconds a move thereafter"
"Nakamura vs Vachier-Lagrave: GM Blitz Battle Chess"
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