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Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:50 pm
by Hans Renette
Which world class player, whose career lasted several decades, only played for the first time in England in his penultimate international tournament?

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:22 pm
by MJMcCready
King Cnut? @ Milton Keynes Open 997AD?

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:25 pm
by James Pratt
Mieses?

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:05 am
by Matt Mackenzie
Didn't he play at Hastings in 1895?

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:28 am
by John Moore
How about Gedeon Barcza whose first appearance in England looks like Hastings 72/73. Unfortunately, he appears to have played in two or three subsequent events, albeit they were fairly minor.

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:12 pm
by Gerard Killoran
Hans Renette wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:50 pm
Which world class player, whose career lasted several decades, only played for the first time in England in his penultimate international tournament?
Rudolf Spielmann at Margate,1938.

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:52 pm
by MJMcCready
Which world class player, whose career spanned more than half a century, played a number of unconventional openings in his final tournament, including 1. g4 x2, 1. b4 x2 and 1. ...a5?

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:10 pm
by Matt Mackenzie
That one at least is easy - Bent Larsen. He also scored "nul points" :oops:

Were the weird openings some sort of protest, possibly?

(IIRC the same has been claimed about the similarly elderly Samisch losing all the games of one tournament on time)

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:57 pm
by Hans Renette
Gerard Killoran wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:12 pm
Hans Renette wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:50 pm
Which world class player, whose career lasted several decades, only played for the first time in England in his penultimate international tournament?
Rudolf Spielmann at Margate,1938.
Yes, Spielmann it is!

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:58 pm
by MJMcCready
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:10 pm
That one at least is easy - Bent Larsen. He also scored "nul points" :oops:

Were the weird openings some sort of protest, possibly?

(IIRC the same has been claimed about the similarly elderly Samisch losing all the games of one tournament on time)
Correct indeed. I don't know about his choice of openings but I believe his health was not great by then, perhaps he felt liberated in some sense of the word. One of the very few things I like about 'My Great Predecessors' that which Kasparov put his name to, is the reverence shown towards Larsen. A great, great player but certainly not the easiest to understand.

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:15 am
by Kevin Thurlow
"One of the very few things I like about 'My Great Predecessors' that which Kasparov put his name to, is the reverence shown towards Larsen. A great, great player but certainly not the easiest to understand."

My father played 1.f4 with some success, but then Larsen started playing it and soon everyone knew what to do as they saw the published games. (This is of course pre-Chessbase, now you see all games, not just a few that magazines print.) So my father abandoned 1.f4 in favour of a Nf3 and b3 system. Larsen of course then started playing b3. I mentioned this to Larsen at Hastings and he roared with laughter, congratulated my father on his opening ideas, apologised, and wished him well, which was nice of him.

I think Larsen thought chess should be fun. He wasn't a fan of 30 moves of opening theory. As Bill Hartston said, you don't win games by actually doing anything, you just wait for a mistake. It's a measure of Larsen's talent that he was as successful as he was, considering his entertaining style.

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:58 pm
by MJMcCready
He beat both Spassky and Petrosian with 1.f4. I don't think anyone else has beaten two world champions with that opening move.

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:45 am
by John Townsend
Which famous chess player was called to the Bar on 7 June 1852?

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:08 pm
by David Sedgwick
John Townsend wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:45 am
Which famous chess player was called to the Bar on 7 June 1852?
With the aid of Google, I have identified Horace Lloyd, who became the father-in-law of Oscar Wilde.

I have to confess that I had not previously heard of him.

Re: Chess history trivia

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:00 pm
by John Townsend
We have rather a spectacular coincidence - believe it or not, two famous chess players called to the Bar on 7 June 1852!

Congratulations to David for Horace Lloyd!

That wasn't the answer I intended! The solution outstanding is, I believe, the more famous of the two, and I will wait for someone to post it!