Friday, October 05, 2007

Fridays by the Fireside No. 7 - More Odd, But True Chess Trivia

In our seventh installment of Fridays by the Fireside we feature some more odd, but true chess trivia from the Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld book The Fireside Book of Chess.

Chapter - The Magic of Chess
Section - Odd, But True
Item - 108 - 113
Page - 103

  • In 1891 a match was played at the Manhattan Chess Club between the bald-headed members and the hirsute ones (hirsute: one who removes his hat when he gets his hair cut). The baldheads won the match by 14 points to 11.
  • Playing simultaneously in Europe from June 1927 to March 1928, Geza Maroczy compiled the almost incredible score, from a total of 943 games, of 825 wins, 113 draws and only 5 losses!
  • One of Harry N. Pillsbury's favorite stunts in the realm of memory and imagination was to give a simultaneous display where he engaged ten chess players and ten checker players blindfolded, meanwhile taking a hand in a rubber of whist!
  • In ten years of tournament and match chess, from 1914 to 1924, Capablanca lost only one game!
  • Dr. Emanuel Lasker complimented Fred Reinfeld and Reuben Fine on their Dr. Lasker's Chess Career, but regretted the fact that none of his lost games were included in the book! (A modest chess master is a rare bird!)
  • Leonardo da Vinci may have been "perhaps the most resplendent figure in the human race," but Benjamin Franklin was a worthy runner-up. So many and varied were his interests that it should occasion little surprise that the man who was a printer, publisher, philosopher and Postmaster-General, the inventor of the lightning-rod, the rocking chair and bi-focal spectacles, should also have been the first player and writer on chess in America. For more on Benjamin Franklin and chess see Rook Van Winkle's Chess Blog: Regal Games from the Realms of Yore - Benjamin Franklin and AndrĂ© Danican Philidor

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