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cairo 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Cat. XX in India, have a look here:

Could be one of the tournaments of the year!

Best wishes
calmrolfe 20 ( +1 | -1 )
WOW !! Previously I'd thought the only way you could get up to a Category 20 Tourney would be by inviting Alekhine, Capablanca and Morphy as well !!

Looks like we are in for an eventful Xmas, I can't wait for it to start !!

Kind regards,

cuthbert 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Huuu After that one we know the "Undistributed World Champion" :-)))

No need to have a reunification anymore ;-)

calmrolfe 59 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmm...a thought Crikey ! I've just remembered that FIDE are due to hold their 2003 World Championship in November or December to find the player who will take on Kasparov next year. Wouldn't be much of a World Championship if it was stripped of all it's Bombay entrants.....

Kind regards,


Good point Cuthbert....if FIDE used their brains they could accept the highest placed player as their new World Champion and it would save them the expense of staging their own World Championship.
tonlesu 74 ( +1 | -1 )
hey Cal Remember Hastings 1895? Jeff Sonas (chessmetrics)ranks it as the greatest tournament of all time. It had the top 12 there. Linares 92' only had top 10 and so forth.
Amazing, the strongest tournament ever and they had a guy playing there you and I could give a good game to. Vergani---he got beat up so badly that he never played tournament chess again.

"he got beat up" got that from Rubinstein. Several years ago Inside Chess printed excerpts from Rubinstein's diary. Listen to April 24, 1914 (St. Pete)..."Tarrasch beat up Gunsberg ; Bernstein seemed to be winning but old Blackburne fought like a lion and got the draw.

April 22,1914 " I had the bye and spent the day watching the games Alekhine lost a piece in the opening...Bernstein beat up Gunsberg..."

calmrolfe 105 ( +1 | -1 )
tonlesu I don't remember it personally !!, but there again it WAS 1895 !!!

It was however a truly great Tournament, made even better for me by the inclusion of two of my all time favourites players, both of whom had an insatiable appetite for whisky and were also two of the finest blindfold chess players that ever lived, namely Blackburne and Pillsbury.

The former once announced mate in a blindfold chess game !!! whilst the latter used to travel from fairground to fairground right across America hidden uncomfortably within the chess automaton Ajeeb with only his whisky bottle for company. If it had not been for an unwise liason with a lady of somewhat dubious morals in St Petersburg then Harry Nelson Pillsbury may well have become World Champion.

It was a heck of a line-up, Albin, Schlecter, Janowski, Marco, Blackburne, Maroczy, Gunsberg, Burn, Tinsley, Vergani, Steinitz, Tchigorin, Lasker, Pillsbury, Tarrasch, Mieses, Teichmann. The "surprise" winner being Pillsbury.

Kind regards,

cairo 108 ( +1 | -1 )
No wonder the Hastings became such an famous event, with a start lineup as shown by calmrolfe!!
I remember Bent Larsen many years ago wrote an article about one of the Hastings tournaments, he participated in and won. He pointed out something like: Everybody was about to freeze to death, the playing hall was full of holes, but still no one would have been without the tournament. Also he wrote, that the man who walked around to pour coffee and tea, said to him before his game against the Englishman Watson, (I'm not 100% sure of the name) that if he could be nice to him, there would be a chance that Watson could finish his GM-norms and be the first Grandmaster in England. Bent Larsen had a draw with him, but Watson lost some other games and didn't meet the GM-norm. He never quite made it as the first GM either, because the late Anthony Miles was the first I believe!

Best wishes
calmrolfe 124 ( +1 | -1 )
First English GM There was quite a scramble to become England's first GM as the well known financier, Jim Slater, put up a prize of several thousand pounds for the first Englishman to become a GM. I believe that Bill Hartston led the race for a long time, quickly picking up two GM norms. However, he suffered an attack of nerves when well placed to gain the coveted third norm and Tony Miles sneaked up on the blindside and beat him to the large cash prize.

Once we had gained one GM then we got a whole cluster of them and English Chess has never looked back since those trailblazing days of the late lamented Tony Miles.

The traditional roots of English Chess lay in the Simpsons coffeehouse in the Strand, where all the leading nineteenth century chess players were inclined to play. It is fitting therefore that those days are currently being remembered by the Staunton Appreciation Society who are currently financing a Tournament being held once again within Simpsons Coffeehouse. I believe the Tournament has just been won by Jonathan Speelman, ahead of GM's King and Emms, with the fourth participant being 12 year old David Howells, England's latest chess prodigy.

Kind regards,

More: Chess
tonlesu 42 ( +1 | -1 )
Jim Slater The guy who saved the Fischer spassky match!

For a long time chess venues in England were a joke. I remember some of Miles horror stories on the subject. In Hastings they once held the tournament under a dance floor or a skating rink?

Shortly after the war (wwii) they held a tournament in hastings and in the photograph all the competitors are wearing heavy overcoats. But of course that was understandable.
soikins 71 ( +1 | -1 ) Sept 3: Supertournament in Mumbai, India?

Several Indian sources reported that in December the city of Mumbai will host a XX category round robin with a dozen top GMs. They mentioned an impressive list of names, including Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Leko, Ponomariov, Grischuk etc. According to Mumbai newspaper Mid Day "The organisers have already got confirmation from world champion Gary Kasparov and India?s ace Vishwanathan Anand". The news sounds great, and apparently it could almost replace somehow the world championship but...WorldChessRating immediately contacted Garry Kasparov to find out the details. The World #1 said that he hadn't ever heard about the event.
calmrolfe 37 ( +1 | -1 )
What a shame I believe the Organisers of the Mumbai SuperTournament were forced to abandon the idea after they failed to gain Alekhines participation. A shame really, as Kasparov had agreed to play for expenses only and Kramnik had agreed to donate all his match fees and winnings to Charity........

Perhaps we shouldn't believe everything that we read in the papers, huh ?

Kind regards,

cairo 57 ( +1 | -1 )
Thats right calmrolfe, not even the date!!!
William Hartston was the name I couldn't remember, thanks Cal!
You guys know so much, going back in time. I can't remember who was playing in a World Championmatch, were the arbiter reported one time: "Both players are now solid at sleep" Obviously it was before they used clocks!

I wonder who there launching that duck about Cat.XX in India!

Best wishes
honololou 4 ( +1 | -1 )
excuse my ignorance... but what is the meaning of the term "category 20"?
brunetti 14 ( +1 | -1 )
Actually the first english GM was Mieses (GM in 1950), since he took the british citizenship a few months before FIDE awarded the title.

tonlesu 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Mieses? OK boys, get your shovels ready. We're gonna have to dig up Miles and get that money back

By the way, I've always wondered is it

Master Mieses or Mister Mieses
tonlesu 21 ( +1 | -1 )
honololou Fide list the following base on average rating;

2251-2275 category 1
2276-2300 category 2
2301-2325 category 3

and so on up to

2601-2625 category 15
2626-2650 category 16 etc., etc.
tonlesu 16 ( +1 | -1 )
ps This is from the book "the Rating of Chessplayers" (past and present) by Arpad Elo. It was published in 1978 and I dont think Elo anticipated tournaments in the category 20 range.
honololou 0 ( +1 | -1 )
thank you, tonlesu.
cairo 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Jim and Cal Don't disappoint me, I'm waiting for an answer on my question, a bit further up!

Best wishes
cairo 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Ossip Bernstein Come to think about another anekdote about this personality.
On his way to become Grandmaster in 1956 in the Moscow Olympic, Bent Larsen meet Bernstein and win. On his notes to the game, he (Larsen) wrote after a interesting move by Larsen, Bernstein took his enormous head into both hands and sunk into deep thoughts, just raised it one time and said; very interesting young man!!

Ossip Bernstein was one of those players, who played from the 1900 and thru to late 1950's, just imagine all the different personalities, he has meet and played against!

Best wishes
calmrolfe 154 ( +1 | -1 )
Alex I am still thinking about your comment that Jacques Mieses was England's first GM.

Jacques Mieses was a German, by 1950 he was 85 years old and I am thinking that the title of "GM" was bestowed upon him in recognition of his lifetime contribution to Chess, rather than the fact he was then playing at GM standard.

A German who acquires British citizenship at 85 years of age is not really to be classed as a British GM, in my opinion. In his youth and middle years he quite obviously was playing at GM standard, but at that time of his life he was German, certainly not British.

Miles was British born, learned his Chess at a British Chess Club, played week-end Congresses in Britain and later went on to win GM status. He is really the one who should be classed as Britain's first GM.

I do not doubt that you are factually correct that Mieses became a British citizen at 85 years of age and was a GM. But it is stretching a point to classify him as British. Do the Chess history books refer to Mieses as a German player or as a British player ?

Kind regards,


Cairo....I am still looking, but dragging my feet a little in the hope that tonlesu will bail me out here by coming up with the answer !! I know a British Reverend once took 24 hours thinking about a move in the middle of a game against Paul Morphy (who could be excused if he did decide to take a nap) whilst his opponent pondered interminably over his next move......Thank god for chess clocks !!!

tonlesu 90 ( +1 | -1 )
Mieses If you go stand over the grave of Miese's mother and say "your son was a British GM" I kid you not you will feel the ground rumble!

Cairo, you say this was a championship match before clocks? The first official championship was 1886 and they had clocks then and several years before that.

Stauton on the 1851 London tournament "...consumes hours over moves when minutes might suffice, and depends not upon outmaneuvering, but out-sitting his cannot help expressing deep regret that there is not some legal or moral force which may be brought to bear upon the offender."

I seem to recall an incident in the 1851 London tournament where one or both players fell asleep but I can't pinpoint it. Those games were incredibly long. The 1857 NY tournament was similar in nature---Morphy was said to be almost in tears while waiting for Paulsen to move.
cairo 71 ( +1 | -1 )
Jim your memory is quite extraordinary, when it comes to chess events. I believe your absolutely right about, this is NOT an championship match, I'll have to check my books back in Denmark, I'm in Norway at the moment.
It could very well be Howard Staunton vs ???

Maybe these guys thought themself, they was playing for the World Championship!!

I shall revert with the answer, if somebody not has come up with it before.

Best wishes

Calmrolfe, many players today, are not very "good friends" with the clock :-))
tonlesu 59 ( +1 | -1 )
Cairo A Stauton game crossed my mind. It was Stauton vs. St. Amant. Stauton was abominably slow but St. Amant was slower.

The only trouble is they were very closely watched by onlookers. Someone actually timed the moves on both sides. There was no time limit but I think Stauton had someone time the moves. He had complained of St. Amant's slowness and wanted some proof.

The famous La Bourdonnais-Mcdonnell match came to mind as Mcdonnell was very slow and La bourdonnais was very fast but there was so much interest in the match Im sure neither fell asleep.
mladen 44 ( +1 | -1 )
chess players falling asleep As sad as it may sound ...
I could see some chess players falling asleep while making love, but in a serious chess match ...?

Actually, there is a story about Bent Larsen, which might have taken place shortly before he became a GM: In an adjourned game Larsen was trying to find a winning continuation all night. Then he tried to get a few hours of sleep. He ended up losing the game becuase he overslept.
calmrolfe 63 ( +1 | -1 )
Cat XX in India May be back ON !!

The organisers have issued a press statement outlining their experience of running large Tournaments and they say they have a budget of $665,000. This should be enough to attract the world's finest. They admit though that they cannot clash with the FIDE world championships, so the event may be shuffled to January. Aaah...who cares ....just as long as it IS held.

maybe Alekhine did post off an acceptance after all !!! order to keep within the PG guidelines I had better explain that Cat XX is a Category 20 Chess Tournament and not a highly dubious internet site....

Kind regards,

tonlesu 21 ( +1 | -1 )
$665,000. Would perhaps take care of travel, (1st class), hotels (1st class), per diem expenses; restaurants (1st class), taxis, tips and extraneous stuff. Now where are you going to get a couple million for prizes?
cairo 47 ( +1 | -1 )
And we can all thank Mr. Robert James Fischer, that there is money in chess today at all.

Read this interesting arthicle here about the anarchy in the chess hierarchy today, will it ever stop, I doubt it?:

Best wishes