Questions tagged [history]

Use this tag for questions relating to the history of chess and chess organizations, whose origins trace to the ancient Indian game of Chaturanga.

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12
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1answer
878 views

What is the origin, or a early appearance, of this famous chess tale?

There is a story I have found across the Internet of an endgame between two players, usually named as Capablanca versus an extraterrestrial of some sort. According to the Spanish chess Wikipedia, the ...
5
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1answer
264 views

How many Grandmasters have been stripped of their titles?

How many Grandmasters have been stripped of there titles? I heard about that GM in the bathroom. Thanks!
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0answers
60 views

Bela Berger and Blindfold Chess: What do players “see” on the board?

I was looking at the interesting career of Bela Berger. On this oral history site, Bela Berger talks in an interview. Here is a quote from the site: "Berger, international chess master, speaks ...
3
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1answer
150 views

What is the “Gufeld Bishop”?

I have another question I am going to ask and answer. The other day, I was watching a chess24 video, and GM Jan Gustafsson mentioned the “Gufeld Bishop”. What is the “Gufeld Bishop”?
7
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1answer
99 views

“Back story” of the pieces legal moves

An acquaintance whose family was from Turkey, told me that the pieces move the way do based on ideas about Persian warfare. Moving in a rank or file was considered earthly, and moving diagonal was ...
3
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4answers
253 views

Why is it called a draw?

There's no information as to why it's called a draw. Some of my students start to take out a pencil and paper and literally draw in the middle of the game. Why is it called a draw?
3
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1answer
58 views

Did any other language than English ever use Descriptive notation? Which languages have always used Algebraic?

Descriptive notation seems to be limited to certain languages like English, and I found a Wikipedia article that mentions Spanish and French. I have never seen a Russian book that uses Descriptive, ...
7
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1answer
222 views

Franci de Castellvi - Narcis Vinyoles 18. … Qg6??, a blunder by black?

[Site "Valencia"] [Date "1475"] [White "Franci de Castellvi"] [Black "Narcis Vinyoles"] [Result "1-0"] [startply "36"] [FEN ""] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. h3 ...
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0answers
39 views

Where to find cross table for 1956 Thanksgiving weekend Eastern Open?

Berliner won this tournament. Chess life/review reported it. Newspapers reported it. The Eastern Open in 1956 was Thanksgiving weekend in the YMCA in DC. Berliner won it. Rossolimo, Lombardy, ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What happened to the WCC?

Just found this rating list below while looking for other items. I vaguely remember hearing about WCC. What happened to them? All I find now for WCC is 'world chess championship'. Apparently they ...
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2answers
230 views

Fixed games in chess-is it real or just a conspiracy theory? If real, how bad is it?

One famous case of fixed chess games is the Keres vs. Botvinnik World Championship 1948. I ran across this example while looking for other such chess games from history. It is known that Stalin was ...
11
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1answer
3k views

Who did Kasparov call a talented amateur?

I heard that Kasparov called some strong player a talented amateur? Who was that? Thanks.
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2answers
5k views

Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a Grandmaster?

He won the Russian championship 5 times, so why wasn’t he a GM?
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2answers
62 views

Old versions of FIDE laws of chess? [duplicate]

Is it possible to view or obtain old versions of the FIDE Laws of Chess? I would like to trace the history of when various rules were added or modified. The FIDE handbook only goes back as far as ...
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8answers
3k views

How can someone find their Morphy number?

The Morphy number is a measure of how closely a chess player is connected to Paul Morphy (1837–1884) by way of playing chess games. It's analogous to the Erdős Number for mathematicians. People who ...
4
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1answer
185 views

How bad a chess player was Alan Turing?

It is interesting that while Turing is considered a creative genius at a level I am not sure how to characterize but he was certainly very important and successful in the code-breaking efforts during ...
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3answers
1k views

Why are there no more adjournments?

I keep reading about adjournments in books, but why don't we use them anymore? They seem like cool analysis sessions.
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5answers
5k views

Why have engines not increased top rated chess players' Elo?

The arrival of strong chess engines as Stockfish, Houdini or Rybka allow top players to deeply prepare lines in openings or to study better endgames. I would expect a rating increase of top players. ...
10
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2answers
155 views

Nationality of the Azerbaijan Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov

I hope this kind of question is allowed. In any case, I want to clarify that there is no intention for racism or political arguments, etc. It is just a sincere wonder from the anthropological point of ...
13
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3answers
7k views

Was playing with both hands ever allowed in chess?

I was watching this video on Youtube of an Armageddon game between Vladimir Kramnik and Garry Kasparov which happened in 1995. It can be seen that Kasparov is using both of his hands for some moves. (...
9
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1answer
303 views

Puzzling phrases

While reading about Paul Morphy's games I have come across several instances of phrases like "playing his fellow townsmen at odds of Knight or Rook" or "he extended his offer of Pawn and move to any ...
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2answers
211 views

List of famous, but incorrect, chess problems

Surely it has happened, that a famous chess problem turned out to be incorrect because some move was overlooked. Maybe a chess engine found out that a classic problem was bad! Is there a collection of ...
3
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3answers
195 views

What is it about Soviet born players that makes them winners in the brutal 128-player knockout format of the World Cup?

Teimour Radjabov has just won the World Cup. The first two FIDE World Cups, in 2000 and 2002 had 4 groups of 6 players with the 2 group winners going into an 8-player knockout. They were both won by ...
2
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3answers
79 views

How has the frequency of FIDE rating lists changed over the years?

Today FIDE publishes a new rating list once a month. When FIDE first started publishing official lists in 1971 they came out once a year. How has the frequency changed over the years? When did the ...
4
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2answers
91 views

What are the records for highest 1 year span performance rating?

I've heard that Bobby Fischer had a 2892 performance in 1971. If this is true, it's probably the highest performance, but I don't know if this is true. Does anyone have any information about this?
4
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2answers
222 views

Does anyone have a version of the 50x50 article by Nikita Plaksin?

In 1979, Nikita M. Plaksin published a reportedly fascinating article containing 50 problems all related to the 50 moves rule. Unfortunately I can't find it anywhere, the only links that I could find ...
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2answers
158 views

Cases of grandmasters renouncing titles, tournament victories, etc?

Apart from Bobby Fischer "renouncing", in a sense, the World Championship title in 1975, are there any other famous cases from chess history of strong players voluntarily renouncing titles, tournament ...
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3answers
8k views

What does the following chess proverb mean: “Chess is a sea where a gnat may drink from and an elephant may bathe in.”

"Chess is a sea where a gnat may drink from and an elephant may bathe in." ~ Anonymous The above proverb is scattered everywhere throughout chess literature, folklore and even software. I have never ...
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5answers
9k views

Why do players in the past play much longer tournaments than today's top players?

Looking through the history of chess we find tournaments that are significantly longer than today's, e.g. London 1899 - 15 players, double round robin New York 1924 - 11 players, double round robin ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the origin/history of the traditional piece values?

Almost everyone knows the standard rules of thumb: a minor piece is worth three pawns, a rook is worth five pawns, and a queen is worth nine. (I’m aware that this is debated; in particular many ...
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2answers
185 views

Looking for an old problem that I can't quite remember

I remember seeing a chess problem once that I cannot find. I think that I saw it in a YouTube video, but I seem to find it again. The theme of the puzzle, I think, was something like caging in the ...
6
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1answer
310 views

Are there any known examples of spurious strong chess openings, which have been determined to be dubious with the introduction of the first engines?

I'm curious about the history of chess openings. Nowadays there is a lot of theory about what opening moves are considered mainstream and (near) optimal, such that either side can keep up with their ...
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1answer
262 views

Historical origin of the queen as a chess piece

As far as I know, chess was introduced at Europe from Arabia by a Spanish king: Alfonso X. I recently read an article in Spanish press saying the queen was also introduced as a piece in Spain. The ...
2
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1answer
197 views

Are today's top correspondence chess players stronger than those from 5 years ago?

On the one hand today's chess engines will stomp those from five years ago no problem, not to mention hardware improves; on the other hand, correspondence chess players emphasize that one can't just ...
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1answer
174 views

How come Paul Morphy has lots of weird and wonderful games? [closed]

Paul Morphy, from what I’ve seem, seems to have been a master of making weird and wonderful games, such as his famous kingside castling checkmate game. Are there any particular reasons for this?
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2answers
218 views

What should be defined as an en passant checkmate?

Is there a general consensus amongst top chess players, composers, analyzists, and organizations, such as FIDE, for what exactly defines an en passant checkmate? Is there any history for it? As far ...
35
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2answers
11k views

Why is there a 50-move rule and a 75-move rule?

By number theory, if the 75-move rule has been reached, the 50-move rule will also be reached. This has no meaning. It is like saying "I would buy this book if it cost under $60 and it costs under $40"...
4
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1answer
149 views

Professional Databases and Historical Games

I have tried to look for historical chess games (i.e. 19th century to early 20th century). I usually use Chessbase online database and chessgames.com. I have never paid for a database or database ...
2
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1answer
173 views

Is there any documented game by Benjamin Blumenfeld where he played Blumenfeld Gambit?

Is there any documented game by Benjamin Blumenfeld where he played Blumenfeld Gambit?
7
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1answer
202 views

Who was the last Indian player to beat Vishy, and when?

The question came to mind following today's game between Vishy (Viswanathan Anand) and the young Raunak Sadhwani at the Isle of Man 2018 Tournament. Has Vishy been beaten by an Indian player since, ...
11
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2answers
638 views

Benko's three-mover that stumped Fischer

In Christian Hesse's book The Joy of Chess one reads about a mate-in-3 problem composed by Pál Benkö that stumped Bobby Fischer. Hesse gives the following diagram: [FEN "8/8/8/4k3/8/8/8/2BQKB2 w - - ...
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3answers
634 views

Why is the FIDE name in French?

I noticed that FIDE stands for " Fédération Internationale des Échecs". Shouldn't it be in English as 'World Chess Federation'? I noticed, though unrelated, that it is the same for SI Units (System ...
6
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1answer
465 views

How did Taimanov lose this game to Karpov?

I can't understand how Taimanov (playing White) resigned in the following position against Karpov from the Moscow team leagues in 1973: After 40.Rc2 or 40.d5 the position seems to be equal. I know ...
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3answers
1k views

Unknown old FIDE players

I am interested in the History of chess and looking at old FIDE ranking lists I am a bit puzzled by the lack of information about some very good players. For instance, in the list of July 1972: ...
7
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2answers
790 views

Why the Founder of Chess been killed?

I heard from many where that a man who introduced the game Chess was hanged or killed by the King of that time, What was the actual story? What was the reason?
10
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1answer
961 views

Why do grandmasters wear suits at tournaments?

Whenever I see photos of professional chess games, the players are always dressed impeccably and it's uncommon to see someone even missing a jacket. Maybe this is a dumb question, but I don't ...
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2answers
111 views

Way to Logically Predict Approximate Chess Rating in Pop-Culture Games [closed]

After seeing a video of an analysis on the chess game in A Game of Shadows between Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, it made me wonder what their fictional ratings would be around. Other games like the ...
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2answers
9k views

When (if ever) was it a rule that pawn promotion was optional?

I'm reading a very old chess book ("The Chess Pocket Manual" by G.H.D. Gossip, copyright 1894), and I find this passage in it's section on "The Laws of Chess": When a Pawn has reached the eighth ...
3
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2answers
202 views

Online or Print Sources for Historical Games

What are the best online or print sources for historical games? I am generally looking for pre-1930s games NOT by world champions, and, in particular, looking for games by some of the prominent women ...
1
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1answer
316 views

Why is en passant possibility recorded in FEN regardless of whether there is a pawn ready to make the capture?

If a pawn has just moved two squares ahead, one records the square right behind it in the part of FEN for recording en passant possibility, regardless of whether there is a pawn of the opposite color ...