Hastings 1895

The first Hastings tournament in 1895 was the strongest tournament up to that time. Every top player was invited and they all turned up: World Champion Lasker, ex-champion Steinitz, Steinitz' challengers Chigorin and Gunsberg, Lasker's future challengers Schlechter and Janowsky, the old British Champions Bird, Blackburne and Burn, and the new US Champion, Pillsbury, whom no-one knew much about, but he has been taking lessons from Steinitz...

Knight to e5 (or e4)

At Paris in 1933, Tartakower once heard a spectator say about one of Bernstein's games:

"Ces grands-maîtres placent leur[s] Cavaliers à é5 et après les mats découlent d’eux-mêmes!” dit en voyant cette catastrophe un spectateur grincheux."

In English:

"These Grandmasters place their Knights at e5, and then the mates follow by themselves!", said a grumpy spectator upon seeing this catastrophe."

Well, sometimes!


A desperado is a piece that is going to be captured, so goes on the run, taking what it can down with it. White to play:

[Event "Desperado"]
[Site "Steven Carr"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "NN"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/p4pp1/1p6/n5p1/2Pp2N1/2Q2PPP/P3q3/4R1K1 w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "3"]

{[#]} *

Black was hoping for 1. Rxe2 dxc3. But White thinks, if it's best to give up the Queen (to get Black's Queen), can I get more for it?

Anatoly Karpov

Fischer never defended his title, which passed to the winner of the Candidates' matches, Anatoly Karpov, in 1975.

Karpov was a worthy Champion, though, and his quiet, deft chess dominated the world of chess for a decade.

Here are two games where he strangled strong opponents.

Click [...] to see list of games

Robert Fischer

'Bobby' Fischer was known as a threat to the Soviet domination of world chess for many years, but kept withdrawing from qualifying as the challenger over disputes with organizers. He finally qualified in 1971, having stormed past the other Candidates with huge scores, and beat Spassky in a match which was as dramatic off the board as on it.

In contrast to the real-life dramas, he played a very cool, rational sort of chess, no-nonsense and razor-sharp.

Boris Spassky

Boris Spassky beat Petrosian on his second try, failing in 1966 and winning in 1969.

Spassky could do many things well, but had a flair for attacking.

He also had a collection of opening systems that he knew very well and would use even if other people didn't think they were very good -- like the King's Gambit and Closed Sicilian, and the Leningrad Variation of the Nimzo-Indian.

There is some wonderful centralisation in this game:

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