Media comments on chess

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Leonard Barden
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Leonard Barden » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:44 am

Alatortsev was very probably the Soviet federation man designated to be the head of delegation, help with opening preparation, deal with any administrative problems and also see that the competing players didn't misbehave or defect. It is questionable whether Alatortsev was entirely successful with the latter, in view of Tolush's seemingly hungover performance in his final ninth round game against Alexander.

The minder/analyst/head of delegation in 1954-55 for Smyslov and Keres was Ragozin, who had his hands full when the Daily Express ran a big story with a photo claiming a romance between Smyslov and Helen Keable, sister of John Keable, the BCF organiser of post-Hastings Soviet simuls.

There were probably no accompanying people in most later years (my impression from 1957-58 when I played in the Premier is that Keres came alone, and the same goes for Averbakh in 1960-61 and Botvinnik/Flohr in 1961-62) but there was definitely one in 1965-66. Spassky had had a travel ban a few years before when he was blamed for the USSR defeat in the 1960 students Olympiad in Leningrad.

I wanted to do an interview with Spassky, so approached him at the hotel breakfast, where he introduced me to the other man sitting at the table, who didn't seem to speak English and who Boris told me was a security official. Despite this, I had no problem fixing the interview and Boris kindly spoke for two evenings into my tape-recorder. We agreed that it should not be published until he became world champion which was more than three years later. It appeared in Chess Life and later as part of Bernard Cafferty's book on Spassky.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:11 pm

Would it be posssible to copy the previous 6 posts (from here) onwards) into the Chess History section under a suitable title. It is very hard to find them again otherwise, and there is some fascinating history there.

Quick question: which magazines are those scans from?

While looking some more into the Keable chess playing history, I came across this blog from four years ago that is on a similar topic:

https://otiosechessnotes.blogspot.com/2 ... ayers.html

Richard James
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Richard James » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:14 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:11 pm
Would it be posssible to copy the previous 6 posts (from here) onwards) into the Chess History section under a suitable title. It is very hard to find them again otherwise, and there is some fascinating history there.

Quick question: which magazines are those scans from?

While looking some more into the Keable chess playing history, I came across this blog from four years ago that is on a similar topic:

https://otiosechessnotes.blogspot.com/2 ... ayers.html
Hi Chris

My scans were from CHESS, as requested by John Saunders.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:33 pm

The post have not been moved yet.

Here is the Tolush - John Crittenden Thompson (1889-1971) game.

(the score is correct. Thompson dabbled with the Hippo )


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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:38 pm

Richard James wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:14 pm
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:11 pm
Would it be posssible to copy the previous 6 posts (from here) onwards) into the Chess History section under a suitable title. It is very hard to find them again otherwise, and there is some fascinating history there.

Quick question: which magazines are those scans from?

While looking some more into the Keable chess playing history, I came across this blog from four years ago that is on a similar topic:

https://otiosechessnotes.blogspot.com/2 ... ayers.html
Hi Chris

My scans were from CHESS, as requested by John Saunders.
Thanks, Richard. I thought they might be, but wasn't sure. I am sure some here can distinguish between BCM and CHESS layouts and identify different publishing and typography styles (bit if a niche topic, though a discussion on that might interest some - cover designs can be very distinctive and stick in the memory). :D

Richard James
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Richard James » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:45 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:38 pm
Richard James wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:14 pm
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:11 pm
Would it be posssible to copy the previous 6 posts (from here) onwards) into the Chess History section under a suitable title. It is very hard to find them again otherwise, and there is some fascinating history there.

Quick question: which magazines are those scans from?

While looking some more into the Keable chess playing history, I came across this blog from four years ago that is on a similar topic:

https://otiosechessnotes.blogspot.com/2 ... ayers.html
Hi Chris

My scans were from CHESS, as requested by John Saunders.
Thanks, Richard. I thought they might be, but wasn't sure. I am sure some here can distinguish between BCM and CHESS layouts and identify different publishing and typography styles (bit if a niche topic, though a discussion on that might interest some - cover designs can be very distinctive and stick in the memory). :D
The CHESS typography at that time was very distinctive.

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John Saunders
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by John Saunders » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:56 pm

Many thanks to Richard for posting those scans/photos which were very useful (I have a long run of BCMs but my CHESS magazine collection has significant gaps - I had a feeling that Richard's splendid Chess Pavilion would provide the answer). I also support Chris's suggestion of moving some of these posts to the History section.
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:04 pm

"There were probably no accompanying people in most later years (my impression from 1957-58 when I played in the Premier is that Keres came alone, and the same goes for Averbakh in 1960-61 and Botvinnik/Flohr in 1961-62) but there was definitely one in 1965-66. "

I got the impression later that there was frequently a "senior" (and therefore trusted) USSR player, and a younger one, who didn't stray far from his colleague. I may be imagining that of course. I think in the early 70s Korchnoi and Karpov were the two USSR players and partnered each other at Bridge. When Kasparov played in the Candidates matches in early 80s in London, I interviewed him briefly, and was slightly surprised to see a youngish woman acting as his interpreter. He obviously understood what I said and was eagerly answering in Russian almost before she translated. Presumably her task was to correct any "wrong" answers.

JC Thompson worked for the Government Chemist for many years, latterly as head of the Calibration Section. When I had that role, I had no idea he was a predecessor! I think he died just before I joined, so I never met him unfortunately.

Paul Cooksey
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Paul Cooksey » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 am

I don't remember someone using zugzwang in a football report before: https://www.football365.com/news/manche ... onclusions

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:59 am

The writer doesn't really seem to know what "zugzwang" means though.

Nor does Google Translate, which renders Bayern nach Dortmund-Erfolg gegen VfB unter Zugzwang as "Bayern to Dortmund success against VfB under pressure".

Nor does this report, which apart from "the Blues could not cope with Liverpool’s Nimzowitch and zugzwang tactics" says things like "Liverpool’s old style play of Steinitz was still there" and "each goal represented a press of the chess timer and by half time, Liverpool had already won two pieces". (It reads, anyway, like a substandard translation, or a piece by somebody who is not a native English speaker and isn't quite good enough to do the job being asked oof them.)
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Paul Habershon
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Paul Habershon » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:48 pm

'Times' birthday list today: John Nunn, chess player, 64.
Shares exact birth date with tennis player, Buster Mottram, who has a bridge grading.
The best I can do for a co-birther is Hayley Mills.

David Robertson
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by David Robertson » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:44 pm

The Times today carries an interview with Dean Smith, manager of Aston Villa FC. This factoid pops up:
Management always appealed, having long been into strategy. “I was an avid chess player, played for the school chess team, we became West Midlands school champions. Write the move down, put on the timer.” Smith rattles off his chess inspirations. “Garry Kasparov. (Anatoly) Karpov. Bobby Fischer. Boris Spassky.”
[full disclosure: I'm a Villa supporter. UTV :) ]

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:49 pm

You know Chris Nicholl played?

(And also see picture 81)
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Ian Thompson
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Ian Thompson » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:40 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:49 pm
(And also see picture 81)
No prizes, though, for spotting what's wrong with the board.

David Robertson
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by David Robertson » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:28 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:40 pm
No prizes, though, for spotting what's wrong with the board
I am utterly unsurprised by this. Jozef Venglos never knew how to set up Villa either. He took up post in 1990, bringing new-fangled ideas from Europe on playing style, fitness and nutrition. The latter went down especially badly with the squad. Out went pie & chips; in came steamed fish and veg. Villa's form plummeted. Then he banned alcohol. Disaster! Players were used to going out at weekends, and pouring twenty pints down their neck before sweating it off in training. The final straw came when, applying his PhD in Sports Science, Venglos tried to introduce the players to passing. Tony Cascarino led a players' revolt. How were they supposed to score goals if Tony didn't get the ball lumped onto his head? And so it ended - a Czech with no mates.

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