Steve Brandwein heard of him ? If not ....read the following. He seems to be a very special and extremely strong chessplayer. Start to read what Sam Sloan writes about him on his site.
Here : http://www.anusha.com/brandwein.htm
According to what i have read about Steve Brandwein he is known to be an exceptional chess talent. He almost never makes any mistakes. Know the openings he plays VERY well. Also a very good tactician. Slightest mistake by his oponent will be severly punished.
Not only that IM Larry Kaufmann played him many years ago.
From An Exclusive Interview with Larry Kaufman by Jim Eade
C. T. How did you learn to play chess? How old were you?
L.K. My father taught me at age 7, and I had a lesson on how to do the king and rook checkmate at age 8 from Harold Phillips, the first USCF president and a New York champion in the year 1895 (!!). His daughter and my mother were best friends from college.
C.T. Who were you biggest influences?
L.K. Fischer was my biggest influence in my teens, although the book that influenced me the most was Reshevsky’s (“How chess games are won”). On a personal level I would say Steve Brandwein.
C.T. How so?
L.K. When I was a college student at M.I.T., Steve lived nearby and we became friends. I was very impressed with his intellect, knowledge, and memory; he was (and presumably still is) a very brilliant man. At the time I was a high Expert while Steve was already retired from regular tournament play with a 2300 rating, which was pretty good back in the mid 1960s. At blitz chess he was much better still, certainly way beyond my level. He taught me a lot about chess (and other things too), but the biggest impact was a twenty game match we played. Due to the rating disparity we agreed to a 2-1 time handicap; I think Steve took 30′ to my hour. I thought this would make for a fair match, but I was soon to realize how wrong this was. After 19 games I was still seeking my first win; the score was 10 wins for Steve and 9 draws. Finally by some miracle I won the final game. Just a few weeks later, I was the American Open Champion!! This shows both how much I learned from this match and how strong Steve must have been to score so well against me giving me time odds; my own rating soon hit 2300.
I played many other training matches over the years with various masters, but this was the only one I lost. My match victims in these matches included Bill Hook, Mark Diesen, Larry Gilden, and Arnold Denker. There was also a drawn match in my very early days with Frank Street, who soon became the nation’s second Black chess master.
Have anyone played this mysteroius figure named Steve Brandwein ? Or do anyone has any games with him. I have searched for them.
What about a blitz match between Steve Brandwein and Nakamura ?
I suspect this was a long time ago. The guy was already "retired" from competitive chess when Kaufman was at MIT in the '60s, so he would probably be pretty old now.
USCF does list an unrated voting member with that name in California, with a birth year of 1942.
He almost never makes any mistakes.
Yeah, that comment alone was enough to make me hope no one would venture posting in this
It's too bad Estragon has to be such a nice and knowledgeable guy.
Yeah, that comment alone was enough to make me hope no one would venture posting in this
Well, I could have gone into the whole thing about Sam's outlook on things, but some secrets are better left buried . . .
Well guys...this is high class swenglish! :) If you translate "He almost never makes any mistakes." into swedish "word for word" .....this would be the way we say it in swedish. But now I understand it sounds funny in english. :) But this (translated) is the way we say it in Swedish and it is very natural for us.
I thought you said it very well in english :) -- I think it's the idea that tonydal (and I) were smirking at. Even the best players in the world regularly make inaccuracies. Only once or twice a year is a top level game touted as "nearly perfect" between two top players. Even incredible performances where a top player goes without losses at a super-elite tournament have games that contain any number of inaccuracies and even blunders. The most recent world championship match saw a terrible blunders by both sides, and this is not counting inaccuracies.
If this person, Steve Brandwein were such an astounding player (greater than any player alive today) we would certainly have heard of him. So what proof do you offer us? He played Kaufman? Why is this an accomplishment? Did he beat Kaufman? Did he beat him more than once? Did he score 10 out of 10 games in a 10 game match? Even so, Kaufman is famous but he is not a top player in the world.
Add to this that chess skill is completely relative, and often beginners and amateurs in general often greatly misunderstand a strong players skill as being much greater than it actually is. So that when we read this claim that the player Brandwein (a name we've never heard of) was an almost perfect player it's easy to understand why we would let out a laugh.
In terms of blitz chess, you could only mention 1 or 2 other players in the world with Nakmura's name. Without a doubt, Nakamura would absolutely destroy Brandwein (whoever that is) in a blitz match.
I agree, he is a genius
Unfortunately I don't know Steve personally that well, but since I was a member of Mechanic Institute chess club for 14 years now, i talked to him and seen him. I know that Steve is a very strong player and I am pretty sure, had he played competitively these days, he could easily be over 2300. back in 2000, Steve played blitz with a friend of mine, a master with a current rating close to 2300 and a very good tactician. Steve beat him very convincingly to my amusement. I don't know for certain how good he really is these days and how far he could have gone, but he is definitely talanted to be an IM or GM
I had heard similar stories when I was at the Mechanic's for a few years.
I mainly speak about blitz and rapid chess here of course. If anyone logs into ICC and follow any grandmaster blitzgame you can notice that they make "A LOT" of mistakes. It happens here and there. But this guy Steve is according to at least two sources we have like a computer when playing blitz. And someone here wrote something like : "If he would have been so good then wouldnt we have heard of him ?" Yes thats a very logical reasoning. But dont forget that this man was a very strong chess hustler. It is all to his advanatage to hide his real strength. Do you think Karpov or Kasparov would win any money if they sat down in Washington Square Park screaming and challenging the players there to play for money ? No one would play them for money. So for a hustler it is very important to be VERY strong but at the same time it is also important to be "anonymous" and travel around....just winning money.
I dont claim that he is .....or was the best blitzplayer in the U.S but I just find this man interesting as a chessplayer and I am not ready to wipe him under the carpet already. Also the strategy he is/was using is also interesting. He was kinda playing backwards. Retreating very much sitting and waiting for slightest mistake. If I am not wrong there is a chessbook on this topic tiltled something like "Reversed chess strategy" or something. Of course he could posess a unique talent despite the fact that he never won any main championships.
Here is a third source where you can read about Steve :
I first met Steve Brandwein while a freshman at Boston University in the fall of 1960. We were in the student lounge of the Myles Standish Dorm where he had a board all set up and he asked if I played. I said that I did and he offered me the white pieces. I considered myself to be a better than average player who had participated in tournaments and on my high school team back in New Jersey.
To make a long story short, after both of us had castled king-side ripped away the protection in front of his king which led me to the false belief that his days were numbered as I sought to exploit the weakness of his position. How foolish I was as I watched him move his king one space to the side (H8) and use the opening at G7 to throw everything at me except the kitchen sink. NO! Wait a minute, besides the two rooks, a queen, and a bishop, I seem to recall there was in fact a kitchen sink that stormed across the board to mop up the board with me.
He was very gracious as he won that game and one other. He said, "You play very well; I'm sorry you didn't win one." We became friends and he invited me to join him on the BU chess team. We wound up going to Princeton over the Christmas break to play in the national collegiate tournament.
I liked this thread :)
I met Steve in San Francisco about fifteen years ago. I was expert strength at that time (I'm an NM today) and he beat me in a blitz match, 12-2. He was at least 2400 strength in speed chess then.
I have also heard that he apparently played many games with Fischer in New York in the 60's, and held his own.
Finally, I have heard that as strong as he is in chess, he is much stronger in Scrabble. He is mentioned in the Stefan Fatsis book "Word Freak" and was referenced in a USA Today review of that book as follows:
"Midway through his quest to master Scrabble, author Stefan Fatsis meets "game-room legend" Steve Brandwein, a well-read bookie and expert at Scrabble and chess who refuses to play in tournaments.
He's the epitome, Fatsis writes, "of the game-playing mind and character: brilliant, unconventional, and unapologetic."
^too long; didnt read, can you please sum it up in a sentence?just kidding, long essay though, the guy sounds like a genius to be sure
I found one game.
Brandwein lost in 20 moves.
Far out! I wouldn't have thought such a thing possible. Who is John Curdo?
Got a few hundred games for him, I saw a win over Larry Kaufman in there somewhere, but no great shakes
The more pious Brandwein of 1955
The self-described "Little Aardvark Short and Stout"
Three Comrades, c. 2008
l-r: Steve Kellerman, Russell Brandwein (Steve's brother), Steve Brandwein
Photo: Mary Sue Brandwein, Boston area
Two Old Reds: Steve Kellerman, Steve Brandwein c.2008
Thanks Steve for your post on Brandwein. It would be very nice to find more games of him.