Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (76)

1/1/2012 – Exactly 30 years ago the Editor of Chess Notes began his forum devoted to history and lore, a miscellany of forgotten games, compositions, biographies, photographs, quotes, enigmas and exposés, scrutinizing without fear or favour the saints and sinners of chess, the champions, amateurs, scholars and reprobates. Here is a guide to help readers continue to enjoy the mass of unique material.

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Chess Explorations (76)

By Edward Winter

‘A forum for aficionados to discuss all matters relating to the Royal Pastime’ was the description of Chess Notes in its first issue (January-February 1982), and until 1989 the series ran as a bimonthly periodical (C.N. items 1-1933). It resumed publication in 1993 as a syndicated column in many languages around the world (C.N.s 1934-2187). From 1998 to 2001 it was published exclusively in New in Chess (C.N.s 2188-2486) and subsequently appeared at the Chess Café (C.N.s 2487-3414).

Since September 2004 Chess Notes has been located at the Chess History Center. The main page is updated regularly and archived at the end of each month. The archives page also lists the many feature articles which, in most cases, are off-shoots of C.N. items. All of them are in English and one, The Saburovs, is also available in Russian. (С большим удовольствием мы предлагаем вниманию российских любителей шахмат перевод одной из наших статей.)

A Google search-box covers the contents of the entire run of Chess Notes on-line, and material can also be traced by means of the Factfinder, as well as the List of Items (which goes back to May 2002).

A selection of early C.N. items is available on-line in Chess Jottings.

Four anthologies of Chess Notes have been published: Chess Explorations, Kings, Commoners and Knaves, A Chess Omnibus and Chess Facts and Fables. In addition, bound volumes are still available for most of the years during which the series appeared in magazine form.


For the past five years selected material from Chess Notes has frequently been presented at ChessBase, in the series Unsolved Chess Mysteries and Chess Explorations. Below is a combined index with direct links to the individual articles.

Advice (faulty) in old chess books Chess Explorations 32
Ahues, Carl (game ending) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Alapin, Simon (advice by) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Alcohol (masters with dependency on) Chess Explorations 37
Alekhine, Alexander (attempted suicide) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 11
Alekhine, Alexander (challenged by C.A.S. Damant) Chess Explorations 30
Alekhine, Alexander (death) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 6
Alekhine, Alexander (discrepancies in six game-scores) Chess Explorations 27, 29
Alekhine, Alexander (interviews) Chess Explorations 69
Alekhine, Alexander (remark about having to beat him three times) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Alekhine, Alexander (switched envelopes story) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Alekhine, Alexander (vanity quote) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Alekhine v Bogoljubow photograph Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Alekhine v Mikėnas (two moves in succession) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 13
Alekhine v Najdorf Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Alekhine v Nenarokov (hoax game) Chess Explorations 44
Alekhine v Rubinstein (opening) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 19
Alekhine’s Defence (old magazine articles on) Chess Explorations 51
Alexander v Marshall Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Anderssen v Lange Chess Explorations 61
Anti-Turton theme (Lucarelli v Carra and Ed. Lasker v Marshall) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
Back-rank ending (Alapin or Stauffer) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Barcza v Fischer Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Barden, Leonard (predictions about Kasparov and Short) Chess Explorations 30
Belik-Igonin (V. Pachmann study) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 19
Benko Gambit (origins) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 25
Bernstein, Ossip (ending) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Bertok v Fischer Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Best chess books Chess Explorations 7 and 7
Best games (masters’ choices) Chess Explorations 3 and 3
Bismark family Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
Blackburne v N.N. (missed mate) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Blackmar, Armand Edward (Gone with the Wind music) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 11
Blake v Hooke Chess Explorations 30
Blind swine Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Blunders/missed mates Chess Explorations 25, 26
Boden’s Mate Chess Explorations 72
Bogoljubow, Efim (relations with Nazis) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
Book/magician/machine quote Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
‘Brake triangle’ Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
Breyer Defence in the Ruy López (origins) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 8
Breya, Gyula (last throes quote) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Bronstein v Goldenov Unsolved Chess Mysteries 1
Brooke, Rupert Unsolved Chess Mysteries 6
Burn, Amos (miniature game) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 6
Burn, Amos (never defeated a healthy opponent) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 8
Camouflage books (Tarnschriften) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
Capablanca-Botvinnik photograph Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca, José Raúl (alleged ‘boner’ in Chess Fundamentals) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 2
Capablanca, José Raúl (meeting with Soviet prodigy) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Capablanca, José Raúl (meeting with Stalin) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 5
Capablanca, José Raúl (misidentification in Chess Amateur photograph) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 11
Capablanca, José Raúl (nicknamed ‘The Chess Machine’) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca, José Raúl (on the Sicilian Defence) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca, José Raúl (reference to a beautiful game at St Petersburg, 1914) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 8
Capablanca, José Raúl (reminiscences of Olga Capablanca) Chess Explorations 19
Capablanca, José Raúl (studied 1,000 rook and pawn endings) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca (shortest losses, v Bain and Kramer) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Capablanca and tennis (Yates) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca v Fine Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Capablanca v Hagenlocher/Hagenlacher (hoax) Chess Explorations 44
Capablanca v Kalantarov Chess Explorations 49
Capablanca v N.N. Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Capablanca v N.N. brilliancy in 1916 Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca v Réti (simultaneous game) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca v Teichmann (missing moves) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Capablanca-Alekhine 5-5 affair Unsolved Chess Mysteries 4
Capablanca-Alekhine fake photograph Unsolved Chess Mysteries 4
Cartoons and comic strips Chess Explorations 68
‘Checkers is for tramps’ (remark attributed to Morphy) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Check Mate and Word Games by Carlos Tortoza (garbled quotations) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Chess & Draughts Made Easy by J. Bishop Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
ChessBase Simul Hunt Chess Explorations 5
‘Chess Features’ (Capablanca) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
‘Chess is 99% tactics’ Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
‘Chess, like love, is infectious at any age’ (Flohr quote) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
‘Chessy’ words Chess Explorations 12
Chigorin v Tarrasch Unsolved Chess Mysteries 19
Christmas cards Chess Explorations 75
Coles Publishing (plagiarism and unauthorized editions) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 17
Colle v Grünfeld (resignation in drawn position?) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Combe v Hasenfuss Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
Combination (definition) Chess Explorations 21
Combinations (longest) Chess Explorations 9
Copying Chess Explorations 42
Cunning, gamesmanship, skulduggery, bluff, trickery, foxiness, dishonesty and cheating Chess Explorations 52
Derrickson, George H. Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Discrepancies in game-scores Chess Explorations 27, 28, 29
Dragon Variation in the Sicilian Defence (origins) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 8
Dzindzichashvili and Zacharov (backward moves) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
Einstein v Oppenheimer Unsolved Chess Mysteries 7
Emanuel Lasker: Denker Weltenbürger Schachweltmeister ed. by Forster, Hansen and Negele Chess Explorations 31
Euwe v Alekhine (re-match conditions) Chess Explorations 1
Excuses for losing Chess Explorations 16
Eyeglasses/conferred sight quote Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
Fahrni, Hans (pawn ending) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Fahrni, Hans (pawn ending trick) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 19
Feuerstein v Bennett and Oakley v Nash Unsolved Chess Mysteries 11
FIDE anthem and motto Chess Explorations 47
FIDE (foundation) Chess Explorations 65
FIDE medals Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
FIDE (pre-history) Chess Explorations 66
Film/cinema (earliest appearances by masters) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 13
Fine, Reuben (1948 world championship) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Fischer, Robert James (and Barbra Streisand) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Fischer, Robert James (book of games planned) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Fischer, Robert James (52 Memorable Games book) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Fischer, Robert James (libel suit against Brad Darrach) Chess Explorations 52
Fischer, Robert James (Kriegspiel) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Fischer, Robert James (match v Matulović) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Fischer, Robert James (photographs) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Fischer, Robert James (quotes) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23, 26
Fischer, Robert James (‘Right, Mr Thomas’ annotation) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 23
Fischer v Collins match Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Five grandmasters at St Petersburg, 1914 (title allegedly awarded by Tsar Nicholas II) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10
Flohr, Salo (merchandising) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Flynn, Errol Chess Explorations 15
Fox v Santasiere (capture of own piece) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10
Fox, Albert Whiting Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Frank, Hans Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Gaige, Jeremy (self-obituary) Chess Explorations 60
Game/science quote attributed to Mendelssohn and Leibniz Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Games (full game-scores not found) Chess Explorations 36
Gibaud, Amédée (death) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Golombek, Harry (errors in Capablanca’s Hundred Best Games of Chess) Chess Explorations 59
‘Good players are always lucky’ (quote attributed to Capablanca) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Grandmaster draw (origin of term) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Graves of chess masters Chess Explorations 8
Greco and Ruy López (illustrations) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
‘Gymnasium of the mind’ quote Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Hallucinations (alleged Blackburne games v Alapin and Steinitz) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Harrwitz v N.N. (seesaw/windmill manoeuvre) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Hitler and Lenin (alleged photograph) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 1
Hoax games Chess Explorations 44
Hodges, Albert Beauregard (actor) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 7
Homes/addresses of chess masters Chess Explorations 20
Hunt, Joseph William (1 b4 named the Hunt Opening) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 11
Hype in chess books Chess Explorations 23
Internees during World War I Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
Jaque Mate (Cuban magazine in the 1930s) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 5
Karpov-Fischer photograph (claim by Karpov) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 1
Kaspartov (Spanish book by ‘Garry Kaspartov’) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 1
Kevitz v Capablanca Chess Explorations 43
Kirkham game Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Koltanowski, George (discrepancies over game-scores) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
König v Weiss Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
Kräuchi, Gottfried Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Krejcik, Josef (brilliancy) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 25
Kreymborg, Alfred (anachronistic reference to Lilienthal) Chess Explorations 30
Lansing v Hart Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Lanza, Anton Mario (encyclopaedia) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
Lasker (Edward) v Capablanca Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Lasker v Capablanca (claim of 15th game in 1921 match) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10
Lasker v Janowsky (Paris, 1909 match not for the world championship) Chess Explorations 1
Lasker v Thomas Unsolved Chess Mysteries 13
Lasker, Emanuel (1 e4 played with a view to the endgame) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Lasker, Emanuel (book by Reinfeld/Fine) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
Lasker, Emanuel (deepest game, v van Vliet) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Lasker, Emanuel (invention of tank) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Lasker, Emanuel (photograph examining a problem) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 2
Lasker, Emanuel (prediction about Capablanca in 1909) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Lasker, Emanuel (rare photographs) Chess Explorations 31
Lengthy thought on moves Chess Explorations 74
Leoni, Angeligi Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Levitzky v Marshall (shower of gold coins) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 7
‘Life’s too short for chess’ Chess Explorations 11
Lightning/fast chess Chess Explorations 67
Lindfors, Viveca Chess Explorations 15
Lipschütz, S. (forename) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 5
Lund v Nimzowitsch Unsolved Chess Mysteries 13
Macdonald v Burn Chess Explorations 58
Mackenzie, George Henry (single bishop mate) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Marshall Counter-Gambit (origins) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 2
Marshall v Capablanca (living chess) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Marx, Harpo (in Moscow) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
Masefield/Mansfield/Mayfield v Trinka/Trinks/Trent miniature Unsolved Chess Mysteries 6
Maurian, Charles (miniature victory) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Mendacity in chess books Chess Explorations 23
Mieses v Bogoljubow dispute Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Miester Meises/Meister Mieses Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Migoya v N.N. (same opening as in Alekhine v Euwe) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 7
Miles, Tony (on Keene and on blindfold chess) Chess Explorations 73
Miniature played by Buckle or Buckley? Unsolved Chess Mysteries 19
Mistakes on chess book covers Chess Explorations 18
Montaigne, Michel (quote) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Monteiro, Joaquim Unsolved Chess Mysteries 25
Moreau, Colonel Unsolved Chess Mysteries 13
Morgan, David James (Morganisms) Chess Explorations 24
Morphy, Paul Charles (family origins and Murphy beer-mat) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10
Morphy, Paul Charles (suicide claim) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 13
Morphy, Paul Charles (unexplained French words) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 5
Morphy v Harrwitz Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
Morphy v the Duke and Count Chess Explorations 46
Morrison v Capablanca Unsolved Chess Mysteries 25
Most famous chess quotations Chess Explorations 11
Movement (game by Bogoljubow) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Murderers Unsolved Chess Mysteries 24 + Chess Explorations 35
N.N. v Bruening Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
N.N. v Nimzowitsch Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Nadzhmetdinov, K. Unsolved Chess Mysteries 5
Napoleon Bonaparte Chess Explorations 44
‘Never miss a check’ Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Nimzowitsch v Alapin Chess Explorations 50
Noah’s Ark Trap Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
‘No-one ever won by resigning’ Unsolved Chess Mysteries 8
Ogle, Christopher (patron at London, 1922) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Oldest occurrences of chess terms Chess Explorations 12
Painting depicting a problem Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10
Pen-portraits Chess Explorations 71
Pet moves of masters Chess Explorations 38
Philidor, André Danican (alleged picture) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 13
Pillsbury v Wendell Unsolved Chess Mysteries 2
Pillsbury, Harry Nelson (examination of brain) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Pillsbury, Harry Nelson (single bishop mate) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10
Plagiarism Chess Explorations 42
Poverty of chess masters Chess Explorations 39
Practical suggestions for authors and columnists Chess Explorations 70
Pretentious/wordy chess books Chess Explorations 33
Problems/compositions Chess Explorations 45
Prodigies Chess Explorations 22
Proverb about gnat and elephant Unsolved Chess Mysteries 11
Purdy, Cecil John Seddon (year of birth) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 6
Puzzles (Hubert Phillips) Chess Explorations 48
Queen sacrifice on g6/g3 Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Quizzes Chess Explorations 2 (positions), 2 (positions), 2 (positions), 2 (positions), 10 (photographs), 14 (positions), 53 (photographs with animals), 54 (photographs with animals), 63 (faces concealed), 64 (faces concealed)
Quotes about knight on e5 and e6 Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16, 26
Quotes (authenticity) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Reeve, Birdie Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Repetition of position (al-‘Adli position and Jørgensen v Sørensen) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10
Reshevsky v Chaplin Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28 + Chess Explorations 44
Retirement announcements Chess Explorations 40
Robar, Philip (plagiarism) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 17
Rogard, Folke Chess Explorations 15
Rosebault, Frederick D. Unsolved Chess Mysteries 12
Rossolimo v Livingstone Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Rubinstein, Akiba (rook and pawn ending) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 19
Rubinstein v Rosengren Chess Explorations 15
Sabadell, 1945 (mysteries involving Alekhine v Muñoz and Terrazas) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 3
San Sébastian, 1911 group photographs Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
Schnitzler v Alexandre Unsolved Chess Mysteries 8
Schuster v Carls Chess Explorations 13
Signed memorabilia Chess Explorations 62
Simultaneous display (1,000 games by ‘Basker’) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 8
Smothered mate Chess Explorations 6
Smyth v Helms Chess Explorations 57
Sound recordings of masters Chess Explorations 41
Soviet photograph line-up Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
Stalemate combination (Lazdies v Zenitas or Lazdiņš and Zemītis) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Stalin, Josef (alleged game) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 5
Staunton, Howard (‘devilish bad games’ according to Morphy) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Staunton, Howard (oil painting) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Staunton, Howard (pictures) Chess Explorations 17
Steiner v Prins (missed mate in one) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Steinitz, K.G. Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
Steinitz, Wilhelm (daughter, Flora) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Steinitz v God Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Steinitz v von Bardeleben Unsolved Chess Mysteries 25
Swiderski, Rudolf (suicide) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 6
Swiss system (origins) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 18
Tableau (alleged position) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Tarrasch v Lasker (discrepancy over game-score) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 22
Tartakower, Savielly (claims about de Gaulle and parachutes) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 9
Teichmann v Marbl Unsolved Chess Mysteries 15
Termination of the 1984-85 Karpov v Kasparov match Unsolved Chess Mysteries 7, 22
The best move (quote attributed to Jaffe) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
‘The father of modern chess’ Unsolved Chess Mysteries 28
‘The Pride and Sorrow of Chess’ (origins of the description of Morphy) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 27
‘The threat is stronger than the execution’ Unsolved Chess Mysteries 26
Tom Thumb Unsolved Chess Mysteries 16
Trompowsky Opening (origins) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 7
Tuffli v Rimathé Unsolved Chess Mysteries 14
Unusual chess vocabulary Chess Explorations 12
Verho v Krogius Unsolved Chess Mysteries 19
Wallace murder case Unsolved Chess Mysteries 24
Whose game? (from B.H. Wood column) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 21
Worst chess books Chess Explorations 4
Yates, Frederick Dewhurst (circumstances of death) Chess Explorations 1
Young, Edward Unsolved Chess Mysteries 20
Young, Franklin Knowles (unintelligible books) Chess Explorations 34
Znosko-Borovsky, Eugene (literary work) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 25
Zukertort, Johannes Hermann (quiet move) Unsolved Chess Mysteries 10

There have also been two ChessBase articles hors série:

Winter on Zugzwang
The Guinness World Records Slump


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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, about 7,430 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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