Daniel King’s Power Play Show: The Vera Menchik club

by Daniel King
11/6/2020 – In this Power Play Show, GM Daniel King features Vera Menchik, the first Women’s World Champion. King analyses the game in which Menchik defeated Albert Becker, the founder of the “Vera Menchik Club” — Becker ridiculed her entry to the Carlsbad 1929 tournament by proposing that any player whom Menchik defeated in tournament play should be granted membership into the “club”. | Power Play is on air most Fridays at 17:00 UTC (18:00 CET, 13:00 ET). All the usual puzzles, games and instruction will be on offer. | Photo: Menchik (centre) at a simul at the Bury and West Suffolk Chess Club in 1936 | suffolkchess.org.uk

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Queen’s Gambits

To mark the Netflix drama ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, I am featuring Vera Menchik — the first Women’s World Champion. About the new mini-series, Albert Silver wrote:

The good news is that not only is chess superbly rendered, with a wide variety of grandmaster-level positions and situations, but the story and production of “The Queen’s Gambit” is exceptional on all levels. Simply put: this is easily the best chess movie or series to ever grace the screens.

The main game is Menchik vs Becker. Albert Becker was the founder and unintended first member of the Vera Menchik Club. Becker ridiculed Menchik’s entry into the Carlsbad 1929 tournament by proposing that any player whom Menchik defeated in tournament play should be granted membership into the Vera Menchik Club. In the same tournament, Becker himself became the first member of the "club".

First, try to solve the following problem from Menchik vs. Graf from the 1937 Women’s World Championship. How does White break through?

 

The problem at the end of the broadcast was composed by Edith Baird (1859-1924), known in her day as ‘The Queen of Chess’. She composed more than 2000 problems which were published in newspapers all over the world.

 

This week


Previous shows

You’ll find older broadcasts in the Power Play category. To watch these you'll need a ChessBase Premium Account.


Daniel King is the prolific author of the Power Play series which numbers 28 volumes to date.  The Tactic Turbo for the King’s Gambit is the subject of his most recent DVD.

Here’s a teaser:


Power Play 28: Tactic Toolbox King's Gambit

Daniel King presents 50 puzzle positions in video format, all arising from the King's Gambit. They feature typical tactics from the opening, so this is a great way of becoming familiar with the tricks and traps that you can set your opponent.


Links


Daniel King is a regular on playchess.com. Commentating on live events such as the World Championship or analysing themes for his monthly Power Play Show. He also produces a DVD series called Power Play for ChessBase in the Fritztrainer format.

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