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Efim Bogoljubov vs Richard Reti
"Reti Made" (game of the day Apr-17-2011)
Maehrisch-Ostrau (1923), Ostrava CSR, rd 3, Jul-03
French Defense: Steinitz Variation. Gledhill Attack (C11)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: ... and speaking (as I did in the previous post) of Bogo's famous losses, here's a link to: Reti vs Bogoljubov, 1924.
Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BobCrisp: Get her! What's your rating? 1400?>

I think you frightened her (or him) away...

Apr-17-11  cracknik: Wow what a game!
Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: Let's not forget what could be the grandaddy of them all: McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834

If 2 pawns on the 6th beat a rook, then 3 pawns on the 7th certainly beat a queen.

Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Peligroso Patzer: This feature of the game left me wondering if "Reti to Roll" would not have been a still more apt pun.>

Perhaps, except that it's already been used twice before:

Reti vs Rubinstein, 1923 (Sep-25-06)

Lasker vs Reti, 1924 (Apr-09-07)

Interesting to think about Bogolyubov, since that's not done much. The general image seems to be of a over-optimistic beer-drinking buffoon. As his record against Reti shows, he was obviously a very strong practical player but never quite achieved the aura of greatness.

If asked for an "Immortal Game" from each of the great players, you would have an embarrassment of riches for Lasker or Capablanca or Alekhine or Fischer. Now, think of an immortal game by Bogolyubov. For that matter, just off the top of your head name a <win> by Bogolyubov that is well known. Here's one candidate I thought of--but I couldn't even remember Black's name before looking it up.

Bogoljubov vs Spielmann, 1919

Apr-17-11  scormus: Masterclass positional play by Reti. Bogo style of play is what I can identify with, but it played right into Reti's hands.
Apr-17-11  Oceanlake: And there's this:
Eduard Gufeld vs Lubomir Kavalek
Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Oceanlake> Ah, yes, Gufeld vs Kavalek, 1962. Anyone not familiar with this game should take a look at it. Talk about immortal...

Not a pawn center, but remarkable in its own right: F J Lee vs H Shoosmith, 1904

Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Interesting to think about Bogolyubov, since that's not done much. The general image seems to be of a over-optimistic beer-drinking buffoon.>

An ardent Nazi, too, which is why FIDE didn't name him a grandmaster in its first (1950) list. I saw a copy of a letter of his from the 1940s signed "Heil Hitler!" As to his place in history, Edward Winter's Chess Note No. 5515 ("Bogoljubow and Immortality") contained this:

<After Bogoljubow’s death a tribute by E.J. Diemer was published on page 221 of the August 1952 CHESS. Below is an extract:

‘The last time I saw him was in Freiburg, ten days before his death. On 6 June he won a lightning-chess tournament organized among the members of the Freiburg team, for whom he had played at top board since 1950. The next day, he helped Freiburg beat another local team by 8:0 and the same evening he beat the well-known Berlin master Mross (in the last tournament game of his life) to help Freiburg register a 4½-3½ win against a team (Berlin-Eckbauer) which had successfully defeated Luxembourg, Cologne, Basle and Lucerne.

I had a conversation with him then of rare seriousness. As if conscious of the nearness of his end, he spoke, on this last occasion, about – Chess Immortality. I discovered at this late hour in his life, and I pass it on as his closing thought, that Bogoljubow wanted his chess to be regarded as an art and himself as an artist. He feared, he said, that not one of his games, even from the great tournament at Moscow in 1925, the zenith of his career, would be deemed worthy of inscription in the scrolls of immortality. So high did he set his ideals. And so sceptically did he look back over his 40 years of masterly endeavour. Luckily the chess world will not share his pessimism. Countless masterpieces of play remain to assure him the immortality he sought.’>

Unfortunately, I agree that Bogoljubow is pretty much forgotten these days. And no, I can't think of any famous games that he won.

Apr-17-11  BobCrisp: <An ardent Nazi, too, which is why FIDE didn't name him a grandmaster in its first (1950) list. I saw a copy of a letter of his from the 1940s signed "Heil Hitler!">

Why was he writing to <Hitler>? Didn't he know <Der Fuhrer> was busy with stuff?

Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <2. Hypermoderns like pawn centres too! They just like to take their time about setting one up. A classical player like Bogo thinks "a strong pawn centre is good, so I will set one up as quickly as possible."

By contrast, a hypermodern player thinks "a pawn centre is good, but it needs to be flexible. A rigid pawn centre is little more than a fixed target to be attacked. So I'll let my opponent set up a pawn centre, I'll fix it in place, then dissolve it with attacks from a distance, and finally replace it with a fluid and mobile pawn centre of my own."

3. I don't think Bogo really understood or believed in point 2. And that meant that he sometimes tried to hang on to his classical pawn structures for a little too long{. This worked well against opposition from lower down the food chain. But the stronger players of his day were nimble enough to dance around his pawn centres and seriously embarrass them.>

Statistically, Bogo did rather well against the hyper-moderns of his times:

Bogo - Nimzo +7 -6 =5
Bogo - Reti +15 -7 =4
Bogo - Tarty +10 -7 =8
Bogo - Breyer +2 -1 =0

Altogether +34 -21 =17

Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Once: 2. Hypermoderns like pawn centres too! They just like to take their time about setting one up. A classical player like Bogo thinks "a strong pawn centre is good, so I will set one up as quickly as possible.">

My impression was that Bogo was numbered among the hypermoderns in the 20s, correctly or not. He was fond of the Nimzo-Indian.

<Phony Benoni> This is probably his most famous win -- I think Reti included it in Masters of the Chessboard.

Bogoljubov vs Mieses, 1925

He's definitely underestimated. I thought I was pretty familiar with his career, but I was surprised that his score against Reti was that one-sided.

Apr-17-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Bogoljubov vs Alekhine, 1929

Here is a positional masterpiece by Bogo. The theme of the play is off-color bishops. Hartston used the game in one of his books. Since the position is initially drawish, Alekhine helped by a few second best moves, of course. But very fine positional play by White nonetheless.

Apr-17-11  Oceanlake: Somebody once said, "Black pawns move faster than White [pawns].'
Apr-18-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <BobCrisp: ... Why was he writing to <Hitler>? Didn't he know <Der Fuhrer> was busy with stuff?>

He was writing to someone else, not Hitler. I guess that was just how he concluded his letters, sort of the way other people use "Sincerely yours."

Apr-18-11  BobCrisp: <He was writing to someone else, not Hitler.>

Silly you, I mean, silly me.

<I guess that was just how he concluded his letters, sort of the way other people use "Sincerely yours.">

It may help if you could remember the substance of this letter. If it was a private correspondence between family or friends then the inclusion of <Heil Hitler!> might be thought gratuitous and indicative of personal belief. If, on the other hand, this communication was in a more public or official capacity, where demonstration of loyalty to the regime in wartime might be considered de rigueur, if not obligatory, then I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

Apr-18-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Funny,but at the end of the coming forced rook exchange,white will be a pawn ahead! However,the two b-pawns are doomed and the solo black pawn will win!
Apr-18-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: OK,the pawn will not win by itself,but will keep the white king at bay while the black king can gobble up the king side pawns.The principle is called the "outside passed pawn".
Apr-18-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <BobCrisp> As I recall, it seemed like a letter to a friend. But my recollection is pretty vague (it was just a letter in a book that was for sale, which I didn't buy) and I'm pretty sure the letter was in a language other than English, so I certainly wouldn't bank on my recollection.
Apr-18-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <BobCrisp> As I recall, it seemed like a letter to a friend. But my recollection is pretty vague (it was just a letter in a book that was for sale, which I didn't buy) and I'm pretty sure the letter was in a language other than English, so I certainly wouldn't bank on my recollection.

I have not seen a lot written on the subject of Bogo's allegiances. Reuben Fine in one of his books made the extremely serious charge that Bogo had his enemies sent to Nazi concentration camps. Edward Winter wrote that he had written to Fine to try to find his source for this, and also had Sidney Bernstein (an acquaintance and former teammate of Fine's) inquire of Fine about it, but that Fine never responded to either inquiry. As I've said, FIDE most remarkably did not award Bogo the grandmaster title on its first list of titles in 1950 - even though he had twice competed for the world championship! - and made him wait until the next year to receive the title. I believe FIDE's action was a punishment of sorts for Bogo's support of Nazism, but haven't seen anything solid about this either.

Apr-18-11  BobCrisp: <Sergei Soloviov>'s book <Bogoljubow, The Fate of a Chess Player> quotes Fedor Parfenovich Bohatirchuk in <Bogo>'s defence.

<Efim Dmitrievitch...was a true chess professional in every sense of the word. He had no other interests except chess. He did not like Fascism, because of the persecution of the Jews, since he had a lot of friends among them....So, the torment of Bogoljubow...by FIDE should remain as a heavy burden on its conscience, because the organisation was in fact blackmailed by the Soviet dignitaries...>

In later memoirs, <Bohatirchuk> further claims that <Bogo> stopped wearing his Nazi Party badge after a wounded soldier tore it from his person during a simul display, and that <Bogo> owned a radio that he secretly used to listen to Allied broadcasts. <It was not a secret at all that E.D. did not like the Bolsheviks, but I think only a few people knew that he was treating Hitler's wild ideas with at least equal revulsion and contempt.>

Now one can either take this sort of testimony at face value or suspect that <Bohatirchuk> was laying it on a bit thick in the service of a fellow countryman, but, frankly, I find this need to rehabilitate chessplayers from the charges of fascism or communism by simple means of association to be wholly redundant.

Mar-22-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: A beautiful game by Reti. The pawn structure around move 20 is very instructive, and extremely good for Black. White has really only moved his centre pawns, apart from 18.f3 and 19.b3, leaving him with the two 'classical' abc and fgh pawn islands. Black, by contrast, has moved everything from the b to g files.

This actually gives Black *three* ways of attacking. He has play on each of the semi-open b- and g-files, and he has a pawn mass rolling in the centre. White has nothing much in return: his semi-open centre files become a liability rather than an asset, as Black threatens to create and push a passed pawn.

Something of a massacre, but a great example of the French in action. The 'bad' light-square Bishop in the French is often misunderstood: I've lost count of the number of games I've won with it, once it gets going.

Mar-22-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Phony Benoni> -- <1) Why doesn't everybody play the French? Games like this make it seem invincible.>

My belated answer:

It isn't easy to play the French well. I spent ten years losing with it before I began to understand it properly. Active counterplay is crucial for Black: sit still behind your rock-like fortress and you're toast (or you're Petrosian, and you're going to win the ending anyway).

But it's hard to strike the right balance between activity and solidity. Sometimes I almost despaired of ever getting it right -- you can try to memorize book lines, but what you really need is a feel for plans and piece placement and pawn breaks.

Sometimes, in my despair, I was *unfaithful* to the French, and tried something else instead, like the Pirc. Madame F. does not look kindly on such transgressions.

But I persevered. And these days I can't seem to stop winning with the French: I do so much better with Black that my club team have me playing black in every match.

I don't pretend to have penetrated the inner mysteries yet ... but all that losing experience seems to work in my favour now. Somehow, I find that I know what to do in the French, even though specific plans vary hugely from one game to the next.

Madame F. is the greatest of all openings. Vive La Defense!

Apr-28-15  domradave: I love this game! I first saw it in Fred Reinfeld's THE COMPLETE CHESSPLAYER. What Reti does with the knight is just amazing!
May-28-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: You can say what you like about their "absolute strength", you have to admit Reti displays some great equestrian antics from 28...Nb1 on. Reminds me of Nimzo's sense of humor.
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