Generally speaking, playing bad openings against a grandmaster is a bad idea and usually will lead to an even quicker loss than a respectable opening would. While this is a quick loss, the fish in this game did have his chances (moves 7 and 9), but the end result was inevitable. By the way do you know what the word “grob” means in German? It’s fitting.
Today is Caro’s 158th birthday.
Another case of sibling rivalry. Two weeks ago, it was the Byrne brothers, this week it’s Eugene and John Meyer, who have been mainstays of the DC chess scene for decades. Currently, Eugene, an International Master, is rated sixth on the USCF’s top over 65 list while John, a FIDE Master and USCF Life Master, is tied for 35th. Unfortunately, Eugene belongs to the Dark Side.
Vladimir Simagin, who would have celebrated his 101st birthday today, was a greatly underappreciated Soviet grandmaster.
This week’s theme (and next week’s) is sibling rivalry. Friday would have been Donald Byrne‘s 90th birthday. His brother Robert enjoyed greater success, becoming a grandmaster while Donald only earned the international master title, but Robert was far more active even before giving up his academic career to become a chess professional. Donald spent his entire career in academia, teaching English at Penn State. It’s arguable that Donald was the greater talent of the two. For example, in the 1954 match between the USA and the Soviet Union, Donald beat Yuri Averbakh 3-1 on board four (Robert beat Alexander Kotov 3-1 on board six–the Soviets won the match 18-14). They are undoubtedly the strongest pair of brothers ever. Anyway, here is an early game between them.
John Curdo many not have been a grandmaster, or even an international master but he dominated New England Chess for decades. During his prime, he almost never left New England. Had he played more widely, he almost certainly would have earned the international master title and possibly the grandmaster title. When he did play grandmasters, he had his share of wins. For example, he crushed Kudrin at the Pillsbury Open in 1998 at the age of fifty (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nf6 5. Bb5 a6 6. Ba4 b5 7. Bb3 Nc6 8. Qd3 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. Nc3 d6 11. Bg5 Bb7 12. Rfe1 Na5 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 Re8 15. Re2 h6 16. Bh4 g5 17. Bg3 Bxb2 18. Rae1 Bf6 19. h4 Qd7 20. hxg5 hxg5 21. Re6 Nxb3 22. cxb3 Kg7 23. Nd4 fxe6 24. Nxe6+ Kh6 25. f4 g4 26. Kf2 1-0). Here he beats a future grandmaster who, at the time, was a regular invitee to the US Closed Championships.
Today would be Lothar Schmid‘s 92nd birthday. He probably best remembered as the arbiter of the 1972 World Championship match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer but he was also a strong grandmaster who played in 11 Olympiads. I had the good fortune to meet him in 1992 when he was arbiter at Bobby Fischer’s return match against Spassky in Yugoslavia. One story he told stuck with me. When he was a teenager and the war was going badly for Germany such they were so desperately short of manpower, he was drafted into some sort of local guard duty in a forest near his home. One night the sky was ablaze and he thought there was a massive forest fire. It was the firebombing of Dresden some 70 kilometers away.
Schmid’s career included wins against Bogolyubow, Keres, Botvinnik, Bronstein, Benko. Reshevsky, Browne, and many others. But since this feature is limited to games that you won’t find on ChessBase’s MegaBase, I won’t show you any of those games. Instead, this week’s game is an interesting struggle against International Master Antonio Medina García from the 1963 Malaga tournament.