Lilienthal and the world champions

12/27/2006 – He is too young to have met Steinitz, but at 95 Andor Lilienthal has met every world champion since than, and chalked up wins against a number of them. In his Playchess lecture, which will take place on Thursdays in the future, Dennis Monokroussos takes a look at three key games of the nonagenarian's illustrious career.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

When David Bronstein died a few weeks ago, we lost a beloved figure and one of our links to the game’s past. But Bronstein was just a baby compared to the star of this week’s show, the 95-year-old Hungarian grandmaster Andor Lilienthal. Since Lilienthal was born in 1911, he’s too young to have met Steinitz, but he has met every world champion since then, from Lasker through Kramnik. He has played many of them, too, and has to his credit wins over Lasker, Capablanca, Euwe, Botvinnik and Smyslov. He won a Soviet Championship, made it to a Candidates tournament, was for a while one of Tigran Petrosian’s assistants and continues to follow and analyze chess today!


Andor Lilienthal with wife Olga at his 94th birthday lunch

We’ll try to take a look at three of the key games of his career. The first and obvious choice is his brilliant upset of Jose Capablanca from the 1934/5 Hastings tournament. Yet this was not even Lilienthal’s own favorite game, and we’ll also take a look at that effort and one other – but you won’t get to find out about these other games until you join me this Thursday (not Monday!) night at the usual time. Same show, new day – hope to see you then!

See also: He beat Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine – and old age

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.



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