Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (54)

12/20/2010 – The bullfighter is revealed as Larry Christiansen. In giving the answers to the picture quiz the Editor of Chess Notes adds further illustrations on the theme of chessplayers and animals, including several shots of Alekhine’s Siamese cats and, alarmingly, a kibitzing circus lion. The quiz prizes are DVDs signed by masters at the London Chess Classic, and the three winners are now announced.

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Chess Explorations (54)

By Edward Winter

Photograph 1:

Answer: José Raúl Capablanca

The photograph appeared on page 31 of Chessworld, May-June 1964, in an article by Olga Capablanca entitled ‘The Young Manhood of José Raoul Capablanca’.

From our archives we add another picture of the Cuban in equestrian company. It was published on page 5 of the Diario de la Marina magazine, 7 November 1946:


Photograph 2:


Answer: Boris Kostić

The picture was in the plates section of a monograph on Kostić, Ambasador Šaha by D. Bućan, P. Trifunović and A. Božić (Belgrade, 1966).


Boris Kostić


Photograph 3:

Answer: Salo Flohr

Flohr was photographed at Berlin Zoo. Source: Caïssas Weltreich by Max Euwe and Bob Spaak (Berlin-Frohnau, 1956). The complete shot, in which Flohr posed with his wife, is given below, in connection with Photograph 6.

On the subject of lions, the case of the Reverend Harold Davidson was discussed in C.N. 5592 (see also C.N. 5730). A picture of him from page 14 of The Rector of Stiffkey and Morston by Buttercup Joe (Briston, 1985 and 1987):

C.N. 5575 included this photograph from page 130 of the April-May 1910 Wiener Schachzeitung:


Photograph 4:

Answer: Amos Burn and John Owen

The photograph comes from A Century of British Chess by P.W. Sergeant (London, 1934), which stated that it was taken ‘in the garden at Hooton’.


Photograph 5:

Answer: Larry Christiansen

The picture (from Linares, 1981) was on the front cover of the May 1981 Chess Life. Two further shots were presented on page 11:


Photograph 6:

Answer: Grace Alekhine

She posed with the wives of Kmoch and Flohr, our source being the Euwe/Spaak book mentioned above in connection with Photograph 3:

Moreover, C.N. 5575 gave these photographs, from pages 6 and 8 of Zooals ik het zag (Amsterdam, 1935 and 1976):

Grace Alekhine was a chessplayer. In C.N. 4106 Dominique Thimognier (St Cyr sur Loire, France) pointed out a report on page 7 of the November 1944 Bulletin de la FFE that she was the women’s champion of Paris in 1944:

Lastly, this picture of Alexander Alekhine was given in C.N. 4794, courtesy of Jan Kalendovský (Brno, Czech Republic):


Photograph 7:

Answer: Frank Arthur Crowl

No entrant identified Crowl (the suggestions included Bronstein, Chernev, Kmoch, Pinkus and Tartakower), but he was a significant figure in Australian chess. The photograph appeared several times in Chess World (e.g. in 1951, 1959 and 1965), and on the last of those occasions the magazine stated that it was taken ‘at a Serpents’ Sanctuary near Brisbane, 1951’.

Crowl (a veritable eccentric at the board and away from it) was often described by C.J.S. Purdy as ‘the Australian Nimzowitsch’. Since he is little known nowadays, we have just prepared, under that title, a feature article on him. There are some specimens of his play, including what Purdy described as ‘the most inspired “mysterious rook move” (to use Nimzowitsch’s terminology) I ever saw’.


The winner of our quiz is Roberto Ruberti (Carrara, Italy). His prize is the Rybka 4 DVD, signed by seven of the masters in the recent London Chess Classic.

The two runners-up are Omar Baez (Hialeah Gardens, FL, USA) and Rudy Bloemhard (Apeldoorn, the Netherlands). They win, respectively, Rybka 3 (inscribed by Anand, Kramnik and Korchnoi) and Nigel Short Greatest Hits (signed by Short).


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All ChessBase articles by Edward Winter


Edward Winter is the editor of Chess Notes, which was founded in January 1982 as "a forum for aficionados to discuss all matters relating to the Royal Pastime". Since then, over 6,860 items have been published, and the series has resulted in four books by Winter: Chess Explorations (1996), Kings, Commoners and Knaves (1999), A Chess Omnibus (2003) and Chess Facts and Fables (2006). He is also the author of a monograph on Capablanca (1989).

Chess Notes is well known for its historical research, and anyone browsing in its archives will find a wealth of unknown games, accounts of historical mysteries, quotes and quips, and other material of every kind imaginable. Correspondents from around the world contribute items, and they include not only "ordinary readers" but also some eminent historians – and, indeed, some eminent masters. Chess Notes is located at the Chess History Center. Signed copies of Edward Winter's publications are currently available.


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