Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

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Tryfon Gavriel
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Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Tryfon Gavriel » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:22 pm

Hi all

An interesting documentary here by JessicaFischerQueen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTOlSZ9Yqew

I am personally a little bit curious if Capablanca and Alekhine tried harder than usual to beat her because maybe in those times Women players were not considered as strong as Male players. And if this is the case, is it possible that both Capablanca and Alekhine tried really hard on every single occasion to beat her?!


If this is the case, then it occurs to me that the sort of games that result may be risk-taking - a bit like when Kasparov really tried to bash Nigel Short every time he played him to show Soviet dominance.

Here are her games vs Capablanca (she lost 9-0)

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ezsearch ... vs+menchik

Her games vs Alekhine - she lost 7-0

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ezsearch ... vs+menchik

What do you think?!

BTW She had a good score vs Sir George Alan Thomas:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ezsearch ... +vs+Thomas

A plus score vs Euwe:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ezsearch ... ik+vs+Euwe

Cheers, Tryfon
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:30 pm

Can't answer your question, but I did notice that in the last round of Moscow 1935, she opened 1.e3 followed by 2.b3:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1258448

I guess when you are on 1.5/18 you look for other moves?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:43 pm

Tryfon Gavriel wrote: A plus score vs Euwe:
Wasn't Euwe trying a bit to hard in his losses? It's all very well playing .. c5 to free your game, but not when it allows Bb5+ forcing Ke7. In the long Bishop v Bishop ending, surely White should be able to steer to a draw if that's the ambition?

John McKenna
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by John McKenna » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:48 pm

"...a bit like when Kasparov really tried to bash Nigel Short every time he played him to show Soviet dominance."

It seemed to me that Kasparov was always trying to bash Short flat in order to show his own dominance rather than any Soviet one.

As for Vera - she divided the opposition into gentlemen and players by her very presence. A trait that may persist in tournaments today when any but the strongest female players take part.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John Moore
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by John Moore » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:11 pm

There is a long thread somewhere on this site about the ability of Vera Menchik which I started which Tryfon might find interesting. I rather changed my view in the course of the exchanges.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:32 pm

John Moore wrote:There is a long thread somewhere on this site about the ability of Vera Menchik which I started which Tryfon might find interesting.
http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... it=menchik

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by O.G. Urcan » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:19 pm

In the Vera Menchik video I lost count of the number of pictures lifted from Edward Winter's "Chess Notes" site without a word of acknowledgement.

At http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/copying.html Mr Winter wrote:

"Nor does Chess Notes exist to offer a free scanning service for photographs (some of which we have acquired at considerable expense) to individuals who lack the relevant archive resources of their own."

John McKenna
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by John McKenna » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:28 pm

Chris Kreuzer>... I did notice that in the last round of Moscow 1935, she (Vera Menchik) opened 1.e3 followed by 2.b3... I guess when you are on 1.5/18 you look for other moves?<

And, I noticed the contemporary 'other' side of that in round 8 of the Tata Steel Challengers at Wijk when, a couple of days ago, Jobava played 1.b3... 3.e3... and won quickly against young Yu, Yangyi. I guess when you are on 5.5/7 you also look for 'other' moves.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Tryfon Gavriel
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Tryfon Gavriel » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:29 pm

O.G. Urcan wrote:In the Vera Menchik video I lost count of the number of pictures lifted from Edward Winter's "Chess Notes" site without a word of acknowledgement.

At http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/copying.html Mr Winter wrote:

"Nor does Chess Notes exist to offer a free scanning service for photographs (some of which we have acquired at considerable expense) to individuals who lack the relevant archive resources of their own."
Urcan I checked your blog (http://sgchess.net/columnist/) and appreciate you seem to be a great OTB and rapid chess player as well as great chess historian. I am very fond of rapid chess myself too.

I am just wondering if you did not enjoy the video overall?! Jessica has done many such historical docmentary videos which maybe a lot of people would enjoy. ( see here : http://www.youtube.com/user/jessicafischerqueen/videos ). She does not try and make money from them on Youtube - no ads are served on them. Also I happen to know she often takes weeks and months to do each one.

Is it possible she just makes use of Google image search e.g.

https://www.google.com/search?q=vera+me ... 40&bih=775

Apologies if you found the video more upsetting than enjoyable.

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Tryfon
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Geoff Chandler
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:50 am

..."is it possible that both Capablanca and Alekhine tried really hard on every single occasion to beat her?!"

Alekhine and Capa played their utmost to beat everyone.
Once a tournament was won the last rounder may have been given a gratuitous draw.

Vera was a good player but not in the same class as these two, the huge plus scores shows that.
I don't think there is anything sinister going on like players wanting to beat her because she was a
woman or seeing her as easy prey.
The full point was more important to these two than who they were playing.

------------------------------------------------

Some people think if a picture is on the net then it is in the public domain.
(at one time I did - I was soon corrected.)

It is very easy to google images then copy and paste.
The warning you are given is: "Images may be subject to copyright."
Most punters are not going to check if they are.
(too lazy or the thinking runs. "I am not going to use it to make money, so it should be OK.)

Of course acknowlegement should be given if it is not obvious where the picture came from
and if being used in a publication then permission should be sought.

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:24 pm

Here's a case of someone trying very hard, but failing. Has this game been republished since?

[Event BCF Congress (Major Open)"]
[Site ""Great Yarmouth "]
[Date "1935.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Menchik, Vera"]
[Black "Butcher, A. J."]
[Result "1-0"]
[PlyCount "95"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. Nc3 Nbd7 7. O-O e5 8. h3 h6 9. e4 Re8 10. d5 a5 11. Be3 b6 12. Ne1 Nh5 13. Nd3 Nc5 14. Kh2 Nxd3 15. Qxd3 f5 16. Bd2 f4 17. b3 Rf8 18. Ne2 g5 19. g4 Nf6 20. f3 h5 21. a3 Kf7 22. Kg1 Rh8 23. b4 hxg4 24. hxg4 Rh4 25. bxa5 bxa5 26. Nc3 Qh8 27. Rfb1 Bxg4 28. fxg4 Nxg4 29. Qe2 Qh5 30. Be1 Rh2 31. Nd1 Rh8 32. Qf3 Bf6 33. Bf2 Bd8 34. Ra2 Rg8 35. Bg3 Rh3 36. Bxh3 Qxh3 37. Rb3 Nf6 38. Nf2 Qh7 39. Ng4 fxg3 40. Nxf6 Bxf6 41. Rb7 Rc8 42. Rg2 Qg6 43. Rxg3 Kg7 44. Qg4 Qe8 45. Rh3 Rb8 46. Rxb8 Qxb8 47. Qd7+ Kf8 48. Rf3 1-0

{Source: Glasgow Herald - Jul 15, 1935}


Paul McKeown
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:54 pm

Gerard, you need to correct move 46 in the PGN. Great find - at first sight looks a wonderful defensive game from Menchik.

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Gerard Killoran » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:45 pm

46. Rc7 would have been a quicker win, but who knows the state of the clocks? Swapping rooks simplified the position and also won easily.

Menchik's opponent was A. J. 'Alf' Butcher of Wolverhampton who would go on to beat the young Tony Miles more than thirty years later.

http://www.wolverhamptonchessclub.org.u ... story.html


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Gerard Killoran
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu May 01, 2014 10:34 pm

Another accidental discovery, perhaps the earliest published Menchik game.


Jessica Fischer
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Re: Did everyone try really hard to beat Vera Menchik ?!

Post by Jessica Fischer » Mon May 05, 2014 5:13 am

Good morning.


Mr. Urcan, I do appreciate your reminder that Mr. Winter does not wish images posted on his website to be copied and posted in other places on the internet without his permission.

I apologize for this happening with the youtube Slide Show I made about Vera Menchik.

As Mr. Gavriel notes, I did indeed find all of those images on a Google Search, but I realize this is not an adequate excuse. I made that video four years ago and I was not as "in the know" on such issues as I am now.

In lieu of just deleting the video, I'm going to add this to the introduction:

"Many of the images that appear in this video first appeared on Edward Winter's "Chess Notes," and I have included them in this video without first asking his permission. Mr. Winter has collected, scanned and posted many chess images on his website, often at considerable expense to himself, so he should at the least be properly accredited as the ultimate source for some of the images that appear in this or any other video. At the time I made the video I was not aware of this, as I found all of the images via a "Google image search. I do regard the use of any images, music or film in this video to fall under the fair use for education purposes under current US, Canadian, and EU copyright law."

The edited introduction can be seen now in the "description section: of the Vera Menchik video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTOlSZ9Yqew

I would like to add a few further notes on this topic. First, none of my youtube chess history videos is monetized. Second, in actual fact, according to current US, Canadian, and EU copyright law, the use of not only internet images, but also music and video, may be considered available for use in educational projects under the "fair use clause."

In addition, I might point out that Mr. Winter himself posted on his website a link to another video I made about Alexander Alekhine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMRg3I--SfA The images, film and music I used for this video were also found via Google Searches, and in my opinion, they fall under the "fair use clause" for use in educational material. Mr. Winter did not ask my permission to post a link to my Alekhine video, although I was pleased that he did post the link. I do understand that Mr. Winter did not embed my Alekhine video on his website, and I also understand that I have my current youtube settings configured to "allow embedding." I do not think Mr. Winter did wrong to post that link.

All that said, there is no excuse for not at least crediting Mr. Winter for supplying some of the original scans for some of the images I did (unwittingly, at the time) use in the Menchik video, now that I know that is the case. I have no reason to doubt either you or Mr. Winter on this.

Many of the images I use in my videos, however, are my own scans of material from old Russian chess books, and such. The current video I'm working on is a documentary of the Bled/Zagreb/Belgrade 1959 candidates match. Most of the images I'm using in this production were scanned by myself from a Russian tournament book. I believe you may be aware that the copyright on any images from Soviet material became invalid on the demise of the Soviet Union? Under that regime, the state, not the photographer, held copyright on such images. The state, and attendant original copyright on all images, became defunct in 1989.

At any rate, I do understand we have differing points of view on this topic.

In future chess history work I will be more careful in using images from a google search, to make sure I know the website the images originally came from, particularly if that site is Mr. Winter's "Chess Notes." I do not think it is a copyright violation to use images from Mr. Winter's site, without permission, for fair use in an educational project. I do, however, agree that it is rude not to accredit him when I know his site was where the original image appeared on the internet, so far as that can be determined.

Sincerely,
Jessica Fischer

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