Apart from chess being an over the board game, so many other sideshows sometimes outweigh the game itself. Just like life, chess, has its own sweet, bitter, sad, funny and happy sides. This trivia make chess such a sweet game to enjoy. Presented below are some of the most famous trivia, hope you will enjoy. If you have any more feel free to email me.
Adams, Weaver (1901-1963): US master who won the US Open in 1948. In 1939 he wrote a book entitled, White to Play and Win. After publication he played a tournament in
Ajeeb: The name of the chess automaton built by Charles Hopper, a
Ajeeb, never losing a single game.
Alladin: The strongest chessplayer at the end of the 14th century. He was also known as Ali Shatrangi (Ali the Chessplayer). He could successfully give odds to all other leading players. He was Chinese and a lawyer.
Art: There are at least 20 paintings called “Checkmate.”
Averbakh, Yuri (1922- ): Endgame expert and grandmaster who did not know
about the proper rule of castling while playing in an international tournament. He was the Soviet Chess Federation president from 1972 to 1977. His daughter married
Grandmaster Mark Taimanov.
Bernstein, Ossip (1882-1962): In 1918 Ossip Bernstein was arrested in
Blackburne, Joseph Henry (1841-1924): His nickname was the Black Death, given to him by a comment in the tournament book of
as a spy because he sent chess moves in the mail and it was thought the the moves were coded secrets. He tied for first in the British Championship of 1914 at the age of 72. During a simultaneous exhibition at
of the playing oval. In the end he emptied both bottles and won all his games in record time. During the temperance movement in
drinking improved one’s chess because alcohol cleared the brain and he tried to prove that theory as often as possible. It is estimated he played 100,000 games of chess in his career.
Blathy, Otto (1860-1939): Credited for creating the longest chess problem, mate in 290 moves.
Bogoljubov, Efim (1889-1952): Attributed to this famous saying “When I’m White I win because I’m White. When I’m Black I win because I’m Bogoljubov.” Once spent over two hours over his 24th move against Steiner, Berlin 1928, and then chose a move that lost a piece.
Budget: The annual FIDE budget is $150,000. The annual chess budget of the Russian Chess Federation is $175 million.
Capture: The longest delay of a capture of a piece or pawn is 57 moves, played by Chajes-Grunfeld,
Castling: As late as 1561 castling was two moves. You had to play Re1 on one move and Kg1 on the next move. The longest delayed castling is believed to be in the game Bobotsov-Ivkov, 1966 when White castled on the 46th move.
Check: Up until the early 20th century, it was mandatory to announce a check. Up until the late 19th century, it was mandatory to say ‘check to the queen’ or ‘gardez’ when she was attacked. At one time, if the King and other piece were simultaneously attacked by a piece, it was customary
to announce the fact by saying check to both pieces. Up until the early 19th century, an unnanounced check could be ignored. In 1969 in
Column, Chess: The first newspaper chess column was that in the Liverpool Mercury in 1813. The oldest column still in existence is that of the Illustrated
Consecutive Moves: There were 72 consecutive Queen Moves in the Mason-
Mackenzie game at
Death of Chessplayers: Georgy Agzamov (1954-1986) died after falling down between two rocks at a beach. Curt Von Bardeleben (1861-1924) committed suicide by jumping out of an upper window of his boarding home. Efim Bogoljobov (1889-1952) died of a heart attack after a simultaneous exhibition. Jose Capablanca (1888-1942) died of a stroke after watching a skittles game at the Manhattan Chess
Club. Edgar Colle (1897-1932) died after an operation for a gastric ulcer. Nikolai Grigoriev (1895-1938) died after an operation for appendicitis. George Mackenzie (1837-1891) died after an overdose of morphine. Frank Marshall (1877-1944) died of a heart attack after leaving a chess tournament in
Dice: Dice were used between the 10th and 14th century to determine
Which piece should be moved.
Divorce: In 1963 a wife of a chessplayer in
Chess Trivia 86
Einstein, Albert: Albert Einstein was a good friend of World Chess Champion
Emanual Lasker. In an interview with the New York Times in 1936 Albert said, “I do not play any games. There is no time for it. When I get through work I don’t want anything which requires the working of the mind.” He did take up chess in his later life.
Endgame: The maximum number of moves required to deliver mate from the worst possible starting position are as follows: Rook and Bishop vs. two Knights - 223 moves; Queen vs.two Bishops - 71 moves; Queen and Rook vs. Queen – 67 moves; two Bishops vs. Knight - 66 moves; Queen vs.two Knights - 63 moves; Rook and Bishop vs. Rook – 59 moves.
Exchequer, Chancellor of the: British finance minister. The title came from counting out money on a chequer-board used for chess. In 1080 the
Fischer, Robert (1943- ): The youngest American chess champion ever (14), the
second youngest grandmaster ever (15 years, 6 months, 1 day), and the youngest Candidate for the World Championship ever (15). Fischer once withdrew from a chess tournament because a woman was playing in the event (she was
woman in the world!” His performance rating against Larsen in 1971 was 3060 after a 6-0 victory. In 1970 he won the Blitz Tournament of the Century in Herceg
he was arrested in
Grandmaster: First used in connection with chess as a player of highest class in 1838. The title of grandmaster was first used in 1907 at the
Stahlberg, Szabo, Tartakower, and Vidmar. In the 1960s the
the world, 5 with the honorary GM title, and 102 women GMs.
Grundy, James (1855-1919): Responsible for the most infamous scandal in
plays chess against a princess for her hand in marriage. If he loses the game, he loses his head. She finally lets him win.
Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584): Keen chessplayer who died while playing chess.
J’adoubovic: Nickname of
Janowski, David (1868-1927): Chess master and addicted gambler. In 1901 he won an international tournament at
Kasparov-Karpov matches: After five world championship matches, Kasparov and
Karpov have played 144 games with Kasparov leading 73-71 overall (21 wins, 19 losses, and 104 draws).
Kholmov, Ratmir (1925- ): This grandmaster was once suspended for a year from
Tournament play because of conduct unbefitting a chess master (he was drunk).
Lasker, Emanuel (1868-1941): Lasker took first place at
were male. Between 1901 and 1914 he played in only three tournaments. In 1908 he married at the age of 48 and became husband, father, and grandfather all at once. His wife, a few years older than he, was already a grandmother. He tried to have the tournament rules changes for the older player at the international level. He proposed that play should be stopped after 2 hours for a half hour adjournment. His theory was that gentle exercises or turning to other thoughts for awhile would reinvigorate the older brain. During World War I he invested his life savings in German war bonds and lost it all. He wrote a book declaring that
pseudonyms during his exile.
Longest Games: The longest chess game is 269 moves (I. Nikolic -Arsovic, Belgrade 1989) which ended in a draw. The lon-gest won game for White is 193 moves (Stepak -Mashian, Israeli Championship 1980). The longest won game for Black is 161 moves (Duras - Janowski, San Sebastion 1911). Chess Trivia 159
Losers: The worst loss by a player was Macleod of Canada who lost 31 games in the