29 July 2014

1928 Bad Kissingen

While preparing the eBay post 'The Silent Master' a few days ago, I had an alternative for the eBay auction that I finally chose. Pictured below, it was titled 'Spectacular c. 1920 Vintage Chess Masters Photograph with Raul Capablanca', started at US $800, and eventually sold for around $670, 'Best offer accepted'.

The description said only,

Vintage and original 4.75 x 5.5" photograph of several chess masters including the famous Raul Capablanca. Nice photo clarity. Very Good to Excellent condition overall, probably a one of a kind photo.

The lettering on the bottom right of the photo reads 'Hoffmann-Phot, Bad-Kissingen'. The Chessgames.com page for Bad Kissingen (1928) lists 12 masters. My best guess for the photo is Front row: Nimzowitsch, Capablanca, Tarrasch, Marshall; Back row: Euwe, Yates, Tartakower, Spielmann, Reti, Mieses, Bogoljubov; leaving Rubinstein unaccounted for. Did I get it right?

28 July 2014

Kasparov TMER: Matching & Merging

As I noted in the previous post on the Kasparov TMER saga, Early Events, the next step was to merge the events listed in that post with the TMER index, Garry Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1973-). Before you can do a merge, you have to do a match, and this is never as straightforward as it might seem. Different authors call the same event by different names and it's only in the details -- e.g. opponents and dates played -- that it becomes clear that they are discussing the same event. Even then, some guesswork is occasionally required.

As for the 'Early Events', I listed 31 in that post. This compares with 22 events on the TMER index. Of those, 17 events appear on both lists. This means there are 5 events on the index that are not mentioned by Kasparov in the early chapters of his book Kasparov on Garry Kasparov, Part I: 1973-1985. It also means there are 14 events in Kasparov's book that are not on my TMER index.

Of the 5 events on the index but not in the book, one ('1975 Chp. Azerbaijan') appears to be a fabrication. I originally noted this event in the December 1985 issue of Europe Echecs (p.7), but it isn't mentioned elsewhere. Out it goes. For the other four events I have games on file, but there is no mention of the corresponding event in Kasparov's book. All of the games are from 1977.

I compared the 1977 mystery games on my file with the games on Chessgames.com: Player: Garry Kasparov, Year: 1977. I found the games but found nothing explaining the events. More digging is needed. (NB: Chessgames.com has 56 games on file against my total of 52, but that discrepancy is for another time.)

Of the 14 events in the book but not on the index, one is a mistake on my part; the '1974 Tal simul' was one of the games played in the 'clock simuls vs. GMs, Moscow', aka the 'All-Union Tnmt of Pioneers Palaces'. The other 13 are additions to my index. I'll do that update for my next post in this series.

27 July 2014

'The Silent Master'

Here on Top eBay Chess Items by Price, the series of chess sets last seen in Chess and the Killer Klowns ends with the item pictured below. Titled 'Small Original NYC Central Park ALBERT GEORGE HANDELL Impressionist Oil Painting', it sold for US $610 after receiving 22 bids from nine bidders.

The description added,

Measuring 9" by 12" this mid 20th century American Impressionist Oil Painting is on canvas artist board. It is signed in the upper right hand corner "Al Handell." Albert George Handell (1937- ) was born in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Sante Fe in 1985. He studied art in New York City at the Art Students League and became known for his outdoor paintings.

This authentic Albert Handell impressionist oil painting depicts two gentleman playing chess, with two other people looking on. The bench and table are near the Chess and Checker House of Central Park. The condition is perfect without any restorations and it comes framed in its original 16" by 19" distressed wood frame.

For more about the artist, see his website Albert Handell ("The Silent Master").

25 July 2014

This One's for Alexandra

Titled: 'Don't Mess with the Chess Queen'; subtitled: 'Outfit - Vita's Boudoir - Chess Queen For the Month Of Games Event'


Dont Mess With The Chess Queen © Flickr user Pretty Parkin under Creative Commons.

The Flickr page notes, 'This photo is in 10 groups', most of them having something to do with Second Life. The Facebook page, Vita's Boudoir, says, 'Virtual clothing builds for Second Life avatars'.

24 July 2014

Embedded Tweets

Although I've used Twitter material before as a source of inspiration, e.g. in Danailov's Puzzles, I'm not a big fan. It's like walking into a huge room where thousands of people are talking at the same time and not being able to tell who really has something important to say.

A few months ago I noticed the possibility of embedding tweets in other content, copied the embed code of a tweet that I was particularly interested in, and promptly forgot about it. I found it again this week and decided to try it on this blog, mainly to remind myself why I noted it the first time. It turns out that the technique is no more difficult than embedding a Youtube video. For more, see Embedded Tweets on dev.twitter.com.

As for the content of this tweet, the Mig Greengard link leads to a page in Russian, while the two Ian Rogers links are to the two parts of the 'Foreign Correspondent' video. The Larisa Yudina material is why I noted the tweet in the first place.

22 July 2014

Alice and 'The Cat in the Hat'

Seen on Yahoo!...


Book-themed benches pop up around London

...The subtitle says,

Fifty open book-shaped benches decorated by prominent artists celebrate beloved literary gems. Treasure hunt for tourists

The link led to this Yahoo article: Take a Seat: London's BookBenches Are All Kinds of Artistic Cool

Sure, nothing beats a hammock for kicking back with a favorite book, but if you’re going to go bench, you can’t beat these new seats in London: 50 open-book-shaped benches decorated by prominent artists and illustrators in the style of some of the UK’s most enduring literary characters.

That's very nice, but what does the chess bench have to do with literature? Nimzovich's 'My System'? In Classic books fly off the shelves and on to the streets, TheGuardian.com explains (over another photo of the chess bench),

As titles from Alice Through the Looking-Glass to The Cat in the Hat are remade as public sculptures, author Mal Peet celebrates the joy of a paperback on a park bench.

Thanks, London! Thanks, Yahoo! Thanks, TheGuardian.com! Previously Seen on Yahoo: Carlsen vs. Gates, The Aftermath.

21 July 2014

Kasparov TMER: Early Events

I finished the task started in my previous post, Garik Weinstein, identifying the early events in Kasparov's book Kasparov on Garry Kasparov, Part I: 1973-1985. The full list is shown below.

Next step: Merge this info with the index for Garry Kasparov's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (1973-).