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Mikhail Chigorin vs Siegbert Tarrasch
"Bishop Odds?" (game of the day Oct-01-2017)
Vienna (1898), Vienna AUH, rd 36, Jul-22
Bird Opening: From Gambit. Lasker Variation (A02)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Let's copy Winter's info for ease of reference:

<This was the final position in a game between Chigorin and Tarrasch in the Vienna tournament on 22 July 1898. C.N. 3379 quoted from page 68 of Chess Panorama by W. Lombardy and D. Daniels (Radnor, 1975):

‘Chigorin got fed up and offered a draw. Tarrasch refused. Chigorin knew Tarrasch well, and was half expecting that; he calmly removed his bishop from the board and said, in broken German, ‘Go ahead. Win.’ Tarrasch proceeded to reappraise the position in the light of this startling development, and then tamely agreed to a draw.’

Is this story corroborated by a contemporary source? >

Dec-13-17  kereru: I found C.N. 3379, no info there that isn't in C.N. 3516: How did it occur

CFF came after these two notes so maybe there is more info there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <kereu> took me a second to properly parse "no info there that isn't in ..." due to the double negative.

Yes, CFF is a rehash of odds & ends of CN's, so #3379 was properly first mention (and found its way into CFF), then #3516 was a collection of outstanding items ...

And yes, I think Winter would have an update somewhere online if there was one.

The question remains where did Lombardy & Daniel get their version from?

Do you do biographical research? Looking at the sources at <chess archaeology> might provide a lead (but if they did, why hasn't someone already found it and updated Winter?).


Dec-13-17  kereru: 3516 (28 December 2004) predates CFF (2006) so it is possible that CFF includes new information. But until proven otherwise I'll assume Lombardy/Daniels just made it up.

Just reposting the link to the tournament book (in German):

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <kereru> it's too good a story not to try to find the source, but I agree, one should view it skeptically at the moment.


Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: In the book:< Gyula Breyer Chess Revolutionary> on chapter 30 titled:

<Bécsi Magyar Újság > on page 673, you find:

<The final phase of the Chigorin-Tarrasch game was an interesting episode from the grand vienna tournament of the 1890's.

The position was this:

click for larger view

Tarrasch (black) rejected Chigorin's offer of a draw, whereupon Chigorin removed even his Bishop from the board, to which Tarrasch blushingly mumbled, All right, it's a draw!>

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The Lombardy/Daniels book:

A copy sold on ebay for $24.95, and still is viewable:


Chess Panorama

William Lombardy & David Daniels

An invitation to the hallowed halls of the chess masters.

Chilton 6078 (1975) Radnor PA $6.95 hc


Inside flap...


This is what competitive chess is really like.

A Yugoslav grandmaster, befuddled
at a simultaneous blindfold exhibi-
tion, flees from a crowd of peasants
through a bathroom window...

A convicted murderer escapes from
the police while being taken to a
chess tournament...

The wife of Grandmaster Reschevsky
causes pandemonium when she in-
sists on interjecting herself into a
game with Grandmaster Byrne...

Here are the colorful personalities,
the scandals, and the great blunders
of the champions that make up the
chess panorama. Light in tone, some-
times humorous, and always enter-
taining, these stories, illustrated with
game diagrams, offer a marvelous
introduction to the world of chess.

Delightful kibbitzing, and chock full
of marvelous anecdotes, this book, by
real insiders, will entertain and
instruct simple wood pushers and
masters alike.


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Back flap has some info on Daniels (who I couldn't find on <CG>(?)):


David Daniels is an American master
who has ghostwritten several impor-
tant chess works. A former managing
editor of <Chess Review>, he has served
as Secretary and Rating Statistician
of the U.S. Chess Federation. Mr.
Daniels lives in Brooklyn, New York.



Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: A final thought before leaving the topic (however temporarily)...

The anecdote is almost certainly going to come from Chigorin and not Tarrasch - therefore it would have most likely showed up in the Russian press first (assuming it's a true story). Therefore, the original source will be difficult to find, at least for us non-Russian speakers.

Just speculating...

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: < I think he addresses the authenticity of the story in section 20.>

AKA page 20.

<CFF came after these two notes so maybe there is more info there.>

No, just #3516.

Dec-14-17  kereru: @zanzibar I have Chess Panorama, it's typical 70s fluff, entertaining but mildly scandalous and light on sources. Lots of "once" and "used to say" etc.

Winter criticized Jimmy Adams' approach to sourcing for the recent Breyer book, I doubt very much that he gives a direct source for the Chigorin-Tarrasch story. Like Dvoretsky he appears to have got it from Chess Panorama.

David Daniels is probably this guy:

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <kereru> I found a copy of Lombardy's book in the library network, so I'll take a look myself when it arrives.

I tried to scan the literature a little, looking in the contemporaneous periodicals, and various <O'Keefe> newspapers, but couldn't find any mention of the incident. I might have missed it though.

Well, like I said, if the story comes from Chigorin, it likely would be originally found in a Russia source - and those are thin from that time.

Here's Winter's comments about Jimmy Adams:

C.N. 10563

and also

C.N. 10661

Note that in the list of exemplary MacFarland books he omits Soltis' book on Soviet chess for some reason!


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: PS- I'm getting "gateway timeouts" trying to use your USCF link for Daniels... too bad.
Dec-15-17  kereru: Would it be cheeky to contact Mr. Daniels and ask (nicely) if he was making it up, or maybe he was repeating somtehing from Lombardy which grew in the telling?

He's still around as far as I can tell, he'd be 75 and he lives in NJ.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Kereru> I think it would be appropriate, though unlikely any of us would actually make the attempt.

I'm not 100% sure Dvoretsky would have used <Chess Panorama> as a source either, coming from the Russian tradition.

What's the most authoritative biography of Chigorin these days?


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Does anybody have Adams' 2015 book on Chigorin? (discounted to ~$25)

Sample pages:

I think this game is on p589. Is mention of the incident made there?


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Consider this mention of another(?) biography of Chigorin:

<Recently a long-standing friend of Ken Whyld has joined us whose outstanding works as a chess publicist may fill complete metres long shelves. (Particularly if you add the volumes of Chess Monthly which has been edited since August 1991 by Jimmy Adams as a technical editor, then from spring 1992 - after the MacMillam crash – as an editor.) Impressive are the tournament books published together with Dale Brandreth: Baden-Baden 1925, Bled 1931 or Moscow 1935,

<each based on the Russian originals, as well as Bogoljubov’s Chigorin biography, translated by Jimmy into English>.

But my definite favourite is and will remain "Artist of the Chessboard", herewith Johannes Zukertort was finally dedicated in 1989 a worthy game collection and biography. (M.N.)


So, is the Bogoljubov work separate from Adams own work?

I'd be interested if Bogoljubov's bio has mention of the incident - as I'm fairly certain it predates Lombardy's work.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Guess this 1926 work is Bogo's:


Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: A 1952 edition may reside here, ready for download:

Does anybody read Russian, who might be inclined to peruse said edition for this (in)famous game?


Dec-16-17  kereru: The book you linked to is Grekov's Chigorin: 120 Selected Games.

It doesn't include this game, or (as far as I can tell) discuss the alleged incident.

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Thanks <kereru>, I caught that error over at the Schmidt and Shurov bios and should have updated here.

I'm still wondering if Bogo's bio is available somewhere. Obviously, my Russia is quite poor (Cyrillic still presents quite the challenge to me).

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Watson reviewing various English-language books on Chigorin:

Santasiere also wrote a book on Chigorin <My Love Affair with Tschigorin>

Game Collection: Santasiere's "My Love Affair With Tchigorin"

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Winter has a little on Santasiere's book:

<‘Only a lover of the hero should be privileged to write this book, for Love calls unto Love.

My love affair with Tchigorin began when I carefully studied his monumental 22-game match with Dr Tarrasch ... Tchigorin was the great creative artist, the poet who craved only freedom to dream. He also was a great teacher of and for what he believed in. He was so much a lover, that I truly believe that in the world of chess, he was a saint.’>

C.N. 7933

Dec-16-17  Magpye: Santasiere's writings always makes me want to retch. I own his <Essay on Chess> - horrible.

He is quite possibly the worse ever American annotator of games.

Dec-30-17  kereru: Santasiere was a one of a kind for sure. Conservative Christian anarchy, anyone?
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