Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (87)

7/27/2012 – An exceptional visual treat is in store for readers in the form of archive moving pictures of many of the great masters of the past, including Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe, Bogoljubow and Nimzowitsch. The Editor of Chess Notes provides links to a rich selection of footage, much of which has been found over the years by his correspondents throughout the world. Unmissable.

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Chess Explorations (87)

By Edward Winter

An increasing number of libraries, companies and other bodies are making film archives available on-line, and many Chess Notes readers have pointed out footage of the great chess masters of the past. The surprises have been great. Who, for instance, would have hoped to see film of Alekhine, Nimzowitsch, Spielmann, Maróczy, Yates and others at San Remo, 1930? Yet in C.N. 5898 Luc Winants (Boirs, Belgium) was able to point out that such material is available, courtesy of ITN Source.

The photograph below was given in C.N. 4201, from page 24 of the February 1930 American Chess Bulletin:


Mr Winants also drew attention in C.N. 5898 to a brief sequence of Alekhine giving a simultaneous display in Paris in the early 1930s.


Alekhine also appears, as does Capablanca, in this coverage of living chess displays (against Sir George Thomas and Bogoljubow respectively) which was pointed out in C.N. 3491:


Some further examples contributed by correspondents:

C.N. 6862: The Geschiedenis 24 website has much footage related to Max Euwe, including a sound item featuring both Euwe and Capablanca; from Ryan Paulis (Amsterdam).


C.N. 6978: a Pathé news item with commentary on the London, 1946 tournament, featuring Arturo Pomar in play against Ossip Bernstein, as well as footage of some other players, including Savielly Tartakower and William Winter; Olimpiu G. Urcan (Singapore).


In the same C.N. item Mr Urcan pointed out a Pathé report on Jutta Hempel.


C.N. 7153: Alekhine and Euwe at the chessboard (the first part of the item); Robert Sherwood (E. Dummerston, VT, USA).


C.N. 7658: Capablanca and Lasker in Moscow in 1925 (a brief sequence beginning at about 15:40:40), at the time the well-known photograph below was taken; Christian Sánchez (Rosario, Argentina).


C.N. 7724: a sequence showing Alekhine, Bogoljubow and Lasker in Berlin in 1929; Albert Silver (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).


The most recent clip drawn to our attention by a reader comes from Thomas Höpfl (Halle, Germany), who has pointed out a Russian film which contains (starting at about 4:37) some moving pictures of Lasker.


See also the following articles by Edward Winter:

Chess Masters on Film
Chess History: Photograph Collections
Chess and Hollywood
Chess and Television
Chess and Radio
Chess, Literature, and Film


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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 7,730 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). In 2011 a paperback edition was issued.

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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