Chess history trivia

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:09 am

quote="John Garnett" post_id=250562 time=1598119569 user_id=8683]
Muzychuk would score 222, but I think this is probably beatable if there is a player with Q or Z as the 5th letter
[/quote]

I make that 204.

Paul Habershon
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Paul Habershon » Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:48 am

Reverting to 7-letter opening moves at Scrabble, MUZJIKS with the S on the centre square is the highest possible score at 128. A nice echo of Muzychuk. Muzjiks or muzhiks were Russian peasants, particularly under the Czar. Luckily you don't have to know meanings in Scrabble. Some of the top players don't have English as a first language - just an amazing memory for what's allowed. The current Scrabble controversy is whether racial or other slurs should be banned. The Americans, who use a different dictionary, have already removed 238 such words. The Association of British Scrabble Players has conducted a survey from which the overwhelming view is 'no change'. Whether Collins dictionary (basis for our Scrabble Words list) or Mattel (makers of the game) apply more pressure remains to be seen.

John Garnett
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Garnett » Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:36 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:09 am
quote="John Garnett" post_id=250562 time=1598119569 user_id=8683]
Muzychuk would score 222, but I think this is probably beatable if there is a player with Q or Z as the 5th letter
I make that 204.
[/quote]

Sorry, my mistake. 204 is correct.

DavidWalker
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by DavidWalker » Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:41 am

There is WFM Viktoria ZAJTZEVA scoring 276 if both Zs are scored.

Among untitled FIDE rated players, there is the almost palindromic Vladimir VOZHZHOV scoring 288.

Paul Habershon
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Paul Habershon » Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:43 pm

Unfortunately only one Z in Scrabble. The blank tiles score zero.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:21 pm

Have you tried extending this game to Scrabble scores in the language of the players concerned
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:54 am

I'd like to but am torn between deciding whether that's audacious or over-playing it. Plus there's the added bonus of the correlation between someone playing scrabble in a foreign language and then becoming suicidal after concluding what words they created added up only to a measly existence. You won't see it on Skynews but playing scrabble in a foreign language is more of a killer than Covid-19, thankfully it's far less contagious.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:50 am

Ok, I have thought of another question. Murray Chandler has a 100% record against former world champion Garry Kasparov, beating him both times they played although only one of them occurred whilst he was the world champion. So who has the best 100% record against a reigning world champion? The games should preferably be played against the world champion during his reign otherwise it gets contorted into who has the best record for against a previous world champion, in which I suspect Tal would be on the receiving end of that. So who has the best 100% record against a reigning world champion?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:56 pm

To be clear, his win against Gazza when the latter was WC came in a simul game. Still impressive enough, of course.

The first causes me fondness because it was an impressive display in the 2c3 Sicilian, one of the most libelled openings in history ;)
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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:13 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:56 pm
To be clear, his win against Gazza when the latter was WC came in a simul game. Still impressive enough, of course.

The first causes me fondness because it was an impressive display in the 2c3 Sicilian, one of the most libelled openings in history ;)
Ah, I like the simul game, because putting your king on f3 in the opening against the reigning world champion is to me a very subtle riposte. I believe after the game Chandler said he didn't want to become the first grandmaster to lose in a simul. That was a brave Kf3 he played.

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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Tim Harding » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:30 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:50 am
So who has the best 100% record against a reigning world champion?
It is not easy to think of anyone who has a 100 per cent record in more than one game against a particular world champion while they were actually champion.

Several players have won their only game against a reigning world champion, going back to Charousek v Lasker in 1896.

Chandler (v Kasparov) has been mentioned, and of course Penrose (Leipzig olympiad 1960) was the first player to beat Tal when the latter was world champion, and as far as I'm aware that was their only game.

Anyone who played several games against a particular reigning champion is unlikely to have won them all, but maybe somebody got two wins.

Maybe if you include "dodgy" champions like Ponomariov you can find somebody.
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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:56 am

Yes, I'd be surprised if it was above two or three. Perhaps those most likely to hold such a distinction are either former or future world champions themselves. And yes post-Ponomariov it does seem to stand as something to be less proud of or admired for. I suspect Euwe is most likely to have lost the opportunity to gain revenge on being beaten but only because of the brevity of his stay as world champion.

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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by John Moore » Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:36 am

Is this another of your questions where you don't actually have an answer. If so, it does all seem rather pointless.

Here's a couple of examples that don't meet your criteria but are nonetheless of interest. Geller was one player who had a fine record against World champions. He played Botvinnik 4 times whilst Botvinnik was World Champion and won 3 and lost 1. In four later games, he added a further win and three draws. Another oddity is Euwe v Smyslov. Smyslov had 7 wins and 1 loss in eight games although these were obviously all long after Euwe was World Champion and when he was in decline although still a strong player,

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:21 pm

Also of interest regarding win/loss records is "chess triangles".

One great example from the "glory years" of English chess - Short famously had a terrific score against Miles, who had a sizeable plus score over Nunn, but the latter was Nigel's nemesis (remarkably, Short has yet to beat him in even a single classical game)

It is possible to do similar things with Soviet players (often including Tal) IIRC Stein/Gligoric/Geller was another.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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MJMcCready
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Re: Chess history trivia

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:29 pm

John Moore wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:36 am
Is this another of your questions where you don't actually have an answer. If so, it does all seem rather pointless.

Here's a couple of examples that don't meet your criteria but are nonetheless of interest. Geller was one player who had a fine record against World champions. He played Botvinnik 4 times whilst Botvinnik was World Champion and won 3 and lost 1. In four later games, he added a further win and three draws. Another oddity is Euwe v Smyslov. Smyslov had 7 wins and 1 loss in eight games although these were obviously all long after Euwe was World Champion and when he was in decline although still a strong player,
No I don't have the answer but I trust in those in this forum to find it, and I'm happy to join in there. I think it's okay to ask out of curiosity because when I met Chandler in the 80s he was very quick to point out that he purposely avoided Kasparov at all times with a wry smile. When Carlsen became world champion there were more than several with plus scores. Again I haven't double checked but I don't think he had beaten Kramnik or Radjubov. I'm just curious to know if there's ever been a world champion who always lost to GM so-and-so, in which case you could argue that world champion wasn't the best player of his day.

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